The Numbers
Roleplaying Log: The Numbers
IC Details

David Archer continues to gather witnesses for his side of Peterson v. New York.

Other Characters Referenced: Superman, Tony Stark, Warren Worthington, Dazzler, Danny Rand, Steve Rogers, Amon Bell
IC Date: May 28, 2019
IC Location: Lex Towers, Metropolis
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 29 May 2019 03:08
Rating & Warnings: G
Scene Soundtrack: None
NPC & GM Credits: David Archer emitted by Lovejoy
Associated Plots

Lex Luthor is one of the busiest men in the world. Quite possibly the second busiest man in Metropolis. Well, technically, the busiest /actual/ man in Metropolis. The only person busier is not human. So that makes a bit of a difference. However, when a man of political stature makes an appointment with the Man of Tomorrow, Lex Luthor makes sure to put himself in a position to be available for whatever may be needed.

Never know when one may need a politician for something.

Lex Luthor sits at his epic desk in his epic office and awaits for the arrival of the David Archer. He's made sure that both Hope and Mercy are stationed on the outside of his office for this one. He doesn't want David to feel intimidated or anything.

Not yet, anyway.

* * *

It's a politician from a different state, to be sure. But rumors are already flying that David has his eye on running for the Governor of New York. But he's new to his current position as Attorney General, and if he does do that it will not be for some time.

He arrives so promptly that you could cut a block of cheese on the sharpness of the time. He comes in a perfectly tailored suit, and checks in with Hope and Mercy, not sure which of the two he's really supposed to be talking to. So he simply addresses them both.

"David Archer, here for my 2 PM with Mr. Luthor."

The matters he has to discuss go beyond New York.

* * *

Hope just gives a nod towards the doors to the office. Which also somehow signals the bald businessman inside. It's a weird combination that makes the doors open Star Trek style, sliding away to allow full access to the Office of Lex Luthor.

Lex Luthor immediately stands behind his desk and offers the most welcoming of smiles that he can muster as a greeting. Even before David's approach, Lex has his hand extended towards the politician to make sure that they get this off on the right foot.

"Ah, Mr. Archer. Welcome, welcome." Lex is all generosity at this moment. "Can I get you anything? A drink? A Big Belly Burger? Anything?"

* * *

"I'll take a drink." Archer shakes Luthor's hand. It is a good bet he has never been offered a Big Belly Burger in a business meeting before, and the offer takes him aback, just a little bit. "Thank you very much. And thank you for meeting with me. I must say I've never been to Metropolis before. I had a chance to walk around before our meeting, and I'm impressed by all you've accomplished here. I understand you're pretty much the driving force behind the modernization of this city. And the low unemployment rate. Maybe someday New York should look into enticing you to our neck of the woods for awhile."

* * *

"I would love to do whatever I can to usher New York into the Modern Age."

Lex moves over to the full bar that he has in his office because of course he does. He whips up something as simple as Archer's drink of choice, because he should probably show that he's done his homework and is back over to hand it off within moments.

"I'm just a man that wants what's best for his city and the people in it. Before you go, you should see some of the sights. I could have one of my Interns give you a more grand tour of the city."

Lex leans back against his desk and finally decides to put on his business face. "So. You've come all this way. What can I do for you?"

* * *

The man lifts an eyebrow as he finds his favorite drink handed to him. It's a look of surprise. That's not homework in Archer's estimation. That's something like extra credit.

"I would like to know," he says, "How many millions of dollars you've lost to various and sundry metas damaging things in this city. Among other things. I'm putting together a case, and I think you might be an excellent witness for it."

If there was any one man who could tally up the damages, besides the various city officials David has already subpeona'd, this one would be it.

* * *

"Ah." Lex Luthor's grin becomes a but more neutral. This is going to be one of those gray area conversations. "I have the numbers. I can get you the numbers. But, honestly, I haven't lost anything. Any damage that's been done to the city of Metropolis, while under my watchful care, has been rectified by LexCorp and any number of our associates. Due to certain, affiliations…" Like maybe that billboard with a Superman 'S' on it outside of the huge window behind Lex. "… I've taken it upon myself to make Metropolis a safer place for everyone." And this is probably not the part Archer wants to hear. "Metas included."

Lex figures he might as well make his position clear before things go another direction. "Granted, there have been some dangerous incidents that even I could not see coming. But I'm hoping to find a way to make this city a place of coexistence, even if I can't make it a peaceful one."

Question time! "If I may ask, exactly what is the case you're building?" It almost looks like he already has a plan.

* * *

"I did see the article saying you had made this a neutral location. Wanted to put together some sort of summit. Has anyone taken you up on that?"

