Walking Conspiracy

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Re: Walking Conspiracy

Postby Blackfridayrule on Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:25 am

Among the well dressed individuals of the lower floor walked a man, small in stature with relatively causal clothing--classy, well fitting dark jeans and a layered long-sleeved t shirt, closely cut brown hair, and stylish, green and black-framed glasses over his intelligent looking brown eyes. He was unassuming and looked probably like someone who ran errands, or maybe answered phones, perhaps dealt with paperwork. With black coffee in hand, the man in his late-forties walked smoothly across the lobby and straight towards Meredith.
"Meredith?" He didn't have to ask; he already knew. Dominic was very thorough in his description of the woman. Still, he liked to be polite. Without introducing himself, he motioned for her to rise and follow him. "Come on up this way, if you will." He smiled softly and led her to a neat, spacious elevator that seemed only lightly used and required a hand-scan before the doors would shut and the metal box would lift. "And how are you this morning?" he asked politely and seemingly in earnest. "Much drier than last night, I hope?" He chuckled softly. "Dominic came back soaked--i hope he was gentleman enough to at least attempt to keep you out of the rain. My apologies if he wasn't." The elevator stopped rising and the doors opened to a spotless white-linoleum floor and the desk of a receptionist; to the left was a separate elevator with an eye scan and hand-scan and the door was unmarked.
"This way," he told her, guiding Meredith down the hall and to a door with a plaque that read, "Dr. Norman J. Caldwell" before pushing open the door. Inside, the spacious office held three patrons: one, a blonde with black glasses resting on his nose who wore jeans and a sweatshirt, another, a short mulatto woman with a spray of curly hair tucked carefully under a red headband who sported skinny jeans, ballet flats and a casual blouse, and the third, who was spinning around in the padded office chair behind the one desk was obviously Dominic, though this time instead of wearing dress-attire, he, too, wore casual clothes.
"Dominic Richards, get out of my bloody chair!" The shorter man growled, snapping his fingers like an angry parent. Dom skidded to a halt, flashed Norman a guilty look and hurried to a more stationary chair across the room.
"G'morning Meredith," he said, grinning. "Didn't recognize you without your hair clinging to your face. ha!"
"Silence, Dominic. Pardon my manners, I never introduced myself. Norman James Caldwell." Out went a soft, smooth hand, though the smile on his face was shallow and thin. "This is the team; Jesse Ardstrom," the blonde waved quietly, "is in charge of tech in many departments, but primarily he focuses on the boys' equipment. Aleah Johannes, alongside myself, handles medical aspects of our operations and works exclusively with Ace and Dominic. If at any time during your operation, a physical misfortune befalls you, be it injury or illness, one of us will handle it. And...of course, you know Dominic--tactical frontman, Ace's former partner, and your best source for any questions regarding Ace or his behaviors. That much, however, i'm sure you know. First off, some notes before we get into the plan of action. While i can't tell you everything, i can tell you that both Dominic and Ace have been surgically modified and fitted with expensive 'equipment'. This equipment allows them to do many things, primarily, it enhances their senses. You may not, at any time, ask what the equipment is. You may not ask it's purpose." Norman's tone was dead serious as he said this, unwavering brown eyes drilling into Meredith's. "The moment you begin pushing for those answers is the moment you will find yourself unemployed and without the protection of the company. Just to be clear."
Aleah, with her soft and seemingly gentle voice, chimed in. "We're pretty sure his equipment is damaged. He has an injury to his arm, but we need you to find out if he has any head injuries and to what extent. I'm sure with your previous job, you have some basic medical experience--enough to know if he's concussed or not?"
"That's the other thing," Jesse added. "Watch his head. And keep a careful eye on him--if he starts to go downhill, meaning, he forgets more things, his senses dull, or anything....unusual, do whatever it takes to bring him in. Honestly, anything it takes. If you don't, he possibly could die. So...keep an eye out."
Dominic spoke next. "Definitely that. Oh, and another thing, any time you come in contact with anone or anything affiliated with the company--physical contact, i mean--get to a shower as fast as you can, wash your clothes, and use a heavily scented shampoo and soap. You know, herbal essences and suave or something. it's like throwing off a bloodhound. Just stay away from Dove products."
Norman nodded as he took a seat in his desk chair, looking surprisingly regal considering how small he was. The smile he gave Meredith was genuine and warm; Sometimes, at least in Dominic's eyes, it seemed like Norman would flash between cold and indifferent and warm and gentle. Honestly, the man was both, depending on the situation and the day. "This may be a lot for you to take in--my apologies. Previously we discussed you perhaps taking on a role from his former life, but after the events of the last few days, i wonder if that would be the best plan. So instead, you'll be posing as his fiance. Or serious girlfriend, your choice."
Dominic shamelessly began laughing; Aleah's lips pursed embarrassingly together and Jesse hid a smirk.
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Re: Walking Conspiracy

Postby SarahGracie on Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:54 pm

Starting with his shoes, Meredith's eyes worked their way up to meet the gaze of who she assumed to be Norman Caldwell. His attire was unusual for this type of building, or even for this block, but her features displayed no sign of thinking so. Her only response was a formal smile and a simple confirmation that she was Meredith. Also, she noted the lack of introduction. His voice is what gave him away, but she would not say otherwise, however she was intrigued that he bothered to retrieve her himself as opposed to sending someone.

Meredith followed his instructive invitation, rising from the sofa and keeping instep as he led her to an elevator. "Very well, thank you," she replied smoothly as she watched the security device scan his hand. This spiked a certain level of curiosity within her. Having been previously employed by the U.S. government, she was no stranger to modern and thorough security systems. The government had a way of going above and beyond to protect their shady affairs, however this type of technology was not even used. It was rumored that private organizations often had more means of funding to step up their game and from the looks of Norman's subtle yet secure operation, perhaps the rumors were true.

Norman's next question pulled her from her thoughts. "Much better and much drier as you can see," she grinned, purposely leaving out any comments about the topic of Dominic's level of gentlemanly behavior. The elevator ride was short, thus eliminating any awkward silences or opportunities for further conversation. Again, he instructed her to follow him, which she did as she took in his floor. It lacked the warmth of the lobby below and had an almost hospital feel to it. Almost cold and unwelcoming and chillingly like her former place of employment.

Her first thought as she glanced over the unexpected crowd was that she must of have not received the memo for casual Friday. Their clothes did not make her feel overdressed, in fact she preferred being well dressed. Not so much as to look better in a sense, but she just enjoyed looking authoritative and professional. She gave the two she did not know a small smile and nod in greeting as Normal scolded Dominic. In another life she may have laughed at his antics, but being the first day on a promising (and well-paying) job, she would not condone it, instead she slipped into a chair across from the three.

"Good morning Mr. Richards," she said pointedly using the formal address and ignoring his remark about her previous appearance. She did, however, silently vow that he would never again see her so uncomposed. Norman took a moment to finally introduce himself, as if the matter simply slipped his mind. Meredith doubted that was the case, but still she warmed up her smile and slipped her hand in his giving a firm grasp and shake. She was never one for weak handshakes.

Meredith glanced between the two as Norman gave introductions. Jesse seemed normal enough, as did Aleah, though she wouldn't have guessed she was a doctor. Something about the way Norman said the two would handle any health issues concerning Meredith made the back of her neck pickle. Looked like she would be picking up some vitamins on the way home. While she attempted to appear friendly to the other two, the smile she gave Dominic during his introduction was more of smirk. It was quickly concealed as she focused back on Norman when he continued.

At the explanation of Dominic and Ace's altered senses, though it did raise questions and provoked natural curiosities, she nodded in understanding. Norman's serious expression was met with one of her own, "Perfectly clear and I can assure you that it will not be an issue." Her words were truthful. It was not her first ballgame when it came to mum's the word. Of course it had been a struggle when working with genetically altered children; she hoped it would be different with surgically enhanced adults. Besides, Dominic seemed to be doing well enough and he had said it was his decision. And let's face it, look where being ethical landed her last time. Her creed needed to be getting a paycheck not being the 'good guy investigator type'. No, Norman had nothing to worry about.

