Follow The Money

July 14, 2015:

Brin and Bobby meet with Pepper to analyse the financial data that go pulled from the University

Stark Tower - New York





Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

In their search for information on the meta-scanners, X-Red had recovered data from a Research Lab in New York University. Some of which appeared to be extensive financial information which, whilst might just lead to who funded the reasearch.

Who better to reach out to when it comes to analysing financial data than Pepper Potts, CEO of Stark Industry. Brins put in the call, setup the meeting and is now waiting in the foyer after introducing herself to the receptionist. As it's a business meeting, Brins wearing a smart deep navy business suit with camisole top under the jacket, a far cry from her normal office wear.

Pepper Potts has been busy and more busy of late, but when Ms. Myers contacted her, she was by no means about to say no. She got her assistant to shuffle her schedule around to fit Brinley in, and she's currently getting a last email finished as JARVIS informed her that the young woman had arrived in the lobby. She taps send on the email, then moves to start a pot of tea brewing. "JARVIS, please ask Ms. Myers to my office."

At once, Miss Potts."

In the lobby, the hidden speakers closest to Brinley crackle gently, almost like someone clearing their throat. "Ms. Myers, Miss Potts has asked me to direct you to her office."

Bobby is with Brinley. Feeling better too. This is mostly Brin's show but he's brought printouts of all the data that Doug and Audrey and Brin recovered from their little raid. Chancy that, something that direct with X-Red but it had paid off and big time. Not the least of which in knowledge that there was a second, smaller, more effective version of these scanners in the works, possibly already deployed.

Looking to the speakers and then to Bobby, Brin smiles and inclines her "Shall we then?"

Following JARVIS' direction, she soon finds herself entering Peppers office "Brinley Meyers and Bobby Drake, from X-Red, to see Miss Potts" she offers to the Peppers assistant with a smile.

Bobby has the print outs, Brin has the electronic data and had previously sent them to Pepper with a brief outline of what they wished to discuss.

Pepper Potts smiles to the two as her assistant lets them in, and gestures to the small conference table where she's just set the teapot. "Welcome. Please, have a seat. JARVIS, could you please make sure no one disturbs our meeting?"

"Certainly, Miss Potts."

Settling in to one of the chairs, she sets her phone on the table in front of her, then waiting for them to sit as well.

Bobby smiles at Pepper. He'd been working with her before on stuff related to DCI's tech and possible partnerships. Today it's something a bit different. He'll let Brinley explain. For now he just hands over the financials to her.

"Thank you, Miss Potts" Brinley smiles as she casts another look to the speakers - first time inside Stark Towers for the mutant. Settling into a chair, resting her tablet on her lap, Brin takes a deep breath "We appreciate your time. I'm not sure if you had time to review my email, but I'm sure you remember the general upset about the meta-scanners?" Glancing to Bobby, Brin presses on "We can to possess some financial information that might give us some idea who's behind them. We… need assistance to analyse it and both Bobby and I thought of you…" She's trying to avoid explaining how they got it.

Pepper Potts has manually sifted through cooked books for Partisan before. She knows when to not ask. Accepting the documents, she glances at them briefly. "I do remember about those meta-scanners. And, I give it about another week, and rumors might start spreading about the things being unreliable." She very much noticed Brinley's reaction to JARVIS, but she's not about to explain. The less people know about the AI the better, honestly.

"This is… a lot of information. It'll take me weeks to go through it all by hand." She looks from Brinley to Bobby and back. "How fast do you want this correlated?"

'As quickly as possible." Bobby offers. "We think it may be related to the metahuman scanners. X-Red has been trying to figure out where they came from and it's a tangled mess but none of it is looking very good. Starting to appear really… governmental." And it does, Pepper can tell. In those documents are earmarks and all the legal jargon associated with governmetn contracts. This is a lot of money, which is strange. Ordinarily contracts this big would have been on Stark's radar.

Pepper Potts's eyebrows draw together in a faint frown. She moves to stand and takes the documents back to her desk. "Please, help yourselves to some tea. Even as fast as possible is going to take a few minutes." She pulls open a side drawer to her desk and sets a wireless scanner on her desk. "JARVIS, please use the highest encryption levels on these documents. Correlate the data while you're at it, and please let me know when you have the results ready."

"As quickly as possible, Miss Potts."

"Thank you." She then starts feeding the documents through the scanner quickly. Whoever JARVIS is, she clearly trusts him.

"As Bobby says" Brin nods in agreement "and it's possible we might have more coming as well." If they decide to hit the other facilities. Brin declines tea for the moment.

Watching as Pepper scans the documents in, resisting the urge to look around again… she's much better trained than that. "We really do appreciate it, Miss Potts. The scanners are a major concern for us. Not that they can do it, but why and how they've done this."

"And what they might do with it." It's the age old argument and not a real good one. The tool could be used to do bad things. Most tools can. The concern is that this one seems very targetted. The mutant/meta population is a varied one but generally they tend to be people that governments want to control. And that don't want to be controlled.

The analysis will take a few minutes but results are already coming back. Definitely government. Extensive ties to the education system. Lots of research on genetics. This is big.

Pepper Potts feeds the last sheet through the scanner then returns it to its place and offers the documents back to Bobby. "The why I doubt is going to be printed on these documents. Not in so many words, anyway. But you're very likely going to learn the how, and you might not be happy about it." She shakes her head. She WANTS to tell him about the little bit of sabotage she and JARVIS already put into play, but she's not entirely sure she should.

