The Economic Gun

July 07, 2015:

Dario Agger's meeting with Oliver Queen doesn't go the way either of them thought it would.

CEO's Office, Queen Consolidated

Characters

NPCs: John Diggle

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

When his assistant sent word that another corporate executive would be stopping by, Oliver Queen in turn sent word to security personnel, welcome staff, visitor's aides, and everyone between. The result is a short trip to his office, which is located in the penthouse of Queen Consolidated's corporate HQ.

Like everything that's been stamped 'Queen', his personal workspace is lavish to the point of being obnoxious. The more severe accents found in many a CEO's office are absent here. It's warm. Inviting. The floors are polished Brazilian hardwood, the desk is an ancient affair carved from one enormous slab of the same, and the chair Oliver is sitting in has presumably been built from the bones of his conquered business rivals.

Arriving by helicopter, because who has time to drive any more? Dario and his people gather outside. He orders his men to secure the chopper and wait for him there. He is dressed as one would expect, best of the best suit, carrying a briefcase and wearing a pair of dark sunglasses. He works his way inside, having no need for guards, or at least he doesn't expect there to be any need for guards.

Escorted in by Oliver's people Dario undergoes all the standard security checks if they are asked of him. He doesn't mind. He knows how dangerous these times are. Once inside he walks into the office, not overly fast so that Mr. Queen can rise to greet him and shake hands, as is traditional. "Mr. Queen, thank you for seeing me on such short notice. " he says as an icebreaker. Sure, their companies are rivals but it doesn't mean they can't be civil. He likes civil. It costs so much less to repair than uncivil.

"It's my pleasure," Queen replies. If nothing else, he's been trained to play the part of a gentleman. He stands, extends a hand, and grips Dario's firmly. He maintains eye contact during a practiced shake that lasts the exact appropriate length of them, then turns and takes a few steps to the sidebar that's adjacent to his deck.

The sound of ice being dropped into a glass is surprisingly loud despite the largeness of the room. "Please, sit. Make yourself comfortable."

When he turns back toward his visitor he's holding the tongs in one hand and an empty glass in the other. The implied offer is silent, but clear.

Dario shakes the hand of Oliver a little too firmly because even when he's trying to be polite he's still an over-competitive bully, "No drinks for me, thank you. I realize you're a busy man so I'll get right to the point and not take up a lot of your time." Dario explains not having time for drinks while he is on a mission, "I normally believe in staying out of social politics. I can not stand by while this proposed registration act passes. " Dario says as he moves to the offered seat, "I am organizing a list of influential business leaders to sign a letter protesting this new law. I wanted to ask you to add your signature to the letter." he says all business about it. He waits to hear what Mr. Oliver has to say about the law.

The empty glass makes a quiet clink as Oliver sets it back on the bar. For a few seconds the only sound in the room is the crackle of ice as he pours himself a modest measure of bourbon.

Drink in hand, he retakes his seat and gives Dario a thorough looking-over, as if he were a racehorse and Oliver a potential buyer. A tiny sip of bourbon, then Ollie replies, "That's a heavy question for an informal meeting. Agger— Dario. May I call you Dario? I'm inherently hesitant when it comes to signing my name. My father always said that contracts were a little too close to marriage for his liking. I'm inclined to agree. What exactly are you hoping to accomplish?"

Dario sits back in his chair and says, "I am preparing a statement to the press in which I will detail my plans to restructure Roxxon's properties in America based on this vote. Any senator or congressperson who votes for this bill will be responsible for the phasing out of all possible Roxxon properties in their states. To be moved to states which did not vote for the bill. In short, I feel so strongly about this matter that I am willing to put my money where my mouth is." he says still a cold, hard to read fellow but he seems serious. He's talking about leveraging one of the most powerful corporations in the world to influence politics. It sets a bad precedent, it might be outright illegal, it's certainly bold. "If I had the support of other business leaders who were willing to say they stand against this law as well, then it would help sway the public's opinion. I care little about what the people think in most cases, but in this one, I need…" he pauses to think of a way to put it, "Someone with charm to back me up on it. "

"I appreciate the compliment, but it sounds like you plan to skip lobbying and hold an economic gun to the heads of the American political body. Even to the people themselves. Sounds like you may do more harm than good." Oliver's expression is thoughtful and considering, but nothing more. Now he drains his glass in a single gulp and sets it aside. Briefly, he disappears behind his desk as he leans down to pull something from a bottom drawer.

It's a bottle of vodka, along with two more glasses. The bottle's label is worn and doesn't have a single character on it that didn't originate in an Eastern Bloc nation. No ice this time, just a half-inch of alcohol in the bottom of each glass. He glances back up at Dario and now there's a small smile on his face. "In Russia, it's a grave insult for a guest to refuse vodka offered by his host. Did you know that?"

Dario is sitting at odds with Ollie across his desk. Ollie is drinking, Dario is not, "We are not in Russia." Dario says, his patience thin. He's not exactly the most social person in the world. Asking for things is not his strong suit and he doesn't like this feeling of needing other people.

Dario says, "If this bill passes, it will be a short time before Sentinels are deployed in America to contain any metahuman not registered. More importantly, it will be a deterrent to those who would risk their lives to save the lives of others. It is unamerican, unconstitutional, and I will not allow it. You can help me or you can be a cowards. Standing up for what is right shouldn't be a difficult choice. Perhaps your father didn't teach you that, but my father did. "

The only betrayal of Oliver's surprise is a slight raising of one eyebrow. He picks up one of the shots, knocks it back, and inverts the glass before he sets it down. The other vodka remains untouched. "You're being quite direct, Mr. Agger. Allow me to be equally direct. If you try these same tactics in any office above the twentieth floor in any city in America, you'll get these same results."

Through all of this, Oliver's smile has remained pleasant. It still is as he lifts one finger in the air and lets it hang for a moment, then presses a button on his intercom. It's a gesture so deliberate as to be exaggerated. "Mr. Diggle? Mr. Agger would like to be escorted back to his helicopter."

Dario stands to be escorted out and says, "You're on the wrong side of history, Queen. If you do not stand against this now, you will only be remembered as someone who did nothing while America ripped itself apart. We can not let this country be ruled by fear. If we do it will destroy us, all of us. You are a fool if you can't see that." he says then when Mr. Diggle shows up Dario turns to leave.

Oliver holds up one hand to stall Dig at the door. "I'm comfortable in my seat for the moment, Dario. Remember, history is written by the victors. Keep throwing yourself on the pyre like you just did, you won't be around to lay hands on pen and paper. That's not a threat, I honestly don't think you could matter to me less. It's advice."

A small wave is Diggle's cue to get going. It's a short trek from the penthouse to the roof. After Dario is handed off to his personal security detail, Queen's bodyguard relaxes visibly, but there's still some grumbling-under-breath to be had. "…three tours… …Special Forces… …damn brats…"

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