H.A.M.M.E.R Headquarters New York, Tuesday afternoon
Director Osborn sat in his office contemplating the recent events. Being elected leader of the ThunderBolts had been a good start but then to be made head of S.H.E.I.L.D one of the leading Government agencies (that he had later disbanded to reform as H.A.M.M.E.R) was almost too good to be true. Not only that with the arrival of the superhuman registration act branding his nemesis Spider-man an enemy of the state made things all the sweeter. He smiled to himself. Yes things are going very well indeed. A buzz from his intercom startled him out of his thoughts
"Yes?" he mumbled bringing his mouth to microphone.
"There's a Mr Taggart here to see you sir" replied his secretary.
"Taggart?" he thought to himself "I don't know of anyone by that name." "Does he have an appointment Ms Hand?" he replied curiously.
"No sir, but he says he has a business proposal for you."
Osborn contemplated this for a minute. "No-one would be suicidal enough to make an attempt on my life here, not with my Avengers in the same building" he thought as contemplated his next course of action. "Send him up Ms Hand."
"Right away sir." A few minutes later a man stepped out of the elevator at the far end of his office. He was medium height looked to be in his early forties, bald and carried an intimidating aura.
"Director Osborn I'm very pleased to finally meet you. My name is Colonel Ian Taggart, I'm here on behalf of my employer who wishes to remain anonymous."
Osborn looked at the man standing before him, he could tell that this was not a man to play games with.
"Please sit down Colonel. My secretary informed me you have some business you wish to discuss?" Taggart seated himself In the chair on the opposite side of Osborn's desk.
"Mind if I smoke?" he asked bluntly.
"Not at all" Osborn replied. Although he kept a very close eye on Taggart's hand as it slid inside his coat, looking for the tell-tale bulge of a pistol. The Colonel pulled out a new pack of cigarettes and proceeded to unwrap them.
"This business" he began taking a pause to look Osborn squarely in the eyes."For the time being anything we discuss is to Remain strictly between us. No publicity, do we understand each other?"
"Completely" Osborn answered as he tried to get a read on the man sitting in front of him.
"Good then let's begin" he said through his teeth as he lit his cigarette. "My associates specialize in biological warfare, we design and create weapons that can cause great and lasting effect to the enemies of the US government."
"Your associates?" Osborn asked raising an eyebrow.
"As I said Director my employer would prefer that he and his affiliates remain anonymous" replied Taggart.
"Quite, please proceed" Osborn returned a little annoyed at all the secrecy. "Who does this man think he is? Waltzing into my office with this business proposal and won't even tell me who his employer is, although it has attained my curiosity" he thought as he watched the cigarette smoke dance around the colonel's face.
"As I said, we specialize in Biological warfare and we believe we have made a breakthrough with a project that has been going on for the past 47 years."
Now Osborn was really curious. A project with that kind of length had to have some serious funding behind it and be worth exploring.
"We were developing a weapon that could be used on a population to make them turn against one another. Imagine being at war and instead of having to send in ground troupes or tanks you could simply make the population destroy itself, leaving you to simply walk in and take everything with no resistance."
"What are we talking about here some form of mind control?" Osborn ventured.
"No, the weapon itself is a virus, a virus that enters the brain and modifies certain chemicals in the Neurons unfortunately we have only been able to weaponize it recently the first few tests were.." Taggart stopped speaking for a moment to take a long drag of his cigarette. "unpleasant" he finished, his eyes darkening slightly.
"What makes you think this is of any interest to me?" Osborn pressed trying to keep the man off guard.
"Well as the Director of H.A.M.M.E.R the leading agency in government military and security we felt it was only fair to let you see what we have manufactured before looking at more...lets say, more unsavoury options" Taggart said enunciating the last part of his sentence.
"Well I will say this Colonel I am intrigued by your offer and would like to see this weapon, but I make no promises on purchasing it" Osborn said firmly.
Taggart smiled and blew out a puff of smoke. "Good, shall we set a date? my associates will be bringing the weapon to New York this Thursday. How does that sound?"
"That will be fine Colonel but what about security? I could send you some of my Avengers too help with the movement of the cargo?"
"Any assistance you are willing to provide is kindly welcomed" Targgart replied slightly hesitantly. Something about Osborn un-nerved him and he couldn't quite put his finger on what it was.
"Where will the cargo be arriving?" Osborn questioned.
"The Bradley Michael dock, pier 9, at about 10pm."
"I will send some of my Avengers to escort you then."
"Then I believe that concludes this meeting. I thank you for your time and hospitality Mr Osborn. I hope to be seeing you again very soon" Taggart finished as he walked over to the elevator.
As soon as Osborn was sure he'd left he turned to the left side of his office.
"Well?" he questioned.
One of the wooden panels lifted to reveal a hidden passage a tall man with blue eyes and long black hair stepped out.
"As far as I could tell he was telling the truth and i'm an excellent judge of character" Daken smiled.
"Good" replied Osborn "I would hate to.."
A thumping sound coming from the window behind Osborn cut him off and caused both him and Daken to snap their heads in its direction. Daken moved with cat like agility to the window and looked out his eyes scanning the building. Nothing. The mutant looked up as a few birds flew off the ledge above.
"I can't see anything. A bird must have dislodged a bit of old mortar" the mutant said turning back to his boss.
Osborn however was unconvinced. In his line of work it never hurt to be sure.
"Thank you Wolverine you may leave."
Daken retreated into the room he had come from while Osborn sat down to review the security footage of the last 15 minutes. He looked at the footage from hidden camera B, which happened to be the one outside window of his office but couldn't see anything out of the ordinary.
"Hmmm perhaps it was just the birds" he muttered.