Description: With the hammer of the United Nations looming over Violet Systems, Lee Chaolan has a pleasant business meeting with one of his benefactors, Fei Rutherford. Fei, the heir of the Rutherford family, had just founded the Rutherford Medical Clinic, and has found the opportunity to gain from Lee Chaolan's misfortune... and of course, visa versa.
It had not been long since his meeting with the painter Alma Towazu, but Fei needed to entertain in his office once again. The heavy oak door of his office in the Southtown building of Rutherford Medical Branch was steady and blocked out the sound of the rest of the hustle and bustle going on in the wake of the press announcement of the Chi Therapy treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
The young man's mahogany desk against the backdrop of Southtown seen through the floor-to-ceiling windows sat abandoned unlike in his meeting with the painter where he had sat to subtly show the different in their social stations. This time, he sat at the coffee table surrounded by the two wooden sofas and several chairs in the center of the large room which was used specifically to entertain equals: leaders of countries, other political figures, and CEOs of companies like the man sitting across from him.
A multi-tier glass cart sat next to them with a plethora of crystal decanters of various aged alcohols which Fei had used to pour both of them very expensive, aged scotch. Figuring that someone in Lee Chaolan's position would not want to imbibe anything that had not been tested for some kind of poison, Fei had thought it prudent to pour them the same drink from the same decanter. It was a subtle gesture, but one that would probably serve to alleviate any potential anxiety.
The two of them sat surrounded by artwork that lined every wall: expensive works that both showed artistic taste and a good amount of wealth. It showed that Fei was not one to throw money at art simply because it was expensive. In two corners of the room there were even marble sculptures sitting on pedestels that seemed made specifically for their place in the room.
Folding his hands in his lap, the scion of the Rutherford Conglomerate crossed his legs with a smile on his face, the cloth of the rich, dark pants he wore rustlign as he moved. "Thank you for clearing your schedule for this meeting," he said with a warm, welcoming tone in his voice. "It seems there is a bit of a wrinkle in our plans that we need to discuss, Mr. Chaolan."
Lee Chaolan was under a great deal of stress, to be sure.
The silver-haired executive was dressed in a dark grey business suit, bearing a red tie and a winning smile that he rarely leaves his house without. And yet, there was a tiredness in his eyes, the crows feet, the shadows underneath. An air of fatigue hangs over the executive, betraying his smile. And as Fei finishes, Lee Chaolan can only respond.
"I would dare say it's more than a mere wrinkle, Fei."
Lee Chaolan keeps a tablet on hand, acting as a kind of digital briefcase for most of his work. For now, it remains covered on the table. He would not even touch the liquor now; less out of paranoia, and more out of the exhaustion. For even the greatest of men, being labeled an enemy of the world was certainly a troubling venture. Lee Chaolan just keeps a hand on his face, fingerly delicately splayed on his cheek, as he continues.
"I would even say I am surprised you were still willing to talk to me!"
Lee Chaolan looks towards the statues, inspecting them, the air of distraction on him. "The United Nations condemning a man to the same level as a terrorist normally makes business relations quite cold. I do expect that they will come to their senses and recant, though. It's all a great big misunderstanding." Lee Chaolan sounded convincing up to that last point, where even his tone seems to give up. A great big misunderstanding.
Maybe the UN finally understood what working with Lee Chaolan entailed?
Truthfully, this was only a wrinkle in their plan--at least, it was just a wrinkle to Fei. Having let the man across from him be the big star in the limelight meant that the Rutherford scion himself could simply hide in his shadow when the UN came calling. This was a battle between the bigger fish, and Fei was content to simply fly under the radar and reap the benefits on his own. While the two of them were business partners, that did not necessarily mean that Lee Chaolan and he were friends or even allies. It meant they were in a mutally beneficial relationship until it was no longer mutually beneficial.
