23022011 - Doing Business


cafe://Polychrome v2.0 - Navy Pier - Grand and Lake Shore

The Polychrome 2.0 is a serious upgrade in both style and function. Gone is the soft-industrial warehouse look, the walls repainted from their worn brick color to a more warm rich red adobe. The walls are adorned with old Sci-Fi posters and paintings by independent local artists.

The entire cafe is situated around a circular bar-like counter in the very center of the room which, in turn, surrounds the chrome and copper homemade monstrosity Frankenchino machine the only surviving relic of the previous Polychrome. Frankenchino billows steam and froth from it's masses of pipes and valves, the temperature and levels of fluids measured by gleaming old fashioned pressure gages and controlled by a plethora of levers and turn-gaskets. Comfortable high backed chromed stools with leather upholstery orbit the counter, which through it's thick Plexiglas surface into it's refrigerated interior can be seen sandwiches and pastries and other snacks in refrigerated. Above the counter is an outfacing circle of LCD TVs showing various feeds off the Internet.

Circular segmented couches surround low black coffee tables around the cafe, each one having a computer monitor on a swivel in the center and a cordless keyboard and mouse and allowing the patrons full and free net access. In one corner there are more dedicated semi-private computer terminals at high-mounted and a kiosk where one can rent a laptop. Another corner sports an Internet jukebox which has been built into the body of a full sized Robby the Robot replica. Another corner has a small stage from which patrons can enjoy independent bands or poets on certain nights. The last corner is set up with merchandise such as books, magazines, shirts, mugs and gadgets.




Wednesday lunchtime and it is a lovely spring day. Robert has had a quiet morning and is entrenched with newspaper and coffee at a table for a change. Another paper is folded, set aside unread, awaiting his attention, and his work bag is on the ground next to him. Dressed casually, he seems relaxed, and the paper gains the most of his focus, the coffee the rest.

Cale comes into the Polychrome with purpose and, after a moment of scanning the place, sees that he is not to be denied this time. There's little subtelty about his approach to Robert and once he's drawn near to the opposite side of the table he pauses. "I'd like to speak with you," he says simply. "About my project."

Robert's head lifts as the other man approaches, tilting at the request and he folds the paper, putting it to one side. It seems Cale is going to get Robert's full attention, as he gestures towards the chair opposite. "Sit and tell me." He speaks simply.

Cale nods his head once and shrugs off his jacket, then settles himself, the jacket on the back of his chair. His hands fold together and he glances about briefly before he start speaking in a low, discreet tone. "Communication is the first part of it. I have some rather large plans, though the largest aspects are for the future. Right now, I want to make an information storehouse. For us, but not about us. It would be a central storehouse for news pertaining to us. Who is dangerous, who is not, who to watch for, who to stay away from. Net accessible on c computers and mobile devices. Updatable by anyone, but moderated and managed. Secure, with tight encryption, requiring face to face registration to prevent anyone who isn't like us from getting access." He pauses, then notes, "That's the start."

Robert listens, his gaze resting on the other man's face, the full weight of the Ulfric's attention with him. At various points he nods slowly, a brief incline of his head, an acknowledgement of the words. "That seems a logical start." He confirms softly, tilting his head. "What next?"

"A lot of money.. I'll need a decent sum for the start. Training, equipment, software, internet connection," Cale replies. "But that's not too big. Probably five to ten thousand at most depending on what deals I can get. That's the small end." He leans forward, arms crossing. "If that works, then the next step in security. I'm not sure if you have a security system in your home, but what about where you and yours gather? If something happens there, would you want human authorities showing up?" A simple question that he lets linger briefly. "We need our own security services. Quiet, discreet. That would require a facility. A lot of hardware and a lot of people. To monitor things. They could monitor places we keep discreet. There could even be opt-in tracking for those who want to have an eye on them or feel threatened. I'm not sure about active security.. having people who go and diffuse situations.. that could run into a lot of problems, not the least of which is boundary issues. But instant alerts could be sent. And any number of other services related to that field."

Again, Robert listens with that heavy attention, the dark eyes gazing at Cale, interest sparking in his eyes. "What did Forest say about this system?" The first question from the politically minded man is abrupt as he leans back, lifting a hand to summon more coffee and cookies, apparently ordering for both of them without consulting. "It seems a useful idea."

