Grey Is The New Green: A Look Inside Grey Incorporated by Janice MacDonald
Grey Incorporated is the somewhat innocuous name given to the most up-and-coming Green Tech company. But what does Grey Incorporated do? And who is Nicholas Grey, the company's CEO? Competing with other local Green Tech companies in Crystal Springs, CO, Grey Incorporated had to be a leg above the rest to get the recognition it does.
But let's start at the beginning, shall we? Nicholas Grey grew up in Aspen, CO, as the son of two business executives. His father Gregory Grey started SmartTek, a computer science business that helped define the Colorado computer industry in the seventies; his mother Jennifer Grey had a very successful locally based knitting company that catered to Aspen's ample tourist population. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, as they say. After the tragic death of his parents in 1995, Nicholas's interest in following in their footsteps came to the forefront. Coupled with a life-long interest in nature, this drive to succeed planted the seed that became Grey Incorporated.
In 2004, Nicholas came to Crystal Springs and bought the old Price-Donnell building in Bridgetown. Back in the 20's, the building was used as a cereal factory, but a chemical fire left the inside an unusable husk. It sat dormant, until Grey swooped in and claimed it eighty years later. Renovations happened at top speed, finishing within the year and updating the old brick building with a slick interior, solar panels, and low-energy equipment. It's also something of a local legend, however, that as the renovations continued, nothing less than an oak tree somehow took root in the roof, flourishing without aid of soil. Though this phenomenon is not unheard of, it certainly lends a bit of flare for Grey Incorporated's reputation of the Greenest of the Green!
Now Grey has gained a reputation amongst his competitors as an even-minded businessman; yet he has also been called a keen negotiator. Grey Incorporated may not have the longevity that Baldwin Science and Technology does, but the company is swiftly overtaking the coveted number one ranking for Green Tech companies in the area due to a focus on low price, easy implementation, and pervasive marketing. Of course, the tree might also have something to do with its rocketing popularity. Nicholas Grey himself is also known as somewhat of a humanitarian as well: he gives generously to charities; he visits the Richard Matthews Forest Reserve every day and picks up litter; he's also served as a Ranger for a short period of time as well. With a face like that, no wonder the company is popular.
Miscellaneous File: Nicholas Grey
- Birthday: October 20, 1979
- Astrological Sign: Libra
- Zodiac Sign: Sheep
Private History Edit
Pre-First Change Edit
I don't know. I guess I was a pretty weird kid. I never had many friends, and those that I did have weren't exactly close. Most of them were, well. Adolescent boys, after all. The worst kind of creature. I was dubbed the weird kid at school, the type everyone liked to avoid, because I was awkward and intense and smart. I also was a bit of a handful to my teachers, one of those kids who was just too smart for the things they taught. Not that that was a feat.
There was also that bit where, at the time, I was only getting nutrients from rare meat, raw if I could manage it. The doctors were baffled and concerned, as were my parents, and my peers weren't exactly thrilled. I was pale and gawky. They called me vampire, things like that. But kids will be kids.
At the age of nine I started having horrible nightmares about frightening wolf-beasts. In these dreams, these beasts forced me to go insane and kill the people I loved. And they were as real as real experience. Without having any knowledge of Garou, without ever having seen one, I was having vivid dreams of walking the Spiral. The first time I had one I was inconsolable for a week. I wouldn't talk to my parents. When they finally pried the answer out of me, they took me to see my uncle, who had no answers. It was determined they were just bad dreams, and maybe I had an odd ancestor that was prying into my life. I, of course, thought they were crazy.
At any rate, I started getting them monthly. Sometimes twice a month. It made me clam up. I wouldn't talk to anyone. I spent a lot of time in my room away from people. The more I had them, the more my circle of tortured victims grew, and the more I stopped trying to connect.
It was almost a relief when I was sent off to train with my Uncle.
First Change Edit
My first change was when I was 16. My parents told me I'd be going off to visit family, and off I went to see my Uncle Baron. Uncle Baron was also known as Whispers-on-the-Wire, or Wiry for short, and he was a Walker Theurge. He set me down and we had a Chat, as one might call it. He started on the wrong tac: I was already twitchy from the Rage, uncomfortable around my uncle, since I hadn't met him much, and he had to start with a demonstration.
Keep in mind this was the first time I'd seen this thing in real life; as far as I knew it only lived in my nightmares. When he shifted, I freaked. I foxed. He had to chase me down, but once he did, he cuffed me a good one. I was out. Wiry then carried my naked ass to the Sept of Fire and Ice, the local caern in Aspen.
Cubhood was rocky at first. Dealing with the sight of a crinos was a little hard to get used to, but it didn't take long. Especially when they explained what the garou in my dreams were. Once I got a handle on that, it was a swift transition to wanting to learn it all. I asked questions constantly, annoyed my teachers, pranked my cubmates, and got the shit beat out of me constantly. This of course brought me the cubname Loudmouth.
Still, Fire and Ice was rarely one to dabble on cubhood: as soon as I could recite the Litany and shift through my forms, I was sent on my Rite of Passage.
