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Rain Check (IC)


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December 9th, 11:27 am

Carrie liked the smell of the rain, which was fortunate because there was a lot of it around. She watched the Fens out from the overhang of the older building as it blurred by with streaks of white that made it almost indistuingable from any other part of the city. Especially with the fact that there was no one around. Rain had a tendancy to do that, and the fact that she was standing outside, even under an overhang made her stand out in that respect. It also helped that compared to her surroundings she created a stark contrast to the dark wet building at her back. Currently she was dressed in a yellow sundress that went down to her knees and just covered the tops of strawberry colored rainboots. She had a white sweater over the top of the sundress, and a clear raincoat over that that sweep just over her heels. Her hair was tied back in a bun and pushed back into the clear hood of the raindrop speckled hood which only got more wet as she took a look at her watch and glance further out of the cover of the overhang and down the street. The meeting was in three minutes.

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What pulled up was a small car, black with a red top. It was a Fiat 500. A sporty little thing, perfect for driving around in a big place like Freedom City. And it didn't look so out of place here. It was what Asad used for getting around town, because well... people tended to give him odd looks if he flew everywhere, and it was hard to have to lug around his clothes as well. So this was a compromise, plus it had great gas mileage. After a moment he stepped out of the car, pulling the hood of his rain coat over his head, and quickly skipping under the overhang. When he did, he flashed her a winning smile. "Hello there, Amir al-Misri and you are...?" Unfortunately at a loss for her name, thanks things having shifted, and the people involved changing. It happened.

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"Caroline, Caroline Wendle,"

She gave him a smile, it was rather small but her voice was nice and coordial. Truthfully she wasn't supposed to be here, her name wasn't even supposed to come up. But a friend of a friend cancelled, had to go out of state, was too busy with the holidays, couldn't book because of a new gallery opening, and several other things that led to them giving her name as a substitution in the end. It was a possibility since she had known all the people she recommended, not that they knew how she recommended them, so the chain went back to her. At least she wasn't that busy at the moment. She always had Sundays off, and her folks dropped her off after mass.

"It is very nice to meet you Mr. Al-Misri. Should we head inside then?"

She turned the knob and pushed open the door, taking a step through she flicked on a light that illuminated the hallway of an appartment complex dating back at least to the forties that had seen better days. They were in a front hall that dove off in two directions, another hallway and a stairwell. There were two folding chairs set up against the old wooden floor and Carrie took a second to shrug off her rain coat and putting it on the back of one before sitting down and starting too take off her boots.

"So I got the gist of it over the phone, you want to reinvate the buildings right?"

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Amir smiled personably, still, as she moved into the building, managing to not force some chivalrous actions onto her, it would be presumptuous after all. He gave her a beat, and then followwed her in, speaking as he did so. "It is a pleasure to meet you Ms. Wendle, may I call you Caroline? A first name basis will be easier, right?" Still smiling, and still genuine. "I had gotten the message that the person I was supposed to meet here couldn't made it, but I had not gotten confirmation of whether the meeting was still on. I assumed it was, and I am glad that I did, hate to think of someone waiting in the rain over a misunderstanding."

He immediately started to look around, not that he was a contractor or anything, but he could give it a brief survey, knowing that he'd have someone there soon enough. "Sort of, one of my philanthropic endeavors is looking into some buildings. This was one of the buildings settled upon, though depending on what support I get externally I imagine we might be getting more than one building."

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"If we'd like to be informal, just call me Carrie, Amir right, I do hope I pronounced that right."

Taking off the boots she wrapped them up in the coat and tucked them into a plastic back before pulling out a pair of slip on sneakers and putting them on her feet.

"It wouldn't be that hard I'm sure. This far from the Threatre District you can definitely get three or four buildings that are almost completely abandoned."

She leaned forward with her elbows resting on the plastic back,

"I've renovated one of the older buildings out here before, the basics I can give you is, all these old buildings are basically firetraps. Mainly because most of the electrical for these were done in the fifty or sixties, and I can count on one hand how many of them have properly installed and working sprinkler systems."

The last part she indicated by pointing up at the non-existant sprinklers before standing up from the chair,

"But yeah, these buildings are otherwise rather sturdy, so where would you like to start?"

