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  1. #1


    (( Hi. Long-time Buzz lurker, first-time poster. This was originally supposed to be a short contribution to Meanwhile on Rubi-Ka, but... erm... it sorta ran away with itself and got a bit too long for that... :S So I dumped it here instead. I thought it would be a good way to knock out more than one bird with one stone; I'd originally planned on filling out a profile sheet for a new character I'd just started RPing on, but after discussing the idea with some other RPers I thought this might be a better way of letting you guys peek into some of the character's background instead. I had more fun writing it out this way too, anyway. It was also supposed to be something short to ease me back into creative writing after years of inactivity... but yeah, I wasn't expecting it to grow to the length it did. >< Oh well.

    Special thanks to Bubbacrush and Nulion for beta-reading and allowing me to mention their characters, and to all the Rimorians at the Newland Table who managed to get my creativity functioning again after so long in just two nights of in-character interaction. I haven't written anything in about 3 or 4 years, thanks to college basically killing off my creativity. And even before, I don't recall ever rounding off or finishing separate pieces of prose like this that weren't imbedded in on-going story threads where the interaction was already happening (my previous experiences with roleplaying before AO were mostly forum-based). So credit to y'all for managing to give me enough inspiration with which to finally squeeze out my first piece of prose. Ever.

    And yes, it grew so long I couldn't fit it all into one post, so the forum made me split it into three. But it *is* supposed to be read as all one continuous scene. Just for the record. Timeline-wise, it happens just after Kit's second evening at the Table. When she mentioned thinking she'd have to talk to a few people and make a few calls before turning in for the night, this is what she'd been referring to. The scene written below is what happens after she leaves the Table and heads elsewhere.

    And now I'll stop rambling and let you read it. :P Peace.
    Last edited by AhndraCorvid; Oct 11th, 2010 at 19:39:32.

  2. #2
    The door opened with the characteristic sharp hiss of pneumatic locks everywhere. The new arrival allowed herself to muse on the fact that despite centuries of technological advancement, nobody had seemed able or bothered to come up with a way to make such doors more discreet when operated... although bearing in mind the people she worked with, there were arguably advantages to making absolutely sure even a hacker passed out at the console from an all-night coding spree could hear you coming when you walked through that door.

    A voice interrupted her thoughts.

    "Kit! There you are. How were things?"

    "...enlightening. Evening, Rayne." She moved away from the door and stepped further into the large, high-ceilinged room that served as a central space for their organizational branch's headquarters on Rubi-Ka. "There's several things I'd like to go over with you, actually. If you have some time?"

    "Sure. I was just about to head into the lab, come with me."

    The two of them fell into step and entered an elevator, which eventually coasted to a gentle stop at one end of a room lined with strange-looking machinery. The air was tinged with the faint tang of burned silicon, and an ambient hum seemed to resonate from the walls. 'Rayne' wandered over to a bank of computer screens in one corner and sat down at the desk, booting up the console before looking back up at Kit, who remained standing. "So. What did you find out?"

    "I want to ask you something, actually. You were here this time last year, so you should remember what I'm talking about. One of the locals I spoke to described a kind of darkness that comes around the same time every year -- around this time -- and he made it sound like it would be a threat to people. I could make a joke about how you always like to drop me blind into the middle of firefights where I'm forced to hit the ground running, but in all seriousness I'd prefer to know what we're dealing with here. Kind of... you know. Helps me do my job."

    "Darkness?" Rayne laughed, before reaching over to one side of the console and inserting a small storage device into the computer. "Don't let 'em scare you, Kit. The yearly fog is harmless if annoying, and the pumpkin-headed critters aren't a threat. At most they're just target practice. Sure, they can catch the unprepared or reckless unawares, and some people got worried last year because there were other things that showed up along with the usual pumpkin hordes. But they were taken care of. Several of our allies were there in person to see it happen. It's nothing to be worried about. You just keep doing what you've always done, okay? It should feel familiar enough."

    "Alright. Sounds fair, I think."

    "You think?" Rayne looked up from the computer screen. "What's that supposed to mean?

    Kit paused. "You know, that same guy talked about how other stuff comes with the yearly darkness. Stuff that you don't see physically, but still affects people. I didn't really understand all of it because the way he talked sounded very figurative to me, like the language people used in old legends. But he seemed surprisingly insightful and perceptive."

