|A Civil Discourse?|
|What: Lex Luthor and Sebastian Shaw meet after the Inner Circle meeting to discuss some things|
The meeting with the Inner Circle was over and done. Shaw overheard Lex and Emma having an additional conversation as he retired to his study but thought nothing of it. He changed out of his Hellfire Club vestments and instead was now dressed in a pair of breeches, a golden colored sash around his waist and a lime green silk robe with gold trim.
Sitting on the couch in his study he laid back to relax, an glance towards Tessa and he said, "If you would be so kind, my dear."
Tessa nodded to him and went to go make him a drink. As she did so he pulled his hair out of its pony tail and relaxed.
Lex still stood in front of the painting of the Hellfire club of old. His green eyes scanned the image taking in all of the details. What they wore, looked like, where they were, every thing that could be taken from the picture is examined.
Sadly, the CEO could not shed the formal vestments for his limo would not bring a power suit until it would arrive. The limo wouldn't come until his beck and call anyway. Breathing out Lex would need to center, focus himself, figure out what to do about Emma and Stark Expo on the horizon. Maybe his Dad was right about one lesson, "You can't have a wife son. A true business man is married to the company," and while Lex has no aspirations whatsoever to marry Emma he imagines his Dad meant no companionship beyond a one night stand or weekend getaway.
After getting his drink from Tessa, Shaw rose again stepping back out of his study and onto the mezzanine, looking down he saw Lex in his deep thought. He had to smirk for a moment because that probably meant that Emma had shot him down... again.
"Alexander, I didn't expect you to still be here to be honest," he set his drink down on the railing and closed and tied his robe shut. Picking up his drink again he took a drink from it.
"I'm trying to learn things Sebastian. I want to know more about the Inner Circle. Anything historical that you may have on record," Lex replies not taking his eyes off the portrait. Time crawls ahead before he speaks again, "The advice didn't work Shaw," clearly the tone and change of name all resonates with annoyance. "I learned passions about life even found some hobbies I enjoyed that can't be parlayed into anything dealing with education or business. These. Didn't. Impress." Green eyes shoot up to Shaw just for a moment and Lex's control slips because the anger shows in his eyes. Tearing his gaze back to the painting, "I'm trying a new tactic for both the Club and her. Learn about each and figure out my next few moves."
Sebsatian smiled that warm business smile he had and said, "Come on up, Alexander. We'll chat some more."
He could tell that Lex was rather anger, or atleast that subdued smoldering anger all the Luthors tended to have. In a case like this it was better to have a home field advantage as the young lad seemed to not be learning all that quickly.
Even an 8th Level Genius, it seemed, could be a little dense.
Breathing out Lex centers himself by focusing on Sherman. Knowing the world would change by his hand comforts him like a warm black on a cold winter day. Thinking of how the world would be shaped in alloy and circuitry brings a smile to his face. Moving up to where Shaw resides Lex looks at the man, "You wanted to speak with me?"
"Actually, no. I'm getting a little tired of speaking with you, to be honest. I'm starting to feel more like your principal or parole officer at this point." Shaw said quite honestly, gesturing to Tessa who left the room and closed the door.
Shaw set his drink down on the coffee table, "But this seems to be something we keep doing so I've decided to confront it before it gets out of hand. So go ahead... Lex. Tell me how you really feel."
Shaw held his hands out with a friendly smile suggesting to Lex whatever he had to say Shaw was sure that he could handle it.
"About what in particular?" he asks with a genuine curiosity. There are more things Lex could say but he bides his tongue. Sometimes being silent and listening is the best solution.
"About it all, the Hellfire Club, Emma, the Sentinels, me in particular, using LEX news to forward my agenda, how you feel you've been treated by any of the above parties," Sebastian said now setting his arms back down, his smile remained but it wasn't as warm as it was earlier, "I know that opinionated little head of yours has all sort of opinions, I just want to hear what they are."
"The Sentinel bit has impressed me. Well done. Everything from Lex News to giving Fury the trigger," the man even claps for Lex. Clearly this is VERY far from sarcasm. How Shaw manipulated everything is no small feet. Everyone was duped by it and nothing would be pinned to Shaw because he doesn't have the trigger. Gun makers use similar arguments as to justify how they can make lots of gun yet have the blood free from their hands.
"You want us to change the world Shaw but have offered no insight on what it should be made into. The United States Military -I- have changed and any benefit will be brought to Hellfire's table. We can change the world in so many directions. Once Stark Expo is over I expect Russia to call about projects named Rocket Red or whatever hokey code word they'll draw up for their own designs. Many nations will come to me after Expo and I am more than happy to bring it to Hellifre's table because while it may not look it, while I may not know the history, but I -believe- in the group. Despite our differences, despite the bad advice you give me when it comes to Emma, you're a man that will get things done when he sets his mind to it. For that," Lex pauses and lets the intensity in his voice cool off, "I will always respect you."
