The Tech Mogul Two-Step

Brief Title:
The Tech Mogul Two-Step

Suzanne Endo, Sebastian Shaw, Sally Blevins

Scene Runner/Watcher:

IC Date:
06/18/12 21:00

Grand Ballroom, Hellfire Club, NYC

Suzi Endo visits the Hellfire Club as a guest, and meets a few very special members.

Social or Plot:


The full splendor - and not a little bit of the decadence - of the Hellfire Club is on display this night, as it is on most nights. Amongst the many beautiful and powerful people gathered in the storied halls of this demense, guests also walk amongst them. One such is a shorter than average young woman of Chinese heritage, wrapped in a shimmering confection of red trimmed in gold, currently standing at the elbow of an older American (European) gentleman as they arise from their table, apparently ready to make the rounds of the ballroom and perhaps see to some dancing - or watching others doing the same. Few present would recognize the face of Suzanne Endo on sight, but her name is another matter. The CEO and founder of Endo Electronics did not take over the company from a prior generation as most would assume given her youth and beauty. She is in fact the mind behind its revolutionary developments, and now she is here in New York, arguably the very heart of the world's international financial markets.

One man swims through the currents of the gathering like a shark through a school of barracuda. Not known to the public to an exceptional degree, here - he is a man many eyes turn to as he saunters by to give a complement here, a greeting there, and an infamously firm handshake there. "I'm telling you, Accutech's beta-particle research was -going- to be snapped up by someone, sooner rather than later. Tell Mr. Pax that if he's going to -ask- for advice, then he might try following it sometime and not just bull in because he just let Stark get the place for a song." Sebastian Shaw, tonight's host, breaks off from his conversation with a gentleman from Roxxon as he catches sight of Ms. Endo...his interest is...somewhat multifaceted, let's say.

Pausing to snare a glass of L'Art de Martell cognac from a silver tray (good staff, they know their employer), he makes his way in that direction.

The older gentleman upon whose arm Suzanne Endo is moving is one of those about the Club who knows and recognizes the face and the power of Sebastian Shaw. He does not know everything, of course. So few really do. But he is aware enough that as Shaw draws near he nods in his direction, acknowledging his presence. And when he picks up the other man's interest in the woman he is escorting, he subtly guides their path closer, so that the interaction seems entirely natural. "And, if you will indulge me just once more, Suzanne, please allow me to introduce a man well respected by many here at the Club. Sebastian Shaw, please allow me to introduce Ms. Suzanne Endo. Suzanne, this is Sebastian Shaw."

The lovely Chinese woman inclines her head respectfully, offering a smile with a measured warmth to it. "Mister Shaw. A lovely Club you all have assembled, here. Quite a curious thing indeed." There is no accent to mar her English, despite the fact anyone who knows of her knows she is native Chinese. "I must thank you again, Jeremiah, for inviting me along on this evening's entertainment. Far better, I must say, than spending the night in a hotel restaurant and bar, however finely appointed it may have been."

"We certainly endeavor to provide a pleasant and memorable experience for all our guests and members, the big man notes cordially, "Of course this is just a mid-week soiree, a get-together to relax and socialize. I much prefer face-to-face meetings whenever possible which, I suppose, is viewed as charmingly antiquated." Interestingly understated, considering that Shaw Industries is bleeding-edge in the field of sensor suites and certain unusual forms of AI work.

For a moment, he looks the woman over again, his gaze is that interesting place between appreciative of her as a woman and genuinely appraising, "Suzanne...Endo, unless I am very much mistaken, of Endo Electronics, Inc.?"

Jeremiah seems to take no offense whatsoever to being edged out of the conversation a bit. He is only too well aware that Suzi is a much more attractive conversational partner than he is. But he gets the credit for having brought her by, and arranged her introduction to Shaw, so he has the feather in his cap, and can settle back easily enough. He does not step in, as many men of his generation might, to complete the introductions and lay out Suzi's bona fides. He leaves that up to the notably accomplished and capable young woman herself.

