Gun Lawyer Advice

May 20, 2015:

Pepper speaks to Jennifer Walters and invites some friends along

Stark Industries - New York


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Tuesday afternoon. Why yes, there IS a Moody Blues song being played quietly in Pepper's office. She's got just one meeting left for the day, and this one isn't nearly as formal as all of the others. And, she's invited Barbara Gordon over for multiple reasons: moral support, a second (shrewd) pair of eyes to make sure this upcoming meeting goes as well as can be hoped, and to gossip back to Janet about the newest recruit to Pepper's case against Metropolis' Public Works Commission.

Niicholas Gleason was invited because having familiarity with a good legal counsel will no doubt help his business.

"I was right, wasn't I?" Pepper asks of Babs while setting the freshly made teapot on the small conference table in preparation for Ms. Walters' arrival. "And you didn't want to bother with getting a proper fitting."

"You were, Pepper" sometime in the last few weeks, Babs has stopped saying 'Miss Potts' and calling the other redhead 'Pepper'. The wheel chair bound redhead smiles at her friend and glances at the tablet on the table beside her. The tablet she is seldom without.

Rescue, Inc has been expanding. If there's one bright point in what's being called 'The Metropolis Incident', its that it really highlighted a need for high risk rescue and medical services. For which reason Nick has placed an order for half a dozen more DARVs (Donnovan Arial Rescue Vehicles) with an option for three more beyond that. Mostly they'll be crewed by regular medics but he's had a rather surprising reaction from the mutant/meta community involving his work so… not entirely, it seems.

At any rate, he's been about Peppers office a few times now. Today he's clearly coming in from work, the large, brown furred werewolf in a flight suit and boots as he approaches the doorway.

Promptness is important, especially if one wants to make or maintain a good impression. With over a minutes to spare, Jenn smooths her skirt as she walks in. She pauses and gets a momentary giddy look as she notices the Werewolf in a Flight Suit, making a flirty comment, "You know, in another life, I'd say you look just like my future husband." then saunters past toward the set table, "I do hope I didn't keep you ladies waiting?" checking her watch, just in case she wasn't as prompt as she thought. She smiles to both and offers a hand to Barbara, "I'm Jennifer Walters, it is a pleasure to meet you."

Pepper Potts smiles as Nicholas arrives, and then when Jennifer makes her entrance. "You're right on time, and hello. Ms. Walters, this is Barbara Gordon, an IT specialist from Gotham, and Nicholas Gleason of Rescue Inc. I hope you don't mind that I asked them to join us for this meeting."

Babs met Nick, recently and the appearance of a large furred man in the doorway obviously doesn't phase her. Taking the offered hand, Babs nods to Jennifer "Nice to meet you, as Pepper says, I'm Babs Gordon." Looking past Jennifer to Nick, the redhead smiles "Hello again Nicholas, it's good to see you again."

Nick blinks at the flirt. "I… um…" People… don't flirt with Nick. He's bemused. Right…

Also he doesn't see green women every day. Though ironically he has in the past. Mutants. Sometimes the mutation is just that they look funny.

"Hello Pepper, Barbara…" He smiles as he finds a seat and nods to Miss Walters. "Pleased to meet you too. I have to confess I was a bit surprised to get the call. Is everything alright?"

Pepper Potts also settles into a chair, putting a hand on the teapot in the center of the table to silently offer a cup to whomever would like one. "I have multiple reasons for requesting this meeting, but the top one on my personal list is this: Ms. Walters, I would like to request permission to put you on retainer for myself and for Tony Stark. We can discuss the terms of the retainer to make sure neither of us is agreeing to something we don't want. Then Barbara and I are hoping that you can help us with a little situation involving Metropolis. Last but not least, I thought that Mr. Gleason might benefit from getting to know one of the better lawyers I've seen in decades."

Shaking her head, Jennifer slides into a seat, "Not at all Miss Potts. Every person one meets is either a potential new friend or new client, either way I benefit from new relationships, and may even profit." In the grand scheme of things, a six foot plus wolf man is tame compare to some of the more odd beings that inhabit this or almost any other reality. She nods, "I think I can survive the hardship of having my services retained. What is the worst that could come of such an arrangement?" a perhaps slightly knowing smile on her lips.

Accepting the offering of some tea, Jenn adds a bit of milk aand honey, then sipping a bit before focusing on the subjects at hand. She pulls a business card holder out and slides one each to Babs and Nic, definitely not expecting the kind of attention that one gives to no show disprespect in Japan, then placing the cardholder back in her jacket pocket, "Please, elaborate on this Metropolis Matter, and I will endevour to offer the best advice or service I can." her tone and manner becoming more serious and professional in regards to the percieved importance of the matter.

Accepting the card, Babs takes some time to study it before placing it on her tablet. "As to Metropolis, Pepper can explain, I'm here as friend and … moral support I guess." taking her tea cup in her hands, the wheel chair bound woman sips slowly.

Nick nods slowly. Lawyers, particularly in the medical profession, are very handy to know. And given that he's going to be dealing regularly with metahuman incidents…

Well the malpractice suits could get pretty epic lets just put it that way.

"Sure thing Pepper. Always happy to know someone who I might need to call in the future." And vice versa.

