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Burning the Midnight Financial Reports from the the SEHK


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11:53 PM, Jan. 17th

He was done for the evening, not that Summit was done. Considering the global markets and other things the day tended to blur, and lord know he rarely slept anymore these days. So he turned off the lights in his office as he left and took the elevator down to the main floor, to have a chat with some of the guys who worked the Asian markets. It was something he tried to do at least once a month, or as often as he could muster. With the ding of the elevator opening he stepped out onto the floor and made his way towards the APAC markets section of it. Amir looked his less than stellar form, rumpled and not in the calculated way he tended to be at social engagements. It was almost midnight, which meant that the guys who handled India would be about now.

Stopping he chatted with some of the janitors, guys who had seen a bump in pay recently along with better benefits, to help mitigate their desire to engage in corporate espionage. Grabbing one of the haggard interns attempting to adapt to the schedule, he told him to go get coffees for everyone, and stuffed some bills into the kid's breast pocket.

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Megan Howell was currently sitting at an open desk in the APAC markets section. The young blonde was an intent with the economics group a couple of floors above, but she had spent much of the day going over the numbers for a large equity deal being put together by Summit's Mumbai office. That had required her to work with a number of the Indian market specialist, so it had made more sense for her to work on things here where she could more easily ask any questions she might have had.

While not the first late night Megan had had since starting her internship two weeks ago, the events from a few days earlier, what the press was calling the Day of Wrath, had her feeling more exhausted than she might have normally been. She had been very busy as Velocity that day and the events of that day were still wearing on her. But while she had had an excuse for missing work that day, after all, she HAD almost been caught in the crossfire of a gang war in the Fens, she could not really justify not coming into work the following days.

Dressed in a black knee length skirt and white silk shirt, the attractive blonde stood out some among the mostly male traders on the floor at this time of night. But her attention was fixed on the computer screen in front of her as she made one last check of the pro forma numbers for the transaction that was part of a massive excel spreadsheet financial model. Of course, Megan could have been done everything in a fraction of the time, but that would naturally have raised far too many questions. So, she had forced herself to work at a more normal speed, though she had used a bit of superspeed to double check things as she worked.

"Okay Naajy," she said into her phone, speaking with one of the employees at the Mumbai office working on the deal. "The pro forma is done and everything looks good." She saved the excel file one last time before exiting the program. "It's saved in the project financial folders on the shared drive, so you can access it now. I will be back in another seven hours or so, so if you all find anything you think needs changing, you will be able to reach me before you leave for the day."

After saying goodbye, the young woman hung up her phone and leaned back in her chair, letting out a small sigh of relief as she was finished for the night. Thankfully her apartment was not too far away, and she would be able to get at least five, maybe six hours of sleep before she came back in to the office.

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He made a point to head towards the office she was using, he knew she was in, and he wanted to talk to her, to see if she had recovered from the Day of Wrath alright. Part of the reason he came here now. Of course he got side tracked by the Singapore guy, who had no started yet, so there was a bit of talking and bandying about, especially networking to get Amir to approve a trip. Which the CEO just rolled his eyes and told him to get the proper paperwork pushed through. Though there was talk of him going Hong Kong in the near future.

He made his way towards the office, managing to get there just as Megan was leaving. "Ms. Howell, mind if I talk with you?" Of course he had known her for awhile now, hell despite being a Harvard man he had guest lectured numerous times, because he, as he put it, 'has celebrity and money and people think you have something worthwhile to say.'

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Megan had just been gathering together her things when she heard Amir's voice at the door to the office she had been using. Turning around, she gave him a warm smile. "Mr. al-Misri, good evening. Of course I don't mind at all." She replied. Setting her things back down on a credenza in the office and took a seat again behind the desk. "I just finished going over the numbers for the deal in Mumbai. The projections look good, even if we were a bit conservative on some of the variables."

Even as she spoke, the young blonde had a feeling that Amir was not there to talk to her about the project.

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He snorted a little. "Being conservative for projections is good, sustainable growth is more important that huge spurts whose outcome cannot be correct. It was why we did not touch derivatives, and why we did not need a bail out, unlike half of Wading Way." It was a button. There was also the fact that he had, on record, supported the views of the 99 Percenters had earned him the ire of a lot of the business community members. But he stopped right then, and grinned sheepishly, realizing he was in rant mode.

