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Aug 05, 2020 8:33 PM
an unusual recruitment (Starr Twins and the Alpha Pack in Nemeton)
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His face scrunches up a bit, "I've killed," he says shortly. 

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"We both have. First when Davin took over all the packs around here, and they didn't expect a couple twelve-year-olds to be as vicious as we were, and some more over the past two years, usually when someone attacked us." He pauses. "We've both tried to fight him before, of course. We don't anymore, though. If we fight him too hard he'll take it out on the other one." He rocks back on his heels, thinking, "He expects either of us might try to kill him if we had an opening. He knows how fear works. He doesn't leave them, though, usually. Guards he knows won't turn on him when he sleeps, and he's too strong for us when he's awake."

"And he wouldn't expect either of us to try to kill the whole pack."

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"Why do we need to kill all of them?" He asks abruptly, "The 'psychopaths', sure, and some of the 'sycophants', but the 'cowed' wouldn't hurt anyone if they could avoid it."

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"You'll need the power. What do you think will happen when other packs hear there's a vacancy? Your alpha has built himself quite the empire here, keeping the whole place to himself. Nature abhors a vacuum. The power an alpha gains from destroying their pack, though...all three of us know what that feels like. It's what makes us superior."

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"I don't want power that comes from the deaths of innocents."

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"Lex, we already talked about this-" 

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"No, Jay, you made a decision. I- I can't-" he shakes his head roughly, backing away, his eyes flashing gold and features starting to shift.

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He steps between Deucalion and the beta.

"Watch yourself."

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"Now, there's no call for that. If you think you can survive on your own, so be it. May the consequences to you and your brother be upon your head."

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Jamie gives the alphas an assessing glance and then steps up to Alex and grabs his hands, catching his eyes with his own. 

"We won't survive on our own," he says, staring Alex down. "Lemme break this down. We refuse and stay: we almost certainly all die eventually anyway when Davin gets tired of his current material, goes looking for more, and attracts Hunters. If not, we all look forward to a lifetime of torture. We refuse and run: same thing for everyone else, and even if Davin doesn't catch us - which he probably will - we'll be omegas, and most Hunters consider that fair game. We accept: at least we live, and escape, even if no one else does. We can't help them, Alex, we can only help ourselves."

Hesitantly, he adds, "I know you don't weigh stuff like this, but can you say I'm wrong?"

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"...No. But it's not right to make this decision for them."

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"I don't care. You know I don't care." 

 

Reluctantly, a little guiltily, he adds, "You know you can stop me if you really want to. If you'd really rather we keep on like this..."  

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They just stand there feeling mutually ashamed for a moment, if for different reasons. Then Alex nods and lets go, turning back to the alphas. "Okay," he swallows, "There's too many betas for one person to kill, even if he is an alpha. Too many for two people, even, especially if one of them is still a beta."

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"We'll all do our part. This is about freedom, Alex. The only true freedom comes when your oppressors are dead."

They discuss the plan. Deucalion is not a trusted ally of Davin's, but he is a suitable distraction. A new player on the field, keeping Davin's attention off the twins and on the new threat. Deucalion is a tool to stoke Davin's interest and ensure complacency on other fronts. Ennis will insinuate himself among the betas; clumsily enough that Davin sees it as an attempt at diplomacy, and not a way to place one of their strongest assets during an all-out brawl. Jamie will kill the alpha, even if it takes a bit of help.

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And Alex will guard him. Jamie will strike the final blow against the alpha, but there will be others with him - there always are. They fight better together than alone, anyway, and the point of this was to use their bond, wasn't it?

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Indeed. Ideally, Ennis can convince some of the betas to go for a hunt with him, while he and Kali help the twins with the rest of the pack- and, if necessary, Davin. In the meantime, they need to cultivate trust.

"You know the man better than I. What is his greatest weakness?"

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"Arrogance."

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"He thinks he's perfect," Jamie clarifies. "He's good at reading people and at planning for all reasonable situations but... If he's really not expecting something, he'd panic. He doesn't expect anyone to out-think him, or really ever beat him." 

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Nod.

"Ennis and Kali can play to their strengths. Ennis will play sympathetic and loyal ally to the betas, and Kali will play skeptical but reliable advisor to the alpha. Davin won't question them, because that's how they really feel- despite what they're willing to do. The real challenge, perhaps, is you, Alex. Davin will see through to your real intentions better than he can the rest of us. You're too simple- at your core, you're an honest man."

He looks to James.

"What does your brother need to perform this role?"

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He tilts his head to the side, paying attention to Alex's emotions for a moment, and then thinking.

"His emotions are conflicted enough Davin might not be able to get an accurate read on what is being planned, but... he might be able to tell we're planning something with you based on how Alex looks at you. Or at least that there's been some sort of interaction he didn't know about." He hums, "I think you'll need to come up with a reason to spend time around him when Davin does know about it."

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Nod.

"How likely is he to accept a somewhat prurient motive to avoid inquiring more specifically? Alternatively, Kali or Ennis can mention that he reminds me of myself, from a simpler time, which provides a convenient psychological explanation for my fixation, and might justify any unusual behavior on your brother's part."

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"That could work, yeah." 

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"I remind you of yourself." Alex repeats, disbelieving. 

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"He was different, before."

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"Dangerously naive, to the point where every alpha around me, every one of my betas, could see it. So few challenged me, of course, as long as I had the power. It was when I found myself vulnerable that I could finally see the world for what it is. I hope that you learn that lesson sooner than I did. You will, in order to earn your freedom."

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