Fundraising With Flare
Roleplaying Log: Fundraising With Flare
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Lincoln March has his first fundraising event, and rubs elbows with Trish Walker and Karen Starr, with Lena Zelle as his guide.

Other Characters Referenced: Bruce Wayne
IC Date: July 06, 2019
IC Location: The Punchline, Gotham
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 08 Jul 2019 03:29
Rating & Warnings: PG
NPC & GM Credits: Batgirl
Associated Plots

On any given night, The Punchline has ample security of its own. However, tonight is a special occasion. The security that's been posted at the front and back doors is not in the employ of Lena Zelle, but rather that of the campaign of one Lincoln March.

That is not to say that Lena is far.

Rather, in the near empty club, the striking brunette of average height and an artist's hand with the cosmetic brush has taken a perch on the bar stool directly across from the kitchen door. With legs crossed, she cuts a fine figure as she files away at her nails, smoothing away a few rough edges.

She's already dressed for the night, her long and wavy hair kept against her scalp by means of a cream satin ribbon. That ribbon also holds a rosette against the side of her head, and a spray of feathers. She's chosen a gold dress for the night with a creamy lace overtop the form-fitting sheath, and her gold ballroom stilettos make those legs look like they go on for miles. Its fringe brushes against her knees and her back-seamed stockings. A pearl necklace hangs about her neck in several long loops, and a pair of pearl drop earrings dangle from her ears.

That is to say, she's dressed for the occasion.

And she's watching everything, if quietly and subtly, like a hawk. Her mauve-painted lips curl downwards in a shrewd frown.

The full band is already on the stage, having been paid to start playing a scant five minutes ago. The floor has been cleared for dancing, leaving only the tables on the risers. The room's perimeter is surrounded by standing hors d'oeuvres, the caterer's van still idling in the back alley as they bring in yet more. One of the bartenders is pouring the starting trays of champagne and wine. The wait staff stands neatly dressed and at the ready for the first of the guests to arrive.

It's going to be a memorable night at The Punchline.

* * *

Lincoln March is making his rounds, shaking hands with some of Gotham's finest and delivering his stump speech on his goals to revitalize Gotham City, to bring focus back into what Gotham has to offer not just itself but its surrounding communities, and other promises of hope and prosperity in this age of corruption. It has a certain beauty to it, even if there's plenty who seem skeptical. After all, March is offering what others have done, and they always ended up in the pockets of the corrupt.

March has chosen a suit and tie, complete with fedora, that makes him look like he was plucked out of the movie The Untouchables and dropped into the Punchline. He has an easy smile and genuinely relaxed demeanor that matches the slight rakish angle of his hat. He is just leaving a group of rather silver-haired and classic ladies and gentlemen — some of the Old Money of Gotham — and is heading back toward Lena with a tumbler of mostly untouched whiskey still in hand.

* * *

Making her appearance, not quite on time but close to, is Trish Walker, of multiple walks of fame, but currently of Trish Talk on the radio. She wears a black sleeveless v-neck dress that goes halfway to her knees with silver sequins in multiple paterns, including flowers and swirls and lines, going down just past the edge of the dress, where there are also black fringe hanging down from a zigzag updown pattern in the silver sequin portion. She wears a tiny fashionable hat, rather fashionable for the 1920s, that has a little flower on it as well. She holds to her side a black clutch purse. On her feet, black stiletto heels.

As she enters, Trish quietly looks about gazing at the members of the event who are so far here before making her own way up to the bar.

* * *

As Trish comes near, the bartender is swift to ask after her drink and deftly put his hands to make it. He squints a little, and the radio starlet will recognize it as easily as the sun: the spark of recognition dulled by a reason as to why she seems so familiar. Lena doesn't seem to make the connection, either, but she does offer a quirk of her mouth to serve as greeting as she continues to perfect her manicure.
As Lincoln draws near, however, Lena summons the fullness of a cheshire smile to her lips and tucks the nail file away. "Well," she says, her voice barely loud enough to carry over the band and the din of arriving guests as they make their way through the security. "If it isn't the man of the hour himself."

