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by: Jen
#5474
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Saturday, 4 March 2012
8:00 p.m.

56...57...58...59...

Beau snapped the gunmetal pocket watch shut and took a swig of his remaining brandy before slamming the glass down and calling for the barkeep. He'd arrived at The Hog's Head precisely ten minutes ago to wait for a certain Professor Dresden Faust and, quite frankly, hadn't looked yet to see if the man was here. While he was certain the lovely blonde IA director had put the fear of God in Faust, Beau did not underestimate the human affinity for tardiness or, at the very least, cutting things close. Besides, he could always use another brandy. It was the least he deserved for coming in on a Saturday evening for a last-minute meeting with some would-be spy. What were they thinking, sending a civilian to do an Department job? It was downright bizarre. Beau was quite used to being a handler, but he much preferred the idea of handling a proper agent, which Dresden Faust hardly qualified as. At least the Department had notified him of this small little non sequitur arrangement. They didn't always let one in on such deviations. "Expect the unexpected" was certainly the unofficial slogan.

As the barkeep slid him the caramel liquid in a rather grungy-looking glass, Beau took it in hand and rose it too his lips as he leaned against the wall and looked out for any sign of the other man. He spotted Faust on the other side of the bar, strong drink in hand. Quite ordinary looking, if not a bit grungy. But he supposed Faust looked the part of a patron at The Hog's Head. So did he, Beau reckoned. It was expected, and so he had dressed the part. As though he'd spotted a friend, Beau rose from his seat and walked over toward Faust with a casual gait, sliding into the chair across from him. "You'll want to be a bit more clear-headed on the job, mate," he commented, a grin on his face. Naturally, he didn't expect Faust to pick up on the fact he was only speaking in jest, but he brought up a hand as though to give an informal, friendly handshake before settling back in a casual way, arm over the back of his chair as he used the wall as a back instead. C'mon, play the part.
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by: Dresden Faust
#5477
He'd arrived at the Hogs Head about 15 minutes early. Fernsby had left him just enough time to check on Milo and make sure he was going to be ok. By the time he'd penned a quick note saying he'd had to step out if was already half-past the hour. A quick apparition later had him in familiar surroundings though the place of the meeting wasn't one he'd ever went out of his way to go to. But Dres had a part to play tonight whether he wanted to or not, so he quickly made his way to the designated meeting location. Once inside he cast a quick glance at the crowd before grabbing a table and ordering a stiff drink in an attempt to calm frazzled nerves. The professor had no idea who he was meeting nor any description to help himself out so he settled into wait.

At least it appeared he wouldn't have to wait long. It could only have been ten or so minutes before a man approached with the familiarity of someone who might have been a friend, and slid into the open chair across from him. Dres greeted the man he could only assume was going to be his handler though his eyes narrowed slightly at the jab about drinking on the job. If he could have slapped the grin off the mans face he probably would have but common sense ruled out. "Beggars didn't get to be choosers," he though absently to himself even as the other man offered his arm for a, much to friendly for the professors taste, handshake. He left the man hanging there before eventually clasping the man's forearm to complete the motion and flashed his own grin. "Good thing we aren't on the clock yet then, hmm."
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by: Jen
#5487
"Indeed," Beau replied, lifting his forearm off the back of the chair in a salute before raising the glass it held to his lips then returning his arm to rest. "Things been good with the unexpected break, I hope?" he added. As much as he might like to go straight into the, "Hi, I'm Beau, your handler," bit, it was much less suspicious to simply fall into conversation over something two mates might discuss until they became one with the scenery. Besides, he was curious how people were doing following that horrifically tragic event and it would give him insight into the current mindset of this professor. If only he could meet the one that was this one's in into SAVIOR. He needed to learn as much as he could and had limited time to do it. They wanted Faust to go in as soon as possible, and that meant Beau had to learn as much as possible as quickly as possible and develop a strategy. He was honestly surprised they'd chosen him for this task. Beau was well-known for delaying an agent from beginning an assignment until they were absolutely ready regardless of how long that took. Yet perhaps they realized the wisdom for that in this case.

