Failure Will Never Be An Option

celia_icon.png gordon_icon.png paul_icon.png

Where: Crain Corporation

When: July 20th 2012

What: Paul is enlisted in an attempt to secure a greater footing and property in Las Vegas by unorthodox means.

"I don't /think/ so," Paul says, addressing no one in the room; he's on his Bluetooth, leafing through papers as he talks and occasionally consulting an oversized calendar underneath. "They'd like it to all be finished by the end of August, but with the training taken into account… I think we can hit September without anyone having to go into panic mode."

Panic mode. Something that Paul might actually go into, seeing that sweeping into his office with no warning, is both Gordon Crain and Celia Crain. Well, there is a heads up, but it pops up in an interoffice instant message just a little too late.

Neither are smiling.

What's /this/ all about? Might not be as bad as it seems. Or it might be worse. Either way, Paul winds up the call - "Ah, something just came up, e-mail me if there's anything else major?" - doing his best to appear more calm than he actually is.

There's a motion from Celia for Paul to finish his call even as she takes up a seat, legs crossed at the ankles and waiting patienly. Gordon just fiddles with his blackberry, thumb swiping, tapping and hitting, otherwise keeping himself occupied. Over his shoulder, a co-worker is peeking through while on his instant messenger pops up another message. U Fired?

In Paul's book, there's really only one correct response to a message like that. After you, he types out, before lowering the screen to get a better look at the bosses— and the better to ignore any further snarky interjections. "So. To what do I owe the pleasure?" He addresses Celia on account of he can actually see her eyes.

"how long have you been employed with us Paul?" There's no mister insert last name here. It's first names. Any snarky messages from his co-worker might not have been snarky and if the look from the both of them, may not be that far from the truth. Celia sits, waiting for an answer, Gordon still working away on his tech though he glances up at him for a moment then back.

Paul thinks back for a moment. "Five years? Or six, depending where you start counting." There was that internship before he came on board full-time. Meanwhile, he searches his memories, considering: is there any particular reason they /would/ be here to ax him? He can't think of any, offhand. It could just be a general downsizing… but then why bother to come see him in person about it? Wouldn't they just send a memo and be done with it?

"Five years,8 months, 32 days" Gordon supplies to his mother, tucking away the blackberry, settling both hands on the back of Celia's chair, shifting to direct his attention to Paul.

"Thank you Gordon. So, almost 6 years. Have you ever… thought about your future here Paul? Where you want to be, five years from now?"
Yes, thank you, Mr. Spock. Wait, 32 days? How does that— Paul dismisses the idle thought, returning his attention to Celia as she continues with the direct questions. "Hopefully working out of the corner office." It's a stereotypical answer, but an accurate one for all that: it belongs to the leader of his project team, has since she came on board a few years ago. Her predecessor— well, the less said of him, the better.

"Ambitious, but not the answer that I had been hoping for" Celia replies, turning to the door - Gordon looks too - when Celia's assistant enters, closing the door behind him. He's bearing a dress bag, a thick manilla envelope and an old-fashioned looking leather portfolio.
Paul takes the assistant himself in stride. What he's carrying with him, though, that's a little odd. "I'm afraid I don't follow you, then," he says to Celia. "What /had/ you been hoping for?" Isn't that ultimately why they're all here? Everyone moves up the ladder— and the ones already at the top, well, the ladder gets taller.

"The right answer. The answer that would have made me feel more secure in what I was going to ask of you." Celia gestures for the assistant to stay where he is, holding onto the items in question. "I had been hoping for an answer that showed true ambition or-"

Gordon cuts her off, getting more to the point. "She's questioning your loyalty to the company and how far you'd go, for us, and your job"
Ah, it's a good thing Gordon came along after all, then— because /that/ was the right answer for Paul to hear. A snarky co-worker questioning his job security is nothing of real concern, but when the heads of the company come right to the same point… He pales at the realization that, no, he really doesn't have an emergency exit plan. "What do you need?" he asks, closing the laptop the rest of the way and setting it aside.

"We need you to cheat time" Celia relays as she turns to the assistant and points to Pauls desk. "If you succeed not only will The Crain Coporation prosper, but we gaurantee that your future here will be secure" He moves forward, laying the suit bag across the desk, followed by the envelope and the leather portfolio. "We need you to secure a land deed on our behalf. In the year 1955"

Paul scratches his head. He was expecting… what? Maybe something illegal, or unethical, or just plain risky. He's not sure where this falls on that spectrum. "Which deed? And what do you mean 'in 1955'— like find the city records and alter them?"

The more literal interpretation is possible, he supposes, but far less expected. The Crains have never indicated knowing anything about /that/ sort of thing… but then they wouldn't, would they? Not if they thought he was just another name on the payroll.

"If it were a matter of changing the city records it would have been done so, but then there would be questions as to who did it, and how given that everyone already knows who owns what. No, in a more literal sense Paul. In the envelope is cash, and all the financial means to procure property for the Crain Coporation as it stands, in 1955" Celia gestures to the envelope and folder. "The suit, Gordon assures me, will stand up to scrutiny and you will have the authority granted by the paperwork, ascertaining that you an employee. There is a plot of land in Vegas, that will be up for sale, we need you to traverse back, and purchase it from the seller, for us. Instead of who it would have been sold to"

Gordon smiles then, like a shark. "Excited?"

Okay, so it /is/ the literal interpretation. Or they've both gone around the bend, but— no, let's just assume that they're on to something real. So what does /that/ mean? He's no science fiction buff, but he's seen some of the Terminator movies. If he does this, and it works… what else would change? How big would it be?

More to the point: if he /doesn't/ do this, what are they liable to do next? Fire him. Ruin his name, just in case he tried to blow the whistle. (Who would believe him?) And send someone else in his place.

Paul glances over the materials, then looks up to Gordon, offering a tight little smile. "Sounds fun."

"Indeed" Celia murmurs, standing up. "We'll notify you, when the time is appropriate. Speak with no one about this Paul. It's highly confidential." This is where Gordon steps in, settling his gaze on Paul. "Speak of our secret and we'll speak of yours. Of your little… trick" There's a gesture to the whole of him. "And we will burn you so badly into the ground that you'll be lucky if you can even collect welfare if you do" He smirks then turns, opening the door and heading out leaving just Celia there, and her assistant.

'Do not fail me Paul. Succeed and there will be rewards. Fail and-" She adjusts a bracelet, smooths a skirt. "Well, we all know in the Crain Corporation that failure is not and never has been an option"

Again, like anyone else would believe him? Well, a few would, and a few others he might be able to use his ability to convince. But if they know about that already - and they /would/ be in a position to notice, especially if they already knew about other such things - then they're liable to already be several steps ahead of him. None of this sounds like a bluff.

"Of course not," he murmurs, reaching for the papers. "And if anyone happens to spot /that/ ahead of time" - nodding toward the dress bag - "it's for an amateur theatre group." The other things are easy enough to hide; his briefcase still has a couple pockets he's never had occasion to use, until now.

"You'll be more believed if you say it's for a theme party somewhere Mister Lindrum" Celia divests verbally before she too is leaving, the faint scent of jasmine where she was and her assistant closes the door behind her.

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