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A Job Interview (closed)
Summer had been fun after graduating from Julliard.  Really anything was fun after Julliard.  It wasn't that Anna hadn't learned anything or had any fun at all, but everyone there was so uptight and needed to learn how to relax and just have a good time.  Anna had built up a decent amount of money working at the Pink Rose, and with that, she had left the States for Moscow.  Everybody who was anybody seemed to levitate towards the city.  Truth be told, it was now the center of the world. 

Anna had found herself an apartment and mostly had gotten her life in order, but work was still something she needed.  She could probably live for awhile off of her savings, but in order to live her best life, she would need a fresh influx of cash occasionally.  So she began searching for jobs in the city.  With a degree from Julliard as well as recommendation letters from professors, it was likely she would find something, however, a job posting caught her eye.  Kallisti House of Burlesque was hiring dancers.  Anna did her research and Kallisti appeared to be a pretty upscale place.  It wasn't the Pink Rose for sure - burlesque dancing and stripping were two different things although they both intrigued the viewer with forbidden fruit.  

Anna found herself smiling.  It would likely be a fun job and a well paying one.  Anna continued her deep dive on the establishment and there were rumors of the talent using some sort of power to enhance their show.  Anna flinched a little at that.  She was still scared of the power she held inside.  If that was happening, she'd likely have to face it sometime.

Anna made a call to the Pink Rose, asking a request for a letter of recommendation from her former manager.  She did include that in most of the more classical job applications.  Most of them still frowned on exotic dancing, but she felt this would be a good addition to her resume at Kallisti.
She received a call a few days after applying and scheduled an interview.  Anna spent that time practicing and putting together an outfit should they ask her to dance.  It wouldn't be out of place to do so.  Anna dressed professionally, putting on a white blouse and black skit and black tights. Anna finished a cup of coffee and grabbed a bottle of water to get on the bus to the club.  ON the way there, she mentally prepared herself for the interview.  Anna felt confident, but still the nerves of being judged always came.  It was only natural.  As her nerves rose, she could sense the power hiding - a glowing light that beckoned.  Anna ignored it as much as possible.

She paid the driver and sighed in relief as she arrived at the club.  It was during the day, so the club wasn't really running.  The doors were opened, however.  Staff would be prepping for the shift and the dancer's would be rehearsing.  A woman approached her shortly after entering, a slight look of confusion on her face.  Based on her physique, Anna would have guessed she was also a dancer, but she really didn't know.

"Hello, we're closed right now.  We open in a few hours if you want to see a show,"

The woman was at least polite and offered a smile.  This probably happened occasionally.

"Hi," Anna responded, offering her own smile. "Actually, I'm here because I have an interview with Carmen today."

The woman's eyes brightened in realization. "Ah! I see. Follow me!"

Anna nodded and the woman led her to a room with some chairs and a table. "Please take a seat.  I'll let Carmen know you are here!"

Anna listened and thanked the woman.  She set her bag with some costumes beside her chair and waited for Carmen to arrive.
[Image: carmen.jpg]
Carmen’s eyes lifted at the rap of knuckles against her open door. Her lips pursed, though the interruption was expected. Amaya hovered in the doorway, all sweet smiles and bright orange curls. Even leaning around the doorjamb, the woman was pure grace. “Prospect’s here,” she said. Her brows rose with the glittering secret of first impression, waiting for the solicitation of her opinion, but Carmen would make her own. She only swiped a hand through the holoscreens hanging above her desk, dismissing them.

“Well fucking send her in, then.” The words bit sharp, but were accompanied by the faint impression of a smile. Amaya laughed and slipped away to retrieve said prospect from wherever she had hidden her.

Carmen pressed a hand to the back of her neck, easing the muscles there, then rested back in her chair. Blood-red hair sat against her tattooed shoulders, and she was immaculately presented. She watched the door, and would make no effort to hide that she judged the woman as she walked in.
As the woman left, Anna caught sight of a mirror, and stood back up to give herself one last look.  She smiled, happy with her look and took a few calming breaths.  

You'll be fine.  Show her who you are and that you have something to bring to the table.

The woman came back with a smirk on her face as if she had just been laughing.  "Carmen will see you now." The woman said.

