15475/Stark Cybersecurity Gala

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Stark Cybersecurity Gala
Date of Scene: 14 August 2023
Location: Grand Ballroom, Stark Tower, New York
Synopsis: Tony Stark and Pepper Potts host a fundraiser for their new cybersecurity foundation, and everything goes off without a hitch... until a bunch of gremlins are released that foul up the Stark Tower lighting, hack phones, steal funds, worst of all... play dubstep!
Cast of Characters: Pepper Potts, Iron Man, Superman, Batman, Lex Luthor, Isis, Catwoman, Satana

Pepper Potts has posed:
Just four months ago, both the mainstream media and social media were abuzz with reports of Iron Man landing in the middle of a street in midtown Manhattan, stopping traffic, smashing cars, and attempting to rob a bank. There were pictures, videos, and livestreams of an Iron Man suit actively attacking several superheroes that arrived to intervene, including Spider-Man, Power Girl, Cannonball, and eventually a second Iron Man suit. Eventually, the incident was resolved. The suit was deactivated, reclaimed by Tony Stark, and put back into safe-keeping. For most everyone involved that day, the worst was over.

But the nightmare was just beginning for Stark Industries. Stocks took a major blow as wide-spread reports asked questions about whether or not Tony Stark should be allowed to continue maintaining control of the Iron Man suits if he couldn't keep them secure. Even as Tony Stark reassured the media in the best ways he knew how, he had initially all but disappeared from the limelight, reportedly building a new facility in an undisclosed location to house his suits. The PR department of Stark Industries was working overtime, and Pepper Potts fielded interviews and press conferences on behalf of Mr. Stark, answering questions and reassuring the public until, after several months, she began looking so fatigued that some wondered if she was able to handle the stress.

Then came the announcement -- the new Stark Cybersecurity Foundation. While not a solution to what had happened, it was a step towards reminding the world that Stark Industries was as committed to cybersecurity in a digital world as it was to Iron Man. To kick it off, invitations went out for the first annual Stark Cybersecurity Gala, benefiting the foundation and its various interests, funding cybersecurity scholarships at several universities, providing funding for new cybersecurity startups, hosting workshops and training sessions related to cybersecurity, and running 'Capture the Flag' style hacking competitions.

Those were the eventual, noble goals of the foundation, but tonight is about providing space for those with enough money to donate generously, to network with likeminded business leaders and renown tech pioneers from around the world, and to both see and be seen.

The Grand Ballroom of Stark Tower pulses with life and electric energy. Strings of shimmering blue lights crisscross overhead, turning the vast room into a digital dreamscape. Towers of luminous crystals stand tall, reminiscent of grand circuit boards, stretching from the floor towards the gilded ceiling.

Several hundred guests, bathed in the soft glow of the ambient lighting, converse animatedly. Earlier in the evening, they'd been welcomed with a champagne reception, where clinking glasses and excited chatter filled the air. The gourmet dinner that followed had been nothing short of spectacular. Each dish, a marvel of culinary innovation, was discussed and praised in enthusiastic whispers around the tables.

During dinner, the room had fallen silent thrice, as three industry leaders took to the stage for their keynote addresses. The spotlight had first shone on Dr. Maya Hansen, whose talk on the future of digital innovation had left the audience captivated. Two other speakers, both from Stark Industries, had followed suit, sharing their insights on cybersecurity and the importance of building a digitally secure future.
Pepper Potts has posed:
Now, with the official part of the evening behind them, the tables have been cleared, making way for a vast dance floor. The second band's encore has just ended, and as their final note fades, a new spotlight finds the stage. The famous Pepper Potts takes the stage in a floor-length, backless silver gown. The intricately crisscrossing diamond-and-sapphire necklace she wears catches the light strikingly, its colors not unlike that of the Arc reactor in Tony Stark's chest. Renown far and wide as not just Tony's steadfast and indispensable Girl Friday, but as essentially second-in-command of one of the most successful companies in the world, she greets the crowd with a wave and a broad smile as she steps up to the mic.

"Good evening, everyone. First and foremost, thank you all for being here. Your presence, your support, it's not just a testament to the importance of cybersecurity in today's age, but also to the belief that together, we can and will shape a secure digital future."

She pauses just a moment, eyes scanning over the crowd.

"When we first envisioned this gala, it was more than just a celebration. It was a commitment -- a promise that Stark Industries, with all its innovations, would remain dedicated to ensuring that technology serves as a beacon of progress, not a doorway to vulnerabilities."

Pepper's gaze shifts to the side of the stage, her smile warming.

"And speaking of dedication, there's someone here tonight who embodies that spirit, albeit with a bit more flair for drama than most."

A light-hearted chuckle ripples through those gathered.

"He's a visionary, an inventor, and a man who deeply cares about the world and its future. While his methods might be... unconventional at times, his passion for progress and protection is unwavering."

Pepper lifts one arm towards the side of the stage, her smile growing.

"Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I give you the heart and driving force behind Stark Industries, and the very reason we're all gathered here tonight -- the incomparable Tony Stark."

Even as Pepper steps back from the mic, applause erupts around the room.
Iron Man has posed:
Spotlights converge onto the stage, and Tony Stark steps up to the microphone, the light catching on his signature sunglasses. The suit he's wearing is quite obviously _not_ an Iron Man suit, instead a clearly bespoke three peice number that goes off in an orthogonal direction from the expected tuxedo. It's a deep black with a faint almost iridescent sublte sapphire sheen to it. The shirt's a dark gunmetal grey, the tie an onyx black with a faint pattern of the Stark-Fujikawa logo picked out in sapphire.

"Good evening, everyone! You know, I had a whole speech written out, peppered with technical jargon and industry buzzwords that would have made it sound like I'd spent days preparing. But then I thought, why not do what I do best? Wing it."

The press corps laughs, and Tony grins.

"In all seriousness, tonight isn't about me, or the shiny suits I make --- though they are pretty fantastic. Tonight is about a vision. A vision where our world, constantly in the thrall of new digital frontiers, remains protected. Where innovation does not mean vulnerability. And where Stark Industries stands at the forefront, ensuring that while we embrace the future, we also safeguard it."

He pauses, taking a moment to look around the room, his eyes lingering for a moment at various places around the room and on a few notable faces in the crowd, before he continues.
Iron Man has posed:
"When I started out in this tech game, it was about creating the next big thing, pushing boundaries, and yes, making a splash. Turns out that 'splashes' make the Board and the media happy. But with every leap in technology, with every barrier we break, comes a responsibility. A responsibility to protect our creations, our data, and, most importantly, our people."

He gestures to the audience as he delivers that last line, and the press corps nods along, murmuring in agreement.

"Thanks to the Stark Cybersecurity Foundation, we're taking that responsibility to heart. We're investing in the brightest minds---some of whom are in this room---to ensure our digital universe remains unbreachable."

A nod to Pepper, a flash of a smile to her and then the audience as a whole, and Tony continues.
Iron Man has posed:
"I want to thank Pepper, for her unwavering vision and dedication to this cause. And to all of you, for joining us on this journey. As we drink - just water for me, dine, and dance tonight, let's remember why we're here --- to illuminate the future of digital safety. And who knows? With the way technology is progressing, maybe next year we'll have a holographic DJ!"