"I haven't gone into detail about the long range plan. It's not going to happen for a while because I'll need courses in the meantime," Cale replies honestly. "He's approved of the data storehouse. Once that is done, which will take time even after I get everything I need, then I can start thinking about more. What I lack right now is money. First to deepen my knowledge, then to get what is needed to start this up. You seemed interested before. Others have offered to help me with this, but to be honest I don't like taking money from friends. It can complicate things. So I thought I'd ask you. Because of the interest."

"You wish for me to invest in this idea?" Robert checks his assumption, sitting back as the food and the drinks arrive, and he takes a cookie before pushing the plate towards Cale. He eats the cookie slowly, his gaze remaining on Cale's face thoughtfully. "If I invest ten thousand in this, I think I would expect my family to benefit from the production instead of interest." He reaches for his coffee, taking a sip before he adds, softly, "That said, I would be very willing to invest that amount."

"It will be open to all of us," Cale replies. "Better for everyone involved, since no one person or group sees everything. It will have strong encryption and registered accounts can have pseudonyms to protect identity in case of a breach. The only copies of real names and faces will be hardcopy and kept secure. That to make sure if anyone does reveal this network, they can be identified and dealt with. Once it is set up, we'll take donations. If the long range plan goes into effect, it could be a solid business that is maintained by us."

Robert nods, approval showing in his eyes as he nods towards the cookies, "Take one. They are excellent." He leans back into his chair, considering Cale. "In that case, I think it is worth investing in on behalf of the pack. Our donation towards this cause." He reaches for his bag, seeking and finding his cheque book, a glance towards Cale as he asks quietly. "Who should I make this out to?" The apparent swift decision making is obvious.

"Cale Soto," the young man replies. The cookies are considered, but he seems to have no interest in them for the moment. But he does say, "Thank you," to the offer. "I'm already well trained with computers, I'll just need to push up to the right level for this. Given the sensitivity of the matter, I wouldn't want to delve into it without the skill to handle what needs to he handled."

Robert writes the cheque, tearing it out and offering him the slip of paper. "There you go. Keep me informed." Business done, he leans back, savouring his coffee as he takes a slow sip. "If you need anything else, will you let me know?" The question is soft, thoughtful, Robert's eyes resting on Cale.

Cale takes the check and quickly slips it away into his pocket. "Of course I will keep you apprised," he agrees. A little relaxation coming to him after the business is done. Though the further question prompts an arch of his brow. "I'll do that too. Though I'm not interested in taking too much from you. Given that this won't be a traditional business, the profits for the long term project will mostly be funneled back into paying salaries, maintaining equipment and other expenses. Since we're a small community. Though I'll be trying to think of ways to make It more profitable. I'd like to pay back your money in a more substantial way."

"I am not short of funds, Cale." There is a dry humor in the Ulfric's voice as he settles into his chair, considering Cale thoughtfully. "This is a thing that fits in with the direction I feel we should be taking. We should be aiding each other to protect and support those who require it." He leans forward, reaching for a cookie, breaking it into pieces to eat it slowly. "If your project protects one of my family, I consider it money well spent."

"It's a matter of principal, more than anything else," Cale murmurs. "But I understand. In any case, I'm starting small so that if it falls through, there's as little damage as possible. Maybe if it works here, we can expand it to other nearby towns." The young man thoughtful on the matter. "We'll see. At the very least, the knowledge base will be easy to expand."

"I can arrange for a list of my people, and their details for contacting. I believe it is important to include the registration status of the people involved, and whether they are publicly known…" Robert is moving to the practicalities of the matter. "It would be useful to arrange a contact number, for a person in trouble to call, perhaps across the groups." He is musing aloud, his face thoughtful.

"There's something else that one of ours is doing that might be useful in addition," Cale notes. "I have to talk with him about it, however. We'll have basic information on who registers. Name, status, current residence, an image on file. Enough so that if they make trouble, we can find them. For now I'll probably rent a safe deposit box to keep it in.. or something similar. I don't want to keep it at my place since my place isn't secure and I suspect it would be.. less comfortable for it to be where my kind gather. Some might have issue with that, even if I keep it locked up where only I can access the records."

"I have this information for my people also. It is useful for my lawyer to know this information when representing them." Robert speaks softly, practical to the end. "I keep this at a safe location." Robert leans his hands on the table, considering Cale thoughtfully. "I appreciate you bringing this to me, Cale. It is this type of cooperation that I consider necessary."

