Author Topic: Personnel notes: Mr. Tenenbaum  (Read 455 times)

BioSpark

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Personnel notes: Mr. Tenenbaum
« on: October 25, 2016, 08:55:29 AM »
Subject review #22495.
Name: Mr. Tenenbaum
Known alias: Tenenbaum, "The Help" (greatly discouraged)
Reviewed by: Operative Tam Jenkins

Subject is to be considered safe and to be permitted free access to any level of the facility to which he expresses an interest.  Areas of security clearance reserved for staff in a command role should remain off limits unless requested directly by the relevant authority.  To date, Tenenbaum has expressed no interest in exploring the facility yet has reviewed the publically available site plans in great detail in order to "better get the lay of the land".

Subject has, thus far, remained cooperative in all requests made of him.  Demeanour is polite, if a little stiff.

Mr. Tenenbaum is an enigma, even to those who know him well.  He wears his heart on his sleeve and insofar as he experiences emotion at all (yet to be ascertained), he shows no signs of hiding his intentions from anybody.  Despite this, previous clients have reported significant difficulties with getting the measure of him.

Tenenbaum (always Tenenbaum or Mr. Tenenbaum, never addressed informally) is a classic gentleman's gentleman.  He is well trained to remain in the background, being the grease behind the wheels of men larger and more consequential than himself.  He is unused to receiving praise or recognition for his efforts for when his job has been done well, it is scarcely possible to tell that he has even been involved.

Nothing is known of his personal life.  He does not admit to hobbies or interests, preferring "to maintain a strictly professional relationship, please".  Until quite recently, his professional life has been a series of contractual obligations to tend to the lives and manage the staff of all manner of people, from Spanish nobility to British military tacticians.  A skill with languages has been observed.  Anybody who can afford his services can enjoy his expertise, he does not pick and choose his clients (he claims to have worked in the employ of dictators, diplomats and martyrs.  He does not judge), but his fees are quite extraordinary.

After all, as a super-powered valet he is thought of as a hot commodity.

Tenenbaum does not openly manifest his powers in public, he simply makes it clear to his employers that he does, indeed, possess abilities above and beyond that of your average person.  He makes sure to only advertise himself in specifically chosen publications, those who are sympathetic to his unique condition and who will not endanger nor exploit him.  Should he ever suspect that his powers are being used for anything outside of the terms of his carefully worded contracts, he will leave with a curt apology and simply terminate the business relationship with a minimum of fuss.  His employer will find themselves unable to contact him a second time.  A contract was necessary for his involvement within the New Sentinels (his insistence) and a copy is available on request.  It is a significant tome and largely beyond the comprehension of anybody without a significant grounding in legalese.

His powers are, primarily, increased speed and intelligence with some minor inclination toward telepathy.  A gentleman's gentleman should ideally be able to perceive his employer's needs, to be at hand at all times of day almost immediately and to recall messages, appointments and tidbits of useful diplomatic and cultural wisdom to aid in the flow of conversation.  He does not disappoint.  However he has a knack for picking up knowledge as he works.  He displays a knowledge of history which suggests, at times, that he was present for events he could not possibly have been alive for and often knows a client's needs before they themselves have realised them.  A small number of his prior engagements have been ended by clients who became unnerved at how constantly present and aware, within a moment's notice, the man was.

Tenenbaum is always well presented with slicked-down blond hair, parted neatly to the right, and a pencil moustache.  He speaks with an upper-class South British accent.  He appears to be in his late 50s, trim and athletic.  Official age has been provided as 61 but some clients have expressed doubts and suspect he may be far older.  The only deviation from the classic valet image of a black suit and white gloves are his shoes, quite obvious reinforced.  He has made every effort to have them tailored into classic dress shoes but apologetically claims that standard footwear simply cannot take the strain.  Should replacements be required, a specific supplier in Oxford, UK has been named in his contract.  Replacement suits, made to very exacting specifications, may also be procured from this supplier.

