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by: Orion
April 19, 3:05 pm

It was hard to say what was more difficult and awkward: introducing a group of new initiates and giving them a guided tour, or being the new initiates and being the obvious outsiders.

Despite the conundrum, the ten new members of the Order of the Phoenix were getting themselves unpacked and tucked away after being guided into the grounds. Their security checks were clean they were fed, given a tour, and ready to go. Only one thing remained. They had yet to meet Kara, despite hearing so much about her. The introduction had been promised, so now the group await the inspiring words of their new leader.
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by: Jaleth Lenor
Jaleth watched carefully from his seat by the window. His arms were folded as he observed the new lot of folks who just walked in like kids dropped off at summer camp. Some had starry eyes, some had curious and confused looks on their faces and a few of them looked determined. Perhaps none of them knew what they were really in for. They looked young too, save a couple of them who looked maybe a couple years his senior. Some of these cells were called back from wherever they were in the world, others were recruited by secretive means.

Nevertheless, he looked at them carefully. He wondered what Kara had to say, or what they were going to do with them to start. Would she let them breathe after their 'initiation'? Give them a syllabus and let them skitter off on the grounds to get comfortable?

Kara sent him notice, and in so many words wanted him to utilize his teaching skills to help these little Order 'cubs' along. He'd signed up for this, he supposed, having spent the last month in recovery, giving him time to think of a way to repay Kara for her hospitality. Joining their ranks wasn't easy, and it took a lot of discussion and consideration from both parties, but it was the least he could do to get back on his feet. It gave him more time to stay with Diana, as she was recovering as well, but she hadn't said much in the way of what she wanted to do beyond that. He'd let her decide on her own. She had plenty of time.

It might have been early afternoon but he had a tumbler in hand already, with a small bit of scotch at the bottom. He hadn't been drinking too much, knowing he'd have to engage with these 'initiates' but still he sat, quietly, waiting until the right time to get up.
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by: Maddie Jamison
"Ok! Ok! I got it, in the room. Wait quietly. This is serious...it's a war." Maddie held up her hands to the big oaf that had pushed her into the room. Geeze, the way they were treating her was as if she were a criminal. She supposed she was in a way. The people making the laws viewed this as rebellion and she was a part of it so she supposed she was a criminal. She was a criminal long before this whole thing actually. Forging papers, sneaking out magical goods, anything to help those away from home and away from her families. In many ways she was just stepping it up a level. Adding herself to a decades long resistance organization led by former professors just the next level she supposed. All that remained was her 'initiation.'

What the heck was this initiation shtick anyways? Were they going to have to wear some kind of robe and chant some kind of voodoo? What if they had to do a spell? She couldn't do magic. She barely completed her fourth year at Hogwarts. She had been out for a whole year now. She was hopelessly behind and besides all that she couldn't actually cast a spell with her wand because she was underage. She would be caught. She could blow the whole operation! It made her question why they even wanted her here. It had seemed like a way to get back into the world of magic, back in with people who understood her and shared her vision but now....now she didn't know why she was doing it. Why she had been invited. What they even could want with a little scrawny slip of a thing like her-not even sixteen. What was she going to do to change the world? Suddenly her mouth felt dry and her throat was starting to close up. The room was way smaller than she had originally thought.

Maddie crossed her arms tightly over her chest and spun around looking around the room. There were people all around the room. She didn't know any of them yet. She didn't recognize a single person, a single face. Maybe she shouldn't have agreed to join up with the Order of the Phoenix. Still, it was too late now. Maddie supposed it was one of those. 'if I told you i'd have to kill you,' things. Out of the frying pan and into the fire. Wow...wasn't she full of trite sayings today. Maddie almost rolled her eyes at her own brain. She had to get over whatever this was. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and then opened them and spotted a man with a drink. A drink....she hadn't ever had a drink before. Maybe now was a good time to start.

Maddie uncrossed her arms, put on her best nonchalant face and sauntered up to the guy holding the glass. She was so happy she put on makeup today- added at least five years. The guy probably would be pretty difficult to trick but she'd handled worse. "Hey there! Is the drink part of the welcome package here or do I have to pay extra?"
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by: Jace Bryden
It was hard to keep himself scarce when so many new scents had cropped up seemingly out of the blue. A gathering of sorts was happening and Jace was more than a bit miffed that his crew hadn't been extended an invite. Was Kara trying to cut him out or was something else going down? Either way the alpha wanted to know what the hell was going on. As he neared the building said meeting was being held in a myriad of different scents and emotions assaulted him. Some were familiar but a decent amount weren't. And then there was the jumbles of emotions ranging from excitement to out right fear and worry. A general unease. Now wasn't that interesting... unease and fear was something he'd come to associate from Order members only when his crew was in the vicinity...

