2007-08-01: Air of Authority


Ramon_icon.gif Jane_icon.gif


Jane arrives to offer her help.

Date It Happened:

August 1, 2007

Air of Authority

Ramon's Office, EvoSoft

It seemed a bit odd at the time she made it, that the appointment was scheduled for the first day of August and not sooner, but then again Senor Gomez is a Chairman now, and a newly chosen one. Surely he has so much to familiarize himself with about the company, and his time would be at a premium now anyway, so she hadn't thought much about it. About ten minutes before the arranged time, ten a. m., Jane is arriving at his office. She looks different than he would ever have seen her before, and when she's admitted might not even recognize her. Her hair is pinned up off her collar but arranged to still cover the bag and tag marks at the back of her neck. The clothing chosen is a woman's business suit in dark gray: skirt, jacket and black pumps with a two inch heel, white blouse. And she's carrying a briefcase with no guitar in sight.

She approaches his secretary, stops before her desk, and states "Good morning. I'm Doctor M. Jane Forrest. I have an appointment with Mr. Gomez."
His secretary is an older black lady, dressed in a green business suit. She presses the intercom button. "Mr. Gomez, Doctor Forrest is here to see you."

There's a couple of resounding slams on the phone buttons, sending out beeps and blips and once a dial tone, punctuated by some cursing in English and in Spanish that amounts to, "how the hell do I work this again?" and then the sound of the phone hitting the /floor/, and then four sharp clicks and, "Yes, ten four, send her in, over." Because to him an intercom resembles a walkee-talkie. He's absolutely serious about this, his gravelly voice not betraying one ounce of humor, and Ms. Jackson rolls her eyes and opens the door for Jane.

She doesn't show such a response as the secretary does, and when the door is opened she walks forward. "Thank you, Miss," she offers in passing. Once inside, her eyes seek out the man and she approaches with her right hand extended. "Good morning, sir. May I congratulate you on your becoming Chairman of the Board?"

The phone is wrapped halfway around Ramon's arms. He gives it a shake, dislodges it and it's /27 buttons/, and sets it on the table. Then he hangs it up. "Thanks," he says, eyeing Jane. Or maybe he's just looking in her direction and it looks like he's eyeing her because if he looked like he was constantly glowering before, he looks about four times as much now. He pauses, seems to be consulting some mental dictionary, and then offers a handshake. And then, "People don't make appointments just to congratulate."

"You're welcome, sir." She shakes once, then releases, her grip not crushingly strong but also not weak like some women have. The skin is warm and smooth, but callused at the fingertips in several places as a testament to her considerable time spent playing guitar. Jane looks at his face in so doing, and seems a bit surprised to see the patch. She had thought it was a bit of theatrics and costumery in the newspaper photos, given who he was now working with.

But she doesn't ask. Instead she follows the thread of his statement. "This is true, sir," she admits. "You've entered into a different world now. I'm not a regularly practicing attorney, but I am an attorney just the same, and you're the father of a close friend. I've come to offer what assistance you might accept from me in that regard."

The big scar's pretty visible below and above it though. "Attorney…" Ramon starts. "Madre de Dios, someone's suing me already???" His single eye flares wide, and he starts pushing at the intercom button on the phone until the wise Mrs. Jackson just /opens the door/ and sticks her head in.

"Who's suing me?"

"Nobody to my knowledge, sir."

"You sure? You sure there's no lawsuits in your inbox?"

"They generally don't get put in my inbox, Mr. Gomez. Mr. Gomez, you better go on in there and sit down, before you give yourself another heart attack."

Noncommittal grunt noise.

"You taken your pills?


"You better get on in there and take those heart pills too."

Ramon shuts the door and stomps over to take his heart pills. "I'm not getting sued," he says gruffly, so far out of his element right now that he doesn't know what else to say.
And again she's surprised, visibly taken aback. Both from his questioning whether or not he's being sued and from the need to take those pills as a result. She groans inwardly, this is almost as bad as it was the last time she saw him and he feared she was bringing a bomb into his family home. "No, sir, you aren't," Jane offers when she recovers herself a moment or three later. "I'm not here about any sort of lawsuit. I apologize for it causing you distress." Another pause is taken to choose words carefully before she continues on. "You project authority, sir. The parts of this job involving that won't be a problem for you at all. But other things may be unfamiliar to you."

"Almost all of it is unfamiliar to me," Ramon growls. He waves her to one of the big comfortable seats and settles in his own. "It's an unbelievable opportunity. I'm going to learn. But if I look like an underqualified ass, it is only because I am." His good eye twitches. "But I'm learning."

She takes the seat he offers and smoothly crosses one ankle over the other. "I don't believe you're underqualified, sir, not at all. To me the biggest part of it would be projecting authority, which you do. It's not likely most would try to lie to you, but some may. You only need to know enough to tell whether or not you're getting a snow job on paper, in reports. I don't have any agenda here. I'm not after money or a job. I'm financially secure. Because of that, I can be in a position to offer you whatever help you might need within my knowledge and ability."

