2019-06-04 - Investing In The Business


Using investing in Rahm-Tek as a cover, Fenris and Astryd get a look at Basts books.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue Jun 4 04:54:50 2019
Location: Rahm-Tek Enterprises

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Theme Song




It's been nearly a week since Fenris and Astryd helped Bast with a problem, and a nasty injury. She'd recuperated at their house and left a couple of days later once she was in better condition.

Today Fenris is standing in front of the of the Rahm-Tek office in Manhattan. It's late morning and he's waiting outside. The street traffic is flowing around him as always it does. He looks like an ordinary businessman. But he FEELS like a business shark.

This is a fairly nice part of Midtown. The office tower is sleek and tall and the ornamentation on the building near the top has some slight Egyptian accents. Fenris is more interested in the base of the tower though.

"They have wards laid into the foundation. Productivity. Good fortune. Nothing major. Just enough to give their workers a boost and let them feel good about working there. Clever. I'm surprised more folk don't do that."

He checks his watch. "Bast is late. Surprise surprise."

Astryd has been a little quiet since returning from the Underworlds. She and Fenris had spoken, a bit, about it. She'd been more concerned about his wound and helping him put the Destroyer away. That and tending to Bast who was also their guest.

Standing next to Fenris, the tall stern blonde surveys the building. She's dressed nicely in a dress and blazer and heels that make her even taller. And forbidding. "It is clever and I'm surprised that more don't do it, as well. But then our ways are waning and have been for centuries, my heart."

Glancing down the street, looking for a hint of the dark head that would be Bast, Astryd looks a little worried for a moment. "Oh well, you know what they say about cats - that they always land on their feet. No, really. She'll be here on time, because when she's here, it's time."

"They landed on their side the last time I saw them." Fenris snorts. At that moment though the door opens and Bast walks out in a dark blue jacket and pencil skirt sporting that Catherine Zeta Jones haircut. No ears of course. That's only for when they're not in mixed company.

"Mister and Misses Kerensky. So pleased you could both make it." She holds out her hand first for Fenris to shake and then for Astryd.

"I was so very excited when I heard you were looking at making a major investment into our company. I understand that you're interested in doing your due diligence. I have the books prepared up in my office."

That's the reason for them to be looking over the books, and Fenris had to admit, it's a clever one.

"Ms Teft." Astryd shakes the womans hand, giving her a once over to see how's she mending. Gods have an amazing facility for healing, but still. "It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance and I was most interested in when I saw what your company was doing. I had to tell Ulric and he agreed with me, that this would make a nice addition to our portfolio."

It's not hard for the pair to pull of the 'society couple'. They've the wealth to support that, after all. And the experience, really.

"Shall we go in then? I'm interested to see what you've got for us. Maybe you might be able to organise a tour whilst we're here?"

"Oh certainly. I'd be more than happy to give you a tour of the office after we've looked at the paperwork. Tell you the story of how we came to be here."

They've the wealth. The bearing. The manners. Time was when they would have had the titles as well and Fenris can probably still pull a few out when he needs, connecting them to bloodlines and having them recognized. Mostly they're meaningless vanity now but they do carry a certain cachet in some parts of the world. Not in the US though.

"Pleased to meet you Miss Teft." He rumbles.

He usually rumbles.

Bast does seem to have mended, though she is probably still injured, just not enough to impair her. She guides them both to the executive elevator and takes it up to near the top floor. She has a corner office. Wonderful view. Once the door is shut she makes a quick motion on it. Golden sparks are briefly visible and she relaxes a bit.

"There. That privacy charm should hold fairly well. Won't you two have a seat? Can I offer you food? Drink? You showed me your hospitality, it's only fair after all."

"Excellent." Astryd smiles and loops her arm through Fenris'. It's rather a statement really - the way the two Asgardians … Kerenskys… walk into the building with Bast. Confident, united. These are people you want to do business with.

Once in the office, Astryd waits for Fenris to hold the chair for her. They really do fall back onto old world charm and manners. "It's a nice office, Miss Teft." The blonde murmurs as the Egyptian sets the ward. "You're looking better, are you feeling it?" That's said after the ward goes up.

Astryd actually looks a little pale, drawn, since the last time Bast had seen her.

"Tea, if you have it, would be lovely."

"Tea it is…" Bast gets out an old iron kettle and starts heating water on an induction plate. In no time the water is whistling and Bast prepares three cups of tea.

"I'm better yes, though not recovered. That wound was designed to hurt one of us and it's effects linger. I'm a little concerned about being attacked again."

