ArchivedLogs:Winning Hearts and Minds
|Winning Hearts and Minds|
Emma calls Norman, discusses a proposition.
RINNNG RIIIINNNNGGGG. Emma calls. Emma gets his assistant. Emma explains that she needs to talk to Norman Osborn. She is put on hold.
Actually, Emma gets his /assistant's/ assistant. But when the name 'Emma Frost' is spoken, she goes from speaking to the secretary of a secretary to the man himself. The hold isn't long -- after only thirty seconds, there is a click, followed by a voice, gruff and perhaps slightly strained: "Osborn speaking."
"Good afternoon, Mr. Osborn. Emma Frost. I wanted to talk to you about two of the people recommended as guests for your party - Mr. Holland, and a Mr. Parley." Emma sounds polite and professional, polished and not perky. Never perky.
"Oh--Emma! Of course," Norman replies, his gruffness instantly evaporating. Apparently, no one bothered to tell him who was on hold. "Holland -- Parley -- yes, I remember, now. What is it? I hope they haven't changed their minds about attending?"
"I have been approached by Parley," Emma replies, her tone distracted as she looks over her notes, "with an offer. He says that he will be willing to be an open mutant in support of your new suppression measures - or at least as a voice of a moderate - if you would help him with something he calls an oppressive government tactic against mutants."
"Open mutant in support of..." Norman's voice trails off. And suddenly, there's laughter in his voice, though it stays submerged beneath his words: "Is he... is he trying to /sell/ me his support? Oh, dear..."
"The information he has is good, Mr. Osborn. I spent the better part of the morning confirming the facts in the case." Emma offers, matter of factly. "The truth is, you may be interested in doing what he asks anyway, and simply will have the reward of his support without going too much out of your way."
"Is /he/ good, Ms. Frost? It's easy to offer something now, and retract it later. Particularly something so easily changed as one's mind." But he sounds more amused than suspicious, and soon continues: "Oppressive government tactic against mutants. Please, Ms. Frost. Give me the details."
"I do not know Parley very well. I have only met him twice, but he seems ready, willing, and able to go through with this. He will be vocally moderate or supportive at the party if you take care of this problem for him." Emma pauses for a moment, switching gears. "The information concerns Mr. Holland. Our Mr. Holland, who works three jobs, goes to school, volunteers and does his utmost to embody peaceful resistance and the betterment of both mutant and human kind, has had his foster children removed from his house by child services, despite them being happy, healthy and well cared for. Parley suspects that this is a feeble retaliation because of his undesired publicity - that the ticket did not seem to break him enough, so they stole his family." She takes another deep breath and waits for vocal clues as to Osborn's reaction.
"They took away his children? So suddenly? After he's saved the mayor -- and the ticket? So /soon/?" Norman sounds... he doesn't sound outraged. He sounds /indignant/. Like he's observing the actions of someone with the political savvy of a hyperactive toddler. "Are they stupid, or merely..." A pause, then. A very long pause. Much longer than he should be taking.
The next question is a very quiet one. And very soft. So soft that Emma may have to strain to even hear it: "Was Mr. Holland the only target?"
"I don't know, sir. I was merely approached as a go between." Emma doesn't like those words, but lets them hang in the air all the same. "If you like, I can get all of the details from Parley myself, or I can set up a meeting between the two of you."
"Mmn. Maybe a meeting between myself and this Parley would be for the best. What is his particular mutation?" Then, rather quickly: "This /does/ concern me, Ms. Frost. Mr. Holland... I've had my associates doing a little digging. Whatever the man's politics, he is, by all appearances, a hero. A pillar of the community. It disturbs me to know he may be suffering from harassment merely for saving /lives/."
"Yes, and it would make him unpredictable for the gala presentations if he was still under this oppression, as he may not show up at all - or may show up with a stage stealing, bleeding heart agenda. It would hardly be the place."
Emma makes a few notes on her computer, the clicking of the keys carrying in the silence. "I have sent a message to you and your assistant with his contact details and I will call him shortly to inform him to expect a call." She pauses again. "Parley is a communicator, I guess. He does translation - able to grasp other people's verbal concepts and explain them to other people no matter the language or the poor phrasing. He seems remarkable and may find a place at Hellfire, when all this is over, for those skills alone. We do have guests from all over the world."
"Fascinating." It's hard to tell if Norman Osborn is actually fascinated. "Good, then. I'll look forward to speaking with him -- soon. Very soon." And then: "Thank you for informing me of this matter so quickly. Was there anything else, Ms. Frost?"
"Ah, yes. Another one of my associates has come up with a positively interesting option I wanted to clear with you before approaching her myself. You wanted mutant heroes, correct? How about Nox, the shadow woman who saved the children from that terrible Blood monster? My associate believes he can secure her attendance." Emma does her best to sound cheerful once more as she proposes another lamb for the slaughter. "She /is/ offensively strong, which is why I have held back, but I did want to run it past you."
"The blood... oh, yes. I've been --" An embarassed pause, here. Calculated? Or genuine? There are precious few things Osborn is embarassed by. "-- helping some of the victims. Financially. Such a bizarre situation. She was originally thought to /be/ the monster, was she not? A woman of shadow who saves children from a vampire." Amusement, now. "It sounds like a fairy tale. You are right to hesitate; her offensive abilities may make her a liability, but... you simply cannot /buy/ PR like that, Ms. Frost. A tentative yes. We must dig, first, to ensure there is nothing /provocative/ in her past. Nothing we cannot handle. But /goodness/, what a lovely opportunity. My soiree will have /superheroes/," and now Norman laughs, warm and swiftly. "How absolutely lovely."
"Well then. I'll get to work on her background and see what I can find." Emma relaxes a little at his final laugh. "That is all I had for you. I hope the rest of your day is pleasant."
"The same to you, Ms. Frost. Good night...!" A low chuckle. Followed by a click. Mmm. /Superheroes/.