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D-Dinner? Com-Company? Mayb-Maybe? {Tara}

Alndys

Mercenary, Artist.
Writer
Blas-Tech Towers
Research & Development Labs
Late Afternoon

The sounds of his dress shoes against the durasteel floor was jarring in the empty space, and the lack of noise coming from the labs around him was an indicator at the hour. All the work stations that should have been occupied, were quite devoid of any activity. Their day's were ending, and his was just now partially winding down. His poor fitting suit clashed a little with his shoes, and his glasses appeared to be slightly askew as his soles carried him through the area. Out of place like a Sith in the middle of the Jedi Temple, his awkward cadence of steps hinted at the poor grace with which he always exhibited. Being a CEO had done little to change him, if it weren't for his keen mind, he'd be nothing more than a pen pusher behind a desk at most the rest of his life. Fate had different plans, and on this day he was down in the bowels of his company's headquarters on a mission.

The Tartoros Alpha-Line was in production, and selling quite well.

Coming to a rest at the door, he heard the noise that had attracted him. His other senses, and the video footage from the security footage had said the same thing. @Tara Lasood was still busily toiling away, working despite the hour. Cade had thought she was kidding when they had first met on Dantooine. That her art came before everything, and she had not lied to him at all in fact. Tara had eschewed the comforts that her new found riches had provided her, and she wasn't out celebrating with the rest of the team she had assembled. Instead, he could hear her hydro-spanner working feverishly to improve whatever she was working on. The four-and-a-half meter tall behemoths that filled the room made her look quite small, but the man that had left his post knew better.

Her personality made her the most fearsome thing in the room.

Stopping once more, a comfortable distance away. He raised a hand, to no one, he chided himself. She couldn't see the futile gesture to get his attention, and the sound of her work overwhelmed his cautious steps. Placing his hands back down by his sides, he crossed them behind his back and braved a few more steps. Another set of tools were knocked over, but with a speed and grace she never would see, he caught them and replaced them in a blur of motion. The facade settled back over him, and the confidence in the motion was gone. Cade Lee had returned, and his diminutive voice finally announced his presence.

"A-are you still working on this beautiful creation?" Emboldened by finally speaking, he made a half circle while coming closer. Leaning against the one customizable arm on the creation, he looked down at her in her lab coat and black attire as she worked. "You know the board and all your employees are out cel-celebrating the success of the Tartoros right? I just left the final meeting of the day. Do you have any plans to celebrate your fin-fine work Ms. La-Lasood?"

@Cade Lee

Tara spun abruptly, bringing up a hydrospanner in self-defense to bludgeon whoever had said her name. Truth be told, as absorbed as she was in her work, she hadn't even heard Cade until he'd addressed her by name - and it took the engineer a moment to lower the tool and process his question.

The hydrospanner clanked into a small tray as she brushed her hair back, quickly covering up the intensity and passion that went into her work with the same distant disdain with which she addressed nearly everyone. Tara Lasood, her team had found, was not an easy woman to work for. Her hours were grueling, to match her high expectations. Everything had to be completed within her specifications, to her design, and a brutal dressing-down - or in one case, abrupt termination - awaited any staff with the audacity to question her orders. Experienced, seasoned engineers at the tops of their respective fields did not take well to being treated like clumsy interns by a woman typically many years their junior. But kark their pride; Tara had been promised full creative control and funding in exchange for her work, and she meant to exercise one to produce the other.

The wall went up, regardless. Tara pulled a cigarette from the case resting in the breast pocket of her coat, and lit up - as good a time to take a break as any, right? "I do not see the point in celebrating. We did our jobs. What was expected of us." Tara said absently, though a degree of disdain crept into her voice. "Why should we pat ourselves on the back for doing what we have been paid to do?"

Truthfully, she had considered going along just for the tension relief - but she'd been a woman on a mission during the entirety of the Tartorus project. Tara worked herself to the bone not because it was simply her job; her father had just died. Or, rather, she had just found out about it. Working on his dream, making it more of a reality than he ever could have, was her ay of apologizing for the hundreds of arguments, the sleepless nights, the years of tuition. Perhaps it was self-aggrandizing, perhaps it was punishment. But with a wrench in her hand and mechs to build, Tara felt closer to her father than she ever had growing up.

Tara turned back to the Tartorus she'd been working on. It stood proudly next to the Lapetus - both the first of their lines. She climbed nimbly up the Mech's armored hide and pulled a control panel out from between plates of durasteel. "However, I am glad they are selling well. This bodes well for your business plans, Cade Lee." She complimented as something of an afterthought, perching a couple of meters up with a cigarette between her lips and the guts of a mechanical monster's arm in her hands.

