Author Topic: Father-Daughter day  (Read 3302 times)

butchbird

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Father-Daughter day
« on: 20 November 2022, 11:47:17 »
Capella
Capellan Commonality Bank
November 3022

The epitome of feminity, a cat like stride, such were qualificative usually bestowed upon Sylvia Borojevic. But as she hurried down the corridor, any whom would have set eyes upon her would rather have tought of a drug-addled Westerhand hooker during the height of tourism season at the end of her day. Barely managing to reach the intercom whitout breaking an ankle in her high-heeled shoes, she truck the door and started nervously hitting the button. As acknowledgement of her presence was given, she tried her best to communicate through the device, but could only stutter incomprehensively. The door opened and she stepped in.

The Duchess slowly adopted a ramrod straight position in her chair, as its leather coating creaked against her leather suit. She locked her eyes in her assistant's, waited a few draw of breaths, then slowly etched a smile and unpursed her lips.

-What is it Sylvia?
-Your father!

The door opened with violence, hitting the handsome guard standing besides it square on his nose. As a sharp cry of pain resonated and Sylvia let out a pathetic whimper,  Candace Liao braced herself for the incoming struggle. Apparently, this is not one of his better days.

-Delay me would you? Try to contain me, have you? I should have you skinned alive! No one, especially not one of you unpalatable banking bureaucrats should even be allowed to dare stand in my way!

All the nerves and veins of Maximillian Liao looked as if they were straining to escape his skin as he screamed out his curse. As Sylvia collapsed on the floor, fainted, the chancellor turned to the aching door guard, looking him up and down. Glaring at him as if he were some mangy seagull come to poop on his deck, he made a step forward, sending the guard in wild shivers, then stuck his thumb in the poor man's mouth, forcing him to open it. Quickly looking at his teeths, he then took one hand, looked whithin it, then turned to his daugther.

-Is THIS what you lay with these days? A baby-faced boy-toy without the hint of a calluse in his hands? If you must absolutely refrain from living a proper life, you could at least spare our name of such dishonor! Out of my sight you flimsy mongrel, and drag that harlot with you!

The Death Commando accompanying his celestial wisdom actually managed not to smile as he kept the door open for the pair.

A minute passed as the two Liaos intentsly led a battle of will-power, preparing for what was to come. unlocking his stare, Maximillian massaged his temples for a brief moment, then passed his hands in his face. Candace took the iniative.

-I wasn't expecting you father, or else I would have made arrangements.

As she was talking she pulled two small glasses from her desk, then took out a bottle as she continued.

- What do I owe your gracious visit on my world on this fine day? Plum wine, father dearest?

butchbird

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Re: Father-Daughter day
« Reply #1 on: 21 November 2022, 22:03:27 »
Maximillian eyed the liquid.

-You wouldn't have anything stronger per chance?

She shrugged.

-It will do I suppose.

She waved nonchalantly to the chair facing her desk.

-Have a seat.

Without a word they sipped the liquid. Tension ran high. Once more they were face to face, once more resentment simmered, ever present, ever overbearing. As they finished their respective glasses, they both assumed position. Candace leaning back and crossing her legs, sitting both her hands on her knee, Maximillian leaning forward, elbows on the desk, hands joining together, index fingers upright, the fingernails crossing. The leather's creaking was the only audible sound through this perfectly executed and timed choreography. Each twitch of muscle carefully calculated and executed. Once more they faced one another. Once more, after nearly another minute of this silent face-off, Maximillian broke first. He tried to shake off the loss by attacking.

- I'm well aware of your latest dealings. Did you really think you could by-pass my authority unnoticed?
- Pray tell, my loving father, what you speak of?

Maximillian's left eye twitched.

- Sonic Fryers! As if it wasn't enough that you ignore the basic tenet of keeping international trade limited to approved luxury goods, now you're feeding the bastards!

She shrugged.

