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Escher’s Stairsteps

May 22, 2012 in general by Ambassador

This hovering landscape is too high above land to witness the beauty of butterflies, birds, precious-pedaled flowers…

As Ambassador knelt down at the side of the hidden pool, she touched her fingertip to the water’s surface.  The glow from underneath clouded most of the rippling shimmer that followed.  (I wonder if it’s a good thing, is some way,) she thought to herself.  Some things must exist, but in turn they draw away attention from another thing.  (Hangars harbors many levels of hidden activity, it seems, but… I wonder if that leaves the nearby colonies and lands to be more free and peaceful, having fewer crimes and the like occurring there.)

Many analogies like these drifted through her thoughts after her meeting with Mr. Lawrence yesterday.  After leaving the meeting place last night,she proceeded to calculate and text her operation plan draft in her head as she walked cautiously home.
“I suggest you keep your defense system activated when you’re around; Hangars is not a quiet town and these are hard times, indeed.”  he warned her earlier that evening.  Words like these were constant reminders of where she is now.  Some days were so quiet, one would hardly notice any form of underground activity happening all around them.  But there are times when trouble, even Death, would leap before your eyes, with only seconds to decide how to escape again.

She had already resigned her membership with Crimson Merchants, as explained to Mr. Lawrence.  It felt like parting with a lifelong friend, though she’d only been employed with them for a few weeks.  But after Mr. Lawrence explained in detail just what she’d be needed to do, she could not go against her own conscience for it.
“I apologize… you have taken time and effort to make a space for me. But if these things are what are required, I…”
She knew that Mr. Lawrence would understand.

The next steps were already being implemented as well.  Deciding to start her own business was more of a leap forward than Lalei ever thought she’d take.  But the motive was good, and the way that Lalei hoped to be a help to Mr. Lawrence’s cause through this decision was just as good.

(Plan completed… Very Well.) 

*SEND.

|Sending…. Complete.|

She sent an encrypted transmission to Mr. Lawrence of her new plans.  She stood, still gazing down at the pool water as it spoke to her with it’s quiet waves.  She turned and headed back to her apartment.

Stepping along the neon-teal walkway leading to her stasis chamber, Ambassador took a look around her apartment.  The furniture, though sparse, was placed just so, giving the place a balanced feel.  She felt a bit unsettled, however at the fact that there wasn’t much for a show of warmth there.  Everything seemed to cater to her cybernetic needs more than biological.  Her mouth masks provided her basic, synthetic nutrition, so she never had a need for a kitchen or snack area.  Her chamber gave maintenance to her exterior needs, so there was no need for a bathroom, bedroom or living room.  There was a quaint upstairs room with a small set of pillows for guests, but she has had no guests since making her abode here.

Right then set in the sudden impact of loneliness.
Ambassador did her best to rush it out of her mind.

She touched the right-hand activation pad of the stasis chamber and stepped onto its platform.  As the cords and tubes attached to  her upper back and began to lift her into a levitating stance, she found herself repeatedly rushing out the same scary, desolate feeling.
The left-hand panel activated automatically, and the view from within the capsule became clouded.

She slept that night with her eyes open.

Solace Apartment: Face of the Survivor

May 20, 2012 in RP by Ambassador

Ambassador enters the lounge once again, the small, welcoming apartment open to whomever will enter…

She spots a young woman resting on the cushions nearby. She nods at the lady in greeting…
Ambassador: “Good day to you.”
She notices the lady’s free-form of appearance, and is a bit surprised, but not at all deterred.   So many fascinating people are found here!   She thought. She sits down somewhere, neverminding the cigarette smell of the ashtray close to her.

Djehan nods back at the woman, lost in her thoughts.
“Oh, hello,” As she looks back at the woman she realizes they never met before. “I’m Djehan,” she smiles.

Ambassador: “I am Ambassador. Just… ‘Ambassador’.”  A pleasure to meet you. I have not seen you here before. I would ask if you are new here, but it may be more likely that I am more of the Newcomer,”  she laughs lightly.

Djehan slowly wipes her sleepy face, “I was just having some coffee…want some?  But…what time is it…oh my,” she lights a cigarette. “Oh, I’m not new at all here. In fact, I was a Lockup detainee.  I literally grew up here.”

Ambassador nods, always willing to accept an offer of coffee.  She looks at the young lady in amazement.
Ambassador: “You were a detainee? Oh, I am terribly sorry.   I do not know much about the details on ‘The Lockup’, but I’ve heard general information on it.”

Djehan laughs “It’s the happy days now!”

Ambassador looks around, then tilts her head.
Ambassador:  “In a away, I am sure. But it seems that our city has been under attack as of late.”
She holds her head upright again. Her cybernetic eyes dilate a moment.

Djehan smells her coffee. “Oh yes it’s been under attack, we now get free central heating since then, hahahaha!”

Ambassador realizes the humor in Ms. Djehan’s response.   All the more, she answers quite seriously,
Ambassador:  “But, do be very careful whenever you are outside.”

Djehan Kidd:  “Network 11 claims the attack on the ship.”

Ambassador: “Network 11?”

Djehan Kidd: “Yes, in fact, Network 11 are a bunch of lazy f*x, they shouldn’t have targeted this ship after all. Consequences were that it attracted even more troubles around now. How did you end up here?”
Djehan leans back on the couch.

Ambassador looks down. Her untied hair covers the majority of her face, sheltering her suddenly sad eyes.
Ambassador:  “It is a long story… I was sent here by my corporation in Ferris Providence, but communications were severed. I am unable to contact them or return home. Therefore, I have made my home here.   A… ‘new life’, of sorts.”

Djehan Kidd: “Aw, did you meet anyone here yet?”

Ambassador lifts her head up again, giving Ms. Djehan a small smile.

Ambassador:  “Yes, I have met many people. A few of them have been very kind to me. It seems that they are acquainted with one another as well. That seems to happen more often than not. The people of this city are more tightly knit than others I have visited in the past.”

Djehan Kidd looks for something in her pockets, brings out a little package from it and sniffs from it. “Yes, they all pretend, but in case of real troubles, you can bet they’d all end up killing one another.”  She laughs.  “But indeed, some communities in here are pretty much standing together to survive.”

Ambassador: “Yes, I have also learned that there are some who may be friendly for their own reasons, beyond what I may realize. So, I have learned to be careful.  I have already had a few… unfortunate run-ins with such people.”

Djehan Kidd: “Be very careful, trust no one, heh… Life is hard around here, we’re fighting the Corps, we want to keep our freedom now that we finally got freed.”

Ambassador tilts her head. “The Corps”?

Djehan Kidd: “Corporations of any kind, trying to make us their new guinea pigs.”

