PreludeSeptember 10, 2388
Gilgamesh City, Ganymede, Jove’s Court
Quentin Bazran clipped purposefully along the cold, dimly lit corridor that led to his private offices. On most occasions when he strode this hallway Quentin bemoaned the gloominess of the passage. It had always seemed ridiculous to him that, on the top floors in one of the tallest buildings of Ganymede’s largest city, the lighting was woefully inadequate (especially given the fact that all of Ganymede’s inhabited cities were built of the day-side of the tidally locked moon). Today, though, given the news he had just received, the dreariness seemed appropriate.
“Is everything all right, Mr. Bazran,” queried the lovely young woman who occupied the desk in the reception area of his suite.
“No, Bambi,” Quentin murmured after a sullen moment of contemplation, “I’m afraid everything is far from all right.
I… uh…” his purposeful stride faltered and he forced himself to swallow the knot that had risen from his stomach and into his throat before he dared to meet the girls limpid, blue eyes, “I’ve just received word that Lucius Blicker has passed away.”
Bambi 592311’s eyes welled with tears even faster than she could clasp a perfectly manicured hand over her cupids-bow lips to stifle the shocked and saddened gasp that Mr. Bazran’s statement had evoked. “Oh,” she choked from behind her slender fingers as she wilted back into her seat, “Oh, Mr. Bazran, I am… so sorry... I… you must be…I…”
Lucius Blicker had been Mr. Bazran’s best friend and closest confidante for as long as she had worked at Bazran, Grey & Associates, and longer still judging from the holos and vid-frames of the pair that dotted Bazran’s office. It was said that Mr Blicker had started his career as a hauler, making the standard supply runs between Earth, Luna, and Jove’s court offset, on occasion, with circuit to the Martian or Venusian outposts. Bambi had heard the tales of those early days recounted numerous times over the years by both Mr Bazran and Lucius, himself. The tales that she (or anyone else she had ever asked about it, for that matter) had never heard, though, were those that concerned the man’s transition from a simple albeit well-known and reputable hauler into the enigmatic researcher, engineer, and philanthropist with whom the name Lucius Blicker had become associated during the Jovian War. Those stories, as far as Bambi 592311 could ever fathom, were the private domain of the conversations that Quentin and Lucius had whenever the doors to Mr Bazran’s offices were sealed shut during one of Blicker’s visits.
“…Is there anything I can do for you, sir?”
“Clear my agenda for the day, Bambi,” Bazran replied with a blink before continuing towards his office, “and send Lucius’ file to my console, please.” The lawyer cleared his throat, smoothed the lapels of his jacket, and before closing the doors behind him added; “I’ll have some transmissions for you to send in the next hour, Bambi, and, after that, you can have the rest of the day...”
((More to come, folks... Just figured I'd get this part up and give the lot of you some time to think and, if you feel like it, post as to your character's current whereabouts/situation/frame of mind/whatever...))
Cherri couldn't help but give a yawn, stretching her arms above her head, careful not to bump the virtual reality goggles she wore, or to tangle the cords connecting her computer to her special virtual gloves. At the same time, she knew her movements were being instantly copied to her avatar on the LaserNet, despite it being only in first-person view, so she couldn't see it unless she looked into a virtual mirror.
Today was being such a drag. She was supposed to meet up with a potential client online, but they just went ahead and canceled without prior notice. Sure, she knew that things come up, but this was ridiculous.
Not only that, but the online game that she normally went to, Decadonia, was offline due to needed maintenance on the server's internal core. It was undoubtedly among the best games, at least in her opinion, for it was not simply hack-and-slash adventure, but actually held a lot of non-combat oriented material, perfect for her. She also helped program part of the game as well, so that was another reason she was dedicated to it. Yet, even in this day and age, hardware still broke down and needed maintenance from time to time... even virtual hardware.
In her virtual house, her computer's point-of-origin node, she flew over to a wardrobe, with a folding three paned mirror on top of it. Absently, she pulled out a hairbrush and combed her silvery hair. It wasn't for a practical purpose, since avatar appearances weren't set to change unless programmed to, and she couldn't feel it, but it was a habit for her. Watching the result of more than a month's worth of programming and graphic design was vain in a way, but seeing her avatar's silvery hair waver from being combed was mesmerizing, and usually helped calm her.
Not today though. She was still restless.
"Maybe I should just log out and practice with my rapier..." Cherri thought aloud, another habit of hers when she was alone. Then she remembered, "Oh! The third cycle programming for Decadonia still isn't finished... I could work on that."
Inside her virtual house, she flew out of the room, down a hallway, and into a very different room. This one had white walls, giving the illusion of a void in the cyberspace, with only a wooden chair in the middle of it. Upon her entrance, a console appeared, looking like that of the very old computers. However, it was simplified to just a keyboard, and a display for text, both seemingly made out of a pale blue light.
"I know the others like the fancy programming languages that leave very little to do, but I still like making the code itself." Cherri murmured. Even though she was sitting in reality, she had her avatar sit in the wooden chair. She just liked having things be as realistic as possible, even if she was a butterfly-winged humanoid that otherwise couldn't exist. Then again, the way cybernetics, wetware and surgery were going, it could very well be possible in the near future... Cherri shook her head. She was getting off track. Without further delay, she began typing lines of codes at a leisurely pace. There was no real deadline for this, so she was in no hurry...
Posted on 2009-08-17 at 15:50:38.
Edited on 2009-08-17 at 21:41:39 by Reralae
Rowan stepped from her aircar under the portico of the family home and saw one of the “motorpool” personnel coming to garage it. Forest Home was one of the few estates that still had a number of paid domestics for the dwellings, grounds and other things. She grabbed up her bag and headed for the front door. Forest Home was the embodiment of a Colonial mansion perched on rolling Virginia hills amid the forested parklands surrounding its 4000 acres. The original had been lovingly rebuilt by her grandfather. On the outside and inside it was much the same as the original, built in 1835, but the new structure was built of the latest fireproof, and long lasting structural materials and now housed all the latest in modern technology and conveniences. The door recognized her and opened before she reached it.
