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#11
Hood grinned faintly at Seth's comment about rocks and regrets. There were none to be seen in the man. He enjoyed what he did, and expected to be dead and forgotten long before he reached the point where age and sentimentality started to drag him down. Go out on a high note, rather then waste away.

"I'm not threatening Candy."
So she was his uncle, was she? Why the hell was it he could get along with these pansy ass Europeans then he could with fellow Americans? He was really beginning to understand why they were so thoroughly hated by the rest of the world. "I've been telling her to learn how they do things this side of the pond, and learn why it's so damn different than you 'Yank Cowboys.'"
He was one of them 'Yank cowboys,' so the term wasn't thrown out with any scorn.

He was almost relieved there were European Atharim involved in this; at least they knew how to work as a team. He was all for the lone wolf approach to things, but having people you could trust at your back made everything easier. Especially this side of the pond; you were hard pressed to find a place in these parts that didn't have security cameras or witnesses. A team could watch all the angles.

She still hadn't even entertained the idea of seeing the big picture, and he had a bad feeling much of her stubbornness had been learned from her Uncle. The sort of stubbornness that let the man believe there was any contest between Seth and Hood. Wouldn't even be hard; the man's weakness was three feet to his left. That level of emotional attachment was a liability.

"I've given my two cents. Your people pay me for my unique skill set, but end of the day, I'm not one of you. Greasing monsters I'm all for. Killing the son, even the unloved son, of the Marveet family though. You folks go after this guy the way you go after monsters, things'll go south for you fast. He's not going to be living in some dark sewer or under a forgotten bridge. He lives the high life, with hired security. In the system. His death will lead to investigations. People will notice if he goes missing. It needs to be an accident, or you need a good way to lay the blame somewhere else."
Luckily for them, he knew exactly how to arrange that sort of thing. He'd been doing it for years, and for far less altruistic reasons then what the Atharim hid behind.
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#12
As much as Rune hated that it came from Mr. Snow, he had a really good point about this Jaxen god fellow. Everything she'd learned from uncle seth had been about stealth. They crawled through the muck and hunted down unbelievables like real life Swamp Things. This was actually kind of a problem.

She was gonna have to think about it. Or wait for Uncle Seth to say what to do.

((Is Seth still around?))


Edited by Rune Marx, Mar 22 2014, 05:37 PM.
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#13
The kid had him beat there. It was true, Seth really had no idea what he was doing this side of the Atlantic. In the States, everything was spread out--plenty of space to hide, for the good and the bad. Here, everything was close together, people were packed in like sardines and you couldn't walk ten feet without some goddamn camera picking you up. Seth wasn't afraid to admit he was out of his depth.

"Alright, Hood. You've got me there. I ain't ever had to hunt down spoiled rich kids in the center of a city."
Seth sighed. He wasn't one of these city rats who thrived in concrete and closed spaces. He was a mountain lion forced to hunt in a cage. "What does that unique skill set of yours tell you about how we're supposed to do this?"


Seth was a master of woods, plains and small towns. Give him some time and he'd conquer the city too.
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#14
"Jaxen spooks easily, then tries to go to ground. Did it when he busted into your HQ. Took a few days to find him, but from there it would have been easy to have him killed and none would have been the wiser. He would have just vanished. Hell, he did for days, when those Rougarou nabbed him."
He nodded to Rune; the whole thing had been blown out of proportion for how it went down it seemed. He couldn't fault her for wanting to kill the thing since he had wanted to too, but information was key to victory.

"He also has a penchant for getting himself into trouble. Likes to steal things. I assume nights with wives as well. You want him dead, you find a scapegoat to take the blame. Makes you feel any better, you fit a douchebag to take the blame."
Hood indicated the unfinished stack of paperwork on Jaxen, and the even less detailed file on his date from the other night, Orienna.

"She's a big fish, I think. Someone with connections, and good looking enough that there would be some very jealous men out there, I'm sure. Find someone that frequents her company, that wouldn't like Jaxen hanging around and stealing her attention. Then find a way to pin it on him."