"Indeed I am, Mister Shaw. I too have an appreciation for face to face meetings, when they are possible. There are finite details that can be of paramount importance which cannot be communicated as effectively over most other mediums." Most. Not all. Suzi considers Shaw for a few moments, and then offers, "Am I to assume, Mister Shaw, that you would be the Sebastian Shaw at the helm of Shaw Industries? We have heard of you, even in Hong Kong." They have heard of him around the world. But then again, he has apparently heard of her, too. Mutual admiration society is a go!

"Indeed...capitalist tool of the military-industrial complex, and de facto war-criminal...if those signs I saw during the recent 'occupy' movement were accurate." Sebastian jokes, "But that does tie in to my...interest in you." subtle conversationalist there, it really -is- difficult to say what exactly he's referring to or implying, "You've done work in defense, which is very interesting considering your recent association with Stark and his view on such things." He pauses, "Ah, but I forget myself - charming company will do that -" he gestures to Jeremiah, "And you sir, why don't we head over closer to the bar and continue, we can get properly acquainted, if you're amenable."

Suzi is perhaps a tiny bit impressed. Very few people who actually know who she is actually put her together with her work for Stark years ago. She doesn't gush, but she does mark that off on her mental tally board for the conversation. "I am equally sure many are those back in Beijing who would second the thought of such labels for you and your works, Mister Shaw." she offers, again with that measured warmth to her smile as she allows the big man to lead matters over towards the bar.

Jeremiah is definitely amenable to heading towards the bar. "Why, certainly." Honestly, given that he knew enough to arrange their encounter, it is unlikely Jeremiah would have said anything else. But lawyers always believe in specificity of language. It's part of the entire mindset of the job.

"The truth is, Mister Shaw, that I may greatly respect Mister Stark and his genius, and appreciate the opportunities he provided for me. But I forge my own path in life. I do not set out to make weapons, but I would have to be blind not to realize that the technologies I am developing are ideal for many military applications. And the kinds of budgets required for such research and development are most often found in defense work." Suzi offers.

"Indeed," Sebastian offers in return, "That's why my early work focused on defense applications. When one is fresh from school, one can't be as picky about offers. And while I admit, my family name was known to some, my father's exodus from England was, shall we say, a bit less graceful than it might have been?" 'In disgrace after an attempted murder stopped by Union Jack' would be most accurate, but not all those details are public knowledge, "And it's stopped my from taking advantage of dual citizenship, the US government is -so- territorial." he sounds a bit genuinely regretful about not being able to exercise that option.

The bartender, a blonde woman in an elegant variation on a French maid outfit has come over and started to pay attention to Jeremiah.

Jeremiah seems quite welcoming to the attentions of the young blonde bartender, and makes a point of ordering another drink for Suzi, as hers seems to be almost empty.

"I can assure you, the government of Beijing is no less territorial. They have done all that they can, short of nationalizing my company, to 'encourage' me to remain dependent upon them. But they themselves decided to leave Hong Kong as a gateway to the West and to capitalism. They cannot revoke that choice without beginning a second revolution, and they are not ready for that." Not yet, at least. Suzanne finishes her glass and hands it off, accepting another in its place. "I confess, I am less familiar with the circumstances of your family than perhaps I might be. But I am pleased to see that you did not allow whatever challenges that may have represented for you keep you from accomplishing all that you have." If nothing else, it makes the point that great successes are possible, and she would very much like to continue that trend.

"They couldn't do otherwise, or risk an exodus." Sebastian replies about the Chinese government and Hong Kong, "Oh, my own story isn't so very interesting. Bit of a Fitzgerald story, really. Old-monied family, a flight in disgrace, working back up from very little." he sort of casually waves an almost cliche' story of the American dream come to life off, "So what bringsa you here, Ms. Endo, specifically?" he asks, genuinely curious. He's heard rumours, and they have their place, but nothing beats direct information.

"Not interesting to you, perhaps, Mister Shaw." the Chinese woman offers with an indulgent smile. "But I shan't belabor the point. As for what brings me here, that would be Jeremiah. He suggested that I might find the Club entertaining, relaxing, and possessed of rarified company worth meeting. Thus far, he has been quite accurate in his assessment." Yes, she quite deliberately misunderstood that question. But the smile she's showing makes that clear. She lets it go, saying nothing for long enough that it would convince most she has nothing more to say on the matter. Only then does she offer, "As for why I am in the city, I am negotiating through Jeremiah to secure two properties in the area. Licensure has gone through, and I hope to expand Endo Electronics to the United States in the near future." That right there is insider information, the sort that could make a canny investor millions.

