The Choice

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The Choice

Post by Nabonassar on Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:11 pm

Nabonassar was nervous. For the second time in his short life, he was to approach his older sister with the question that would decide his fate. Would he become the buffer against which Celesin rebounded? Or would he be forced to watch in frustration as his nation of choice was marched upon by Imperialist Warmongers? Or would he die in an effort to become the aforementioned buffer? Tonight he would find these things out from his much-loved elder sister. The spatial anomaly that opened was at the edge of the platform of the structure’s top-floor entrance. The being that stepped out of it from what looked to be a portal that was situated in front of a slanted glass wall was instantly recognized as kin to the Marchioness. The people arriving at the club looked at him with envy, awe and some even with calculating looks as if they meant to use him in one plot or another. His pale eyes disregarded them all as he moved in through the entrance, one hand tucked between the buttons of his buttoned suit jacket.

No doubt one of the staff would move to greet him, however all he said to that person would be, “She already knows I am here, child. Please tell her that I will be waiting in the VIP lounge.” He passed through the crowd as if there was a barrier around his person. A space of at least a foot was maintained around him even as he passed through the dance floor. Others seemed to instinctively move away from him. He was not here for them. He was here for Nebuchadnezzar. They were of no consequence in tonight’s activities. A distraction while he waited for her. He moved up the stairs to the lounge and he looked toward whomever was currently occupying it. His voice was cold due to his nervousness, and his expression rather frigid, which encouraged those occupying the space to vacate when he said, “Leave. Now.”

Cheer and optimism gone, he looked out over the patrons of Heaven’s Blade, accepting the drink he had ordered even before arriving. He had made sure, upon completion of Nebuchadnezzar’s tower of debauchery, that should he ever visit, he would have a drink within three minutes of his arrival. He swirled the cognac in the glass before taking a sip, his pale eyes looking down at the crowd of people. They danced and they enjoyed themselves while Celesin prepared to invade his country. He had just recently gotten his home settled upon the world where Black Sun existed. He had no desire to uproot it and leave. And he knew that would be the case if he did not die in the attempt to break his initial limiter. He sipped the cognac again.

He wouldn’t turn when Nebuchadnezzar arrived. He spoke instead, “I hope you have given this considerable thought, my sister. Because I know that I have. Our other siblings have often said that you and I are the most alike. I always liked the thought of that, you know. To know that even years after your birth I came along to provide you with a kindred spirit, so to speak. Someone who shared your rather specialized mindset.” He smiled slightly, “I always liked to think that if I had been around when your limiter broke, mine would have snapped in sympathy.” Scientifically impossible, but it was a rather amusing deception. But it showed just how much he thought of Nebuchadnezzar and their similarities. He felt he was closest to her. That was why he had come to her with this request and had not gone to, say, Konstantine. She might have done it simply to research the ego-death process, or the process in which limiters break, depending upon the outcome. But he had come to Nebuchadnezzar. Because they were so similar.
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Re: The Choice

Post by Nebuchadnezzar on Sun Oct 16, 2016 1:09 am

It would be Saee that intercepted the male  King; her eyes widening slightly at  the familiarity of his features and understanding almost immediately that they were somehow related. Understanding that would make the albino assistant and one of Nebuchadnezzar's many “hands” turn red as sin. Anything  she’d meant to say to him was cut off by the cultured voice of the tall man. He was tall and broad shouldered with a perfectly fitting suit, no less— his physique was certainly fine tuned to show a prime specimen for his gender  in the same way his female equivalent was.  Not that Saee knew or understood this; she only skittered away seemingly before the man could begin to make any demands of her like her Mistress was wont to do. Some of which were frightening or uncomfortable.

Nabonassar would accidentally throw Saee into hiding after she flit back across the floor of the First Tier and did her duty. As well, it would instead be Signe who delivered his drink to the Loft— a tall, very dark skinned woman with eyes as green as a cat’s and long, straight black hair. She wore  the same uniform short black dress as Saee and carried a digital tablet under one arm; meaning she likely wasn’t one to be relegated to serving on the club floor by any means. Her presence always preceded the King’s as many regular patrons had come to understand. Politely, she would not leave the Loft, but, would ease herself into the corner. Nabonassar wouldn't have the chance  to tell her to leave his presence as, soon after, the woman of the hour would arrive.

There was a reason beyond resemblance that some people had stared at him tonight. His garb was assumed to be thematic and indicating some very special event they had not received invitations to as in some ways he had  managed to match his twin sister’s ensemble. She wore an expertly tailored deep gray suit with white pinstriped, a crisp white shirt, black tie with a palladium pin, red satin in the breast pocket and had managed to work it beautifully. It was the polar opposite of the high-femme, sheer and ethereal white set he’d seen her in earlier in the week. And, the woman didn’t look happy. Nebuchadnezzar turned and sat down with a perfunctory suddenness onto one of the off black couches. A coat with mahogany fur trim was removed from er  shoulders and placed to the side before her own pale eyes bored into the back of his head as he spoke.

