Guilt and Innocence


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Scene Title Guilt and Innocence
Synopsis Amato and Kazimir return to the warehouse to discuss what has happened.
Date October 8, 2008

Long Island City: 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."

It is the silence, perhaps, more so than the darkness that makes the atmosphere in the warehouse so uncomfortable. Over an hour had passed since the escape was made from across town. Kazimir had said not a single word during the entire trip back, not one word to Amato on the entire journey. Kaydence's unconscious form had been brought in, laid out on the wooden palettes in front of Kazimir with her hands and feet bound in duct tape, the same over her mouth, while a cloth bag was tied over her head and duct-taped closed around her throat.

Upon the cloth shrouded chair, Kazimir sits in contemplation of the woman, Amato kneeling at the fore of the mock dais. Never once has Kazimir voiced a word of disapproval to his most loyal, never once has he ordered Munin out of his presence, and never has he ever left someone alive after his wake of death has touched them, especially after inflicting an injury to his person. The brusing Amato now suffers across portions of his body is a stinging and painful reminder of having felt Kazimir's necrotic aura.

"How many years, has it been…" His voice is heavy with weariness, the words shared between Amato and the unconscious Damaris. "Since you and I began this task, Amato." Kazimir understands the power of names, of speaking them and knowing them, and to speak of one of his own directly by name, and not by title or other familiar term speaks volumes to his mind.

The rhetoric, however, is not left open long enough to be answered. "In all that time," The venom in his words is strong, "When have I asked you to act so recklessly, so impetuously, as to risk both yourself and Eileen for what? The lives of the people we seek to leave this world to?" It's clear with those words, that he did not witness one of the Agent's powers. "I expect more forethought from you, and I expect an explanation."

Fear, respect, and duty have kept Amato's lips closed this entire time, even as he wordlessly bound the unconscious detective and laid her out before his master. But even when spoken to, Amato, Kazimir's Conscience and once star pupil of the Vatican himself, has difficultly finding words.

Fear, respect, and duty have kept Amato's lips closed this entire time, even as he wordlessly bound the unconscious detective and laid her out before his master. But even when spoken to, Amato, Kazimir's Conscience and once star pupil of the Vatican himself, has difficultly finding words.

"It was a risk, yes, but a risk taken in an effort to protect the Work, master. To protect you." Amato's voice is small, but the more he uses it, the more strength it gains. Still, it can never compare to the power of Kazimir's when Amato is in his master's presence. "This woman works alongside the detective looking into what we have already done here. It was he the girl and I attempted to lure close, to silence through threats. But he did not come — he sent her and the demon instead. The demon you were merciful to." The demon that gave Amato the least of his current bruises.

"But please, I beg you to spare Eileen." Like Kazimir, it is rare for the Italian to use the young woman's name, and there is a desperateness in his tone as he does so now. "She only did as I asked her. She is undeserving of any consequence you may see fit to set upon me for my…my boldness." Amato bows his head then, pressing his lips and chin into a curled fist set easily in place by his arm on his upraised thigh.

Kazimir's eyes widen as Amato speaks, his nostrils flaring as he takes in a deep breath and slowly rises up from his chair. The gray-haired man grips his cane tightly, taking a few steps forward along the wooden dais, stepping over Kaydence, and then down onto the concrete floor. "That man, was one of them!?" Only twice has Kazimir ever raised his voice in Amato's presence, never has it been directed to him. The steel-headed cane is raised, like a cudgel more than a crook, and is swing down with a violent force, stopping but inches away from Amato's head as Kazimir's face contorts into a conflicted and furious expression. Seething waves of black begin to expel out of his body, but are slowly drawn back in as he takes in a slower, deeper breath and straightens, withdrawing the cane from near Amato's head. "That mistake would be mine, and one I will not make again."

