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by: Orion

29 March 2012, 8:13am

Gabe looked over the records and newspaper clippings from previous attacks that the Order had initiated. There was a pattern here...they'd strike out, deal a blow, then fade away. Often, things would rock for a day or two, then the status quo would return. All the effort of planning and creating the attack was wasted because there was no follow through. Could they, with the right mindset, change that? He thought so.

Carefully, he laid his last piece of paper down, then looked over his desk with satisfaction. It was possible, if they pushed the new recruits, that they could do a two pronged attack. The first one, on Azkaban, then a second strike at a Gringott's shipment...it would weaken the alliance with the Gringott's goblins and the government and provide some much needed capital for the Order. Now, if only Kara would approve it.

Gabe withdrew his wand and swished it, sending an eagle patronus to the leader, requesting her presence in the solarium he had claimed for his planning center.
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by: Kara Viridian
The eagle arrived swiftly, with a message to head into the solarium. Kara had spent little time dwelling there, visiting only when necessary, as not to tread all over the base of operations Gabe had set up for himself. He was a fairly private person, she learned, though not necessarily in a bad way. As aurors, they knew personal space was scarce but personal respects were even stronger between each other. She hadn't had much in the way of plans for the afternoon; It'd been a week since Fierro arrived with that loathsome garou and his merry men, and a few days after the gathering at the common for the rally. It hadn't ended the way she planned, but thank Merlin for the new and improved Jaleth for stepping up to deflect the attentions away from the arguing alphas.

Was that what that was? Kara wondered. Was he just trying to piss her off at ever damn turn? Never mind that. She wanted to clear her head of any negative thoughts before visiting Gabe, mostly because it would be a quick visit to solidify plans, and then move on from there. Or so, she hoped.

Kara wandered over to the solarium and gave a knock, in the precise time with the specific beat and exact tone to indicate that it was indeed Kara, she'd received his message, and was here to talk. It seemed a little superfluous to have a secret knock, but Kara didn't want to argue.
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by: Orion
Gabe looked up at the knock, noting the timing and precision. He'd served under Alistair Moody and held the same opinion: there was never such a thing as being too paranoid. You needed to keep constant vigilance, especially in times like these. Merlin knew...both men had slipped once, and once was all it took. The vagabonds and villains who wore the snake-and-skull tattoo would take any advantage that they could.

He flicked his wan at the door, opening it for Kara. Once she was in, he flicked the wand again to close, lock, and ward the portal.

"I've been doing some trend research and noted something interesting."

He holstered his wand and gestured to the table. Small brass chess pieces served both as paperweights and importance markers. Lines of yarn were tied around the pieces in order to create a web of events. Most parts of the web fell flat, failures. Some continued into successful operations. As he gestured over them, the brass chessmen saluted Kara. This particular set was part of Gabe's only hobby; he was a war planner who played war games. It was his one trick, he knew, but he was good at it.
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by: Kara Viridian
Kara stepped through the open door and pulled in a slight breath to greet him, but the man was already buzzing with some new information. As she walked deeper into the Solarium, Kara was surprised to see what sort of setup he had going. Though tidier than others she'd wandered into, Gabe's 'office' was a full on research lab, similar to the rooms she and Markus would walk into at the Ministry when they were reporting in for operations with the Aurors. Kara kept her audible cues of awe to a minimum as she walked in closer, and she just smiled. "Well, hello to you too, Gabe." She might have followed it up with a ...and how are you doing? but he wanted to get right down to business, which was expected of him so she wouldn't cut his stride.

"Interesting? Alright, what do you got for me?" She gestured at the tactician's table and nodded in respect and acknowledgment to the brass chessmen's salute. "Interesting good, I hope?"

Oh, how she hoped.
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by: Orion
Gabe took a step back from the table and propped his hands in his hips.

"I don't know...do you consider undermining the Ministry's alliance with the bank a good thing? Or how about adding a potential five hundred thousand gold to our financial resources? If you do, then yes...I have good news."

