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by: Orion

April 15th,
11:50 am

There was a certain appeal to the City of Shadows. The intimate knowledge of every street, every nook, every cranny had a draw in that King felt as if he could control what went on in those streets, nooks, and crannies. Out here, up on the surface of the world, there was an unpredictability. That, too, had a draw. It desired to be conquered and begged to be ruled. The question remained if he would be a benevolent ruler or a dictator.

Wilson King saw himself as benevolent. He desired order and peace. It took a power to maintain that order and everyone knew that peace was kept with a sword. Still, there was a way to be firm and be loved. until he needed to do otherwise, King would rule with a velvet fist.

This park was beautiful, he mused to himself. It reminded him of outings with his mother. Before his parents had discovered his lack of magical ability, they would do weekly outings to different parks and have picnics or fly kites. After they learned that their son was a disgrace and would no longer be able to take over the family heritage, such idyllic times were relegated to mere memories. King still valued those memories, but the intervening years spurred him into ambition and hunger. Hunger to prove himself. Hunger to overcome the stigma of being a squib, hunger to claim what should have been his in the beginning.

Tristan would arrive soon for their weekly luncheon. Hopefully his friend would have updates on their affairs on the topside. King, likewise, had updates for their interests in the City. They needed allies, but they were on their way.
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by: Tristan Viridian

Tristan apparated into some foul stench, sulfur and sea air. The scent of the Thames was still better than the rural parts of the country, lush with livestock and the like. Perhaps he'd been spoiled in Boston or even in the better parts of London where the rains had made the air so crisp and fresh. It was almost noon, and he'd arrived five minutes early, just outside of the park where King had told them to meet. He tucked his pocket watch away and walked up to the meeting place where he saw King was already waiting.

The two guards standing watch, clearly armed and on watch, acknowledge d the Shield by bowing their heads, and stepping to the side to let him pass. Tristan let a small, smug smile curl upon his lips as he acknowledged them, waving for them to stand at ease once he was through. He looked over at the table setting with an eyebrow raised. It was a different locale than he was used to, but he assumed this was for some sentiment, since King had spoken highly of this place from time to time. He might have thought Tristan would gloss over on details, maybe disregard certain things King talked about his past...what little he offered in way of that, too.

"A bit romantic, don't you think?" He smirked, fastening the buttons on his dark blue suit. Tristan's humor was more sarcasm and darker than most, but he hoped his employer wouldn't take it to heart. "It's that time of the week already? Where does the time go?"
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by: Orion
King looked over when the guards let someone approach. Ah, Tristan. A genuine smile bloomed on King's face. The expression was rare on its warmth as the big man stood to greet his one friend.

"Time does indeed go quickly between our meetings, Mr. Viridian. I hope you've been well."

Wilson meant the sentiment beyond the job, beyond the planted evidence to the muggles, the vigilante investigation, and the other odd jobs the needed doing.
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by: Tristan Viridian
At over six feet himself, it was rare in these parts to find someone who could tower over him. King was one such rarity, with the bulk of him was solid and surely enough to bring him down. Tristan was military built, therefore, military brawn, but he'd grown rather lean since he'd been out. He offered a smile back as King turned to greet him, noting that he was in a good mood today--as good as he could be.

"As well enough as this gloomly little hole of a town could offer. And here I thought I'd never say this, but I do miss the weather across the pond." Tristan chuckled. He folded his hands together in front of him, and waited to be seated, since he wouldn't dare take a chair before King offered. This was the first time he'd met with King since he arrived on the eighth, offering only a simple phone call to the man. He was still trying to get used to the regular use of muggle electronics, and still would have preferred sending an owl, but this operation called for discretion, as always. Even in his days in the service, Tristan had to make use of the technology in the muggle world. He was forced to use it then, just as he was now.

"I'd like to thank you for your intel." He said, in regard to the envelope containing the information on the Order. "Rather reliable sources, and I had expected no less, sir."

