ArchivedLogs:A Little Paranoia
|A Little Paranoia|
Iolaus makes a job offer.
<NYC> Russian Tea Time - Upper East Side
This chic and upscale restaurant serves surprisingly little tea for their name -- though it can be found, on their menu, and quite good quality at that. Elegant and understated, there is an old-world feel to this place. For those who make their dress code (and book reservations enough in advance), the food here is good, hearty Russian fare, although the main attraction here comes not from their extensive food menu but from their extensive bar. Their vodka comes three double-shots to a flight, for those with strong constitutions (and a safe ride home.)
It is mid-day, but the upscale interior of the Russian Tea Time is busy with customers having lunch and drinking during their break. To be sure, few people are getting drunk, considering the hour, but it is busy nonetheless. Sitting at one table in a sharp pinstriped blue suit with a well-matched tie is Iolaus. One hand spins the purple liquid of his wine idly in his wine glass as he looks down to his watch. He lifts the glass to his lips and takes another small sip, glancing around the room.
Hive looks less sharp, when he arrives. No pinstripes. Sad. No suit, either, though he does have neat-ironed slacks (a little too long for him) and a crisp green button-down. No tie. He is pulling off his gloves as he steps inside, pulling off his hat as well (the hair beneath rendered even scruffier than its usual by dint of -- hat) and looking around the room with brows furrowed.
Hive is intercepted quite near the door by the maitre'd, who looks him over for a moment with a slight look of disapproval. After asking after who Hive is meeting, he escorts the man carefully through the room over to where Iolaus sits. The doctor stands and smiles at Hive as he approaches, extending a hand. "Iolaus Saavedro," he says, with a friendly look in his eyes. "Thank you for coming to meet me."
Hive's smile is instant, and easy, extending his hand as well. "Hive," he greets in return. Just that. Like Madonna. "I -- oh." He is frowning faint and sheepish as the maitre'd brings him a tie. And coat. His head ducks slightly. "Right. Sorry. Hive," he offers again, not much daunted as he slips on the borrowed jacket. "Thank you. I hope you weren't waiting long?" He's pretty on time, at least.
Iolaus gives a momentarily perplexed look, though whether this is from the maitre'd's actions or the other man's speech, the timing makes it impossible to tell. "No, not too long at all. Ten minutes or so." he gestures to the chair across from him as he takes his seat once more, face resuming that friendly and professional expression. "It is no trouble." he pauses, looking over the other man for a moment. "Melissa told me that I should reach out to you. I'm currently looking for an architecture firm -" he breaks off, lips pursing. "Or a very skilled architect - to take on a rather complex project I am planning."
"I don't have a firm I'm with currently," Hive gives in immediate answer, taking a seat where indicated. "But I'm good. What kind of a project are we talking? I wasn't given a lot by way of detail."
The doctor's smile widens slightly. "My apologies for that. We're still very much running quietly as we get started," he says, reaching down and opening a briefcase at his feet. He comes out with a glossy folder which he passes along to the other man. A rod of Asclepius is emblazed across the front in black and red, and a black circular outline with arrows coming out of it as rays sits behind, as if the rising sun on the horizon. "A laboratory and an advanced medical clinic." Iolaus says, as he laces his fingers together. The folder contains fundraising documents, but it also has sheets explaining its aim - a clinic for primary and specialty care of mutants.
"Mmm," comes in quiet acknowledgment, a bit distracted as Hive slides the folder towards himself. He opens it to peruse its contents slowly, flipping through the pages with building curiosity. At some point in this reading his eyebrows raise. High. "-- No wonder you're running quiet." Then more browsing, until his fingers come to rest steepled against a page. "Was I recommended to you because you need an architect, or because you need an architect who'll agree to this?"
"Because I need an architect and the last several firms that we went to turned us away as soon as they got the details." Iolaus says, voice steady and unapologetic. "Melissa dug through her paperwork and found your name as someone who she had worked with before. We had hoped you might be persuaded." he says, smile thinning slightly. "I am happy to discuss any concerns you have."
