Well, that was a waste of effort. Clarke skidded to a halt, passing the highly incompetent spy™.
Smirking, he made a point of ignoring the fool, walking near him before veering right into the restroom. The cyan-haired moron flailed his scythe, hitting the invisible screen again and again and again. It was strange, despite the very typical I-AM-A-L33T-HACKER appearance, he still seemed to be able to move the weapon reasonably fast. Not that Clarke doubted he could take the man on. Scythes were unwieldy and predictable. Rapiers and hard-light weaponry would outshine then any day.
Panicked? Frantic? Annoyed? Angry?
It was hard for Clarke to tell in the short look he got out of his peripheral vision, but the attacks didn't exactly seem calculated, either due to stress and fear, or the poor weapon choice - potentially a combination of the two. Either way, Clarke committed to what he told the confused guard, relieved himself simply for the sake of it, washed his hands, played with his hair in front of the mirror for a few seconds, and exited back into the hallway to see the failed spy still thrashing at the walls. Each strike was slower than the last, but not by much.
For amusement, he considered how he would escape such a position. Most likely diplomacy and getting his captor to drop their guard, but that wouldn't work unless his captor was an idiot. Then again, everyone made mistakes, if only small ones, so he'd just have to bide his time until one come. What was more reasonable, Clarke considered, was that he wouldn't get himself trapped in such a position in the first place. He was just here because he could be, and had all the information this idiot gained. It would be easy to switch sides and join whoever this guy worked for.
That said, he didn't even know the captive worked for anyone. Who would waste money hiring him?
So, logically, the only rational reason that person could have for attempting this was that he wanted to be hired by someone. Maybe he knew some details, maybe he didn't. But it was unlikely he knew any locations or contact details, otherwise, he wouldn't be here unless to try and prove a point. But if that were true, then the "bad guys" had either sent another mole here, or, more reasonably, they already knew everything that was going to be said. Which was likely since the majority of the talks seemed to be able the chips and Celestia's Gate - besides that of the former pirate.
From there, Clarke deduced that it was highly unlikely anyone knew of the man, or at least knew enough about his past to guess he might reveal useful information.
Alternatively, they knew everything about his past, or thought they did, so saw no reason to spy just because of that one guy. Or their resources were just spread thing - which led back to why Mr. Cyan-Hair would be here in the first place.
So, after leaning on the wall for a while, playing on his phone while pretending to ignore the thrashing and slashing of the silvery scythe, Clarke came to a decision.
He could bluff now, and risk losing all credibility when talking to the captive. Or he could save off on that and just glean some basic information first.
Eh, why not. I don't really have a lot to lose here. Could be fun.
Most people had significant people in their past, whether it was a group, or just a specific person. In short, this could make it easy to fake knowledge about someone with a reasonable success rate. He just had to guess, roughly deduce, a relationship. Using his rough thought process from earlier, Clarke figured his subject was probably just trying to prove themselves. So, he flipped a mental coin. Male or Female.
Swiping his thump across his phone screen to close the app, Clarke smirked, locking it with the side button and sliding it down into his pocket.
"Give up kid. I know you want to prove yourself, but there are better ways to get acknowledgement from him than this."
Shaking his head, Clarke eyed up the frantic man, keeping his expression bored and neutral. If he wasn't disappointed before, he was now.
"Yes, that is correct. There was a way out - namely by not getting trapped there in the first place. Hindsight is twenty-twenty after all." This was the 'spy's mistake. Now he was suffering the concequences, Clarke found it highly amusing. Yet, he did still have a core motive revolving around prying for more information on the subject. There had to be something useful.
And, from the boy's previous reply, he gathered he'd struck a nerve. Yet, the spy wasn't confused by his apparent knowledge, meaning that he was either too panicked to care, weren't really paying attention, or knowledge about them was common. The latter was an interesting idea, but without further interrogation Clarke didn't see how to pursue it.
Putting those deductions to the side, Clarke continued, "I might have a way out for you that's still valid, but I'll need something in return. Stop wasting your efforts in a clearly futile pursuit. You're neither strong enough, nor in the right situation, to rely on brute force."
Clarke leant back on the wall, suppressing the urge to laugh. "So what, pray tell, can you offer me? Information? Services...?"