Various forms of chatter drifted down the halls as he made his approach, though rather than his normal barge right in and own whatever the hell room he walked into, the alpha went for a more subtle approach. He wanted to get a feel for whatever was happening before he made his presence know. It was easy to slip in unnoticed and take up a position in the back corner of the room. Jace put his back in a corner and let himself blend into the background. It only took a few minutes of listening in to the chatter and observing what looked to be a bunch of rookie sheep come straight to the slaughterhouse. Was this the best the Order had when they'd talked about recruiting? It was hard not to laugh. He cast his eyes over the crowd, seeking out the wannabe alpha. Hnnn...not here yet. Wasn't that just rich. Well, he supposed he could give her a few minutes to show and if he didn't he could always sit the pot to keep things interesting.
Before Jaleth could even look up at the girl, Jonathan intercepted with a not so subtle, "Ha, ha.". He folded his arms and stood beside his friend's chair, with a not-so-fast look in his eyes. "Professor Lenor here would be rather upset if he didn't know he was going to be accosted by someone who is well under the legal limit. Hm?" He raised an eyebrow at the girl in question, Maddie, who was trying to sweet talk her way into a glass of scotch. "Yeah, nice try." He winked, waving her back in the direction of the area with the rest of the new recruits, where Kara had wanted them all to meet for her small welcome speech.

"Not even four yet, mate." Jon gave Jaleth a friendly pat on the shoulder as he snickered. But when he looked at the far end of the room, he spotted the garou, one of Kara and Fierro's new 'guests' to the house. He hadn't properly met the man but he'd heard enough stories to steer clear since he didn't want to cross him. "I didn't think we'd have company to this little shindig?"
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by: Jaleth Lenor
Jaleth had his fingers to his temple as he leaned on the arm of the chair. There were a handful of folks who'd walked in but a straggler, the last one, was a girl who had made some call out to him about drinking. She wanted some? He shrugged and was about to offer some when he heard a voice cut through to intervene. He raised his eyebrows at Jon's method of 'policing' the liquor, as Jaleth was embarrassed that he didn't see this girl was quite underage. "You heard the man." He chuckled and let the girl be on her way.

"Thanks, mate. I'm sure I wouldn't hear the end of that one." If Jaleth, a Professor no less, was caught giving one of Kara's underage recruits any alcohol, she'd probably nag him to high hell for it. And then some. He acknowledged Jon's comment about the time as he always did, raising the glass as to "cheers" him for his efforts in giving him such guff about his drinking habit. But when Jon looked over at the corner of the room, where Jace was sitting. The garou. The Alpha of that group of mercs Fierro dragged in. A lot of folks tended to blame Fierro for bringing them here, but since Jaleth knew the circumstances, the why and how he'd run into Jace and his pack, he was one of the few who defended the former Minister.

If it weren't for Fierro, he and Diana might still be in the cell down below. He'd helped them up and out of there, and pointed them to safety and decided to take a different path to get the garou off of his trail. He'd made it into Tutaminis before they could be traced but Fierro ultimately sacrificed himself to ensure their safe passage. It had already been a month since Kara made the deal, but things were obviously not going well with him. Would they ever? Garou were rarely the diplomatic sort and that's basically what the Order of the Phoenix stood for. Diplomacy. Order. Proper, civilized training that didn't require brute force or killing unless necessary. Jaleth sighed. He was healed enough to cast in case things got out of hand. He wasn't even thinking defensively until Jon pointed out that Jace was in the room...and he hated that he had to consider wielding his wand tonight, inside the have that was supposed to be considered safe.

Jaleth kept an eye out for others like Kyle or even Fox if she was slated to help wrangle in the newblood today. The initiation meetup was only going to take a few minutes of initial speech from Kara before they were taken to their quarters, but Jaleth knew that they needed to be ready for anything, especially if Bryden was involved.
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by: Maddie Jamison
And then there was the liquor police. Leave it to Jon to be a killjoy. She had known him for such a brief time and already he was on her case. And she had to rat her out in front of a professor of all people; not that she was familiar with professor whatshisname- he wasn't there when she was at Hogwarts. It had been a while after all. It wasn't as if she hadn't had a drink before. She was practically an adult leaving on her own after all. She was sixteen. According to the law she was allowed to have booze...just with adult supervision. Maybe that was her in. After all, the professor looked like he had actually contemplated giving her a drink. She thought she earned one risking her life for the cause and all that. Maybe he did too? Technically I can have a beverage with alcoholic content according to British law at my current age of 16 as long as I am supervised by an adult...sooooo....I have two adults right here! Problem solved!" Maddie looked hopefully from one to the other before being shut down again- this time by the professor. At least she tried.

