Jade Imperium - This Time It's Personal

punkey 2007-07-26 22:18:45
Davis looks a little surprised at Kilgore's appearance, and watches him closely.
punkey 2007-07-27 03:17:17
After thinking for a few seconds, Davis walks over to Max and takes him aside. "Let's talk for a few minutes, okay?" Davis says, and looks back to Hugh. "I'm going to talk to Dr. Kilgore for a bit, and then I have a session with Hethna. I'll catch up to you later on."

After the procession moves on, Davis turns to Max again. "What are you doing down here, Max?" he asks him in a curiously interested way.
Dieter 2007-07-27 04:32:58
Punkey wrote:

After thinking for a few seconds, Davis walks over to Max and takes him aside. "Let's talk for a few minutes, okay?" Davis says, and looks back to Hugh. "I'm going to talk to Dr. Kilgore for a bit, and then I have a session with Hethna. I'll catch up to you later on."

After the procession moves on, Davis turns to Max again. "What are you doing down here, Max?" he asks him in a curiously interested way.

Max bluntly addresses Davis.

"First of all, only my friends and people who have come under the same weird alien gunfire call me Max. It's Dr. Kilgore to you, Agent Davis...is that clear? Second of all, at this rate, I feel more at ease with our alien prisoners than some damn Spook that Washington sent to babysit us. At least I know what to expect from them. Right now, you're what my scientists buddies would call the FNG...Fucking New Guy. You want cooperation? I'll gladly give it to you...but bossing around the only person who even begins to understand the finer aspects of Turai technology is not going to win you any awards around here. That also goes for Dr. Tupolev and his crew. I know it's hard for you government-types to swallow the fact that all your fancy equipment was made by people who have spent the major portion of their lives in a lab rather than in snooping around some dank corner of the world snapping dicators' necks. We're dealing with an enemy whose knowledge of quantum physics and mechanical engineering drastically surpasses even my own exceedingly large amount of expertise and brain power. I'm not scared of you, Agent Davis, I'm scared of what those people (pointing to Arketta down the hall) are capable of doing with the stuff we haven't seen or even begun to conceptualize."

Max goes back to where Hugh and Arketta are currently residing.

"Captain, when you have a moment...I believe Agent Davis would also like to sit on my findings. I believe Arketta, that is her name, would probably like to visit our wonderful chowhall and experience the fine cuisine our base has to offer...save for maybe the Chili-Mac. That I wouldn't even wish upon our worst enemy...Present company included."
punkey 2007-07-27 05:13:03
Garrett walks up just as Kilgore finishes talking to Hugh, looking pissed off. "Now, Dr. Kilgore, I don't think you know what I'm doing here. I'm not here to stomp all over your sandbox. My job is strictly to monitor the prisoners, try to get information out of them, analyze that information and make strategic recommendations and, due to recent successes, try to flip them. I'm not here to get in the way of your operations or your research."

Garrett calms down a bit. "As far as I'm concerned, and I'm being honest here, what you and your team is doing is essential to what will surely be a growing problem with the Imperium. I'm not an idiot, I got my degrees, and I know enough to know that the instant that image of our night sky got sent out to the Imperium, a clock started ticking. We need you and your team, Doctor, if we stand a chance in hell of getting enough information to just make it through the next few months, let alone the coming invasion. I'm here at your service, not the other way around, and I'd hope that we could work together instead of at cross purposes. So...truce, Max?" He extends his hand.
Gatac 2007-07-27 12:30:51
(OOC: In lieu of letting the whole Pygmalion thing get out of control, here's a montage! Montage!)

Deciding that the nice big LCD monitor in the briefing room is going to waste, Hugh and Davis move the conference table out of the way and cart in a veritable wealth of gaming consoles. Hugh decides to start with something simple and sets up a Wii first. After a short explanation, Arketta gets her first taste of bowling. Davis inexplicably wins that tournament, with Hugh coming in second.

Arketta's a bit miffled at losing, so they switch to a PS2 and try some EyeToy gaming. This time, Arketta does better after she figures out how to stay in front of the camera. Encouraged by that, Davis suggests that they do some Guitar Hero. This is somewhat complicated by the fact that Arketta has no rhythm to speak off (or a totally alien one), so it's just her reaction speed - thankfully, that's good enough to pull off "Iron Man" on the third try. Davis notes that Hugh mouths the lyrics, but stops shy of asking him to sing along.

