2020-05-18 - Scandals Abound


T'Challa and Mari set up false trails with the Genoshan Elite

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon May 18 06:47:42 2020
Location: Genosha

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Hammer Bay is a fairly rich city, or parts of it are at any rate. When one has access to a potent pool of unwilling mutant and mutate labor it's amazing what one can accomplish. It's the kind of thing that turns T'Challa's stomach personally but they've got a job to do here and right now his part of it is to make sure that all eyes are on him and Mari and not on the other two who should be getting ready to sew some chaos at the moment.

When he steps out of the diplomatic car he is dressed to the nines. A very expensive suit with overt Wakandan stylings, a blending of modern dress sensibilities Wakandan tradition. It looks rather nice. And it makes him very noticeable as he ascends the steps up toward the marble hall where this shindig is going to take place. Around them is the elite of Genoshan government and high society. So… Mari and T'Challa should definitely be in their elements.

Mari slides out of the ground car, a long toned leg leading the way. She's dressed stylishly, of course, but the aim is to dazzle and beguile, keep eyes on them as their friends … investigate. The styling of the dress she's wearing is a 'nod' to Mohannda and Wakanda, melding the tribal patternings expertly.

"I do hope your ready to put on a show, T'Challa." She murmurs as she takes his arm and ascends with him. She's been silent about the mutants and mutates, but it does bother her.

The approach to the hall where the mingling and dancing and politicking is happening is a long one. There's a red carpet - literally - there's a crowd and people tacking pictures and video though little if any of it ever gets out on the international airwaves. Things in Genosha tend to stay locked down in Genosha. It's a good thing the Wakandan embassy has its own lines of communication out.

In any case the long approach, with more than a little stopping for pictures, gives the two a chance to talk before they hit the main event.

"I am. So, as we discussed, we'll want to fuel speculation about the nature of our relationship and what it might mean politically." Which is nothing. Their relationship is personal and that's the extent of it. T'Challa isn't in that kind of politics anymore but no one actually accepts that. People are too jaded and suspicious.

"Beyond that, what were your other thoughts of what we might say or do to make sure that all they can talk about is us?" It's not either of their usual approaches so… this should be sort of entertaining.

Mari smiles and simpers, posing as needed. Photo's are part of her life. They are greeted and asked questions as they move and Mari answers quite readily.

"The nature of our relationship, yes." She's grinning broadly at that. The word 'Queen' might be dropped at least once. With a chuckle, Mari glances up at T'Challa "Well, there's two ways, isn't there? Both are dramatic and will make headlines … probably Internationally."

She lets the silence grow, nodding to one of the Ambassadors as she does "We could be all over each other and making a spectacle. Or we could have a spat."

"I'm more in a spectacle mood. We could certainly imply that you might be in line for a spot on a Wakandan throne." They will have to be careful what they say but since the Wakandan government is in on the deception they won't be in too much trouble on that front. If anything the trouble will be if someone in Wakanda decides that it is a good idea.

They're getting up close to the door. There is soft music of the type designed to provide ambiance. There is lighting. There's lush carpet and beautiful people and… oh. There's the Genoshan foreign minister coming their way.

"Prince T'Challa. Miss McCabe. Welcome. So glad that you could both make it, and so very glad to have two so illustrious people representing Wakanda here tonight." This night is going to be like this a LOT.

"I'm good with a spectacle though if we have a spat, we get to make up later tonight. Of course, we could make a fuss about the mutants they've been using." Mari winks at T'Challa and gives him a cheeky smile. "But let me start the proceedings …" Without blinking an eye, she reaches up to press a kiss to his cheek. Very staid, but definitely not the sort of thing that's done at an event like this.

That's what the Foreign Minister sees as he reaches them and Mari turns her smile on the man. "Minister Jacobs. Thank you for the invitation and may I say how honoured I am to be here. I'm looking forward to our visit."

Their visit. Why are they here again?

The official reason for their visit is a bit of diplomatic doublespeak, disguising the interesting under the banal. The official reason is simply that this is part of T'Challa's royal duties (despite not being a king he IS still a royal) and that he wishes to introduce Mari to these duties as… that may at some point be relevant.

Of course NO one buys this. It's not supposed to be believed. It's simply a question of what people think is really going on. Likely the implication that Mari might NEED to be familiar with this has been picked up on, but as to the rest? Well maybe he's looking for potential allies. Or maybe he's spying. Or maybe he is making contacts with dissidents. Or… well.

The THINGS they can imply.

"I'm glad you are, Miss McCabe. And dare I hope that I will be seeing more of the both of you often?" That's a probing question. He's asking Mari if their relationship is… serious.

Mari smirks as T'Challa doesn't say a thing but turns that smile on the foreign minister. The interest their relationship has garnered is amusing, if not unexpected and Mari knows how to use that to their advantage. It's a telling thing that she's here with T'Challa, her previous relationships have been kept somewhat on the downlow and yet here she is, in public.

"I hope so too, Minister Jacobs. If things work out as we plan, you may well do." It's a polite bit of double speak and she means it for it to be taken as what they plan with their relationship but it could also mean for business.

