@ellie_knightfall: that was my plan lol.
Shall we just go in order then? Rose, Ian, Ellie?
@rain_eclipse_ves: He remained standing, but relaxed his stance slightly. "It's not every day a place like this springs up overnight. You peaked my interest."
- "Well it really didn't spring up overnight, to be honest it's been here for quite some time, but we did originally announce it as a nature preserve so it really never drew much attention until recently. Our little disinformation campaign was enough to keep prying eyes away until we wanted the attention.
@rain_eclipse_ves: @decayingrose: "Very interesting..." Her eyes narrowed at Ian as she plastered a smile on her face. Anybody who was unfamiliar with her and her mannerisms would be fooled into believing she was of a jovial mindset. Somebody who knew her as well as Ian would know otherwise. This was further aided by the curious tone imbued in her voice. She was less interested in this team and a bit more interested in the woman standing by his side.
Turning to said woman, Ellie slid into a genuine smile, her intelligence and cunning working overtime as she pieced together what was happening. "It's a pleasure to meet you. So you've known Ian for a good while then?" It was what appeared to be an innocent question when in reality it was Ellie information hunting. He'd kept something secret from her, something important. Their camaraderie was undeniable, it was a vaguely similar match for the partnership that she claimed to him.
"So, tell me about the insufferable ego from him you've had to put up with for these past...years, you said?"
Glancing at Ian from her peripheral vision, she shot mental daggers at him while casually leaning back in her chair. Questioning about the team would come later, now she was intent on figuring how deep this had gone. More ammo to hold over his head for her next misstep.
Having never been to the location before Cass was a little nervous on how things where going to go down. Mostly he was concerned over the reaction of his cousin. Walking calmly in he promised himself no matter how bad things got he wouldn't lose his temper he needed to show he was more than what some of the Knightfalls still saw him as.
(No wories, I needa get going as well lol fun rping with ya 2 even if it was short :P)
Ever the annoyance that he was the ninja like cannibal played along for a moment before worming free in annoyance. "You keep telling yourself that genius." A almost sisterly tone in the retort. "We've a perplexing relationship to say the least. Just friends mind you, but naturally in this line of work acting has been called for. I've a abillity that is shall we say less then asthetically pleasing at all times. He helped me learn how to use it rightly. While also helping me maintain the provisions needed to keep it that way. We're close for sure but then theres also the fact where opposite sides of a coin in many regards. For example he favors tech, myself not so much. He is one against wars being initiated between some select groups. Where I feel the battles could serve a purpose. As for the years it's been four, Im sorry Ian if that pisses you off but I've a feeling she's the right to know."
"If you've more questions please feel free to ask as he shows us around. I've nothing to hide when it comes to those here. As I trust nobody will act against me anyway. The other base is titled haven, I hope that to be the case for this 'team'." Sakura keeping true to her soft friendly personality not wanting a scene. "So are there others on this team yet?"
- "You will have to excuse the lack of activity, the rest of the team are currently off-site and I'm just minding the store and deciding on a new car. Had a Subaru WRX Sti that I was pretty attached to, literally, some assh*le meta beat me over the head with my own car, ain't that some sh!t."
He slowly shook his head as if the loss of the car was nothing in comparison to the indignity of having it destroyed over his own skull. Looking back up he saw the figure still standing and making almost no movement, as if he was taking in the surroundings while giving off as little of himself as possible.
- "For a guy who came all this way to check out the place, you sure don't ask a lot of questions, or talk much at all."
Already feeling the heat of Ellie's piecing gaze, out of the corner of his eye he noticed Cass make his appearance at what could only be explained as the absolute worst possible time. She was already not happy with finding yet another secret he had kept from her, this one might actually get her up and out of her wheelchair were it to allow her to strangle him.
