1964-03-26 - Trade Agreements
Summary: A trade agreements discussion that would make Illuminati Conspirators heads spin.
Related: 'None'
Theme Song: None
namor strange maximus skali 

It was a small gathering of like-minded people that filled the posh event space above New York City's fifth avenue. The manner of invitation was subtle enough to not attract undesirables, and yet extensive enough to bring in a few individuals from the West Coast balanced against one or two heavily accented European types, lending a cultural air to the quiet clinking of glasses and main courses served. As a general rule, those who were in attendance represented some stake in the upcoming Trade Agreements Program, destined to reach final approval in July. However, these personal interests were closely guarded, every diplomat and businessman playing a mental game of poker with white teeth and false laughter while the cocktail hour dragged on and the drinks were refilled more times than they ought to be without a full course served.


ROLL: Maximus +rolls 1d20 for a result of: 16


Namor Had barely bothered to comb back his dark hair after his shower. If it hadn't been for his most excellent relationship with the very pushy concierge at the Waldorf Astoria, he'd not have bothered with dressing above his waist at all. As it was, the Prince of Atlantis was done up in a tuxedo - a testiment to just how persuasive a dedicated wait-staff can be when motivated by the risk of a monach looking ill prepared in their care - though he was still debating excusing himself to the bathroom for a change. Snatching a champagne flute from a passing tray, he ran his fingers through still damp hair, his forced grin looking absurd on his usually somber face while he listened to some CEO yammering on, promising a bid on the next deep-sea project.


For the man idly swirling a golf-sized sphere of ice in his crystal highball glass, the stake lies in the Mystical. After all, trade tariffs extend beyond the reaches of the mundane. Wasn't he wrangling an errant adolescent griffin that escaped its shipping container not a week back?

Strange lingers briefly by one of the windows, looking out into the nightlight of the city before fortifying himself with a rather larger mouthful of whiskey. A hissing inhale for the burn and then he begins to make his way towards the center of the room, with its pockets of conversationists. Dressed to the nines in a tuxedo and looking dapper for it with a bowtie, the Sorcerer is seeking out one particular attendee because he simply must confirm something he heard the last time he came across her: a mate.


You know who cares about TRade Agreements? Not Maximus. No. Maximus just cares that the event is exclusive. Probably he stole Reed Richards' invitation. Or Sue Richards. One of the Fancy Fantastic Four who wasn't paying attention. That's not the only thing he stole, either. He has his hair curly and gelled, set in beautiful, black ringlets against his made-up face. Smokey, brown eyeshadow accents his eyes, as does mascara and eyeliner. His dimpled chin is shaved incredibly close, and its hard to see anything but those Revlon Red painted lips anyway. Keeping with the style of the times, the dress he is wearing has sleeves that touch the caps of the shoulders, then it cuts across the top of the chest, of which his appears to be athletically flat. The waist pinches in so much that it gives the illusion of hips, and then it drops down to floor length with a split in the back. For a woman, he seems quite tall, wearing heels to boot, and carries himself with an incredible bearing of confidence. Heads turn. Some of them willingly, some of them not, and she smiles as she also plucks a glass from a waitstaff.


Left to her own devices; the Wolf God would have avoided slipping into a human skin for this evening's events, choosing instead to lounge within the sprawling expanse of Namor's penthouse suite and intimidating room service for fun. Yet the beast was inclined to entertain standard protocols of human mate hood, and thus she had poured curves into a deep blue ensemble that matched the accents in the Sea King's sleeves. The thick brunette hair was perfectly arranged in little ringlets of spun silk, lips painted with a deep red that made those golden eyes pop, whilst her gait prowled across the floor in nigh perfect grace, no matter the heel height. Thus her presence folds into the shadow of Namor, a task that is not easily accomplished for an Asgardian deity, yet endeavored towards with a sip of whiskey and a twitch of her nose as she turned her focus over the crowd, puzzling over the familiar in the heady mix of alcohol and bodies.


Namor lets out a deep breath as the contractor FINALLY leaves him alone. Sipping at the flute in one hand, he remarks rather loudly to the woman on his arm. "I think I'm going to outwardly reject anyone trying to sell me something tonight. Starting with that man." He smirks to himself to hear the splutter of inturrupted conversation behind him as the executive tried to carry on dispite apparently losing a contract for no real reason. The tall Atlantean glances around the room for more interesting conversation as he continues, "I thought this was supposed to be a trade conference. Aren't they supposed to be giving me things instead of hawking them? Or-oh. Am I thinking of the tithe conference we force the Lumerians to attend?"

