Sol [Verbaderbal] and Ghanima - RP from Slack "Introducing the Balisongs"

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Sol [Verbaderbal] and Ghanima - RP from Slack "Introducing the Balisongs"

Post by Ghanima on Mon Oct 19, 2015 4:26 pm

ghanima [7:38 PM]
The wind was ferocious and cold in Maur Secundus; the terrain’s color made intense under a heavy gray sky which had been consistently offering flurries for the past day or so. It was cold enough that most of those aboard the ​_Sampan_​ boat style aero-vehicle were tugging furs and Konstari silk closer around their bodies while they flew low over a military yard. Some one hundred feet below them were rows upon rows of bodies; all any gender and serving their required time of conscription in the Empire’s three army wings.

None of them seemed to be shivering quite like the Empress; thronged by four figures all in black and silver; their faces covered whilst holding the unique ​_khopesh_​ style polearms at their right sides— the Moon’s Hammer as they were nicknamed almost as a form of mockery by some. To Ghanima, they were her most trusted protectors and served as the royal guard. As always, they remained anonymous much like the former Bedrocks.

​_’As I understand it between Tarnaro, here, and the four other yards on the continent we only boast some fifty thousand troops? And forgive me— they look somewhat lackadaisical.’_​ she’d say; speaking to the high ranking official who’s equivalent position was something close to the Joint chief of Staff. He frowned underneath a windfall of coarse beard hair— only the wriggle of the structure clued Ghanima in to him making any sort of expression.

It was no secret that he’d much preferred serving under her father than his young daughter, the current crowned head. And said woman was staring at him; waiting for a response. Only after a dangerously long moment did he speak.

​*In these times of peace the conscripts serve their requirements and immediately leave the Corps for education, business or to begin families, your ​_Infernal_​ majesty…*​ And speaking of danger; his enunciation of a certain word was enough to cause the empress to bristle.

In truth, she hated the man though his position was invaluable. It wasn’t difficult to see that he resented her being unmarried and not providing someone to lead the militia. Technically, they were on the same page about their lazy, threadbare infantry. He, who went by Sulai; saw unimaginable threats in the arrival of certain other, alien empires who had only shown up on the Sanctum in the past decade or so.

​_’While our infantry is lacking, please, take us over the ship yard and I’d like us to touch down. I want to discuss something with Sol.’_​ Now, Sulai and ​_all_​ the other high rankers on the airship bristled. The empress hadn’t curried favor with them and her fetish for hiring foreigners into important Imperial positions. But Sol had advanced them seemingly more than a century ahead in his technological advances. A gift to the empire that few seemed to understand in their xenophobia.

She couldn’t imagine what they’d think of Sergei when the rumours were finally proved as fact. Just the thought of the former Dorian commander and his big, warm hands distracted Ghanima; a small smile playing over her delicate features as she put both hands on the air-gondola’s edge and peered below again. Sulai and company looked unhappy but instructed the red-skinned and horned pilot-guide to change course. Soon enough they had left behind the sprawl of training bodies for a yard of seemingly endless, currently dormant technology.

ghanima [7:38 PM]
Ghanima gazed over lined up golems, Sol’s design for human controlled ‘exo skeletons’--....or something along those lines. The names were foreign and complex and the man tended to ramble on and practically in a foreign language when discussing one of his newly designed constructs.

The red, flashing lights from the engines beneath the air-board played across the asphalt below while the military officials, dignitaries, the customary detail of two Ordo priestess-shamans which always accompanied the crowned head and finally exited the craft. Word would reach Sol that he’d been summoned quickly, of course.

Likely, the messenger would be frantic and agitated due to the unexpected nature of the visit.

verbaderbal [9:49 PM]
Sol, for all of his seemingly invisible faults, was a hard man to hate. Especially if he was known. His legions boasted some of the sharpest scientists the Black Sun Empire could produce. Training under him, for all it's social leprosy, was only expounding upon the Empire's might indefinitely and exponentially. Which was good, truthfully. Though he was a taboo hero, his results were beyond question. He had left earth at its height of technology, but also in its writhing death throes. The planet he had left was nearly irradiated to uninhabitability, and may never recover without his technologies. It was also entirely likely that he was the only true earthling left alive, in this universe... Or the next universe...

Regardless, he tried not to think too hard on it. The Empress saved him, trusted him, and he rewarded her beyond measure. The population was booming. The people's overall health improved daily. While, much to his slight resilience, Sol built weapons as well-- there was a technology that he refused to surrender. Only Ghanima knew of his profane understanding of Kojima particles, and while she may not have understood it, it was the only subject Sol outright denied his beloved ruler. Thereby, conventional and djnn weapons were subjects that he had been heavily entrenched in, as of late.

The messenger arrived at a rather ideal time, all things considered. Sol was addressing the first brigade of Balisong pilots.