Another ripple of laughter from the audience, the flash of cameras from the press corps, and Tony flashes a smile that's been plastered on the cover of magazines and newspapers around the world.

"Thank you for being a part of this evening, and more importantly, for being a part of a safer, smarter digital tomorrow."

He gives a salute with his drink, the spotlights dim, and the crowd erupts into applause.
Superman has posed:
Clark receives his invitation by hand. He'll even smile big when the invitation comes. "Miss Potts!" Clark grins and if Lois is around, she might get flashbacks to her first introduction to Lana Lang. He had a big dopey grin like that, too.

Pepper and Clark have an odd relationship. A question may linger between them, but it never became more than that. Pepper became equally quiet when Mister Stark retreated. During that time Lois Lane returned into Clark's world and was her usual self, becoming a hurricane in his world. Not necessarily in a bad way, but changes are swift and sudden. The song "Days Go By" may be very appropriate to describe the changes Hurricane Lane brought.

When it comes to the night of the gala, Clark tries to hand Lois her ticket. Sadly, the rooms are empty. She's gone. He thinks this is another assignment or that's what he hoped.

And so he goes through the checklist of things to do. Ready his tuxedo, easy enough. Then the usual tips from Lois, "Stand up straight. Be confident. We both know you can be, and often are, just push it into your work a -little- more." A new tip is in the mix, "Wear gloves. You might look like a waiter, but it's the only way we'll know." Then she pointed out how long he was sick after his last big interview.

And that's why Kent is in the press are with freshly ironed simple black tux complete matching bowtie and white gloves. If the pants, or jacket, were a different color he would be confused for wait staff.

He'll jot down the various speeches; quotable moments have small markings to make them stand out later. Pepper does make it clear that this is a party and not a press conference. So, Clark will jot down questions on their own sheets. If Clark and Pepper don't cross paths, there will be a voicemail from him later this evening.
Iron Man has posed:
The room's ambiance suddenly shifts. Attendees glance around, trying to identify the origin of the low hum permeating the ballroom. Then, spotlights illuminate the ceiling, revealing the sleek, impressive form of an Iron Man suit descending gracefully from the ceiling. It's a sight to behold, gleaming in the bright lights with a design that promises a new era of innovation, clearly a new iteration on the iconic look of the Iron Man armors.

As the suit lands gently on the stage, it parts seamlessly down the middle, revealing Tony Stark dressed impeccably in a tuxedo. The suit continues to peel and fold itself away, seeming to disappear entirely somewhere behind the man. Tony steps across the stage smoothly, a satisfied smirk on his face, basking momentarily in the collective awe of the audience .. as he takes the hand of the _other_ Tony on the stage whom appears rather .. surprised.
Batman has posed:
There are very few crowds in which Bruce Wayne would be counted as a leader.

It is widely understood that while Wayne Enterprises might be one of the larger corporations in the nation, with their fingers into all manner of industries, the success of the company has relatively little to do with it's majority stockholder and far much more to do with the workings of it's actual, practical head Lucius Fox. When it comes to genius business people, there aren't many -- perhaps any -- that would number Bruce amongst that number.

Which is pretty much okay with him. That's pretty much what he would prefer people believe anyway. Indeed, he has worked rather diligently -- sometimes obsessively -- to create that impression. It serves his interests particularly well.

In truth, he's far more capable then he lets on, though not nearly so much so as Lucius, not in this particular arena. He has neither the time nor interest in the day to day that it truly takes to run a major multi-national and while he insists on a certain standard of integrity, he has been fortunate to find someone he can trust implicitly to do so.

Probably a little like Tony in that respect.

So while he generally would avoid coming to these sorts of events, leaving them to Lucius or other members of the Board, he was in town on... other business and has both some curiousity about just what was going on along with a certain interest in the subject.

He has not exactly been the perfect member of the audience though.

He has made something of a show of napping through most of the speeches, at least appearing to do so. That came after drinking copious amounts of chamgagne -- or at least ginger ale appearing much the same.

Still, he's at least polite enough to snap too as the applause starts, sitting up somewhat straight in his seat -- leaning to one side just a little -- as he starts to clap as well.

"Fascinating stuff. Can't get enough," the dark-haired billionaire announces loudly to his table.
Pepper Potts has posed:
The applause ripples across the vast expanse of the ballroom. Lights shimmer across crystal chandeliers as the room remains in an excited frenzy from Tony's unexpected entrance and moving speech. From her position beside the stage, Pepper watches, her hands coming together in earnest applause. Her pride in him and in their collective achievements evident in her eyes.

As Tony's speech comes to an end and the last words hang in the air, the ballroom undergoes another transformation...

...a confused murmur. What /was/ that noise?

Pepper, though... Pepper does not look confused. Her expression could best be described as, 'Really?'

Her eyes lift towards the ceiling. Not her head.. just her eyes.. and then she turns to speak briefly with a few stage assistants. If anyone is watching Pepper closely (but let's face it, who would be watching Pepper when Tony's flying in in an Iron Man suit), it's probably obvious that this is /not/ in the script and Pepper is already on damage control.

"Why are there two Tonys on stage?" You'd have to have super-hearing or super-lip-reading, but one of Pepper's hands is lifted ever so slightly to indicate the stage. She's certainly not making a scene. It's all very subtle. But it /is/ happening.

"Can someone please go find out why there are two Tonys up there?"
Iron Man has posed:
There's a moment, just as their hands clasp, that the 'original' Tony flickers - and then again.. only to disappear entirely - apparently the _original_ Tony giving the speech was yet another of his suits emitting a very thorough holographic presentation of the man himself.

The applause is thunderous, but he signals with his hands for it to quiet.

"Well, that's one way to make an entrance, right?"

The crowd laughs, a mix of admiration and amusement filling the room.

"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Stark Cybersecurity Gala. And yes, you got a sneak peek at the Mark VIII, which I promise, is not just for show. It represents our relentless pursuit of innovation. And in an era where our threats aren't just physical but digital, it's a testament to how Stark Industries refuses to stand still."
Iron Man has posed:
Tony gestures with a flourish towards the suit, "This isn't just armor. It's a culmination of cutting-edge tech, refined materials, and oh, just a sprinkle of Stark genius. But more than that, it stands as a symbol for what we're championing tonight - a safer, more secure digital world."

Pausing, Tony scans the room, his demeanor turning slightly more serious.

"Tonight, as we delve deep into the nuances of cybersecurity, I want you to remember something. This isn't just about codes, algorithms, or even fancy suits. It's about people. It's about ensuring that every individual, corporation, and nation can harness the power of technology without fear. Without constantly looking over their shoulder."

Tony smiles, the charm returning.

Tony Stark: "So, here's to a night of celebration, innovation, and yes---a dance or two. And to all of you, for being partners on this journey. Together, we don't just dream of a secure future; we build it."

With a final nod, Tony steps back, allowing the applause to fill the room once more.
Lex Luthor has posed:
Lex Luthor.

