2019-09-02 - Out And About


Some, not quite, downtime for Babs results in an interesting discussion.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Sep 2 06:48:11 2019
Location: Staten Island

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Theme Song



It's a rare night out for a certain redhead. Well that's what it looks like to anyone watching. Barbara Gordon opens the door to the Aphrodites Fountain - a slightly upper class pub in Staten Island - and maneouvres her way in with her walking stick.

She's a known face to most of the patrons - daughter of the local Police Commissioner and victim of home invasion several years ago.

There's a jazz band playing and that's why she's here. Of course it is. It's got nothing to do with the executives from a pharma company that are having a office party, does it?

"What'll you have, luv?" The bartender calls over when Babs make the bar. "Glass of sparkling white, please." Apart from the brilliant green eyes, bright red hair and the cane that she uses, there's not a lot to make her stand out.

Though some might say those three things are enough.

There's a noise a bike pulling up and the rider gets off. It's one of those sporty, asian kind of bikes, left by the front of the bar. The rider gets off and removes his helmet, revealing a man with - to no one's surprise - kind of asian looks. He steps into the bar and signals to the barman.

"Beer please. Cold one." Drinking and driving? Well he can have one without going over the legal limit yeah? "Oh, and some of those brats I can smell."

It's an upper class pub. That means they have sausage. And whole grain mustard.

"Oh, hey, let me…" The asian guy says as Barbara comes by with that cane. He pulls a chair out politely.

Babs looks at the bike when it roars up. She might have a slight penchant for the things. Dick rides one after all and Batgirl used to. Maybe she will, again.

When the chair is pulled out, the redhead looks at the guy and smiles "Thank you. That's a sweet ride you've got out there. Did you import it?" the glass of sparkling white is placed on the table as she arranges herself and pull out a tablet - a small one - laying it on the table as well.

The pharma execs have occupied the table, two tables over. It's too noisy in here to hear anything but the conversation of your table companion but many of those execs are using their phones and tablets.

"Polite, I think you mean." The asian guy chuckles. "And yeah I did. You have to import most of the decent asian bikes. Well, mine wasn't imported so much as came over with me."

He's got a slight accent. Enough to tell that English is not his first language but not quite enough to tell where he is actually from.

"Crap. Uh, place is kind of full…" He glances down at Babs and her table. "Don't suppose you mind if I have my beer here?"

Hopefully that's not creepy, but the place IS really full. She does look like she's settling in to work or something. He just won't mention the cane.

"No, sweet, definitely. Wouldn't mind something like that myself." The redhead laughs. She really doesn't look like the type who would ride a bike. Not with the skirt and blouse she's wearing. "So you're an import as well?" She listens to his accent "Hong Kong? Perhaps?"

Gesturing to the spare chair, Babs nods slowly "I don't mind. I just came in to listen to the band. I should have guessed it would have been busy. I don't normally get out when it is…" Kian might not mention the cane, but Babs gestures to it. "Getting around is a little bit difficult."

"I'm Babs by the way."

"Hong Kong, Taiwan and Tokyo, yes. My parents got around." The polite asian sits down as his beer arrives. "I'm Kian by the way. Nice to meet you Babs. Unusual name, that."

The biker twists the top off and takes a sip. He's going to want to enjoy this and anyway he still wants some left when the brats get here.

"It's a good band. Not heard of them though. Local? And do you often go to pubs listening to bands?"

"So I was thirty percent right." The red head smiles. The asian is quite polite and it makes her smile. "Nice to meet you, Kian by the way." There's just the faintest of blushes at the mention of her name, which she covers with a sip of her own drink. "It's short for Barbara. I've just always been, Babs."

Unless you're Bruce or her father.

"What brings you to our shores, Kian? If I might ask?." Her tablet buzzes on the table and she casts him an apologetic look as she opens it and taps the screen. She's discrete in the way she holds it, angled away from him.

"It is a good band and yes, they're local. I admit I'm a fan of jazz but that's no, I don't get out much." beat "Do you?"

"Oh the usual things. Work. And some play. Fast bikes, well, allegedly fast bikes. I've got a pretty good one and I haven't seen anything that beats it quite yet." There's a slight smirk at that. Clearly this is someone who likes speed a little bit.