One of those dainty hand stretches out towards him, revealing the shine of pearls on a string about her wrist. "Welcome, Mister March. So glad to get to put a face to the name."

* * *

Of course, Lincoln March recognizes Trish Walker on his way to reconnected eith Ms. Zelle. He gives his host the first bit of attention, grasping hold of her hand and bowing over it slightly because there's something about Ms. Zelle that encourages that almost chauvinistic response. Or maybe he's just playing the theme. "It is wonderful to meet you, Ms. Zelle. Thank you for hosting this event, and through it, giving my campaign support." He grins a bit. "Coming in late to the game has it's hurdles."

Now he's looking back to Trish, and he keeps his smile easy. "Trish Walker, right? Trish Talk." For a transplant, he's had enough time to catch-up on the Big Names in this particular corner of the US.

He steps forward a bit and offers Trish out his hand. "Lincoln March. I'm supposed to follow that up with 'I'm running for Mayor,' but I'm starting to get the feeling most are tired of hearing me say that." He flashes her an easy, wide grin.

* * *

Ordering herself an Old Fashioned, Trish taps her fingers along the bar as she awaits her drink. The bartender's gaze, along with that of Ms. Zelle's certainly isn't uncommon to her. She's accustomed to people wondering how they recognize her. Some get it right away, some take a moment. Of course, some people need a bit of extra prompting. Either way, such is the life of a celebrity personality in her position.

"Quite right, Mr. March." She extends her hand to Lincoln's, giving him a shake, as she offers her own easy smile. "Trish Walker of Trish Talk. It's a pleasure to meet the newest mayoral candidate of Gotham. I'll admit, you caught many by surprise." There's a brief pause as she tilts her head slightly and shrugs. "Not that I consider that a bad trait…as long as it's a trait belonging to the right candidate."

* * *

If Lena is in any way disturbed by Lincoln's response, it certainly doesn't show by the way she responds to him. She coos in return to his gratitude, "Of course! Of course. It's my pleasure to help however I can." Her grip of his hand lingers a beat longer than it should, perhaps, but she does let it go in order to snag up the flute of asti that she's had poured for herself, away from the eyes who are offered the drier champagne.

She sips and then smiles brightly at Trish. "Oh! I thought that voice sounded familiar. How lovely for you to come all the way to Gotham. I hope the trip wasn't too bad?"

* * *

There wasn't any particular portion of the invitation that -said- this was any form of costume party, but… Karen Starr, the wealthy CEO of Starrware Enterprises, has clearly interpreted it as such. There's a wealth of fashion to take from- the Roaring 20s were revolutionary for a number of reasons, after all. Fashionably late- though exactly -why- is unclear, it's not as if she's much of a socialite- the blonde is eye-catching only in that instead of mimicking the appearance of the wealthy and decadent of the era, Karen Starr has chosen… A different sort of fashion.

That is to say, she's shown up as a Flapper. Complete with moderately unflattering dress that reaches an inch or two past her knees, the fabric marvelous… And yet, somehow, the pastel, salmon-pink garment is not at all the most functionally beautiful despite that apparently, it was custom made. This is paired with a couple of low-heeled, unfastened galoshes, and a similarly matching pink sweater, open at the front. The whole thing is as modest as can be, covering her apparently-frumpy physique from neck to knee. Her hair is bunched up and pinned under this swim-cap like cloche hat. The whole outfit is daringly, perhaps even grossly single-tone. However, despite that it is -definitely- not fashionable, let alone the kind of reproduction high-fashion that might make its way commonly to a shindig such as this, Karen -is- faithfully recreating an outfit of the times… And an influential one at that. Right down to the absolutely abhorrent shade of Salmon Pink.

It's easy to ignore, then, that her handbag is… pretty large. Why, you could even fit a pair of lightly armored boots in the thing. Not that anyone would ever need to do that, it was just common to have an actual, physical purse back in what might colloquially be called "The Day." She doesn't really seem to be needing much of anything in it, and, admittedly, one bit of modern equipment is on her person- as her glasses are thicker framed than they ought to be for the time.

Regardless of all of this, though, you can't really call her attitude particularly in-period. It's a social event, so where is the executive? Getting hors d'oeuvres. From door to various trays, Karen only takes a moment to start actually hitting up the party for the food. Because there's something about food that's better when it's tiny.

