"I'll Be Waiting"

Starring: Austin Sawyer (Drew), Rosetta Zoccarato (parthenogenic)
Date: Shortly after Austin baptized Ray McKenzie (Zxaos) into the Scions.
Notable Locations: Rosetta's apartment in Manhattan.

Summary: Austin visits Rose to catch her up on the recent events.

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Austin Sawyer (Drew) (7/30/2009 1:29:06 PM) Austin had made a quick escape from Frankie and Skay's new apartment upon waking, after leaving a note to thank them for letting him crash on their couch for the morning.He'd made a quick call to Rose to arrange another meeting. He'd bring her up to speed on the morning's… events. Having her aware of how things were playing out could only help; she may be able to help Ray out.Now, as he appeared quite suddenly back in her doorway, he felt the familiar surge of excitement and anxiety at seeing her. He blinked as the faint spell of vertigo passed. "Rose, I'm here," he called out.

Rosetta Zoccarato (Caerie) (7/30/2009 1:37:03 PM) "So you are."I step into the entryway to greet Austin, sipping my coffee. I'd been expecting to hear from him again soon, so this isn't much of a surprise. I assumed he wouldn't leave this situation alone for long. It's too potentially dangerous, after all."Do you need any coffee?" I check.

Austin Sawyer (Drew) (7/30/2009 1:42:58 PM) He nodded. "Coffee would be great. Thanks." He'd follow her as she walked."I arranged a meeting with the Kendall siblings this morning to try and figure out a course of action to handle this Shockfront group. Disaster's a good word for how it played out. Turns out Tamir had revealed the Cipher to that Ray McKenzie, and had made plans to help him keep himself and the team from any potential magical threats they may encounter." He shook his head. "The boy's trouble. Both of them."

Rosetta Zoccarato (Caerie) (7/30/2009 1:47:54 PM) I walk through to the kitchen, pouring Austin a cup of coffee before I hand it to him and take a seat on one of the stools around my island. I raise an eyebrow as he starts explaining about his meeting, though."Well, that's…a unique solution," I remark, somewhat shocked. It doesn't sound as though it had been done maliciously. Simply with little regard for the law. Which is unusual, for someone in our position."So what are you going to do about him?"

Austin Sawyer (Drew) (7/30/2009 1:54:24 PM) He held the cup between his hands as he leaned against the wall, and sighed gently. "Turns out there's a telepath on the team. That would make sending in a plant difficult, to say the least, if not flat out impossible, on top of all of the effort we'd have to go to to obscure the true origins of a mage's power. Tamir pointed out that Ray already knew about the Cipher, and was already on the team. On top of that, he'd been friends with the telepath for a while, and knew how to effectively shield his mind from her."He paused as he took a sip. "So Ray's now working for us. I baptized him." Although he said it casually, he was aware of how big of a deal this was - not only had he just gone and baptized someone from outside of the bloodlines, but Ray was a Sigil-bearer who shouldn't have known about the Cipher in the first place. That he had Council authorization to do whatever he felt necessary was a cold comfort.

Rosetta Zoccarato (Caerie) (7/30/2009 2:02:01 PM) Setting my coffee cup down, I simply stare at Austin. I don't gape, at least, but I can't actually think of a thing to say. My face is blank with shock for a long, long moment before I gather my thoughts enough to respond."…Somehow, I'd thought this story would end in a trial and you needing me to ensure McKenzie forgot his own name."That would have been the proper course of action, of course. It also wouldn't have given us the in we have on the team now. This has happened before, though. Austin does something that shouldn't be done and it works so much better than following the rules. The fact that someone else is doing the same thing - to the nth degree - shocks me, though."By the Cipher, Austin. Does this kid look suspiciously like you or something?" I ask him, baffled. "I would have expected the Clave you were mentoring to be the one who was a worse version of you, not her brother."