To Aleah's concerns Meredith nodded, "I can definitely do that." So these people knew about her last employer. Not surprising but still it made her uneasy. Her eyes flicked to Jesse as he piped up. Meredith had known that Ace had been confused, and supposedly had amnesia, the possibility that he was hurt as well was new information. Meredith thought she heard a more concerned note in Jesse's voice to which she replied, "It will be my priority to return him safely."

Dominic's bit of advice momentarily broke her level of professionalism she had maintained thus far. A frown threatened on her features as she tried to figure out if he was serious and if he was... Well, it was an odd request. All she could do was nod slowly and return her attention to Norman who took his seat. His smile, seemingly genuine, erased the minor look of confusion on her face. Finally he was diving into the details of her role. More specifically, how she was going to convince a stranger to follow her to the one place he had no desire to go.

Norman's suggestion seemed strange at first. Instead of questioning it immediately she merely brought a finger to lips and thought on it a moment. "It could work. Ace, as far as I know, has limited memory of his life at the moment. Especially concerning recent events. It could be easily explained why he might not remember a fiance." Meredith's tone was thoughtful, she glanced to Norman for affirmation that her assumptions were true thus far. "Being someone he is supposedly about to marry would give me a more solid ground to stand on when getting him to trust me. Of course, it will be expected that he will be questionative, want proof, be suspicious. That could be a lot of work, especially assuming that he has extensive experience in spotting a lie?"

"I believe that I could make that work. With the proper information and assistance and a detailed fabrication, of course." Really it had the potential to work out perfectly. All she would have to do was make Ace believe her. "He needs someone he can trust right now. Someone in his corner, so to speak. A finance would have only his best interest in mind." Meredith turned to Dominic, who seemed to find it all highly amusing. "Unless there is a reason why Mr. Richards thinks Ace would not believe he was engaged," she challenged the laughing blond.
A successful novel should interrupt the reader’s life, make him or her miss appointments, skip meals, forget to walk the dog. - Stephen King

The same should apply for an RP.
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Re: Walking Conspiracy

Postby Blackfridayrule on Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:37 pm

"Good morning Mr. Richards." Dominic's nose wrinkled at the overly formal name. He was used to Richards, said in a harsh and guttural tone to sound almost like an insult or a curse, either from Norman or his CO back in the military. But Mr.? The sound left an unfamiliar and uncomfortable ring in his sharp ears.
"C'mon, Meredith, Dominic, Dom, but not Mr. Richards. My father wasn't even called that and none of his sons were either. Stick with Dominic." He smiled and tilted his chair expertly back so it rested against the wall and wouldn't tip.
"Yes, don't feel the need to be overly formal, here," Norman assured her. "There is a time for formalities, but we have much bigger things to worry about than such trivial details. You're welcome to of you want, but don't feel obligated to dress anything more than casually, here. Now, you are correct, to do this properly it will take a lot of work. Lots. I'll give you another file on his current information, but it cannot leave the building."
Dom continued to chuckle. "Heh. Ace. Engaged."
"Well Dominic, since you're the closest to Ace and know him better than the rest of us, I think Meredith's question has some viability. Is there a reason this won't work?"
sheepishly, he shook his head. "No, just...well, you know. We're detail freaks. He's amnesiatic but honestly, that means nothing. You don't know what could trigger a flashback. Just...be careful not to lie, you know, with the exception of the fiance thing itself and a few minor details about, say, your first date or things you like to do together. Everything else, tell the truth. Heh...just...it's funny. The guy hasn't ever had a girlfriend since I met him--i wonder if he had one in high school!"
"Oh Dom, don't be so mean," Aleah scolded. "He's a sweet guy, i'm sure some girl snatched him up back then."
"i jest, Lee."
"And let that be all, Dominic. Focus. Now, Meredith," Norma said, turning to her. "In addition to studying the file, i want you to spend some time with Dominic. Learn how he moves, learn how he responds to sudden noises, and ask plenty of questions about the way he perceives the senses. Study him. If you learn Dominic, you'll be well on your way to learning Ace--they're one and the same."
Dom's eyes widened. "Wh-wait....N-Norman, I've got a job to do, remember?"
"Ace takes priority. You can deal with your other assignment later, as of now, this is your current one. Clear?"
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Re: Walking Conspiracy

Postby SarahGracie on Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:08 pm

Meredith was not sure if she wanted to tackle this challenge of being a fake fiance more so because of the nice paycheck or simply because Dominic clearly thought that she could not pull it off. No, he did not come right out and say it, but the vibe was negative enough on it's own. She gave a nod to Norman about the formalities. It was not that she felt the need to be formal. It was simply who she was. Or at least who she is now.

Ever since internships during her Junior year, she adapted to the suit and heels lifestyle. Not only did it fit in with every other place she'd ever worked at or interned with, she just enjoyed the feel of looking competent. She doubted seriously she would feel as confident in jeans and old t-shirt. However, it did get her thinking... How would Ace's girlfriend dress? For that matter, what would she be like? Dominic said that Ace never had one, at least to his friend's knowledge. That would make things difficult, perhaps. On the other hand it could give them a clean slate to work with. Dominic also said not to lie... Hmm, this was going to be interesting.

Meredith couldn't stop a small, amused smile in regards to Dominic's reaction to the idea. At the mention of her name, her eyes went back to Norman and the smile vanished. Back to business. His suggestion that she work with Dominic was not unreasonable. She did need to get to know Ace without actually meeting Ace. Dominic would have to be the next best thing to Ace, himself. Dominic apparently cared deeply for the man, judging from their conversation last night. Meredith was mildly shocked when he all but said he had other, better things to do than work with her. Of course, she did not say anything. Part of her demeanor was to simply observe and think. It was the therapist in her, she supposed. Some people mistook her observant nature for being rude, but usually she was merely trying to figure out something.

Looking to Dominic directly, she waited for his answer with somewhat of a raised brow. Surely, working with her would not be worse than killing people... Or whatever it is that he does. At this point Meredith was still assuming the details of both Dominic and Ace's job descriptions.
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Re: Walking Conspiracy

Postby Blackfridayrule on Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:18 pm

This plan made Dominic nervous. Not only was he lying to his best friend, but according to Norman, Meredith was going to spend a lot of time with him. Perhaps that's what got to him the most. It wasn't that he disliked her, not at all. Instead Dom felt that she didn't like him, even if it was only in some subconscious sense. For a while he wondered why, but it was probably for a mix of reasons, he decided. Maybe she had a good guess as to what his job was and despised him for it, maybe she loathed the way he sometimes came off as 'better than thou'. Whatever it was, it made him uncomfortable to think that she had an issue with him. In fact, one of his deepest fears was inadequacy, disapproval.
"Alright," he said, playing it off with a smile. "I get it, i get it."
"So you'll do it. Without causing trouble." Normans words were more a command and less of a question.
Mock-saluting with just one straightened finger, Dom answered, "Sir yesssiii-iiir!" in a tone that more resembled a joke than a militaristic response. Stretching, the blonde stood and extended his hand to Jesse. "C'mon, you and I may as well give Meredith a tour."
"Can we do that?" Turning to norman, Jesse asked, "Can we show her the--"
Norman cut him off sharply. "I'd rather you don't. If it becomes necessary then yes, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Besides, Jesse, I need you with me. Ace slipped away from our scope and if we're going to do this, we'll have to find him again."
"Of course," he answered.
"Aleah, you're off for today until further notice, just keep your phone on you."
The girl smiled. "As always. Dom, I'll be in my apartment if either of you need me. It was nice to meet you Meredith." Aleah gave a small wave before rising and leaving the spacious office.

