I Think I Need A Shower

August 11, 2015:

Maximus Lobo comes to visit Pepper Potts (emits by Aspect)

Stark Tower - New York


NPCs: Maximus Lobo



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Koraltech Systems was a startup that got big. And innovative. Not so big to be playing with the A-Listers, but big enough. They had some good ideas. A special brand of servo motors, some innovative electronics stuff. Quite a few things. They'd been privately owned and operated but then they went public. Things went well for a few years, but then they hit a rough patch. Now they're in trouble.

Their portfolio is valuable enough to be of interest to Stark Industries. But it's also valuable enough to be of interest to a… kind of competetor. Lobo Technologies. It's the kind of thing that has the potential to get financially nasty. Backroom deals, hostile takovers, that kind of thing. Rather than risk that, the CEO of Lobo Technologies, Maximus Lobo himself, has taken the unprecedented step of asking for a meeting with Pepper Potts.

Not many can claim to know Maximus. Few deal with him directly. But he has a reputation for being savvy and ruthless. A bit of a shark, in other words. And he should be arriving any moment now.

Pepper Potts contacted Brinley Myers the moment she received notice that Lobo himself wanted to speak with her, and arranged to have her present for the meeting by having the empath masquerade as a temporary assistant. She looks at the woman to silently let her know that Maximus should be arriving any moment. And yes, Pepper is nervous, but she's more than used to this kind of thing, so it doesn't show at all in her face or mannerisms.

Funny how things work out. Brin, Pepper and Bobby had been discussing Lobo Tech just recently. Pepper's request for her presence was met with an immediate and resounding 'yes'. She's currently standing just behind Pepper, dressed appropriately, and nods at the silent message… she's nervous too…

Maximus as it turns out, is huge. He's close to seven feet tall easily and broad shouldered. He walks into Stark Industries with an easy, assured gait, accompanied by a conservatively dressed, fairly attractive but severe looking woman who is substantially shorter, only six foot two. Both check in at the front desk and make their way to the elevator. The knock on Pepper's door comes a few minutes later.

"Miss Potts." His voice is deep. Very deep. "Ah hello. I hope I'm not interrupting. Allow me to introduce Ingrid Carver, one of the attorneys from our legal department." That could be delivered warmly. Or coldly. Instead it's delivered… well, there's a certain quiet intensity to it. This is a man who is an alpha male in a manner that invoked none of the ridculous machismo such a title is usually associated with.

Pepper Potts squares her shoulders and stands a little straighter when she hears the ding from the elevator, and manages to not let on that she's got a tiny snippet of the Fifth Element movie stuck in her head now.

As the extremely tall people step into her office, she steps forward to offer hand shakes to both Lobo and Ms. Carver from Legal. "Good to meet you both. This is my assistant, Ms. Myers. Please, have a seat." She gestures to toward the sofa and armchairs in one corner of her room, knowing the small conference table and its average-sized chairs would likely be small to the point of uncomfortable for the CEO.

Given Brins very public profile, she's added to her X-Red profile. If Maximus's people check, it shouldn't surprise him that she's there, given the new addition - particularly with the changes in the X-Red team lately.

She's getting used to tall men around, but still she looks up at both the newcomers, remaining quietly to the left and slightly behind Pepper.

The large CEO looks over at the armchair and nods, going to have a seat and make himself comfortable. Miss Carver takes out a few documents and hands them over to Lobo. "So, lets get down to business. Koraltech Systems. I understand your company has been going through talks investigating a possible buyout or merger." Even relaxed he still sits up quite straight and has a… possibly unnerving habit of looking people right in the eyes and not blinking. Brin can pick up the confidence and… perhaps even feelings of authority exuding from the man. He's not used to being crossed, though he's all soft tones and pleasant-if-sharp smiles at the moment. "As it happens, my company is also has an interest in Koraltech which may make all of this somewhat… complicated." He pushes over an agreement, dated six months ago. "You see, we optioned several of their headline technologies some months ago."

Pepper Potts moves to also take a seat on the couch where she can face Lobo, then accepts the paperwork to look over. "So you're here to appeal to Stark Industries, to ask that we not throw our hat in the ring to acquire these technologies?" Honestly, acquiring new tech isn't really SI's style, not with Tony's brain crunching on and cranking out new ideas regularly enough. What she personally would rather take away from Koraltech's demise would be their highly specialized and skilled workforce. Of course, she's not going to tell Lobo that immediately. This is a rare chance for Brinley to get a feel for the man.

Brins been coached, well, before hand and she and Pepper have worked out subtle queues. As an empath the brunette mutant is only able to read emotion, so it's important that she actually look like she's been this type of job for a while.

