Burn After Reading


gideon_icon.gif merlyn_icon.gif

Scene Title Burn After Reading
Synopsis Merlyn delivers a mysterious pizza to an important man.
Date July 6, 2021

A half-eaten ham sandwich sits on a plate on the bedside table where Merlyn had set it out of the way before focusing on her finally unpacking her suitcase. She unzips her baggage, pulling out the small bag of travel-sized toiletries before she starts on the clothing.

Tucked into a fold of clothing, there is a letter envelope containing two things. The first is a hand-written note.

Sorry to do this. If you feel the need to refuse, burn contents. If not, deliver card to most important person you were given similar card for and no one else. Pizza personas only. Target has the key. No direct contact with me regarding this. Sorry again, options very limited. Much love.

The second thing is a business card which Merlyn has seen before. On one side there is an embossed snake tied in a figure-eight knot with a head at both ends. On the other side, a line of random-seeming letters.


"Fuck," Merlyn mutters, taking a moment to study the letters before turning the card back over to look at the snake. "You know I'm not going to refuse an emergency pizza delivery." She tucks the card back into the envelope, setting the letter down next to the plate on the side table before she abandons the unpacking process.

She's got a lion's den to visit.

The lion's den is orbited by the presence of charcoal and soot, a smoky sort of embrace lingering on the hides of heavy machinery. It doesn't quite match the degree of sun poking through clouds, letting light across the waterline and the ongoing work, both reconstructive and logistical. Firebreaks in the city had turned to char pits, and as part of the new city lifeline, d'Sarthe has put its hands in, assisting where needed while remaining mostly on its own footprint for the time being.

Cleaning up gets harder when nature and man seem to never give up on making it difficult.

Unlike with the build up to the war, there is something which kept him here in the city despite the encroaching fires; Gideon simply has too much to lose to lose his face, too. Or at least that is the answer he has been giving. Though business is not at all as usual, being interrupted with a message that there's someone claiming to be here for him—it seems to just track.

Of course he doesn't meet every Tom, Dick and Jane who walks in from the street, that would be foolish.

Fortune favors the bold, however, and so do passphrases.

Gideon's Office

In contrast to the outside limits, the inside of the d'Sarthe operations building is well-lit, well-kept, antithesis to docks and construction sites. The boss' office is much the same, manicured in the same way Gideon himself can be. His assistant meets Merlyn at the doors to escort her up and inside; she's initially greeted by the sound of flapping from the adjacent space, a large white bird adjusting itself idly by the window where Gideon waits quietly, subconsciously mimicking preening behavior with the unbuttoning and rolling of his sleeves.

While Merlyn has orbited d'Sarthe's operations in the past, her dealings usually haven't been direct. This is certainly the first time she's gone in to see Gideon d'Sarthe himself and the first time she's really had reason to. His business was usually much farther over her head than she liked to deal with. The note, however, was something she felt she couldn't ignore. Playing courier seemed like the least she could do to help.

As she steps inside, the small blonde flashes a smile as she produces a simple envelope and steps forward to offer it to Gideon. "I've been told.to make sure this gets to you directly and no one else. I've also been told you've already got the key." Which is good, because Merlyn's certain she doesn't know the cipher for the jumble of letters on the card.

Courier or not, Merlyn's presence itself feels peculiar once Gideon turns to her, as if searching her face for something could yield another answer or two. Primarily her connection to what she's now brought, but also something else that he simply still can't pin down. Needless to say, she's at least charming about it.

"I'm not the only one with a key, apparently." Gideon raises a brow to the offer of the envelope, carefully taking it between his fingers to examine the unmarked outside. "Given that you made such a fast track up here." His is a skeptical search for answers, prompting nothing but asking all the same. Rather than dig into the envelope first, he searches Merlyn's features and only then moves to his desk to turn the contents out onto the surface. Just the card, as before, no magic tricks here.

"It's amazing where being polite and knowing the right people will get you these days," Merlyn says with a small grin, giving half-a-shrug at the envelope. "Can't say I ever expected to be in this office, though." She glances at the card as Gideon dumps it out on the desk. "The only people who've seen that are you, me, and the sender and I'm fairly certain they want to keep it that way."

Once he's certain this situation lacks playfulness, despite this woman's charm, Gideon picks up the card to give it a cursory closer exam. If he can discern any of it right away, there is no indication.

But he does have the key. It's no issue in time.

"Of course they do. There is nothing they—or you—need to worry about." One hand smoothes over the already orderly shape of his beard, piercing blue eyes moving from the card to Merlyn. "Will this be all?"

Merlyn glances from the card back to Gideon, replying with a small nod. “As far as I was told, that was it. Now that you’ve got your hands on it, I’ll be out of your hair.” She flashes him a smile. “Good luck with… whatever that is.” The words are genuine. She knows that whatever message Wright was sending needed to be away from prying eyes.

“If you need anything, ask for Merlyn. I’m small potatoes in comparison to you, but I’ve got a few interesting contacts.” She gives him a dramatic sweeping bow with a grin before she turns for the door.

"Don't worry, chère. I've got a magic touch too, so you wouldn't be hard to find." We'll see. Gideon motions her out from his stand behind the desk, a sweep of the hand in a less dramatic way—but still somewhat of a kindred gesture. On another day it may have been different. Matched, perhaps.

"My assistant will show you back out. Good afternoon."

“Good afternoon,” Merlyn replies over her shoulder before she heads out to let the assistant guide her.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License