Beau took another sip of his brandy as he watched the professor, taking in every line, every detail of his ensemble, and every facial expression that he could. People didn't realize that they often overlooked details in their wardrobe when they left in a hurry or were in such a way mentally that looking "good enough" was good enough for public presentation. They also didn't realize their tells unless they were trained to recognize them, and it was a fascinating insight into one's state of mind.
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by: Dresden Faust
#5648
Small talk. Great. Something he didn't overly care for on a good day never mind one like tonight. Dres supposed it could be worse and it made sense if the man across from him wanted to make sure they weren't drawing any unnecessary attention. But what to tell the man... had Anne filled him in on Renn? On Milo? On himself? Merlin he needed to relax or this was never going to work. The professor took a sip of his drink before answering.

"Well enough considering the circumstances. Left me a bit on the unprepared side in finding a place to stay over summer but I worked that out eventually. Though lack of job security has left things a bit... stressful." His tone was a bit clipped but there was nothing the professor could do about it. He wasn't friends with the man across from him... Honestly Dres hadn't given job security any thought. He had enough money stashed away from research projects he was certain he could take care of Renn and Elise for quite some time before he'd actually have to go looking seriously. It was hard not to drum his fingers on the table, a nervous tick he picked up and tended to display itself when he was annoyed. To stop himself he simply held onto his glass for the time being.
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by: Jen
#5978
"Mm," Beau replied in a tone that showed he understood. Money would certainly be no issue for the unemployed man after tonight. He held a pouch in his pocket to give him at the end of the night, and from the weight of it, it had seemed a pretty enough sum. Perhaps that was the angle Anne had used to get him to comply, though from the man's demeanor, Beau was willing to guess it was something that struck a little low. "You know," he said, leaning close on his arm that was on the table, his tone still cheery enough, "the more natural you are, the more we'll blend in with the crowd, and the less we'll have to talk about things I, frankly, couldn't give two shits about and go onto business." He rose a brow then laughed despite not having said anything actually funny, returning to his resting position. Surely, that was a confession the professor wouldn't take offense to. Faust didn't want to be here with him, and it was bleeding off him.

There were enough people in The Hog's Head on a Saturday night that the meeting place was sensible, but given the nature of people to be a bit on the prowl on non-work nights, they needed to seem comfortable around one another to avoid standing out. "Besides," Beau said, his glass halfway to his lips, "I think I hold a solution to that problem for you."
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by: Dresden Faust
#5985
It was hard not to snap right back at the man when he told him to relax. What the bloody hell did he think the professor was trying to do? As vexing as it was he wasn't offened as much as he should have been at the call out. Dres let out a slow breath and attempted to lean back with a comfortable looking slouch, as if he were out with Milo or Gideon at somewhere they'd usually hang out when time afforded them the luxury to do so.

"Yes well as much as you want me to simply relax it isn't always possible for me, especially in a place such as this." He kept his tone as friendly as he could, again as if he were simply chatting with one of his colleagues. " I've had a rather rough day and unless you are going to tell me to simply go home, I doubt any solution you propose is going to ease any feelings I have in regard to the current situation I've found myself in. So if you are asking me how my day went lets just say it was fine and dandy. Now if you want to have a friendly chat between mates it would be nice if I knew said mates name?"

To Dres what he said made sense. The man wanted him to relax but if that was the true goal everything was currently working against them. Honestly Dres couldn't remember the last time he went to an actual bar/pub for drinks with anyone let alone someone he didn't know. In fact the last time he'd tried he'd run into that son-of-a-bitch Eric and that had landed them in Azkaban for the night... The professor had to suppress a shudder at that thought and he brought his drink to his lips for another sip. He then set the glass down on the table and clasped his hands loosely together, resting them on his stomach.
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by: Jen
#7051
"There we go. That's my man," he said as Dresden attempted to relax in both body and tone of voice. "It's Beaumont, by the way," he added conversationally. "But simply 'Beau' will do." He took a sip of his drink. "And I wish I could tell you to go home, mate. It isn't like I particularly enjoy having to grace this filth-hole on my day off. But for sake of Gid--you do call him 'Gid,' I presume?--it's best we both stay here at least a while longer before we part ways. Try a bit more drinking. Might help loosen you up a bit. At the very least, you'll find me quite agreeable." With that, Beau downed what remained of his brandy and set the glass down, spinning it a bit only to notice just how grungy the cup looked. He certainly hoped he wouldn't contract an undesirable illness.

