Strategic Partnership Interview

Brief Title:
Strategic Partnership Interview

Characters:
Emma Frost, Suzanne Endo, Sally Blevins

Scene Runner/Watcher:

IC Date:
07/05/12 12:30

Location:
Emma Frost's Office, Frost Tower, Midtown Manhattan

Summary:
Emma calls Suzi and they meet to discuss the possibility of a business partnership. Meanwhile, Emma pokes around to see what she can figure out about Suzanne Endo. Look what she found!

Social or Plot:

TS:
No

Log:
Frost Tower is typical of high-rise office structures of New York's midtown district, and the usual guests spend 20 minutes finding their way around, if not longer. Suzi, however, is no ordinary guest, and thus finds herself personally escorted by a security guard to the reception desk outside of Emma Frost's office, the whole trip from the lobby to the desk taking perhaps ten minutes (thank goodness and technology for high-speed elevators).

"A Miss Suzi Endo, to see Miss Frost," the guard tells the receptionist, who taps an intercom button. "A Miss Endo to see you, Miss Frost," she says, followed by a slightly tinny reply of, "Ah, good. Please send her right in."

Having received the invitation, Suzanne Endo of Endo Electronics, Inc. is not going to turn it down. She arrives an easy ten minutes before the appointed time, and is not disappointed to find herself signed in and then escorted personally to see Ms. Frost. Really, the only difference to how her own company would handle a similar visit at one of their completed campuses around the world - such as their Hong Kong facility - is that her guest would have been met by someone from her own office as a guide. Still, she bows her head respectfully to the security guard, thanking him for his kind attention and time, and to the secretary for her efforts as well. True to her best etiquette, she also does not open the doors herself, but allows the secretary to do that as well. In Suzi's own offices, the doors wouldn't open save to one with the proper clearances.

Once the doors are opened, Suzanne nods again to the secretary in passing, and strolls comfortably through the doors and across the sumptuous office, stopping only once she is within easy conversational range of Emma herself, the blonde beauty the epitome of a Western businesswoman. "Good afternoon, Ms. Frost. An honor to make your acquaintance." Suzi offers. Her manners are a bit formal, but nothing like it would be back home in China, or across the Pacific Rim in Japan. Behind and to the left of Suzanne Endo, a younger blonde woman stands arrayed in similar business attire, a heavy-looking leather-wrapped metal briefcase (suitcase?) - in her hand. She does not speak. She is, in effect, little more than another piece of furniture, until or unless she is needed. Surely she will not be needed here or now.

Emma rises as her guest is admitted, smiling a small smile. "I assure you, Miss Endo, the honor is all mine. Welcome to Frost Tower. I do hope you will do me the honor of introducing me to your lovely companion as well," she replies, her tone professional but with a hint of warmth that suggests she is genuinely glad to see her guest.

Emma indicates the pair of well-upholstered chairs before her desk. "Please, be seated. May I offer you anything to drink, or any refreshments?" she continues.

"Ms. Blevins is currently my personal assistant, and quite proficient." Even if Sally isn't fluent in Mandarin or Cantonese. Of course, Emma would recognize Sally Blevins, but Suzanne has no way of knowing that and no sign is give by either blonde of such recognition. Suzi nods to Sally, and both take their seats when Emma offers them. "Thank you, Ms. Frost. I would be quite happy with some water." She would ask for tea, but she has learned to be careful with such here in the States. She can often be disappointed, and best to avoid that. "I must say, I very much enjoyed watching the spectacle of yesterday's celebrations." She has never seen a July Fourth before, obviously.

"How do you do, Miss Blevins?" Emma replies to the younger woman, pausing just long enough to tap the intercom on her desk. "Some water for our guests, please, Miss Whitsen? Thank you."

Looking back to Suzi and Sally, she nods. "It's quite a show, isn't it? We contribute to the major shows, of course, but prefer to remain in the background. Macy's does such a wonderful job with their presentation, after all, and I see no reason to rock the boat."

"Indeed so, Ms. Frost." Suzanne answers, nodding. "To be honest, it is just those sorts of corporate alliances that I find so interesting here in the West. They are largely unheard-of in the Pacific Rim." Not totally, but not nearly the way they are done here in the US. In Japan they are usually limited along clan lines. In China, it usually becomes a People's Venture.