Austin Sawyer (Drew) (7/30/2009 2:09:59 PM) He laughed quietly, amused by her reaction. "You weren't the only one, I think the kid even surprised himself. But he forced my hand; we either put him on trial and lose our chance of getting into that group, or things work out this way. I don't think any of us like it. Ray wasn't going to even agree to help without some sort of assurance that we could let him use the Cipher in front of his teammates if it would help them." He shook his head. "I had to remind him what the alternative was, what it would mean for Tamir. I felt like an asshole for basically threatening him, but it was the truth; if he had disagreed, I couldn't let Tamir off with a warning. He'd told a mundane. I don't even break that rule. I still don't know what to do about that." He looked at her, wondering if she'd have any input.

Rosetta Zoccarato (Caerie) (7/30/2009 2:14:45 PM) I nod, frowning a bit. Of course. "On the one hand, this solves our problem very neatly. On the other…" I just don't know what to think of this Kendall boy. I can't fathom doing something like that."Did he say why he did it? Has he shown any signs of this sort of thing before?" I check curiously. I'm aware of the Kendalls, trying to be somewhat aware of any notable Scion family. I know the mother is extremely hot-headed. I know the father is more conservative. All I've ever heard about the twins had led me to believe that the boy was the good one, though. True, no one ever said much on whether he was a great mage or not, but he never did a thing to raise eyebrows. Completely under the radar.

Austin Sawyer (Drew) (7/30/2009 2:20:01 PM) His exasperation showed. "Not that I know of. I don't think Aedan would have chosen to mentor him if he was any big security concern. The boy's like a teenager in love, they were practically swooning and batting their eyelashes at each other, it was ridiculous. He said something about a Laukos doing the actual revealing, he apparently just filled in the gaps after not wiping Ray's memories."He paused, considering. "I know love can make you do stupid things, but this is ridiculous. I don't think we have anything further to worry about from Tamir, but I do have my concerns about the sigil-bearer. The whole song and dance about protecting his teammates has me worried."

Rosetta Zoccarato (Caerie) (7/30/2009 2:25:32 PM) "Oh. Well." I consider that for a moment. "That makes a bit of sense, then. Kendall's probably not too much of a threat on his own. I can see how it could be somewhat difficult for someone in the first flush of love to wipe their loved one's memories. It's a horrible, horrible violation and he should have told someone else to do it if he couldn't, of course, but it doesn't sound like it would be a habit."McKenzie, on the other hand. I purse my lips, thoughtful. "Does he understand why the Cipher has to be protected? How important it is?"

Austin Sawyer (Drew) (7/30/2009 2:34:53 PM) "I did my best to impress that upon him, but I'm sure his opinion of me ranks pretty low. I'm trying to set some time aside weekly to meet with him to touch base and fast track his training, and I'm sure Tamir's going to be teaching him what he can." He frowned, taking a gulp of the coffee, feeling the caffeine clear out the cobwebs in his still slightly fuzzy mind."We can only hope it gets through." He paused, changing topics slightly. "As far as the Council will know, the whole thing will have been my idea. There's no point getting Tamir in trouble, as he would have been telling Ray eventually anyway. But it's important that everyone has their stories straight, especially with Tamir working under Aedan - Aedan will already be thinking of ways to twist this into another slew of treason charges against me when he finds out, Tamir doesn't need to get wrapped up in that shit, too. I've told the Kendalls to find somewhere to escape to in the event that this whole thing explodes in our faces." He looked away for a moment. "You may want to consider doing the same, because we may need your help from the inside to keep this running smoothly."

Rosetta Zoccarato (Caerie) (8/1/2009 12:38:26 AM) "You're the strange man who showed up out of nowhere, threatened his boyfriend, and then dunked him in water. I'm sure he doesn't know what to think of you." What an awful way to baptise someone, too. I frown just a bit at that thought."…I also wasn't aware that the Kendall boy is gay." Not that it matters, but it was a surprise. As I'd said, I like to stay abreast of the news on any prominent Scion families.When Austin suggests I find somewhere to run to if there's a problem, I sigh a little, then take a long drink off of my coffee, desperately needing the caffeine this morning."Shall I help you make up the story that makes this sound better, too? I've always been good at those," I offer with a faint, bittersweet smile.

