Between Gods and Monsters - A city fit for a King

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Re: Between Gods and Monsters - A city fit for a King

Post by Drustan on Sat Jan 30, 2016 1:37 am

The sight of Drustan in the streets of Novus Orsa would have been inspired concern among the denizens who occupied it regularly; their day to day activities interrupted by the presence of a veritable god—which spoke more to his influence than any actual divine touch.  He was the self-appointed governor of the city—the one who’d spent his time and energy rebuilding the metropolis’ infrastructure when his brothers in arms were more concerned with the issues of desert states.  The Fi’ran had overseen and slapped his stamp on nearly all of the new projects funneling money in and out of the city, pumping new life into dead limbs that had begun to decay from neglect.  Additionally, he’d begun to crack down on crime, personally seeing to the systemic annihilation of the municipality’s corruption and general misconduct.  Naturally, he’d started from the top down, ousting outright those in positions of power who’d managed to abuse their privileges under big brother’s blind eye.  It was an ongoing project—even going so far as to employ his Ignis Corps to bolster the local law force and help see the task to completion.  Of his ventures, his war against Norvus’ seedy underbelly demonstrated that it was the most time and energy consuming; required his hand in the most direct manner; and wouldn’t be easily resolved simply by going on the offense against its organizers.  And yet, despite all that it required, it was but the first of several issues the Primoris had seen to.  Beside it was a growing list of corporate moves, treating Novus as a business rather than simply some new state; he treated its citizens as victims of neglect rather than simply sheep needing guidance, though they were, in many respects, in dire need of a shepherd.  This was a role he was less comfortable with filling given his limited interest in public affairs.

Still, what he’d managed to do in a short period of time was nothing short of extraordinary.  The city was home to not only him, but also the dwarf-King, Konstantine, and her subterranean lab that had begun churning out resources and new technologies not only for Celesin’s military forces, but also for the city itself.  She was a cash cow in her own right, and Drustan had no particular qualms against milking her as such.  Was she aware of his desires?  It seemed likely, and yet she was happy to create and build, and Drustan was just as happy to put those inventions and innovations to use for the people of Novus Orsa.  So, while the city was dirty, it was in the beginning stages of a massive facelift, and the head of the veritable beast of this operation was Drustan.  To his credit, he didn’t make many public appearances; he much preferred to work from obscurity, allowing his position as Primoris to do his talking for him; when people thought about who exactly was to thank for Novus’ growing prosperity, they’d think first of the unified body that was the Primori, and second of the individual general that sat in the highest office in the tallest building in the city.

This promised that his face, and the presence of the Primori, was held to a particularly high standard within the city, as it did in most of the cities; and yet here, simply stepping outside was a suggestion of something big, and true as that may have been the majority of the time, it was often to his benefit to work without all the eyes of the city leveled on him and his movements.  Now was one of those times, and so in a fashion similar to the King he traveled to meet, he abandoned the usual regalia of a Primoris in exchange for civilian attire.  His signature white cape was exchanged for a black windbreaker that struggled to contain his musculature; its black hood drawn up over his head; a cascade of shadows obscuring the upper portion of his face, though it struggled similarly to darken the glowing nature of his smoldering, ruby eyes.  His lower half was similarly clad in dark fabric; black pants and black boots as simple as they were functional, providing him a full range of movement.  He wasn’t as stylish as he may have normally been dressed down in his typical military garb, and yet the civvies served their purpose—protecting him from the gentle cascade of rain that had begun to fall on the yawning city.  

He strode with purpose through an alleyway, booted feet trudging through puddles and stomping down the wet, stony street.  His eyes leveled on the blinking neon sign of the cantina housing the King, and he marched towards it with his hands tucked away within the confines of his jacket pockets.  When he reached the door, a single hand passed from his pocket to sweep over his skull, pulling back his hood and the curtain of shadows that draped over his face, revealing his stoic countenance to the whole of the establishment with little consideration for whether anyone would recognize him.  Large and built as he was, he was nevertheless nondescript enough to only draw passing glances from the establishment’s patrons till they went back to their individual activities.  Scarlet eyes scanned the heads of all the present parties, falling eventually to the bar where a single individual stood in his kaleidoscopic vision.  With more grace and smoother bodily control than one would expect from a man his size, he snaked through the cantina till he reached the woman’s back, and as opposed to tapping her or garnering her attention with physical contact, offered instead a single syllable.  “King.
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Re: Between Gods and Monsters - A city fit for a King

Post by Drustan on Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:22 pm

How are you? Had he asked that? No. The King was using sarcasm in some form. Drustan didn’t have the large processing power of a king or the memory stores necessary to retain all the information they could; his observations and conclusions were limited by present knowledge and the limits of his own memory; there was no Dra’sin pool of information to draw from. He knew little about the Kings, but enough to wonder to what end they structured their responses. They were almost always deliberate. Was the King reminding him of his poor manners? Drawing attention to his brusque manner? Simply setting the stage to show case her biting wit? Cushioning the effect using his full name was meant to have on him when he heard it spoken?

Thick eyebrows, as of late removed from Drustan’s usual methods of communication, shifted slightly in the wake of his government name spilling freely and unobstructed from the King’s lips; the fuzzy caterpillars dipped on his forehead, and expressed a hint of disdain. There was a reason the Primoris hadn’t stood behind the King and dropped her name. But, perhaps she thought it was safe—maybe, as she said, the noise of the room was too much, and at least sufficient to make the details of their conversation inaudible to anyone not actively eavesdropping on them. Then again, Drustan was hard pressed to believe that the King couldn’t sift through the room’s noise if she so desired, or wield other methods of communication if words were too difficult to share.

