1963-10-17 - Looking For Leads In All The Wrong Places
Summary: Janet is still very upset about the government's decision to disband the Avengers, she began an initiative with Howard Stark for an alternative team, now she's trying to use her rich Hellfire Club connections to see if she can get Emma Frost on board as well.
Related: What Comes After Avengers
Theme Song: "Land of Confusion" by Genesis - https://youtu.be/EGMTGkhWrLM
wasp emma 

Janet Van Dyne has always carried the notorious reputation of being a scandalous socialite wholly invested in parties, dalliances and spending her late father's fortunes on frivolous things to pamper herself. Those who are Hellfire Club members like herself, know there's quite a bit of truth in those rumors, as she certainly enjoys living it up at the club where the rich can enjoy life without the watchful eyes of those who would disparage them for it.

So it may have come off as odd to Emma Frost, as prominent as she is among the club's personnel, to get asked to a private meeting by Janet.

With the meeting set, Janet arrives in a timely manner for once, and is ushered towards the study set up for her private meeting with Emma Frost. As she enters the room, she offers a amicable wave of her hand, "Emma Frost! I'm so happy you agreed to see me, I have a matter I couldn't wait to discuss with you!"


The icily-demeanored platinum blonde in white arches one pale eyebrow slightly, and then stands from her own seat to welcome Janet with a reasonable minimum of decorum and social niceties, including clasping hands with the other woman and the era-appropriate cheek-kissing, even if only of the air variety. "Good afternoon, Ms. van Dyne. Welcome, of course. Is there anything you might wish for your comfort? A drink or other refreshments?"

All of those blandishments offered and settled, Emma gestures the other woman towards the other available plushly upholstered chair in the alcove of the study, and then settles herself once more, legs crossed at the knees with perfect aplomb. "Now that all of that is taken care of, perhaps you might do me the honor of letting me know what it is I might do for you?" Emma inquires, already delving subtly into the streams of the other woman's emotions, reactions, and surface thoughts to help prepare herself for all that is to come; Emma never fails to use every advantage available, regardless of circumstance.


Janet follows through the social dance of the would-be kissing, so formal and fake, it is actually done more so in the air then upon the cheek, as she comes nearer to Emma. "Well…I am a sensible woman, I would never refuse a drink," she says with a bright smile, "I will have gin and tonic."

Moving along to settle down across from Emma, mimicking the other woman's form, even if she's normally less focused on decorum, Janet speaks quietly, clearly feeling like she's talking of important matters, even if Emma might not necessarily agree, "Ms. Frost, I trust you heard of the President's decision, disbanding the Avengers…?" She asks a leading question, looking intently at Emma's visage, uncertain of the woman's involvement in the world of heroes with the business she has to attend to. Janet has always felt wanting when looking at successful women such as Emma Frost, and it's likely why she had the idea of approaching her with this discussion. Something Howard Stark might not be too pleased about.

And while Janet has yet to introduce the subject of the meeting itself, Emma with her telepathy would already pick on the upcoming question. Janet is actually the Winsome Wasp who served on the Avengers, she is carrying unbridled anger from the team's disbandment, and is plotting to make a new team with Howard Stark. One detached from government authority.


The very proper platinum blonde signals to one of the staff, and a perfect gin and tonic is delivered for Janet, with a white wine delivered to Emma, while the women in question continue with their discussion. The discrete staff remain only long enough to do their duties, and disappear to suitable distance thereafter, reasonably assuring privacy.

"National and international news rarely escapes my attention, Ms. van Dyne. Yes, I am aware." Emma answers, gently but with the same cool distance that is her norm. "I presume you will be getting to why this particular event is worthy of mention to our meeting today?"


Janet looks quite pleased with the service at the Hellfire Club, it really is one of the main reason it's her prime lounging spot. Not so much the prestige, as the second to none service and luxury the club lavishes on its members. "Mmmm," she can't help herself but savor the taste as she has a sip, "heavenly as always. Just perfect." But then it's back to business when the staff clears the room again. "I should have known a woman of your stature wouldn't let something like this go by her," Janet feels a bit foolish at ever having doubted Emma might not have heard. She's much more used to her fashion circle of friends, who rarely take interest in world news that venture beyond textile and style.

Janet nods as Emma prompts her for the topic, and it's easy for Emma to tell how the simple question unnerves Janet, who feels she might be wasting Emma's time, "of course! Well," her voice sinks down to a whisper again, "I'm not sure whether it is wise to tell you this…but I was, somewhat involved with that Avengers team," she winces a bit after saying that much, peeking at Emma cautiously, uncertain how she might take that bit of news. "To be honest, I feel the President has made a huge mistake surrendering to the pressures of the other countries of the world. The very same our country saved from the axis powers not so long ago!"

Janet has another sip of her drink, calming herself down, as Emma surely doesn't need Janet to go on a tirade. Clearing her thoughts, she then mentions, "Howard Stark agrees with me, and we've been working on setting the ground for a similar initiative to the Avengers, only detached from the government entirely. Super powered people, working to protect the less gifted, because that's what's right! What do you think, Ms. Frost? I sure do hope you'll find it a sound endeavor…or at the very least, a worthy one. And if you do…would you then, perhaps, consider lending a hand?" A very polite way to ask for financial support no doubt, but Emma undoubtedly has no reason to think Janet might suspect she is a powered individual capable of serving on a super team.