"There is no way I would turn you away from more door even if the UN has come, Mr. Chaolan!" Fei exclaimed, consternation evident on his face. This was a dance, and he would play his part well. "You are a visionary! Without your technology as its basis, Rutherford Medical Branch would not be able to do the research to create safe Chi Therapy!" Tapping the coffee table between them with his index finger, the sound was audible in the room as he used it to accentuate his point. "And this is just the beginning! Think of what more we could do! What other diseases without cures that are out there to be treated!"
Sitting back in his seat with a sigh, the young man shook his head. "Men with great ideas that are too new and too foreign have often been shunned by governing bodies of society," he mused aloud, taking a sip of his scotch. Even if Lee was not going to drink it, he was not about to let it go to waste. "Socrates. Galileo. I find that your example in the press conference is quite accurate. Prometheus bringing fire to man."
Glancing out the large windows at Southtown, Fei swirled the scotch in his glass. It was time to find out more information about just what Lee had gotten him into. Fei had enough information about his particular supply that he could claim a certain amount of deniability, but he did not want to let the technology go to waste. He needed to find out just what the supply was, where it came from, and what the origins of the contention between Lee and the UN were.
Sighing again, he focused his attention back onto the man in seated in front of him. "Don't you think it's about time you laid your cards on the table here, Mr. Chaolan? You and I both know I am probably your only ally left that is willing to stand with you. If we want to make sure to weather this particular storm, I need to know exactly what is going on. Otherwise, I won't be able to help you. And as a businessman yourself, you will understand that I will have to cut myself off where we stand here before I incur any potential financial difficulties."
"Please, Fei, you flatter me!"
Lee Chaolan's feigned smile gives way to a real one. "If you keep it up, I will be forced to make another donation to your fund!" Lee Chaolan was not kidding; billionares tended to fall into this sort of trap. "Still, the United Nations are not entirely wrong. I misappropriate technology made to build weapons, and gave it a civil use. Education. Medical research. Social work. I've even sought to recondition our prisoners into functioning members of society... that is, until this little fiasco happened." Lee Chaolan sighs.
"I am afraid that Violet Systems will not be around much longer Fei."
Lee Chaolan looks out the window as well. "It's technology will endure, I hope. The UN can strike out at me, but to take away the chance to cure children? I doubt even they can be so cynical. They already have restrained themselves from taking out the V-Gage Educator; I have made sure the right associate is using it. They see anti-nationalism stirring in the schools? I see a future for Japan..." He lets out a sigh. "Yes, well, I suppose I must lay my cards out, if a better future is to be secured by you, Fei. This technology you are using?"
"It's designed for Darkstalkers."
Pondering Lee's words on the origins of the technology, Fei stroked his chin with his left hand in thought. "Well, if you misappropriated the technology, you may be in luck," the young man replied. "Intellectual Property rights in international spheres are purposefully obscure. There may not be anything to try you on. But, even if they manage to dissolve Violet Systems from under you, I doubt they could do the same to us if we continued to use the technology since we got it from a secondhand source. At that point, it is likely considered general use technology--especially if you have already spread it to multiple companies." It was a windfall for Fei, but it could potentially spell doom for Lee Chaolan's Violet Systems. It appeared that Lee's initial worries were founded.
"I doubt they would try to come after Rutherford Medical Branch, though, Mr. Chaolan," the young man continued, letting his hand drop back to his side. "I think that you are correct in your assessment that the UN would not want to ruin their public image by stealing the future of children. That is something I am counting on." It appeared the scion of the Rutherford Conglomerate had positioned himself well. The UN had no legal recourse, and it was quite obvious that he would win any argument from the public sphere. The security of the technology in question was all but assured.
Though, even with all of Fei's insight and meticulous preparation, he could not have expected Lee Chaolan's next words.
"Darkstalkers?!" he usually unflappable young man actually gaped. Taking a moment to recover himself, his crystal blue eyes took on an intensity usually reserved for rapid data collection during fights when trying to assess an opponent. This had the potential to throw a large wrench in their plans. He needed to figure out what was at the bottom of this and quick lest it be the cracks in the foundation of their plans that were going to cause the entire thing to crumble without their knowing it.
