2007-06-03: Posh Partiers Prefer Punk


Rianna_icon.gif McAlister_icon.gif


When a councilwoman wants you to stop in and talk about a favor? You go. Especially when you're in Big Heap Trouble anyway…

June 3rd, 2007:

Posh Partiers Prefer Punk

Foundation Headquarters:


The elevator doors - after the receptionist downstairs sends Ali up in it - slide open on five, the DJ holding her purse self-consciously in front of her moving uncertainly out into the hall. Apparently, outside the safety of the radio station? out from behind a mic? She's not quite the flaring spitfire her persona portrays.

Regardless, she moves on bravely enough, heading toward the secretary's desk. "Ma'am?" A bright smile. "Sorry - the man downstairs said that Miss Johannsen's office was on five? I'm Alyssa McAlister - she's supposed to be expecting me?"

The receptionist has a sleek headset on and is answering a pretty steady clip of incoming phone calls. "Johannsen Foundation, hold please.", she says, looking up at Alyssa. "Miss McAlister? Yeah. Ms. Johannsen is waiting upstairs for you. Fifth floor. You can't miss her office.", the receptionist states, going back to taking her oncoming phone calls.

Once upstairs on the fifth floor, the elevator opens up facing a glass wall separating a large front office from the the hallway, a pair of double oak doors leading into an inner office from there. The secretary stands up when the door opens, swinging open the glass doors into the office. "Joanna let us know you'd be coming up, Miss McAlister.", the older woman says, leading McAlister to the inner office and opening one of the oak doors. "Ms. Johannsen, Alyssa McAlister to see you.", she says, gesturing for Alyssa to enter the office.

Rianna is sitting behind her desk in a silk skirt and blouse, a pair of glasses perched on the end of her nose as she talks on the phone. She gestures to one of the leather chairs in front of her desk.

In that (somewhat threadbare, wal-mart-special, St. Laurent knockoff) black dress? Well, at least Ali fits in, a little. Somewhat. Not really-but-better-than-most. She heads for that chair dutifully, though, looking more than a bit nervous.

But no, she makes no effort to interrupt anybody chattering on on the phone. Frankly? She looks mildly overwhelmed, at least for now.

"Yeah, she actually just walked into my office, coincidentally.", Rianna says into the phone. "Yeah, I'll find out and let you know. Public Works and the Commission says that we should be able to get Central Park with little hassle. Yeah. Bye.", she finishes, hanging up the phone and then leaning back in the reclining executive chair. "So. Midnight McAlister, is it?", Rianna asks, a small smile curving her lips.

McAlister flashes a grin - a bit lopsided, but hey - it's definitely a /grin/. "Alliterative, isn't it? Yeah. But I like 'Ali' - especially, you know, for people saving my rear end for no real reason 'cept being mostly nice. You must be Miss Johannsen? I hope you are - you sound like her, right?"

"I'm way too busy week in and week out for anybody to want to be me, so I'm definitely the real deal.", Rianna replies. "Arianna Rockford-Johannsen. You can call me Rianna.", she says. "I have to say that I didn't expect for you to come in so quickly. I'm impressed, and I'm thinking that we may have made the right choice in offering to help you out."

Ali looks down at her purse, then up again - "I … thanks. I told you I won't let you down. Honestly? You're.. kinda the first break I've caught in a while." Seriously, she adds, soft and earnest - "I don't know why you are offering, but I'd be stupid not to at least live up to it, you know?"

Rianna smiles for just a moment before her eyes widen and there is a moment of very uncomfortable silence with Rianna seeming to stare extremely intently on Alyssa, and then she shakes it off with an awkward chuckle. "Miss McAlister, you find yourself able to sweet-talk your way in and out of trouble, don't you?", Rianna asks with a smile, relaxing back into the chair.

Ali shifts, worriedly, under that stare - but the question catches her oddly. Off guard. "Ma'am? I… I guess?"

"That's a very valuable quality to possess, Alyssa.", Rianna says, taking off her glasses and setting them down on the large desk. "I can definitely see why the station manager at WNYU stated that despite being on the third shift, you had your own dedicated base of listeners.", she continues. "It's definitely something that we could use to bring the people of New York behind the Petrelli Campaign. Especially with the twenty-something crowd that listens to you.", she says.

"Eighteen, at last count. Twenty's really pushing the ratings." Ali cracks the joke easily - almost unconsciously, giving Rianna a curious look still. "I don't mind workin' the campaign, I guess.. but … uh. If WYRK takes me back on, I'm kinda stuck on the political thing. There's a clause in the contract, you know?"