Rowan glanced at the large pair of mirror on either side to the foyer. They revealed a tall slender figure in a neat brown suit, a fitted jacket over a bit of frilled white shirt, over a matching knee length, skirt-pants and high brown boots encasing her long, elegant legs. Her fiery red hair blazed in the natural light from the high windows in the foyer was caught back with a gold barrette at the base of her skull. . Shiny tendrils had escaped to coil about her face, softening her normal “business” look. She turned to one of the two sweeping staircases the cuved up the second level where her rooms were.
She trotted up the stairs. The day had been spent standing and sitting. First she had been up at dawn and to the hospital well before surgery as an assistant to the lead surgeon. Then came 3 hours of delicate surgery to replace young Christopher’s heart. Afterward she sat with him in Post OP until he wakened. Seeing his rosy pink features instead of the pale bluish hue was like the best present she had every gotten, once she knew he was well recovered she left for home. It was a quick trip from Washington Memorial Hosp. to the green rolling hills of Virginia and Forest Home. She set the aircar on auto pilot and rested. Her rooms consisted of a sitting room, office, bedroom and bathroom, most of the furniture was antique, pieces that fit into the history of the mansion. She quickly crossed to the bedroom and began to change, she needed some outdoor exercise and the neat and trim brown outfit she wore was not made for that. She quickly undressed and redressed in her riding things, hung up her clothes and left the room as if she had never been in it.
“Com on,” she announced into the room.
“Com on,” came a instrumental reply.
“Henry, here” the reply came moments later from hidden speakers.
“Henry, please ready, Flame I will be there shortly.”
“Yes, Miss Rowan, he needs a good run.”
Shortly after Rowan appear at the main barn where the families personal mounts were stabled. She was clad in a forest green polo shirt, which accented her trim waist and her full breasts. While some women wanted larger breasts, she wished she had smaller. By keeping fit she had kept them down to a full C cup. Her rust breeches fitted like a second skin and her brown field boots encased her long lower leg.
Flame was standing in the crossties saddled and bridled. Seeing her, the big stallion began to dance in place. He was magnificent, a red Friesian of size and refinement. Luckily, some farsighted Friesian breeders in the early 21st century had started to bring back the red Friesian, They bred the best to the best and established a cadre of fine red Friesians, some decades later Holland’s purebred association was forced to rerecognize them. Flame tossed his head, his golden flaxen mane and forelock flying into the air. His flaxen mane and tail, forelock and feathering made him all the more, rare.
The moment she unclipped him, he stood rock still and grabbing a hunk of mane, Rowan leaped into the saddle.
“He’s set to go, Miss Rowan, Henry stepped up beside Rowan leg. “Knew you’d be wanting to ride after your surgery today.” Henry had been a jockey in his youth, then a trainer of the family’s thoroughbreds. He had retired and not retired but Henry could not give up working with horses.. With his son taking over his position, Henry asked if he could help out at the home stable. Her grandfather had given him a new home on the property, but he choose to live in the room apartment about the stable, leaving the house to his son and young family.
“I can feel that, Henry.” And she did for the stallion’s muscles were tight and responsive, rippling under her legs.
“I going to do the south circuit, so I should be back in before twilight.”
Once out of the barn and on the groomed bridle path, Rowan gave leave to Flame to trot out. The stallion moved out at a spanking trot, one that Friesians were famous for.
Ken 13976 had started his day like any other. After getting out of bed and stripping it he had a shower. Choosing some lose fitting casual clothes consising of a beige T-Shirt and something that resembles cricket trousers he finished with pale leather shoes and belt. After breakfast he washed up, mad his bed, having let the sheets air, before going down to his favorite hangout, a V-Boxing studio where he would spend a few hours before air-time. His apartment was a small space containing a sleeping area with a desk, a separate area for cooking and eating and finally a small en-suite, silly name, posh name, the 'en-suite' simply contained a toilet, a sink and a shower. The only decoration in the entire apartment was an unused notice board, the only noticeable belonging was on the desk, a pad.
Down town in the V-Boxing studio, Ken 13976 was in a curtained off booth pulling on a set of V-Goggles, having already strapped on the V-Ankle Bands and V-Gloves, he logged in as 'Odd-ball'. The first fight was against a mister 'Butt_Kicking_King'. Ken 13976 found it more satisfying fighting real people rather than training drones, even if it was some hyped up teen trying to impress his girlfriend. Even so, a hyped up teenager probably had more life experience then he did. Ken 13976 had been grown to maturity so he had no idea how old he was. He didn't beat the boy for some time though, he let him grow exhausted from havinng his kicks and punches blocked , and even a few of Ken 13976's own moves that the boy tried to use on Ken. The boy must watch the Ken’s show, and copied moves of his own design. If you could make use of pressure points in the game he would have but the tech wouldn't allow it, kicks and punches only, so he blocked every one of his opponents attacks then, as 'Butt_Kicking_King' finally conceded a defeat, he was crowned victor. He continued for a few more fights, as he got more and more tired out he relayed more on his own attacks to win, before leaving to shower.
Taking of the goggles, gloves and ankle bands he could see the sweat patches on his shirt so went to shower before air-time. Stepping out the steaming cubical he dried and changed into his white instructors dress, deposited his used clothing in the washing machine and grabbed his range pack on the way down to the studio.
It was a special broadcast today, they were using the new 3-D studio today so that he could be watched on a normal screen or as a hologram from any angle, his martial art's instructor work was laborious but he was glad for it, he wasn't a ring fighter anymore and he wasn't a punching bag at the military academy. What's more he was free! He was soooo happy of his little room and 'meager' life because it was his life, he wasn't a puppet owned by someone else anymore and that kept him in one of the best moods imaginable.