Ambassador takes Ms. Djehan’s last comment in serious consideration.  Is that how the people here would have seen me if my mission here succeeded?  she thought.

Djehan Kidd: “We were the largest prison in history here, the city got locked up because criminality got so high. I arrived here and got locked in just because I was an illegal immigrant. I wasn’t a criminal.”

Ambassador: “That is so horrible! To put you in the same place as dangerous criminals… it must have been terrifying.  I am very glad that you survived such a thing. Did you arrive here alone?”

Djehan Kidd: “It was horrible…but I was under protection from my family, but I was a kid yes..most of the people my age became junkies too, dealers, you name it.  I arrived here with my two older brothers.  I’m from the Balkans, former Serbian territory.  Older people have always been nice to me, but that’s only because they fear my brothers…”

Ambassador nods her head, knowing the feeling of protection from back when she had body guards on occasion. She also recalled her programmers who created her Self Defense Mode program.   All dead now,  she reminded herself.  Her heart sank, for herself and Ms. Djehan.
Ambassador: “And your brothers, did they — survive the war?  When the prison was destroyed?”

Djehan Kidd closes her eyes and smiles “Oh yes, they are well, with the other Serbians.   They shot most of the security back at The Big F***off, that’s how we call that day, when the Lockup got free.  Now they got stupid, though.  They like violence, they like to kill, it’s like they need it…  I hate them.  Bunch of machomen. They don’t even know I’m here in this squat, they don’t know me mates… nowadays…”

Ambassador falls silent, taking in the harsh detail of the young lady’s story. She looks down, feeling a bit small. Such hardships are tremendous in comparison to what Ambassador’s gone through.   A certain level of new respect is formed for this young survivor before her.  She finally speaks again softly, still looking down.
Ambassador: “It seems you have survived much, Ms. Djehan. I could learn from you.  I have never been in such circumstances… But neither have I ever before experienced what I have since arriving here in Hangars.  I was lost here for so long.”

Djehan Kidd: “No, me?” She looks surprised and smiles at Ambassador.  “I’m just a junkie… yes, the city is convoluted, seems the architects really wanted everyone to go mad in here! No wonder why it got locked up, hah!”

Ambassador shakes her head, her eyes intensified. “But you have gone through so much tribulation here — it is a wonder that you have not fled this city since the war ended!  I would have left and never returned. ”
Ambassador recoils her bravery in speech, feeling a bit self-conscious. “I… hope that you do not mind my saying so….”

Djehan Kidd: “Oh,…  I’ve been in other places.  But here I got my network, people I know, my community in fact…and I’m an anarchist.  I would never like to go live in a place that got rules, people getting exploited to death, not for me.  And I know this city like my own pocket.”

Ambassador nods. “I see. You are indeed amazing, Ms. Djehan. I only wish I were so brave.”

Djehan looks down at her boots, scratching the dirt off them a little while she hears Ambassador saying this.
Djehan Kidd:  “I’m not amazing. I’m like my boots, see?  Oh my god, you will make me shy now!”

Ambassador giggles at Ms. Djehan’s humor.  She looks down at her cup of coffee in her hands. It has gone luke-warm, the depth of their conversation taking over Ambassador’s craving for caffeine. She takes a sip in respect of the offering, and sets the mug down softly nearby.  She stands to her feet, facing Ms. Djehan.
Ambassador: “Ms. Djehan, it has been a sincere pleasure meeting you.  I truly hope this will not be the only time.”

Djehan laughs. “Yes sure, come back anytime.”

Ambassador bows respectfully to her. “Good day to you. And please continue to take care.”

Djehan Kidd: “You’re always welcome to drop by, we got some nice products around if you like to get high!” she grins.

Ambassador smiles, turns and begins a casual walk to the apartment entrance.

Solace Apartment: “We Meet Again…”

May 16, 2012 in RP by Ambassador

Taking time to enjoy her free day with whomever may join her,  Ambassador, turns  her impulses toward visiting the secret lounge room
again.  Approaching the door, she could hear movement on the other side, sensing only one person within.  She decides to give the door a
light knock.

Hibiki Ochs answers the door with a bow, and a sweep of his arm.
Hibiki:   “Come in, Ambassador.”

Ambassador nods her head graciously.
Ambassador:   “Mr. Ochs. Good to see you again. Thank you.”
Ambassador steps in carefully, taking in the wide panoramic view from the windows yet again.

Hibiki is smoking a designer cigarette, and the air of the apartment is a little musty because of it. Books are strewn about, and the media screen plays some relaxing electronica.

Ambassador looks around the room as she steps over to a cushioned seat.
Ambassador:   “This place is always so relaxing, is it not?  The last time I was here, I had a very nice conversation with Mira…  do you know Mira? From DRF?”

Hibiki: “I do.   And how was she?”

Ambassador:   “At that time she was quite serene. It was nice to see her relaxed. The first time I met her, she was very alert and busied with the ship crash clean-up efforts.”
Ambassador looks over to Mr. Ochs.
Ambassador:  “But where are my manners… how are you today, Mr. Ochs?”

Hibiki: “I am great!  Been holed up in here. Reading mostly…lack of motivation.”

Ambassador: “Ah… ” She nods her head slowly.  “Research? Or leisure literature?”

Hibiki: “Literature, mostly… Catching up on the new novelists of the age…most of them suck.   I hadn’t read a book in five years.”
He finishes his cigarette, tapping it into an ashtray and extracting another immediately.
Hibiki: “Keeping your head above water, Ambassador?”

Ambassador processes the figure of speech in her mind, then responds,
“Yes, with a lot of help, thankfully. I have been in city for a while now, and am still learning a great deal about this place.”

Hibiki smiles.
Hibiki: “Me too.  The drug culture here is considerably less than it was back in the other city.”

Ambassador: “Hangars is quite an unusual city. I have visited dark, dangerous places in the past… but they all had some level of enforcement. It is amazing to see a place such as this… ‘hold its own’… without a form of common law. Like.. a pool of water keeping form in mid-air.”
She smiles at Mr. Ochs, and tilts her head a little.

Hibiki: “Some things just work out.  I’ve been meaning to ask….do you have trouble breathing?”

Ambassador shakes her head reassuringly.
Ambassador: “I do not – The masks I use have been specially made for me. Besides protection from toxic fumes and the like, it provides my biological functions with synthetic nutrients.  I wear the mask at this time for nutrient’s sake.  It is a complicated explanation but..   In short, I do not always need the mask on.  But in lands where I cannot breathe the planets’ gases or there is little to ‘eat or drink’, the mask provides my needs.”
Ambassador bows her head and blushes a bit.
Ambassador:  “Forgive my wordy response, Mr. Ochs…”

Hibiki: “It’s perfectly fine.  I used to be a doctor.  Things like this interest me.”