Emma sees it coming, almost as much from Janet's speech as from her thoughts, and she braces herself for it as much as possible. Still, the whole idea wafts over the blonde like a cold shower, and she's a frigid one to begin with. Braced, though, Emma does not react when Janet reveals her own involvement withe former super team, nor does she make a face when Janet finishes her speech. Always under control, Emma allows nothing in her appearance or demeanor to give herself away.

Emma is rather grateful, yet again, that her own super-powered status is unknown.

"I appreciate passionate intent as well as the next, Ms. van Dyne." Emma offers, with a cool blandishment that gives no hint of her true feelings. It's not hard to guess why so many consider Emma a frigid woman and a cold fish. "But despite my company's multinational involvement, I see no natural synergies with our efforts in communications technologies and aeronautics and an effort such as this. I really do not see what Frost International could have to offer such a project."

Just so long as van Dyne remains unaware of the special nature of many of the students offered scholarships to Frost Institute, Emma will remain happy and calm, if terribly non-committal.


"Well…" Janet starts, visibly discouraged by the tone of Emma's reply, "as you said, your company does have expertise in aeronautics and communication technologies. The Avengers were well equipped by…" and finally Janet's mind catches up to her mouth. Is she even supposed to mention SHIELD was highly involved with the Avengers? It doesn't really matter, as Emma can glean that much from Janet's thoughts alone, as she stutters to a stop, and silences herself by resorting to finishing her gin and tonic.

"What I meant to say, Ms. Frost, is that it doesn't have to be official…" Janet corrects her approach, "you could, if you so deigned, offer support outside the scope of your company. A personal offer of backing, if you saw fit…" naturally, Janet doesn't even realize how much she should thank the stars that Emma seems set to decline her request. Because Howard Stark would likely want to remain a sole entity behind this new team they're devising, if it even manages to get formed in the first place.

One thing that is clear, is that Janet, while no mind reader, can sense not only Emma's demeanor, but also a certain chill as if the room itself somehow transported to the arctic. Emma truly can be intimidating, or cold, was it? Either way, Janet finds herself feeling like a little girl next to an accomplished woman, which makes her prior excitement wilt. "I'm sorry, Ms. Frost, maybe it was too brash of me to ask you…I apologize, I hope this won't affect my standing in the club?"


Emma lets Janet flounder a bit; it wouldn't do to admit that she's doing so simply because she wants to see how the other woman will respond, but it's true. She doesn't know Janet terribly well, though she is getting to know her more with every minute spent in her presence. It is enlightening to see how the other woman responds to such a reversal of fortune.

"I understand the motivation of wishing to see a new team formed to fill the vacuum left in the wake of the Avengers disbanding, Ms. van Dyne." Emma offers, stepping into the echoing silence of her previous passivity. "I even applaud the enterprising nature of your interests. But I fail to see the benefit to myself, or my company, in backing such an endeavor." Cold and calculating to the last, is Emma Frost. What a bitch, right?

"I pay my taxes, as does the corporation. Those monies are directed by those with the authority to do so, for the protection of myself and others, including from such threats as the Avengers dealt with. If those monies are no longer being directed to the Avengers, then surely they will be directed to some other project to meet the same need. I cannot imagine even those so dim as mere public servants would believe those threats have evaporated."

Emma goes quiet a bit, letting Janet flounder, and then shakes her head. "You need not apologize, Ms. van Dyne. You have done nothing wrong. You came to me with a proposal. It is up to the both of us to decide of that proposal is of mutual benefit. It is the connections made possible for such ventures that drives the Club." Al of which is true, but Emma is sure she never wants to see van Dyne get any hint of the Inner Circle's presence or activities.


Janet still appears a bit stunned, in her mind she always visualized Emma being nothing short of delighted to land a hand. In Janet's world, being an Avenger was the first time in her life she felt like she meant something, well, the first since she avenged the murder of her father. That little tidbit never reached the news, and as she contemplates it, Emma might glean some more information about the young Ms. van Dyne, if she so chooses. But either way, Janet wants to go back to that feeling that she matters. Beyond occasional praise on the pages of fashion magazines.

Putting her empty glass aside, Janet nods, "there are threats out there, Ms. Frost, the Avengers should have never been disbanded. I've…I've…," she keeps fighting with herself not to blabber too much, she still is far too lacking in experience when it comes to these matters. But without teammates, she has no one else to share with anymore. Not really. "Ms. Frost, there are people out there. Truly evil people, that want nothing more than for the world to go up in flames…"

Standing up, Janet looks over at Emma and inclines her head at her respectfully, "I appreciate your time, Ms. Frost, I will seek out other means. In the meantime…if you happen to know about super capable individuals, could you please ask them to contact me? I'd really appreciate at the least that much help, no harm in that, right?"


Emma stands to match Janet, and inclines her head respectfully in turn. "I will make sure to deliver your invitation, Ms. van Dyne, should I come upon any such individuals. I confess, however, I suspect most would endeavor to do what they could to hide their true natures, even from such as I." Which is all true, of course. Then there are those Emma already knows, and knows all too well would have no interest in anything as goody-two-boots as becoming part of some new Avengers initiative. "I wish you luck with your efforts. And thank you again for stopping by. I do hope to see more of you at the Club functions in the future."


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