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Unfolding Information
contined from here

Martin nodded and followed the Regus out of the gym. It irked him slightly that he'd gone to the gym in the first place. It was more important to speak with the man before him than to play patty-cake with his underlings. He sighed at himself.

They had been friends once upon a time. Martin didn't think that friendship extended forward now not in the same fashion it had once. Forever present yes, but Martin could tell something was wrong with his friend - the Sentient had set him on edge, he'd seen it in Armande's eyes. Whatever that girl did she seemed to grate on everyone she met - except the on friend he knew she had - there had to be more there.

Once inside the man's office Regus took a seat quietly. "I know we've much to discuss, but you seem rattled by the monster in our midst. Anything I can do to alleviate that conceren? Though she is part of the reason we have much to speak about."
Armande's mouth tightened at Martin's use of the word 'rattled'. Despite their years of friendship, despite his well intentions, condescension was still condescension. He would share none of his feelings. It had been a long time since he confided in anyone. And the day that his heart had been pierced, the day that the creature that had taken Lissandra had used her craft on him, the desire for emotional companionship had died. What was a friend after something such as that?

He peered at the man over steepled fingerrs. "I am merely disgusted as allowing perversions such as her to roam about freely, alive and unhurt." Frustration did begin to show. "She has made no progress, so far, in her assignment. And now Apollyon has exposed the Atharim to the world in the very same moment that he has claimed his godhood." It wasn't the first time the Atharim had been uncovered from their concealment. He shook his head in lamentation. "Your former predecessor Torquemada fell on his sword to cover what must be covered. But it was a different time, then. We must be more cunning."

He stood and walked to his window, back to Martin, hands behind his back. "We must be more clever. Apollyon has claimed a place in the pantheon. He must be destroyed. Not just literally. In the court of public opinion too. But we cannot be Cato and Bibulus to his Caesar, gnats biting at a giant." The analogy grated for the simple fact that Caesar- indeed the entire Julii clan- had been Atharim, descended from the great Aeneas, whose heroic exploits so long ago were conflated with that of Odysseus during the Trojan war. But Caesar, like his mentor Sulla of the Cornelia before him, had thought to seize power. Atharim out front? Ruling? Intentions did not matter. It had been lunacy.

He turned to regard Martin."We must be Caesar himself, Caesar on campaign."
Martin knew exactly how the man felt. The girl should be put out of their misery. But the Regus was wrong. She had come through, however late it may be. "I am not a historian, sir. My expertise lies not in strategy. I leave that to you. Give me a task and I will see it done. The darker the better. As always."
Martin missed the days of hunting in the shadows. It was why he'd taken this job in the first place. He sincerely hoped that the Regus thought he had failed - all the talk of falling upon one's sword.

Martin sighed. "But the girl may be late in information, but she had found it. She will not reveal it to me without you. She claims to have walked into Ascendancy's home and taken proof."
Martin pushed the folder he'd not read yet over to the Regus. "Her report. But she has information she can only speak as I'm to understand it. And I know not what proof she bears."

Martin had underestimated the girl. But he was worried she was keeping too much too close to the chest. He would do the same in her shoes. Her life was expendable - more so than others. And she knew it. She made her self useful. Survival was her goal at all times. She would turn coat the moment better odds were in her favor. He was certain of this.
Armande listened without showing his surprise. She had succeeded? A glimmer of hope alighted at the thought of sneaking into this self-styled god's apartments. This could be finished quickly if that were possible.

He regarded the papers Barovsky slid across to him and then went to sit down, picking them up as he did. He did a quick scan.

As he did, his mouth turned down.

"Bring her to me," was all he said.

Edited by Regus, Aug 6 2016, 01:47 PM.
Martin nodded simply and stood from his place. "I'll be back with her momentarily."

Martin left the Regus office and he wondered why he didn't pull the girl with him. He found her easily in the gym, the three of them still there. "Aria with me. The Regus requests your presence."
He knew he didn't say it with any respect. He nor the Regus respected this hunter, but if she'd been Furia - he might have been proud to have her under his wing. Instead all he felt was hatred.

Martin lead the little whelp to the Regus office and knocked politely before entering quickly taking the seat he'd been in prior. "Aria Piccolo as you requested."
Aria sighed at being kept prisoner in the headquarters. But it was not something she hadn't expected. Though she knew her death was near. The Regus and/or Borovsky would see to it that she didn't make it out of this encounter alive. She trusted the Ascendancy to keep his word that she'd survive if he survived but that was the best she could hope for. If the Ascendancy fell Aria knew her life was forefit.