"I get out plenty but it's usually for work and not play. Finding that work-life balance can be tough, you know." Kian takes another sip of his drink and listens to the music for a couple of moments.

"What about you? I take it you're something of a local?"

"Oh, someone mysterious. I like mysterious." Babs answers, closing her tab and putting it on the table again. "And I like fast bikes. Well, I did. A long time ago." She can't be that old, really. "Not found one to give you a run for money yet? Perhaps they're lulling you in a sense of false security."

The redhead is teasing a little. "And what is your line of work that lets you bring such a nice machine with you? Honestly, I think work-life balance is a myth created by marketers to sell us more."

"Something of a local, you might say that given I grew up here. Dad works for the police and now I own a private investigation company."

"It's an expensive false sense of security if so." Kian laughs. Does he race? Or does he just bet on the racing? Possibly the former considering how nice his bike is.

"Well some of that comes from my parents if I am honest. They were well off. I'm in the ever vague and changing consulting business. I advise people on how to make things more efficient. Sort of a gun for hire in that field."

He looks like he could be. He's got a kind of corporate air about him. A young hotshot with enough money to indulge the more outlandish tendencies of the young.

"Is that so …" Babs looks between Kian and that bike "… some people are in the game for the long run you know. They'll take short term losses in order to secure the longer term, larger, win. Just remember that. Where do race?" She wonders if its legal the type of the racing he does. It has to be - doesn't it?

"I should ask you what field you consult in, but from your words you like it to be vague. Let me see, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Tokyo, sweet little pocket rocket. I'd say engineering of some sort. Not mechanical. Electronics, maybe…"

And yes, he does have that look about him. The love 'em and leave 'em look.

"Only on speedways." Kian chuckles. "I mean that's the only legal place to do it right?" That could be correct or it could be that he's just wary of saying. Either way…

"It's efficiency. That's my field. I'm an efficiency expert. A more vague field there possibly could not be, but there you have it. I tell people how to do their jobs better."

Kian cracks a bit of a smile at that. "Actually mostly it's just process related. Looking at things and seeing where work is redundant or routed needlessly through multiple approvers, or looking for places where the decision makers are too far removed from the actual work."

That makes more sense and while it sounds like an older thing, from say the 70's or 80's but corporations do in fact pay for that kind of thing.

"And what is it you do, if I may ask?"

"And do you have a persona, Kian? I rather like the speedways…" Is that true? This redhead with a cane really doesn't look like she should be and yet, her interest seems genuine. "And legally, yes. But there are other places to race in Staten Island, if you know where to look. Perhaps more lucrative if you win AND survive but definitely more dangerous."

Kians brats appear, placed on the table in front of him by one of the bartenders. They smell delicious - if you're into those sort of things.

"An efficiency expert? Really? Those are few and far between these days. Most corporates won't invest in it and then wonder why they're bleeding profits." The truly successful Corporates, the legal ones at least, they do.

"As I said, I own a Private Investigation firm. I'm the lead PI, if you like." She's … the only PI for Gordon Investigations.

"Nothing quite so grandiose no." The biker chuckles. "Perhaps one day I'll make it to the point where I need some. If I could race that well I wouldn't need to do the consulting." Is it a case of don't give up your day job? Or just the case of someone who hasn't decided to devote the time he needs to the sport to go pro. In fairness… the turnover in that sport is fairly high.

"It's the ones that are bleeding profits that are my favorite customers. You can usually get more from them. They know they need to change and they know they don't know how, so they'll pay for it. Of course the regular audits from the good ones are nice steady work."

Kian takes another sip. He hasn't had much to drink. "Lead PI, mmm? So gumshoing? Just the facts, sir? Well, that was Dragnet I suppose. They were cops. That's another interesting line of work. Made out to be something that it isn't on TV, frequently."

Kian takes a brat and dips it. Mmmmmmmmm.

"No persona, so I shall just look for a racer with the name of Kian, shall I? I want to see how that thing stacks up against a good old fashioned american engineering." Barbara rather suspects that it's a case of a young buck with too much money and time on his hands.

Or someone who needs to the thrill to feel alive. Look at her 'family'.

"That's the good Corporates who don't decide to bring someone like me in to see which of their employees is shafting them." The redhead rolls her eyes. "They really don't like it when I turn up nothing. Which I admit is rare - there's normally something to find, just not what they're hoping for. But regular clients are always good - it cost seven times less to retain a customer than it does to secure a new one. Got to look after those."