It was also a nice tactic to entice him back to London in the first place. Yet, Tristan assumed there was more afoot here, than just luring back his right hand. He wouldn't ask, however. King would give him whatever information he deemed appropriate, whatever Tristan would be privy to. He was patient. He had to be patient.
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by: Orion
King nodded his head magnanimously in an acknowledgement of the gratitude. If you wanted loyalty, you had to buy it. Some people spoke of earning loyalty and respect, but King found that bribes, favors, and information did more to create loyalty than demonstrations of nobility and honor. Respect was bought with fear. Tristan was a friend and didn't need a visceral example of what failure would constitute, but rumors would be enough to ensure that any thoughts of back crossing were laid to rest quietly.

"It took a fair amount of squeezing to get that, but there are enough former Order members among the Syndicate that I was able to find the proper...encouragement to get the information."

With goblins and not a few Nosferatu on his side, that encouragement often took the form of gangs of thugs. Fear bought respect and favors bought loyalty, so it didn't take too much to get those Order members realigned into his business. Sullivan's power base was crumbling out from underneath him. It would take a delicate hand to ensure that the collapse didn't bury his organizational efforts.

Wilson waited a few beats before inquiring about Tris' efforts on his work. The phrasing was careful. Tristan was trusted completely. Those placed under him were not. King wanted his words to reflect that dichotomy.

"How has our informant been behaving?"

The large man looked over the meadow of the park, taking in the families, the kite fliers, the dog walkers...peasants begging for protection. Begging for a king, as it were. His ambitions were hungry, but his patience would leave him settling for one kingdom at a time.
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by: Tristan Viridian
Tristan looked down at his cuffs and fixed them to sit properly, before folding his hands together again and standing at attention. He nodded at his employer, understanding quite well what sort of hoops he must have had his men leap through--or arms he had to twist, rather--to get the information needed to coax Tristan back home from America. Tristan knew that The Syndicate, though he hadn't worked with them directly without his link to King, proved time and time again to be a useful asset. "Of course." He grinned.

There was a space between the greeting and the next question. Tristan knew how calculated each word was made, carefully placed and shaped with such eloquence that gave him that regal presence. He remained perfectly still, and wouldn't move unless commanded, as his military training would be quite apparent now. King was his commander, and he would be obedient, like a good friend, advisor and man of his court.

At the mention of their informant, something in his face twitched. He recalled the little meeting with the weasel of a man and was irritated at the thought of him having the gall to ask for more money--which was extinguished at the thought of how Tristan decided to handle that situation. "He is behaving, although I had to coerce him a little bit when he decided to stand a little bit taller. Sometimes they just need an extra push to understand who they're dealing with."
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by: Orion
King's head was craned up to hear the report. Tristan was managing things well then. King suspected no less, but it was always good to hear that his plans were progressing smoothly.

"Please, sit, my friend. Callihan went to go get lunch for us and should be returning shortly. That Italian place you recommended several weeks ago..."

A smile graced his features before succumbing to the stronger and more persistent expression of focus. Their lunch meeting was a weekly habit, but it was a business meeting more than it was a lunch affair.

"Leadership is a dance of respect and power, one that I fully trust you with. I'm sure that he will fall in line. If not," King gave a vague shrug, letting the implications that consequences would fall on the weaselly man stand on their own.

"Things progress down below. The Nosferatu as a slow ear to bend. If you could gather any lore for me to give an edge to negotiations, I would appreciate that. The goblins were straight forward. My thanks again for the information I needed to persuade them."

As benign sounding as the request and praise were, they were high levels of importance to King. His words were a pricey commodity; not everyone got a share of his thoughts and opinions. Viridian was one of the few with whom King felt safe being candid.
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by: Tristan Viridian
"Ah yes, Figaros. Luca prepares the best." He mused. The restaurant was a regular place of his, one he'd grown to love. The restaurant was a long stretch away from his own place, but well worth the trip for the quality of food. As King smiled, Tristan returned one in kind. He took the chair that was offered and waited for King to take his chair before moving into it. It was more of a respect thing; Tristan learned since birth to let his elders take their seat before he did.

