Alea Iacta Est, Part 2


amato_icon.gif elias_icon.gif ethan_icon.gif kazimir_icon.gif munin_icon.gif sierra_icon.gif

Guest Starring

Scene Title Alea Iacta Est, Part 2
Synopsis Kazimir calls for a meeting of Vanguard's upper echelon, and has a surprise for them…
Date October 23, 2008

Eagle Electric

The most notable business collapse in Queens was that of Eagle Electric, a major manufacturer based out of Long Island City for decades, comprised of acres of warehouses and manufacturing plants designed to produce electronic components to suit all sorts of needs. The western warehouse of the Eagle Electric lot is an enormous and foreboding red-painted building made entirely from sheets of ridged steel. Amidst the grass growing up through the cracks in the pavement and the burned out cars in the parking lot, it seems just as uninhabited as the rest of the area. A large and ruined sign at the top of the office and manufacturing building prominently reads, "Eagle Electric—Perfection Is Not An Accident."

Just after sunset Ethan recieved the call on his satellite phone, sparingly used for critical communications between Kazimir and the logistics head of the Vanguard's operations in New York. The message was succinct: "Gather up everyone. I have something we need to discuss, immediately." There are rare times when Kazimir uses words such as immediately, he is a man founded on the idea of patience, but in certain times it would seem that there is necessity in expedience.

Now is one of them.

In the twilight hours, the Eagle Electric plant looks like a broken industrial corpse that has been strewn about the forgotten streets of Long Island City. The warehouse, used for meetings primarially, is a particularly picturesque example of the urban decay in Queens. The large bay doors are left open, exposing the interior to the cold late-autumn air is as the usual case. Even the rusted chain-link fencing surrounding the entire facility has been left untouched, as if expecting arrivals. Outwardly, though, the plant looks to not have seen use in years — as much is the idea. From high above the main building, it's decaying sign serves as a reminder of what it once was, and what it is now.

Eagle Electric — Perfection Is Not An Accident

And the wheels keep turning. The black car wheels into the parking lot, Ethan maneuvering it with skill. Amato sits in the shotgun seat, and in the back is Sierra. Checking his pocket, Ethan looks for his phone. Whipping it out he checks it, still no call back. "Fuck Elias. If you don't fucking show up." A voicemail has been left, and hopefully that is all that would be needed. Shutting the phone he slips it back into his pocket. "Oh look, they saved me parking spot." The car turns and rests in front of the building, not necessarily in a spot where many burned out cars remain, just an open patch of land.

Turning off the headlights and then the car, the man adjusts his tie and gloves before clicking the power locks. "Alright everyone. Best b'havior now." And with that the Wolf is out of the car, shutting the door behind him. Ethan gives a hearty exhale, making a puff of steam from his breath before he starts forward into the facility.

Sierra glares a bit into the back of Amato's head as she sits in the back. Her shaded eyes block where or what she might really be looking at. As the car slows she is out and she moves herself out of the vehicle. She says nothing keeping herself silent, turning like a well trained soldier and following Wolfs lead into the facility.

It would seem to be one of the rare occasions when Ethan is in a tie and Amato isn't. Having been pulled from his dinner preparations, the remnants of the suit the thin blond wears beneath his thick wool coat consist of pants, shoes, vest, and a shirt unbuttoned at the collar and loose at the cuffs. Amato tries to amend the latter of these misfortunes in the car, unaware of Sierra's piercing gaze. He is, undoubtedly, more focused on the reason why they have come here and his deplorable, sloppy appearance. After all, Amato only rolls his eyes at Ethan's little reminder as he exits and walks through the doors to the warehouse at a brisk pace.

'Immediate' meetings may not exactly be a common sort of thing among this crowd, but is nothing else, that is often what they are; immediate. And fortunately for Ethan, Elias has no intention of disappointing him, and especially none of upsetting a certain someone else that will be attending this get-together. Unlike the trio that just arrived, however, there is no sound of a vehicle or even walking to signal the arrival of Elias and company. He, as well as another missing attendee, Munin, arrive ex nihilo, simply appearing a few feet from the car with no fanfare or even an ominous breeze.