He motioned to his timeline and started explaining.

"Our past operations have always gone well. We have a particular strength about us for planning and covering our angles, but we never seem to be able to make a lasting hit against the Death Eaters. I did some trend analysis...here, move guys..."

The chess pieces moved in a choreographed way, taking their strings with them. Each line became a single, terminating spoke off of a central hub.

"And I found our big flaw: we gave them time to recover. If we are going to bring down the regime, we need to hit them, and keep hitting them. While they're reeling from one blow, we can undermine their footing and knock them down for good. So, I started looking for targets and...once more, guys..."

The chess pieces hopped about again, forming a little yarn map.

"This is the docks leading from the Thames to Diagon. The goblins bring their shipments up the river in gypsy boats. These are financial shipments from Germany, Russia, Bulgaria...all regime supporters. Here at the docks, they have only light Death Eater presence. When we strike Azkaban, the guards will be put in high alert to watch the Ministry building. Standard protocol, right? Well, we can strike this shipment,"

He tapped an invoice.

"and make the goblins riled up at the regime for abandoning them and their safety. I dug up the old Gringott's treaty...safety is the number one thing the wizards promised the bankers back in sixteen aught two..."

The goblins would be furious. That alone would spur discussions on the ministry for weeks. On top of the Azkaban break out? Chaos.
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by: Kara Viridian
The work he'd done here was mesmerizing. Not to mention, conjuring up his own assistants with the brass chessmen was a nice touch, helped for mapping out the next moves and getting better visuals ready to go. She listened intently at Gabe's explanation, and saw the passion and gusto in his speech, and it was rather invigorating. Someone, aside from her--aside from the 'inner circle' as it were, with this much drive was quite nice. It showed that the Order was onto something, on track to something that wasn't just a one-and-done sort of operation, that left room to falter. The proposed attack was going to be key, a pivotal moment for Kara's leadership to really shine, and she was thrilled to even have something proposed on the table.

"So a secondary attack on top of the Ministry..." That was the primary target, but with this addition to the attacks, she realized he had a very good point. They might be able to swing back from a first attack, but getting hit on two fronts...

"Damages. Casualties. Have you added those in your calculations? Regime targets are high priority, but casualties of war are factors we must also consider." Gabe was an intelligent man, smart and a tactician. He was a brilliant auror and a brilliant mind still, but Kara wanted to make sure this left some room for concern. The prize was right in front of her, but the price of it shouldn't be too high or she'd need to reevaluate her strategies.
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by: Orion
That was a good question. Gabe nodded and started hunting for a paper it took several tries, but he eventually found what he was looking for underneath one of the bishops.

"...here. Best case to worst case scenarios."

He had a grid drawn out. The best case scenario was an experienced team. One expected injury. The worst case, a team of entirely new people (including the team captain), had three expected injuries and a casualty. If they stuck to the plan. Gabe didn't need to tell Kara that deviations from the plan would invalidate the calculations.

"Now, obviously, I can't take all of our veterans on this trip. You need them for the other side. So, we are looking at probably two severe injuries or one casualty of things go belly up."

He scratched his jaw and considered the numbers.

"I could try to brew some Felix. It's a hit and miss if I can do it right in the time constraint. But if you say do it..."
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by: Kara Viridian
Kara stood with her hands clasped behind her back, in an attempt to remain as small as possible while Gabe searched for the papers. In case he needed to stroll by or get around her, she didn't want to be in the way. Once he pulled the paperwork out, she swung her hands around to retrieve the paper he'd surrendered and she scrolled over it carefully. He was meticulous and thorough, and she quite liked that. She needed thorough, doubling the eyes on things that needed a good once or twice-over. In Gabe's case, perhaps it was even more than that, given his charmed artifacts and ability to see things Kara missed. This was his area of expertise, after all.

