Title: New Supervisor
Description: Tag: Peter Griffin
Alexander Newbury - May 4, 2012 03:31 AM (GMT)
Other agents likely would have balked at the idea of meeting with a subordinate in a cemetery, a graveyard, but the location held many benefits in Alexander's mind. It was less traveled and wouldn't draw nearly as much attention as it would if they met somewhere where the public generally flocked. It would inspire, he felt, an appropriate sense of foreboding in the younger man he intended to meet. It was already off putting to the general populace after the fiasco that had happened several nights ago due to the magic gone awry and it would also give him a chance to survey the area for any residual magical influence. In fact, he was just finishing conducting such a study when his subordinate had come into view, heading for the gravestone he had sent him a carefully subtle notice to arrive at. Peter would be there, he knew, the young man seemed very enamored with the idea of properly serving the Cabal, especially after the misstep he had been involved in, if not responsible for, that had landed him a desk job not so long ago.
Newbury didn't turn to regard him, he knew the man's presence from his magical aura and brief glance instantly - he matched the photo of his dossier. He could tell why he had been assigned to work as a high school student at the Novus Ordo's old Alma Mater; the man did look practically prepubescent. Subordinates were something of a novelty to Alex; he much preferred to work on his own. The last time he had really done much with others had been when it was with his brothers and that had been many years ago. Yes, those three. They were all still in Hart for various reasons. It was intriguing, especially since some of the others, including himself, were there officially even after the Cabal had made it clear they wanted none of them together again. He had heard Beaumont's father had made that ruling rather personal for young Austin through the grapevine - apparently he felt the other N.O. would only drag his son's potential down. It was an amusing concept. Their foul up due to what he knew had been Anna's interference had still been an incredible spell working for such young mages. Alex was certain it wasn't contempt or judicious punishment that their superiors had endeavored to separate them, but fear - fear of what they were capable of. Here they were, trying to drive a deeper wedge between them even after so many years due to a chance encounter. Newbury imagined they thought themselves clever, pitting him against Ryker.
Ostensibly, he was not Griffin's direct superior - that was Robert Ryker for reasons still unknown to him. However, there was always a system of checks and balances and this time they had upped the ante. The Cabal wanted to ensure that Robert was properly sending information from Griffin about his school playmates onto the higher ups, so Newbury was to ensure this. If Ryker was doing as he should, the Cabal lost nothing, if he wasn't - they would have means to act on it. Alex understood many didn't like Ryker; he was a good agent, a good soldier, but he had something else that didn't always work for the Cabal: a "good" heart. Moral compass, ideals, a way of viewing the world that didn't fit some of the Cabal's... less public desires. Newbury could sympathize with them - he had always found Ryker too concerned about things such as "right" and "wrong", "good" and "evil" - even if he had never been the epitome of light and goodness. Anyone that had gone to school with Robert could have told you he had been arrogant and not always kind, all the N.O. had to their "lessers". Comparatively though, he had been the nicest of the four he supposed if one viewed qualities in such a way. Alex wondered if Robert had changed - he would like to know.
"Hello Griffin. Right on time. I do appreciate punctuality. Let us get the formalities over with. I am Alexander Newbury, originally senior archivist at the Main Branch, but I have been reassigned to Hart. The only thing further you need to know is I have been given joint supervisor authority over your mission at Saint Valentines for Boys along with Robert Ryker. All reports will be sent to me as well as Mr. Ryker." He had turned to face the young man when he was close enough and his tone was flat, not hostile, but not friendly either. His eyes were cool and his demeanor as if this was a day at a mundane office. "Now that that is done, can you tell me your understanding the event that occurred in Hart seven days ago that was reported as a chemical spill? After you are done, I want you to tell me your impression of what happened here, in this cemetery, that night." His jacket and end of his scarf blew slightly in the wind and a small, close lipped smile curled on his face. Griffin had probably gotten used to this scenario at school; Newbury was clearly testing him - though it clearly had nothing directly to do with his assignment or the notification he would have undoubtedly received from the Cabal informing him of his additional supervisor before Alex's own request to meet had arrived.
