|Men of Science|
|What: Dr. Reed Richards meets Lex Luthor|
A limo pulls up to outside of the Baxter Building. Typically when a limo pulls up to this building Tony stark setsp out of it, waves to adoring fans, and steps inside like he owns the place. Today is quite different. When the door opens up Lex Luthor steps outside, people stare at the sight. He gives out a friendly smile, waves, then says, "Lexcorp and You. Look for it at the Stark Expo this year!"
Some person stops him, a younger male at about twenty years old with shaggy brown hair mostly hidden by an Ash pokemon hat due to playing the old Gameboy games like crazy during younger years. "You paid for my meal one time. At that Diner, you paid for everyone. Can I get a picture?" Lex smiles and nods as a response. For the picture he gives a thumbs up then keeps moving forward. Okay, so maybe it's not too different from when Tony Stark shows up. Looking back at Tess Mercer, the driver, Lex simply says, "Don't wait up."
Striding into the building he looks over everything. Green money colored eyes scroll over the cafeteria where Aunt Petunia's treats are made. He walks inside and sets down a thousand dollars at the counter, "Use that to pay for every customer's order until it's paid off," then puts two crisp Ben Franklins in the tip jar. Walking up to the front desk, which serves as information and security, Lex says with a smile, "I'm looking for Dr. Richards. I'd like to meet with the great mind today if he has time.
" The security guard nods then buzzes Dr. Richards, "There's a Lex Luthor to see you sir." Looking back at Lex the guard says, "You'll have to give him a second."
Upon hearing word that Lex Luthor has entered the building Reed pages back top the doorman. "Thank you, Jimmy. Please inform Mister Luthor I'll be right down." This is quite an unusual visitation, Reed ponders to himself as he straightens up his appearance before taking the lift down to the Baxter's lobby. On the ride down all Reed can think of is: Sure wish Sue were home for this. As the door to the lift opens Reed steps out, his brown eyes looking around before landing on Lex. "Mister Luthor, I'm Doctor Reed Richards and welcome to the Baxter Building. Home and headquarters of the Fantastic Four. How can I be of assistance for you today?" with the greeting said Reed raises a welcoming hand to the other man.
Lex takes the hand with a smile and shakes back, "Dr. Richards. It's great to see the man that has and will continue to turn the world of science on its head. Do you have time to speak with me privately?" he asks. Those green money eyes look over the Doctor, "And how is the rest of your team doing?" reed keeps relatively private so Lex just can't ask about the wife and kids.
Taking the hand of the other man, he shakes. "I do actually. Most of my works are in diagnostics at the moment. Thus freeing up my day to check on other projects." Reed states, unsure if the other man is as much a scientist as the magazines make him out to be. "As for the others. I assure you everyone is doing fine." Reed states even though many of his teammates are out doing their own thing currently. "If you please, Mister Luthor?" Reed asks as he releases Luthor's hand and uses it as a guide to the lift.
Once inside the lift and after it closes Lex says, "I came here to talk to you about progress on Kryptonian Physiology specifically." The man waits for a second to let Reed soak in the conversation, "Phil Coulson gave me a file that had some of your notes along with notes from other labs. Many of us Scientist seem to be working toward the same goal and I wanted to compare notes," a polite smile is given to the Doctor. Lex regards the scientist as an equal because one does not amass Reed Richard's reputation without earning. "Phil is concerned that a situation like the Kryptonian Invasion of New York may repeat itself and his fears are not without merit. I've discovered our world bears our own renditions of a few of the attackers," Lex breathes out composing himself, "This does not sit well with me." And it's true the attack on New York involved a Kryptonain general named Zod. Lex knows Zod has a lieutenant that claimed their Zod wasn't at the attack scene. Thus the potential of a second attack is there and Phil's fears are not unfounded.
With a raised brow Reed looks to Mr. Luthor, a bit amazed that the business part of him goes right into drive as soon as the doors are closed. "Indeed. Judging by their physical makeup as well as their diversity I would agree. I can assume, thanks to the research done by your people, that their physiology is due to a mix of conditions. A vastly different atmosphere mixed with a various types of sun radiation as well as a denser gravity." Reed states as he looks to Lex. "This can all be seen in the shard sample I was given. But being so small I couldnt run too many tests." Reed pauses and looks forward. "So I replicated it."
