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by: Kara Viridian
#10702
Kara sensed Casey's irritability right away, and she didn't need super senses like Bryden to notice that. Actually, it was fairly easy for her to pick that out because they'd been in so many business meetings lately that she knew when things sounded off. It was also that she'd known him for years already. Everything from the look in his eyes to the lengthy pauses, all the way up to his cold tone were the symptoms of an inbound conversational disaster.

Kara kept her hands linked together, her fingers laced, placed on top of her desk as she listened to Jace speak up. There might have been a heartrate spike because she tended to worry when he opened his mouth; the unpredictable Alpha garou had a way with words, colorful pictures painted by way of him simply speaking his mind. Each thing spoken was as sharp as the fangs he wore on his bandolier, pulling up dirt on the man Kara had trusted and essentially fallen in love with those years ago. But having this thrown into the light by an outsider just twisted that knife that hit her right in the gut.

She managed to calm herself to show her confidence in partnering with him, however, to his preamble, she looked over at Jace with her eyebrows raised. Kara didn't want to interrupt, because a) she knew better and b) he had every right to say what he wanted, it was an open forum, currently. Jace was invited here, just the same as Casey and if there was even a sliver of hope or a dream that they'd manage to make their alliance work, they needed to move past all of this. If they could.

Kara though she should have expected such a response, though and she couldn't blame him for taking offense to what Casey was insinuating. Threats, heated arguments, temper flares were such a common occurrence nowadays but it didn't make things any easier. However, she still wanted to keep things level, for as long as she could. They weren't bound here and they could leave if they wanted, but it wouldn't be conducive to any of their faction's business.

After all was said, Kara was still a little speechless. Yeah, she was present at that meeting in America, but was everything even really explained? Thoroughly? She asked Casey to clarify and the thing that bothered her the most was that he sounded like keeping the safe house safe wasn't a priority at all. Attacks on the front lines would need the best of the best, to show that they were back in business...but would she want room leave the house unattended? No. Never. She had to put a pin in that thought for later, when it came back around to her.

Was this how things were going to be, then? No. She wanted to make this work, even if she had to fight like hell to find some common ground. She sighed and looked between the two men before eyeing the clock.

Not even five minutes in. Record timing.

Kara did well to hide some of the discomfort on her face, but it was what was swirling and swarming her underneath that facade that made everything feel worse. She tried not to be read by either one of these men, but something told her being read was the least of her worries.
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by: Casey Winslow
#11134
Perhaps things could have gone differently if Casey had come in expecting the Garou to be here earlier, yet as it was, he was becoming more and more livid as the moments passed, especially with how the Garou addressed him. It was like they were both perpetually adding to the fire, and Casey recognized that if he didn't do something now, there'd be a real problem. Was it bad he somehow didn't care? He was being asked to betray plans to a pack he didn't believe should be here in the first place. It was one thing to tell the Order, yet this group of mercenaries getting involved? Fuck, the thought was preposterous. Even Kara had to realize this. If one of the Garou was caught, what was stopping them from a plea bargain involving outing their location in exchange for their own freedom? The mercenary group would prefer money, but sometimes? Sometimes freedom was more precious than any coin one could gain. Then, it wouldn't matter how much damage was dealt to the Death Eater regime during this scuffle. There'd be no more Order to speak of. They'd been lucky last time. He didn't count on luck a second time, especially when he didn't believe in luck to begin with. They could move the location, but if the captured mercenary communicated with the others, it was a moot point.

Everything was a moot point, though, wasn't it? The Order wasn't being run as the Order. It was being run as some hierarchical group where the elite circle made the decisions. There was no discussion, no open communication. Some things, he understood, required this and always had. It was why they'd had Moody in the position they had back in the day. He knew how to make swift decisions void of emotion, but he also had the group's best interests in mind. Kara? As much as he loved Kara, as much as he trusted her as a person, as much potential as he believed she held to successfully run this group...? Well, she had a long way to go before she started thinking of the bigger picture and important what ifs. Yes, it was important to have allies and numbers, but it didn't matter if you couldn't trust the numbers. It was better to have to work with a small group you could trust to carry out orders exactly as planned and agreed upon than a group of mercenaries who were out for themselves ultimately. No amount of money and benefit could do that. There was always a higher bidder, especially when the group sat on such a goldmine as the Order's headquarters. He didn't like this one bit. It made him uneasy, and that made it hard to reply in a calm fashion void of the tension and mistrust he felt to his very core.

Casey stared at Jace--alright, more like glared--as he formulated his response. It only took a moment but even the momentary silence seemed to drag on for an eternity. "First of all," Casey said, pausing a beat, "I didn't call you a liability. I merely was referring to your desire for secrecy. If you're spotted during the attack, captured, and your kind outed? Well, I know that's hardly ideal for you, so calm yourself. The Order itself is a damned liability. We're all wanted to some capacity or only have our freedom because of allies in the government and plea bargains." First part addressed, and with a bit less edge than before. Still, his shoulders and jaw were noticeably tensed and he was sure that it carried into his voice to some degree still. At least he hadn't flipped Jace off before speaking. It had been so tempting. "And 'we' is whoever is involved in this attack--the Order, the group I joined, whoever, whatever."