The balisong was a simple machine-- well, by Sol's measure. Low djnn use, as far as the rest of his arsenal's consideration. It was a close support fighter that could make a slight transformation into a medium bi-pedal walker. While not distinctly against the elegant sloping and beautiful appearance of the Empire's typical airforce, these things were much more earthlike in design. ( Think A-10 thunderbolts that could turn into single pilot mecha. ) They were even exclusively conventional. Pilots with almost no djnn ability could utilize them freely. ( Something the aristocracy frowned on, as it impugned on the exclusivity of their army. )

The dark haired man offered a weary, albiet handsome smile to the young woman as she left. " Alright. Let's do it. "

Ghanima had received an instrument. Small, marked with three stabilizing prongs, that supported it on the deck of the vessel, and began projecting a light that flickered briefly before it took a cast shape. Sol Ad'eos stood before his oligarchical peers in full two-dimensional glory. A soft voice joined it. " Friends. " He began, as the mechanical graveyard sprung to life, whirring with motion. " I invite you to join me, and my handpicked pilots of the Gemini wing. " He paused, as hologram Sol extended an arm behind him, towards the rocky expanse of landscape that composed his ten square mile playground. " In our fiftieth, live fire, drill sortie. " He smiled, as he moved to sit. " Also, our camera crew of Lian and my driver Eshew. " The pair wouldn't peep up, but Sol knew the entire deck hated him. Not that all of his underlings were so willing to throw themselves into the line of fire so willingly.

----- October 7th -----

verbaderbal [11:01 PM]

ghanima [11:14 PM]
I'm typing <3

ghanima [11:15 PM]
I didn't get much time between sleep and coming back in to the shop

ghanima [11:36 PM]
Speaking of frowning, the delegates were doing just that when the messenger returned not with Sol...but some sort of contraption. To her it resembles a spider-- if they had ever come with three legs only.

An unseen nod from Ozur and the young militant placed the objects' tripod legs on the deck of the air carriage whence it began to operate on its own. All but Ghanima and the Priestesses ooh'd and aaah'd at the display as it burst forth from light only. Sulai even seemed unable to stop himself from putting his hand through Sols' figure only to jerk it back in fear of burn that never occurred.

Lo and behold the display offered an invitation to... Something. A drill sortie? Admittedly, Ghanima didn't understand the term while the military brass on board seemed already set up to nod and smile with anticipation.

​_'We will speak after....'_​ from the Empress who wasn't so sure the false figure allowed for two way communication.

They landed the craft as whatever was planned was surely safer from ground level. The party dismounted from the low hovering craft which had extended a set of stairs from the dock. As they were slightly unstable the Empress was escorted by Sulai as per tradition-- and his facial expression was truly caught between pride for having the crowned head on his arm, if briefly-- and his loathing for her style of rule and alarming youth.

Ghanima hadn't bothered even to glance at the Joint Chief's face the entire time.

Satin slippers with marble soles met asphalt and their party paused on the tarmac. We're they to train their gazes upward?

In the meantime the Empress fished under her fur and silk to the red medallion that rested on her decolletage. It was a far more private and urgent method of contacting those in the upper echelon of her command. A smaller version of it was pinned to the breast of only five (considered very important) individuals-- one obviously being Sol.

It didn't do much else than glow and warm up a little, but, the message was clear. She wanted him on a face to face basis after the show.

Dotingly, one of the other military personnel meant approached her with his jacket in order to drape it over her shoulders and found himself refused. 'That will not be necessary', she'd say softly with a hint of irritation.

It might have been a courtesy but social cues in the empire's military read this as something more appropriate for wives and mistresses. Ghanima put effort into not appearing dour about it. The militancy and the crown had a currently strained relationship.

----- October 8th -----

verbaderbal [3:07 PM]
" Yes, Empress. " Sol stated, simply. As the Chief put his hand through the hologram, Sol heaved forward, clutching his chest. " AUGH! I AM PEPPERED! " Then, suddenly slumped to his waist. Laid low in the backseat of the jeep, his crew did nothing. Although the dramatic show of things might have drawn some angst, it was mostly annoying. Sol was well known for his eccentricities. " Rest assured, Advisor Sulai, it is merely projected and refracted light. I can receive images and sound from your projector as well. " He clarified.

A few moments of silence would fill the air before the shrill squeal of winding jet engines would be roused from the

verbaderbal [4:21 PM]
The nearby hanger. The roof opened, and five craft slowly rose from it's bowels. The engines were directed downwards, and in this mode, they brought themselves to a slow circle around the taramac. " Gemini wing, salute and form up!" On command, the craft dipped a wing, before rising higher in the air. Their turbines went from vertical to horizontal, and they took off into a Delta formation. A hoverskiff took off after them from the hangar. On it was Sol and his team. ( idk why the fuck they would have a jeep forgiveness)

----- October 9th -----

verbaderbal [12:16 AM]
As the hoverskiff raced off towards the sand, the hologram of Sol was naturally warped with the wind of their motion. Potentially offputting for those watching, but the connection remained constant. " The technology, you'll notice, lacks the typical visual aesthetic of typical Jann craft. This serves a technical and aesthetic function. These machines are forged with simple, easily obtained elements and materials-- nothing like the complex ablative armors we're developing for the dreadnaught and frigate class ships that are still under construction. " The slight crack of a smile at that phrase may have created a stir amid the brass. Under construction is different from in-development. Nothing got a warrior's blood pumping more than a new weapon. " While the Balisong is essentially less capable of heavy fleet combat, it will be nigh impervious to most light-to-medium weapons. This new alloy is resilient even to most djnn weapons. Because of this heavier armor, it will be less mobile in dogfights. " Sol shrugged. The roar of the five Balisongs returned overhead. Sol pulled up the sleeve of his labcoat to produce an immensely complex looking wristpad that seemed to be a blooming physical keyboard, albeit suspiciously thin. A flak cannon lifted from another nearby building and began to sheet cannon fire upon the craft. They seemed relatively unphased- Flying painlessly among the gales of chilling weather, even after taking a few clean hits. The craft mostly maintained formation, too. " But you surely deserve more than simple survivability. You wish for a craft that can be outfitted to to damage as well. The Balisong carries the hardest hitting, along with the cheapest and most replenishable arsenal of any craft in Jann history. " The flakk shelling stopped. " It relies exclusively on chemistry and physics, and not on djnn in any form. If, heavens forbid, a Balisong pilot is shot down, captured, or killed, he may be replaced by another trained pilot, who requires no special birthright or lifestyle. Only knowledge of the machinery is required to operate it, freeing up our priests and priestesses to focus on more important tasks. "