    "You suggesting he knows something we don't?"

    "No, I'm more wondering if you could translate for me, so to speak. He used words like 'the Iron Throne', 'the farmer', 'the harvester' and his 'demons' a lot, and how people need to guard their minds from evil spirits or something. Are such terms known by another name that I'd find easier to understand?"

    Rayne made a disapproving face. "Sounds like another spiritually delusional type. There's a surprising number of those around here, you'll find." A frustrated sigh. "Look, here's how it is. Every time the yearly fog forms and those pumpkin critters show up, there's a proportion of people who like to associate it with some kinda 'otherworldly' connotation. They ramble on about how the 'evil darkness' will steal away our unsuspecting hearts and souls if we don't repent our sins and embrace the light or whatever. Ironically they spread the very kind of fear they claim to be warning against by sounding all doomy-gloomy about it when, really, it isn't actually that scary. We've gone up against these things before, Kit. If there was some kinda nefarious force at work we haven't seen nor felt it, and it has had no effect on our abilities as a unit. We didn't feel any different. Hence, it's no threat."

    "Right. I get it. I'm just confused what he meant by all those terms and thought maybe you could clear it up for me."

    Rayne waved one hand in a vague sort of gesture. "They're probably just names for the different types of critter that show up every year, and the effects the fog can have on more panicky and gullible people." The computer screen found itself abruptly ignored as Rayne swivelled in the chair to look directly at the only other person in the room. "Kit, if there was anything you really needed to know, I or one of the others would've told you by now. You know that."

    Kit appeared to finally opt to take some of the weight off her feet. She leaned against the spot where the wall turned a corner, next to the bank of computer terminals Rayne sat in front of, and noted faintly that she could feel the hum of the lab's machinery through the metal plating lining the room. She gave the other a meaningful look. "You didn't warn me about Tir. One of the other locals had to do that."

    Rayne turned back to the computer. "It was in the file I gave you before you went to the dish yesterday. Did you read it yet?"

    "No, because you said I should meet the locals before I opened it."

    "Well now that you've talked to some of them feel free to open it. In fact you should go do that after we're done talking here. Read it before you go to bed, it'll help stuff sink in. And for heavens sake, remember to filter what you hear from the locals. I suggested you head to the dish to become accustomed to their environment, not to let them mess with your head. You've never been the superstitious type so why should this fog thing even bother you?"

    Kit sighed. "I never said I took his words literally. Hence my trying to get you to put them into a more comprehendable form." She shrugged, still slouched against the wall. "Besides, he seemed innocent enough. Not like the yelling, raving lunatics people typically imagine when they think of spiritual zealots." She gave the other a long look. "And you're right, I've never been the superstitious kind. But if I were to think of anyone who could keep an open mind on this subject, I would've expected it to be you of all people, to be honest."

    "Those days are long past," came the sharp answer. A moment of con****uous silence followed. "And okay. Well. Have I cleared it up enough for you yet?"

    "I guess. Just as long as I'm given what I need to know to do my job. That's all I ever ask of any of you. I'm sure you'd all prefer that I'm able to do my job after all, right?" She paused for a moment in thought, before adding; "Even with this new insurance tech thing they have installed on this planet."

    Rayne's expression managed to soften a little. "Yeah we would. You know, technically that stuff isn't too new here, it's just new to you because you've only just gotten here. It'll take you a while to get used to." The faint smile faded as Rayne grew more matter-of-fact again. "But be careful not to get reliant on it. That trap is all too easy to fall into. It failed one of the more well-known members of the local Clan community fairly recently, actually. That's why our Gelinorean contact has been devoting more and more time to that Rangers program in the outzones; his passing has left a void in their midst."

    Kit nodded, shifting her weight again and folding her arms across her chest. "I heard. Bracias told me."