It is at this point that Arketta discovers the Halo 2 game package and absolutely insists that they let her try it. Hugh's not feeling all too good about that, but finally caves in and sets up the XBox. After five minutes, she's wiping the floor with them. Hugh blames his controller, Davis didn't honestly expect to win.

After a couple of long games (with Hugh and Arketta pretty much tied on the Halo front while Davis is back to observing his charge full-time), they're unceremoniously ejected by a nervous Staff Sergeant who tells them that they need the room for a briefing. Davis suggests that they grab a bite; there's a lot more people in the cantina than elsewhere, but Hugh's look and occasional "She's a VIP" explanations deter all curious people.

Turai love mustard, Davis concludes. Arketta literally drowns her french fries in it, then gets that weird "Oh crap it's burning in my mouth" face and grabs Hugh's water bottle from across the table, drinking it in one huge gulp.

Then she takes a deep breath and digs in again.

Between bites, she explains that Imperial food is "clear" (Hugh interprets that as "not spicy"). Davis makes a note to save some of the chili for Arketta at next week's TexMex Day.

After the meal, they walk Arketta back to her room. Along the way, there's a minor hicup - somebody decided to draw a pencil sketch of the Gateway, and somebody else decided to frame it and hang it in the hallway. Arketta touches the glass wistfully and says nothing for a few seconds until Hugh says that they need to go.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-07-27 17:11:17
Semo wipes warm-up sweat from his brow and idly fiddles with the rattan training batons while he waits for Agent Colomaya. Today's a straight-up sparring day, focusing on defanging the snake; limb destruction, disarms, any means to deprive the opponent of their weapon. Livia's been teaching him how specifically to deal with the Turai armor in the past few lessons and she finally arrives wearing the makeshift padded suit they worked up for training purposes.

"Hi Semo," she says. "I hope you're ready for today?"


The camera feed from Interrogation A casts a blue phosphor-glow on the surveillance room walls. Davis is preparing for Hethna Varos' interrogation. He'll be alone in there with the Imperial prisoner. Varos is shackled to the floor, just as he's been for every conversation with Davis or Sturgis or whoever they've sent. The old man's wounds healed slowly but they have healed.

"Hell-o, Agent Davees," Varos says. "What doos your barbarian mazters want from me now?"
fanchergw 2007-07-27 18:09:46
Semo looks up as Agent Colomaya enters. She has the padded armor on, so they'll probably be working on anti-armor techniques. Unfortunately, it covers up that cute little body of hers...

"Hey, Livia," he replies in greeting. "Yeah, I'm getting pretty used to getting my butt whipped."
CrazyIvan 2007-07-27 18:37:51
Angel spends most of the time trying to make himself unobtrusive. After wishing the weapons development team the best of luck - and putting in another good word for chemical-powered-metal-fragments as a platform of choice, he goes down to keep a quiet eye on the humanization of one of the two Turai prisoners, and watching Max - who he still doesn't call Max, despite aforementioned alien gunfire - chew out the spook. The only word of protest he utters the whole time is "hey! I like the Chili Mac..."

He does, honestly.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-07-27 19:07:09
"Good," Livia quips, whipping her baton towards Semo's right forearm. The rattan cracks across his arm and Semo fumbles his weapon.

Livia laughs. "Sorry, sorry, cheap shot, but they're not going to play fair either." She lunges again but Semo parries her blow, ricocheting off the baton and stinging Colomaya across the temple. Her helmet sucks it up with a canvassy whap!

"Head's armored, dear," she says, tapping her padded helmet for emphasis. She and Semo dance around the training mat, trading a few tentative blows. Livia fights to protect her vulnerable joints and neck; Semo can't land any blows there yet. They've been going at it now, and Semo's feeling the fatigue.

"Come on, Poopoo," Livia shouts. "Are you afraid to hit me 'cause I've got tits? Come on, I thought you were Delta!"
fanchergw 2007-07-27 19:45:44
"Aa!" Semo grunts as the baton slips from his suddenly-nerveless fingers. He just manages to scoop it up again as she comes at him again. She may be small, but she's quick - and ruthless.

