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by: Tristan Viridian
10 Apr 2012
The Abbey Pub & Grill
5:55 pm

He'd been back for two days, and was barely getting into a new sleep schedule. Tristan wasn't sure if he should get used to it again, especially if they needed him back in Boston for something...they always needed him for something.

The Abbey was in his sights. He'd been standing across the street for quite some time, just observing the place. Watching the groups pour in and head out after they'd had their fill of ale, or food or idle chatter over the last football match. He just watched. No sight of Kara Viridian. yet. No sight of his sister. Step-sister, to be precise. Even if she had turned up, Tristan wouldn't engage. Not yet. He just wanted to check on his dearest sibling, a girl he hadn't seen since Hogwarts, and even then he never really talked to her. They'd only passed each other in the halls, smiling as they did, as they talked with their friends about Quidditch or assignments or about how grumpy the Potions master was.

Tristan eyed his watch. Five to Six. It was time to head inside.

He'd be waiting for an informant, one who went by a nickname as opposed to his real name, as not to blow his cover. Pulling up the collar of his coat, Tristan dipped his head and crossed the street, walking up the steps into the pub. There was still a fair amount of folks here, laughing, talking, having a good time. This sort of crowd made for good cover, and conversation, which is probably why the others preferred to meet here over any other place on the strip. Tristan seated himself, ordering a bourbon from the cute waitress before taking a seat at the booth near the corner. Not too many people here.

Still no sign of Kara.
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by: Orion
It wouldn't do to drink the beer too quickly. Getting drunk was desirable, but unadvised. The boss-man had sent him an order to meet with him. The boss-man wasn't really the boss, but it was better, easier, to not think of the big man who cast a big shadow.

A sip on his beer, a snack on the peanuts, a shifting glance to the door...and there he was. His contact. The boss-man. The weaselly contact slipped off his stool with his drink and, as nonchalantly as he could, slipped into the booth across from the boss-man.

"I'm here, I'm here...whatchya got for me?"

He held the beer in both hands and peered out from under a newsboy cap. Cliche, oh so cliche, but if people remembered the hat, they'd forget the face under it. That was his hope, anyway.
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by: Tristan Viridian
As the informant approached, Tristan watched him carefully. Squirrely one, isn't he? He gave that analytical glance over him, all the way up to the top of his hat. Did he have to wear that? He asked to be discreet, inconspicuous, and here he was, wearing a hat that stuck out like a sore thumb. Tristan looked at his watch. 6:02 He sighed. "You're late." He shook his head, but he kept his face neutral, his steely eyes cold as he looked up at his contact. "At any rate, just don't let it happen again." Tristan took a sip of his drink and set the glass down, staring beyond his contact towards the bar for a second as he saw the shift change for the night crew to come in.

Still no Kara.

Clearing his throat, Tristan brought his eyes back over to the informant. "There's someone in town. A masked man." He waited for an reaction. If the man read the papers, he would given some sort of opinion on the masked psychopath who had been causing trouble with the gangs in the streets. "Not law enforcement. Using the word like vigilante to describe him? Well...my employer is concerned with this as it is rather disruptive to business."

He took another drink. "I need you to find out as much as you can about this masked...Devil." He said, with disgust. "Can you do that for me? If it's a reward you're looking for, don't worry. I'll ensure you're compensated for your hard work."
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by: Orion
Some people just had to prove how superior they were, didn't they? He'd BEEN HERE on time! Still, it didn't do to get snippy, not when your payday was sitting across the table. The informant held his tongue, but dropped his gaze to the waxed wooden table top.

He traced a pattern with condensation on the table as he listened to what his employer had to say. At the mention of the Devil, the informant looked up with fear in his eyes. The Devil didn't kill...he left you for the police and let you dry out in custody. While he didn't do anything illegal per se, it was more safe to not get beaten unconscious by a mad man in a Halloween costume.

Still. The Devil?

"I'll...I'll find out what I can...but I want double."

Narrowed eyes underscored his seriousness. It wasn't aggression, it was fear. The Devil hadn't killed...yet. Nobody wanted to be the first.
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by: Tristan Viridian
Tristan's jaw flexed. He held the small tumbler in his fingertips, twisting it, and setting it down, twisting it again, and setting it down on the coaster provided on the hardwood table. He didn't blink when he stared at the man, sitting back, seemingly frozen in place for a moment as he processed the request. He wanted more money? That was cute. Tristan had quite a bit of expendable income, thanks to his employer, but it would be nice to watch the little man squirm a bit. Finally he moved, tilting his head some as he continued to eyeball the man across the table. "More money? He clicked his tongue. "Fine. But what I'm going to do, is ask you to do a little bit more for me. This is not for my employer, but for me."

