Robert stands about five feet and eight inches tall, a little short for the expectations of a fully grown man. Almost to his early thirties, Robert has very little chance of developing new major characteristics. He's a broad shouldered man with moderately defined muscles and and a normally clean body, though it has a knack for getting dirty from his lifelong comfort with dirty things. He was blessed at birth with thick, brown hair and pretty light skin. However his work, which keeps him in the sun, has tanned him a few shades darker and had given him those pesky odd tan lines. However, being a man of symmetry, Robert took it upon himself to make sure every inch of him were the same shade or close enough where the difference was hardly noticeable. He has been, so far, quite successful.
Through recent changes specifically for this competition, Robert has given himself a cleaner, shorter hairstyle and a nicely shaved face. It gives him a more respectable look and one much more friendlier than his previous appearance may have allowed him. Not exactly a dweller of the richer or the more middle-class world of citizens, he wears cheaper clothes, some unfortunately stained or, much more fortunately, stolen. He usually dresses in layers though it may not be the most advantageous thing. His availability of garments had left him with mostly dark-colored or torn clothing that are usually warn or faded in some areas. His favorite combination of clothing is a t-shirt under a jacket under another jacket. Though he most normally wears this in the night he has a tendency to do so in the day as well, probably because one is not so easy to stab with three layers of clothing (that is, not to say that was a common problem). The main reason for his layers is that Robert often times (or all the time) keeps a concealed weapon on his person. Not a gun as bullets can be expensive, but a knife, perfect for stabbing. In fact, he keeps two on his person, one in the right pocket of his second jacket and the other in the left pocket of his first one. This is simply because Robert is a man who enjoys to be armed. Walking out without something on him can make him slightly nervous.
Robert looked himself in the mirror, fixing his cuff-links and tie. He leaned over the sink and smiled at himself in the mirror, teeth a pretty white for this special occasion.
"Yes I'd love to look for buried treasure," he said to himself, practicing a more professional tone, though his voice still had a mocking hint to it. "I'm an ex-pirate, you know." His smile dropped after a moment and he made a face, shaking his head. "I've been on an exploration before." He raised a brow slightly. "I've funded one?" He sighed. "No, no..." Robert looked away from the mirror for a second and then back up. "I have a thing for peg-legs!" He frowned once more and looked back below him, eyebrows furrowing in his thought. His face lit up suddenly and he snapped his fingers. Standing straight and grinning at the mirror once more he proclaimed, "I'm a treasure-connoisseur!" His grin turned into a satisfied smile. With one more check of his clothing, and sure nothing was out of place, he exited the restroom.
Today he was schedule to meet Jude Laughner, a rich fellow who would participate (or send others, more rather) in the game to find Pandora's treasure. It was the talk amongst the poor and murmured and recalled upon the financially sound. An island, not only holding undiscovered secrets, but treasure, real treasure! This was no fairy tale, no map in a board game, but a real treasure! There was no map, of course, only human wit and intelligence. He had never explored a place as he'd been telling his mirror image and he was no expert on treasure as he'd been a man of very little since he were young. He did have drive, a drive to succeed in what seemed like impossible. There were many odds against him, but he'd been in the woods before, or something similar. He thought he would have a good chance. This chance, however, he could never get by himself. He would need a person to see him through on this, a sponsor, sort of, that would let him keep spoils in which he'd obtain. Jude Laughner had been the one. An already rich man seeking more. The deal was fifty-fiffty, it was the best deal he could get, and he had tried for better deals. He had no clue how many this man had already recruited and if he'd even had a chance, but he knew where to find Mr. Laughner and he would inquire on his deal.
Robert walked into the lobby of the theater. There would be a play showing today. It was an acting of one famous book or another, one that had no doubt found its way on television at demand. He walked behind a small crowd of eager people, but he was hardly interested in them. Since the first day of this treasure's announcement Robert had been trying to find every way he could go. When he'd found out about Jude Laguhner well... He started to make sure he knew where he was. Robert had his eyes on him now, following him within the group that filed into the theater seats. It seemed as though Mr. Laughner was alone as he talked to no one as he walked. That was pleasing to Robert. It made it easier to speak to him. Following his path, Robert found his seat right next to the man who would make his life for the better. The play was not due to start for at least another ten minutes and the room bustled with moderately volumed chatter as people found their seats. Time seemed to be slipping faster than it normally did, or at least, that's how Robert currently felt. He felt like he couldn't waste a minute and his impatience was enough to make him feel like he needed to move.
"Mr. Laughner?" Mr. Laughner looked when he heard his name, just as most men would, and gave Robert a look that bore no recognition.
Robert shook his head. "No, you don't." He extended his hand for a shake. "Robert Macintosh," he greeted, receiving Mr. Laughner's hand and shaking it when grasped. "I'm sorry I had to meet you without warning like this, but there was something I needed to ask you and I was afraid you wouldn't see me another way."
"Don't be sorry," he told him with a smile that was both intelligent and amused. "I enjoy the spontaneous. Now what do you need to ask?"
"Pandora..." The mention of the island's name made a new type of smile creep into the rich man's features. "I was hoping to get the opportunity to help you search for the treasure hidden there." By now the crowd of people had all taken their seats and were beginning to quiet down while the room darkened. Robert lowered his voice with them. "I heard you were looking for people to help."