Laughing at his own little joke, the prince of the sea finds eyes wandering from woman to woman, smirking too at the restrained heat at his elbow while Skali puts up with his intolerance. Eyes narrow as they flick across the only woman as tall as himself. Those must be some heels…


Ah-hah. There, in the blue, on the arm of…well. Gods be damned. That must be the mate.

Winding his way around grouping and giving polite nods when needed, passing smiles just engaged enough to count as greeting, he makes his way towards Skali and the unknown man. It brings him past the tall woman in heels — that is some height, geez — and he breezes on by, having angled himself correctly to arrive at the Varg's elbow…at a proper distance, of course.

"Lady Skali." His greeting is light, his grin charming, his eyes twinkling with a touch of flint. He knows the Wolf God well enough and what lurks beneath the veneer of civility. "So good to see you out in public. I had hoped to cross paths with you. When you have time, we have things to discuss." His attention shifts to Namor and he nods, giving the gentleman a more reserved smile. "I'm Doctor Strange, in case the Lady hasn't mentioned me in passing. I presume you're the mate…?"


Yes. Some heels. Strange is hunting Skali, and the woman in red is hunting Strange the moment she spots his particular hair in the crowd. And that leads her towards Namor and Skali by default. Its not really that Max thinks he's a girl, or wants to be one, no, its far more sinister and self-indulgent than that. He just truly enjoys fucking with people. Click. Click. Click. Maximus wanders over and then speaks in an accent that is British-ish, but not quite. "Ohhhh…hello again." He purrs towards Skali, and then walks the fingers of his free hand down Strange's sleeve. "You walked right by." A husky voice, to be sure, but a familiar one to Strange.


The gold eyes had turned as they were approached, the verbiage that preened a monarch's arrogance rippling over her senses as unnoticed as water would be on his own skin. There was little that escaped her attentions in this crowded room, a bristling sort of awareness that merged possession with protection and placed her squarely between the Doctor's approach and Namor with a smile on her lips that spoke volumes through narrowed eyes and a little flash of teeth. I like you, Strange. This is mine.

And as soon as it had traced her human guise, it folded into civility and a little tilt of her head,

"We have covered this Doctor, I'm hardly a lady. This is Prince Namor of Atlantis, my /date/ for the evening."

She used the human term carefully, warning edging the diction choice in her tone whilst she stepped aside to allow the two men to meet and then paused in mid step at the woman's approach. The pause lengthened, impolitely so, whilst she drew in a scent and puzzled between perfume and whiskey until a flickering of recognition dawned,

"Oh. You."

And despite her attempt at being human tonight, her head tilted in a momentary bewilderment.


Being smug with oneself does present a certain danger of being proved not the most important person in the room. As the very tall woman and the well dressed man converge on the pair, Namor nods in an invitation for an introduction, though, as they practically igrnore him in favor of the woman at his side, the Underwater Monarch feels the danger of being too smug most acutely.

At the term 'mate' his smirk drops like a stone in the sea, and were it not for the intervening correction on Skali's part, this may well have gone down as the bloodiest trade gala in recent history. At least above sea level. Instead, Namor checks his manners, extending a hand and sliding back into his diplomacy grin. "Atlantis is pleased to make your aqcuaintence. I assume you've, what, patched people up in Skali's wake? I'm sure the world owes you a debt for that service Doctor…?"


Ever the diplomat, Strange realizes that he's stepped on some toes using the terminology and his smile lessens still as he takes on a more wary air.

"Ah, date, excuse me. I must have misheard last we spoke, Miss Skali." Well…she is no Lady after all, they decided that over drinks at the previous function that found both in attendance. He returns the handshake with a brisk motion and curt nod. "I'm not owed any debt currently, no," he replies to Namor serenely. "It comes with the mantle." It takes the pause of motion by Skali's part to warn him of incoming company and, with glass blithely held up to sip of his whiskey, the Sorcerer glances over in time to see the tall woman approaching…him in particular.


Maximus probably enjoys the subtle widening of his eyes in unfeigned shock at what the Inhuman currently presents to the world. The dance of fingers along the line of his suit-jacket's sleeve gain the red-dressed prince a warier look still and he lowers his drink, having never completed the task.

"Ah…Maximus." His lips roll inwards inwards in censure against, what…a frown? A laugh? Quick, something smart. "Have you ever considered a career in espionage? You…hid well in this crowd."


