581/A Meeting of the Court

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A Meeting of the Court
Date of Scene: 17 March 2020
Location: Conference Room, Hellfire Club, NYC
Synopsis: The Kings of the Hellfire Court plot, with the White Queen and Black Bishop. Plans for a charity ball and Genoshan assistance are made.
Cast of Characters: Emma Frost, Sebastian Shaw, Lex Luthor, Alton Schmidt

Emma Frost has posed:
The Conference Room on the eighth floor is large, and ornate by means of being understated but expensive: a custom-made, hand-carved table made of purpleheart and African blackwood; surrounded by a dozen comfortable but commanding chairs in the same woods with black kid leather padding and platinum tacks. Shaw's girl Friday, Tessa, had already been through and left, after having set crystal glasses at each place with ornate carved purplewood coasters, each with the symbol of the chess piece their drinker will represent worked into them. The glasses are filled with crystal clear water from the furthest Alpine regions for now, though it would not be unheard of for Tessa to be resummoned to bring whiskey or scotch for the table. For now, however, she has left to her own office nearby, easily summoned by Shaw should he feel the need.

The table is set for four "board members" today, though Tessa, in her intelligent way, does not set either king at the head for such a small meeting, rather both across from each other, flanking the empty head of the table. Beside the chair meant for the Black King is a seat for the Black Bishop; beside the White King is a seat for the White Queen. It seems the rest of the court is absent today, but that was not completely out of the ordinary-- they were often busy with their own businesses and plots. Besides, this was an "informal" meeting, for all the formality of the conference room.

Emma had arrived first, early moreso than punctual, and had given Tessa a nod of greeting as Shaw's assistant had left the room, letting the White Queen in to wait for her compatriots. She noted her seat but was yet to take it, waiting for the Kings to arrive.

She hadn't been waiting long when the German steel magnate, Mike Schmidt, arrived, giving her a brief smile and nod of greeting, though he too stood and waited in silence for the kings.

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
Sebastian Shaw arrives just a couple of minutes early. While he's well-versed in the "Make people wait to show your power over them" game, with this particular crowd it's counterproductive to show that lack of respect. He gives a warm smile to Emma and a firm handshake to Michael as he moves towards his seat, though like the others, he does not immediately sit.

"Good morning Emma...Michael. I've been informed Lex should be here any minute now." He cants his head, still looking mostly-jovial, jesting a bit towards Michael, "I hope no air traffic controllers have met untimely ends, but it's good to see you, my friend."

Lex Luthor has posed:
Lex is only a little late, not out of some power game, but have you ever tried running for President? It's a tangle of appointments and obligations and all the rest of the rigmarole of running for public office. However, the Hellfire Club offered a taste of freedom, his entourage reduced to the idespensible Miss Tessmacher and a single secret service agent, assigned since, he was the presumptive and only candidate of the Tomorrow Party.

Which was understandable, he did start the party after all.

Though even Miss Tessmacher and his secret service man were left at the door of the conference room, telling his guard with a smile, "Trust me, all these people are too invested in my winning to do me harm," a beat. "Besides if they tried, it wouldn't be something you could jump in the way of."

Then he strides into the room, actually smiling, "Sebastian, Emma," he says. "Sorry to keep you waiting, you know how it is."

He lets that handle the greetings as he strides to his spot marked by the white crowned coaster, and takes a seat. "I hope you've both doing well, where's our fourth? Still stuck in London?"

Alton Schmidt has posed:
Mr. Schmidt did manage to land, and did manage to spend some time with his son last night, who poked him about aiding Genosha with steel. As soon as that was brought up, Mike's mind was working. Yes, he could do that, yes, he could profit off of it, and yes, he'd have an entire nation in his debt for as long as gratitude endures. Also, he could make his son do as much of the work as possible. He loses no opportunities to train the boy when it comes up, particularly when he came up with the idea. "Well. People were fired, but I didn't have time to arrange anything more permanent. Alton kept me busy since I got here."

As the bishop, he's technically the one with the least power in the room...but he is nonetheless a bishop. And while that requires respect to everyone else in the room, and some appreciation for Emma, who's evidently been taking care of his son on the sly here and there, it's also the dignity of being in this room in the first place. "Sebastian, Emma, Lex, pleasure as always."