Shaw was actually surprised at what Lex had just said. He was honestly not expecting that from Lex at all. But then there was always the calm before the storm to consider which began when Lex mentioned the bad advice and the differences, "Well Lex, let it never be said you don't know how to butter up a man with compliments. But I gave you no bad advice with Emma, you just didn't listen. And I seem to hear that we have some differences that need sorting. If we are to rule the Hellfire Club together... I think I should hear them, don't you."
"I speak honestly and at first your Sentinel plan had me angry. You went against the Government knowing full well I do defense contracts with the Government. To be blunt it felt like in some ways you were fucking me over," then Lex smiles which is a strange thing to do when you feel fucked over. "But hearing about your intentions with the Sentinels...I admire it. Well done. So, any anger over that was alleviated but take my words to heart tonight. If you have any business on Genosha end it. Any loved ones there, bring them home at all cost." Giving Shaw a very serious and grave look Lex says, "It's going to be a blood bath."
"Of course Genosha is going to be a bloodbath. Erik is behind it, whenever Erik is behind anything I expect there to be a bloodbath. What do you think prompted me to be a mutant pretending to be a human that hates mutants?" Shaw's hatred for Magneto and his own personal experiences with him seemed to shine through very well, "I'm part of the first generation mutants. Me. Magneto. The man who formed the X-Men. All three of us rose together, and none of us agree with the world view of the others."
"And how do you view the world? How does that differ from your peers?" Lex asks with an intrigued brow. Shaw is a very private person so hearing he has a rivalry with two other mutants like they all went to rival colleges together. Part of Lex wonders if Emma was ever fought over.
"I thought I made that obvious. It's right there in what I said tonight, '"If it cannot break out of it's egg, the bird dies without being born. We are the bird, this world is our egg. To be truly born we must smash the World Shell. So my fellows I give a toast: To the Revelation of the World, so that Hellfire will Reign'" Shaw said seriously, " You speak latin correct Alexander, you know what the word 'Revelation' actually means?"
"And the world will see us as the four Angels standing in the wake," Lex says calmly. He gives a nod, "It will be their loss and the Inner Circle's gain. Simple as that," and to Lex it really was that simple. Either join the winning side or don't then face the consequences. Business mergers worked that way join or bleed out. The world would be no different.
"The founder of the X-Men," it should be noted that is the second time Shaw hasn't used this man's name, "Has noble aspirations. But humans will never accept metahumans and mutants as equals. Nor should they. But Magneto, he's all brute force and total war. I understand it given his background, but it is wrong."
"Perhaps it is part of our mutant powers... maybe they shape our personalities to some degree. I don't know."
He then looked at Lex, there was that glint in his eyes again, "But enough of that for a moment. I wanted to ask you something, and I want you to answer me honestly. Until tonight... what did you think of me?"
"Manipulative. You still had my respect. There are times I may wish to see you bleed before my eyes because we have and will clash. We play the same games Shaw so if you ever leave me holding the bag like I thought you did know that I will be doing the same," Lex looks at Shaw. His green eyes scan over the mutant, "I am a human that believes in mutant equality. I believe in registration because powers in the wrong hands are dangerous. Unlike guns they cannot be taken away nor am I saying they should, but I see the need for various devices that could." His mind thinks about the collar that takes away mutant powers and he shakes his head. Would he use it if his life were in danger? In a heartbeat. Would he use it to detain a mutant and imprison a deserving criminal that happened to have powers? It would go on before the handcuffs. Does it mean every mutant should have one? No.
"Just because people are born a mutant, meta, whatever you want to call it doesn't mean they aren't still people. Everyone feels, everyone wants a home, job, life, to have fun and I don't think they should be hindered because of that. So I do not see you beneath me because you're a mutant. Far from it, I just want a level playing field."
With a small chuckle at Lex's response. He really thought that was all true, "And the Alien?"
"I view him as I would an accessory to a terrorist that happened to be a mutant. Did he tell the world about General Zod, an alien that invaded New York? No. He can live and do as he wishes, but I want him and all other Aliens to be registered like mutants. We know even less about him than we do mutants because they're registered citizens of this world. He's from a world called Krypton that is no more. Threats, history, many things about his culture that he could tell the world is kept to himself. By doing this situations like Zod's invasion happened and left the world unprepared," all of it is said like it's just a matter of fact. He shrugs, "Yet his arrogance and holding back cost many lives to change that day. Simple as that," and yes in his mind Superman has already betrayed the country that the alien boasts to protect and love. By not telling the world about potential survivors, Zod included, he became an accessory to the invasion.