There would be other questions. Casey wasn't stupid enough to believe there wouldn't be any others. But he wasn't going to simply offer things up until they were on the same page, and something told Casey that would be a while.
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by: Jace Bryden
#11162
Jace felt a flash of white hot anger at Casey's flippant response. Secrecy. Liability. Same thing. They'd been working with the government for the better part of a year and it was well known that the 7 were nothing more than werewolves. If the current government knew of the existence of Garou that information hadn't come from any of Lucky 7. Honestly it sounded as if the other man was speaking for the pack on that point. Captured? Outed? Who the hell did Casey think he was dealing with. And then the added comment about working with whoever and whatever....

The alpha was barely able to contain a snarl at that, but in a rare show of restraint, Jace channeled the anger and rage into a dangerous look, matched Casey's glare and smirked. Other than that he kept his posture the same: feet up on the desk, a lazy slouch into his chair, hands clasped loosely and resting on his stomach. Kara had asked him here for a reason and the alpha was certain it couldn't have been just to play nice with Winslow.

"Whoever and whatever? Your group? The Order? I know the Order, but who the hell is your group? Numbers and capabilities? Or are you expecting Kara here to just pony up the man power on nothing more than a whoever and whatever? Cause it seems like you know everything about the Order but the Order knows jack about you." He kept the cadence of his voice as nutral sounding as he could, though there would be no mistaking the dangerous undertone it carried.

Jace shifted his gaze over to Kara for a beat before turning it back on Casey. "Now, me and the 7 might be nothing but a lowly pack of mercenaries to your uneducated mind, but I do have a vested interest in making sure my ally and current employer has all the information she needs to come out on top."
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by: Kara Viridian
#11168
Now this conversation was turning into something interesting, wasn't it? Tension. From all sides, there was tension. Casey, frustrated because of Jace's involvement. Jace, because of Casey's mystery--the smoke and mirrors. And Kara? Well...she was in the middle of all of that, paying close attention to every shift in the room. Every movement, every sigh and breath, and the connotation in the voices as they lay out their points, punctuated by their frustration.

First came Casey's words. Correcting Jace where he'd been 'misheard'. In Jace's defense, that's exactly what she'd heard too, but an honest mistake if there was one. From the first time the Lucky 7 set foot in this safe house, he hadn't been a fan of the Alpha and his way of handling things so this was probably Casey's way of trying to get Jace to back out of the fight, in his own, sly way. A request without actually requesting it, that is. Clever. But if she knew the Alpha like she'd known him of the past few months--hell, at first sight she could already tell he wouldn't ever back down from a fight, so Casey could ask and beg and plead til he was blue in the face and that wouldn't work. Still, she narrowed her eyes when he'd mentioned the Order being a liability as well, which made her wonder what exactly she was fighting for if he worded it that way. But she didn't speak up. Not yet. He wasn't wrong to say they were all wanted, as it was quite true. A wanted man, a former fugitive and a garou mercenary? Merlin, that was quite the combo.

Then came Jace's retort and she was rather impressed by it. The Alpha was all about ripping off someone's head, chewing on it and spitting it out, at least in a verbal sense. Yet, here he was, leaned back comfortably, stern expression as he spoke, and that seemed to have more weight to it than just leaning forward and yelling every single profanity known to man in Casey's face. Kara raised an eyebrow as she watched him, carefully. It was a smart play--otherwise she wouldn't know what to expect from Casey except an opened door of aggression he'd give right back. She didn't move, as she'd given him the floor to speak what was on his mind, which was actually a lot of what was on her mind too. Even though she'd been to America and back, spoken with her tactical adviser Gabe about everything to really gather the benefit of her contribution to all of this, Casey of all of these contacts had told her the least of all of these contacts.

When Jace looked at her, she slightly nodded, knowing he'd carry on regardless of her reaction. It just meant she'd listened to his words, considered them carefully, and understood. However, the following remark made her sigh aloud and she shook her head. She nearly bit through her tongue. She wanted to say his name to get him to stop, but that might have seemed bad, as she wasn't out to reprimand him. Exactly the opposite. She agreed with him, a hundred percent. It's just that Kara wanted to say her piece, even if it meant little in this verbal bout between these two. "Insults and whatnot aside. Jace is right." Her voice started soft, but confidence built up in her tone as she showed quite clearly that she agreed with the Alpha. It wasn't necessarily to single out Casey and put him on the spot--as she'd done that inadvertently--but Kara had to be honest here, not only with herself, but with the two of them. The two men who tested her ability to lead. Constantly. "We've been over this before, Casey. You might not trust them, but I do. He and I--" she gestured toward Jace, "have worked towards solidifying the terms of the original agreement. So far it's worked out well, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. No casualties. No damages to the safe house. No...other incidents." She gave Jace a brief glare with a smirk, in reference to what had happened with Stana Chastaine and her release to the pack. [Now that was something.]

