Beautiful Business

December 06, 2016:

Bruce and Emma meet to discuss potential business.

Torreador's -- Gotham City - Gotham

Fancy Gotham restaurant specializing in business affairs.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Tony Stark, Oliver Queen

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Wayne Enterprises is a very diverse company, but unlike other major corporations, it's not always at the bleeding edge of technological innovations. Diversification keeps a business alive, but specialization is what makes the profit margins blow wide open.

So, a 'lunch meeting' with Emma Frost, the CEO of Frost International— and by all accounts that Bruce's considerable investigative prowess could uncover, an extremely formidable woman in more ways than just her boardroom savvy.

So — preparation for this meeting. Meditation. A cup of tea from Indonesia with a quality for making the mind sharp. Even some vigorous exercise and deliberate physical indulgence to make sure any sharp edges are sufficiently blunted that the woman couldn't potentially exploit them.

All hidden under a perfectly measured and pleasant facade as one of the greatest actors of a generation assumes the identity of Bruce Wayne, exits his town car's back seat, and heads up to the top floor of the 24th Parkway building towards the current hottest business-friendly restuarant in town for his meeting with Emma— Torreador's.


When Bruce arrives, the maitre'd informs him that Miss Frost is already seated and waiting for him; with his astute sense, it's not hard to deduce this is yet another minor bit of social judo to give the businesswoman all of the edge she can get in their interactions. Being early is just as effective as being fashionably late, and even more effective when the man she is meeting is so well known for his own fashionably late appearances.

When Bruce arrives at the table, Emma stands, resplendent in white as always. "Hello, Bruce. Good to see you." she offers, smiling winningly. It's polite, after all. And she doesn't even quip about how his rep as the international jet-setting playboy would lead one to assume he'd show up an hour late, already half-drunk with at least a pair of bimbos under each harm. Because that would be impolite. "How have you been?"


Bruce's counter-move is that he's perfectly punctual, sober as a judge, and dressed like a businessman who's so successful that he doesn't /need/ to wear a $500 tie to go with his perfectly tailored suit, a custom, dark Saville Row affair that has likely graced everyone from heads of state to other world-class businessmen. It focuses attention on his hands and face, a modern gentlemman's suit of armor.

"Emma," Bruce says, offering her a handshake and a polite smile. He makes neither an attempt to be overwhelming. "Sorry I'm late," he says, despite being perfectly on time. "It's good to see you, too. I'm doing just fine, thanks— how about yourself?" He invites Emma to take her seat again and moves to sit across from her at the table— a half a beat behind her, just enough to be considerate of his companion but not enough to give the illusion that he's doting on her due to her gender.


"Think nothing of it." Emma offers, dismissing any intimation that Bruce is late or owes any apology; their kind don't bother with apologies of any consequence, after all. It's beneath them. She settles back into her seat after accepting the handshake, and smiles again as she sips at the white wine that has already been delivered for her.

"I am glad that you are doing well, Bruce." Emma offers, nodding to him. "I am doing well myself." Well enough, at least, though she is relocating again. No one else needs to know that, as she has no desire for anyone to connect her with even being a former teacher at a school now going public as a haven for mutantkind. As much as she is proud there will be a haven, she cannot be publicly tied to it, more's the pity. "I am curious to hear what brought on your interest in this meeting. And I am looking forward to Andre's special, today." Andre being the chef.


"Nothing tremendously covert, Emma," Bruce assures the white clad woman. The waiter arrives to take their order— Bruce invites Emma to proceed him, then offers his own order up. "I'll do the Greek salad and a sparkling water, thank you," he requests. He focuses his blue eyes on Emma again, looking comfortably relaxed.

For a billionaire playboy with an easy smile, though, there's a lot behind the eyes that is /decidedly/ murky and difficult to read.

"Wayne Industries landed a contract to supply a small government agency with some customized computer systems. It's nothing we haven't built before, but at the last minute they dropped a request for expanded processing power for a specific application. General technology we're fine with, but computer systems— well, I always think of Frost," Bruce says, flicking fingers politely towards Emma. "I'm taking a few meetings on outsourcing the expansion systems, and I wanted to give you a personal invitation for Frost International to put a bid in."


Emma orders the special rather than worrying about details, and settles in to listen to Bruce lay things out. She honestly would have thought of Stark before Frost, even herself, but she's pleased to know that her company is in the running. "Well, as soon as we can get a copy of the RFP, I can assure you that we will work on submitting a bid for what you and your client need, Bruce. Frost International is quite happy to do our part." And if it gives Emma a chance to get a toe in the water with certain government agencies, Emma will not hesitate to take that opportunity. "When do you think that RFP might be available?"


"Officially? Tomorrow, I'll send a release out to you and a few other groups. Queen Manufacturing, Stark, some other names," Bruce tells Emma. "I've been doing the rounds to gauge interest ahead of time, know who's interested in throwing a hook in the water." Ignoring a bid is, in some ways, as bad business as getting in over one's head on a project. "But this really does seem right up your alley, and between you and me, my crew said your systems were probably best suited." He shrugs one shoulder, sipping water. "So— I'd rather take a small hit on my bottom line and deliver a better end product than dither and wait to see if Tony, or Oliver, can 'figure out' a solution."


And that gives Emma hope that her people have a solution that will make this work, and work profitably. "Well, I can promise you we will take this very seriously, and once we have that RFP we will get started immediately on our proposal." The dazzling platinum blonde smiles, even as she's already delving for whatever she can find in Bruce's surface thoughts about the agency in question, and whatever features of her own company's products his people said would be best for this, all to help better inform her efforts. She promised to help people; that doesn't mean she won't go for whatever advantage she can for herself in the process.


"I'm sure you will, Miss Frost— that's why I wanted to meet with you," Bruce says, with a flashing smile. He doesn't give much away besides that smile, though. Something murky— not DoD, but definitely federal service. But it could be the USDA or Geological Survey, or the Forest Service, inasmuch as she can easily glean.

"I appreciate you taking this meeting, in fact. I know what a pain it is to have to cautiously agree to big procurement without having the technical data in front of you— but I'm a fan of the personal touch, you know?"

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