But they had not decided what to do yet when Martin returned. It wasn't surprising really - the first and foremost thing was taking down Ascendancy and she had information. And for that was grateful. Aria was thankful Martin didn't just take her by the arm again so she followed dutifully to the Regus office and stood when introduced. There was no need to sit. She didn't expect to be here long. Only long enough to relay the information and attempt to keep her place on the mission. She only held one card and she was going to have to keep it close.

Aria stood and kept quiet. She would not speak until spoken to and she would temper her words. This was not a day to piss anyone else off more than they already were.
While Martin fetched the girl, he looked at the package Dr. Daniat had delivered earlier in the day and contemplated the confluence of events. Almost as if there was intelligence at work in the world, guiding things. Apollyon's announcement, The memory of Lissandra. The Sentient. Her record of kills. What she had discovered at the monastery. And now, a possible way in.

Lines were converging. He looked at the open package again but did not touch it, did not take it out again. Not yet. The object inside radiated age, felt heavy with antiquity. He could still feel the raised edges etched in the copper face on his fingertips. A ghost of a smile touched his lips. A nexus was forming here. So many possibilities. So many enemies. There was a hand behind this. There had to be.

Martin returned with the girl and he dropped the smile. "Sit," he commanded. He regarded her for a moment, drawing it out. Thinking. Finally, he began. "First things first. Apollyon. You failed to kill him. We will get to that later. Instead..." his hand touched her report, slid the sketch out from under the rest. A tiny hourglass pendant. "Tell me about this. How did you see it? Who was wearing it?"

Edited by Regus, Aug 7 2016, 12:03 AM.
Aria failed to kill Ascendancy because the timing was not right. Not that she had really tried but there was no way that either man was going to find that out in the middle of no where. The only way that were to happen is if someone else was there on Ascendancy's team working for the Atharim and that was not likely.

But it wasn't that he wanted to talk about right now. The pendant - the hourglass. Nothing of importance except that Ascendancy was interested in it. "No one was wearing it when I saw it. Ascendancy used his power and found a grave and pulled it from the depths of snow and earth to uncover it. I saw him do it. So one upon a time, the men who Ascendancy killed in Siberia years upon years ago was likely wearing it. Ascendancy seemed intrigued with it's presence but since I didn't talk to the man I didn't actually get to ask him what he knew."

Aria paused to get a breath before she continued as she pulled out the actual pendant from her pocket with a smile. She carefully placed the metal on the edge of the Regus' desk, the pendant no longer claimed any dirt but the metal was old you could see it in it's shape and form. "I took this from Ascendancy's residence. I know a way in for a small team."
He reached past the package and took the pendant, felt the etching with his fingertips. He felt dirty and wanted to throw it away from him. He seethed. Di Inferni. So they still existed. He had suspected. It had been the only way to explain certain...things. Perhaps even the reports about the tunnels. He could almost feel them moving in the shadows. He kept his lip from curling. Pope Gregory XV and the broom of his Omnipotentis Dei should have swept them all into the fire.

Why had they tried to kill Apollyon? Or had they wanted to recruit him to their cause? Bodies in the ground would indicate his answer.

In any case, the time of reckoning was coming, including for the girl. He leaned forward, seizing her eyes in his. "Once.upon.A.Time? Is this a story you sing, little song bird? I would think you would know that being flippant with me can be hazardous to your health." His eye lifted to Martin. He knew the man longed to strike from where he was. Reckoning would be soon.

Eyes back to her. "You will tell us your way in in a moment. will first tell me how you killed an Ijiraq, as you claim. Sing me that song, little bird."

Edited by Regus, Aug 7 2016, 01:10 AM.
Aria smile was dark. The threat on her life was no different through the perceived flippant reply - it hadn't been intended to be but the Regus sneered at every possible moment so why not make things worse. Aria replied calmly. "You think my smart mouth plays any part in my demise that I'm afraid of you are wrong, my Regus. I die by your hand today or I die from it later. I die from Borovksy's hand, or I die at the hands of a monster or even better yet the Ascendancy. Either way I die. It's a matter of whether or not my information dies with me at this point. However, I am flattered that my record is of more concern than Ascendancy despite the fact that Borovsky has already vetted every single report and his notes are in my files. So I'm glad to see you don't trust your right hand man - your Metatron".

Aria didn't care at this point that it made matters worse. They had already decided her fate. She could only hasten it's probability and honestly she didn't care right now.

Edited by Aria, Aug 7 2016, 07:41 AM.

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