"Tell me everything, Mr. Chaolan. If we want to secure the future of this technology, I need to know it all. Origins of the technology, source material used for the batteries. Everything."
Plausible Deniability be damned. Now was not the time to shy away anymore. Not if he wanted to have any hope of securing the future.
Lee Chaolan wasn't so confident about this UN.
Robert Armstrong made him nervous. He was threatening much more than Lee had expected. And with him acting as secretary... he may be tempted to make some extreme actions. The UN vote, all against Japan, was equally troubling. Lee Chaolan did not want to say it aloud, but Japan may very well hand him over as a trophy, his head on a silver platter.
Lee Chaolan rubs his neck.
"Well, as you probably know, there have been stories of monsters for a long time. Mere fluff, imagination. The truth is much more... troubling. There are very few monsters in the world, as I have learned. There are actually men, twisted into the shapes of monsters, through a corruption of chi. The very chi used in your therapy can be escalated to create... even further changes. The transfer systems, in their purest state, is exactly that."
"The technology is used to create them."
Lee Chaolan paces, clutching an invisible fruit of knowledge. "The HitBit, to transfer energy from one, to corrupt another. The V-Gage? Originally used to destroy their personalities, and rebuild them into a more docile state. All this is used to create monsters that are replicatable, and utterly loyal to their masters causes. The UN had reached out to many companies, in many countries, to supplement their work. My Combot was merely a mechanical template of transfering fight data from one to another. I just needed a way to transfer their energy, and well..." He shrugs.
"It was right there."
"To make this technology for civilian use was perfectly reasonable. The V-Gage can make suggestions to build tomorrow's scientists, tomorrow's doctors. The HitBit? Why, you yourself have found just how valuable chi transfering can be in the medical field. I could have held off, or been more subtle about it, of course. But..." He trails off. He tucks his arms behind his back, as he -glares- out the window.
"We lost our experiment."
"What experiment?" Fei inquired in response.
The last thing they needed right now was some insane monster spilling into the street wreaking havoc on the populace. That would singlehandedly destroy their chances of having public support on their side when the chips were called in. If Lee Chaolan's words were true and not just the idle ramblings of a madman, there were a lot more problems here than the Rutherford heir had first anticipated. It was as if every time he dug a little bit deeper there were more problems that arose.
Just what kind of house of cards had Lee Chaolan built himself?
Given what the Violet Systems director was saying to him now, it was quite likely that Lee was finished. If even a scrap of some of this got out, there would be no turning back for him. No wonder Lee was so nervous--he was at the tipping point. Any little bit of public opinion could push him over the edge to really becoming public enemy number one. Fei was likely the only thing keeping him in the reputable crowd: he had no political currency of his own to spend anymore.
Despite having Lee Chaolan in the perfect position for a hostile takeover, Fei wanted none of it. It would be like eating poisoned fruit. Violet Systems was likely going to be crushed and anyone who was stucking holding that hot potato would be the one to lose. Despite this, Fei needed this technology to succeed. His company had come too far and invested too much in its success, and they had results! He could not allow the UN to stop at least this part of it.
"And, does this mean the technology that we have could have the side effect of...creating these monsters?" he asked. He did not want to believe that such preposterous things could exist, but still. "You said that a higher dose of this could turn people into this. That would likely be what we consider a Toxic Dose in medical trial tests. That would be a dose that would kill a person. This is still the same as a medical trial. The entire goal is to have a Therapeutic Dose that allows for treatment. There is no drug in medicine that does not have a Toxic Dose."
Still, if the public knew they had the chance to turn into a monster? Public opinion might fall. But, it was not like they were marketing Aspirin. The people who were afflicted by these genetic diseases had no recourse. Having been one of them himself, he knew. He would have tried anything. And so would they.