"Believe it or not, the Lucky 7 are valuable allies to our cause, and I've been saying that from the very beginning too." Kara stated firmly, more confident in saying that now than she ever had. "If what's being insinuated here is that trusting them teeters on the fact that our pack is going to turn on the The Order," Kara took a beat, mostly because she realized what was said, but she let out a breath and shrugged. "I wholeheartedly disagree. They've held up their end of the bargain, and Jace has assured me they'll be fighting with us, for us, and won't be swayed by some government coin." There was maybe a sliver of doubt in there. It was always in the back of her mind: a possibility that Jace could take the 7 and perhaps Stana, uproot and get the hell out of the compound without so much as a word goodbye, but something was telling Kara this would not be the case. But would gut instinct and some blind faith in the garou be enough to convince Casey? "So...like it or not, you two, we're all working together. What the hell is the point of fighting each other on this, when we want the same thing, hm?"

Fierro told her to steer the meeting, and by God she was going to to try and get this damn ship to the finish line, even if she hit a few icebergs along the way.
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by: Casey Winslow
#11298
They were ridiculous, and honestly, the way Kara backed Jace.... Like he was somehow trying willfully to not work with him. That wasn't what he meant at all, but the two seemed intent on twisting his words. You'd think Kara would understand him. They'd discussed Jace and his pack before, and he knew she trusted them. He knew there was no dispelling them from the premises. He wasn't trying to get them to back down in any way, just pointing out there were risks, serious risks to consider should one of them be captured. What brief history they'd established in the Order's employ meant nothing if one of theirs was captured. Whether they manipulated the captured individual or used the captured individual as bait or a bargaining chip, there was still risk. It was foolish to believe there was none. Words of promise were easy when the situation wasn't at hand and when your trade itself made your ultimate loyalty questionable at best. He thought he'd made his own clear. So long as the Order was being brought back together, so long as the recruits showed a willingness to actually do something to see their cause through, there was no reason to leave. The disbandment had only happened when the members at the time (Catrin Sinclair, Malcolm Steele, Urania Blackthorne, and others) had proven unwilling to level tactics of necessity against the Williams regime. But it was more than that moment. He could have and would have stayed with a group rule against his suggested plan of action. But he couldn't stay with an ineffective, lazy group of people who were willing to do little more than sit on their asses rather than make plans to try to return society to the middle ground where it belonged.

He hadn't even intended to join Evie. He'd believed her dead, had no knowledge she had feigned it to escape Trevor and plot her revenge. But when the opportunity had presented itself to work with a group willing to do what it took, willing to fight, not too afraid to take action? He couldn't refuse. There was simply no way. When she failed to enact her plan and seemed to fall further and further to madness, he and Ianto had joined forces and gathered whichever members of Isis had seemed safest and had reached out to Kara. Now, there was no reason for him to leave the Order. Striking out on his own would simply be foolish. Returning to Salem would be foolish. Evie was mad so far as he was concerned, and that meant unpredictability. He and Ianto as well as those who went rogue would be wanted.

The stretch of silence had gone by in the blink of an eye or so it seemed to Casey, who had been trying to figure out how to phrase his words while staring at the unlit fireplace. With a sigh, Casey finally returned his attention back to the two in the room with him, his voice calmer than before. "Why is it you both are taking everything I say as a fight? Unless the both of you have prejudices yourselves against me for whatever reason." He paused, contemplating whether or not to say what was on the tip of his tongue. Why the hell not? She needed to hear it. Kara was acting as though he was trying to push Jace out, and that simply wasn't it. One could state concern and the like without trying to shove them out. If someone couldn't face critique, it spoke of a weak character. If Jace and his pack backed out because of a simple voiced concern, they were idiots and would be doing them a favor. If he became angry, there was some truth to his concern. "You'd think you'd understand, Kara, why I come from a place of caution and concern. I ran this group in the past with others. I have known it while it was in action, when it was at its peak, and it was never one individual. It was a group making decisions together and acting or, guess what, things never would have fallen apart when it did."

