Man, how long were they gonna keep him waiting?
His meeting with his new boss was supposed to be half an hour ago. He’d showed up ten minutes early just to be sure, only for a very intimidating blonde woman in a clean cut black suit to meet him at the door with nothing more than a curt nod and sharp gesture to follow her, leading him to this waiting room where he’s been setting for the last forty-five minutes.
Maybe this is some kind of a test? A way to see that he’s level headed enough to be patient when it required?
Or maybe they’re testing his resolve, seeing how long he’ll wait?
Or it could be just the opposite, trying to find out how much it takes for him to get fed up and go looking for answers?
Maybe they’re seeing if he’ll snoop when he’s left alone long enough?
Alec sighed shaking his head.
Or maybe Alec’s been working for secretive, clandestine organizations far too long and this Mr. Santiago is just running late. See, this is why he wants to move to the private sector. After a while the whole cloak and dagger thing starts to play games with your mind. Makes you see plots and conspiracies everywhere.
I mean really i-
Alec startles faintly at the click of a lock, glancing towards the door at the back of the waiting room. A young, attractive woman with deep ebony eyes and coal black hair pulled back in a tight, high ponytail in a deep burgundy suit enters, flashing a bright smile, striding across the room. Alec quickly standing to meet her, she reaches out, taking his hand in a surprisingly firm, confident handshake.
“Good Afternoon Mr. Lightwood, I’m Divya Nadim, Mr. Santiago’s assistant and head of PR here at Oasis. Apologies for the wait, we had a few hiccups to deal with, rather unavoidable. We’re ready for you now though, right this way.” She finished, turning on heel, not waiting for his response, heading back to the red door, pressing a panel on the doorframe.
Two flat black spots slide open silently. On one she pressed her thumb, simultaneously leaning in, a small blue green light emanating from the second spot, flickering over her right eye. There’s the sound of a heavy duty lock clicking followed by a low buzzing tone. She reached forward, grabbing the handle, pulling the door open, holding it patiently for Alec.
He blinked in surprise, glancing from her over to the once again smooth, seamless side panel of the door, quirking his eyebrow. Divya shrugged, smirking knowingly.
“Can never be too careful…don’t want anything unwanted getting in…
Alec blinked, giving a slightly unsure nod, falling into step behind her traveling down a long, unusual hallway. The floor was covered in a deep green carpet that muffled their footsteps; even the click of Divya’s heels was near unnaturally silent. The walls were even stranger than the floor. They were a soft, creamy eggshell color and almost seemed semi opaque, giving glimpses of shadows and shapes on the other side moving, though they were very vague, just the slightest impression of movement, and no sound whatsoever.
He shook his head as they approached another door, Divya once more doing the whole two point identification thing, hearing the door unlock, it almost sounded like a type of airlock.
Alec shook his head again.
Damn…this place had more security than his last job…and that was with the CIA…
Not exactly what he was expecting from a security job for a random tech company…even one with multiple military contracts. But…well…it’d kinda make sense. The tech world was pretty cutthroat…and they DID have actual military contracts, it would make sense to safeguard that. Besides, he knew corporate espionage and that kind of thing was a very real concern.
Eh, it’d be fine…It was corporate espionage…he’d dealt with the real thing. This was nothing he couldn’t handle. Actually if he’s supposed to be heading up security this’ll probably make his job far easier. He nodded faintly to himself, picking up the pace a bit, noticing Divya had stopped, waiting in front of an ornate wooden door at the far end of the hall, quirking her eyebrow at him expectantly.
He gave a slightly sheepish shrug.
“Sorry, this place really isn’t what I was expecting…”
Divya gave a loud, surprised laugh, dark eyes sparking bright.
“Oh, you have no idea…but you will.” she smirked mysteriously, tilting her head towards the door.
“Come on, we’ll get the real scary stuff out of the way first; your new boss.” she reached back, pushing the door open, holding it for him with a nearly challenging smirk.
Alec blinked faintly in confusion, hesitantly wandering through, stopping just inside the door, glancing around somewhat nervously.