Nice timing Cass, nice timing
Watching the two women practically agree in front of him to share Ian Stories just added to his misery. Ellie had more ammo than anyone when it came to things he would rather not bring up, and Sakura was another medalist for sure. Normally Ellie would keep some kind of tact, but with all the bombs that were being dropped on her today, he just accepted that her lips were not going to remain sealed long.
- "The recall order for all my sleeper agents went out today, not everyone is going to be able to drop what they are doing right away, some still have outstanding business to attend to."
- "You have been living a lie and paying the price long enough Cass, you don't have keep any of my secrets from either of them. Sakura has been operating as a sleeper agent for years and knows the drill, and Ellie deserves to know the truth, especially about you.
While Ellie knew far more of his operational secrets than any other person, the sleeper agent project was not one of them. Like anything tied into Black Cell in the slightest, he kept her on the sidelines, the idea of her name getting on their radar too big a risk to bear. Ian knew more than anyone not only the resources they had at their disposal, but the ruthlessness in which they would carry out their mission.
@cassuis_slay_knightfall: @rain_eclipse_ves: @ellie_knightfall: She got some joy out of Ian's distain for how open they were, likely Sakura in particular as she was so open. Though she did it primarily for the other two. Figuring that by being open some of the bomb being dropped might have been less. "I hope they're in a firefight no offense but in are line of work leaving on a dime comes with the territory." The emerald eyed assassin remarked before turning to the newcomer. "Now I have heard of you, a Knightfall who was there during the registration crysis as I recall. When did you fall into the mix? Sakura by the way, most tend to just call me Rose, its a sort of motif I do in the field." A hand being offered curdiously.
"Oh, I know Ian well. He's one of a kind, isn't he?" There was double meaning in her voice, a one of a kind pain in the ass, more like it. This young woman seemed like she was right up Ellie's alley and there was a near-instant camaraderie between them. "Four years is a long time, it seems you've gotten quite a handle on his personality, I'm happy to see somebody like you at his back." Seven years since she'd first broken into his office and not one mention of sleeper agents in the entire time. "We're going to have to trade war stories at some point, see if your experiences align with mine."
Wheeling her chair forward slightly, she made a point to run over Ian's foot. Looking back at him, she shrugged. "Whoops. Guess I forgot where I was going." Again laden with undertones. Seven years, seven years he had been the closest person to her, somebody she had put all her trust in and he'd kept something from her, something integral. At first it had hurt, now it just made her mad. She'd wait until privacy to give him a lashing, until then she'd take her pleasure in vengeance.
The sound of Cass's voice put her on high alert, Ian's explanation of his sleeper agents hitting deep. "Cassius...so nice to see you when there's not a team of highly trained operatives with you as they invade my home." The sarcasm was thick in her voice. Her trust of Ian went deep and she knew that there was an explanation for it. It didn't keep her from shooting daggers at him.
"You sure she is ready for the truth?. I know my family have reason to hate me. Hell i could of put Ellie in the Chair myself when i fired that shot. Even if you did order me to miss" his sentence ending with the arrival of a third person someone he had never heard even mentioned in his undercover work. His new allies sure played their cards close to their chest.
"You have heard of me?, i'am sorry to say i cant offer you the same courtesy" Cass outstretched his hand in the direction of the beautifully green eyes lady. "As for newbie i have been chipping in for a few months now"
Once again Cass heard movement over his shoulder he could sense it was Ellie without even looking, it was as if the temperature suddenly dropped in his wake. The icy reception descended further to arctic when his cousin greeted him. Simply nodding in her direction in hopes to minimize any further discomfort.
@cassuis_slay_knightfall: @rain_eclipse_ves: Her vision went red as Cass let slip the small detail about how Ian had ordered him not to shoot her. She sputtered for a moment, the first time in her life she was at an actual loss for words. Perfect memory, perfect recollection and above-normal hearing. The words replayed in her head as her hands shook with rage. Even if you did order me to miss.