"If you work you should get money for it," Ramon says. "But alright. I can use the help on paper." Nobody in that board room is going to lie to him to his face, but Ramon doesn't say that.

Of course.

It's one thing for Elena to just blindly trust this girl. Ramon's earliest memory of her is going into Cass' bookstore with really disturbing documents. So he opens up his mind as he speaks, intent on listening in on her thoughts as well as what comes out of her mouth. "What other clients are you currently working with?" In spite of the shenanigans with the phone, her reminder that he's in authority means that mantle slowly settles back over his shoulders.

In her thoughts is just what she says. The question draws a scattering of names into her mind. Musicians getting their first studio contracts and at risk of being cheated by fine print and the offering of more money than they've ever seen before in their lives. Then there are others she simply advised on how to protect the rights to music they write. Portia and Desiree are in that group. The name Alyssa McAlister shows up there too, a friend who got into legal hot water because someone with an ability tampered with water hoses at an event she put on.

After she verbally shares the names of the people she's advising on copyright and contract issues, including Desiree and Portia, she mentions Miss McAlister as well, but not in detail.

McAlister is a name Ramon has heard before. His eyebrow twitches upward—he hadn't known about Dezi, Portia, and the music. He stops listening as soon as he's got the confirmation that words and thoughts match. It wasn't a deep delve inside after all. ‘"Alright," he says. "I’ll come to you for legal counsel when I need it."

She's calm under his watch, solemnly replying "I understand you have misgiving about me and things I've been involved with. I can only hope to earn your trust, sir. I'm the type to go to the ends of the earth for people I call friends. You're the father of a close friend, and a friend to Desiree as well. She was present at a development in my life, she helped me, and that I don't ever forget, sir. Being honest, offering my legal knowledge wasn't the only reason I came here. I also hoped to speak with you, be heard out, and hopefully lay those concerns to rest."

"I'm suspicious of anyone I don't know right now," Ramon says gruffly. "Don't take it personally." Something twists in his features, and the lines and crags in his skin grow deeper. But he doesn't elaborate any more than that—he's not exactly known for his speeches.

"I understand, sir. It's a wise policy, one that'll serve you well here. And I'm sorry it appeared I might have brought a bomb into your home the last time we saw each other. That's not something I would ever do. I'd rather be dead myself first." It's a plain statement, spoken quietly and sincerely, from which Jane moves on after a stretch of silence.

"Kid, I was hot on the trail of my wife's killer, a serial killer he'd shot at my daughter twice through intermediaries, and was controlling minds with his voice, and we had just found out a lot of disturbing information." Ramon leans forward. "You walked into a hornet's nest."

Holy crap. Her eyes widen slightly. Jane hadn't known any of that. And there's a flash that comes to her expression, of anger and concern. And a twitch of her mouth which suggests she's had some experiences with vocal suggestions. "Sir," she begins, "I've laid it all on the line to help people before and paid a price for it. Something like this, for you and your family, I'd have done the same. The world has dangers for us, and we have to stick together. But… I'm not asking for information. If you want me to know something, you'll tell me. All I hope to do is explain myself and be heard. To not be seen as an intruder or a threat."

"I appreciate the sentiment, but the only people I endangered on dealing with this were those who were already so deeply entrenched that they were in danger anyway." He stands up, going to the window, clasping his hands. "It would have been wrong and irresponsible to blithely bring anyone else in. And you can think I'm a bastard sexist pig if you'd like, but I also do not really like intentionally placing women in danger. The women who came with me had the right to be there--or were there against their will--when the time came, by virtue of how far it affected them and involved them. And I did need them, and I do respect every bit of competence and ability they brought to a bad situation. But just placing a young woman in danger for no other reason that she's good and loyal and has offered herself up? There will never be a day I will do that."

"I don't question your motives or actions, sir. And I hope it doesn't appear I have. Things I offer, am willing to do, are yours to accept, or not," Jane replies solemnly. "It's just important to me I offer them. I feared I'd been seen as a danger. Thank you for listening, Mr. Gomez."

Ramon turns back to look at her, nodding his head once. "I have a meeting," he says. He will sit in said meeting and look like he's listening gravely and unitimidated, and then demand explanations from Eric later. "I think our time's abou—" And sure enough the intercom starts buzz buzz buzzing.

"Your secretary has my contact information," Jane replies, standing. "I've no doubt you'll master this world easily, sir. You've confidence and the projection of authority, that puts you three quarters of the way along already." With that she turns and makes her way out, leaving him to the business at hand and the meeting he has. She respects him, and can only hope she's earned some of his respect, but fears she hasn't. "Good day, Mr. Gomez." Moments later she's gone.

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