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Author Topic: Ash to ignite. [Jarek]  (Read 178 times)

Ash to ignite. [Jarek]
« on: November 01, 2019, 01:53:07 PM »
[ july 847 ]

Everything was being laid in place. They each had their own objectives, and they would be carried out fully. It was ambitious, but nothing would stand in their way. The Walls weren't prepared for this, no matter what some might believe. Being in the Military Police, along with the disguise he took to the streets, Quirin had heard plenty of civilian chatter. The Walls were far more protected now, apparently. The Garrison wouldn't slack off again, they said.

How little they knew.

Striding into the Valdeze residence, his Military Police uniform perfectly smooth and proper, Quirin knew exactly where to go. Guard duty was something of a speciality of his, and he had long ensured that any appearance around the Valdeze family wouldn't be suspicious. It allowed for any actual work, or the odd emergency. He knew very well that none of his peers, nor those he answered to, would pry. Meeting here also meant that they had their own territory, so to speak. Nobody to overhear. No interruptions.

He had been given time to consider the actions before him, of plans laid out. Now that he knew exactly how to arrange them, and the time approached to put them in action, he had a report to give. Whatever Jarek thought of it, Quirin felt assured that it would go as he wished. After all, he would be the one putting his life on the line. Risking both detection and life.

Re: Ash to ignite. [Jarek]
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2019, 11:42:55 PM »
The meeting had drawn on for far, far too long. Lord Saintirel was full of propositions and ideas, as though an alliance forged at the eleventh hour could save his ailing house. His only daughter had been twice married already, but had not produced a single living child. If the rumours were to be believed, her last loss had put her on bed rest over a month ago, and she had yet to rise from those stiff, stinking sheets. Likely she never would. Jarek watched the ageing man's hands tremble faintly as he sifted through his papers, his droning voice drilling into the noble's skull. Still the young man smiled, and indulged, and hosted unfailingly. When the Saintirel name was extinguished, their worldly wealth - for what it was worth - would likely be subsumed by the Valdezes. Lord Saintirel had always wanted a son, and it was too easy to step into such a playable role.

The familiar, handsome figure of Quirin was a gift in that moment, as the pair of nobles lingered by the open door to Jarek's grand study, the younger working to delicately end their meeting. "Officer Drexler," Jarek greeted brightly. "Lord Saintirel was just leaving." He tilted his raven head, offering his unwanted companion a dazzling, vaguely apologetic smile. "I am afraid I have some pressing matters to attend to, but I shall give your propositions due consideration. Perhaps we could meet again next week?" The older man nodded eagerly, too plainly revealing how desperately he sought to make connections with the Valdeze family, and offered a rather colourless farewell. His gait was stiff and unsteady as a servant dutifully stepped forward to lead him from the sprawling manor. Jarek watched until Lord Saintirel's stooped, retreating back turned a corner, then focused his attention on Quirin. The officer was immaculately turned out, carrying himself with confidence within Valdeze walls. And why not, when his loyal service had seen him spend countless hours across the noble family's residences? He had earned that self-assurance.

"Your timing is impeccable," Jarek smirked. Even as he spoke, there was a subtle shift in his expression. Quirin did not require the same charade as everyone else. "Please, come in." Stepping into the study, the noble immediately breezed over to the large desk that dominated the space, leaving the officer to close the door behind him and ensure their privacy. There was much to be discussed.

Re: Ash to ignite. [Jarek]
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2019, 12:33:34 AM »
The sight of Lord Saintirel was no surprise, and Quirin painted the practiced, easy smile of respect as he approached them, stopping at some distance to bow swiftly. Respect mattered so very much, and he would not be marked on it. Nor would he have wanted to - he had no patience for these matters, but they were Jarek's business, and any minute assistance he could give would be duly given. He didn't need to say a word, his eyes speaking for him; subservient understanding, an acceptance that unless the lord had anything to say to him, he would not address him first.

His silence continued until Jarek spoke to him directly, that being the cue, the hint that they were quite alone. "Am I not always impeccable, in all that I do?" he replied, his own charade relaxing as he entered the study. Here, above all places, he could be himself. Truly, entirely. There was no mask needed in this safety, in the company of perhaps the only noble he wanted to command him. The door closed with a click, and with it went the outside world. In this room, the pigs and the pests didn't exist.

"I envy your patience, with those matters," Quirin added, a casual smirk in turn to him. He wouldn't forget his place, nor would he overstep; there was no harm in a playful joke between them. Before business reigned, and so it did. "I've prepared everything in my power to, setting foundations first. With your approval, I'll begin to finalise all that I need." Every shred of preparation mattered. He had been given a puzzle, and now he was set to fill the very last pieces of it. "Shall I begin?" A question of courtesy, an assurance that he was ready to, and an allowance for Jarek to both retain control and have such a chance to get any news of his own.

Quirin Drexler was nothing if not devoted.

Re: Ash to ignite. [Jarek]
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2019, 12:24:58 PM »
Am I not always impeccable, in all that I do?

That earned a wide, white flash of teeth and an affirmative nod from Lord Valdeze.  A chuckle, its sound rich and low, followed mere moments later, elicited by the gentle jest.  “Dear Lord Saintirel lives on just to spite me, it would seem.”