Elias, much like the Wolf this night, is dressed in one of his few, nondescript suits, slate grey with a white shirt. He has, as is usual, forgone a necktie. Right on time to join the party.

The warehouse is as cold and empty feeling as it always is, perhaps more so today given the strange nature of the gathering. The high-ceiling is filled with the rustling sounds of wings, dozens of ravens perched within the exposed steel rafters, black feathers dotting the white cloth-covered stacks of old cargo crates that were never shipped off before the company collapsed on itself after the Bomb. The sound of footsteps echo loudly against the concrete floor and up into those lofty iron beams.

While the warehouse seemed to be in its normal condition on the initial entrance, it's clear something has changed over the last few days. Stacks of army-green metal cases are pushed up against the wall just beyond the bay doors, each of them marked with white stenciled serial numbers — all of them ammo cases. Ethan's stockpile of munitions lays out in the open, racks of automatic weapons, cases of explosives, it looks like an arms locker in the warehouse now. Beyond this grim display, lies the center of conversation within the facility.

Several wooden palettes that once held freight cargo have been left in a large open space surrounded by towering stacks of old electronics in shipping crates. These palettes are swathed in loosely laid white canvas tarps, arranged in such a fashion that the wrinkles and creases in them give strong play of shadows and light from the high up and narrow windows. Centered on these palettes, like a makeshift dais is an old high-backed chair, the kind that would sit at the far end of a banquet table. Whatever upholstry it would feature is obscured though, the chair shrouded in the same white cloth as the palettes, some blowing in the cold breeze that whips through the drafty building. However, something is missing from this picture.

Normally when a meeting is called, Kazimir would be seated upon the chair. Only Amato and Munin would be keen on this detail. But instead, he stands tall a few steps away. His face is half-shadowed in the pale yellow light coming in through the windows from the lamps outside, and it hilights the heavy, sagging look of his features and the scarring on his cheeks. Proudly, both of his hands rest atop the steel wolf's head of his cane, which helps the old man keep his posture.

Blue eyes, softer than his features would let them seem, survey the group as they approach, and it is only once he no longer needs to project his voice that Kazimir Volken speaks up, taking a few steps forward to the edge of the makeshift dais, heavy footfalls interspersed with the thump of his cane. "I am heartened to see all of you present," His eyes wander from one face to another. "It has been one month since I called for your aid here, in the city. One month since operations began, and I feel it is time that I let you all become aware of what is to come…"

No matter how many times Munin completes a jump in Elias' arms, she'll never get used to the sensation of her stomach dropping out from under her. Her dark hair billowing in an invisible breeze as the air around them settles back into place, she lets out a slow sigh through her nostrils, all four limbs aquiver. She's hasn't ever been on a rollercoaster before, but she imagines that it must feel somewhat similar to this. "Come on," she murmurs, taking Elias' large hand in her much slighter one, "let's catch up." Like a small child leading along an older sibling, she begins tugging him gently forward — she can hear Kazimir's words carrying across the distance between them, but the car isn't exactly the best vantage point in the area. She wants to get closer.

Ethan stops short once he sees Kazimir, a deep nod is offered to the man. As the far elder begins to speak, Ethan listens respectfully. No going for his cigarettes, no calling Amato a puff, he tucks his hands into his coat pocket and listens to the one they all consider Master. As Elias and Munin approach, the Wolf gifts Elias' entry with a quick nod before his attention is returned to Kazimir. He believes he already knows these plans, maybe this is more for the benefit of the others than him, but with Kazimir, you never know everything.