verbaderbal [12:16 AM]
The hoverskiff had come towards the tarmac, as the labcoat clad man rose in his seat and moved to approach, fingers hammering feverishly across his wristpad. Those exosuits that Ghanima had noticed earlier began whirring and coming to life-- though at a significant distance away. Sol's voice was close enough to carry. " You see-- The Balisong's purpose is found not in aerial combat, but in supporting our infantry. It's designated task is to soften up fortifications and armored targets-- such as our powered armor exosuits. " They began a forced march pace-- forming up into a loose group but charging across the outcroppings towards the nobles, weapons raised. " While normally a challenge for personel-grade weapons, the Balisong, you'll find-- " The tell tale paired whistle of loosed rockets landed neatly amid the center of the exosuit formation, as a pair of the balisong's broke off at decent distance, before flying neatly overhead and turning on their VTOL's, bringing them to a neat hovering altitude maybe seventy feet overhead. Half of the suits continued to charge through the and ruin, albiet seeming quite damaged. Sol didn't build shitty weapons. Those suits were not to be taken lightly, as field testing had demonstrated. "-Deals with them handily. They're also able to syncronize targeting for better destructive efficiency. " The exo-suits were now within their own firing range. Wrist mounted cannons were raised-- specifically at Ghanima. The gut-wrenching sounds of a seventy calibur round being fired was enough to make anyone cringe, sheerly from the concussion. Sol stepped lightly in front of Ghanima, making a daring gesture of eye-contact at her, in this intense moment of danger.

That was the instant that the other three craft dropped down from above-- undergoing a folding sort of transformation. At it's conclusion, the four-toed bipedal walkers had formed a phlanax wall between the oligarchs and the assaulting suits. Their heavy bullets plinked off harmlessly, " You have witnessed their payloads. " Sol added, his voice empowered by the hologram he now stood beside. " -- but I would like to introduce you to a personal favorite weapon of mine-- and my people. The gatling gun. " At his word, streamlined plates cracked open to reveal nine linked barrel cannons, as though the walkers now had arms. Sol gestured that everyone put their fingers into their ears. It was only done once. With the speedy, satisfactory winding sound of the barrels achieving optimal rotary speed, all hell broke loose. The bystanders were ants during a hailstorm, as large smoking brass shells were cast from an autoslide alongside the gatling weapons, filling the air with the acrid stink of black powder, burning metal, and smoldering circuits and fluid. The gunfire suddenly stopped, and the weapons ground to a halt. The mecha straightened up, before spreading their formation to allow the field of devastation in their wake. The whole field had been swiss-cheezed. Everything was positively pockmarked with holes within a hundred feet. Smoking shells littered the floor, and plumes of gray smoke still wafted from the red-hot barrels of the Balisong's primary weapons. The pilots stood at attention for Sol.

" For your consideration, I humbly suggest adding the Balisong to our primary forward guard. "

ghanima [5:10 AM]
Even Ghanima startled when Sol mimicked being harmed by Sulai’s violation of the hologram. Only she managed to crack a ghost of a smile at the antics when Sulai saw fit to tense his jaw, adjust his uniform and pick at the grandiose turban perched atop his bald pate.

​_”Peppered…”_​ she mused, voice surprisingly husky and smooth for her diminutive frame; just before the din rose and they all craned their skulls upward for the show they’d been invited to see. She watched the crafts’ formations and did not understand if they had any significance to them and yet still inwardly delighted at the cohesiveness, the synchronicity of their paths.

A few of the delegates and militants clapped to show their appreciation. They’d always had aircrafts but these were certainly different, outside of the aesthetics of the empire. Very foreign— which was both resented and appreciated all at once. Ghanima found the surrounding torque beginning to lift her hair about and made a point to sweep it back over her shoulders for safe keeping in front.

​_’Ah-....’_​ she was slightly startled by the canon fire. For a moment her ears rang sharply and she watched the mouth on Sol’s hologram move; saying something she couldn’t quite make out in her temporary deafness. Something about it clearly caused Sulai to bristle— the Ordo priestesses present seemed unphased. She did catch something about no Jann lineage needed for operation of the craft. It seemed like nothing if not a boon in her eyes as traditions aplenty would need to change, and soon, if they were going to adapt and survive as an autonomous empire on an increasingly hostile world.

Sol was approaching and speaking and, most of all— difficult to pay attention to as his crafts completely changed their shapes and became, something like a homunculus. Golems, perhaps?

ghanima [5:10 AM]
And then there were cannons pointed in her direction. The Empress went still; freezing up slightly with wide eyes as she looked back and forth between the cannons and the man approaching with his labcoat flapping about in the winter wind. It was ​_truly_​ snowing now; the weather shifting near instantly just as she was wondering ​_just how much_​ she trust a man who had so many guns trained on her.