His only possessions appear to be 5 matching suits (dry cleaning instructions attached) and 5 matching pairs of shoes.  Tenenbaum travels light and travels often.

He admitted himself to this organisation a number of months ago, unusually not contacted by a field scout.  He had been in the employ of a fellow super, "Bert Petal", who approached us recently and Tenenbaum followed 3 days afterwards.  His opinions about his current employer are not known but his tone is rather more clipped around them.  A supporting role in combat appears to be the best suited to his personality, he is highly lacking in combat-viable skills and powers, so he can often be found towards the back offering encouragement.  His skill is in being in the right place at the right time to avert catastrophe or just to offer hot and cold refreshments at times of social conflict.  He insists that his suit will be a perfectly reasonable "costume" and has waved away any idea of having a codename of any kind.

He is simply Tenenbaum, a man devoid of agenda or intent.  That is both his name and his vocation.  He lives to serve.
Bless the children of the world
Give us all a chance to grow and live
Give us all you've got to give
Bless the children of the world

Bless the children of the world
We're the one's who'll have to carry on
Even though all hope is gone
Bless the children of the world

-Don Henley

BioSpark

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Re: Personnel notes: Mr. Tenenbaum
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2017, 05:00:10 PM »
I've only just realised something.  Tenenbaum's demeanour and appearance started out by being based on Jeeves.  He was initially brought into the campaign under the employ of Bert Petal.

"Jeeves" came in hired by Bertie.  And that's either terrible or wonderful.

Tenenbaum's real name isn't Jeeves, just for the record.  That'd be a bit on the nose.
Bless the children of the world
Give us all a chance to grow and live
Give us all you've got to give
Bless the children of the world

Bless the children of the world
We're the one's who'll have to carry on
Even though all hope is gone
Bless the children of the world

-Don Henley

BioSpark

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Re: Personnel notes: Mr. Tenenbaum
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2017, 08:22:47 AM »
If any of this conflicts with your intended canon, please feel free to make or request an edit!  I really wouldn't mind in the slightest.

---

Mr. Tenenbaum sat in front of a mirror, carefully grooming his hair and moustache.  Everything had to be just so.  After all, appearances were everything.  These sessions were a fine time for self-reflection and this evening's was no different.

He had been Tenenbaum for such a long time, now.

The years had been long.  How many of them now?  Ah, far too many to count.  He used to keep a journal, didn't he?  Yes, until there had been little of novelty to write about.  Until the volumes became too cumbersome to store.

Names, too.  Plenty of names.  Almost, but not quite, too many of those to count.

Tenenbaum had been alive for a very long time.  Unfathomably long for most people.  He, like most, remembered nothing of his birth and little of his childhood other than a general sense of... "rustic"?  That seemed like a word with the right sort of fit.  His parents were poor financially but rich with love and his childhood was a happy time.  Pinpointing his home town was something of a challenge, to the point that he'd never returned.  Times and borders had changed so much.  Perhaps it would correspond roughly with... hmm.  Despite this long-lived "British" affectation, perhaps a nationality of "Arabian" would be more appropriate.  No sense in updating the passport now, though.  Lord knows that every other detail on that document was probably a fabrication.

On the day of his 14th birthday, his powers began to manifest.  He finished people's sentences and had a knack for knowing when others were happy or sad.  It made him a good listener, popular with his peers.  By 15 he could outrun any person in his village.  By 16 he was troubled by what he perceived as visions (what he would later come to know as reading surface thoughts) and he left home without a word, living a life of self-imposed exile, travelling from town to town in search of inner peace.  Alas, as fast as he could run, it would always elude him.

In that unenlightened place and time his gifts would surely identify him a demon and lead to his death at the hands of his peers (or worse.  He shuddered whenever that murky thought rose to the surface).  In many ways, the modern world was little better.  More tolerant, that much was certain, but still with its prejudices.