Posted on 2009-08-17 at 20:29:19.
Edited on 2009-08-18 at 00:01:54 by Loki
Maru Nenna inhaled deeply the sweet pungent aroma of the tea before sipping it slowly. It was the last from this pot and there was a slight bitterness to it from over-brewing, she liked it that way. Maru took another sip of the dark liquid before lowering the cup and returning her attention to her company.
Her mother, Yolanda, sat across from her with a cup of the same bitter tea. Yolanda was every bit the Maya with the reddish coppery skin, dark eyes, and straight black hair that differentiated them from the other astronomers. Her gray streaked hair was tightly pulled back and she wore a brightly colored striped shawl draped over her shoulders. Like all those on Pluto she wore a highly reflective black body suit which contrasted greatly with the brightly patterned blouse and skirt she wore over it.
Maru was the picture of her mother. She had the same red toned copper skin and dark almond shaped eyes. Just as her mother Maru had pulled back her long black hair, but hers as always was a bit disheveled rather than neatly held in a bun. She wore a long white tunic with colored embroidery and knee high red boots over her own black body suit.
She had tea with her mother nearly everyday. Staring at the cosmos such as she did often left her head in the proverbial clouds, but conversation and tea had a way of grounding the spirit. Maru looked forward to their visits and always left with a sense of belonging.
Lifting the tea cup to her lips once more Maru drained it of its contents and placed it on the table in front of her, as much as she enjoyed the visit there were things that did need her attention. "Haber mamà, hay que trabajar un poquito màs. Me voy entonces."
Yolanda looked at her and smiled, "Claro mi vida, tengo que hacer lo mismo. Te veo pronto mijita.Te quiero."
Maru returned her mother's smile with a "te quiero" before hugging her goodbye. She shot her mother one last smile before heading out towards her own space.
Without the windowed walls and ceilings of the observatory rooms the hallways were devoid of even starlight, but pitch darkness was no obstacle to her eyes and Maru made her way to her own observatory quickly. The M-87 Galaxy was in full view right now and she had every intention on compiling as much information on it as she could. It was like an itch in the back of her mind, but something was telling her that celestial body would have great impact on the future.
Posted on 2009-08-18 at 00:52:42.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
A tall slender figure in a sexless one piece jumper moved down the back streets and alleys of Ganymede. Every so often the figure slowed to look around a corner only to move on once again, not quickly or with any purpose but just sort of wandering.
Tawny walked along the streets in what was once the ramshackle shanty town where she had run the streets. Only it wasn't there anymore, not the way she remembered it at all. Looking down now what was mostly warehouse and small businesses that struggle for existence sopping up minor profits that the MegaCorps could care less about.
Nothing was as she remembered it.
Tawny had been gone from her for several years every since she had pickpocket the wrong person, or perhaps the right person to take her out of here. She would be forever grateful for that chance thief that brought her to the attention of Lucius Blicker when she tried to steal his pad. He had helped her out of this place, financed her schooling until she graduated.
Pausing in mid step in her aimless wanderings, Tawny turned her back on what was now no longer reality and headed back to the simple digs she rented near the spaceport.
Posted on 2009-08-23 at 18:21:39.
Edited on 2009-08-29 at 20:33:22 by Brianna
Twice, while on her ride, Rowan had called the Hospital for an update on young Christopher. Assured all was well she continued her ride til the sun went behind the hills and she was on her way back. She walked Flame the last mile back to the stable. Henry was there ready to take him. Rowan fished out a treat from her pocket, it was an old time candy that she could only get from a specialty story that provided nostalgia confections. A Chick-o-Stick was like a Butterfinger without chocolate voating, formed in a long round stick as thick as a thumb. She waited until Henry had the stallion in the crossties and his bridle off. The crinkling crackle of the cello-pastic got Flame's attention and he stretched out his neck as she finished unwrapping thecandy and then broke it in half. Flame took it from her open hand with his warm lips and then rolled it around on his tongue, The look on his face was priceless. Then came the crunch as his teeth crushed the candy up. He did the same with the second piece. Only after she finished every last piece did she give her a warm hug and return to the house.
Once in her room she activated her personal com unit, "Kitchen, This is Miss Rowan, I'll be down in 30 minutes to make my favorite omelet."
30 minutes later, refreshed and dress in a comfortable leisure suit, Rowan was down in the kitchen and heating an old fashioned cast iron pan with butter in it, she caramelized some thinly sliced onions, saluted a medley of wild mushrooms and then whipped up two eggs and swirled them about the pan before adding the onions and mushrooms, then she folded the omelet and slid it out of the pan onto her warm plate.
Rowan sat at a counter and ate her dinner, toast had been had been made for her and left on a warming pad. She put a pat of real butter on each piece and let it melt in, before adding some blood orange marmalade.
"Holo-vid, on,' a large section of wall lighted up. "Favorites list of Miss Rowan."
Rowan savored her omelet as she watched the holo-vids of the news, and her favorite equestrian events.
Posted on 2009-08-24 at 06:21:57.
Edited on 2009-08-24 at 06:31:59 by Dragon Mistress
Bazran, Grey, and Associates; Gilgamesh City, Ganymede BrraddaBUMP! BrraddaBUMP! BrraddaBUMP!
Absently drumming his fingers on the smooth, high-gloss resin-topped desk, Quentin stared blankly at the monitor for a long while as if he were somehow hypnotized by the slowly pulsing icon that represented the file he had recently requested from Bambi. Hypnotized, he debated, or maybe hesitant – as if not opening the file would somehow negate the facts and he would wake tomorrow morning to find that Lucius wasn’t dead after all.