Sebastian takes note of that, obviously, a new company moving into the city? New corporate facilities, employees, materials suppliers, the whole damn cascade of things to come...and SI does own a few smaller companies, and so he says as much, "You know, Ms. Endo-" still being formal, "-Shaw Industries does own a number of subsidiaries which supply components and rare materials for electronics - always better to keep funds in the chain, you understand, if you're interested, we could speak further on the matter, perhaps over dinner?" He says that in a fairly casual fashion, so again, it's hard to tell -exactly- what the angle is.

"Suzanne, please. Or Suzi, if you like." the Chinese businesswoman offers with a smile. "I am in fact aware of Shaw Industries' availabilities in this arena, and how useful it would be to be able to secure a supply chain for our US operations. I would be happy to meet with you and discuss the matter over dinner." She fishes out her smartphone - a unique piece, likely of her company's design - and taps, bringing up her contact information. "I can send you my information, and you can send me yours along with some idea of when you would be available?" No grass growing under those high-heeled feet.

Sebastian does the same, that gesture is growing to be known, and comes up with what also looks like a bit of proprietary technology, and in a fetching blue-and-grey colour scheme as well, he speaks, holding down a section of the touch-screen, "Scan mode. Proximity. Broadcast contact information upon signal pickup. Addendum: Website, Buddakan en-why-cee." His device will seek out the nearest handheld device's signal and pull info from it, then send along the established connection, it will also send over info on a lovely restaurant in Chelsea...

"Evenings tend to be best," the man notes, "I've learned to get by on little sleep, but it's so very worth it for the opportunities for events like this."

Suzi's smartphone initially refuses the untrusted connection, until she overrides that with a tap, slide, and a flash of the camera which matches her retinal pattern. Then she opens just one port, with a scanner in place to guard against intrusion, and the data is exchanged. She had intended on secure encrypted transfer to mail servers, but she adapts easily enough. "Well, I try to always make sure I get enough sleep to be sharp the next day, but I have learned to get by with less than most would think." She files away Shaw's information, and checks her calendar. "I have an opening early next week. Tuesday, after seven?" she waits for an answer. "No matter the advancements we have made, face to face interaction is still a key component of building successful relationships, of any kind."

Sebastian takes a moment to check his calender, taking full advantage of his reduced need for rest is -such- a boon at times like these...if he foregoes any sleep at all from Sunday evening...tsk...there's that meeting with Taskmaster Sunday, then Monday there's going over some new materials analysis done on Asgardian metals, then making sure those patents are filed by legal, then checking over the financials for last month...the mundane and the strange mix easily in his life, "That should be fine, Suzi." he says as if trying it out, matching the name to the woman before him. He doesn't forget the other company, "Jeremiah, so tell me what sort of space you're looking for? I know it's all the rage lately to go with a campus-style setup, even in New York."

Suzi taps her screen, setting the appointment, and an e-vite swooshes away across the interwebs to reach Sebastian a bit later. "Thank you ... Sebastian." She too tries it out, letting it roll off her tongue, exploring it.

Jeremiah looks up from lightly canoodling with the lovely blonde French Maid bartender. "For Suzanne, I am looking for a good Penthouse loft space, preferably two stories, no lower than fifteen stories. For the company, we are in negotiations right now for a large multi-unit space in Staten Island. Thankfully, we have little concern for hazardous materials, so the nearby residential zoning shouldn't be too great an issue." Way to go, Jeremiah, able to come up with intelligent conversation at the drop of a hat while still getting lucky at his advanced age! No wonder he's a regular at the Club.

Mary, the bartender, actually -is- intelligent and a good conversationalist, the Club has often had a bit of a geisha-ideal for its staff, male and female, of course with a bit more offered than geisha ever actually did.

