|Mr. Luthor, we have a proposition|
|What: Agent Coulson of SHIELD requests Lexcorps help developing their anti-kryptonian invasion strategy|
HeroMUX 2 - Sunday, May 05, 2013, 11:51 AM
Lexcorp's Main Building is one of the modern crown jewels in metropolis. Not to be outdone by the likes of Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne, Lex has left no stone unturned when it comes to his office building. No bill too high nor any tech or material too costly.
A towering leviathan of windows and white, the Main Building will greet on the outside with an almost blinding appearance on a sunny day. The building almost looks like a symbol of divinity between the dark structures from other skyscrapers.
Inside the workers are very far from blinded as the windows block out a majority of the ultraviolet rays. Black marble scatters across the floors and climbs up the ceilings to the main floor. Sitting at the typical security desk is a man that looks like he wanted his shift to end five minutes after it began. Flanking the desk are two younger men in suits with stoic demeanors. The gentleman in the desk is a little disheveled and it's clear he's more of a glorified secretary rather than security. Agent Coulson arrives at the Lexcorp building in a plain black car, that looks remarkably like a car service vehicle. It's probably not, he's probably got SHIELD tech in the trunk and an Agent at the wheel, but appearances matter. He arrives about five minutes early for the appointment he managed to schedule a week and a half ago.
This early arrival allows him to be casual in his entering the building, admiring the smooth clean lines, the innovative architecture and speculate on what sort of smart-building technologies Lex Luthor incorporated into the design. Phil enters the building with a tablet under one arm tucked tightly against several black file folders that have some faint embossing on the covers. His steps echo against the hard tiles of the lobby as he makes his way to the desk.
"Phil Coulson to see Lex Luthor." He checks his watch. "I have an appointment inn three minutes." He gives the two guys behind the secretary a bland once over, and returns his gaze to the secretary.
"Lemme make sure it's okay with Miss Mercer," the desk guard drawls the punches in a few numbers into a telephone after nabbing it. "A Mister Phil Coulson is here to see the boss," he winces, "I mean Mr. Luthor. K. I'll let him know," he hangs up the phone then gives Coulson a look. "He'll be right with you." Looking to one of the stoic men, "Escort Mr. Coulson up to Mr. Luthor's floor."
The stoic guard nods then starts to walk toward an elevator, "Right this way Mr. Coulson," his voice is straight to the point with no nonsense or emotion. He's the kind of guy that would seem to frown upon small talk. Pressing a button inside the elevator it goes to the top floor of the building many floors up. "He'll be right with you," the guard says. The doors have opened up to a rather small looking room where a woman sits behind a desk. Typically the guards at the front desk wouldn't be there, but with someone with Phil Coulson's reputation in the building Lex wanted to be sure his guest was safe.
The women has piercing blue eyes that seem to assess anyone she looks at. Her short cut hair and way she hold herself speaks volumes of a military background. "Mr. Luthor will be with you," she says and hits a button at the desk. A buzz noise follows and a door behind the desk and off to the side opens up to a circular office lined with a lot of red.
Red carpets, mostly darker shades, give a warm atmosphere especially with the matching ceiling and one back wall that's not a window. A dark chestnut desk sits proudly at the near end of the room. This is where Lex sits. The sight of Coulson causes him to rise with a smile.
Dressed in a black suit, with a dark purple tie, he extends a hand to Phil. Everything about Lex's outfit is custom. "Mr. Coulson. What a surprise to see you," he's all smiles toward his guest. "Can I get you anything? Water, Soda, Scotch, everything in my mini-bar is open to someone like yourself."
Phil Coulson yawns once or twice in the elevator, not particularly tired today, but to make sure his ears pop as the pressure changes in the high speed elevator. He isn't here for chit-chat either. He's got a job to do, and in order to do this job, he's got to talk to the big man himself.
When he enters the office he gives Mr. Luthor a nod. "Hardly a surprise, Mr. Luthor, I should think. I did have to pester your staff a few times to get this appointment." He glances over to the wet bar and walks over, popping the top off of a Fiji water. "Just water for now thanks." He shuffles his tablet onto the top of the bar and the files as he opens the water, takes a sip and sets it back down, gathering up the files. He shows them to Lex. "We, SHIELD, that is, hopes that you would be willing to assist us with some trouble we've been having lately. I'm sure you recall that event a few weeks ago where Metropolis was invaded by Kryptonians? Uh, where would you like these files?"
When he enters the office he gives Mr. Luthor a nod. "Hardly a surprise, Mr. Luthor, I should think. I did have to pester your staff a few times to get this appointment." He glances over to the wet bar and walks over, popping the top off of a Fiji water. "Just water for now thanks." He shuffles his tablet onto the top of the bar and the files as he opens the water, takes a sip and sets it back down, gathering up the files. He waves them at Lex.
"We, SHIELD, that is, hopes that you would be willing to assist us with some trouble we've been having lately. I'm sure you recall that event a few weeks ago where Metropolis was invaded by Kryptonians? Uh, where would you like these files?"