The thought was folly, of course, and, as an attorney, Quentin knew that the facts were facts and, regardless of how his mind tried to spin and refute them, those facts remained as they were… Lucius Blicker was dead and the file containing the man’s last will and testament had to be opened and executed. “Otherwise, my dear friend,” Quentin sighed heavily, finally goading his fingers to ignore the protesting of his heart and input the access code, “all of your work and all the notoriety you gained as a result will have been for naught, won’t it?”
The icon flared brightly as it compiled its relevant data from several encrypted and, Bazran was sure, secret LaserNet nodes. His eyes flicked repeatedly… nervously… almost conspiratorially from the display screen to his office doors and back again as the data cobbled itself together from the disparate nodes and congealed on his monitor. Bazran almost laughed in spite of himself, recalling countless conversations with Lucius over the years - in this office and elsewhere - which had prompted his eyes to flit about in that paranoid dance. Now, even with Lucius gone, Quentin found himself worried that someone, somehow, might see or read something in the file just as he used to worry that someone, somehow, might have overheard one of their hushed conversations in years gone by…
Bazran tensed at the sound of the voice, the self-mocking chuckle dying in his throat before he realized that Lucius’ greeting had issued from a vid-file that his late friend had apparently appended to the will. Quentin’s wistful gaze returned to the monitor and took in Lucius’ smiling visage. “Hello, Lucius,” he nodded in a reply that would never be heard.
“I suppose,” the recording continued, smiling at Quentin from the ether, “that since you’re viewing this, now, it means that the worst has happened and that it’s time to put this whole thing into the hands of those best suited to handle what lies ahead.
I know that you had your misgivings about this project from the beginning, old friend. However, as I’ve told you in the past, and will reiterate this one last time, the parts you and I have played in this cosmic game will amount to nothing when compared to the roles that my heirs will play. These,” the recorded Lucius beamed as a series of images expanded around the vid-frame, “are those heirs. My nieces and nephews, if you will…”
Nieces and nephews? Quentin arched a brow and allowed himself another chuckle as the half-dozen pictures resolved into clarity.
“I’ve only mentioned each of them to you in passing before, Quentin,” the recording continued, “and, for reasons of which you are well aware, have done everything in my power to keep their identities secret from not only you but from every and anyone else, as well. With developments being what they are, though, it is certainly time for you to be introduced.”
One of the images spun to the forefront of the display. A dark-haired young hopper, his tresses dreadlocked and pulled loosely back from his face, stared back at Quentin with a pair of piercing blue eyes and a self-assured smirk that bordered on cocky. “William Bishop,” Lucius’ voice stated, “though he preferred to be called Billy when last I spoke with him. He’s quite the pilot, Quentin. The conversations I’ve had with him would lead one to believe that he prefers to look at life through the canopy of a starship as opposed to any other vantage point.”
“He looks more the pirate than the pilot,” Bazran scoffed, “Does he see promise or plunder through those canopies, I wonder?”
“I know what you’re thinking, my friend,” Lucius’ recording continued, “and I can assure you that, while Billy may look a bit rough and tumble, he’s far from what appearances might indicate.” Quentin’s inward chuckle burst past his lips when his friend’s voice added; “Well… maybe not too far… but I’m sure that will prove to be a good thing, as well.”
“At any rate,” the recording said as Bishop’s image whirled back to its original spot, “you’ll likely have the hardest time locating this one. He’s likely flying escort for a colonization caravan or some such. I’ve provided the last vid-phone link and e-mail account I had for him in this file.”
The next image to zoom to the forefront was of a rather curious looking female. Given the skin-tone, underlying facial structure, and silken black hair, it was obvious that the girl was of Asian descent but, for whatever reason, it seemed the young woman had tried to side-step her genetic heritage to some degree by opting for some peculiar cosmetic enhancements. The golden eyes that blinked back at Quentin from the display were distinctly feline in appearance… in fact, the girl seemed to have spent a decent sum on cosmetic cybernetic tweaks to make herself appear more cat-like, from delicate subtleties such as minor bone structure changes to less subtle additions like the cat ears and whiskers. Bazran couldn’t help but grin after overcoming his initial stunned reaction; “Anime,” he snickered, “Even after all these centuries, its allure to the young and young-at-heart hasn’t abated in the least.”
“Cherri Zheng,” Lucius’ voice introduced the curiously lovely young lady, “is probably the best cybernaut and noderunner I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. She’s far from your typical menome, as I’m sure you can tell by looking. Just wait until you meet her, though, Quentin. Her looks aren’t nearly the surprise that her intelligence, creativity, and skills with computers and technology are concerned. If anyone will appreciate the true value of this… er… inheritance, I suppose is the proper term… it will be this dear little kitten.
She freelances quite a bit, I know, but can always be reached via the Fujiwara/Aoki nodes on the LaserNet. She spends quite a bit of time assisting in development of Decadonia, you see. In fact, I’ve included a special program for you to load in the VR nodes that should ensure that she is properly notified.” That last remark was suitably punctuated as Cherri’s imaged spun away to the background again by what Quentin had always called Lucius’ ‘playful grin.’
“Tawny LeVelle,” the recorded Lucius intoned as the next image expanded to provide Bazran with a better look at the woman with platinum-blonde hair and golden eyes. “This one actually tried to pick my pocket many years ago and almost made off with the circuit diagrams and technical specifications that I’d been working on in order to be able to patch that computer into the Angel’s existing architecture. She had stars in her eyes then, my friend, so I decided why not make sure that they stayed there? Rather than turn her over to the authorities I sent her to school and, wouldn’t you know it, she’s become quite a fantastic navigator. She’s posted on the SOJ Gerrit Smith I believe. I’m sure you’ll be able to locate her with no difficulty.”
Tawny’s picture minimized, then, and was quickly replaced by one of a dark-haired, copper-skinned little woman with enormous eyes.
A peeper? Bazran’s eyes widened to nearly the size of the woman’s who gazed back at him. “So you weren’t kidding about that little stint in Valhalla.”