’Before  I inform you of my decision—- Imagine you are me, brother-mine. Only for a moment, and you have been asked to perform a procedure on him that violates the standards of neutrality between members of our hive,’ she’d say; brows knit as she moved away from trying to set the back of his skull on fire. Instead, she stared at the wall as if to gather her thoughts. A cosmetic gesture since a King would never need to do so. ’Your beloved sibling who does indeed favor you in more  ways than any other in our Borgism comes to you asking you to quite possibly kill him. You have a seventy-five percent chance  of doing so, and, he has chosen this course of action in light of an empire he has only recently invested himself in. You are now shouldering the burden of his consciousness and thus his life, so to speak along with that of an entire planet locked empire. While you delve into the  affairs between galaxies…,’ The woman king huffed and shook her  head. On a lark, she addressed Signe.’What would you do, Signe? I understand you have siblings?

’I would worry for him, Mistress. My siblings are dear to my heart. I cannot imagine being asked to undertake a great  chance of harming them.’ Signe purred; her voice managed to be even huskier than Nebuchadnezzar’s. There were many obvious reasons the exotic, lithe kitten of a woman seemed to be attached to the King’s hip. Said King turned from Signe back to Nabonassar’s fall of dark, richly textured hair.

’If you were me, what would you do? In depth.’ she asked, crossing her legs and revealing she wore no heels withh her garb for once— actually, she had on shining, custom made black dress loafers.
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Re: The Choice

Post by Nabonassar on Sun Oct 16, 2016 3:47 am

The King was. . . disappointed. It was not something he was used to feeling. But following that was anger. Not a mild irritation, not a minor annoyance. But anger. It was not something he was used to feeling. In fact, this was probably the first time he had experienced it, and thus it colored his tone as he remarked about her statements. It was not a response to her question, but he was merely pointing out fallacies in her remarks, “Standards of neutrality? Standards which you flaunt simply by existing in your current state.” He closed his eyes, attempting to reign in his rampant emotions, but he spoke again before he could get them under control, almost as a reflex, “So similar, and yet you fail to understand that which drives me to this decision. I was born out of failure. If Black Sun is annexed by Celesin I will be branded a failure and a mistake!” He took a calming breath, the air hissing out from between his clenched teeth. Her brother was beginning to fray. He was losing his grip on his Kingly manners. That ever-present veneer of calm that made them truly seem alien to others. Nebuchadnezzar might even dismiss Signe at this point, but whatever she decided he would not speak until he had regained his calm. Several minutes passed passed in which the very pregnant silence would prevent anything from being said.

When he spoke again, his voice was even again, smooth as molasses, “How many of our siblings have yet to pursue their primary function? They pretend they debate matters consequence when all they really do is sit on their fat asses while the galaxies burn. Esarhaddon’s mate is one of the many reasons for that.” He polished off his drink and set aside the empty glass, “Would you get me another, Signe? Thank you.” He was very much hoping that this would remove her from the setting. But whether it did or not, he looked down upon the people in her club, watching them enjoy themselves, “Among the many debates that burn within the collective is the one about my predecessor. Nabopolassar. They wonder about his death. Some believe he was a failure in some way, some part of him was defunct and so he caused himself ego-death upon triggering the defunct part of his mind. As his replacement, there have been speculations about whether or not I will undergo sudden ego-death or nor via the same defunct line of code.”

He sighed deeply, eyes closing as he unburdened himself to her, “That is why I decided to pursue my core purpose.” He turned toward her, idly removing his meerschaum pipe from his jacket, “I am apart from them, now in body as well as spirit. But I have noticed something odd about your nuances, my sister. Whenever you speak of Black Sun, you ensure that you drive home the fact that it is a planet locked Empire. But of course, you never do anything without a purpose.” He spun the meerschaum slowly in his hands, “You think them irrelevant. Miniscule. Insignificant to the larger picture of the galaxies you immerse yourself in. But that is why I chose them in the first place. They are young. Much the same as I am. But they have. . . great potential. Also as I do.” He held the pipe up for her to see, “A beautiful thing. Small, yet exquisite.” He tucked the pipe away and finally looked Nebuchadnezzar. He would accept the drink from Signe whenever she returned.

