The Lawyer Cometh
Mid Season 5, after the Body.
Jurassic Park, a few months after the first book ends and before InGen has imploded.
Buffy’s real family, so to speak
This is the book-verse for the most part, not the movie-verse. By the end of the first book Hammond is dead, Gennaro is not, and InGen is about to declare bankruptcy. Various reports have Ian Malcolm as dead, but he is not. The Costa Rica government is holding the survivors of the park. Tim is the older grandchild, good with both computers and dinosaurs and Lex is younger with an interest in baseball and sports. If you haven’t read the book yet, you should. It’s a great read. There will be a couple of things taken from the movies, certain characters and versions of characters, but the plot is from the books primarily.
I would love to be a bit more accurate and give the Raptors feathers, but that just isn’t in the cannon of the story line. Funny how much can change in terms of science over 20 years.
Michael Crichton’s estate owns Jurassic Park and Joss Whedon owns Buffy. I don’t own either, but this was written as a sort of tribute to Michael Crichton after his death. I’m just posting it now.
The funeral had been two days before. Joyce Summers was dead. Buffy and Dawn were alone, being allowed to morn their mother in peace. It seemed like even Glory was taking a break. The vampires had head the rumors, bouncing from one to another that the Slayer’s mother just died. In an inexplicable moment of wisdom, they had decided to scale back their goals and just take a nibble here and there. It was almost like evil was taking a break in Sunnydale. Too bad someone forgot to tell the lawyers.
The knock came at the door. The Summers girls ignored it at first, but the knock came again. Wiping her face clear, Buffy trudged towards the door. On the other side was a middle-aged man with a suit so crisp it must have been bought that day. He held a briefcase and a worried look.
“What?” demanded Buffy. It was perhaps a little too rough, but she was in no mood to be disturbed.
“My name is Donald Gennaro,” the man said. He glanced down at a piece of paper. “Is Joyce Summers here?”
“You’re a week late. She died,” Buffy said coldly, “and I don’t want what you’re selling. Please leave.”
The man had a sudden panicked look on his face. “Uh, please! I’m not selling anything. I’m a lawyer. I needed to speak with her about a situation with her inheritance.”
“You’re too late. Mom died a week ago from some brain thingy,” Buffy was almost ready to slam the door with slayer strength regardless of if he was in the way or not. Xander could repair it later.
“Your mother? She has a daughter?” the lawyer franticly flipped through the papers, as if the fact was complete news. “Well that complicates everything.”
“Buffy? Who’s that?” Dawn sat up on the couch and rubbed her eyes clear.
“Just some lawyer. Go back to upstairs Dawnie,” Buffy said, glancing over her shoulder at her little sister.
“Uh, is she your…?”
“My little sister,” Buffy confirmed.
“Uh, Ms. Summers? May I come in?” Buffy glanced at the sun and back at him. The leaves were waving in the breeze, casting fluttering shadows on the man, but she couldn’t see any smoke. But this was the Hellmouth, so that didn’t mean anything.
She didn’t say anything, but stepped out of the way to let him pass if he could. He could. Once inside, he glanced around the small California house. “Is there a place we could talk? This is rather complicated with your mother gone.”
She gestured to the kitchen. As the lawyer passed, Buffy mouthed “get Willow” to her sister. Dawn nodded and scampered to the upstairs phone. She sat down across from Gennaro and offered him a glass of water. He was quite grateful and almost chugged it down.
“I’ve already spoken with the lawyer of Mom’s estate,” Buffy said. “Dawn and I split everything, but I hold it in trust for her until she turns eighteen.”
“Okay, okay. That makes things a little easier,” Gennaro said, opening the briefcase. Not looking at her, he rifled through some folders. “I just need a few more papers and that will clear everything up.”
“You still haven’t told me what this is about,” Buffy stated flatly as she glanced at the door. Dawn mouthed that Willow was on her way.