- Oh please, if we didn't give them the means to fry their chicken, they'd just eat it raw.
- At the very least they'd get salmonella.
- Besides, while I allowed one tenet to be ignored, two others are enforced. The shear volume of fryers sold ensure that far more f-bills are transfered to our treasury then any limited edition hovercar. The Borojevic family offers many fringe benefits to their employees, ensuring a more then reasonable living standard to a fair number of our citizens.
- Collusion! All of it! I know very well where you got that little lackey of yours!
- Oh please, you never made such a scene when I granted that loan to Firmir Commercial, yet we both know a fair deal of their "lost in transit" products end up in the Capellan March.
- Few entrepreneurs are as trustworthy as the Kardhor family. Few company serve the citizens in such a steadfast fashion. Few items are as essential as household appliances.

The chancellor slowly raised his stare into his child's eyes. Menacing emotions and frustrated desires of kinship raced briefly behind his iris.

- The "lost in transit" products, you assured me we received taxes on those.
- I did, and its true.

He grumbled.

- Let's be honest, this semi-autarky is starting to wear down the economy. A one legged duck will never be more then a lame duck. You can't expect me to insure a certain competitivity with the other successor states without abiding to the basic concept of inter-state trade. The corporations need more liberty if they are to keep taxes flowing in. It's not like if we can depend on the nobles whom constantly defer their due.
- You and your liberalization of the economy! In this sick, sad world we live in my daughter, we can only rely on those who prove to be of our own. The corporations are nothing but nincompoop peddlers! Trading their grandmothers for a jar of rhubarb jam. They care nothing for the well being of the capellan nation. Theirs is a but a self-centered existence. Filial piety demands otherwise. Nothing outside the state, everything whithin the state.

She slowly adopted the same posture as her father, her every move of a robotic precision.



butchbird

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Re: Father-Daughter day
« Reply #2 on: 22 November 2022, 20:33:07 »
- Well then father, what's it going to be? Should I take back my word and exact ounishment for actions benefitting the citizenry?

Maximillian regally rose from his seat.

- Too late now. You've put me before a done deal. I've seen the numbers and can't argue with success. But do mind your place daughter.

Candace nodded. Silent face-offs were common place between the pair, but this silence had something awkward about it. Maximillian sighed and looked for a brief second at his feet before adressing her with a sad voice.

- You should start making preparations, I shall have need of you sooner then later on Sian.
- Father, don't do it. I know of your project. The odds are against you. The risks outweight any pay-off.
- I've planned for every contingency.
- Chancellor, listen to I whom would be your Zhong Kui. If your gamble fails, you'll lose the mandate of heaven.

Maximillian erupted in a mad cackle.

- The mandate of heaven.

He bowed his head towards his daughter who's cold and calculative demeanor had escaped for the laps of a moment and made his way towards the door. As the death commando opened it, the chancellor of the confederation turned to him, throwing him an angry look.

- I hope you enjoyed yourself?

The commando snapped a sharp salute.

- The chancellor wills it.

And the two of them made their way down the long corridor as Candace looked upon their turned backs.

Sian
Celestial palace
2997

Romano Liao was playing with her toy 'mechs besides the celestial throne, her daddy's Cyclop clubbering a Battlemaster. Suddenly, Maximillian Liao's voice rose.

-To the nine hells with the lot of you! Get out of my sight, i'll suffer your incompetence no more.

As the group retreated with many bows, Maximillian turned to his daughter.

- You know, sometimes, I wish I had been born a simpleton. I would have become a dog breeder.

She smiled.

The chancellor made a gesture towards one of his guards.

- Fetch me the director of the maskirovka. I have a new list.

Romano rose to her feet and went to hug her sitting father.

- I love you daddy.

- Ah my precious daughter, loyalty is the greatest wealth of all. Come now, how would you like to go launch a cruise missile and wipe out some marine wildlife?

- Yay, yay yipee!


DOC_Agren

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Re: Father-Daughter day
« Reply #3 on: 22 November 2022, 23:09:02 »
 ;D  I like it, will there be more?
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

butchbird

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Re: Father-Daughter day
« Reply #4 on: 23 November 2022, 21:08:52 »
Hadn't really considered it. But since someone manifests interest...

