Some time later Union finishes the last of the voice votes on the various issues. "OK. We're pretty much agreed to use the Trust Fund for our operating monies, and to use the castle as our secondary base. Duststorm, if you could start looking into the prices of space in Manhattan for our primary offices, that would be great."
"Now certainly isn't the time for going into line by line stuff on the budget, but top priority there is to get Dark Angel on a full time salary. We can work out the rest of our stipends when it becomes necessary. DA can probably use the castle as full time living space as well."
Union looks over at the hero of Harlem, "Malachi, you said you have a card for that Gyrich fellow from the FBI. We should give him a call sometime in the next few days and see where that leads us. And one of us should make contact with the local authorities tomorrow or the day after."
Malachi nods. "I'll call Gyrich tomorrow, but I suggest someone else contact the local police. They don't always like me much."
"I could see what I can do there," Aegis says. "I've occasionally had reason to deal with them in the past." She grimaces, thinking about the most recent of those dealings. That's going to require some thought, and soon.
Union speaks again, "Does anyone have anything else to bring up?"
Unfortunately this conversation isn't one Ravdna feels capable of contributing to... she's not totally unaware of humanity and earth cultures and but how people view their heroes now in America, real estate value in Manhattan, etc. are all topics that she simply has little or no experience in...and the boredom quickly finds it's way toward her Nordic features.
Rubbing her eyes and then standing she says "Mayhaps we should adjourn to rest for Dumas' funeral?"
Adrian glanced up at the clock and suddenly realized the time. "Right. Sorry. Meeting is adjourned. I'll see anyone who wants to attend at Dumas funeral tomorrow afternoon. Sorry for keeping you so late."
"Not a problem," says Emerald. Again the young man has been silent for some time, and no doubt some of the others thought him asleep. "I'll see everyone tomorrow."
Before the Funeral
After the meeting, Duststorm gets a few financial details from Union, and leaves the meeting.
Janet makes a few personal calls when she gets home before going to bed. She wakes up early that morning, and packs some items in a bag, and goes into the office. She takes care of the morning business, and double checking her rolodex, she takes an early lunch. "Sarah, I probably won't be back this afternoon, if any one calls, I am going to Victor Dumas' funeral."
She ducks into a quiet alley and changes into her costume. _If I'm going to keep wearing this under my clothes, I'm going to have to make me another._
She takes off into the air, and is soon knocking on a 5th story window. A startled older man turns from his desk, and slides the window. "Are you James Capital?" she asks. She know it is, and that he knows her as Janet Van Dyne, she uses her air powers to slightly alter he voice.
"...yes" the man stammers.
"I am Duststorm, of the Avengers." When she says her name, she causes a small breeze to blow through the office, scattering a few papers to the floor. _Just for effect_ she tells herself. "I was told you run a realty office. I am looking to acquire some space." She goes on to explain some of the Avengers purpose, about the trust and what they are trying to acquire and what they are looking for in a base of operations. A visible front with some office space, meeting and storage rooms, and perhaps modest living quarters. She gives him Union's dollar figure to keep in mind, and says that she will be in contact with him in a day or two.
She leaves through the window, flying up and over the building. Slipping back into her normal Janet finds a pay phone and dials a number.
"Longe and Capital Realty, How may I direct your call?"
"Hello Sue, this is Janet Van Dyne, is James there please."
"One moment Miss Van Dyne, I'll connect you." There is a quiet moment before a voice comes back on the line.
"Uh... Hello Janet, How can I help you?"
"You won't believe this James, I was walking down the street and this woman in a white and red costume came flying out of the sky and began asking if anyone knew a good realtor. Since you had treated me so well, I gave her your name, I hope you don't mind" Janet can hear the surprise in James voice. "I just didn't want you to be caught off guard if something strange happened."
"I. uh... Appreciate that Janet, but she was already here. Name was Duststorm, one of those new Avengers. She wanted to rent an office."
"Oh." Janet feigns surprise. "Well if anyone can help them, I'm sure you can."
"Thank you Janet, I hope I can. I guess I had better start looking."
"Ok, James. I'll let you get to it, Good bye."
"Good bye Janet."
_Well, that takes care of that_ Janet smiles proudly as she walks down the street. She heads home to eat a light lunch, and makes a few more phone calls. A socialites day is never done. She checks her watch, and goes in to change again. She comes out wearing a black mini-dress, and thigh high leather boots, and black hat with a veil. _this costume sure puts a crimp in your style. Maybe I am going to have to get long pants into fashion this fall._
Looking properly mournful, yet still stylish, Janet begins the drive to Dumas' castle.
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© 2000 Mark L. Chance et al