Princess Tutu Fan Fiction ❯ The Madrigal: Princess Tutu and the Secret Six II ❯ Chapter 11
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That same Saturday morning, other kinds of problems were cropping up. In one corner of Metropolis sat a rather high tech industrial complex. A tall sign sat prominently in the complex big enough to be seen by most of the commercial district of the city. In front of that sat the tallest building in the city—Lexcorp Tower. It stood about 1,500 feet high, windows from top to bottom, looking like a twisting pyramid. It wasn't the tallest building in the world, but it was one of the top four, just ahead of Sears Tower in Chicago. In this building sat all the offices that ran the business empire headed by one Lex Luthor. He was a man now in his late 50's, but he was still quite the handsome man. He cut an imposing figure. He stood about 6' 3”, and was well built for his age, even for a young man! His face and eyes were sinfully attractive, and the fact that he had not one hair on his head did not make a difference. Having once been the president of the United States only seemed to hone his ability to run his empire. The only regret he had about having been president was that he could not use that power for what he really wanted, and something to which his empire was dedicated, though almost everyone involved with it did not know what that was. Ever since the incident involving Superman that caused him to lose all his hair, he realized that these so-called superheroes were rogue factors that could not be controlled or even control themselves. He was foolish for even trying to come up with immunity from kryptonite for Superman, for it caused him to lose his hair—thanks to Superman. He had always had mistrust for them, but that made it worse and final. Now his whole life was dedicated to the elimination of the superheroes, and his conglomerate was dedicated to that purpose.
It was early Saturday, about the time the kids were eating breakfast in Fawcett City. He actually lived on the top two floors, the penultimate floor being his living and recreation area, and the top his office, right in the point. It was there he stood, with navy blue carpeting, various tropical plants about the room, with a rosewood desk done in colonial style. On it sat about four telephones, his computer keeping track of the stock, mercantile, and foreign exchanges. He had an elaborate stereo playing some relaxing jazz on the old vinyl 33 1/3 rpm records. It had the finest speakers, and the ability to play any medium, sitting in a nice tower rack. He liked the pure sound that vinyl provided, but he did have it rigged to remove all the hiss and pops before it reached the speakers. Along with that was a large flat screen he used to watch the news, some TV, and could also be used for his computer and cyber video meetings or calls. He sat behind the desk in his executive office chair that looked more like a throne, looking over the records for the land he was observing, wondering who was bankrolling them. If he could buy that one out, he could just cut the kids out, and leave it at that. As if an answer to this, one of his phones rang.
“I have a call from Gotham City, Mr. Luthor,” said his secretary.
“I wonder what Wayne wants now,” he thought, frustrated. However, he decided to put it up on the screen, so the camera could be on him behind his desk, in an effort to look intimidating. On the screen came Bruce Wayne in a nice gray and pinstriped suit, sitting in a similar position behind his desk in Wayne Manor. His, however, looked more gothic and elegant than Luthor could have dreamed. “Hey, Lex, how you hittin' `em?” asked Bruce.
“Things are well,” Lex responded cordially, “I see you're getting some extra leg work in as well today.”
“You know me,” said Bruce, “My work is my play, and vice versa!”
Lex was not one for cordialities with his financial rival, but he also knew his business etiquette, and kept it polite. “So, with what may I help you?”
Bruce was not in a mood with which to be toyed, especially about what Lex intended with the school and the new theater. “Well,” said Bruce, getting down to business, “I hear that you spoke to some of my beneficiaries about purchasing some land from them.”
Lex played dumb and said, “Which ones would they be?”
“Ones who cosigned with me on a theater deal,” said Bruce, grinning broadly.
Right away, Luthor knew what was going on, and it made him all the more upset. However, he contained it, and said, “Well, that helps. I've been looking for the one with whom they cosigned.”
“And for what reason might that be?” asked Bruce in a mock pleasant tone.
“I have a personal interest in that land,” said Luthor, leaning on his elbows with an equally sarcastic grin, “and I was just wondering how much it would cost for you to let me buy out the contract.”
“I don't quite think you understand, Luthor,” said Bruce. Lex knew that candor, especially when Wayne started to call him by his last name. Luthor kept his cool and said, “What is there to understand? Would it be too much of a problem for me to build them a new one right in Fawcett City? I am sure it would be better than living in a cave. Now, who would want their headquarters in something like that?”
Bruce managed to stifle a laugh, and then said, “It's not that, really. The thing is that it not only acts for their shows, it helps the school there. The students are going to be used frequently by the Pas De Six to help them get some live fire time on their credentials. This will aid them greatly when they graduate.”
“Are you saying it is part of that school?” probed Luthor, becoming less and less amused as the time passed.
“It's not part of the school,” said Bruce, “and what's more, the kids have expressed to me that they wanted to keep it close for that purpose, and the surroundings agree to them.”