With a heave of a sigh and a roll of her eyes Maddie slunk off and looked for other amusements. The other recruits still looked like a snooze- all jumpy and nervous and speaking under their breaths like they were at some kind of funeral. She knew it wasn't a game or anything but it was their first day. They could at least act like they still were alive. She didn't want to deal with that kind of negativity and fear- not yet. She didn't need it. So what else was there to do? Looking around the room she spotted one other individual that looked at least half as bored as her. Target acquired.

Sauntering over to the older, bearded, scruffy fellow Maddie noticed he was sniffing the air tentatively as if he were trying to smell something. That was odd if nothing else. "You look about half as bored as I feel."
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by: Jace Bryden
Even with all the whispers and low volume conversations Jace found it more than a bit aggravating. The room was almost a sense overload for the alpha and, aside from the waves of uncertainty, fear, and well, everything else humans tended to project when they were nervous or excited. And the worst part was they didn't even have any conversations worth listening to that he could focus in on.

Jace picked up on the approach of someone closing and swore under his breath. He'd been hoping he would be able to last a while longer before someone grew a pair and told him to get lost. Not that he would have listened. No he probably would have escalated the situation as was his style, but if the of so grand leader of the Order wasn't around for the show then it was a bit of a waste. Jace shifted slightly before turning his head to look at whoever it was. What he hadn't been expecting was a kid. Oh this was just too god damn rich.

The alpha didn't answer her statement right away. In fact he'd contemplated just ignoring the girl, hoping she would go away if he'd showed no interest. Then again if she was here it could offer another way to push buttons and that would most definitely alleviate any boredom he might have been feeling. After he'd had a chance to look her over he drawled out lazily "Might be." Jace didn't bother with anything else. Small talk had never really been his thing.
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by: Kara Viridian
Finally. Everything was set. The new recruits were arriving today, as invitations were sent out a little more than a week ago, and everyone was coming together.

Kara had been dreading this moment the day she realized it was going to happen--because she would have to address all of them, members new and old, and even some of the refugees that would want to sit in on the meeting, about the future of the organization and what their aim is from here. Kara had recently returned from America, and while she wouldn't be able to fully disclose the happenings of that discussion, she would summarize it as concise as possible before moving things along, getting everyone acclimated to the living spaces and introducing her staff. She thought about how silly that sounded. She had a staff? A crew? No, they were allies, partners, assistants. Leader or not, they were still viewed as her equal. Jaleth and Jon were among those few familiar faces in the room, members she'd known for years, and no matter how they became a part of this, they were supporters and that's all that mattered to her.

Once everyone was settled, a hush fell over the crowd as if they knew that she was about to present something. Kara didn't have too much trouble public speaking, but she just didn't do it as often so she didn't know what to expect with this rather diverse crowd. A lot of bright, hopeful eyes and even some skeptical ones fell on her and she clasped her hands together in front of her once she came to a comfortable enough position that she not lock her knees and keel over from the pressure.

"Welcome, everyone." She smiled, but not too much, because frankly the business they would handle from here on out hardly required smiling. Still, she wanted to seem friendly enough and approachable to give off that vibe that they could go to her if they needed to. "Thank you for gathering here today. For those of you who have just arrived or ones I have not officially met yet, my name is Kara O'Donnell. The Order of the Phoenix is going through change. A renovation, of sorts. Right now they think that the Order is dead and gone but as you can see, it's not. There are still people who believe that the Phoenix will rise, and you were brought here to take part in its restoration. Each of us have a skill set that is vital to that, and we'll be working together to show them that the Phoenix will rise again."

She felt silly saying stuff like that, rallying her troops. Mostly because she hadn't done it before, not to this level. When she was an auror, she ran partner work with Markus, small team stuff and she was nowhere near the top of that food chain. Alright, so far so good. Just a little bit more and you can send them on their way.

