2019-07-08 - Special Delivery


Mari delivers the first suit for T'Challa and does some digging.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Jul 8 00:00:00 2019
Location: The Mark

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Mari McCabe is curious about the 'inventor' who visited who her business the other day. Maybe it was his bearing or maybe it was the ease in which he invited she and Pepper to lunch. Either way, she wants to know a little more - but she'd rather observe him from a distance.

That's not hard to do really. All she has to do is turn up at The Mark, the place where he's staying and say she was making a delivery for another client.

What could possibly go wrong?

It's not hard to find out what room he's in. He's in one of the penthouse suites. Definitely living in style. There must be mood lighting up there because when she arrived there was this pale blue-green glow coming from the interior of the spacious suites. It's probably stopped now but she can't see, likely. After all to pretend to make a delivery she has to go inside.

In any case it's a much more casually dressed T'Challa that steps out of the rec room in a sleek, moisture wicking workout set. And clearly he HAS been working out. For some time. These clothes show definition quite well. Convenient that he's stepped out not far from Mari and that his penthouse is only two floors up.

It hadn't been hard to discover his room - not that the desk staff revealed it, all she had to do was ask if he was in and leave message when it was discovered he wasn't. She saw which buttons were pressed on the inhouse phone … and deduced the rest. So it was too the penthouse she headed.

The glow of lights, seen from the street, was interesting and certainly has her wondering about it. It's an interesting colour spectrum for mood lighting really.

She's waiting for the elevator when he appears and Mari offers a smile. "T'Challa, what a coincidence. I was bringing you something …" In her hand is a suit bag, with the McCabe logo on one side. A suit for him, already?

T'Challa turns around, looking momentarily surprised. Then his features slide into a smile, small but pleased. "Miss McCabe. You work quickly." Of course for the wardrobe he ordered that can't be all of it but there may very well be three suits in her hand right now. Though she holds it lightly enough doesn't she?

"I did not realize you did personal deliveries. Is there an extra charge for the privilege?" Goodnatured ribbing, no doubt. Or a slightly dry sense of humor? He clearly doesn't mean it to cut.

"My people work quick and it's Mari, remember?" The dark skinned woman answers easily enough. "It's not your full order but I figured, as you said you had meetings to attend, you'd want something to tide you over. So … here I am." Probably one suit, given that.

"There's a lot you don't know about me." The dry sense of humour is met with something similar. "But you're new to Town, so I'll forgive you." It's a delighted smile he gets for the last bit "And a privilege is it? There's no extra charge, though, no."

She gestures. "I know I arrived unannounced and it's probably inconvenient however, I'd to see the cut on you and see if we need any adjustment."

According to rumour, McCabe Industries is good, that's highly unlikely.

"I appreciate it, Mari. And yes. Privilege. I do not know what else you would call getting such personal attention from the CEO of such a fine fashion house." T'Challa's eyes sparkle mischief and he takes the suit bag from Mari as she makes her offer.

"Would you now?" His tone got somewhat drier but his smile is still there. "Well, since you came to deliver it, I suppose it would be rude not to let you see the final product. Come with me."

The elevator is fast and opens up onto the penthouse. It's got a nice, lived in feel to it by design but of course there's little personalization. This is a hotel after all.

"Please, have a seat, help yourself to some of the fine wine bar if you wish? I will only be a moment."

And, so saying he slips into the back of the space to change, leaving Mari to look about or perhaps admire the view.

"I like to look after my customers." Mari answers. It's true, actually. Mari takes an active hand in the running of her business. "I might say you also intrigued me, so when the opportunity presented itself …" Her eyes move over the room as she enters. No green glow, maybe it was a tv screen or something she'd spied. "… I took it. Fortune favours the bold, doesn't it?"

"I'll have a drink, if you have one." The dark skinned woman answers as T'Challa disappears. When he gets back, there's two glasses of wine waiting.

"It's a nice place you've set yourself up in." The ex-model keeps up the chatter as she looks around. Looking for indications of the man himself. Paperwork, jewellery, reading material … anything really.