They trade ineffectual blows for a couple minutes and Semo can feel himself getting tired. Noticing his fatigue, Livia starts taunting his manhood. However, the truth is, he really doesn't want to hurt her. Still, he doesn't want to look like a total wimp.

Stepping forward and turning slightly, he attempts to defang her left arm. Hoping to catch her by surprise by doing something different, he immediately follows with his right elbow at her face. The element of surprise is his best chance here.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-07-27 21:24:00
Semo's elbow strike gives him the distraction he needs to smack Livia's wrist, and her baton skitters across the mat.

"Good, good. Hit a nerve there, did I?" Colomaya picks up her baton again, spinning it as if to show that Semo didn't really hurt her. "Let's go once more and we'll take a break." She squares off and lunges in, but she's a bit too far away for a hit and Semo's not fooled by her feint - he hears padded feet on the training mat behind him and spins to see someone step right out from the training room wall, like they were standing there when the room was painted, and try to put Semo in a neck seal! Semo's acute senses save him, but the Turai-cloaked assailant still manages to snag Semo's left arm in a sloppy lock.

"They're invisible and they cheat, Poopoo," Livia explains. "Keep going."
punkey 2007-07-27 22:44:09
Davis moves the chair over to the corner, props his feet up on the table, and leans back. "Oh, nothing today. Today's just about you and me. A little one-on-one time, just the two of us. I want to know about you, Hethna." He rocks back forward on the chair. "My superiors, they're all about results. I like to get to know the people I talk to. So, Hethna, we've already talked about your job. Why did you do what you did? What did you like about your old job?"
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-07-28 23:22:15
Varos replies in Imperial. "To seek out and discover the countless treasures of the venerable Masters is an honor few citizens enjoy. Good work is rewarded with boons - " he taps his golden implants with his shackled hands " - and more besides. A Keeper may rise in rank until he or she joins the Court of Heavenly Purity itself. There, one's words move millions."
punkey 2007-07-29 05:06:06
Davis nods. "So those who seek knowledge and truth are rewarded with power. I like that system. It works that way here sometimes, but sometimes power is given to those who just go through the motions for the sake of having power. How about you, Hethna? Is power the attraction to you, or the knowledge itself?"
punkey 2007-07-29 17:22:01
"Knowledge is power." Davis pauses to think about this, and smiles. "I like it. It's just too bad you're refusing to help us, Hethna. I mean, you've been scattered all over who knows how many light years, looking for bits and pieces of what we're completely surrounded by here. We could learn a lot from each other."

Davis pauses again, and appears to disappear deep into thought. Then he suddenly perks up. "Hey, maybe it's not your policy to lock out a potential source of information, to refuse to learn all that you can from us. Maybe you're hung up by some short-sighted government policy. What is the Imperium's policy on gaining knowledge from other races about the Masters, or letting them know information about them?"
Gatac 2007-07-29 20:23:33
With Arketta safely locked away again, Hugh decides to practice his skills on the firing range - with both his stay in military prison and the heaps of work behind him, he can practically feel his skills atrophy. He checks out a SCAR-H and a shitload of ammunition - he's the only one on the range, and the lone Gunnery Sgt. doesn't feel like contradicting him. He picks a lane in the middle, hangs up his first target and loads the rifle.

God, he can still see that...golden thing. Holding Greene like a toy.

First shot - an 8. He really should be doing better at this range.

"Send Varos through now."

A 9...getting there.


Hugh's thumb snakes out to the fire selector and pops it to "A". He spits out a full magazine's worth of rage, tearing the target to little, tiny pieces. He feels strangely in control - he realizes at once when his rifle runs dry, properly secures it, pops out the mag and reaches for the next one.

"Um, Captain..." comes the Gunny's voice over the Intercom. "I don't mean to pry, but...are you just gonna smoke 'em? Because, if you are...uh, we got a simulator for that, you know? Easier on our stocks and the rifles."


Fifteen minutes later, Hugh stands in a darkened room with a modified SCAR. The rifle carries a laser device inserted like a boresight, and the pistol grip trails a light cable.

"Works just like the real thing," the Gunny says via Intercom. "Give me a thumbs up when you're ready."

Hugh raises his thumb.


Hugh grabs the dummy magazine from a nearby table and slams it into the mag well.