Unlike those that may be in the belief system of being fashionably late, Lex Luthor has been here since before the event started. He's always here and he's always with his most trusted plus one: Mercy Graves. Both of them are dressed to the tens because being dressed to the nines is for the more poor billionaire sect. He is, of course, part of the Billionaire Elite and he allows himself and his clothes to speak these volumes without needing to say a word.

Whether or not Lex Luthor has actually paid any attention to the words of Pepper Potts or Tony Stark this entire evening is hard to say and also quite irrelevant. He is, however, standing powerfully at a position he's chosen to be able to get a lay of the land and also make individuals come to him if they would like to speak or be in his presence. Mercy, of course, is nearby and making herself both a presence and also not trying to intimidate anyone too much. It's all a very neat dance that Lex and Mercy perform with their body language. It's all part of their plan.

Whatever drink Lex has in his hand has likely been untouched, perhaps due to paranoia but he does understand that holding a drink allows himself to appear more approachable than he normally would be. He also happens to be doing his best to look as though he's not here for any other reason than to support a fellow percenter of one.

Certainly not here for any other reason than that.

During all of the shifts and changes of the room, Lex Luthor remains a stoic participant in the crowd and audience, almost visibly refusing to applaud. His eyes merely drawn to the various technological marvels shown off by Stark and his response is a lift of the eyebrow. Also a bit of a smirk at the corner of his lips. Lex Luthor makes it a point to make his expression difficult to read. Is he impressed? Mocking? Amused? Or is he just doing that Eidetic Memory trick so that he can plan a counter launch of Lexcraftian technologically profitable proportions?

Lexcraftian. That's a good one.
Superman has posed:
Clark stores more questions for later as some answers bring twice as many questions. Just more rounds in his metaphorical chamber.

Although Clark feels a little underdressed when the press portion seemingly ends. He's here because of the news. Yes, Clark looks like he belongs. However, a passing glance at hs bank account would show he probably doesn't belong. And the tux may have come with the help of a friend, that's actually here and fighting to stay awake.

Dull blue eyes just drink in everyone about. The slouch slowly returns and he will try to stay out of people's way. He may look like a fish out of water. He will still try his best to blend in.
Batman has posed:
It is always interesting to see what will be toted out at events like these.

Generally the presentations are fairly conventional and straight forward. Predictable even. It's one of the many, many reasons that Bruce generally doesn't make many of these, aside from the occasional worthy while charity or to maintain appearances.

Even that has more to do with avoiding Alfred's disapproving sniffs or pointed comments when he perhaps goes a little too long without attending to the social obligations of the Bruce Wayne charade that he plays out on the regular.

Still, every once in awhile one of these things gives something interesting to ponder, and when two Tony's take the stage briefly, Bruce's eyes narrow ever so slightly in consideration, watching the little display play out.

"Did you see that? Two of him! Wouldn't that be just the thing. The trouble I could get up to with a duplicate of myself..." the dark haired billionaire enthuses.

Most of those who happen to be seated with him smile politely. And try to ignore him.
Pepper Potts has posed:
"Never mind."

As soon as the two Tony's touch, the illusion falls, and Pepper holds up a hand to the assistants and stage-hands that were already beginning to make phone calls.

Ever the picture of poise, Pepper draws in a breath and watches the /rest/ of the speech -- the part of the speech that Tony was improvising -- with the same curiosity as the rest of the audience. And when it's over? She too claps, slowly letting out a breath of cautious relief. He was done. He was done... right?

The overhead lights dim ever so slightly, making way for colorful, ambient spotlights that dance across the floor. From the side, a DJ takes over, seamlessly transitioning the atmosphere. The music is a blend of modern beats, yet it's mellifluous, setting the perfect tone for guests to either sway on the dance floor or continue their conversations.

Pepper's heels click softly on the floor, signaling her approach as she waits just off stage for Tony, and the moment he steps down, she greets him with a warm smile.

"That was quite the entrance," she says, and though she might be beaming for any cameras watching, there's a flash of danger in her eyes. And though not anger, there's something closer to amused exasperation in her tone. It wasn't that she didn't expect that kind of thing from Tony. It's just that she was never exactly sure /what/ to expect from him. "Please tell me that wasn't the suit that you brought in in a box yesterday."
Iron Man has posed:
Stepping down off the stage to meet Pepper and get out from under the spotlights that he _appears_ to enjoy so much, Tony flashes her a smile as he pats at a pocket, frowns, "You know, I think I left my Maui's in the suit... "

Sunglasses, at night, which the holographic him was wearing minutes ago...

He shakes his head, though, and just lightly touches her arm in greeting - and likely a prompt to walk with him as he does what he knows he's got to, wade out into the sea of one-percenters and their entourages, the press, and who knows whom else.

"Which? The one I arrived in?" The one that darned near seemed to melt off him - the curious and observant may wonder just where it was that that armor went, he's got no briefcase at hand, he set nothing down, maybe it's more holography.

A pause, though, to greet an executive from one of the Stark offices in Japan, then they continue, "No, that one's scrapped. Fabrication completed in time on VIII so that's what I arrived in. "

A glance around the room as they make it out onto the main floor out in front of the stage, reaching a spot where guests can more easily approach, and depart, as folks mingle.

"Happy was a bit put out - he's still fighting traffic on the cross Bronx."
Superman has posed:
Clark will actually eye that hologram. It's impressive, but it doesn't sway some questions. More become added because technology lke ths can be revolutionary. It can also be -very- dangerous.

Danger, or not, Clark is a little bit jealous. Having the ability to appear two places at once isn't quite unbelievable. But to have the power to do that, would make so many lives so much easier.

However, what keeps himf rom outright complimenting the technology is the reason why some people hate mutant shapeshifters. Get someone with the wrong intent and they can look like anyone. The same thing could be said of this armor.

Also, Clark will try and snag some horderves as they come by. Going for anything that isn't shrimp. Although, he may garner a quck look from wait staff.

"Press," Clark says meekly in his defense and holds up the press pass. "I'm really formal and a borderline germ freak," he lies. But the waiter has seen much worse in their field.

Clark will watch Stark move about. That's when he catches Pepper looking happy. A smile pulls at his lips, "Good. She knocked some sense into him," and then he will resume eatiing.

Although seeing Lex arrive fashionably late does catch his eye. Clark expects to Lex to ether late, or just not show up. And so he's a little curious what one executve wll think of the other's new toys.
Lex Luthor has posed:
A few middling millionaires attempt to approach Lex Luthor but the glare from Mercy Graves has them turning around and going back to do anything but try to mingle with the elite. The glare is even harder as she walks up to stand beside him now that they've reached the more inclusive part of the evening.

"That was impressive." Mercy admits though her tone is as even keeled as it always is.

"Glorified stage magic." is the muttered response to Mercy.

A Kord executive attempts to approach the chosen Luthor section and the twin glare from both Lex Luthor and Mercy Graves has him actually tripping over his feet to head back in the other direction. Both Lex and Mercy half-smile.

"We don't have to stay for this part. This part is a waste of time." Mercy sounds like she's ready to go already.

"Soon enough." Lex agrees. "Let's pay our host a visit before we go do something so much more productive."