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma takes her seat beside Lex, smoothing down the front of her suit jacket absently. "Lex. It's good to see you-- it's been awhile. How's the campaign trail?" She grins a bit. "Tiring, I expect?" She had occasionally watched some of the campaign events both he and his rival for the Presidency, Tony Stark, had put on. "I'm sure that is one of the topics on the agenda for today's meeting, regardless," she glances to Sebastian for confirmation. "I've got some interesting information as well, but it can wait. 'Leader of the Free World' seems to be a more... important issue."

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
Sebastian takes his seat opposite Lex, reaching to take a sip of the crystal clear water and grinning towards the other King, "I don't know that I've ever seen Lex tired. Perhaps that's one of his other gifts." Shaw jests lightly, but his expression grows more serious but a moment later, "That said, Emma is right, so the floor is yours, Lex, if you've anything you need from us or want to share. After that we can discuss the Genosha matter, and Emma's findings." He glances to Michael, "Do you have anything you want to add to our agenda, Michael?"

Lex Luthor has posed:
When Michael enters Lex nods to the man. "Glad you could join us," he says before smiling to Sebastian and Emma in turn. "Years of training," he says of how he never looks tired. "And trying to keep up with a certain superhuman no longer with us," he says.

As for the campaign trail?

"Things are going well, my popularity is surging some after they 'discovered' the full extent of my charitable donations, and three more congressmen and two more senators agreed to run under the Tomorrow Party, no doubt thanks to some of your lobbyists," after all losing the financial support of the people in this room could be crippling to someone's campaign no matter what party.

"We project that we'll have enough of a presence in the House and Senate to swing votes, whoever wins the White House," because there's always a contingency. "Well, more than we already were. And people are beginning to embrace the message of using technology and not just superhumans to defend the world from things like what happened to Genosha. Which is half the point after all."

And of course would make everyone in the room richer as a by product.

Alton Schmidt has posed:
Add to the agenda? "The idea of sending steel to Genosha to help with the rebuild. But that'll come up under the Genosha part of the meeting. I'm also curious if anyone found out the real story of what happened there to begin with." Still, with all the world's satellites and communications networks and...there's a whole lot that had to be executed to nuke a country so completely with the rest of the world not knowing about it. Whatever Mike decides to do about that poor little island by Madagascar, it's probably coming from a neutral, as far as the election goes...place. He's still a foreign businessman after all. "We can still arrange positive PR if anyone wants or needs it." Mike hasn't completely decided if he's going to go through with it, no matter how excited his son was. There's a LOT to consider, much of which is the reason he's here in the states to begin with. However, like most non candidacy issues, it's going to be tabled until an election strategy is done. Getting 'leader of the free world' has to be goal #1.

To the election, though, he can add, "I don't know how reflective it is of the country, but most of that school Alton goes to seems to favor Stark. You'll have to think up something to sway them."

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma frowns. "Lex, I do know some of our foreign subsidiaries are willing to work through the dark money PACs like 'A Better Tomorrow' and 'Technology for the Future' to funnel additional funding to your campaign, above and beyond what we here one the board have been able to send both above board and through our own SuperPACs. I know for now you're not looking for more dark money, but we all know that money is what wins elections. Whenever you say the word, I can discreetly let them know to utilize those SuperPACs. Until then, I think that, as much as the rest of us are going to be supporting the rebuilding efforts for Genosha--" especially given that most of the Inner Circle are mutants-- "you should continue to keep your charitiable efforts minimal. We don't want to alienate the Humans First movement, or any of the other anti-meta groups." While Emma was personally disgusted with those groups, she was not above using them.

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
"Stark gives them shiny toys to occupy their low attention spans. Besides, most of those kids can't vote, and the ones that can usually can't be bothered...I think half of them believe tweeting about it counts as a vote." Shaw says in response to Michael's comment on the kids at Alton's school. "The people that actually manage to most consistently show up are overwhelmingly leaning in our favor." He nods at Emma's assessment of the political implications of the Genosha business, "Politics does make for strange bedfellows. But we can worry about burning the bed with them in it afterwards if it becomes necessary and we can get Lex re-elected without them." He leans back in his chair, "We may need to establish another SuperPAC or two to draw the trail further away if we decide to push more dark money into the campaign. So far things are relatively even. We might want to keep it in our back pocket unless or until the polls start shifting in Stark's favor."