He released the glass from his grasp and folded his hands together on the table. Not once would he crack a smile. "I need someone found. Other than the details about the Devil, like I asked, but someone else. It's not going to be easy." With that warning, he reached into his coat pocket and slid over a small, yellow envelope. Hopefully the man knew not to open it here. "Former Marine. Calls himself 'The Rook'..." The moniker made him sound like he was a rookie, a greenhorn. He was anything but that. "Answers to the name Frankie, if you can get close enough to him. He was last seen in Edinburgh, but rumor has it he may be back here in London."

Tristan leaned in. "So what do you say, James. Can you do that for me?"

If the man asked, he might explain a little bit more, even though he hated giving too many details to folks who shouldn't know too much.
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by: Orion
This man was just as scary as his employer....that might have had to do with his immediacy, but the informant couldn't help but flinch at the false name he'd given the Shield...as if the bearded man would know that it was false just by the flavor of it.

He couldn't speak, just chew on the words that would never come. He settled for a disconsolate nod, agreeing to yoke himself to one more job. It was always just one more job, wasn't it? One more job before he could afford that flat he wanted. One more job before the bills got all paid. One more job before he could afford to move away from this rat infested heap of psychos.

Vaguely, he wondered what the Caribbean was like...it probably had its own psychos and weirdos too...
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by: Tristan Viridian
"Hey boss-lady!" the cute, darkskinned girl at the bar looked ecstatic to see her boss walk in, which was unusual for anyone to be so thrilled to see their employer. Maybe it was because he'd been in this business for a while that an "employer" showing up brought more scowls than yips of excitement, but Tristan observed that his sister might have made an interesting place to work. There was a small twitch in his eye as he looked up, staring somewhere beyond 'James'. The boss in question was in fact Kara, though her appearance had changed some since he'd last seen her in person. The photographs hardly did reality justice, anyhow, but there was no mistaking that face.

She resembled the photo that his father once kept in his billfold--of the woman he'd kept in his office back at Puxley, from what Tristan remembered. He'd stopped wandering those halls a while back, but that woman's face was a driving force that kept him searching for his father...she was the reason why Fierro was absent from his life, after all. Alexandra. Kara looked like her mother, Alexandra. He balled a fist, and then relaxed when he remembered he wasn't alone.

"Hm," He grinned...a rather devilish one that that as he returned his attentions back to the man with him. "Don't you run off so fast, I have you here, James, I'd like to pick your brain a moment. Do you know much about this bar?" He'd done his own homework, and did know enough about it from the muggle side, but Tristan wanted to wring out this informant for whatever information he had to provide; any dirt on his sister was going to help him. "Do you know about the people who come through here? The people who run this joint? I mean, it's rather significant, to folks on the other side, if you understand my meaning. I'd like to know, what you know...what you've heard about this place and the things that happen here. I'd like to know why The Abbey, a church that's been turned into a bar of all places, is the meeting point for everyone."
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by: Orion
Don't wanna know...Don't wanna know...'James' kept his head down, not wanting to meet the man's gaze. He was too much, too confident, too sure, too easy. The comparison best drawn between them as men was that this man, the boss-man's right hand, was that of a predator and a scavenger. The vulture was safe around the lion, so long as there was other prey to be had.

A sidewards glance told the informant that there was, indeed, other prey. The woman who owned this place (Kara? Or was it something else?) had caught the Shield's eye and it was not a good look. Sure, a smile...but it wasn't a good smile. It was a shark grin, a lion's grin. Better to flap off and wait for the aftermath. Not that he'd be allowed. Oh no, he'd been asked a question, so he would not at all be allowed to flap off.

"Ain't know nothin' I ain't paid to know about..."

And that was the damned truth, now wasn't it?
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by: Tristan Viridian
Tristan's lips tightened, twitched even, as he glowered at the man. He a fair amount of patience about him, but didn't like to tested, especially by someone on the ground ranks as this fellow. He was on strict orders from the boss to make sure that nothing happened to expose them here, especially in a territory they considered to be Switzerland. The Abbey had been neutral grounds for both worlds for quite some time, and this 'James' fellow wasn't about to make Tristan change that, and fall out of King's good graces. He threw his neck to the side some as he situated himself in his seat, leaning in with a no-nonsense gaze.

"My employer and I have compensated you well for the duration of our...arrangement here, James. Now I know I might be asking too much from you. I wouldn't want little Jimmy to miss out on extracurricular activities after his schooling. Or Marjorie...isn't her sweet sixteen just around the corner?" To his knowledge, this 'James' fellow had two children. He hated using them in a speech for leverage, but if he wanted to press for more funding, he wasn't going to get it without Tristan pressing back. "After everything we've done for you and your family, I don't think that's fair for you to think that we wouldn't pay you for a job well done as we have so many times in the past? Do you think that's fair, James?"

Tristan took one last pull of his drink, before cracking his knuckles and folding his hands together in front of him. Not once did he take his eyes off of James, not even to look at Kara who was talking with the others at the bar, barking orders and delegating tasks, from what he could hear from this distance.
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by: Orion

He couldn't even wail loudly...no, instead, he had to stay quiet so they would draw attention. The negative declaration was a moan more than the scream he wanted it to be. His kids! His only bright spot! how had this man known?