A Lasood's natural environment.
 

Lex-El

An Honest Man
Character
MUCH LATER(ILUCRASH...NOTREALLY)

@[member="Tara Lasood"]

Sitting in the hover-craft now, Cade made sure to nimbly pilot the expensive vessel with care and easy. Weaving through the traffic around Tara's apartment, he headed in a general direction towards the type of location his best designer was wanting. Neither of them was dressed to the nine's, but tonight wasn't about that. So often she was in her typical lab garments, or inside the Tartoros itself during her work hours. The one time he had met her outside the tower where they worked, it had been her recruitment. Even then she had been casually dressed, and he was too over dressed per the norm.

"So, an-any idea where you would li-like to go?" He kept his grip on the controls steady, and the light managed to catch off a new ring he was wearing on his right hand. With his left he adjusted his spectacles before splitting his attention between the lanes of traffic and the woman sitting next to him. If he had been in the mood to show of his wealth, he could have. This wasn't the time or the place, and for feth's sake, he wrote the checks to her anyways. If anything this allowed them to enjoy some normalcy away from the rather extraordinary lives they led. Tara was a genius when it came to advanced mechanics and her knowledge was changing the way wars were being fought. Combined with the new line of weapons he had designed, his company was taking off. Such profit wouldn't go unnoticed by the multiple governments his company dealt with. That was why this dinner was taking place, to spread it out a little.

That and turns out she didn't look that bad at all outside of work.

"I'm fine with an-anything really. So long as I actually get to sit down and just enjoy myself for an hour or two and not hear another word about reports or sales charts."
 

Alndys

Mercenary, Artist.
Writer
@Cade Lee

Tara could appreciate a fine bit of machinery - and in this case, that extended to Cade's speeder. She could feel the vibration of a healthy engine, the way it pulled slightly to one side to indicate that he hadn't got around to a minute factory recall from earlier in the ear, the way the way the whole craft seemed poised and ready to take off, to leap over Galactic City's overcrowded streets and over the walkways, free of restraint. In a perfect world, such a beautiful machine could be used to it's full extent without the arbitrary limitations imposed upon it by a fearful and timid population.

That speed limits existed was a sin against every engineer who'd designed a speeder with velocity and roaring wind in her heart.

"There is a plaza not far from here." Tara explained, glancing over the side of the craft as the city passed underneath them. "I hear it has a glorious fountain, natural trees, and is a popular destination among musicians." She listed off, glancing across the speeder at her casually dressed 'boss' with a raised eyebrow. "There are a few places to procure food around the perimeter of the plaza."
 

Lex-El

An Honest Man
Character
@[member="Tara Lasood"]

"Setting it down over there then, and a fount-fountain? We could get we-wet!" The mock shock on his face was played to the fullest, letting her know he was trying to at least be some semblance of relaxed. It wasn't the best joke, but he was making up for it with is above average handling of the speeder. A moment of impatience showed on his face, and he quickly grew tired of the stop and start flow of the traffic. "At this rate, we will simply be sitting in traffic and not eating." Looking through his mirrors, and toying with the after market sensor upgrades, he came to the only logical decision. One that in hindsight should terrify him given the ring he was wearing on his right hand, and the fact that he was operating without ALL of his senses. Tara didn't need to know, and had made it twenty years through his life like this. So the initial "blindness" he had been warned about was negligible.

Cade pressed hard on the accelerator while throttling up and cutting over all the traffic in one motion.

Jaw muscles that rarely showed themselves tensed, and he looked more like a man used to this than he should. Cade didn't even bother to try and hide the joy he was feeling, and the roar of the craft was audible as it flew past traffic. Feeling a bit of bravado, he changed a glance and without a stutter mouthed,"watch this." With a quick flick of his wrist it was upside down and whizzing between other speeders before it quickly set down at it's destination in a landing that showed he had done this a few times before. "Few" being the subjective word in that sentence.

The craft opened and he adjusted his blazer and glasses before walking over to Tara. "Where to first? You hungry or w-want some entertainment?"
 

Alndys

Mercenary, Artist.
Writer
@Cade Lee

Zipping, zooming, the roar of the engine and the pleasure of a machine doing what it was made to do! True art could never be restrained! As Cade let the throttle out and circumvented traffic, Tara gave a genuine 'whoop!' of elation, before fiddling with her restraints. She stood up as best she could with the harness holding her in position, arms in the air, kept securely in pace as he flipped the speeder over. Dangling there, with the wind blowing her hair back and the city rushing by them, Tara closed her eyes and grinned. A perfect moment. The soul of the speeder was with them, as exultant to serve it's full potential as she was to experience it.

Then, the world stopped being upside-down, and then it stopped zooming by.

