Like Pulling Teeth

August 18th 2014: A private event upon a luxury yacht outside of Gotham Bay.

The Carmenta, Atlantic Ocean

A luxury yacht.



  • June Pendling (Lingerie Model)
  • Irving Kesh (American Bank)
  • Amber Forever (Forever Jewelry)
  • Grimaldi Smith (Famous Race Car Driver)
  • Camille Carson (Oil heiress and hostess)
  • Fred Forbes (GC-TV Reporter and host of Whats New In Art)

Mood Music:

The Carmenta is one of the most expensive high tech yachts in the world and right now it's floating out in the Atlantic Ocean a few miles away from Gotham Harbor where it's deck is lit up like it's a festival.

Over a dozen of Gotham's 'elite' and influential are rubbing elbows right now on the gleaming Italian masterpiece. Among this number is Fred Forbes, a reporter for GC-TV and the host of "Whats New in Art" a segment of the Gotham City Report, the billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne of Wayne Enterprises, Grimaldi Smith a famous race car driver, nicknamed 'The Dean', Amber Forever the proprietress of Forever Jewel Company, June Pendling a lingerie model and Irving Kesh, owner of the International Stamp Exhibition and a primary shareholder in American Bank.

Their host, Camille Carson, an aging oil heiress who is trying to do right by her family name and correct the damage they've done to the oceans; starting with this fundraiser (which is also part her showing off and trying to earn some favor).

"As you'll see by the picture show, their work is just fascinating, absolutely fascinating. Don't you think so Mr.Wayne?"

Bruce Wayne's smile appears and he glances over, chin lifting above the rim of his wine glass as he tries to peel his arm free of June Pendling (she's apparently Miss August of last year's centerfold). "Oh quiet. I'm rather intrigued on their studies of bottom trawling and it's effects upon the underwater ecosystem, I didn't realize the practice was so destructive."

"Oh, yes yes. It is very horrible, they're saying it strips coral reefs bare." The woman is just quoting one of the earlier scientists, trying to sound more intelligent and enthusiastic than she really is. Bruce finds it off-putting and rather tedious but he humors it like the rest of them do here with a gracious smile accompanied by nods. "If you'll excuse me." The tall, handsome bachelor says while prying a limb free of Ms. Pendling once more to escape towards the back of the ship.

While a lot of what Ms. Pendling wanted presented tonight isn't quite in Aspen's wheelhouse, she was chosen to do tonight's even on behalf of Deep Marine Discovery as one of the project's senior scientists and because she has some name recognition. Even if it's not great, there's no such thing as bad publicity, right?

Not to mention, she's a bit more socially adept than most of the scientists hiding down 'unda da sea'. Yes. One of them would have made that joke. It would have been awful.

Aspen Matthews is collecting the minimal equipment she brought with her for her portion of tonight's 'show' and is now looking toward the yacht's bar. She'll need fortification to mingle with the hoity-toity guests and hopefully convince them to throw some funding DMD's way. She's dressed in a tasteful black sheath with only the necklace she's had ever since she could remember as jewelry. Of course, compared to tonight's designer crowd, her nicest dress looks a bit dated.
"Stay away from the Talbot red, it's no older than 8 years. Not worth the after taste." A voice picks up and carries near Aspen, the source of it Bruce Wayne himself. Standing there in a sleek black suit, a tastefully embroidered maroon tie and a smile.

"Aspen Matthews, Olympian, right?"

Aspen Matthews jumps just a bit, not having really expected anyone to speak to her. She figured she would need to spend the night trying to barge into other people's conversations. Turning towards him she tucks back some of her long, sleek hair behind one ear and gives him a sheepish smile. "I tend to go more by 'Doctor Matthews' lately than 'Olympian' but really, just Aspen is fine."

Being more social than her fellow scientists doesn't mean that she's still all that great. Bringing up the whole 'doctor' bit is likely a faux pax but it's all she could think of to try to derail the inevitable 'why did you do it' that tends to come up.

"Bruce Wayne, right?" Then she blinks those wide eyes and tries not to cringe a bit. "Of course you're Bruce Wayne. I am so sorry." Maybe they give Doctorates out to just anyone, because she's certainly not winning the 'bright mind' award here. "I mean, uhm, yes. I'm Aspen. A pleasure to meet you, Mr. Wayne."