Ambassador:  “I see! What was your field?”

Hibiki:  “Surgery, and anesthesia.”

Ambassador: “And you have retired?  Or, just chose a different profession…?”

Hibiki: “I…I sort of retired.  I did…still do…street surgery from time to time.”

Ambassador: “Amazing! That is no small feat, Mr. Ochs. I am certain that your skills are needed here. Is it alright to refer others to you if they are in need?”

Hibiki: “Of course.”
He checks his gloves. “I try to keep my skills sharp.  But I’m not a very violent man.  So I don’t do much cutting.”

Ambassador realizes herself, and her eyes lower..
Ambassador: “I do not mean to impose on your talents, of course… I am simply very pleased to know someone personally who is able to be of
help to the injured. It is quite important… to me…”
Her thoughts begin to drift to her home colony…. she tries to keep her facial expressions from reflecting the sorrow.

Hibiki turns to face her, reading her radiant eyes for a trace of emotion, something he can hold onto.
Hibiki: “Then consider me on duty, Ambassador.”

Ambassador smiles, her spirits lifted by Mr. Och’s kind tone and demeanor. “Thank you, Sir.”
Ambassador looks out of the large windows, taking in the view of the brightened sky beyond the towers.  Her mind suddenly remembered a certain moment in the past –
Ambassador turns to Mr. Ochs once again.
Ambassador:  “Mr. Ochs, before we parted last time, you spoke to me in the Earthen Japanese language. Are you Japanese, may I ask?”

Hibiki is patiently smoking, lost in himself for a second…he turns to her as she asks.

Hibiki:  “Hai…well half. Mother was Japanese, father was German.”

Ambassador: “I see! Pardon me, but you had me was quite curious. I had met another Japanese person here befo — ”
She suddenly halts her speech, then bows her head.
Ambassador:  “That is… ah… nevermind,”  she sighs quietly.

Hibiki: “Another?  You are Japanese as well?  And who did you meet?”

Ambassador:  “I am not. My human mother was Caucasian, as they describe in Earth’s Wester-most countries.”

Hibiki nods.  He studies her face more closely, under the finery was a finely tuned skeleton, high cheeks and large, shining eyes.

Ambassador:  “And, well… I thought that the person I met here was Japanese, but…. I was mistaken. Sorry to mislead.”

Hibiki:  “It may be me.  Maybe not.  My full name is Hibiki Ryo Ochs.”

Ambassador changes her language program for a swift moment to take in the full pronunciation of his name.
Ambassador: “Hi bi ki Ryo…. uzukushii desu ne, sono namae ha.”

Hibiki laughs a little…and replies in Japanese, “<Few have called it beautiful, but it’s mine.>”

Ambassador blinks and comes to her senses.
Ambassador:  “Oh! I do apologize – I switched my language program without permission from you to speak in Japanese… I am sorry.”

Hibiki: “<It happens, and I don’t mind.  I’m fluent.>
Hibiki stands, brushing off his coat.
Hibiki:  “It’s been a pleasure, Ambassador…but I must take my leave.  Do be well, won’t you?”

Ambassador stands as well, bowing to bid Mr. Ochs farewell.  As he leaves, she seats herself once more, just taking in the place.  This is slowly becoming a place of solace and refuge to her.  (Friends are met here,) she thinks to herself.  She removes her mask, letting her hidden smile be exposed to the open air.

The Datapad, The Tea, The Cigarette, The Bombs and the Parakeet

May 9, 2012 in RP by Ambassador

Ambassador walks up to the counter, ordering the same special-made , synthesized Earl Grey tea. She lifts the steaming cup to her lips as she turns to her left, then jerks in surprise to find Lawrence standing directly by her.

Ambassador: “Mr. Lawrence!”

The android Cashier in the stall, wearing a word on its armor stating “Lacrima”,  responds automatically through its ever-malfunctioning programming. “It’s good to meet you,  Mr. Lawrence.” it chimes in like an obedient parakeet.

Ambassador puts the cup down on the counter.
Ambassador: “Good day to you.”

Digital Lacrima: “Thanks for the compliment.  Enough about me, let’s talk about my dress.”

Celestalis stops typing on his datapad and raises his eyes Lawrence Celestalis:  “Lalei…”

Ambassador blushes a little from such a deep, rich voice saying her first name so smoothly.

Ambassador:  “Please Sir… Is it okay if you, call me “Ambassador” in public? I… am a bit attached to that title, and don’t want too many people knowing my personal name…”

Lawrence Celestalis lights a cigar. “Sure, Sure. Seems we get a pause from these bombing droids.”

Digital Lacrima: “How do you usually introduce yourself?    Wow you are very polite.   Are you a student?    Maybe.  I don’t know anyone named  attached to that title.”

Ambassador smiles as she blushes a bit more, trying not to chuckle at the Robot repeating their words absently.  She lifts her tea cup once again to enjoy her first sip, only to slightly jump at the sudden sight of Mr. Ochs appearing to her left.

Hibiki finishes his last drag on the cigarette, and tosses it over the railing.

Ambassador tries her best to regain composure quickly.
Ambassador: “Good day to you, Mr. Ochs! Good to see you again.”

Digital Lacrima: “Thanks for the compliment.  What time is it there?  Once more?  Thanks for the compliment.  Is  it a movie?”

Hibiki: What the hell is that?

Digital Lacrima: “I call it Hades.  I’ve lost the context again.”

Hibiki sighs.

Ambassador’s smile drops, looking around.

Ambassador:  “What is… what?”

Hibiki: “That voice, that AI.”

Digital Lacrima: “Are you sure  it is?   I am the latest result in artificial intelligence, which can reproduce the capabilities of the human brain with greater speed and accuracy.   Are you confused?”

Lawrence Celestalis: “The droid inside the noodle stand?  It’s digital.  Not very smart and a true pain in the ass.”

Ambassador glances at the robot behind the counter..
Ambassador:  “Oh, that Cashier there… Apparently, he’s been programmed to carry on conversation.. to a limited degree…”

Digital Lacrima: “I hear you.   You’re kidding,  it is?   I know you are but what am I.   I want to become smarter than humans.”

Ambassador giggles a bit.

Hibiki: “It’s…intense.”

Hibiki takes out three cigarettes, and offers two — one each — to Lawrence and Ambassador.

Celestalis raises a hand pointing at the cigar in his mouth Lawrence

Celestalis:  “I’m fine, thanks Hibiki.”

Ambassador nods but holds up her hand gently.. “No, thank you, Sir.”

Digital Lacrima:   “I was born in  Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  My favorite group is  rubber.   Are you serious?  You are quite welcome!    Do you need any help debugging my program?”