"I have this information for my people also. It is useful for my lawyer to know this information when representing them." Robert speaks softly, practical to the end. "I keep this at a safe location." Robert leans his hands on the table, considering Cale thoughtfully. "I appreciate you bringing this to me, Cale. It is this type of cooperation that I consider necessary."

Cale nods his head slightly. "It started as a way to protect my own, but I figure it will protect them more to extend it to others and will help them as well." He leans back then and shakes his head slightly. "Anyway.. that's about all I have right now. Going to need to get a new job as well, though I'm not really sure just what sort "

Wednesday and just past lunchtime on a fine Spring day. Robert and Cale are settled at a table, with newspapers put to one side, in favour of coffee and cookies. "If all of our kind worked together, it would protect us much more effectively than any of us working alone. Had the first kill been noted as a problem, others would have been safer." Robert sighs, reaching for a cookie once more, his voice soft enough to keep his words between himself and the other man. "A new job? What do you do?"

The door to the cafe opens and a petite blonde enters. Brigid is wrapped in tight leather, and fills it out rather well. Blonde curls bobbing well down her back, her hair is pulled back to not only reveal but display her pointed, Fae ears. She struts in with unnatural grace and the demeanor of a woman who expects to be noticed, and is used to it.

"I was a b it broad in college," Cale admits. His jacket is off and hung against the back of the chair. He himself is leaned back, speaking in a more relaxed tone and normal volume. "I majored in art and computer science, though not nearly enough for the needs, but that'll be rectified. Creative writing, mechanics and electronics. All are things I've picked up to a lesser degree."

"I do not know anyone who has needs of your abilities. Will that figure not give you enough that you can live while you set this up?" Abrupt and to the point, Robert is not a diplomat when it comes to conversation, and he glances up at the woman briefly as he reaches for another of the cookies. "It is a valid use for the money."

Brigid orders a mocha latte, heavy on the cream, and turns to give the cafe a once-over. Bright, green eyes gaze openly, almost to the point of staring as she surveys everyone individually.

"I had no plans to use this money for that purpose," Cale replies. "Besides, it won't last forever and if several thousand are used for some other purpose, there will be that much less for the project." He shakes his head and adds, " I'm not going to rely on this for my living. I need to find something suitable. After the long range plan is in effect, then I could draw off that, maybe. But for now, no." he shakes his head. His head turns and he noticed Brigid. His brows lifting slightly.

"It would be a valid use to enable the project to go ahead earlier." Robert points out softly to the other man, his tone kept between the pair. "However, if it contradicts your ethical viewpoint, I can understand that." An odd formal use of words from the man munching the cookies, his attention primarily on Cale, with the slightest of flickers towards Brigid.

Brigid's drink is ready and she pays with a C-note, stuffing much of the change into the tip jar. Sipping slowly, she approaches the two men's table with the casual walk of a runway model. And although the Cafe isn't terribly full, she stops right at the table. "Good afternoon. Would you two gentlemen mind some company?"

"I make enough to live now," Cale notes, looking back to Robert. "I'm just thinking I should probably take advantage of my skills more. I've been.. half asleep recently. I'm finally starting to wake up, I think. I'm just not sure.." He pauses when Brigid approaches and asks to join. Instead of answering himself, he glances towards Robert with an arched brow.

"So long as you do not starve before the project is completed." Robert's tone is dryly amused, as the woman approaches the table, and he glances at Cale for an instant before he gestures to the spare seats. "I have no issues with this. Cale?" The odd formality is still there and he turns his gaze back to the woman, after glancing at Cale, considering her.

Brigid looks from one to the other, sipping her coffee with something of an amused smile. "It wasn't intended to be a difficult question. I'm Brigid, with the BHFR - Bureau of Human Fae Relations."

"I'm the guest here," Cale notes. Perhaps answering to both Robert's query and Brigid's note. His eyes flick to her ears when she notes her affiliation, nodding slightly before he admits, "I don't know much about the fae. I'm Cale. Artist, mostly."

"You are welcome to join us then. Robert Moye." Robert's gesture invites her to join them, and his gaze is interested, the slight headtilt wolflike. "I am not familiar with the organisation but I am certain I am neither human nor fae." His voice is dry, a flicker of humor in his eyes as he offers her the cookie plate.