Pausing Lex holds up a finger, "Sorry to dive head first into business. I just wanted to explain why I was here. At some point I would like a tour. It's not every day I wind up at a plus where imagination is no longer limited to the mind," he says calmly. Noting what Reed says he asks, "Replicate what?" Lex wants to hear how Reed did. "Tell me more Reed."
Reed turns to Lex. "Lift, stop." And with those words. The lift comes to a slow stop. As it does Reed puts his arms out to his sides. "Activate walls." And with that the elevator dims slightly before the walls flicker and as holographic displays start to come out. Each display is running through the 'Kryptonian File'. As Reeds arms lower he reaches out for a file. He looks like her finger through it before pulling out a page and holding it out to Lex. "This green shard that I was given was dubbed..." Reed takes a moment to read the name. "...Kryptonite. Even though by my scans it doesn't have any actual trace of Krypton in it." he says shaking his head at the reason for the naming. "I was able to narrow the parameters, run through the overall wavelengths and finally extrapolate the radiation levels given off from the green shard given and replicate it." Reed looks proud of this before continuing. "However in the end, it broke down into two types of elements. One with a blue hue, where as the other has a golden hue." Reed says as he points to the wall showing off the two different color rocks. "As of right now my research has stalled. Seeing that I will need more Kryptonian samples for further testing."
Green eyes look over the walls hiding his impressed reaction. Then when Reed talks about this 'Kryptonite' along with the different hues it makes Lex's jaw does drop for a second. He looks at the Reed, "Got a plug for this so I can plug it into the wall?" Not wanting to be undone Lex pulls out a L-Pad. Oh how the minds do love to talk about science.
With a smile and a shake of his head. "The work isnt done yet, Mister Luthor. I still need to test the effects of the various elements before I share my findings. I am unsure of the longterm effects of their individual radation." A true scientist. Wanting to see the experiment to the end. "But once I do complete the research Mr. Luthor you will be one of the first I contact with what I have."
Lex starts up the L-Pad pulling up a few files, "These are my own notes on Kryptonian Physiology." A second file plays, "Like a dog their ears have a higher range of hearing capability. This pitch that we cannot hear what was addressed as 'Kons' can. Apparently they are Kryptonian Clones of some form. What they are used for I don't know beyond that," he starts to tap on the pad and more notes come about. "There were Guilds of some form that determined how their societal structure worked. Beyond the military guild I'm clueless as to what they could be but," he pulls up a file, "This is Zod. He was the greatest military mind according to the records." Showing off an image of the Leader lex says quietly, "I don't know how to replicate the signal to encompass full Kryptonians. However, I know beyond Superman and those that bare an 'S'. I know this because one visited me looking for Superman. They also spoke highly of Zod and confirmed that the Zod I showed you is different." Green eyes take in Reed's wall, "I could be able to signal this Kryptonian again. Bring them out of hiding to test your experiment," he hits a few buttons to show a box. The picture of this box shows it's very plain and ordinary, almost like an extra large sardine can with a button. "It doesn't look like much but I was able to salvage the distress signal from the drones used on the attack of New York. This was how the Kryptonian found me. They eventually left and I have no clue where they went. I do know they will probably respond to the signal. If you're confident of your Kryptonite having an effect on something then," he gives Reed a look, "I can potentially provide a consenting subject."
With a raised brow Reed looks at Lex. "Are you insisting that we test the elements on living people Mr Luthor?" Reed statrs a bit surprised by the idea. "We have no idea how the Kryptonite's will effect the Kryptonian's. The radiation could be a form of irritant, an accelerant, or even a deadly poison to them for all we know. And I for one am not willing to risk the lives of a culture that could be near extinction." Reeds definitely thinking like a scientist now. "Life above all is sacred, be it our family or even our enemies." he should know his worst enemy was a friend at one time.
