Breakfast The Day After

Samuel invited Kassandra out to Thistlewood when they returned from the great machine. It may have taken her a few days to come, but Sam's got patience. And a few minutes head start once the sensors down at the entrance to the canyon register a car passing by.

By the time Kassandra arrives, there's a full meal being cooked, using fresh ingredients, ranging from milk to bacon to organic produce from the garden and beyond.

Marcus will show Kassandra in, leading her out of the garage (Where she will be asked to park, to keep the snow off). Sam's cars are in various stages of winter mothball. The entry in to the kitchen is met with the smell of cooking, while Marcus retreats in to the basement. Where a good slave should be.

Perhaps three or four days later Kassandra will make her way out to Thistlewood. She follows Marcus into the kitchen, nodding pleasantly when he departs. She raises on tiptoe to see what Samuel is doing, moving further into the room, "Good day, Mr. Clemens."

He's cooking. It looks to be steaks and eggs. "Good morning, Kassandra." he says, looking over at her, and offering a smile. "Hungry? I hope you are, because I intend to make you eat, none the less. So its helpful to be hungry, but not required."

The woman laughs a bit at that, remarking, "I am a bit hungry, yes. Eggs would be lovely." She crosses her arms, looking around the kitchen, "You have a very nice home, you know. Very secluded, but very nice."

Samuel nods to that. "Thank you. I paid well for my privacy. The entire canyon, 10 or so acres, is mine. I don't much care for neighbors. I designed the house myself. SOmething of a profession, architecture." He flips a steak, glancing over to her now. "Not a meat eater?" He asks curiously.

Kassandra shakes her head, "Not particularly, no. I've just never really had a taste for it." Kassandra keeps looking around while Samuel cooks, asking, "Everything is well, then?"

"Well enough. Myself, I'm a devout carnivore. A trait I'm passing on to my daughter quite well. I never understood vegetarians, but I have never cared enough about someone elses personal habits to inquire." He sets the steak to the side, picking up a pan, starting an omelet. "I.. I wanted to touch bases with you. That issue with the House, then the Machine. It can be very disorienting. Very… shaking." He glances over at her again. "Thats why I cook. In a world thats gone crazy, if I have fresh ingredients I sheparded from seeds, such as the cucumbers over there, or the tomatos I've got here…." Sam has a small hot house, it may seem. "And then I make a meal with them, I know everything I am doing comes from my own hand. That it is real. And for me, reality is… an important thing. It would take too long for me to make much sense of what I just said, but in the end, I wanted to see how you were doing."

Kassandra considers, nodding quietly. "I can see what you are saying. I am doing as well as I can, really. The house, the magical machine, a few other runs I've done recently … it is a bit much. I'm tired of having my mind played with." She seems agitated, pacing the kitchen while she speaks. "Add into that Alexander neglecting to mention a few of the more salient issues that the Watchers seem to be involved in, having Janie Guns and a few others tear into me about dealing with the problem after we have a 20 minute song and dance from Alexander about how horrible these menaces are…"

Samuel nods to Kassandra. "In short, Alexander has recruited some of the worst examples of the white hat, liberal hippy -craptastic- mentality in his effort to fufill what he thinks Dunkelzahn's wishes for him were. Thats why I'm here. I keep him grounded. I do the hard things." he flips the omlet now, adding a few diced this's and thats. "Jack, Swiss, American or feta?"

"Jack. And I can see that. I can understand why he might want to keep some of the information from recruits, but there comes a certain point where it is more than the mission we are talking about, it's my life. Or your life. Or whomevers. That pisses me off, to be honest. I don't mind risking my life when I know the score, but …"

Samuel spreads a few chunks of jack in to the simmering egg and veggie mix. "I… intimately understand your frustration, Kassandra." He says, letting his voice drop a few levels. "I spent 20 years in the Company with that exact frustration, never knowing exactly what was going on, why I was doing what I was doing, why this man had to die but that man had to live. It made it harder and harder to take each mission at face value. Or to trust those who were handling."

Kassandra nods, "My world is the streets, the corporations, the criminal elements. I thrive on that, and out there I matter. Face to face with a spirit? That isn't what I do. We got lucky, plain and simple, with the house. Lilith is .. well, frankly, she is a whore, a good one from what I hear. But she is shit in a fight. Aladriel is growing up quickly, but the death of Meg hit her hard."

Samuel nods, sliding the omelet on to a plate and garnishing it with a bit of fresh fruit (Flow in from Amazonia) in a light syrup. He sets the plate on the table, gesturing for her to eat, while he moves back to get his own plate. "Again, I appreciate the fundamental issues there. I remember being a boy in the late teens, early twenties, as we grappled with massive change, the feeling of powerlessness that grasped the American States, before the breakup of CAS and UCAS, but after the seizure of half the nation by the Natives. It was a time of incredible paranoia. I would play with army men, those little three inch kind with the toy guns and their own vehicles, but there'd always be that one annoying fat kid who would just lob rocks and call it 'magic'." He glances back to her as he comes to sit down.