    "Okay. Good. Just be careful not to draw unwanted attention like that Clanner did, we get enough of it already as it is. The tech itself might be certified as reliable, but people've already developed weapons or devices that are designed specifically to nullify the safety net insurance would otherwise provide. Or the terminals could be messed with. Or... well, all that saved data has to be stored somewhere. People have been gaining unauthorized access to such databases ever since we invented them, so who knows when break-ins to this one will start becoming more commonplace. You know what I mean?" There was a pause while Rayne puzzled over something on the computer screen. "Plus, I don't trust it enough that I wouldn't believe it might just malfunction on some poor unfortunate soul in a freak accident, no matter how many of those safety certificates they shove in my face."

    Kit nodded again, the hint of a long-suffering look in her features that told of many years of being used to her companion's attempts to ensure a point was not only fully made, but also fully understood. "Okay. I got it. Don't fall back on insurance tech. Old habits would die hard in my line of work anyway, pun not intended."

    Rayne relented with a slight chuckle. "Just making sure."

    Kit allowed herself a weary smile. "I know." She looked down at the computer screen and absently watched Rayne work. After a moment her brow creased slightly in thought. "Are we allied with any of the locals in particular, by the way?"

    Rayne paused mid-type to mull the question over. "It's a bit of a muddled area, to be honest. We've had to team up with several new names already by necessity and for mutual benefit. But as a starting point, you'd already know who most of our people are if you saw them. Besides them, anybody you haven't met before would be introduced to you either as part of our alliance or as an external ally. Everyone else, such as -- most likely -- the people you've so far spoken to at the dish, are outside our circles and not part of the family. Though of course you're free to get to know them anyway." A sideways smile. "That spiritually-orientated one you mentioned, for example, doesn't sound like one of ours."

    "He said his name was 'Skribblez'," Kit responded. "But no, I don't remember hearing a name like that amongst our own either. I haven't come across anyone like him before, to be honest." She looked thoughtful again. "There was another one, slimly built and wearing a long cloak. He had spikes on his shoulders and claws coming out of his boots. I'm not sure if they were just part of his armor, but when he talked his voice sounded almost like a hissing animal. I don't know how else to describe it, but he seemed almost reptilian."

    Rayne looked up and met Kit's eyes again. "Reptilian? Like, transgenic reptilian?"

    "I don't know," Kit answered with a shrug. "I've only just met the guy, I have no idea."

    "Well... did you manage to discern whether he was related to the Project or not?"

    "He didn't talk about anything that even resembled the Project. It's not exactly something people just bring up in casual conversation. Wouldn't we already know about him if he was connected with it in some way anyway?"

    "Did you ask him?" Rayne seemed insistent.

    Kit threw both arms up into the air. "Hey, I don't go prying into other peoples' weird and wonderful histories if they don't pry into mine. I know how it gets. We all should."

    "Well did you at least catch his name?"

    "Ken," she answered, trying not to sound too exasperated. "Someone else called him Ken."

    "Ah, him." Rayne turned back to the computer and seemed to relax. "Yes, I've heard of Ken Age. No, he's not one of ours."

    Kit looked surprised. "You know him?"

    "I know of him. There is a difference."


    "Our Gelinorean friend is more familiar with him, if I remember right. Maybe you could ask her about him if you're curious."

    "Or I could just go back to the dish and see if he shows up. He seems amicable enough so far."

    "Yes, or that. Whichever way works for you, I suppose." Rayne shrugged, still facing the computer instead of Kit.

    Kit's attention drifted from Rayne to the console. "What're you doing anyway?"

  3. #3
    "Me?" Rayne afforded Kit a glance up from the computer screen, before leaning over to one side a little so the other could get a better view of the monitor. "Here, take a look for yourself. These are the latest batch of updates and reports from our off-world friends. They arrived early this morning, but I haven't had a chance to read or respond to them until now."

    Kit made an odd face. "Whatever happened to your datapad?"

    "It's not broken, Kit," Rayne scoffed. "I just don't like going through these things on what is essentially a glorified Etch-A-Sketch."

    Kit laughed. "They're not that bad..."

    "I know, I know, I'm exaggerating," admitted the other with a slight smirk. "But I really prefer to work at a fully functional station instead of something that feels limiting. This place--" Rayne stopped to motion at the lab around them. "--Has plenty such workstations to go around. It's convenient. Plus, multiple connected workstations means I can have more than one of these messages in front of me at any time. There're a lot of them to get through you know. One of them's from Quill, by the way."