But then she spotted Bryden. Dammit. It was a big mistake to notice him too, because she was already flustered and seeing him was just the cherry on top. What the hell was he going to do? Sabotage her? She made the mistake of not inviting him, but was it truly a mistake? Kara was on the fence about it, mostly because a wild-hearted man like him would probably think her approach was too soft...at least, that's what she gathered.
Jon looked up at Kara with a smile. He didn't stop her from getting into place to get the ball rolling on the introductions. It would probably make her nervous as all get out and she looked confident. He did have to reassure her after all, and let her know that it was going to be a one and done, short and sweet deal, and she wouldn't have to worry about it for a while. The rally call was necessary to show that the leader was present and there she was...but where the hell was...Maddie...? As he searched through the crowd, Jon looked over and saw the girl had wandered over to that garou fellow and his stomach sank. "I swear she's going to be the death of me..." He uttered, as he clapped a hand on Jaleth's shoulder before excusing himself to fetch her.

"Excuse me." The Aussie forced a smile at Bryden, even though he hadn't officially met him--but now was not the time for any of that. He placed a hand on Maddie's shoulder and guided her back toward the rest of the recruits. He leaned in and whispered to her, "Let's have a listen first, and we can get to introductions to the personnel here, hm?" It was like he was talking to Vivian again, his baby sister, having to point her in the right direction otherwise she'd just get lost. "And I'd strongly advise to be careful of that one." He, meant Jace, of course. He worded that warning carefully, trying not to seem like a nag to the girl all the while keeping it civil in case the garou decided he wanted to listen in on what he'd told the girl. Tension was already high because he was in the compound, let alone the room, so he didn't need to aggravate him further.

Jon stood behind wherever it was Maddie had ended up, front and center, with everyone else. He folded his arms as he listened to what Kara had to say and nodded with a small smile as she opened everything up beautifully.
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by: Fierro Darque
Fierro was running a bit late, but he wasn't going to miss this meeting. He couldn't. He wanted to be there to support Kara for her first roundup with the aspiring members and the batch of new recruits they'd wrangled in. Fierro didn't mind giving public speeches, as he tended to do so in meeting form with or to the masses when he was the right hand--but he knew that Kara had yet to find her voice. He reiterated to her time and again to just breathe, stay calm and let the words flow out with her honesty and sincerity and it was going to be fine. They went over her speech a few times last night but she still had a tinge of hesitation in her voice.

He took a quiet perch at the back of the room near the entrance when Kara started to speak, and he looked around to see that her cohorts Lenor and Partridge were here too, to support her and to keep an eye on everyone...And she did just fine! Fierro smiled proudly at his daughter as she made her introduction.

But when she paused, Fierro followed her line of sight to the back of the room. Much to his surprise, he noticed Bryden in the corner, lurking and observing. Fierro sighed. This couldn't go well. Bryden had been trying the patience of everyone in the Order, mostly Kara's--as if some sort of display to showcase his dominance as the pack Alpha--and to show that Kara wasn't fit for this role. Even if she wasn't fit just yet, there was an unofficial council, comprised of her closest and most trusted advisers who could help her with the transition. If Bryden didn't like that fact, then perhaps a renegotiation of their 'deal' would be in order.

Still, Fierro didn't act. He would wait this out and see if anyone would take a shot at Kara, but he was ready to deflect.
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by: Jace Bryden
The man who had come to retrieve the kid was rewarded with a raised brow and small shrug as a matter of greeting or whatever the hell humans called it. Frankly Jace could of cared less, though the mans seeming warning about being careful around him brought a grin t the alphas face. Absently he wondered if they had thought themselves far enough away that he wouldn't have picked up on that, or maybe they didn't realize he wasn't a human or bound by there dull senses.

Jace didn't get to dwell on those thoughts for long as a silence descended on the room. That could only mean one thing... He let his eyes scan the room and his slight grin widened when the wannabe of the hour finally appeared. The alpha shifted slightly to get more comfortable in his lean in the corner and listened to the beginnings of her spiel. And what a spiel it was. If this was supposed to be inspiring? Supposed to prove the Order was alive? Phoenix's rising from the ashes? It was to much for the alpha and he couldn't hold back the laugh. It wasn't loud enough for everyone to hear but those near the back would definitely would and honestly that didn't bother the alpha one bit.