Perhaps, he pondered carefully, he was a demon.  Wouldn't that be poetic?  By the age of 50, his speed and telepathic abilities increasing with every year, he realised that his body had ceased to age.  That was hardly normal.  Not even the memory loss and confusion that often afflict the elderly would trouble him.  Maybe he was cursed, much like that wretch trapped in the vault, entombed in the blade.  Every person he knew and loved would perish before him, but in contrast to that furious spirit, he would have the option of futile intervention.  He could try to fight the inevitable, to prolong the lives of those near and dear to him until...

No.  Better not to make social connections.  Such loss, such sustained and perpetual loss, that would be more than a person could bear.  Better to remain detatched.  Maintain a professional demeanour.  Emotion was a prying little crowbar, an addictive and dangerous distraction.  Many had referred to him over the years as aloof.  Never would it be denied.  Few, a select few, would sincerely believe he had slight psychopathic tendencies.  Ha, perhaps.  In Tenenbaum's personal experience, morality was somewhat subjective.  Quite frankly, many individuals tended towards using it as a justification to prevent their fear of their own unsavoury actions.

What was the first name that anyone had given him?  Yes, there was a first, almost a title rather than a name.  Maybe more a joke, told kindly and with good intentions.  It wasn't from his parents, no, their community was small and had little use for names.  It was given to him by a group of very motivated men.  Researchers, they called themselves, choniclers of... ah, yes.  Methuselah, that was the name they used.  They thought it ironic, somehow, and laughed about it for hours.  In modern times, "Tenenbaum" had a more satsfying ring to it.  That was the first name he had ever chosen for himself, possibly even his heroic psuedonym.  That sense of identity, of self recognition, that was important.  When one cannot rely on the brief and irrational people in one's company, rely on Tenenbaum.

Through most of the important moments in recent global history (recent being, of course, a relative term), the biggest players on the world stage had known the services of Tenenbaum or someone like him.  Hard to tell after all this time, of course, whether his life experiences had been his own or... vivid dreams?  Even recalled reincarnations were possible, would that he believed in such things.  He'd served tea to Ghandi, helped see to the living arrangements of the slaves of the mighty Khan, even sharpened pikes for Vladimir Tepes (quite a personable chap, really, but one wouldn't want to share his company for dinner).  Some had been more interesting than others.  Adolf had been a difficult client but always a professional (to a fault).  Richard the 3rd had kept him very much on his toes.  Through his now tired and jaded eyes, he had seen the development of an entire species.  Witnessed first hand marvels of science and art, great achievements, terrible atrocities.  A life, or perhaps lives, most certainly well lived though it had left him surprised by little these days and impressed by still less.  He had few regrets despite a few strong temptation to influence the course of political history.  But no, that would have been irresponsible.  Professionalism was his raison d'etre.  To try to shape events to his own preference was arrogance and a god complex was only a short step away. Never an admirable trait for a super.

And frankly, not much of a super at that.  A supernatural jack of all trades, maybe.

And now this.  This time period, this situation, these people.  Kindred spirits at last.  Not the kinds of people with whom he would normally choose to associate but at least people who would be able to accept him for who he was.  After all, they were similarly afflicted with superpowers and never to know the exquisite mundanity of a normal existence without the terrible burden of social responsibility.  Would this partnership last?  The date of the cessation of his contract with the New Sentinels was approaching fast and certainly money was not a particular concern.  Perhaps he should pursue his own satisfaction rather than taking up a new contract and living for the needs of yet another client.  What a novel concept, time dedicated to one's self!  And after all, the world had survived for many years before him.  The future could eventually move on without the aid of a Tenenbaum, once it had sufficiently matured.

To think that the events leading to this epiphany started during his time under Bert's employ.  Good heavens.  Hardly a high note, that one.  Not exactly a low, though... not exactly.  God alone knows how that behemoth was ever able to afford the services of the world's most efficient and discrete valet.  Especially one that was also cooking the establishment's books...