When the water is delivered, both guests thank Ms. Whitsen and then sip slowly, relishing the cool hydration. "Well then, Ms. Frost," Suzanne begins, smiling. "Thank you kindly for your invitation. Obviously, your has been one of a very short list of names of those I would so like to meet, while here in New York." After all, Emma is part of a rather rarified number: women actually competing and operating at the level of those like Stark and Shaw. One might guess these two would have a lot in common, despite their disparate backgrounds.

"I'm flattered you included me on your list, Miss Endo," Emma replies, with a hint of a smile. "I wasn't aware that I held any degree of celebrity status outside the U.S. Or even really within it. I just run a business, and try to run it well."

She smiles faintly. "And speaking of business, I should probably get down to brass tacks, so to speak. My company is working on a new variety of materials fabrication process, one that requires the very fastest and most precise information processing technology available... or that will become available, and I believe you can help me with that."

Emma's continuing gentle probes and mental awareness will glean a few details, of course. First is the fact that Suzanne does not think 'personal assistant' where Sally Blevins is concerned; she is aware of Sally's mutant powers, and thinks of Sally as a bodyguard, provided it seems through the auspices of Sebastian Shaw. Emma will also find that Suzanne is very well aware of who is threatening her company: the Ghost. And she apparently has plans to put an end to his terrorist activities. There's a very coldly determined mind, there. Something about the case in Sally's keeping is important, but exactly what isn't touched on beyond its importance just yet. And lastly is the fact that Suzi is very aware of Emma's own reputation for capability at these rarified business and financial circles. She wasn't using hyperbole when she mentioned wanting to meet the woman. A final curious note is that Suzanne is one of those rare people who is not at all off-put by others' height. Emma may tower over her by over half a foot, but this doesn't seem to affect her perceptions whatsoever.

Suzanne smiles as Emma mentions how flattered she is to have been so well reputed. Suzi is pretty sure it's false modesty, but it is well-intended and perfectly acceptable. She would surely do the same in a similar situation. Suzi listens to Emma's 'problem' and considers it carefully. "It is likely I could help you, Ms. Frost, especially if your goal is to interface these systems with human controls." Suzanne is brutally honest with herself, and she is well aware that Stark, at least, has purely digital processors at least the equal of her own. Different, but equal enough in speed. Her edge is in human interface: true cybernetics, and also simple human-interface machine controls that optimize speed and clean function. "That said, if there is a way that I can help you, I most certainly would love to do so, Ms. Frost." After all, securing US-based partnerships and sales contracts is going to make all of the difference in being able to keep her company viable here in the fact of the Ghost's tactics and overrunning costs.

Emma has to try not to smile when she realizes the importance of the case in Sally's hands, and she immediately begins a very subtle and careful deeper probe of Suzi's thoughts in a search for its contents and their significance. "It is indeed. There will have to be a human component to all of this, for both quality control and on-the-fly input, and the smoother and cleaner the interface, the better," Emma replies, nodding. "And, knowing your reputation overseas, I'm very happy to give you the chance to help me, to our mutual benefit. Advanced textiles are never without a market, and military contracts are only the tip of the iceberg in that field."

The case - or its contents - are largely 'It' in Suzanne's thoughts. Having 'It' immediately to hand is vital to security and the confrontation with the Ghost. There is a great emotional upwelling of pride in whatever 'It' may be, a belief that it is the pinnacle of all she can achieve.

"Well then, if we need and want human interface, I would dare say that I am definitely one of your best choices." Humility demands she offer that caveat: she's a choice, not simply the hands-down winner, even though /she/ certainly believes she is. Suzanne's arrogance does know some bounds, if not many. "I suppose we'll want to discuss general terms first, along with a planned schedule of deliverables. Then we can summarize it all with a contract which will include the requisite non-disclosure and non-compete clauses. Then we can get into the specifics of design and planning." Suzanne is quite interested in the idea of working in advanced textile materials with potential military - and other - uses. This leads to thoughts of potential improvements to 'It'. For a moment, there is a flash, an image. A figure? Or, no. It is a suit of some kind, meant to be worn. Worn, and used. 'It'.

Emma smiles inwardly, satisfied, continuing her deep probe, just as carefully as before. 'It' certainly has her attention now. A suit? Perhaps a powered suit. Interesting...