Lex Luthor has posed:
Lex shakes his head at the offer of dark money. "Thank you, definitely agree with Sebastian on this one, best to keep it in our pocket for a final surge after any October surprises," he says before smiling and having a sip of his water. "I'm planning on running a clean campaign, mostly because it will drive Clark Kent and Lois Lane at the Planet insane looking for dirt that isn't there."

He could be petty like that especially when it came to those two reporters.

He nods to Michael in support of what Sebastian says, "Yes, I was never going to win the youth vote, even though they're going to be the ones to reap the rewards of my presidency. Stark is flashy, he speaks their language, but I think when it comes to policy, my health and education programs as well as stepping away from the social conservatisim that usually comes from our side of things will appeal to a broad enough base. Especially in the critical states."

Which had for the last eight years seen an upkick in LexCorp facilities being opened there, and Luthor Cares programs being established.

"As for Genosha, I'll wear my ribbon, give a suitable amount of money, but leave it largely out of the eyes of the press," he says. "Though I would like to speak privately with Genosha's new queen, some of her country's money was being managed by LexCorp Financial and we'd be happy to return it to her personally. I doubt Genosha will be much of a player on the world stage but it never hurts to be owed favours."

Alton Schmidt has posed:
That makes sense...if the youth vote's being conceeded, then it doesn't really matter what Alton tells him about all the kids wearing Iron Man shirts with Starkphones and whatever other gadgets he puts out. And he gets a rather wry look. "Kids only rarely appreciate what we do for them until they're old enough to have kids of their own." Then, sometimes, it starts to dawn on them what all that hard work their parents did was really for.

Running a clean campaign...regardless of why...was likely to have its own rewards. It also means...if there are any Scandals, they'll likely be tied to the OTHER candidate. That also works out well, and can swing all sorts of minds.

The thoughts on Genosha's Queen made Mike stop for a while. Genosha's former King, and current Queen...had certain similarities to his son. And Alton was telling him about what it felt like to sense someone else 'like him.' "Genosha was always a power due to who, and what, lived there. Unless it once again becomes a haven for superbeings, it will be a long time before it regains its status. They're unlikely to move back till they feel safe. If anything, the attack taught them the virtues of being scattered and using the normal people around them as human shields."

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
"Well that seems like a good point to segue into the Genosha matter more fully." Shaw replies, "Having been in touch with Miss Dane, I've agreed to put a great deal of Shaw Industries Earth Moving equipment at her disposal for the purpose of disposing of corpses. I will have a few agents on hand capable of discreetly taking genetic samples from any particularly interesting specimens...never know what you might want to tinker with on a rainy day. Additionally we're sending Water Purification and desalination gear. I've made clear my hope that Genosha will be favorably disposed to our collective businesses going forward." He steeples his fingers as he leans back once more, "She seems amenable. I do think Genosha has the potential to be quite an economic powerhouse relative to its size, provided it is properly guided. Thankfully Emma has told me their new queen seems a bit on the fragile side, and not just due to circumstance. I think we may be able to keep her in hand, so long as we don't overplay our hands." He looks to Michael, "And to answer your question...no, we don't have much in the way of intelligence as to who might be behind the attack. Setting aside that we had little in the way of informants in Genosha to begin with, it's exceedingly frustrating that the answer isn't more apparent, given that most of the people with the capability to engineer an event like this are in the room or otherwise might normally be, and given that none of us are irrational psychopaths, I don't see any particular motive for that scale of destruction from any of our number."

Lex Luthor has posed:
"Very true," Lex agrees about the youth. "But its up to us to drag them into a better future all the same. How is Alton by the way?" he asks.

Then he settles back, fingers steepled considering the Genosha situation, "Sounds like you have the aftermath well in hand, as for Queen Lorna, if she seems fragile, maybe we should arrange for one of our people to make a connection with her, be her support and help her see things our way in the future."

"I suspect we won't have much luck with the other two, too close to Stark and the rest of the costumed set," he says.

As to the intelligence. "None of my people were much use in the matter, I know all my satellites in the region were knocked out, before it happened, and that whatever hit them did so faster than any of the heroes, even the Kryptonian ones, could respond to."

Superman may be dead, but there were still three more on planet and Lex watches them all.