Norman looked like he was about to say something when the black phone on his desk rang; the sound made Dom's head snap towards it like a deer investigating the sound of a snapping twig. Norman glanced once at the ID on the screen and snapped his finger once. "Out," he demanded. "All of you." Jesse was swift to turn on his heel and slip out the door, and Dom only hesitated for a moment before following him. As soon as all three were outside and the door was shut, Jesse didn't move and Dominic looked distant, like his thoughts were elsewhere. Finally, Jesse breathed, "Anything, Dom?"
"Well it makes it hard when he's whispering...and not speaking english. Geez, he's hardly using any volume at all; it's hard for me to pick it up, even."
"What??" Jesse resisted the temptation to press his ear against the heavy oak door--if dom couldn't hear, he didn't have a chance. "What's he speaking if it's not english?"
"I...i don't know. I can't pick up words, but it sounds...sharp. Not gutteral like Russian....I'd say...something Asian. His tone is...as far as i can tell, casual--it's more than just a business call. Maybe he's got a friend or some other contact over there?"
"Who knows," Jesse shrugged. "Anyway, i'll be on third floor, i guess. You heading home?"
Dom shrugged. "I suppose so. Well Meredith, i guess you're with me today. I guess, to start, you and I can go through Ace's room and you can get a better idea of who he is--you know, the stuff that doesn't show up on his file. Then...i guess you're supposed to ask questions and observe me or...or something, I don't know." He shrugged. Gesturing towards the hallway and the elevator at the end, he said, "shall we?"
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Re: Walking Conspiracy

Postby SarahGracie on Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:10 pm

Now that Dominic seemed to be cheerily on board, Meredith was more than ready to dive into the case. Dominic mentioned a tour. Not that Meredith didn't have a tiny bit of curiosity as to what was so securely protected here, she'd rather just do as she was hired to do. Find Ace. Get him back. All without giving away she was part of Norman's operation. Sounded easy enough, but she was sure it was going to be painstaking and nerve racking.

As Meredith said goodbye to Aleah, a swirl of activity followed. Norman received a phone call and all but shoved them all from his office. Meredith was a bit hesitant at first, there was still so much to discuss. More questions to ask. She supposed all would have to wait and she would have to settle for whatever information lie in the file and whatever it is that Dominic can provide her with. Quickly she gathered her bag and shuffled out behind the two men.

Meredith began down the hall, but made it only a few steps before she realized the other two were not with her. Confused, she stopped and turned to find both Jesse and Dominic lingering by Norman's office door. It took her a moment of concerned glances between the two to figure out just what they were up to. Placing one hand on her hip, she let out a small sigh waiting and listening. From the looks and sound of it, this may have been a regular routine for the two. She did find it peculiar as to why they were spying on Norman. Did his employees not trust him? Were they suspicious of him? If so, why? Questions and theories danced on the surface of her thoughts as the two men tried to decipher Norman's private phone call.

Finally, they gave up and Jesse went his own way, leaving Meredith and Dominic alone in the hallway. Meredith thought about questioning the whole ease dropping bit but thought better of it and left the issue for another time. Honestly, she probably did not want to know. Continuing down the hall and coming up on the elevator, she paused long enough for Dominic to enter in all the security procedures before stepping into the waiting elevator. Once the doors was shut, she got down to business.

"Good, I'd like to see where he stays under normal conditions. You live with him? Room mates and partners at work? Does that ever get... complicated? Oh, and you both live here, as in here where you also work?" Meredith proceeded to bombard Dominic with questions in a quick interview style. Then suddenly she turned to face the blond with a smirk playing on her lips, "Do you have a girlfriend Dominic?" Trying to withhold a grin, she paused, letting the shock of that blunt question sink in.
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Re: Walking Conspiracy

Postby Blackfridayrule on Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:04 pm

As soon as Dom entered the elevator and scanned his hand, Meredith bombarded him with questions. He didn't mind--it was his job, now. But it was the nature of her questions that seemed so odd to him. Under normal conditions. Those words seemed to strike him hard, like a malicious blow to the gut. Ace. Not under normal conditions. He knew this much already, but to let it sink in like that made his stomach turn. It was Ace! His friend! Heck, practically his brother! If only he could talk to him, have a moment to explain everything calmly, everything would be fine, he'd come back in and he wouldn't have to treat him like a scientific experiment and speak of him as an object to someone he barely knew. Dominic wondered if Meredith saw him that way--as an object, an experiment, like something that originated in a petri dish. He wanted so badly to know that she saw him as a person, as his friend and brother. But that wasn't her job. Her job was to be objective, just like it was his job to do the same. Objectivity kept Dominic sane.
Objectivity and scotch, he could hear Ace snorting in response. Only, Dom wished he was actually there to say it.

"Yes, we live together. Sort of. Separate bedrooms and bathrooms, but we share a living room and kitchen. We've done that ever since we were brought on board and Ace was healed enough after his crash to leave the medical wing. Even before then, i guess i spent a lot of time there with him. I...i felt bad, you know? He wanted to try and relate to me, to carry on conversation but he couldn't because he didn't remember a thing. He wouldn't have known his own name had we not told him. Poor guy. We became friends anyway," Dominic said with a shrug.
"And I can see how you'd think there'd be problems, but honestly, there weren't. in another line of work, yeah, i could see that, but....i guess with what we do, it was immensely helpful to have someone around that constantly and fully understood. I mean, really understood. Norman will tell you he understands us, that he knows what we've been through and all that crap." Dominic shook his head, and for the first time that day, when he looked into her eyes there was no spark of jest in his blue irises, just a cold, hardened side of him that seemed almost uncharacteristic. "Truth is, he doesn't get it. I think that's why Ace and I hit it of so quickly. We get each other. We know, like no one else, what we're going through, what we do, how we respond in certain situations." Dominic paused as the elevator chirped a loud and pronoucned ding! Immediately, Dom seemed to flinch at the sharp noise, but his movement was subtle and hard to notice without looking for it. "i'm sorry," he said. "You didn't need such a long explanation."

Thankful for the opportunity to flee the elevator, Dominic led Meredith out and down one hallway, past a few sparsely spread doors to one on the right. The door unlocked, Dom opened it and stepped inside, revealing a rather spacious apartment with masculine and contemporary decorations and furniture. For the home of two bachelors, the place smelled remarkably clean and looked somewhat tidy--lived in, but tidy. "home sweet home," he said, already moving to the kitchen to make himself a cup of tea. Dominic really was a coffee person, but any more than one cup a day and he'd start, as Jesse jokingly put it, 'malfunctioning'. It wasn't quite so severe as it sounded, though Dominic did find that either he had trouble functioning on a normal level, either because his senses would be subdued or hyperactive. So, after his one cup in the morning, Dom stuck to tea.

It was then that Meredith asked him, somewhat smugly, if he had a girlfriend. His initial response was a grin--an entirely James-Bond esque expression that might make a weaker woman swoon--or so Norman teased, at least. There was a small pause as he tried to, for a moment, read her. "Me? Currently? No, no I don't. This isn't to say I haven't had them...but it has been a year since my last one. Life started to get a little crazy, then and I didn't have the time to devote to her that she deserved." Dom shrugged, but quickly continued, saying, "why do you ask? Any reason, or is this just research too?" His smile now had a mischievous look to it, like a child about to steal from the cookie jar under the watchful gaze of his parent. Dominic was merely teasing, but his eyes watched carefully for her reaction.
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Re: Walking Conspiracy

Postby SarahGracie on Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:36 pm

Meredith was quite accustomed to people over-answering her questions and honestly she preferred it that way. Long answers tended to lead to more questions. What kind of therapist would she make if all her clients would give her were yes and no? So, instead of rejecting Dominic's lengthy description of how the two men came to be roomies, Meredith gave an encouraging nod as she hung onto his every word. Anything Dominic revealed to her would be stored away for later use when she finally came face to face with Ace.

Dominic's explanations of their living environment made sense, she supposed. Two assassins rooming together would likely have more in common then say an assassin and a doctor. More interesting that she just made that assessment. Moving on... Meredith found it interesting and somewhat disturbing that Dominic's mood would switch on and off so easily. And it seemed the topic of Norman was the trigger. Obviously there was hidden feelings there. If Dominic was showing signs to her about it so soon, perhaps Ace was just now living the feelings that both him and Dominic usually hide inside? Maybe Ace's new found freedom is triggering Dominic's animosity regarding Norman?