“I told you I wasn’t kidding about that little stint in Valhalla,” Lucius chuckled from behind the maximized image. “This is Maru Nenna, the Astronomer I mentioned too you on more than one drunken occasion. You’ll find her, of course, at the Pluto DSO so I recommend you contact her as soon as possible. Being a peeper, as you call them, Maru’s got a rather unique view of the universe, Quentin. Unlike most peeper’s, though, Maru’s unique perspective is even more so given the fact that she’s deeply rooted in the metaphysics of Mayan culture and even more intricate given that she’s a rather gifted sensitive.”
“Wow,” was all Bazran could manage to mutter in response.
“If this all goes where I’m hoping it will, my friend,” Lucius grinned as Maru’s image shrank back, “little Maru will be integral to the success of this group.”
The next image to expand into precedence on the display was that of a lovely red-haired woman with intriguing lavender eyes. “Oh,” Bazran noted almost breathlessly, “most definitely an Earther.”
“Dr. Elizabeth Morgan-Wellington,” Lucius stated.
“Wait,” Bazran blinked, “Morgan-Wellington?!”
“Yes, Quentin,” the recorded Lucius chuffed, having anticipated his friend’s reaction to the name, “of the Morgan-Wellingtons.
Rowan, as she prefers to be addressed, is currently a surgeon at the Lewis-Gale Medical Center on Earth. Beyond her medical expertise and despite the fact that you believe all of those born into wealth are dilettantes, one and all, this young lady will be useful in that, much like myself, she’s had a lifelong flirtation with xeno-archaeology that may prove as useful as her vocational abilities.”
Rowan’s image wheeled away to be replaced by that of a face that Quentin Bazran (or anyone else in the Sol system, for that matter) was more that familiar with – the stunning good looks, sandy-blonde hair, and limpid blue eyes were unmistakable as one of the countless iterations of the clone model known collectively as Kens.
“And this, of course, is Ken,” Lucius Blicker’s pre-recorded introductions sounded as if they were coming to an end with this final, rather surprising addition, “Ken 13976, to be precise. If you recall, Quentin, Ken was one of my favorite fighters at The Arena – I’m still not sure exactly why… perhaps because it’s not a profession in which one might typically find a Ken… maybe it’s that and everything else that makes him so non-Ken-like… who can say for sure, eh? At any rate, Ken will be easy enough to find. I arranged for him to “escape” from his Coalition “owners” towards the end of the war and, since that time, he’s been the host of Ken’s Kosmic Kicks on the Fit-Casts. The show is recorded at a studio on Callisto; Asgard City, I believe.
It may take some convincing to get him to accept the entirety of his inheritance, I’m afraid. The last I saw of him he seemed quite content in the monotony and routine of a “normal life” and it may take some talking to convince him to leave his routine behind to take up a new career aboard a starship but his abilities will, I fear, be more than a necessity for the rest of the crew’s security… They called him Odd-Ball in the Arena but I wonder if they knew just how appropriate that moniker was…”
“Quite the collection of heirs you’ve assembled, Lucius,” Bazran laughed as Ken’s image spun back to join the others, “Why am I surprised that you didn’t include a Europan or perhaps a Mauler to round things out?”
“At any rate,” Lucius sighed, “the rest of my will, as you know, is the standard fare which, I have no doubt, you’ll be able to handle with no problems. It’s the inheritance that I’m leaving these six that is the most important and, just as important, my dear old friend, is that they all accept it and leave their current lives behind. If they don’t I fear that all the years of work and research I’ve put into all of this will have been for nothing and, if I’ve been accurate in where I believe this will all lead, none of us in the Sol system – in the universe - can afford to have it in any other hands.
I suppose,” Lucius smiled brightly at Bazran from the vid-frame, “that given the circumstances this is the last you’ll be hearing from me, Quentin. So, let me express my thanks for everything… you’ve been more than just my lawyer over these many years… you’ve been my closest friend and confidante, as well, and that is something that not even the pittances I’ve left for you in these rambling legal documents can repay. It has been my extreme pleasure and honor to call you friend, Quentin Bazran. Farewell.”
“Farewell, Lucius,” Bazran sighed sadly as the vid-frame faded to black and the small images of Blicker’s heirs collapsed back into their origin file. “I still don’t completely understand what the Angel has to do with all of this, my friend, but, as always, I’ll follow your lead and be prepared for whatever might come of it.”
His fingers flitted over the console for a while, composing e-mails and dictating vid-phone messages that would need to be transmitted to the appropriate parties as well as readying the documentation that would be needed to satisfy probate. When he was finished, he packaged up the applicable files and forwarded them to his assistant before paging her on the comm.
“Yes, Mr. Bazran,” Bambi’s voice acknowledged from the comms speaker, “What can I do for you?”
“I’ve just sent you the files regarding Mr Blicker’s will, Bambi,” Bazran replied, “Please see to it that the six people I’ve highlighted receive their notifications post haste. Special instructions, if any, are included with the individual dossiers. Also, should any of them require it, please make arrangements for transportation from wherever you may find them to Ganymede.”
“Right away, sir.”
((OOC: Here ends the Prelude to our little soirée, folks… Each of your characters will be receiving a message of some sort notifying you of Uncle Lucius’ passing and of your inclusion in the will. I’ll be PMing each of you in regards to your particular message (it’s form of arrival, it’s content, etc) shortly… while all of the messages are fairly similar there are minor customizations to each one that make a generalized “you all receive a message stating blahblahblah” post kind of dull… Once you’ve received a PM from me regarding your indivuidual message, please feel free to post your receipt of it and anything else up to your character’s trip to Ganymede that you see fit… Coming soon: Chapter 1: The Inheritance))
Posted on 2009-08-24 at 15:43:26.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Tawny's stroll down memory land and alter considerable on the return trip to her rented rooms, the past memories were replaces with current reality. The lobby door recognized her ident key and opened for her entrance. She headed to the turbo lift giving a cursory glance about the lobby before heading up to the fifth floor.
