"Just place them on the table Mr. Pennington" Union states, his helmet having little effect on his already controlled and emotionless voice.
When Mr. Pennington puts the papers down, they slide across the long conference table, inexorably pulled by the paper clips and staples holding them together. When they stop in front of Union, he speaks again, "We'll look at these later tonight, and have our legal council go over the relevant documents in the morning."
"And finally, as friends and associates of Mister Dumas, you are all invited to attend his funeral tomorrow at the castle on Long Island at 4 PM. I do hope that you are able to make it, as I know it would have meant a lot to Victor, especially if the man known as 'Union' could be there. Mister Dumas spoke with great admiration about this man's work and character." Alfred seemed to look around the room, not knowing who was Union.
Aegis sits near a corner with her elbows braced on the table edge, hands folded, and watches everyone over them. She doesn't speak while Mr. Pennington gives his presentation, and shifts position only slightly. The invitation to the funeral is the only part that doesn't really surprise her; when had he time to get all this done? _Must have found a lawyer willing to put in hours on a Sunday._ It seems more than a little strange to her that Dumas had altered his will to benefit an organization that, legally speaking, doesn't exist and whose members are largely anonymous. Had he *known* what was going to happen? As of a couple weeks ago, stranger things have certainly happened....
She resists the impulse to voice her opinions, for the moment. _This hits a little too close. Don't say something you'll regret just because you feel guilty._
_That arrogant, aristocratic..._ Adrian doesn't complete the thought, instead standing up to indicate to Mr. Pennington whom he was looking for. "I'm Union. And yes, I think you can expect that we'll be there tomorrow for the funeral. We had already decided earlier in the evening that...Victor...was to receive a posthumous membership once we officially organized the group, and it would be ill-fitting for us not to attend his last rites."
Alfred nods and starts to gather this things to leave. "Very good then sir."
"I'm afraid that you've given us quite a bit to think about, Mr. Pennington, and we might end up being in meeting for some time. We'll contact you tomorrow before the funeral service to let you know where we stand on these issues, but I'm sure you'll understand if we need to discuss them privately." Union politely users the butler towards the door, not forcing him, but making it clear that he would be out of place for the no doubt intense discussions that were to come.
"Certainly Mister...Union," Pennington replied.
"Do you need a ride back to Long Island, or should we have someone give you a lift back?"
"You will find that I am quite resourceful. I look forward to hearing from you tomorrow. Good day," he said with a smile as he left the room.
Once Mr. Pennington is gone, Union turns to the rest of the team and says, "Well, everyone? Thoughts on this little revelation?"
Looking at the STACK of paperwork in front of Union Ravdna says "Are to we slash our enemies with the edges of yon parchment? Tire them with a reading of the prose upon its page?"
Union chuckles "Perhaps we should wait until we wade through these first anyway..."
Some time later Union flips over the last page on last of the documents of left by Mr. Pennington, then looks up at the rest of the room, watching the other members of the newly formed Avengers working their way through the documents at their own pace. He sees that someDelta V in particularhave been finished for some time.
"Jesus, Mary, and Joseph," Aegis mutters, flipping through one sheaf of papers. "Do we actually *need* something this elaborate? I don't know about the rest of you, but I certainly hadn't planned on making this my new full-time job." Heroing for pay seems somewhat less heroic."
Somewhere deep within Dark Angel, Samuel Stern lurked. "Full-time job" struck a chord within him and he sensed a feeling of reprieve. He didn't seem to fit within the world any longer; no matter where he went, he felt out of place. Maybe this could be his home? Was this what he was *meant* to do? He had been chosen, after all. He knew now that his accident, was no accident.
"My personal vision of this group was *very* different from what's outlined here," she admits. "That's not necessarily a problem, but I'd like to air a few concerns about this whole offer. For onethis is supposedly going to be a team. Part of what goes into building a team is that everyone works together to make it what it is. I know we don't all have the same kinds of resources to draw on, but I had been imagining a sort of pooling of our efforts. Having everything we might have asked for handed over on a plate like this... Maybe it's just me," she shrugs. "It doesn't seem right somehow." _Too much like the easy way, maybe. God knows you've never really gone for that, Beth._
"And I'd rather not use the castle as our base of operations. From a public relations standpoint if nothing else, we're going to want to make sure we're viewed as being at least somewhat accessible. To my way of thinking, that means a central location and a building that's not going to make us look even weirder than some of us are." Her eyes flick invisibly toward Dark Angel. She doesn't add, _Besides, it was the man's *house.* How creepy would that be._
"Should we go through all of these and vote on which ones we think are a good idea, or start from scratch, or what?" She looks around the table, her glance ending at Union.
"I will abide with the group's decision. I care not for myself, only our mission, and doing His work," Dark Angel said flatly.
_Thank God someone's agreeing with me,_ Adrian thinks before speaking. "I think you and I are on the same wavelength here, Aegis. This blueprint is too structured and too systematized for anything that we need now, or even for the foreseeable future. Since I seem to be our first chairman, I can say that I don't want to be in a position to dictate where any team member lives, or have to discipline someone for failing to respond to an emergency flare. This structure is seriously over-engineered for our needs."
"Even the opening paragraph of the charter sets out a statement of intent that is entirely too broad, contradictory to what we had discussed earlier. Protecting the Planet Earth? What, From governments we don't happen to like? From unscrupulous corporations? If we have a mission like that, where would our boundaries begin and end. I can't see using that phraseology until something absurdly large happens to justify itRavdna's people attacking en masse rather than their little raid for exampleand should that happen I think we'd get involved regardless of the statement of the charter."
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