"Dr. Matthews it is then. I apologize." The man's smile doesn't fade away as he watches her, apparently rather amused or just in a good mood. Who can tell really.

"It would seem I am. You can call me, Bruce." His own drink is clutched in a hand that looks too large for the glass holding it, it doesn't look like hes touched much of the liquid despite the rumors and allegations of the man being a debauched alcoholic. "And the pleasure is all mine, I'm quite fond of your research articles, I've read a couple of them in Scientific American and Coral Magazine."

Published research. The bread and butter of the career academic. "Oh, just Aspen, please. Despite having a Navy Captain for a father I've never been terribly formal." Aspen's smile is like sunlight on water. Bright and sparkling. It touches the whole of her face and even affects the set of her shoulders. Unlike some of the guests, she's had no problem with the pitch of the boat though given her profession, not too surprising.

"You read Coral?" She seems surprised, and a bit tickled. "Do you have an aquarium?" She doesn't dare ask if he looks at it for the bright, pretty pictures.

"Aspen, I rather like that name anyways. I own several actually, the one in my room is actually saltwater as well. My butler refuses to go near it." Alfred's peculiar like that. Bad experience with jelly fish is Bruce's belief.

"I like to keep an eye on what sorts of things I am investing in. I dabble I suppose, I don't have much time for more than that." A nod of his head towards the man behind the bar and he is getting his wine glass topped off. A hundred dollar tip being given over. Either hes overly generous or he's showing off for Dr.Matthews.

"Your father was a Navy Captain?"

"Water's my life." Aspen says cheerily. She doesn't say it's in her blood, given that she's adopted and she certainly doesn't want to get into a conversation about an underwater man claiming she's part of some aquatic race with a possible donor. "Daddy's a sailor and I grew up on the beach." Or in the pool for the Olympic team. "So when I went looking for a career I knew where I wanted to go."

"Saltwater are tricky." She acknowledges. "Do you get to do much diving? A lot of people I know that keep them use them as sort of reminders of dives they've went on." Oh! Make the pitch! "For some of them, that's the only way they can re-visit the places they've been with the reefs killed by rising sea levels and acidification."

"Oh I didn't know that and I've been diving a few times. I suppose that's one good excuse to collect memorabilia. Is it really that bad? We're actually losing that much of our reef? This has been an eye opening little venture. I'll have to thank Miss Carson again for hosting." Bruce smiles once more before a sip of that wine is taken. Apparently he is nursing it tonight, maybe a bit of a rough go last night. There is that air of weariness to him despite his relaxed, friendly manner that neatly wraps about that powerful demeanor. He definitely has a smooth confidence that exudes off of him.

Aspen Matthews gets a glass from the bar as well and then steps away to make room for others, an unconsciously polite action that most people don't make. Especially those as self-obsessed as the Elite tend to be. The way she ducks her head and flashes smiles at them as she finds a place out of the way while still trying to be giving Bruce her attention would make it obvious she's a fish out of water, as it were.

When she does get to turn back to their conversation the sadness that flickers across her expression isn't part of the pitch. It's very real. "Worse, really. The factors that are killing our reefs is… almost astronomical. Runoff from the channelization of the waterways and destruction of wetlands, rising sea temperatures from global warming, the use of explosives in third-world countries for fishing, and that's before we get to the straight-up pollution. The runoff is just the freshwater and dirt."

"I know Gotham itself is a major source of run off and pollution. I assure you Wayne Enterprises has been striving for a way to clean that up. Just this last year we refinanced the waterway agenda through Sprang River. The filters are twice as effective as they used to be, at least." The smile only grows and it's apparent Mr.Wayne is trying to impress the woman. "Though, admittedly you would have to thank Lucius Fox more so than myself. It was his call on that one but I am well within my rights to take some claim when trying to impress a pretty young woman like yourself."

Aspen Matthews's smile isn't quite bashful, but the duck of her head shows that she is flattered. Or amused. One of the other reasons she was sent as DMD's spokesperson was that she's fairly easy on the eyes. "Well, I'll be sure to send Mr. Fox a thank-you card in addition to your more personal thank you." She's teasing, but there is real gratitude there. "I know that the extra steps cut into short-term profits which can be a hard sell to shareholders. So where have you been diving, Mr. Wayne?"