“Okay, first of all, I’m sorry to tell you that your grandfather is dead,” Gennaro said. Her blank stare was not what he expected, clearly. There was only a blank stare and a blink, no tears or change of emotion.
“What grandfather? My grandfather died when I was two,” said Buffy. “I have some cousins on my father’s side who live in upstate New York, but I don’t think we have any other family.”
“Ah, no. I mean your other grandfather,” Gennaro said hesitantly. “John Hammond.” Again, the blank stare. “Uh, your mother’s father?” Blank Stare. “You, uh, you never knew your mother’s father did you?”
“She never talked about him so I always assumed he was dead,” Buffy said flatly.
“Uh, he wasn’t, until a while ago,” the Lawyer said, obviously confused as to the direction he needed to go. “He, uh, was a victim of a, uh, animal attack at one of his company’s facilities. He had two heirs, your mother and her little sister, your aunt Sonya Hammond-Murphy. I suppose that’s just Hammond now that the divorce is finalized.”
“Your grandfather and your mother were estranged, I think it had something to do with her choice of school, major and then your father,” Gennaro. “From what I can piece together, Hammond didn’t approve of your mother’s choices.
“Well, he was right about dad,” Buffy said. “He ran off to Spain with his secretary. Living the cliché, so to speak. His office gave me a wrong number, so I have no idea where he is now.”
“Yes, well, ultimately, your grandfather never wrote your mother out of his will,” Gennaro said, pulling out a piece of paper for her to see. “We had a difficult time finding your mother, but we were hoping she could attend the reading of his will. This has all the information about where and when it is.”
“I’ll see what I can do,” Buffy said, glancing it over. Willow burst in, thinking it was an emergency, with a small ball of fire in hand. The rest of the Scooby Gang burst in after her, armed to the teeth. They- looked from Buffy, to the lawyer and back to Buffy. Willow turned as red as her hair.
“OkayBuffyIgotyourmessagefromDawnbutshewasn’tsurewhatwasgoingon, soIthoughtitwasanemergencyand I called…everyone…over…I’ll stop now,” the witch said with a panicked look. Everyone glanced at Gennaro, who was looking at the redhead bug-eyed.
“Is your hand glowing?
” he asked confused. Willow glanced down at her still glowing hand and quickly tucked it behind her.
“Uh, no. It, uh, must be a trick of the light,” she said, covering herself badly. Buffy rolled her eyes
“Buffy, who is this gentleman?” Giles, wisely choosing to change the subject, cleaned his glasses in response to the poor recovery.
“Oh, this is my grandfather’s lawyer,” Buffy said. “He was looking for Mom.”
“Yes, Giles, I told him,” The sadness tinged her tone again.
“Uh, Ms. Summers, these are…?” Gennaro was a little hesitant to reveal InGen secrets to complete outsiders.
“Practically family,” Buffy said. “They can hear anything you’re about to tell me. Dawnie needs to hear it too.”
“Some of what I have to tell you is really only for you and your sister,” Gennaro said pleadingly. “If they wish to hear this I’ll need them to sign non-disclosure forms.”
“Ugh, I hate those things,” Buffy said, thinking back to the Initiative. She crossed her arms and slumped.
“I’m just a lawyer,” Gennaro said. “There are rules I absolutely have to follow and this is one of them.”
“Willow, the reason I called you over, is that I want you to confirm anything he says,” Buffy said. “Laptop action Willow, not witch-fu grip Willow.”
“Oh,” Willow said, going red again. “I-uh-I’ll go get it. The Laptop. It's, uh, not here.”
“What do you mean that you need to verify my identity? And how is she going to do it?” the lawyer was a bit edgy, having dealt with the Costa Rican government for months without being able to leave. After that it was a matter of jumping between Japanese investors and tracking down the wayward daughter.
“You’re not the first person to claim to have something for me so soon after my mother died,” Buffy said. “Three people have tried to scam me out of what little my mother left to me. I’m not going to risk another one.”