I've got half a mind to do something with Romano but my take on the character would be rated-R. Knowing there's most assuredly some young teens coming by the forums as guests (Hi kids!), I'll see if i get an idea to tone it down a bit and still be happy with it. (My take of) Maximillian makes a great burlesque character, but Romano's a very different animal from Candace, less the ideal partner for this kind of dance. I'll try to come up with something.


idea weenie

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Re: Father-Daughter day
« Reply #5 on: 24 November 2022, 11:20:41 »
One thing that Candace could have used, "Father, the traders buy using our own currency, so eventually that currency will return and enrich our worlds.  If the Davions think to attack, the traders will try to prevent it as that will make them unable to use their traded wealth.  In the meantime they sell to us the mineral wealth that would have gone to our enemies, strengthening our factories."

As for Romano, will it be rated-R due to her preference for 'aggressive interrogations' and 'stress positions', or something else?

butchbird

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Re: Father-Daughter day
« Reply #6 on: 24 November 2022, 20:00:46 »
One thing that Candace could have used, "Father, the traders buy using our own currency, so eventually that currency will return and enrich our worlds.  If the Davions think to attack, the traders will try to prevent it as that will make them unable to use their traded wealth.  In the meantime they sell to us the mineral wealth that would have gone to our enemies, strengthening our factories."

Not sure I get your meaning right... But as for currency, the plan was actually to amass as much foreign currency as possible, hence capellan industrys would only accept  for federated suns buyers to use the F-bill and would refuse they use the L-bill. Logically the aim is to be able to play on the fluctuation of inflation of other nations, a form of economic warfare, though i'm no economist myself to delve further in this.

R-rated 'cause she's bat-shit crazy my good citizen. While you can make a good political satyre with the likes of Stalin ("the Red monarch" ain't bad, but "the death of Stalin" is pure genius, especially considering the utter crap that was the graphic novel that inspired it), I double dare anyone to make something humourus whit polpot. Pretty much the same thing here, "Ilsa (Elsa? been a long time), she-wolf of the SS" is a more fitting story then the above with the likes of Romano. Take that as you will.

Still, this is good practice and I keep thinking about it, something will pop up eventually during break time. I thought I might have something, but my idea of using Dolmann Kor...something, was a dead end. I thought he was a depressive wino but he's actually a weak-willed gambling womanizer..."yes boss" jokes have their limits. To be continued.

butchbird

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Re: Father-Daughter day
« Reply #7 on: 26 November 2022, 20:00:25 »
Sian
Celestial Palace
3036

Romano was walking down the hall. The strain of the last few years is strating to wear down. I can feel it. A new spring. My strength is growing, I see how they all react as I order them, whitout a word. My power, my gift to wield for the grandeur of the confederation. Fried chicken. I havn't had fried chicken in what? 2 years? I wonder what Chandra Ling's head would look like once deep fryed. I have to get Tsen Shang off his numb booty and acting like he has a manhood on this. Now what's this?

Standing in front of a door in the hall, Maximilian had his pants down, a hand stabilising him against the door and was holding his wee-wee. Visibly he had urinated against the door.

Poor old hound. Poor father. You looked so dashing, ready to climb the ladder of your cyclops. Hm, isn't that that devil Allard's old office? Oh that steel danh. Now where was I?

Maximillian wailed, then slowly turned his head towards her.

- Jasmine?

If only slapping him would be of use. This can't go on. Dignity before survival. Dignity for survival. Perhaps with a lightly sugary beshamel sauce?

- She's off climbing. Stand aside my dear genitor, I'll send for your nurse.

She lightly pushed the chancellor aside, opened the door, then tip-toed, careful not to set foot in the room, to reach the intercom standing besides the doorway.

butchbird

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Re: Father-Daughter day
« Reply #8 on: 27 November 2022, 10:43:09 »
A few days later, Romano was sitting on the celestial throne, supervising her cleaning service.