"That probably doesnt make as much sense to you as it does to me."

Kassandra settles into a chair, taking up a fork to eat. She cuts into the omelet, considering Samuel's story while taking a bit. She swallows, nodding, "Magic is cheating, or at least that is how it seems to use mere mortals." The woman takes another bite, savoring the food before speaking again, "Again, in general I have no issue with things and I can definately see the problem, that someone has to stay the course and man the line to stop … whatever. But just being tossed into the mixer, being lied to? That doesn't stand well. Alexander spends his days, from what I can tell, playing whoremonger and white knight to the oppressed. His apparent invulnerability has gone to his head, and he forgets that other people can get hurt."

Samuel nods to Kassandra as he cuts in to his meat. "He's not as clueless as you might think from his actual actions. He used to be British Anti-Terrorism, and good at what he did. He is a torn man, in some respects. He wants to do what he thinks is the right thing, but the right thing clashes with the expedient thing. And then his ego gets in the way and he… I don't know. He is fond of his invulnerability, I agree. I suggest you speak with him, forcefully, and in no uncertain terms. He is, to use the CLiche, something of a stubborn bull."

"Of that I have seen." Kassandra eats another bite or two, considering, "I'll talk with him and see what he says; that's all I can say to that." She fiddles with her food, adding, "As for the horrors, the plan Dunklezahn has for Weeko and these children … I don't know. I think there needs to be more capable magicians in addition to mundanes, which, I know, are a rarity."

Samuel nods. "I'm working on that. You've worked with the street mage who goes by the name of Annie, yes? I've seen her on a mission or two, many peopel speak highly of her and her… well, the Company…" YOu can hear the big C there…. "Has an extensive file on her. Native American, Elf, Older than even I am. And I'm pretty damn old for this bussiness."

Kassandra raises an eyebrow, fork halfway to her mouth, "Spike baby?" She considers that, offering, "I've hired her, done some work checking on her. She's got a solid reputation, from what I hear, is a /very/ good mage, with extensive training in all sorts of high powered magics."

Samuel nods. "She fits the profile and I think she could bring a sense of maturity to the magical support we have.. and give Ally a -fucking reason to grow up-. Ally is used to being the biggest cannon in town.. and she's just not anymore."

Kassandra looks sour, shaking her head, "Not much chance of that. Lilith is turning her into a debutante, or training her for her house." The elf shakes her head, pointing with her fork, "Mark my words, that is going to turn out poorly."

Samuel shakes his head. "Lilith is turning in to a major disappointment. I am going to throw her in to Minos's '/Team of the unicorn/'.." Sarcasm all but drips from his tone, as he takes a bite of food, chewing methodically before continuing… "And be done with her. She's got a brain, but by god, she's starting to annoy me."

Kassandra chuckles, taking another bite, "I've invested a bit in trying to update her archaic goods. She actually showed up on an outside mission carrying barely more than a derringer. After the house, I thought she might have thought of being more prepared, but … no." She spears another bite, adding, "A sub-team of the so-called 'white hats' might not be a bad idea. Although .. Ms. Guns seems to have little problem threatening to kill people over her room mate slash girlfriend but seems squeemish elsetime." The woman shakes her head, eating a bit more.

Samuel nods. "I've always seen the Watchers as two fold, the white hat, public relations team that shows up to do the good deeds, and then us. The people who sweep things under the rug and 'disapear' problems wiht cement shoes and the willingness to to kill for the greater good."

"Probably not a bad idea. There are a number of problems that will take more than a firm word and a shake of a finger. And we have more than a few bleeding hearts already that I can see."

Samuel nods, mulling that over. "I'll talk to Alex about formalizing that. I don't think if Ally had not accidentally shot that girl, she would have had the stomach to do it as a rational act. I can appeciate her… concerns, but frankly, one girl, any girl, yours, mine or someone elses, is simply not worth the life of my team, nor the risk they present after such."

Kassandra sets her fork down, nodding. "And that is where there can be problems. Because, when push comes to shove, someone who is going to balk and lock up in that sort of situation is either going to get someone killed, or be a heck of a lot easier for some magic house or spirit to control, from what I've seen. Or else they will try to stop what needs to be done." She pushes her plate back, "Still, it isn't a bad idea in any case. And if nothing else, it will give Alex something to focus his energies on rather than cleaning the Warrens." Kassandra starts to rise, "I should probably go. I've imposed enough on your hospitality. Plus, I need to be in St. Paul in a few hours for a meeting."

Samuel nods to Kassandra, rising with her. "My hospitality is always open. If you need a place to get away, a few days to clear your head.. I have property in the Sioux Nation, up near billings, a chautau in the south of France and other properties around the world that are at your disposal. I tend to make my investments as real estate. They don't -usually- make more land."

Kassandra laughs, "Don't say that too loud or some R&D boy will be working on that by morning. But thank you, I appreciate the offer." She gathers her jacket, pulling it on. "Try to stay out of trouble while I'm gone, eh?"

Samuel nods his head. "I will, Silk. Safe travels."

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