* * *

Lincoln takes a sip from his whiskey and splash of water once the handshakes are done, and he smiles between Lena and Trish. He splits his attention easily, inviting Lena in by the turn of his body as he responds, "It surprised me, too. I had thought about just finding the right candidate to endorse, to find someone to encourage to take up the mantle of revitalization, but then I decided that I was looking that person in the mirror. Gotham needs renewal, and sometimes it takes an outsider perspective to know what that might look like."

Now he turns a bit toward Karen Starr as she enters, and it takes him a moment to run through his mental Roledex to find her face and name. He tried to make sure he did all he could to be ready for tonight as his first real public event. He gives her a nod when she plucks up something that is definitely a salmon puff — don't ask him what that is exactly — and then offers her an inviting smile to join the group if she wishes.

* * *

"Sometimes the trip into town is worth it. Such as for a candidate like our dear Lincoln March, here. True, I'm not a citizen of Gotham, but when I see a candidate that I believe in, whether for my city or another, I'm unafraid to throw my hat in the ring, so to speak, and acknowledge my support." Trish explains to Lena.

With her drink now in hand, Trish sips the Old Fashioned and nods to Lincoln. "Revitalization. Renewal. Strong words. But they're what are needed, aren't they?" She quirks an eyebrow. "But you may just be the man who can properly renew and revitalize this city." When the newest arrival is being beckoned over, Trish attempts, herself, to figure out if she recognizes the woman or not, taking in the outfit at the same time.

* * *

There's something that hardens in Lena's shrewd gaze that the astute might notice as Trish explains her presence, but her smile? Ah, that remains unchanged as the brings the champagne flute to her lips and leans a little closer to Lincoln. "You're absolutely welcome, of course! We love Gotham — don't we Mister March? — and love for others to see it in the same hopeful light that we do."

The band transitions to another bright tune, and a brave couple is already setting out at a foxtrot on the dance floor. And, judging by the laughter around the perimeter, it's a spirited couple at that.

* * *

Much like a vampire, a Kryptonian in streetclothes is a creature that you must invite in. Now, of course, Karen -is- immediately recognizable. Not as the bombastic Power Girl, but as who she seems to be: The overnight tech mogul and owner of Starrware. She's not exactly… Societal Elite- more of a modern day blonde female Bill Gates than someone who inherited money from family.

Her manners need a bit of work. After all, Karen is almost -trying- not to fit into the high life. The salmon puff disappears before Lincoln can keep track of it any further, and though she's not -rude-, it's still a little bit… Unexpected that anyone would do much more than stare down their nose or, indeed, sip champagne. (Not that she doesn't also grab a glass of champagne. She'd be a fool not to.)

When she arrives she offers a hand to shake for Lincoln, obviously recognizing him. "What a great party!" Is her first exclamation. Still, there're a few things that are slightly suspicious about her character. Not enough to make one really question if she is who she says she is… But enough that she's a little… Off. That sort of disingenuous air that can subconsciously put others ill-at-ease. After all, her handshake is a little firmer than it really ought to be. Still feminine, but there's a level of distinct insistence to it that speaks to a history of business and boardroom meetings, but… Easily explained doesn't mean that it exactly -fits.- As well, if it weren't for all the slouching, Karen would definitely be one of the tallest people in the room.

"Spared no expense, huh? Gonna have to match the cost in donations, for sure, but I guarantee Wayne's already done that. He here tonight?"

You always have to ask about Bruce. It's protocol.

* * *

"Gotham's history is part of who it is, but that doesn't mean we have to maintain its present as the status quo. And with the changes in New York City, I fear that anti-vigilante sentiment will turn into anti-metahumanity sentiment." It doesn't sound like a stump speech; Lincoln is passionate in his words. "I disagree with Commissioner Gordon and Mayor Hedy's decision to target the vigilantes. They are mislabeling the true ails with the city, which is its higher level corruption." Which perhaps just suggested that Gordon and Hedy are corrupt themselves. But, he does follow up with, "I have a meeting with the Commissioner in a few days, and I hope I can sway him to see that I want to use resources to make this city better place for all its citizens." His eyes sweep to Lena briefly, as if there's something there. But then he clears his throat and waves his hand that's not holding his glass.