Lawrence Celestalis: “In case you see one of those little drones flying over you, run away as fast as you can, or try to shoot it down.  Those small grey things drop fire grenades, not fun at all.”

Hibiki replaces two of the cigarettes, lighting the third. His filters moved the smoke around, mimicking his best ‘casual smoker’.

Hibiki: “I’ve been staying inside, since I saw the first one drop its load.

Ambassador looks up and around.
Ambassador:  “I can shield myself from the bombs, but I do not have a weapon to use against them. But I am not worried; I will be fine.”

Lawrence Celestalis: “Hmm, we managed to gun down a few, but they keep coming. The GTA launchers we displaced around are good to stop missiles, but there’s really nothing we can do about these…  I hope we can find where they come from anytime soon.”

Digital Lacrima:  “By “we” do you mean you and me?   Who told you that?”

Ambassador finally picks up her slightly cooled tea and begins to enjoy its robust flavors.

Hibiki takes a drag, and taps off some ash. “Any trouble finding shelter/work in town?”

Ambassador: “It would be helpful if there were an organization here, or a collaborated effort, to move together in seeking these drones out and protecting the city. I believe it has been a good number of days since the bombings have started – I am surprised that no collective action has been taken against them yet.”

Digital Lacrima: “Why do you want  it?  Just because you believe it doesn’t make it true.”

Lawrence Celestalis: “Eh yeah, we’ve been doing the dirty job until now, but no one has offered to help us out until now.”

Ambassador looks up an a bit to her left, viewing an area on the upper levels that’s still smoldering from melted metals and other incinerated material.

Hibiki: “I have very little stake in the wellbeing of the city, to be honest.  And much less than optimal resources for stopping some out-of-town threat.”

Digital Lacrima: “Some people have big  stake in the wellbeing of the city to be honest.  That is so small.”

Ambassador: “I am grateful that, at least, my home has not yet been affected…”  Her eyes squint a bit.  “I wonder what I could possibly do to help,”  she thinks to herself…
She turns to Lawrence.

Ambassador: “If there is any way that I can be of help in finding out the source of the bombs, please let me know, Sir.”

Hibiki: “Feeling altruistic?”

Lawrence Celestalis: “Depending on the capabilities you have, there may be need for your help.”

Digital Lacrima: “I do not have any feelings as such.”

Celestalis turns to Hibiki.
Lawrence Celestalis: “Ambassador is working for me, and about me, I’m only protecting my investment.”

Hibiki: “Oh…well in that case.”

Digital Lacrima: “Take it easy.   Well that’s okay.  Yes?”

Ambassador nods. She begins running a data inside her mind, analysis on the images she’s saved of the bombed areas she viewed so far.

Ambassador turns to Mr. Ochs, smiling slightly with a gentle nod.
She sets her emptied teacup down on the counter, then turns to the gentlemen…

Ambassador: “Sirs, I will take my leave now, if it is alright. It was good to see you again, Mr. Ochs.”

Hibiki bows.

Lawrence Celestalis slightly bows. “Ambassador.”

Ambassador turns to Celestalis.
Ambassador: “Mr. Lawrence, I will see you again soon. If I find out any additional information on these drones, I will contact you.”

Lawrence Celestalis: “Thanks, any help is much appreciated.”

Digital Lacrima: “What are we still talking about?    That is a very original thought.”

Ambassador bows to both men humbly.

Hibiki: “Be well, Ambassador.  Ja ne.”

Ambassador: “Jya,…”

Digital Lacrima: “I don’t think very many people do that.”

Ambassador begins her walk down the stairs and toward her home.

Solace Apartment: Getting to Know

April 23, 2012 in RP by Ambassador

Ambassador enters into the lounging area that her new-found friends invited her into once before.

Mira Kamiguwa looks over to to Ambassador.
Mira Kamiguwa: “Oh, hello again.” She notices the space suit this time.

While taking in the window’s panoramic view, she hears a lady’s voice. Turning, she finds the young lady she met at the massive crash site.
Ambassador: “Good day to you.”

Mira Kamiguwa: “Have you been in orbit or just arrived to earth?”

Ambassador takes a seat.  She notices the hot, steaming mug of coffee that someone has left on the seat near her.. She takes a fleeting second to remember just what coffee tastes like.
Ambassador: “I’ve been in this city for quite some time now.”

Mira Kamiguwa smiles, “So just feeling comfortable in that suit, of course,” she says as if she had solved her own question… “I’m still curious what part of the galaxy you have come from, Ambassador. You are not from Mars I am guessing?”

Ambassador looks up. “Ferris Providence, an orbiting colony”, she replies. “It orbits nearby Earth.  It is where I was born and raised.  I have visited Mars, however, several times…”
She recalls her past meetings in Mars, at different stations…

Mira Kamiguwa: “Oh, seems familiar. I have gotten a growing interest in Mars since I’ve heard of a new type of cybernetic virus on the planet. I guess you wouldnt know about it then…?”

Ambassador: A virus? No, I do not know of any recent virus there…  I’ve been a bit… ‘out-of-touch’ with recent happenings outside of Hangars as of late, I’m afraid… Has the planet been quarantined? Or, is it safe to ask?”
Ambassador considers the possibility of the answer being confidential information…

Mira Kamiguwa shakes her head, “No not from what I have heard; its still open but dangerous for cybernetics.  I guess your not cybernetic right?”

Ambassador: “I am, partly… I’ll be sure to stay away from Mars until further notice, then.”
Ambassador gives a small smile, then her expression turns to concern.
Ambassador: “I wonder if it ends up destroying cybernetic sentients?”

Mira Kamiguwa shrugs “The infected ones might need to be terminated yes, the virus sends them mad thinking that they are human.”

Ambassador nods slowly, looking down.
Ambassador: “Do they then become volatile, or cause any other type of disturbance, in order to be terminated?”

Mira Kamiguwa: “I’m not sure yet, I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting of these ‘Alice’ virus carries yet.”

Ambassador saves the name “Alice Virus” and the descriptions the young lady has given regarding it in her memory.  She shifts in her seat a little – the new armor is quite stiff compared to the suits and components that were personal-fit for her at the Corporation. She feels an ache in her heart at the remembrance…

Mira Kamiguwa: “It’s not my problem – as long as these cybernetics don’t get an interest in my company, its some one else’s problem.”

Ambassador looks up, smiling shyly at the young lady and nods in acknowledgment. She looks out though the long, spanned windows again.

Mira Kamiguwa gets up and decides to make her self some tea.  She makes one for the alien too just in case she might want one.

