16398/Hiring Season

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Hiring Season
Date of Scene: 23 November 2023
Location: Warren's Penthouse
Synopsis: Warren recruits Doug as the new Chief Systems Analyst for his company.
Cast of Characters: Warren Worthington, Douglas Ramsey

Warren Worthington has posed:
Warren Worthington is wearing a thick white cashmere sweater and comfortable trousers, almost casual for his tastes. Technically, this is a business meeting, but the hours and day are unusual. He had promised Doug that he would make any disruption of the younger man's holiday routine worth his while.

His apartment is palatial, of course, but he doesn't keep servants. Does he have some at other properties? Yes, but in the city, it always seemed a little tacky. The apartment is large but not so large as he can handle and a simple maid service suffices to keep things tidy. That said, the building does have strict security.

As a result, Doug will be met by a doorman and accompanied on the elevator up the stairs, even with Warren's prior authorization. Warren tips the security man with a hundred dollar bill, then invites Doug fully into the apartment. "Can I get you a drink? I'm actually a fairly good bartender. Somebody had to be, we were too well known around Westchester to slip into the bar unnoticed in my errant youth."

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug mutters, "We used to sneak up to Montreal." Is that true or not? Who knows? All young people have to misbehave somehow, right? Doug is dressed-down today, in a pair of chinos, white button-down shirt, a pair of hi-tops and sunglasses that absolutely have a bluetooth connection to his cell phone.

He sets his laptop bag - not that he couldn't compromise national security just fine with his phone if he felt like it - down and then he huffs out his cheeks, before he says, "Oooooh, why not. I'll have a Moscow Mule. Couldn't you just buy whatever bar you wanted?" He asks, all genuine curiosity. "Well, maybe not when you were fifteen."

Warren Worthington has posed:
Warren Worthington nods and points a finger, "Precisely. I could sometimes do the bit of bribery to get things done - bribery is better than theft, we're all enriched that way - but I was always a bit babyfaced. Hank could usually pass, but he and Scott were always the most nervous about doing something illegal. Bobby and I had to talk them into it, most of the time."

He mixes the drink carefully and makes a highball for himself, taking a sip as he comes around to settle into a custom easy chair, his wings accommodated, allowed to rest against supports extending to either side. "Put simply, I've had an unexpected job opening. My Chief Systems analyst got poached by a rival corporation. I might have prevented it, I got a last minute heads-up from an intermediary. But when I looked into his work, I found it...substandard. Tangled. I think a lot of the metrics for our data management across the board throughout Worthington may be woefully inefficient. So I need someone with the capability of untangling such a web. And yes, Kitty and I are...close, but she has a full time job already. I'm not saying you're the second best in any way, in that regard. Frankly, I wouldn't know. But I'd also like to help the career of a fellow mutant and a fellow Xavier's grad.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug thinks about that, as he tilts that copper cup from side to side. "Well," Doug muses, "I'm pretty good at data analytics, interpretation, extrapolation..." He perches on a stool. "I work remotely a lot. There are times when I need to disentangle myself from uh - everything. Decompress, reduce my data intake until I can get back on an even keel."

He thinks about that, and then he adds, "To be honest, I don't know if you'd find anybody with a better set of tools to do the job you're asking for than me. I suppose I could be humbler about that. But I would want to know about pay, benefits - all that stuff." He takes a sip of his drink, and then he muses, "Hmmm. Australian Finger Lime. Nice." He clears his throat.

"To be honest I've freelanced for some time now. It'd be nice to have steady work."

Warren Worthington has posed:
Warren Worthington smiles, "Salary will be appropriate to a sections chief within the company. You'd be considered an executive, in fact, with the accompanying benefits. You could even join the Hellfire Club, if you wanted, albeit as a direct corporate benefit of being a Worthington executive." And nowhere near Warren's own status, but still - Doug could go to the bar and the shows and attend special events.

"1.5 million a year? Ish? I can make it a round 2 million if you like. The city is so very expensive these days, although, as you noted, you can work remotely much of the time and live in much more tax friendly locales as you please. You'll have access to company cars and helicopters as well. Full medical, obviously, with dental and vision. Life insurance. Access to country clubs all over the country, if you want to take up golf. I imagine with your gifts, the physics of it might be just up your alley. Company credit card and expenses account."

"I will warn you that you might face resentment, stubbornness, animosity. The old boss hired a lot of them - personnel evaluations will be one of your first tasks - and they'll be very irritated that you'll be skipping the traditional chain of command. Is that something you think you could handle?"

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug purses his lips briefly, and then he says, "...1.5 million is fine." He takes a slightly longer drink from his Moscow Mule, before he adds, "Joining the Hellfire Club WOULD be an interesting perk but I just can't bring myself to wear a poet shirt-" He stops, and for a moment an impish glimmer appears in his blue eyes. "But I don't mind being snuck in as a plus one every now and then."

"I communicate very well by e-mail." Doug affirms. "They'd barely know that I'm here. Just consider me part of the wallpaper."

"Well." Doug says, as he tips his drink from side to side, "It's a very generous offer. I think I'd like to accept."

Warren Worthington has posed:
Warren Worthington smiles, 'You show me a great deal of trust. I appreciate that. I suppose that is sort of the Xavier's bond, though, isn't it? So much of that is what high society is - it's just knowing one another, having the same connections, being sent to the same schools, played in the same sports leagues. Congratulations, you've just cashed in on a private school chum. You'll be wearing a smoking jacket before you know it. I bet you'll look good in one. You can try one of mine if you like," he says.