Peter Griffin - May 5, 2012 04:54 AM (GMT)
This wasn't the first time Peter had visited Hart's historical cemetery; he'd explored it pretty meticulously when he'd first received this assignment in the hopes of finding something in the aftermath of the local necromantic event that the other Cabal investigators had missed. It wasn't an entirely unrealistic hope, or at least that's what he'd told himself; after all, he had been trained by one of Europe's foremost forensic alchemists. But he hadn't found anything terribly enlightening, for all his grubbing around. At least, he hadn't thought he had, although the note from Agent Newbury to meet here had set him wracking his brains wondering if there had been something he'd found that was more significant than he'd credited it for at the time, or maybe something he hadn't found that he ought to have, or that he had found that he oughtn't have, or...
Or maybe the chap just wants to check out the cemetery, he reminded himself for the twentieth time, and I'm driving myself bonkers for no sensible reason at all. Which was, by far, the most likely option. Still, it was no use telling himself to calm down, not when he was about to meet with Alexander Freakin' Newbury himself! Griffin knew all about Agent Newbury's history, everything that was public, anyway; he'd been one of the Novus Ordo, after all, along with Supervisor Ryker. From what Griffin had been able to piece together from reading reports in Glasgow, the four of them had never worked together after their cock-up here in Hart back at the turn of the century, but apparently that was changing... not only were they both in town, they were both supervising Griffin! How awesome was that?
"Hello, Agent Newbury," he replied eagerly, stepping forward to shake the man's hand and then backing up a step, embarrassed, when the senior agent didn't reciprocate. "I mean Supervisor Newbury," he added nervously, "yes, I received notification of your joint role, and of course I'll start sending you copies of my reports right away." It had amused him slightly, once he'd gotten over the anxiety, that the notification had arrived right after he'd checked his Cabal message drop. Of course it hadn't arrived through the P.O.box; his messages from his Cabal superiors never actually did. No surprise that, given the much more reliable and subtle mechanisms mages had available for sending messages to their operatives. No, the only things that had been waiting for him there were the Dear Peter letter from his ex-fiancee, and an intriguing golden coin that hadn't actually been addressed to him in the first place, both of which were in his wallet and neither of which he could afford to waste attention on right now.
"My... understanding? Well, sir," he began hesitantly, "it was a necromantic Working, of course, a powerful one. It raised a few dozen corpses here... I, er, don't remember the exact number off-hand, sir," he admitted, then pulled out his phone, "but I can look that up if you want. A Soul Orb was conjured at the same time, by the shore, and animated a ghost ship and crew. That's when you and your, er, brothers arrived," he stumbled a little over the word, one he'd picked up from some report or another on the N.O., unsure whether it was a private term or not, then continued, "and cleaned up the mess. The undead were dispatched and the witnesses, er, debriefed, as it were. Most of them, anyway," he clarified, "though if you've seen my most recent report, sir, you know there's some uncertainty about that last that I'm looking into. The Soul Orb itself was never recovered, although it may simply have evanesced after its destruction," he added, though the skeptical tone in his voice was clear. Although Peter knew very little about necromancy, he knew a fair amount about the alchemical properties of magical artifacts, and although spontaneous evanescence of the materials that had most likely composed the Soul Orb was not impossible, he did not consider it likely.
"As for what happened here, specifically," he continued, a little more confidently, "well, the ritual that raised the bodies here wasn't conducted on the premises, I'm fairly certain of that. At least, when I performed the Assay of Anorsk on a random sampling of affected graves it didn't reveal a significant gradient of residual necromantic energies, suggesting a relatively distant point source." He appreciated not having to explain the alchemical tests he'd performed in detail; his last field supervisor hadn't known very much about the academic side of magic, but of course the senior archivist would know all about this stuff. "And there was no indication that the affected graves were at all individually targetted; rather, the necromantic nodal points were apparently stochastically determined. Taken together, that strongly suggests a single source for both the zombie infestation and the ghost ship, a ritual most likely initiating within the town's borders and in roughly that direction," he waved an arm in the indicated direction, "and conducted either without a guiding purpose at all, or a purpose only tangentially related to the determined effects. That in turn suggests that there were other necromantic phenomena that occurred at the same time, although no evidence of them has yet been uncovered; further investigation along those lines might reveal more details about the origins of those phenomena."