Austin Sawyer (Drew) (8/1/2009 12:47:15 AM) He offered a weak smile back. "I was just going to stick to the story that everything was my idea. Simple and sweet." He stepped away from the wall, taking a seat on a stool next to Rose. He set his coffee down, turning his body slightly toward her."So long as we're all clear on that part, there shouldn't be any trouble."Well, for anyone else. He could handle the trouble, though.

Rosetta Zoccarato (Caerie) (8/1/2009 12:56:04 AM) "Well, I suppose it was. Your hand was forced, but you'd already decided to take this course of action before you found out what Tamir had done," I point out. "From the outside, it still appears everything happened as you'd planned."I'll get up to freshen up my coffee, offering to top his off as well before I sit back down. Leaning in a little, I look Austin over, mildly concerned."Should I reveal myself to McKenzie? What's your gut instinct?"

Austin Sawyer (Drew) (8/1/2009 1:05:59 AM) He frowned. "I'd hoped for someone we could control a little better, someone who wanted to help us to help us, not because I threatened his boyfriend." He held his mug out. "Thanks."He thought about it for a moment. "My gut instinct says no. At least not yet. There's no need to tip too much of our hand in his direction at this point. But, my gut instinct has gotten me in trouble before. And I've always appreciated your input, Rose." He took a sip of his drink, watching her.

Rosetta Zoccarato (Caerie) (8/1/2009 1:13:24 AM) Someone who can be controlled, who wants to help us… I shake my head a bit, frowning. "He wasn't born to it. He has no real loyalty to us. If you'd thought he would, well…Austin, I never expected you to be naive. Maybe if he and Tamir were married or something, it might help, but at this point? No."I take a sip off of my mug, considering long and hard. Yes, the fact that he's been branded makes it all officially okay, but he's still not in any way tied to the Scions except through his boyfriend."I think it might be a step towards creating trust. Presumably, he's intelligent enough to have figured out that we have some inside information here."

Austin Sawyer (Drew) (8/1/2009 1:23:58 AM) He frowned slightly at her use of the word "naive." He knew Ray wasn't ideal, knew he was barely even acceptable, but things were what they were, and there was no point trying to change the past.He nodded tentatively, looking down at the counter as he thought. "Fair enough. I'm going to try to meet with him early in the week, start him on some basic history and theory, if you can free up some time we can introduce you two then. Apparently all Shockfront members are tagged for GPS, so we'll be doing it in the city, somewhere that won't raise any alarms."

Rosetta Zoccarato (Caerie) (8/1/2009 1:37:26 AM) "Alright. I'll play the good cop to your bad," I offer with a crooked little smile. I wouldn't be Clave if I couldn't deal with the harsh realities that our position forces upon us at times, but I haven't butted heads with Ray before. I can try to work on his trust and loyalty without the baggage that Austin's saddled with now."Could…anything be done about the GPS?"

Austin Sawyer (Drew) (8/1/2009 1:45:25 AM) "Tamir seemed pretty confident he can jam it, or even spoof the signal. Obviously, the latter's a better option. If they're monitoring the signal and it suddenly goes offline, that'll definitely raise some suspicions."He looked back up at her. "Why? You think we should take him out of the city?"

Rosetta Zoccarato (Caerie) (8/1/2009 11:31:52 AM) "Obviously." I'm not as intimately familiar with Shockfront as Ray is, of course, but I've gathered enough here to know that something like that wouldn't be taken lightly. There'd be interest, concerns, questions."I think showing him some of the reasons why we do what we do might help his mindset. He's aware of Laukos, but does he understand the danger from abusing the Cipher? Why we have to protect it from that?"

Austin Sawyer (Drew) (8/1/2009 11:45:09 AM) "I told him the Moses story," he said with a slight nod. "But you're on to something." He resting his elbow on the counter and his chin in his palm, looking at her. "What's your idea?"He was positive that if she hadn't been chosen as a plant in Kerberos, Rose would have made it into the Alef. She would have been good, too.