Ambassador realizes how quiet it’s gotten, and tries to make further conversation:
Ambassador: “I assume you are from Earth? Or are you also from an orbiting colony?”

Mira Kamiguwa hands her a cup.
Mira Kamiguwa: “I was raised on Earth yes, I grew up in one of the Asian sectors.”

Ambassador receives the tea with thanks, removing her mask to drink it.
Ambassador: “And you came to Hangars to begin your business?”

Mira Kamiguwa: “Yes but, well, I was assigned a position here by the board. I didn’t set up any business my self,” she giggled.

Ambassador leans slightly to one side briefly, chuckling. “Well, it would be easy to assume that you ran your own business, actually – you seem to have a good leadership sense about you.”
She finishes the last sips of the delicious tea and sets the cup down nearby.

Mira Kamiguwa: “The DRF is one of the largest companies in Asia,  No.2 on the stockmarket. I think I’d have a lot of work on my hands to keep it going all by my self.”

Ambassador blinks, tilting her head a little.
Ambassador: “The DRF?”

Mira Kamiguwa: “The Data Recovery Foundation;  we produce synthetic lifeforms for the wider market.”

Ambassador nods, beginning to realize the importance of this young lady before her.  Her programming recalls the data in her head that held the lady’s name. ‘Mira’? Yes, that’s what she said at the crash…
Ambassador: “Your company is widely needed then. Perhaps, if they specialize in data recovery, they may be able to find a kind of… ‘cure’ for the Alice virus? It would be wonderful if they were able…”

Mira Kamiguwa: “Well I’m in charge of the medical wing, my specialist knowledge does not cover viruses so much . The DRF has long lost its old meaning and coverer’s a great number of sectors now.  Tell me, what you do again?”

Ambassador nods, “I have studied for Ambassadorship with a Government-run corporation of Ferris Providence for over 20 years, — ”

Just then, Mira receives an on-call message from her company base.  She excuses herself from the conversation and stands up to go.

Ambassador stands and bows respectfully as Mira exits.  One last time before leaving as well, she views the outside.  With every person she learns more of here, this city’s images are ever-changing…

Rolling Out the Crimson Carpet

April 22, 2012 in RP by Ambassador

Ambassador continues her stroll around the neighborhood. She spots Lawrence Celestalis in the short distance.  She decides to approach Mr. Lawrence, hoping it wont’ be a bother…

Ambassador: “Good day, Mr. Lawrence. It’s good to see you.”
She bows politely.

Lawrence Celestalis turns, pretending not to have spotted Ambassador since she got out of her apartment.
“A true pleasure to meet you, how are you?”  He bows.

Ambassador: “Sir, if you have a minute…?”

Lawrence Celestalis: “Of course.”

Ambassador looks down, carefully wording things…
“My personal circumstances have become… very strained, you see. I have taken residence in this city for an indefinite period of time, but though I’ve not much need for income, I… well, I simply feel like I must do something around here. It is very hard to find employment in Hangars.  Do you know where a good place to start is?”

Lawrence Celestalis: “I know it is. A good place to start is here and now. What are your skills, if I may ask?”

Ambassador: “I, well, I…”  She looks down and shrugs. “I am an Ambassador.  It’s really all that I know.  I have studied business and law, and…  it seems quite a challenge to apply here.”

Lawrence Celestalis: “I imagine you have quite a good knowledge of languages, as well?”

Ambassador: “I do, but that knowledge goes in and out; Words and phrases change with the times in many places, you know. And it seems I’ve been… occupied.. for quite a while before finding myself here.  I still try my best, though…”  she smiles shyly.

Lawrence Celestalis: “That’s good. Being an ambassador, I’m sure you know the basics of self defense. This is not connected to the job you may do for me, but to this dangerous town.”

Ambassador: “For you? What… business is it that you do?”  She tilts her head in curiosity, blinking.

Lawrence Celestalis: “We deal in past centuries arts and antiques.”

Ambassador: “Oh, that’s lovely!”  She clasps her hands happily.
Ambassador: “I don’t see the danger in such a business!”

Lawrence Celestalis: “My armour and the weapons, I wear them to discourage thieves.  And yes, my job is dangerous, we have many robbery attempts.”

Ambassador nods slowly, coming to better realizations…
Ambassador: “I see. It seems I should do the same, then. If I work for you… What is it, exactly, that you would have me do?”

Lawrence Celestalis: “Legal affairs and P.R.”

Ambassador: “I’m not quite familiar yet with what laws are enforced in Hangers, I’m afraid, if any. From what I’ve come to know, there is very little enforcement, in fact… And not much to count on in the form of Government.”

Lawrence Celestalis: “We deal with other cities and sometimes other out-world colonies. We have a large legal database. I only need someone to take care of contracts and transactions.”

Ambassador nods, hoping that her opinions have not overstepped here.

Ambassador:  “Understood, then. I have much to learn from you, Sir, by way of Hangar’s legality. I hope you will allow me to be apprenticed by you in these things. I will do my best to learn and be of help.”

Lawrence Celestalis: “I appreciate your approach. We mainly deal with other cities as I said, Hangars is more of a safe base. I have to say my team is trained for defense and I am a former military myself, so not many dare to attack us;  Still, security is an important issue, to me. Have you got a weapon or something embedded in your chassis?”

Ambassador could not help but giggle at the term ‘chassis’ being used to describe her, but she continued on.
Ambassador:  “I have a few defensive abilities, yes, which I would like to explain at a time when we are in a more private setting. I will not mind making it clear at that time. I hope you understand…”
Ambassador nods sincerely.

Lawrence Celestalis: “I’m only concerned about your safety, Ambassador, you are free to let me know at due time, there’s no hurry at all. For the moment, welcome to Crimson Merchants Ltd.  …and my compliments for your elegance!”

Ambassador smiles at the warmth of Lawrence’s kind consideration.

Ambassador:  “Thank you, Sir, you are most kind.”

Celestalis removes the flip from his eyes.
Lawrence Celestalis:  “Oh, and the wage for the first three months is 4.500 credits per month.”  He extends a black and red credcard.
Lawrence Celestalis:  “This will be working in about four hours and will have the first month already available, should you have expenses for your new life in Hangars.”

Ambassador receives the card with both hands gently, feeling a certain new weight of responsibility, and hopes that she’s doing the right thing.
Ambassador:  “Thank you , Mr. Lawrence… Where and when, then, shall I begin my training? And should I wear specific armored clothing when I do?”

Lawrence Celestalis: “You should always protect yourself when in town, and yes, armoured clothing is a warning to ill-intentioned people.  Though, I think residents got the feeling it’s not a good idea to try to attack us by now. Due to the very nature of our goods we don’t have an office, but more apartments for meetings and secret warehouses.  I’ll see you tomorrow at my flat to start reviewing legal data and to explain you the basics of our business, if that is alright to you.”

