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In Service of the AI

Discussion in 'FanFic' started by Noctavigant, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. Noctavigant

    Noctavigant Samaritan Extraordinaire

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    (This story follows a Hyper-Elite on what is to become the most eventful days of his life. It is background stuff from my roleplaying campaign with Modiphius' system.
    This story is separate from my Death in the Jungle story, though loosely connected. I hope I will find the time and passion to reach the point in which the relation becomes apparent, but otherwise, each can be enjoyed in their own right.)

    A Snake In Paradise


    Not far from Turoqua on Neoterra, a single limousine was speeding atop the waves, just high enough for the slow rolling waves to be disturbed, yet not broken. All but one window was toned and dark, but from the single clear one, a pair of observant eyes were gazing towards the skyline of the city, as it drew ever closer. The eyes belonged to a man named of Damarion Defolill, and the vehicle was likewise one of many that belonged to his company. Damarion casually had his arm on the window frame, but there could be no question that his mood was grim.

    A mere minute passed before the comm link on his wrist, a olden style watch of expert craftsmanship, shimmered a hologram into view. At the other end was a perfectly shaped and overeager woman, her pose erupting in gleeful surprise as it appeared. “Damarion, darling.” She made a small gesture for her hologram to embrace him, but he merely raised an eyebrow, as his geist blocked the holographic greeting. “Seraphina.” The woman barely seemed to notice his response, and certainly left no time for him to continue. “Dear, I hope you are headed back to HQ. We directors have a few decisions to attend to before the fundraiser for the war effort.” At the last word she almost seemed to burst with pride, but Damarion rolled his eyes, his geist removing the lapse of courtesy from the transmission. “I am. I’ll be there within the hour.” Damarion couldn’t help but shift his gaze back to the skyline, a hint of annoyance creeping into his voice. Of course, he could afford it, since his geist yet again struck the tones from the transmission, sewing onto it a gentler pitch, and adding in the barest nod of acknowledgement. “Wonderful darling. Simply wonderful.” It looked like the woman was about to end the conversation by pressing the comm-link in her earring, but at the last moment she stopped. “Any news regarding your research?” Damarion shifted his gaze back, and before his geist could filter out his displeasure, he waved it away. “The research will continue, as it does, in the time that it takes. When and only when I have conclusive results, the board will hear of them.” Then, before the woman could end the transmission his geist did.

    Close to five hundred meters in the air, Damarion corrected his watch and straightened out the imagined folds on his suit, before stepping out of the limousine. The glass terrace caught his step, and he allowed himself to take in the familiar surroundings. Above him stretched one of the highest towers of Turoqua, and the three towers circling it provided cover against the descending sun. He couldn’t help but to scowl at the giant holographic letters that adorned the tower. OBXILUS. Then he proceeded over to the door, but as it opened an elevator appeared from above. Damarion stepped in, and for the barest moment his finger tingled to press the button for the top floor. Then he remembered that there were neither buttons nor need for physical action, and his geist sent the elevator running up the surface of the gleaming tower. It stopped four floors short of the top floor, and his geist whispered gently, “the directors are assembled. It does not appear they waited for you to arrive.” It used a tone much like Damarion’s own, momentarily making him believe that it was his own voice. He grit his teeth and decided, the geist closing the glass doors again and taking the elevator further up before the other directors had any chance to notice him.

    At the second last floor the elevator stopped again, and he strode into a hallway filled with glass cases, each with a light and a relic of old. Most of the artefacts were of old Northern European descent or from the old British Isles from the time of the Italian invaders. Halfway down the hallway a door lead into his office, but as always he slowed down on his way through the room. The relics were of his personal collection, and the various helmets, daggers and clay tablets never left him unsatisfied.

    “To consider, that such strength lead here, just for such weakness to run rampant.” As he caressed one of the glass cases, his sleeve drew back to reveal Gaelic symbols mixed with Nordic runes, a pattern stretching to his shoulder. “Welcome back. Office unlocked.” The voice that responded was like the salute of a soldier, though the accent was exotic. Damarion lingered for a moment, before striding into his office. While everything in there was modern and sterile, unlike the exhibition in the hallway, it was how he prefered it for work. With decisive steps he approached the far wall and opened the vault hidden there. Inside was a small data stick and a variety of objects always good to have on hand. When he’d made sure that everything was there, he stepped back and resealed the vault. His geist told him of the time, and a closet near the door opened to reveal a suit with a rolled-up sleeve. Damarion carefully exchanged his clothing, shifting his business suit back into its rightful position, hearing his geist schedule a cleaning of it for the following morning. A moment later he was dressed in a pitch black suit, gleaming as small scale-like pieces reorganized to avoid the light. The slick black was covered in a vibrant sheath of holographic light, giving it a green sheen whenever the scales moved.