His voice trailed off, leaving a silence for the man to answer. He wanted to add, 'or are you as useless as you seem?' but that didn't seem productive. Turning fear to anger didn't seem useful in this case.
Ah, the legendary backpedal, Clarke thought. The 'I was just bored'. The 'I just accidentally did this, lol'. The 'I don't actually care about this'. Clarke didn't expect it from this guy, of all people, but the boy seemed to have calmed down, only slashing to prove a point to himself. A worthless endeavour, and a waste of energy. The exact speed in which he'd managed to execute such a personality flip would almost be astounding to Clarke, had he actually cared. He's seen it on social media, but in person it was amazing from a comedic standpoint.
Kid, I know you care. Don't fake it. You can't pull this off like I can. And Clarke had legitimate reasons for his demeanour in the first place. Of course, he didn't voice those thoughts. It was inefficient. Although provoking outward emotions could be a worthwhile technique in the future.
Mulling over the actual content, rather than the presentation, of Mr. Cyan-Hair's words, Clarke was able to narrow down some of his prior deductions.
He works for someone, or at least wants to. Claims not to know why he's here, likely hoping to allude to it being above his pay grade and important. And has fallen back to pretending he doesn't care, when he clearly does.
Clarke wasn't a fan of writing people off as insignificant, since if he was wrong things could turn out poorly. He didn't really have a reputation to lose, but it would still annoy him. But, in this case, he did honestly think that the boy in front of him was a useless tool, something to be disregarded and cast to the side. Yes, even a broken hammer can be used to hit something, so he figured he'd maintain the 'interrogations'. Bluffing, of course.
"Kid, tell me something I don't know. Do you not want to achieve something? Gain his attention?" Clarke pulled out his phone, performing some quick searches in the various databases he had access to. Most of which were in the public domain, he hadn't really prepared much for Lowee. Not that he expected to find anything useful, but it would pass the time. He was usually fairly adept at spotting patterns - explaining them was the harder part. Still looking at his phone, Clarke continued, deciding against his prior decision about inefficiencies. "You'll need to do better than that to gain my help, and that new attitude of yours isn't doing you any favours. I don't see the point in working with those who want nothing, so stop faking it."
Taking a deep breath, Clarke replied - not even thinking about his words, yet still replying in a dull monotone. The flickering of light from his phone reflected off his eyes as he continued to stare down at it. "Curious, huh? I guess you could say I am. After all, it takes a certain amount of idiocy to get caught for spying on a public meeting. I've made my offer known, but I have no will to stick my neck out for an imbecile such as yourself unless you can offer me something of worth - which you cannot. Getting stuck here was pointless and avoidable."
This was almost cemented in Clarke's mind now. He was dealing with an emotionally inexperienced teenager who wanted to prove himself - and when realising he'd done something stupid, he backpedaled, pretending he didn't care, likely just trying to adopt Clarke's attitude. Clarke didn't need someone like that, especially since the subject in question didn't actually know anything useful.
Turning around, Clarke began to walk away, still staring at his phone. "He would be disappointed in you, you know."
A probably useless and vague bluff, but it could lead somewhere. If not, Clarke could just continue walking away. He was under no obligation to help the guy, and he already had all the information he needed. He time would be more of use in the main meeting room.
bomberfrostx ((Clarke is walking away from you, but there's probably enough time to say something to get his attention before he fully leaves.))
Lorex scoffed. “you're smart, so how did you not think i planned to get caught?” he inquired as he sat down, leaving his scythe on the back of his hoodie. “i could have intended to gdtd caught to ensnare you guys imma trap, or want to get caught to ensue a chase”
Clarke glanced over his shoulder, yellow eyes simply looking in the direction of the intruder - not portraying any meaningful expression. "Nah. You didn't plan this. Don't pretend you did. You're not going to get anywhere by trying to act otherwise."
It was almost like the boy had forgotten how he was behaving earlier. So frantic. So panicked. So laughable.
Just as the captive was about to reply, Clarke cut him off. "It is my business to know these things, Lorex. You'd best think more before trying to start one of these games."