Stop it Meredith! She had to scold herself for going to far, once again. Firstly, she knew good and damn well that she should not being going down this road. Too many questions often led to too many answers that she was better off not knowing. Secondly, she was not hired to have this blue-eyed blonde stretch out on the couch and pick about his brain. Just do what you were hired to do. Find Ace. Get him back to Norman. Do whatever it takes to do that, but stay out of this. No matter how curiously enticing this was.

Meredith stepped into the boys' apartment slowly. Her eyes lingered on the stately decor for a moment. She hadn't prepared herself for what to expect, so she supposed it seemed fitting. At least for Dominic's personality. Sleek and shiny, modern with a bit of a lived in feel. Typical 'man' style place. Stepping further into the living room area, she searched for pictures and noted the lack of such. No Kodak moments for these two? Nothing very personal for that matter. Hmm.

Dominic's answer carried her curiously into the kitchen area with him where she leaned her hip against the stylish (and expensive) granite counter tops. In another place, another time, Meredith would have ate up his smile with a fork and a spoon. "Research, I can assure you," she quipped and instantly regretted sounding so insulting. To cover, she quickly continued, still clinging to professionalism, "It's just that you and Ace seem to be so much alike. I'm assuming the two of you would have similar taste in women."

Remaining professional under his gaze was beginning to become a bit difficult, much to her annoyance. Pushing off from the counter, she stepped about the kitchen eyeing the contents of the cabinets to distract herself. It would seem someone liked to cook. "I was going to ask what she was like. Your girlfriend, that is, if you had one. Now I'll just have to ask if I'm yo-Ace's type." Dammit. "We have to make this as believable as possible, so I need to come off as his kind of girl. Not too perfect, that might send him into suspicion, which I'm sure he'll already be in, but near perfect at least ." She turned to face Dominic once again, now directly across from where he was starting to prepare some tea. "So... Do you think he will like me?"
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Re: Walking Conspiracy

Postby Blackfridayrule on Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:30 pm

Dominic's eyebrows quirked upward at Meredith's justification for her earlier question as if to silently say, 'oh, really?'. With a smile, he said, "Research, gotcha. Well, I'll give you some credit--you're catching on. Ace and I aren't twins, but we're bloody close most of the time. I'll admit though, our taste in women isn't really the same. Lucky for you, i'm observant and know his type." Again he smiled and sipped at his tea. Dom did love tea on occasion, mostly because it had so many layers of scent and flavor, while most coffee was pretty straightforward. His favorite was mint tea, which he was enjoying currently. "He's never had a girlfriend to my knowledge, but i know he's drawn to certain types. Like...." Dom leaned closer to her, dropping his voice to a whisper. "He always denied it adamantly, but I swear he used to have a thing for Aleah--you know, the doctor? I'd tease him for it all the time, but it was a crush that passed after a while. But my point is, he tends to like people that are...hmm.." he thought for a moment before continuing. "Strong enough to deal with their own issues--you know, none of that damsel-in-distress stuff--but gentle. Affectionate but never clingy, and Ace is very communicative, so he appreciates someone who communicates with him, too, and says what's on their mind. I think...I suppose you could pull it off, you don't seem shy or anything, but you also don't seem completely insensitive, either. With a little effort, it could work." Dom shrugged.

Dominic flicked on the radio at a low volume as the song, 'jukebox hero' began to play, and instantly he smiled, though it wasn't the same type of grin he usually wore. Instead it was sadly reminiscent, like he was remembering good times with someone who was now dead. "This is one of Ace's favorite songs...we'd blast it in the car all the time like teenagers and their nasty rap music," he said with a chuckle before he began singing the chorus in a loud and joking falsetto. "Juke-box heee-roooo!" he sang along. Moving into the living room where a plush and contemporary-styled area rug covered a good deal of the hardwood floor, he motioned for Meredith to follow. "C'mon, I'll give you the grand tour." He moved past the large television across from the surprisingly clean couch, past a lavish and large bathroom the size of a small hotel room that looked a little more used and lived in than the living room, and into a small hall with two doors. One he passed over and the other he opened and, again, motioned for Meredith to follow.

The bedroom was dark and still, like it'd been unused for some time; The only sign of life or movement was the breath of wind that came in through the cracked window to rustle the half-drawn blinds. In the corner was a desk, slightly messy with strewn papers, empty glasses of water, a Macbook Pro, and various pictures lining the wall just above it's surface. There were pictures of Ace and Dominic, of Aleah, Jesse, Norman, even, all with smiles on their faces as they held aloft fluted glasses at a fancy black-tie event, celebrated Dominic's birthday, let the wind run through their hair as they drove on a sunny stretch of roadway in a convertible, and tipped back beers at a football game. Looking at the pictures alone, one would never guess that any of the patrons were doctors, assassins, bodyguards, or technicians. They all looked like normal people doing normal things. Like friends, not business partners. Several books filled a bookshelf with varying topics from mathbooks to books about guns, their disassembly and the likes, to fictional pieces like Lord Of The Rings. On the nightstand was a speaker dock with an ipod cradled upon it that also served as an alarm clock.

"So...this is Ace's room," Dom said, gesturing to the place with his arm. Take a look at anything you need to. I suggest you spend some time with his ipod and see what he listens to, and maybe take note of the books. And i guess, just familiarize yourself with the place. It's your 'future home' so to speak. Though I wonder if Norman would have him move out...huh..." Dominic blinked his way back to the present. "Anyway, there's that. We still have to work on your cover, so when you're through here, we need to sit down and have a chat about exactly how you're gonna word all this information to Ace. Let's keep lies to a minimum--more often it's more important how you say something rather than what you say."
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Re: Walking Conspiracy

Postby SarahGracie on Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:12 pm

Meredith listened with the utmost attention, her mind continuously taking notes of all that Dominic was spilling. Mentally she made a checklist of all that Dominic said was Ace's type. First off was the looks. Aleah and Meredith were practically night and day appearance wise. Aleah was very pretty and she had sort of a 'girl next door' look to her whereas Meredith resembled more of a... Well, not so friendly... Moving on...

A doctor. Well, she needed another four years under her belt before she got that title, but she was almost a doctor. On her way at the very least. Strong enough to deal with their own issues. This was Meredith, at least she liked to think so. The girl had been dealt some pretty serious issues over the last year and she was handling them pretty well. Meredith was definitely no damsel in distress, quite the opposite. She was too proud to admit she needed help, then again, that could be a serious flaw. But no one needs to know about that at the moment.

Affectionate? That could be another issue. A distant memory flashed in her head to her last boyfriend. It was her sophomore year at NYU. Something about him using the words cold and distant. In her defense, she was only trying to focus more on her studies than a boy she had just met. And at least, she was not being clingy. At the very, very least, she could act affectionate. Yep, that would have to work.

Communication, that could go both ways. While she could easily say whats on her mind, she can, and usually does, bottle it inside. Yes, there was a lot she'd have to tweak to be Ace's pretend girlfriend. Of course she did not want to be too perfect, no one ever was. It was the flaws that made things interesting, right? Dominic seemed to be around the same wavelength as Meredith. She could pull it off, though it would likely take much more than a little effort.

Meredith was ripped from her thoughts when he switched on the radio. Honestly, she was a bit irritated as well. Something about his tone and attitude put in her mind that he wasn't entirely serious about this whole thing. It was oddly different than from how he acted last night. It was as if Norman's idea kind of threw him off of it. When she turned to face him, she almost regretted even thinking it. The song, he informed, was a favorite between him and Ace. She wasn't sure what to say, she'd never been exactly the comforting type. That and she was hired to act for Ace, not Dominic. Even with all that in mind, even she had to crack a small smile in regards to his singing.

The moment pasted as quickly as it came and it was back to business as Dominic offered to show her the tour, which ultimately meant Ace's room. Meredith paid little attention to anything else in the apartment and eagerly followed him to the missing man's bedroom. Pausing at the doorway, she let her eyes linger on everything just as he had left it. It was a lot to take in all at once. Slowly, she stepped inside and walked around the room letting her fingers trail along the top of his desk as she looked at each picture displayed there.

