Sam Kathman, Get Out the Can, Man!

July 29, 2015:

Kenway visits Odame's old lawyer, Samuel Kathman to put him on permanent retainer. (Emits by Shift)

Law Office somewhere gaudy.





Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

U. Samuel Kathman II, Esq.

The sign stands out, as gaudy as it is, amongst the upper class trappings of the Silk Stocking District. Even in Upper Manhattan, every pretty neighborhood has its ghetto block, and this is where Kathman's office can be located. It's surprisingly small, the waiting room not much fancier than that of a hood doctor's office. Wallpaper, plastic chairs, and a receptionist behind unnecessary glass; an emaciated young blond constantly chewing on bubble gum.

It's rather funny. When you go through peoples mattresses by slicing them with a switchblade, you tend to find some really, really odd things. Shift didn't smoke crack-rock, but it was there. Not the rock itself but the pipe. A cursory glance told that it had to at least been a few years old, and definitely not his. But there was a bit of money hidden in there, hers now. A few receipts for cigarettes and random take out bits.. (not hers), though it's a question how they wound up mashed into the mattress to begin with. Oh. And the weed. Melody still has the weed.

Even a search through drawers which were tossed on the floor allowed her to find this name. U. Samuel Kathman II. Titled Lawyer. It was beat up and had a coffee stain on it. Did Kwabena ever drink coffee? She can't remember. But the lawyer was called, appointment booked, and.. well. How does one exactly dress for a visit of this much importance? You kinda don't.

Regular white-T. Black denim jeans. Chuck Taylors all laced up and a bookbag. Hat to go along with it, fingerless gloves and a pair of shades to hide the visage from the cameras. Once inside, bookbag down, seat taken, foot kicked up to rest the edge against the seat, phone produced.. and now she browses. Reddit. Raised by Narcissists. Totes sounds like Arthur Kenway.

The glass window slides open, and the young blond's voice is all laggy and coked out. "Melody Kenway?" As soon as the receptionist has Melody's attention, she points with her pen toward the nondescript door to the left. Said door opens, and the receptionist's twin, also chewing on bubble gum, shows up. Behind her there is a dark skinned man of massive girth, arms folded over his flabby chest. Clearly security, though one might be more concerned with him sitting on you rather than chasing you.

"This way, please," the twin boredly remarks, then turns and leads the way into the hallway. There is but one destination, and that is Kathman's office.

The office would have been considered high class fancy, if the plants weren't fake, the pillars weren't a fibreglass facade, and the gold plating on his desk weren't glossy paint. Kathman, yamaka and all, is on the phone, blasting away with his vitriol.

"Well, you can tell the D.A. to go screw himself! My client has rights, and if your so-called 'prosecution' is going to deny those rights, in any way, then I hope you enjoy the media smear campaign that is already paid for with air time booked!"

Kathman slams the phone, then picks it up.

"And he can suck my right testicle, too!"

Slamming the phone again, Katham turns to the doorway as the twin enters. "What is it, Lisa Kate?"

Hat and glasses left in the chair, her name was called and she bounds to her feet like the little eager beaver that she was. Read. Was. The bounding to her feet was really all for show, the pop upright that causes her curled pony tail to dance along her shoulders nearly irritated her but, she didn't look too well with short hair. Or bald.. for that matter.

She was wordless as she followed the woman, fingers looping within the straps of her bookbag, her gaze drawn up towards the large man with one brow lowered and the other lifted. She was sizing him up. Something that she was trying to teach him to do.


No, he's a big guy. Knee and then you're done.

The voice of the lawyer gets a high raise of the brow as she steps all the way in, the end of the conversation she caught causes a slight laugh to draw from her lips, her hands reaching up to cover her mouth as she glances back towards the Twin with her brow raised and her eyes open in mild shock and amusement. This guy, she liked this guy already. He was hired in her book.

"Hi. Sorry." She mutters slightly, striking out that half gloved hand to offer up a shake as she approaches the desk. "Melody Kenway? I called for an appointment?"

"Let's seeeee…." Kathman looks down to his planner, scrolling through the day. "Kenway, Kenway, Kenw…" A pause, and the lawyer's eyes go wide. "Jeeeesus fucking CHRIST!"

Bolting from his seat, he walks to the door and looks through, then gestures for the large security guy to amble over. "You, lock that door, and if anyone shows up, shoot 'em!"