"And that would be?"

"Anything but this."

Both Lex and Mercy smirk before they decide it is time to actually step into the peasant's den and, ugh, mingle.
Isis has posed:
Adrianna Tomaz is wearing a long flowing, black and gold dress in an Egyption style, one that is a little less revealing that her typical outfit. She also wearing a gold head band, and necklace. Today she was here as Isis Queen of Kahndaq, a small nation neighboring Egypt. It wasn't a very wealthy nation, but it was progressive and these days cybersecurity is always a big thing.

She was either just arriving, or perhaps she was else where near by, but now she was here. She looks around the crowd, likely not knowing many as a foreigner, even though some might be kind of famous.
Batman has posed:
For the moment it seems as if the presentation is done and any press in attendance seem as if they are being studiously ignored.

Questions can be rather inconvenient afterall and this doesn't seem to be the sort of event geared for that sort of thing.

Certainly Bruce Wayne has been on the other side of that a time or two over the years, as is almost inevitable in any corporate setting sooner or later. Even those that hold themselves to a certain standard usually end up under the microscope sooner or later. Or have run in's with the press. He has had his share with one Ms. Vale in Gotham often enough, some more pleasurable then others.

Besides, this is one of the many reasons he has Lucius. For the heavy lifting at these sorts of things.

He lets his gaze flicker over the crowd, taking note of significant faces. Just because he doesn't take quite so active a hand in the day to day of Wayne Enterprises doesn't mean he isn't aware of Who's Who in this kind of room.

If nothing else, the night certainly seems to have brought out plenty of those.
Pepper Potts has posed:
When Tony touches her arm, Pepper falls in beside him with the practiced fluidity of having done it a thousand times before. Her hands clasped lightly in front of her, she shifts between smiling to pleasantly greet those that approach them and glancing up at Tony.

She's pleasant, even offering a little bow to the Japanese executives for that moment that they're with them, but then they're moving on.

"I'm surprised Happy hasn't asked for his own suit yet," Pepper muses between greetings, eyes glinting with a bit of mirth. "Or a flying car."

Clark Kent is the first face she spots that Pepper herself actively seems interesting in flagging down. As she and Tony move through the crowd together, she raises a hand slightly to catch his attention -- and direct Tony's.

"Clark Kent, a reporter with the Daily Bugle," she mutters quietly for Tony since he wasn't wearing those augmented reality glasses. He hadn't smallified them down to contact lenses yet, had he? "We flew him out for an interview a couple of months ago." But even as she's finishing, they're parting the crowds to step up to him, and Pepper's smiling.

"Mister Kent, it's good to see you again," she greets.
Iron Man has posed:
"No, no..she'll take that, thanks. " Tony says to yet _another_ person trying to hand him something or the other, neatly dodging whatever it is and turning to take a step or three around the latest knot of people that were trying to get some face to face time with him.

"... no, that tech isn't for sale, not even to the Persian government.. "

And then Pepper's doing her thing and prepping him for the intro to Clark. The other man's given a quick and casual once over as they step to within conversational distance in a crowd of this sort. "Mr. Kent, I've read a bunch of your stuff - great work. Not sure that Jonah and I see eye to eye on much, but .. what can you do , right? "

A pause, a glance over at Pepper, "Did I miss that interview? Things were .. "

Another pause, a flash of a smile as he turns his attention back to Clark, "Enjoying the party?"
Superman has posed:
Clark spots Pepper trying to get his attention. Like her, he's all smiles upon seeing her. "Pepper. Nice to see you again," And he will go in for a small hug, if possible. Then his attention goes to Tony Stark. "Mister Stark. I'm happy to see you're more like yourself," Clark says and extends his hand for a handshake. Despite how the man may slouch, Clark has a pretty firm handshake. The kind that rivals linebackers.

"I am, Mister Stark. It's not quite what I'm used to, but I try to adapt." His dull blue eyes scan the surroundings. "I grew up in the midwest, so I don't see this type of crowd unless I'm on an assignment. Or meeting contacts in places like the U.N.," and Clark isn't boasting on this one. It's just fact, outside of those situations, Clark is normally not in the tuxedo crowd.

"And it's the Daly Planet, Miss Potts. Speaking of that, I do need to request another interview," he says knowing it's something they may both regret. However, they both have responsibilities in this situation.
Lex Luthor has posed:
If there's one thing that Lex Luthor does not do... it's wait to speak to someone. There may be no stopping Lex as he makes his way through the crowd with the assistance of Mercy. The two are in line with each of their steps, walking with a practiced purpose that makes it quite clear that they are on a mission and should not be interrupted from that mission. While they are both as calm expressioned as they have been this entire night, it's obvious that they just don't have time to speak to lesser -illionaires right now.

"Stark." Lex Luthor's arrival around the man of the hour is punctuated with the way he says his name. Very likely the same way he says it at all of these events that they naturally each end up at. There's even a bit of a pause and hesitation as if there was something more sinister about to follow that tone.

"Congratulations." Lex Luthor reaches out with a hand extended to offer Tony Stark a genius-to-genius handshake to go along with his congratulatory words for this latest achievement.

As for Mercy, well, this is the part of the evening where she sizes up Pepper Potts. Again.

Oh, the socialite dances that the wealthy elite must continue to do on a regular basis.
Isis has posed:
Adrianna Tomaz might be a queen, but she is actually very approachable and down to earth. She gets into conversations with several people as she mingles with the crowd. She also seems like a genuinely nice person, and takes interest in the people she is talking with, beyond just random socializing. Though she might not have a lot in common with many of them.

She happens to spot Lex Luthor walking by as if on some kind of mission, and her eyes follow him over towards where he is going, to speak with Tony Stark. He was running the thing this evening, so perhaps she should go introduce herself as well? She considers it for a moment, and finishes up the random conversations she is having with people in the crowd, before turning in their direction and walking over.
Iron Man has posed:
If Tony noticed the power of Clark's handshake it doesn't show on his face, but he's also not one that apparently feels the need to see just who's got the hand-crushier(yes that's a word now) grip. "Ahh, well - the Planet's a better paper there's no doubt there. Isn't ..what's her name.. Lois Lane there too?"

A glance at Pepper as he catches sight of Lex's imminent arrival, and then briefly back to Clark, "I'm sure you already know that Pepper handles all those arrangements... I'll let you two sort that out one way or the other. Looks like I need to ensure that Lex doesn't roll right over too many people on the way over."

And with that he shifts away from Clark and Pepper just enough to bring Lex's line of arrival a few feet away, knowing that Pepper will catch up in a moment or two.

His hand's offered, taking Lex's in turn, a firm and confident grip - but not combative, just as with Clark's. "Lex. On which? The Gala? The Foundation? Staying a step ahead of LexCorp again?" The latter's given with a damned near patented cheeky smile.

"Thanks for coming - we all know there's work to be done and all that."
Pepper Potts has posed:
Pepper is, indeed, collecting various cards, pamphlets, papers, and other pocket-sized media along the way as she travels with Tony. Each one that's offered is seamlessly redirected, and she carries them all with a kind of practiced grace... at least until one of /her/ assistants comes up to collect them all.