"Do you think me, fascist?" Shaw asked seriously, "Because even though I know I've been on your news station multiple times saying Registration was key, I never believed it."
"I'm a capitalist, and I grew up in a time before government bailouts and when the sweat on a man's brow was all he needed to make a fortune. You're talking to me like I'm Magneto... make no mistake Magneto is a fascist. I see why people like -you- matter. Even if homo superior took over tommorow. There would be humans that were needed. The point of all the lies and the Sentinels is so that when the war began. There was someone controlling both sides of the conflict.
"You're not a fascist simply because we do not see eye to eye. I hire news anchors with those views because they bring ratings. This is why nearly all shows on Lex News have various disclaimers," a sly smile pulls at the corners of Lex's mouth. He looks to Shaw, "Magneto is the Mutant's answer to Hitler. You have a vision for the world and you're not narrow minded to not take in the other sides of the equation. That is where Magneto fails. However, his people should not suffer for their leader's obvious reasons."
"And we come to the last problem, Alexander," Shaw's use of Lex's full name should not go unnoticed as he had been calling him Lex for a while now. For tonight he would keep his power secret for tonight.
"What do you not understand about the Hellfire Club? The Inner Circle I mean. I feel as if I haven't helped you understand things."
"The History. Past accomplishments, victories, hardships. I want to know it all to understand what motivates you," Lex says firmly looking back to Shaw. The group's history would help him understand their future. It's as simple as that.
"My acomplishments and history are a matter of public record. IF you want to know more that what's in the public record. Then that comes down to 'prid quo pro.'"
"And what do you wish to know Shaw?" Lex asked with a cruious brow. He would be willing to share some details but others were bound to take some consideration. Sometimes these arrangements with Shaw felt like a chess game. One man were trying to outdo the other one.
Sebastian looked at Lex and said, "Did you kill that bastard of man named Lionel."
He made perfect eye contact to suggest to Lex that Shaw new the answer and was just testing you."
"And will you leave out no detail about the Club's past?" Lex wanted that garuntee before anything about Lionel happens. He looked at Shaw, "Give me your word, swear on Mille and Emma." If Shaw would do that Lex would have agreed, but only then.
"I swear on the name of Lourdes Chantel. My true love who was killed in a Sentinel attack of all things," Shaw said, his expression made it very clear that it was real, "I swear on her. I will tell you all things of the Hellfire Club. And I will tell you about me. Except for my mutant ability."
Considering this Lex makes a note of everything that's said. Lourdes would be looked up and her history examined with a fine tooth and comb. "Not directly," Lex admits because it is true. Everything was planned and excuted by him, but the actual action wasn't done by him at all. Mysterious circumstances due to things that wouldn't have been traced to Lex. Accidents did happen.
Shaw at this point turned his back to Lex and untied his robe, "You were not entirely honest with me, so I will not be entirely honest with you."
He turned around his robe now showed how powerful Shaw's physique was.
"So then, I'll tell you the abridged tale," Shaw said, "The Hellfire Club has existed before the Americas were even a thing. Instead, the world has been run by a plutocracy, that has never changed."
Shaw smirked, "And when I became the Black King and Lord Imperial I changed it all. I made it about debautury because it would make it so hidden."
Shaw looked at Lex and waited.
"I called the order," Lex admitted but wouldn't say how it happened. "The order was his undoing," the words carried a serious weight to them that showed no signs of remorse. He looked to Shaw listening about the origins, "I want the uncensored version." Green eyes looked to show as he wanted to know the heart of the matter.
"Fair enough," Shaw says with his back to Lex, "With Emma, you need to not talk about her family... but you should know what she has been through. When I first met her she was an 18 year old exotic dancer who hated her job. She hates cheep thrills. She hates people assuming they understand her."
He turned his head slightly, "Or you could always just ask her what she is passionate about, rather than assuming. That tends to workd better."
He turned to Lex, after giving him good advice on Emma, "Or do require more?"
"No. When you said passions I thought you meant I need to discover passions of my own so she could see I was more than just a machine. More than a business man but that is the life I've ever known thanks to a dead man," Lex wouldn't address his father by name. "The advice does not get you off the hook about the history," some hope is restored for the White King. "But it is getting late so we should part. Until next time Sebastian," he starts to make his way out of the club texting for his Limo along the way.