"Which is troubling, because if it wasn't us, there's a very short list of possibilities, and none of them are likely, which suggests a new and dangerous player on the board, one I'd dearly like to know about before we have to face them in earnest."

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma looks dryly at Lex. "If all else fails with the Senate, I could always... nudge any reticient members to seeing things our way." Literally. Like, mind controlling them where they think it's their idea.

She muses, then glances warily at the Black King. "You know, you said none of us are psychotic enough to do it..." she drags out that last word a bit. "But... has anyone seen or spoken to Seline lately?" She stifles a cringe. Seline had been a member of the board for... a long time. She had held the position of Black Queen for... three or four generations now? The public simply saw it as a procession of "daughters" who looked alike... but the Inner Circle knew the truth.

Alton Schmidt has posed:
That level of destruction reminded Mike of a certain German who was rather active from 1930 to 1945. "Targeting Genosha in such a way reminds me of the 'Final Solution' sought in World War II. So my first guess is somebody in Pro Humana? But even among them, who has the resources to shut down satellites for so long and communications from the island just as long? It's one of the most complete decimations of a space in recorded history. I don't think it was alien in origin. Just...deep, seething hate. But I agree, it's likely a new player." Still, the spectre of a man that was Germany's greatest failing is not one he wants to see in the modern world. "According to news reports, one of the Kryptonians and the Lantern arrived fairly close to first, and even they were too late. Oddly late, considering."

On Seline, "I haven't seen her." But then, he wouldn't, as a rule, he's overseas most of the time, and if Alton ran into her by chance, he knows to call his dad about that immediately.

"Alton's doing well, I'm told there's a Prom and a Science Fair he's seeing to. He's also into the idea of sending steel to Genosha overseas, so I'm going to be in town a bit longer than I'd planned on. If he wants to be involved in sending aid, then he gets to learn just how much work it is to really move that level of resources overseas." Mike seems satisfied about that. It's one thing to propose great acts of charity. It's another to get one's hands dirty in the process of actually doing it. He will make sure his son learns the difference. And equally important, how to make sure such massive charitable acts rebound to profit for the family and the company. It's tricky work, and it's easy to stumble. But that's why he's there to guide his son on how to do all that properly.

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
Sebastian Shaw considers Emma's words with a frown, "Selene might have the wherewithal to do it, but her resources don't veer towards the industrial and technological, and my gut tells me that's the source of all this, at least primarily, though I wouldn't discount a touch of magic for good measure. There's still the matter of motive. Selene might think that lives and souls are her playthings, but I find it difficult to believe she would be so brazen unless she were absolutely certain of her success...and for that to be the case we would all have to already be dead."

Sebastian drums his fingers on the tabletop...it's absolutely minuscule, but he does take a bit of comfort from the tiny bit of power he draws from the impacts of his fingertips.

"But no, she's been out of contact for some time, and hasn't been visiting the Club of late. That usually means she's attending to that puppet-show she calls a Kingdom. But it may be worth trying to discreetly check in on her." He considers a moment more, "I'll put Tessa to work on puzzling out the possible identities of Genosha's assailants. If they can do that to Genosha, we're at risk too, if our true natures were discovered." He glances meaningfully to the others present, "I assume she will have authorization to utilize the full breadth of our collective information-gathering apparatus in the search? Which means a degree of heavily hidden and encrypted cross-corporate communication, and a bit of trust that Shaw's assistant won't abuse that access, but then again she never has.

Lex Luthor has posed:
"Good to hear the boy is getting a proper education. If you want him to get an education in politics as well, send him to my campaign office here in New York, my people will see him given duties befitting his status." A sliver of a smile there.

Then he turns to Genosha. "I agree, this doesn't feel like Selene, and it's definitely, not the simpering movie stars and musicians in Pro-Humana, though if it comes from their end of things, it'll be our old friend Peirce, or Trask pulling the strings, not Caradenza."

There's a nod for Sebastian. "Of course, she can use whatever she needs."

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma frowns. "...perhaps I should consider going to Genosha myself-- officially with a charitable contribution from Frost International, of course-- and seeing if there's anything I can sense that might shed some light on this matter." She half-smirks. "As you're right... anything powerful enough to do this to Genosha is powerful enough to target the clubs. I'd rather not find out first-hand with the building coming down on my head."