He'd adopted a rather academic tone while giving his report, and was now segueing into a full-fledged lecture. "Of course, as you know, any account of necromantic activity in Hart must take into account the residual effects of Anna Valentine's dying spirit and the spell it guided, which continues to facilitate infusion of magical energy into, ah, into students homosexually, er, deflowered on the St.Valentine's campus." Of course, Agent Newbury knew that perfectly well, as a St.Valentine's alumnus himself, and Peter found himself irrelevantly wondering whether the unusually close relationship among the Novus Ordo had included a sexual component. If Newbury had been half as fine-looking then as he was now, well -- focus!, he chastised himself sharply. He had been like this all day, ever since he'd received that Dear John letter; he supposed he could understand how being suddenly rejected might lead to a spike in his libido, but now it was starting to affect his work, which was completely unacceptable. (That the cause might instead be a cursed coin currently sitting in his wallet did not occur to him, and likely never would, that being part of the nature of the curse.) He tried to regain the thread of narrative he'd been following before images of his two supervisory agents as strapping, randy teenagers had derailed it. "Ah... deflowered. Yes. Well, anyway, I've seen no indication thus far of any such activity on campus, sir. Er, of necromantic activity, that is. Well, nor of... er. Never mind. Yes. Well. Is there anything else you wanted to hear about, sir?
Right at that moment, Griffin thought it a pity that the Cabal's cleanup crew had re-sealed all the graves whose former residents had climbed out of them; had at least one such hole been left open, he would have climbed into it and filled it in behind him out of sheer embarrassment.
Alexander Newbury - May 11, 2012 04:36 AM (GMT)
”Alex or Alexander, unless we are in private. Formality is all well and good, but I’d like for any interaction us publicly to appear as normal as possible to anyone who might take an interest.” Still, the younger man amused him slightly with how he approached, hand beginning its ascent for greeting, and just as quickly falling back to his side, embarrassment clearly written across his features. He wondered if this junior agent always had trouble hiding his emotions. It could be a boon in a position such as Saint Valentines if he was careful not to reveal too much with his body he supposed. He was glad to get that out of the way though; Newbury was not a fan of pleasantries. Now came time to see if the wet behind the ears pup in front of him had any talent or skill in actual magic. Alex had come across so many “agents” whose grasp of even the fundamentals of magic seemed shaky at best. Of course, his standard for ability had the bar set fairly high; he wasn’t exactly an accommodating individual.
When Peter opened his mouth to begin his explanation the flat line his mouth formed normally, the lack of emotion on display, didn’t shift in the slightest. If there was a glance at him seeking some reaction, some approval, there was none to be found as he stared at the man proffering his explanation of events. He wasn’t surprised that he came to the conclusion the necromantic energies had been at work – even if he had been guess he could have come to that conclusion based on the flesh eating zombies that had crawled out of the ground there. ”Fifty-seven corpses, in various states of decomposition.” It was the only comment he offered at that juncture with no inflection to his voice as he let the junior agent continue. When his “brothers” were mentioned, he finally displayed a sign of reaction as his mouth turned downward a fraction, a barely visible frown that still managed to produce a palpable aura of displeasure. He had no doubt where the junior agent had drudged the term up from, he had seen the reports on him and the Novus Ordo, even many of the ones that were classified beyond his reach the Cabal thought, but for all Newbury’s intellectual dispassionate personality, he had a strong connection to his brothers – one in which he felt no one else had the right to mention them as such, one who didn’t understand their bonds certainly as if was some title the Cabal had handed down from on high. ”You’ll learn that ‘debriefings’ are never as complete as Cabal would like, especially in Hart. That is why they covered their asses with the ludicrous story in the news to facilitate distrust of anyone’s memory from without and within.” Alex’s mouth flattened back to a smooth line, reigning his brief spout of anger back in, but he chided himself for letting it affect him enough to curse. Perhaps the pup in front of him wasn’t the only one that needed some restraint as much he hated to admit it. Even since he the bonds between his brothers had been re-ignited by their share presence in Hart he had felt… different. Could the separation from them had affected him that deeply the reuniting was arousing feelings in him he was unsure or unfamiliar with? An interesting notion to examine later in solitude, certainly.
