2008-02-23: Investment For The Future

Starring:

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Summary: Having run out of his supply, Logan goes straight to the source of the mythical drug known as Ambrosia. But this is about more than hooking one man. This is about an investment for the future.

Date It Happened: February 23rd, 2008

Investment For The Future


Lexicon Tower - Hong Kong

When Regeneron Pharmecueticals went out of business three months ago, RegenOne Plaza was almost immediately purchase by a previously unheard-of corporation known as Humantis. Now known in Hong Kong as Lexicon Tower, the newly renovated skyscraper stands forty-nine stories high and dwarfs the structures around it. The lower floors have become home to delegations from Genetech, ImClone Systems, Gilead Sciences, and others. The top nine floors are inhabited solely by Humantis Corp. Laboratories, offices, even residential areas can all be found within the Humantis compound.

Visitors are received in the lobby, where they are issued a pass to the first forty-one floors. Upper access is restricted to Humantis employees and approved visitors, who are all required to check in with a second receptionist and private security. All of this only takes a few minutes. Getting in to see anyone important can take hours, if not longer. Unless you travel in the right circles, of course.

"Mr. Petrelli! Come in, please. I'm sorry for the confusion. If I knew you were coming personally, I would've made arrangements with the staff." The thin, short-statured C.E.O. of Humantis stands up and moves around his desk so he can offer his hand for a proper shake. He has the look of someone who's been in the office for many, many hours. He's removed his jacket, loosened his tie, and rolled his sleeves back to the elbow. "My name is Edward Meane. They tell me I'm the boss around here."

"Then you're exactly who I'm looking for, Mr. Meane," the Senator says smoothly, extending his hand out to take Edward's in a brisk shake. It's never a brisk process, to get to the upper echelons of a seemingly powerful organisation, but Logan is as patient as ever, unruffled in a dark grey suit, pure white shirt and an expensive black tie. On his lapel, a small, unobstrusive American flag pin is secured which really only goes noticed when the light catches it.

"And I apologise about the short notice," he adds, glancing the man over, making a show of noting his less than put together state. He draws out a chair to sit down, a hand smoothing his tie as he does so. "Time is of the essence." More than the man sitting across from him could surely know.

"Ed. Call me Ed." Edward reseats himself behind his desk and pulls out a large silver flask from one of the lower drawers. "So let's dispense with the pleasantries. First we have a drink. Then you tell me what I can do for you and I try my best to help. After all, it's good to help a United States Senator, no?" He unscrews the cap-cup from the flask, pours himself a nip of rye, and downs it briskly. It's quickly refilled and offered to Nathan.

Logan rewards the man with a thin smile, leaning back into his seat with leisure but all the same, he makes a declining shake of his head. "Thank you, I don't drink," he says, also neglecting to inform the man that he can call him by his first name. "And honestly I wasn't so much interested in what you could do to help me, Ed. More interested in what I could do to help you and your organisation. There was a project of yours I was interested in. Something called Ambrosia." He doesn't seem shy about dropping the name of the drug. If he's in the right place, talking to the right person… it won't matter.

Ed drops the cap-cup with a clatter and spills rye whiskey all over his desk. His rich, olive complexion has gone pale and his engaging gregariousness is nowhere to be seen as he sweeps liquor-soaked paperwork into the trash can. "Just… Just a second. Hold on. I have to get— "

"There's no need, Edward. I'm already here." A tall, lithe man in his early fifties steps into the office and leaves the door open behind him. He's wearing a casual, comfortable suit in muted hues of gray that brings out his eyes. He's thin to the point of being gaunt and mirthless without being unattractive. A quarter-inch of stylish stubble conceals his only obvious blemish; a scar that trails along the underside of his jaw from ear to ear. He dismisses Mr. Meane with a subtle twitch of his fingers and a small, unreadable smile. "I think I should speak with our friend privately. Why don't you go get some air?"

Only too happy to comply, Ed scurries from the room an out of sight.

Unruffled by Edward's show of nerves, Logan almost casually looks over his shoulder at the man who has entered. In one, graceful movement, he rises to his feet, and watches Edward's scurried journey out of the office, before he fixes his gaze back on the new arrival, a faintly amused smile dancing across his features. "I must have said something wrong," he says, unapologetically. "Or very, very right. I'm Senator Petrelli," and he offers his hand.

The newcomer crosses the room and takes Logan's hand in a cool, almost cold grip. His brief squeeze is vicelike, and there's an unyielding quality to his hands that makes the experience an uncomfortable one. Though outwardly past his prime, there's a burning, intense curiosity in his eyes and a catlike quality to his movements that belies his gray hairs and wrinkles. "Yes, you most definitely are," he replies. "Ignatius Rasmussen. You may call me Igee. Tell me, Senator… what have you learned about Ambrosia? Must be a fair amount to bring you all the way to Hong Kong."

Once the handshake is over, Logan casually slips his hands into his pockets, that faintly amused smile still remaining, if only to give a sense of confidence and purpose. "A fair amount," he agrees. "It's a highly addictive designer drug, and of course, when I say highly, I mean that I've learned it's damn near impossible to refuse once taking it. I don't know why and I don't have to know why, but I do know that it must be completely illegal and must be making you nervous that a US Senator knows its name and nature."

Igee smiles again, this time earnestly. His eyes light up with an unsavory sparkle and he bares his white, even teeth. "I don't often get nervous, Senator. My business is in Hong Kong, which is well outside your jurisdiction. I haven't been stateside in more than a decade." The self-assured corporate man settles into Edward's hastily evacuated chair and steeples his fingers into a thoughtful, indulgent triangle. "Still, you seem to have done your homework. If you were going to blow the whistle you would've done it already. What really brings you here? Is it greed? Curiosity?" He pauses to wet his lip excitedly with the tip of his tongue. "Lust for power?"