"As always, your trust is highly valued and respected. Not to worry. He'll fall in line." Tristan watched as one of King's servants, for lack of a better term, brought over a bottle of Chateau Margaux, 2000 vintage, which was quite exquisite. It was a beautiful, deep red color with sweet and musky notes entwining as it was poured into the clearest of crystal glasses. He nodded at the woman, but she knew not to make eye contact with him. She simply bowed her head low to acknowledge him. He gently placed his forefinger and thumb at the stem of the glass and swirled it gently, letting the wine breathe as she'd just uncorked the bottle a minute ago. The tannins had yet to be released to enjoy the full flavor of the bottled wine.

"Of course." Tristan nodded, proud that he'd been able to do his employer's bidding. The Goblins were fairly compliant when the right toes and fingers were properly stepped on...figuratively and literally. There was a slight eyebrow raise, a twitch even, from Tristan as he'd mention the Nosferatu."I personally don't like dealing with the Nosferatu, as to be expected as they seem to be the rather unsavory lot. However, rest assured, your intel will be gathered as requested, sir." In this business it was a lot of give and take. Considering the fact that King trusted him enough to remain this close as a friend, ally and right hand, Tristan was fine with stepping outside of his comfort zone every once in a while to appease King.
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by: Orion
Patience was one of King's chiefest virtues. He cultivated it within himself and valued it within his followers. He didn't miss Tris' choice to let the wine breathe. King didn't need to speak in order to get all the information he needed. Tristan reassured him that the information would be gathered. Frankly, the idea that Mr. Viridian would fail was so foreign that King hadn't even considered the possibility. As to the man's distaste of the Nosferatu...he was a professional and he would get over it. Simple as that. There were, however, other concerning things.

"And what of the vigilante that some of our business associates have been whispering about?"

He worked with Triads and they'd spoken of hiring a crew to take out this masked figure that sounded more like a comic book character than a real person. That had, based off of their frustrations, not succeeded. Anything that foiled the Triads intrigued King. Either the masked man was an asset or a liability. It would be up to Tristan to find out if he didn't know.
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by: Tristan Viridian
There was a noticeable twitch in his lips as the vigilante is mentioned. It made his blood boil, just thinking about him. "The man who fancies himself a hero...trying to justify his work by attacking the gangs in the city, and not just the Chinese either." His jaw tensed. "They've nearly confirmed he doesn't have a wand, so I don't think he's from there, but he's left piles of bodies in his wake so it's safe to say he's a trained fighter. The way some of them are left...he could be military trained. But that's just my opinion."

It was easy to spot a military operative's work, because Tristan had done plenty of fighting in the Marines, and he was familiar with the art of pulling joints from their sockets, twisting and spraining limbs for information or simply knocking a man out in one punch.

Tristan watched as the crew served up the food onto their plates and he politely set his napkin in his lap. He waited to eat until King picked up his utensils, because he wasn't going to be rude in front of his own employer.

"He's weakening the operations we have in place. Distribution. I'm certain he's going to be an ongoing problem if he's not taken care of properly." Tristan wrapped his fingers together and he set his hands in his lap as he waited. He sat up straight, his back pressed against the back of the chair. His posture was still good, at least. "How we proceed is up to you, sir. We can utilize more of our resources to tracking him. And even more to dispose of him, if that's what you wish."
Last edited by Tristan Viridian on Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by: Orion
The first bite of a good meal was often the best. The anticipation heightened the flavors. King felt the same way about responsibility and power. The anticipation of taking control chilled him; the only obstacles in his way were weak and ready to crumble under the weight of their own pride and ineptitude.