Luthor was becoming more businesslike, and said, “Bruce, this land is important to me. I…”
“It's important to them as well, Lex,” said Bruce, matching Luthor's demeanor, “That's why they…we…are not selling.”
Luthor now became firm towards him, (as if this was intimidating to Bruce,) and said, “All it takes is a little persuasion…”
Bruce cut him off again, and said, “Even if they said, `yes,' I have the final say as cosigner. Since it was my money on the loan, they would have to follow my rules, although I am not tyrannical about it.”
“Mr. Wayne,” said Luthor, now talking to Bruce like a subordinate, “I don't think you understand my reach, and I don't think you ever have. Remember who helped Gotham city out of the `No-Man's-Land' incident.”
“I remember well, Mr. Luthor,” said Bruce, not liking Luthor's tone, “and remember how I reciprocated by helping to finance your campaign. I owe you nothing.”
Luthor hit his desk with both hands and stood up, thundering, “YOU OWE ME EVERYTHING!”
Lex then calmed himself, but did not stop his angry tone, “Bruce, its simple: either play ball with me, or I go behind your back. All I have to do is offer them the right sum, pay off the balance, and then you have to deal with me directly! I would then own that theater outright! I would rather you in on the deal than cut out on it!”
Bruce just sat their, fingers clasped on his chest, smiling like a Cheshire cat, and saying, “You know, I love seeing you desperate like this, Lex. The problem is not me. You are going to find out that they are not going to sell. It's not me you have to worry about. Besides all that, you now have me curious about what is on that land. I think I will have the Wayne Foundation research team check the place out. I think the whole world could benefit from this knowledge. Have a great day, Lex. See you on the courses!”
“Wayne, don't you hang up…!” snapped Luthor, but it was to no avail. If he were to find out, then it was over. The government could come in at that point and take the whole thing over. Because of where things sat, they could stop any drilling there, and all would be for naught. He did not like being outfoxed, and he now began to devise ways to destroy Wayne Enterprises, because that conglomerate kept getting in his way.
As he began to stew and steam, his secretary buzzed him again. Lex said, “No calls right now, I…”
“This is Dr. Savannah,” said his secretary, “I think you need to take this call.”
Immediately, he had it on screen, and he said, “I trust you have some good news, because I am in need of it.”
“Yes,” answered the doctor, “We have the samples, and we are in the process of finding out how things are.”
“This is actually splendid news,” said Luthor, “However, what are you trying to find out? What is there to know?”
“Well, Mr. Luthor,” said the doctor in a far more cordial tone, “Oil is like a fine wine in the sense that it has to age properly before it can be used.”
“What are you saying?” said Luthor, hoping he would not have to make the Alka-Seltzer company any richer.
“What I am saying is that this is standard procedure,” said the doctor, “We need to see if it is ready, or needs to sit longer.”
“So, everything is okay?”
“Continue with trying to obtain the land. You cannot chance everyone losing interest in your interest to the town and school.”
Luthor concurred and thanked Dr. Savannah for the information. When he hung up, Luthor put some thought to it, and then said to himself, “You know, Lex, no matter what, you may still turn a profit from this!”
He then sat down grinning, plotting a few contingency plans. “No, Mr. Wayne,” thought Luthor, “It's not over…it's far from over!”
By this point, the events from the toy shop were occurring, and now the girls had a situation on their hands. They began to try and just walk away, but Uzzura followed them tightly, playing and singing her little songs the whole way. This led right to the music store. When they entered, the boys were looking over some new instruments. Mytho was very impressed with the synthesizer violin, and he walked up to Rue and said, “This would come in handy. I wouldn't need a mic on stage for it. I just…Rue, what's wrong?”
She had a plain, and yet annoyed, look on her face when she hiked her thumb over her shoulder saying, “See for yourself.”
As he did, the rest of the girls filed in with Poe to the sound of a small snare drum. She had caught the girls' cadence and was playing a beat to that. She looked at the boys and said, “You're friends of girls-zura!”
The three now stared in stunned amazement. They did not know what to say. She then got a curious look on her face, and said, “Why do you all look like fish face-zura?”
She then brushed into one of Poe's tail feathers and said, “Ooh…its soft-zura!”
“What…is…that…thing?” asked Fakir.
Uzzura was offended. She didn't know much about herself, but she knew she was not a thing. “UZZURA IS NOT A THING-ZURA!” she shouted, and Nana was quick to scoop her up and cover her mouth. “Shh,” said Nana, “You don't want to make too much noise.”
“Why-zura?” she said in a muffled tone.
“Well…” and she fought for a reason, “This is a store for music, and people need quiet to test instruments to see if they sound good.”