"Nakwakto Rapids, Darwin's Arch, Pedras Secas, all over the Gotham Bay, quite a few places actually… I suppose I have dived my fair share. I imagine Lucius would appreciate it. He has a very thankless job if you look beyond the rather impressive paycheck."

"Impressive paychecks are nice." Aspen remarks with a chuckle. "But the little things are important too." And she probably will send him a thank-you note. It just won't come with the 'extras' that most executives get when they receive thank-yous. "Snorkeling or SCUBA?"

"Both. I'm adventurous when it suits me." Bruce replies, his drink lifted again while he glances past Aspen to see June giving the woman the stink eye. "I think my date is getting bored." Despite that the man makes no move to aid the woman in her plight.

"So that's what that stinging sensation is between my shoulder blades is." Aspen jokes and then instantly looks contrite. "Oh. Oh that was my outside voice. I am so sorry Mr. Wayne." Where's a whirlpool when she needs one to haul her away?

"No need to apologize, Aspen. I'm rather enjoying our talk." Bruce offers giving a polite up nod to June in the background, informing her he'll be with her soon. "Perhaps we should consider another? You think you could pencil me in to your schedule here within the next two weeks?"

There's a slow blink from Aspen of surprise. "Oh! Yes of course I…" And then she realizes that she doesn't have her purse on her, it's with all the checked coats and whatnot, which is also where her phone is. Because her dress doesn't have pockets. She looks sheepish, "I'm not really used to these events." She admits. "But I would love to hear about your trips, give you some suggestions on future ones and things to look for. If you're interested I could probably swing a tour of DMD but it's not very scenic compared to most reefs given it's so far down."

"I would like that. It's something I have been interested in for quite some time." Bruce reaches in to his pocket and pulls out a business card, "Excuse me." He motions to the tender who moves over and smiles, "Oh yes. Right away Mr.Wayne."

A pen being offered over and the billionaire writes an extension number on that card. Offering it over to Aspen. "Unless you feel this is too forward? I honestly had forgotten my manners."

Aspen Matthews accepts the card, fingertips sliding over the logo as she chuckles and shakes her head. "No, not at all. It's the least I can do for letting me talk about something I love without feeling like I'm pulling your teeth. I do warn you that some of our scientists have been down there a while. They can be a bit odd. I'm fairly sure repairs are finished to the main dome so I don't foresee a problem with a visit."

"That is quite alright, I'm no stranger to odd or eccentric." Bruce chuckles as June's form begins to close in on them.

"Brucie! We're supposed to dance. You promised!" The curvy yet thin at the same time blond actually brushs Aspen with a bump of her hip to the side so she's wedged in closest. "It's one of my favorite songs too. You'll love it."

From over here it sounds like some new age pop garbage. Something no one over the age of 30 would listen to sober.

"I suppose I did, didn't I. Have you met, Aspen Matthews?"

The girl sighs and turns to look the other woman over, "No, wait, weren't you like a druggie or something that was kicked out of the Olympics?" The bimbo act is clearly an act.

Bruce clears his throat and lightly hooks his arm in to June's elbow, "How about that dance?" An apologetic glance being given to Aspen.

Aspen Matthews gives a slight 'whoops!' as she's bumped, quickly moving further out of the way to give June the clear shot at Bruce as she makes sure not to spill her drink on her dress. Or worse, June's. That would probably be quite the scene.

The comments get a thin, tight-lipped smile from Aspen but she doesn't try to argue it. First, all the proof said she was blood doping. Second, she knows the woman wouldn't care to hear about her innocence. And she certainly doesn't want to bring up the whole issue with the recent encounter with Rowan of the Blue and the similarities in their blood work.

The smile Aspen gives Bruce is somewhat more genuine, and apologetic. "It was a pleasure to meet you Mr. Wayne." She also takes care not to mention any kind of 'see you soon', his card tucked into her palm so as not to cause him any additional grief with his date. Or her, for that matter. She turns away as they move to leave and takes a few generous swallows of her wine. She could really use something stronger…

Aspen is forgotten as soon as June has Bruce away from her and towards the deck of the luxury yacht. One more glance over his shoulder and Wayne is out of sight off to play the role of eager frat boy. Though, hes far from it. Speaking of pulling teeth…

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