The office was clean and elegant, everything gleaming black and chrome, accented with deep blood red. It kind of put him on edge to be honest; there was just something unsettling about it, though he couldn’t quite place what exactly. The walls were the same odd eggshell like opaque as the hallway; carpet a deep, rich blood red. The room appeared to be oddly circular, he couldn’t see any corners, the walls a smooth, continuous curve. It seemed like something more fitting for an alien spaceship in a scifi movie than the office of the head of a Tech company.
The evil alien’s spaceship going by the décor and general vibe of the place (Seriously why does it feel like that in here? I mean yeah, it looks stupidly expensive and the colors are overly dramatic and completely ‘welcome to the darkside’ but even so it’s just bizarre).
Along one side of the office there was an elegant black leather lounge that curved faintly, following the wall and probably costs more than Alec’s car…maybe a few times over…Almost certainly a few times over.
There were a few other accents here and there but the center focus of the room was clearly a clean, gleaming desk. In front of it were two black leather chairs, with a high backed red leather chair on the far side turned away from them. Divya strode right across the room, stopping next to one of the black chairs, indicating for Alec to join her. Alec blinked faintly, still hovering by the door.
Okay…why did he feel like he just entered the lair of a supervillian? Office décor should not do that damnit. What the he-
“Hello Captain Lightwood, please come in.” a smooth, rich, ever so slightly accented voice called, the red chair slowly turning to face them.
D-did the lights actually dim when he spoke? Did the colors like flare? It almost seems like the red is glowing now.
Nah…it has to just be his imagination…
Even so if the dude’s stroking a white cat, wearing an eye patch, or swirling a glass of brandy, Alec’s out. He knows he’s already signed the papers and the confidentiality agreement (agreements plural…a lot of them) but surely there’s some loophole about working for a wannabe supervillian.
Kay; cat, eye patch, brandy, he’s gone, that’s ju-
The chair completes its rotation.
Oh…okay…apparently he forgot to add to his list casually inspecting a freaking dagger.
What the hell?!
The man gives a slight chuckle, quirking his eyebrow, smirking, twirling the gleaming silver blade dramatically.
“At ease solider boy…it is a letter opener.”
“I knew that…”
Divya snickered, quirking her eyebrow.
“Sure you did…” She glanced over at the man, giving a slight wink.
“Always have to make a lasting impression, don’t you?”
The man gave a faint shrug and a casual wave, setting the ‘letter opener’ aside.
“Can’t really seem to help it.” He smirked, flashing a quick smile her way, pushing the chair back, standing.
Huh…not what Alec was expecting with the whole supervillianish entrance thing.
The guy seemed pretty young, maybe still in his late twenties. Latino, with very deep brown, perfectly styled hair, and sharp, curious, somewhat unsettling dark eyes. He was dressed immaculately in a clean, perfectly tailored, jet black suit that also probably costs more than Alec’s car-
Okay, if this works out one of the first things he needs to think about is getting a new car…
The man strode confidently across the office, stopping just in front of Alec. Distantly it registered that the guy’s nearly half a foot shorter than him- which should have put Alec more at ease, but didn’t really do much to quiet the faint alarms in his head.
Alec’s worked a lot of jobs with a lot of very dangerous people. He can spot a threat when he sees one…and everything Alec felt from this guy tells him this was not someone you wanted to screw with. The man reached forward, taking Alec’s hand in an almost uncomfortably strong grip, shaking firmly, flashing a sharp smile that put Alec even more on edge.
“Hello Captain Lightwood, Raphael Santiago.”
Alec gave a polite smile, nodding, vaguely wondering what he was getting into here, reassuring himself that it was just a security job at a tech company…nothing he couldn’t handle…No matter how weirdly intimidating his new boss was…Or how much it felt like he was going into business with a supervillian…Nevertheless the benefits package really was amazing.
Eh, so long as he didn’t hear anything about world domination, Machiavellian revenge plotting or death rays it should be fine.
Alec took a deep breath, stepping forward, returning the handshake with a bit more confidence.
“Mr. Santiago, great to finally meet you. Thank you again for this opportunity, this job really seems too good to be true. Though I have to admit the description was somewhat vague.”
He chuckled, shrugging carelessly.
