2007-05-09: Introductions and Intimidations


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Summary: Candice introduces herself to "the newbie" and promises to take her out and show her why it's good to be popular. Natalie may be a little terrified.

Date It Happened: May 9, 2007

Introductions and Intimidations

Kirby Plaza Building

One thing no office is ever without is vending machines. Candice Willmer stands in front of one with no less than four candy bars tucked in the crook of one arm as she feeds another dollar into the machine and presses the code for the Snickers bar she wants oh-so-badly. (It compliments the Kit Kat and the Reese's Pieces and the Dove, you know.) The bar gets almost through the coil and then hangs. "Oh, you have got to be kidding me." One hand slaps against the glass of the machine in front of the candy bar, hoping to shake it loose.

Natalie hears the banging as she's approaching to pick up something to drink. She looks over and sees Candice accosting the machine, and makes a sympathetic face. "Ate your money?" she asks.

"Yeah," Candice growls as she pounds her fist against the machine again. That failing, she kicks the side of it, to no avail. "We can bounce radiowaves off of satellite dishes, transplant organs, and put men on the freaking moon… But we can't make a snack machine that functions properly."

Natalie rummages in her pocket. "I've got some extra change. I can get one, and then it should drop yours off when it drops mine off." She comes up with a handful of change, looking over at Candice.

Candice steps away from the machine and nods. "Really? Thanks." Stupid vending machines. "You're the newbie Bennet brought in, aren't you?"

Natalie looks a little embarrassed at the term, but it's correct, so she can't argue it too much. "That's me. Natalie Foster." She moves to offer a hand…then realizes it has change in it. She shifts the change to the other hand and then finally offers her right hand to shake. Okay. So she's a bit of a geek.

Candice takes Natalie's hand and shakes with a wide smile. "It's good to meet you. I'm Candice Willmer. I hear you're really something else." She quirks one brow.

Natalie shakes and immediately breaks eye contact. "Oh…I guess…I mean, thank you." she says. She pops in the coins, pushes for Snickers, and there's a pair of thumps that hit the bottom. She takes them out and offers one to Candice. There's a look in her eyes that Candice might know; it's the look of the persecuted nerd wondering when the popular, pretty cheerleader is gonna bite. A little bit of whipped puppy, a little bit of paranoia. "Here you go."

Candice takes the candy bar with a grateful smile, adding it to her stockpile. She knows that look well and it only brings out a smug grin. If she only knew. "Thank you." She tilts her head to one side. "Taking a break? Want to grab a seat?"

Natalie nods. "Sure. Anything to stop the letters from dancing in front of my eyes." She drops in another couple coins to the soda machine this time, and comes up with a diet Mountain Dew. She moves to go with Candice into the break area. "So…um…what department do you work in?" she asks, trying to come up with small talk.

"I'm… A field operative, mostly." Candice takes her seat and spreads her candy out in front of her. Hmm. What to start with? "I hear you were CIA in a past life," she quips.

Natalie nods. "Yeah. I was an analyst, right out of college. I tried the field agent thing…but it didn't work so much." She unwraps her candy bar, and takes a bite. Stale chocolate. Yum.

"So you ended up here. Did you try to hack Bennet's bank account or something?" Candice leans back in her chair and watches Natalie curiously.

Natalie shakes her head. "No, Mr. Bennet called me in for an interview. He'd gotten my file somehow, so he asked me to come in, and told me what the Company was about, and offered me a job." She sips her soda. "Pretty regular interview, except for the weirder stuff."

That seems to pique Candice's interest. "Tell me… Do you know what would have happened if you had declined Bennet's job offer?" A small smile quirks at the corners of her mouth.

Natalie looks nervous about even discussing it. "Usually at jobs like this you don't so much get the chance to decline once they tell you about it. I'd have probably disappeared."

"Something like that." Candice nods, seeming satisfied. "You made the right decision. Follow the rules and follow orders and I think you'll find you like it here. I know I do."

Natalie nods. She can't help but look a little curious, and so she finally asks, in a quiet voice. "So…do you have something special you do? Or are you normal? Well, I mean, not -normal-, but not…oh, you know." she finishes awkwardly, stuck between not wanting to insult Candice by implying she's weird, or by implying she's humdrum.