"That doesn't surprise me. Not a lot of people likely to line up to associate themselves with this." Hive's lips twitch up wryly, his eyes lifting from the page to look at Iolaus. "Not a lot of people lining up to pour hard work into a thing just to see it get blown up, either." His fingers tap against the paper beneath him. "Why are you doing this?" It's a blunt question, unapologetic as well.
"Because it needs to be done. Because they /deserve/ treatment just as any other person does." Iolaus says, smile still on his lips but none in his tone. << He's going to turn us away, just like all the others. Damn. >> "Because we as a people are judged by how they treat their fellow man, and I, nor the people who I work with, are willing to stand by and let an entire race of people go untreated because of how they were born." << Where else can I find a damn architect to built this clinic? Maybe I should look outside the US. Sweden, maybe? >>
Something twitches at Hive's lips, briefly, but his answer is delayed by the arrival of a waiter. He orders a sparkling lemonade, holding off on food until he can -- actually look at the menu. Until Iolaus answers and the waiter departs, he is quiet, perusing the menu thoughtfully. "It doesn't bother you?" His eyebrows lift, though he doesn't look up from the menu at Iolaus. "Other times I've heard doctors talk about this kind of thing, it's all /curing/ them or /using/ them. Not treating them."
Iolaus picks up his wine, taking a sip. "A cure implies that there is something /to/ cure. Curing a mutant of their mutancy would require that you rewrite their entire subspecies. And to what end? The expenses would be extreme, and the outcome poor, at best." He waves a hand, dismissing it with a scoff. "Using? They are people, not tools to be /used/." he says, almost spitting the word out. << The doctors who /use/ them should be executed. I would like to pull the noose tight around their necks myself. >> he adds, viciously, in his head.
"To make the world a safer place," Hive says, with a /thin/ flash of teeth. "Lord knows it's got no dangers except us." He closes the menu, setting it down beside the folder. "What got you into this? It's not really normal. I've never heard of a place like this one."
"There are no places like this one." Iolaus says, then chuckles. "I should say, there are no places like this /will/ be." << If I can find someone to fucking build it. >> "Since it's not really... there, yet. That's where you come in, I hope." he says with a smile and a twinkle in his eyes, dragging the conversation back around to the other man's question. "I saw the need. I saw, and I saw, and then I couldn't look myself in the mirror any longer if I kept standing by and just /seeing/."
"This," Hive taps fingers against the cover of the folder, "isn't going to be cheap, the scope of this. How are you going to fund it? People don't exactly line up to shower mutant rights causes in cash." He slides the folder back towards Iolaus, resting his hands against the table, folded neat against the menu there. "-- Not cheap to build it. Even leaving aside trying to keep it running." His brows draw down together. "How do you plan to protect your patients? There's going to be a lot of people out there looking to get their hands on a list of them. Even stepping through the doors will be incriminating for many."
"It's privately funded by donors. We may end up with a small stipend from the government as well, once they figure out that you don't want a bunch of sick extremely-powerful mutants running around, and everyone is better off with them being healthy." Iolaus says, shrugging his shoulders once. "We are fundraising now. I have been, actively, for several months now, and organizing for a few years before that." << Just hurry up and throw something at me. I'm wasting my fucking time. >> "We will keep our records strictly controlled. We will provide a pharmacy in-house, to keep from having to fill your prescriptions at a pharmacy which might expose you. And our doors will be well-guarded."
"I doubt that very much," Hive says, something shuttering in his expression for a moment, "at least if you got a handout from them, it wouldn't be for any /good/ reasons." There's a tightening to his jaw, after this, a lift of his hand for a brief tired rub at his eyes. "You're not wasting your time," he adds, after a pause, "I need to be sure I'm not wasting /mine/."