The wolf in sheep's clothing chuckles, a /delighted/ sound, and Max wets her lips. Steel eyes dance as she watches Strange fumble around for a moment, though how Skali catches on…he's not educated enough in her talents to know. She wrinkles her nose a little. "I'm royalty. I do not really consider any careers." Red lips smile overbroadly and steel eyes cut over to the fellow royal. "Prince Namor? Myyyy. That is…" up and down. "Atlantis?" He grunts his approval. "I too am the ruler…well…/exiled at the moment/, of a hidden people." She flashes a smile. And finally pays attention to the most dangerous one, "How are youuuu?" to Skali.


The most dangerous one seemed to have recovered from her momentary confusion, surprisingly pleased to see Maximus no matter what attire he was wearing. Despite his dismissal of her company the last time they met, save perhaps on a dinner plate, she found his current presentation curious enough to warrant a smile and an honest,

"That shade has to be Yardley. You wear it well. Maximus, Namor. Namor, Maximus. Strange and you are already acquainted. These two were at the cocktail party last month at the Smith's that you couldn't attend. Doctor Strange and I have worked together on occasion and Maximus is-" She trailed off before smiling graciously and shrugging in the first natural motion all night for her usual demeanor, "-A good drinking companion, in my brief experience thus far."


Namor turns from the doctor to the now-most-gregarious of the bunch, extending a hand instead to the woman whom the prince has not yet identified as a ruse. The back of his mind works through the logistics of making close friends with a woman as tall as himself, while the front of his mind smiles and does the talking. "Maximus. Your parents must have had a sense of humor my dear. Yes, Namor. The prince is just a title really. Apparently someone ages ago thought Neptune could be the only King, so it's princes ever since." A - wast that gaurded jealousy - glance to Strange and he adds, "As far as the rest of the population is concerned though, I am the ruling monarch of not just Atlantis, but a greater part of the oceanic trade routes." Breaking back into a smile, he finishes, "If you are here on behalf of your own kingdom, I might yet enjoy talking business this evening."


To learn of Prince Namor's status as well as current territory is worth the attendance of this soiree. So the man of Atlantis and the Varg might or might not be mates…he can suffer the uncertainty of this if simply for the knowledge that there is another presence in the Asgardian Direwolf's life. Generally speaking, this lends a sense of stability…though exceptions exist.

Strange chooses to elaborate a bit more on Skali's explanation as to their working relationship, if only to settle what might be ruffled feathers on the part of the man she stands beside. "Yes, Skali has made herself available to act as aid when I'm in need of such a thing. She is…brutally supportive." Now he can indulge in sipping his whiskey. His glance travels sideways to Maximus again. This is…very…very different — an incredibly effective disguise. Honestly, the Inhuman should really consider espionage.


"Sort of. I am here on behalf of my country, but only to those to whom I choose to reveal the country to in the first place. Everything is so /sensitive/ since Asgard managed to make a diplomatic /mess/ of things. I believe we do have some common ground though, my dear Namor. We both sincerely hate pollution. Maximus winks, then looks to Skali. "Maybe we'll team up and destroy the humans causing it." Then he pretend whispers, "But don't tell Dr. Strange. He'd have to stop us."


A single curl was trounced around a finger, the hand unoccupied by high ball glass fidgeting in the purposeful way that large predators chew back their nails or sharpen their teeth. As the two half men spoke over diplomacies, her eyes shifted to those of the Sorcerer Supreme, a humor tracing her lips as if she found him amusing before her focus shifted back to the conversation at hand. She rejoined it fluidly,

"The good Doctor can be such a spoil sport when it comes to genocide. Bless him and his no harm principles. They're quite quaint."

A different night, she may have popped him affectionately with a hip in that teasing fashion she was inclined to, but tonight her stance remained stalwart beside the tall and dark-haired Prince, a turn of her eyes over a slender shoulder at him that mingled affection and hunger.


Namor lifts a brow while he sips at his own bubbly drink. "An anti-envirnmentalist? Oh I suppose that is in line with most doctors I know. I hear they make you take an oath or something saying at the least you'll do no harm. If that's the case, I have no idea how you get anything done at all. Especially when you make it a profession to save people." Tipping his glass toward the Docter-who-was-not-obviously-an-all-powerful-time-wizard he adds, "You know genocides are perfectly natural events in the grand scheme of the world." Arm swinging wide in a gesture that nearly takes out a poor waitress he continues, "Atlanteans keep history enough to show at least 3 subaquatic genocide events in the last mellenium alone."


Between the three before him, Strange has heard it all before and adopts a dignified expression with just a touch of exasperation.

