Helluland - Arsenal

Summary:
June 14, 2013: Lara Croft hires Arsenal for her expedition to Baffin Island.

Penthouse - Waldorf Astoria Hotel - NYC


Characters

NPCs

  • Winston Smith (Croft Butler)

Mood Music:
None


Lady Lara Croft is residing in the penthouse of the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. It's just for a few days, while she hammers out some paperwork with her lawyer on retainer, and hires some crew for her next expedition. So far, the superspy known as the Black Widow has signed on. Today she has a meeting scheduled with someone to do the heavy (gun) lifting. The man known as Arsenal has received an invitation to meet with Lara at the hotel for a potential job that pays very well.

Lara is settled at the dining table in the luxury suite, cleaning a variety of weapons with calm patience as she waits. She isn't dressed as one might expect a British aristocrat. She's in tan BDUs and a t-shirt with a "Croft Expeditions" logo on it. Her hair is back in a rope braid. Winston Smith, her family butler, is puttering around, making tea and finger sandwiches for the Lady and her impending guest.

Roy Harper has, over the years, run around with some very … different people since he first became Speedy. The heroes who would later become Nightwing and the Flash. Various mercenaries while working undercover as part of the drug enforcement agency and Checkmate. Running afoul of Slade Wilson, but working with in order to get missions done.

Over time, at least, he's shown a certain willingness to work with people of questionable character just to get -good- things done.

So when a request comes in, at first, Roy Harper has to question whether this was some Slade Wilson plan to get him into some plot to, well… supersoldier or supermerc or something.

But well, if so, Slade certainly -knew- that Roy wasn't above listening to pretty ladies, and so Roy Harper -shows- up anyway.

"Good evening," Roy greets, dressed in business casual. A button-up shirt, a zipper tie, and tan pants. Eyes regarding the t-shirt, Roy's lips curl into a smirk. "Love the outfit." A bow, and a kneel, hand up as though expecting to be offered a hand to kiss. It was, after all, British aristocracy, and Roy -remembered- some of the lessons of being a ward of a millionaire…

Winston seems thrilled that someone is showing Lara the respect due her station. He closes the door behind Roy and his eyes gleam. "Would you like some tea, sir? Cucumber sandwiches perhaps?" the elderly man offers.

Lara, however, flicks a hand at Roy in a dismissive wave. "No need to stand on such formalities here, Arsenal. I am here on business, not as a representative of the aristocracy," The brunette checks the magazine on a pistol before slapping it back into place, making sure the safety is set, and placing it aside. "I am told you are a marksman of no small skill. I have an expedition planned for the end of this month, and I am concerned that some rivals may try to interfere with extreme force." She stands, wiping her hands on a cloth, and looking Roy over. "I will pay well for your services to help protect my people."

Standing up, Roy quirks his eyebrow. "Don't worry about it, Jeeves. Tea's not necessary." Holding up his hand as he realizes something, Roy grins. "I -will- take the cucumber sandwiches, though, thank you."

Attention turning back to Lara, Roy regards the pistol and then nods slowly. "Yeah. I'm not really a -mercenary-, though, as I keep telling Wilson. But if you think you're going to need protection, well then, I'm not going to say no." Plus, at least, it kept certain people under observation.

"I look for skill and the ability to adapt under pressure, Arsenal, not mercenaries, per se," Lara explains. "We'll be flying out at the end of the month. I expect the expedition to take no more than three days, and it will be in extreme cold-weather conditions. Is this an issue for you?" She reaches to a desk and pulls out a contract for temporary work. She slides it over towards Roy on the tabletop. The money listed is very nice. There is also a clause in place in which she offers to pay one-thousand dollars over any offered bribe made to betray her, with proof of the bribe. Insurance that her own people won't be turned against her. The paperwork bears the letterhead of the Nelson & Murdock law firm and seems designed to work with people with aliases, including a section to put info on how to deliver their payment to them.

Winston dips his head and moves to the kitchen, returning with a platter of sandwiches, no crusts, cut in quarters. He sets it on the table, refills Lara's cup of tea, and moves to another room to give them privacy.

