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Tiffany Korta

Never Count Your Money (IC)

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Summit Transnational Offices, Wading Way

27th August 2012

Despite the reputation of the company’s playboy owner its board meetings were normally quite unremarkable things. Today however things were a little different.

The meeting was just about to get started when two people just boldly walked into this private meeting. The gentleman was totally unremarkable, to the point of greyness; the woman with him was a totally different story. The young African-American woman towered over the man in her almost impossible heels her blond hair piled up on her head. She wore a pair of over sized glasses and a parody of a business suit just the right side of decent. The pair took up a position at the head of the table, a position normally reserved for Amir, the woman standing behind the grey man.

Whilst the rest of the board seemed shocked and perplexed by this sudden turn of events the unflappable Ms. Van Cleef just dialed a number from memory before whispering to Amir.

“Sir I think you might be interested in this…†she put the phone on the desk in front of her.

The grey man leant on the table for emphasis before speaking.

“Ladies and gentlemen I come to discuss you all signing this company over to myself.â€

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His extended... vacation over, he was still recovering from it. He hadn't expected a call from Ana until after the meeting was over, it was all simple stuff, nothing he needed to sign off on. Hell it wasn't even an end of Fiscal quarter meeting. So that he was getting the call was a little odd, and he brought it to his ear, hearing her voice as soon as he picked up.

“Sir I think you might be interested in this…â€

And then came the words of the person in his boardroom, and the unease was almost a palpable thing. He didn't need to listen to it for very long before he got the gist of a hostile takeover... of the 'threaten you to get my way' school of thought.' Suppressing his immediate response, which might have been heard, he muted the mic on his phone, and moved to the window in room in townhouse, and opened it. He wasn't terribly far away, in Parkside, after all, and while he could say a lot about that mad scientist, he was flying faster than when his powers first developed. Holding the phone against himself, he leaped from the building, and threw his weight forward to move through the air. His speed started to pick up, surging faster and faster, as he pushed himself beyond what he normally could do. Despite the image he projected, it was his company, and he not going to let someone bully it out from under him.

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The Grey Man seemed intent on tying to calm down the general hubbub going on amoung the board memebers, whilst the woman seemed to be scanning them looking for potential trouble. Deciding that discretion was the better form of valor Ms van Cleef began to slide the cell off the table. She was watching the woman like a hawk, so was totally surprised when a female hand grabbed her own.

"That looks like a nice phone, all expensive and stuff." the woman bent down to look at the screen allowing Ms van Cleef to see that the woman looked exactly the same as the other!

"And this must be your boss?" she gestured to the photo of Amir on the screen "I must say he's a real looker." she grabbed the cell from her hand and held it to her ear "I'm sorry we're all in a meeting at the moment. Maybe I'll see you later. Kiss Kiss." With that she hung up the phone and threw it back to Ms van Cleef. "You can try again but I'm afraid service has been cut off."

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From his apartment to the Summit Transnational was something like fifteen minutes, on a good day, in traffic. This was not the case when one was breaking the speedlimit in the sky, and able to avoid red lights and things of that nature.

"I'm sorry we're all in a meeting at the moment. Maybe I'll see you later. Kiss Kiss."

And then he was hung up on. Gritting his teeth the billionaire playboy pushed as hard as he could with whatever it was that let him fly. And he started to go faster, and faster, until he was rivaling the speeds of a high performance sports car. Of course he lacked a speedometer, and had never tested how fast he went. Jetting around building, as he go in sight of his building, he quickly tapped one of the buttons on the phone, to send the signal to open the window in his office. Something he had installed as a just in case. And it seemed that was more than necessary now. Landing in his office, he threw his phone onto the leather sofa he had in the massive office suite, and started towards the stairwell, and the two flights down towards the board room. They never take me seriously. They obviously waited for a day Winter wasn't here. Crapcrapcrapcrap. Managing to keep his face straight, and collected as he moved, while also on the look out for someone, or something that might bar his way to the board room.

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As Asad expected there was someone was waiting for him, but what he didn’t quite expect was the reaction he received. A woman, who was wearing what could be generously be called a business suit, thrust a cup of coffee into Asad’s hand.

“Pleased to meet you Mr Asad. There waiting on you now in the boardroom.â€

She then proceeded to gently guide Asad toward the meeting room, keep up a stream of mindless babble as they went. It was only as got near the room that Asad could see an identical woman waiting for them, alongside a small Grey Suited man.