Pausing for a moment Lex agrees, "Life is scared but how else would we test it? Think of the Super Soldier Formula that created Captain America. You cannot tell me that the formula was perfect upon the first try and that it was tested on the Captain with the first attempt," he looks at Dr. Richards. "I'm not disagreeing with you but what happens if New York gets attacked like that again? One of those Kryptonians practically gored a member of your team, the spider that is on the four. What would you do if one permanently injured him or worse?" Lex asks looking at the Doctor. "I have a son and I can only imagine that someone you let onto your team is close. Maybe you care for him like a little brother or even a son," he pauses again just to let the words sink in for a moment. To really let the gravity of them hit Doctor Richards, "What happens if there is a next time and he doesn't come back home? Zod's army decimated our world's heroes within minutes that day. And I get the feeling they were being merciful. What happens when they aren't Dr. Richards? People like Captain America were created to avoid casualties men like Hitler wished to bring. While we have Superman to defend us what happens if another army shows up like that? The probability is high and we both know it. We are not alone."
Looking at Reed, "Life is sacred. We both know this. So ask yourself one question: A few moments of potential pain to spare the suffering of thousands if not millions, is that not worth it? Especially when one could be Scarlet Spider?" Staring at Reed, "You have the next super soldier formula in your hands. And unfortunately sometimes Science will see people do the wrong thing for the right reasons that will eventually provide breakthroughs like none ever seen before. All of the human and animal testing done to provide vaccination that saved thousands upon thousands of people. How is your discovery no different?" Those Green eyes just examine the doctor for a moment. Sometimes Science will take humanity down dark roads for a brighter future.
Looking at Luthor, Reed can only gaze. "I know we aren't alone. I've been to the outer reaches of our galaxy. I have seen things that only the few have gazed upon. I have met with alien races far more intelligent then our own, Mister Luthor." he says before looking down as he things of something. "As for how is my discovery no different? Im guessing the United States Government said the very same thing, if not a bit altered, to J. Robert Oppenheimer." Reed says as he looks back up to Luthor. "Can you only imagine how he felt. His greatest contribution to mankind, his greatest legacy, and yet he can't even feel the slightest pride for what he's created. Likely he was told the same thing, but than realizing, too late, that instead of helping mankind shape history for the better. He's likely created the way our world will end." With a shake of his head. "Mister Luthor, I dont believe in Heaven nor Hell. I am a man of fact and truth. And the fact is: When the time comes I will stand up and fight against another invasion, but I will not, through my actions, allow my discoveries damn our race to the cosmos." Brown eyes stare at Luthor now. "Lift, resume, Lobby."
When the elevator doors open Lex takes a few steps out before saying, "I read once when I was a boy something very simple yet very elegant. 'What will be my greatest creation is my son.' The quote exudes a passion for life. A caring for life and it was by a man of Science," he turns to Reed, "That man was Howard Stark. He built weapons that changed the world. However, he understood both of our viewpoints given the evidence of his personal and professional life. What I ask for is morally questionable at best but the man took greatest pride in realms outside of Science despite having changed the world. What we do today and in the future with your discoveries will not change who we are nor will it change that the greatest thing we pride ourselves on will not be the fields we love, but what we do in our personal lives. Forgive me for being presumptuous but you do seem to be the family type," Lex turns to look at Reed.
The man does have a point with Oppenheimer but Lex will always have a counterpoint, "You weren't there during the aftermath Reed. Lexcorp and myself personally were there at ground zero. We were financing homes that didn't even have my company as an insurance agency. I saw the shattered families, people that lost family pets, businesses and even loved ones in the aftermath. What I saw is what happens when humanity doesn't have a countermeasure against a Superpower. I saw just how unprepared we are and will continue to be. Look at the devastation they caused and how it hurt people. Look into their eyes and tell them if you had what you do now, and knew what was coming then, you would still do nothing. What I ask isn't deplorable but I am trying to stop all the hurt and pain that will forever haunt my dreams from becoming a reality Reed," he looks at the Doctor and breathes out.
Turning back Lex begins to walk, "If you saw a horrible world that you had the power to change and to stop the suffering would you not change it? Look to the victims that were caught in the crossfire as two worlds warred before their crossfire and tell me you can sit back idly and do nothing." Taking a few steps Lex stops and turns, "You will always hold my respect Reed. People need men like you because you teach us that the impossible is just improbable. For that the world should forever be in your debt as I am, but in this case I view your opinion as wrong. In the future I would still like to collaborate with you. Each day we're finding out more things are bound to be the next invention or innovation despite sounding impossible. I've forever dreamed of working with a mind as great as yours," and on that Lex heads outside of the Baxter Building, turns and starts to call Tess.