And yet, despite his skepticism, Drustan inhaled a single breath and acquiesced to the woman’s desires. His scarlet eyes shifted briefly towards the establishment’s walls, and isolated an unoccupied booth for the two of them to grab. With a hand extended out towards her, waiting patiently for her to turn and give him some eye contact, he waited the brief few moments he imagined It would take her to turn, take his hand, and allow him to guide her to their booth, even if she was more than capable of locating the booth and traveling to it herself, unescorted. Pending her decision to follow his lead, the Primoris led the lithe woman across the Cantina towards the aforementioned booth, coming in contact with no one but a single man who sought to cut across their path, which Drustan summarily denied with a single arm lifted to bar him until he and the King had passed to their booth—and of course, Drustan inspired no desire to protest, but instead a need to assent.

When the King took her seat, sliding into the booth, Drustan followed, and aimed to sit as opposite the women as possible in order to place her in front of him. He needed to be able to study all of her responses—verbal and otherwise—directly. "Enjoying Novus Orsa?"
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Re: Between Gods and Monsters - A city fit for a King

Post by Drustan on Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:32 pm

Ulterior.  The Primoris had heard the word before; it’d been used to describe his actions, and he personally never found it accurate.  Intentions and desires, like lies and secrets, tended to become burdens the longer they were kept to oneself.  And one hidden intention, desire, lie, or secret usually invited another, and then another, and then another… Till eventually the stockpile proved too much; and addled by their weight, even the greatest among men crumbled and caved like so much flawed meat.  Drustan didn’t believe himself on par with the most talented of secret keepers, and only kept that information which was deemed essential to the security of his country, and even those secrets were often reevaluated in the moment they become relevant again.  

But even as the King spoke, hinting at dealings motivations the Primoris had no mind for, he made no outward attempt to dissuade the King from her line of thinking.  It served his sense of security that she would dance around the myriad possible reasons for his actions instead of landing solidly on the crux of his intentions.  Though, ironically, the word had fallen from her lips, and not his.  “The dwarf-King,” he began with a sigh, not far from the toes of Nebuchadnezzar’s words; “she’s been a great asset to both Novus Orsa, and to the Imperium.  But, you knew that.”  

Leaning forward and extending a hand to take the offered cigarillo, the Primoris studied the object before placing it between his lips, and leaning forward once more to allow the King to ignite its end for him.  He inhaled, pulling the heat and smoke up the shaft of the cigarillo to get a consistent burn, and returned to his relaxed position with the burning stick hanging loosely from his lips.  Drustan was of the mind that it cost him nothing to accept the polite gesture, even if it was more habit than actual civility.  If nothing else, it maintained the air of mundaneness that had become their particular table.

Smoke trails drifted from the cigarillo sitting idly in the Primoris’ mouth, and from his nostrils whenever he pulled in short breathes through his mouth till finally he was prepared to speak, taking the stick from between his lips to rest between his index-finger and thumb.  “It’s my understanding that among Kings, you share an information network—one you’re conveniently separated from.  If you weren’t, your twin, Esarhaddon, would be privy to what you know and what you do… But that doesn’t appear to be the case.  Why is that?”  Clearly, Drustan had other questions he would eventually get to; the fact that Nebuchadnezzar was associated with the Shuinsai was the immediate concern—and she knew that.  Drustan couldn’t imagine any other reason she’d bring up her title and family name.  

Then again, she was King—who knew what she was thinking.  It was precisely this lack of insight that Drustan elected to address first, because otherwise… what was the point of trying to learn about the woman and her goals?
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Re: Between Gods and Monsters - A city fit for a King

Post by Drustan on Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:06 pm

There was danger in the unknown—Drustan, who in his Celesin-given pride refused to experience fear for any longer than was health, approached danger with the intention of figuring out how to make it less dangerous, and in this case, a little more known. Nebuchadnezzar, as a stranger and powerful unknown connected to Esarhaddon—an unequivocally integrated piece of Celesin’s ruling body now that she’d grafted herself onto the Emperor—was an important need-to-know.

The Primoris watched the woman, as ambivalent about her compliment and explanation as he was accepting the fogging stick he quietly huffed. Thus far things were going as he wanted, which only lead him to believe that things could go the other way at any moment. He preferred, therefore, to remain in the zone, as it were, till the end had finally arrived. This meant his expressions would be as flat and as controlled as any machine created by… Konstantine, for that matter.

So, in other words, your both the thing created to protect your cause, and the thing capable of destroying it… more so than any of the other Kings…?

It was obvious the woman was different. Special, even. How that ended up in the hands of the Shuinsai… Drustan could only speculate. But, that she was apparently adopted said much about where her allegiances laid, and why they remained with Arcerion Shuinsai, a figure Drustan actively sought to limit. His movements, plans, desires… All of them were like photographs on a wall with red strings connecting them to a singular issue, that being power[i]. “[i]Are you not concerned with anyone else breaking this causal lightcore? It seems strange that you would be created to protect it if weren’t in immediate danger from others beside yourself. Did the vast powers of your adoptive father not warrant concern?

Falling into silence, Drustan sat back and allowed Nebuchadnezzar the ability to answer his questions, which she was correct in assuming had some point to them aside from learning more about her and the Kings. He did not attempt to hide this fact, and thus far the woman’s forthrightness was serving to further question a point of contention within the Primoris: was aggression truly the ultimate form of coercion?

It seemed unlikely given how little aggression he’d actually used in the King’s presence, and how little he imagined he’d need to get answers from her. Of course, he could have been falling into some elaborate game the woman was playing, to which he was no more than a pawn she was priming for a duty he didn’t know he was about to perform. Whatever the case, gaining information was the most important part of his immediate cause, though the second point was fast approaching. Somehow, Drustan appreciated the calm of their conversation before they got to that inevitable road.
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