For the good of the Foundation

by Jacintha Westlake
1297502128|%e %b %Y, %H:%M %Z|agohover (updated 1297830639|%e %b %Y, %H:%M %Z|agohover) | 0 comment(s)

IC Date: February 9th, 2011 — sometime midday.
This episode takes place the day after 'You, again?'

~You're unusually quiet, today.~

I don't need to look up to know who I'll see standing at the door. His mind is familiar enough. Almost intimately familiar, really.

~Am I?~ I sit back in my chair to see Remy's long, lean form leant languidly against the doorframe. His gloved hands are folded lightly in front of his belt.

~You are.~ A beat. A touch of humour laces both his features and thoughts. ~Hot date, last night?~

I snirk, both audibly and mentally. Still, I can't quite keep the memory of the Vampire's face from flashing across my surface thoughts. And, of course, if anyone is sensitive enough to pick up on even such a fleeting image, it's Remy White. He knows my mind too well… as I know his.

That's what happens after 20-some-odd years of close, telepathic association.

A brow arches on his usually impassive face, the most he'll ever show of open surprise, I'm sure. ~You mean you did have a hot date?~

"No!" I send shortly, saying it aloud completely unintentionally at the same time my thought flies at him. ~No,~ I repeat more evenly this time, running quickly through an inner calming mantra. His amusement leaks all over the place, however. I scowl. ~It's not what you think.~

~Really.~ Remy White has always been good at the sardonic deadpan. Even in his thoughts. I suspect he practices it.

In fact, I do know what he thinks — at least, I do to the level his consciousness touches mine at this moment. And mostly what's in his thoughts is amusement, not innuendo. We've been friends since childhood, and he likes to tease. The deadpan is just his delivery.

~Really.~ I straighten now, pushing up away from my desk and crossing toward the large window overlooking the city. The day is overcast, but it's not raining at this given moment. ~He's no suitor. I believe he is a Vampire.~

~A Vampire.~ It's not scepticism in his tone. He readily accepts the truth that I believe it's a Vampire, at any rate, and thus will allow that the attractive creature actually is a Vampire. Kind of him. But, it means the echo is simply his way of absorbing the unlikely information. He steps into the office, crossing to lean on the desk. ~Have you told Mr. Alexander?~

~Of course not. It's no one's business, but my own.~ 'And that includes you,' the undertone to my thought implies, though I don't voice it outright.

~He'd want to know. You've read the vision reports as thoroughly as I.~

One of the advantages of the training both Remy and I have recieved over the years is a unique ability to recall memories with startling clarity. Not all telepaths can do it, mind, but Remy and I are among those few who can. The physical image of the Vampire I choose to share is the one from when I first met him, before I was certain of his true nature — a roguish Irishman with dark hair, blue eyes and a devil-may-care demeanour. His smile, when we first met, was calculated, I believe, to be charming and inviting. He was on the hunt, after all. His clothes were expensive, designer label, I'm sure, though I couldn't have said which designer. I know enough to choose that which is stylish and looks good on me, but I don't track the famous names or expensive brands. Nevertheless, it's this image I project at Remy: The suave, charming Irishman with the crystal blue eyes and the black and silver shirt. ~That isn't the man from the vision reports.~

~No. But, he could be a valuable resource in finding out just who the man in the vision report is.~ There's an underlying reproach in Remy's sending that translates as: 'You know that.' (There's also a laughing amusement that says, 'You always did have a weakness for the dark-haired roguish types.' I snirk at him again for that, but push his amusement away. Once upon a time, Remy actually was one of the dark-haired roguish types; he still can be, on occasion… when he chooses.)

~White,~ I retort, blocking all thoughts of the younger him from where our minds meet, ~I am not putting my neck~ — the word just has to be stressed, complete with a projection of the sense of 'predator' the creature bleeds all over the place — ~on the line for what could be a wild goose chase. You know how unreliable Chan's visions are.~ 'And you know what Alexander will ask,' sits beneath the surface.

'Get closer to him, Jacintha. Find out what he wants and exploit it.' How often have I been sent on missions like that? Yes. Often enough, I hunt rogues out to destroy the Foundation and all it stands for. But, it's my negotiation skills that have gotten me the position I have — my skill at infiltrating minds and extracting the information I need without being detected and then using it to best advantage. That's why Mr. Alexander keeps me by his side. He's told me that — sent it to me, and there is no lie in a shared send.

But, here's the thing: You can't read a Vampire's mind. I found that out firsthand. Both times I ran into the creature, it was clear. His mind is impenetrable. At least, it is short of a deep probe. And I'm guessing about that.

Remy doesn't reply. He just… stares at me. It's not incredulity. It's that penetrating, impassive stare I've seen him use on blips — implacable with the ghost of pity for the misguided behind his eyes. I know in that instant it doesn't matter if I tell Mr. Alexander or not; Remy will. 'For the good of the Foundation,' he'll say. 'The good of our people.'

And who am I to argue that?