Brigid's eyes brighten, her smile coy as she slides into a seat where she can see them both. "No, you most certainly are not, Robert." she replies. "It's a pleasure to meet you both. And for the uninformed, the BHFR's primary function is to be first on the call list whenever some Fae in the city does something stupid and the Police get involved."

"Clean up crew then. I'll keep that in mind," Cale murmurs, considering Brigid. "Makes it seem like you do more than just that, though. But I suppose a more.. precise name might be a bit unfriendly on the ear. I suppose you have some interesting stories, right?"

Robert's eyebrow lifts up at her comment, the man startled for a moment at the coy comment and he clears his throat uncomfortably before he speaks. "It sounds a unique job." He manages the comment as he reaches for his coffee mug, glancing away for a moment.

Brigid sips her drink, smiling at both assessments. "It is either very dull or a damned nuisance." she replies. "But most of the Fae in the city behave themselves. Those who choose not to are generally new to the city, and I don't have many repeat offenders." She smiles a little at the last.

Cale glances towards Robert, considering him for a moment before he returns his attention to Brigid. "I suppose so. Sounds a bit like babysitting, which isn't a job I envy. But I assume you do it because it does something for you. Since I've never heard of any big problems, I'd assume they do." He pauses, a thoughtful expression coming and lingering after he says as much.

Robert lapses into silence, letting people with more small talk take over that role whilst he focuses on the part that he excels on. Coffee drinking in impassive silence, glancing between the pair and listening thoughtfully. He sips the coffee, his gaze moving between them as they talk.

Brigid nods to Cale, gaze shifting from him to Robert more than a few times. "I could go into the difficulties we've had in integraging with the Humans, but the Fae are not the only ones with such problems. And I've interrupted your conversation already."

Cale shakes his head and glances towards Robert for a moment. "Just me talking over my job hunting issues," he replies, his eyes flicking back to Brigid. "If you've got something you want to talk about, feel free to suggest it. It'll probably be better than what I've got to go on about."

"Our conversation was complete, I believe." Robert's voice is a low rumble, coming directly from his chest almost. Cale's suggestion that Brigid has a topic raises that single eyebrow once more and he returns his impassive gaze to her questioningly, thoughtfully.

Brigid looks from one to the other again, her gaze settling at last on Robert. "I am still learning the ways of your kind, to be honest. But I can tell a few things about you. First off, I will surmise that you are both the same… is species the right word?… by the fact that you are speaking cordially. Secondly, Robert is the more senior between you."

"We're not the same," Cale replies, his expression sobering as he notes at a lower volume, "And be careful with your volume. Robert is public, I am not. While I can't conceal it from everyone, I tend to be discreet to minimize that." While his mood doesn't become unfriendly, he does gain a certain seriousness.

"I am the Ulfric for the wolf pack within Chicago city. Cale is merely a friend and someone whose business idea I am investing in." Robert's voice is a low rumble, gently correcting her, his glance towards the other in the cafe cautious. "There is a protocol when acknowledging certain facts in our world."

Brigid nods slowly. "Of course." she replies to Cale, sipping her drink again. Blonde brows raise when Robert declares his position and she gives him an interested look. "Perhaps you could enlighten me with regard to this protocol? While I am unsure whether it's practical for our people to work together, I would like to minimize possible confrontations."

Cale arches a brow slightly at Brigid. "I'd imagine that's not a big problem either. Again, not having heard of any real trouble of note." His eyes flick towards Robert, questioning. Deciding to refrain from saying more just yet.

"Unless the other person is known to be publicly what they are, you do not acknowledge what they are with overt words. We use the term family for the type." His voice is neutral, the facts given impassively, as he glances at Cale and then back to Brigid. "What manner of working do you have in mind?" The direct question is more comfortable for him, and he rests his hands together on the table.

Brigid nods slowly. "Family. Yes, that is much more discrete." she replies. "I would not presume to be in any form of control over the Fae, or Sidhe in the City. That would be like trying to catch the wind or chain lightning. We are few, but we have much to offer in the way of talent. There may be situations where you require aid that we can offer, and likewise."

"That's certainly something that's not really my purview," Cale replies, leaning back slightly. "But I suppose I could mention it at least. If you have a card, I could pass it along. Though if not, I'm sure it wouldn't be hard since you're official." His eyes then shift to Robert.