"It is a rather nice place…" T'Challa calls out from the back rooms. There's newspapers. Evidence of a recent meal though it appears that the man is rather clean - that or this place has housekeeping. There's a phone and keys on the desk and a briefcase. There's a few books. One of the best seller's list, and a couple about local history. Very local. Like, haunted places of New York and similar local trivia.

"Well. What do you think?" He's emerged and… well yes. Her people do good work.

"It's got a good reputation." Mari calls back, picking up a book on local history. Interesting. She knows some of these places and might even be aware of the legend surrounding them. Still, curious reading for a technological business man, she thinks.

Turning as he emerges, her eyes light in appreciation as she takes him in. "What do you think? And may I?" Her people do good work, that's true but this is a good canvas to work with. When she gets his permission, she makes some adjustments - the shoulder of the jacket, the collar… just tidying a little.

"Are you looking at doing the Haunted New York tour?" It's conversational, the tone she uses. He'll get the feeling that small talk and putting people at ease come easy to her. "It's interesting reading material for engineer."

"I like to take in some of the local flavor. There are few better ways to get to know a people than to hear their ghost stories." It's a novel take on getting to know a people, that's for sure. T'Challa appears to have no objections to the little adjustments and yes, he looks good in the suit.

"And not everything I read is engineering. That would make for a very boring library and I am afraid I do not take to boredom well."

The now suited man takes the glass of wine left for him and raises a toast. "Are you still planning on coming to lunch tomorrow at the Century Club?"

"Take in the local flavour by learning about the weird and wonderful?" It's an interesting take, yes and it makes Mari consider T'Challa anew. "Theoretically, taking in flavour of the Haunted circuit, will tell you what we were more than what we are, anyway." She's teasing, a bit.

Yes, he looks good and the suit is cut well. Happy with her work, Mari takes her wine up and finds a seat on the couch - she's making herself comfortable.

"I didn't think you only read engineering material, but something as fanciful as hauntings? Logical minds don't tend to bend that way. Science Fiction though? I would have figured that."

Raising her glass in a toast, Mari smiles. "I am, yes. I wouldn't miss it for the world. You know very well that you used the sweetest of bait to peak my interest." She sips and watches the businessman over her glass. "Tell me about T'Challa, though. I'ld like to know more …"

"Learning a people's history is always a worthwhile endeavor." T'Challa smiles as he sits down near the kitchen bar. He's not far from Mari and the extra height both lets her look at him and lets him look at her. "Science fiction is good too. But what do you wish to know about T'Challa now that my bait has worked?"

It's not clear that he knows what bait she refers to but he's playing along.

"I am a man of means as you can see. I am from a rather poor nation, Wakanda, and I have interests in this city." All true and all evident. Except for the 'Wakanda' part. The accent isn't easy to place and anyway who has ever heard of Wakanda?

The bait was the opportunity to do business. To follow her latest thoughts and see if she can do them. "Learning a peoples history is helpful, I'll concede that." He's interesting. Not many she knows would go to the bother. Just do 'business', you know?

"Well, that to begin with. Where and what is Wakanda? You're accent suggest it might be in the region I was born. There'd been something about a Wakandan Embassy opening recently, but Mari hadn't paid it much mind.

"And how does one come from a poor nation and end up a man of means?" She knows some of it, of course. She's seen the results that JARVIS provided. What story will he give?

"It is in Africa. Were you born there as well? Your english is quite refined. I had not noticed an accent."

T'Challa takes another sip of his wine. "The same way that anyone does from a poor nation. I was born into the right family. I have an education and provided the drive to succeed. It is not a very remarkable or inspiring story, but it has given me a very good life."

That isn't untrue of course. He is from the right family. The royal family. He's just not… advertising that fact.

"I have an accent. Just ask my friends." Mari chuckles. "I grew up in a small African village and came to America in my teens." She'd worked hard on her diction, so refined accent is probably fair. It's just why she came to America that's a bit chilling.