His estimation of his new subordinate increased slightly as he determined the working for the spell had been done away from the graveyard. As Griffin further explained, the flat line of mouth curled upward, only a faint indication of his interest though it hadn’t radiated like his displeasure earlier had. Most of this information was already determined even without Newbury’s assistance, but it was classified – someone of Peter’s level wouldn’t have had access to the records yet indicating these discoveries which meant the young man had to have come up with it on his own and, interestingly, of his own volition he had already been at the graveyard. He watched as he grew awkward and stumbled over his words as discussion of the sexual escapades of the Valentine boys came into the discussion. Interesting. ”To be clear, you took upon yourself with no orders to do so, even with another team already assigned to the task, to research the cause or effect upon the graveyard, the coast, and the origins of the spell?” He let it hang in the air, like a dagger waiting to drop and pin him to the ground, as if he was preparing to unleash a punishment for the man’s actions.
”Decent work Griffin. Curiosity is good, so is a thirst for understanding and knowledge. Remember there are those that don’t condone noses being stuck where they don’t belong though,” he chided, all tension in the air disappearing in an instant, though the seriousness of his words seemed to make the air just a bit heavier than it had been. He chose to ignore the man’s ramblings about Valentines with a wave of his hand. ”It didn’t come from the school or Anna, though her residual effect on the town certainly may have been a factor in what happened. As for the source, you don’t need to know.” The note of finality to his voice he hoped would dissuade the man from looking into it further. It is best you don’t know, he finished silently. It was beyond his pay grade and would only get him into trouble he couldn’t hope to avoid. Why Alex cared, he wasn’t sure; maybe it was the flicker of promise in the junior agent’s observations and forensic ability. He rarely went out of his way to help, or even enlighten, someone unless there was a reason or gain for him; yet, he found himself curious about Peter’s… potential if he was given guidance. ”Your assessment based on the evidence at hand and what access to the minimal records you would have had is… good. However, I’m sure you know the difference between a good mage and a mage actually worth being called one is the ability to look further than what is in front of one’s self.” Perhaps that sounded a bit too self congratulating; of course, he felt he deserved his fair share considering he had determined the actual source and passed the information along like a good member of the Cabal. He had considered keeping it to himself, but it would have been found out eventually and there was the fact of who had shown up after the shit had started to be cleaned up. Even he wasn’t ready to throw his magical weight against the inner circle of the Cabal. ”Necromantic energy and spell like fluxes certainly caused the raising of the zombies, but it wasn’t a necromantic spell. Neither was the Soul Orb created by the same spell that caused the zombies to rise… it summoned it like a beacon. The magical fabric is already fading, fraying, but the actual working is something more akin an entropic ‘bad luck’ curse. Yes, you heard me right Griffin. The source of all this was a spell seeking to cause someone a poor night of luck. It has been too long now to show you how that is, so I suppose you’ll have to take my word for it.” At that, he offered a faint smile. He didn’t expect the man to do any such thing – even the trained agents he had explained his findings to had thought he was full of shit until… she had confirmed it and went to seek recompense from the households that caused the night of egregious idiocy. ”There were no traces of the Soul Orb because it was not destroyed – it vanished, along with the ghost ship and its remaining crew and captain as the working that caused the mishap was rectified. That I was there for; a pity too as it was an interesting specimen, the orb. That means it is out there somewhere though. Perhaps you’ll find it one day – but, perhaps, you will not desire such a meeting.” Again, that vague smile.
”I am impressed you were able to use that assay however and you are correct that the Anna Phenomenon, or at least the residual effects on Hart, did play a part in what happened. The situation has been resolved for now – I can tell you not to waste your time looking for anything at the school concerning it. Do, of course, keep an eye on those chatterboxes there that you believe were not debriefed properly. They may not look it, but some of those kids are bit too curious.” And a bit too sharp for their own good at times, he thought as he gazed at one of the tombstones they stood at, knowing the individual it was for no longer inhabited the plot. The Cabal were good, but some of the zombies were far too decimated to put back together or even magically determine where they belonged. Apparently, there had been signs of magical as well as Anna boy activity at the Gala event – he had seen a few Anna boys himself at the beach. There were even ramblings from some of the debriefed Gala attendees of a werewolf. He hadn’t been sure to believe it until Austin had confirmed it in his own report of seeing the creature briefly before disappearing. Interesting. That did remind him though. ”Enough of that. I’m satisfied with your faculty and ability as it stands to perform your task at Saint Valentines. There is another matter however I was not able to follow up on that you are in a perfect placed to do so.”
