Jade Imperium - This Time It's Personal

Gatac 2007-08-02 19:20:18
"We have better movies," Hugh says. "We have movies about a lot of things. Not only about dogs."
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-08-03 18:26:08
"See you tomorrow, then," Livia says, heading out of the training room.


Varos' first impression of his new quarters is less than stellar, but he quickly puts on an air of pleasure. Captain Reynolds' briefing room-turned suite is fairly spacious, and Varos realizes that it's better than his cell. A gilded cage is still a cage, but at least it's not a rusty one.

"Principle's in his quarters now," one of Varos' minders radios Davis.
punkey 2007-08-04 03:27:39
"Good, I'll there soon."


Davis knocks on the door and poke his head inside. "So, how's your first day going?"
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-08-04 03:42:38
"Better than yesterday," Varos answers. "And how has life at the bottom of a gravity well been for you, barbarian?" He doesn't spit it like he used to - this time it's tinted with sarcasm.
punkey 2007-08-04 07:02:52
Davis sighs, and sits down. "That's what I'm here about, your attitude. In case you didn't notice, you're in a pretty precarious position here. You're not going to find many friendly faces right now, but that's something that's going to be largely up to you in the coming weeks. I'm here to help, but I need to know a few things before we get started. First, what do you want to accomplish here?"
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-08-04 16:29:04
"My goals are simple, Garrett: I wish to help the Homeworld in its fight against my friends, family, and Emperor. I do this because there is no other real choice. I could rot in a cell or become so recalcitrant that you kill me, both painful examples of foolhardy bravery that would go unnoticed by my people."

"So show me your hoops and I will jump through them. Feed me your carrots, for I no longer care to discover how many nails are in your stick."
punkey 2007-08-06 20:51:47
"Well, that's unfortunate. I think you have a bright future here and that we could accomplish a lot together, but if that's what you believe is what you want, then that's what we'll have to work with for now. As a first step towards a hopefully more lasting partnership, Hethna, I'd like it if you were to try this out." He hands Varos a "Learn English" CD-ROM. "A lot of people around here are uneasy about you even being out of your cell, and you going around speaking Imperial at them isn't helping. If you could make the effort to learn English well enough to be fluent, it would really help with both my efforts to get the base to accept what we're doing here and your working relationship with the people on base."

Davis stands up. "You're only as much of a prisoner as you want to be, Hethna. I'm more than willing to give you as much freedom as you want, you just have to prove to me that you can be trusted."
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-08-06 21:41:34

Davis keeps tabs on Varos' activities inside his "ambassadorial suite". Eventually the old man puts the CD into his computer and, with difficulty, starts up the program.

"Hello. My name is-"

"Halloo. Mii namme eez Hethna Varos."

He clicks a few times and skips ahead.

"How far is it to the movie theater? Our movie starts at ten fifteen."

"How fa eez et to teh muva theeater? Owl muvi stahts at tan fifteen."

Davis sends a quick message to Hugh. Before too long, Davis hears Varos' door click open.

"Sagacious Keeper... Vat are you doing?" Arketta asks in English.

"Ash-Giver left me this data on the Homeworld language," Varos replies in Imperial. "I would speak to you alone, if your leash might be loosened for a few minutes." He turns to Hugh. "May I spek wit Arketta aloneh, Keptenverrl?"
Gatac 2007-08-06 22:25:29
Hugh puts on a stern face.

"Ambassador, the terms of Arketta's release require that she be monitored at all times. If you wish, we can provide you with a conference room and my guards will stay outside - but you will be under video and audio surveillance."

He knows we're watching him like a hawk...might as well not insult his intelligence.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-08-07 06:33:26
"Oh, no need for that then," Varos replies. "We shall just speak here."

"Turai Quis, the Ash-Giver tells me I must prove to them I can be trusted. You have apparently made more progress than I have. How?"

"I... I don't know. I have not tried to kill any of them for several months now. I answer their questions, and they give my dignitary status."

"As do I. And I have been rewarded similarly."

"Perhaps, Sagacious Keeper, it is because you resemble one of their worst villains of myth. Hugh has shown me a 'cartoon' where a dog that talks like men brings Old Man Withers to justice. You, pardon me for saying so, look much like their Old Man Withers, Varos."

"What? Is this true?" Varos looks at Hugh.
Gatac 2007-08-07 09:38:45
Hugh has to suppress a smirk.

"Ambassador, I can assure you that your appearance does not influence our security procedures."

No, ma'am. We at the FBI do not have a sense of humor we're aware of.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-08-07 15:10:48
"At any rate, Keeper," Arketta adds, "perhaps they trust me more than you because I am truthful when I say I want to help them."

"And you think I am lying? Don't you think they would know? The Ash-Giver may be a tarantek-spawned son of a whore but he is not stupid."

Arketta laughs. "This is Narsai, Keeper. If ever you were to turn your back on the Emperor, this is the place to do it. They should rule us-"


"See?! See? You can't help it! You've been their, their... dog for so long it's instinct!"

"And you think you're their friend now? You think you're a Homeworlder? Have they let you anywhere alone? Have you been outside? Seen the Homeworld's sky? We are still very much their prisoner."

Arketta storms off, shoving Hugh out of the doorway. She's headed for the elevators.
Gatac 2007-08-07 19:10:40
"Your interpersonal skills could stand some improvement, Ambassador." Hugh say, his tone dry.

He follows Arketta and stops next to her while she waits for the elevator.

"I can take you to see the sky, if you want that."
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-08-08 04:53:38
Arketta fixes Hugh with a oh, you'll -take- me to see it? look, then marches into the elevator car. Hugh steps in and she stabs the button for "S4".

Her VIP badge gets her by the security booths on sublevel 4 - that and the nods from Hugh following behind her.

Only once they're in the second elevator, making their way to "G", does Arketta speak. "You should stay back. If I reach the surface, then I may well be a Homeworlder. If I cannot, then Varos is right. I am still just a prisoner."

Meanwhile, Varos' reaction to his verbal prodding is a look of smug satisfaction. He pushes the "PLAY" button on his Learn English CD and resumes his lessons.

"How mooch does dat hat cust?"
Gatac 2007-08-08 08:01:04
After a few awkward seconds, Hugh speaks up.

"You're in Mesas Negras, smack in the middle of the desert in the western United States of America, about 20 miles away from the next piece of civilisation. I haven't been to the surface today...but if the forecast yesterday was right, it's a beautiful day."

He reaches into his pockets and produces both a set of car keys and his wallet.

"I can take you to Clarkson - that's a small town, it's about half an hour away with a car. From there, you could catch a bus ride to Albuquerque. That's a big city. It has an airport. You'll need money. I don't have a lot with me, but I've got some stashed away in my savings account."

The elevator pings as it reaches the surface level. Hugh presses the "open doors" button.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2007-08-09 20:54:33
Arketta walks up the steps, squinting at the sunlight streaming in through the tiny window in the door. She throws it open and steps out onto the hot asphalt, then the dirt. A deuce-and-a-half rumbles past, its diesel drowning out the wind sweeping the desert. She sifts some of the dry sand and dust through her fingers, looking around at the landscape for five, ten minutes.

Hugh's waiting there when she comes back down the stairs.

"Later, we will go to... to... Albakiki," she says in English.
Gatac 2007-08-09 21:06:59
Hugh nods to her as they ride the elevator back down.

"We have a figure of speech - 'a breath of fresh air'. Do you feel better now?"