Don't trust her Ted!
Wildcat's Boxing Gym (Location) (CV22)
@ziccarra_liafador: With a warm smile, Wildcat shakes Ziccarra's hands. "Of course" Ted responded, leading Jasmine to his office at the end of the gym. Despite his rugged appearance and carefree personality, the Veteran Vigilante's office was surprisingly quite clean with dark marble floors and dark grey colored walls. Giving it a sophisticated, yet elegant industrial look.
"Please, have a seat. Can I get you anything? Coffee perhaps?" Wildcat offered sincerely, before adding. "Now how can I help you, champ?"
Leaving both Theo and Amale behind with her championship Ziccarra followed behind the Veteran, following him into his office and taking a seat in the nearest chair.
"No thanks," She replied while shaking her water bottle. She didn't routinely indulge in caffeinated drinks unless they were used in a cocktail. Her eyes studied him; he was old but still astute; his wayward gray locks sprinkled amongst his natural raven hair gave him an almost feral-like demeanor, but his reputation as a boxer/fighter was legendary.
"So Champ, I came to do business" Ziccarra paused, taking a swig from her water. "I just launched a new Diamond Company Heroes division. I'm trying to put this team together. The bottom line is I want you." She said, jumping straight to the point. "Now I understand this gym is your pride and joy. Anything I can do to help its growth, I will; I can also see that your prize fighters coming out of here are given the mainstream attention they deserve. Just name your price."
Ziccarra didn't think Grant could be bought easily, but she secretly hoped he considered the money his fighters would be backed by. His inclusion on the team was a cosmetic one, she wouldn't be present at every team mission, so she wanted to hand pick the people that could get the job done in her absence. He was a no brainer.
@ziccarra_liafador: (I am so sorry. Hopefully, you didn't lose any interest with the interaction. :( )
"Suit yourself, but I make one heck of a cup" The Veteran Vigilante quipped, taking a seat behind his desk. Attentively listening to what Zicarra had to offer.
"So, apologies if I'm a little slow, professional fighting and heroism don't really mix well," Wildcat responded to Jasmine's offer, secretly buying time to not only decide, but to peel back all the layers of the generous offer. Ted has been around the block more than once, there's always an ulterior motive. Or at least that's what his old-fashioned way of thinking makes him believe.
"Diamond Compay Heroes division, huh? The name's got a great ring to it and I don't see a lot of teams nowadays. The younger generation seems to prefer flying solo now." The Old Warhorse paused, taking a sip of his freshly brewed coffee, pondering as he thought out loud before continuing: "Can you tell me more about this Diamond division?"
Ziccarra's ankle locked her legs while resting her hands atop her knees. Like her parents, she was an astute businesswoman, able to gauge the interest based on the nonverbal cues she'd gotten from him. Right now, she could tell he was uncertain, which was understandable; it'd turn her off if she just accepted her offer without question.
"The Diamond Company Heroes Division is the newest branch of the Diamond Co. It's an initiative to allow the heroes under the Diamond Company umbrella to operate within legal means of heroism."
She explained before taking a swing of water. "I don't know if you're aware, Mr.Grant, but to the growing public, the term vigilante doesn't have the best connotation. The public doesn't like heroes doing hero work without being held accountable for it."
Ziccarra could cite several instances of heroes overstepping their boundaries, cases where the means didn't justify the ends, but he'd been doing this for a while. She didn't need to.
"The Diamond Company will make you a legalized hero; the Diamond Company legal team would handle your exploits. I'm offering this invitation to you first because you are one of the most respected members of this community. Plus, I may or may not need an adequate sparring partner."
The last portion was, of course, a joke; at the moment, the Diamond Company Heroes division was spearheaded by Ziccarra herself, but she couldn't be a CEO if she was always on missions; which is why choosing the right team was essential for the success of her fledgling brand.