The engineer slipped out of the speeder with a broad grin, lighting a cigarette - she'd been courteous enough not to smoke in his vehicle, but that same courtesy didn't apply to 'outside'. "A walk. Let us see what the city has to offer us." Tara decided, taking Cade's arm with a lopsided smirk. He'd done well, in her opinion - shown her he wasn't completely spineless, that he knew how to have fun. She'd gone from tolerating his presence to enjoying it.
 

Lex-El

An Honest Man
Character
@[member="Tara Lasood"]

"Sounds good to me." The stutter wasn't there, he was too busy throwing the control key to the valet. A nod was all that was needed as the speeder was taken, and they were free to carry on about their day. The slump in his shoulders was still there, and Cade did everything he could to keep his arms as relaxed as possible. It wasn't easy making a man as large as he was in reality, look so small with just some large clothes. A different size, closer to his natural one, was doing a poor job of hiding the powerful frame he did on a day-to-day basis. All Tara needed to do was give a firm squeeze, and she'd learn her boss did a few things he didn't tell anyone about. It was bad enough he stuttered and wore glasses, but being built like a statue and wearing those horrible suits would be enough to make someone call his bluff.

He had to be more, and he was.

Tonight, he was just Cade Lee enjoying himself. The duracrete walkway was lined with grasses from many different worlds, somewhere a gardener was patting himself on the back for the work he had done with all the different species of flora. Flowers were scattered about, and the people milling about seemed to be relaxed. This wasn't up-scale Coruscant, nor was it the slums. People were having fun, and a smile was growing on his face. "So," he said as he kept their meandering pace. "How's the move treated you? Are thi-things finally starting to settle dow-down?"
 

Alndys

Mercenary, Artist.
Writer
@Cade Lee

"As much as they settle, I suppose." Tara remarked absently, squeezing Cade's arm faintly. She'd picked up on the definition a bit ago, actually. Even if she wasn't sure why a clumsy guy had that kind of musculature (and was trying to hide it!), Tara wasn't the sort to worry overmuch about why. After all, his secrets were his own to keep. Everyone in the galaxy seemed to have secrets. "My team sometimes does not understand that I expect them to work. I have been busy trying to whip a work ethic into them, and every minute that I must do so is a minute I would rather be doing my own tasks." The engineer complained, before shrugging absently.

"I am glad, however, that the Tartaros design has been realized." She added. "I am pleased with it, although the next model will have some functions that the Alpha does not. Most notably so, maglock feet and booster jets." Tara explained, glancing to her side as a couple Rodian children chased each other down the path with water guns, trying to blast one another.
 

Lex-El

An Honest Man
Character
@[member="Tara Lasood"]

She squeezed his arm, and he didn't allow himself to reflexively flex back. Well, she hasn't said anything thing about it, may as well just roll with it. He had seen first hand how she had been whipping the team into shape, a far cry from how he had pleaded with them when he had been at work on the BTI line of weapons. Many a sleepless night had been spent as he had slipped into the workshop late at night just to get some work done. Living a double life had been a struggle those first few months, but it had kept his presence off the radar completely. Even as the Imperial spies had come scouring the planets for him, for any trace of the vessels he had, they found nothing. A few times he had been a little too brave, hunting them down and killing them in the streets at obscene hours. Cade had risked much under his different guise those nights, and a morbid cycle had emerged during the first two quarters of his ownership of Blas-Tech.

If he wasn't killing at night, he was designing weapons specifically to kill him.

"Well, you can have your flying mech-suits that can fight in zero gravity. I've already sent feelers out to Subach Innes, as well as Baktoid industries to help push our technology a little further. If anything, they can provide us support products, or we out source to them to expand our product base." They stopped at the fountain that had been catching his eye for some time, and he enjoyed the different spouts as the streams of water came out in syncopated patterns. With the absence of a color show found on most modern fountains, it instead relied on the massive waterfall style one in the middle to attract attention. That did just the trick, and he couldn't help but notice how they had designed the edge to make it appear that the water would roll off but it never would. Mr. Lee marveled at it for a moment, and he pulled his arm in a little, keeping his voice to a whisper.

"Yo-you know. We do a lo-lot of business that most have no idea about. Literally the company is flooding with money right now, and short of donating to charity or opening a bunch of factories to produce more goods we dont' need yet...well what are we to do?" Music was reaching his ears, but he whispered a little more to her. "I've got sketches for an armor line on my desk I want you to see, a few private projects that aren't on the books, a droid, and a beam weapon I was told in a board me-meeting today that I couldn't ma-make."

Were it not for that ring, his eyes would be yellow and red at that line.