Isn't it nice to have an assistant's assistant?

She seems perfectly pleased to return the hug that Clark offers. stepping briefly away from Tony before returning back to his side with a warm smile on her lips. But then she's waiting for them to exchange their pleasantries, not speaking again until she's corrected on the name of his paper.

Her hand comes up to cover her mouth, a hint of color touching her cheeks as her eyes soften, given just the faintest glimpse of actually being slightly flustered by Clark's presence. It wasn't like her to slip on a detail like that.

"I'm so sorry," she says without offering anything in the way of an excuse aside from that sheepish smile when she lowers her hand. "And of course. I'd be happy to arrange time on Mister Stark's schedule. You have my direct line. Call me, and we'll work out the details."

Then Tony's mentioning Lois Lane, and Pepper's eyebrows lift slightly.

"Indeed. Unless I'm mistaken, I heard congratulations are in order." So she's been checking up on him. Who knows? Maybe she just follows him on social media.

At least some of this is still being said to Clark when Lex arrives and Tony departs, not rude enough to simply stop speaking -- and besides, the conversations could easily be had side-by-side. But once she's finished, Pepper's attention does noticeably shift, eyeing first the other billionaire and then his companion with the same pleasant, reserved little smile she offered everyone else here.

She makes a little gesture.. almost invitational.. to Clark to move up with her as she slides back up to Tony's side. She wasn't trying to dismiss him, but she wasn't about to be left that far behind, either.

Towards the LexCorp party, there's no overt attempt at intimidation. There's no glare. Just simple, subdued confidence in her position next to Tony.

Not that she speaks to either of them, either. Nor does she speak directly to Her Majesty the Queen, Adrianna Tomax, though her eyes to take in the woman who's just approaching the group.
Superman has posed:
"Lois Lane is my coworker," Clark begins then Pepper adds in additional comments. She corrects him and he will mov with her. "A congratulations in store for both of us. Last time we met Tony didn't seem to care about you. Now, it's a world of difference Miss Potts. How do you feel about that?" he asks.

Sky blue eyes look back to the woman as he is curious about her. He looks at her as she is taking Clark to meet others.
Batman has posed:
Content to watch for a time from his table, for all the seeming indifference to the 'meat' at the heart of an event like this, that gaze certainly takes in a great deal.

Finally however BRuce pushes back from his seat at this table -- just a trifle unsteady perhaps -- gaze firmly fixed on some of the VIPs that have begun to gather nearby, the glass of bubbly golden liquid still very much clutched in one hand. Starting to move away from the table, he manages to weave in amongst the crowd, always looking to be on the very of dumping his drink over some unfortunate. But never quite managing to do so.

Reaching that small gathering, with drink in tow, Bruce rather casually bumps into Lex, that golden liquid tipping precariously towards the man -- which would no doubt exact quite the reaction from his Plus One to be sure -- but again manages to recover at the last moment. "Tony! A Triumph!" he enthuses, seeming indifferent to who he is interrupting. "Terribly jealous. Quite marvelous I assume," he says before glancing towards Lex with wide eyes. "Wasn't it amazing, Lex old boy? I can't remember the last time Lexcorp had quite so smashing a display," he remarks with a shake of his head.

Someone's stirring the pot.

"And if it isn't intrepid reporter Clark Kent. Sniffing out a story, hmmm? Have anything to dish? I'm always up for something juicy," Bruce asks, continuing to make something of a pest of himself.
Pepper Potts has posed:
"For both of us?"

The words are out of Pepper's mouth before Clark continues, and /when/ he continues, there's a flicker of incredulous horror in her features. This was why chinks in her armor were dangerous -- why showing even a hint of genuine emotion to anyone other than Tony was so dangerous.

"I would say that's not an accurate characterization," Pepper explains, slipping so smoothly into 'press conference' mode that it's almost like there's not a party going on at all. "Mister Stark has /always/ been an excellent boss, and he continues to be. If you're referring to the time he spent moving his tech to the new bunker, he invested a lot of time into that, and it's good to see him more involved in the day to day of the company. But I would never say he doesn't care about me."

And she wouldn't. Pepper Potts was /far/ too loyal to Tony to say something like that, even off the record.

Then again, maybe that was the answer Clark was digging for. There is nothing but utter professionalism in her tone both either for Clark or Tony.

But then Pepper's gaze is pulled towards the.. stumbling?.. Bruce Wayne. Still, she seems quiet, generally allowing Tony to do the glad-handing unless she's being addressed directly, but since Bruce was basically inserting himself into her conversation with Clark.

"...Good evening, Mister Wayne," she says warmly. "I hope you're enjoying yourself this evening. If there's anything you need, I'd be happy to see to it."
Isis has posed:
Adrianna Tomaz doesn't barge straight into the conversation like Luthor, but is a bit more subtle, waiting for what seems like an opening. Which happens when Bruce pushes his way in. She goes in with confidence, not being shy to greet the people running the event this evening.

She smiles as she walks up towards then, and offers a greeting to everyone in the group. "Good evening." She smiles and looks at each person, one at a time. While some stir the pot, she tries to settle things down. "Everyone has the same goals right, to create a more safe future? There is a lot of unique dangers online."
Catwoman has posed:
Selina Kyle arrives rather fashionably late but perhaps she was busy doing tending to other more urgent business first. Either way, she strides in in a stunning rich purple strapless gown that wraps around the front, held in place by a silver crystal clasp on one hip, the rest of the gown trailing the floor in the back, accentuating her curves and graceful - some may say catlike - movements. A small mysterious smile dances on her lips as scans the set up, searching for a free table.

Deep emerald eyes constantly scan the room, taking in the sights and sounds, perhaps spying some familiar faces as she saunters to the buffet table, peering thoughtfully at the various types of foods and drinks offered.
Iron Man has posed:
From one -illionaire to the other, Bruce's arrival pulls Tony's attention onward with all the abruptness of .. being stumbled into. Tony reaches out with one hand to clasp Bruce's shoulder briefly, just a touch of a steadying hand that might also just as well double as a greeting in lieu of a handshake. "Bruce! Glad you could make it.. we should have people talk and see about a few joint Stark/Wayne ventures in the cybertech arena. " A pause, a quirk of a rogueish smile, "And maybe a reason to go jetting about the Azores, or the Cayman's for a bit."

There's a mock-furtive glance back at Pepper, the perfect ' don't tell the boss ' sort of look that he plays up a bit for the crowd.

Two things happen rather close together at that point:

1) Tony's attention is drawn to Adrianna and she's offered a return smile that's oh so typically 'Tony', "Good evening! Couldn't have said it better myself, Miss .. " And as he starts to trail off in into of trying to complete the introduction...

2) The suit of Iron Man Armor that _appeared_ to be Tony when he gave his speech walks out on stage, drops the short little hop to the floor and starts to make it's way rather carefully towards Tony - lights blinking around it and faint little 'beep beep' noises warning of the incoming currently autonomous suit. A voice that may be familiar to some can be heard coming from that suit a moment alter, "Mr. Stark - there's a request from the SHIELD office in Miami for your assistance, the priority matches the filter you'd set on this event," says JARVIS, as the suit stops just as if it, too , were looking for an introduction to Mr Stark - holding one gauntlet out towards its creator.