"Like I said. This deal could put food on the table for many people for years to come. And with you on our side, it can make sure people all across your town hell the world even get home at night. You don't have to make a choice right now. But at least think about it"
"Hmm. Legal means of heroism" Ted pondered, thinking out loud. The whole idea was alien to him. Absurd, almost.
"You know. We've always had this sick, love triangle of a relationship between heroes, villains and the law. And I'm well aware of the public's perspective of us. Some get glorified, others, crucified. But we're all on the same boat. Now, personally, I don't pay attention much to what they think of me when I pull that cowl over my face. If I want cheers and praises, I'll just step in the ring and put on a show. And, from my experience, I've never needed a lawyer whenever I do my part. I catch the bad guys, rough them up a little, call the cops and when they arrive at the scene, there's a nice little gift waiting for them and I'd be long gone by then." Wildcat responded, placing the cup of coffee just below his nose, taking in the sweet aroma of the beverage before continuing.
"And as for the financials, champ. With all due respect, I've been the longest reigning heavyweight champion in a sport that's known to pay quite nicely for punching other people professionally. I may not have Liafador money, but it's enough for me to not feel sorry for myself when some youngin punches me for 36 minutes in front of millions of people." A smirk accompanied his banter before taking a sip of his coffee.
"But, you had me at the sparring partner bit. Also it has been a while since I've been in a team. I'm in"
'The Golden Age of Heroism,' she thought, a phrase coined in seemingly a different time. Now the world, with its discriminatory vigilance for Super Human accountability on a global stage, the phrase now was but a myth. Ziccarra's ears heightened for what she presumed to be a 'No.' A guy like 'The Wildcat, Ted Grant' didn't exactly project corporate appeal; he was a world-famous boxer moonlighting as a vigilante.
Much to her surprise, he agreed. Jasmine's business demeanor nearly dropped. 'Damn, this guy knows how to put on a show,' She thought, referring to how he answered,
"Well, that's good to hear. They wanted me to send someone else to ask. But I told them this is something I wanted to do myself." Ziccarra relaxed her posh posture and filled her seat as if she'd just finished a fight. "You are my father's favorite boxer."
Standing up to full-form she covered the space between them with her right-hand extended. "Mr. Grant, it's an honor for me to welcome you as the first member of the Diamond Company Hero Division. Amale and Theo will come in with a couple of temporary forms. This will officially 'sign' you to the Diamond Co. until we announce it officially at our showcase later this week. I know I just said a lot," Jasmine said, chuckling at it all. "You got any questions?"
@ziccarra_liafador: Wildcat met Ziccarra's firm, yet elegant handshake with his own. The Veteran Vigilante was a lot more analytical than he let out. But this time, he made up his mind when the offer first came to the table. The vigilantism scene was bleak. It wasn't 'like the good ol days' Unless you had actual superpowers and weren't just another man in a mask, you were viewed as someone not much different than the actual criminals you were apprehending.
Human rights and anti-vigilantism protests would spew out the moment some 14-year-old kid uploaded a video of a crime fighter roughing up some petty criminals. It was absolutely ludicrous to someone like Wildcat.
"You are my father's favorite boxer."
"I really appreciate that, champ" The legendary crime fighter responded, with a sincere nod following quickly after.
"For questions. I've got a couple, actually. When do I start, where is this HQ, and do you have a gym?" The Old Warhorse smirked, as he bantered. He didn't show it, but Wildcat has not felt this excited in a long time.
@wild_cat: Ziccarra's eyebrow rose at his string of questions; maybe he didn't know for real? Before she could respond, Amale and Theo entered the documents he needed to sign that would align him to the Diamond Company Heroes Division. "It's official as soon as you sign. But I'll give you a couple of days until we throw you into the mix. We're going to need time to plan your showcase." Ziccarra said opening her phone to check her schedule.
"Our corporate building is in Richmond Virginia, the Diamond Sports complex you can't miss it. As an employee of the Diamond Company you can use all of our facilities, gym and penthouses included at your leisure."