"Sorry. My campaign manager would right now sweep in and tell me I'm too passionate." He offers up a sheepish smile before he sips at his whiskey. Now he turns to Karen Starr, and offers out his hand, "Lincoln March." Beat. "Bruce Wayne?" His eyes widen a bit, but he tries to keep that expression in check. "No, he isn't here, but we have a meeting next week. He seemed very eager to talk to me about some of my plans for the city."

* * *

A sweet smile is flashed to Lena as Trish bats her eyelashes and takes another, long, sip of her drink. "It's certainly interesting you should say that about vigilantes, Mr. March. In fact, one might say that it's very interesting. Especially leading into the anti-metahumanity sentiment." She raises her glass. "But then, this is part of why you have my support." And part of why she hopes she can convince him to be on her show at some point soon. Although it's better to ask about that when he's not surrounded by people at a fundraising event.

"Oh! I know who you are!" When Karen and Lincoln are done shaking hands, she extends her own free hand. "Trish Walker. It's a pleasure to meet you!"

* * *

Lena's eyes shift to the dance floor, her attention caught by the laughter there. In truth, her gaze seems to have an issue staying still. Rather, it wanders as others talk, taking the inventory of those who continue to pour in through the doors and fill the large room. They drink the booze, and they eat the hors d'oeuvres.

But then the woman brings her attention snapping back to the guest of honor. She lifts her glass in Karen's direction. "And I'm Lena Zelle. A pleasure." Rising to her feet and bringing her champagne up to her feet, "But, please, do excuse me. I think I need to go make sure everything's ready to get raising those funds, hm?" She leans in over Lincoln's shoulder, smirking impishly before murmuring. "That is the point, after all."

Lena's dark eyebrows lift with her eyes full of spark, and then she slowly pivots and turns to take her leave.

* * *

Admittedly, Karen is aware of who he is, but at the same time, introductions are introductions. "Nice to meet you, Lincoln. Karen Starr." There is, then, a nod. She is listening along to their conversation, even though she is not exactly a -part- of it. It's good eavesdropping, and it's practical. Not that she could, say, hear everyone in the building, simultaneously, and follow every conversation on this hemisphere. That'd just be crazy. And a breach of privacy.

Her attention turns to Trish, and she raises her brows. She didn't know the woman by sight, but the voice! That's enough to get her interest. After all, when you're a walking radio tuner in addition to hearing people's car speakers, you tend to pick up… Basically every radio show. "Ah! Trish Walker, from Trish Talk? Yeah, I listen to your show from time to time." she states, offering that slightly almost suspiciously too firm handshake. "Nice to put a face to the voice. Karen Starr, CEO of Starrware. Not that I didn't just say that." she states, and then… Then she laughs. Power Girl has a normal laugh. It fits her.

Karen Starr damn near snorts at her own really obvious statement.

Despite that, though, she's at least friendly, taking a moment to adjust her glasses and resume her bright smile. She isn't hard to get along with, you just have to be okay with the kind of person that would run a tech company. That can be difficult sometimes.

* * *

When Trish Walker offers her support, Lincoln's brows arch for a moment before he settles back into his easy grin. "Thank you, Ms. Walker. Your support is welcomed, and appreciated." Now he has Lena leaning in, and he turns his head into her murmur, and he nods slowly. "Right." Fundraising. He'll need it.

He smiles to Karen, and nods. "Ms. Starr, the pleasure is all mine." Then he listens to the introductions between Starr and Walker before he tilts his head curiously. "Starrware? I'm unfamiliar with that. What does your company do, Ms. Starr?" Conversing, it's something he's good at. He sips at his drink as he does.

* * *

"Trish Walker from Trish Talk. That's me!" Trish chuckles and nods. At the strength of the handshake, the talkshow host instinctively firms up her own hand, almost matching tenseness of unusual strength, something unusual for most regular humans. She clears her throat upon release of the handshake and smiles wider. "It's certainly a pleasure to meet you, Ms. Starr."