He was considering leaving, heading the rest of the way around the corner, yet Clarke lingered, just long enough to listen for a meaningful response, should one he given. Not that he expected much from this 'Lorex'. Finding simple names in databases was easy, should nothing be done to hide it.
bomberfrostx ((bomber gave me permission to let Clarke find his name through searches))
Last Edit: Nov 9, 2017 15:14:55 GMT by Dabony: Formatting
Spinning around, Clarke slumped, back relaxing against the corner of the wall, ready to turn into the hall. He'd already invested too much time into this conversation, yet he supposed he didn't really have a lot else to do.
Using the same bored droning voice as before he opened his mouth one last time. Talking to idiots tended to lose its novelty after a while. "Oh? And why might that be?"
Coming from someone who lied and bluffed on a daily basis simply for the fun of it, it was glaringly obvious to him that Lorex had no plan, and was only acting as he was for the self-satisfaction of keeping Clarke 'confused'. Not that he was confused. He already had a good read on both Lorex's character, and general position and stake in the current events - yet, he did want to know what excuse the boy would come up with next. It was like talking to a child covered in cookie crumbs, claiming they hadn't taken anything out of the now empty jar.
Lorex grabbed his scythe and smiled. “because even trapped by four walls” he stated as he shot a flair at the ceiling, then jumped off a wall slashing, creating his exit. “you can always go up!” he shouted as he ran atop the roof.
(going off the assumption that the ceiling was the hall's ceiling, not part of the invisible walls)
"Well, it's better than what I expected." Blanc said, with a small sigh of relief. She expected a more horrid request from the old creep, but she decided to blame that line of thought on the week of captivity she recently experienced.
"However, allocating Lowee's resources to help a band of pirates is out of the question. Sorry."
A quick refusal. She had her own personal reputation to think about, especially after recent events. With her approval ratings dropping as they were, there was no way she could get away with publicly offering aide to a criminal like Carlo.
Plus, she didn't really like him at all.
"C'mon, Blanny, don't be such a stick in the mud! He helped rescue you, right? It's the least you could do." Neptune butted into the conversation.
Naturally, this put a big scowl on Blanc's face.
"Tch. And how the hell would you know that?"
"I read the last chapter, duh."
"Ugh, whatever. My decision stands. Sorry."
"Boo! Fine, if you won't do it, I will! Someone's gotta get this plot moving again!"
It was at that point a tome hit Neptune in the head. It was Histoire, having somehow thrown herself. She reappeared atop the book resting on Neptune's head.
"May I remind you that metagaming is highly frowned upon in this game?" She said with a strained smile, then she began to write down on a small scrap of paper.
"I'm afraid I have to side with Blanc on this one. The CPUs cannot and will not divert resources to fund a band of ruffians."
She kept writing as she spoke, her eyes fixed to the paper scrap. She gestured Nepgear to her side, handed her the note she'd just written, and whispered something to her. Presumably related to the note. Whatever it was, it seemed to have surprised Nepgear a bit.
"O-Okay... Got it. Alright then, I'm... Off to Lastation again!"
She ran out of the conference room, but she just so happened to bump into Carlo on her way out.
As a fun, totally unrelated fact, Nepgear is not a particularly good actor.
- "Ruffians? Oh fine." - he huffed as Nepgear handed him that note on her way out. - "I bid you farewell then. I must look to rescuing my fellow ruffians."
He finished his drink, straightened his coat, and tipped his tricorn hat to the gathering. They can have their own war for whatever it matters. Antigua, Tacarigua, Taranis, Calador and kila are all far away, and those chips might end up paying for a confortable living. After all, with the CPUs soon shutting down illegal manufactures and cracking down on the good old ASIC cult, a sizeable supply of chips could be all they need to turn the tide in their favor, and they should have no reservations to what the CPUs refuse to acknowledge as fair trade.
He had left the room in a hurry, and glanced at the note, which said: "we'll talk after the meeting".
Lorex halted as he thought, then turned around, thinking. “i could make better profit, but i gotta provide a reason or i may get my ask kicked” he thought alloud as he cut open the roof again and fell in, walking towards the two guards. “yo, g friend left something of mine in their” he half lied as he attempted to walk in.
Clarke thought that at least the goddesses, of all things, would have competent security procedures in their Basilicoms. He didn't want to hold himself higher than everyone else, or at least act like he did, but it genuinely annoyed him how such an inept teenager managed to slip out due to such a stupid oversight. Yet, he figured it was a good thing he learnt his lesson about assuming things now, with little on the line, rather than later.
