Strange news, and a visitor.
Duststorm gives no visible notice to slip of the tongue. "I will do what I can Uncle."
Union looks back across the table at his best friend's son, "Malachi, you're in charge of making sure I don't do anything egregiously stupid."
"This you say to a man who collapsed a bunker on his own head? Is it too late to change my vote?"
"Ha. Please doit would make my life easier." Even the voice modulator can't hide the humor from Union's voice. "This seems like a good time for a break. Aegis, why don't you go pick up Dumas' butler. I don't know what he wants, but I think we owe it to Dumas to listen to him."
Aegis gives him a slightly flippant salute and heads back out the balcony. Though she has one or two misgivings about Union's election, she is also beginning to suspect that his habit of backgrounding himself is just that--a habit, perhaps brought on by lack of self-confidence. He certainly knows how to run a meeting. _And at least he hasn't gotten anyone killed._
Speaking of which. She glides silently over the city toward Long Island, to find out what the butler wishes to speak with them about.
"While Aegis is gone getting the butler, let me bring up a topic that doesn't require everyone's presence. " Delta V holds up a small disc about the size of a nickel.
"Regarding the problem of communication, this may help. This small device is a miniature radio transmitter. Steve Rogers visited me last night and gave it to me. He found this device behind his ear. After checking with the coroner, I discovered that a similar device was found on Mulhare. These transmitters are most likely the means by which the Soviet agent known as the Voice was able to control these men. Perhaps we can put them to a less sinister use?"
Union glides through the crowd of heroes to Delta V's side, "Can I take a look at that?"
The Silver Avenger takes the micro-transmitter from the speedster, turning it over in his hands as his electrical senses play across the circuitry inside it. "This is brilliant! Years ahead of anything anyone else has done in the field!" he looks up at Delta V, "May I hold onto this for a few days? This could easily solve the problem of size/transmission ratio for our communication equipment."
Silently taking in the matter Ravdna appreciates Union's attempt to not take on leadership despite his apparent ability and the overwhelming support of the group that knows him better than the Asgardian. She smiles to some degree comfortable in their judgment. She has placed a large degree of trust in these mortals after such a short time. There is much of this world she only has a cursory understanding of at this point. She has to trust them. But it feels good. It has been a long time since she's had the opportunity to do so.
"Mine efforts were for naught...Dumas' essence is unable to journey to Valhalla" looking to Dark Angel "...but I fear it has also not found rest in any haven. The Goddess Hela said he was...elsewhere."
Union turns at this news, "You mean that actually worked? I'm sorry Ravdna, but even with the way that we met I still have a hard time grasping the full implications of your existence. Does this mean that Dumas *isn't* dead? Or that he is but somehow is not?"
"The meaning is thus...his soul is nowhere to be found!"
"Ok, so, obviously that means *something *, but..." Union moves closer to the Valkyre, perching himself on the corner of the table, "Assume, for a moment, that you were to find Victor's soul. What would happen then? Personally, I assumed he would have gone to whatever fate he had coming to him and that would be that...You're saying it does exist, and it should have gone somewhere, but it got lost? So what does that mean?"
"Alas, I know not. In all mine millennia long experience I have not encountered such." The Valkyrie concedes.
Union looks appraisingly at the Valkyre, taking into account her casual mentions of immortality, "So what you're saying is that his death did not go as planned, and now his soul isn't anywhere. Right. Well, I don't see what we can do about that right now, but I guess it's something to keep in mind. If, uh, Hela, happens to pop in and tell you anything else, keep us informed. Otherwise I can't think of anything to do except file this: it falls even further outside our capabilities than the war in Vietnam."
A few minutes later Union greets Aegis at the door to the conference room when she returns with Mr. Pennington. "Thanks for playing chauffeur. Mr. Pennington, good evening. There's some coffee left on the sideboard if the flight over was a little chilly."
Union retakes his seat at the head of the table, awkwardly looking at the rest of the team. "Now then, what did you have to tell us?"
Mister Pennington surveyed the gathering of heroes. This butler, was an older man, closer to the age of Union than any of the other heroes. Definitely older than Victor Dumas was. He wasn't wearing a typical butler's uniform, but a normal well styled Italian three piece suit.
"Ahem." he cleared his throat as he placed his small spectacles onto his face. "Thank you all for seeing me as this is a very important matter that needs to be addressed before any further arrangements can be completed. I am the caretaker of Mister Dumas's affairs. Now that he has passed away, I have been named executor of his will. Prior to Mister Dumas's passing, he had been working diligently towards the creation of this organization, that he called the Avengers. Mister Dumas had started the process of creating a trust fund for the running of the Avengers. That process is now complete. The trust was to be a limited amount of money to aid in the development, organization and continued financing of this Avengers organization. But now that he has passed away, it was decreed in his will that his entire fortune be transferred into the trust for the benefit of the Avengers organization. This fortune includes his castle at Glen Cove, on Long Island which Mister Dumas has offered as a headquarters for this Avengers organization."
Union sits silently as Mr. Pennington speaks, his armor making him as motionless as a statue at the head of the table.
"To that end, Mister Dumas had also drawn up legal papers for the approval of the combined members of the Avengers. These documents include a Charter that, if approved by the Avengers membership, should be filed with New York state's Attorney General's office stating..." He started to read a quote from the paper in front of him. "...the Avenger's intent to work together to protect and safeguard the planet Earth, its inhabitants and resources from any and all threats beyond the power of conventional forces."
Alfred Pennington continued, "he suggested in his writings that the Avengers should also speak with the National Security Council. Mister Dumas had two other documents drawn up as well, one was a set of By-Laws for the organization and the other was a brief set of Executive Orders. He had meant to present these documents to your group as his proposal for its organization and not in a manner that would seem as if he were forcing them onto the organization. This group meant a great deal to Vic.....Mister Dumas and he was determined to see it succeed with every available resource at his disposal. I have copies of these documents here with me if you would like to read them?"
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© 2000 Mark L. Chance et al