Going to the wet bar Lex asks, "Bottle or glass with ice?" He's more than happy to serve this particular individual a drink. Most others this activity would be beneath him. Hearing the word trouble does pique his curiosity. "You're looking for a deterrent aren't you? And give them tome please," he walks to Coulson with the man's drink preference in hand. "Lexcorp and S.H.I.E.L.D. have some mutual ground. Prior to our appointment I've had meetings with the Navy, Air Force and Army about this very same problem. They're interested in my solution. I can offer the same, if not more, to S.H.I.E.L.D." Green eyes, the color of new crisp dollar bills, watch Coulson trying to gauge anything that could qualify as a reaction.
Coulson says, "The bottle will be fine, Mr. Luthor." He sets the files down on the bar near Lex so he can get to them if he needs them. "And while I'm sure our fellows in the armed forces have strong opinions about such things, I doubt they have the resources available that we at SHIELD have. That is our report on the attack, and the flash drive included there contains all of STAR Labs latest research on Kryptonian physiology." Coulson clearly has more to say, but he gives Lex room to take the lead in the conversation.
The physiology report is going to be fruitful. Extremely fruitful, Lex had tried and failed to get his own rendition of one. "They don't, but the Armed Forces and S.H.I.E.L.D. don't have what I do, Mr. Coulson. That is the difference maker," he moves to the wall then presses a panel. A door opens up, "A direct route to the R and D department. I think you should see what the Armed Forces have only heard about."
Once Coulson is inside Lex pulls out his phone then punches in various numbers once the elevator goes down. When it opens up the door lead to a room that looks like it could serve as it's own hangar.
Concrete floors with various lines leaning to places that can house tanks and airplanes little the place. An observation deck looms over everything like an all seeing eye. Two places the floor lead to are sealed off by metal.
"My goal is to see humanity to rise from the ashes of tragedy like a Phoenix. And in order to do that I needed help. What I'm about to show you will shock you and will cause you to react. Trust me when I say once my research is done if your organization wishes the contents of it then I will gladly give it back." Only the lights are on in the place. The area is relatively empty. If there's something to show someone is hiding it well.
Phil Coulson sips politely at his water as he follows Lex through the door into the elevator. His eyebrows quirk up in either surprise or the fact that he's impressed. "Interesting toy box," he comments, struck by how different Lex's work spaces are from Tony Starks.
"I think that's a laudable goal, Mr. Luthor. It's my goal that we never get caught with our pants down so badly again. Did you know it only took two Kryptonians 3.6 seconds to disable the global satellite network? We're still working on the fallout from that."
The SHIELD agent turns his gaze to the lit area, and squints a little, waiting for the big reveal. "The anticipation is killing me..." Coulson deadpans.
Coulson doesn't seem impressed yet hearing about how quick the Kryptonians took down the satellites does make Lex take many mental notes. "Computer. Voice Recognition Lex Luthor. Show me the Artifact," and on those words one of entry ways becomes revealed as the doors open up. Behind it rests one of the Kryptonian Drones mostly intact and it's clear someone has been tinkering with it. "Look familiar? Everything but some of the memory banks were intact on this one. Some structural damage yes, but I've been able to dissect more about the alien technology than most of Star Labs I presume." He waits for a moment for Coulson to go through the expected emotions. It's not every day someone shows a government agent what could be considered a threat to global security.
Ordinarily, Coulson would be straight poker-faced and unreadable as a blank slate. But this. This is something beyond his expectations, beyond belief. His jaw drops slightly and his eyebrows climb his forehead. He blinks at the artifact, clearly flabbergasted. "They were... artificial?" he asks in a stunned tone. "We thought they were real Kryptonians, or maybe clones." His brows furrow as he considers the implications.
"Star Labs has nothing on this." Nor does the US government or SHIELD for that matter. He looks over at Lex, expression grim. "This could be the find of the century." He gazes at the, the only word that comes to mind is 'thing', and considers. Fury will have to be notified, naturally. But LexCorp and Lex Luthor is one of the finest scientific minds on the planet. "Naturally, we're interested in what you've learned," he says. Proceed with caution, that's his modus operendi, always.
Seeing the grim expression doesn't dissuade Lex's pride from growing. Hearing that magical phrase, "Star Labs has nothing on this," means the world to Lex. Well, when you offer the damaged community free access to funds to help rebuild and offer to help with the repair efforts. Salvaging one of these things was quite easy. And that was the point of Lex's plans but he never expected to find one so intact. Pieces, limbs, maybe a processing unit of the drones were expected, but the intact unit went beyond Lex' wildest dreams because probability was against him.
"It's not what I've learned from the unit that is important. It's what I've done with that knowledge." A simple smirk pulls at the corner of his mouth, "Computer Unveil the Sherman Prototypes." On those words the second metal doors opened and lights flickered to life beaming down at a sea of metal, circuitry, processors, and probably hidden weapons linger. The hangar looks like it could fit several 747s down there. Right now it's littered with ten "Shermans."