“First off, as you are now an employee Raphael is quite alright- we don’t generally stand on formality here. It’s rather fast paced and more often than not there simply isn’t the time for such posturing and nonsense.
Next, well, truth be told the ambiguity was completely intentional. Some of our work here is quite secretive and requires a great deal of confidentiality- hence the rather extensive agreements you had to sign before entering the building.” He paused, flashing a slight, somewhat mysterious, smile.
“This place truly is one of a kind; there is no other like it in the world. The things we deal with here are completely beyond the scope of even the wildest of imaginations. I am quite protective of it as well as our work. We really cannot have just anyone stumbling about, or some run of the mill applicant traipsing around, bumbling into something life threatening or not meant for their eyes…or worse yet blabbering on about it to the public.
That really would be unacceptable, right, Captain?” he asked, quirking his eyebrow expectantly.
Alec blinked, nodding slowly.
Yeah…he’s SO working for a supervillian…
“Umm…y-yeah, totally unacceptable...So…when you say ‘life threatening’ and ‘not for their eyes’ you mean the military contract things…right? Like government sanctioned projects…right?”
Raphael gave a deceptively casual shrug.
“Yes…among other things.”
Ooh…crap…he really should have read the fine print better…
Alec shifted, head tilting expectantly.
“Other things like?”
Raphael waved dismissively.
“Oh this and that, you’ll find out soon enough. We do have quite a few government contracts but that’s hardly our main focus, really those are just an afterthought. I am sure they would be quite interested in our findings however they do have a tendency of bulldozing in, taking over and mucking everything up. Much better to just deal with it ourselves. Involving the government in it would rather be like trying to perform complicated, delicate surgery with a chainsaw.”
Oookay…c-can he just like back out of here slowly? Oh…uh…yeah…Probably not with the whole two point security-airlock type thing with the doors…
Alec gestured back towards the door, glancing over at Divya hopefully.
“Umm…okay…so…this all sounds really interesting but you should know I’ve worked for the government before, and am kinda attached to this country so maybe I shou-”
He’s cut off by a faint chuckle, echoed by Divya’s slightly musical laughter. Alec glances over in confusion, she just rolls her eyes playfully at Raphael.
“Dios, so high strung! Again, at ease soldier boy. You will not be asked to betray your Country, loyalties, principals, morals or any other vague ideals you hold oh so dear. I am not planning on overthrowing the government or whatever other Machiavellian scheme you think I have in mind. I simply meant some of our work is quite delicate and complicated and would be best for everyone if it were not weaponized. Surely you can understand that, yes?”
Alec gave a faint nod, breathing slightly easier, infinitesimally relaxing.
“Good to know…”
Divya grins, leaning against Raphael’s desk.
“Well boss man, can’t really blame the guy, you do have a certain air about you.”
Raphael flashes a faintly playful grin and wink.
“Eh, no harm playing to your strengths.”
She chuckled once more, rolling her eyes at him before glancing over at Alec, quirking her eyebrow in faint challenge.
“He scare you away yet or are you gonna stop hovering by the door and have a seat so we can get the actual interview underway?”
Alec bristled a bit at that, standing up straighter, moving over to one of the black chairs, Raphael slipping ahead of him, moving to the other side of the desk, giving a slightly false smile.
“Again, hello Captain Lightwood, thank you for coming in today. I am sure you will find this job quite enthralling…and the benefits truly are beyond reproach, far above anything else in the private sector.”
Alec fought down the urge to roll his eyes.
Kay his new boss may not technically be a ‘supervillian’ but he was most definitely a super jackass.
Alec put on an equally fake, overly cheerful smile.
“Of course, thank you for having me… shall we get down to business? Namely what will be entailed in being the head of security for ‘Oasis’.”
A flicker of surprise flitted across Raphael’s expression, along with a hint of amusement. He gave a faint, approving nod.
“Much better- really wouldn’t do having a head of security who just hovered nervously by the door.”
“Hey! I wa-”
Raphael rolled his eyes, giving a dismissive wave.
“Let’s not turn this into a whole dramatic ‘thing’…Mags does that enough for all concerned.”
Alec quirked his eyebrow.