But David shakes head as Lex says he doesn't want to hear the answer. "On the contrary, Mr. Luthor, I'm not after metas. I'm representing the State of New York in Peterson v. New York. If you haven't heard of the case, the state is being sued over registration. Now, like you, I do not much have a horse in this race. It is my duty to defend the case, no more, no less. If it is a good law, it will stand, all the way to the Supreme Court, if it has to. If it is a bad law, then it won't. But we only find out if both the prosecutor and the defender do their jobs, and do them rigorously. Several of my key witnesses are metas. One of the things I intend to prove is that significant benefits have been built into the law, benefits the angrier segments of our population are ignoring. So…yes, the numbers would help. Whomever paid for the damage, and whomever lost money doing it, the numbers, the amount of damage, matters."

* * *

Lex leans back on his desk to press the button on the phone. "Miss Teschmacher? Miss Teschmacher?" Lex looks at Archer and then goes an octave louder, "Miss Teschmacher!" He lets the button go because he's pretty sure she'll come running in a moment.

"I understand. I just wanted to make my position clear. I only want what's best for Metropolis, our Country, our People. That's all that matters to me. To which it boggles my mind that no one has decided to set up this summit. I suppose I'm going to have to reach out to some of my political compatriots to get this done."

Here comes Eve! "Yes, Mr. Luthor?"

"Mr. Archer here needs the numbers on our damage, loss and recovery for the past, let's say five years. See to it that he leaves with them."

"Yes, Mr. Luthor." Annnd she's off again.

"You wouldn't be able to point me in the right direction would you, Mr. Archer? I'd like to have this sit down before things get worse."

* * *

Archer sits back thoughtfully as he tries to decide who he would send Luthor to. "Tony Stark," he says at last. "It shouldn't be hard, the business section says he divested himself of his New York properties in favor of starting something here, over Registration. Get him to talk and you get some of the Avengers. Get some of Avengers, and you get many of the metas. Steve Rogers, of course. He's been a voice of reason. Warren Worthington, and Alison Blair. They've been openly involved, are running a lot of programs for metas, and have pull. Danny Rand of Rand Industries is an unpowered individual," the most politically correct term he can figure out to use, "who has nevertheless put a lot of money and time into supporting the meta community. He puts his foot into his mouth as often as he helps…he compared the condition to the AIDS epidemic once…but he's still got money and power."

He takes a sip of his drink, thoughtful. "You might not get some of the radical pro-Reg sorts; Amon Bell would be a good one to bring to the table, but I believe he would be difficult because he already has what he wants. You might try looking for some non-obvious people too. People who have a subtle influence, with everyday people. But you'd almost have to hire someone to figure out who those people might be. They'll probably come from some surprising places, but I couldn't tell you whom. The people I'd tell you to steer clear of are Nelson and Murdock of Nelson and Murdock. They're the prosecutors for my case, and aren't likely to drop it just because someone's holding a summit."

* * *

"Ah, thank you. I'll have to reach out to some of these individuals." Or just have a summit himself. His mind is already working about fifteen different angles for this thing. He's going to have to play this one carefully. He doesn't want to make anything worse.

"I'll find a way to get the lines of communication open." Lex refocuses his attention on Archer. "So. Besides the numbers, is there anything else you need from me? I want to be as involved as possible. To be a voice to be heard in these tumultuous times."

* * *

"I had thought to introduce you as a witness," Archer says, blunt and to the point. "I can only introduce any evidence when a witness is on the stand, and only if it's relevant to that witness. And you could still work as a witness, if you were so inclined. The summit might even give you some credibility. You're not there with an axe to grind, you're there to testify, to answer questions that you're being asked, as is your duty as a US Citizen, when subpeona'd."

He frowns down at his drink and notes, "But…this case, win or lose, isn't going to end the anger. It isn't going to fix the rifts. Perhaps it is wiser to stay out of it. I could still use the evidence, if Superman was involved in any of those incidents. Especially if you know who could get me incident reports that note his involvement. I'm not trying to roast him on the stand, you understand, but if he has, that's a fact, it's truth, and he can be asked about it."

* * *

Lex Luthor tries not to narrow his eyes. Superman. "Superman. Superman has done nothing but a service to Metropolis. I, for one, look forward to working side-by-side with him someday." Lex lays it on just a little thick. "I will testify, if I am needed. My duty to this country is unwavering and I will do whatever it takes to honor and protect the liberties and freedoms that we hold dear."

Lex's grin returns. "I'll have Miss Teschmacher compile the incident reports as well. You'll have everything you need to do exactly what you want to do, Mr. Archer. You have my word."

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