"It's name was Dizzy."
Lee Chaolan looks around the room after he says it, expecting the rifle, the shot, the assassins to come to silence him. "And do not repeat that name until you hear it in the news. If you hear it in the news. It was one of the weapons, and it has disappeared. We have tried to find it, and... well. What you are seeing right now?" He motions at Southtown. "What you see, and experience? Is far better than what would likely happen in the dark. Everything that happens now happens in the open, rather than happens in dark rooms with dark men doing dark deeds."
"And as for the side effects..."
Lee Chaolan halts, considering to be indirect. But no, no. He had a duty. He answers directly, with that flicker of a chill in the air. "We have not been able to recreate the transformation effects with the civilian model of the technology. At worst, it destroys the nervous system." A very direct description. "But that's along with chemotherapy and radiation, is it not? As you say, there is always a toxic dose. That is part of the reason I wanted to come to you, Fei. I wanted to make sure the research, and research subjects, gets transferred to a trusted expert." He gestures for Fei.
"You are, for now, trusted and an expert." He says with a twinkle in his eye.
Taking a few moments, Fei simply looked at the head of Violet Systems. Crystal blue eyes stripped him bare, weighed his words and compared them to the movements of his muscles: subtle twitches of the eyes and mouth, skin flushing, level of perspiration. How much of what Lee was saying was true? Not to say names aloud on pain of...what? Some assassins in the dark? Just what kind of game was he playing at here? Finally, after fully assessing the situation, he nodded.
"Thank you for coming to me with this then, Mr. Chaolan," Fei replied, his lands that were folded in his lap steepling against his chin as he thought, his elbows propping them up. Taking a few more moments, he appeared to decide on something internally and he nodded.
"Alright then," the Rutherford heir began. "There is much to be done. Since you are currently in danger, we need a failsafe plan to make sure the technology can still be used in the case the UN tries to do some sort of action against you or Violet Systems. If this was a game of chess, and politics usually is, that would be the most obvious next move I would take if I was the UN. They want to snuff out this potential for rebellion as fast as they can, and you are the proverbial first torch, Mr. Chaolan."
Taking a few moments, Fei turned his head to the side and stared out the window at Southtown. How had things come to this? Could he go as far as he needed to for all of them? The citizens of Southtown? The world? "And I apologize for breaking protocol here, but if we're going to keep the technology alive without you there to lead it, I need to know something that is likely proprietary to Violet Systems. I am willing to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement if that would satisfy you, but I doubt you would find it necessary considering I will likely have to execute much of this in your stead." The young man's tone was stoic and matter-of-fact. He took no joy in having to assume this kind of mantle.
"I'll need to know it," he stated with finality. "The source for the Chi Batteries. The energy that my company has been using. The real source. If I'm going to have to run this in case something happens, I need to know how to get the supply I need to keep doing research."
"Oh, the source for the batteries?"
Lee Chaolan looks upon Fei, with grim eyes.
"They are produced in a factory, and then shipped to various V-Gage warehouses associated with the video game. I usually set them up with you via wholesalers... but... I suppose you don't mind being a shareholder." He gives a wink. "We'll have your lawyers talk to my lawyers, I assume you can go there and buy direct, as a favored customer. NDAs are almost droll now, don't you think, with the UN threatening to beat down my door and wring my neck." Lee Chaolan laughs aloud at his impending doom. "As to how they are made..."
"There is nothing really that sinister, actually." Lee Chaolan says, grinning.
"Chi, as you know, has long been considered magic. As we now know, what was one considered magic is a science of it's own. Batteries simply capture the essence of chi into it's natural state; it creates an artificial vessel that stimulates a chi-rich environment, using rare materials mined in the Philippines as a catalyst to seal it. My Combot 2.0s have the same basis; magic is now science, and technology dominates it all. I can't share all the secrets of it; that's for the winner of my tournament." Lee Chaolan gives out a sigh.