    "Heh, the pistol-wielding bureaucrat. Still having her house-sit the old rustbucket for us, are you?" Kit quirked a smile.

    Rayne noted Kit's tone on identifying Quill. "Yes, she's almost annoyingly versatile like that isn't she... and nah, she's not aboard the ship. She's currently busy with... other matters. But she's keeping tabs on what's happening while she's gone, and she left her Deputy on duty in order to do so. He also comes in handy if we need to contact them. 'S all good, for now."

    "For now?" Kit gave the other a quizzical look.

    "Yes. I'm going to respond to that message and warn the Deputy we might need both of them planet-side soon. We're really starting to miss their toolset here."

    Kit grimaced. "I figured. Think they could do anything about my breed registration, for instance?"

    "I don't know. All I know is that whole mess was probably the final straw that made me think we needed them here. We have a lot of skill sets between us all, but none of us are really suited to dealing with paperwork." Rayne chuckled. "Speaking of which, has anyone else brought that discrepancy up with you yet?"

    Kit rolled her eyes. "Don't even get me started. I've already had enough 'what the heck' reactions to make me feel like a freak all over again. At least nobody's mistaken me for anything as outlandish as an alien or a mermaid yet."

    Rayne laughed. "Yeah, that one was pretty special. I think the guy was just... highly imaginative though, to be honest."

    "Well it made 'cyborg' seem tame by comparison, I'll give him that." Kit sighed. "But yeah... looking like a nanomage seems to be a mixed blessing so far. On the one hand, it's a handy excuse to get people to stop staring. What with nanomages being an everyday occurrence here and all. But then they find out I'm from off-planet, because it's been kind of easy for people to tell from my unfamiliarity with this place that I'm not from round here... and suddenly everyone's prying into my history." She scoffed in disgust.

    Rayne appeared to chew over the problem. "Well, think we ought to do something about it?"

    Kit continued to look frustrated. "I don't even know if I care anymore. I'm not going to hide from people that I'm not from round here when it's perfectly obvious they're going to be able to tell I'm new anyway, so I've been being open from the start. It's just annoyingly inevitable that they'll then mistake me for a nanomage, and I don't know how much detail they'll want from my answers to their questions. Some of them have managed not to make me uncomfortable, but others have gotten... persistent." She thought of Krystal. It occurred to her the woman had also seemed intently interested in Ken, as well as Kit herself.

    "Heh, and here we thought the similarity would've made settling in simpler, not more complicated..." Rayne sighed. "Why can't anything ever be easy?"

    That drew a low chuckle from Kit. "Search me. I think I've just come to expect that things are difficult by default. At least that way I can only be pleasantly surprised if they turn out to be simpler."

    Rayne had to give the idea merit. "I'd agree with you, but the others think I'm enough of a pessimist as it is. Amongst us? I guess that kinda says a lot. I think they're trying to get me to tone it down a bit."

    Kit smiled a little, then frowned as a thought occurred to her. "Have you told the couriers about the fog? If they're scheduled to arrive when I think they are, they're going to be walking right into the middle of it. I don't know if they'd be terribly pleased about having to fly their vehicles through some kind of unexpected gloomy murk."

    "I've told them. They're a resourceful pair though, I'm sure they'd find a way to deal with it even if I hadn't pre-warned them." Rayne glanced up from the screen to meet Kit's eyes for a second. "To tell you the truth they weren't altogether sure about coming here. Or more specifically, Blake didn't seem keen when I told him you'd be arriving before him and Kasey. He's been walking on eggshells around you, ever since you told him being qualified to perform surgery on the human anatomy is just another way of saying you know how to most efficiently take someone's body apart in any given scenario." The tone was almost accusing, but the facial expression reflected in the computer screen betrayed Rayne's amusement.

    Kit didn't attempt to stop the grin from spreading across her face. "I thought it was in his best interests to know that you shouldn't piss off the person who's supposed to be keeping you alive in combat, that's all. Just trying to look out for him."

    "Of course you were." Rayne chuckled. "Just remember, I know he can be an arrogant jerk sometimes, but if he knows where the boundaries are then don't go over the top on him. I need him to behave himself, not to be jumping at shadows around us all."