"So, you whi-whip the team into line." Bespectacled eyes found Tara's, and he smiled warmly. "I'll handle the few old hands that I've not fi-fired. They are just bitter I bought all their stock and completely marginalized them. So, they wi-will be gone soon. For now, show me somewhere to sit and eat. I"m starving, please?"
 

Alndys

Mercenary, Artist.
Writer
@Cade Lee

Tara loved a good fountain. So much motion, designed to work without stopping from the moment the water began flowing into it until it was dismantled years later. A blending of function and design not seen in many places. A fountain existed for it's own sake, for beauty's sake. It needed no other reason. It just was, and that was enough. Her mind's eye traced the contours of the basin, mapping vertex and curvature as Cade droned on about talking with Subach-Innes or some such nonsense. She followed the bumps where the pipes had been cleverly hidden by white permacrete and porcelain, and the places were water caught and stagnated long enough to form residue on the art itself. Little mistakes. Noted, but not deplorable.

Tara fished around in her pocket for a moment as Cade explained a few things to her. After trying to decide whether his talk of shady business and unreasonable amounts of money was him trying to impress her, the engineer decided that she really didn't care. After all... "You had me at beam weapon." She said with a faintly amused tone, glancing up from her inspection of the fountain. "What function are we looking to fill? A ship-to-ship weapon, or something that could be fitted on the next generation of Mechs?" She inquired, raising an eyebrow as she guided Cade away from the fountain by the arm, towards an outdoor food court. Nothing classy or fancy - just nice enough for whatever this was.

A date-ish sort of thing.
 

Lex-El

An Honest Man
Character
@[member="Tara Lasood"]

A date-ish sort of thing?

That exact same thought crossed Cade's mind as they headed towards the food court, and he made sure to lean in closer so that none could hear him. "I want a weapon I can attach to anything, we will just have to be smart with the power draw. I read in some old Imperial text books about how they had a superweapon that used the same concepts I'm wanting to use. Only issue is those are illegal, and I want to mass produce something that we can use with anything the company makes." A small glimmer could be seen if one looked behind his glasses, the thought of that weapon truly excited him. Not only the profits, but the practical uses of such a weapon on the battle field made his head spin.

Only because, in truth, he'd be able to watch it up close.

The hostess merely smiled and went to ask how many when Cade raised up two fingers in his free hand before she could get a word in. Without another word, she took them to one of the tables closest to the edge of the food court. Vendors were selling their food, and the few waiters that were around were busily hurrying to do their jobs. Echoes of voices from the nearby restaurants could be heard, and the place had the option to order up front of be seated and be served with quite a few menus. It wasn't fancy, and it wasn't the place one would find two individuals with the net worth they both possessed, but that's what made it perfect in hindsight. They could just blend in, and enjoy themselves.

"So, you're wondering why I brought up my money right? I want to give you something for your hard work, and hopefully continued collaboration." Cade chose his words carefully, trying to hint slightly at what was to come. "Ba-basically, anti-trust la-laws will come down on Blas-Tech hard if I don't spread some holdings out. While I could keep the front up across the galaxy, for the sa-sake of keeping the company in order. I want to make a subsidiary company for armor, mechs such as the Tartoros, and anything else you could oversee." The waiter came up and dropped some menus for them to look at before dissapearing again.

"I'm basically gi-giving you a company of your own that will be under my umbrella."
 

Alndys

Mercenary, Artist.
Writer
@Cade Lee

His talk of universal weaponry, of perfect synergy and unlimited utility - that was interesting. Heck, if she didn't know better, Tara would have assumed that Cade was trying to arouse her with all the potential ruin such a system could produce. It'd take all of her considerable knowledge and skill to reproduce ancient, forbidden weaponry and bring it up to par with the current technological scale of things. A challenge, a masterpiece. Art.

As he went on, Tara grinned and squeezed Cade's arm, her mind already racing with the possibilities. "If we have the plans, I can make it." She promised simply. "Blas-Tech has credits and influence; what is illegal can be made not so, if you press the right buttons." She pointed out with a smirk. "...not that I am suggesting we bribe a few senators, but have you considered purchasing some votes? I hear it is all the rage among affluent CEOs."

As they were seated, Tara folded one leg over the other and listened patiently as Cade explained his latest plan - an Umbrella company, her own work space and crew as a subsidiary of Blas-Tech. Within a month, he was promoting her from Mech Design to R&D, and then forward to owning her own subsidiary under the largest weapons manufacturer in the Galaxy? Crazy talk. Crazy talk she could get behind, though. The scientist briefly pondered before lacing her fingers together and raising her eyebrows. "And what would we call such a company, then? Would I remain working out of Blas-Techs' tower?" She asked.
 
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