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"Informal will just be easier, I think." His smile faded, naturally, not due to anything she said or did. He pushed back the hood of his jacket, and raked his fingers through his hair that was curlier than anything she had seen from his before. Then plunged his hands into both pockets. "Well I am looking for a couple things, though I expected extensive renovations, let us state in the basement. My experiences have taught me you always want to look at the foundation first." He made a face at the memory of a few fiascoes he had with some investments that had flopped spectacularly and the headlines that lambasted him. "I am going to be sending some professional inspectors to go over here if this makes a short list, but the place that most do not people see is going to be where there are the most problems."

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"Okay, this way, watch your step, I don't trust some of these floorboards."

She started down the hallway and turned right at the end finding a doorway that went directly under the previous stairs. She waited for him to get directly behind before she gripped the banistor on the side and tested the steps slowly before skipping the fifth one entirely after seeing a hole in the wood panel that made it.

The basement was like a lot of basements, a big concrete hole in the floor with a large water heater in the corner. There was a lightbulb embedded into the side wall but it was currently out leaving the only illumination rectangular window currently dribbling water on the floor. Carrie winced as she looked over,

"Looked liked someone left the window open, one moment."

She side stepped around the small stream on the otherwise dirty and dusty concrete and reached up on her tiptoesto pull down the steel hook. After that got closed she sort of felt around in the darkness and found a switch on the side of the stairs that turned on the light which flickered slightly in the plain space.

"Doesn't look like it's too bad. Most basements in the area are like this, in fact the entire neighborhood is basically filled in swamp land so they had to lay down the foundations pretty thick."

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"Hence the name." He frowned a little looking at the basement. "It does look like most neglected fifty year old buildings." It wasn't like he was going to just buy the place willy nilly, he had to play it by the book. So there would be inspections and the like.

After looking around a little longer, he glanced to her, ready to say something. "Alright, let's go up from here." He was considering purchasing this place, but it didn't rank any higher than any other place he had seen, though.

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"Right, up we go,"

She led the way from the basement flicking the light off as she passed and went back up the stairs. She was sort of surprised an actual real estate agent wasn't trying to do that, but then again she couldn't imagine them in the Fens, the nice cars they show up with would either get stolen or covered in gaffetti.

"There's two appartments per except for the first floor which has a laundry room and the landlords appartment."

She went over to the door and opened it without much trouble. There was a lock in the door once but where it had been was knocked out leaving a hole over the doorknob. It showed hardwood floors that needed a good polishing, wallpaper that likely predated both the visitors, and newspaper sticking to the glass of the windows. Otherwise it was an empty room with three doors going off to the side and a kitchenette.

"This is the biggest appartment for the simple fact that this is where the landlord would of lived. Two bedroom, one bath, no broken windows which is rare for the first floor."

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Is there any known issues with this particular building? Like local criminals using this one more or anything like that?" Asked as he followed her up the stairs and looking at the building. "Because, I mean, I did expect extensive renovations to be done. And thus far I have no reason to exclude the place. Though I am probably looking for several places, and this one looks perfect for low in-come housing. Or I think so." He shrugged a bit, "Just trying to expand my non-profits, and this at least six months of planning, but I am happy to donate."

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"I had a quick look around before you got here, I couldn't find any drugs and stuff so it's probably not a storehouse. Given, dealers usually have those as actual properties they own so they can install locks and stuff, also you know storage units. Pimps usually try to own buildings for business, mafia, huh, I think they stick mainly to unclaimed warehouses in Greenbank, lord knows there's tons of them, though I don't think they have as many skylights as the comics."

She tapped her chin,

"Though the mob does own some strip joints and bars a couple streets over, mind you no one sells over there, they'e made it very clear their legal debauchery shouldn't have any illegal happenings anywhere nearby so the cops don't make a scene there. They serve some good food too."

Turning around she headed for the steps she grabbed the banister,

"The upstairs is more or less intact, but fair warning, more then a couple loose floorboards, and as a whole it smells like the inside of a wet boot, and the rains not gonna help that."

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Odds are we'll have to get the electrical and plumbing up to code, and all that. But I am more the bankroller, though I can swing a hammer without completely embarrassing myself. Well, unless you are certain publications." And then he turned the affable smile to her, before looking around.