In that moment it was likely he could have taken her life if he wanted. Granted, she was only being shown exactly how precise the weapons could be and that unfortunately did not make it any less unsettling. By the time Sol reached her she was slightly red about the cheekbones. Sulai began to exclaim and found himself halted by the ruler’s small brown hand suddenly raised to silence him. He’d clearly meant to ask what exactly the pompous, eccentric foreigner thought he was doing— once again highlighting his disposition caught between zealous dedication to the crowned head and disapproval of the empress and nearly everything she stood for. Pointing ​_weapons_​ at her? the Gall!

He didn’t make it past his mouth forming the ‘Wh-’. Fingers were meant to go into ears now as had been gestured and the Empress gave Sol a somewhat wary look before plugging her ears. When it was over Ghanima was clearly making an effort to remain somewhat dignified. She was impressed but rattled; shaken up by the noise, the smell, the weapons, the magnificent creations which had just been demo’d for her.

​_’I, hm….I am quite taken by your work as usual, Sol. I-’_​ The same boundary violating delegate from before stooped around her with a silk handkerchief of Konstari quality. It was a faux pas of a similar nature just as before but this time she accepted it and held it delicately in front of her mouth and nose. The gunpowder smell wasn’t ​_horrific_​, but it was very, very strong. ​_’I would however consider these more of a first run. Indeed I will task you with a second series already and with possible integration of technology from the Dorian Empire as given to us by Lord Sergei Deker. That, and, I should like them to represent our empire visually as well. I leave that to you.’_​

Unless Sol kept his ears on the rumor mill it was likely he hadnt heard of him just yet.

​*”Grandiose...unnecessary…endangering our Infernal majesty for show…’’*​ was mumbled under Sulai’s breath as the Empress spoke to what he saw as a smug, overstepping anathema to all the empire stood for. The man never seemed short of reasons to harrumph.

​_’Until we are gifted with the integration of said technological advancements, which you will no doubt be tasked again by my hand to oversee, your humble request is granted.’_​ And as usual she seemed to know that Sol always responded not with ire, but favorably to a challenge. And, so, she’d waste no time issuing one. ​_’Impressive, yes. But their true test is the ability to stand up to the machinations of Celesin.’_​ (edited)

----- October 13th -----

verbaderbal [7:28 PM]
" To be true, Empress, " Sol began-- perhaps having some sense of reading the situation and realizing just what he had done. Sol pursed his hands before him apologetically, stammering his thoughts before composing himself, seemingly unphased by the chill. " This was really more of an... How do you say-- beta test. We have proven the concept, proven that Jann can operate it, and that it can be fielded almost as effectively as I wished. " The sting of embarrassment was audible in his voice. " But... When I heard we had such an auspicious audience.... " The mechanic turned his face and arms towards the nobles. " I could scarcely resist sharing my results with the proud nobility of my foster people. "

They likely seethed at him, behind clenched teeth, before he turned to Sulai again. " And of course, have no fear. I would protect her Majesty" Elegantly positing, " The heart and mind of the Black Sun Empire, with the same ferocity that I will protect the hands. The same way my technology has improved agriculture and medicine. All for one, and one for all. " Excellently stated-- and surely intended as such. The man was a politician, and it was quite apparent that, while, the oligarchs fumed, they must applaud a world where the people are revered, not as pawns, but for their potential livelyhood. They must laud society's greater gain, or look as blackhearts before their peers. While no one liked the cooky foreigner, he didn't jockey for power like they did. Sol had all the influence in the kingdom he could ever need and then some.

The handsome, brilliant, man, flashed a fresh smile at Ghanima. " You wished to speak with me, majesty? I am at your disposal. "

----- October 15th -----

ghanima [11:41 PM]
Ghanima tilted her skull. ​_'A bay-tah test....?'_​ she'd say; having again no idea what he meant but assuming it was indeed just some sort of test and demo as was made obvious. She did note his embarrassment and wondered why he suddenly felt so incredibly self conscious. No doubt Sulai’s mumbling had something to do with it. ​_’Rest assured you have certainly wooed at least myself in the display, Sol. Of course you always manage to do as such.’_​

And, seeing as Ghanima was never one to soothsay someone else’s ego or feelings she was being perfectly honest in all ways about her assertions.

The Empress smiled and lightly inclined her head at his reminding the militant brass that above all things he would protect the crowned head- not make efforts to blow her to pieces for show. She knew there was no ​_real_​ danger in his display even if it had somewhat frightened her. Nevertheless she’d kept her head together and could move on to speaking about her initial concerns— they involved protection after all.

​_’Sirras, please. Feel free to go forth and inspect the weapons or grounds. I must speak to the present gentleman in confidence.’_​ More than likely this was the most polite way they’d ever been told to skidaddle so she could have some privacy. They bowed and obliged understanding that within the suggestion was a steel laced order she expected to be heeded immediately. Thus, she’d waste no time turning to stand at Sol’s side before lacing her arm into his, placing her opposite hand over his elbow and beginning to walk while only one figure remained behind them trailing the pair as per her duties: Ozur, the Abbess of the Infernal Order and her current preternatural protector.