Now that that was addressed, it was time to continue. "Yes, it's true, I'm not pleased with the situation with the wolves. I don't agree with your assessment or any empty words they have spouted. They're self-admitted mercenaries who had no bloody qualm about turning us over if we hadn't agreed to their terms. They began this relationship twisting our arm to get something to their benefit. They may offer something in return, but I don't trust them. Neither of you can't expect that to change overnight, but I'm here now. I'm willing to talk, but I keep getting my words twisted and accusations flung at me at every turn and we're getting nowhere. I'm not refusing to work with you and yours, Jace, but I hardly see why I need to be here right now if we're just going to sit here and argue. You know the details of the attack, Kara. Ianto and I spelled it out to you: the bombs, the surplus of supplies we have stockpiled to effectively level key government assets and leave them reeling. My group doesn't matter. It's dead after this. Those of us who split from Evie are going to have no choice but to take part in the re-establishment of the Order or simply try to start from scratch. I hardly see the wisdom in starting another bloody group, but to answer your question, Jace, we both have equal numbers. Your group may put the 'Order' at more numbers, but your group is still your group. Until you've taken the oath, until you've proven your alliance, there is little trust I can place in you and I know I can't be the only one on this property that feels that way, but you're here, and you're working with us. But I'm willing to move past that. If everyone will stop throwing accusations and actually try to talk. Otherwise, I'm out of this meeting. I don't want to rehash what we all already know of each other's views on one another. If I'm here, let's move forward."
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by: Jace Bryden
#11617
Jace felt the silence spread over the room after Kara had said her piece. It wasn't a comfortable silence either. The alpha equated it to the calm before the storm and he was certain that a storm was brewing inside Winslow. Eventually the man spoke and Jace had a hard time not opening laughing. Taking everything that was said as a fight? Wasn't that rich. Did Casey honestly think he was some special snowflake that was being treated any different than he'd treat someone else? The alpha's smirk widened.

"Awe Winslow, touched that you think I think highly enough of you to treat you any different than I do anyone else. Here's the deal snowflake, this is how I am with everyone so best get used to it." He wasn't trying to be overly confrontational but the record needed to be set straight. No point in the man wondering around wondering if he thought the 7 had some sort of vendetta against him. Rumors like that were bad for business and alliances.

And then Winslow carried on, almost as if he was chiding Kara for calling him out, and then going on about groups and many people making decisions together. It made the garou want to gag. Groups were terrible for making decisions in a timely manner, fuck that's why there were alpha's. One word, a snap of the fingers and boom! done. No bickering, or squabbles about so and so not liking something, or waaaaaa so and so is hurting my morel compass. Bleh, waste of time and energy was what that was. Still Jace continued to list as Casey said his peace.

The Spiral snorted in half amusement when Casey stated that he didn't want to work with the 7 and then had the balls to say he didn't know why he was needed and some bullshit about arguing. He hadn't been arguing earlier. He'd asked a damn question about numbers and had expected to get a straight answer, not some fucking useless run around because someone didn't have the balls to spit it out.

"Well same could be said for your group then can't it? Have they taken an oath? Are they loyal to you or to Kara, because that's one hell of a difference. But as far as I'm concerned you can take your oath and choke on it. It's just jumped up words that mean nothing in the end. I have a contract and that's more than enough for you lot. But if you want to go into this mess handicapped because you don't want to share information then fine, I could care less. Just means the 7 will work solo as we always do and move within the parameters of our contract and if we see something we don't like, well the investment isn't there for us to stick around."

It was then that the alpha dropped his feet off of the desk and sat up, much straighter before leaning forward with a sinister grin.

"That said, if any of my crew get called out for messing up timing, triggering something early, or if anyone of them get hurt because of information you held back because you don't have the guts to spit it out.... things will end badly for you. You can count on it."

Threat delivered, Jace returned his feet to the corner of the desk and resumed his non-threatening slouch from earlier.
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by: Kara Viridian
#11622
"Alright." Kara placed both hands on her desk firmly. She didn't realize how hard she settled them, but it was a thud loud enough to get everyone's attention. She looked at both men, slightly exasperated. She had heard enough. While on one hand she did understand Casey's dismay, she was also not too thrilled with Jace's retort. They were just going around in circles about something that, while it needed to be aired out, needed to be nipped before it got any worse. "That is quite enough."

She folded her hands together and leaned back in her seat. The discomfort of Casey being in the room with Jace got him to the point of wanting to leave? Sure, Jace's harsh way of speaking made most upset and want to take off. She got that. Then Jace's threat about potentially leaving if it wasn't worth his while irked Kara. She didn't know why, but it did. He was a mercenary, so she should have understood that this was very possible, but it still didn't sit with her well. All these threats, attitudes, vibes of disapproval were unsettling her, and she almost felt compelled to adjourn and cast them both out until further notice... but she wasn't about to lose an important spoke in the wheel due to verbal misconduct. They addressed a good point, but she knew it was getting out of hand and they needed to get to the real reason of the conversation before anyone could be dismissed.