Reasonably, it wasn't worth pursuing the boy. He had nothing to gain, and the target was not of value.
Despite this, he found himself moving near instantly, likely due to reflexes rather than cognitive thought. Things didn't always go smoothly, and he'd had to chase targets before - sometimes fleeing should the situation require it. So, in the split second Lorex started jumping, Clarke had already run through the optimal ground level exit routes. And given the guy's trajectory, he seemed to be heading to Clarke's right.
Without missing a beat, Clarke sprinted around the corner. Holding his arm out and digging his fingers into a small groove, he hopped slightly, letting the centripetal force carry him. The faint echoes emanating from the roof ricocheted off the walls, clashing with Clarke's own footsteps to affirm he was heading in the optimal direction. Lorex was likely directly above his head, both ran at similar speeds, although Clarke believed his steps to be more calculated, given he didn't have to compensate for the uneven surface.
Heads turned, yet the guards made no attempt to stop him, nor did he communicate with them in any way.
His race through the halls was short, only lasting a matter of seconds before he jumped to the side, gracefully moving through the crack of an open window - pushing it further ajar in the process. As it swung, the glass drove against the air, yet a breeze swiftly made a resurgence, the better angle of contact expediting the force against it thus disrupting the previously maintained equilibrium. Yet, no sooner had Clarke left, the mind-jerking sound of a grating slash met his ears, followed by a more tolerable crash.
I'm actually surrounded by idiots.
Lorex, in a moment of what Clarke could only describe as pure, unadulterated, irrationality, had deemed it a reasonable cause of action to reenter the building. The very building by which all occupants were hostile.
And how did he choose to make his grand entrance?
Through the roof. An opaque roof that easily could have had guards right next to his landing spot. A roof that he definitely didn't cut through stealthily.
I think it's literally impossible to overestimate this guy.
The sheer absurdity almost led Clarke to miss the window slamming shut, yet he still caught the movement out the corner of his eye, reactively kicking a leg out and flicking it open again. As before, he hopped through, landing on the other side in sync with the following slam.
His movements were already planned out, as usual. A left, then a right would lead him to Lorex's drop position, and he wasted no time in making his way there, catching cyan hair rushing around another corner once he got there.
Clarke pursued, still untiring. While a lot had happened, little time had passed, and it only took him a few more seconds to make his was to an interesting scene.
"...something of mine in there."
Without even considering Lorex's reasoning, or how he could possibly think this would work, Clarke continued forwards, swiftly drawing a hardlight dagger from his belt and flinging it towards the man.
He was worthless, information wise, and would surely survive a few wounds.
bomberfrostx ((Clarke chased Lorex, then threw a hardlight dagger at him from behind.))
Histoire nodded in response to the swordsman's query.
"That is correct. For the time being, we must..."
The sounds of crashing through glass and the thumping from landing and running interrupted her. A small gasp and a big frown, as she quickly recognized the hooligan barging into the conference room. She clearly hadn't expected him to break out of his cage, let alone... This.
Histoire sighed. "Really now, where are the guards in all this? Must all of the Basilicom staff take after Neptune?"
That's when a pair of silhouettes burst through the conference room doors. Presumably after Clarke, though this particular poster isn't sure if he'd actually entered the room or not.
One of them straightened their posture, then did the most peculiar hand gesture where they twirled their hand in the air before finishing with a palm outward salute. The other, in a more lax posture, simply made a small wave with their hand.
"Right, I can explain that." The lax one said, speaking out of turn, much to the dismay of his partner.
"See, the GM didn't feel like writin' us in."
He then shrugged and walked off. Though it could not be seen, his partner surely had some kind of scowl on his face.
"Bugger." That one said under his breath, then turned to Lorex to grab him.
"Right then, Lady Histoire, ma'am. I'll take care of this, don't you worry."
Of course, this guard could easily be dispatched with minimal effort.
"It doesn't matter anymore. Yes, our meeting is adjourned, for now. We have much to discuss in private. Please, everyone, keep an eye on the quest board..."
"What a sloppy way to wrap up a meeting. Good going, GM." Neptune stuck out her tongue as she said this.