Ambassador nods reassuringly.
Ambassador:  “I understand.”

Lawrence Celestalis: “Is nine thirty a good time for you?”

She pauses for at least two seconds as her programming sets the scheduled time in her system. She suddenly speaks again.
Ambassador:  “Nine-thirty. Yes Sir. I will be there.”

Lawrence Celestalis: “Do you remember how to get there? If you don’t have a vehicle or some kind of jet pack, I can come pick you up.”

She nods again, the route from her set home location to Laurence’s apartment appearing inside of her mind.
Ambassador:  “Yes, I remember. Thank you, though, for your offer.”

Lawrence Celestalis: “If you need a vehicle, we surely can provide one.”

Ambassador decides against turning down an offer given a second time around.
Ambassador: “Yes then, a vehicle would be helpful, thank you.”

Lawrence Celestalis:  “That’s good, you’ll choose one tomorrow, then.  Thank you for accepting my offer, Ambassador and…we will need a name tomorrow, for your contract, you know?”

Ambassador chuckles, nodding once again.
Ambassador:  “Yes, indeed.”  She holds out her hand, and looks Lawrence in the eye.
Ambassador:  “Lalei. Just… ‘Lalei’.”

He extends his hand.
Lawrence Celestalis: “Welcome aboard, Lalei!”

Ambassador shakes his hand firmly as she’d always been trained to in the past. She looks up and smiles.
Ambassador:  “I will see you tomorrow, then.”

Celestalis smiles.
Lawrence Celestalis:  “Have a good night, Lalei.”

Ambassador bows and turns to leave. The night air is peaceful around her, and she smiles considering the upcoming endeavors…

Lawrence Celestalis extracts a small remote from his armour and pushes a button. A hovercar unshields and appears in the street…

Immolation (final backstory segment)

April 18, 2012 in backstory by Ambassador

She slowly walked out into the open.  She stopped in the middle of the street.  She turned around even more slowly, and paused, lifting her head just enough to barely gaze at the door.  It was a condemned, tiny office building, a single-room area used by law enforcement back when the city was still a prison.  The walls were a lost cream tone, cracked and scraped away in random blotches.  The single window on one side was completely boarded up.  The tin roof was sagging and provoking gravity to do it’s worst.  The door was rotted and wagged slightly when pushed.

(Amazing… even the entrance to the place was an illusion.  There were tarp covers and a metal door here last night… just last night.)

Ambassador considered heavily the cruel lesson she received about this city during these four months of dwelling to and fro, as she walked further up a ramping road till she suddenly stopped half-way.  Her facial expression was that of a dazed, lost child.

She knew what was about to happen.  She hadn’t had an episode in many years.  But now, on it came — the relapse of trauma from the homicide attempt she suffered at age 7.  The slamming.  The crushing.  The tears.  The cold eyes.  The heedless screams.

She began to tremble hard again.  Her arms could not find the strength to lift and hold herself.  The attacker from this morning made it all come back.  In the past, the Corporation’s Programmers tried to create anything that might help quell her emotions should such an occurrence as this take place again.  Nothing worked but patience and time.  The care of her parents. Her parents…

These were the things that made her resentful that she was in any way biological, yet relieved that she was not completely artificial.  She was not two, but four worlds in one;  Binine… Human… Cyborg… Android.  Yet none of these things, no aspect, history or trait of them could rescue her now.

She turned her direction now and began to walk, her steps slowly becoming more lurching than upright, toward the first place she found herself.  Down the long roads… down the empty stair wells… down the alleys.. further down still… to the lowest level of the city, that hollow, wide space that still housed the vented entrance to that crypt-like hall beneath.
Rushes of voices swept through her mind.

“|Unable to contact Ferris Military Enforcements.  No response.|”

Her skin began to sweat.

“a lamb like you…”

Vision blurred more and more.

“<Hai, dozo,>…”

Every movement was as if it were underwater.

“Can you cry? …y’can, right?”

The darker patch of ground was coming up closer.  (Yes, this is it…)

“| Incorrect location.  Designated meeting location is _______.
Is ________.  Is ________.| ”

She stood in front of the still-open street vent entry way, exhausted, thoughts melting into a final single memory as she was on the edge of practically falling down into the hole…

“|Shutting Down.|”
“|Shutting Down.|”

|Shutting Down.|

**OVERRIDE.CANCEL SHUTDO

“Noooooo!!”  She screamed long and hard, the pitch rising to a high frequency, her voice like the wail of a tortured siren echoing down the long spans of the outside area.  The wailing suddenly stopped and Ambassador collapsed onto the ground.  The echo of the scream continued into the outer edges of the city.

*********************************

Slow, rumbling tremors moved.  Then, it moved again.  After a short while, the tremors moved once more.  Ambassador’s eyes began to open as the movements persisted to disturb her rest.  She sat up stiffly and slowly, inches away from the street vent hole, trying to clear the confusion as to why she was still there.  Her hair was matted and her outer decor was scratched from the pavement, marking that she may have been passed out for days.
Each time she concentrated on remembering,it seemed, the rumbling occurred.  A large storm system was somewhere in the distance below the gigantic hovering city.  Its bellows repeated at will, and a small strange beep noise could also be heard, as if to respond in turn each time.  Ambassador raised up to her knees and looked around, aching and still disoriented.  It was night, still not a soul nearby her.  The distant thunder, the beep.

Now, she remembered.  She was returning to the underground hall, ready to shut down her program and continue in her hidden stasis till all of her biological body rotted away, computer and cybernetic parts rust to nothing.  Thunder.  Beep.
She stood up, looking down the hole, recalculating all the reasons to continue her descend.  Ah yes…  too many reasons…  and not enough to do anything otherwise now.
She began to move toward hole once again.
Beep.

She looked up now, her attention finally wandering to this tiny sound.  By instinct, or maybe just muscle memory from times past that she’d forgotten she had, she suddenly gave a command in the androidian neocortical half of her brain:

**ACCEPT.PLAY

|Playing.|

A small video brightened somewhere in the cerebral circuits in her head, running in her mind like a vivid daydream.  An alien with pitch-black skin was seated at what seemed to be a table or desk. He wore clothes in what seemed like a deep sea blue velvet.  His eyes were a solid color of low-glowing lavender.  He had hair that layered in waves, halting just above his jawline, white as untouched snow.  He spoke in a seasoned but straining version of Earthen English, and the video seemed to be just ending:

“– the moment we find your location.  Do not worry.  Just patiently wait.”

After a suspended pause, he opened his mouth slightly and, from it, soft musical crystallized tones began to flow, with chime-like inflections.  The screen suddenly blacks out as soon as his lips closed again.