After a few moments, she turned back to Dominic as if just realizing that he was still in the room with her. "What makes you so confident that he wouldn't move out on his own?," she asked, genuinly interested. Would he really ask a girl to move in here with him, or venture out for her sake? Which led her to another question as she crossed the room to perch on the edge of Ace's bed, "How much do you... you and Ace, tell them? Your girlfriends? Do they know about your line of work? Or do you keep them in the dark?" Meredith was more than ready to dive into Ace's bedroom. Into his life, more so, but she waited for Dominic to answer her as she watched him with unfaltering green eyes.
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Re: Walking Conspiracy

Postby Blackfridayrule on Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:19 pm

Dominic sat down near the head of the bed and inhaled a breath through his nose. Ace's room always had a certain smell, just like his own had one, too. Every room in the house had a particular scent (usually a good one--the boys were obsessive about keeping scents as neutral as possible lest it irritate their senses) and both he and Ace knew each one very well. The two could navigate Norman's entire building with the lights off, all without having to fumble around for the guidance of the walls. every hallway had a particular echo, every door had a certain squeak. Ace and Dom didn't need to see--they moved like bats through their environment. The specific scent of this room made him sigh. All Dom wanted was for Ace to come back, to get some help and stop running. He wanted his friend, his brother, his wingman back at his side. He didn't want Meredith, an outsider, involved in this mess--every time he thought of her tricking him, making him believe something was true, a red flag went up in his mind.
Be careful with him! Get away from him! Dominic knew his feelings were a potent mix of his training and his close relationship with Ace, but he also knew Meredith was here for a reason. They needed her.

The blonde shrugged. "I honestly don't know if he would have moved out on his own. I mean, we both like it here. We don't have to commute anywhere, we never have to worry about theft--I mean, ne-ver--, and everything is paid for by Norman. Like I said, the guy takes care of his own better than the mafia," Dom joked, grinning. "We have all we could really want as far as a home goes...I'll be honest, I really don't know the answer to that question. I imagine he wouldn't live with me--maybe in a separate suite. I don't know."

Meredith then asked him how much of this 'underground' world the two divulged with their significant other; Dom paused for a long time as he was taken back a few years. He remembered his first serious girlfriend since the operation--she was from London. Hazel was her name, and she had eyes to match. While Ace and Dom spent time in London training under Ritchie, the older blonde met Hazel somewhat by accident. In fact, he nearly hit her with his car because he wasn't paying attention, and to make it up to her, he offered to buy her coffee. She wanted to go to America with him, and Dominic figured she likely would have, that is, until he decided to tell her about his line of work. He'd been vague up to that point, so the lovestruck Dom tried to explain he was something of a modified soldier and began to tell her that he carried extra 'equipment'. It didn't go over well. Dom remembered his small apartment was filled with the sound of her questioning, the sound of her bitterness for being 'kept in the dark'. He couldn't tell her everything, though he came as close as he possibly could, but that wasn't enough for Hazel. She wanted the whole truth--vague insights into his secretive life wasn't good enough.
It'd been years since Dom spoke to Hazel.
"How much did they know?" He, said as he blinked back to reality, paused, and finally settled with, "just enough to appear normal. I told them I was kind of a Green Beret sorta thing--almost Black Ops. I told them I'd been fitted with an experimental hearing aid of sorts that gave me heightened senses. They all knew I never went anywhere without a gun, and they knew the question 'how was work?' would be returned with something vague. Essentially, their knowledge was similar to yours, though try to think a little more...vague. Pretend you know little of specifics but you understand the gist of it. Oh, and by the way, if, for any reason, Ace draws his gun and points it at you, stay calm. He will not, under any circumstances, shoot to kill, and he rarely shoots at all, for that matter. Unless there's an immediate and obvious threat from a stranger, but i can't see you fitting in that category unless you came at him with a knife."
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Re: Walking Conspiracy

Postby SarahGracie on Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:36 pm

Meredith eyed Dominic suspiciously as he crossed the room and made himself rather comfortable atop Ace's bed. For whatever reasons, this annoyed her. Seeing him so relaxed when she felt this was supposed to be a time of urgency. But then again, hadn't they all seemed like that in a round about way? Even Norman. Perhaps it was not so odd. Maybe it was just her being anxious to get started. Not that she was thrilled about the fiance roll, but it was going to be a challenge she had never faced before. As her over-confident self assured, she would get through it just fine. That is what happens, she guessed, when you tried to screw the government and came out alive. Over-confidence.

Dominic voiced his thoughts on what the weapons told or would tell their girlfriends. His answer made sense mostly. Similar to what an FBI or CIA agent would tell his wife. Very little. Some women could probably deal with this in exchange for the cushy lifestyle. Great health benefits, nice paycheck, above average retirement package. Not Meredith. She doubted very seriously she could go to sleep each night not knowing what her husband was getting himself into. She would probably pry then try to diagnose him when he remained secretive. No, it would not work in her real life. But she could definitely pretend to be the clueless, trusting, fiance. For a little while anyway.

"Hmm," she thought aloud. "Could be comparable to that of a detective or cop... I can imagine that. Also, like a doctor," she added, "We-They are not permitted, by law, to discuss their cases with their spouses, at least not in specifics. Either way, I get the idea." Her eyes had trailed in thought to rest on various items around the room. From just glancing around, Ace would seem like a basically 'normal' guy, if there was such a thing. From his half open closet, she could see he, like the others, likely tended to dress in a casual manner. Meredith did like the he was an avid reader, as she was herself. Something they had in common.

The next thing out of Dominic's mouth caught her a little off guard. She refrained from jerking her head around, but her brows did furrow at the thought. Why would Ace point a gun at her? What would she do if he did? No. What would his fiance do if he did? That was the way she needed to think and the answer would probably either get mad or cry. No. Ace likes a girl that hold her own. Get mad, but take no physical action. Reply with a cutting remark 'How could you after all this time?!'. Only allow her eyes to moisten for the dramatic effect? Maybe. She'd think on it more later, but hopefully she would not ever be in that situation.

To Dominic, she glanced back toward him, keeping her expression only mildly interested, "I'll keep that in mind." Meredith found Dominic's random tidbits strange. Not just the content, but how he kept dropping them here and there in conversation, especially that regarding Ace. Was he trying to scare her off? She suspected him to be against the whole fiance guise, but under these bits of advice, was there really concern? Concern for her or for Ace? Meredith tried to read his eyes and features for hidden meanings, but there were none. Though he was likely trained to keep a blank face to those more threatening than her. "I don't think his fiance, the woman he loves, would ever go at him' with a knife, so I don't think we have much to worry about there."

After a small silence, Meredith cleared her throat and looked around the room. "I would like to take a closer look around, that is, if its okay with you?", she asked somewhat awkwardly. It was the nicest way possible she could ask him to get out. After all, it was not really her finance's room. She did, however, need the alone time. She wanted to do as he suggested and basically snoop, but only to get to know him. Get inside his head.
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Re: Walking Conspiracy

Postby Blackfridayrule on Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:17 am

Dominic nodded. "Yeah, it's a lot like a cop or a doctor and such. Only our business is more expensive and...ultra confidential. I had a girlfriend once who would ask for more specifics, and so i'd tell her things about...well, Ace and I, or i'd tell her that maybe i had a re-training session or something, but i wouldn't give details. You know what they say, curiosity killed the cat, after all." Dominic grinned until he realized what he said was almost a euphemism for real life, in which he actually had to nix someone if they got too nosy. When Dom said, 'if i told you, i'd have to kill you"....he meant it. His smile faded at that realization but he didn't say anything further.

Meredith's reaction to the gun comment was priceless and he actually laughed softly for a moment. "Heh, no, seriously, do keep that in mind. Because i don't think you'd come at him with a knife, but if he doesn't buy the story, if you're a threat to that girl he runs with--what's her name, Portia?--or if he figures you out, you're in trouble. Again, just keep it in mind. It's a bit like instructing a tourist about tsunami evacuation routes--they aren't always necessary but possible. You know? And don't you feel better knowing that you know what to do now?" The last bit was more of a joke; this he delivered with a charming smile.