Anna moved to follow the woman, grabbing her bag as she did.  First impressions were important, so Anna gathered all the grace she should muster as she walked.  It was a gift she had since she was a little girl.   After being led down a hallway, Anna was directed to an open door.  The woman in the office had brilliant red hair with shoulder tattoos.  Anna noticed the gaze and she knew she was already being judged.  The woman, Carmen, was very attractive.  Like a dancer herself, Carmen was graceful in her seating as well.

Anna gave the woman a smile as she was directed to enter by her escort and stretched out her hand professionally. "My name is Anna Rodriguez," she said, her slight accent coming through. "It's a pleasure to meet you."
Carmen leaned to shake the offered hand, and exchanged her own name too, though she expected the girl to already know it. There was confidence to her demeanor but no apparent arrogance, and any natural nerves were smoothed with composure. Carmen’s gaze as she assessed this was calculating, but not cold. She’d read the resume, of course. Anna wasn’t the only dancer to grace Kallisti’s halls who had a pedigree background, but it wasn’t common either. Experience in a strip club boded well enough; it wasn’t exactly the same as what they did here, but it meant the girl was probably used to handling the attention. On paper it was an easy sell.

A hand waved to the chair. There was little preamble. Carmen wouldn't waste either of their time.

“Have you ever done burlesque? What made you choose to apply here?”
The handshake Anna received in turn was professional and Carmen gave her a look of assessment. It was to be expected. Anna kept her breathing calm - a feeling that continued on her exterior features. Her posture was relaxed as the two women dropped hands and the interview officially started. Anna took the chair offered by Carmen, sitting with a casual grace and crossed a leg over her knee. She crossed her hands in her lap as Carmen asked her first questions, not at all beating around the bush.

It was a move Anna appreciated. Anna liked to make friends, but this wasn't their purpose here. Perhaps their relationship would go that way if they got the job. Anna wasn't beyond that with a boss, but ultimately, this was a business meeting, and Anna was glad to keep things to business.

"I've not done burlesque professionally, and I won't try to tell you that it was taught in my professional training," Julliard didn't look well upon the more exotic forms of dancing, which was part of what drew her to a strip club while she was there. "My experience in burlesque has been in a more personal study and from working with others who have had experience in the burlesque arena. I've applied several of their techniques in my own dancing at the Pink Rose."

Anna was aware of the differences in burlesque and working in a strip club, but they often had similarities that she had drawn upon in her career. Some of the other dancers at the Pink Rose had done burlesque and Anna, being a lover of all forms of dance, had taken them up on their offers of advice. Anna had hoped to convey this as well as her practical experience.

"I chose to apply here because your establishment has a reputation," Anna said. " I've heard good things about Kallisti in both performance expectations, as well as the way your dancers are treated here. I also took a look at your website and saw that you are inclusive in your selection of talent. I haven't seen a co-ed club in some time. Beyond that, I like what I do and I feel that based on those things, this will not only be a place to utilize my talents, but also a place where I could have a good time doing so."
Anna was calm, professional, and well spoken. Carmen remembered being young and fresh and eager to impress -- a lifetime ago, to be sure, yet she still doubted her facade had been half as polished as this girl’s when she’d been the same age. None of that counted against her. In fact all the boxes ticked neatly. Of course, Kallisti generally erred towards the errant, the second-chancers, the ones who had nowhere else to turn, and Anna did not appear to be that. But for all her prickly nature, in reality Carmen rarely turned anyone away. Some lost souls were obvious, others less so. Everyone was given a chance. They all had to earn their place the same, from the ground up.

At the mention of reputation, Carmen’s lips flickered a wry smile. She nodded. “Burlesque is an attitude,” she said. The dancing was important, of course, but the story told more so. Juilliard would matter little here, though it wasn’t a hindrance either. If Anna had been working strip joints, it was unlikely she carried the airs and graces anyway. “Kallisti is family. Treat us well, and expect the same in kind. If you’ve done your homework like you say, you’ll know the rules we operate by here. You’ll be expected to sign an NDA to protect the clients -- you’ll hear things, believe me. Anyone gives you trouble, you let me know. There’s nothing quite like a no-touch rule to tease temptation. What you do in your own time is up to you, of course, but don’t mix it with work.”