Rosetta Zoccarato (Caerie) (8/1/2009 12:11:15 PM) "Hm. A fine start, but if he has some sort of Judeo-Christian background he might come out thinking the Riven are 'the good guys'," I point out, thoughtful. Austin saying that Ray insisted on being able to use his new knowledge towards protecting his team makes me think he'd be pro-interference in general, unfortunately."He's a Sigil-bearer who uses his powers to stop terrorists, after all. His viewpoint is pretty likely to be oriented towards using any power at his disposal to help. What we have to make sure he understands is…there's more than just the immediate concerns. It's bigger than simply the people right in front of him."I rest my chin in one fist as I consider this for a long moment. All of this seems self-evident to me, but I grew up with it. "I'd show him the effects of forbidden magic, show him the chaos left in the wake of influencing mundane lives with the Cipher, tell him stories. Maybe he thinks he's a hero, but he has to understand that there are lines that, once crossed, are difficult to come back from. You put yourself in a position of power over others, of being 'the hero', and you put yourself in a position for corruption."

Austin Sawyer (Drew) (8/1/2009 12:27:36 PM) He listened quietly, reminded again how he could just sit and listen to her for hours. And watch her. By the Cipher, this was dangerous.He nodded when she finished. "I'll do my best to get the point across, dig up the records of some of the larger events. I'm sure Tamir's going to be explaining to him why we have some of our customs, but it may fall flat, coming from him." He chuckled. "If Tamir's told him anything about me, it may fall flat coming from me, too."He looked at her for a moment, thoughtful. "So Kerberos has been keeping you busy? Have they gotten close to figuring it all out at all?"

Rosetta Zoccarato (Caerie) (8/1/2009 12:35:36 PM) "Maybe I'll try talking to him. Again, there's no baggage there. I can just be the matron schoolmarm there to give him society lessons," I offer with a faint smirk. I was never terribly prone to questioning or pushing boundaries, being satisfied with finding ways to work with the system. Not so rigid as Aedan, not so flexible as Austin.When he asks after Kerberos, I shrug slightly, taking a sip off of my coffee."It's a constant juggling act to ensure they don't know more than they should. They haven't run across any rogue mages yet, thankfully, but this Ark thing could be bad. For instance, if someone on Shockfront other than Ray was aware of sapient Laukos…"What if they went looking for them? What if they found them?

Austin Sawyer (Drew) (8/1/2009 12:48:07 PM) He sat up straight, the thought sobering. "If they found non-ferals, who knows what they'd hear." The Laukos were generally well-versed in the Cipher, the knowledge passed down generation to generation, and they really had no reason to keep that knowledge to themselves."I'll start up an investigation into the group, see if Ray can't provide me with any details. If we can shut them down before Shockfront encounters them again, it may end any potential investigations they may have into the Laukos." Then again, maybe not. It was impossible to say."If they do learn anything, we're going to need some sort of contingency plan." He thought about it.In the event they ever did find something out, and that information spread within the organization, it wouldn't be long until it hit the public at large. The question was, just how far was he willing to go to protect the knowledge of the Cipher? He knew that Aedan and the Council would suggest - the wholesale destruction of Governor's Island. They could get away with it, too it could be written off as an accident, something Kerberos did to themselves with an overeager sigil-bearer or even something that happened in a lab. Alternatively, it could have been the work of an anti-posthuman group, who—He couldn't believe he was even considering ways they could get away with killing thousands of people."This whole thing just keeps getting messier." He rubbed his chin.