Kazimir looks down to Amato, watching him closely, then turns to make his way back along the concrete floor, regarding the female detective so bound before his chair. "I do not fear the police, they have hunted us from one end of the earth to the other, and none have ever succeeded in crippling our endeavors." He turns to look over his shoulder at Amato. "This world, though, has changed since then. Now the tools of our enemies are in the hands of those we wish to spare." His head bows, both hands coming to rest atop the head of his cane, back to Amato. "Your intentions were in our interests, but it is your judgment that I question. Munin," The use of her assumed name indicates his shifting attitude, "I forgive for her transgressions. She is young, and new to this work and has room to learn. You, I held to a higher standard." He swallows, dryly, still staring down at Detective Damaris. "Threats do not dissuade the zealous. Threats would no sooner turn you or I away from our work, as they would the police which seek to protect the lives of those that are entrusted to them. We are two sides of coin, both striving to protect in different ways. I cannot fault them for that."

Kazimir turns slowly, looking over to Amato with a side-long stare, "I have made contract with the young girl that came here, Hugin." It seems Kazimir has decided a name for her. "She has offered to utilize her unique talent for me, in exchange for the safety of one who may well hunt us." His eyes turn back to Damaris, "Not her, but another." Kazimir looks back to Amato then. "You see why, now, I am as cross with you as I am? Were you to accidentally take the life of that man, I would have broken my word." His eyes narrow, "Such things, I do not do. Which is why I did not give the order to take our fight to the law enforcement."

Though Amato keeps his eyes from his master's, he can feel that cane so close to his head as hotly as he can feel Kazimir's stare upon him. "I cannot imagine the grief my judgment has wrought tonight, though if any one of those whom Munin's flock was set upon were kin to…to the devilishly quick one with the detective, perhaps not all has been lost?" It's an attempt at redemption, at finding a pearl of righteous work in the muck of the evening's events. Even Amato himself has trouble holding on to it.

His thin frame shivers, and he closes his eyes tightly. "I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide," Amato quotes one psalm, and then another, his voice as shaky as his bones. "For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me."

Kazimir remains silent for a long time after Amato's speech, staring down at Damaris' prone form drugged and bound in front of him. His shoulders squared and cane resting against the floor, both of the aging man's hands resting atop the wolf-sculpted head. After those long and heavy moments of silence pass, he finally turns his focus back to Amato. "Truthful words," His voice has lost some of that edge, "Now it is known that this man among the police is one of our quarry, a face I will not soon forget." One thumb rolls over the right ear of the wolf's head, feeling a deep scrape in the metal, and Kazimir's eyes turn back to Damaris.

"What, then, are you intentions with this one? The longer she remains here, the longer danger is drawn to us on all sides." Some of that sharpness returns, "I will not have her within my presence, if there is no need for her. Neither, however, has she done me any wrong worth taking her life. Thus, I am finding myself in a precarious situation whereupon I am either tasked to take the life of this one, when all the fault is not her own. Or, release her with all she has seen, to do as she so pleases." Kazimir grows quiet and thoughtful, "Your counsel, on this matter?" It is as close to forgiveness as Kazimir seems to be willing to afford Amato, a transgression has been made, and one that will not be forgotten. But for the time, it seems, Amato still has a place and a duty that will be allowed to continue.

It is then that Amato dares to lift his own head again to look at the bound form on the dais. "She can perhaps be a tool to bargain with. As you yourself have said, dear master, the law of man here is unlike that of the places we have come from, undoubtedly due to the horror wreaked by those whom we seek to cleanse from their world." For Amato, Munin, and Kazimir are all outside this world they have taken on the task of purifying. Perfecting. They will not enjoy the fruits of their own labors.

"Perhaps," Amato continues more slowly, stealing a glance at Kazimir to gauge his reaction so far, "Perhaps we can convince her comrade to cease his inquiries into our doings while honoring your previous bargain at the same time, using this one. She can be moved away from this place — I can see to that. Then she shall not cause nor come to harm."