"It is okay, I am not the project lead on that, they'll likely be good with what you crunched. Anyway, I would like see how you were, we thought we had lost you during... you know."

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Megan nodded as Amir talked briefly about derivatives, something she had heard him speak on before as a guest lecturer. While the blonde young woman recognized that derivatives had their uses, she fully agreed with Amir that the reckless culture in many other financial firms had completely ignored the risks associated with the counter positions they took on massive credit default swaps and the like. That behavior had pretty much blown up in everyone’s faces, though some groups, like Summit, had been able to weather the storm just fine, thanks to having isolated themselves from that mess.

When he turned to his real reason he had come down to talk with her, and Megan let a slightly embarrassed look come to her face. "Oh…I am doing well." She began. "It has been helpful to just get back into things and be busy. But I am really sorry for all the worry I caused you and Ms. Van Cleef, and, well, everyone else."

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He had made quite the swath through lecture circuit explaining some aspects of his financial ideas.

"Mmhmm. And you did not check with anyone over this?" Lifting his eyebrows in slight annoyance over this, his folded his arms across his chest then. Asad was tall, and since becoming a hero, he had started to add mass to his frame, and he looked down at Megan like a disapproving father figure. Of course he had known her for the better part of a decade.

"Hmph. In the immortal words of my father, 'Not Yet.'" He just looked at her crossly still.

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Megan looked up at Assad as he gave her a disapproving look. Knowing she had to play her roll, Megan gave him a tentative look. "Well…I…we were open the following day, and everyone else was coming in." She replied softly.

Then she continued, adding a little more confidence to her voice. "I mean, Tuesday wasn't the first time I have had the bad luck being near when something crazy happens. I grew up here after all. Didn't either of my parents ever tell you about the Halloween block party down in the Theater District during my Senior year at North Bay? My boyfriend at the time and I were there when this giant mummy went on a rampage."

Of course, after ditching Cory I helped a bunch of other heroes deal with the thing, which turned out to be a giant robot. She thought to herself, but kept a slightly nervous expression on her face. "I was just a bit shaken up Tuesday, but it did not seem any reason not to get back to work."

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"Given my activities, when we do a headcount when things comes up and someone is missing some of us tend to freak out a little. Especially Ms. van Cleef. When someone does not answer her phone and was supposed to pick some paperwork in the middle of the Fens. I will tag you with a radio collar if necessary." He grumped, and sounded his age for the first time, well ever. But then she was one of his employees, he was actually very protective of them.

"Anyway, you have tomorrow off, that is no open for discussion. I know you are ahead, and you did not have to stay tonight." Raising a hand to rebuff her responses. "I am glad, however, you are alright, have you talked to your parents yet?"

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"I didn't answer my phone right away because after having a beam of energy pass some twenty feet in front of my car and blow a light pole in half, I was trying to concentrate on getting back home as safely as possible. As soon as I got back to my apartment, I called in to let Mr. Goodwin know where I was." Megan replied when Amir mentioned using a radio collar to track her if needed. "I am sorry that was after you had already left to look for me."

She frowned slightly as he mentioned her having the day off tomorrow, but he had made it very clear that was nothing she could say to change his mind. When he asked about her parents, her expression softened. "Yes, I called my mom right after speaking with Mr. Goodwin, to see if she had heard from dad. I went over and had dinner with them last night."

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Catching the frown, he nodded a little and her softening and telling him she did talk to her folks. "Good. And don't argue, I'd rather not burn out my Interns so shortly after we get them. Anyway, come on, I will get you a bite to eat." He turned a little, and gesturing towards the elevators. "Come on."

Taking a couple steps, before glancing to her then, and grinned a little. "I am allowed to say you are pushing yourself too hard. And more importantly I have seen enough people burn themselves out by pushing them hard."

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Though she was rather tired, Megan knew it would not be wise to turn down Amir when he told her to follow him so they could go get something to eat. Getting up from the chair, she grabbed her bag and headed after Amir as he started towards the elevator.

When he glanced back and commented about having the right to tell her when she was pushing herself too hard, the young blonde suppressed the urge to laugh. I wonder what he would say if he knew that just over two weeks ago I spent twenty six hours running over 60,000 miles in order to see the New Year arrive at twenty four different locations around the world.