"Very well. You seem to have the process down quite well," Emma replies, pondering the whole matter with the part of her mind not occupied with the deep probe. "Although we might consider alternatives... anything that makes the whole process less unwieldy and more efficient, from start to finish. Our two firms have much to offer one another, and this particular business is only the beginning."

"Of course. We'll want to work out the specifics of processes and then narrow own where we can automate both the processing and the quality control checks, to speed up the process and reduce wear on the operators." Suzanne answers, nodding. Clearly, she really is quite good at this. She isn't just the business brains behind her company, but the bloody genius inventor that makes it all go. Not unlike Anthony Stark. "In addition, depending on the intended uses, there may be other elements we wish to explore introducing into the material, to prepare it for additional functionality." Like nanoweave electronics, for instance.

Emma's deep probing starts to have the usual side effects, of course, as it redirects many of Suzanne's deeper, non-surface thoughts away from what else she has been considering - their mutual project - towards the point of her interest. Suzanne will start lapsing in the conversation, pauses caused as what had been the rapid flow of her ideas is stemmed by those distractions. But what Emma finds may well be worth it: the word, or name, 'Cybermancer'. An image of a glowing tear in the very air, and a figure coming forth wearing something close to the suit seen earlier. Snippets and flashes of conversation and confrontation. Suzanne confronting ... herself? But not. Something about the future, alternate timelines. Then the confrontation is over. Then the images turn to countless hours, weeks, months, years spent perfecting the technologies to re-create and even improve on the suit she witnesses, using only what she had seen, and a single piece of the other suit as inspiration for her efforts.

Cybermancer is 'It'. Quite a secret.

Emma begins to slowly and very carefully withdraw her probe. She has what she needs now. 'Cybermancer'. Leaning forward slightly, she puts on an expression of mild concern. "Miss Endo, are you feeling all right? You look a bit flushed. Are you too warm?" she asks, letting a subtle trickle of mental tweaking flow into Suzi's mind, making little changes to the nature of the distraction. Yes, it /is/ just a little warm in here, or it certainly seems to be. She also shoots a quick telepathic message to Sally, a quiet statement of what she has done, along with the directive to 'go along with it for now'.

For the first moment, Suzanne is confused. Warm? It was pleasantly cool, wasn't it. She was so sure of it, but then she becomes less certain. She purses her lips, glancing around momentarily. She is not one usually distracted by mere temperature, but it /has/ been quite awful here in New York the last few days. "I ... Yes, Ms. Frost. I am fine. It is a bit warm, though I had not noticed it. But I should be alright. Thank you kindly for the concern." She sips her water, letting it cool her down.

While she is letting herself adjust, out comes Suzanne's smartphone, her fingers moving rapidly over its surface as she unlocks the phone, then sends several messages in short order. One to a local attorney she has secured - she addresses him familiarly by his first name, Jeremiah - directing him to put together a letter of intent between Endo Electronics and Frost International, covering a single starter project, encapsulating all work-product and details under an NDA that will be re-evaluated mid-project when a new, longer-term contract is secured. Another to her in-house legal department to review Jeremiah's notes and prepare proper language for the NDAs. Another to her /actual/ personal assistant, arranging several timeframes in the next few days to meet with Emma, and to work in her new lab, for this project. Then the phone is locked and tucked away.

"My apologies, Ms. Frost, for losing track of my own thoughts." Suzanne offers. "Now. Where were we? I presume we can proceed with a letter of intent, and then start discussions in generality of what we need to accomplish, and secure?"

"Think nothing of it, Miss Endo. It has not been a kind summer for any of us. I may need to have the climate control in here looked over for any problems. And I'll get my legal department on it right away, under my personal supervision," Emma replies, nodding, steepling her fingers before her.

"I will forward a letter of intent within the next two days. Once we can agree on that and sign, we can begin greater specifics. And if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me." Suzanne offers, as she pulls out a card and reaches out to offer it to Emma's hand. The card has two faces: one in Mandarin, the other in English, with different phone numbers. The English one includes a New York City cellphone number, as well as Staten Island land-line and fax numbers. "Thank you again for your time and your consideration, Ms. Frost. I look forward to the possibilities of our strategic partnership."

Emma accepts the card, passing over one of her won. "As do I. Thank you for coming, and for your input. I hope this will be the first of many joint projects between our two companies."

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