by JR Bancroft
Chapter Four from The Secrets of Lineage and Truth in Murder
|Chapter Four: Upgrading
Thomas and William had to get everything ready for the meeting. They were finalizing the deal to produce their new Copan model which was tedious but overall easy for them because they were used to the logistics that were involved.
Richards's absence was notable. He brought a loud positive energy with him. He was most definitely extroverted and was a happy person in general. Without his positive energy, the house seemed way more depressing.
It was also not helpful that whenever they mentioned him it reminded them that his father died.
“Did Richard ever mention his father to you?” William asked Thomas. “I can’t recall, though I rarely pay attention when he talks about anything boring.” William laughed. “Do you know his father's name?” “No, I don’t think so.” They sat thinking for a moment. Thomas then interjected. “Wait… I think I remember him saying it once before.” “And?” “Fuck, I don’t remember.”
They ate dinner that night around five then went their separate ways. Thomas had some coffee then passed out on the couch by seven o’clock and William hunkered down in his room. He looked through a few books then finally settled on one.
About an hour into his reading he heard Thomas lumber down the hall like an uncoordinated giant and enter his room.
The wind howled and violently shook the second-floor window panes. The noise made it hard for William to focus on his book so he decided to go to the kitchen and get a beverage. While he was slowly bending over the counter to see if the glass was clean there was a startling noise.
He hadn’t expected to hear the phone ring in that moment, he felt silly and was really glad Thomas was not there to make fun of him. He awkwardly, fast-walked to the phone and answered it.
What he heard was more exciting than anything he could’ve imagined. The call was from the company South Catma Industries. South Catma was a huge steel-making company that practically ran the town they currently resided in and a lot of the surrounding area. The manager of South Catma Industries was who was on the other end of the phone. He was authorized by the owners of Catma to offer a deal to produce the Copan there in Virginia. William told the man on the other line to hold for a moment while he got Thomas, their lead partner.
William gently set the phone down and ran to Thomas’ room. He quietly but forcefully knocked on his door, luckily he wasn’t asleep and he answered. William told him that there was another even better offer to produce the Copan. Thomas didn’t believe it but he didn’t have time to question him and he walked to the phone.
After talking to the manager for a few minutes he realized that the offer was serious. He took the chance to create an even better deal for their company.
Thomas and the man on the phone talked for around an hour. When he got off the phone Thomas told William everything.
The deal they were about to make before South Catma Industries called wasn’t spectacular but it was decent. They were supposed to drive up to Columbus to look over the factory that the company already chose. They were retaining a lot of the profit still, but what South Catma Industries offered was better.
The Catma owners clearly had investigated and studied the way the trio conducted business and their creative process. They found that their methods were genius so they wanted them to keep creative control. It was even more convenient that they didn’t have to travel anywhere. South Catma Industries knew they were there originally to make a deal with Genera to produce the Copan but when Genera backed out the owners of Catma wanted to jump in and steal the deal but before they did they wanted to test them. They watched to see how they dealt with the failure of losing Genera and being stuck in a foreign country. They were impressed with their innovation and use of resources to present the cars at the fair.
After lunch the next day they met at the South Catma Industries building to go over the details. The building was three floors tall and very wide, it had more than thirty rooms within its walls. The building itself was limestone and was not as dirty as it could have been with all of the factories around the area. Coal-burning tended to coat everything with a thin layer of soot. It wasn’t noticeable at first but bit by bit it turned walls black without warning.
The doors were solid wood, a beautiful oak with etched middle panels. They entered and in the atrium there was a man waiting for them.
His name was Roger. He was the manager they spoke with on the phone the night before. He was wearing an almost perfectly pressed and tailored blue suit. He held a clipboard with papers on it under his arm. He greeted them warmly. “I am so glad you decided to join us here.” He said. “My name is Roger Lissel.” Thomas and William introduced themselves and talked about their roles in the company and what creative processes they were a part of.
The atrium was three stories high with two balconies where the floors started. There was a huge staircase that split into two separate staircases that ended on either side of the entry hall.
He gave them a tour and then took them to meet the owners of the company. Kevin Skinner and Peter Bloskera.
Kevin and Peter were very close friends and business partners. They were shrewd and very particular in their business investments.
Kevin and Peter lived together, publicly they told people it was because they worked all hours of the day and night depending on what project they were working on, so it made things easier. It was not uncommon. Richard, William and Thomas were business partners and lived together, but the pretext was completely different for Kevin and Peter.
Roger led them into an office through a set of huge double doors. There was a secretary that was sitting in the first room in front of another set of doors, that was where Kevin and Peters’ offices were along with two board rooms. Roger led them to one of the boardrooms as the secretary went to fetch the owners.
The meeting went very well, everyone worked well together and they were even amused by Thomas’ loud, unfiltered aggressive nature. They wrote out a deal and planned to tour factories and decide what they wanted before they signed the final papers. The first round of papers they signed established that they planned on working together. There were clauses that laid out what happened if the deal broke down so neither party would lose anything.
Thomas and William returned to their house and were super excited. Thomas immediately called Richard.
Clara answered the phone and passed it to Richard. Before he told him the good news he teased him about the woman who answered the phone asking if that was his wife. Richard always talked about his crushes on women so they always joked that he fell in love with every woman that he saw. After they finished talking Thomas and William did what they usually did, they opened up a new bottle of scotch.