The assessment was very well-written, clear and remained concise. It was an easy skim down the report, seeing the numbers in bold for each scenario listed. Two injuries, she knew she could deal with, but casualty? That word chilled her to the bone. Ideally, she wanted a scenario with ZERO listed on that chart, but she was realistic. She nodded, "You're right. I plan on leaving at least two here to make sure we aren't blindsided by any tricks pulled at home...but for the most part, we will make sure there is coverage on either side. As much as I don't like the word casualty, it's a term we have to know and get used to, going into all of this." She sighed, and brought her blue-green gaze to him, "Everyone going in knows the risks, and if they don't, well...they're going to."

But then, Kara wondered. Gabe was one of the only veteran players not out on the field when Bryden arrived a little over a week ago...and the question burned in her mind. "May I ask you something, Gabe?" Kara waited a beat, finding her redundancy in asking if she may ask a question a little obnoxious. "What are your thoughts on the Lucky Seven?" No beating around the bush, no dancing around it. She asked point blank because she expected an answer just as clear.

She didn't miss his query about the Felix...Kara would answer it, in due time.
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by: Orion
Gabe took a deep breath and let it out sharply. What did he think of them? A lot.

"Muggles had this old weapon back fifty, sixty years ago; they had a flammable concoction that they'd spray through an igniter, hosing their target with liquid flames like a dragon's breath."

He studied muggle war history as much for pleasure as he did tsctics. His tone came out instructional, patient, and cautious. He knew what she was asking, he was suspicious about the why.

"It was simply named. A flame thrower. This thrower had one weakness. If the tank was ruptured, the whole weapon would explode, leaving the bearer badly burned if not outright dead. The lucky ones died quickly."

He swallowed and dropped his gaze, knowing he was stepping into fragile territory.

"I think that crew is our flame thrower. A devastating weapon to be pointed at our enemies and ignited, but just as potentially likely to cause a painful, agonizing death for ourselves."
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by: Kara Viridian
His analogy was ominous as much as it was on point. Danger. The Lucky 7 brought danger, and that was no surprise there. Though it brought a little more insight as to how some of the other Order Members felt, as she talked to him. She'd been talking much to her inner circle that she didn't realize there were many other points to consider across the board. An opportunity there, surely. She'd need to consult with many to ensure their needs are met--but at the end of the day, it would be up to her to decide. She nodded. "I see."

Bryden himself was a storm of flames, but with the rest of the 7 at his back, they were no doubt a force to be reckoned with...and with the subtle worry, but also realistic view that Gabe had about them potentially being a danger to the house, it really got Kara thinking about something sitting at the forefront of her mind. At any given moment, these reckless mercenaries could turn the barrel and fire away. In the blink of an eye, everything could just turn around and she would lose faith from her people and faith in herself. It was a huge risk and she knew that--because she'd been mulling over these details from end to end since the day he arrived.

"I made the choice, Gabe. What was I supposed to do? Let my father die?" It was something that needed to be aired out, but at the same time, Kara wanted to know what he thought on that. "A lot of people seem to think so."
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by: Orion
She must have misunderstood him. Gabe clicked his tongue and looked away from the younger woman, then back. His intense blue eyes bored into Kara as he restated his feelings.

"Danger doesn't mean we shouldn't have them here. It doesn't mean that we...your team...don't understand their necessity. Just that we need to be careful that they don't have a reason to turn on us. So do't worry about mutiny in the ranks. We've stuck with you this far and we're going to stick with you to the end of the line."

He dropped his gaze and began organizing his paperwork again. it was a tough situation that Kara found herself in. On one hand, she needed dangerous weapons in order to strike decisive blows. On the other, she needed to consider the needs of her team and charges. The two needs didn't always balance easily.

"As far as your father, there are still hard feelings towards him. I'd give you the same advice I always give: be careful. Vigilance never is wrong. But you're not a child. You're our leader and a warrior in your own right. If you need help keeping people in line, point them my way and i'll set them straight. We aren't Death Eaters to kill those we disagree with, so showing mercy and offering him a second chance will set a precedent for when we reset the government back to being right. Our choices now matter, and I'd hate to see us just become a second generation of the Death Eaters."