"So most of these buildings would have the landlord apartment, then?" Asked while looking at something else, and then moving to the door of the suite, and holding it open for her. It was a good thing, and if he could bring in some lower priced retail in the area as well it would help. Or something to bring in some work as well. The neighborhood was a bit of a hard sell. He had thought about advertising about this efforts, but it simply wasn't feasible, though his Urban Rejuvenation Initiative was, in the planning portion at least, aimed at the Fens. No public announcements were made, yet. And he had planned on divorcing his name from the proceedings as much as possible.

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"Everyone can swing a hammer, aiming however is where people get in trouble,"

She walked in beside him toed some dust on the floor as she looked around. She headed for the kitchen immediately.

"Ohh definitely, even all the old shops have second floor appartments for the owners. Biggest sell on owning the building was you had a nice little part of it to live in yourself."

There was no oven, just an empty place for where it should be. Same for the fridge, and the sink was still there though it was cracked and dirty and direly needed replacing. She moved passed and went to the nearest cabinet, it was missing a hinge so it more fell open when she pulled the handle revealing, a bare pantry with no shelves,

"No rats so far, they probably starved to death. No ones been here for ages."

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"Alright, let us go upstairs to the next floor. I have pretty much made up my mind, but seeing the lay out helps, along with the general condition of them." Course even as he said that he had a good idea. He didn't want to pull down buildings if he didn't have to, though retrofitting would happen, as well as extensive repairs as well.

"M'beg pardon, but what do you do?" Realizing that he really hadn't addressed her, too much and his natural social instincts started to kick in, start to work to resolve that.

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Leading the way she came to a hallway with a stripped floor, he windows at the end were broken, and there was a door on either side before it ended in another stairwell to the next level. One of the doors was open, while the other was just missing. The floor creaked a bit under Carries footsteps but otherwise was stable and in generally decent shape if not in needing of a severe waxing,

"You mean like profressionally, lets see, costume making, set making, jewellery craft, theatre tech, layouts for galleries, computer formating, programming, graphic design, tailoring, and occasionally gymnastics,"

She counted it out on her fingers absently as she spoke,

"Also, I'm a decent cook."

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  • 3 weeks later...

His brows knitted together as he moved after her, paying attention to the building and his surroundings more than the girl in front of him. He was being professional Amir today. "Aha, so a renaissance girl? I can appreciate that, I always wanted to do something like that. I suppose compared to a great in my position I am like that. Would you say you were familiar with the neighborhood then? Enough to venture an opinion as to whether purchasing this building is wise, beyond just the money and effort it will need?"

Slowly he brought his attention to her, a pleasant smile on his face. Amir had mastered the ability to examine people years ago without making it look like he was scrutinizing them. The problem with this commitment was that his usual avenues and resources were absent, he was having to improvise. Which he could do, but he was realizing how reliant he was on his support network at this point, acutely so.

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Meh, you don't get anything for being artist, artists are a dime a dozen, and usually paid as such. But it's nice to make something pretty that doesn't have to be tailored to other people. Something for yourself,"

She looked at the building and raised an eyebrow,

"Well, that depends on what your using it for."

Walking forward she started to counting fixtures that still had bulbs,

"The local market with the exception of the GoodWill are all small ethnic businesses, liquor stores, and mob owned establishments. Any business like thing you'd want to run here wouldn't last a week."

She turned around and faced him,

"In case that didn't confirm it, I don't actually work for the real estate office you contacted. My friend called me to fill in cause she was double booked apparently, honestly I think she just didn't want to go to the Fens. Usually they don't allow this, but business types try to avoid that sort of thing, cause of the image thing."

Or because they might get recognized by someone shady they aren't supposed to know.

"They probably didn't think you'd come yourself, or they'd of actually sent someone on the official payroll, even if it meant being seen in the Fens."

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"Not to toot my own horn, but to talk to the average CEO of a company is not a noteworthy experience. We are as bad as the most pretentious artists, except because we made money, somehow our endeavors are valued more." He smiled wryly at her, and shrugged a little bit. "Mmm, with this, it is kind of simple. Low income housing, and offering low cost merchant space. I am not looking to turn this into a trendy place, I am looking to give people a chance. Placing this under the aegis of a non-profit organization means that I do not have to worry over the buildings be run with an eye to produce some great return. At best we might break even."