"Clever." Sebastian notes, "So tell me, any interesting new developments upcoming?" he asks Suzi, again, he seems genuinely interested in her work, the fact that he can keep the interaction going doesn't hurt, either, "For SI, we're looking into some new composite materials that can be produced cheaply and in very large quantities, anything resistant to EM fields." Oh indeed...the man has -not- forgotten about a certain Master of Magnetism...the thought of the man's powers failing, for even a moment, as he's crushed in the fist of a robotic titan is a pleasant one.

Jeremiah goes back to canoodling and conversing with Mary happily. It may be more his money and his wit that attracts this beautiful woman, but he'll take what he can get, and be thankful for it.

Suzi smiles, sliding closer to Sebastian, ostensibly to keep her voice from carrying. "Well, fair is fair, I do suppose. Just don't be telling your SEC about this conversation. We hope to test a new direct-interface telepresence system for airborne drone piloting within the next few months. Ideally, the system may eventually be moved to manned flight systems in favor over sticks, but we are especially eager to see its performance over tight-band multi-spectrals for the drones." It should drastically reduce command delays and increase flight agility, one would think.

"Something a bit more intuitive and reflexive then?" Sebastian asks, "I assume you're consulting a horde of behavioral psychologists and ergonomics experts on that one." he notes. He's done a lot on that end himself, the Sentinels are very -specifically- designed to evoke terror in their targets, every aspect, from their fearsome visages to their unsettling habit of announcing actions were all carefully crafted.

"I've been trying very hard to keep up on the idea that we're moving into an age where -how- one perceives technology is getting just as important as how one interacts with it. I read an interesting article about a field called 'pseudonics'-" he explains, "using ultra-realistic visual and audible presentations to engender emotional reactions as strong or -stronger- than the real item might. For a pilot, enhancing reactions might prove useful. I can find it later and send it to you, if you like."

"Yes, very much so." Suzi offers, without giving away much of what the system is or how it functions. Clearly, given her specialties, it likely has something to do with a manner of directly interfacing the pilot's thoughts with the drone's sensors and systems. Definitely a challenge, but one if achieved that could change the face of the battlefield almost as much as flight itself already has. "It is very true. That perception shapes the interaction. When one does not perceive technology, one merely acts on instinct. If that technology is prepared to interpret and respond to those instincts, it can be a seamless route towards success in critical event response." The lovely Chinese woman nods. "Please, do. I am always eager to read more on the subject. Variety in perspectives is key to assuring one does not fall into a blind spot of one's own hubris."

Watching. From the balcony, the white marble steps, Sally makes an appaearance. Not clad in such regalia as she might for an encounter with the inner circle. Clad this day in a tilored dark blue pantsuit, a medium heel. The jacket unbuttoned, a pastel yellow camisole styled top worn. Noting Sebastian and Suzi, Jeremiah and Suzi conversing and enjoying each other's company, she merely gives a small nod towards Sebastian in greeting and passing, not moving to join the small group.

Sebastian though, does notice the younger woman and actually does greet her and beckon her down, he's not territorial in that sense, confidence will do that, "Once you have it developed and released, I may be able to arrange an introduction to a few people on the Appropriations Committee as well as the SecDef." he says to Suzi, "That and honestly? I'm very interested in decision-making processes. Right now, we've been mapping the pathways involved in making decisions under stress and replicating that architecture in a neural network. We've had some pilots, Marines, Army Special Forces, and so on...our mobile MRI units are amazingly expensive and not as robust as we'd really like, but one makes do."

"Made more difficult, I am sure, by the increased needs for an FMRI." Which would be the only kind of any real use when trying to read thought processes in progress like that. Clearly, Suzi is quite familiar with the technology in question, and speaks with calm and assured authority. "I would obviously appreciate the introductions. I suspect they would be rather hesitant to make any deals with a company based in Hong Kong. But perhaps if we can prove the technology, we might be able to partner with a company with the right clearances here in the United States." And then Endo Electronics would be making money on both sides of the last remaining national superpowers tech war. Ambitious, much?

The Chinese woman does notice the young blonde and her acknowledgement of Shaw, not to mention Shaw's of her, beckoning her closer. Suzi turns just slightly, opening herself up to the new arrival, offering a smile with a measured, even metered warmth, and a slight nod, a head-bob of respectful greeting without anything offered. Not yet. "Another friend of yours, Sebastian?"