"Well, I -hope- so at this rate."
"Yes, NDAs are a bit ridiculous after all of this, but some people are sticklers for rules, so I thought I would inquire anyway," the young man replied with a small shrug of his shoulders, causing the white collared Armani shirt he was wearing to rustle slightly with the movement. Though, when he heard Lee Chaolan specify that he was talking about the source for the batteries, the young man's eyes hardened. While it was good to know what the batteries were made from, that was not something he had a problem with. The battery shells themselves were refillable, so with the supply his company already had, they did not need to ramp up production. Lee had successfully danced around the issue he was really trying to ask.
Holding up a hand to forestall further diversion from the topic he was trying to address, he kept his eyes steadily focused on the head of Violet Systems across from him. Any businessman would become more slippery when discussing topics that he did not want to discuss. And it seemed that this one was likely one of those topics for Lee Chaolan. That was all the more reason for Fei to know. After all, he was tying his company's fate far more closely to this entire endeavor than he would have originally wished.
"While I am glad that your battery frameworks are somewhat ethically sourced, that is not what I am talking about, Mr. Chaolan," the young man stated, his crystal blue eyes still holding steady on his conversation partner. "The battery framework matters less than where the chi itself has come from. If I am to keep doing medical research using this technology, I need to know where /that/ is sourced. Especially if I am to keep the moral high ground in the public eye. You and I both know that is the only thing that will keep the UN from doing more to us both than they are doing already."
Sighing, Fei sat back and crossed his arms. It was a subtle gesture, but one of finality. "Without that, I cannot help you, Mr. Chaolan. If these are sourced horribly, we lose the moral high ground no matter how much we try." And Fei would not gamble himself for technology with an unknown source. There was just too much at stake for him to do so. He wanted to help the children of the world, but if the source of the chi was their own parents or loved ones? The public would never forgive such a monster. It would be far worse than the potential of turning them into Darkstalkers.
Stickler to rules, he says to the man who broke the world government rules.
"Oh. Where they get charged." Lee Chaolan looks away, seeming a bit.. embarrassed. It was a delicate topic, the source of the energy. It was... one of the morally shady areas. And he did not want to sully Fei's presence with such sausage-making details. "Well, I had hoped the euphemism would have distracted you. Oh well, I suppose it's time to talk about the sausage." Lee Chaolan looks out the window, imagining each of the sources. It was... well, the scale was really before him "At this time?"
"Roughly the entire country is a source."
More detail, Lee Chaolan.
"On a lower scale, every single user of the V-Gage and V-Gage Educator is having their chi drained, and then when they swap out their battery charges to power their V-Gages, the stockpile is then processed, and used internally. And believe me, people will play a lot of video games if you let them. We are even leeching chi from the King of Fighters fights, though our processing has failed thanks to those damned ninjas. Our parent G-Corp company is working on harvesting it from the planet, but, well, they are learning that there are consequences to that. On a larger scale, we have found that paying people to sit and play video games works too; we even have a wide-scale production with our homeless outreach programs, processing the homeless of their chi, and paying them well below their worth for it. Yes, yes, you can scold me." Lee Chaolan sighs, as he side-glances at Fei.
"And we even do experiments on them, with their... mostly legal consent."
He makes the gesture, showing just how mostly it was.
For the first time in the conversation, Fei snorted with a wry smile.
"Well, since I am one of the people making the sausage, it is high time I know what is going into what I am making," he replied somewhat sarcastically. Though, as Lee Chaolan kept speaking, the young man's eyes grew wider as he began to understand the ethical problems that the man opposite him had been skirting repeatedly. This was not just problematic.
This was a /huge/ problem.
Running his right hand over his face, he sighed. "This is quite a stack of crap you've stuck yourself in, Mr. Chaolan," he said. "If the UN finds out about this, your public credibility is gone. The best I can do now is try to clean up the ethical dilemmas here that the technology is mired in right now. And I recommend we take care of this as soon as possible before it is too late." How had Lee gotten himself so mired in this, Fei had to wonder. Was it because he had blinded himself to the reality of the situation with his own ideals? It was a lesson to the young man in the consequences of following his passion too far.
