Choco Report

by Chicago

Disclaimers: Characters belong to DC Comics, from whom they have been borrowed without permission but with no intention of harm or profit.

Canon notes: Hidei Yashimoto is the owner of New Concept Industries and is one of J'onn's alternate identities as seen in MM #2 and 17. Hidei is one of the identities in canon that the DEO reveals publicly; we liked it so much we decided that the DEO didn't spill the beans on it.

Continuity notes: The Na-Choc-Co coalition and the participating parties are revealed in "Press Release" in year two of the J'onnverse. The precipitating events of the buyout begin in "Office Interlude," and the merger between Wayne Enterprises and New Concept happened during "Fidelity" in year one. This story occurs near the end of year two.

// indicates translation from Japanese.

Special thanks to Darklady, whose discovery of "Chocos" on a store shelf and subsequent report on their quality are the basis for this fic.

Rating: PG

Hidei Yashimoto stared with undisguised disapproval at the package sitting on his desk. He did not need the note from Jack Drake to point out the egregrious nature of the infringement on the Choco trademark. No matter that the product sitting so offensively on his blotter was produced for an export market, should never have shown up on the shelves of an American discount store. Nor was there any coherence to the argument that the distinctiveness of the Choco had rendered the name a generic descriptor of a type of cookie. Only Na-Choc-Co produced Chocos. Period.

The phone on his desk rang, and he reached for it.

//Mr. Wayne on line one,// his secretary said.

//Thank you, Nami-san,// Hidei replied, picking up the indicated line.

"Mr. Yashimoto," Bruce Wayne greeted formally. "I trust you have received Mr. Drake's alarming news."

"Yes," Hidei answered. "The - food product - is sitting on my desk as we speak."

"I am convening an emergency board meeting. The people at Keller's have been calling Drake non-stop, seeking some sort of settlement. Your thoughts?"

Hidei glared at the package of cookies on his desk. "I assume Jack sent these to me for a reason?"

"My suggestion. It might be best to determine how badly they have affronted our trademark in deciding whether to accept their offered settlement."

"Yes," Hidei agreed blandly, cradling the phone against his shoulder to reach for the package. He pulled open the rustling cellophane and extracted a single cookie.

The filling was brown, only a few shades lighter than the two cookie halves that sandwiched it. The "generic name for a type of cookie" argument was out the window on visuals alone - what he held was described in the industry as a "sandwich cookie." Wayne would have already noted that.

Hidei sniffed. It smelled like chocolate fudge, although with a faint chemical tang that suggested the artificial chocolate from which he and his coalition had rescued real Chocos was a primary ingredient of this... impostor.

He took a bite.

It tasted like... nothing. Bland. Not even the sugar came through.

Hidei pulled a tissue from his desk drawer and spit out the tasteless brown mass, discreetly tossing it in the garbage. He knew Wayne was listening, for his American partner said, "Well?"

Hidei took a long drink from a fresh bottle of water before answering. The bland nothingness still lingered in his mouth. "No settlement. Take them for everything they're worth."

He could almost hear the answering satisfaction in Bruce Wayne's tone. "As you wish."

The line went dead, and Hidei hung up the phone. Then he gingerly picked up the wrongly named "Chocos" and dropped them with a dead thud in his wastepaper basket. Some things, after all, were sacred.