Up To 25%

March 29, 2016:

JARVIS shares some interesting statistics (emits by Iceman)

Stark Tower - New York


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

It's been a few days since Pepper gave X-Red the 'good' news - they'd been able to dig into the funding of The Purifiers. Brin is back at Stark Tower, sitting in Peppers office, sipping tea as she looks over the numbers with the redheaded CEO.

There'd been some other things to discuss before they got to the real news, Maria Stark Foundation and just a general catchup. "I'd be happy to volunteer my time at the shelter, Pepper."

Pepper Potts nods to Brinley. "That would be greatly appreciated. And the visibility will be good fro X-Red. If you can, see if you can bring some of your team mates with you every now and again."

"Miss Potts, I'm sorry to interrupt." JARVIS says politely from his overhead speakers. "But the finance reports you requested are finished. Overall market prices in the mobile computing sector have dropped three point two five percent since our announcement. The cost is estimated to be made up in volume for us with a ten to fifteen percent margin. The move is estimated to cost several of our competitors whose finances you have asked me to monitor between thirty and fifty million dollars. Further, stock prices for VisiTech, Nirvana Solutions and Stellar Cloud Computing have dropped noteably in the last week. Shall I continue?"

"Of course, Pepper. It might be good for Gabriel to see the type of things that we do." Brin smiles "Gabriel, I don't think you've met him, he's staying at X-Red. Not part of the team, yet, but he needed somewhere with people like him." That … should say a lot about the man.

Looking up as JARVIS speaks, Brin gets a thoughtful look. "Well… that's good news." She looks to Pepper, the brunette mutant would certainly like to hear more.

Pepper Potts smiles when Brin mentions Gabriel. "Then definitely bring him along." She looks up at the ceiling as JARVIS speaks up (habit, sorry), then nods. "Please, JARVIS." She might even consider pushing the price reduction a wee bit farther. Maybe.

"Based on current projections the 'watch listed' competitors stand to lose between twelve to twenty percent of their present operating margins if prices hold at current levels." JARVIS continues. "A few of the larger companies are likely to adapt and follow our model. However the present market conditions position Stark Industries to continue it's growth trend." There's a short pause.

"My analysis indicates that companies with extraneous revenue expenditures are likely to be forced to cut back. The board has been requesting some clarification on our shift in market strategy, though."

"Twelve to twenty percent? That's a sizeable chunk out of anything." Brin murmurs and glances to Pepper. "And if some of the larger companies do follow your model, it will hurt the … others … more." beat "JARVIS, what percentage reduction of the total spend into The Purifiers does this represent?"

As the board is mentioned, Brin wrinkles her nose, they had expected the question to be levied. "What will you tell them, Pepper?"

Pepper Potts considers for a moment. "How about … marketing research done by an independent third party? Hm, no, they'll want to know which third party. How about … an observation based on a personal retail experience?"

"My estimation is that, based on assumed revenue flows into the Purifier organization and assumed contraction of the affected companies this will result in a fifteen to twenty five percent drop in current funding levels. I must stress that the assumptions made in that calculation may vary significantly from reality." JARVIS is ever… assiduous in his calculations.

"Perhaps, Miss Potts, a strategy to avoid stagnation and move stock prior to releasing new product." Since Stark does have new product coming out more or less all the time, that's not exactly a lie.

"Excellent JARVIS. Fifteen to Twenty Five percent is good chunk with one bite. Now we need to do the same again." Brin muses and looks over to Pepper.

"Market testing is a good approach to take and combined with JARVIS's suggestion, it's a sound business decision." the brunette considers that for a moment. "The mobile communications market has been booming, but with all product lifecycles a 'cashcow' inevitably turns into a 'dog'." Brins business degree hasn't gone to waste it seems "JARVIS, if I'm right, the sales of the current technology has been slowing over time, correct?" The numbers should show that the technology is mature and stable … but gradually over time, sales have been slowing. "Combined with your personal experience, Pepper, those numbers that show you've increased marketshare and the new products you're releasing in the next two quarters. There shouldn't be any real questions."