But, he didn't come face to face with the creature. I did. I am not used to being prey and I don't like it. I really don't want to go through it again. Ever.

~It's a moot point, anyhow,~ I offer by way of truce. ~I've already told him to leave me alone, and he conceded. I doubt I'll see him again.~ I can only hope Remy interprets the doubt I feel in that statement as doubt that I'll see the creature again. Truthfully, I'm not nearly so confident of that as I'd like to be… especially given just how difficult it is to conceal falsehood when mindspeaking.

Of course, it's just at that moment a familiar presence approaches from the far office.

~Mr. White. Ms Westlake.~

Kevin Vasit Alexander is a formidable presence. On the outside, he appears the congenial, distinguished gentleman — and he can be. He wears a finely tailored grey suit, but without a tie. In its stead is a high-collared shirt (navy, today) with a small, decorative tack at his throat. His white hair sweeps back from his forehead in a widow's peak. His blue eyes hold a multitude of crinkles around the edges that suggest a remarkable amount of laughter in his life, something I know to be both true and untrue.

He is also one of the most powerful telepathic minds I have ever come across.

Both Remy and I turn to face the door, sending courteous greetings in turn. Mr. Alexander smiles warmly as he enters. I resist the urge to glance at Remy. I'm fairly certain Mr. Alexander's interruption is no coincidence.

~Are you alright, Jacintha?~ he asks, canting his white head faintly to one side. The concern he projects into the thought is as fatherly as the use of my first name is intentional. ~You seem… unsettled.~

I want to say 'I'm fine,' but, since there's no way they'd believe the thought, were I to send it, I know I'd need to say it aloud to say it at all — and that's as damning as a false send. So, I run the calming mantra in my head again and press my lips together, offering what I sense Remy interpret as a self-mocking smile. ~I don't wish to trouble you, sir,~

~Nonsense, child,~ Mr. Alexander's rebuff is warm. Gentle, even. It makes me feel almost sheepish, like a little girl again. ~You could never trouble me.~

~What Jacintha means to say,~ Remy sends lightly, his thoughts open and clear, laden with a subtle disapproval at my evasion, ~Is that she's had a bit of an adventure that's left her at sixes and sevens.~ A beat. He looks at me, head tilted as if to ask, 'Are you going to tell him, now, or shall I?' I resist the urge to scowl, but I know at least a hint of it bleeds through into the emotional spectrum that surrounds me. Remy's not much of an empath, but he's too skilled a telepath to miss it. ~She's met a Vampire, sir. One that's taken something of an interest in her, it seems.~

Silently, I make a mental note to smack Remy the next time his back is turned and his guard is down. I'm not sure who's the greater traitor: Him for tattling, or me for avoiding confession. ~Not any more, he hasn't,~ I reply, albeit somewhat stiffly. Were it any others than these two, I know I could hide my pique. But, they're each too powerful, too highly skilled for me to do more than stalemate them.

Well. Alright. I can stalemate Remy, when I have to. I don't think anyone can stalemate K. V. Alexander.

~I told him to leave me alone, sir,~ I tell Mr. Alexander openly, now. In less than a heartbeat, I glyph an abridged version of the final moments of the exchange I had with the damnable creature:

"The offer's very kind," I tell him, "but, really, I'm not interested." A beat. "You're just not my type."

"You win," he replies, surprising me. He keeps pace with me as we walk, his voice pitched low. He catches my eye again and gives me a charming, nearly beguiling smile. "I hope that you have a pleasant evening."

I'm surprised by his surrender. But, I'll accept it. Drawing myself up to my full height, made just a little taller by my heels, I offer him a gracious nod of my head. "Thank you… You as well. Do enjoy the rest of your evening."

And we part ways.

I can feel both Remy and Mr. Alexander bounce the glyph back at me, rearranging it to pose questions. It's lacking detail, and they both want to fill in the gaps. But, as far as I'm concerned, the truth is there. They don't really need all the minute details to see it, so I offer them gently polite rebuffs that are usually enough to disuade all but the most inconsiderate of Talents. Fortunately, neither feel like being rude.

~I don't know that I'd believe him so readily, Jacintha,~ Mr. Alexander sends gently. ~Vampires are known to be quite persistent. You may run into him again, you know.~

I don't respond to that openly, but I can feel my face tighten in anticipation of his next thought.

~If you do happen across him, again,~ Mr. Alexander says, as I knew he would, ~you might see if you can take advantage of his interest. You never know, after all, to whom he may be connected, and what opportunities that may present.~

I can't help but shoot Remy a look. He returns it with the faintest curl to the corners of his mouth.

Mr. Alexander actually chuckles at our exchange — like a father indulging his unruly children. ~Try to make nice, Jacintha. It's for the good of the Foundation, after all. And our future.~

I inhale a slow breath and release it, conceding defeat… at least for this moment. ~Yes… sir.~

Fine. If I do meet the damnable creature again, I'll be… nice.


Add a New Comment
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License