If she'd had use of her legs, she would have launched herself threw the air and physically harmed Ian. Trust might be there, but it only went so far. The pure instinctual rage at the fact that he not only knew of the assault that had been planned on the Knightfalls, but had a hand in it...it was unfathomable.
With no decorum and no care for who was witnessing it, Ellie stared at Ian, eyes narrowed with rage and hurt pooled deep in the center. Taking a deep breath, she attempted to force calm into her voice, but despite the efforts it still trembled with rage as she spoke, no matter how quiet the tone was. "I don't know what game you think you're playing at, but I'm astonished at how you can scoff at Quintus and the power games he played and then have this dropped into my lap. I don't even know how to look at you right now." Anger, disgust, confusion, pain, the whole spectrum churned through her as she backed her chair up, needing to put distance between them.
Cass knew a storm was coming as soon as Ellie entered the room. Her anger much like his own was all consuming and potent. He had no doubt that she would jump out of the chair and throttle the two of them given the chance. Her glare was fixed on Ian but he still spoke up " Ian and Quintus are not the same, Ian had me watch over you. Did you get hurt in the raid of the musuem? you ever thought why?. As for your brother killed his own family members then tried to enslave a country. He got what he deserved. I used to think sparing his life was the right call. Now i know it wasn't, but i don't regret sparing you even though you hate me"
Ian had expected this reaction, she did not know the entire story and was taking the sentence as it was said and not in it's proper context. Not that he could blame her, after all she had been through recently she was becoming far too used to being left disappointed by those around her. Never in his life had he been the target of such a look of disgust from Ellie and it made him physically uncomfortable, he had to get this out in the open now before permanent damage was done to their relationship.
- "Why don't you two take a walk around and get a lay of the land, get to know one another a little better. I need to have a talk alone with Ellie for a bit, we will catch up to you later."
The uncomfortable silence felt far longer than the matter of seconds as the two former sleeper agents made their way out fo earshot before Ian turned back at his closest friend, one who visually felt completely betrayed at the moment.
- "Am I allowed to speak in my defense, or do the circumstances even matter right now?"
@rain_eclipse_ves: @cassuis_slay_knightfall: Her blood boiled as she watched Cassius walk away, still a bit confused as to what exactly was going on here. Pieces were starting to fall together, but they only gave her a small look at the broader picture. Looking up at Ian, she just shook her head, at a momentary loss for words. "Say what you want, I don't know if it's going to make a damn bit of difference right now."
There was no mistaking the look of pure hatred between Ellie and one of the few remaining members of her fractured family. If anything was to come of this reunion between the two, he hoped that the truth would allow her some kind of solace knowing that not every Knightfall had been against her in some manner. Cassius had accepted playing the traitor, knowing full well it would mean being ostracized from everyone he loved, and he did so with no complaint. It was an unfair position to be put in and Cass had done the best one could expect, there was no way for everyone to come out unscathed when the entire family was imploding from within.
- "I never told you about my sleeper agents because their work up until now was primarily Black Cell related, and I do not need to go over it again why I shield you from anything concerning them. None of them have even met one another until this very moment when Sakura and Cass locked eyes just a moment ago. But things have changed and so must the manner in which I deal with them."
Slowly he knelt again so they were at eye level as the conversation turned to facts that were of a far more personal nature. The details behind the newly exposed alliance between Cass and Ian, the secret above all that he knew hurt her the most.
- "Cassius knew me first through one of my other personas,(Killwire/Marc Slayton), we traded information regarding other metas and things of that nature, he was not spying on you or your family for me. Over the time he became more and more disillusioned with the direction of the family business and confided to his now years old friend. Cass wanted out Ellie, but he could not just leave his family behind to destroy themselves, he felt trapped."
Slowly taking her hands he rubbed his thumb along her fingers as he tried to calm her to the point that his words would sink through enough to know he never meant to hurt or deceive her other than for her own protection.