The door opened with her palm print and let her in to a relatively cool room, with the soft shushing of the ventilation.
She palm her door shut and unstrapped the .45 caliber auto pistol on her hip and slipped it out to put on the table next to the lone overstuffed chair in the room. The small side table held her compad the flashing of its screen alerting her to having received incoming mail, wither voice or printed word.
Leaning over she placed the revolver besides the compad. She voice activated the incoming messages. Time stamped, she went through them methodically from earliest to lastest. Two from Cassy Evans, one o f her closest shipmates, who wanted to go out and hit the high spots of Ganymede. A second one telling her that Cassy was going out to the cool night spot she had hear about and gave her the name the directions just in case Tawny wanted to join her. The last one was a surprise though. and she listened to the message and then paused it as she thought about the implications of the message before listening to it again. She could get no inkling of what this was concerning. Oh she knew who they were. "Uncle" Lucius did business with them, A posh lawyer firm here on Ganymede, that upon various occasion in her life since her first run in with Uncle Lucius. They were requesting her presence for the reading of his will. That part was biggest surprise.
Tawny sat in the overstuffed chair and remember another like it the one who "Uncle" Luscius had put her shortly after she had tried to lift a certain chip form him. He lift changed that day From refugee waif living on her wits day by day on the fringes of society to a school girl. She couldn't imaging why. That he was gone saddened her. He had sent her birthday gift, paid for her schooling and board, congratulated her on her academic achievments and even chastised her for some of her less socially acceptable ways that sometimes manifested themselves in her early years of her transformation.
Tawny would find out soon enough the meeting was in about a week since she was already here in Ganymede where she was to meet with the law firm's representative. Finally her rough exterior was polished even as her inner self was fed what it craved. She took to leaning like a dry sponge takes up water, a bit slow at first but then once damp it kept on absorbing everythingit.
Tawny transferred Cassy's second message with the directions to her wrist com after activating it again. She had turned it off while out on her nostalgic journey.
Stripping down she stepped into the cleaning cubicle got freshened up and decided she would join Cassy.
She slipped on a Short pant of white span-tex hot pants knew high leg clinging boots and halter top that cover barely the essential. She swept back her long whiteblond hair in knots and curls leaving a long tail down her back.
Strapping on the forty-five she left the room with her ident card tucked away safely and her wrist-com on and activated.
Locking the room behind her she heads out to the appointed night spot.
Outside the night sky of Ganymede held her attention for a brief moment. Space always did draw her attention and her mind envisioned so much more than what she could see.
Now she had the means to make her dreams true, a good position with a top firm thanks to Uncle Lucius's help to get her started. The rest now was up to her, as he had told her when she graduated with honors. She had him to thank for her good fortune and tonight she would drink to his memory.
Posted on 2009-08-28 at 01:53:33.
Edited on 2009-10-13 at 20:40:15 by Brianna
C had decided to take a break from coding to meander around the virtual streets of one of the many shopping-district nodes. She was only window shopping really, as most of the things, virtual or real by mail order, being sold were not of interest to her. However, it didn't take her long to get an uncomfortable, nagging feeling at the back of her neck, a feeling recognizable as that of being followed.
I wonder who that could be... C wondered, before giggling, Well, if they really want to talk to me or something, then I should see just how persistent or stubborn they are.
C quickly wove through the crowded streets. She wasn't intent on getting caught up on other people by staying in this node, but she knew that a labyrinth was not far from where she was. Curious, she snuck a glance over her shoulder, just to see if she could make out her pursuer. It was only a brief glimpse, but her photographic memory quickly took the picture, and as she turned back to face where she was flying, she ran over the details in her mind. There didn't seem to be anything out of the ordinary... but then she spotted it. A cloak of one of the avatars seemed to have been blown slightly askew by a breeze... but she knew there was no breeze programmed into this node; a breeze could be too troublesome for the virtual merchants to deal with, especially if they dealt with things that would not weigh much and could be blown away.
An avatar with the invisibility cloak illusionary software... that's something you don't see everyday. C thought as she made her way to the labyrinth node.
Unfortunately for her pursuer, she had been to this node before on more than one occasion. This node was a labyrinth in the sense of the fourth spacial dimension, which meant that it was an extremely complicated maze. If one looked at it from the outside, glancing across its inside, it would vaguely resemble a celtic knot made up of hallways lined with trees and other plants, as well as numerous stairwells seemingly made out of ivy. Many avatars would be able to be seen along the stairs, but not oriented to the same 'down'; in short, it vaguely looked like a take on one of MC Escher's drawings.
Just try to catch me in this. C silently challenged her pursuer, before dashing through the entrance.
She took many twists and turns from the standard path, although she knew quite well where she was, having traversed this labyrinth at her leisure before. Finally, she reached the centre, a beautiful garden of exotic plants and flowers, surrounding a fountain of water that flowed in ways that would be impossible in reality, but seemed tangible in the virtual.
C giggled, Just as I thought... I lost you.
However, at that point, the other avatar turned off their invisibility cloak, revealing itself in front of the fountain.
Aww... so they knew I'd just come to the centre eventually... that's no fun. C pouted.
Although she didn't seem to react to the other avatar's appearance, her hand, which was at her side, straightened so that it was parallel to the virtual floor. She wasn't sure about the other's motives, so in the case she needed to fight, she was already prepared.
However, the other avatar's graphics were enough to stun her in her train of thought. Pale and ethereal, with a level of transparency. That would be incredibly difficult to program on its own, but there was also a set of large feathery wings coming from its back. It wasn't that the wings were there, but rather their colour, changing and flowing freely like a virtual Aurora Borealis. It was beautiful.