The security guard gives Kathman a doubtful look.

"Alright, fine, don't shoot 'em, but just… sit on them, okay? Can you do that?"

"Sure, boss."

"Right." Kathman slams the door shut behind Melody, locking it three times, before walking around to face her, nervously. "Uh, so, uh, yeah. Um… hi." He smiles nervously, lifts a hand, and waggles it a bit. "You're, um, friends with… or, were friends with…" His voice lowers. "With Kwabena?"

Not waiting for acknowledgement, he walks back around to reclaim his 'expensive' and tall leather throne (read: purchased from the Furniture Fair over on Downmoore in the Bronx). "So. What can I do for you, Miss, ah, Miss Kenway?"

No handshake? No handshake? Cool. Melody draws her hand away almost ashamedly, watching him with abject curiousity until.. that reaction. Melody took a step back, preparing to bolt her ass out of the door until he moves towards it, then moves right towards the window to prepare herself to jump out of there as well. Like, really high tail it. She's never had a reaction like that when her name was spoken and really? She hoped to not have it again.

"Ah.. did I do something wrong?" She asks, her grasp white knuckling against the strap of her bag, watching as the door was locked three times and.. yeah. Looks like she was going to have to punch a guy. But.. possibly a different one!

"Uh.. yeah?" She asks, tilting her head just a little. "He was my boyfriend." She follows him towards the desk, fingers still held upon her bookbag, a slightly worried glance crosses her face before it goes blank.

"Well okay. We didn't exactly have that talk, you know? Like most sensible people they'd actually sit down and have an adult conversation, be like.. hey. I like you, you like me, been months. Lets do this thing. Nope. Not us. So I guess since he's dead I'm rightfully claiming the title. Unless he had other girls he messed around with." Her fingers curl and edge around the straps she holds, creating a slight creaking sound.

"In which I'd take that title by force." Stare. "But.. um. Well since you know Kwabena, I'd like to put you on retainer as my lawyer? Is that okay? I mean, he didn't beat you up or anything did he?"

"No, no no no no," Sam is quick to answer. "You didn't do anything wrong, it's just that, well, I never thought I'd see you walk through my door. Come on, sit down. You need some water, or… coffee, or something? You knew Odame, so I imagine you drink. I've got gin under the desk, too -"

The attorney cuts himself off, however, when she asks to put him on retainer. Retainer is good. It's always good. But, knowing Kwabena's affairs as well as he does, makes him feel very, very nervous.

"Look." The attorney reaches up to remove his yamaka and places it on the desk so that he might scratch his short, curly hair. "Things get a little… weird, when you're dealing with the affairs of the dead. Which, I'm assuming a lot here, but according to my records, Mister Odame was executed by the United States of America for war crimes and treason. So, forgive me for being a bit blunt, but, I'm gonna need to know exactly what this is all about, before I can agree to anything, okay?"

Melody shrugs the bookbag off of her shoulders to rest it upon the ground, taking a seat herself as she tries her best to relax. "What do you mean by that? This is kinda my first time hearing about you." Unless Kwabena mentioned her, which would really be something. "I'll take some water though, with a bit of ice." Can never get enough of the water. "Oh. I can't drink. I mean I can but I don't think it'll effect me as much as it used to." She tries to cover with a wave of her hand. "Recovering alcoholic.. or something."

"Mr. Kathman, I'm not trying to summon the dead or anything, and believe me, as much as I'd like to, it's just not possible. But, I don't know if he had any affairs that he needed tying away and maybe you're the best person to help me figure it out." She frowns a little, then shakes her head. "That wasn't the story that was told to me, Mr. Kathman. Some Khandaq King guy vouched for Kwabena and said he died a hero."

She rubs the back of her neck briefly, leaning forward. Obviously it hurt. "Fine. I want to take over Mr. Odame's affairs and close them out with the money that was donated in his stead. I also want to use the remainer and a combination of mine to fund the clinic in Mutant Town and start a charity that would help former Smooth addicts get on their feet. And not just only former addicts. All of them if they need it. And my father always says to get a good lawyer before you make any important decisions especially regarding money. Kwabena has a good eye for people, and I'm sure he thought you were the bees knees. Right?"

