"Isn't she a little young for you, Quentin?"
Victor laughed as the CEO took his seat at the head of the boardroom table. The comment caused a wave of laughter to ripple through the assembled executives. Many of them wore sickly smiles, whilst others looked at the newcomer in confusion.
"This is my General Counsel. She will be advising me on all legal matters going forward."
Quentin stated formally as he busied himself with his interface. Multiple tabs were dragged from his wrist to the table in front of him which he kept minimised.
"Now Quentin... I hope this isn't because of our last meeting?"
Victor asked in mock concern as he placed a hand on his chest.
"Or would it have anything to do with the fact that you suddenly divested a portion of your equity in Abidden?"
Victor's voice cut through the room like a knife through butter. His eyes were murderous and locked onto Quentin.
"You know that you have an obligation to inform the board of any share sales prior to selling them. We have first refusal, which is stated in the bylaws."
The executive gestured at the miffed legal advisor who nodded her head in agreement. The middle aged woman couldn't help but cast a withering look at the newcomer to the room.
"For the record, I would like to state that Locke will be present in this meeting."
Quentin continued, as though he was reading from a script.
The nonchalance was unnerving, even for Victor. Many of the smiles in the room faltered at the prospect of being heard by the in-game artificial intelligence.
"What's going on here?"
Victor asked tersely. The edge in his voice was evident.
Leaning back in his chair, Quentin finally looked at the assembled executives. To think that he had been bullied into a corner by these corporate vultures. The thought of it alone made him sick to the core. Turning to face the young woman beside him, Quentin gestured for her to take the room.
"My name is Elvira Corbeau. As you've just been informed by Quentin Bell, I am acting as his legal advisor for all future board meetings."
Her voice was elegant and practiced. Even though it was quiet, it carried across the room immediately.
"To clarify your legal advisor's mistake, you are not offered first refusal on a divesting of shares. You would only gain first refusal if the shares were sold to the public. In this case, Quentin's portfolio has been divested to mitigate risk."
Elvira didn't even bother to glance at the now flustered legal advisor who was frantically searching within her interface.
"Locke, could I please request that you play the segment from the last leadership meeting?"
Victor's teeth gritted as he stared down the middle aged woman. The look of anxiety and fear on her face confirmed that Elvira was correct.
... our agreements over the years have allowed us the right to control everything to do with the Heroes in Abidden.”
Elvira looked at Victor with no trace of emotion on her face.
"Can you please confirm for the record that this statement is true?"
Victor's clenched jaw finally relaxed as he slowly started to laugh.
"So that's what this is. You're trying to worm your way out of getting rid of Helena..."
Quentin remained quiet as Elvira repeated her question.
"Can you please confirm for the record, Mr. Romero, that you made this statement?"
Crossing his arms, Victor stared down the young woman that sat beside the CEO.
"Yes. I said it, and yes, it's true."
Elvira's face finally broke into a sweet smile as she opened a number of documents and projected them on the table for everyone to see.
"I have met with each of the Paragons and I am officially informing you that I am bringing a class-action lawsuit against you."
Victor burst out laughing as he slapped the table in front of him.
"Quentin... you're selling your shares to get a cash out, and then you're going to sue yourself?!"
It was Elvira who answered.
"Mr. Bell will not be involved or impacted by this lawsuit."
A raspy voice finally burst out from the other side of the room, and Quentin couldn't help but involuntarily flinch at the grating sound.
"On what grounds could you possibly have a class action lawsuit?"
Elvira tilted her head ever so slightly as she regarded the new speaker. Her smile remained fixed as she shared an additional number of documents with the group. It was clear though, that they had no intention of reading what was in front of them and instead stared at the general counsel.
"That's absolute bullshit! That'll never hold up."
Victor spat as he started to read through the documents in front of him.
"It might not have held up if you hadn't replaced the General of Light."
This voice was new to the crowd, and everyone turned to look at it's source. The legal advisor's eyes were wide and she looked like she was about to get sick.
"Since you did replace Frederick Hargreaves with Ethan Davenport... we will be comparing their performance side by side. Locke, if you wouldn't mind?"
The Paragon's were employed by Abidden Zoetic Enterprises to challenge the world of Abidden. Player success was determined by successful completion of quests, raids, siege battles, faction reputations and boss kills. Comparing their first two years respectively, Greaves completed 723 quests where Ethan only completed 114. Greaves completed 208 raids, compared to Ethan's 29. Greaves completed 85 siege battles, compared to Ethan's 53. Ethan's faction approval rating is 87% in Abidden, versus Greaves 32% rating. Greaves killed 348 Bosses in Abidden, 18 of which were Legendary Rank. Ethan has killed 63 Bosses in Abidden, none of which were Legendary Rank.