You, dust off that tablet. Use circular motions, that's right. Wipe that smudge. Take off the table cloth to dust that tablet. Water that plant. I said water THAT plant. No the other one you incompetent twit. Oh for the love of...

She stood from the throne, screaming at the top of her lungs.

-Respect my authority!

A leap and a few paces, as a tiger attacking it's unexpecting prey, and she was face to face with the poor servant.

- I told you THREE TIMES to water THAT plant!

The servant was shaking.

He looks like he's gonna melt. Fried chicken with ice cream? Unconventional side-dish. Something's wrong.

She shot for the kitchens, walking as fast she could. When she erupted in the vast room, smelling of a thousand delicious aromas.

-Where is the lead chef?

Everyone turned to her with a freightened expression, then immediately a hundred fingers pointed to an old woman, white as a ghost. Romano approached her, an angry look on her face.

- I've had vision of fried chicken. And ice cream. Do you know of a recipe combining the two?

Stuttering, the chef did her best to reply.

-Well, not ice cream per say, but maryland chicken might fit the bill your highness.
- Tell me of this "merryland" chicken.
- Oh, um, well, you heat butter and oil in a pan, fry your panned chicken breasts, then you cut banana's in half, fry them too. And then with some butter you caramelize some sugar and make a beshamel with it, all in the same pan to give the sauce a light banana taste.
-You will make this for tonight, and it had better be finger lickin' good.

***

Sitting at the table in front of Tsen Shang, Romano was wolfing down her specially ordered dish.

- I say Tsen, this "merryland" chicken is the best darn fried chicken I've ever eaten.
- Hmhm, tender, crispy, that sauce is quite the discovery and the banana's fit like a charm.
- Have you ever had a dog?
- Ah, no.
- You're not helping.

They ate in silence then parted ways.

Walking towards the throne room, she mused.

Is it better to kill your faithfull companion yourself or have someone else do it? How is the guilt distributed? Another hand or a detached mean of execution? Can you take a king out for a walk and shoot him? Poison.

She reached for the closest intercom.

-Operator, get me Tsen Shang.

A few seconds passed.

- I am all ears my chancellor.
- Tsen, I need poison. Fast acting and painless. Got something for me?
- At your command celestial wisdom, I have a candidate. The only downside is the easily distinguishable taste which makes it impossible to make indetectable.
- That won't be a problem.

Sir Chaos

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Re: Father-Daughter day
« Reply #9 on: 27 November 2022, 14:00:54 »
Ah yes, the Liao family. They keep putting the "fun" into "dysfunctional"...
"Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl."
-Frederick the Great

"Ultima Ratio Regis" ("The Last Resort of the King")
- Inscription on cannon barrel, 18th century

butchbird

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Re: Father-Daughter day
« Reply #10 on: 27 November 2022, 17:36:21 »
This is happening too fast, but then this has gone on long enough. Might have been better to plan this further, but this is the best I could do on such short notice. Bah, dirty laundry is but a family affair, so is folding up loose shirts. But then, this is already so much more then what you allowed old Tormax, isn't it father?

- Mother!

Little Sun Tzu Liao was starring at his mother, a puzzled look on his face.

- What are you doing with that platter?
- I'm going to put down your grand father.

She walked past him, annoyed.

Such impertinent question. He can't understand what's going on. Guess I sould re-phrase that.

She turned back and walked towards him. Carefully she kneeled in front of him, carefull not to drop the meal. She tried to take as kindly an expression as she could muster, as soothing as voice as she was able.

- Your grandfather is going on a long, long travel. I'm sending him to merryland.

The boy didn't answer and she barely ackowledged his facial expression as she started for the 'mech hangar.

***

Once such a powerfull man, now incapable of using a fork. The things I'd do for you old man.

She fed him as much maryland chicken as he accepted, then made him drink 2 glasses of whisky through a straw. Standing before him, arms crossed, she was incapable of offering a smile to a tormented soul that would never notice it anyway.