Pepper Potts ahs. "That's what we'll go with then, JARVIS. And maybe, once we've put the idea in frong of the board, they'll ask how far we can actually push this trend." Which would have the added bonus effect of putting the squeeze on the targeted companies even further. "That's well on its way, then. Anything else?"

"Yes…" JARVIS sounds a bit reluctant to relate this, if the AI can sound reluctant. "Unrelated, it appears Lobo Technologies appears to be via its affiliates to by up to Metropolis startups working on neural net computing. They're expanding very aggressively in that market. It's possible they are verging on breakthroughs in artificial intelligence and they appear to be prepared to sign two subcontracts for Trask and Hammer Tech on department of defense programs. My latest reports indicate that Lobo Tech… support was the only reason Hammer Technologies won the last defense contract it bid for."

The mention of Lobotech always gets Brin shuddering. The lawyer, Ingrid, was sharp and ruthless. Lobo himself had a presence and way around him that, quite frankly, was predatory. "Which affiliates, JARVIS?" it's not such an idle question, LoboTech affiliates appear to be funding Purifiers - it would be too much too ask though, that they be the same ones.

"Hammer Technologies…" Brin knows about them and looks to see Peppers reaction. "Think they're going to try to go head to head with Stark on this?"

It takes a supreme amount of effort for Pepper to NOT visibly react at the name 'Hammer Technologies'. "So. Lobotech through Hammer is trying to get into the AI business. JARVIS, would you be offended if I said I want you to remain one of an extremely rare breed?"

"I would not, Madam." The AI responds. "Hammer Technologies and Trask Industries." Trask is one of the major producers of government sentinels and Lobo Tech did subcontract work for them. One of them - hard to say which - did a passable job at programming the Sentinel automation routines though those have probably been improved at… some point. What, though, is Pepper's plan to keep them from making cut rate JARVISes?

"Hmmmmm." Brin looks grim as that news is delivered. Purifiers had stolen early Sentinel plans. Purifiers had stolen Lobo Tech Technology. And now … Lobo Tech was signing a contract with the company that produces the 'legal' version of those Mutant Seeking robo monstrosities.

And now they're teaming up with Stark competitor after trying to make to Pepper's life difficult. "What are you thinking, Pepper?"

"I'm thinking of requesting the assistance of a computer expert or two that I know, to make sure any attempts at making AIs do not go well for Hammer or Trask." The Sentinels are bad enough, Pepper is determined to make sure it goes no further. And she'll tap any resources are her disposal — mostly unofficial — to do so.

"Hammer Tech in particular should be prevented from reproducing Artificial Intelligence if at all possible." JARVIS opines. "Given that it appears that much of their intelligene is already artificial." Was that a burn? That might have been a burn.

"Is there anything more you need of me, Miss Potts?"

"Let me know if we can help you, Pepper. There's a couple of people that I could request assistance from." Brin smirks at JARVIS burn. It was definitely a burn, totally. "And they're very good at this type of thing."

Pepper Potts can't help it. She actually smirks at JARVIS' comment about Hammer Tech. One of the many many reasons why this AI is so completely invaluable. "That should be sufficient for now, JARVIS. Thank you." She then nods to Brin. "We might be thinking of similar resources, but it can't hurt to see exactly what we can leverage against the possibility of a Hammer AI." She knows of one person at least who is very, very good at being discreet.

"Possible Pepper." She's thinking Kitty and Doug. Jericho of course, but Pepper already has that connection. "I'll ask Cypher and Shadowcat. But we'll need to coordinate efforts to make sure we aren't tripping over each other."

Finishing her tea and letting out a breath. "I can't thank you enough for the assistance you have given with The Purifiers. You've friends and we'll stand with you. But… I really must be going." She's an appointment, out of town.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License