"No, no no! That's-I wasn't-I'm sorry! I wasn't asking for more money! I was-I was saying that I don't go nosing around unless i'm asked! I only snoop where I'm paid to snoop, I'm sorry, sir, please don't hurt them!"

Fear and desperation drove him to finally look up at Tristan. The informer was as honest as he could be.

"You want me to find out about this place, I'll do it for free. He'll, the raise I asked for earlier, take it back, just please, please leave my family out of this!"

Yeah, he definitely needed to look into moving elsewhere, take the family with him...or send them away.
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by: Tristan Viridian
Tristan didn't react when his informant started to panic. Not one blink, not one twitch, not even a smirk. It was difficult, controlling all of his muscles to remain still, but he was almost like a statue. There was a significant amount of pleasure that came with watching them squirm. He observed the man carefully as he backtracked, reiterating his meaning, trying to explain that he wasn't in it for the money. But who wasn't in it for the money? Was James lying to him? No, Tristan just nicked a soft-spot. The children were always the soft spot, and he was pleased to know the right buttons to press with James, if he decided to get unruly with him ever again.


He huffed. Then he chuckled. Then he just laughed and leaned forward, patting James on his arm. "Thatta boy."

Tristan grinned and picked up his glass, disappointed to find that it had already been emptied from his last gulp. Still, he was pleased with what he'd heard from James, that he decided he would let him calm down some. For now. "I don't harm children, James. What kind of person do you take me for? I just wanted to emphasize to you that we have eyes everywhere. Hands in the right pockets. You can calm yourself now, before you make a scene. I assure you we will compensate you accordingly. I'd like to believe I'm a good man, and not a monster...I will help you, if I have your word that you'll help me."
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by: Orion
Calm himself? Right. After the whipsaw from fear to panic, calm was a far off ocean that James would never sail. Still, he could give the illusion. A mill pond could be still even as the fish under the surface churn and writhe.

The employer wanted confirmation that there would be no problems. Hell, there were always problems. But that wasn't what the lion dressed as a man wanted to hear.

"You're a powerful man, and I'm not...and good or not, power scares us who ain't got it. But I'm smart enough to work for a man who has power, who can use that power to protect me if he wants. You had my help and I ain't backing off'n that."

Had to be wary. Had to be careful. One wrong word could mean bad things as was demonstrated earlier.
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by: Tristan Viridian
"Good." He smiled, nodding lightly.

Tristan gave one more glance to the bar. Kara was smiling, having the time of her life, even. It took everything in him not to take out his wand and curse her right there and then, and watch the life drain out of her scarred face, but King said no casualties. He also emphasized the neutrality of the Abbey which is why he chose not to go with his preferred method of coercion, being the good ol knife to the hand trick. Not directly, of course. Not instantly either. Playing a little five-finger fillet was his method. James seemed eager enough and he needed that on his side...eager folks with liability, to further help his cause.

He pat the table. "So...any questions for me, James?" Tristan liked to give the opportunity for his informants to clarify. Even though he didn't like to repeat himself, he'd rather get the job done right than have a mess to clean up. Especially in the muggle world. He stared down the weasel of man with his cold eyes.
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by: Orion
The informant shook his head quickly. He knew better than to risk the patience of his employer. Did he have questions? Oh, of course his did. Why was the wizarding community doing this? Why reveal themselves now after centuries of secrecy? And why to a reporter...a yankee reporter of all things? But 'James' knew the type of answer he'd get: "Because my employer wishes it to be so" or some other such thing. This man, powerful though he was, wasn't much more than a well trained attack dog. Guard dog, more like...no wonder they called him the Shield. Whoever was wielding him, hiding behind him, had the real power. Or else no power at all. Did Mister Viridian do it for love or money? The promise of more power or to repay a debt? Yeah...he had questions, but there weren't answers for him.
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by: Tristan Viridian
"Good, good."

"Here you go, sir." The cute little thing from the bar delivered another round to him, by surprise. Maybe the Abbey was a decent place after all. Tristan took the time to thank her, and watched her as she walked away.

Tristan's eyes went from smiling to serious as he looked back at James. He enjoyed this, he did. The whole masquerade, the espionage, the intrigue. Most of all, he loved the balance of power, or rather the lack of balance because his pawns were always in his hands, and could be crushed by mere words, or physical force if they pushed it. Magical force even, if things escalated. This informant seemed like a sketchy, rat of a thing but that was his nature, as it was like a prerequisite for this line of work. He gave one last, long glance at him before nodding.

"Then you know what to do. I'll be back here in a week." Tristan said, coldly. "You have what you need. You leave first. I'll be finishing my drink before I go. And as always, don't follow me. I will find you." The closing remarks were almost always the same. He would know if he would be followed, and there were consequences for disobeying that one simple request. Some informants, snitches, no-good snoops who got curious found those consequences...but it would be a shame to have that sort of thing happen to James.
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