But, that didn't mean he was about to give it up.
Taking a few moments to think about the situation and mull it over in his mind, he sat up straight and tapped against the oak coffee table in front of them to mark his verbal points. "If you want this to survive public scrutiny, we have to clean this up better than this," Fei stated seriously. "Your ass isn't covered nearly as much as it needs to be. We can get away with some of this, but not all of it at this rate. We need to change this."
Doing some rough figures in his head, he continued. "If the entire country is currently the source, that is roughly the number of people we need. Skimming energy from the public itself is forgivable, and if we're already paying people to play the videogames we can get away with that one as well. The former is a relatively small amount while the latter are alread being paid. G-Corp harvesting from the planet I will come back to with you in a moment, but exploiting the homeless is the point that is going to kill you in the court of public opinion." The last point he hammered home with his index finger onto the coffee table before folding his hands back his lap. "The public has a soft spot for exploited populations like that, so make sure you cross your Ts and dot your Is with that. You need to make sure you have their legal consent at least and pay them. Below market value is fine, but don't obviously exploit them. I know it's difficult considering the amount of the population you require to charge the batteries, but on that topic I have an idea."
Resting the side of his face against his right index finger and hand, the young man stared off at a painint on the wall of the room as he mused. "Have you ever considered outsourcing, Mr. Chaolan?" Fei began, letting loose with the creativity that elevated him to such a high position in the Rutherford Conglomerate at such a young age. "Right now, there is a job shortage in the countries of the world--especially the more poor ones in South and Central America as well as Africa, and probably Southeast Asia and maybe China depending on their costs. Those countries would be more than happy to use their populations to fill our chi batteries for payment. We could also use both our own prisons as well as the prisons abroad. As long as we pay them enough that we would not be considered exploiting them, it should be fair. Not to mention that by basically giving jobs to these other countries, they in turn will become our allies and weaken the UN's ability to come after us. The UN is only strong if they are united. If they are conflicted, they will be less able to exert their influence. Two birds with one stone."
And thus Lee Chaolan was treated to an insight not many people got to see firsthand--the brilliant genius and downright terror that was the mind of Fei Rutherford, the heir to one of the most powerful conglomerates in the world.
It was a conundrum.
Right now, everything in Japan, had a strong chance of not being in Japan in the near future. The executive had pondered and pondered on this, and the best solution he had come up with is to hand it off to other corporate entities. He needed a buffer, a barrier, a shield. And then Fei touches on the heart.
"Outsourcing..." Lee Chaolan mulls. "Pay the poor and the destitute to have a comfortable job sitting in place and getting their chi drained. It's not harmful, at least, in the medium term as long as you keep the retrieval low, and the population is greater than Japan. If Japan gets gutted... then the program would endure overseas. I like it Fei. But." He raises a finger.
"We would need to play carefully."
""I'm not functionally able to do anything out of Japan right now. The moment I'm found out of the country? They will snatch me up. But you..." He gestures at Fei. "...are not so restrained. If you can push the Play to Work and humanitarian outreach programs overseas, I can give you a blessing on full creative control on how you market it; I certainly don't have a patent on the business model. You can use my technology to harvest your own chi for research overseas! Your company certainly has sweat shops overseas, you can hook some of your employees in, and see how it handles." More ideas, but, well, ideas are cheap.
"What would you need from me, Fei?"
Lee's idea was a start, but Fei did not want to make the same mistake that his predecessor had in getting too close personally to the people he was draining chi from. He needed degrees of separation and enough deniability that there would be little if any blowback on himself. That was a lesson he had learned by watching the swift rise and fall of the Violet Systems head. While he wanted to follow his ideals, he needed to protect himself as well. Using his own employees as a start would not work out. But, using medical research as a cover would.