The woman sitting on the bed requested that she have time to peruse Dominic's best friend's belongings in private--a thing that made him a little uncomfortable. He felt like Ace died and this Meredith woman was some lawyer rifling through his posessions to decide who would get what. He didn't like it, but it was part of the job. She was here to help. Right?
He cleared his throat and stood. "Yeah, yeah, sure. If you need anything, i'll be in the kitchen. I think i'm gonna make some breakfast...bacon and eggs sound ok to you? And OJ....can't forget that. Get used to it, Ace lives on the stuff." He grinned and slipped somewhat reluctantly into the hall and out to the kitchen. He glanced back once before burying his face in ingredients and pans. She was doing her job. She was trying to help.

((again, sorry it's so short! i'm super off my game lately....))
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Re: Walking Conspiracy

Postby SarahGracie on Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:39 pm

Meredith narrowed her eyes at Dominic's usage of the old saying. Perhaps he realized her reaction, for his grin quickly vanished. It would be dangerous being a relationship with Ace or Dominic, she decided then there. Possibly why Ace has not had a girlfriend. Dominic mentioned that he felt the need to protect people so he likely wouldn't want to purposely put someone he cared for in a potentially harmful situation. Preventing any situations simply by avoiding them? Maybe.

Then again with the cat and gun comment so close to follow each other, she wondered again if Dominic was simply trying to scare her off or if they were for future reference. Either way, it did not make her task any more desirable. Did his information make her feel better he asked. No, not really but her answer to him was only a look. She would leave it up to his own interpretations.

At last Dominic said he would leave her to her own devices, but not without a casual invitation to breakfast. Meredith smirked to herself and kept her eyes on the place Dominic had just been sitting. By making breakfast he was giving her a time limit. In a round about way he was showing her that he was uncomfortable with her being in Ace's room, alone. Bacon and eggs would not take long to prepare, so she had better get started.

For the next half and hour, she poured herself in analyzing Ace's personality based on the contents of his room. Meredith used basic techniques along with her instinct to make her own assumptions and conclusions. Only a few times was she interrupted by some singing from the kitchen, to which she would react with a grin and continue to memorize book titles and read sprawled note strewn about his desk. One thing that kept grabbing her attention was the pictures taped here and there. She examined each with tender hands.

From what she knew, Ace was suffering from amnesia which was said to be brought on by some sort of 'malfunctioning'. Meredith could not help but wonder if that was simply all there was too it. She knew little of exactly what was the extent of his 'equipment', but what she did know about amnesia is that is was usually brought on by one of two things. Either a head injury or a traumatic event. Jessie had mentioned that he was indeed injured, but that was an arm injury if she recalled correctly. Hardly something that would bring on amnesia. "Hmm...", Meredith wondered aloud as she replaced the pictures.

From the smells emitting from the kitchen, she predicted Dominic would be coming to collect her any moment. She figured she would beat him to it and left the room, sure that she would get some more time to research later. That and her stomach was doing a little encouraging of it's own. Meredith stepped softly into the kitchen watching Dominic as she done so. She doubted seriously that it was possible to sneak up on him, not that that was her intentions, just a thought as she slid into one of his sleek bar stools.

Meredith placed one elbow on the counter top proceeded by her chin resting in her palm. Her thoughts from earlier was still haunting despite her best to keep them to herself. Stamping out any hesitation, she decided to simply ask. "Before Ace disappeared, so to speak, did he.. Experience anything that would add to his level of stress?" Meredith chose her words delicately, but then wondered if she had worded it correctly. Without waiting for Dominic's answer, she added, "Like anything unusually disturbing or distressing?" Her green eyes floated to Dominic's to closely watch his reaction to her questions.
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Re: Walking Conspiracy

Postby Blackfridayrule on Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:40 pm

The more he spoke, the more Dominic felt her unease exude from her like a wafting perfume. It was hard to detect--Meredith was a professional and never let herself forget it, but with Dom's training and extra abilities, he was able to pick up on the fact that he was making her uncomfortable. He wondered if he should let up a little as he began whisking eggs together with a tiny dash of paprika and milk. After all, she was part of the team, wasn't she? Not that he never joked around with his other teammates, but he generally tried to build them up and keep up the morale while still being realistic. Dom thought he was being realistic now, but it didn't seem to be encouraging her. A small part of him didn't care. A small part of him was bitter that an outsider had to come in and clean up this mess, that a job that should be entitled to him (he was ace's best friend, after all, and knew him better than anyone else) was given to a stranger. In a purely selfish way, he wanted to see Meredith fail, if for no other reason than to give her a slice of humble pie. It reminded him of his time in the military; those who were inducted into the company later than everyone else always had to endure some kind of acerbic scrutiny before they proved themselves worthy of camaraderie. Dominic himself was one of those people. With a sigh, he reprimanded himself for being so bitter. She was here to help. She was part of the team now, stranger or no. He was trained, after all, to make the best of any given situation. No sense in stopping now.

The eggs bubbled and sizzled against the hot buttered skillet that sat atop a surprisingly clean gas stove; the bacon crackled in the pan next to it. Dom loved breakfast, and so did Ace. Both considered it to be their favorite meal of the day and often they would make breakfast for dinner. And if there was ever a time when it was more than just the two of them--say, one of Dom's old girlfriends or his sister, Tess--the two considered the occasion a perfectly good excuse to make anything and everything that one might think of when imagining breakfast. Cereal, waffles, bacon, sausage, eggs, biscuits and gravy, and of course, orange juice. Dominic cooked most of it--he always had a knack for cooking, more so than Ace, anyhow.

As Dom was grabbing plates from the cabinet, he could hear Meredith exiting Ace's bedroom, even above the stove-fan. He dished up two hearty plates of bacon and eggs smothered in cheese and listened carefully to the cadence of her footsteps. All it took was a few days with a person and he could identify their approach by their footsteps alone--that is, if their shoes didn't give it away first. Like Aleah had a love for ballet-flats and Toms and often he'd hear that before anything else. Ace always told him his shoes--brown and ivory Diesel shoes--had a soft squeak to them. Not the squeak of rubber, but the tiny creak of leather against leather.
Meredith took a seat at his barstool and he turned to give her a plate and silverware. "Want anything to drink?" he asked, already pouring himself some OJ mixed with a little Sprite.

Her question made him pause halfway between stabbing his fork into his eggs; he set it down slowly on the plate. "How recently is 'recent'? Aside from getting injured in Kuwait, I can't think of anything in the last several months. But the last year and a half was a rough one for Ace. To start with, he had his motorcycle crash. Did i tell you about that? That's how he got brought on board--he biffed it hard on his bike and would have died, but Norman got to him first. Saved his life. He has no memory of his life before that, but he remembers the crash itself...or....used to anyway. So he had physical trauma and amnesia to deal with for a while, but he recovered pretty well from that. And then I believe I told you about the car wreck, where he went off the bridge and nearly drowned....come to think of it, he's got awful luck with vehicles.... Anyway, that screwed him up pretty bad, i mean, he's still got some serious claustrophobia and a particular resistance to cars that don't have removable roofs. And then a year ago...." Dom paused, finally managing a few mouthfuls of egg before turning his attention to Meredith again. "I'll be honest, I shouldn't be telling you this, but it's important. If Norman gets mad at you for knowing, just put the blame on me..." Again, a stagnant pause. "I don't know how to put this gently, it's not something you can sugar-coat. Ace killed someone. Shot her in the forehead. He regrets it with every ounce of his being and it's been one of the more upsetting things that's happened to him thus far, I think. I can't explain the nature of the incident--use your imagination--but I can tell you that the subject of the journalist is a sensitive one. If you have to deal with it, approach it carefully."