Fenris holds out a seat for Astryd and then sits herself when she does. "What have you found?"

"I am fairly confident that the problem or at least the money, is in this office somewhere. The transactions I traced are linked to one of our research accounts and I have the books for them here. The trouble is that it looks like they were 'dummied' several times. Run through shell companies. So I need to match purchases to names and it's like trying to find a needle in a stack of other, identical needles." She sighs. "I need the extra set of eyes. And may an intuition for how mortals spend money."

"I'm sure you are, Bast…" Astryd murmurs, glancing at Fenris. "Maybe we can find you some resourceful mortals that we can trust to act as your bodyguards." The Valkyr herself is worried and she has a feeling that the midgardians might do better at this, than they would.

"It's the way that money laundering works, running it through several end points before it reaches it's destination. Why don't you show us what you've got and we'll see what we can find. You may need a midgardian for the last bit and I might know where to look but for now, let us take a look."

Astryd sips from the tea that's handed over and she exhales in satisfaction. "That's really quite good."

"It's not every day you wind up contemplating your own mortality. Which is an odd thing for an immortal to say. I never thought I'd be fleeing to your den for sanctuary."

Fenris almost sticks his tongue out but does not. "Aren't you glad I am here?"

Jury's out…" Bast smiles. "And yes, quite good. Tea is one of the few things the Celestial Bureaucracy does well. I get it from them." God-Tea. It's rather amazing yes. And brewed just so.

"Oh? You seem rather sanguine on the uses of midgardians, Astryd. I know many of your ilk who are… somewhat less so."

She passes out books all the same for people to look at.

"Really, Bast. A den?" Astryd sniffs in mock affront. She rather likes the Cat Goddess but doesn't mind teasing as well. "I'll have to investigate the Bureaucracy and ensure we have a supply."

"I'm glad you're here, my heart."

"Sanguine? I suppose so. They're a remarkably innovative lot, really. I've lived on Midgard for long enough to have developed a fondness, I suppose. And I've lived a couple in my time here. It gives you a different perspective, really." beat "As to others. They weren't exiled for trying to make things better…"

With the books being passed, she takes her time reviewing them, frowning as her finger traces the pages. "It seems there three organisations that have been receiving regularly, but not so large, payments. Do you know what that was supposedly, for?"

"Well what else do you call a place where a wolf lives with a raven? Not a nest, certainly?" Bast smirks as she pages through the book she has. This is really very boring but there really isn't anything for it. This has to be done. And it can't be done by computers. It could be done by mortals but that would be tricky to do without giving anything away.

"Supposedly those would be for components, testing services and… what's that last one? Ah, the last one is our rare earths supplier. Electronics go through a lot of them. They're quite expensive, sadly."

"I am glad I am here too." Fenris says as he looks.

"Many of our kind do that with mortals but not many really see them as more than short lived children."

"A house?" Astryd answers with an arch of her brow. She rather enjoys the banter that's ensuing.

It's not just really, really boring. It's tedious and head ache inducing. The trick is to tally up what's being spent and when, then compare the frequency of the payments over time. After that, you need to look at the output to see if that matches the input and draw some conclusions for what the numbers are telling you.

Astryd flicks back and forward comparing the numbers. "Rare earths. I know you said you use a lot of them. But look here. It seems the supply of these picked up a few months ago, but your output hasn't changed that signficantly."

Sometimes, it's just a leap of intuition.

"They might be children, Bast." Astryd murmurs, raising her eyes to meet the dark haired womans. "But some of them can be quite pleasurable, don't you think? And some of them extremely wise, in ways we can't even begin to imagine. But they are shortlived, most certainly." There's a slight sadness to those words.

"They are. And their insights and wisdom normally die with them." Bast shakes her head. The mayfly lives of human beings are a great topic of discussion among those longer lived. That one might witness the rise and fall of their civilizations in real time is almost horrifying, but there is a majesty in the way they march on anyway, ever improving.

"Hrm. Well isn't that interesting. Which account was that tied to?" Now Bast is typing on her computer.

"You and Fenris have both… lived lives with mortals yes? More than simply taking one as an amusement."

"In a way yes and yet, look what they've achieved." Astryd gestures to the computer and the building they are in. "Do their insights really die with them? Wisdom, I won't doubt - that is fleeting. Though, how much wisdom would say exists within our Pantheons?"

"Hmmm. Lycan Corporation was the one you were purchasing from." The blonde answers, pausing to let Bast look up the information and sip from her tea.