"As it happens, I was discussing the use of fae magic yesterday with a member of my family. It seems to come up frequently for me of recent times. However, we are not decided that we require it." Robert's words are formal but it seems merely a habit. "But I do believe that the segregation of groups is needless and inappropriate in this current climate." He reaches for his wallet, withdrawing a business card that states his profession as a personal trainer, offering it to her.

Brigid reaches into her bodice and slides out a pair of cards, handing one to each of them. It lists simply her name (no last name), with the Bureau title and a cell phone number below. It's also curved to… fit. "Thank you." she replies, slipping Robert's card into the top of the other cup. "I am a hunter, by nature, as well as a bodyguard. I have been active in both professions for over a millenium, following my training."

Cale smirks faintly at the production of cards. He takes his lightly, eyeing it for a moment before it gets slipped into his pocket. "I'll express that as well." He glances towards Robert thoughtfully. "Should I suggest a meeting? Or leave it be?"

"Pass the message on, Cale. Let your family head decide for himself." Robert's reply is soft, thoughtful as he pockets that card, sliding his wallet away. "A hunter?" He gives the woman a thoughtful look, the faintest trace of approval in the large man's eyes. "I can speak for my family, Brigid, and I would welcome communication between me and mine, and your people. I see no need for useless barriers."

Brigid brightens, smiling more broadly as she sips from her drink again. "Please do, Cale. I would very much like to keep open communication between our families. And perhaps we could hunt together sometime, Robert?"

Cale nods slightly and glances between the two. "I'll see what I can do," he replies to them. "I think I'll get moving. I have to make some calls and hunting isn't something I'm that good at." He rises smoothly, turning to snap up his jacket to get it on.

"Thank you for our conversation, Cale. I will await results with interest." Formality once more, Robert offers his hand to the other man and an abrupt nod. "Hunting would be interesting with someone that is not of my family. Do you have a preferred location and beast?" His gaze returns to Brigid, with that head tilt that is so wolflike.

Brigid nods to Cale as he rises. "Nice meeting you, Cale." she offers. Turning back to Robert, she replies. "I have hunted many creatures, including men and Fae. While I prefer horseback, I am equally comfortable with running afoot."

Cale leans forward and shakes Robert's hand and give it a firm, but normal shake. "I'll let you know how things go," he promises. He then looks towards Brigid with an arched brow at her own words. But he doesn't say a thing, instead turning to take his leave from the Poly for now. With that air of purpose lingering about him.

"My preference is for deer or bear." Robert's reply is even and he offers her the cookie plate as he takes one of his own. "Obviously, I prefer to be on foot. Are there many fae in this city? I am aware of one who has contact with my family, but otherwise, I have had limited contact with your people." He pauses, adding softly, "You should speak with Emily. She has interests of a similar plan."

Brigid gives a bit of a shrug. "The Sidhe drift in and out of Chicago, many without reporting to the Bureau. But generally no more than two handfuls at any given time. We are not all so obvious or bold in our presence." She sips again, then asks. "Who is Emily?"

"Emily is the deputy mayor of Chicago. She believes that we should have understanding between our peoples." Robert's reply is quickly spoken as he reaches for another cookie, breaking it into pieces before eating it quickly. "Do all of your family openly acknowledge it?"

Brigid considers, then nods. "Most do, yes. There are always a few who are still coming to terms with what they are. Many Fae are abandonned to be raised in the Human world."

"For us, the concern is more that outing us can be down to survival. There are those of my old family that died because a human feared their infection and killed them." Robert's voice is low, low enough to be just her for, his gaze resting on her face. "It is a necessary evil for them to hide if their chosen profession is one they would lose."

Brigid nods, meeting his gaze evenly. "We are skilled at hiding, when we need to do so." she replies. "Hiding and misdirection, subtle manipulation, these are all common tools to us. Centuries ago, the Fae lost a war with the Humans. It is necessary for us to remain on good terms and to live by their rules."

Robert nods slowly, returning that gaze. "Humans, when they fear you, can be remarkably vicious." His tone is neutral and he reaches for his coffee, finishing the mug in one swig before he places it on the empty cookie plate, pushing it away. "Brigid, it has been a pleasure. Please, do call me if I can aid you or yours."

Brigid nods to him, toying with her own cup. "Likewise, Robert. And let's arrange to go hunting sometime soon."

Robert nods, acknowledgement of her words as he rises, leaving a note on the table to cover his food and drink, with a healthy tip, before he leaves.

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