"Well, I know the owner of WYRK personally, and I think that we might be able to work something out. He's a good friend of the future Senator.", she says. "But, of course, I would not be asking you to personally endorse Nathan yourself. Just to be the DJ at our little celebration. We're going to be holding it down this Sunday at Central Park. We would actually prefer that you didn't voice any personal opinion for or against Nathan while you were doing work for the station.", she says.

"That… that works out, then." Ali is truly thankful - it shines through with sudden focus, if anyone's still paying attention to such things. "… Sunday at Central park. I'll be there. It'll be the best show I can put together, too. Ma'am? I.. don't know why you picked on me to help, but, thanks."

"Like I mentioned on the phone, I am here for the people of New York. However, I think that you and I have the potential to be able to help each other out. Would you like a bottle of water? I know it's rather hot outside.", Rianna says with a smile.

"Sure?" Self consciously, Ali adjusts that dress, shifting in the way only one unused to wearing a hemline can. "Ever feel like you're on a roller coaster, and the best you can do is just hold up your hands and see where it ends up?"

Rianna nods, and after a second, her secretary walks in with a bottle of water. "Well, I remember that experience, but I have a bit of a different perspective on life. It's actually one that you might be able to appreciate, but that's something that we can discuss later on. I have a talent for helping out special people who possess the talents to make them exceptional amongst the normal public."

Oh, that smile is sardonic, wry - Ali even rolls her eyes. Just a bit. "Next you're going to tell me I'm special? Don't get me wrong, that's a great talent to have, but everybody's special. You know, as special goes, there's a lot more interesting people than a jersey girl who talks in a mic for a living and, apparently, hurts kids in her spare time." She sighs, at that… and mutters, softly, "It wasn't supposed to go like that. You know, we'd used those hoses a half dozen times before. If I'd known.." She shakes her head, then.

"You sell yourself very short, Miss McAlister. And you're right, everyone is special in their own way. But there are those among us who are exceptional. Like yourself. Their exceptional nature reveals itself in the choices they make, in the way that they interact with the world.", Rianna says, putting her glasses on. "Yours just happens to reveal itself in the things that you say. For example… let me see. Alice.", she says, turning to the secretary. "Alice. If I were to ask you to… oh… take Miss McAlister's bottle of water and pour the rest of it over yourself, knowing that I would not fire you for saying no, would you do it?"

The secretary, having turned to leave, pauses and turns back. "Ria, we've been working with each other for almost ten years now and you wouldn't be able to do your work without my help… the answer is no, by the way. This blouse costs too much to get professionally cleaned.", Alice says with an amused laugh. Rianna turns back to McAlister with an amused smile. "I figured as much. But I'm curious. Why don't you ask her to do it?"

McAlister gives Ria a seriously lost look. "Because … she's at work and that's a stupid thing to ask somebody to do anyway?" She reaches up to run a hand through her hair. "Why would I?"

Rianna regards her for a moment. "Merely to prove a point. Of course, I have admit that I'm glad that you didn't ask her. She'd demand to go home and I'd have to field my own phone calls for the remainder of the day. I have a much better suggestion for you, now that I think about it.", she says, pulling a business card from the small holder on her desk and scribbling a phone number on the back of it. 283-2980. "On your way to work today, before you get in, ask someone on the street to do something a bit out of place. Such as a handstand. Be nice with them like you would have done with a police officer who pulled you over for speeding. Call me on this number when you have a chance, and we'll talk about it. Doesn't seem like such a tall order, yeah?"

Ali takes that card tentatively. "Uh. O… okay?" The woman turns the card over.. and over again… in her fingers - and it's clear she's no less lost, at this point. "I should.. probably go, right? Thanks again, Miss Johannson."

"I know it seems like I'm being a bit weird right now, but I think you might appreciate this if I'm right.", Rianna says. "At the very least, I'll be calling the station manager over at WYRK later today to talk to him about your situation and to make sure that you have a spot at a popular station. In exchange, all you have to do is DJ this Sunday, get paid for it, and go through with my off-beat request.", she says, smiling at McAlister as she stands up and reaches out a hand.

McAlister stands, herself, reaching out to shake that hand, firmly - "Seriously. no problem - I'll.. I'll be glad to." She glances to the door, and back. "It doesn't feel like enough to pay you back, you know?"

"Have a good show tonight, Midnight McAlister.", Rianna says with a smile and then sits back down and turns back to her computer.

The DJ walks away, slowly turning that card over, and over again, in her fingers.

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