"And what of Wakanda? How does a boy, born to the right family, in a poor nation decide that engineering is his calling? I'm aware you hold several patents, in your own name." beat "It really is unusual for someone to have such drive. You must know that most inventors and businesses rarely thrive."

"It helps to have a supportive family. I was always interested in technology and the way that things are built. Studying it when the time was right was not a difficult decision."

T'Challa smiles lightly. It's like this is a game in a way it is. She's digging. He's deflecting. Not deflecting too hard, but rather walking the balance of giving enough without giving everything.

"Most people thrive though, if they are persistent enough. And I am very persistent. I learn from mistakes, which is good. I've made a great many of them. So what brings you over from a small african village, then?"

Oh yes. He can ask questions too.

Mari's smile is a little tight, not a lot but there's something there. "Are you the eldest son, T'Challa? If Wakanda is agrarian like most of the other African nations, and you are, then it must have been an incredibly supportive family. In my experience, most children are needed to work the business - even in the 'right' families." She's not making a secret of her interest and talking around it.

But it's a good game.

"My point was that it takes a certain type of person, type of personality, to achieve what you have. I know…" which leads to his next question and the smile tightens a little more. "It's a long story. I came to America trying to find safety after my family was killed in my teens. I arrived here, with little to my name. Most of this is in my bio, on my website."

"I read it." That shouldn't surprise Mari. That T'Challa read her website. "And I am sorry for the tragedy. I meant more, though, what makes a refugee girl into a fashion powerhouse? It seems to me that you may know a little bit of what you are asking me. Succeeding in business, any business, is a matter of persistence is it not?"

The fit, dark man sets his drink aside. "Wakanda is an agricultural nation yes. But my family is well off. My assistance wasn't needed to work fields, though the call of the family business was always one that it was expected I would eventually answer."

Yes it is a good game and Mari is pleasant enough company that T'Challa doesn't feel the need to end it. Not that he's going to hurry it either. She wants answers and he might be prepared to make her work for them.

"I'm not surprised. If I had your details before your appointment today, I might have done similar myself." Mari admits with a sheepish smile. "There's no need to be sorry. It is in my past and I have made my peace with it, as much as I might." There's things that have been left out, of course. Like the Foxhead Totem she wears.

"What? Initially it was the need to eat and have a roof over my head. I became a model and I was good at it but it was never enough." There's a sparkle in her eye as she sips her wine, contemplating the man who sit across from her. "I knew that I would age and my income would fail. I never wanted to be in the same situation as I had been. So … I branched out. I got lucky, yes but business is most sweat equity - those of us that put the hard yards in, are often rewarded."

She doesn't seem to have any formal education either. She might simply have a gift of it too.

"So a son with a family who could allow him to follow his dream." She considers that for a moment. "But you'll … repay that, won't you? I get that from what you're saying. You'll return to the family and devote yourself to them." beat "Do you have any siblings, T'Challa?"

"I will yes. I will make sure that they are taken care of. And yes, I have some." He doesn't say who or how many, just that he has them.

T'Challa leans a bit on the polished countertop he's sitting next to and considers. "So you are a living affirmation of the American Dream, yes? That anyone can come here, work hard, get a bit lucky and make something of themselves." It's the hard work part that usually gets most people. Luck comes and goes. But hard work is forever. He's learned that, definitely.

"But in the meantime I do have important business to attend, hence my being here in New York. It's not particularly glamorous work but when it works out it is quite rewarding."

"It seems like you get on well with your family." Mari notices he doesn't expand on the topic of siblings and she smirks a little. Though T'Challa might get the slight undercurrent of sorrow that accompanies that statement. Mari doesn't mention family other than her father and mother in her public documents.

"You might say that. The American Dream. I won't say that's what drew me here, it was just far from my country and potentially safer, but I made the most of the opportunities as I saw them. Which also means I get to meet fascinating people, like yourself."