​_’You spoke of protection, Sol, and of course I will always have that. Much in thanks to you, my counsel and many others. I am a hard woman to kill these days— and thankfully. I am humbled by the communal effort to see that I remain unharmed. For your contributions, specifically, the capabilities of my militias have advanced beyond what I could have ever imagined. You brought a foreign advanced technology to my Empire and we are ever in your debt.’_​

She paused; still traipsing with him at an easy pace which he would hopefully oblige her by keeping considering his much wider stride. A glance behind her caught Sulai gesturing wildly at one of the Balisongs. He wasn’t complaining— instead he was ​_demanding_​ one. That was a good sign, wasn’t it?

ghanima [11:41 PM]
​_’And as a gift to you I want you to oversee the technological gifts we will soon be receiving from a new possible ally— the Dorian Empire. Including of course the capability to take the empire to the stars along with new forms of power at our disposal. You will head and facilitate any and all exchanges to me made between our nations and I am awarding you sole propriety over how said technology can advance us even further. You will no doubt be charged personally with working alongside representatives from Dorian. I would trust no one else with such a task.’_​

Now, she halted them both and turned to face Sol— having to look up at him, of course. He was a full foot taller than she was, after all— and had turned her small hands down his forearm to take his hand.

​_’You yourself are very, very vulnerable and at the same instance ​*invaluable*​ to my empire, Sol. I do not mean to insult you when I say that there are many dangerous forces on our world Sanctum that would easily take you from us. I have decided on this note to assign you temporarily a personal portion of my Black Line and should Sergei— whom shall soon be the empire’s new Champion Prima— acquiesce I would even like to task him personally with selecting a permanent security attache to you with swearing he himself with keeping you alive and unharmed. Recently it has occurred to me how simple it would be to cripple us and our advancements by removing you from the equation.’_​

​_’And thus far I have done all in my power to assure that our enemies do not possess even knowledge of your existence.’_​

Now, she waited for him to respond and even expected him to feel insulted as if he were being coddled and caged. Not that it would bother her if he protested. It still needed to happen.

Strange hazel eyes in bright spring blue and sienna focused on Sol without wavering. (edited)

----- October 16th -----

verbaderbal [12:22 AM]
Ghanima had a special sort of charm. That is to say, a handgun in your mouth had a persuasive tilt. While the Empress was significantly softer on the eyes, gesturing casually with a pistol was often quite confusing, unless you realized that one was simply perpetually in danger, no matter how polite or small she seemed. The soft tone in her voice was intended to assuage, to comfort. The scientist in him was swept along in her touch, and despite the fact that she had hung herself on him, it was quite obvious and apparent that she was leading this dance. Sol yielded to her pace with the ease of a gentleman; Ghanima had done this many times, but then again so had many women in his life.

The nobles departed, as Sol pulled up his wrist-com and began hurriedly sending messages out. Casting a nervous grin towards the Empress, he offered " Some of my lead developers, scientists and machinists are resting or off duty. I do appreciate your visit, Highness, I just prefer a touch more notice before bringing all our investors into my testing facility and giving them the walk of the place. " A piff of frustration, surely understood, but with no disrespect intended. Sol was often quite cavalier in private with Ghanima-- since that night he arrived on her balcony, of course, but the two of them were often different, when alone. " Your debt is my debt. As long as I live, I am dedicating that life to the betterment of the Jann. " He seemed suddenly quiet, emotional. " T--.. I don't speak of my home much, I know... But when I was born, there was very little I could do to save it. Our global culture was endemically entrenched in nihilis-- Err. That is to say, our entire culture was built around the philosophy that there was nothing left for our species to do, but exterminate each other, until none were left. While I ache to redeem my world, I can not ignore the plight of you and your people. Especially while you are genuinely sympathetic to mine. "

When she dropped that bomb on him, Sol was not entirely surprised. When one was so useful a tool, one was used for such things. " I-- Of course. I would be honored... " Though he had several ideas about what she was intending to inspire with that phrase ​*to the stars*​, he did reflect momentarily on the thought of seeking Earth. Then she followed in with the nurturing concern of a mother to her child. His face was overwhelmed with amusement, and softened with endearment simultaneously, that was, until she mentioned Sergei and his appointment. " I have no qualms with additional security detail. Truthfully, I was so incarcerated with my work that I had ignored the proximity warnings of the entrance of your craft into our airspace. " Although handsome, it was quite obvious that Sol was ragged. There had been a tiredness in his eyes that had never left him, not as long as Ghanima had known him, and likely even beyond that. "

verbaderbal [12:22 AM]
While I appreciate the depth of your concern, I am working hard in cultivating a crop of minds capable of grasping the sciences that I employ... Give me ten years, fifteen years? I'll likely be obsolete. " Smirking casually at that notion-- because he would never actually allow it to happen, he continued. " I am grateful for your concern, and I will, of course, yield to allow the Champion Prima to increase the security of not only our facilities, but develop my personal guard. " Pursing his lips tightly, and offering a shrug. " Maybe I will also... slow my personal involvement in development, and focus on... self-defense... And betterment. Maybe even magic, as well? " The flash of an assuring smile crossed his lips. " I used to be quite the swashbuckler, in my youth. I could slash the garb off a young lady without so much as splitting a hair. " The words softened, svelte in their intention. Perhaps he was intending to instill a touch of flirtation in their dialogue-- another reason why their privacy was so casual.

The moment was likely brief, before Sol offered even the slightest touch of satisfaction. " and I will avoid piloting a Balisong onto the frontlines, out of gratitude. However, you know that it is only a matter of time before someone who knows a drip about espionage or the history of your people, to see that you've improved your civilization a hundredfold in preternatural time. Only a matter of time before someone with my political visibility makes a real enemy, rather than simply annoying those in your court with my antics... " The man offered a suddenly defeated shrug. Despite all his jockeying, Ghanima may find it somewhat obnoxious how sensitive he was to the idea that he had very few ​*true*​ friends in this world. The empress, herself, even seemed outside that circle. There was scarce little he showed beyond showering them with knowledge and tools to use it. For all his socialization, the man was as much a mystery as these arts he provided the Jann.

ghanima [1:08 AM]
Ghanima’s eyebrows rose at him oh so ​_boldly_​ telling her that she really should have knocked for. Rather than anger, she looked somewhere between amused and impressed with him; her expression somewhat playful as she responded to him.