He glanced at the map of the city that was pinned to the wall above one of the counters, "Car bomb is probably a bit...showy. Too many questions, too much news hype. Especially with DV going up in flames. So a shooter, or a knife in a crowd. I know where you can find some illegal immigrants you could pay off easy for a hit like that. Just stab him on a crowded street on his way to his car. It's a bit unreliable though. Can't be sure they'll carry through with it, or do it right."


"Track him for a while. Paparazzi are great for that. He's just rich enough that they're already doing it, and they're poor enough that they'll sell the info cheap and without any questions."
He indicated towards the file folder; that's where much of the info had come from to begin with. "Pattern of life. Learn where he goes. And find a good spot to shoot him from a distance. Once you have a scapegoat settled on, I can probably make it look like an employee of whatever private security company he uses."
That was bad mojo, but it was done from time to time. There'd be repercussions, of course, but it'd be hard to track the incident back to Hood or Pervaya, or the Atharim.

"Assume there are cameras everywhere. Any modern city, especially Moscow, has them to watch traffic, intersections, building lobbies, alleys, loading doors. Hallways, metro stations, bus stops, store fronts. Cars have dashboard cameras. People on the street have tech glasses, Wallets, personal recorders. Killing him is easy, getting away with it is hard."
Many of those cameras, individually, Hood could deal with. He knew where to get the right toys, what wires to cut, what power grids to drop. Those things took time and money though.
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#15
Rune never shoved off of her place against the wall. While Mister Snow or White or whatever his real name was - she preferred Cuddles - vomited every little detail he knew about killing gods that also happened to be famous, Rune was trying to get a piece of black out from under a thumbnail that'd been wedged in there for days.

She wasn't too interested in paperwork or files. She glanced up long enough to get a good look at the face in Jaxen's company, and note the name, Oriena, but that was about it. She had that bitchy constipated look stamped on her forehead. Rune immediately disliked her, but so long as she wasn't a god or monster, she wasn't on Rune's radar.

All the talk of espionage and conspiracy made Rune want to roll her eyes. Maybe the sport of god hunting just wasn't for her. It'd take weeks of work to knock off one god, the equivalent of taking out an entire den of choops or roog's. The trade off was looking less and less of a good use of atharim time to her.

She had to conclude that Cuddles hit the nail on the head. Killing a god was easy, getting away with it might be kinda hard. You know Roog's snatched people all the time and got away with it. Granted the bodies were usually homeless or runaways rather than famous people, but if only there were a way to use that for their own good.

Rune rolled her brightly painted eyes between the two men, and for once, kinda speechless. "I dun know 'bout this Uncle Seth. Looks like a lotta work just for one god. And there's piles of nasties around the city gnawing on kids and innocent folks. Regus wants this god taken out, and I get that, but to take two of the Atharim's best hunters off the streets to do it sounds like a load of crap to me. Cuddles here knows how to do it, why not just pass it off on him. He's got the time. Right?"
She looked at him, expecting an agreement.
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#16
Hood had the time, sure. And probably the means to boot. But not the inclination. Killing famous people was...troublesome. There were repercussions even he couldn't always evade. It was a hassle he usually tried to avoid; killing hired help was one thing, killing the ones that did the hiring was something else entirely. Do that, and the quiet shadow wars those great personalities fought with their toy soldiers could very quickly become not-so-quiet and shadowy.

Hood had to shake his head at Rune's suggestion. "Not my job, Candy. You're the Atharim. I'll help you people kill things, sure. But I won't be the one pulling the trigger, so to speak. Far too easy for your bosses to let me do the work then pull the plug on me should things go sideways. Disposable asset."
He jerked a thumb at himself; he wasn't about to be tasked to kill a human, a rich and famous human to boot, and be left holding the smoking gun while the Atharim go back to hiding in the shadows. He had no doubts the Atharim would go to bat for one of their own; to at least see that they were properly silenced before they could give anything away, but more likely to pull the right strings to see them safely free of the legal net. He, however, was not one of them.