"I think it best if the beginning and end of this is steeped in medical research rather than branching it out into other parts of the Conglomerate," he stated in a thoughtful tone of voice. The last thing he wanted was to invite a potential seed of destruction further into his family's companies. If this new technology of Lee Chaolan's ended up being a virus that caused any company touching it to rot, Fei could cut off a hand of the Conglomerate (namely Rutherford Medical Branch itself) without affecting the rest of the Conglomerate. "I do think I can push the medical research international claiming human trials for several hundred genetic diseases. We can declare a large Control group and use their untainted chi. Since we have had public success with one genetic disease, there will be little resistence to it from other countries. Especially if the participants are being paid--well under market price, of course."
Glancing up from where his eyes had been staring off into space, the Rutherford heir focused on the man sitting across from him once more. "What I need from you are several things, Mr. Chaolan," he said, tracing the rim of his glass of scotch with an index finger which he subsequently held up to begin counting the points. "First, I need any paperwork you have on these subjects. If anything happens to you, Violet Systems will not be far behind. The UN or even Japan might seize your files, and we can't have that happen right now." The middle finger came up to join the index finger as he continued. "Second, I need the data you have on this 'Dizzy.' If there is any sign of this creature that may alter our perception in public opinion, I need to know everything about it in order to get out ahead of it should its spectre arise."
As his ring finger came up to count the third point, Fei's face grew ominous.
"Now, the third," he said heavily. "For this plan to work, we need to have a clean slate. A get out of jail free card. We may not be able to outrun all the potential accusations. If this is to survive, it is possible that we may have to cut off a limb. So, I apologize for having to ask you this, but it bears being said."
"What do you value more, Mr. Chaolan? Your dream or your company? I need you to choose."
Letting the silence hang on the air for more than a few seconds while he paused, Fei let his hand fall back to his lap and settled back in his seat before continuing. "Since you are associated with Violet Systems and the UN is coming after you, it is possible that Violet Systems will plunge downward to an unrecoverable point. I may not be able to clean all of the ethically unsound actions you have taken. And that may tarnish whatever work I can do with Rutherford Medical Branch. But, if an accusation comes and I can use Violet Systems as a scapegoat by pointing out ethically unsound practices that we have since cleaned up after finding out about them, Rutherford Medical Branch comes out smelling like roses."
Steepling his hands, Fei hammered home the point. "Your technology, your dream of a world improved can survive, Mr. Chaolan. But, for it to do so, your company might have to die." The young man quirked an eyebrow at the man sitting across from him. "Are you willing to make that level of a sacrifice for your cause?"
Thinking about it logically, Fei's point rang true. But, the person who stood to gain the most from it was the young man himself. If Violet Systems went down, his company's market share would increase. But, would it not increase anyway? But, given all of Lee Chaolan's bad press recently, it may also only be a matter of time before Violet Systems fell as well. Wouldn't it be better to sacrifice something failing in order to improve the chances for the better future for which he claimed? And beneath all of that, was that this was Fei's way of testing the Violet Systems head. How much dedication did he really have to the cause he proclaimed so much to hold dear?
If one wanted to see the measure of a man, they needed to test him to see just how much he was willing to give up to reach his goal.
Only three demands.
"Paperwork is simple enough." Lee says, circling through the room. Naturally, there were some examples that were undocumented. But Fei wouldn't know about them, anyways. As for the data on Dizzy..." Lee Chaolan grits his teeth. "I am... highly limited on what I know, but I can share what I can. Understand that the knowledge is fatal, Fei." He says with a grave tone. "I've damned myself with only a glimpse." He shakes his head. "You know that you won't be the last person to have that knowledge. As for the last one..." But the third item... that would be the heaviest of all. Would Lee Chaolan be willing to give up his company, his Violet Systems, for all this?
"Oh, certainly." Lee Chaolan says dismissively.