He gets up, getting drink refills and offering back a toast of his own. "To our mutual success," he says.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug raises his mug in a toast to Warren. "To success." He says, before he thinks about that. "I don't know how I'd look in a smoking jacket, but I always figured I'd end up in a tweed jacket with leather elbow patches." He flashes a bright grin, before he adds, "But I can kill it at karaoke at the company christmas party." He drains the rest of his drink, and sets the mug down.

"Now, since you're my boss, tell me what you're going to need from me while I get started?"

Warren Worthington has posed:
Warren Worthington winces, "Oh, better you than me. I have an ego about many things, no doubt, but a songbird I am not. That's not to say I don't try, but belting Whitesnake drunk off my ass isn't always the best look. That's why I only do it with Xavier's folk - we all know how to keep a secret."

"Well, as I indicated, first and foremost, an assessment. How things are running - in your own domain first, but a greater analysis of the company as a whole is the plan I have in mind. I don't keep a strong hand on the wheel all the time - I'm not a natural businessman. Aristocrat, yes, and I have the education and the skills for it. It just...doesn't always bring me the most pleasure. My laxity can come at a cost, however, and I'd like a keen mind to help me build the kind of company I want to have. A lot of things are still remnants of my father's time as CEO, rest his soul and all that jazz. He was a bastard and I somehow still miss him," he sighs, taking another long drink.

"I don't want you to think I stay home getting drunk every night. Just most nights," he grins. It's definitely an exaggeration, he gets out plenty, but playing the overly decadent playboy type has never served him wrong.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
"Well, that's the thing. You can delegate, especially in a privately-owned company, as long as you know what's going on. And after I complete my assessment, you will know *everything* that's going on in your company." Doug quirks his mouth to the side. "I think having a complicated relationship with your family is a prerequisite for getting into Xavier's school. Haven't spoken to mine since the M word got dropped."

This time, Doug gets up and helps himself to some tequila behind the bar. He braces himself and takes a drink from the cup, before he shrugs. "Networking. It's a business expense."

Warren Worthington has posed:
Warren Worthington shakes his head, "My father was much the same, only it was only in private. In public, I was to keep my wings hidden and, in return, he would continue to be my father in public, let me keep my trust fund, so long as I did not humiliate him by displaying my freakish deformity in front of anyone respectable or not entirely under his control. He scorned me entirely in private, spoke to me as little as possible except to tell me how to behave in front of others in order not to embarrass him."

"I'm not sure he would've approved of me much even if I hadn't been a mutant. But it sure as hell didn't help."

"But Professor Xavier found me, offered me a place to be myself, to not have to hide my gift - and truly, mine is a gift, regardless of how it may have made others see me. To fly, Doug, ah, to fly - there is nothing like it."

"I'm sure your abilities have pleasing aspects. You seem fairly proud - you must enjoy being smarter than most everyone."

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug exhales, and he says, "I wrestle with the black dog as often as anybody and more often than most, Warren." He sets the mug down. "I had a lifetime of people keeping me in the back row, holding me back, and treating me like a soft target." He gestures, palms-up. "I know why they did it. Sometimes they were even right. But... I've decided I'm going to try exploring what I'm capable of, with no limiter on me except for my own conscience."

He gives a bright smile. "...Though I prefer to keep my light under a bushel. Being headhunted by half of the intelligence agencies in the world and just plain hunted by the other half would not be a fun time."

Warren Worthington has posed:
Warren Worthington nods, "You can flaunt as much or as little as you like," he says. "I like the spotlight, but I have the wealth and status to back it up. And I don't seem that threatening, the pretty boy with the pretty wings. I still get sneers, of course - bigotry knows no class - but they usually have the good sense to hide it. Especially since I started calling them out when they did. My father was right about one thing - the worst thing you can do to these people is humiliate them. They hide it better now, at least."

"You shine quite brightly to me. I, too, was often overlooked - how could I not be, next to the others? Even Hank had his genius on top of his physical might. For me, it made me want to be independent, to not have to rely on the X-men, even, to make my life. And I didn't want my life to only be war and battle. I'm not a superhero - I don't go out and fight muggers, although I would if I saw one in front of me, of course."

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
"I always figured the Professor had you picked out to be the face of things." Doug muses. "Me? I sort of got absorbed in as necessity dictated. I know people like to drag the Professor through the mud, and even I take some of the things he's said and done with a grain of salt, but I understand why he made the choices he did. An army of mutant paramilitaries is most useful if they're effective *and* they have a demographic."

"Then again, I'm not inclined to let Magneto off as easy as people have been lately. If he actually gave a shit he would've stopped calling himself 'Imperator' and putting up statues of himself, and he'd be at the table with the rest of us." Doug pauses, and then he studies his copper cup. "Very good tequila, Warren... it snuck right up on me."

Warren Worthington has posed:
Warren Worthington nods, "I'm of a similar mind of Magneto - the Brotherhood entirely, in fact. I know we have a standing truce, but do I believe for a second that Mystique and Magneto playing nice is anything other than good PR? The only reason Magneto isn't at the table is that he wants to be courted. They will lose their patience again. And I understand losing patience, but I'm not willing to hurt innocent people to prove my point. And I still think, deep down, they are."

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug sits on the edge of the bar now, with his hands on his knees. "Making problems worse so that you can decry them and draw others to your banner is a despicable tactic. I'll play along as long as the screw isn't turned, because I think even he thinks he's doing what's necessary..." Doug rubs the back of his neck, "But at the same time, I will not blindly worship the man." Doug mutters, "The only one of us who's usually right is Scott, and even he's messed it up royally a couple of times."