One simply doesn't go into Shaw's presence un-beckoned. Well they do, but it doesn't end well enough all the time. Now, stepping up to the pair, a smile, "Mr. Shaw." she says in a polite tone, a smile offered to Suzi. offering the woman a hand, "Sally Blevins." she offers.

Shaw does catch the reference Suzi has made to playing both sides, and -that-...that has piqued his interest even more, and he regards her with a touch more interest, appraisingly again, "Suzi, Sally is a protege of mine. Quite the gift for information assessment and management, as well as social networking. Very capable in a host of environments." Quite true, anyone who has mingled with X-Men, Morlocks, mutant terrorists, and now the halls of power? She'd be at home anywhere.

Suzi extends her hand, taking the one offered. "Ms. Blevins, a pleasure. Suzanne Endo. Suzi, if you wish." she offers the blonde, with a nod and a smile. She takes in what Shaw has to say about Sally and nods a bit. "Important fields, and increasingly so every day. Serve and learn well, Ms. Blevins, and you'll write your own ticket, as I believe the saying goes."

A firm shake of the woman's hand, "I am doing all I can to learn and take to heart what Mr Shaw has to teach." she says with a smile. The young woman releasing Suzi's hand, "He's a wonderful mentor."

"Suzi here is one of the most brilliant up-and-comers in several electronics fields," Sebastian notes, "Her work in direct interface between the human and the machine is easily as revolutionary as Stark's..." he adds, conspiratorially, and somewhat in jest, "I think he rode her coattails quite a bit when she did some work with him, if you ask me." he adds, "To say nothing of the fact that Endo Electronics, Inc. is her creation on top of her impressive R&D work." he sounds genuinely admiring of that.

He humbly dismisses Sally's comment with, "I've had excellent material to work with."

"A wonderful mentor, then, with a mentoree who is excellent material. An ideal situation for success, if ever there was one." Suzi offers with a smile, a bob of her head to acknowledge Shaw's compliments. "If you stay close to Sebastian, I am sure you will see some of our technology soon enough. I have a feeling we will find a way to be of benefit to one another, given half a chance."

"I look forward to it." she says to Suzi. "Are you a new member to the club?" she asks, curious, "I'm still meeting people here, just joined and moved to the city a few weeks ago, well back to the city." she says, "If you ever need a guide, I know it like a second home."

Suzi shakes her head. "No. I am but a guest this evening, thanks to the kindness and generosity of Jeremiah." She indicates the seventy-year-old white-haired gentleman canoodling with Mary the blonde french maid bartender. "Though if everything works out well, I may end up staying long enough to make it worth my while to seek my own membership here. Of course, I have no idea if I could qualify for such a thing." Humility counts, see? "I thank you for the kind offer, Sally. Should I remain in the City, I am sure I will call upon your aid."

"Suzi is a guest of Jeremiah here," Sebastian indicates the older man, but doesn't interrupt his tete-a-tete with Mary. She always did like older men...he takes a moment to consider that, and one can see a smile cross his features as he watches the two, no member of staff is -compelled- to do anything they don't want to, but they -are- carefully selected for...'open-mindedness'.

His head turns a bit as he spies an economist of some note...And he does seem a bit reluctant to part company, but Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics, is often in demand at these sorts of events, "Ah...if you will excuse me, ladies. I see someone I've been trying to run down all night. Sally, I must commend you on your advice the other day at the Academy, and I hope you can help influence Manuel's higher-spirited tendencies somewhat? Fabulous potential. But as a peer, perhaps you might be able to influence him to tighten his focus somewhat? You're experiences in the field might help there." Definitely some information was passed that isn't -quite- clear to anyone not in-the-know.

He returns his attention to Suzi, "I very much look forward to seeing you again, Suzi. I think we have much we can do for each other." and what the heck, he's one for a bit of the dramatic. His huge hand takes hers and he actually bows a touch to kiss the back of hers, barely brushing it, as is proper - the gesture is rather antiquated, calculated to straddle the line between eccentric and charming.

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