Hugh racks the action, chambering a round and cocking the rifle. The large screen ahead of him comes to life, displaying a bombed-out Serbian village. The Army simply doesn't know how the next battlefield will look like, and frankly, the jungle scenario looks like shit.


Hugh raises the rifle to his shoulder, flips the safety to "1" and steps off a small pedal; in response, the view of the village moves as Hugh's viewpoint travels forward, much like a 20 million railshooter. He moves the rifle to scan left and right. Suddenly, there's the telltale WHAP! of a turai rifle; Hugh steps of the pedal, stopping his virtual journey and ducking behind cover. He spots several turai closing in on his position, flips the selector to "A" and retaliates with short, controlled bursts. One turai goes down; the others seek cover and return fire. Hugh sees a whap gun shot blow through his cover; stepping on the pedal again, he rises out and moves forward, blowing the rest of his magazine on keeping their heads down.


Hugh drops the mag and grabs another one from the table, slams it home and racks the action. A turai sprints around the corner; Hugh's first shot misses, but the second one hits the armored warrior in the undersuit below his helmet, blowing the carotid open. Hugh notes with faint amusement that the Army has put some work into updating the FX.

With a few more warning shots, Hugh moves again. Two turai are put down as if he was skeet shooting when they rise from behind cover; he hears the telltale scream of a closing drone and empties the magazine into it, almost killing it. In lieu of reloading, he whips the rifle around, intent on smacking it away.

It is at this point that the simulation bluescreens. Hugh just stands there, wondering what the hell happened, when the Gunny comes back over the Intercom.

"Uh, Captain, we have...oh boy, I don't know what it is. I think it's the buttstock sensors, the whole close combat thing just got patched in last week...um, I want you to unload and safety, then we can reset and..."
"That'll be fine, Sarge," Hugh says, then sets down the rifle. "I think that's enough for the evening. You have a good one."
"Yes, Sir."

Hugh walks out of the shooting gallery vaguely dissatisfied. He knows he's missing something, but he's not sure what it is.


He decides to call it quits for the day.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-07-30 05:45:55
Varos perks up when Davis mentions being surrounded by Masters technology, but quickly covers his expression. "There is no policy save that which can be learned will be learned. There are precious few Others, and fewer still are even capable of using the Masters' gifts. If an Other-race wishes to trade something valuable enough for Master-tech, we will happily do so. We control the orbital Gates. What does it matter that one planet has a few lakas mana or a Gateforge? If there are kaukas that heal other species, we have yet to find them."

"You say you are surrounded by Master-tech, yet you can barely operate your Gateway. You bring no kaukas to battle. You have no orbital Gate. Your transports burn carbon. Is the Homeworld so battered your people live underground? Where are your children?"

"How many worlds have you found since the beast-world, Homeworlder? None?"
fanchergw 2007-07-30 19:12:50
"Hey, you wouldn't want me to lose all of the time..."

Just then, a soft sound behind him causes Semo to jink to the side and spin. A form, like a humanoid section of the wall come to life, comes at him. Fortunately, Semo's wariness keeps him from the submission hold, but his left arm is entangled.

Livia speaks, and Semo knows he now has two opponents to deal with. Immediately, he goes for an arm destruction on one of those holding his left using his right, then spins and flings the new opponent toward Livia. If nothing else, it should keep her from being able to attack him while he's held.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-07-30 19:40:44
Semo slams his baton into his grappler's visor, then slips the arm seal by thrusting into the armpit. Livia uses the distraction to deal Semo a punishing blow across his knee, but the agent forgets how tough Semo is. He shrugs off the blow and bodily throws the cloaked assailant into Livia. She clearly wasn't expecting to parry a man, and she and her partner go down in a tangle of limbs.

Colomaya and the armored man, who turns out to be Agent Sturgis of all people, get to their feet. Sturgis is shaking out his numb arm. Livia's trying to suppress a laugh. "All right, I'll give you that one. Take five. I've got to get your next surprise dressed."

Semo catches a glimpse of Captain Verrill in the corridor while draining a water bottle, but before he can say hello or inquire about Command's plans, Livia escorts the she-Turai, Arketta, into the practice room. Hugh follows her in.

"Hugh say if I beat you, I get watch White Fang," Arketta says.