"It is kind of a cold night, isn’t it, Moxie?"
He held the rug in his hands while watching the man nervously respond. While watching him, Sanjay snapped open the vibrantly colored floor rug. Bits of dust and dirt flew off and into the air. Afterwards he turned his head to look back at the man on the other side of the neatly trimmed hedge. The first thing he noticed was the man’s suit. A business man, perhaps. They often needed coffee, which clearly was his goal. The red hair and violet eyes were something new to him as well. It was a very unique combination He had only known himself to have such uniquely colored eyes.
Though the moment passed quickly, Sanjay had already thought through all of this and much more. Where had he come from? Was there no coffee available where he was from? It was part of his nature to be a good host, so why not invite him in?
There was a short moment of silence between them until the tall, exotically dressed man smiled, and set the rug more comfortably over hid arms.
"I am very sorry, but there is no coffee shop here in Echo. However, I would be more than willing to make you a cup of coffee. I make it quite frequently for my master. It would only take a few moments."
He paused for a moment again, thinking to himself that perhaps the man wouldn’t like the strong Turkish coffee that Sanjay would often brew for Amir. ,”Though I warn you,” he added on. “It can be rather strong.”
Master?… Oh no, the word did not go unnoticed by the informant as he stood there peering back at Sanjay over the tops of those healthy green hedges. It was a troubling term, it suggested many different things, but Charles did his best not to judge. After all, this man’s skin and clothes and hair and even the mansion before him—none of these things he had ever encountered before. So, perhaps, this was…normal for whatever society this person came from.
Because honestly, they couldn’t have always lived in Echo Village right?
"Of course I would. This is also under the assumption that I am even concerned with finding a wife."
[First, a perfectly practiced brief look of surprised concern at this “news”. Gone in a moment to give rise to a slight scowl, stiff as though he is trying to suppress it out of professional politeness. A brief, annoyed sigh at some unknown party.]
If the loss you suffered was anything like ours, sir, I doubt it was a coincidence. But— perhaps it’s unprofessional to speculate on things I don’t understand. I’m sorry to hear it.
[He listens quietly as Charles continues, his face slipping carefully back into the look of pristine boredom he so seldom does without. After a pause, he shrugs slightly.]
I’m afraid that monetary compensation doesn’t go quite far enough to cover the cost. The expanse of the purchase puts out a total of eleven individuals - four unmarried, and seven in two family units. While I’m equally concerned for all of them, my primary concern is that the two families not be allowed to go without residence in the interim - especially given that children are involved, and the city does not currently have space to house them.
"I’m absolutely astounded that you would underestimate the capabilities of the Funland Corporation."
[puts on a look of surprise, despite the hint of mockery in his tone of voice] “I suppose even with all of these modern day conveniences your town has managed to capture, you really do not seem to understand outside of your own mind’s limits as to what Ms. Alice’s company can do for these people.” [hardens his expression a bit as he continues to stare right back down at Gill]
"However, I suppose that for someone like you who prefers factual evidence over small talk, I will simply have to compile the numbers." [smirks again] "You will see that you have absolutely nothing to worry about, Mr. Hamilton, although I do find your sudden change of attitude in this business manner to be…intriguing more than challenging.”
[begins to turn away to leave, only side-stepping as he twists his body to his right]
"As I said before, I will be staying here in Castanet until this matter has been settled. I would suggest not trying to involve Ms. Alice if you would prefer to keep things placid, however, I would not be against inviting her here to sit down with Mayor Hamilton in order to continue discussions of purchasing this property."
[gives a half bow just to spite Gill before turning to actually leave]
It was barely morning; he had yet to really tame his mane of wild crimson hair, or to properly put on clothes for the day. Lounging in a pair of dark grey cotton pants with legs rolled up just below the knees and a v-neck white shirt, the informant sat there at the little table in his inn room almost a bit drowsily. A large, ivory-colored cup sat in front of him, still filled half-way with some fresh coffee as a black cigarette hung from his lips.
A nutritious breakfast, if Charles did say so himself.
"May I please express a joke?" the little robot questioned as he sat there on the table with his own little cup held between his square-tipped hands. It had been from a dollhouse, thus the tiny teacup was made of plastic with a solidified, coffee-colored plastic liquid glued inside.
"A joke?" he murmured against the filter of his cigarette; nude lips quirked up into a hint of a smile as he came to rest one elbow upon the surface of the table. Resting the side of his face into his hand, he stared down at the robot. "Sure."