Brin nods and casts a reassuring smile at Bobby "I doubt very much we will like the answer, Miss Potts. But better we know." Brin remembers what they saw in that lab "At least then, we can formulate a more concrete plan."

"Scanning complete Miss Potts." JARVIS informs her. "The documents point back to an organization called CADMUS for which I can find no information on the public or acessible private networks. However there is a high probability of the relevant information being kept in three locations. The University of New Mexico near Albaqerke, the University of Delaware in Metropolis and MIT."

Bobby frowns. Hrm. That's a lot of universities. "Sounds like a very research oriented organization."

"Furthermore there an item of extra terrestrial origin called Source K being held near Mount Weather."

Pepper Potts shakes her head slowly. "That's not at all promising." She can probably glean intel from MIT by using Tony's old contacts, but she'll have to be very careful about it. "Wait. Where is the University of Delaware located?" Yes, she's been keepig up with the news.

A third university added to the list. Brins quite happy to take a small team in again but if they don't have to, that's great. "CADMUS would be correct." Brin speaks to the room "We've come across that name a few times during this investigation." Shaking her head slowly at Bobby "Maybe. Or they're using research as a front to hide other activities." What, she really couldn't tell.

"I'm aware there's a FEMA operations centre in Mount Weather, may I ask if that's where the Source K is being kept?" Brin asks Pepper, although she's sure whoever is listening has heard that.

"Metropolis, I thought JARVIS said." Bobby murmurs, watchign Brin write notes. Hrm. This is definitely getting conspipracy-y. Is that a word?

"Yes Madam. Source K is being kept in Mount Weather according to these documents, however there is no indication in official sources of anything unusual happening there." Meaning either a lie or a secret.

Pepper Potts glances at the others. "How close is that Mount Weather place to the area that's been mentioned as off-limits in the news recently?" Yes, she is having suspicions. "Could it be possible that the restricted area has some correlation with where they're keeping the Source K?"

Bobby actually has to check his tablet on that one. "It's in Virginia so… south of the Deadzone. It sounded like the Deadzone was an unexpected disaster but at this point I can't rule out anything at all so… maybe. Be careful if you go poking around."

Smiling warmly at Pepper, Brin adds "Thank you so much, Miss Potts and Jarvis. We truly appreciate you're assistance." Yes, Brins addressing the AI as well. Reviewing her notes "So we have three universities to investigate and Mount Weather." Looking at Bobby then Pepper "I think we need to see what they're doing there." Whether by raiding or more… legitimate means, Brin isn't going to split hairs. "I can check who I know in those organisations, and see what we can find out about Mount Weather. Did I miss anything?"

Pepper Potts shakes her head no. "Though… may I see both of your phones?"

"Er… sure." Bobby pulls out his phone and hands it over to Pepper. He's rather curious what she might want with it. Especially considering it's not real high tech compared to the stuff stark makes.

Brin looks a little bemused but hands her phone over, and glances at her tablet "There you go" she says tentatively. It's a good phone, functional and when she doesn't have her tablet, a life line to let her get her job done.

Pepper Potts accepts the phones and sets them on the table next to her StarkPhone. "JARVIS, do you think you could modify the app to work on their phones?"

"Processing, Miss Potts…. please activate the wi-fi on Ms. Myers' device." Pepper leans forward and taps at the phone until she manages it. Clearly, she's not as insanely tech savvy as her job would make it seem.

"What app now?" Bobby's kind of a techie. He's not great at technology, that's really more Doug's thing but he enjoys it. Gadgets, doodads. If it has a battery and a wifi signal he probably thinks its pretty cool. No pun intended.

Brin cants her head, she's a passing knowledge of how her phone works but seeing Pepper has it handled, she watches on with interest. She's sure the information will be provided soon, besides, Bobby just asked.

Pepper Potts glances up at the pair, offering them a conspiratorial smile. "It's a little hack that JARVIS cooked up. As long as your phone is on, it's emitting a signal that the currently used meta-scanners pick up and register just like they would the presence of a mutant. Our hope is it'll make the things go off so constantly that the authorities will stop using them because they're unreliable." She watches as first Brin's then Bobby's phone both begin rebooting themselves. "The app also includes a battery optimization algorithm, so you won't see any effect on your battery useage."

The AI's voice then offers, "Your phones will see a six percent and nineteen percent improvement in battery efficiency, respectively." When the phones finish rebooting, Pepper offers them back to their owners. "We sent the algorithm out to all currently owned Stark devices embedded in a dictionary patch for the JARVIS helper apps."

"Clever." Bobby grins. He approves clearly. "That'll help us a lot. There's what, several tens of million stark phone users out there? Until the authorities figure out a way around it… hell maybe it'll cost too much to fix. That'd be lovely." And hopefully no one gets hurt because of it. But she's looking out for them and Bobby deeply appreciates it.

"Extremely." Brin agrees as she takes her phone back. "Thank you Jarvis, Miss Potts. Bobby, perhaps we should see if the other X-Red phones can use the same patch?" The more phones out there doing this, the better, surely.

"I really can't express how much we appreciate what you've done for us today. If there's anything we can do in return… "

Pepper Potts smiles. "Just keep me informed. Oh, and JARVIS? Add your direct access app to their phones, please, so they can ask you for help with upgrades to their friends' phones?"

"Installing now, Miss Potts."

"Okay. You'll see retail StarkPhones with a JARVIS app, the one being installed now will look and sound like that, but it won't be the standalone, it'll be the actual JARVIS. Don't abuse the privelege." She's clearly attempting to joke by the smile she offers.

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