He glanced back up with a smug little smirk and when he noticed Kara looking at him if it was possible it turned into something devilish. If this was how the rest of this spiel was going to go there was no way he was going to be able to just sit here and listen. Not with all the feelings of nervousness and fear rolling around.
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by: Jaleth Lenor
Jaleth smiled as he cradled the glass of scotch in his lap with one hand, and leaned to rest his elbow on the rest with his fingers to his temple. Folks might have thought he looked bored or uninterested, but it was the contrary. He was paying attention, with that smile he wore laced with admiration for Kara and her speech she'd worked on with her father. He did his best to encourage her too, along the way. He did his share of public speaking as a Professor, though not to this caliber of work. Jaleth stood in front of a classroom and taught out of a manual to children forced to listen to him day in an day out. This, however, was different. Rallying troops, like an army General was no easy task, but she did it beautifully.

...and then he heard someone break the silence...what was that...A laugh? Who the hell... Jaleth scanned the room for the culprit and found him in the back corner. Arrogant grin? check. Mocking the leader? double check. Jaleth was irked by the presence of Kara's new, albeit forced, ally. The hell is he doing here anyway? Jaleth sat up and set his drink on the table. He looked at Kara and nodded at her, so she wouldn't get too lost and continue her speech since she was so close to dismissing them. Of course they run into a roadblock...the big, smug, garou roadblock. He sighed.
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by: Maddie Jamison
So another wierdo huh? This placed seemed to collect these freaks of nature. One that was nearly dictator like in his control of her. A day drinker and now someone who looked like he was here to make trouble but only responded in one word answers. Pleasant fellow. So far it seemed that joining up with whatever this was and whoever was here was the worst decision ever. Youngest in the room by at least a decade surrounded by freaks of nature like this guy. And now there would be one more. This all important woman that walked into the room- a woman that she supposed the was ringleader of this circus that she had run away to join.

Still, it was hard to listen when she was being dragged away by her own personal babysitter-warden more like. And he was still treating her like a baby. Let's have a listen shall we. She would make him listen to her a little bit later. Rolling her eyes was the only polite thing to do right now. Especially since she was apparently supposed to be inspired. Inspired by a name she hadn't heard in a long time- The Order of the Phoenix. She had heard it whispered in hallways and history books- the ones that hadn't been destroyed. Still, to find out it was real, that it still existed, that it wasn't made up by a delusional group of men and women and that she was recruited- that was just craziness. What skills did she have to offer? She couldn't fight. She couldn't cast a spell. She hadn't even graduated. Taking a deep breath Maddie looked around as Kara was talking. Who were these people? How did they get there? And what did they have to offer? How would she fit in? Did she just get herself in a situation she would regret. It was getting to be a little too much. She crossed her arms and held herself tight waiting for the rest.
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by: Kara Viridian
Kara cleared her throat and continued. “We’ve chosen you, by recommendation, recruitment or some of you sought us out, so we answered. And we will find a place for any of you, willing to learn or help to build and restore our organization to fulfill its purpose, and to make this haven a unit of safety, as it is our home. The Order has also taken in those who have been forced out of the city, out of the school, out of their own homes…and created comfortable living for those surviving families so far, but together we can make it even better. Stronger.”

The silence in the room was nice, because it meant, for the most part, that people were listening. She was trying her best not to sound like a sniveling civil servant or a bastard politician who said anything to get the crowd rolling. She was speaking from her heart, and speaking the truth. The recruits were gathered here to create a new balance to the Order and provide stronger support force for those already in place. Getting along ‘okay’ would turn into getting along ‘just fine’ and then they can grow from there.

She’d prove to people like her father and Jon and even Casey that she could stand on her own two feet—though a bit wobbily at first, and run this place as it should be. The Order wasn’t meant to sit and remain as quiet as it had all this time. It deserved to soar…and she hoped this time she could learn from all of those bloody mistakes of the past, all of those missteps and imprisonments, the times she earned the scars she wore without regret—that she would be able to bring it back to the light, and run it as her real father would have wanted.

"We have members here, teachers and guides who will be able to show you where you will be placed. I don't like to use the word 'ranks' but there are sections of the compound where you'll be assigned to work, as it will cater to your skills and specialty," Kara noticed the young girl beside Jon and offered her a smile--but when a snicker came from the back of the room, she stopped. Even with Jaleth, Jon and Fierro encouraging her to just ignore it and move along but she couldn't. "I’m sorry, is something funny, Mr. Bryden?" Kara tilted her head as she zoned in her focus on Jace. She licked her lips and grit her teeth as she glared at the man in the back, the one she didn't figure would want to show his face to the civilian meeting. There was more to her inquiry, more of a bite to her irritation at his presence, but she withheld any of that, as not to become more heated than it was about to be.
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