If Buren thought that challenging Lazar would awaken his competitive spirit and at the same time would give him an additional motivation to accept this request, then he didn't have as good a grasp of his personality as he thought he did.
'What else are you hiding from me?' On the contrary, the fact that Buren who seemed to be a very controlled man was going to such extremes made Lazar more wary and reticent.
Lazar turned to Amandla, "One moment, please." He said to her as he brought the file closer to him and took it in his hands, which no longer allowed her to read its content with him.
Lazar's earlier words seemed meaningless to Andrew and Buren when they watched him almost tear the file out of Amandla's hands, 'And he's the one who's talking about respect.' Buren thought while rolling his eyes.
Amandla didn't take offense, she knew that when Lazar monopolized the file his intent wasn't to act like an asshole with her and when she saw how he was browsing through the file now that he had it in his hands, that confirmed it.
She couldn't see what he was reading, but it was enough to see the movements of his hands and eyes to understand it, '... Looks like you are searching something.'
When they had the file between them, Lazar was reading each line slowly and meticulously to remember every detail, now his gaze seemed to focus on nothing in particular and he wouldn't linger more than 15 seconds on a page before moving on to the next one.
It was as if he was convinced that there was something else hidden from him and that if he searched a little bit more he would inevitably understand what.
'Strange, I came to what seemed to be the conclusion and yet...' When Lazar looked at the number of pages he still had to go through, he realized that he still had about 20 to browse before reaching the end of the file. Instinctively, he understood that these pages were what he was looking for.
When Lazar moved to the page after that of the conclusion, Amandla saw a new change in him. For the first time he was staring at something specifically, 'You must have found what you was looking for.' She thought with a bit of enthusiasm.
However, although Lazar's face had lost some of its tension, he didn't really look more serene than that either, which led Amandla to believe that Lazar was considering that his discovery wasn't good news but that it was still a good thing that he came across it.
Lazar carefully examined the next 2 pages, then quickly flipped through the other ones to the end of the file. He then went back to a page and threw the file on the table so that everyone could see that particular page, especially Andrew.
Lazar didn't want a particular reaction from Andrew, he just wanted one, but when he saw that his mood was getting grave, he couldn't help but feel satisfied.
"What's this?" Lazar asked, pointing to the page and looking at Buren in the eyes with a calm expression so that he couldn't determine what was his opinion on what he had just seen.
In fact, Lazar didn't need any explanation, he understood very well the purpose of the informations given on the page he was showing. If he was asking Buren to explain, it was just to force him to recognize that purpose.
Amandla looked at the page and examined it. At first she was confused to see that in the upper half of the page there was a picture of the face of a beautiful young blonde woman with blue eyes and an ingenuous expression, but when she looked below the picture she thought she had the beginning of an explanation.
Underneath the picture there was a compartmentalized table of informations about this person and the first part of the table was entitled 'identity'. When Amandla had read 'Katelyn Ava Sullyvan' in this part, she remembered that Lazar had called the man in front of him 'Mr. Sullyvan' and she understood why he said he was here as a father, 'He want to save his daughter.'
During a second, she was almost a little touched and at least respectful toward Andrew because he had the humility to seek Lazar's help to save his daughter although Lazar seemed to hate him, 'Putting their pride aside for their children when they have to, that's what good parents do.'
"We can't save everyone." Buren vaguely answered Lazar.
"I'd like you to be more specific." Lazar insisted before going to another page and putting the file in Amandla's hands.
Buren and Lazar brought Amandla back to reality very quickly, it wasn't all black and white, Andrew was maybe a good father but that wasn't preventing him from being a prick, 'What a son of a bitch.' She thought with disgust as she frantically turned all the pages until the end of the file.
The last 20 pages of the file were presented in the same way; a picture, the identity of the person in the picture, the field in which the person concerned is studying at the M.I.T and several other indications that could be useful to find him or her when going on the site.
Amandla recognized some of the names that were written in the file so she understood what it was all about, 'Great, they are basically asking us to save only the brats of powerful people.' If their operations of exfiltration were really consisting in saving the people with the most influential parents and letting the others die, then immediately it seemed much less noble and that made Amandla less inclined to wanting to participate.
But still, she was sticking with the reasoning that the final decision was laying in Lazar's hands.
Buren had took his time to talk, it was clear that he had rethought about what he was going to say so as not to say something condamnable in Lazar's and Amandla's eyes, "Mr. Sullyvan is here as the representative of many powerful families wishing to reunite with their relatives. It pains me to say it, but they are the ones who dictate the rules, the country will need their support far too much in the coming period for us not to accede to this request..."
He wasn't showing it but internally Lazar was amused, 'I was naive to believe that this kind of corruption would no longer existed.' Andrew had Buren by the balls and Buren was doing his best to convince him that he had to do this operation when he himself didn't seem to think that he was capable of doing it. Laughable.
"...If you manage to bring back all the people in these pictures or in the eventuality that you don't bring back everyone, if you are able to give us proof of the death of those absent, then my army will execute your plan to take back the city, it's as simple as this." Buren concluded.