Rite of Passage: Cliath Edit
One day, my main mentor, Voice-as-Smooth-as-Moon's-Milk (or just Moon's-Milk for short) took me aside and told me I was to get a very important Talen that had been lost on the ski slope. And because of its nature, she said I'd have to fetch it without anyone seeing.
On the upside, the spirits were watching and they granted me the gift of Blur of the Milky Eye as I started to climb. On the downside, even blurred a dark form is hard to miss in the snow. Luckily for me there was a side of the mountain that wasn't being used much at the time (it was off-season), so I climbed that. I've never had a lot of constitution, personally; in childhood I was a mild asthmatic. It's mostly gone away now but I've never been great at feats of endurance. Either way, it was almost twilight when I reached the top.
I searched the area, digging through the snow until I found a small weatherworn box. Unfortunately, on it was a small jay spirit, and it refused to let me open it. So I used my natural charm and a little bit of help from the spirits, but it was unPersuadable. Since that didn't work, I was vaguely familiar with the fact that spirits liked Gnosis, but even offering that would not sway the little spirit. So I searched my pockets. I recall getting frustrated and coming up with this little mini LED flashlight. I threw it a few feet away and activated it with the help of the spirits. The glint caught the Jay's eye and it flew after it greedily. With that, I opened the chest and recovered the talen: a carved bone ring. I returned to my sept triumphantly, and was rited as Picks-Apart-the-Bones, or Bonepicker.
Cliathhood went a little better for me: having learned the foundations I was able to expand without stepping on too many toes. I was a Cliath for six months, absorbing the culture and starting to feel a little more at home. It was fairly uneventful: I fought against the agents of the Wyrm, I did reconnaissance into enemy territory. Moon-Milk began teaching me the ins and outs of a martial art she didn't have a name for: it focused almost entirely on how to dodge or redirect the enemy's attacks. I was more than clumsy at first, but hey. You take enough feet to the face, you start learning how to get around them. Having eventually bonded with her, I joined Moon-Milk's pack: Dark Moon, an infiltration pack under Pernesa, Magpie.
After those six months were up, however, I felt I was ready for a real rank to my name. I had questioned the ways of the Septmembers, done my duties as a ragabash. So I approached Moon's-Milk and Challenged her for Fostern.
Challenge: Fostern Edit
My terms were thus: I was to win a game against my uncle. The game was seemingly easy: we were to play a game of chess. My first plan was that of the eager novice: the Blitzkrieg. But any experienced player sees through that, as my uncle did, and he blocked it. So then I had to play by my wits alone. And it wasn't long before I started wondering if things weren't a little strange.
Pieces seemed to be placed and then moved when I was looking away. Things kept catching my attention, and I was trying my hardest to focus on the game at hand. It wasn't until Pernesa made a noise over packchat that I realized what was happening. The featherbutt was moving the pieces and manipulating things from afar. So, I demanded she stop so I could win the game. And she demanded secrets in return, as any good Magpie will of course.
So casually I struck up a conversation with my uncle, leading it towards Septwide gossip, but ol' Wiry knew what I was up to. He didn't share a single speck of information. But I didn't stop, I kept trying, as the pieces kept shift. The game got more heated, and he got more distracted as he tried to focus. That's when I accused him of cheating. My uncle, like most, doesn't like to be told he's cheating: and so I started a shouting match. It's not long before I had him on the edge and he finally let slip an intriguing bit of gossip involving alcohol, a dress, a Jamaican accountant, and the wee hours of the morning that I won't share here. Pernesa was appeased and the pieces stopped moving of their own accord.
Regardless, I lost the chess game. The good thing is, the chess game really wasn't the game I was supposed to win. I gained the rank of Fostern and the title Tongue-Twister.
It was only maybe a week or two after I had my rank that I found my parents had died in a car crash. I kind of...shut down for a week or two. They left me a fairly sizable fortune, and I had no idea what to do with it. Though living in Aspen was a pretty penny, I was living with my uncle and the rent was free. So it went into savings while I dealt with mourning.
When I finally kicked out of it, I was distant again. Not that I had let many people in, but the tragedy sparked some of the more vivid dreams I recall. At any rate, I put myself into learning gifts and rites to help aid the Sept and my pack. I worked on expanding Dark Moon's reach, garnering new territory and such. I helped teach new cubs, took strong leadership roles in the Sept, such as serving as Guardian. I let my childhood love of nature keep me sane: sometimes wandering around in the wilderness kept me grounded when I felt everything was falling down around me.
Still, it's the job of a ragabash to keep sharp, and that I did. I pranked everyone I knew, keeping them on their toes and leading them towards whatever lessons I felt they should learn. In the eight years that I was Fostern, I made quite the name for myself. I was also maturing rapidly. I started realizing if these dreams I had were going to come to pass, I had to at least do enough good to outdo the bad I might do. So, dropping the emo teenage angst crap, I started picking up books on business. I used my money to go to night classes. Those 8 years, I threw myself into school, getting my head together. I wound up with a double-major in Ecology and Chemisty, with a minor in Business. It helped me focus my mind, but I still didn't know what to do with it; all I knew was it was a direction and I wanted to take it.