    Kit nodded in the affirmative. "Alright. I'll go easy on him. He hasn't given me any trouble since then, anyway." The humor crept back into her voice. "Can't imagine why."

  4. #4
    Rayne only smirked before moving the conversation on. "One more thing. I doubt you'd've forgotten but I have to double-check anyway: are you still up for that excursion into the Shadowlands tomorrow?"

    Kit nodded. "Yes, but I have yet to call Shifter and check if he's still up for it. You know what he's like..."

    Now it was Rayne's turn to look long-suffering. "I'm all too familiar with what he's like, Kit. He hasn't changed one bit since you saw him last, you know. He arrives late for every single one of our staff meetings, and last summer instead of turning up at all he went to attend some kind of cross-factional party where they were giving out free alcohol and various novelty items. As if that wasn't bad enough, he also thought it would be an awesome idea to collect every single squeaky plastic yellow duck they had at the party and fill one of our organizational notum silos with them. When Bracias went to open the door and collect some of the notum we had in storage, he found himself quite literally buried under a tidal wave. It took us a while to dig him out."

    Kit erupted in laughter, despite herself. "Oh goodness..."

    "Yeah, he's been paying for it though." Rayne looked smug. "I've made sure he won't forget about tomorrow, don't worry. He'll be at the rendezvous point at 0900 sharp, as planned."

    "9 AM, huh?" Kit was still trying to suppress her laughter. "You really aren't going easy on him, are you? You know he's not a morning person."

    Rayne returned the amusement with a conspiratorial smirk. "You can't be half-hearted when you need that guy to do something. You've gotta put your foot down on him."

    "I know, but technically he's not even in our branch. He's a free agent. I'm surprised he's even agreed to work with us as much as he already has."

    Rayne shrugged. "He's here for the same reasons we are, Kit. Remember, mutual benefit."

    "And what would those reasons be?"

    Rayne turned to give Kit a level look before answering. "Curiosity."

    Kit blinked. "...that's it?"

    "Pfft. No, of course not. But that's the most concise way of putting it without making this conversation go on for a further two hours. I'm not sure if you've gathered from what you know so far about this planet... but there's something really interesting going on here, Kit. Something significant. We don't know what it is -- I'm not even sure the locals know, at least not all of them -- but I want us to be there to witness what happens when they start uncovering what it is about this planet that makes it tick. There's more going on here than meets the eye."

    Kit folded her arms across her chest again. "I'm kind of hoping you're not telling me we just traded one huge conspiracy for another... I thought we all wanted to be done with living in webs of lies."

    "I'm afraid we might've done." Rayne held up a hand to stall Kit when the other looked about to argue. "But think about this first, Kit. What would we have done after Moebius was disbanded if we hadn't ended up here almost by sheer dumb luck? I mean, could you honestly look any of us in the eye and say you believe every single one of us would've just been able to reintegrate completely into normal everyday civilian society? Waking up every morning to work a typical nine-to-five desk job, and being able to adjust to that? Or that our members would be able to mesh well with standard military units?" Rayne paused and nodded when Kit didn't offer a rebuttal. "Yeah. That's why they let us go, Kit. That's why nobody lifted a finger when we just up and left in a ship one day after it was all over and the dust had started to settle. That's why the authorities didn't come looking for us. That's why they didn't chase us. That's why they didn't try to tell us what to do. They just let us figure it out for ourselves because they knew as much as we did that we needed to be able to do that. They had nothing to offer us, Kit. No solutions, no retirement schemes, no happy comfortable endings like you see in the movies. To be perfectly frank I'm just glad they didn't decide to round us all up and lock us away for lack of anything else to do about us."

    Kit managed a bitter kind of chuckle. "If they had, the media would've had a field day with that kind of story. You know they wouldn't have been able to cover that up completely. There was already a media frenzy all over things as it was."

    Rayne nodded. "Right. And actually looking back I'm glad they got bored of it and moved on after a while. Means news of it didn't spread too far from the point of origin, as big as the span of that seemed to us at the time. Nevertheless, we're so far away that no-one here seems to have heard of any of it, especially with their own drama to mull over. Nobody knows who we are, Kit. We could even be completely honest about the Project and they'd probably think we were just making up bull. It's a totally fresh start. It's exactly what we've been looking for."