"No. He's one man. for now, he's clearing the field for us. For now, we'll let him rage against the established families. Let them taste fear. When they come to us and beg for relief, we shall let them have it. Watch him, learn his habits and his weaknesses. If you can discover who he is, that's even more to our advantage when the time comes to break him."

Wilson took a bite of food, savoring the perfection of the bite. He was a man of established appetites and expectations. Tristan's offerings rarely failed to meet his standards. Under the spring sun, the verdant fields looked like opportunity to King.
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by: Tristan Viridian
Tristan slowly nodded, and gave King's answer some thought before diving his fork in for another bite of food. "Yes sir." He agreed. King was right. Sending in ten of their elite would be a bad choice, since they were needed to guard some of the imports and exports of ingredients and supplies for their production. For now the Devil would remain a nuisance, and as much as it made Tristan frustrated to hear it, that was King's choice.

He wasn't going to go against his employer's wishes.

After sipping some of his beverage, Tristan sat back in his chair, feeling the cushion on the back of it kneading into his muscles. He breathed in the cool air and took in the sights around him. It was a really lovely patch of scenery here. "I'll send out word to gather more on him, sir." He would find out his every move indeed, even if it meant following him, himself.
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by: Orion
Tristan was obedient and thoughtful. King appreciated that about the man. It elevated the soldier beyond being a tool and into a compatriot. A second in command, as it were. King sipped his wine and considered the broad shouldered young man into whom he was pouring his ambitions and guidance. Yes, this was the heir to the kingdom. Not so ambitious as to be stupid, but faithful, intelligent, useful, and obedient.

That was the key characteristic that King looked for in his organization. The willingness and ability to follow orders made a man useful. If he wasn't useful, he was discarded. There were...spells...for obedience. None that King could or would cast; he preferred to see his enemies bend and break under his will, choosing to obey rather than face the consequences. Magic had its uses, but it lacked the visceral satisfaction of the old fashioned methods.

"Very good. Now, for your interests...do you require any more resources?"

King took another bite of food and listened patiently to his cohort and ally.
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by: Tristan Viridian
Tristan had his hands in his lap for a time, and he hadn't realized it until he came out of his daze, as he was appreciating the world around him. When he snapped back into reality, he relaxed his fists, flattening them to place his palms on his legs, only to fetch his napkin and dab the corners of his mouth. Manners, of course. His mother would plunk him on the forehead with a wooden spoon if Tristan forgot his manners. He took another bite of food, careful not to spill any of it from his fork and dirty his fresh new suit, and made sure to chew and swallow his food before speaking up again.

"The warehouses to the north need a couple more bodies to guard it since the Devil made sure to clean up that area. Lost a couple of men so we should probably double that. Maybe ex-military, trained forces this time instead of randoms. Will help too for defenses in he decides to show his face again." They had to be prepared for another attack. If they didn't want production to be slowed, Tristan was hoping that stronger guards meant fortifying their merchandise from the vigilante trying to thwart them. "Perhaps a few more, to the west as well. the finishing touches are almost together for that location to be secured for its start on production and distribution, shouldn't be long now."

Tristan sipped the wine, but then went in for a bigger gulp. Just thinking about that Devil unsettled him. It was expected, to have someone trying to foil their operation, but he didn't realize the problem would be of this caliber. Small-town thugs he could handle...but a full blown vigilante was another story.
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by: Orion
King paused, fork hovering to stab another morsel as he listened to Tristan describe his manpower needs.

"Well and good, Tristan. But I meant your personal ventures that required my...investigative resources...I hope you've reached satisfaction...? If not, please let me know. What I have is yours."

And with a small jab, King speared his prize and continued his meal. It was simplicity, to earn the trust and loyalties of this man. Every person had their cracks. If the right pressure was applied, you broke them. If you applied a different pressure, you hid the weakness in their makeup. King had grown used to finding the cracks and applying pressure, one way or another.


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