Pepper Potts brandishes a tablet seemingly out of nowhere (technically, it was on the counter of the credenza behind her) to offer to Jennifer. "Here's my preliminary outline for the terms of the retainer, and you're welcome to take as long as you need to look it over." She takes a sip of her tea and glances at Babs. "Metropolis… is a bit of a mess right now. When their power grid went down in the middle of winter, Tony and I mobilized a rather large crew and had something over two hundred Starktech generators across the city to keep crucial services and as much of the residential areas as possible with enough power to keep citizens from freezing to death. And now, after all's been said and done, I took a proposal to them to leave as many of the generators in place as they wanted, and the city's Public Works Commission tried to make it sound like we installed all of those units without permission. They refuse to pay a cent for any of it."

Babs nods as Pepper explains "And as I understand it, Stark Industries went through appropriate channels." The redhead shakes her head "It sounds to me like the city is trying to nickel and dime their way out of this one."

"The emergency relief was being administered under FEMA, wasn't it?" Nick remembers, vaguely, that mess. Jennifer might be able to have a field day with them though, if they're interfering with stuff contracted during a federal emergency. Which was also a state and local emergency. "I know all the relief work we did was under that."

Pepper Potts nods. "It was. I had to file for the permits and all very hastily, because Tony was already on his way to Metropolis with the first group of generators, and Howard wasn't far behind him, but they were all filed and approved." She looks a bit angry. "It is NOT our fault that the Metropolis PWC didn't see them until two weeks later because of the power outage."

"No, Pepper, it's most certainly not." Babs agrees with the other redhead "And the city should look to clean up it's own mess." Looking at Jennifer, Babs is interested to hear what the woman has to add. "Maybe, there's something through the Federal channel you could do."

Taking her time, Jenn listens, only glancing at the tablet once. The agreement is a formality, and something that really requires her to review it far more indepthly in private, maybe with some hot chocolate, fuzzy slippers, and perhaps even the Clash playing in the background. She ponders the ramifications, "First, I'm slightly surprised that LexCorp didn't try to beat you to the punch, seeing as that would have potentially cemented Luthor's run for Presidency… though an avenue to explore is see if he'll in the humble generosity of his heart, foot the bill to bail out /his/ city. That would allow the MPWC save a little face, assure that you're properly compensated, further Luthor's political aspersions, save needless months in court and tax payer dollars, and can all be spun in the media as positives for all sides involved." she sips her tea a bit before continuing, odd an attorney not wanting to fight it out in court, but perhaps one of the reasons she is so good is she knows how to pick her battles and when to find more peaceful solutions. "Second, if something like that is out of the question, there are several directions of attack to force the MPWC to pay, even putting a variation of a workman's lien on them, for services and materials rendered. Finally, if all else fails, there is the more vengeful option of repossession of the generators, and the electricity, forcibly shutting down all of Metropolis until payment is made… though I think that shuld be a last resort, and only in the absence of hope for civil recourse. Frankly, while it may sound horrible, just as my preliminary thought was Luthor could capitalize on donating his funds to bail out the city, a flip side of that is, if no recourse can be found, Stark writing off the Generators as a charitable act."

Nick listens. Jenn's good he can tell. But this isn't his business strictly speaking. He was just there rescuing folks. That is his business.

Pepper Potts nods to Jennifer. "We are already writing off all of the generators in the residential areas. It's the ones installed in critical facilities like the government buildings and police stations that I wanted to speak with them about."

Babs listens carefully as Jennifer details her thoughts, sipping her tea. She's no legal genius, she knows computers and comms.

There is a nod, "Well, the work around on that might be to go directly to MPD, the Mayor, the city council, and such, point out that they have functioned for a period of so long on Stark Power, and the electric bill has come due. Charge them as any lines and meters power company would, with many overdue, late, and other such penalties and surcharges tacked on. Tell them they can either pay up for the energy, or pay for the generators as a permanent back-up, perhaps offering them a warranty as a gesture of good will to say, since you HAVE to buy them or pay for the electricity they provided at our estimates, you will guarantee their status of working order for a reasonable period. I would have to see the specs and probably run them by someone more mechanically expertise for a proper figure, but with respect to Stark craftsmanship, let's give a ballpark 15 years for the sake of present argument as an example. Of course, I still say that one of the best options is to present the bill to Alexander Luthor, letting him know he can spin it to further his political campaign, help get those spikes in poll numbers he wants, and he can claim to the the Hero of Metropolis."

Jenn sips her tea and then rest her cup as if to be her gavel

Pepper Potts hesitates at that. She's never had any dealings with Luthor, but somethign about the man just … reminds her of Stane. "I'll have to think about that." If nothing else, she's hesitant to make it seem like Stark Industries is siding with ANY political agenda. She's worked hard to avoid that for the past several years.

"Perhaps, Pepper" Babs has done a little homework on Stark Industries "MWPC could approach Mr Luthor with the request." The suggestion to the MWPC would need to be subtle, but could be done.

There is a smile, perhaps Jenn can relate to the unspoken hesitance, "It is just an option to consider. There are several other routes we can persue and simply table that option as a lesser evil, only a step up from forcibly repossessing all the non-residential and non-medical generators, which might villainize Stark Industries." she finishes her tea, "Perhaps I should do some research before we continue this discussion further. I have a lot to look over with the retainer proposal and this, but I'm sure we can make some serious headway with a little elbow grease and reading." she stands, "Again, it was a pleasure meeting you Miss Gordon and Mister Gleason. Feel free to call me on any legal matters. I always return any calls I miss in a prompt and Marvelously Timely manner." a stifled giggle as if she made a little inside joke to herself in her last statement. She then offers a hand to each person in turn, slipping the tablet into hger brief case.

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