“Magnus Bane, our head scientist. The man is absolutely brilliant- light years ahead of most anyone else so far as any of our work here goes. Unfortunately he is also totally insane, inherently dramatic, and a living, breathing trouble magnet cleverly disguised as a person.”
Alec chuckled, quirking his eyebrow.
“Sounds like a lot of work. Can’t imagine why you’d keep someone like that around. You don’t really strike me as the patient, sentimental type.”
Raphael shrugged, giving a faint bark of a laugh.
“I can be if the mood strikes me, though in general you are quite right. However Magnus is brilliant, and really we would not be able to do half of what we do here without him…Also he’s been my best friend since I was seven and is the closest thing I have to family.” Raphael tilted his head, dark eyes leveling on Alec.
“Which is where you come in, Captain.”
Alec swallowed faintly at the rather unsettling look. He shook his head slightly in confusion.
“I don’t really understand, I was hired as the head of security for the entire company, right? How does this crazy scientist ‘Magnus’ factor into that? I mean, unless he’s a security risk o-”
Raphael sighed, shaking his head, slumping faintly against the desk.
“Magnus is no threat to security…just to himself, and my sanity.”
He sighed again.
“Look Captain, I’m going to be honest. I am hiring you as head of security but your main job-above all else- is to keep our head scientist, my best friend and eternal pain in the ass, alive. And believe me, that is no small task. It will take up much of your time and probably 90% of your focus. But don’t worry, your seconds in command, Bindy Yakira and Valerie Chase, can handle anything thrown at them and then some and every last member of the security team was handpicked and thoroughly vetted by me, there is no better team.”
Alec tilted his head in faint confusion, giving a slight wave.
“So, wait…Let me just make sure we’re on the same page. You’re hiring me, giving me nearly too good to be true benefits and a frankly exorbitant salary, all just to babysit some scientist? Just one scientist?
That is why you’re hiring me?”
Raphael shrugged casually, gaze flickering over Alec, giving a near devious smirk, eyebrow quirking.
“Actually, I am hiring you because you are hot.”
“Umm…l-look I’m flattered and all that, and you’re actually really attractive- in a slightly evil, bond villain kinda way- but umm…I’m not rea-”
Raphael chuckled, rolling his eyes, waving him off.
“Take a breath soldier boy. I assure you I have no romantic interest in you whatsoever- like, less than none in fact.”
Alec relaxed a bit, nodding faintly.
“Ah, you’re straight.”
Raphael gave a loud laugh, shaking his head.
“Oh, most definitely not…”
Raphael tilted his head.
“Agreed. What I meant -before your little unneeded panic- is that Magnus will find you attractive…which means he might be less likely to purposefully ditch you as he has done to the ten other security officers I’ve hired to protect him.”
Alec gave a surprised laugh.
“How could a scientist ditch that many trained security officers? And why would he?”
“The ‘how’ is because Magnus is as devious and scheming as he is brilliant- and he has an annoying tendency of using all of that together. Though in truth I can’t say too much about that- it’s one of the things we have in common. In any given situation he has no less than a dozen different ideas and workarounds that range from scarily brilliant to bat crap crazy and absolutely everything in between.
The ‘why’ is because despite insurmountable evidence to the contrary he seems entirely convinced- nearly to the point of delusionality- he is totally capable of taking care of himself and completely set on proving it at every opportunity.” Raphael gave a faintly world weary sigh, shaking his head, glancing back at Alec slumping a bit against the desk, shrugging helplessly.
“I am not going to lie; the man is a LOT of work.”
Alec shook his head faintly, setting forward in the chair, the first part of Raphael’s initial comment catching his focus, holding his hand up.
“So…wait…l-let me get this straight. You expect me to, what? Act like bait to keep your crazy scientist friend distracted and from running off doing something idiotic and insane just to prove he can?”
Raphael chuckled, shaking his head.
“No…If Magnus sets his mind to something he’s doing it. Magnus doing insane things is rather like the tides or the seasons, a certainty of nature. Seasons change, tides ebb and flow, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, and Magnus Bane will do something mind numbingly insane and heart attack inducing at least once a week.