The question gets an amused look - most that speak to them, get around to that eventually. "Yes, we have over the centuries. My last one was some time ago, 19th Century, I think it was. I was in France. We were only together for twenty or so years." And no, he clearly was more than amusement.

"France was rough in the 19th century." Fenris notes. He doesn't volunteer when his last mortal relationship was. But it was around the same time ago. His usually coincide with Astryd's. Just sort of how that has worked out.

"Hrm… they shouldn't have sent us anything then that I am aware of." She taps a few more keys. "There's three accountants associated with them. All on different projects. That's good. That narrows our field down. Is there anything else that looks suspect that might help us narrow it further?"

Bast pauses and then looks up. "What is it they offer you? It's something about their presence isn't it? The way they live. I've been wondering a lot about how they cope ever since I was attacked. Cope with having so short a time to be here. To learn. To live. How do you cope with losing them when they die?"

"It was, yes." Astryd murmurs, turning her attention to the books but resting a hand on Fenris' arm. She's often wondered if he doesn't share the details out of deference to her. "My mount is one of Fenris' grandchildren, did you know that Bast? hmmm? Oh… " The Valkyrs finger traces the columns again and takes out her phone.

A Smart Phone.

After tapping on the screen, she nods. "I would look at who has time booked to the project on these dates. They're seem to be the third Friday of each month."

"Offer? That's a good question and I'm not sure I can give you an answer. They live in the now. Everything seems so urgent to them. It can be quite exhausting. But because of that they are eager to do things. To learn and grow. Not like us, who have eternity to do things, so we don't. Why do you think I can read and write several languages? And cook as well as I do?"

The last question has Astryd blowing out a breath and looking out the window "Time, Bast. The pain fades eventually."

Fenris doesn't elaborate because, yes. When he is with Astryd he prefers to give her his full attention. He doesn't want her to feel like other women are on his mind. Even though those women are usually with him for only a handful of decades. Hardly any time at all by their standards.

"I haven't…" Bast says. "Not for… well, a long time. Back when the Pharos ruled Egypt." Something hurt, it seems likely.

"And they have curious ideas about legacy and… family. They build on what came before. They're more amenable to change. For them, progress is if their children have better lives in fifty years time." Fenris shakes his head. "It's rather different. But rather refreshing."

Bast looks over the information that Astryd provides and then peers at her spreadsheets. "That narrows it down to just one. This one. Caroline Eisenhorn. And that's not good. She's one of our senior finance people. She's had access to a LOT of accounts…"

A handful of decades to either of the Asgardians is nothing really. They'd been apart for nearly a thousand years when Odin had exiled her. Still she slides her hand down to his hand. "It's hard to lose them, isn't it? Even though humanity as whole holds no … attraction to us." Both Fenris and Astryd are aloof, not caring for humans in general. But they do like to 'claim' certain humans and then they become special.

"And rather challenging at times, my heart." Astryd adds.

"It might be bad, Bast, but now you know. What are the accounts she's been accessing. Bring up the list and let's take a look." The blonde looks at Fenris considering before glancing back to the brunette. "How good is your personnel security? Could someone be using her account?"

"That too. But endlessly innovative." Fenris laughs.

"It should be pretty solid. It's possible that her access has been compromised but we'll only find that out by investigating. She is, annoyingly, not at work today. Said she was taking a vacation to Chicago to visit family. Which DOES make me wonder…"

Its not like Bast announced Fenris was coming over. The vacation is rather conveniently timed, is it not?

"The accounts list… hrm. Four of our major suppliers, all of them in South America. Well, one in China, the rest in South America. They're the ones that show up regularly."

"That might be coincidence, Bast. Mortals can be rather mercurial, I find. They like their vacations. But still, maybe we could take a tour of her office?"


"South America? Give me their addresses and names and lets see what we can find. It's strange that it's centred there, don't you think?"

"It is. And I think we should take a tour of her office." Bast rises and straightens out her blouse and shirt. "After all, if you're going to be investing with us…"

And with that she opens the door. This should be interesting. But regardless of how this turns out… they're going to have a mortal to ask some questions of.

"And I'll get you those addresses, of course. If you happened to look in on them, I wouldn't mind at all."

"We are, I think. Regardless of anything else, Bast, I like what I see here." Astryd answers, rising to her feet and offering her arm to Fenris.

The notion they might they look into South America has the tall blonde chuckling. "I'm sure my heart will take me on vacation. I hear South America is lovely this time year." She'll let the Cat Goddess lead the way. They've an office to 'toss' and hopefully some Mortals for Fenris to monster eventually.

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