"Before we carry on this lovely little carousel of horrors--as I am sure we all love the way its derailed from what we are here to talk about--the fact of the matter, is this... The three of us are going to work together, whether we like it, or not. The three of us have been thrown together for whatever reason and Merlin help us for this outcome, but we are going to make these plans work." Kara looked between the men, her sea green eyes glistening with some authority, as she would be damned if she couldn't steer this in the right direction again. "As much as you'll both hate to hear this, we are all one unit on this op. Order. We're set to make the regime realize we aren't dead and that we are coming for them. So Jace, the Lucky 7, and your organization, Casey, are Order, for this operation. All inclusive. One umbrella. One unit. I'm not going to ask you to be friends, I'm telling you to be allies for just one damn minute, please. So let's drop this and move on, or rather. Start over."

Whether that was going to be taken well had yet to be seen, but Kara would carry on, to whoever was left standing.

Kara's attention shifted to Casey. "Yes. I have the plans. What information I was able to take away from our meeting in America, as well as a few tactical adjustments from Gabriel, I have that. We're going for Ministry, and Diagon. But what I would like to know is how close were getting to this. Are we marching right into it's face or are we sending others in first? Now that we have Bryden' s crew," There was a slight pause as she glanced over at Jace for a second before turning back to Casey, "How do you propose we go in, if you've discussed this with your men? Gabriel provided charts, times, positions, areas that might be clear and provide the least amount of damage. Collateral, that is."
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by: Casey Winslow
#12521
Jace was infuriating. Casey could deal with a rough nature, even a demeaning nature. That was one thing. What was different about Jace was that he seemed more keen on being right and coming out on top than conceding. Casey had voiced his piece and that he planned to work with them despite his reservations, reservations he had explained, yes, but he had closed with a redirection to work together and move past this and Jace had decided to try to keep the repartee going. Fuck him. If this was how it was going to be, if Jace was more interested in being some power-hungry prick, let them burn. Let them do this without the aid of the weapons and bombs Evie and her operatives had taken months to stockpile. Let them fail, let them realize that they all had to give at some point. So what if Jace was the leader of this mercenary pack? Good leaders knew to step down, to voice concerns but step back and swallow pride for sake of keeping things going. Casey would leave. He would leave and find other means to see his and Ianto's plan executed. It might take longer, but they had already waited. What was a little more time? Let the Order go in, do their thing, plant seeds of paranoia yet also let some cockiness sink in since the Guard should be able to handle some duels even with all their incompetence, and then let the real force hit just when feelings of safety started to settle in.

But then Kara spoke and she redirected things. Casey glanced at Jace pointedly despite the knowledge he probably shouldn't have but at least he kept it to a glance. At least he said nothing. He had no doubt of Kara's ability to lead. There would be hiccups, of course, but she needed to realize one person making the call didn't work in a society of people where such a hierarchy hadn't been the norm. She would in time. And Casey was willing to work with her so long as Jace would step down, so long as Jace would act civil and not all powerful. His alpha status meant nothing here.

"The plan has always been for a select few who got paperwork to go in first, to plant the bombs and to prepare. Ianto's been scouting, watching, working undercover with the guard, and feeling things out. He would lead that team. Then the rest of us were to come in just as the bombs started going off, overwhelm the checkpoints and engage the Guard. Do what we could to gain the upper hand while others marched on, tried to gain power over those in important positions, a reason we had Ianto in, scouting. Timing was and is everything. Evie seemed convinced she had the numbers. I never saw them, but that was purposeful. If the right hand didn't know what the left hand was doing...only the brain?" The old idiom didn't need further explanation. "Of course, the Order could easily take the place of those members who didn't apply for paperwork. If anyone's still able to enter lawfully, they could join Ianto and his squad. Whatever the case, we need to organize. We need to agree. And we need to move as one. If anyone jumps the gun, there will be hiccups, hiccups we can't afford."
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by: Jace Bryden
#12960
Kara's redirect had come at the perfect time, otherwise Jace was certain he would have ripped into Casey. If the man was so fucking keen on walking then the Order would be better off. The alpha matched Casey's pointed look with one of his own, only he let a smirk grace his features and let clasped hands rest easily on his stomach as if Casey wasn't even worth the effort of bothering with. It was clear he'd got under the man's skin and Jace had every intention of poking and prodding until Winslow ran away with his tail between his legs. If they were all operating as Order then Kara's word was law, the sooner Casey figured that shit out, then the sooner they could get down to business. Speaking of...

It was hard not to just mocking laugh at Winslow's follow up. So his own crew didn't even know how many people they had? And everything seemed to hinge on intel from only one source... It was so fucking stupid Jace couldn't help but wonder how the hell this group even functioned. This Evie being the only one in the know? For a plan that seemed to hinge on timing a hell of a lot was sure being left up to dumb luck. Even within the 7, when solo missions were required, everyone knew what each other's job was and how to aid if shit his the fan... With the mess that was currently being proposed how the hell would they even function? If something needed changing on the fly, how did everyone communicate to make sure no one jumped the gun? The alpha also didn't miss how Casey made no mention to answer Kara's question about collateral damage. We're the non Death Eaters and Guard to be standard fallout?