He smiled, lightly, teasingly. "Then I will have to request you get commission on the sale if she could not be bothered to actual carry out business in a proper manner. Especially if she feels coming here is beneath her, and something that can be foisted upon her 'friend'." Despite his light tone, he was fully intending that. Something dear ol' Pops instilled in him, the ability to be a right jerk, when the situation called for it.

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"You are anything but average Amir, though at the rate this city's going that might change. Anyway, success is noteworthy, cause it usually takes a lot of losing to squeeze out a win, as you said, same thing with artists, you gotta make a lot of crap to make a master piece."

She smiled at his explanation,

"Well probably won't even do that, but it's cool, sure it'll make a heck of a tax write off. As for my friend, I don't blame her terribly. Showing up in this neighborhoodd, in a nice suit, a shiny car, wearing make up that looks both professional, just being female, it all just paints a giant target on her head. I'm not surprised she's afraid to step into this neighborhood because of the likeliness of her being shan..."

Carrie stepped through the door into one of the rooms. It was completely dark, she reached for the light as she did, she felt something grab her and spin her around mid step. A thin but very strong arm held it's hand against her chest, and a pair of long sharp nails pressed up against her juggular as an unhealthily thin face with glowing red eyes gazed out of the darkness at Amir,


Carrie wiggled a bit, choking out a thing,

"I guess I forgot to mention,"

She tried to look back but felt the pressure of the nail against her neck dig in,

"The possibility of squatters."

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The vampire held his prey close as he looked at the man who intruded on his territory. If he had been more up to date on these sort of things, he would of recognized him. However, that wasn't his concern. He was really very, very thirsty. It had been a while since someone so very vibrantly healthy had walked into this house. Usually it was either homeless or the hopelessly high who come into the premises, only to never leave. It was a nice change, and the warmth of her skin was too much to resist, he might of waited if she were not such attractive prey, but the hunger panged and he gave in as he sunk his fangs into her shoulder making her squeel slightly in the pain as he took some fresh blood.

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He did not have the luxury of time, so just escalated matters on his own, and he reached out with his power, which was happy, even greedy to do so, and started the timer, as electricity would crackle and surge up out of the socket and into him. The sharp tang of Ozone powering up. He couldn't speed this, if he could he would, but he could make himself a threat to them, and make them have to leave the girl alone, he hopes.

"I am sorry, I am the new owner of this building, and I going to have to evict you. Let her go, and I wont hurt you are much."

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The younger looking of the two pushed back into the shadows, while another one female, but older ducked down and sweep a leg at Amir's legs to throw him off balance. This was less then successful. The vampire that held Carrie found her struggling much more then before, she eventually, though not very gracefully wiggled under from his arm and pushed him back. She slid against the wall and put a hand on her bleeding shoulder,

"You son of a,"

She grimaced at her white sweater,

"Blood's impossible to get out of wool."

Searching the darkness she found the shape of the vampire lurking. She took two steps forward and punched him square in the jaw, flattening the tip of her knuckles at the last moment leaving a gash across his cheek.

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And the one that surged at him and tried to sweep his legs, well... Asad could fly, and he rose off the ground as the sweep was attempted, and then just hauled off and slugged it right in the face. The force was explosive, as Asad didn't hold back on the creature, and his power would overwhelm creature. Small arcs of electricity coruscating over his form. "I have nothing pithy to say, I am just going to beat your fang filled faces in."

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The vampire teen tried to take the opportunity to grab Carrie once more. Stalking the darkness he lunged and tried to get a hold of her but she managed to shake him off like the other vampire. Looking at the limp form of his companion the oldest looking vampire assessed the situation a little more readily before turning his sights to the muscular arab,

"That may not be the wisest recourse."

His voice was smooth, as he lingered closer,

"In fact, I will accompany you to the door and you can be on your way, just make sure the young lady does not interfer with our walk."

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Carrie tried to put some distance from herself and the younger vampire when she caught glance at the older one talking to Asad. She honestly didn't care much about what he was saying, instead she walked over, spun on her heel and kicked him in the head. Dead or undead, this made the elder vampire step back reeling from the blow,

"You'll pay for that,"
He said it through a snarl,

"Kill her!"
He rasped the command to the superstrong hero as he tried to balance himself against the wall.

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