    "And a great start I'm making, being the so-called nanomage from off-world and all," Kit quipped. "Plus now you've told me there's another conspiracy and--"

    "They'll get over your resemblance to their nano breed sooner or later," Rayne assured, cutting her off. "This place is pretty isolated and only a portion of the planet's been terraformed. The side effect is that eventually, everybody starts to know or hear about everybody else, because it just isn't that densely populated. As for the 'conspiracy'... like I already asked, what do you think we would've done otherwise?"

    Kit shrugged vaguely. "We managed alright until stumbling across this place."

    "Maybe. But we weren't satisfied. Everyone was restless as hell, yourself included. Doing grunt work as mercenaries just wasn't cutting it. It paid the bills, sure. But it felt... well, empty. Our heads were still buried in Moebius eventhough it was long dead. You know that as well as any of us. I suppose you could've called us rebels without a cause, in a way." Rayne offered Kit a sidelong grin at that, which managed to tug a similarly amused expression from the other even if only for a moment. "Cliched as it sounds, Kit? We were always gonna be drawn to this place. There's so much going on here it would've just been a matter of time before one of us learned of it and came by to take a closer look. Back again to the curiosity: it's a highly contagious thing, you know." Another little smirk. "Truth of the matter is, we're here because for all intents and purposes we need to be here. So for better or worse, here we are. Guess we'll see what we shall see."

    Kit smiled at Rayne as the other finished, but leaned her head back against the wall as if suddenly very tired. Eventually, she managed to gather a verbal response. "I can't believe you pulled us into this." The words would have been accusing if it hadn't been for that faint smile still present on her lips.

    "I can't even tell if you're pissed at me right now," Rayne replied with a soft chuckle. "Are you?"

    Kit sighed. "I don't even know, Rayne. I just feel like I've had a lot to take in today and I'm going to need time to make sense of it all. Maybe I should go sleep on it."

    The other watched her carefully, as if attempting to gauge her reaction, then nodded, apparently in acceptance. "Yeah. Maybe you should. You'll need to be awake early tomorrow anyway remember. Oh, and tell Shifter to bring our little shade friend along for the excursion. He'll know who I mean and where to find them."

    "Alright, I'll pass that on." Kit straightened up from where she'd been leaning against the wall and prepared to exit the room, but Rayne made eye contact one more time.

    "They'll be able to fill you in on some of what we've been talking about, although I'm not sure 'conspiracy' is the right word to use. Perhaps 'mystery' is a better word. They'll be starting you off with a brief history lesson, so to speak. To get you caught up. Make sure you read that file, too. It'll give you the starting blocks you'll need to follow what they'll be yammering about." Rayne glanced around the lab. "There's also a list of all the land areas we control, including which of the organizational 'bases' -- like this one we're in right now -- belong to us and our allies. The largest one's in Newland Desert." There was a pause. "Just uh... don't go using the pool in plot number three yet."

    Kit blinked. "How come?"

    "Those plastic ducks we had to dig Bracias out of? Yeah, we never really figured out what to do with them, so we just stuffed them in the unused pool in plot number three as a means of storage until we come up with something. Preferably something that involves humiliation on Shifter's part, though knowing him he'll improvise a way to avoid it somehow." Rayne looked annoyed again. "If we didn't need his more useful skills I wouldn't even tolerate keeping him around to bother us."

    Kit chuckled. "I'll keep that in mind. And hey, maybe it's just his way of trying to get us all to lighten up a bit. A laugh once in a while is quite the opposite of harmful, and goodness knows there wasn't much to laugh about in the old days..."

    Rayne offered Kit a faint smile. "Yeah, maybe. But even then I just wish he wasn't so damn disruptive about it."

    Kit chuckled again. "I know. And I'd probably be inclined to agree with you on that part, at least." She turned to go. "Goodnight, Rayne. Don't tire yourself out on those reports too much."

    "Heh, I'll try not to. Sleep well, Kit."

    Kit stepped into the elevator, and in another few moments was gone from sight. Now alone in the lab, the remaining occupant leaned back in the chair and stretched casually, before swivelling to face an adjacent workstation. Ignoring the previous screen, Rayne reached down and tapped at a spot on the console. The screen began to load, and Rayne began to type. After several minutes of nothing more than white text on a black background, the console beeped and video footage began to play. A female voice, apparently intending to sound friendly but inevitably coming across as more annoyingly perky, emitted from the monitor. The bad sound and picture quality quickly identified the footage as an auto-message recording.