​_’Ah? Indeed I see how such a visit unannounced could cause you and your ilk many a disturbance in work. I give my word I will send a courier and a few days notice before my arrival. Will that suffice?’_​

So few others could have chin-checked the Empress and gotten away with it— much less causing her to wear an entertained ‘Well, well!’ sort of expression. It faded quickly as he spoke of his original home, the conflicts and seem to stumble over the words. Now pensive, she understood on some level that this was akin to what she feared happening to her world with the arrival of not one but ​_two_​ hyper advanced empires. Something about the world was special and, while Dorian was well on its deliberate way to being an ally to the Black Sun she forsaw a future with a war torn world unless major global changes were facilitated.

Otherwise Sanctum may fall once again as vague, near completely lost history had detailed happening no less than three times. This world’s civilization was last brought to its knees only six thousand years ago and most of the humanoid life on it had been eliminated. Many ruins remained all over the globe.

​_’Oh, I highly doubt one such as yourself would experience something akin to obsolescence, Sol. If I have noted one quality about you it is that you are highly adaptive and never cease to surprise. Give it ten or fifteen years when I am truly the Empress Dowager and my son sits upon the throne— I see your talents being valued under his rule.’_​

After, she let loose a brief and chime-like laugh at him making yet another bold statement about removing women’s clothing with a slash. ​_’Well, I personally enjoy my clothing being removed slowly and deliberately with utmost care and not by blade.’_​

ghanima [1:08 AM]
A proposition or simply her own sense of humor? Nevertheless, she moved on.

​_’You bring up espionage and, yes, that is indeed a risk we are considering. It is a hollow hope for now that our advancements have been somewhat quiet, alas, I know there are powerful figureheads in this world which it is nigh impossible to hide much of anything from.’_​

Sol brought up magic just as she lead them into another slow walk. The Abbess had been giving them a wide berth, but, once the preternatural element entered the conversation she seemed instantly closer by a few paces. Eerie but not invasive.

​_’Do you come from a people with such abilities as high blood Jann? I had thought you were a null in the old fashioned sense of the word.’_​ She was certainly thinking of ​_something_​ applicable to the situation. ​_’There are ways to tease such an ability out of someone should they have a small spark of the divine. Otherwise, there are ways to gift it. For now, I will be sure you are protected without any invasive element to your work.’_​

verbaderbal [1:38 AM]
Sol bristled at her chiding, but deflated to a near pout at her comment. " I don't mean to assume ... it is simply that... I have enough on my plate without looking like an outright fool. " Sighing lightly at her comment of their collective retirement, Sol could only grin. " You are so vivaciously maternal, I couldn't imagine what you'd be like with your own child. " Sol was nearly terrified of babies. He heard they were a lot of work from someone, once. " Have no fear, my Empress. " He began-- coy as could be. " I would never remove your clothes with a blade. Sulai would have my head on a spike. " He joked. Why would he ever take Ghanima's clothes off? Silly man, with his silly toys. " My faith in you is absolute, and no matter what, my life is forfeit. " Finally, he committed to word. They were in this boat together, fucked or not.

Sol had scarcely detected the Abess' movement. The Ordos were beyond meticulously secretive. Perhaps if he hid among them-- it was likely he would be dusted by Odelisk within the day, just for thinking the thought aloud. " I... " Pursing his lips tightly, he turned more keenly towards Ghanima, silvery eyes glinting. " My home... that is to say... Sometime during the late twenty first century, a wealth of occulto-spiritual information was developed by... let's say amateurs. The amount of data sifting I would have to do to discover anything even remotely genuine are immense. Beyond that, much was lost during the corporate wars. Beyond even that, I possess not even a modicum of what was left to me by my predecessors. Stories exist of magic among my ancestry, all over the planet. But sadly, to my knowledge, all that remains are are just that, stories. Technology was our magic. If I have a talent for it or not is... Well, a mystery to me. Entirely. " A weak shrug was offered. How long had it been since the man had slept? Or eaten? " I am entirely novicine in it's understanding, and while it is a subject of great interest, I fear I will have no ability for it. My cup runneth over, as they say. " As -who- says?

" I wouldn't trouble you for anything more than you have already given-- and I am grateful for your concerns to my wellbeing. My aides have enough to work on. I will abide you, and focus on inducting a greater sense of security. " (edited)

ghanima [2:29 AM]
​_’Your dedication is as usual more than appreciated, are a boon to the empire. And I assure you a crotchety old man like Sulai who disapproves of my youth and tactics holds no dominion over me.’_​ With that she resigned herself to curiosity, again, to hear him out. Many of those souls from times past and present had come from other worlds. Sanctum was something like the West and the gold rush of olden times except as a world it existed a sort of universal wrinkle— a pocket dimension.

More and more alien visitors were arriving in these past centuries. Only the Black Sun as far as she knew was truly native to the world.

Ghanima noted that when Sol spoke of his past he was wistful and she felt expressing her curiosity might be touchin on old wounds. Still, she gave him a proposition.