She let that sink in. None of it should be surprising. After a moment, she asked bluntly, “Can you channel?”

Nothing suggested it. Mostly those here who had the capability had come because of Oriena. Carmen might have simply asked Juliana, for they seemed able to recognise each other’s talents, but she wanted to see Anna’s reaction more than she wanted the actual answer. It didn’t matter whether she could or not.
Anna nodded as Carmen spoke. Things sounded like they were going well based on what she was saying, but now wasn't the time to lapse. Anna had done her homework and knew the rules of the establishment as well, and NDA's were common in the night life industry.

Carmen's next question caught Anna off guard though. With her question the nerves came. Although subtle, Anna showed this with a slight bit of the lip and a slight tightening of the hands in her lap. Her breathing quickened slightly. The power hovered like a light within her. Anna could embrace it now if she wanted. Her nerves allowed it, but she kept it at bay despite the temptation to feel it's warmth as it called to her.

Anna thought about it. She had heard these rumors too - that Kallisti's dancers could do some incredible things. Perhaps it was one of the reasons that she was here today. Anna was scared of the power. She knew that, but deep down she also knew that it was a part of her. She would have to reconcile with that eventually. Maybe she applied to see if she could get help as well.

After a moment of silence, Anna answered. "I can," she said honestly, feeling more naked than she ever did at the Pink Rose. "I'm not very good at it though, and I can only do it if I'm nervous."

It was a strange feeling how comfortable she already felt with Carmen, but she had bared a part of herself to the woman that very few had done before. All that was left was to see what would become of this information.
Surprise flickered, though only for a moment. It wasn’t the answer she had expected, though these days the world tilted on such a consistently strange axis that she only nodded. 

“It isn’t a requirement for your role here,” she said, mostly in answer to the brief indication of nerves displayed in the moments before Anna had answered. “There are others here with the ability. If it’s something you want to learn more of, we can help. That isn’t why I asked you, though.”

“One of our employees is an ex-member of the cult that makes it its business to eradicate such people -- the ones known as Atharim, who you may have heard the Ascendancy speak of. We protect ourselves, of course, but the risk remains, and it's one you need to be aware of. We don’t hide that channelers work here.”

Carmen paused, once again to give time for the warning to sink in, or for Anna to ask questions. She trusted Nox. Even Oriena was unlikely to abandon them to such trouble, though she was equally likely to have caused it in the first place. Aside from the incident with Kasun, things were running smoothly -- Carmen ensured it. But before Anna committed herself to a job here, she ought to be aware that it might put her on the Atharim's radar.
Anna nodded in understanding. They had an ex-member of the Atharim here. Of course Anna had heard of them, although she had never come into contact with one of them. It was clear that Carmen at least trusted this person. They protected themselves, so if he was here and they knew of it, whoever it was was trusted by the staff here. She openly admitted that channelers worked here, and it was something they didn't want to hide.

Anna thought for a moment before responding. She liked Carmen and really wanted to work at Kallisti. It seemed like a great place to have a good time while making good money. Anna would also need to figure out how to use the power if for no other reason than to keep herself and others safe. She didn't doubt that these Atharim were dangerous, but Anna had been a stripper in New York. She concealed carried and could shoot well. With the power, she could probably learn other ways to protect herself too.

"I think I would like to learn more. And I'm willing to take that risk."

Anna sat a little taller as she finished, feeling once again comfortable in the woman's presence.
Confidence reasserted itself after a moment’s consideration. Perhaps the girl was expecting to be asked to demonstrate her skills next, but Carmen didn’t feel it necessary. If it transpired Anna wasn’t cut out for the role, she’d soon hear about it from the other dancers. The sterility of an audition wouldn’t tell her anything not already set out in black and white in her resume anyway.

“The shot is yours if you want it, Anna. Welcome to Kallisti,” she said instead. Her severe expression parted for a small smile, just the hitch of one corner of her mouth. “Probationary for now. Let’s see how you get on, yes? I’ll sort the paperwork. Amaya or Juliana can show you around. Juliana is the one to ask any questions about channeling.”

And that was it. With a smirk, Carmen made a shooing motion with her hands. Anna was dismissed.
"You say you're a godman. So what? 
I'm the devil herself"
Alpha ~ Little Destroyer
[Image: orianderis.jpg]

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