"Well, " Tony says, "I guess I'm going to be making an early departure folks. Jarvis, make sure that the evening's plans stay on track, hmm? Pepper - don't stay up too late!" Another cheeky grin, this one a damned sight more full of mischief than others, and he reaches out to take the suit's 'hand' in his own - at which point it takes off, lifting Tony straight up towards the hole in the ceiling he arrived from earlier.

"Good night folks!"
Satana has posed:
The woman with the "sexy librarian in a power suit" look arrives, breezing right past the people at security without so much as a glance her way from said luminaries. The redhead pauses at the entrance, biting her lower lip as she looks around for, and finally spots, Bruce. Long, catwalk-grade strides take her to him in a straight line, despite the crowd, her sashay seeming perfectly timed with people's motions such that there was always an empty space ahead of her.

"Mr. Wayne!" she calls out as she approaches. "Please do forgive my tardiness."

Wait, she was supposed to be here?

"Parking proved to be a worse issue than I'd thought. I hope you didn't have to fetch too many of your own drinks?"

The baby blue eyes look into Bruce's, wrapped by a contrite expression.
Superman has posed:
"-Pepper-," Clark says in a way that just screams, "Don't bullsh*t a bullsh*tter" without saying the words. "Anyone can spot the difference if they paid attention. I just saw you at your worse. And if he ever makes you feel that low again. Let's just say, Midwesterners help their own," and he will leave it at that. "No one should feel like that. I've felt like that. Never again," he says showing parts of himself. It's something he oesn't mind.

A pause comes from Clark as he looks at Bruce Wayne. "Bruce. It's nice to see you out of Gotham," and Pepper would notice something. Clark doesn't address Bruce by title. Clark would extend his gloved hand. "How is Alfred?" he asks honestly, genuine concern in the question.
Isis has posed:
Adrianna Tomaz smiles to Tony Stark when he looks her way, "I am Isis, Queen of Kahndaq. It is nice to meet you." She tilts her head as she looks at the suit then back to him, "Is there a problem?" He didn't seem too concern though, so maybe it was normal, or a way to sneak out of the party. She wont push the issue as he makes his exit however. Her attention turns to Clark Kent though, as he mentions someone being mistreated, though there are som details lacking on that, from what she overheard.
Pepper Potts has posed:
Anger. The kind of anger usually reserved for Tony flares in Pepper's eyes -- but it's directed at Clark. There were things she wanted to say. Maybe a plethora of things she wanted to say. But she said none of them. This conversation was not one she wanted to have in the middle of her gala, not to mention that they were /right beside/ Tony as he basically accused her of falling apart because of her boss.

No.. it was better and cleaner simply to stop commenting, no matter how much indignant rage she might be swallowing. It wasn't the first time she'd bitten her tongue, and it wouldn't be the last.

It's the arrival of the suit, however, that gets the next largest chunk of Pepper's attention -- the way it leaps off the stage and marches through the crowd towards its master. She steps back smoothly to make room, and though it's clear she's not at all intimidated by the suit, she equally didn't seem to understand what was going on...

...until JARVIS speaks.

Then Pepper's eyes shift to Tony, something between sympathy and disappointment in them as she nods her understanding, a little quirk of a grin of her own not quite mirroring the mischief in his.

Stay up /late/? She'd be there until the last guest left to ensure everything went off without a hitch and help coordinate the clean-up of the ballroom, but he knew that already.

She said nothing, just raising a hand slightly to shield her eyes as the suit took flight, taking Tony with it. And then, as if nothing at all had happened, she slips right into the spot Tony had been standing in, offering a warm smile to Adrianna. "Your Majesty, it's a pleasure to have you," she says. "I'm sure everything's fine. SHIELD has a variety of things they sometimes need urgent help with... sometimes it's as simple as repairing a satellite."
Catwoman has posed:
Selina Kyle pauses as she delicately fills her plate rather sparsely, grabbing a glass of wine and a napkin before searching for an empty seat..She pauses as the Iron Man suit makes a big show of marching up to its owner, emerald eyes glittering with mild amusement. Once that whole light show is over, she arches a brow as she sees a pretty girl walking up to Bruce and decides not to swarm him.

Instead her gaze rests briefly upon Adrianna, studying her gown with keen interest. "What a gorgeous gown, Ma'am, you look absolutely stunning.." and probably rich too. She flashes a winning smile at her, arching a brow at the name she overhears, shaking her head. Surely not *that* Isis..? But weirder things have happened.

It is Clark that she focuses on, a partly relieved look in her eyes, although there is the mild glint of amusement on her lips, barely covered up. "Clark! I am relieved to see you are still alive and well after that whole..Debacle the other night.." there is genuine relief there, in her voice as she says that..
Batman has posed:
While he might be more then happy to make himself a little bit of a nuisance, it is always for a good cause. For a purpose.

Sometimes poking people is a great way to gauge their reaction to things and while he might know most of the pople in the gathering little circle, that doesn't make them anymore immune to his tendancy to try and collect information. One might think he has some sort of compulsion.

They'd probably be right.

"Alfred's well. He sends his regards. He wanted to know that he just sent a package of chocolate chip cookies by courier to you yesterday to thank you for that thing. You must have made an impression. I practically have to beg him to make them for me," Bruce offers up to Clark. That there are cookiees being delivered to the man in Metropolis as they speak is probably true. As for the rest, that's more debatable.

While it seems that Bruce is no more enlightened about Ms Tomaz then Tony, if there are many people that he doesn't recognize by sight here it would be a surprise in truth, and he dips his head towards her as well as she joins that little circle. "Excellent sentiments. Very important business going on here," he agrees a little owlishly, looking like perhaps he's not exactly sure just what what business that might be.

Then again, he did make a pretty good show of sleeping through the speeches.

And then Tony is running off, drawn away for some emergency and Pepper is left on her own, to face down the hordes. Or at least Clark's persistent questions. "Pepper! Wonderful to see you again. So sorry that Tony had to flee. If you need anyone to speak on his behalf, maybe say a few words don't hesitate to call on me," he offers up, oh so helpfully.

There's a terrible thought. If she thought she had problems with Tony speaking on behalf of Stark Industries, it could always be worse.

"I suppose you could find someone to freshen my drink..," Bruce starts before trialing off as a familiar figure presses through the crowd to join them. "Ahhh, nevermind. My new and oh so diligent personal assistant is on the scene. Everyone, Ms. Hellstrom. Ms. Hellstrom, everyone," he says by way of introductions.

For just a moment his eyes glint in the light. He most definitely did not inform her that he would be present this evening, but that customary efficency seems to have let her track him down. Again. But he has certainly been looking into her, since that interesting interview. And his human resources department might have a few questions to answer. Not to mention Satana.

But not here, not now.

Over by the buffet table, Selina seems to have gone overlooked. At least for now. At least until she too joins that little circle near the front of the room. "Oh look, it's Selina too. Well, well, Stark really is drawing them out of the woodwork tonight," he gushes.
Satana has posed:
"Hello, Everyone," Satana says, somehow managing to capitalize the 'E' as the only hint of anything resembling sarcasm in her response. "I'm happy to meet you."