Alton Schmidt has posed:
Mike nods at authorization...discovering the assailants has to be priority one. "If we discover the identity before Stark's friends do, we can use that too, if we announce who's responsible first. Most of the world expects Stark to find out first...beating him to that punch would put one over on him nicely. But yeah, I'll have authorization put through." Hmmm. He also has to be concerned about the pepetrators of this flattening the school. "They could flatten the school as easily." Which is more of a concern for Mike than the rest of the board, but still, it also seems to suit the pattern of people who blow up Genosha.

Lex's offer also causes Mike to be appreciative. "Yeah, I'll see if I can get him involved. Politics is also an essential part of business." So many things Mike had to learn the hard way...he's going to do his best to make sure Alton learns the much easier way of following the path of someone who's already blazed that trail.

He does nod about Peirce and Trask. Either or both of them are very much the means motive and opportunity sort of guys. "Peirce and Trask would be the first suspects then, or do we want to look elsewhere?"

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
"If Miss Dane is amenable, a visit wouldn't be inappropriate. I was thinking I might drop in myself, but not likely until work has been proceeding for a while." Sebastian replies to Emma, then nods to both Lex and Michael, "I certainly wouldn't cross Donald or Bolivar off our suspect list."

Shaw does glance towards Emma, his face once again serious, even solemn, "Be careful if you do go, Emma. I can't imagine it's going to be a pleasant place for a telepath. Though that being said, if we strategically let Miss Dane become aware of your own particular gift, it may make our alliance all the more well-received. But I leave that to your discretion, it's your secret to tell.

"If I were you, Michael, I'd suggest offering Genosha refining capability rather than raw material. My understanding is that Genosha itself is extremely resource-rich, particularly for its' size. Though if you'd prefer to let Alton puzzle that out for himself if you're letting him take a degree of lead on this, that of course, is up to you." Shaw smiles a bit wistfully towards Michael. How novel to find a father within this particular social strata that actually gives a shit about his children beyond being mere pieces on the board and potential heirs.

Lex Luthor has posed:
"Good," Lex says of Michael sending his son his way. Least he could do for a fellow member of the inner circle.

"I won't be joining you of course," Lex says of visiting Genosha. "But Emma, you may also want to visit the refugee camp in Wakanda, the majority of the survivors are there and you might be able to glean more intelligence from them than conventional questioning might accomplish."

He nods to Shaw on his recomendations but turns back to Michael again. "Might as well be sure its not them before we start chasing phantoms, but, in the end I still think it's a new player, and yes, if we find out who first, it would be helpful to our other goals as well."

Emma Frost has posed:
"Of course, Lex. I'll keep you informed, if and when I do go. I might reach out to Ms. Dane and see when and where she would feel most comfortable with my visit." She sighs at Shaw's caution. "Likely it will be unpleasant, but such is the way of things. Most of life is discomfort."

Alton Schmidt has posed:
Mike grins widely. "That's also among the lessons he needs learn. He didn't research what Genosha actually has available to it as far as resources, so he thought they needed raw materials too. He missed just how deep...and rich...that iron mine actually is. He also missed the opportunity to buy out exactly that iron mine for future reference. The next of kin of whoever owned it will probably just accept a lump sum money for it, never realizing what they traded away. And then there's the opportunities to build the refineries there on a permanent basis..." But then, those are the types of mistakes a young passionate teenager is going to make. And he allows for such errors...he's there to guide him along on his path to understanding what he has and how to use it. And to help him see opportunities for permanent expansion, even in the midst of charity work. Opportunity is everywhere.

Then, on the information gathering..."Very well. Eliminate the usual suspects, and then look for someone new if necessary."

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
"I think that largely concludes the Genosha matter until we have more information. I think that just leaves the matter of a few of our more interesting guests of late? Emma, if you'd care to brief Lex on "Max" and our young Geophysics student with the oh-so-interesting stray thoughts?"

Emma Frost has posed:
"Of course. I'll discuss our young geophysicist guest first. Mr. Alexander Summers, in his final months of graduate school. A mutant-- he has recently come into his powers, and they distress him greatly. I didn't want to delve him too much, so a few drinks were enough to make his thoughts... more open to a light scan. He seems to be ensconced with a group of mutants up in Westchester-- including a couple that have allegedly come from the future. They may be of value to our organization."