Iolaus opens his mouth, then closes it with a snapping sound. His smile widens, genuine, instead of the business-like one he has kept fixed on his face. << Well, well. No, you are not wasting yours. >> he looks over the other man, tilting his head to one side. "Perhaps. That bridge is far down the line, and I do not think it is worth worrying about before it is even in sight, nevertheless upon it." he says, straightening up in his chair and taking another sip of his wine. "No, no, you would not be wasting your time." << And whether it is a place you would care to visit yourself, it would still be work. >>
"Maybe not for you," Hive's voice has dropped quieter now, carefully low despite the fact that by now it is likely clear he could have this conversation without speaking at all. "It's always worth worrying about for me. I've seen what they do to us, and I don't want to put my work towards something that's going to end up fucking my people over. No matter how well-intentioned. The government would love if you did the work for them of tracking us down." He exhales slowly, leaning back in his chair with bony long fingers scrubbing through his scruff of black hair, his palm pressed to his forehead. "But," he acknowledges, "this has so much potential to be one of the greatest things I've ever seen happen. There's so many people who could use this."
"I promise you, for the patients of mine who pay cash, their names will never leave the clinic, if that is what they wish." Iolaus says. "I know how serious the privacy concerns are, above and beyond what normal medical privacy standards are. I will not violate that faith." he says, back straight and eyes flashing. He smiles, though, at the end. "It would be a hell of a challenge, even for an entire firm with several architects working on it." << Is he up for it? Will he be able to do it? >> "Is it something you are interested in doing, even knowing that?"
Hive quiets, again, as the waiter returns for their orders; he orders lamb pelmeni and hands the waiter back the menu, sticking with just the appetizer and no entree. He is quiet while he waits, but a strange uncomfortable /pressure/ makes its way into Iolaus's mind, heavy and somehow constricting. Hive is not looking at the doctor, his gaze travelling around the restaurant with slow sweep of the other patrons.
Iolaus' lips purse and he runs a hand through his hair, as if that could bat off the sensation. << You have quite efficient methods of determining whether to trust someone. >> His mind-voice is equal parts amused and displeased.
Hive stays quiet, at least until Iolaus's order is delivered and the waiter is gone again. He doesn't look apologetic, after, just shrugs a shoulder, the uncomfortable mental pressure withdrawing. "Met enough people I can't trust. Something like /this/?" He exhales a soft hissing breath through his teeth, brief. "Can't be too careful. I'll do it," he adds, without further preamble. "Shit, if I didn't live in Manhattan I'd do it for free. But." His quick thin slice of smile says what he does not elaborate on. Manhattan is an expensive place to live.
Iolaus' eyes light up, and he pulls out his briefcase. "Perhaps you will change your mind once you read what I have written about what we will /need/ built." he says, as he pulls out a leaf of typed up notes on the details of the facility and passes them to the other man. The notes are detailed, a request down to the level of each room and what facilities will need to be inside it.
Hive's fingers trail against the notes, looking over them long and silent. His fingers tap against one section of the research labs, his head shaking. "You won't get four," he says bluntly, "it's not likely /anyone/'d be permitted to build one in the city, let alone --" His smile is wry, his fingers flicking towards Iolaus. "Even pushing for three'll hold you up in red tape forever. Doable. The permits are going to hold you back waaaay more than the actual construction." Quiet again, he continues perusing. His finger taps against the page absently in thought.
"Build it to 4. I doubt I'll be able to get a permit above two, never the less three. But, I don't really care about that. I'm not going to be doing virology research that needs a BSL-4. It's a precautionary measure, and I think a prudent one, all things considered." Iolaus says, shrugging his shoulders dismissively. "I don't need the permits to build it to those specifications. Just to use it with things that they list."
"Mmm." Hive's eyebrows raise, but he does not argue further. He continues to study the sheet, a long while, eventually turning it over and resting his hand atop it. "S'your time frame on this?"