"Gumshoeing, I suppose. I just don't wear hat and a trenchcoat. Just the facts, is more my father and yes, it is an interesting line of work, that." Babs sighs a little and as one of the pharma execs walks to the bar, checks her tablet again, tapping the screen before putting it down. "Sorry, expecting a report for a client."

Believable, right?

"Nothing is made out like on TV but you could think of me like Remington Steele minus the Remington Steele persona."

"American what now?" Kian's clearly teasing, playing up the foreign angle. "I mean even the Italians can figure out how to make a better bike. Come on now." He winks, clearly teasing and takes another drink.%r"Well yes and when a company gets someone they like going with they'll tend to keep doing that until you give them a reason not to. I'm very good at not giving them reasons to switch. I even keep my social media clean which let me tell you is a trick…"

He takes one more sip and then pushes the beer aside for some more brats and mustard.

"Oh but Steele was the most fun part of that show. Or, well, Steele sassing Laura was. And Laura sassing back. And Mildred caught in the middle." And the swanky lofts that he knows for a fact you just couldn't get anymore because it's not 1970 something anymore.

He'd say those were the days but in retrospect he's fairly sure they were not.

"Pffft. You heard me. Good old fashioned American engineering. I'll be over here waving the stars and stripes." Babs knows Kian is teasing and snorts again about the Italians. He's not wrong. The asian and italian machines truly are superior but she'll play to the angle anyway.

That he keeps his social media clean gets a careful look. "It can be difficult if you're indiscriminate about what you post and share. People really don't realise how much you can learn from that information and how it makes them easier to track. With some of the changes in the laws too, making that evidence admissable…" she shakes her head and smiles a little sheepishly "Sorry. I get carried away a little."

"I'll give you that Steele was certainly the best to look at it but my heart goes out to Laura. I think it was that that made my decision for me to become a PI. I wanted to be Laura, so bad."

In a way that was true but it wasn't for years that she was able to do able that.

"Or not careful about what you allow to be posted about you, yes. That part is a bit more tricky. I've gotten by just by having a fairly limited social media presence myself. Just enough to convince prospective employers that I'm normal but truth be told I hardly ever look at the things."

Kian smiles in a slightly conspiratorial way. "Makes it harder for private investigators to tell people not to hire me." That gets a little bit of a chuckle.

"And no need to apologize. I'd say that's evidence that you like your work. Or are at least fairly good at it. Better at it than motorcycle engineering I'll warrant."

Had to get that in.

"Well I think everyone wanted to be Laura… that is if they didn't want to be Remington. Or… whatever his name turned out to be. I don't remember, it's been a long time."

"Ah, that's what privacy settings are for but the number of people who can't be bothered or it's all so confusing until you produce the evidence and then it's why didn't someone tell me!" Babs smirks. Clearly she's aware of the intricacies. "It might make it more difficult for someone like me to recommend against you however, I could always just say there's not information to prove that you are who you say you are …"


"Ah well, can't be good at everything now can I?" the redhead gestures a 'touch' for the jab he's delivered. "But you'll never know just how good I am with a motorcycle, so we'll leave it at that."

"Not even Remington Steele knew his real name. That was part of the joke of the show."

"Well clearly by the end of the show it was 'Remington Steele'. Or just 'YOU!'." Kian smiles. "And yes leaving too little information could cause other problems but if knowledge is power, then to be unknown is to be invincible." That sounds like it came out of a fortune cookie but it's not too bad all the same.

"Well…" Kian takes the last of his brats. "If you don't mind me taking up space at your table I'll enjoy the music a bit longer before I hit the road again. Though I probably shouldn't drink much more unless I want to… hit the road."

"There is that." Babs agrees, settling back to sip from her drink. She'll have another one before the nights out. Another pharma exec walks to the bar and leans against it, shortly after the redheads tablet buzzes and she checks it again. All totally normal, nothing out of the ordinary - not in this day and age of being connected.

"I don't mind sharing the table. You appreciate good music even if you think asian engineering is superior." Had to get that in. "And I've got your back. I'll order you a big glass of milk, next. That way you can hit the road without … hitting it."

The music really is very good and the band has another set after this.

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