"Talk of fundraising, where do we leave our donations? I want to make sure I leave mine so I don't forget!" She tells Lincoln. "And it's truly my honour to support you. If there's anything I can do to help, aside from donating money to your campaign, like, oh, having you on my show, just let me know. It would be a privilege to be able to interview you." As if having practiced for this moment, in the blink of an eye she has a card pulled out of her purse, which she holds out to Lincoln. "Just in case."

* * *

Karen holds up one slender figure, offering this beaming smile. She gestures with it then at Lincoln. "I am GLAD you asked!" she begins, clasping her hands together for a few moments. "We supply funding and operational space- Laboratories, Workshops, what-have-you- to tech ideas that are identified as holding promise but might not have the wings to fly themselves." There is something of a minor beaming, at that. Regardless, Karen ceases her preening and continues. "In addition to this, we hire on engineers and continue to research and develop in tech ourselves. I still have a hand in a lot of the software that gets written for the things we manufacture. We're like Wayne Tech, but not a subsidiary. It allows us to be a little bit more focused on the ambitions of ourselves rather than a parent company."

It's… Primarily jargon, but to a degree, it's meaningful jargon. They make technology. Probably based on the fact that they're not a brand name, they're probably doing experimental stuff and, of course, supplying internals to things that have brand names, in addition to funding startups.

Trish's grip strength doesn't go unnoticed, but Karen is hardly surprised. After all, she expected to run into one or more stronger-than-normal people tonight. In addition to this, it's not as if Trish is superhumanly squeezing- just enough that Karen figures she's really used to this, or might be hiding more than she seems. In the end, it doesn't matter a whole lot. "Oh, for sure. The pleasure's all-" There's a pause, and then she shrugs. These pleasantries are just a bit more than recycled. She means it though, honest. Karen's a nice gal.

* * *

With a light chuckle, Lincoln scratches a bit at his chest. "Ah, I think that will be with Ms. Zelle and her associations. She's keeping everything organized tonight." Then he gives his fedora a little adjustment just before he slips his hand back into the pocket of his high-waisted pants. "I would love to be on your show, Ms. Walker. You just talk to my campaign manager about when, and I'll be there." Then he flashes a grin as he takes her card.

Now he pivots toward Karen as she offers that beaming smile, and his takes on a softer edge almost in deference to that brightness. "Space travel?" Now Lincoln's brows arch. He tilts his head slightly. "Does Wayne know that you make those comparisons?" Now he's teasing, and there's a bit of a chuckle to his words.

* * *

"I'll be sure to find Ms. Zelle and leave a donation with her." Trish says, glancing about as if to find with Zelle is now. Finishing her drink, she motions for the bartender to pour her another, which arrives soon. "You certainly have an interesting company, Ms. Starr. Very interesting indeed!"

Glancing around again, she gives Karen and Lincoln a little courtsy of sorts. "If you two will forgive me? I see a few familiar faces and I know they'll just give me the hardest of times if I don't say hello at least once they will certainly give me the most difficult of times. Excuse me." She smiles and heads towards a few of the older generations at the party.

* * *

Karen nods along with Trish for a moment or two. "Yeah, I'll join you after a few. The food's to die for." she notes, all enthusiasm. Then, her attention is on Lincoln, to whom she has not much more to say before she departs. "Oh, we do supply some components for spaceflight modules for a number of different buyers. It's… Pretty convoluted." That's not a very direct statement, but it's definitely the kind of thing you phrase that way to hide the way things really are.

There's another shrug, at that point. "I'm sure he does the same for a lot of companies. In the end it doesn't matter- we're competitors, to some degree. What's a comparison between competitors?" With a quick finish of her champagne, Karen nods again to Lincoln. "It was a pleasure to meet the guest of honor. I hope the rest of the guests treat you right!"

* * *

"I could have probably kept up," Lincoln says with another grin. But then he's offering out his hand to her again to shake. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Ms. Starr. I look forward to seeing you again." He means it. "I should go… circulate. Before Ms. Zelle tracks me down and makes me." He then tips his hat — because he has one! — and starts to circulate to shake more hands.

It turns out to be a good night for Lincoln March in the end.

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