Taking up a position next to the couch, Brin holds a tablet in hand, listening quietly as the Maximus and Pepper discuss Koraltech. This is something she is very good at - being quiet and reserved.

"Well not quite. Our options give us sole rights to the technology and its use for five years in exchange for a share of the profits and joint development of new ideas stemming from them. Which creates something of a licencing problem for a third party looking to acqurie." Lobo smiles. Sharply. Again. His gaze falls on Brinley and then back to Pepper. "Now of course, reasonable people can come to… reasonable arrangements. Perhaps we might be willing to part with those rights since the rest of the deal is clearly off the table. Or perhaps you don't think it's that valuable, in which case my comapny will absorb those parts of Koraltech we think are profitable and… cut the rest loose…" That's quite a few people, really. "I think the question right now is… what's it all worth to you?"

Pepper Potts glances up at Brinley briefly, then gently sets the paperwork back on the coffee table. "I'm going to be honest with you, Mr. Lobo. There is at best one piece of technology that would be of long term benefit to Stark Industries. And that's not nearly enough to justify trying to fight over those rights or the entire company lock, stock, and barrel. What I am interested in is the company's skilled workforce. "

At the glance, Brin moves to the corner of Peppers office and begins to prepare tea. A teapot, cups and saucers (which will likely look ridiculous in Maximus' hands), creamer and sugar are all laid out on a tray as she listens into the discussion, still sensing the emotion in the room. She also adds at least one big mug, that Pepper keeps on hand just for Tony, to the tray.

When the water finally boils, the teapot is filled and Brin returns silently with tray, placing it on the coffee table. "Would anyone like tea" she speaks quietly.

The Attorney meets Brin's eyes. Hers are… narrowed, cold, predatory. Alive yes, but a tad bit alien in their regard. Actually Maximus' are like that too. "Earl Grey, Straight." She says to Brin.

"Mmmm, so I keep the IP and you get the laborers. To be honest, I'm not interested in most of them myself." They were going to be, as he says, cut loose. "We'd need to work out the legalities. NDA's and such. Ordinarily I'd want a noncompetition agreement too but in this case I think the prize of the acquisition is sufficient." Maximus pauses. "They say a mind is a horrible thing to waste… Is that why you want the workers? Or are your reasons more… prosaic?"

Pepper Potts doesn't answer Lobo's last question, simply gracing him with a Mona Lisa smile then reaching for one of the cups of tea. Of course it's Earl Grey. Pepper's favorite, and the blend she has hand-carried from England each month.

"I am willing to take a chance and say that our interests in Koraltech are not in conflict. I know that's likely disappointing…"

Looking at the attorney, meeting her eyes for a moment, Brin quickly drops hers as she prepares the tea and hands the … mugs… over to both Pepper guests.

Task completed, she returns to her place beside Pepper, with the tablet in hand.

"Learning something about the great Pepper Potts is never disappointing." Somehow, the way Maximus says that… makes that sound not quite like a compliment. "Well, I think I find that acceptable. Miss Carver will draw up the relevant documents for your legal team to review." He watches as the woman takes the tea and takes sip, glancing back at him. "Today, if possible." He adds and she nods.

"It's nice how reasonable people can get along, don't you think Miss Potts. I certainly wouldn't mind dealing again with you." Again, why does that not sound complimentary.

Pepper Potts hides a glare and sneer of contempt for Lobo behind a sip of tea, and by the time she lowers her cup again, her expression is completely neutral again. "I too feel like this meeting has been very … educational. Miss Carver, my legal team will be anticipating your documentation." And they'll go through them with combs with teeth so fine they'd require a microscope to see them. She moves to stand to see the pair back out of her office.

Brin waits until the pair are ushered out of Peppers office, maintaining her vigil beside the couch. The mans odious behaviour, causing her to flinch just a little - which is probably what he was aiming for anyway.

When he's gone, Brin and Pepper can compare notes.

Lobo seems quite content to be ushered out. He has, after all, a company to acquire. Well, the important bits anyway. He has plans for some of that tech and he's quite pleased Stark didn't fight him for it.

Entertaining as that might have been.

Pepper Potts waits for them to disappear into the elevator, then closes her office door. "JARVIS, I want you to record every word, every whisper, every sniffle or fart those two make until they leave this building."

"Already recording, Miss Potts."

She nods with a glance toward a spot in the ceiling, then shudders every so slightly. "Is it wrong that I feel like I need to shower now?" she asks for Brinley.

Brin finally shudders. She's been suppressing that since the man walked in. "Oh no, Miss Potts. Not at all." Glancing up at the same spot on the ceiling, the brunette finally looks to the redhead "What did you make of that?"

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