At least Dresden Faust showed potential. He was working to adapt to the situation. Beau couldn't blame a non-agent for having to work a bit, but so long as he could take small, nitpicky suggestions such as that, he could take larger, more important demands. That was imperative for this mission to succeed. The government had reached two potential conclusions as to S.A.V.I.O.R.'s current state. They figured Dresden would find S.A.V.I.O.R. plotting something major that would completely undermine the institution of muggle-born slavery and thereby bring into question many other facets of the government and had gone silent for that reason or struggling to survive. Beau thought more middle-ground was likely. He figured they had stream-lined their underground railroad system and had plenty of current, legal citizens working for them. There were still reports of missing slaves, yet considerably less than before, and Beau couldn't help but wonder what they would find if they were to search the homes of various slave owners. He was pushing for the war on S.A.V.I.O.R. to be two-fold. Certainly, Dresden could be of assistance on the inside, but they would do well to start doing random raids before he was initiated. Help draw the heat off their civilian operative and his friend.
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by: Dresden Faust
#7059
Gid. Gideon. The friend he was going to absolutely murder if they all made it out of this mess alive. He gave Beau -- well at least he had a name now to go with the face -- with a look that was normally reserved for friends that had just done something unexpected or for people he thought just spouted off something exceptionally stupid. Drink more? Really? That was Beau's solution. There wasn't enough alcohol in the world that was going to make this task easier... and Dres didn't think getting blitzed was going to help either. He needed a clear head, not one that was clouded. On the same coin maybe another would get him to a point where Beau would start telling him what the hell he was supposed to pull this off.

He downed the rest of his drink before returning to the semi-relaxed posture he'd adopted but made no more to order a refill. If his handler wanted him in a right chipper mood it'd be on his coin.

"As far as I know only his close friends call him that..." With the admission the professor felt most of the fight leave him, at least for the time being. He new he needed help and if this man was going to sort of give it to him then Dres knew he had to play nice. The sooner they got on with things the sooner he could leave and that would put everyone in a more agreeable mood.
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by: Jen
#7558
"It's my understanding you fit that description," Beau said with a sideways glance at Dresden, "which is why I'm a little surprised you're even here." They had insisted Fernsby would be the way to go, but even he had been doubtful the woman would get the man to see things their way. Fernsby said she had made a few concessions, which Beau could only assume meant that Conleth would get away Scott free in all this. Perhaps more, but Beau had only had time for the brief briefing with Fernsby and Fernsby had not had time to write a contact report. He would know the details of that conversation by tomorrow, he figured, but for now, it ought to be safe to assume Conleth was off limits.

"'ey!" Beau called out to a passing barmaid as he reached out and picked up Dresden's glass. He took a whiff before extending it out toward the waitress. "Can't let a man's glass go dry! Another scotch for my mate here!" The barmaid reached out for the glass, bending over slightly as though in hopes a little flirtatiousness might gain her a tip then was on her way. "Drinks on the boss tonight, Dres. Speaking of, how do you plan to solicit your mate?"
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by: Dresden Faust
#7563
"Yeah I do, and like I said earlier I've had a rough day." He hoped that would infer enough that he wasn't here by choice but Dres still thought it was odd that Beau said he was surprised the professor was here. Clearly they hadn't told his handler everything that had happened... meaning things were going to be moving at a fairly rapid pace. Damn it! That left little wiggle room for figuring out how to tip Gid off without being found out. So fixated on that thought the professor was it didn't even register that the barmaid had taken his glass and would be bringing a refill. Dres was pulled form his thoughts by Beau's next question.

"Honestly I have no idea... I've been very adamant that I want nothing to do with whatever the hell he has himself involved in so if I just ask him about it or owl him he'll want to know why the sudden change of heart... he's been able bloody read me like an open book for as long as I can remember so I doubt I could flat out lie to him..." Dres looked over at Beau and any sense of fake happiness he'd shown earlier was replaced with worry. If he flat out lied Gid would know. If he tried to hid what was going on Gid would know and that blasted idiot would pry until Dres wither killed him or spilled... Merlin where was that woman with his drink?
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by: Jen
#7565
Beau chuckled. Faust was overlooking the most obvious tool he had in his current arsenal. "Well, clearly you have as much an excuse now as any. Any fool could see you're not happy with your position right now. Use that anger, use that hatred. Something about the current government must never have sat well with you. Is there any discomfort or upset you've expressed to him politically despite these persistent denials? Is there anything in your current situation that may have pushed you over the edge regarding that aspect?" Beau thanked the barmaid as she returned with Dresden's drink and put a few sickles in her hand. "For you, sweetheart."

She feigned coyness, telling Beau, "You're too kind," before walking off.