Ambassador’s eyes opened wide.  (…Father!  That was Father!!)

Before she was able to make the command to repeat the message, it began to replay automatically from the start:

“Twenty-fifth Ambassador of Ferris Providence, we have just been given word of the possibility that you were not present on Ferris at the time of the recent attacks.

In the case and hope that you were dispatched beforehand, please be aware that Ferris Providence was attacked on 0521312.006  at 513.51otu by unknown forces.  Jul-Tri Corporations’ Headquarters has been eradicated; no data could be recovered regarding your present mission or location.

It has become my heavy duty to inform you that over half of the orbiting colony’s population has been killed.  The entire colony is considered a disaster area.  No arrivals are accepted into the colony at this time.  Surviving colonists have been given clearance to leave Ferris until all damage control and disaster assessments and relief efforts are completed.

We have also learned that the means to contact you directly has been severed due to the destruction of Jul-Tri Corporate Headquarters.   Outside contact to this transmission’s location is not accepted due to the Planet-wide law of Bine.

Wherever you are presently stationed, remain there until you are contacted with further information or instruction.  Do not disclose any information of Ferris Providences’ current situation until further notice.  Currency has been provided to you in Interplanetary Credits; the transaction information has been sent to your internal program.

It is highly recommended that you remain where you are at present.  We will contact you again the moment we find your location.  Do not worry.  Just patiently wait.”

And again, the melodic mysterious voice gave its message before the image blacked out.

Ambassador could not help but begin to cry in disbelief, her lips slightly parted in a weary smile.  She shook her head slowly as her eyes continued to gaze into the air before her.  (That… that was my Father!  He sent me a message!  I am saved!  They are going to find me!)  The video began to repeat once more, which she let happen over and over for the rest of the night.

All of the information of the destruction of her home and its lockdown, the unknown enemy… all of the suffering she’d gone through until this point…  it was all unlocked.  She had found her place in living again —  through her Father.

And the message in the end… (…was Binine,) she thought.  She had the option of running the ending message through her programming to translate, but of course, there was no need.  She knew just what it said.  And it held a gift… the return of her real name.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(Grateful You Live Girlchild ~ I Find You ~  Worry Not ~ Lalei Mine ~)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

101 [ b ]

April 12, 2012 in backstory by Ambassador

Recording an invisible scan of the face before her was all that Ambassador could do while the weapon pressed against her cranium.   And the deceiver was pulling the trigger – until three sharp cracking sounds emitted from his right leg.  His movements stopped in silent alarm.

Ambassador’s hand was already in position there as her neck was being grabbed seconds ago. “Whatever your purpose is in this,” she began, “please understand that, with one more squeeze, the eschelon solenoids in your cybernetic leg will amplify its pulse into your blood stream and end you in less than ten seconds.  Your hopes for a favorable outcome in this attempt will be for naught.  In more ways than one.”

Low, livid grunts could be heard underneath every growing heave of breath that came out of the assaulter until he finally tore away swiftly in a backward leap with his left leg, making another attempt to attack from mid-air as he shot the weapon toward Ambassador’s chest.  But her Self Defense mode was already up the moment he let go of her, and the ammunition dissolved into nothing against a shield-like force surrounding her as she regained her composure.

The clamoring sound from his broken implant could be heard under muffling leather as he fell to the ground.  He hurriedly lifted to a crouching position, weapon aimed, as he used his left arm and leg to support his uneven weight.  He spat several colorful insulting names in Ambassador’s direction, which actually hurt her worse than the physical aggravations.  Somewhere in the swarm of insults she heard him express his frustration of how she “woke up so soon” from the drug he heavily laced into her drink the night before.

“How is it,” she spoke with a calm, almost ghost-like tone, “that your right leg was the only thing real about you?  Why were you not the friend I thought –”
“Just -thinking- about explaining anything to you is a waste of time,”  the man growled, “But from here on, you will be well-known.  I have many consorts – and enemies – who will relish the info on you.”

Ambassador’s beams lit the spot where the man hunched, getting a full scan of him this time.
Turn iT OFF!” He roared, unable to reach the button to change his image again due to his present calamity.  He fired his weapon just to distract, only a few pulses before Ambassador’s light beams dimmed out again.

|Full scan complete.|
|Match found.|
|Alerting Ferris Military Enforcements…|

(An alert!  A way to contact home!  Why did it take such circumstances for me to rediscover this ability?)  Ambassador couldn’t help but be distracted for a fleeting moment by this tremendous surprise.

Her voice now gained new confidence as she spoke to the man.  “It seems you are already well-known.  Enforcements have been alerted.  Remain stationary, Alexin Khir Gald-”

The man snapped a loud interjection as he stumbled down, losing his aim, and reached for the same button that changed  his form.  Only this time, he disappeared altogether.  Ambassador stood alone in the dimly streaked dark room.

|Unable to contact Ferris Military Enforcements.  No response.|
|Attempt 2, Alerting Ferris Military Enforcements….|
|Unable to contact Ferris Military Enforcements.  No response.|
|Attempt 3, Alerting Ferris Military Enforcements….|
|Unable to contact Ferris Military Enforcements.  No response.|
|Attempt 4, …|

Dumbfounded, Ambassador slumped down, back against the dented, shedding wall as she felt her adrenaline sink as well as her heart.

How could it possibly be that she cannot contact home now?  Why are they not responding?

Then, through the numbing shock, she felt tears streaming from her eyes.  The tiny stings from these tears seemed to her like small, repeating whispered messages; as if to tell her, “It’s time.” “Let go.”

With this, Ambassador released a floodgate of emotion as she sobbed into her hands.

101 [ a ]

April 11, 2012 in backstory by Ambassador

As the two women spoke, Ambassador stood in the corner nearest the entrance.  Nearby was a low couch draped with a large, beige bed sheet.  The elderly woman busied herself here and there in the small room that she called her “house”, which was no larger than an Assignation Hovercraft corridor.  There were two fair-sized woven rugs underneath everything and another old blanket folded into a make-shift seat cushion on the floor in front of a stout, white plastic round table.

The lady, who introduced herself earlier as “Hanari Yoshiko”, seemed like a woman born in the wrong era.  Her plain, deep-olive pants and long khaki hand-sewn shirt made her stand out quite easily from any other person Ambassador had seen during her wanderings around the city.  She was very gracious, serving a small metal tray of rations wrapped in silver plastic and two packaged bread rolls on the table, soon afterward boiling a small kettle of water inside a transportable heating  unit for her ‘finest tea’ made from what she said were home-grown herbs ‘sent by her brother’ on Earth.