"Of course the Order could take there place," The alpha's words dripped with sarcasm and he didn't break his gaze from Casey's unless the man broke first. "And how many do you need for that? Shit, the way you make it sound it's like a bunch of your lot bailed already. Can't organize or move as one if we don't know what we got Winslow." Jace then turned his attention to Kara.

"Fun as this little get together has been, it all seems a bit suicidal and I ain't the least bit interested in getting the 7 involved. So unless you can give me a reason to risk my crew on a whim you can count us out sweetheart."
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by: Kara Viridian
#12961
This was beyond frustrating.

How the devil was she supposed to work with these two, if they were just gonna keep see-sawing like this?! She already put her foot down. She put her other foot down too, actually. Kara was trying to steer this as best as she could but on a wagon with broken wheels, it was not an easy vehicle to navigate. She needed stability, something she hoped these two could provide, even if it wasn't a benefit to each other--but a benefit for her and the others counting on them to make this work. Kara took a deep breath, steam coming off of her the way she felt heated, and then

"Great." Kara sighed. If she didn't know any better she'd smack Jace's feet off of her desk. She wanted to be taken seriously, by both of them, but she was getting all push back and no pull. At the mention of Ianto, she shifted. Kara was still not sure how she felt about the man, but if he was vetted by Casey as his closest ally on this operation, Kara was fine with him being a part of this. Hell, Casey just mentioned that they had to work as one, but now Jace was ready to spike on his volley. SERIOUSLY?!

"What is it going to take, huh? We're going in circles. I get one of you on board and the other wants to jump ship. Pick a side and stay on it. You're either with this, or not." Kara was in this, regardless. Presence of the Order needed to be established now that she was somewhat on her feet with recruits and members in line. They were cornerstones though, these two, and she wanted them to be a part of that development.

"And are you seriously telling me the 7 would actually walk away from a fight?" That fire in her eyes didn't die down and she turned them directly on Jace. Well...that was unexpected, but if she was mediating, she had to show both parties this wasn't a damn game anymore. If she learned anything about Jace and his crew, they were always prepared to draw blood. While casualties and injury were to be kept to a minimum, it surprised her to hear Jace was threatening to pull away from that. Whether or not it was just a scare tactic to further rile up Casey to carry on this testosterone, stubbornness fueled grudge match between the two of them, Kara was throwing in her own two bloody cents.

But she needed to get back on track.

"Evie is still out of the picture?" Kara turned back to Casey, asking with a bit of sincerity in her voice. She didn't elaborate but there was some distaste in her tone for the woman who spurned her for catching the admiration of her ex-husband. She didn't mean to bring her up and honestly that was all she was going to say on the matter, if anything, to clarify whether or not she would be an asset or a possible liability.
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by: Casey Winslow
#13838
As tempting as it was to get up and storm out of the room when Jace took his response as another way to try to jab him, Casey sighed and rested the side of his face in his hand such that his fingertips near his scalp and jaw joint supported its weight. He was getting a headache. He'd let Kara handle that. He had tried, and obviously this man had no regard for asking questions. Instead he made an ass out of himself by making assumptions and taking jabs. Let him be the bad guy. Casey was done with his antics, and he wasn't going to voluntarily be a punching bag with someone who clearly had no feel for how this whole thing bloody worked. He clearly also wanted no part in this or he'd have taken the opportunity to ask questions and try to make this work. Casey avoided the urge to roll his eyes as Kara made an emotional appeal, one that would stick it to the other's pride. Was that really how she thought it best to gather allies? Make someone involve themselves only out of sheer stubborn pride? Whatever. She'd fall on her ass a few times and eventually realize that method wouldn't work. Let her. Because she was too damn stubborn to listen to someone who had been there for years, and he wasn't interested in spending what time they could get together alone arguing. Granted, she hadn't exactly been around much on a personal level since he'd arrived back in England for good nearly a month ago. He didn't know what to think, but that was fodder for another time.

At Kara's question to him, Casey looked to her and nodded. "She's dead to our mission. Ianto has been working with our allies to slowly acquire her weapon's stock without her noticing. We have the majority already. By the time she notices, it'll all be an illusion in her warehouse at this rate and it'll be too late." All Evie seemed to care about before his and Ianto's decision to form a coup had seemed to be Trevor, who had abdicated and vanished. Her lack of action during the days that had followed had shown her true purpose to many within their group who craved their own revenge against the Death Eaters and longed to resume their own lives and consequently had gained a few more allies for Ianto and himself, many of which had been making their way here over the past few weeks. Casey hadn't shown them into the safe house yet, but he had held a few meetings in London. He hadn't wanted to overstep boundaries with Kara and assume she'd be fine with their arrival here at the safe house before talking to her.