"I'll give you the know-how, and help you get the contacts and gear you need. But it'll be up to the Atharim to pull the trigger."
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#17
Alrighty then. Rune was plum out of ideas. Uncle Seth wasn't too keen on icing this Jaxen guy. Cuddles refused to pull the trigger himself (so much for the cold-blooded killer spook). Rune snorted at the irony of it. A spook with morals.

He kinda had a point though. He wasn't real Atharim. So if stuff went bad, the Atharim could dump his ass in the street and walk away. He wasn't one of their own, and Rune couldn't figure why, but he must have had a reason. She wondered if he was American. He talked like one, but he could probably do a pretty good fake accent if he wanted. So who knew, but had to have been a spook for some country somewhere. Which he wasn't anymore. That meant he'd split away from whomever he worked for before, guess spooks aren't too loyal?, and guys like that probably didn't jump in line to join secret societies that ruled your every living breath. Such a shame.

Rune slid down the wall until she was sitting, head against it like she were bored. In fact, the way she rolled her tongue around on the inside of her cheek, dark-rimmed eyes flickering between the two guys, she was impatiently waiting for someone to make a decision.

"I don't know what to tell ya'll then. How about this?"
She waved her hands around in White's general direction. "Yall do your thing, and tell me when and where to show up. You hand me the gun and I'll pull the trigger. I got no problem icing a god. If shit goes bad, I figure this kinda life ain't going to last forever anyway. Might as well go down swinging for the fences."
She shrugged.
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#18
"Go down swinging for a further fence, kid."
Hood frowned down at Rune. The girl was damnably fatalistic. Everyone died, no doubt about it, but what the hell was wrong with her that she was eager to jump on every opportunity? He had no illusions that he might die of old age. Wasn't going to happen. His only expectation in that regard was that when it happened, it was well worth it.

He glanced between the two, then shrugged indifferently and opened another filing cabinet, after running a magnet along the top corner of it in a practiced but determined motion. He opened it barely an inch then slid a finger inside, and lifted out a wire attached to a metal pin, which he laid on top of the cabinet and held it down with the magnet, then opened the shelf the rest of the way.

Inside was a white phosphorous grenade rigged to a booby trap; one of many that likely littered his house. He flipped through a few files within until pulling one free and slapping it on the table with the ones on Jaxen and Oriena. "One of you two pull the trigger, you bring the police down on the Atharim. So get someone else to pull the trigger. Someone who specializes in it. You folks have an impressive budget, put some of it to use and hire an assassin."


Sometimes it amused him how so many folks in the world honestly believed assassins weren't really a thing. That there weren't people out there that specialized in making money killing folks. The world was a darker and more terrible place then many were willing to believe.
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#19
Apparently Rune hadn't noticed that Seth was still kicking. Their lives would last as long as they needed to. Just because you're a soldier it doesn't mean you'll be a casualty, and the Atharim's war was the most important one humanity had ever faced.

To Hood's plan, Seth just shook his head. "A hit man won't work. If we have to kill this kid, we need to do it on our own. I doubt he's the first, and he definitely won't be the last. Paying people to kill for us is just gonna get us caught quicker. All it takes is one talker.


"This ain't a problem we can pay our way out of. We need to learn how to clean these people up, and we need to get damn good at it."
The only problem was, he had a lingering doubt in his mind that this might all be the worst kind of mistake.
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#20
Well then Rune was outta ideas. She tossed her hands and started picking at something stuck under a thumbnail.

"How do we play this, then? The Great Mister White doesn't think we have it in us. Yoda Seth ain't willing to buy an assassin, which to be honest, I ain't too into that idea either."
That kind of work rubbed Rune the wrong way. There should be something honorable in putting down a monster, like saving a little kids from a rabid dog. It was a good thing. A hitman sounded like cheating.

She looked at Seth. "And you don't want me pullin' the trigger? Looks like we're loster than a raft in the Bermuda Triangle."
Rune smirked, but she regretted making the joke. That place was hella scary.

Rune felt like she was drifting at sea. She hated this feeling, like they were driving on and on without a destination in mind at all.
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