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Now when confronted with this threat, he reverted to his normal tactic, and bumbled the coffee, spilling it onto his arm, and smiling sheepishly, his normal winning way. "Normally I don't expect so lovely women to be associated with a hostile take over, is that how things are done now?" He moved to the rest room, stalling a little, before wiping off the coffee, and then letting her lead him towards the board room. The heat from the coffee wasn't much but it was a start. Of course he relentless flirted with her, playing up to the reputation he had earned. "I don't suppose I could offer you more money than what he is, and you and I could take a two week vacation to the Maldives? Any luck?"

And then they were in the board room, and he looked surprised at the mirror image of the woman who had greeted him and he looked at the Grey little fellow, and he smiled a little bit. "You know this is kind of a large company, and while we aren't public, yet, I don't think this method of taking over is really feasible. I am kind of well known." He did glance to the members of the board, to make sure they weren't harmed, and gave Ms. Van Cleef a look as well, as she had risked herself to make the call.

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Asad word didn’t appear to have an effect on the woman straight away, but as they got near the boardroom she leaned in a whispered.

“Just listen to what he has to say I don’t really won’t to hurt that pretty little face. We can discuss that holiday later…†to the boardroom at large she declared in a louder more bubbly voice “Look what I found boss, can I keep him?â€

The Grey man wasn’t quite as enamoured with his charms.

“You do have a point. So I have a simple offer you stay on as a figure head whilst my clients run the show… or we’ll have to replace you. I’m sure there are several shapeshifters that would be happy to help.â€

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Right now he was Amir, more than Asad. While a lot of people didn't understand the finer points of that distinction, Ms. Van Cleef. After all she had worked with him for the better part of a decade. She saw the smile, and the nod, and she knew. There was no need for secret communique between him, or any of the board. Not that they necessarily trusted him in this, as he had rather effectively not shown anything other than the playboy image too him. Though his reputation as an epic schmoozer was one of the selling points of this company.

"Hm, well that is an interesting proposal. I mean on the one hand you made sure I wasn't here when you started this, but one the other you are threatening me. You are doing this wrong, I mean sure, you can replace me, but I doubt you're going to be able to replace what I do with one of those shapeshifters. Or the people I know. It's why I am still CEO here, replacing me is just too annoying, am I right guys?" Chuckling a little, scanning the room, mostly to see if everyone was okay, or if there had been any violence done yet. "Tough crowd, but why would today be any different? Eh?... I should stop with the jokes then." He sighed in a wistful manner, and shook his head, winking at the woman he walked in with and then glanced to the Gray Man, and he made his way to the liquor cabinet, opening it, and starting to pour himself a scotch. "Want some? It is old enough to drink itself, a nice single malt."

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“Well my Momma uses to say, Merge never refuse a drink from an attractive billionaire.†she then held her hand out and dropped into a mock Southern accent “But where are my manners? I and my sisters...†She gestured to the other two women in the room, one of which gave a little wave “Are called Merge Trois, and this gentleman… well he wouldn’t give me his name but I call him Greyâ€

The Grey man gave an almost undetectable sigh before carrying on. “We’re not unreasonable people Mr Misri. There are certain resources owned by your company that we require sign them all over to us and well leave you well alone. This will include a fee for mine and the young ladies expenses.â€

Merge leant in and whispered in a seductive voice.

“Believe it or not he’s the carrot and I’m the stick. And I really don’t want to ruin that pretty little face.â€

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Rather politely, he handed her a glass of the and nodded towards her. "Pleased to meet... all of you. And I find you proposition interesting, and I cannot say I am particular shocked that this has come about. Though..." He lifted a hand and cupped his chin in thought, staring far off for a moment before taking a sip of the scotch. "I do wonder how well prepared you all are. I mean, even I know better than to try a leveraged buyout without a firm understanding of the pertinents. I know that with my 'C' average, the MBA, and the law degree, so I just take for granted that everyone in this situation would gravitate towards that as well." Another sip, and his eyes flicked to Gray for a moment, as he moved around the table, switching back to a smile. "I would assume you have at least a more than passable understanding of the assets of the company, but do you have the understanding of the context of this? As when I was handed reins this was essentially the North American portion of Al-Misri holdings, and that was what, almost a decade ago now? How time flies. Hm."