The study was quiet, its walls shrouded by orderly bookcases and cabinets, the floor sumptuously carpeted and soft underfoot, adding to the stillness.  A handful of treasures and curiosities – precisely positioned – peeked from shelves.  On one wall a silver sword was mounted, its rain-guard and cross-guard glittering with small, dark gemstones.  On another, there hung a large and detailed map of Paradis.  Cloistered away from the world, Jarek basked in the residual heat from the taxing meeting with Lord Saintirel – and in his newfound, very much desired company.

From a sideboard, the lord produced two crystal glasses that sparkled coldly in the light.  Wordlessly he decanted drinks for them both.  “Elderflower and raspberry,” Jarek said simply, sliding one tumbler across the desk.  The flavour of the pressé changed, depending on the season, and on what was being grown in the gardens of the Valdeze estate.  The fruit was picked only by trusted servants, and prepared into beverages by a carefully selected team of long-serving kitchen staff, and then tasted first by someone whose life was dispensable.  Because one could never be too careful.   

“Marvellous,” Jarek smiled in response to Quirin's summary, taking a seat behind the desk, the fingertips of one long-fingered hand dancing lightly against the rim of his glass.  A low-burning ferocity smouldered in his noble features, his expression one of anticipation and high expectation.  Quirin Drexler was an exceptional individual, a rare and ruthless breed who was motivated and meticulous in every task he undertook.  Only one as seemingly infallible as he could be trusted with something of this magnitude.  “Please, do go on.  You have my complete attention.”

Here they were, cats in a city full of mice.

Re: Ash to ignite. [Jarek]
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2019, 09:04:06 PM »
"It seems so," he commented. There were many ways to fool people into believing 'old age' had taken such frail creatures, but the doctors seemed to be improving in their knowledge. No doubt they had tests which would cross out plenty more. Waiting was frustrating, but often necessary. He had no doubts that Jarek wished to be seen as above reproach.

Taking up the tumbler, he sipped from it, and gave a nod of gratitude. Ever the wonderful host. There were certain luxuries that the barracks didn't quite always allow for, not without pests and narrowed eyes. Trips to the Valdeze manor reminded him of what he missed - it wasn't impossible to wrangle a home of his own and to remain there, but he suffered what he did for a reason. To be as invisible as he could. Just another soldier. While keeping his claws sharp in his squadmates.

He was entirely relaxed now, as permission was given to go ahead, with Jarek's attention.

"The Falkenrath home no doubt is laid out as those around it - though I was unable to get blueprints for that exact building, I'm satisfied that a lack of visible additions suggests that it will be accessible as expected," he began. It was important to gain access to the home above all, and to be sure that there were no easy escape routes. All of it had to be covered, and he had done his part in preparing for that. "Matthias Axmann - do you remember him? Such a star in the underground. His ticket out has been secured, and I've sent him to scout Utopia's homes. He'll be our little distraction, the looter who will begin a chain of break-ins. A chancer." One who would be easily blamed. A robbery gone wrong. Of course, security with the underground might well be increased, but he was confident that the Military Police will have more than that to worry about.

He moved on swiftly. "Following the call to arms, I will ensure that I've been spotted, in the company of Fischer, Rosenstein, and Weber. Together, we will approach the house under cover. I will have Weber keep fighting and draw out a battle with a nearby titan, or else draw one nearby, that will ensure no civilians notice us. Fischer and Rosenstein will take the front door, while Axmann the back." Plans had already been drawn, though he had not shared particulars with his squadmates, nor Fischer. It had to be foolproof and approved.

"We will enter once the wife has been confirmed to be inside," he said, a trace of smugness in the tone. He wanted her to be there. If this research was so important, he was confident that the wife would attempt to salvage some of it. With the lack of time before showdown, he couldn't afford to waste time on profiling the woman. "Falkenrath himself will no doubt be in battle. Their son will be a useful tool to threaten."

He had no interest in bothering with a child. Nor any particular want to keep him alive, his own amusement providing the idea of the brat's fate. "Once the research is secured, stolen, or destroyed - depending, of course, on its contents - I will ensure that the wife is killed. Axmann will follow, eaten by the titan, or else another. The child will be taken by Fischer and evacuated. He'll have no memory of it, he's far too young." He sniffed. Brats were always useless. "It provides Fischer an alibi, as well as assist in her promotion." She was a potential liability, though at present he saw no reason to doubt her.

"Once the house is clear, Rosenstein will bring as many documents as we can find to one of our friends - I think Thrane should do. Weber will take whatever's left, perhaps to Vledder. Neither seem likely to pry. From there, they can finish the delivery." Splitting the load will provide each of them with alibis and few evidence of collaboration. Thrane and Vledder were both expendable, their main uses being in easy access - without suspicion - to their king. It wouldn't implicate Jarek in the slightest.

Quirin's eyes glittered. "Any further loose ends will be taken care of. Whatever the losses of Utopia District, they'll spare not a thought for Falkenrath's supposed ingenuity. And as we have the research, blocking any attempts will be far easier for the Church of the Walls." He bowed his head, indicating that he was quite done. Nights of dreaming, days of wondering, weeks of eagerness had led up to this point.

His plan lay in the capable hands of their knight.


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