If that wasn't a clear enough support for her decisions, Gabe had nothing else to give her. He was her man, through and through.
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by: Kara Viridian
Gabe spoke more of the sheer and utter truth and she nodded along. She'd be monitoring them rather close, Jace especially, since he was such a loose cannon and despite his brash exterior, Kara knew there was going to way to make this arrangement work. She had to. It was all business, tolerance between both parties involved, for the sake of preserving both factions. Nevertheless, knowing that the fear of the garou wasn't nearly as widespread as she originally thought was going to help. His reassurance about not fearing a mutiny also brought her some relief; she'd feared something like an uprising against her taking charge since this all began.

"Thank you." She smiled at the older man with a reverent nod. It was always nice to hear the thoughts from someone like him, someone she respected so much for his skill, his knowledge and of course back from their days in the service as Aurors. He had a way of speaking, a unique quirk to his methods and opinions and she saw reason in his insights.

At some point she'd folded her arms over her chest, so she took the brief silence to unravel and relax, her hands falling to her sides. When he brought up Fierro, emphasis on the word father with what she could only read and assume was dismay, she listened close. Be careful, he said, and she gulped with a nod of understanding. The words that followed only proceeded to bring her warmth and bolstered the faith in herself that she could actually, take this leadership on with strength and support beside her.


The reservations many folks had about the presence of Fierro Darque were resoundingly unanimous. The former Minister hadn't had much time to prove that he wasn't a treacherous man after he defected from one of the highest ranks of the Death Eaters to save her and support the cause. Kara knew his convictions towards the Order and being allied with her were genuine, even though others thought otherwise. It was to be expected and her father had his work cut out for him in the coming days to prove and solidify his allegiance to her, and in turn, his allegiance to the resistance.

" I appreciate your forwardness on the matters and will take these words with me. I can't thank you enough for your honesty and your work towards our restoration, Gabe. I'm glad you're with us." Kara had stepped forward and placed her hand on his shoulder in passing, as if to excuse herself for now. "If that's all for now, I'll see what progress we have with Winslow and the others and report back with further details."

If there was anything else to say, she waited before taking her leave.
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by: Orion
The older Auror quirked a smile at Kara. She was stiff and formal, but she was good people. He moved around the table and pulled her into a hug. She needed to know she was doing a good job, he thought. They had enough of a history together from being Aurors that this was more camaraderie than anything else, and he trusted her to know that.

"You're doing, good, kid. Keep it up, stay strong. I'm here if you need anything. Now, go herd the rest of the kneazles in this madhouse, alright? I'll be here, planning."

Gabe released her, patted her shoulder, then turned back to his table set up. There was another operation that he needed to work on...a wizard was working closely with the muggle government and Gabe wanted to know if that wizard was sympathetic to their cause or not. He had to be careful to not reveal too much about himself, but he was close to a break through with that contact.
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by: Kara Viridian
Kara was surprised to be pulled into a hug at all, since she took Gabe for a no-contact sort of man. Yet, she welcomed it. They were aurors once and that sort of kinship was hardly lost, given what they'd gone through with each change in dark forces and ultimately, the regime. She smiled at his words as he commended her for taking on the duties that had been resting for so long, as the head of the house. It was good to have that support and the affirmation from someone she respected, and gave her a bit of relief.

She softly chuckled and returned the hug gratefully, patting him on the back when he pulled away. Kara nodded. "Thank you, Gabe." She said, softly, stepping back to give him some space.
"You know where to find me if there's anything you need or if there are any concerns, should you want to come topside. Otherwise I'm always down for a visit here, you've done great things with this place." Kara turned heel and started to take her leave, unless he had any more to add to the conversation. Otherwise, she would leave the researcher to his work in peace.

There was much to be done...
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