Sierra gives Kazimir a deep bow of her head quiet, she moves beside Wolf to listen to Kazimir's words. Her attention on him her shoulders back and square, her breath slow and her whole body attentive to the elder

Decorum dictates silence in such situations. Amato takes a position next to Ethan, his open side that which faces Munin and Elias as they approach. He doesn't glance back to the others, but keeps his eyes resolutely and humbly on Kazimir, unable to look his master in the eye but still staying focused on the older man's face. He bends at the waist, breaking that visual contact for a moment as he pays his respects, then returns to an upright and stiff posture, hands curled in to tense fists at his sides.

Not for nothing, Elias would very much like to be aware of what is to come, if only for the fact that this will make planning for the long term much easier. Really, it's no surprise that he follows after Munin when she wants to get close enough so she won't miss a word, as he doesn't want to either. Much like the others, Elias keeps quiet when Kazimir speaks; he isn't here because they need someone to think. If his input is needed, someone will ask for it. Probably. Much for the same reason, he doesn't acknowledge the presence of anyone but Kazimir, either. The boss is talking.

Pacing across the cloth-covered palettes, Kazimir's muted footfalls join with the soft thump of his cane, light gleaming off the the snarling wolf's visage his hand grips tightly, one thumb tracing over an old scar across its brow in the steel. As he walks, his eyes wander the warehouse, "In the weeks that have passed, this city has fallen into fear itself. Allowing myself to become the focus of this fear, I have shaken the general populace with their inability to be protected. When backed into a corner, a frightened animal is most likely to lash out in self-preservation. This, is exactly what must come."

When he stops, his eyes wander somewhere distant, peering between stacks of crates to something out of sight, then back to the others again. "They watched, helplessly, day after day as the bodies piled up in the streets. They watched as their police were ineffective in stopping the killings, and they came to find that even when presented with their target, they were powerless." There is a gravity to Kazimir's tone, a certain gravitas that he has not displayed since his small initial group set foot in New York. Now, though, he is like a man possessed — both in both and soul.

"Now they know fear, and fear is a weapon stronger than any sword, or any gun." He looks to Amato, "My Conscience," His long-time nickname for his right-hand aide, "Has worked miracles in striking fear into the hearts of those we fight. Our task is not an insurmountable one, but it is one that even as many as we are, are inacapable of completing. We are but enraged fleas striking out violently at great pyramids." His eyes then fall to Ethan, "Fear was but the first step, fear for the Evolved for their own safety, pushing them to lash out. Now, it is humans themselves that must come to fear. We alone cannot complete our task, but any animal, when backed into a corner, will defend itself. Humanity is no different." He pauses in mid stride, one hand gesturing animatedly to Ethan. "Phase Two, is Ethan's to perform, and you will follow his lead in these ends. The Evolved will be blamed for the taking of human lives — Martyrs — for the cause. This will stir even the most reluctant of souls to arms against their percieved threats. Brothers will turn on sisters," He briefly looks to Sierra as he says this, "Fathers to sons, and the city will collapse into itself from these shaky foundations it balances upon." A smile crosses his lips, "Then, at the end of this phase, we will be the ones that will be turned to as saviors, as vanguard."

Kazimir walks back to the chair, shoulders squared, "I rely on all of you to complete this next step we are within now. To protect not only our Work, but each other. You are all, each and every one," His eyes drift between Ethan and Amato, "Vital links to the chain that we pull tight around our enemies' throats. If but one link breaks, the hold is lost." With that said, Kazimir breathes in a deep breath and taps his cane once on the cloth-covered palettes. "As Ethan will take command of the Second Phase, I will be working on laying the ground-work for the Third Phase to come… but therein lies the reason for this meeting…"

As Kazimir speaks, Munin gives Elias' hand a tiny squeeze, trying to work some of the nervousness from her muscles and joints. Like the others, she remains silent in the old man's presence and hangs on his every word even though they leave her with a bitter taste in her mouth and an uncomfortable tightness in her heart. Now, however, is not the time to argue — there will be plenty of time for that later, when either she and Ethan or she and Amato are alone.