A low, rumbling sound of discontent builds in the back of Kazimir's throat as he considers Amato's suggestion. Then, after a brief time, he nods his head and looks back to his disciple, "Take her from here, far from here." Kazimur turns to fully face Amato now, walking up to stand beside the kneeling penitent, close enough that the discontent in his voice can be clearly heard. "You bear the full responsibility for both her life and what comes of this by her hand. That will be your punishment for this. You are her keeper now, until such a time as I say otherwise. If she brings misfortune down upon our heads, it is you who will be punished for that."

His eyes drift back to Damaris' form. He picks up his cane, tucking it beneath one arm before reaching into his suit jacket, fishing around in one pocket until he withdraws a folded stack of paper, holding it down towards Amato. "I believe I may have frightened young Munin. Ensure that this finds its way to her, and that she treats herself well with it."

After a shiver that rolls through Amato in the wake of such disapproval and unhappiness that wind around his master's words, Amato nods in acceptance of his task and fate. He lifts his eyes only to glance at the paper, then blinks as recognition floods his mind. "Master…if I may?" Such is not a time to question Kazimir without spoken consent from the man himself. Amato's in hot enough water as it is.

The rough texture of Kazimir's face does not move at Amato's question, his blue eyes showing that uncharacteristic softness they always do, the indication that this weathered and broken man still has a soul. He remains silent, that in itself approval of Amato's words. It is a trend with Kazimir, that rejection is voiced, whereas approval more often than not is unspoken. If he objects to something, it is made clear.

"This new world we have come to," Amato begins, stepping lightly and cautiously with his words even as he finds the smallest bit of solace in those serene blue eyes set deep within his master's weathered stone of a face. "It is full of temptation. Munin is young and susceptible, as I foolishly took advantage of tonight for my earthly, selfish means of attempting to control things outside my meager grasp. I am afraid…I fear that she might not choose wisely given such a sum. She may, in a time where I am unable to supervise her," given his current task, no doubt, "fall victim once more to the sins of her past."

The bills in Kazimir's hand are rubbed together, eyes half lidding in consideration. There is a noticeable neutrality now to his countenance, not one of distaste or frustration. Kazimir withdraws the hand holding the bills, but does not return them to his coat, eyeing Amato intently. "What, then, would you suggest for reparations?" His eyes cast away, staring at the uneven overlay of shadows and light in the warehouse. "I often feel as though Munin and I are too different, divided by language and culture beyond earthly comparison…" Gray brows lower, frustration not directed at Amato clear on his face now.

Almost eagerly, Amato shakes his head and adopts a face full of compassion and kindness, adoration for Kazimir. "Such is no one's fault, least of all yours. Munin is young — much younger than you in all of your years — and cannot be expected to possess the same wisdom. I would suggest…" Amato falls silent then, pulled into thought for a few seconds that silently tick by, undoubtedly recorded by some distant time piece.

"Perhaps a pet? Bran is all she has from home, and the majority of those she operates with here are no better than rats of a this above-ground sewer. But perhaps there is some shop still about, or close, where a pet of sorts, some avian of higher breeding can be procured? Nothing can replace her Tower Raven, to be sure, but she would invariably be soothed by such a thoughtful gift from one such as you."

Kazimir looks down to the folded bills in his hand, reaching up to place them within the side pocket of the suit jacket along with his hand. "As always, you prove your worth to me in ways unexpected." Blue eyes shift away from Amato and towards the warehouse door, then down to the bullet holes in the shoulder of his suit jacket. "Perhaps errands of a more mundane sort need be completed yet." His eyes shift to the side, focusing on Damaris, then Amato. "I leave this woman to your care," Those eyes focus back on the side of Amato's head, "Do take care to handle this with forethought."

Kazimir walks away from Amato's side, his shoes clacking against the concrete floor of the warehouse, and for the first time since their arrival in the city, Kazimir's focus has been on something far beyond that of his cause, it has been focused on the well-being of one who fights it alongside him, perhaps proving that within the heart of all beasts…

…there lies the heart of a man.

October 8th: 302 Briarwood Terrace

Previously in this storyline…
302 Briarwood Terrace

Next in this storyline…
Matthew 21:22

October 8th: Horn Rimmed Glasses Magic Eight Ball
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