"Mister Odame was, if nothing else, thorough," explains the attorney. When she requests water, he scoots his chair around and fills up a little paper cup with water from an office cooler, handing it over. "He told me every detail about his affairs, the people he was in contact with. Just in case, you know, God forbid he ever needed me for something."

Crossing his leg, Sam Kathman leans back now, listening. A little smirk shows up on his face when Melody mentions that Shift went out a hero, but he keeps his remarks to himself on that subject.

"Alright, so, what you're saying is… you want to set up some kind of Trust Fund, which is easy. What's not easy is Mister Odame's citizenship status. He was a Resident Alien, he had and maintained his legal right to live and work here - although I'm not sure how much legitimate, tax-paying 'work' he actually ever did - but not being a U.S. Citizen is going to complicate things. This will go through probate, and I'll possibly need to involve the Embassy of Ghana to make it work, but… depending on how much is in his name, it may not be worth the effort."

There is a certain snark to Kathman's tone, for he knew of Kwabena's financial affairs. He was still trying to launder money for the dead bastard; Kwabena had always dealt in cash.

"So, what kind of assets are we talking about, here, Miss Kenway? Wait." He stops, leaning forward again. "Wait a moment. Did you say… Khandaq King? You're talking about someone from Khandaq with the surname of 'King'? U.S. Citizen, Resident Alien, or Non-Resident?" Looking down, he furiously opens a notepad, for this is about to get a lot more complicated.

Obviously, the attorney isn't piecing everything together just yet.

"Well, I guess I could appreciate that.." Melody murmurs, then reaches out for the water to take a very, very quick drink. Never abuse it. Always drink it. Stay hydrated, my friends! "That's kind of the other reason why I wanted to talk to you." But, she doesn't bring it up just yet. But this was getting completely complicated. For the moment, Melody wanted to get up and thank the man for his time and walk away. Or possibly shove the money down his throat and tell him to do whatever to make it work. But she had to stay firm.

"I think we're getting too far ahead, no? Right? I mean, I'm not looking to set up anything in Kwabena's name. I know he was an illegal. I mean, you've heard him speak, right?" She giggles just a touch, a sad one. But she lifts a hand to rub along her forehead. "I don't know what all of this means just yet, but.. I want to do something good. His name doesn't have to be on the bylines, but I'm talking about fixing something that he tried almost every day to protect. Which is Mutant Town."

"Kandaq King. Yeah…" She holds up a hand as she pulls out her phone, angling it away from him as she begins to internet search. Though, she didn't use the phone, her internal wifi kicked into high gear as she mentally suppressed her lights. "Black Adam. I think he's the King of Khandaq. He's all over the news. I think he's a resident alien, maybe some guy with some diplomatic immunity or something. But he's royalty." She clenches her jaw just a touch. "I think he donated upwards of one hundred and ten thousand dollars to clear up any and all of Kwabena's dealings."

The attorney snorts. "Kwabena wasn't an 'illegal'. All of his papers were in order. So, if you want this to go by the numbers… 'if' you want it to go by the numbers, that is… it'll be complicated. But, I promise, my fee will be fair and reasonable."

And there's that winning smile.

A smile which fades, the moment Melody clarifies just who made the donation.

"You… wait… holy fuck! That's… you're right, that's the Monarchial King of Khandaq! How in the… what… Odame never mentioned him to me!"

Clearly vexed, Kathman slumps down in his not-so-expensive chair and gestures toward Melody, beleaguered. "Alright, fine. Let's see the check…"

Because this will all depend on how, exactly, the check was prepared.

Melody wiggles her fingers. "Okay okay, fine. Kwabena wasn't an illegal.. don't get all testy.." She wriggles her fingers at him, and then places the empty cup upon his desk. She'd like more water, please. But at least he was smiling and not truly upset, her brows lifting again as he swears which sends her into a spiral of giggling that has her leaning forward to drag her bag closer and onto her lap. Phone was set upon the desk top as she opens the bag to sift, her gaze looking up towards him as she offers a slight shrug.

"I didn't know he knew him either. From what I hear, that guy is like.. Superman. But much more straight up with the business." She finally pulls the check out, which was folded in two sections, unraveling it and leaning forward to press it upon the desk. "He seems like a nice guy. I wanted to meet with him too, but you're more important at the moment."