Ethan stands tall and proud as the mandate is given. Power is handed over to him, his features are as if they are carved from stone. Except for a moment, a very brief pause in time, his eyes barely wander over to Amato and.. was that a smirk? It would have happened too quickly for anyone to be sure. But after that instant his eyes are back on Kazimir, not a word. Only breathing.

Sierra listens to the elders words every last one of them coming to her, and she straightens herself a bit stiffly breathing deeply. Evenly she focus's her eyes on each person as Kazimir speaks about and she gives a soft nod of her head to each when adressed. Her eyes drift from elder to Wolf and she turns to watch him careful not to let any emotions grace her warrior features.

Amato doesn't need to see that smirk to feel the sting it would have caused if he had. But like that smirk, his own wince at the subtle shift in power is minute and quick. His heart had swelled when he was praised, if subtly, and it's that swelling that he will cling to for solace once back in Cliffside, or wherever he ends up tonight. Eager to hear more, Amato turns his head ever so slightly, as a bird might when interested or curious, though his expression remains blank, save for a slight pinching of his features.

With Kazimir's words strong and full of both real and implied violence against others, Elias listens all the more intently. Really, he doesn't mind violence; if he did, he wouldn't have gotten to where he is today. He only minds it when it gets out of hand, and given that the whole group is surrounded by enough weaponry and ammunition to start a small war, he minds just a little bit.

Munin wouldn't have to give his hand a squeeze to show that she was nervous. He's nervous, too. Elias would wager that all of them were nervous. The initial phase of The Plan is done; that means it's time to put away the hammer and bring out the scalpel. Strategy comes next.

Kazimir looks back to that spot between the crates that had his attention before, soft blue eyes stare wordlessly, and then focus back on the well-oiled engine of destruction he has gathered before him. "I would like to introduce you all to our newest addition to the fold," this is beyond irregular, beyond Kazimir's normal protocols. New recruits are usually silently slipped into the ranks, allowed to acclimate themselves, often with no special fanfare or hurrah. "He is an old collaborator of mine, an ally from my early days." Those words alone instill a sense of gravity to Amato, for Kazimir's Conscience alone knows the true length and width of just how large that statement can be.

"He and I share like minds and like goals, and we have worked together in the past. Once, I thought him gone, but now it would seem the Fates themselves have conspired to bring us back together again… to finish what was started years ago." He motions to the crates, "He and I will be working together, exclusively. But I entreat you all to make his aquaintence, and should he so agree to aid you in the Second Phase, you will be all the better for it."

He gestures with his cane, then taps it twice on the dais, "Please, there's no need to be a fly on the wall any longer…" For the first time in even Amato's time with Kazimir, there is the hint of a physical smile on his face, not one brought out of kindness, but one of fulfillment, as if the pieces of some greater puzzle were slowly fitting together into the bleakly painted still-life of a mass grave…

"Dear me, Sauerkraut. You always were one for long-winded fanfare." The sound of a man's voice - an Englishman's voice - is followed by the click of shoes on the warehouse floor, echoing from a spot that was previously believed to be unoccupied. Kazimir is not the only one with a flair for the dramatic, however, and the mystery guest lets his approach be drawn out. It's a few good moments before the man comes into view.

He's not much to look at; nothing truly exceptional, though easy on the eyes. The man who warranted such a prologue is a curly-haired blonde wearing a slim-fitting suit made from charcoal-colored fabric, along with a plain black shirt that has been left open at the collar. "And just to be clear, I'm not in any sort of fold. I'm more what you'd call a helping hand to nudge you adorable tykes along the proper path." He smiles, then, treating the gathered people to a flash of white teeth as he looks them over one by one, blue eyes skimming the ranks.

"Adam Monroe, at your service. Ready to save the world?"


October 23rd: Alea Iacta Est, Part 1

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

October 23rd: Join PARIAH, See the World
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