"That's true, but I'm also looking for good people," Mr. Laughner told him, his voice also hushed. "How do I know you can guarantee finding the treasure for me?"
"Well, I'm good at finding things."
"Car keys, you mean."
Robert laughed. The thought of himself with a car... "No, big things too. Anything, really. I found you, didn't I?"
"True..." Mr. Laughner grinned, one that made Robert think whatever he was doing was doing good enough. If this mister found him enjoyable enough to smile, he may have had a chance. He'd never spoken to a man like Jude Laughner before and the reaction made him think this wouldn't be as disastrous as he'd originally imagined. "But I'm not hidden on an island with more mysteries than discoveries." Robert's elation shrunk a size. "How do I know you're not exaggerating yourself? You don't seem like someone who likes to get dirty when they look for things." His eyes trailed down to Robert's suit. It really wasn't the kind of dress someone who liked exploring would. Not because it was a suit, but because it was a very nice one. With a fine lining, stitching, and button-work, it looked like a suit for someone that may have been more acquainted with sifting through money instead of mud.
"Oh, this..?" Robert looked down at his dress. "I..." He smiled and then and a small laugh came out of him. "This isn't mine."
Jude Laughner gave him another amused grin. "No?"
"No," Robert's smile widened. "It's stolen, very stolen. I didn't think you'd talk to me if I wore my normal clothes." From the speakers hidden in the darkness of the theater, a man's voice boomed forth, announcing the start of the play with a short introduction of casts and important staff and a reminder of the title for all those who forgot. The both of them turned their heads towards the stage, watching the show begin for them. Robert raised a brow as he watched. He was never sure why people with money seemed to be attracted to plays. He was more of the movie type (not that he got to see many...). Looking back at Mr. Laughner Robert noticed he wasn't paying attention. Instead he looked down in his lap at a notepad or journal that had come out of nowhere. He quickly scribbled what looked like a list down onto the paper that took up nearly all the lines. If Robert had to pick an estimate from sight, he'd say there were fifteen. He had no time to make a sure count. Not only was Mr. Laughner a treasure-hunter, but he was a very quick at writing as well. Mr. Laughner grabbed the paper and pulled it out using the designated line. He handed the paper to Robert, which he took gingerly, puzzled on the reason of its origin. From a glance he could see that this was, as he thought, a list. Numbered one to seventeen it listed items by random down the paper. They ranged from all sorts, not having any clear correlation to each other. As if he'd written down the first things that came to mind. The list ranged from things so specific to need an exact type or brand or make and as simple as something like a pack of printer paper or a laser pointer. Robert raised his brow and gave Mr. Laughner a confused look.
"Great as man-power is, I can't take just any amount of men and any man on this journey. You said you could find anything, right?" Robert nodded. "Then prove it to me! You have a few weeks until I'm ready to send everyone off. Find me all of these items on the list and I'll let you in."
Roberts eyes widened. "That's it?"
"That's it!" A scavenger hunt before the scavenger hunt. It seemed easy enough. A lot of these items sounded easy to get and a good amount were (though not all of them he could purchase) he figured he could have this done in no time. "Just call the number on the bottom when you've gotten everything and we'll make arrangements from there." To Robert, this almost seemed to go to be true!
"Thank you," he said, voice almost gone from the excitement. "I'll get on this right away!" Robert started to stand, but his ascent was stopped by the hand of Jude Laughner. The very wealthy hunter pulled him back down to his seat.
"Wait, wait, wait. Don't go."
"What? Is there something else?"
Laughner sighed. "No, it's just... Can I admit something to you?"
"I honestly hate these things, I really do."
"Plays! They're so boring, I've never enjoyed them..." It was Robert's turn to pull an amused smile.
"Then why are you here?"
"I owed someone a favor..." Laughner rolled his eyes as he answered. "Anyways... Will you please stay? I might die here by myself! I thought about sleeping or playing Letris or some other game, but this play is three hours long!" Robert's eyes widened some.
"Yes! And I'm really not the type of man who likes to sit in one place for very long without distraction. All I'm asking for is a little entertainment. We can do anything! Tic-Tac-Toe, Hangman, whatever you like! Just please save me from this!" It would be easy to say no and let the man suffer, but then what kind of person would Robert be? Besides, he could see why someone would want to escape the dry spell that was a play. Robert may have to admit that he'd probably enjoy watching this play more if he knew what it was about, but the mystery of the whole thing made the stage that much more uninteresting to him.
"Sure," Robert answered in agreement.
"Great!" Mr. Laughner grabbed the notebook that was still in his lap and placed it on the arm rest that divided them. With the same quickness he'd wrote the list, he created the game board for Tic-Tac-Toe. "Now... Crossbones or Eye Patches?"
"Uh, X's or O's."
"Great! I love X's..." With a quick stroke Jude Laughner started the game. With only one pen between them they switched back and forth, ignoring the play which went on in the background. It had not occurred to Robert that his mission to request a spot in the quest for treasure would end--at least partially--with him playing a paper-and-pencil game with a renowned and extremely wealthy man at a play. He may never guessed that any of his life's adventures would end in such a way. However, even a search for treasure could open more than one opportunity and he may well end up doing something as unpredicted as this again. "Oh yes," Laughner started suddenly in the middle of the game. "Thank you." Robert smiled and placed his O on the nine-tile board.