"Those who joined Ianto and I have been making their way here--overseas. I can take you to them after we sort this mess here if you want to vet them before they relocate here for ease of planning."
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by: Jace Bryden
#13875
He listened as Kara decided to finally step up and pitch some sort of fucked up plea to work together with Winslow. What the fuck did she think he was trying to do? Pick a side? Hah! There were no god damn sides, especially if there were hints that the other side wasn't playing ball. Whatever, worse comes to worse and they could cut and bail. Not like they'd never done that before when situations had gone south. Still it was a pay check, part of the retainer, so as long as that's what Kara wanted then Jace would be willing to work with the Winslow and his imaginary crew if it really boiled down to that. He sure as hell didn't have to be happy about it though.

"Yes we would walk. If high tailing it out keeps my crew alive then ya, we cut our losses." It was stated matter of factly and without any emotion tied to the words. It was exactly as the alpha had spelled it out. He matched Kara's sea-green gaze with his own and simply smiled. He was daring her to push the issue, he'll if Winslow wanted a shot he was ready for that too.

But then the conversation shifted. Evie? Who and what in the fuck was an Evie? Casey's explanation did little to settle the alpha's nerves about the whole situation, and again he felt as if he was only being told half the story. From what little Jace was getting, he couldn't shake the feeling that Winslow and this Ianto guy had staged a coup, but from the way Casey was talking, this Evie was still very much alive... He frowned.

"Alright so who the fuck is this Evie that, correct me if I'm wrong, you swiped this crew from? Sounds like she's still breathing so can we expect her to show up to take back whats hers? Cause last thing we fucking need while out in the field is some pack squabble over rank."

Jace looked to Kara when Casey mentioned bring in his people onto Order turf. It was hard not to growl out at that but Jace bit it back, knowing ultimately that would be Kara's call Personally the alpha thought it was suicide and shouldn't even be talked about until after the attack. To many god damn unknowns...
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by: Kara Viridian
#13881
The stand-off with Jace brought the pot back to boil, as far as Kara was concerned. She stared back into his dark-brown eyes, letting her gaze linger there for a lot longer than she wanted. Getting lost there only intensified the matter, but somehow didn't make her uncomfortable. Actually, she was more comfortable than ever. So he was threatening to leave? Kara huffed. "I'm not interested in playing bluffs right now, Bryden. And quite frankly I'd love to hop in the 'whip out my caliber' game, but right now I don't have the energy for it." She smirked, "Now, we agreed, made an arrangement to keep you on retainer, and as promised you'll get your dues paid in full if we can just cooperate." That's what he was thinking right? It's what a merc would always have on his mind... 'go where the gold goes', was the old saying, right? Kara was taught a lot about mercenaries in her day and even learned their ways first hand. Jace and his crew weren't any different. "The aim is for a low-casualty strike. So low the casualty count would be non-existent. We're putting measures in place to keep all of us alive;'us'includes you and yours, of course. In just a few weeks we've already strengthened our fighters, both physically and magically. We've made good on our deal to house you and the crew, pay you, feed you, and offer a return ticket to keep you in-house if you prefer not to stay at your homestead. I've proved to you that I can and will lead this force, and given you what you asked for, Jace. If that's not enough for you, then what are you still doing here?" It was a half-threat, half-curiosity. If he was so ready to just evacuate at any given chance after everything they'd been through so far, then...what was keeping him around? She arched a brow and kept her eyes locked in his for a bit longer, a wry smile tugging at the corner of her lips.

Merlin, how did Fierro handle doing this shit every single day? That is, of course, if Williams had him facing this nonsense on the daily. Part of her wished he was here, but that would probably just add to the tension in the room that was already so thick it was nearly impenetrable.

"This whole meeting, which I'm hoping wasn't a complete waste of time, was to get the facts straight. Get everything out in the open, and get us all in line. Bickering isn't making my job any easier, and if it continues this way, then what? We say fuck all and let all of this planning go into the bin? No. I still plan on moving forward with this. We're at a point now that it makes sense to get us back on the map, as we discussed." Kara's steely eyes shifted from Jace to Casey. "I'll put myself on the line for it. I already agreed to it, I intend on seeing this through." It was a dangerous mission, there was no denying that, but Kara had poured quite a bit of resources into the plans for this mission. The garou were a huge asset to her forces and so were the stragglers from Evie's lot, but she was still curious just how down and out Casey's ex was from this whole ordeal.

Dead to the mission?