Newbury reached into his jacket and pulled out a small gemstone, handing it to Griffin to take. It didn’t seem impressive, especially on a magical level, despite the emerald appearing to be a flawless with a high degree of transparency, cut into an oval shape. Silver filigree wrapped around it an artful, yet understated design. ”I was preoccupied when attending my duties on the beach. I did run into two young gentlemen however that were, as you mentioned, who were likely deflowered at Saint Valentines. They both displayed magical like abilities – it is possible the source is not Anna, but unlikely. I want you find out who they are and as much information as you can about them. They interest me and likely the Cabal might have use for them.” What use exactly he hadn’t determined. The number of Anna boys that were in their employee was meager for a variety of reasons; there were of course other uses for them, especially the younger looking one that was manifesting raw magical energy into physical forms. Alex described the two young men’s appearce to him, Bryan and Matthew Peterson, though he knew not their names. He didn’t chose to enlighten Peter to their abilities as they would not prevent or hinder his task as long as he kept his identity a secret as he should regardless. ”Report back to me as soon you have at least their identities determined. To aid you, the gemstone will grow warm in their presence and warmer still the closer you are to them – I had marked them with a tracking spell that last for some time yet. It should be more than sufficient with their descriptions and the aid I provide to find them.”
Peter Griffin - May 11, 2012 09:31 PM (GMT)
"Right, Alex," Griffin agreed, then realized the man had said 'unless we're in private', which they were, so added hastily "Um, I mean, right, Supervisor Newbury. Sir." Newbury showed no signs of caring about the fact that Griffin was making a total prat of himself, which was good, but he also didn't show any signs of encouragement, or really of genuine emotion at all, and Griff had no idea whether that was good or bad. He'd read a lot about the guy, but it had all been statistics and demographics and accounts of missions he'd been involved in and family history; none of those reports had ever said anything about whether he had a sense of humor or liked to eat Junior Agents' livers with a mess of stewed onions for lunch on Wednesdays.
Then the man frowned... or, well, didn't so much frown as glowered... at Griff's use of the term 'brothers.' At least, he was pretty sure that's what had triggered the reaction. Whatever it was, it made Griffin long for the earlier lack of emotional response as a definite improvement. "Yes, sir," he agreed hastily to the Archivist's comment about incomplete debriefings, not-quite-sighing with relief as the man's face settled back into the patterns of neutrality... then coming up short as he challenged Peter's decision to investigate the graveyard. "Ah, well, as to that, sir... well, yes. Yes I did, sir. I meant no disrespect, it's just that I am rather a fair hand at forensic alchemy, and -- well, I mean, not compared to the real professionals, of course," he backpedaled, not wanting to seem conceited, though the truth was he'd met a few real professionals in the field, and he hadn't been impressed, but he wasn't going to say that just then, "but, so, well, anyway, I decided I'd give it a go," he finished, not so much ending the sentence as allowing it to drain out like a shampoo bottle accidentally dropped in the shower, and his head sank dejectedly as he awaited censure for overstepping his bounds on this assignment. He was beyond startled, therefore, when Alex actually praised him for it. "Really?" he squeaked, then in a suddenly much deeper voice added "Ah, right, of course sir. I'll be careful with my nose, sir." Then he shut up as his supervising agent proceeded to fill in some of the gaps about what had happened that night.
Well, mostly shut up, anyway. "Bad luck, sir?" It seemed utterly implausible, but not nearly so implausible as the idea that Agent Newbury might be joking about it.
"an interesting specimen, the orb. That means it is out there somewhere though. Perhaps you'll find it one day, but, perhaps, you will not desire such a meeting."
"Yes sir," he agreed, while privately making a note to look into the sorts of necromantic activity around the school that might be caused by a Soul Orb. The archivist was absolutely correct; it was an interesting specimen... more than interesting... and he wanted to get his hands on it and see what its real properties were. The implicit warning in the older man's prediction, and his subsequent instruction not to waste time on it, he didn't quite attend to.
He nodded emphatically at Newbury's assignment to make contact with the two boys he'd met at the beach, both fit and attractive young men from the way he'd described them, and -- oh, for God's sake! he censured himself privately as he hauled his inappropriately febrile imagination back to the assignment. "I'll get right on them, sir. I mean, on finding them. Do you know if they've been, er, that is, if they retain their memories of the event?"