He paused at the opposite side of the table from Gray, looking at the man as he took another, slow, drink of his scotch. "Valuable then, but hardly a commodity to really go after like this. But that is different now, isn't it? Amazing how that happens. Just ten short years, under the helm of, let us be frank, a flippant jackass of a playboy," he spread his arms and turned a little bit, looking over the faces of his board, to Merge, and then back to grey. "Yet it is also amazing that you expect me to believe your offer. I know, I know, you are reasonable people, and I honestly believe that it is in good faith. But then men hiring you aren't reasonable. In a situation like this they couldn't allow for a liability to exist that could be disastrous to their profits. And I would be a liability, especially given that each stake in this company is insoluble, barring a three-fifths vote in the board. But you are reasonable. You wont kill me. Your employers will, with someone else. And your gloves stay..." looking down to Grey's hands as he drained the last bit of the scotch, and leaned over the table, his hands going to either side of the conferencing phone, "...white."

"Ten short years. And my efforts have made this company desirable, enough to kill me over. Enough to send the stick and the carrot here to cow me, to make me capitulate. Did you really study up before taking this job Grey? Or did you stop at the tabloid stories, and the fact I have fantastic hair? When you should have given yourself pause and asked yourself a small question, what kind of man builds something like. Rather than steal something out of the hands of those who built it." The smile on his face became wolfish, the flippant tone, and occasional flirtatious looks were gone. Replaced with a glare that didn't waver. "I'll ruin that mystery for you, Mr. Grey, it takes a very unreasonable man." And then he let his power out, hands so close to that phone, that was plugged into an outlet. A direct line of electrical power, and it surged up to fill him.

Game on.

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With a sigh Merge drained the contents of her drink before putting it carefully putting the glass on the table, along with her glasses. She then took her hair out of the bun and shook it all down.

“I really wish you hadn’t done that. You could have at least let me enjoy the drink first.†She sound more irked than truly annoyed.

And then suddenly she leapt toward Asad as she flew through the air she blurred a little and then there were a multitude of Merge. And not just from one direction but seemingly from all directions at once. Asad was buried in a literal sea of Merges all piled on top of him.

“Well I bet this must be some kind of dream surrounded by a gaggle of beautiful women.â€

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He didn't fight, after all he needed the power, needed the power, or he had no hope. And he was stubborn, exceedingly stubborn in fact. But that wasn't the point now. As Merge jumped onto him, all of her, he remained remarkably stoic, even smiling at Grey while he was buried, he was serene, more so than he had any right being.

And then he was buried and starting to sag under the weight, but as the electricity flushed into his system, that changed, his eyes glowing from under the swarm of Merge on him. "Dreams are just for the people who cannot breathe such into being." And then he let out some of that power he took, and it arced out from him, with a crackle and the smell of ozone filling the air. It was as simple as exhaling.

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Then burst of energy sent the Merge’s flying away in all direction at once, though several version of her seemed to land unhurt. Picking themselves up one of the Meges gave a wry little smile.

“You know I tend to agree with you. And I tend to make my dreams happens. But that means hurting you. But you know I can live that…â€

With that she launched herself towards Asad and landed a series of solid blows. And from multiple Merges in multiple directions. It was almost impossible for Asad to avoid the blows.

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There was no sound of impact, there was just her striking him, and then... In the confined space of the office he couldn't really dodge whichever of her was real or what have you. So he swept his arm at her, as hopefully the board fled the room, though he wasn't paying attention to them yet. A snarl escaped, a small one. Of course it was a wild swing, that left him exposed, but he had little concern about that now, as he shrugged off her blows as if they were nothing. "I do not believe you understand the gravity of the situation." His voice dipped low, not trying to be intimidating, or persuasive, it was just soft, almost eerily so.

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Avoiding the blow Merge continued with her attack, she began however to concentrate on more vulnerable area. In the jostling between the “two†or them, she had to make sure she didn’t strike herself; her blows went wide of the mark.

“You’d be surprised how prepare I am. I’ve done quite a bit of research on you, beyond what the tabloid gossip. And meeting you in the flesh I must admit you play the flop quite well, but just not quite good enough.†She had a look of admiration, even as she was trying to pummel him.

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He swept out with his arm, hitting her in the side with his forearm, that scary kind of strength he could bring to bear impacted her solidly. And he walked after her staggering form, calmly. "I can promise you, the reading materials don't cover everything. And now you seek to take what's mine." Still moving towards her, a smile on his lips as he looked down at her. "Amir was very much the fop you read about, just a moderately shrewd one." Leaning down to whisper into her ear, "And I am not really Amir anymore."

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One of the Merge's just behind him and to the left answered

"Oh I know, I've seen how people can play the idiot to fool people. But I suspect that there was a little of the Lion in Amir to begin with."

