We Three Kings

IC Time: Very late, May 21
Location: Conference Room, Castle Volterra
Synopsis: Aro, Marcus and Caius meet to discuss recent events and plans for the future.
Submitted by: Caius

After delivering the terms to the werewolves… terms that Caius felt were very generous, but kept the Volturi in control where it mattered, the white-haired ancient removes himself to the conference room. Much has happened and it's time for the brothers to speak again.

Aro closes the door firmly behind him as he enters, appearing troubled. "Good evening. Or morning, rather." He glances at the clock before taking his usual seat. "We have much to discuss." The door opens once more and Marcus comes in, merely nodding before slipping into his chair and immediately looking rather sullen at the thought of being present. Aro adds, "And it all seems to come back to our friends, the wolves…"

Caius spreads his hands. "Indeed. This all could have been avoided if we had been more careful in their extermination, but be that as it may, here they are. The terms have been delivered to the prisoners and the wolves will discuss them. I do not expect they will object overmuch. They have little enough ground to stand on."

"I don't know, brother, as I expressed before, it could be a blessing." Aro smiles slightly. "Ah. The terms sounded promising. You were very generous though, brother. Still, it is enough to put them in their place, and let their loyalty to us grow." He collects his long hair and tosses it over his back. "Indeed. I got a read on the male. He is quite sincere about peace. Who wouldn't be in his position? It would be easy for us to murder them again."

Marcus clears his throat and then says, devoid of emotion, "So why didn't we? This bores me. It's a repeat of what has happened in the past. Let's move on."

Caius flicks an annoyed glance at Marcus. "If they abide by them…. and that is an 'if', I will grant…. we are in a better position to manuver them. If they choose to break the terms, we are in no worse position than we are now." Caius begins to pace by the window, that nagging paranoid feeling rearing up again. "We stand to gain a great deal with minimal risk." And Caius is exactly /that/ kind of gambler.

Knowing Caius's mindset, Aro pipes in wisely: "I agree completely. And think, brothers… if Kiri's accident does actually employ a threat against us, we may have a whole new tool to use against our enemies. Abbey, in particular, is ruled much by emotion. It wouldn't be hard to harbor hatred in her soul for an opposing group… if, in fact, there is a threat." Aro crosses his legs at his ankles.

Marcus folds his arms in front of his chest and snorts. "You're too idealistic."

Caius nods. Aro could have read Caius's thoughts (and perhaps he did). It was the only reason he was willing to go along with this idea in the first place. "Idealistic, perhaps." Caius allows, "But a new piece in play that was not there before. The game has changed." He flicks his gaze from the unusually verbose Marcus, back to Aro. "So what troubles you, brother?"

"Troubled?" Aro smiles. "Am I so transparent to you, brother?" he teases lightly, leaning back in his chair. "My laptop was broken," he explains, though there seems to be something else that's bothering him, which he elaborates on: "Stasia was informed of the so very unfortunate death of her extended family." He smiles at Marcus and Caius. "Theresa was sent out, as you know. Stasia reacted as predicted, outwardly. However, I do have a slight fear that she may regress now. The rage the incident ignited is dangerous. It could trigger her to harbor a grudge and isolate herself… or she could do something foolish. Demetri is out watching her right now. We need to find a channel for her rage."

Since he has already said more than his usual two words, Marcus shrugs.

Caius smiles at that. "Ah, I was wondering when we would see the vampire that was on Aset's video. She'd become so passive, I'd gotten concerned." He moves to stand behind his chair, but doesn't sit. "What did you have in mind for her, then?"

Aro tilts his chair back furhter still. "I'm unsure. Putting her on an assignment right now is a risk. Perhaps now would be a good time to get her back into hunting humans… it is a good outlet of stress and anger, and the population in Rome has grown disgustingly high anyways. Lots of street trash that the world would never miss." Aro habitually steeples his hands. "But it might not be enough. It's too bad we made the treaty; having her kill one of the wolves might have been good."

Marcus seems to like that idea, adding a simple, "Here, here."

Aro pays no attention to Marcus. "Or we could find her a mate. Aldo has amused many women…"

Caius inclines his head. "I'd considered that. Putting her with Aldo to see if there is chemistry. He needs tempering just as much." Caius has done these things before, with some success. Hinting to Theresa that she should mentor Dante, when he turned up on their doorstep long ago worked out well. "She may simply find Aldo to be too juvenile. Does she need someone to look after, or someone to look after her?"

Aro finds some amusement in Caius's question, freely letting out a small chuckle. "History is my strong point, Caius. Psychology only comes at a close second." He seriously consider Caius's question. "A healthy partnership serves both functions at different times. I feel that to fill the emptiness she feels at the loss of her family, she may need someone to look after; but on the other hand, she's never had someone look after her. If she didn't resist, it might work well. I do agree, Aldo is too… indecisive about women." To put /that/ nicely.