She huffs a little. "Which brings me to the other bit. I really, really don't only want you for this. I think you'd make a great personal council cause you don't seem like the type to skirt around stuff. And there may be a time where I'd need you too. Is that alright?" In case she gets capped from doing The Authority work and disavowed or left behind? A good lawyer is something thats in high demand..

Sam turns aside to refill Melody's cup of water. He might have asked for a bottle, but he doesn't want to unlock that door. Trouble follows Kwabena, even in death. He was well aware of how risky Kwabena's dealings with Melody Kenway were.

When the check is viewed, however, Kathman lets out a deep sigh. "The Estate of Kwabena Odame. Okay, so… here's how this goes."

The attorney looks back to Melody. "Since he wasn't a U.S. Citizen, this will go to the Embassy of Ghana. It will be their job to verify his death - and you cannot tell anyone about that little thing I said about the executive order. A little birdie told me. Okay? Is that clear? I do not need either of us getting fucked over a god damned slip of the tongue. Anyway… once the Embassy verifies his death - expect them to reach out to the Embassy of Khandaq for this - then they'll involve the Republic of Ghana, who will try to put the funds into the hands of his family."

Kathman leans back, smirking. "Which, from what Mister Odame told me, will be a dead end street. If it is… then I can submit a formal request for the establishment of an Estate. An executor or executrix must be named, and we will try to make that either you, or myself. When that happens, we move this money the fuck out of an Estate and into a Living Trust, because then? Then we can do what you want to do. It's a long road, Miss Kenway, and I can't guarantee anything, but I will do my damnedest."

Because once a Living Trust is established, it will be a hell of a lot easier to launder the $350k in cash Kwabena left stuffed in a storage unit in Queens.

"Good news is… Kwabena left no debts. He was a cash man, no bank accounts, no credit cards… now, if I'm able to gain access to a certain safe deposit box that Mister Odame may or may not have set up at the First Manhattan Bank on 47th, using an alias of 'Michael Kwante', we might find some documents that would make this a hell of a lot easier." He pushes his hands out to either side. "But… that's… not something I'll be able to do, if you follow my train of thought."

The cup was taken, and water soon downed again as the cup remained within her hand. For a moment. As he begins to speak, it seemed grim, for the most part. But she was quiet, committing his words and the processes to memory, and leaning forward to press her face into her hands. Even that couldn't really hide the glow that was being emitted, her arms were bare and sparkling, the light following the flow of blood beneath her veins which, thankfully, were healthy.

"Fuck." She mutters quietly, did Kwabena ever tell him about his family? She wasn't even sure if she spoke of her own, but really.. who had the time? "Executrix? I rather it be me." It wasn't as if she didn't trust Kathman, but she wanted to at least be able to see -everything- that went on with Kwabena's estate. "But, I'll stay quiet. I really don't have anything in the way of friends anymore these days. Sad as that sounds.." She leans back into her chair as she lets out an exasperated sigh, that glow now seen upon her cheeks and nearly surfacing within her eyes. It looks rather creepish, but it wasn't something she could help. She used to wear her emotions on her sleeve, now everything is contained.

"So no debts. Good.." She breathes out, those slightly brightened eyes looking up as she holds up a finger, to silence him. Her eyes glance upright towards the ceiling, which soon dart back and forth quickly as the information wave was ridden with ease. First Manhattan Bank wasn't that far away, the records were soon accessed after a little hat-hack trick, list poured through as well as others of note..

Meaning. She wasn't just going to walk out with Michael Kwante's things.

"I follow your train of thought.." She murmurs, finger still held high into the air as she pulls herself away from the Information Highway, her eyes soon closing and blinking rapidly as she settles her gaze upon him. "What's in there? And.. what else was he hiding?"

Well, Kathman was familiar with metahumans, and he was aware of Melody's unique talents, but seeing it in person has his eyebrows rising a bit. "That's… a neat… thing?"

An understanding grin forms on the lawyer's face. "The whole concept of friends is bopkiss, Miss Kenway. There are people you trust, people you drink with, people you go to work with, and people you avoid. Sometimes, the lines are…." He waffles his hands through the air in a gesture of uncertainty.

"As far as what's in there… I'm not sure. But… you might want to look up Michael Kwante and, uh… 'ask' him."