"So, come now," Beau said, returning his attention to Faust. "Use your imagination. Go wild! Then, we expound and practice."
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by: Dresden Faust
#7632
The professor reached up to pinch the bridge of his nose, something he often did when exasperated or frustration set in while he thought. Up until now, no, there hadn't been anything that would have given Dresden cause to even remotely say he was unhappy with the government since in all honesty, he'd been happy enough with the way things were going to not feel the need to ruffle the status quo. Sure he might have told Gideon that he didn't care for the idea of slavery and wished it was gone but not enough to actively get involved. The professor had preferred to keep his head in the sand and go about his business except for the odd time Gid had gone off and come back injured. Even then Dres preferred the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy and for the most part, outside of a few instances where his friend had gone stupid, Gid had never brought up S.A.V.I.O.R. at all.

"That's the tick now isn't it. Until earlier today I had no reason to be unhappy with the government. In all honesty I was happy with how things were going. Sure there were a few mild things like I don't know, leaving the school open while a suicidal vampire roamed its halls or you know that whole slavery nonsense, but you can't tell me I'm the only one with those feelings." Dres willed his mouth to shut right then an there because he knew his temper was rising and he was quickly reverting into the snappish professor that had first started this conversation.
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by: Jen
#7664
Dresden was yet again overthinking. He had the perfect in. Yet here he was saying that this was the "trick," that he had "no reason to be unhappy with the government." Beau sighed and shook his head before taking a swig of his brandy. "The trick is to detach yourself from the situation, mate," he advised. "Yes, you hate the idea of doing anything. Yes, you hate the idea that any of your friends have been threatened, but you need to detach yourself to succeed and keep them safe. You have the perfect in, and you're brushing it under the rug."

Beau waited a moment before spelling it out and nursed a bit more of what little remained in his glass. "Have a sip of your drink, mate. You need to calm down, clear your head of the panic and stress so you can think. You're smart, knowledgeable, even if a novice at spy work.It's been, what? almost a month since the killer was taken out, only a bit less since the school was officially shut down. So, you've had time to process and brood and get angry. The government's allowed people to be hurt on more than one front now. They've enslaved people, allowed them to suffer abuse of varying magnitudes. Now, they've allowed people to be killed rather than ensuring their safety during the investigation and shutting down the bloody school. 'Course you're cheesed, eh? You want to do something to protest, something that will help more people from getting hurt because of them, and this group? It's the only bloody way you know of to do it, the only group you know someone from. So, you want in. See? Drink up!" He slid the glass toward Dresden.
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by: Dresden Faust
#7674
Maybe Beau was right. If he could treat the scenario with the same clinical detachment he used when doing research papers he still might make it out of this. Right now it was even obvious to the professor that he was thinking with his heart and not his head, which he had figured would have been what normal people did when feeling threatened. However the situation was not normal, so logically it couldn't be treated that way.

What was the most surprising to the professor was the cover story Beau all but spelled out. With his head the right frame of mind everything the man was saying made sense and was true enough that Gideon would probably buy it, even if it seemed to come out of left field, it wasn't so far off that it would be questioned. He looked over at his handler before acknowledging what the man had said with a slightly surprised "Oh..." Merlin did Dres ever feel stupid for not seeing that.... even if it was going to be used to essentially infiltrate and turn in his best mates rebel group the professor knew he should have at least thought of that angle.

Dresden took the drink and downed a good portion of it before returning the glass to the table. "Alright I concede that would probably work... will work but what do I do then? What's the timeline?"
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by: Jen
#7677
Well, Dresden was obviously an experienced drinker, the way he knocked that back so quickly. There was still some, though, and he figured Dresden would order another if he wanted another. After all, he'd informed him he didn't need to worry about the tab earlier, so Beau chose not to bother flagging down a passing barmaid. At Dresden's concession, Beau smiled. "Then, you gain their trust," he replied. "If we have any reason to believe you may be delaying progress, we will cancel he mission altogether, so while there's no particular timeline as you can't force trust, I can assure you there are incentives to be as genuine with this group as possible." Beau reached into his pocket and grabbed the black velvety pouch and tossed it to Dresden's lap beneath the table. From the lack of a thud or clatter on the floor, he wagered he'd made it. "There's plenty more where that came from." Might not be the only form of incentive the government would use, but it at least was something more positive to look forward to.

"As far as getting you in, however, I've been told to put you down tomorrow if possible. We'll see how our meeting tomorrow goes. I need you to convince me you're ready before I send you down there. I'm treating you as though you're an agent by trade with few exceptions."
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