    Damarion arrived at the fundraiser alone. At least he arrived at the red floating carpet alone, but as soon as he stepped onto it, a hudge-pudge of lesser elite women crowded him. Some of them turned away when they recognized him, but those new to the scene sought to give him a hand to kiss. Instead he waded through the flock, counting on the bodyguards to catch any ladies falling over their own feet. He’d barely entered the main hall, a massive dome suspended between two lesser towers, before another crowd approached him. The majority of these were those who claimed to be his competitors, though none of them had as much as a percentage of his wealth. The first to reach him was a young man - he at least appeared as such, but Damarion knew him to be well over ninety years - who called out over the others, “Mr. Defolill, pleasure to see you again. I hear Melakolis Corp of Neapolis yet again resisted your attempt at merging?” Damarion smiled, scowled and lifted an eyebrow, all at the same time. “It’s Doctor to you, Mr. Feron, and I likewise heard that your wife finally croaked. I suppose it is hard for you to supply young Lhosts to both lovers and wives?” The young man’s face turned a shade of white normally reserved for those already in the casket. “Goodnight to you, Mr. Feron.” Damarion walked past and made for the VIP area, barely allocating attention to the stage or the other directors of OBXILUS scattered throughout the room. When a positively furious Mr. Feron tried to enter the VIP lounge, the cybernetically enhanced bouncer gave him a critical look, before pinging Damarion’s geist and receiving a sound no. Mr. Feron found himself staggering away with a drink on the house, and a new respect for modern cybernetic enhancements. Inside the closed lounge, Damarion had barely taken a seat before being approached by two other men. He’d almost gestured them away, until he noticed that one was of the Neoterran Capitaline Army. A general, probably.

    “I just believe that security of people must come before all else.” Damarion could feel the slight buzz of alcohol finally take hold. In the next hall over, the fundraiser performances and speeches were about to begin. The general and his friend, who’d turned out to be a government lawyer, had been engaging Damarion in a discussion for a while. Well, they’d listened to him, as he laid bare his thoughts on society. The general nodded approvingly. “Security in all things, must come first.” The lawyer nodded more cautiously, and was about to make a point, when a woman of considerable looks walked up behind him. Truth be told Damarion was just about to waft her away, convinced she was another golddigger. “But would you then say that security comes from control, and in that case, do you advocate the control of the government over the people?” Her voice held back something that seemed like laughter. Not mean spirited or mocking laughter, but an excitedness that was accentuated by how she casually sat on the armrest of a chair. The lawyer shut up to allow Damarion a response. “I enjoy freedom as much as the next man, but to live without security is not freedom. We must acknowledge that fear threatens freedom more than control ever could.” The lawyer turned his face towards the woman, lifting a finger and opening his mouth to add something, but was interrupted, “But the failures of absolute control have been laid bare in history repeatedly. Did not many people struggle against the chokehold of the Roman empire?” As she said it, she smirked as much with her dimples as with her eyebrows. “Without the fear of the greater invader, they had freedom without control,” she continued. Damarion rolled his eyes, and struck out an arm, but couldn’t keep from accompanying the movement with a smile. “You are not wrong, but the societies of old were dominated by their own rules and laws. Rome was not the first to impose rules on its citizens, in fact... ”.

    Damarion didn’t even notice as the general and lawyer left. The woman sat across from him, her pink hair and colorful dress a stark contrast to the blackness of his own hair and suit. He likewise imagined that their faces were in stark contrast. His eyes were hard, his face square and handsome, but with the signs of youth slowly receding. She had teasing eyes, a pointed chin and soft cheeks, the youth of body and mind equally obvious. The only thing they obviously shared was their intellect, and they danced through topics of history and culture, going into the quantronic and briefly through psychology. Finally a silence fell, and the woman gasped, as if the conversation had exasperated her. “My name is Juliet Ann Jackson,” she sat back and stretched out her one arm, letting the other fall back. “You know who I am,” Damarion said, and she nodded. “And you think you know why I’m here,” Juliet answered. Damarion felt a painful pang in his side. Not enough for him to show it, but a painful reminder nonetheless. She pulled up her comm, a fingerless glove quite unlike the rest of her outfit. With it she opened a small panel, and she winked at him as she pressed the holo buttons repeatedly. Then she pressed send, and Damarion’s device beeped together with every other device at the event. Damarion flicked open the hologram, seeing that it was a message from the fundraiser. Someone with the initials J.A.J had just made a contribution larger than Damarion’s. He nodded approvingly. That made it clear that she was not here for the money, and as he returned his gaze to her, the desire in her eyes was obvious. He expected that his eyes showed the same desire.

    --- To be continued ---
     
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