When he came to the facility he'd be officially in-processed as a Diamond Company Employee along. "Will you be able to make it by this Saturday. Our showcase for you should be ready by then" With the last part her attention went to Amale and Theo, almost as if she was telling them to make it happen.
THUMP. THUMP THUMP.
The punching bag reverberated the moment his fists made contact with the bag.
Sweat slowly dripped down the face of the Ranger. His white t-shirt stuck to his skin as the sweat stain began to expand throughout his back. He was alone in the gym; it was strange, but somewhat welcome. His mind began to reflect on his journey: the stories of his family, their death, the inheritance of his master morpher, and the book of Ninjor. His journey to Phaedos was only the beginning. The powers of Rangers past were scattered across the universe and he needed to collect them all.
His punches began to hit harder and harder at the mere thought of the monumental journey. Honestly, a part of him wished someone would walk in.
With his head down, Carl entered the gym. As always he was wearing a gray hoodie hiked up over his head to hide his appearance, with matching warm up pants and a pair of boxing shoes already laced up tight around his feet. He was not a flashy kind of guy, he more or less kept to himself, casually talking to the other members about technique and form, when they were there. Anything that could help him be a better boxer. Although he always paid his membership on time, he never paid extra for a locker or personal trainer, but he did keep his ears open when ever they spoke.
Quickly lacing up his gloves, they were an old pair, with fresh stitching the kind you could find in most thrift shops, but clearly shown with care and up keep, showing how much he respected them and took care of them.
It was then as he entered he made eye contact with the newest member, the only other guy there other than staff, hitting the bags and hitting them hard. Harder than a man like him should be able to. Curious, Carl still in his human form, casually approached him with one question on his mind, “That’s uh, impressive. Could you teach me that technique?”
"That's, uh, impressive. Could you teach me that technique?"
Gabe snapped out of his trance-like frustration. He looked toward the direction of the voice, he saw a large muscular man with his hoodie up. His boxing gear, the style was of an older generation, immediately indicating his love and appreciation for the legacy of the sport.
Catching his breath, "Sure... but to be honest, I can't really explain through words." Raising his fists, he more or less showed the form of his boxing stance. He aimed towards the bag and continued punching, but the strength and intensity has noticeably waned.
"Uh... sorry. I'm just dealing with something now."
The stranger’s striking power was impressive, impressive enough to make Carl ask him how he does it. But like most things in his life, there wasn’t a clear answer. As the man put it, "Sure... but to be honest, I can't really explain through words" yet he still managed to give Carl a small demonstration. Once again the new guy threw a few jabs at the bag, leading Carl to stand behind it so he could hold it to supply more resistance. For the next few second Carl observed everything he could to improve his game, even down to the look in the man’s eyes as he punched. Unfortunately the man’s strikes were getting slower, as even the need for resistance grew less and less. Immediately, Carl knew something was up, but before he could say a word, Gabe took a step back and said, "Uh... sorry. I'm just dealing with something now."
Casually stepping around the bag, Carl approached him, not sure exactly what to say, and in true nature to the establishment remarked back, “Well what ever it is you nearly broke the bag.” He then points to a tiny tear right in the middle of the bag, not big enough to leak sand, but enough to notice the wear and tear. Not sure what to say next, Carl humbled himself before Gabe, offering him an ear should he need it. “I don’t know what’s bugging you but is there anything I could do to help?” followed by a few playful jabs to his sternum, “Or we could work it out in the ring like men!”
Either way Carl was not in the mood to have a heart to heart, all he really wanted was to get in a quick workout and improve his skills. For he knew if he was going to make it as a vigilante he needed to be on top of his game. However as much as he felt that being a hero was all about beating up the bad guys, in his heart he knew it was about helping the people. Therefor just before he was about to head towards the ring for a bout, he stopped dead in his tracks and said, “But again if you want to talk there’s a coffee shop around the corner, and I have some free time if you need to talk.”
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