​_’Some time I should like to hold private palaver with you, Sol. If you would accept an invitation. I’d like to know more about the history of your world. You already understand my love of stories and the histories of faraway places, battles and downfall always hold a place in my heart. Sometimes those old yarns from foreigners allow me to see my own empire in a new light. Recently I was gifted with a tale from one of Sergei Deker’s old war exploits. It was enthralling— he claims to have many more.’_​ There was something in her voice when she spoke of Sergei. A little warmth, obvious fascination and perhaps even a sliver of intimidation.

It was no secret around the empire by now that the former Dorian high commander was courting the woman and especially after she’d sent every single other gorgeous, satin-covered fop the imperial houses had sent her way packing within the week.

She paused after speaking and gave ​_him_​ a measuring look.

​_’If you truly want the ability to take care of yourself outside of technology there ​*are*​ ways I can see that it is done….I wonder if you would be comfortable with such strange, disturbing rituals however. Let me only say that the power wielded by myself, my Abbess and the Ordo priestesses can be granted. Or something like it. I’d very much like you to consider such an offer though you will be changed forever….’_​

----- Yesterday October 18th, 2015 -----

verbaderbal [11:01 PM]
At the mention of his loyalty, Sol grinned politely, until Sulai's name popped up. " I doubt anyone could overpower you, my lady. You've the regal presence of a sunrise. " A chirp rose in his voice, reflecting the kindness of her words to mirror his own thoughts of her leadership.

Then she posed a question to him-- one she had occasionally pined for, but with less insistence on his schedule. Her politeness and decorum only went to show how sincere her request. He had just stated repeatedly that he was going to make more time for himself to do things. While at his phase in Earth's history, genetics were mapped and people were crafted, Ghanima was like a wild desert rose, who's beauty was not just born in her petals, but crafted in her roots. Her tenacity through adversity, her livelyhood, made her easily one of the most beautiful women he had ever known.

And she wanted a part of him to keep.

While partly flustered and somewhat upset at the revelation of her intimacies with Sergei, Sol straightened. He played right into her hands. " If there is even a possibility that I can aide the Empire through stories of Earth, by Jove, I will see it done. " Whatever the fuck that meant.

" I will begin by saying that in the name of righteous use of power, there is no end to my desire. I swore fealty knowing that I would face opposition and tribulation. That is the purpose of swearing a life into service. What is the purpose of a servant, when the master doesn't need them? " He paused; it was a rare form that showed how truly dutifully Sol felt about offering his word to Ghanima. An excellent knight, through and through. " I will inquire more, though, before suggesting something... so drastic. " A light smile crossed thin lips. Willing, but not foolish. Ever a man of true valor.

ghanima [11:38 PM]
The Empress wore a widening smile and placed her fingers over her lips. ​_’You are far, far too skilled in flattery Sol. Careful.’_​ she’d say, giving a small laugh afterward.

That didn’t stop her from noting his reaction to the mention of Sergei. It was brief and not quite so obvious, but, it was filed away for later consideration. Ghanima wasn’t sure what such a reaction meant for the time being as she hadn’t the faintest clue how Sol might have felt about her. Or rather— now, she did indeed have a faint clue. A silver eyebrow rose at the words that followed after.

​_’Your dedication and valor to my empire has too long gone unrewarded Sol. Soon enough I think you will have achieved more than necessary to be granted a noble’s title. Don’t you agree? That notwithstanding you are ever a faithful servant— even for entertaining me with a few tales.’_​ Now, she gave him a smile that showed a bit of teeth.

​_’If you are serious about your inquiries to what I have in mind you will have plenty of time before the Ordo, my Abbess and others are agreed and prepared to what I have suggested. You will not enter the arrangement with closed eyes, I assure you.’_​

Now she turned and glanced behind them; looking the Balisong array over and scanning each machine. ​_’They should be black. Black with deep royal blue and silver accoutrements.’_​ She’d turn to him; turquoise and sienna eyes squinting against the heavier snowfall. No longer flurries at this point— and she looked cold even underneath the furs. ​_’ After, how do you imagine a new capital flagship?’_​

----- Today October 19th, 2015 -----

verbaderbal [12:19 AM]
Dipping his head with a touch of impishness, the humble mechanic smirked. " I am exquisitely careful, my lady. That is the purpose of skill, is it not? Excellent craftsmanship behooves a worthy gift to bestow, peut-etre? " Pursing his lips, as though he had said something distasteful, he paused. " My apologies. A dead language. I meant to say, perhaps. " One might find themselves surprised by how FUCKING EXCELLENTLY SOL LEARNED JANN'S LANGUAGE, TO TALK LIKE A LIMPWRISTED ROMANCE WRITER IN AN EXTRAPLANAR TONGUE. " I fear nobility would be wasted on a charlatan such as me, my lady. Without a laboratory, without tools, without constant achievement and understanding of study, I fear I might wither and die. I wont protest, if it is your will, but I question how well I could serve as a noble, in comparison to what I do now. " Her smile was instantly returned. Had she beheld a sharp intake of his breath, at it's presentation? " I will do what I can. "

Canting his head slightly upwards to glance over at the distant nobles, jockeying about in wonderment at HIS creations in HIS sanctuary. While Ghanima's will for the people was beyond contest, it didn't mean that he adored the idea of letting their pedestrian grasps of what was done here get in the way of science. " I am ruthlessly serious, Empress. In my fields, in my time, I was unparalleled. With an ability to intermarry science and mysticism, the knowledge and power of the empire could expand exponentially. Eternally. " The way he laid those words made them seem so excellently heavy; a matter of time, in his wake. The man was confident beyond words; and hungry. She could see that in his eyes, from the moment they had met. Sol Ad'Eos had immense appetite for knowledge.