Dominic took a few more bites before staring into her eyes with a cold, hard seriousness that was severely out of character. "Not a word to anyone about that, you hear? Spread that around and it won't be just Norman you'll have to deal with."
There he was again, intimidating the new recruit. He felt a twinge of guilt, but then again, this was serious business she was getting herself into, and the way Dom saw it, she had to know what she was involving herself in.
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Re: Walking Conspiracy

Postby SarahGracie on Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:44 pm

Meredith considered asking for some champagne with her orange juice. Nothing quite like a morning mimosa to help digest all that she had learned so far. Her vibrant green eyes studied Dominic once again. His expression was aggravatingly unreadable as he looked back to with a stony face. Between last night and this morning, he had been up and down with her. Could it just be a guise to gage her reactions or was this man just as troubled as his friend. It was a theory that she had been tossing around for the last hour or so. Not that she be tossing around anything concerning Dominic but she was instructed to watch him, was she not? On second thought, “Orange juice is fine.”

For someone who could turn so hard, Dominic sure did not have an issue spilling, probably a result of his arrogance, no doubt. His type did tend to enjoy the sound of their own voice. As the blond answered her questions, she watched his movements, both that of his eyes and body. This was mostly to try and see if he were lying. Every few sentences, he would stop for a few mouthfuls of breakfast, which would in return remind Meredith that hers was sitting in front of her untouched. Not that the eggs and bacon did not look inviting, but she found his information more fulfilling than the food. Still, when his eyes glanced over to hers, she’d merely nibble a piece of bacon. From what she could read, the man was not lying to her.

The crash she had known some about, mainly just that that is how Norman came to acquire Ace. She did not, however, know about his amnesia afterward. Curious that one man would fall under the same sickness more than once in under a two year span. Could it be possible that with the latest episode that he would remember his prior life and forget this new one? Maybe his mind went back to being normal because being more than so was simply too stressful for him to deal with? Theories were pouring from her faster than the juice into the glass. For a moment, she lost track of what Dominic was saying. He had kept talking of course and for a split second her cheeks heated at the mere thought of him noticing that she quit paying attention. It was involuntary of course, something that was a side effect of her becoming passionate about a case.

Glancing across the table, she searched for any signs that Dominic had noticed. None that showed, but she assumed that this man was watching her just as closely as she was watching him. The two were latterly dancing awkwardly around each other all morning and neither was any closer to coming on a middle ground. Thankfully, he continued on without seeming to notice. Although, after he swallowed and began again, she almost wished he would have noticed. Something in Dominic’s blue eyes seemed to darken as he warned her that his words would not be pretty and would not come without a warning.

Meredith’s lips parted but she only nodded as a response that she understood. With widened eyes she sat hanging on his every word with the utmost interest. The knowledge revealed was something in Ace’s more recent past. He killed a girl. For reasons that Dominic made clear Meredith did not need, or rather would not be permitted, to know. After a few moments of silence, aside from Dominic’s chewing, she recovered somewhat as her mind dove into half a dozen thoughts on that matter. Most about the motives of Ace’s inner workings, the others questioned her ethics.

All of her thoughts came to a screeching halt when their eyes locked into an icy stare that gave Meredith chill bumps. Dominic very blatantly threatened her. It was utterly confusing! First he comes out and tells her this information like it’s the word on the street. Then only to find out that it’s apparently top secret! Why tell her in the first place? Did this smooth talking blond sincerely just want his friend back? Was that why he felt compelled to tell her things she would have not been privy to otherwise? Or was there an ulterior motive? Could he purposely be telling her this information in hopes that she’d slip up? In hopes that Norman would find out? No, that would not make sense, would it?

Without any reaction, Meredith slipped from the barstool and proceeded to pacing in the area between the couch and kitchen. It was something she did often when she was deep in thought. A habit that helped her to sort out her thoughts, she supposed. Most of the time, she was almost completely unaware she was even doing it, until forcibly interrupted. Taking all the information Dominic had just given her, she mentally sorted through it. Piecing together what she already knew and introducing it to what she just learned then combining them to create what she needed to figure out.

“Hmm,” the woman thought aloud. “Ace has certainly been through enough in past two years… It’s really not even surprising that his memory has been compromised. Though it is likely that it is not merely a result of damaged equipment,” her arms folded in front of her for a moment in mid pace. “No… No, it’s not. It very well could be that his memory has gone into a remission, if you will. That his brain cleansed it’s self of all the ‘bad’… Going through that much trauma in so short a time, could very well do that to a person. It’s not unheard of.” One hand come to her chin as her head cocked to one side, “Though he isn’t in denial, per say. I mean by that, that he is still functioning. Communicating and such, just not with you as you would be part of the life his memory is trying to deny exists. Usually when a patient’s mind goes into that state, it’s almost like they checked out of ‘real’ life and checked into a perfect life that only exists in their mind. They still go through the functions, speaking, eating, but they are not really there. Ace does not seem, from what you all have told me, to be in that state. No…” This time Meredith paused altogether, coming to a stop in front of Dominic. “That’s not quite it either.” It was clear there were some internal thoughts throughout her speak that she did not share aloud.

If the blond was about to say anything in regards to her thoughts, she raised a hand to stop him, “No. Just leave the thinking to me.” Meredith shot him a smile that was borderline smug, after all she could not let him intimidation game get the best of her. At least not so early on. “You asked earlier how we should contact him. After what you’ve told me, Norman’s plan really does make perfect sense. Ace’s mind is not letting him trust you right now. To him, you’re the bad guy. He’s only going to keep running from you. His mind likely wouldn’t even let him stop long enough to listen to any reason. He needs someone on his side. A fiancé could be just that. Hmm…” Meredith stopped a moment to think again, her voice clearing growing excited. She was ready to meet Ace and dive into his mind. “Besides the damaged equipment, is there any other way of contacting him… Like a more… common way? Does he have a cellphone? Or is there any place that you think he might go that would give him the sense of security?”
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Re: Walking Conspiracy

Postby Blackfridayrule on Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:43 pm

Dominc's eyes watched Meredith carefully as she sort of absently got up to pace around the room. Pacing. It was a detail about her that he filed away for later. He and Ace noticed those things--learning audial 'tags', as Ritchie used to call them, and rhythms that were unique to specific people, were key parts of the section of their training that focused specifically on what to do if they were ever captured and blindfolded in some kind of hostage situation. With training like that, they could learn who exactly was in the room, where they were, what they were doing and how many people occupied the space. Dominic didn't always mean to 'tag' mannerisms and sounds like that, but often he did it out of habit.

Meredith went on about a theory as to why Ace was going AWOL, and honestly it wasn't too far off base. He knew the damaged equipment had a huge part to play in the past events, but perhaps there were other, deeper issues lying beneath the surface that sort of helped the process along. Dom was never a psychiatrist--he wouldn't know something like that for sure, but he could always make good guesses. He was about to say something about it when she stopped him and went on. She said he was a bad guy to Ace--a realization he found both painfully true and altogether heartbreaking. After all the time they spent together! After all the late night Wii sessions and sunday afternoon football games, after all the s--- the two of them slogged through in the short time they'd known each other! Part of him was a little angry that all that could be so quickly thrown aside, but he reminded himself that Ace was far from his right mind. He was amnesiatic, probably traumatized, and above all else he was scared; that much he was certain of after the few minutes he spent speaking directly with him. And he knew from his own personal experience that, like a cornered dog, he and Ace did strange things when they were scared. They were things he often couldn't fully explain, and Ace occasionally didn't remember them--either that or he recalled them as though they were hazy dreams. Norman was never alarmed by that fact, though Dom was; Norman seemed to understand why he did such things better than Dom did and always said it was due to his equipment. Ace's was always a little different than Dominic's--he knew that.