The youngest of the Kings looked at his sister, “You ask what I would do in your position? Well, in your shoes I would know that nothing is more important to you than success. I would know that you had done everything in your power to ensure the best chance for Black Sun in the coming conflict with Celesin in the event of your demise. I would know that, should Celesin take Black Sun, you would be forced to leave it so that you would not violate the agreement made by the collective. The agreement that stipulates only one King may be aligned with an empire or nation.” He took a deep breath, “I would know that in your eyes you would rather take the seventy-three percent chance of ego-death than be forced to return to the collective in shame because you did not explore every avenue for success.” To know that there was even one last thing he might have tried that had even a twenty-seven percent chance to succeed and save his chosen Empire. . . it would be a fate worse than death. Nabonassar came equipped with all of the powers bestowed upon Kings. But what he had developed after his birth was non-standard for his species. Feelings of inadequacy, fear of failure and probably several other disorders he did not care to think about. And if she did not value her privacy so much, she would know it as he knew it.
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Re: The Choice

Post by Nebuchadnezzar on Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:37 am

Nebuchadnezzar watched his reaction with an unreadable expression. Neither blank, nor cold and fully engaged. She didn’t even deign to blink as her brother lost his composure to rage combined with pain and some desperation as well. His reaction was, in fact, very important to her. The woman Kinng never spoke without intention in every word that left her stained lips— not even to the other members of her hive. Nabonassar expressed that he thought her hypocritical, smug, blind to his intentions and understanding of the risks he took and most of all he didnt think it was fair that she’d been freed of one limiter when no other King could boast the same. Perhaps he thought she was refusing as she enjoyed being a cut above the rest.

Nabonassar was wrong.  But, he had reacted in a manner she had planned for and it was time for him to be told a story he hadn’t heard before.

In those moments that passed Signe had been silently ordered to leave the room and likely to the man’s comfort and satisfaction. All it took was a quick crook of the mistress’ head and she had sauntered away while quietly closing the door to the VIP chamber. Some time after it would be one of the oni-masked servers from below who brought Nabonassar his cognac, somethinng clear with mint leaves for the Madam of Heaven’s Blade and left him alone with his sister once again.

’Hm,’ might further anger the King before he resumed being able to demonstrate patience. It would sound dismissive or blithe, of course. But then the woman rose from the couch after finally breaking her staring fugue and approached the half wall to stand beside her dello demiurge. ’You’re wrong about most of that, about myself and my priorities. I made my decision an hour after we spoke in your young empire teeming with potential. I simply needed to know if you understood the gravity of the choice and confirm the weight of your motivations. Though— ‘ she took a tip of what looked to be some specific and exotic mojito before continuing. ’I do feel somewhat guilty about upsetting you. Consider it even for saddling me with the soul wrenching request to quite possibly kill you.’

Now, she cleared her throat and put the drink aside to unbutton her suit jacket and lay it gingerly on the back off the couch in such a way that she could prevent wrinkling. Seems Nebu knew just as much about men’s fashion as she did her own usual fare. Underneath she had not skimped on making sure the ensemble was true to form: her shirt was expertly tucked, the pin striped vest had been tailored to the curvature of her figure and she’d even managed an Eldredge knot for her tie. Once she was comfortable again, she would resume speaking.

’I understand stories that begin with “When I was your age” are trite at best, but, in this case it truly is applicable. I was a meager two years of age at the time. Freshly decanted with a broken heart thanks to abandonment from a literal ‘devil’ named Xanatos Uriel Wolf. I was somewhat lost and without confidence in those times and doing a fine imitation of the Walking Wounded around this godforsaken planet. I fell in with what they’d call the “bad” crowd and I had too much power and precious little control...but I was confused. Somehow, I had become a member of that crowd’s family— they did not require blood relations to be a member of that family and the certain member, Mundus, who took me under his wing and taught me the most graceful methodology of using my talents and thus breaking ground in all King processes once they were shared with the hive. He began in earnest to call me his daughter.’ She’d clear her throat and, for once, finished her drink without every movement being carefully controlled with extreme poise and undeniable sensuousness. Instead, Nebuchadnezzar tipped her  head back and dispatched it. These  were her most frightening, ugly memories.

’However my father, Mundus, was disillusioned. As much as the other important patriarch of the clan, Thargor, he had  made  the choice to ascend. The choice to leave me, leave us and to become a greater  and intangible consciousness that would always be with us  in one form or another. He did not need his power  to do so. He also confessed that  he considered me to have the potential for becoming one of the most dangerous beings in the universe. What that  meant for us all he confessed he  had  no idea— but he was about to take a  risk with me and I had  no choice but to travel that path with him. The very next moment and without warning he made good  on his decision. What happened next can only be described as a form of...rape. Without violating my physical form in any  way. He forced his power, his consciousness  and more into my core and through its true projection to the source just  before he informed  me that due to my structuring— he was a very scholarly man who I had allowed to study me at various angles— it would either kill me, I would ascend with him, or, I would simply retain his power amongst other things.’

Now,  she approached Nabonassar’s  spot again and leaned against the wall; watching the people below with him.