- "Not too long ago I finally let him in, let him know the real me, the Knightfalls were in an unspoken Civil War and you were caught in the middle, I needed someone on the inside to watch over you, protect you because you would not let me. He has always tried his best to diffuse the tensions within the family, but he still had to play his part and keep his cover. I was never aware of the attack on your home until after the last shot was fired, Cass could not get in contact with me before or during the event and did everything in his power to limit any damage but he knew damn well that your safety was paramount."
@rain_eclipse_ves: Logically, everything he said made sense, emotionally it didn't change much at all. Eye level with her, she could catch a whiff of the scent he was wearing, the cologne she'd given him for Christmas. It helped alleviate the anger that was coursing through her veins. "Black Cell is not an excuse anymore. We said a long time ago that there would be no more secrets. I've given you everything...you know everything there is about me whether I wanted you to or not. And this...this is huge and I understand you didn't tell me for my own safety but that's a lack of trust in me and a lack of trust in yourself. That's my family, my life and you don't get to plop an agent in the middle of it and not tell me, no matter the motive. That's not how friendship works, that's not how partnership works, that's not how WE work. I can't go back and question everything, I can't question your motives in the future, no matter how good they may be, Ian. It's not fair."
Reaching up, she rested her hand against his cheek, her voice softening as she looked down. "No more secrets, no more hidden agendas. Full disclosure."
(Sorry for delays)
There was an urge to provide some form of reassurance to the two but Sakura droped the notion. Figuring it best to just let the two handle business as they desired. Before walking off with Cassius she only gave them a quick look. Subliminaly telling them either could come to her to vent if need be afterwords.
"Well Cass you've had more puplic actions what with the events in Washington. That large scaled battle doesn't just go looked over you know." Decay took out a small white rose from her bag placing it her hair. "You ever see or hear of one of these left by a person found dead? A politician, a war general, a crime lord perhaps? Like I said subtle, but there. I've a record" The assassin doing her best to drop into a social atmosphere. Her goal being to make it seam as if they'd known eachother for longer then a few seconds to form a bond of trust. As a leading agent she had become very good at this, normally using it to break down mental walls of targets so they let her in. Here though it was aimed to build walls unifying a team that easly could be on paper thin ice if she didn't try.
(i feel like I need some Alias AV xP)
Letting Ellie finish speaking her mind she felt his finger slowly tap the side of her temple as he continued to lock eyes. Ever so soft and in an almost rhythmic pattern.
- "My sleepers identities were not mine to give, they did not know you and were given to me in confidence. As for keeping Cass and his alliance from you, it was never and will never about not trusting you, it was about not trusting Quintus. You...had a mental link with him, if he learned of the subterfuge through it Cass would be surrounded by the wolves and completely unaware that his cover was blown. Doing so would leave him dead as if by my own hand and you unprotected again, it was a deception, but one I really had little choice but to pursue."
Feeling her hand on his cheek he could see that while she was still angry and disappointed in him, she was at least understanding the reasons behind his actions. She could see him visibly relax simply from the simple tactile contact, knowing it was a silent sign of at least partial forgiveness for his transgressions.
- "That's why I invited you here Ellie, I want you to play an integral part in my last great secret, if you choose to do so. As much as I may sometimes still treat you like the lost and bitter teenage girl that came through my doors all those years ago, I know better. Maybe I never said the words but I always needed you as much as you needed me.
@rain_eclipse_ves: She let out a deep breath, hating that he had actually made valid points. It was the last sentence that did her and washed the anger out of her system. "No more secrets or I walk. No excuses, no reasoning, point blank - no secrets." With one hand on either side of his cheek she pulled him close, resting her forehead against his. There wasn't romance between them, no lust, but there was a deep intertwining of lives, of love, of trust. An unbreakable partnership that had gotten Ellie through anything that life had thrown at her in the following years. "You're quite an amazing man, Sir Ian."