"Hmm...." was all Dom said at first. He was still digesting Meredith's theory, mulling over what he knew of Ace and himself, and also the recent events. "Contact...con--yes, yes, he has my phone. The smart little bas----, he probably knew it couldn't be tracked and took it. He's probably already looked through the contact list to see who to avoid..that's why we need someone on the outside. Anyway, yeah, he's got my phone and I can give you that number, but you can't know that he has it, if you know what I mean. Pretend you're talking to me until you 'find out' that he's got it. And as far as somewhere safe...we dont' really have any sanctu--oh!! Oh s----! Ritchie!" He went on to utter a few more swear words in quick succession, slipping in a quick, "Sorry," to meredith before dashing down the little hallway to his room to find his cell phone--a new one, of course.
After dom dialed, Norman was quick to answer. "Caldwell."
"We forgot about Ritchie," Dom said, reentering the kitchen.
"Ritchie! We forgot to tell him about Ace!"
"Yes...but he's in London. What in blazes makes you think that an already panicked Ace is going to get within twenty feet of an airplane? You remember what happened last time..."
Dom shook his head, even though Norman couldn't see him. "No, he wouldn't do that. But you and I both know Ritchie would hop on the next available flight to the states if Ace wanted him to, if he needed him. He's done it before and i think he'd do it again. Besides, i think i remember something about Ritchie coming and vacationing in the states for a while, anyway."
"Bloody h---, you're right....Put yourself in his shoes, Dom. At this point, would you have gone to him?" Before Dom could answer, he said, "Think hard, Dominic. You're lost, confused, and desperate. You trust no one from your former life. Who do you turn to?"
Dom, with eyes shut, tried to place himself in the situation. He went through several possible options and outcomes, and finally, sighing, he nodded. "Ritchie."
"Any reason why, or just a gut feeling?" Norman asked.
"Because he left your company--that and ace always turned to him when he had 'stuff' going on. But the key thing is, he left. I think Ace would relate to that somehow, even if he doesn't consciously know it."
Norman paused, nodding. "Good to know. Then that's where we'll start. Thank you, Dominic."

Both men hung up and Dom put the phone down on the counter. "Thanks for bringing that up...i guess...." he sighed and turned around to face Meredith. "To answer your question, in case you didn't figure it out already, yeah, he's got somewhere he'd go. Ritchie is the guy who trained us both--he's retired and living like a king in london. Come to think of it, i betcha that's why Ace ended up there a couple weeks ago...anyway, both of us trust Ritchie with our lives and Ace has gone to him in the past when things got stressful or like, after the crash and after...." he trailed off. "H-he's helped us out a lot. But he left Norman's company over a disagreement about...eight months ago? And he's got a house in the states that i swear he mentioned visiting not too long ago. So...sounds like you may get to meet him."
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Re: Walking Conspiracy

Postby SarahGracie on Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:54 am

"He has your phone?" Meredith turned that over for a moment. "That could work..." Before she could fully explain, Dominic seemed to get excited over her other question and recall a former co-worker, Ritchie. Meredith made no motions to interrupt his train of thought, only watched him with calculating green eyes as he rushed off to grab the phone and called up Norman.

Listening with optimistic ears, Meredith couldn't help but draw near Dominic, waiting to hear what the outcome of the phone call would be. As he spoke, she tilted her head to one side, picking apart his words and wondering what Norman was saying on the other line and also who exactly was this Ritchie guy. Would Ace really trust him? Go to his home? Looks like they would see...

"Your welcome," Meredith smiled as Dominic turned around. She was practically right up on him, trying to listen to the phone conversation, so the closeness might have alarmed him. "Hmm... This Richie fellow sounds interesting... Can't wait to speak with him." Meredith looked up into Dominic's eyes for a moment, using the closeness as an opportunity to do to. Her own eyes showed that she was studying him, trying to figure out something about him as he explained more about Ritchie's past with the company.

"Ace may have tried to reach him... There's only one way to find out..." She made a move for her bag, reaching past Dominic to retrieve it. "I think I should send Dominic a message..." Meredith met Dominic's eyes to see if he had caught on o her plan.
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Re: Walking Conspiracy

Postby Blackfridayrule on Sat Nov 05, 2011 5:53 pm

(This'll be a short one, but from here i'll get my friend to post for portia and we'll work on that a little, i'll bring these two parts together and we'll run from there. At this point though i'm just doing a little tying up of loose ends.)

Already Dominic saw the gears in Meredith's head spinning--something about his phone. What was she planning, exactly? He had a few ideas, but each of them made him wary. Dom already hated the idea of bringing someone else--an outsider--in on the operation because it made him feel both inadequate, which was his biggest fear, and very protective of his former partner, something that was near beaten into him in his training until it became an instinct almost as strong as survival. In essence, Meredith and her presence in the company tapped into two key emotions of his and Dominic didn't like it. Everything felt wrong, out of place and disheveled. For a moment Dominic thought back, remembering the moment when they discovered Ace went offline. He remembered hearing the report that an explosion went off in Kuwait and remembered that terrible, sinking feeling in his chest when Ace's signal went dead. He thought he was gone. Dead. That was the quietest, most solemn day in the office Dominic had ever seen in his time working there, and he thought it could never get worse than that. He was wrong. Sure, Ace was alive, but he was running the risk of killing himself by not coming in and getting checked and, what was more, he didn't want anything to do with Dom or any of the crew. What was worse? Loss, or utter betrayal?
D---. How'd this get so complicated?

Meredith was near leaning against him in her attempt to listen to his phone conversation--a thing he found a little foreign. It took a moment for Dom to remind himself that not everyone could hear like he and Ace and that not everyone could listen in on a phone conversation from across the room. Mentally shrugging it off, he shifted is weight just the tiniest bit back; Norman would beat him into next wednesday if he wasn't professional, here. "Ritchie's a great guy, really. Even if we weren't....professionally involved, he and I would still be great friends. I wish you could meet him under better circumstances.....but you know, come to think of it I'm not sure you'll get to meet him at all. If you're thinking of doing what I think you are, there's a few things you have to keep in mind. You have to somehow find an excuse as to why you know he's not in Kuwait anymore, and....we have to avoid Ritchie. If he's forced to chose between siding with Norman or Ace, he'll pick Ace every time. He'll foil our plans. Before you go off texting people, wait. I'm gonna see if I can fish Ace out. If he is with Ritchie, I need to give him a reason to leave. When he does, make your move. But just be patient."

((i'll get my friend to post soon and we'll catch up on that side of the fence for a while))
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Re: Walking Conspiracy

Postby El Gordo on Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:08 pm

Portia remembered.

She was not looking forward to telling her boss about the key card. She didn’t like talking to him on a good day, let alone when she had to admit to losing something. Hadn’t she already been up half the night worrying that someone would swipe in as her and... what? Steal office supplies? What would someone want to break into a newspaper for? Security is something I breach, and other people respect, that’s how it’s supposed to be. Hacking for a fun and profit had given her a healthy dose of paranoia, and irrational as it was, the idea of someone else getting past her defense system shivered through her body all the way to work.

By the time she reached the office she had mostly steeled herself to acknowledging the loss of the card, facing the unsurprised stare of her condescending boss, and talking security into issuing a new one. She flirted with the thought of not telling anyone and just dodging through doors right behind people when she needed to get in from now on, but the fear that someone was out there using her good name to pinch paperclips --she laughed unhappily at herself-- still gnawed at her stomach. That would be horrible. That would be disastrous. That would be...

My key card. On the floor, under my desk. Not stolen, just sitting harmlessly right where I must have dropped it. Nothing to worry about. Breathe. Nothing to worry about.

She was so relieved to find the card that she bought an overpriced soda from the vending machine to celebrate. All that worrying for nothing. She almost laughed out loud, almost sang out a huge “Take that!” to her irrational fear. Nothing to worry about at all. She had been so happy that she didn’t even hack the security system to see if the card had been used.

But it had. I was right to be afraid. Laura Noland is dead because I lost my card. No, not lost, someone stole my card! Stole my card and killed-- that murdering-- Her disjointed thoughts sputtered numbly. She looked across the room at the man who had done this, who had violated-- taken-- murdered-- he... she couldn’t see him.

Instead, through her tears and her hair, she saw Ace. Not a faceless cold-blooded killer, but her friend. The one who got queasy at the thought of violence, the one who cared so much that he’d risked his life to save hers after knowing her for a day. No, the Ace didn’t kill Laura Noland. It may have been his eyes and his hands, but it wasn’t Ace. He wasn’t a killer, he was in pain. She steadied herself on the counter and moved towards him.
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El Gordo
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