    "Greetings! This is Supervisor Dyna Scott, callsign Silver Quill. Thank-you for paging my private channel! However, as I'm currently unable to answer your call in person, you have been redirected to my automated messaging service. I'm very sorry for any inconvenience I might have caused you, and will try to get back to you as soon as possible. Please press 1 to leave a message, or press 2 to try and contact my deputy. Have a nice day!"

    Rayne pressed "2" on the keyboard, grumbling all the while. "Man... thousands of years of technological evolution and our answering machines still sound as lame as the first day they were invented. Goddammit, I hope mine isn't this embarassing."

    Quill's visage wiped itself from the monitor, and was replaced by a blank screen with what appeared to be a loading bar. Rayne waited expectantly. Several moments later, a clearer image blinked into view. Rayne was able to make out familiar-looking paneling on the walls around a black-armored figure filling most of the screen. The form was clearly robotic -- a Guardian droid with a curved sword strapped to its back. The model was popular with bureaucrats as a bodyguard and assistant, though this particular individual had no doubt received extensive customizations thanks to its owner's former association with the Moebius project. Rayne gazed levelly at the pulsing blue horizontal slit that served as the robot's single cycloptic eye.

    "Hello, Mister Deputy."

    The droid appeared to nod its head in greeting. "Rayne."

    Rayne gave it a teasing smile. "I hope I haven't simply reached another pre-recording."

    "No Rayne, this is a live feed. You were mindful enough to include your personal identifier in the signal you sent to this frequency, so I knew it was safe to respond. How may I be of assistance?"

    "I got the message you passed on from Quill. I realize you probably weren't expecting such a direct way of contacting you in response, but I didn't really feel like a textual message would be enough to cut it. I needed to talk to you face to face. There's... a lot of things I need to go over. With both of you."

    "Very well. Shall I contact her and request she return under urgency, so that we may arrange a meeting?"

    "No it's fine, let her deal with whatever it is she needs to do first. But when she gets back, I'd like you to brief her fully on what I'm about to tell you."

    The droid nodded once. "As you wish. I will do that, then."

    "Thanks." Rayne peered at the surrounding paneling again. "Is there anyone else on the bridge with you?"

    "No. The crew retired to rest some twenty minutes ago. I offered to man the bridge alone. We agreed I would contact them if any situations arise, but otherwise I do not expect them to return for several hours."

    "Perfect. I hope you're sitting comfortably, Mister Deputy. We're going to need at least a few of those hours. Is that acceptable?"

    "I have time."

    Rayne smiled in satisfaction, steepling the fingers of both hands together in front of the video screen.

    "Good. Then let's begin."

  5. #5

  6. #6
    (( OOh, shiney. Ahn, didnt lknew you rp'ed, too. It seems i am being drawn into it again, too... gj, btw))
    Level 200 Nanomage Nano-Technician on Rimor speaking... - Unit Commander of Knights of Ka
    Zzzzzzwap* (inofficial main),
    Krisplin* (main, but buff whore),
    Theophrastus* (piercing doc - aka froob shade)
    Kosminski (Shade - Yes, i went paid...)
    Codeleet (s10 & pvp)
    ~ Founder of TL5+ - Rimor TL5+ froob raid force ~ || ~ My Tweet... ~

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by DocJones View Post
    (( OOh, shiney. Ahn, didnt lknew you rp'ed, too. It seems i am being drawn into it again, too... gj, btw))
    (( Haha, I could say the same about you. Apparently it's a small Ruki-Ka. ;P ))

  8. #8
    ((Ooooo....I like! This was verrry well-written! I'd love to see where this goes *schemes to RP more with people* ))
    220 Finalizer (FINALLY, after 3 years without a single ding!) Nulion, Squad Commander (And Council of Truth Clerical Staffer) of Alpha Omega

    Once upon a time, I dreamt I was a butterfly...Suddenly I awoke...Now, I do not know whether I was then
    a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming that I am a man. - Chuang Tzu

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