Logan hesitates, then wanders back towards the seat he'd vacated as well, sitting down and primly adjusting his immaculate jacket as he does so. "Let's start with curiousity," he offers, a little wryly, leaning back into his chair. "I know enough but not everything."

"Very well," Igee agrees. "Ambrosia is a formula of my own design. You were right, it's instantly addictive and nearly impossible to withdraw from. It has some… mild side effects… but so far I consider the project a complete success." He tilts his head to the side slightly and fixes his cold, steely eyes on Logan's. "Properly applied, this drug could cure the human condition. It's more than a cheap fix, it's a helping hand for evolution. It targets the neural pathways and neuroendocrine system and stimulates them, providing strength, awareness, confidence. It's truly magnificent to behold."

Logan is quiet, listening to the information. His smile has faded but his attention is sharp and without judgement. His head tilts a little when the word 'evolution' inevitably wriggles its way into conversation. He doesn't comment on it, however. He's already discovered the function that most fascinates him before he stepped inside this office. He inclines his head to the other man. "And what do you intend to do with it? Sell it to the highest bidder, hand it out like a public service?"

Igee lifts one eyebrow and snorts disdainfully. "Hardly. I plan to change the world, Senator. Once I pass the final hurdles and reach the production stage, I'll have a drug that creates a better, stronger human being. One that's unwaveringly loyal to whoever holds the Ambrosia." A low, rumbling chuckle builds from his belly and creeps out past his lips. "That would make me a god among kings. The big question today is whether you came here to be a god, or to kill one. Which is it?"

The smile Logan gives Igee is almost serpentine in contrast to the more feline qualities of the wiry older man. "Killing only gets you so far in this day and age," he says. In another day and age, it gets you plenty far, but all good things come to those who wait. "I'm interested in working with you, Igee. I'd prefer the distribution of the Ambrosia where I can see it," a glance towards the windows that look out towards Igee's city of choice, "in America. New York, if we want to be specific. In return…" The smile grows more languid, he gestures loosely towards the man sitting opposite him. "As I told your man Edward, it's not about what you can do to help me, it's about what we can do for each other."

"New York would be an ideal test market," Igee muses. He reaches up to stroke his stubbled chin and 'hmmmms' under his breath. "I'm going to trust you, Senator. I believe we've just reached an accord. Now we can move on to the issue of locating and recapturing the formula. Should be easy for you, considering your friend Jack is the one who stole it from me."

"Mutual friend, I'm sure. Jack shouldn't be a problem," Logan says, smile gentling. His head tilts again, an almost predatory gesture as something occurs to him. "In fact, I'm curious as to how interested you would be in making sure Jack Derex isn't a problem permanently."

"My, aren't you ambitious?" Igee asks rhetorically. Pleasantly surprised, he folds his hands together, rests them on top of the desk, and puts on his best politely inquisitive expression. "What exactly did you have in mind? My son might not be the brightest, but he's very tenacious when it comes to staying alive." The older man smiles blandly and meets the Senator's eyes. "I hope you aren't offended by filicide."

"Oh, it's practically a family tradition," Logan says with unfeeling casualness, returning the bland smile with his own version. "Call this a token gesture in the spirit of our meeting, although Jack Derex's death would, in the long run, be a benefit to both of us." Pause. "More so to you in the immediate. I don't make it a habit to be a murderer," yet, "but I'm a man of opportunity. Jack trusts Nathan Petrelli." A gesture to himself. It's only kind of a lie. "It's a matter of killing two birds with one stone. But I'd like to know how much you would give for it."

Igee rubs his hands together like a used car salesman considering his first offer of the day. After a moment's thought he slaps them down on the desktop. "Eliminate Jack and retrieve the formula, I'll give you exclusive rights to distribution in America. You choose the locations and I'll provide the product. You can take the country one city at a time. I would consider that a fair exchange."

Logan is collected, cold exterior providing him the benefit of not displaying any eagerness, at first, but an unstoppable quirk of a smile finally breaks through. "Mhm," he says. A pause, and really, they didn't call this man a shark for nothing. It's one thing Nathan and he have in common. "And in a gesture of goodwill, so that I know you're as committed to this deal as I am, I'd like a substantial donation for my future presidential campaign. By the time your product is making its rounds, you want a powerful man on your side. Call it an investment for the future."

"Mmmm. A security deposit. I can respect that." Igee reaches out to thumb the call button on the desk's intercom unit. "06," he murmurs into it. "Bring me the contents of box fourteen. And box eleven, please."

Just seconds later a man with heavy layers of bandages over his face enters through the office door with a leather attache case in each hand. Despite the obvious extent of his injuries, he carries himself gracefully and he's wearing a very fine suit. He moves unobtrusively between in front of Nathan, sets both of the leather satchels on the desk, and unfastens the snaps.

There's cash inside. Lots and lots of cash.

"That should be just over eight million dollars in American currency, if memory serves." Igee laces his long, wiry fingers together and smiles pleasantly. "Consider it my donation to the Petrelli Foundation."

Logan leans forward to observe the contents of both satchels, mostly ignoring the bandaged man who brought them in, and that hint of a smile only grows. "Then I think we have an agreement," he says, turning brown eyes up to look across at Igee. He stands up, a hand again drifting to self-consciously adjust his jacket, and extends for a final handshake. "I look forward to accomplishing everything we can achieve together, Mr. Rasmussen."

Igee accepts the extended hand, once again squeezing it his cold, unyielding grip. "As do I, Senator. As do I."

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