He could feel her forehead pressed against his as their eyes locked, now only inches apart. Her clear and concise ultimatum came as no surprise, secrets had destroyed her family around her, taken nearly everyone she loved. That said to accept it outright would be a lie in itself.
- "Don't ask me to make a promise I cannot keep Leeloo. Secrets are our business, even to this day you have them and so do I. All I can promise is I intend to put you in a position where no secret of consequence will come between us again. Anything more is a lie and I respect you too much to pretend otherwise."
Taking her by the cheeks he lowered her head and gave a single kiss to her forehead, what had always been his preferred form of showing his affection for her over the years.
- "And as for being an amazing man.....I'm better than that."
@rain_eclipse_ves: "Ian, you're the best man I've ever met. You're better than we deserve." To his own detriment and sometimes to hers. He took burdens on that never should have been his to bear and had a savior complex that was startlingly large. It was endearing and also worrying. "I'll take what I can get. But if you break the promise you just made me, I can't say what will happen. Do you understand?" Do you understand how much of myself I've given you. Do you understand what would happen to me without you. It had taken years to break down all of her defenses, her trust issues and it had been done for him. Ian had almost every piece of Ellie, it's not something she would survive intact if it were broken. "Now I expect the grand tour and to be treated like a princess after all this upheaval."
To most her demands would seem simple enough, yet he had spent the better part of a decade changing identities more often than all but fashion models changed their clothes. An entire life spent compartmentalizing every interaction and assigning it to a persona, real or fictional. Asking him to break down those walls for anyone, even someone he considered as precious as Ellie was a monumental task, but a promise was made and he had yet to break one when it came to her. She had removed her armor to him first, and had been very patient for him to follow suit, he had no illusions about the cost of disappointing her.
- "We should collect the other two and then before I begin the royal tour your majesty. Haven here is pretty impressive, but it's just the guest house, someplace safe for outsiders to interact and visit. Once we are all together I'll take you home Ellie, to Avalon."
"Like yourself not all my deeds are publicized. Only the ones that i do for others seem to get press attention. My own work is more covert, i must have a couple hundred hits to my name of various bad people types that nobody will miss or the world is a better place without. Hell Ian even sent me after a few of um. Crooked politicians, seedy priests, dictators you name it" pausing for a second contemplating his life's work "Its a messy job but somebody has to do it.
I think i hear Ian calling. We will have to have continue this later, come on."
"You called bossman", showing the emerald eyed lady through the door before himself the two sleeper agents standing at a safe distance from Ellie and Ian unsure what they have been called back into.
prove it :)
Ian gave Cassuis a raised eyebrow at being called bossman, even with two doctorates, and at one time 45,000 people under his employ, he was never one for formalities. Everyone at his former company, from the senior executives to the freshly hired intern, were all expected to be on a first name basis with one another, Ian included. Titles such as doctor, mister, or sir while earned were not in his opinion things to be held over others to fuel ones ego or sense of entitlement.
- "Wilhelm, initiate transmat to Avalon"
To an outside observer the foursome would look as if images bent in on themselves in a fraction of a second before disappearing completely. As soon as their eyes adjusted from the change in lighting it would have been easy to assume that they had been transported to another world entirely. The decor could only be described as if an Apple store were married to the design styles from Tron:Legacy. (see pic in team bio), only applied to a structure at least the size of a shopping mall from their current vantage point.
- "Haven may be welcome to one and all, but only the select few will have access to the true headquarters. This place took me almost two years to build, things take a lot longer when you want something of this scale without it being discovered. With no reservations I consider it the most secure facility on the planet to my current knowledge."
"In that regards we're equal work more covert and building a rather high body count. I bet my side of the fields messier" Sakura remarked in a rather playful manor. The cannibalistic assassin bowing saying "domo" as the door was held open for her.