“Oh, well that seems reasonable,” Gennaro said, backing down. As much as he wanted to wipe his hands of the subject, he had to remind himself of the complexity of the whole situation, much more than just his side of it.
Willow was back sooner than they thought, having left her laptop in Xander’s car. She plugged in and started it up. She started typing away, sitting on the other side of the living room from the other Scoobies who had sat down and waited patiently. Every so often she would ask a question: what the lawyer’s name was, what Buffy’s grandfather was named. She typed a little longer and asked another question. After a couple of hours she was finally done.
“So, John Hammond,” Willow said. “CEO, Founder and primary shareholder of International Genetics Corporation, InGen for short. Started the company in the late 70s and dazzled people with his miniature elephant the size of a house cat. Made a partial theme park in San Diego and several others all over the world. Got a lot of money from Japanese investors for a secret project called, huh, that’s odd. It’s just call JP. No other mention. Bought a huge bulk of amber from all over the world.”
“How does she have this information? Is-Is she hacking the server? Hacking is a crime!” Gennaro glanced from the redhead to Buffy in confusion. Willow looked up from her screen to give him a stern resolve look.
“Mr. Gennaro? If you’re the legal council for InGen, why are you here representing John Hammond’s estate? That doesn’t make any sense,” Willow asked. “Especially since your firm owns 5% of the company.”
“Actually, I’m being required to do this by a third party,” Gennaro said hesitantly.
“What third party?” Buffy asked sternly. She crossed her arms and glared at him. Even for someone of her height it was a bit intimidating.
“The government of Costa Rica,” he said, inwardly praying they would not look any deeper. His prayers were not answered as he heard the girl’s fingers clack on the keyboard once again.
“Oh, this is interesting. Most of that money from the Japanese investors has gone into a project down there, doesn’t say what project, but I’m guessing JP,” Willow said. “I’m guessing JP is a park considering the other parks Hammond started around the world. Japanese Park? Wait that doesn't make any sense for Costa Rica.”
“So, why were you here to see Mom? It doesn’t really make sense with everything that you’ve told me,” Buffy asked. Gennaro took a deep breath and sighed.
“You and your sister jointly own a little portion of the stock in InGen,” he sat down while they were all momentarily stunned. “Not officially yet, mind you, but as soon as you and your sister go to the reading of the will, the executor of the estate, Mr. Hammond’s personal lawyer, will outline exactly what you both receive. I am not privy to the exact amount. I just know that he said everything was going to his children. Since your mother is deceased, you are now the heirs to about half of his estate.”
“Do-do we have any other family that we don’t know about?” Dawn asked.
“As far as I know, you have an aunt and two younger cousins: Lex, a girl around eight, and Tim, a boy of eleven or twelve,” the lawyer replied. “I don’t know their exact ages. You might have others, I don’t really know. I was a business associate, not a personal friend of Mr. Hammond.”
“What do we need to do for all this?” Dawn asked, sweeping her arms to gesture at all the paperwork.
“Most of this is wrong now, with your mother gone, but the basics are here,” Gennaro explained. “This is a huge pile of legal documents that covers the transfer of shares, property and money (if any) to your mother. We need to draw up new ones for the both of you.”
“You won’t mind if we have another lawyer review the legal proceedings, would you?” Giles inquired.
“If that is what you both wish, it is fine,” Gennaro said, looking at the two sisters.
Buffy glanced through pages of legal jargon and nodded to Giles. “I will have my firm update the documents. They should arrive in the morning, then,” the InGen lawyer said. “Here is a copy of the legal documents. I will have my office fax the new copies tomorrow.”
“Are you staying in town?” Xander asked as the man was about to leave.
“Yes, I’m staying at the Sunnydale Motor Inn,” Donald Gennaro replied. He noticed the crowd cringe at the sound of that name. He guessed it had a reputation. It was clean, though.
“Don’t let anyone in after dark. In fact, don’t even open the door,” Buffy said. When he looked at her confused, she shrugged. “We’ve got a gang problem at night.”