"H-how is it programmed?" C whispered aloud to herself.
She lowered her guard; no one in their right mind would try to fight if they had an avatar with such an intricate level of detail, since if they lost, it would all be lost.
"C." The avatar's voice was more like a strong bell tone, or perhaps even a chorus of bells... yet most voicebox programs only ever transmit the user's voice directly, sometimes changing the pitch or tone to come across as older or younger, but nothing more. Yet another detail that, although most people wouldn't notice, indicated the level of programming and expertise put into the avatar.
"Y-yes?" C's voice faltered slightly, since she was still slightly shocked, so she quickly composed herself.
"I regret to inform you that your Uncle Lucius has passed away." The avatar spoke.
C withheld a gasp, but she couldn't completely hide her surprise. It wasn't so much the news, although that was surprising in itself, but also that this could be a lawyer's avatar; she never would've expected one to use an 'angelic' archetype, as most business related people on business in the Net use avatars well dressed in suits or uniform. To use such an extravagant avatar would be to draw attention to them, which wasn't always appreciated... unless of course this was to get her attention, which then began to make sense.
"As such, you will be required to be at the reading of his will. The details are on this document." The avatar continued, before passing a scroll to C.
The scroll was sealed shut by more than wax; it was quite apparently programmed so that the only one who could open it was her, as it was based on not only point-of-origin computer identity, but also password protected. A quick check of the scroll's origin indicated it to have come from a program at the server of the Bazran, Grey, and Associates group. All these points together indicated that it was an extremely minimal chance of a fraud or fake...
"Please consider it." The avatar finished, "I can promise that if you do, you will have the opportunity to work with a computer, the likes of which you may have only ever dreamed."
Immediately, thoughts began racing through C's mind. A supercomputer?! I wonder... maybe it's that computer that would allow for the complexity as well as the memory needed to make such an avatar... if that's the case... just what else could be done with it?
"I'll be there." C promised, hardly able to contain her excitement, already thinking to how she'd arrive. It wasn't that far for her, considering her parent's mansion was just on the outskirts of the same city... but opening the scroll, she noticed that it already had the fare for the magnet train was already. She should've expected as much.
Looking up, she was mildly surprised to see that the avatar had disappeared.
Probably a single-use delivery program designed to find me and deliver the message. C's analytical train of thought added.
Later that week, Cherri rode the magnet train into the city core. The only possession she carried that day was an Asian-style paper and bamboo umbrella, just to provide a bit of shade for her. She walked into the office a whole 15 minutes early; she hated to be late for such things as appointments. She closed her umbrella, but continued to carry it with her, before walking up to the desk, recognizing the face of a Bambi behind it.
"I'm Cherri Zheng. Um, I believe I have an appointment with Mr. Bazran?" Cherri enquired, her tone light, yet formal.
Back in her room she quickly undressed for bed, she wanted to be up early to check on Christopher. She went to the tall French doors and opened them to her balcony. The evening breeze curled into the room and caused the sheer curtains to ripple. She listened to the sounds of the night, most common were crickets, coyotes, owls, and on rare occasions a wolf.
Then another sound beckoned sharply, pulling her away from the balcony. Her compad sounded an alert, and that meant that the communications’ screening program had classified the communiqué as immediately important.
Moving to her desk she leaned over, opened the file and read it. She sat and read it again.
Uncle Lucius, dead? She could not believe it. He had been a friend of her grandfather’s and a dutch uncle to her father. He was the one who opened her eyes to archeology, xeno-archeology in particular. She reached over onto her desk a picked up the artifact that he had given her. He had told her it was not of Terrestial origin. She ran her hand over the smooth surface of the pillowy triangular object, holding it as she read again the message from his lawyers, rubbing it like a worry stone. She remembered when he had taken her to some digs on Mars; that had been the beginning of her growing interest in things not of this Solar System. Even while she was studying to become a doctor, she had take time for a number of classes on Xeno-archeology. While becoming a doctor was what she wanted to do to benefit others, Xeno-archeology was her private passion. Uncle Lucius was…..had been the perpetrator of the passion.
It was much later when she got into bed, having made reservations on a ship that would get her to Gannymede the fastest, sending communiqués to her mother at the Cannes’ Film Festival, to her Father on Mars, to her grandparents on their yacht cruising around the world, then a reply back to the lawyers telling them when she would be arriving. and lastly packing for the trip. The last thing packed was her artifact.
Her pillow was well dampened by tears before she slipped off to sleep.
Maru jumped from her seat as the shrill whistle of a tea kettle resonated through the observatory. She'd been staring at the M-87 Galaxy for several hours now and had certainly forgotten that she put on water for tea. That tea kettle had a particularly loud whistle that without fail shocked her our of her wits, but she probably wouldn't notice a quieter one. The diminutive woman gave herself a shake before walking over to the kettle and depressing the heat. She dropped a mix of leaves into a dark ceramic teapot and poured the liquid from the kettle over them watching as dried leaves unfurled in the boiling water. Most wouldn't be able to see that in full daylight let alone total darkness, but there were few details that her eyes missed.
Placing the lid on the teapot to let the liquid steep Maru returned to her work. A few pages scrawled with notes lay about her work station. She leaned over to peer into the massive telescope in her observatory. There floating in a sea of blackness was a distant cluster of white. Though tiny, separate motes of light could be made out and a fuzzy disturbance seemed to be growing out of the mass of white stars. This was the M-87. Maru continued to watch the celestial body heightening the focus and bringing the stars close and closer into view. Years of her life had been spent watching the M-87 Galaxy, she had even written her first paper on it and yet it still confounded her. It seemed to be reaching out towards the Milky Way. Whether intuition or premonition, she knew the M-87 would play a great role in the future of the Sol system.