It was as painless as everything. "Money, power, wealth; it's all so easy. But ambitions? Dreams? Are much harder. The world is already rebuilding itself around what's I've done; and if I have to sacrifice a mere company to make another dream come to fruition? That's like tossing away used up piece of gum. My thumbprint will never leave my works. I've built it once, I can always build it again. If I have to start again to earn my next billion, so much more in my favor!" There is one thing to describe confidence. Lee Chaolan gives his wink to Fei, describing the impossible of losing everything, and coming back with everything plus interest. The worst part was?
With that thumbs up, it almost seemed as easy as Lee said it was.
Fei blinked at the ease in which the head of Violet Systems was willing to let his entire company fall apart. Most men would be loathe to give up something they had worked so hard to build and maintain. But, it seemed that either Lee was not worried because it was easy to do such things for him or he truly believed in what he was doing. Perhaps both. Regardless, it seemed that the Rutherford heir had chosen the correct person to work with. Nodding to Lee Chaolan, Fei simply extended his right hand across the table toward the man to shake in agreement.
"It seems we are in accord then, Mr. Chaolan," the young man stated simply. "I will do what I can to handle things while you are gone and progress the plan forward to a more worldwide scale. The UN will have a harder time dismantling the entire project once it spreads to their member countries and their actions start losing support from within. Please send whatever information you can to me as quickly as possible. We need to be prepared for any eventuality."
Thinking back to what had been said about Dizzy and the Darkstalkers, he added, "And I don't expect to come out of this unscathed myself. It is better to be forewarned with the information regarding this experiment than be caught unawares and unprepared. I choose to be forearmed. As I know you would and have alread done yourself given the situation in which you find yourself now."
"When I am gone~" Lee Chaolan says, almost laughing.
Of course, he would be gone soon. One way or another; he would be betrayed. But that was all part of the plan, after all. You didn't plan for the next move, you planned for the outcomes, and let the moves make what they will into it. Lee Chaolan did believe, in the end, he would make it out of this.
He just hoped it would be alive.
"You make it sound like I am going to be killed soon." Lee Chaolan gives a wink, and then extends his hand to shake Fei's own. "Just remember, this isn't like textiles. You are entering a world of danger and intrigue. You will get the information you need, but..." A twinkle shimmers in his eye.
"Are you sure you can handle it?"
"'Great men are often those who have greatness thrust upon them,'" the young man quoted in response. "It does not matter if I think I can handle it, Mr. Chaolan. It matters whether or not I do it. And in that I doubt you will find a person with more passion for the matter at hand." Fei's blue eyes seemed to contain the depths of the ocean as he continued. "And it would do you well to remember that Rutherford is a conglomerate. Not a single company. Our main assets may be textiles, but those are also used in parts of weapons manufacturing for prototype fabrics containing tensile strength to repel bullets as well as branches that contain many different cutting edge industries like the Medical Branch you have been dealing with personally. And I have been raised in that world of intrigue since I was born."
Clasping Lee's hand, Fei shook it in a firm grip. "It seems we have an agreement then." Their meeting seemed to have covered the most pertinent topics for now, but he studied Lee as he sat in order to ascertain there was nothing more that needed to be imparted before they ended their face-to-face conversation. Considering Lee's position, there were probably many things he still needed to take care of in the contingency the UN tried do so something drastic to him while he was on Japanese soil.
Solemn words, from a solemn man.
The silver-haired executive nods his head, as he locks his eyes confidently with Fei's own. The future was his now; at least, for now. The UN would have to trade a lot of blood if they wanted what they wanted. If they wanted to take away the medicine of sick children? Then let them. They will bleed out first before they bleed out Lee's vision. To that, Lee Chaolan had only one response to the man.
Lee Chaolan flashes Fei a thumbs up, giving him a wink.
Log created on 19:08:52 09/10/2017 by Mian, and last modified on 23:48:57 09/11/2017.