Lex Luthor has posed:
Lex nods about the Genosha business, but then turns his attention to Emma fully when she tells them about the new prospect, brows raising sharply at the mention of people from the future being so close at hand.

"Clearly, this Alexander Summers and guests need to be invited to one of our events, Emma, do you think there's any chance you could give him a push to see he picks the right friends to invite. Like you said they might hold a lot of interesting answers for us."

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
"We might go one step further. We could hold a charity gala for Genoshan relief efforts. It's an easy and obvious choice for the Spring annual." Sebastian notes, "See if we can get young Mr. Summers to bring his friends, as Lex suggests. I've been considering offering him an in to one of my paid internship programs. Geophysicists are valuable in our line of work, and I'm sure I can find an angle that's morally palatable for him if he's environmentally conscious." He nods to Emma, "And yes, getting intel from these time travelers could be of critical importance." He frowns, rubbing at his chin in thought, "Especially if they might have some connection to events in Genosha, now that I think on it. The timing DOES seem awfully coincidental."

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma laughs. "I don't think he'd be too difficult into manipulating into coming," she opines. "As for his... companions... I'm quite sure I don't even need to 'nudge' for that. I will if I must, of course. And a charity gala sounds intriguing. I'm sure all the usual faces will show themselves, which will make for a more than successful evening. Of course, we'll want to fill in Ms. Dane... and the Maximoffs, of course. I spoke with Pietro just the other day-- his usual charming self, as always," she says flatly. "But I am sure if nothing else, he'll be amenable, and convince his sisters."

Lex Luthor has posed:
Lex nods, "Sounds like an excellent idea," he says to Shaw. "And I'm sure the queen will be amenable to the fundraiser, plus, it sounds like she could use some time to unwind, and where better than here?" he asks rhetorically.

As to Alex he nods, "Definitely sounds like one we'll want to keep handy, for his friend's sake if nothing else. And you're right Sebastian, the timing does seem a little coincidental."

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
"All right then, that leaves "Max."" Sebastian looks towards Lex, and there's a glimmer of sympathy, "I suspect you won't be thrilled about this one, but it does present some intriguing possibilities, once we know more."

Emma Frost has posed:
Emma places a hand on Lex's arm gently. "I know you are particularly uncomfortable with aliens, but she claims to be one, though from where I'm not sure. She seems to share... //his// talent for telekinetic focused heat." She very much neglects to specifically call a certain dead Kryptonian by name. "She is intrigued by the prospect of joining our VIP, and I think if nothing else she will be interesting... though, as always with the off-worlders, someone we will very much need to monitor. She would be the first off-worlder we allow into the VIP, if we do. Of course... your thoughts on the matter are certainly to be taken into account before we would... bend one of the club's longest held rules."

Lex Luthor has posed:
Lex's brows knit at Sebastian's warning and he sighs, "Another alien?" he asks and sure enough his suspicions are confirmed. "How many more... " another sigh. He gains control of himself, taking a moment to straighten his cuffs. "We should definitely invite her to some functions, I'd very much like to see what she's capable of."

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
"I think that's the wise play. I'll say this: She certainly seemed to have the right attitude for the Hellfire Club. I would suggest that potential induction into the VIP be prefaced with getting a feel for her moral outlook, or lack thereof." Shaw considers, "And depending on how keen her interest becomes dangling the potential membership might spur her to give us useful information, perhaps even technology, if she has access to it. Though she doesn't strike me as one that sort of carrot-dangling will entice for long. Sooner or later we would likely have to put up or shut up, and I'm not entirely sure she'll take it well. I've met Queens with less arrogant bearing." That's pretty rich coming from Shaw of all people, but still.

Lex Luthor has posed:
There's a 'heh' from Lex about Maxima's attitude. "Sounds like she'll be a joy," he says but he nods, "I can see her value though."

He stands up then, "Well, sounds like we've got a lot to do, shall we keep in touch this week, and ensure everything goes to plan?"

Sebastian Shaw has posed:
"Yes, I think we can consider this meeting adjourned." Sebastian rises to his feet, reaching across the table to give Lex a firm handshake and a grin, "Looks like we all have a lot to do." He releases Lex's hand and gives him a nod, "We'll be in touch as soon as we have more information." And with a nod to the others, Shaw turns to head out himself, wheels within wheels already turning in his head, and no doubt those of his fellow "board members."