A passing tray of drinks allows Bruce's new PA to show off her elite skills as the empty glass is carefully, but resolutely removed from Bruce's grasp, swapped for a full one off the tray, which is then subsequently placed back into his hand.

"Now, Mr. Wayne," she continues, addressing Bruce alone, "you very naughtily didn't put this event into the diary, so I don't know how much time to block off." Her voice is a thrilling contralto seemingly engineered to wrap around the reptile brain and cover it with warm, soft fur. "Shall I just write off everything until 9AM tomorrow?" She looks at Bruce assessingly. Glances down at the drink. "I mean 11, of course," she amends that.
Superman has posed:
Clark thinks he senses anger from Pepper. He does thnk calrification may be needed at a later date. However, that he will save for later. Although, Clark will chide himself in private over -how- he handled himself.

"I am well, Miss Kyle. I was just in the neighborhood. Anyone in my position would have done the same," Clark tries to brush off the compliments. To him it's just a matter of doing a good deed.

Then Bruce brings up the cookies, "I-," pause. "I won't turn down cookies, but I was just in the area. You would have extended the same courtesy," Clark says honestly on that one. To him it's just a simple matter. He was there and could help, so Clark did.
Isis has posed:
Adrianna Tomaz smiles as she nods to Pepper, "Hopefully, nothing too serious." She would probably go help if it was something serious, depending on what it was, but she wouldn't be any help repiaring a satellite. She smiles to Selina, "Thank you." As a Queen she had access to many things and in some ways she was wealthy, yet in others, it wasn't her personal wealth but her nation's wealth. So she likely isn't as free to spend it. "You look lovely as well. It seems everyone is dressed up tonight."

She turns her attention to Satana when she come over as well. "Good evening." She glances back to Pepper, to make sure she is doing alright. But since it doesn't seem like she wants attention drawn to her anger at the moment she leaves it alone.
Pepper Potts has posed:
"Thank you, Mister Wayne," Pepper answers smoothly, her voice carried on a soft, pleasant laugh. "We've made it through the public speaking portion of the evening, but I'll keep you in mind as a guest speaker for next year." There's a playful twinkle in those green eyes -- actually teasing him, perhaps?

Then introductions are being made and Pepper offers a little bow of her head towards Satana. "I'm Pepper Potts," she says, raising a hand slightly to touch her chest just below the diamond-and-sapphire necklace she was wearing that probably cost more than her life insurance policy. "I'm Mister Stark's personal assistant," even if that often didn't need an introduction. "If there's anything I can do to accommodate you, any of you, please don't hesitate to let me know."

Whatever anger she might have been feeling towards Clark seems to have just... gone. She /was/ human. She was allows to have her flares of one emotion or another. But it did seem that she was better than most at controlling them and then simply moving past them. Especially in a setting like this.

"If you'll excuse me, though, I hope you all enjoy the rest of your evenings."

Without Tony to anchor her to that little group, it did seem that Pepper had other mingling to do. There were a few others trying to catch her eye specifically, so she would linger for a moment to make sure no one needed anything, but if not, she'd start extricating herself from the group.
Catwoman has posed:
Selina Kyle arches a brow at the exchange between Pepper and Tony, and more curiously at the slight tension directed towards Clark, trying not to be too nosy. "And you look lovely as well Pepper. I do hope you enjoy the rest of your evening." she smiles charmingly at her, perhaps knowing all too well how frustrating men can be. She does notice the familiar exchange between Bruce and his new Assistant, arching one of her brows ever so slightly, but smiles slightly more cooly at Satana.

"Ahh, I did not realize Bruce was looking for a personal assistant, I thought he was too private for that. How very nice to meet you, I am Selina." she, and others who might not know her are given a charming smile and nod.

Finally she looks towards Clark, her smile perhaps a bit more genuine, nodding, "Yes, indeed. Let us hope tonight is less eventful, hmm?"

As for Bruce, she just smirks, her smile just a hint cooler yet. "Good to see you again too, Bruce."
Batman has posed:
That little burst of anger was pretty hard to miss and Bruce briefly arches a brow Clark's way.

He does not call attention to it beyond that afterall. He has little doubt that the man feels bad enough about provoking it and while he may have intended to stir things up a little bit and see what shakes loose, that was not what he had in mind.

"Of course. But you know Alfred," Bruce counters with a laugh, waving casually with one hand to brush aside Clark's commentary.

"Of course Pepper, of course. You know where to find my if you need me," Bruce adds agreeably as the redhead makes her excuses and starts to slip away. If everything goes as it has tonight, that will likely be somewhere making a bit of a nuisance of himself. Maybe he's a little better behaved in his own town.


With his drink changed out -- though admittedly probably not the ginger ale he has actually been consuming for the evening -- Bruce dips his head towards Satana, looking wholely unrepentient about disrupting the schedule. "I had something on the books for nine tomorrow? In the morning? Good gracious woman, yes, cancel it. Cancel anything before noon at the very earliest," he insists at once.

He gave fair warning that he wouldn't be the easiest to work with. He wasn't lying. And it is only likely to get worse.

Again, Bruce flicks his gaze back towards Selina and gives a small shrug. "My last one retired. Well deserved of course, but the Board just couldn't seem to bring an adequate replacement in. They kept quitting. Found me difficult to deal with. Can you imagine?" he asks rhetroically, a brief smirk playing over his features before it is wiped away, back to that casual indignation.

"I may have met my match though."
Satana has posed:
"I don't find Mr. Wayne difficult to work with," Satana says with a warm smile. "I suspect however that I understand why my predecessors may have. Many CEOs are very ... how shall I put this? ... robotic." Is that a dig against Tony? If so it's not showing in Satana's face. "PAs have become accustomed to CEOs who are creatures of habit. Myself, I excel in chaos. I thrive in chaos, in fact, so ..."

She brings up her tablet (an unfamiliar brand and configuration whose UI seems to have been heavily customized) and starts tapping at it...

"Talking of which, excuse me, I have a few appointments to reschedule and probably a few gift baskets to order to settle hurt feelings."

...the tapping continues apace.

Any peering over her shoulder will see her, in fact, operating some kind of calendar, albeit of very strange configuration, and moving things around on it. Then, apparently, adding some notes. Those who can read and write in the tongue of fallen angels will be able to see her very clearly type out:

"Release the gremlins in five minutes. Bring all systems to their knees. Any finances can be redirected to..." There's a pause in her typing as she looks up at Selina and smiles brightly. Then it continues. "...Big Cats Rescue."

She closes the application in question, restoring the unsettling home screen with its pictures of a flame-tormented landscape and sickly holes in space and time acting as application icons. Powering off the screen, she slips the tablet back into her purse.

"Done, Mr. Wayne. Are there any other arrangements you'd care for me to make?"

Spotting the little hint of jealousy in Selina's face, she adds, with a warm smile, and a bit of a self-hug, "He's a very good boss to work under."