Uzzura had now just been on the receiving end of a bunch of new things, and her processor was going through her data banks to find pronunciation and meaning. Once she figured out the meanings, she then said, “Oh, its music-zura!”
A moment or two later, her curiosity of music came to the fore. She now knew meanings and definitions, but now she wanted the experience. “Wanna hear music-zura,” she said, in a whisper, remembering what Nana had said.
Meanwhile, Rue, for some reason, began to see her like a little sister just discovering the world. She then took her from Nana and took her to a keyboard. She switched on the piano setting, set her beside her, and began to play Mozart's Turkish March. Uzzura began to watch in amazement with the sight and sound, and her database was working overtime taking in the tune, matching it with what her encyclopedia told her, and now the sight, and understanding, of sheet music came out. “That's Mozart-zura!” she said in glee.
She then hopped down, and found the sheet music. At eye level sat some music for Bach, and she snatched it out. She then went back over to Rue, hopped up, spread the music on the stand, and was about to try to play herself. “You…you can play,” asked Rue.
“My inside here, (pointing to her head,) tells me I can-zura!” responded Uzzura, but she then discovered that her hands were too small for the keys. She then frowned and sounded like she wanted to cry. “I want to play-zura,” she pouted.
At this, Nana went to the store keeper and asked about something that children with very small hands could use to learn the keys. He smiled and said he had the very thing. Nana then said, “Uzzura, please come, and bring the music.”
Uzzura had the music and was off like a shot behind Nana. Everyone now followed to see what the mechanical marvel could do. She sat her down to a piano that was designed for learning and small children. Uzzura was now ecstatic, and put out the music. It was Bach's Air on the G String, and she was playing it like a virtuoso. At this, Mary then said, “She must have a mini-computer in there with a huge database. Just bring out the right things, and it will look it up, and have her do it. Whoever did this was amazing.”
“That `whomever' must have been that shopkeeper,” reasoned Rachel, to which Ahiru then said, “and I think we need to take her back as well before she is missed.”
Uzzura instantly stopped playing, and looked like she was about to throw a fit. “No, I don't wanna go back!” she snapped, “Otto gives me tingles that are not good, but you give me good tingles.”
Billy chimed in and said, “Wait, are you saying that you have feelings and emotions as well?”
Uzzura was allowing the words “feelings” and “emotions” to register, and she said, “Oh, those are that tingles-zura!”
“That answers my question!” uttered Billy, followed by, “Holy Moley! You are incredible.”
“Uzzura incredible-zura!” she cheered in response.
Elly then said, “Nonetheless, you have to go back.”
Now Uzzura clung to Nana's leg, and said, “I no wanna go back-zura!”
“Did someone hurt you?” asked Ahiru.
“Drosselmyer not nice-zura,” said Uzzura, “Not like Nana-zura.”
“Perhaps we could keep her,” said Nana, “After all, it seems she has her own mind, and can make her own choices.”
“But that is not a person,” insisted Fakir, not wanting that to be running around the campus as a scientist is tearing up creation trying to find it. However, Uzzura did not like what was said and stomped up to Fakir and kicked him in the shin. Because it was wooden, it hurt! As he grabbed it in pain, cursing in German, Uzzura said, “I am a person-zura!” but then said, “What are those funny words-zura?”
“Never mind,” said Fakir, and then Rue said, “Look, if no one says anything, then it is fine—she can come. Yet, the second something is said about her being missing, she must go back. It is not right if we did.”
Uzzura brightened, and said, “I stay with Nana-zura!”
She was so happy, she started to march around and play the drum. However, Billy then said, “If you insist on hitting that thing, then let me see it, please.”
Uzzura gave it over, and then Billy went to the drum heads. He bought a goat skin head the right size, and then tightened the snares on it. He gave it back, and then said, “Start to play some rolls and some drills.”
Her database kicked in, and she stared to play with expertise now. It now sounded like a Scottish snare, and Uzzura said, “It sounds better-zura!”
Mytho began to get some ideas, and then brought her over to four toms used for marching. He then said, “Hit all four once.”
She did, and she was happy they all made a different sound in pitch. She then began trying different things, and then she started to roll across them. Mytho then said, “We can put her in the AP class. She could be a student.”
“Do you think that would really work?” asked Ahiru.
Mytho then said, “Okay, it's a long shot, but if there was some practical function for her on campus, then maybe something good could happen.”
“Let's just roll with Rue's idea for now;” said Elly, “One thing is for sure: if we try to send her back, she'd only escape. I think we're stuck with her.”
They all agreed at this as Uzzura shouted, “You're stuck with me-zura!” and started to march around and play her drum. Ahiru then said, “This sounds funny to say, but, why can't we just have a normal weekend?”
“Baby Duck,” said Billy, “I think we need to find a new definition for the word `normal' because what we once did consider normal is dead and buried.”