"I'd told Aldo to get her feeding from humans before the ball." Caius comments, "Do you still want this to take place, or do you feel it should be assigned to someone else?" Caius knows Aro was annoyed with Aldo and might not want the sometimes impulsive vampire playing with Aro's new toy. "I want to avoid any more defections. We cannot afford that, from any of our new vampires. Ties outside the Volturi need to be managed or severed. Ties within strengthened and encouraged."

Aro thinks for a moment, swiveling slightly in his chair. "Yes. I've been unhappy with Aldo as of late. Let me think of someone to re-assign it to. Or I'll just do it myself," he adds, refraining from providing a reason. "Speaking of the ball. We should get Gianna to clear out one of the tourist inns in town. I don't want the likes of some of those vampires staying in my home; though others will certainly be welcome. It will be a good opportunity to view our subjects, I think."

Marcus grunts, unexcited for the event.

Caius raises a white brow at Aro's comment of undertaking a menial task himself, but lets the change of subject go. "Indeed. We may need to separate the guests from the rabble. And keep the Guard alert for any mistakes. Though it would be beyond foolish to do so." Caius is also interested in seeing the subjects and taking note of who /doesn't/ come. The latter will likely feed his paranoia. A mirthless smile is given to Marcus. "You need only endure it every couple millenia, brother."

At the mention of mistakes, Aro's smile fades and his eyes flash slightly. "If one human is even threatened in our beautiful city, there will be extreme punishment. I don't want anyone hindering the continued mentions of Volterra as remarkable in both the history of our kind and the humans," he expresses, impassioned. "I would assume that will be known." He allows a moment of rest before continuing on the next topic. "Has anyone been assigned to investigate the crash yet?"

Marcus glares at Caius. At least he has a mate to bring.

Caius smirks at Marcus's glare, an unpleasant expression. "It will be emphatically stated. And disobediance will be punished severely." Another unpleasant smile before the subject turns to Kiri's disappearance. "Not as of yet. With the prisoners, we cannot be spread too thin. But now that that matter is nearly resolved, I see no reason why a team could not be assigned. Those with technological saavy, perhaps."

Aro mentally runs through the ranks of the guard. "Let's keep Theresa as a go between with here and Forks. Aldo is due back with the two potential interests to us. Perhaps Dax and Dante might be good for it, along with Felix, in case trouble is accounted. Stasia and Inari need to stay in Volterra, in my opinion. What are your thoughts?" he asks his brothers.

Marcus is still hung up about the ball and just shrugs, relishing in his own sulleness.

Caius nods in agreement with Aro's choices. "Dax has, I've been told, expressed an interest in some adventuring outside of his computer lab. Dante is always reliable. As is Felix." Once Felix learned how to handle wolves, of course. "As to Inari, if you feel she cannot be trusted on a mission yet, I will concur. As with Stasia." The two young vampires are more of Aro's province, at this point.

Aro considers. "I'd like some time with Inari. She might do okay outside of Forks. DC is a large area, if she slips up, it won't be noticed. It's a dirty city, really." He frowns in disdain of the American capital, near where the plane incident occured. "But let's for sure send the other three." He sets his hands on the table. "Other matters?"

"Diemos. I want to know what he's up to and why he's coming here." Caius frowns. "I mislike having him here at all, but it's an opportunity to find out. He has some strange ideas and a strange organization to his coven. I want to know if he's getting too ambitious."

"Diemos… Diemos." Aro sifts through his extensive memory and comes up with a name, "Alexander. The fanatics, yes…" He raises a brow. "When is he coming here?" He frowns, wishing, for a moment, for the likes of Alice Cullen. "And what will he ask?"

"I received a message from the newborn companion of Stasia, wishing to come. The one created by Lev Krinov. Krinov apparently abandoned her and she joined with Diemos upon what seems to be a whim. Or a fear of being alone. They will arrive with Aldo, along with Anastasia Ravenwood. We can pursue recruitment with her as well." Caius continues to frown, pensive. "As to what he will ask, I cannot say."

Aro nods slightly. "I did hear she has a power. I'd like to see it," he says carefully. "Hopefully it's not as useless as some." He glances slyly at Marcus. Aro believes his own power to be much more useful than his brothers, perhaps arrogantly so. Aro consider Diemos. "He's unpredictable. I don't like it. If anything, I suppose we could use the newborn as a spy on Diemos, if we can get her alone. But I'm not sure we should make her a guard member. Newborns are too risky."

Marcus grunts in agreement.

Caius is less concerned with "special" vampires, having no unusual abilities himself. He privately considers Aro's arrogance to be unwarranted, but doesn't comment. Aro knows his opinions on the matter. "There is a task for every tool and a tool for every task." Caius replies, using one of his favorite sayings. He eyes Marcus, "Perhaps you can get a feel for the situation when they arrive."

Marcus looks reluctant, but nods. "Easy enough," he says flatly, rolling a pen between his fingers idly.
Aro uncrosses his legs and sits restlessly. "Your paranoia is rubbing off on me. Perhaps there's a connection between Kiri and Diemos," Aro says suddenly, debating the issue in his mind, then just as soon, dismissing it. "He'd be a fool to come here, though."