"Ah, but there you have it! Approval ratings, faction reputation! Ethan is infinitely more popular in Abidden than Greaves."
The raspy voice pierced through the muttering executives but faltered when he caught sight of Victor's withering stare.
"I'm afraid that's not how this works."
Elvira continued as she gestured at the employment contract that was visible to every member in the boardroom.
"Frederick Hargreaves' employment contract didn't feature any stipulations regarding approval ratings... so as it stands, you fired an employee that was over performing in their duties and replaced them..."
"With Ethan Davenport!"
The raspy voice was irate now and ignored the warning glares from Victor.
"Ethan came highly recommended by our investors. His market share alone is worth more th-"
Elvira's voice cut through the whole room and struck fear in the hearts of everyone that heard her.
"Excuse me, did you just admit to cronyism?"
Quentin blinked in surprise as he looked at Elvira who was now pointing at the raspy voiced man. Her eyes were predatory and her smile was menacing.
"I mean, no... I didn't admit anything, I..."
"Everyone that took part in that vote to replace Frederick Hargreaves with the unqualified Ethan Davenport, is complicit in this unfair dismissal case."
Victor was breathing heavily as he rapidly read through all the documents that Elvira had shared with the table. His eyes finally landed on another landmine which caused him to slam his open palm down on the table.
"FUCK YOU! If you think you can suspend Ethan throughout these proceedings, you have another thing coming!"
Elvira challenged him.
"You're going to regret this."
Victor spat venomously as he got to his feet.
"Locke, please note the date and time that Victor Romero threatened my life."
"Before you storm out of here, I have a duty to inform you that you will be named personally in each case."
Elvira smiled sweetly at Victor as she followed up with another crushing blow.
"But don't worry, I've saved you a few calls. The Investors that you seem to worship have already been informed."
"You're full of shit."
Victor sneered, but the panic was clear in his eyes.
"Go on then, call Dryksell Pharma... see if they answer."
Pausing momentarily, Victor caught himself hesitating and shook his head.
"This is nothing but a witch hunt."
Victor tapped his interface and initiated the call with Dryksell Pharma.
A number of eyebrows raised in surprise when they saw the name on the screen.
Mr. Romero, I apologise but Mr. Dryksell will not be taking your call. I've been instructed to inform you that due to your current legal proceedings, Dryksell Pharma will be withdrawing its investment in the Hero Percivus. Any additional queries you may have can be addressed to a Miss Elvira Corbeau.
Silence washed over the boardroom, before one voice cut through.
"Looks like they already know a losing case when they see it."
Elvira observed as she readied the next document in front of her.
"Now, onto the termination of Varya Weaver and Alexander Vance..."
Victor's temple was throbbing uncontrollably and his hands were shaking in rage. A few of the executives had coy smiles on their faces after hearing the call. In their dog eat dog industry, the moment an executive showed weakness, they were ravaged by the pack. Victor's gaze turned from the snickering masse to the young woman he had severely underestimated. She was no longer even looking at him, as though she had already neutralised him. Opening his mouth, the executive attempted to calm his voice before speaking.
"I hate to be the person that enforces the bylaws like this, but only Investor representatives and Leadership are allowed to take part in these meetings."
Elvira said apologetically. Her eyes dared the legal advisor to challenge her, but the middle aged woman cast her gaze downward.
"You're neither of those, Victor. So I'm going to have to ask you to leave."
Security have been notified and are on their way to escort Mr. Romero out of the building.
Locke announced to the room, causing many of the executives to mutter to each other in disbelief.
Quentin laughed as he watched the formerly haughty executive shake in a mixture of anger and disbelief.
Victor locked eyes with the CEO who merely waved.
Unable to allow the smug bastard to have the last word, Victor snapped back at him.
"This isn't the last you'll see of me."
Elvira turned in her seat with an amused smile on her face.
"Of course it isn't, we'll see you in court."
When Victor was out of the room, Elvira turned her attention back to the raspy voiced man who looked like he wanted the ground to swallow him up at that very moment.
"Tell me, which investor do you represent?"
Quentin couldn't wipe the smile from his face which didn't escape Elvira's notice. She gave him a wink before turning her attention back to the documents in front of her.
The CEO couldn't remember the last time he had this much fun in his own company.