A flash of light caught his eye in the mirror.  He looked to his comb.  A grey hair.  The first he had ever noticed.  Was it simply the stress of the past few months?  Ah, no, there was something else.  A smell of brimstone, the feeling of warmth at his back, a voice that was both strange and familiar, all at once silent and unbearably loud.  It was paying another visit.  A change was coming.  Maybe Tenenbaum finally, after all these years, was not as young as he used to be.  Time for himself could wait.  Duty was about to call and this client, while renowned for His patience, was not one that it would do to keep waiting.  Best to start a fresh kettle.  Best not to turn around, despite there being nothing unusual about the reflection of the room.

Until the new master came calling, the New Sentinels were as good an employer as any other, despite that regrettable contractual amendment incident.  He would enjoy spending his last years in their service.  Of course, he would sue them for breach of contract but it wouldn't be anything personal.  As with all things in life, it was only business.

An unseen and heavy hand fell on his shoulder.  The sense of warmth was becoming quite noticeable now.  A sharp, cold pain struck his chest and in deference to ingrained social convention, his upper lip reflexively stiffened.  Already?  Sir, how terribly direct!  Perhaps the lawsuit would have to be abandoned, more's the pity.  He painfully took one last sip of tea.  It was unlikely that he would find any in his new accomodation and by God, he would MISS tea.  As the cup fell from limp fingers and he slumped gently forward, at last, briefly, he felt at peace.  As his spirit rose and he looked the great deceiver straight in the eye, another feeling rose in him.  Quite a familiar one, the sense of duty.

No rest for the wicked, old chap.





Personell termination report
Deceased: "Mr. Tenenbaum" (assumed alias, no standard identity records available)
Attending coroner: Dr. Drake Jenkins
Time of death: Estimated 20:15, 07/01/2017
Cause of death: Cardiac arrest
Additional:  Cause of death not treated as suspicious.  Mr. Tenenbaum, despite being in remarkable physical shape, was of an advanced age and had recently undergone a prolonged period of physical and emotional stress.  Death to be treated as "in the line of duty".  Deceased was discovered, at best guess, some 4 hours after his passing following complaints from nearby operatives that the usual dinner service appeared to be running late.  No items of concern noted in routine physical assessment appointments.  The meagre notes taken during such appointments may indicate that Tenenbaum has used his powers of influence to repeatedly bypass his physical.  This warrants further investigation.

No next of kin specified, no family can be identified, no mailing address listed.  A will has been discovered among Tenenbaum's meagre personal effects.  It is an uncharacteristically short document which requests three things:

-Any overdue wages, severance fees and the like to be donated to his former team of operatives (team leader Kenson included), distributed evenly, for whatever purpose they see fit (specifically noted that "Mr. Petal" may not be permitted to spend his share without "rational adult supervision").
-All suits and experimental weaponry should be made property of the Apollo Initiative for "research purposes".  Items include five (5) Apollo Initiative branded double breasted suit jackets with matching trousers, five (5) similar sets of garments (sans branding) and one (1) heavily reinforced "stunbrella" with enclosed instructions for use along with one (1) spare power pack and two (2) charge cables.  The origin of the umbrella is not known.  It ironically appears, we are warned, to prove quite deadly if actually used as a shelter unless the user is properly grounded.
-Remains are to be cremated "thoroughly and repeatedly".  The coffin should contain one (1) pair of customised reinforced leather brogues (to be fitted to the deceased) and one (1) sizeable leather-bound document, currently located at -REDACTED- safety deposit box, details of which attached under standard encryption.  Under no circumstances should personnel attempt to read the document and, to quote, "even prolonged eye contact should be avoided if at all possible".  This particular plea was repeated no fewer than 3 times.

A non-denominational humanist funeral has been requested.  Formal dress.  All items of religious significance should be removed or hidden from sight where possible during the ceremony.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2017, 08:26:02 AM by BioSpark »
Bless the children of the world
Give us all a chance to grow and live
Give us all you've got to give
Bless the children of the world

Bless the children of the world
We're the one's who'll have to carry on
Even though all hope is gone
Bless the children of the world

-Don Henley