"Okay—I found this to be relevant to our predicament. Charles, what do you get when you cross a robot and a tractor?"
"…I don’t know, Moxie, what do you get when you cross a robot and a tractor?"
Closing his eyes, Charles only laughed airly due to how terrible the joke actually was despite making sense. The smooth black pixels that made up the little face on Moxie’s head simply blinked away, before being replaced with a much more joyful expression.
"This coffee is very good, Charles. May I have some more?"
[Gill’s expression slips from professional amiability into something much colder, the points of his face hardening to match the emotionless stare he’s being fixed with as he lowers his hand from the rejected handshake. He slips said hand into the pocket of his suit pants, leaning his weight to one leg and holding the taller man’s stare without so much as a tremble - despite the fact his stomach is doing cold flips of fear.]
[His voice is perfectly bored as he replies.]
I’m afraid my father isn’t in the office right now— though speaking on his behalf in due accordance with my station here, I assure you we’re not prepared to sign any contracts in such haste. The land’s ownership is still in question, and until this office can provide equal and full compensation to all parties living on the zoned land you’re intending to purchase we’re not at liberty to sell it.
Unfortunately, this office has been tied up in dealing with a personal loss. We trust you’ll respect our right to a reasonable time frame to make any major decisions.
[slowly narrows his eyes as Gill responds, just as coolly as he could without a hint of doubt in the other’s own frigid blue eyes; resists the urge to grit his teeth and instead, lifts up his chin as he continued to stare right back down at the youth with the faintest hint of a smirk crossing over pale, nude lips] “How very understandable, my company suffered its own traumatic loss as well—how very…coincidental.”
[tightens his grip on the handle of his briefcase]
"Very well then. I am certain that Ms. Alice will have absolutely no quarrels with waiting until Mayor Hamilton has returned and has had time to recover, so long as I am here. However, in the manner of compensation for the loss of property by these individuals it is without question that Ms. Alice and the Funland Corporation is more than ready to sign the check to ensure that these people will be well taken care of.”
[lips twitch as he suppresses a wider smirk]
"I believe that, Mr. Hamilton, is something that you will no longer have to concern yourself with. I hope that this knowledge will allow you to rest easier at night. After all, we did not expect such a small town to be able to buy out its residents at the modern day cost of living for the typical family.”
Fall was here. And, as such, preparations to the mansion had to be made. Both outside, and in.
It was still fairly early in the afternoon, but Sanjay was still scurrying around the house, plucking out pieces of furniture that just wouldn’t do for this time of year, and replacing them with things that matched the season more reasonably.
A rolled up carpet was held beneath his arm. It had been in storage for quite some time and needed to be dusted and cleaned before being placed in the foyer.
He opened the front door with a bit of a struggle, having only one hand available to him, and was met with a suited man who just happened to be staring up at the mansion.
Why did this happen so very often?
Regardless, he smiled, though his eyebrows were angled in confusion. “Good afternoon.”
Cold eyes had been staring up at the mansion for some time before Charles ever made the move to brush past the gate to enter the estate grounds. He had already made his decision to bother the inhabitants, in hopes of finding an actual coffee shop or even a store that sold raw beans. He could work with that; he could grind them himself, which he actually preferred. The strong, fragrant aroma which filled his senses and calmed him was desired almost more than anything else. Not to mention the pleasure he took in the actual grounding process.
"Someone managed to by-pass all security measures when I was in Castanet and you had returned to the city."
[frowns even more as he continues to bandage up his hand, wrapping gauze around it tightly; Moxie just looks between the two of them as he stood there on the ground beside Charles, eyes shifting in and out of focus]
"It is my fault, Ms. Alice. I should have waited to leave when you had returned."
[is sitting on the floor, barefoot with his pants legs rolled up and his sleeves rolled up as well; doesn’t even jump when she comes bursting into the office as he sat there bandaging up his cut and nicked hands; nor does he bother glancing down at Moxie, who had tilted his little square head back to stare right up at Alice with those wide, dark eyes and that little triangular mouth of his]
"Your guess would be as good as mine, Ms. Alice, as I unfortunately do not have that information." [frowns as he attempts to control the bitter venom in his voice] "All security footage was removed or destroyed. Every piece of mechanical equipment was destroyed. Every last anything was destroyed. I’m surprised we even still have electricity.”