She has the class not to emphasize 'under'. She reasons she doesn't have to...
Superman has posed:
Clark smiles at the sentiiment given about Alfred. "He means well," and Clark leaves it that. He does catch the cooling smile from Selina. And ten the new assistant coming over. She oozes with a bit of -something-. Dull blue eyes look between the trio, "I may need to depart. It's a bit of a trip from Metropolis." However, he will pause for a moment.

Looking toward Adrianna, Clark inclines his head, "May Shiruta shine bright," and he does start to depart from the group. Clark does his homework and Adrianna would stand out a little bit.

Then he tries to work hs way through the crowds. The white gloved hands trying to help part some of the crowds a little bit. Dull blue eyes taking in everythng as he slowly makes hs way toward the exit.
Pepper Potts has posed:
"Ms. Kyle," Pepper gushes before she extricates herself from the group, smiling and looking back as if she'd missed her in the crowd, before. "As do you, and I'm so glad you could make it, tonight. /Please/ make sure I get the details of your next fundraiser. I'll make sure to put it on Tony's schedule." And, no doubt, ensure Stark Industries would be making a donation. That's how these things worked, after all. Networking, networking, and more networking. If you help me with my foundation today, I'll help you with your foundation tomorrow.

Of course, Pepper didn't know that Stark was /already/ slated to make a donation to the big cat rescue that evening.

There is a moment where her eyes slip over to Clark as he makes his excuses and starts towards the exit. Whatever she thinks, though, is hidden behind that mask -- the one that would remain carefully in place the rest of the evening, barring anything like gremlins mucking everything up.
Isis has posed:
Adrianna Tomaz smiles as she gives a nod to Clark Kent, but something else catches her attention. She might be a goddess, but her speciality was more in nature and ancient Egypt wasn't known for it's advanced computers. Thus while she senses something shift around the party, the exact nature of the problem isn't as easy for her to pinpoint. She looks around the room however, to make sure the threat wasn't physical in nature. Though if it was physical, it would probably be very easy to deal with.
Catwoman has posed:
Selina Kyle smiles warmly at Pepper. "Of course Ms. Potts, I would be happy to keep you in the loop, and I have already made out a donation to your organization tonight. It was a pleasure to meet you and such a lovely party." she nods to her as she leaves, glancing sidelong at Bruce as he mentions being a difficult person. "Well now, fancy that, Ms. Satana, you say? You must be quite the charming lady to get along with Mr Wayne." she's all formality now, still eyeing the new assistant thoughtfully as she takes another sip of wine.

Clark is given a warmer nod and smile. "It was good to see you again, Mr Kent. Please do try to stay out of trouble." she glances down at her plate then around at the room, "Well I suppose I have some food to work on and a free chair to find. Have a lovely evening, excuse me." and she slips away from the small group, vanishing into the crowd.
Batman has posed:
It would appear that the band is breaking up.

Did he learn anything tonight? Quite a bit really. More then most people would probably suspect, but then that is usually the way it goes with him. All files away in that iron vault of a mind that he's been blessed with.

"But the night's still young," Bruce protests mildly, gesturing a little wildly with that glass in hand, sending more then a little of that champagne sloshing over the sides before lowering it with a sigh.

Only then does he glance back to his troublesome assistant, blinking his eyes at her as if trying to focus. "Hmmm? Oh, no I suppose that should be fine," he allows, seeming to pay no mind to the veiled innuendo delivered to Selina. "It seems that I am going to find another source of entertainment," he grouses with a shake of his head. "And you should take advantage of this opportunity and get to know a few of the others here. Plenty of captains of industry and the like that you'll no doubt be coming into contact with," he says before gesturing towards Lex. "Though you might want to avoid him. Seems a little grumpy tonight," he says conspiratorially.

The he unleashes Satana on the crowd.

Look, he's ferretted out the first lair of her secret, discovered that she is not who she represented herself to his HR department. Clearly, however, there are a few more layers to go.

In the meantime, it is just about time for Bruce to look to slip away as well. The night calls and while he might not be in Gotham this evening, that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of other crimes that could use the attention of the Dark Knight.
Satana has posed:
You know those pop songs that go along at a good clip before there's a sudden, strange bass drop? And then chaos breaks loose? That's what this event does. It's going along with all the usual debs and dowagers holding court; social climbers polishing their ladders while the ancient nobles shower their bitterness down those same ladders. A typical society event.

Then the lights go out. All of them. The computerized control system that sets levels and monitors the presence of people glitches and registers everything as being empty, thus turning off the lights to conserve power. The sound system does a literal bass drop as the carefully, algorithmically-selected play list decides that what this crowd REALLY wants to hear is dubstep (because nothing says "hip and happening" like a decades-old musical form that has become its own parody!) ... and when the bass drop finishes, the chaos erupts.

Satana, nodding as Bruce decides he needs to leave, emits a chirpy "Goodnight, Mr. Wayne!" and does, in fact, follow his advice to circulate among the captains of industry, starting to move in the direction of Lex as instructed (or at least this is what she's going to claim to have interpreted that as) when the lights fall. In the subsequent mild chaos as people stumble into each other or cry out in momentary startlement, the lights suddenly come back on: full brightness, and every screen on every computerized device that has power in it (which includes any phones that are "off" unless they're the older variety with actual power SWITCHES) lights up.

"LET'S PARTY!" is spelled (in various states of misspelling) on the devices before...

Any personal secrets start to spill; private meetings between people, for example. Or political contributions. And while all this is going on, money starts to move around with a large fraction of it going to the Large Cats Rescue.

In the middle of this is Satana staring, wide-eyed, mouth open in shock, feigning fear.

But those who can read minds or auras can see her laughing instead.
Pepper Potts has posed:
"Thank you. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your evening," Pepper returns warmly, but then she's once more extricating herself to mingle with the rest of the gathered guests.

At least.. she was, until there was a flickering of the lights just before they went out. She looked up at once, pulling a little earpiece that had been tucked into her dress out and sticking it in her ear as she moved off to the side of the party so she could speak quietly.

"JARVIS, what's going on?"

<< "It appears that the building is suffering sudden power fluctuations, Ms. Potts." >>

"Power fluctuations? Why? Tony's on his way to Miami, isn't he?"

<< "Yes, Ms. Potts. I'm attempting to isolate the source of the problem, but it seems to be caused by failures in multiple systems. Redundant systems are coming online..." >>

"Can you isolate the redundancies?"

<< "Until the diagnostics are complete, it would be impossible for me to predict." >>

"Where is this headed, right now?"

<< "If it continues at the current rate, complete power failure on the first 10 floors in the next twelve minutes..." >>

"Okay. I'll start making the announcements and clearing out the guests.

<< "Ms. Potts, there's something else..." >>

"What now, JARVIS?"

<< "It appears a large sum of money is being transferred to an external account.." >>

"This is a /heist/? During a /charity fundraiser/?"

<< "It appears so, Ms. Potts." >>

"Call the bank and freeze the accounts, trace the destination, and let Tony know that I'm dismissing the guests. I feel sorry for whoever decided /this/ was the hill they wanted to die on."

<< "Yes, Ms. Potts." >>