Candice grins. "Oh, I'm more special than anyone ever gave me credit for." Suddenly, Natalie finds her sitting across from… herself. Her very mirror image. And then, she looks younger, her clothing is dark. A black tee shirt with Trinity from The Matrix printed on the front. Brightly coloured jelly bracelets on her wrists. The younger Natalie scrutinizes for a moment. First, there's a pair of 'emo' glasses before a shakes of her head banishes them again. The hair is a little frizzier, pinned in place by barrettes adorned with pewter skulls. "Am I anywhere close?"

Some people might take this with grace and aplomb. Natalie isn't one. Her jaw just -drops-, and she stares openly at Candice. It's a few seconds before her powers of speech start working again. "I..I…you…wow. You shapeshift?" BIG wide eyes.

Sure. Let's go with shapeshift. "Neat trick, huh?" Candice's image seems to ripple as she becomes herself - at least the self that Natalie was seeing earlier - again. "How about you? Explain what you can do."

Natalie is still just Impressed As All Hell. It shows on her face. "Me? I..oh! I remap the language center of the brain. Umm…I change what languages people speak." She "dumbs it down" in the second sentence. She's used to doing that with people.

"No wonder Bennet likes you." Candice nods her head appreciatively. "That man practically thinks in a whole different language." Not that she's overly fond of Noah Bennet, but she does have to admit that he gets some things right. "How does that work, then?"

Natalie looks back at Candice. Hopefully she understands computers. "It's a lot like computers. I've got a language "file" for every language I speak. And a person has a number of holders for every language they speak. I can put any of my files in any of their holders, to change what they speak. Or I can just delete their files, and then they don't speak anything. Assuming verbal, of course, instead of written."

"So you could rape someone's mind and take away their ability to verbally communicate?" Leave it to the sociopath to go for the cruelest option. Candice crumples the wrapper of her Snickers and gets to work on her Kit Kat.

Natalie nods, though she looks a little uncomfortable at the terminology. "Well, yes. Or write, if I went for the center of their brain that controls reading and writing. Or both. It's specialized, but it's very flexible within the specialization."

"Oh, I think I like you." Candice grins. It is not a nice facial expression. "You should meet my dear friend Elle sometime. I think she'd get a kick out of you. I'll be sure to come get you the next time we go out." She pauses and narrows her eyes just a touch. "You do go out, don't you?"

Natalie looks a little sheepish. "Well, I-I could, but I usually don't, and Mr. Bennet's given me a big project to work on, and…you probably wouldn't want me along anyhow." She doesn't hang out with the popular people. And that smile is reminding her way too much of mean, bitchy cheerleaders at the moment.

Candice leans across the table with a very serious expression. "You were an outcast, right? So was I. People like us need to stick together, Natalie."

Natalie looks back at Candice. Hesitant, but somewhat hopeful. After all, who DOESN'T want the pretty, popular people to -honestly- want you to hang out with them. "Well, I guess I could. Around the project." A nervous giggle escapes her lips. "At least you didn't ask me to show what I do, like Mr. Bennet did."

That comes later. But Natalie doesn't need to know that. "If Bennet recruited you, you must be good. I don't need you to show me." Candice smiles sweetly now. "It'll be fun. A couple of drinks, some dancing… You'll enjoy it. And I think you'll /need/ it after spending so much time on that project of yours."

Natalie goes wide-eyed again. "D-drinks? Dancing?" Nervous geek alert! "I've never really, um, been to someplace like that."

Candice looks downright giddy now. "Well then Elle and I will just have to show you how it's done! You'll love it. Trust me." Was that a giggle?

Natalie nods, though she seems terribly not-sure about the whole production. Maybe she can be busy then. "Well, we'll see, I mean, when you plan on going. If I'm not too busy with Mr. Bennet's project…"

"We'll arrange something." There's the sound of buzzing from Candice's pocket and she holds up one finger as she retrieves her cell phone. Then, she heaves a sigh. "Duty calls. One of our co-workers seems to be in a bind. I'll catch up with you later. Thanks for getting my Snickers for me." She picks the rest of her candy up off the table and flashes one more smile. "I'll kidnap you for drinks. When you least expect it. Take care, Agent Foster."

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