She echoed in thought. That was an interesting way of putting it, and she even made note of the way he said it, too. Usually mention of his ex-wife came with an enamored tone, a wistful sigh of thoughts from long ago, a longing for the woman he'd fallen in love with before. But the more and more she thought of Casey and Ianto's current situation, the more it drew concerns. So they took everything away from her, someone they deemed unfit to lead, someone who has ties to this realm! Now, if and when she found out and she ever decided to come home, what would stop her from finding her, or anyone else involved, and just-- ... The words were already out of Jace's mouth before she could form any coherent sentences from her jumbled thought. It was almost exactly as she would have posed it, less vulgarities, but damn did this strike her as odd. It was strange though, as it was like he'd read her mind. But, why didn't she pick up on all of this sooner? Fuck. She felt like an idiot for not seeing that possible liability. Kara admitted she had a lot to learn. Casey and Jace were both leaders in their own right, but if they were resisting an alliance, how the hell was she supposed to learn anything from either of them, the two men who, in their own way, offered to help her lead?

Kara narrowed her eyes, those sea-green orbs trying to show strength over fear and uncertainty, but she didn't deny, it was there. This not-so-minor detail was bothering her, and the both probably knew it. She wanted to answer Casey's offer to bring the rest of their followers along, but she hit a road block. She was stuck on the query involving Evie... and this was his question to answer, not hers.

Evie would always be the ghost of his relationship past, come to haunt her.

Again.
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by: Casey Winslow
#16264
Casey was quiet as Kara said her piece that she needed in order to get the man across from him in line. Despite it, he was somewhat surprised when Bryden went on to ask about Evie rather than buck Kara at all. She must have proven her dominance enough or he had decided to hold off harsh words for later with her. Either way, Casey was glad that at least things seemed to somewhat be taking a turn for the better.

Casey was honestly surprised no one had asked that question sooner. It was one he and Ianto had discussed at some point during their planning, but it was one with an obvious answer. Evie was obsessed, pure and simple, with the demise of Trevor Williams. Nothing else mattered to her, and with his abdication, she had undoubtedly been rendered uneasy, leading her down the path that had led to his meeting with Tabby and the procurement of a voodoo doll with which to attack the monster who haunted her every nightmare, every dream, and every waking moment. Evie had been delivered the object after Casey had met with Ianto and their coup began. Undoubtedly, she was trying to use the object to flush Trevor out or, hell, to try to draw the Sullivan fellow who had taken the girls then refused to deliver, the one man who dared to tell her no. After all, without the Williams girls, what did she have as bait?

"I doubt she'll care, honestly," Casey replied. "To be fair, she'll be angry as soon as she realizes, which at this point won't be until it hits the wizarding papers overseas. She's too obsessed with Williams and his demise. She'll be furious at the betrayal. Likely demand Ianto and I to return, and honestly, unless we feel any of those we managed to separate from her loyal enough to our cause, we change the pattern of the mazes and move the manor to keep others out as soon as we attack. Until we've carried that out, I trust these we've brought over will be absolutely loyal and of no threat. They've been privy to Ianto's and my cause for far long enough that Evie would have grown tired of the waiting game. It's no secret her priorities aren't in line with what she promised them. All she cares about is Trevor, and this attack? Pointless to her. It won't draw Trevor out, and none of the supplies we have taken were meant for her attack on Williams himself. I'll leave the final call for after the attack to Kara. She will have time between now and then to vet them and decide who'll be left out in the cold afterward and who'll be brought into the fold."
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by: Jace Bryden
#16583
The words "doubt she'll care" irked the already temperamental alpha. It was stupid to write a leader off simply because he didn't think she'd give a rats ass that he stole her crew out from under her nose and Jace couldn't help but think this little "write-off" would come back to bite them all in the ass at some point. Angry was an understatement. No leader worth his or her salt would simply let someone successful stage a coup and then not retaliate. Such a notion was so far removed from what a garou would do it was hard to even fathom that a human wouldn't be out for blood. Fucking hell, by rights there should be nothing but a trail of bodies left to mark what happens to betrayers.

Rather than voice the thoughts in his head out loud, the mercenary leader opted to remain silent for the time being as Casey spoke. He leaned back in his chair, adopting the slouched position he'd been in earlier in an attempt to hide his growing unease as he watched Casey with an intense gaze, looking for any sign, tick, or tell to indicate whether Winslow was talking true. While what the younger man was saying was interesting in its own right, Jace couldn't help but notice the man had completely sidestepped his question. He didn't care about Evie's fucking deeds and back story, or how she was going after some Trevor guy. He wanted to know who the fuck she was, how Casey knew her and what that meant for his crew down the line. So much for cooperating and putting all the cards on the table. Fine, if that's how things were going to be played then he would return the volley in kind and bring it up with Kara later since she had already brought to light the retainer and reinforced that it was the Order Lucky 7 was currently working for and not the other way around.

It would be interesting to see how she reacted to Winslow's explanation and expectation that Kara would have time to vet all the newcomers properly. He shifted his gaze to the woman in question as he'd already made his thoughts on that issue perfectly clear earlier. If she wanted to play the part of employer and lead then this was her place to step in, and if she didn't? Well, the 7 would be getting less sleep and doing their own planning in the very near future.
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