Soon enough they were teleported to the hightech facility of Avalon, granted she was a tad annoyed by it. After all she came to the island of Avalon first was brought to Haven and now teleported back. Calm and collected however she remained unannoyed by the situation. Her eyes admiring the facility before looking back to an age old friend. "You dropped some serious cash here, I can get used to this. However hows the room modifications? You and I both know I don't fare well with this type of atmosphere in my own place." The early life of Sakura's being so centered around exploring dojos of martial arts and outdoor centered activities. It made her preffer to be in rooms like them rather then these sci fi like structures. Though at the same time she preffered to work under the highest grade buildings which of course Ian provided always. "Whats the security like? As great as we conceal ourselves in the field e know things can go south, similarly we know hidden buildings and locked doors only go so far."
At the mention of how much this place must have cost, everyone present could not help but notice his cheshire grin make another appearance, something about the statement had struck his fancy.
- "Actually I have not spent a penny on the place. No matter how rich I am it would be extremely difficult to filter the billions this place cost without generating suspicion, luckily an outside benefactor was nice enough to foot the bill. Over the years not only have I been engaging in sabotage and destruction of Black Cell's armaments, I also robbed them blind of every dollar of operating funds I could get my hands on. My mission against them has always been funded from their own war chest, so feel free to indulge on their dime when you choose to redecorate your quarters."
Stopping only to look at Sakura almost offended as she questioned the buildings security, he knew she was only half serious and likely only pushing his buttons for fun, but if there was one thing that would irk Ian it was being asked if he covered his bases.
- "The overhead light may look natural, but we are actually about 2,000 feet under the surface of the island, and my well established stealth technology is lined throughout. To the outside world this island is a desolate rock that has not been of value in it's entire history other than as a petty squabble between the U.S. and Canada over ownership. One that a private party settled with a significant payment to both sides for the rights to. Even if they discovered us the entire base is armored and shielded, access only available through the transmat system to authorized personnel."
Ellie could feel the thrum of technology beating at her like a quiet drum. It was a feeling she had never experienced before and one that she attempted to shut down in order to better focus on her surroundings. She bristled at the talk of Black Cell, her aggravation at their existence expanded by the fact that they were the reasoning for secrets that had been kept from her.
Wheeling away from the group, she navigated towards an inset display panel in the wall and began fiddling, getting a feel for things. It was classic Pierce programming. "You know I'm gonna test this out." It wasn't a question, just a simple statement of fact. One thing that Ellie had in common with one of her closest friends, Renegade, was that they both enjoyed real life application testing. Ren slipped through security systems from a physical standpoint and Ellie did so through technology.
She was already slipping away from everybody, if not physically, emotionally. Words came out of her mouth, she heard the conversations around her and every word spoken was committed to her perfect memory to be analyzed later, but her mind was already drifting to the ether.
At that very moment Ellie could hear a voice speak from the display panel that held her attention far more than the conversations going on around her.
- "You never could keep your hands off of my hardware could you Ellie...you little minx.."
"Wilhelm, if I had a thing for males or AI's, I swear I'd drop everything and run away with you. You sweet-talk me like nobody else, sugar." Finding an interesting line of code, she followed it to its end. Ian was pulling out all the stops with this. Bringing one finger up to her lips, she nibbled on the pad of her thumb, her other hand hovering over the screen. She navigated through for a full minute without realizing she hadn't physically come into contact with the panel. That was new. Quickly moving her hand over it, she began to pull up the floor plans. "What are you hiding in here, darling?"
Within minutes of playing with the holo panel Ellie noticed that the code she was reading were only the sub-routines that handled non-essential functions, digging deeper she found herself unable to access further. The operating system was hidden, and what little code she could see defied the syntax of any programming language known to her. At a further look she could not even define what written language could have been used in it's conception.
- "I see your having some issues Ellie, I'll be a pal and pull up the schematics for you."
The layout showed the facility broken up into six floors with a total square footage of well over 4 million. (still looking for a picture that fits) Everything was designed to be self sustaining for the long term and without renovating used space offered 60 spacious living quarters.
Use your keyboard!
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