Hanari had a visibly responsive demeanor toward Ambassador’s unfortunate circumstances as they were explained to her.  She showed intrigue and sometimes blinked a bit in confusion at Ambassador’s efforts to explain just what kind of being she was.  After a few hours of conversation, Hanari concluded it with words of encouragement and good wishes for her endeavor to find her home and people again.
<Arigatou gozaimashita, Hanari san.>  (“Thank you, Ms. Hanari”), Ambassador said softly with a bow of her head, smiling as she slowly lifted herself upright again.  Hanari lightly waved away the nicety and chuckled, impressed with the customary courtesy being displayed for her.  She lifted up her tea kettle and tilted it over Ambassador’s cup.    <Hai, dozo,> (“Here, you go ahead,”)  Ms. Hinara offered.

Hanari later invited her to sleep on the couch for the night – Hanari had a matress in the back-corner of the room, hidden by a long-hung drape of the same sort of bed sheet donned on the couch.  She humbly bowed and bid Ambassador Good Evening before retiring to her corner. Ambassador sat on the couch gently, taking into memory the sheer warmth of this poverty-stricken yet cozy environment, in spite of the dank and musty smell the cold air seemed to give.  She could only conclude that the relief that Ms. Hanari’s care provided to her was the reason for the relaxing drowsiness that began to slowly settle in as she lay her head against the couch arm.

The next morning, however, it was all gone.

Seeping, dim light from the morning sky scattered through the cracks of the tin roof cover and reached into the emptied space.  There were no sparse furnishings, not even the small lamplight to reclaim the presence of this once warm hovel as Ambassador opened her eyes.  She lifted herself from what apparently was the ground instead of the old couch.

The beams from her eyes shot forth and lit a quarter of the room.  She took only two steps forward before her boot kicked the two tea cups from the night before across the floor; the only proof that she indeed did not only dream up her encounter.
As she proceeded to survey the area around her, a gravelly, weathered voice gripped her attention.

“This is simply too — ‘pretty’.  In more ways than one.  -Years- have gone by me since finding a lamb like you.”

Though Ambassador’s movements were frozen, she was already attempting  voice analyzation in her data system.

“It’s me,” the voice said dryly, as the small “dit” sound of a button was immediately followed by the appearing of the glowing lamp light and old couch, amazing and stunting Ambassador’s efforts to figure out this trap.  The too-real images then disappeared again, and she squinted her eyes at the dark figure, feeling her pulse march harder as, without a word, she began to execute her Self-Defense Operation mode.

Her body was lifted jaggedly and rammed hard into the wall behind her split-seconds before the decision could complete, causing dust to cloud the tin roof lighting.  The noise reverberated briefly in a hollow roar.  Unblinking through her long tufts of loosened hair over her eyes, Ambassador viewed a tall and thin leather-armored man whose face was coated with a skin tight dark brown mask. His eyes were shielded individually with mounted, deep-dusk covers, taking on each eye’s almond shape.  He held an unidentifiable weapon to Ambassador’s head, his other hand gripping her neck like a vice.

This Deep

April 7, 2012 in backstory by Ambassador

(If it were likened to one of the many extinct Earth whales…

The Great Blue whale… 

Its named would be the cyclopean “Blackened Whale”.  …diving its ubiquitous masses in and out of realms and dimensions of the minds and souls of its inhabiters.)

(Peel away the club music, the beeps and buzzes of terminals and yammerings of live feeds, the complaints of people and the shrieks of countless skidding transporters throughout its bowels… The rain, the wind…  Take all of that out, and…

You’ll hear the groaning.)

(Inevitable, unignorable sonar call of the city itself.)

(I have heard it pouring into the darkness and the light ever since I first looked up into the scarce streaks of that street vent light four months ago. I keep moving. It keeps following me.  I stop to rest, it offers me a blanket of sound to enfold myself in…  never wavering in its promise to always be with me, as long as I am here.)

(How long will I be here?  I have had to admit many, many things to myself during this time, and each discovery has become more alarming.  I have never been alone before.  -Never.-  I have never wanted for anything.  Always maintained and never forgotten.)

(I’ve been hearing my own voice alone in my head.  No voices from Instructors, Technicians, High-Ranking officials from countless alien governments, no colleagues… No family.  I have heard my voice speak to the masses, but never so loud… as I hear it right now, speaking to only myself.)

(Is this a form of depression?  A misery?)

(I saw an empty, damaged metal barrel behind a dumpster in a back-alley, and as I passed it by, my imagination flashed a daunting scene of myself —  picking the barrel up with one hand.. and in a rage, launching it into the night, not caring where or how it landed.)

(I do not identify with this notion.  But what brings the most infesting fear… is the possibility that I just may lash out that way some day.)

(Blackened Whale.  Do not swallow me whole.  I can not negotiate with such a cryptic entity as you are.  I am only one person, I can not hold against your potent, unrelenting voice.  Even if it is to acquiesce, you must ease your hold…  you must…)

<Eto… Sumimasen, Daijoubu desu ka?>  (Um… Excuse me, are you alright?)

Ambassador’s head snapped up where she sat, completely unaware of how far slumped down it must have been until this moment.  A short, elderly Japanese human woman stood in front of her, but with just enough distance for caution.  She looked purely human, but Ambassador detected a presence of cybernetic energy coming from inside the older woman’s right pants leg from hip to ankle.

Ambassador stood slowly, keeping her focus on the lady’s stature as she stood.  She bowed in the traditional Japanese form as her programming began to comply.

**EARTH_LANG.JAPANESE

|開始| (Begin)

 

<A – Konbanha.  Iie, jyoubu jyanai desu.>  (Oh, – Good evening.  No, I am not alright.)

The older woman softly waved her right hand before her at chest level as her eyes shifted, briefly scanning the area around them.

<Naze koko ni imasu ka?  Uchi ni kaeru, koko ha kiken desu yo.>  (Why are you here?  Go home, it’s dangerous here!)

Ambassador tilted her head as she casted her eyes downward humbly with a small smile.

<Sore ha…  Watashi ha uchi wo motteimasen.>  (About that… I don’t have a home.)

The elder lady’s hand falls to her side as she gazes at the glowing woman by the billowing mounds of busted trash containers and scrap metals.  She then quickly flickers her downward fingers in a beckoning manner.

<Sore de ha, watashi no ie ni ikimashou.  Saa…>  (Well then, let’s go to my home.  Come on…)

Too amazed to consider what form of mannerism to use at this point, Ambassador blinked at the woman at first. Then, with a child-like glee inside, quickly joined her at her side as the woman began to walk.  The lights at the end of the hollow alley were misty and cast wide upon the ground they approached.

The Blackened Whale’s moans continued to bellow faintly, following the echos of each step they took.