Instead, she simply smiled. "Do you really say that to all the interns, or just ones who's fathers are attorneys?" She teased. "But to be fair, I think you could totally call my dad on that, given the hours his firm generally requires from their associates."

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"First rule in real world business, we tend to not really look at what other people are doing, unless it infringes on our copyrights. Or you are committing corporate espionage." Folding his arms across his chest as he looked at her, and offering her a small smile then.

"Besides, I went to law school as well. And I am not particularly worried about overworking you as you seem inclined to doing so, and again, I have seen enough people burn out." Lowering an arm to push the button on elevator. "There is all night place nearby, caters to the financial crowd."

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"I am certain there are at least a few all night places nearby." Megan replied as they waited for the elevator.

"But I do appreciate your concern that I may be overworking myself." She then added. "But rest assured, I have always been good a maintain a balance between the things I need to do, be it chores at home, school work, or now work here, and having time for myself and to just go have fun. So far I have been able to go out after work at least once or twice a week with Hakim, Karina and the rest of the twenty-something crowd in the economics group."

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"I know there are several all night places nearby, I also know which ones are the best, or the best for the mood."  He smiled a bit and glanced to her, setting his suave phasers to Cary Grant levels in that natural way he did before speaking again.  "Megan, I am good at telling who is overworking herself, in fact I am fair to middling in dealing with people in general."


When the door to the elevator door opens, he gestured for her first.  "Of course it helps I might be a chronic workaholic myself, and am aware which managers and supervisors have a tendency to absolutely allow an intern to overwork herself.  Also, your father did imply he would sue me if you missed any important familial functions."  A small grin to his face as he teased her lightly.  "Of course I am being a little hypocritical, as my own early career may have been marked with more 20 hour days than I can count."

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Megan made her way into the elevator once it had arrived.  She was starting to have an idea what Amir's concerns were related to.  Since starting with Summit, the young blonde had tried to be careful about not completing work too quickly or taking on more than someone should be able to complete in a reasonable period of time.  But, sometimes it was not easy avoiding doing things a bit too quickly, and therefore being able to take on more than she reasonably should be able to do.  She knew she would have to try to be a bit more careful of that going forward.


"Well, I would say it's my dad who's being the hypocrite."  She stated with her own grin.  "I can recall plenty of missed gymnastics meets or dance recitals that he was not able to make it to because he had to work.  Luckily for Samantha, Jason and I, mom choose to forego any career she could have had to be around for us while we were growing up."

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"I got along well with my nannies and boarding school chums.  We were encouraged to compete with each other."  He really had no way to relate to her childhood, he had grown up old-money hyper-wealthy.  In fact it was a big angle in his game as a rich twit, one that only help up under scrutiny to people who wanted that image to be true.  Which was a surprisingly large number.  "It is why I sought solace in the supermodels I think."  Sighing over dramatically.  Though details about his life was readily available, and he had been responsible for a few such late nights for her father.


"Though you are going to have to learn better transitions and changes of topic.  Also, Ana put a request on my table that she wants you.  So unless you have particular attachment to what you are doing now, that is going to happen.  Which I suppose is better, but also means you have made the mistake of showing capability, now you will have to live up to it."  Said as he pushed the bottom for the ground floor.

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"We had nannies as well, but my mom only used them to help her as needed, not do everything."  Megan replied. 


When Amir mentioned that Ms. Van Cleef had requested her transfer, the blonde young woman had a slight look of surprise.  "She did?"  Megan replied as she thought for a moment.  "I do like the economics group, but I am not going to question what you and Ms. Van Cleef feel is the best use for me.  I guess the only concern I might have is whether there might be a problem with that position meeting the requirements Yale has for the credits I am getting for this internship."

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"Yes, well I would imagine your upbringing was a lot more... familial than mine.  But, I pay a therapist to listen to me whine and complain about how unfair the world is, blah, blah, et cetera, et cetera."  Doing a damn by Yul Brenner impersonation at that moment.


"I imagine Ana would, she considers all the possibilities.  Your analysis impressed her, she is probably going to have you bouncing around and see how you handle it.  She is... obsessive, and while I do not mind through you to the metaphorical wolf, in this case, I want you to know she will ride you hard.  Though she tends to frown about social engagements."  Shaking his head and laughing, remembering a few things.  "Mmm, at the very least she will have you handling her APAC agendas, or working with her on the.  I try not to really look at what she is doing too much, makes me feel unproductive."