"I guess." Melody states. "It gets kind of annoying at times because people say that I'm some type of twilight vampire. But I've learned that if you hit someone in the jaw hard enough you could fracture it, knock out a tooth, and knock them out, and cause brain damage all in one go." She smiles just a little, then nods.

"I really don't know what to call the people I have in my life now. If you could call it that." She leans back into the chair, the glowing drawing down to a low, dull roar. "I mean, I have the people I work with." She pauses. "A person I trust." She winces slightly. "Not too many people I avoid but most tend to avoid me now a days." She lets out a sigh.

"But, I suppose I'll do that, Mr. Kathman. With this out of the way. Is it alright if I hire you for my personal too? Just in case everything doesn't go as planned. For life." If he knows what she means.

"Yeah, well, let's try to keep the 'knocking people out' shit to a minimum, okay?" When you skim off the faux-Jewish attitude, it seems that Sam Kathman really cares about Melody. "I know Shift was pretty much invincible, but from what I gather, you're not. Retainer will be $1,000 dollars, cold hard cash. If you like, though, I can earmark it from Kwabena's Estate. That gives you attorney-client privilege; means you could tell me it was you who assassinated Pershing and I wouldn't have to tell a soul. Alright? Now."

He reaches into a pocket and produces a special business card. It's gaudy as hell, but there's a phone number on that back. "If you ever end up in law enforcement custody of any kind - local police, FBI, SHIELD, State Police, whatever - you shut up, you don't say one fucking word, and you call this number." He taps the number thrice. "That's my personal cell phone. It's called lawyering up, and it's the smartest thing you'd ever do, given such a dire situation."

With a long sigh, Kathman finally stands. "Don't mind the whole Jewish thing, okay? I'm not really Jewish, and this isn't even my real name, it's a legal alias. Sam Kathman, get out the can, man? I only do the Jewish thing 'cause the homeboys dig it. But here's a nickel's worth of free advice - stay the hell away from SHIELD. I warned Kwabena about them. I told him not to get involved. They only use metahumans as disposable tools, and I'll all but guarantee he's only dead because of some bullshit they asked him to do."

"Well. Okay Mr. Kathman." The tone suggests that she was being scolded, or at least sullen about the idea of not punching people. "Wow. So do I pay this retainer monthly or what?" If that's the case, her savings would go out the window -real- quick. And she still hasn't gotten Jericho to release her assets.. which were supposed to go to Shift for that time being. What a clusterfuck this all turned out to be. Sort of. "Well, go ahead and earmark it I suppose, it seems best. But I'd still like to figure out a way to put that money back into the Estate. I mean, I know Kwabena didn't have any kids but what if a cousin pops up or something?"

She rises to her feet to politely take the card from his grip, flipping it towards the back as she gives a faint nod. "Well, what if I feel like talking? I mean you don't have to answer and I know you're not a shrink, talking is kind of fun, and you probably knew Kwabena longer than I have.." She grows silent then, staring down into the number. SHIELD. Yeah..

"I.. wish.." She just shakes her head. She couldn't say what she wished, it would sound rather silly to someone like Kathman, but she does perk up a little, a smile brightening her face as she moves around the table, easy enough. "I promise to stay away from them. And.. when I visit next time, you really don't have to lock the door. I like having an easy point of egress just in case something bad were to happen that doesn't include falling from a tall building or getting cut by glass." And then, she hugs him. Because, that's what Melody does. She's a true hugger, and it may have been in her details that were given to Kathman by Shift.

"You just, uh, let me worry about the book, the, uh, book 'keeping'," Kathman answers. He's not really going to charge Melody; the money will come out of the Estate, $1,000 per month, and that check will be cashed by Mr. Kathman. The books, however, will represent a $2,000 retainer, monthly, paid in cash. Ah, money laundering at its finest.

"I mean it," Kathman adds. "Not one fucking word to any cops. Even if they talk real mean and make a lot of threats."

He doesn't remark on whether or not Melody can use the number to call him just to 'chat'. In truth, she's welcome to… he'll just 'bill' her for it, and write up an invoice to be marked later as 'paid in cash'.

An awkward look happens when Melody hugs Sam. "Okay, kiddo, okay. Now, vamoose." He snatches up the yamaka, fixing it on his head again. "And don't tell the twins about this. Jews don't 'hug it out', okay?"

He unlocks the door and gestures for her to find her way out.

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