"Why don't you tell us what you have planned for our visit? I do hope you're going to leave me time alone with the Prince."

"I assure you there will be ample time for you to take in the island and enjoy one another's company." Jacobs says with a laugh, gently ushering the two away from the door and toward some of the food and live entertainment - which is the aforementioned music. That is also likely where some of the higher ups are.

"But as for plans, there are a few smaller get togethers where your presence might be welcome and of course I couldn't let a pair like you come to Hammer Bay without offering to have you shown some of our prouder accomplishments." These will almost certainly be things AWAY from the mutant slums. Genosha has accomplished a lot, but it's all built on the back of mutant labor. They may be one of the few powers in the world that COULD at a pinch challenge Wakanda but… again. Mutant slave labor.

"I take it that things are going well in the city? Everything is… safe?" T'Challa says, pausing to smile fondly, and obviously, at Mari.

"Oh yes quite safe. Tell me, Miss McCabe, is it true that you and the prince have been working together on cutting edge technology? If so I must say I am impressed. T'Challa's intellect is legendary."

Which is true. Obsequiously flattering, but true.

"I'm delighted to hear that." Mari murmurs, running a hand down T'Challa's arm in a familiar fashion. "Perhaps you have places where memories are made? I would love to know about them." In other words, lovers lanes.

Her look doesn't slip as the minister gushes about their achievements. Mutant slave labour doesn't sit well with the dark skinned woman. "I look forward to seeing our itinerary then and tonight? I take it you have some people you would like for us to meet?"

The fond smile from T'Challa gets another touch to his arm. It's easy to do so but it's more exaggerated then she would normally do.

"Is there anything specific in the city you want us to see? And yes, Prince T'Challa and I have a joint venture. It really was the most fortunate of days when he came into McCabe Industries and he's more than just intellect."

"No doubt…" Jacobs chuckles as they walk to a small knot of people. They're doing their job well at the moment. A lot of eyes are on them which is as it should be. They can both be sure that there will be a lot of notes taken and a lot of conversations based on whatever they say tonight. Hell they could dance a jig and leave and half of the Genoshan elite would still have in depth conversations about what it all meant.

"It sounds fortunate at any rate. Ah, this is Finance Minister Raynne and Chief Justice Borroughs. Oh and this is Mister Clarent, one of our more prominent businessmen."

That's understating it. Clarent is probably one of the more dangerous people here. He has ties to the Genoshan military industrial complex and he's one of the few Genoshans known to regularly leave the island nation and travel the world.

"Miss McCabe. Prince T'Challa. Or, is it Dame McCabe? Princess McCabe even?" Says Miss Raynne.

"I don't know, dear." T'Challa says, smiling at Mari. "Would you like a title?"

"Oh, I assure you, Minister, there's so much more to T'Challa." Mari beams at the Prince, fawning over him. He might tease her about that later.

"Miss Raynne, Justice Borroughs, Mister Clarent." Mari lets go of T'Challa's arm to shake hands "I hear lots about you, Mister Clarent. You do credit to Genosha in your travels." No, no he doesn't but she can't say that.

"A title, darling? You know that I only want you … but it is Miss McCabe, Miss Raynne. At least for the moment, but who knows what the future will bring."

"Well, if you insist." T'Challa plants a kiss on Mari's lips. He's laying it on thick right now which… makes sense. He would be affectionate but usually not this sappy. Buuuut they are playing a part.

Clarent smiles a little bit. It's not a pleasant smile but it is just on this side of acceptable. "As are you Miss McCabe."

"Tell me, is there ANY truth to the rumor that you might be considering options for the East African market?" By that the finance minister REALLY means for the Genoshan Market and it's unlikely as Genosha is never on really good terms with the rest of the world and trade with them can be risky. But they have ways of trading under the table, often with near neighbors and not strictly legally. It is ALSO likely that Raynne started those rumors herself to apply what subtle pressure she could on the matter. A large corporate interest doing business with Genosha even under the table would be a boon to their finances.

"I very much do…" Mari returns the kiss and leans against T'Challa's arm. This is really over the top for the both of them but they have a roll to play. "I'm a credit to Genosha, Mister Clarent?" Mari is teasing, knowing well that's not what Clarent meant. That smile … it's like a shark and she's going to want to shower later.

"Rumours, Minister Jacobs? I'm already entering into agreements with some East African markets. My product will be shipping to those, soon." Not Genosha. Mari would never do business with Genosha but for now, she has to let them believe she would. "I'm willing to entertain other markets as well. I believe the Prince has been approached about agreements with Wakanda as well."

Not that T'Challa can do anything about that but again, they've a part to play in tonights drama.

"Oh yes." T'Challa lies smoothly. He has been approached about no such thing but it is easy enough to say here when no one can check. And it's not like they'll know whether he has or not. Of course Mari is correct in thinking that T'Challa has no input in such matters and in any case he wouldn't be in favor of trade with Genosha anyway. But they all have a roll to play.

"Perhaps, then, Mister Clarent would be willing to show you some of the many opportunities here. He is after all one of our leading captains of industry."