That’s just how it is; I do not expect you to be able to stop it, I am realistic. I am just hoping he will find you attractive and appealing enough he may at least try to bring you along during the insanity so he has someone watching his back.”
Well…this was just insulting…He almost felt cheap…
That’s an odd feeling.
He shook his head, beginning to stand.
“You know what? The benefits are great and all but honestly I think this job is a bit beneath my skill set. Also, hiring someone based solely on their looks is discriminatory and degrading. And expecting me to parade around some crazy mad scientist j-”
Raphael sighed, rolling his eyes, glancing over, hitting a few buttons on the desk console, a hologram shimmering into focus, nodding towards the shimmering image.
“This is Magnus…”
Alec blinked, swallowing faintly…
Alec sat back down, folding his hands politely.
“S-so umm…you were saying about the benefits package?”
“Well, we do have a bit more to go over Captain…”
Two Hours Later…
Divya had got some kind of text about an hour ago, saying it was some kind of PR emergency and she had to head out, but he was beginning to think she was just getting bored watching him sign his life away…
It was totally understandable. This place had more security measures and secrecy than any of his other jobs put together…even the clandestine ones he couldn’t put on a resume…
Not that that seems to matter with this ‘Raphael’.
And he still didn’t know what the hell they actually did here!
He’d signed even more confidentiality agreements, been quizzed by Raphael- who at this point Alec is convinced must have at least as much experience with government organizations and clandestine work as him, though probably far more-Also he may actually know more about Alec then Alec does, which is just disturbing as hell.
Seriously, he knows everything from where his last deployment was all the way to his very first crush (Skyler Weston- the 17th Doctor Who). It really is unsettling. But the benefits seem promising, the pay is amazing, and Magnus is…umm…
A-anyways…he thinks it’ll be good.
Alec sighed, signing the very last space on the seemingly never ending paperwork, setting the pen aside, subtly flexing his hand, trying to get his fingers to stop cramping, glancing up at Raphael. He nodded faintly, giving Alec an encouraging smile, moving around the desk next to Alec, reaching out once more to shake his hand.
“Glad to have you on board Alec…I am sure you will fit in just fine here.”
Alec smiled, shrugging.
“Well thank you, I hope so. Anyways now that it’s all official and everything are you gonna actually tell me what exactly your main focus here is? Gotta say I’m rather curious after all the buildup.”
Raphael chuckled, tilting his head.
“Well, I must admit, it is rather unorthodox, but once you see you will understand all the secrecy. Though you may want to take a moment to prepare yourself- it is rather surprising at first.”
Alec chuckled, shaking his head.
“Look I’m sure this place is very impressive and everything but like I said, I’m a career soldier. I’ve seen pretty much everything there is to see. It takes a lot to really throw me, I think I’m good.”
Raphael quirked his eyebrow in amusement.
“Good to know...”
Raphael smirks, turning to stand directly beside Alec, reaching over placing his hand on the desk, it seems to almost ripple, a complicated mess of symbols and unusual letters appearing. Without even looking Raphael hits a few, putting in some kind of code. Alec quirks his eyebrow, glancing over at him. Raphael flashes a smirk, nodding towards the back wall of the office. As if on cue the walls shimmer, turning from opaque to crystal clear.
Alec freezes, blinking, eyes wide. Raphael reaches up, resting his hand on Alec’s shoulder, patting firmly, gesturing towards the area beneath the office that resembled a fairly decent sized enclosed park, complete with a little artificial water area, plants, trees and grass…
Along with a few other things…
“Captain Lightwood, welcome to Oasis…”
Alec blinked again, pointing uncomprehendingly.
“T-that’s a dinosaur…”
Raphael nodded, smirking.
“Yes, technically she’s a Diplodocus.”
“That is a dinosaur.”
“Yes, we have established that…a Diplodocus, a type of large, herbivorous sauropod of the Late Jurassic, about 150 million years ago.”
“That. Is. A. Dinosaur.”
Raphael huffed, rolling his eyes.
“Once again; we’ve already established that…Kevin has named her Odette, after the swan princess, because of the long, graceful neck.”
Alec blinked, quirking his eyebrow, looking over at the other man in confusion.
“You have a dinosaur named after a Disney princess?”