Faction HQ - Ithuriel
Ithuriel gets an exceptionally tired look from Magtok. He knew negotiations were going to be difficult, but dear lord, these people are the worst. What's he got in Storage Room C that's so important to these two, anyway? Ambriel's baby pictures? Some souvenir from the Halloween party where they met? A big stupid Thanksmas present he's been waiting half a decade to give to her? I'll bet it's something stupid like that. They know he's talking about the fate of the world, right? This is bigger than whatever ridiculous promise ring or friendship bracelet they're trying to bully out of him.
"Fine, sure, whatever. Storage Room C, deal. You can have whatever dumb trinket you want out of there no problem. In fact, you can have the entire storage room and everything in it if that's what it takes, because what I want-" Magtok pauses dramatically here, opening his can of soda and taking a quick swig.
"I want the Mystery Meat team back," he announces, in a calculated display that seems to backfire as the color drains right out of the room. Even the clones who weren't following along with the conversation suddenly drop whatever distractions were occupying their attention and glare icy daggers at the intruder.
"**** off," Haz practically growls, only keeping himself from hitting Magtok again because Flyboy's new waifu isn't a big fan of his interrogation philosophy. Mystery Meat, really? He's seriously going to mention the slave labor special ops team that cleaned up all his horrible lab accidents and haywire scientific abominations like it's totally okay? He's going to propose bringing it back like Haz doesn't wake up in cold sweats in the middle of the night, clutching his throat for fear that flesh-eating deer are going to come back and try to tear it out?
"No no, it's true! The lower levels of the MagCave are a mess," Mag insists, nominating himself for the 2019 Understatement of the Year Award. "There's like six floors of hell-monsters and haywire murder machines between me and the cloning labs and all the other really cool apocalypse-fighting toys. The Faction is the only mercenary company in the world that can be trusted with fighting through all those monsters, because you all grew up with them. Listen, I can pay. I'll pay whatever it takes. MERC's paying me a decent amount for this anti-slavery op they're running, and if that's not enough, I already gave you a freebie. You've got all sorts of potential connections with Riverside now, thanks to me pointing Harley your way."
"We've got plenty of money stashed away. What's to stop us from just killing you here, strolling on home to the MagCave, cleaning house, and saving the world ourselves?" Haz mimes shooting Magtok with his hand. The flesh-and-bone hand, since the other could actually shoot and kill someone, and he doesn't want anyone to think he's reaching for a weapon yet.
"Common decency, Haz. We're better than the Magtoks, remember?" Maybe, maybe not, but it's a core part of The Faction's overarching philosophy, and one that Ambriel believes wholeheartedly, even if the group's had to make a few morally questionable choices here and there. "He's right though, we've got plenty of money." Could've fooled me. Ithuriel certainly doesn't seem to believe it either.
"What we could use, though, is official, public recognition of our sovereignty. Can you do that? A guarantee that when MagCorp is up and running again, you guys don't come gunning for us to tie up some loose ends?" Wings asks, as if it were the simplest thing in the world. Crap. Should've known one of them would ask something like that. Magtok's expression sours, and he pauses to sip his drink again as he tries to figure out some clever lie that will get him out of this situation. He's only one little scout; he can't make that kind of a decision on behalf of the MagCollective. Hell, he'll be in enough hot water as it is for focusing on this Libitina situation and asking Faction for help with cleaning out the MagCave. The Admiral explicitly forbade him from chasing the former, and the latter is all kinds of verboten. There was a war and everything; these guys are outlaws.
"Well I can talk to the MagCollective, put in a good wor-" Magtok doesn't even get to finish his nonsense; an entire chorus of groans, declarations of bull feces, and heads shaking in disgust cut him off before he can go any further. They've lived with Magtoks their whole lives; they know this game, they know how this works. You're going to have to try a little harder than that to fool any of these guys.