"You'll forgive me, but I'm rather surprised to hear from you, Mr. Rosenthal." Stephanie replied after picking up the phone, expecting the call to have something to do with some unfinished bureaucratic process, or perhaps some regulator asking questions about why she'd been dismissed from the board. It was surprising when the next thing he insisted was for her to call him 'Ben'. What she'd heard next absolutely floored her.

"... you what?" She paused for a moment and spoke into the phone. "Ben. I'm flattered, and you know that I do want it, but Sebastian will kill you if he finds out you've been in touch with me like this, let alone to offer me a seat back. You have kids and a grandchild." But she didn't hang up, she couldn't even if she wanted to. She remembered Ben Rosenthal as a fairly mild-mannered man, but she heard a righteous anger in his voice when he spoke. He didn't know what exactly Sebastian had done to them, but he'd clearly influenced their minds. She imagined that such a thing would be especially offensive to a man who had loyally backed her father through thick and thin.

"You'll forgive me, Stephanie, but I've also taken the liberty of getting in contact with your husband, through quiet channels. Allow me to be very clear about this. We want Sebastian Shaw out of our lives, and out of the company that we spent our lives building- that he is <i>destroying</i> with his personal grudges. Something that he would never have done in the past. The news hasn't come out publicly yet, but the last quarter was ... pretty dire for us. Sebastian's lost a lot of his old political influence and the loss of the Veridian accounts hurt us more than we thought it would. We're virtually shut out of Latin America entirely now, and the Europeans are too broke for us." 

Rosenthal paused for a moment. "Maybe we've been King's Men too long. If you or your husband or any of your allies can give us reasonable assurance that Sebastian won't be able to personally target us, we will give you the company. Maybe we would do better with a Queen. It seems the Hellfire Club has been thinking similarly." 

After the conversation ended, Stephanie set down the phone and texted Marcelo immediately.

"Have you heard from a Mr Rosenthal?" 



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