"Of course I would relsih the chance to take Miss McCabe and Prince T'Challa on a tour of all the opportunities to be had on our island…"

Mari's skin crawls as Clarent speaks but the smile never falters. "I do hope you won't just show us business opportunities. We're looking for places where we might … " Here she gives T'Challa a fawning look and actually bats her eyelids. "… holiday … at some point. "

They'd never go to Genosha of course, but those here don't need to know that.

"…It's possible we'll have a special occassion to celebrate."

"If I recall correctly, Mister Clarent, you're in precious metals and pharmaceuticals?"

"And rare earths. We've recently branched out into some production of electronic sub components." Which utilize a lot of rare earth metals. It's clear that he is relishing this opportunity in more way than one. T'Challa seems equally 'pleased' at the notion and Mari can tell that he'd much rather hang out with dead men. He turns and looks at Mari. "Of course. In fact, soon I should think." One can only take so much of this.

"What is the special celebration?" The Chief Justice asks mildly but quite curiously.

"Ah, yes. That's right. What was it I read in the news lately? Your company has signed an agreement with an South American company for the supply of subcomponents. It sent the industry into a spin." A South American company, that has ties to AIM.

"Hmmmm? Oh well now, I wouldn't want to jinx anything by saying too much but you know how things can be between people." It's a very fond smile that she turns on T'Challa. It's clear she's hinting at some sort of … agreement between themselves.

T'Challa smiles back, making it seem like, yes, there is a very personal agreement that they both may have pending. The implication is so thick that you could cut it with a knife. Of course he doesn't SAY anything but that's expected. Diplomacy often operates by this kind of implication.

"We did yes. A company from Tierra Del Maiz." That's a rather small country in REALLY south South America. And it's not surprising given their governmental instability that they might make a deal with Clarent's company.

"At any rate, shall I have you over tomorrow? Maybe the day after? I don't want to step on your itinerary." There's a short pause. "I heard that you made a rather fascinating discovery in the production of artificial vibranium, Miss McCabe. Imagine the electronics uses of that." Oh so subtle.

"What was their name again? Edge Technologies? It's quite a good deal from all that I've read." Mari murmurs, giving T'Challa a doe eyed look and leaning in to plant a kiss on his lips.

"Oh, Minister Jacobs, what do you think? You have our itinerary planned. I think we have some time tomorrow afternoon, don't we T'Challa?" The ex-model almost purrs to the Wakandan. This is a very, very good show.

"What was that, Mister Clarent?" Mari makes a good show of being distracted by T'Challa for the moment, letting her attention be drawn reluctantly to the business man. "Oh, yes. There are many uses for it, I'm sure you've seen my latest line and the range of fashion tech wearables that we're delivering. Of course, I couldn't have done without T'Challa."

Of course Clarent would ask about that. He's probably interested in getting information on the process for himself, if not getting the whole process outright. The fact that he is so interested means he likely doesn't have access to it which is… interesting.

"I have a tentative schedule for your visit. Though of course I have left plenty of room for you to fulfill diplomatic duties." And it's not like they can require T'Challa and Mari to be anywhere. Just really, really want them to be.

"If you wish we will provide you with a full Magistrate security detail. Genosha is extremely safe but there has been some mild social unrest of late."

The Chief Magistrate is probably understating that a bit…

"Perhaps you'd like a demonstration of the tech, Mister Clarent?" Mari asks, watching the man carefully as she seems to dote on T'Challa. It is interesting but not surprising he doesn't have access to the process - it had taken T'Challa to help stabilise the Reverbium and then transmute it to work with her fabrics.

"Oh, if you think we'll need a detail, I won't say 'no', Minister. Isn't that right, Darling?" The dark skinned woman turns her attention towards Jacobs "What is this about social unrest, though? I do hope they won't mar our visit."

"Oh I don't think so. It's nothing very serious."

"I'm sure they have everything under control." T'Challa says, playing the part of an incredibly distracted man. He wasn't known for this. In fact he was known to be quite perceptive but if they think Mari is distracting him so much the better.

Clarent smiles. "A demonstration would be most appreciated. But we can discuss that later. Tonight is a party."

The music changes and Minister Jacobs brightens. "Ah. That's the cue for the dancing to begin. Will you both grace us with your presence on the floor?"

Mari can be distracting, it's just that T'Challa is very disciplined. Mari smiles and nods, given doe eyes to the Prince again, "I'm sure you're right, darling. I just wouldn't want any harm coming to you. Not when …" she peters off, leaving the statement unsaid.

"Ooooh. Dancing. I'm sure we could be convinced, Minister and maybe I'll let T'Challa dance with others as well."

It's going to be a long night but at least there is dancing. And Mari hasn't thought once about Steve and Shayera. That's good mental training.

"I think I might occupy you for a while yet, Mari. Don't worry gentlemen I won't monopolize her all night. Only most of it." And with that the Black Panther - not that anyone here knows that - leads Mari away. It will be nice to get away from this chatter and think about all that was unsaid. For in diplomatic circles, the most important things are often left unsaid.

And this is Genosha, where that is practically a national motto.

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