Lorex did a spin with a kick to get out of the person's grasp, then looking at everybody. “hey, hold it guys, i have decided to offer my assistance” he declared, his attitude becomming suddenly serious.
Carlo was outside, on the other side of the room, so he thankfully heard little from the commotion.
Pacing back and forth, he has been waiting for Histoire to exit. Once the door opened, he turned, and took a shoulder-wide stance, put one hand casually on his hip with a finger hooked into his sash, and left the other to hang. All in all he looked like a captain, or at least a somewhat disturbed captain, which he was, but he forced his voice to sound calm, and his turn to be slow, and deliberate.
Our chibi individual emerged --while stretching-- beneath a pile of clothes --be It Neptune's or Plutia's-- In some corner of the room that all are or were gathered In for the meeting. "*Yawn* ...'rested and ready for the meetin'. Wait. *Looked about* ...Did I sleep through It? Laaame. ....Sooooo, what'd I miss? Nah, don't tell me, I'll just read up on It with this." With that said, the chibi character whipped out their phone and began to scroll through It. "*Nodded* Uhuh. ...I wager Pad' know somethin' about this... Oh well. *Prior mumbled to themself*" And without looking up said. "Though.... talk about that hostility In the air, huh? Heh. ...'guess things musta went south."
As the meeting concludes and it seems that hostility is in the air, Alex rounds the doorway with a milkshake in hand, having left the meeting without anyone noticing to grab a bite to eat. As he's about to enter the room, he realizes what's going on, and that there's a possibility of things getting heated. "......" As he continues sucking down his milkshake, he starts walking backwards, pretending that he didn't see anything/is insinuating that he's not getting involved.
Clarke didn't think anything. There was no point. He had nothing to analyse here. Just actions to make.
Ignoring the guards behind him, he dashed into the room, swiftly drawing his other hardlight dagger and throwing it towards Lorex - or, more accurately, the item he was clasping.
The blade span through the air silently, stabbing through the silvery shell and shunting it out of his hand. It would continue forwards, harmlessly clattering on the other side of the table if left in motion.
Meanwhile, Clarke had continued his pursuit. Whatever offer this guy had was surely worthless. At this point, Clarke really wanted to see him behind bars just for the sense of self-satisfaction. He didn't leave endeavours unfinished without a good reason, and so far he had none. Thus, even as the knife left his hand, he drew the shield, his other arm ready to draw his sword as well - should it be needed.
It hissed, expanding out into its unchanged blue shape, as he jumped through the air, spinning.
With near-perfect precision, his leg cut towards the back of Lorex's knee, ever so close to touching it. His shield was held at the ready, nearing his targets head. The aim here was to simply force Lorex to bend down with the kick and slam his chin on the table ledge with the follow-through. A swift incapacitation. With Clarke's limbs barely an inch away, it didn't look like Lorex would be able to dodge in time.
Que the hardlight dagger zipping across the room. The chibi individual puckered their lips and. "....Looks like I was right. Heh, when aren't I?" With that and while Clarke 'restrained' Lorex, our chibi character pulled (hopping first)— "Hup...." —themself up onto a chair and then— "Nnn...." —atop the table. "....Whew. Bein' this size can be sooooo troublesome. But nothin' I can't handle." Swished their hair to the side with a hand.
"Now then...." Now, chains materialized from various areas about the room and lashed out at and wrapped themselves around both Clarke and Lorex — restraining them (the writer'll note for the new members, these are akin to Gilgamesh's Enkidu chains. Though one can break outta 'em but it shouldn't be easy to (Vince'll remark if otherwise)). "........" Then two chairs In the room dematerialized while two new ones materialized beneath the two — after, the chains forced Clarke and Lorex to take a seat In them. "Perfect. ....Now, now, settle down, this' a Basilicom —Wait. This IS a Basilicom, right? *Looking towards some CPU or staff*— not some Black Friday Outlet blowout or an buffet In Arkansas. So let's be civil and drop the attitude here, huh? ....Or not."
[img] and [spoiler] tags work in the shoutbox - feel free to use them but please do not abuse this feature. If posting pictures please limit the height to 100 pixels or so (use [img height=##] tag). -Reimilia Scarlet