Whilst the one on the grounsd slowly got herself up unsteadly on her feet, the other Merges seemed unwilling or unable to attack Amir

"It's a shame that I need the money and you just happen to have what they need. I would have liked a less scruulous target. But a jobs a job..." a Merge within sight gave a sad smile "I guess that dates of now?"

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Shaking his head slowly. "Believe what you want. Had my choice we would have gone on that date, but you wanted to wallow in the muck of avarice." And then he lashed out with a knee to the one he had struck, it was a solid blow. "This fight was your choice. Now yield, and I will reserve the things not in my dossier for your employers." Looking down at her, he was mad, not at her, now, that would be like being made at a sword for being used. He wanted to know who the wielder was, he needed to know.

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Merge face looked a little sad, only for an instance but it was there.

“This isn’t Avarice, but I really do need the money. And I’m just freelancing, I don’t know what exactly what thereafter.†She gave a wry smile “But I know who they are.†She held up a business card, and then put it on the conference table.

Her smile faded into a frown “But I’ve got to see this through professional courtesy and all that.†They all gave broad smile and a little come on signs with their hands “So come on do your worst.â€

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Talking to himself more than anything, "Why doesn't anyone just take the easy way when I offer it." Whatever bluster had been in his voice was gone, and he held up a hand towards one of her. "Yield, please." It was a plea, "I would much rather be in Tahiti than this. So just yield." He had gotten angry, too angry, he was trying to channel it, he was fighting impulses fed by that anger. It wasn't that he was hitting a woman, that did both him, it was just that she wasn't really wanting this fight, and he did not want to cut loose with her. And then he let out a burst of force he had absorbed from her blows, returning it back to her, and letting it cascade out into the room.

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The energy wave had a devastating effect on the office, the expensive conference table was battered and burned all papers on it surface destroyed including a rather forlorn laptop. As the flash died down there was only the sound of breaking glass. Standing in the debris apparently unharmed from the assault, though the rest of his attacks had taken its toll, despite this she had a broad grin on her face.

“Well that should be long enough.†A Megre behind him leaned in and whispered in his ear “I was the distraction.â€

A Merge in front crossed her arms and gave a defiant look “You know I really do like you, so I’ll offer a deal. You see the client wanted a certain portfolio of yours, but didn’t want you to know who, all this was to distract all of you from finding out about the theft.†She swept her hand around the now empty room “Let me go and I’ll tell you whose portfolio, you’ll never find out otherwise I’m that good.†It didn’t sound like an idle boast.

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Asad looked at her, and then slowly reached up and brushed a bit of paper off his shoulder. "I see. My cross is with your employers, just understand one thing, my dear, this has ruined the potential future social interactions, and I do request you stay away from that which is mine in the future. But..." Lifting his head and looking to her levelly, a small smile on his face, not attempting to be intimidating, nor did he just jump upon her offer. "... I am an adult, and while I can't necessarily forget..." Gesturing at their surroundings with a hand. "... I can forgive. At least, for a woman with a beautiful smile."

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Merge gave a sly little smile; there was no getting away from the fact that she was quite an attractive woman. Even if her dress sense was severely lacking. She made a motion and the others hers faded.

“A sign of faith. So as we’re in a boardroom I suppose we’re now in negotiation?â€

She brushed of the main chair, where Amir normally sat, and eased herself into the chair.

“Well I can see the appeal of the big seat. I can give you a promise that I won’t touch your company property again.†She seemed quite sincere in her intent.

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His arms folded across his chest, as he looked at her, not taking a seat. "You are new to the negotiations, aren't you? The course of actions should be like this, I will let you go, and you give me honest information on where to get what is mine. As an added bonus I will set you down on another building, that isn't a police station. After that I will not use my resources to pursue you, and I will consider the personal matter between us settled. But that will change if you touch what's mine again, or the information you give me is a lie."

His tone level as he moved towards her, and then leaning forward, to grasp at the chair and turn it towards him, his eyes on hers. "I think that is fair, and I don't have to hit you anymore. I am not particularly fond of striking a woman, even ones trying to steal from me." Reaching up a bit towards a mark on her face, but stopping himself. "Mmm, what say you?"

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“I’m not use to this level of negotiation, but I believe you negotiate from a position of strength. I have something to you need and I’ve got nothing to lose right now And if you want to threaten me with arrest.†She held out he hands as if ready to be cuffed “But if you do that you’ll never find out the information they’ve stole.†her confidence suggested she knew something that he didn't.

She swung in her chair allowing her words to sink in, before breaking out into a broad grin.

“Lucky for you I’m inclined to accept your bargain. Though I can’t promise I’ll keep out of your way for forever.â€

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