"I want to open the doors by mid-year, if possible." Iolaus' lips twist into a smile that is half-way to a grin. "And, yes, I am aware how ridiculous of a schedule that is." he crosses his arms over his chest and looks at the man with something approaching a smirk. "How do you feel about a challenge?" he drawls, fingers tapping against his arm. "I have a construction company who is willing to work on it. Union ironworkers and carpenters. Took a bit of negotiating, but we have that part solved."
Hive has lifted his lemonade to take a sip. Which he promptly /chokes/ on at Iolaus's timeframe, pressing his wrist to his mouth to stop his spluttering. Maybe he's laughing. His eyes are watering from the choking, it's hard to tell. At least until he drops his hand, still -- laughing. "Right. Uh." He dabs at his eyes with a napkin. "Have you ever built a -- well, anything -- before? In Manhattan you could take six months just to be /allowed/ to break ground if you were building a home for orphaned kittens."
Iolaus' lips press into a thin line and he takes a long sip of his wine before replying. << Fuck the kittens. >> "Assuming the permits were taken care of - somehow - how long would it take you to build?" he asks, swishing the liquid around in his glass before going back for it once more. "That's what lawyers are for. They will... find a way."
"If you're into that, I guess," comes Hive's murmured reply. His eyes turn upwards, fingers tapping against the table. "From breaking ground to completion, a project like this'd normally take upwards of three years." Tap. "And that's construction. Leave /off/ the design time." Tap. Tap. "How good's your construction team." He looks pensive.
Iolaus' looks confused for a moment before he chuckles and shakes his head. "Man, I can see how that would get annoying quickly." he shakes his head, fingers tapping on the edge of his glass for a moment. "I don't know. They're someone that Melissa has worked with before and none of their buildings have fallen down, as far as I know. That's about as much as I know for it."
There's a moment when Hive's smile is wry again, a little tight-strained around its edges. "Annoying," he echoes, his amusement quiet and a little tight-strained, too. "Yeah. Guess it is that, sometimes." His hand lifts, fingertips rubbing at his temple as he nods at Iolaus. He looks down at the page again. Tightens his jaw. "Once construction's started we could push for a year," he says, slowly, "if your people are good."
"And how much time will you need? We will, of course, continue you on salary for the remainder of the construction," Iolaus says, a slightly predatory smile on his face as he glances briefly at the other man's borrowed jacket. << Which, I can imagine, might be an issue for you. >> "So please do not feel the need to extend your timeline for that reason. We have the site in its final acquisition now - should be wrapped up in a few weeks - and the permit paperwork is ready to file once we have plans finished."
"I've been a professional longer than I've been /poor/," Hive says, a little clipped in his answer. "I'll do it how it needs to be done. Not --" His lips twist, thin. Down. "-- how I need it." More quiet, once their food arrives. He thanks the waiter, waiting again until they are alone. Picking up his fork, he spears a dumpling, but doesn't yet bite. "Give me two weeks to draft and model. Give or take time for revision --" He waves the dumpling-laden fork towards Iolaus. "I'll keep you in the loop of all the progress, so you can make changes as you need."
Iolaus nods once, smiling. "I'll give your information to Melissa. She'll reach out with the employment paperwork and the confidentiality and all of that stuff," he says, waving as he looks down at his fish with a smile. He picks up his fork and slices delicately through an edge of the fish, causing it to flake delicately into a chunk. "I will also want to introduce you to the head of security. I know she has some special concerns she wants brought up." << Fucking crazy bitch. >>
"Charmer, mm? I --" Hive shakes his head, taking a bite of his dumpling once Iolaus picks up his fork. "Can only imagine," he continues after swallowing, "that there'd be special concerns here."
"Very much. Paranoid as all hell," Iolaus says, chuckling. << Army bitch. >> "But, still, I can't complain. Her paranoia might very well safe my life, or the lives of one of my patients. God knows we're going to be a target," he says, forking another piece of food into his mouth and chewing thoughtfully.
"A huge fucking neon one," Hive agrees, his smile thin. "But after seeing some of what I've seen --" The breath he lets out is sloooow, and he chases it with another dumpling. "Little paranoia might be your best friend."