"Someone's got the keep the peace in this Realm. If it's not a demi-god demon attempting to rip its way into this reality, it's another race from beyond the stars attempting to subjugate us all…or wayward locals attempting to divert the path of humanity's Fate." He pops his lips after taking a rather heavy sip of the amber liquid in his glass. "I answer to higher powers than myself and even my mantra that would make most people shake in their boots. They don't believe in genocides on terra firma, your highness — and I don't believe in grand-standing when I can snip some simple sutures and call it a day." His smile is faint but present.


Maximus is not the one to keep the peace, thats for sure. Maximus has all the glint in her steel eyes as someone who has just found a buyer for his version of crazy. There are way too many people. And so few are fond of him. If he can just get Namor to fund him…"Everyone secretly values what you do, dear Doctor, in different ways. i shall forever be in your debt for bringing me sqfe home, not so long ago. " She wets those red lips and turns her attention on Skali. "What do you think about mass killings?"


The question hangs for a moment, the tension that had been wound as the Prince and the Sorcerer vivisected ethics stretching thinner while the woman's golden eyes pooled to a deeper hue of amber and she smiled, all teeth and heat in the expression.

"I think they're messy and boring, if we're being honest. While I won't pretend to be above dabbling in one from time to time, they don't replace a proper hunt."

A casual glance traced the drinks of the men, and she reached out to pluck the almost finished high ball from the Doctor's hands.

"I'll get us more to drink. Gentlemen and-"

A pause, the smile widening,



Namor hands off his own tall glass to the parting woman, muttering an aside, "Mind refreshing me too Skali? You know what I like. " Eyes flicking back to the pair, the Prince waves off the matter. "I will agree on the messy part. I swear, I don't know how anything stays clean up here without things to eat all the pieces that get left around. Underwater, you can kill a sealion for dinner and the rest of the peices are gone withing an hour. Here? There must be rivers of cow blood from all the steaks you eat. I mean, I know Skali consumes more than most, but still…"

Shaking his head, the monarch of the sea contemplates just how different dry land was again until someing clicks and he suddenly realizes just how far he had steered away from the topic. Banking hard back into social discourse he tries another query, "So then, we have a Doctor - and I feel like I can assume it is a capital D - and… A Maxiumus? What does bring you two to a gala for trade politicians?"


The suddenly-empty hand remains hanging in mid-air for a second before flipping upright as part of a graceful shrug. "Yes, thank you, Miss Skali. Walker Black, please — three fingers." Uh-oh. Both hands then disappear behind a loose fold of his arms.

Maximus, in his red-red dress, is given a wry half-smile. "Never tell a Sorcerer that you have a debt…though I'm happy to take you up on it. Consider yourself added to my list. You ask about what brings me here, your highness." Shift to Namor and the smile retreats back towards neutral politeness. "A list, in fact. That and the murmurings of change on the wind. The metaphysical tariffs are of concern to me primarily, though I consider the chance to socialize one to take. Who can turn down free drinks and idle chitchat?" It's clear he's being somewhat patronizing of the whole affair. The Sorcerer would rather be delving into dusty tomes than be here, but hey, he's here — might as well enjoy it as he can.


When Skali returns, it is with a small platter balancing their drinks, having been reluctant to abandon her own refill to transport the other two and knowing better than to juggle too many overfull cocktails while in stilettos. A past life in reception meant that each of their drinks was to whatever exacting standards could be expected; spherical ice cube with requested whiskey, her own a matching high ball in leaded crystal, and of course the explosion of color and warmth that was assumedly Namor's and looked rather out of place among so much sophistication and masculine dark liquors. The pineapple chunks balanced cheerfully on the miniature umbrella tucked just inside of the tropical paradise that doubled as a drink, casting alcoholic compatriots into demure silence with its brilliance.

"I brought you a Bordeaux, Miss Max. 1959, which those who drink such things tell me, was a tolerable year."

There was a note of distinct suspicion in her tone, as if she didn't believe any wine could be tolerable, but yet relinquished all beverages to their rightful places before stacking the tray on a passing server's load to return to the kitchens. With the arm now free, she looped it through that of her 'date' for the evening, drawing closer so that she could whisper something in his ear. There was a pause before she addressed the others in a more companionable voice,

"I believe Namor's presence is requested elsewhere this evening, though I will make sure he knows if you wish to continue your discussion, Strange."

A pause and then quietly she produced a business card that had been pulled out of Namor's own pocket when she looped her arm around his, passing it to Maximus with a lazy smile,

"If the mood strikes you."

And with drinks deposited and contacts made, she turned the Prince back towards the party without a parting glance back at the two of them, all her focus completely dedicated to shepherding the man at her side safely through the sharks in suits that prowled on land.

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