Frowning a little, as he realized something when they arrived at the ground floor.  "Oh!  Yes.  You are going to get a call from an online magazine or something, some sort of newsletter for a the financial set.  I dunno which one,  to be honest, though they asked I would allow it, and I am leaving it up to you."

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Megan gave a small nod as Amir talked about how her upbringing was likely very different than his.  "Yeah, it probably was."  She stated in agreement.  "Although, being the youngest, I had to follow in the wake of all of Samantha and Jason’s accomplishments."


The blonde young woman smiled slightly as he talked about what working for Ms. Van Cleef would be like for her.  And here I thought the idea was that I was overworking myself.  She thought.  "Well, sounds like I am going to have to be ready for anything then."  She replied.


When Amir mentioned that she would be contacted by an online magazine, Megan looked a bit surprised.  "Wow, really?"  She asked, not quite sure what to make of the revelation.  "Well, I guess I can see what they want.  Just as long as it's not about a swimsuit calendar or something."

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"I will bludgeon the point with you, I am trying to politely get you to not take Ana's move.  If you value anything resembling free time."  There was the ding of the ground floor being reached.  "Chinese sound good?"  Smiling lightly as he once more allowed her to go through the door first.  While not quite the consummate gentleman, he sure acted like it.


"I do not think they were... please I cannot think of you in a swimsuit."  He had a pained expression on his face.  "Don't remind me how old I am."  Laughing a little then as he moved with her, going towards the front door, waving to the people at the front desk of the building.  "Bad enough I decided to do my Twitter feed all by myself, that has turned into a nightmare, I can see why people hire out for it now."

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"Chinese sounds just fine."  Megan replied as she thought about Amir's comment that he was trying to convince her to turn down Ms. Van Cleef's request for the transfer.  While the young woman appreciated Amir's concern that she might be overworking herself, she was also not so sure the answer so simple.  For one thing, she felt that she should try to take advantage of every opportunity to learn during her internship, after all, that was the general point.  She also was not so certain that Ms Van Cleef would really take "no" for an answer, and that she could well have Megan doing work for her regardless of whether the transfer happened or not.


As the pair made their way out of the building, the blonde smiled slightly at Amir's reaction to her comment about the online magazine wanting to do a swimsuit calendar, but she did not push the point any further.  Instead, she focused on his further comments about his troubles with running his own Twitter feed.  "Yeah, that was probably a mistake."  She stated.  "I can imagine there are quite a few people out there that want to hear what you have to say, on a whole range of subjects."

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"Of course it does!"  Laughing as he slapped her on her back, between the shoulder blades and left the hand there to guide her, in a familiar, if chaste, fashion.  "Of course, I also dislike sitting and twiddling my thumbs.  So there is that, plus Ana is annoyed I made one in her name."  Smirking a little bit, he let his hand drop as they made their way to the main doors.  He waved at the front desk, while calling out to them, "Cassidy, remember your daughter's wedding, throw out the doughnuts."


And then they were outside moving towards the restaurant, which was a few blocks away,  "Also, since Ana expressed interest that means you are getting a thorough background check, as you are going to be dealing with more sensitive matters.  Of course we started that when we offered you the internship, but if you or your family gets any calls, do not be surprised."

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Megan just smiled as Amir mentioned setting up a Twitter account for Ms. Van Cleef, not appearing at all bothered by his hand as he guided her along as they made their way out of the Summit Transnational building.  When he mentioned that there would be a more in depth background check taking place and that she or her family might receive some calls from the investigators, the blonde young woman gave a small nod.  "Thanks for the heads up, I will be sure to let my parents, Samantha and Jason know so they won’t be surprised or anything if it happens."

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"I know you will pass it.  But assurances never work for the government, or the U.N., or whomever.  And the non-disclosures will crop up as need, barring the standard work product agreement."  Of course she knew that Amir had both a law degree and an MBA.  "Also this will raise your overall profile.  Ana gets a lot of articles written about her, I think Forbes called her... the Dragon on the Mountain."  Waving a hand in front of him in a distracted manner.  "Alright, I have done my level best to try, badly to dissuade you from it, you can talk to her about these things day after tomorrow."


Smiling conspiratorially.  "Quick estimation, how do you feel about our Indian assets, and the markets there in general?"  She was seeing the current, and rather tentative efforts on Summit's part into those markets.

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