There's a light laugh at T'Challa's next statement. "And here people think that we're all about wineing and dining and not the long hours, or eating cold pizza, that go with it." Oh wait, he looks like a reservation type guy. That's probably not a thing he's done.

"I do. Quite well on the whole though there's always little things." Nothing that's ever truly gotten in the way though. Which is as T'Challa prefers it.

"Cold fish and rice, but yes." Jobs at the 'top' require insane commitment and long hours and neither Mari or T'Challa are really 'idle rich'. There aren't actually all that many of those around as far as the Wakandan knows.

"Well I am glad that I rate fascinating at least. Worth your trip to deliver those suits, I hope?" He smirks a bit at that, teasing slightly.

"Cold fish and rice? What are you, a cat?" Mari's nose wrinkles at the thought "Or do you mean sushi, served on a pristine white plate?" Now she's teasing. No, she's not idle rich - as evidenced today. Even if tonight was more pleasure, or personal curiosity, than business.

"Ah well. To get a look at you in it, absolutely." Mari's a flirt, it's well known. "Now I'm satisfied … with the fit, I'll have the others finished up and delivered tomorrow. And I know not to be shocked when I see you at the meeting."

"More of a stew." T'Challa says with that faint smile. "And I doubt somehow that you would have been shocked anyway. It does not seem like your style."

She seems like she probably covers it well, if he had to guess. Distracts from the idea that she might have been caught off guard. It's not a bad strategy.

"But I am pleased to hear that you will be coming. I am sure my business partners will be happy to meet you." Why would they not be? She's a big enough name in her industry.

"Are you going to do those deliveries too? Or will your business take up too much of your time?"

"A stew of cold fish? Now you're not intriguing me. Let me have cold Pizza any day." Mari laughs "Well, you know. A good looking man in one of my creations? I can be pleasantly surprised, can't I?" She does cover it well, if it ever happens. The cool, in charge, business woman that she is.

"I'm not a fool, T'Challa. I take opportunities when they're presented and you offered me an in, I've been trying to find."

Finishing her wine, the ex-model sets her glass down and rises. "That all depends, I think … on whether you'll accept an invitation to dinner if I do…"

"Well, in that case I am happy to have been of service." Connections are important which is one of the reasons that T'Challa is talking to Mari right now. Who you know in this world is often nearly as important as what you can do. And someone who is both capable AND well connected is nearly unstoppable in most situations.

Of course, Mari seems to think the same. Or perhaps she's just a bit of a flirt. That seems to be the case. T'Challa rises as well.

"Well. There is one way to find out, is there not? Are you extending one?"

Mari is a flirt, there is that but she's not stupid and T'Challa had handed her an opportunity. Connections are important, it's how she built her business, after all. "As am I." she murmurs, watching the man carefully.

He's rewarded with a slow smile. "Would you care to dine with me, T'Challa? Tomorrow night, say at 8pm? I might know a darling little restaurant that serves … cold fish and rice." Yes, Mari's extending an invitation.

"I would love to do that. I may need to make a detour but I would love to do that." Dinner out sounds pleasant.

"And perhaps while we are talking you can give me a resident's perspective on the neighborhoods here. I need to find a suitable long term residence and I would rather not have to spend the next several weeks evaluating which neighborhoods are suited to my needs. New York is a very densely packed city." Which is convenient for… some of T'Challa's activities and less so for others.

"We can detour wherever you want…" Mari smiles and holds a hand. "I'll pick you up then?" It does sound very pleasant.

"I can do that. Would you like me to provide a briefing document? Or perhaps I could offer a tour of suitable places? It took me long enough to find my place but I love it and there were a few suitable locations to consider. We can talk about it more tomorrow, if you like." Why does he get the feeling that Mari will be incredibly detailed?

"Either would work. Now…" T'Challa gestures. "Why don't you let me walk you down. I have to make sure my schedule is clear for tomorrow's lunch and dinner and I presume you do as well."

Also he has to, you know, sleep at some point. And he could use a shower, since he's been working out and yes, he IS a bit sweaty. It'd be a shame to let that soak into the suit too much.

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