"Heh. Raised by Navajo. I can pretty much handle -any- extreme conditions," Roy grins, as he gives the contract a quick once-over, reaching to take hearty bites out of the cucumber sandwiches.

At length, the archer nods slowly. "Fine by me. Though you can call me Roy. Roy Harper."

Tapping the paper, Roy adds, "I have to admit, I like that line about bribery. Though someone like Slade Wilson would probably consider that an insult."

"Then Slade Wilson wouldn't be interested in working for me," Lara replies. "I will just have to survive that loss." She smiles faintly. She doesn't trust anyone. Superman would have to sign one of those things with her. Once he's put his John Hancock on the pages where indicated, she explains more. "Have you heard of the Viking Sagas, Mister Harper?" she asks, settling back into a seat and sipping her tea.

"Guess it never hurts to take precautions," Roy replies as he signs. Lifting his head up, Roy shakes his head briefly. "I've heard of the Icelandic Sagas, if that helps. Mostly family sagas of the Icelanders. Same as the Vikings?"

Taking a seat, Roy slides the papers across to Lara, and picks up another cucumber sandwich. "Not the same thing?"

Croft taps a finger on the tabletop idly. "Greenlanders moreso. Erik the Red and his people mentioned finding an island they referred to as Helluland, a place of flat rocks. They declared it uninhabitable, despite a native population being there which they called skraelings, but which were likely Inuits. Recently, a National Geographic reporter uncovered evidence of an actual Viking camp on Baffin Island in the Nunavut Territory of Canada, which historians believe to be the Helluland mentioned in the stories."

Lara leans one arm on the table, to speak in more conspiratorial tones. "The climate of Baffin is not far off that of Greenland. People were clearly able to live there as the natives showed. It had plenty of native animals to use as a food source. So what made Erik decide it was not a place to stay?" she posits.

"That's a pretty interesting question. Fighting with the natives?" Roy muses, as he finishes the sandwich and reaches for another. "Any signs of struggles or battles? I find it hard to believe the Icelanders wouldn't have at least claimed the territory. Then again, I find it odd that the Icelanders didn't at least attempt to populate the New World in the first place."

"That is the question at hand. There are no accounts of animosity between the Vikings and the skraelings, so perhaps there was someone else there at the time. Another civilization that held claim to the island?" Lara queries. "I believe there might be ruins of a culture pre-dating Erik the Red's expedition on 1000AD, somewhere under the ice on Baffin. We're going to seek it out." She grins, the gleam of impending adventure in her eyes. "We will fly to the island and use snowmobiles to get to an area of the Barnes Ice Cap. I believe the melting from global warming may have, at this point, uncovered an entrance somewhere in the mountains."

"And if there's no entrance, what then? Sonar? Trying to find hollow caves in it?" Roy asks, a mixture of cynicism and thought tinging his voice as he regards Lara. Oh, at first it'd been fairly obvious -what- Roy's gaze was all about, but it shifts the more Lara talks about science to a much more respectful attitude. More of a 'So she -does- know what she's talking about' demeanor.

"I'd rather not do more damage to a natural resource than mankind has already done via pollution, Mister Harper. If we find no entrance, I'll happily spend some time with the local population to hear their stories, and we leave with knowledge but no relics," Lara replies. "However, my rivals might want to push things, so we'll perhaps stay a little while to keep an eye on them." She stands and takes up the contract to place it in a folder with another one already signed. "Do you have any questions?"

"Sure…" Roy grins. "What does it get to have you call me Roy, Ms. Croft?"

Still, that Roy finishes eating, dusts his hands off, and nods indicates he's not taking -that- request terribly seriously. There was time enough for socializing and such later. Right now, they had preparations to do. And in any case, Roy flashes a grin. "Thank Jeeves for me, will you? The sandwiches were good."

"For the moment, you're in my employ. Until the end of that contract, you are Mister Harper," Lara replies. Winston appears like magic to show Roy out. "I'll be in touch," the tomb raider calls after him.


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