"I'm more concerned he will try to "poach" some of ours." Caius replies. "Or that he is here to gauge our strengths and look for weaknesses. We need to keep him close. But if he tries to 'headhunt'" He borrows the current corporate term. "I will dismember him and burn the pieces before him."

The last bit of Caius's speech ignites Marcus to move his stone-like features fractionally. "I could do it, if you wanted. You got to go wolf hunting."

Aro seems less focused on the technicalities. "Let's meet with him outside of the castle first," he suggests broadly.

Caius glances at Marcus sidelong, lips pursing. He doesn't like to share his amusements, but the reticient third brother has a point. "As it please you, brother." A nod, then back to Aro. "Outside the castle, or outside of Volterra?"

A faint glimmer in Marcus's eye is the only hint that he's mildly pleased before he goes back to sulking about something else.

"Either will do. So long as there's not access to our entire guard or castle. If Diemos slips up in Volterra, we'd have a nice reason to kill him, though. But it's not worth risking my precious city awards." Aro's face turns sour. "Our small fortress in the countryside might do. When are they due?"

"Soon. As Aldo has finished his task in Forks, with slightly more drama than intended, he will be returning with the guests. I imagine they will arrive in the next day or two." Caius nods at the idea of meeting them in the countryside fortress. "That will do, I am sure. We can prepare an adequate reception. Who shall be our envoys?" Naturally, the Volturi Elders can't be seen just /waiting/ on them.

"The twins are growing restless. We should send them," Aro suggests. "If Chelsea isn't needed here, she might have the want to get outside as well. If this Anastasia is acceptable, we could start the process right away. A hypnotic sort of power would work very well with many of our current powers," he says, more to himself.

Marcus grows restless in his chair, looking toward the clock.

Aro does too, but for different reasons than boredom. "I wonder if Stasia is back yet. And the wolves… how much time shall we give them to ponder our deal? I should think by dawn…"

Caius considers, "You may send Inari with them, if Chelsea can keep her in line. Inari was the original contact for Anastasia."
Marcus's restlessness is more or less ignored, but Aro's questions and his own restlessness earns another pale brow lift, indicating interest. "Give the wolves a full day. That is more than reasonable. They aren't going anywhere and I want them to truly understand how limited their options are. We must not seem to eager." He absently brushes a lock of white hair behind his ear. "As to the other, you sent Demetri with her, yes? Either she will come back on her own, or Demetri will fetch her back." He pauses, then adds deliberately, "Unless of course, she managed to elude him again." His red eyes are bright, curious to see how Aro responds.

Aro swivels in his chair again. "That's right. Yes, I think that will be a better test for Inari. Not so far from us. If she does well, she can investigate the plane incident." The comment about Demetri causes Aro to narrow his eyes somewhat. "Doubtful. Demetri has learned from his mistake." As one of his favorite toys, Aro doesn't take well to insults to Demetri, even if it's a hidden compliment to the newest addition. "And she won't leave. Not now." He smiles.

The comment was not so much about Demetri or Stasia, but more as a test for Aro's apparent fixation on their newest edition. Caius is a bit disappointed by Aro's sanguine response at the intimation that the young vampire might, in fact, leave. Or perhaps Aro caught the nuance. It wouldn't be the first time. Caius does, however, glance sidelong at Marcus once more, as if looking for some clue. "If you're certain, Aro." He feigns disinterest. "Oh, by the by, I hear that Natalia Krinov has re-emerged from whatever rock she was hiding under. And naturally, she's turned up in Forks." A snort. "Carlisle is probably beside himself."

Marcus smirks at Caius. Silence had its perks — he could easily understand his brothers' intentions toward each other and, more likely than not, could predict the way the other would respond. The game was old though, and it bored him sometimes. Today it elicited a smirk.

If Aro notices, he doesn't care, eager for the subject change after Caius's subtle prying. "Oh, yes, I did hear. Unsurprising that she turned back up. The guards that attended the wedding said Nikolev and Natalia were extremely pleasant to our friends the Cullens. Carlisle best not let his guard down."

Now how exactly does one interpret a 'smirk' from Marcus? It could be a confirmation or it could be mocking. However, getting any reaction from Marcus is an indication of something. Marcus doesn't usually bother with these games, or at least not interested enough in initiating his own. A slight tension in the ancient's jaw is the only hint of his consternation. His voice is smooth when he replies, "Indeed. The situation bears continued watching." A whisper of velvet is heard as he changes position. "Any other business, Aro?"

Marcus stands, a tacit vote for the meeting's conclusion.

Aro gazes upon him a moment, tempted to bring some old, dry issue up to bait his brother, but decides against it, rising himself. "Not at the moment. I shall try and make it to the dungeons tomorrow to hear out the wolves' decision along with you. We'll go from there," he declares, moving to the door — Marcus is already there. Once in the hall, Aro heads for the guards' quarters.

Caius rises also, pondering. He departs for his own chambers.

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