"Like you said Mr. Coulson humanity was caught with its pants down. My technology will prevent that from -ever- happening again. I've got every branch of the military on board wanting their own Sherman," which is a little strange since the name Sherman came from the name of a famous U.S. tank. Strange to hear the army wants Sherman when they already had one. Technically. "S.H.I.E.L.D. is and has been the only government agency within the country I haven't been able to present this to, before today. My asking price is quite cheap all things considered. This is more doing something because it's my civic duty."
Waiting for Coulson to take it all in Lex after a few moments speaks, "Everything about them comes from the drone. Power source, mechanics, wiring, everything I transferred and replicated to fit Sherman's needs. You said you wanted the anti-alien countermeasure, you're looking at it."
Coulson is even more surprised that Lex has the dream counter-measure already constructed, but manages not to show it, other than a heightening of the pulse, visible at his neck, perhaps. He has many questions, but selects his carefully. "These... machines. Are they manned or unmanned?" he asks and takes a sip of his Fiji water to help him mask a gulp of near terror. "I assume you've got specs and price sheets that I can take back with me."
"Manned. Everything would rely on the mind of the operator, naturally," he waves his hand as if this is no big deal. The green eyes take in Coulson's words, "I have specs but naturally these will change given the files I've yet to read. Consider what I have the brochure. Stark Expo is when I plan to unveil the military versions. Yours will be secret as they should be," he nods. It's only naturally that an organization that sometimes gets referred to like an urban myth stays a myth. "Coulson. I know this may put you at unease but remember how you felt that day? Two point three seconds and the communications were destroyed. Ten seconds buildings were rubble, lives shattered, world's destroyed. You know the threat can AND will happen again. Maybe not today nor tomorrow, but it will," the words come out as if he has been struggling with this fact day in and day out since the invasion. "The bureau even has some aliens on file. Other races and species, how long before they decided to do their best impression of the Kryptonians? Or whatever the Kryptonians come back for round two? We've been beaten once before and I say, 'never again.'" The words are cold but Lex did see the struggle humanity has to come to terms with. Most people knew that day that they were not alone, but when the invasion happened it got shoved in their face. When that happened they had to deal with the cold hard reality that not only was America lacking, but the entire homo genus practically cowered before a new race of would be conquerors.
Coulson nods in agreement as Lex talks, his lips quirking in an amused almost-grin when he mentions Stark Expo for the unveiling. He makes a mental note to try and be near Tony when it happens, just to enjoy the shock and outrage on his face. He sips his water and nods. "We buried a lot of agents that day." Granted, that's a risk every agent takes, every day, just by putting on the uniform.
"I'm not ashamed to admit it, Mr. Luthor, that I feel the same way. We must be able to police and protect our world, or we risk becoming a servitor or pet race to the rising tide of meta-humans. You've done the world a great service." He rubs his chin thoughtfully. "SHIELD would appreciate a preview if you can manage it. I'm relatively sure that we can keep it under wraps before the Expo though." He takes another sip of his water and says, "This is going to make Nick Fury's day, you know. A viable alternative to the super-soldier program. We've been working on that problem for decades." There's respect and pride in his voice. "Thank you, Mr. Luthor, for stepping up when most people would be running for the hills."
"No need to thank," Lex replies happy that he and Coulson are on the same page. Then he looks about the room, "Computer. Print out of Sherman capabilities to Miss Mercer's printing along with the -condition-," and on that note he walks back to the elevator. Pressing a button the elevator comes to life, "Computer conceal Sherman and Prototypes," and both doors close. Waiting for Coulson Lex doesn't start the elevator until the agent is comfortable. "I'll contact you with my other demands but it's about something specific I wish that S.H.I.E.L.D. can give me. Common knowledge amongst you secret agent types and nothing more, I promise. Well, beyond the condition attached to the capability sheets." Pride is filling Lex's inner core because he's often wanted to take the bit of Kryptonian DNA he has to replicate the super soldier program. So far his son has been the only thing remotely close to a successful test subject.
When they make it to Lex's office, he strides out to Miss Mercer. "My condition is something I came up with. The world could use it," snagging the files from her he hands them to Agent Coulson. "A strange but reasonable asking price, I assure you."
Phil Coulson takes the files and tucks them under his arm next to his tablet. "Thank you, Mr. Luthor, Miss Mercer." He pulls out a business card from his black suit jacket and leaves it on Tess's desk in easy reach. "I'm the agent taking point on this task, so, anything you need, don't hesitate to ask."
"I've taken up enough of your very valuable time, Mr. Luthor." He heads toward the elevator. When he gets there, he turns and says, "What price is freedom worth, Mr. Luthor?" The elevator pings and he enters and the doors slide shut as the two men share a knowing glance. They both know the worth. It's just worth everything.