’Would you believe  the calculations of that chance of death were exactly seventy-three percent? Unlike you, I hadn’t asked for it. And it was agony. Every connection, ability to sense anything, my consciousness and more were all given in to agony. Not the simple physical pain we can choose to feel, or not, so that we might better understand the condition of those we act as shepherd to but something far more traumatizing. I was so instantly destabilized that my shell was obliterated. I was nothing more than a projection of my core for what felt like several eternities. Only after a soft restart from the source and much needed repair and cohesion of my core was I able to pull together enough respective material from the space  in between and give  myself a physical form once again,’ Unconsciously, Nebuchadnezzar was shaking her head. Rare for a King to make such gestures without deliberately intending to silently communicate..’ That was how my limiter was not simply broken, but torn. Ripped. Broken over Mundus’ knee so he could nearly kill me while using my core  to kill himself and to give me the better part of his power’

’I was instrumental to my father’s death. That was also the day I truly came to be considered a Shuinsai. And, it was the last time our collective truly trusted me. I became someone who needed to be both avoided and watched. Only Esarhaddon kept her trust and faith in me even as I grew cold for so long and isolated myself for the next three years— there is much before your time that  you do not know. And, then, Nabopolassar became irate. You see, he hated me much for the same reasons you are  angry with me. It was not fair to him, it made me an anathema to the hive, a danger. And for me to have that cut ahead, it made  him power hungry. His life ended because  of me as well as after Isaak and years of giving my untrusting true family space away from me? He saw Esarhaddon’s fruitful efforts to bring me back in as something sinful. It wasn’t long until his attempt and subsequent ego death occurred,’ Now she turned to look at him. Not the usual cold and beautiful Nebuchadnezzar but a conflicted  and harrowed woman faced with an impossible decision.

’And then you came along. So like me with drive, so cunning and clever. Motivated. My brother who I have chosen to assist. And now once again I may break my tenuously rekindled bond with my brothers and sisters because I know that I can survive  it if I need to. No other King, even if I say so and may seem arrogant, could have survived distrust from so many mirror like siblings as our bond is our structure and our function. And if you attempted it with anyone else you would have a higher chance of death. So I accept your burden. I won’t forgive you for some time but there you have it, Nabonassar. I will nearly kill you for your fief and your Empress who I highly suspect you have developed feelings for— even outside of such rash decisions.’
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Re: The Choice

Post by Nabonassar on Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:10 pm

Nabonassar had gained control of his emotions before his sister spoke, and so it was with a calm demeanor he took in her initial words. A slight smile curled the corner of his lips as she spoke of ‘calling it even’. It was a fair trade, in his opinion. However, he was optimistic about his chances. Oh he knew the odds, it was a rather slim chance that he would survive. But it was the fact that he knew there would be nothing he could do to chance what happened after if this did not go his way. He watched her remove her jacket and then turned back to the balcony, starting to listen as she began to describe her tale. He had never heard about her early years. How she had come to be part of the Shuinsai Clan. He listened raptly, despite being turned away from her.

He took in the information she gave as she told her story, though he seemed to hear things that were important that she simply. . . dismissed. The revelation about Nabopolassar was really quite astonishing. He knew, now, why his predecessor had died. He knew that he was not subject to the same flaws. He was not seeking power for power’s sake. He was seeking it to protect Black Sun from a warmongering Imperialist State bent on annexation. He felt his inadequacy issues melt away as if they had never been. He was not born out of the same defective code as Nabopolassar. It even made him smile.

However as she continued on to reveal that she would assist him, he turned toward her, his free hand rising to place his pale palm against her equally pale cheek, “I thank you, my sister, for telling me all of this. It brings a great deal of clarity and understanding to our relationship. But I think, perhaps, you are overlooking certain high points in your story.” He smiled at her, looking into her eyes, “Things like. . . family, and calling someone father. The mere fact that you have these things outside of the hive. . . you cannot know what it sounds like to someone who has none of it. You have lived and experienced things that I have never had.” He gently drew her close in an untested, untried show of affection between them. He hugged her. It would no doubt feel awkward for a moment until they became comfortable in the gesture. At least Nabonassar became comfortable in it.

Once he was sure that he had displayed his affection for her in a proper time and manner, he pulled away from her and smiled, “I would like to thank you for agreeing to assist me. And I hope that you will not remain angry with me for too long. I came to you, Nebuchadnezzar, because I value your opinion and I respect that you have been through more than any of us, except perhaps Konstantine, even if you never shared the details. But allow me to say this. I am not Mundus. I am not asking you to take part in killing me, as Mundus forced you to do with him. I have asked you to take a chance and help me in my goals to save Black Sun from Mesiphidon’s credo of ‘for the greater good’.”
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