A sudden buzzing in her pocket pulled her attention away from the heavens. Maru produced the vibrating unicomp and looked at the screen. There was an incoming communication over the same secure connection she used to contact Tìo Lucius. She clicked a small side button initiating contact and the image of a pretty young woman with unmistakeable face of a Bambi.
Maru looked at the woman aghast, she had spent a number of years in a prison camp for her research and now an anonymous Bambi contacted her over the very line she used to share her research. She was not pleased, and did not hide it well.
"¿Què es eso?" the words left her lips with a crack.
The Bambi exhaled and replied, "Greetings Maru Nenna, I am Bambi 592311 calling on behalf of Bazran, Grey, & Associates. Regretfully I must inform you of the passing of Lucius Blicker."
Maru sat down and stared blankly at the woman. Tìo was dead. They had spoken not more than a few days ago and now he was gone. Such was the was way of all things, but she would miss him. With a small sigh Maru closed her eyes offering a silent farewell to her old friend.
Bambi continued, "I offer you my deepest sympathies, he will be greatly missed. Your presence is requested on Ganymede for the reading of the will and the collection of your inheritance."
Maru's eyes snapped open at the mention of Ganymede. She'd spent enough time in a prison camp for one lifetime and the continued UEG military presence in the Jovian system made her wary. The little woman reached out instinctively scanning the surface of the Bambi's mind, searching for any sign of a UEG trap. Maru found none, resigning herself she sighed again and nodded for the woman to continue.
"I am sending you the details for this excursion in a separate message. I have been asked to inform you that acceptance of this inheritance will bring you closer to the object of your research than you ever dreamed possible, whatever that means." The Bambi shrugged and smiled.
Cocking her head to the side Maru nodded slowly. That could only mean one thing, the M-87 Galaxy. She might finally get a glimpse at what use Tìo had made of her research. Curiosity overtook her and she nodded again with renewed vigor.
"Thank you Bambi, I will be there as soon as I can," Maru gazed at the woman with large dark eyes glistening with anticipation.
Bambi 592311 simply smiled and nodded before her image faded from view leaving Maru to ponder just what would bring her closer to the M-87 Galaxy. The possibilities were endless. Her unicomp vibrated again with the Bambi's promised message. She read it quickly and smiled, travel to Ganymede had been arrange to depart from the DSO it two days time. Returning the device to her pocket Maru began to rummage around the observatory preparing for her journey. She had already forgotten about the tea.
”If you ain't got no money take your broke a## home
You say: If you ain't got no money take your broke a## home
G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S, yeah G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S
We flying the first class
Up in the sky
Livin' the life
In the fast lane…”
The music came blaring out of the cockpit’s speakers, while William’s eyes glanced across the ship’s console, checking the long range scanner for the probably the hundredth time in ten minutes, while his left hand drummed out the beat of the music on his upper thigh. His right hand rested firmly on the fighter’s joystick, steady and sure.
The hopper was about two days out from Ganymede, and was looking forward to this job to be done. It wasn’t that he didn’t like flying escort for haulers… he loved it. And this current freelance outfit, the flying foxes, was just the kind of employer William had been looking for: good ships and good pay… It doesn’t get much better than that.
But William had been in this job long enough to know when a hauler wasn’t being honest about his cargo. Two pirate gangs, and a “jealous” rival hauler already… whatever. Nobody get jealous over sheets of durasteel…
The voice of William’s Europan wingman came through his headset on their private channel, “Not our place to ask questions, Billy.”
“Get out of my head, Dolph,” retorted Billy. “You know it’s bull#### as much as I do… probably more so.”
“Still,” came Floyd’s reply, “sometimes it’s better to just leave it.”
Whatever, Floyd. William turned up the music a bit louder and let his mind get lost in the vastness of the Big Empty.
Billy! Floyd’s urgent voice penetrated his mind. William looked across his scanner. Sure enough, it was lit up with three ships. “Yeah, I see ‘em,” the pilot acknowledged to his wingman. “I count three: a couple of fighters and an Escort… Coalition?”
“Four, actually,” replied Floyd. “We got a Corvette behind the large asteroid. And, yes, Coalition. They’re waiting for us, but I don’t think we’re on their scanners yet.”
“You and I got the Corvette,” said William before hitting his comm and switching it to hauler’s channel. “We got company, Duran. Looks like Coalition.”
“D@mn!” came the hauler’s voice.
“Seems everyone and their dog wants a bit of durasteel,” added Billy.
“What’s the plan, Billy?” replied Duran.
The pilot was already picking out a track to provide the background music for the fight. “You and Bravo wing keep on course. Jared, as those b@st@rds come into range, feel free to let them have it.”
“You got it, Billy,” replied Jared, the wing leader for Bravo. “Adan and I got ‘em.”
“Watch out for the Escort. Looks like it’s fully loaded.”
“What are you doing?” questioned Duran suspiciously.
Billy got ready to punch it. “Listen, Duran. I don’t ask about what you’re haulin’, you don’t ask me about my tactics. We’ll come up their back side.” Before the hauler could respond, Billy had pushed the thrusters to full throttle.
“You cocky son of a…”
But Billy had already turned up his music again…
“I like that boom boom pow
Them chickens jackin' my style
They tryna copy my swagger
I'm on that next s*** now
I'm so 3008
You so 2000 and late
I got that boom, boom, boom
That future boom, boom, boom
Let me get it now
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
On the appointed day about a quarter hour before the appointed time indicated on the message, Tawny walked into the prestigious building that housed the Law Offices of They were a well respected firm, not that Lucius would deal with anything less. Tawny had checked them out by computer search and by word of mouth after a bit of sifting.
Tawny couldn't imagine why she had been included or what, if anything, she might have been left, but she owed it to Lucius's memory an, would not have gotten the education or the position she had as a navigator to a top class starship company without his aid and assistance. She owed him much..
Posted on 2009-10-13 at 20:58:16.
Edited on 2009-10-14 at 03:33:32 by Brianna