" Why imagine, my lady, when you can see? " Smiling even broader, he continued. " I did say the dreadnaught class ships were under construction, didn't I? "

ghanima [12:53 AM]
Clearly, whatever language he’d just delivered part of his sentence in went over her head with miles of head room to give and she tilted her face at him; wondering what he was trying to say. Her eyebrows went up when he solved the mystery and informed her it was a dead language.

​_’One from, ah…’Earth’?’_​ she’d ask; allowing herself to sate a bit of early curiosity about his homeworld.

The smile returned when he communicated, clearly, that he feared a title would take away his ability to work. ​_’It is a title that would reward you and grant you the agency in my empire that is more than well deserved, Sol. You would simply be ​*Sirre*​ Sol and would continue your drive to create without impediment.’_​

The wide smile returned.

​_’And you are correct in that it is ​*my*​ will. You may not protest.’_​ she’d say; wearing the same sweet expression while letting the hammer come down. It was rude to refuse a title from the Crowned Head— alas, he was foreign and had concerns which would assuredly be taken care of in due time.

Ghanima pulled her furs closer and turned them both around; still looking serene as she dumped another obligatory engagement in his lap. ​_‘A dinner in your honor will be held in a fortnight and your title granted. All that will change is your social standing and, of course, more than enough funding to be granted to you for future endeavors. You will wear your title when the Dorian arrive with their ah… ‘Spore’ technology. As mentioned facilitating the employment of said technology will be in your hands.’_​

Still amused; she held on to his arm and again set the pace for their stroll. Mostly now to steal a bit of warm from him.

​_’A man as dedicated as you should have a title, Sol. But you know it is not in my best interest to hinder your work and instead do what I have in my power to assist it. That said, of course you did indeed mention the flagships. But for this, I want something special for the ship that would lead such an armada. A statement if you will. Save it for last...yes?’_​

Now, she was preparing to disengage from him. Sulai and the rest of his attache approached and the Abbess was still standing as a sentinel nonetoofar from them. Her crimson gaze was trained, however, completely on Sol Ad’Eos. Measuring him as if in preparation.

​_’ There is a dinner in the Ziggurat two evenings from now. I expect you to attend. It will be partially in your honor to celebrate your new additions to our power.’_​ evident in her tone was a lack of an option to back out. As ​_usual_​.

verbaderbal [2:13 AM]
To hear the name of his homeworld on another tongue seemed so alien. Enough so, that it made him wince. It meant nothing to her, and yet to him? Earth was like the view of a desert from a cactus. Yet, it was his cactus, in his desert. While he had adopted the Jann, they would never appreciate the beauty of a pizza.

That said, when she explained herself, it was with imperious, Ghanimian clarity. Though a capable navigator of the ways of court, the machinist was in no hurry to dive into the breadth of a people who disliked him. " a delight to serve. " Though the twist of his tongue implied he was not thrilled. A brief pause of the stroll, as she delivered another soft tongued hammer. " If it pleases you. " Swollen with defeat , Sol offered a meager shrug. " Spore? " A downturn of his lips twisted. " I see. "

The man's warmth was given freely, in each step of his physique. European bred men had to have a certain composition. " You know of my penchant for casting an image. I wouldn't dare give you any less than my grandest masterpiece. I imagine I'd draft myself comatose working. " Shifting uncomfortably in the sentiment, before continuing, with a sidelong glance towards Sulai and following Ghanima with his gaze as she disconnected, but not without catching an eyefull of dat ass. He would look away, in a moment of fleeting.

Scrubbing fingers through scruffy hair he offered another soulful shrug to the Abbess, before answering to Ghanima. " Such is the word, and will of the kingdom. " Rolled, heartily. The scientist stepped free of the skiff and back towards his personal hovercraft, shifting his labcoat. " I suppose I'll need some new threads, no? "

ghanima [2:35 AM]
A wince? Curious. He was very obviously hurting for his home and it was somewhat obvious. Ghanima hoped the request for his story wouldn’t open so many old wounds that she’d feel guilty for asking and would be responsible for a man in pain.

Freeing him from her clutches; she’d turn and offer her hand as tradition. A kiss for the ring on her finger and he’d be free. Normally she wouldn’t subject him to such performances but they had a rather persnickety audience at the moment. They would just him for years over skipping such a nicety before he was summarily dismissed.

​_’I’ll send a tailor with a wealth of options in fabric and gilding. Be well, ​*Sirre*​ Sol. Do not overwork always one order from me you will naturally ignore.’_​ she gave him a final smile before letting him depart for his hovercraft.

Back in the clutches of the entourage she’d arrived with Ghanima found herself swaddled in the same damned jacket she’d refused from a commander a half hour earlier. Only this time she was shivering and a red blush was obvious on her nut brown cheeks.

Now, back aboard the aero-boat the looked over the edge and watched Sol depart. Soon he would be meeting delegates from Dorian and would be ​_truly_​ put to the test for his abilities. Not that Ghanima had any doubt he’d pass with flying colors.

The man was as resourceful as he was handsome— and tired. Sulai seemed to be staring in the same direction as she and his mouth was set in a thin line beneath the wealth of his beard. He mumbled something about ​_damned foreigners_​ in the midst of being quite happy in his request for a balisong. There were compliments tucked away in his xenophobic blathering.

Sol had made a good impression on a prejudiced man still angry about the fireshow which had startled her grace.

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