Luckily, Moon's-Milk was watching my progress. She told me to talk to Mera, Wildclaw, who led a small knot of Glass Walkers in Fire and Ice who called themselves City Farmers. Talking to Mera opened my eyes: balancing the Wyld and the Weaver may provide a strong foothold against the Wyrm. I was astonished, and damn if it didn't sound good. If you can get the Wyld and the Weaver in balance, the Wyrm will fall into place eventually. So I started on a masters in Green Technology with an eye for making a Green business.
It took me a while to learn this, but more important than the classes I took and the things I learned were the contacts I made. One particular individual, Henry, happened (thankfully) to be Walker kin as well as practically a genius in the field. He not only helped me study my ass off for all this, but he taught me a good deal of what I know, and now he's employed under me.
But eventually I was just about ready to put my knowledge to use, and I decided to challenge Wildclaw for Adren.
Challenge: Adren Edit
Wildclaw handed me Querca, just a sapling at the time. Er, she's an oak sapling, by the way. She told me to deliver it to the Sept of the Looking Glass without it coming to any lethal harm, and that I had to carry it by foot in homid all the way there. The bitch knew my weaknesses back to front by then, and I applaud her. Greatly. She told me to plant Querca somewhere urban and convince the local Don and one other Garou to help him plant it.
The journey was Hell, my friend. It took me a week and a half, and I was sore and miserable by the end of it. And that's not the half of it: when I was three-quarters of the way there, these three campers waylaid me. I told them I was breaking a record. Well, turns out the campers were fomori and let me tell you, running with an oak sapling in your arms does not work out well. I managed to get her out of the way just as they yanked me under. I died that day, but I came back. With a vengeance. I wiped the goddamn floor with them, took my tree and carried on.
I arrived in Crystal Springs blasted with chemical burns, clothes ripped and bleeding, carrying a tree. I can't even explain the looks I received, but I know I deserved them. I located the Don in the local safehouse, a brewery, as it turns out, and explained the whole situation. Hi, I'm challenging for Adren, I have this tree, she's going to die soon if I don't plant it, please can you help me? The Don at the time, Marcus Lean-Arm, was not very impressed with me, I could tell. He kept giving me The Eye, if you know what I mean. He demanded some kind of chiminage in return. Despite my rather lengthy list of skills and gifts, he instead told me he admired drive and zeal, and he said Wildclaw had told him of my ambition to start a Green Tech company. So my chiminage was to root the Green Initiative here: stay long enough to help the tree thrive and nurture it into a healthy oak. Naturally, I agreed.
The Beta of his pack was easily convinced to join us as well, and he pointed me to the Price-Donnell Building. The place was run down, an old disgusting shell of its rather inglorious former self. It wasn't long before a plan formed in my mind and I used a large chunk of my inheritance to buy the building. Querca was planted on the roof, thanks to the rite of Growth, and I turned around and informed Wildclaw via phone that I had completed my challenge and would be staying here to form my own Green Tech company. (I also made a quick call to Henry: he was kind enough to move up as well and help me plan the renovations.)
Adrenhood: Crystal Springs Edit
At any rate. I owned the building. For the first year of my stay here I renovated the hell out of that building. Every rotting bit of debris was removed, old crumbling scorched brick replaced by new steel and glass and concrete. Solar panels, low-energy lights, the rooftop garden...it all came together magnificently. And at the same time? Querca was growing beautifully. According to her, I picked a beautiful spot, and I have to agree.
I turned the building first into a secondary haven for the kin and other local Garou, mostly Walkers. But after a bit of care and the help of the locals, I acquired some invested start-up funding and created Grey Incorporated, dedicated to Green solutions for other companies. Of course, as my workforce expanded to include other kin, I had a considerable army of information-seekers at my fingertips, and a good chunk of the under-the-table work Grey Inc. does involves other supernaturals in the city, keeping track of the Wyrm movements, things like that.
At any rate, I was there, building my business, tending Querca, helping the Walkers for three years. Lean-Arm finally approached me and, since I had never really clearly articulated that I planned on staying here rather than returning to Aspen, informed me that I was the other highest-ranking member of the local tribe and if I wanted to stay on as a member, I could take the office of Beta. Lucky me, I said, and I agreed. In the next year, I started fostering connections for Grey Inc and for the Sept, such as with the Rangers at the Forest Reserve, and soon had a reputation among the population at large for being a champion of nature.
And then the unthinkable happened.
The Recurrence destroyed the Sept. Literally. All the garou were gone but me and Roman. He was named Sept Alpha during the battle and me? I'm not a fan of metis taking rank like that. But when there's only two left... why bother, really? It's like fighting over some scrap of meat. With everyone dead, our burial mounds were distressingly full, and it left me as Don. That was a few months ago. I think I'm doing alright so far, but seriously? One thing at a time.