Rosetta Zoccarato (Caerie) (8/1/2009 12:56:22 PM) "Precisely." I don't see any reason why a Laukos would keep quiet about the Cipher. If he was facing interrogation and and possible vivisection, why protect an old enemy?When Austin starts speaking of a contingency plan, I frown. "Worst case scenario, we would have to wipe the organization off the map. It would be the only way to be sure that no record survived. Even then…" Even then, we'd have to track down anyone who might know. It's horrific to think about.I lower my head for a moment, sincerely hoping we don't come to that."My first concern is ensuring that they aren't aware of the Laukos who haven't been bred by the Ark. We need to make sure they destroy this Ark, though, so that they stop even thinking about Laukos." I believe Shockfront is better equipped for taking down the Ark, after all, and Kerberos has the authority to do it with their government contracts. Any nudges to ensure it happens and the Cipher remains protected are worth it, though.

Austin Sawyer (Drew) (8/1/2009 1:16:05 PM) He nodded. "I'll do what I can."He hesitated for a moment before speaking again, his face uncertain. "So it sounds like we'll be seeing each other regularly. Do we…" He took a moment to consider his words. "Do we need to talk about things?" He prepared himself for whatever may follow.

Rosetta Zoccarato (Caerie) (8/1/2009 1:22:27 PM) When he goes onto that topic, I pause, surprised. I'd assumed, since we hadn't really talked about it yet and it had been so long, we were simply politely pretending it never happened at all."I'm not entirely sure," I start carefully. "It's been a very long time, Austin, but…things didn't really end. They just stopped. I worry that if we touch it, it'll only stir up old feelings, worse than just seeing you has."Because I do miss him, and I miss what we had. Discussing what happened before just seems emotionally dangerous when we've moved on. Or should have moved on, at least.

Austin Sawyer (Drew) (8/1/2009 1:31:16 PM) Seeing him had stirred up old feelings? His stomach fluttered slightly. So he wasn't the only one."With Aedan, and your transfer…" He frowned, nsure of what he was trying to say. "I don't like leaving things unfinished." He didn't like leaving things at all. When he had something in his mind, he saw it through. While he could be patient, it wasn't really what he was known for. Having their relationship just end as it did, just hanging there without any kind of resolution, had bothered him for the last three years."Are you okay with leaving things like that? Just cut off in the middle like that?" He spoke quietly, his words chosen carefully. He'd learn to live with it, if that's what she wanted. But he needed to know.

Rosetta Zoccarato (Caerie) (8/1/2009 1:39:03 PM) "Austin…" I set my coffee down with a sigh, shaking my head a bit. I'd thought it would be dangerous to touch this topic at all. His questions are pushing things in directions I've tried not to think about."No, I'm not okay with it. I hate it. I don't know what to do about it at this point, though. The last few years have been utter misery. I haven't gotten close to a living thing other than a stray cat, because I haven't trusted my own judgment again after what had happened."There'd been so much guilt over what I'd done, so much shame. It just seemed safer to distance myself from everyone."I just…don't know where to go."

Austin Sawyer (Drew) (8/1/2009 1:50:19 PM) He nodded, looking back down. He wasn't going to push, but a small part of him was pleased he wasn't the only one who hadn't been having the best time in the past few years. "There hasn't been anyone else for me, either," he said quietly before looking back up. "I'm out there, Rose. If you figure it out, and I'm part of it, I'll be waiting. That's all I'm going to say on it." A small, tired smile crossed his face. "I'll be waiting."He finished his coffee, stepping away from the counter. "I should go, I need to speak to the Council."

Rosetta Zoccarato (Caerie) (8/1/2009 1:57:37 PM) I'm far too old and bitter to have butterflies in my stomach. That's what I tell myself, anyway, after he says that with that faint smile I feel just a touch giddy. It isn't simply me missing him, then. I'd wondered if he might be bringing it up for the sake of closure, rather than mutual feeling. I give him answering smile, nodding slightly, though I have nothing I can really add to that. Not yet."Yes. Let me know when you want to introduce me to Ray." I stand up when he does, though I know I don't really need to see him out with the way he travels. Still, it's polite.

Austin Sawyer (Drew) (8/1/2009 2:01:31 PM) "I will." He cleared his throat, resisting the urge to say his goodbyes as he did before. "Take care."He closed his eyes, and was gone.