-All right father. I've arranged for a last combat drop. Your going to sit in your cockpit for your finale voyage. Lets get you into this wheelchair.

***

Dolmann Kavajk, you insufferable buffoon, you'd better make yourself scarce after this one if you know what's good for you.

A tired man was sitting on a stool, cane in hand, a woman in a vintage 26th century nurse uniform at his side. Once he saw her, he labouriously stood, his weak right leg nearly giving under the stress, the right prosthetic arm offering little dexteruty to help in his balance. Thankfully, the woman helped him. He exhibited a compassioned filled smile which died down as she approached, her own expression killing any mirth.

-Everything is as I ordered?
- Of course, I supervised it myself.

An awkward silence installed itself, then Dolmann had a nervous smile and hunched over to face Maximillian, visibly discomforted by the absence of light in his old friend's eyes. His voice was filled with saddness

-Well, this is it Ras. It's been an honour serving you.

He turned to Romano.

- I would've followed that man deeper then the nine-hells
- Get out of my sight Dolmann.

***

Maximilian had been sitting in the Mechwaariors seat for 15 minutes, Romano besides him, sitting on a stool, elbow against knee, hand supporting face.

I must. But something's missing. Something's not right. Sometimes, for some peaople, things don't turn out as they would've hoped.

Suddenly, the chancellor's slippered feet started shifting on the pedals. His right hand went for the joystick, the left for the throttle, his stare focused a hundred yards away. For a few minutes he jerked the commands, sweating, then a mad cackle shook him.

-Damn you Dolmann where is your unit! That Battlemaster and its hordes of hell is decimating my company! I can't shake that Victor hounding me! I can't help them! You must flank them! Now!

He was trembling with rage.

- The heat is unbearable! I'm overheating! Ammunition will explode any second! I need support now!

Romano stood to her feet, grabbing the container containing the poison. Clearing her throath, she made the best impression of her mother's voice as she could.

- My husband, take this liquor, it shall cool you down.

He lloked at her startled as his eyes became fogged once more, but he managed to grab the drink and chug it down. As he wen't back to his apathic self, she stroked his head and kissed his forehead. Letting go of her father's head after the kiss, it dropped to the side. Romano wiped the tear forming in her eye.

Now that I have done this, nothing can hold me back.

********************************************

Now I'm barely considerable as a wanna-be amateur writer. While I wrote a fair number of academic essays, story writing has been limited to a super-hero spoof mainly driven by inside jokes with my mates, a short story submission and fiddling around with a personnal project that I've only thought about and not really worked on for the last few years...But this fanfic, especially the second series, was haunting. Now I had much fun coming up with one-liners for Maximillian and improvising something around them (though I DID have a story to tell and knew where I was going), but it was nonetheless tragic. But Romano... once I accepted this could only be written by getting out of my comfort zone, grabbing the bull by the horns and telling the story through her eyes...well, yeah, haunting. Didn't sleep much last night, happy this is out of my system, happy this is all tied up. Perhaps some will understand. I really do hope all whom have read it will have enjoyed this humble fanfic.

If I write another BTU fanfic (perhaps will, really good exercise, changes me from inane facebook posts), it's gonna be light-hearted and every character's gonna have fun. Perhaps "Hockey night in Noisiel", that'd be a hot ticket.

butchbird

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Re: Father-Daughter day
« Reply #11 on: 29 November 2022, 19:47:10 »
Some litterature thoughts.

Romano Liao being an unknown quantity outside this community, I figured I'd share this here.

It might seem ridiculous to most, but as I accepted that the best way to approach a story with Romano was to try and walk a mile in her shoes and wrote the first part of the short, it dawned on me that I had touched something dangerous. "When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you" is so used that's its cliché, but it is nonetheless true. Insanity with a method, a relative grasp of reality, a precarious position at the top of a corner of the food-chain...and, it dawned on me as I wrote my first phrase, the accumulated strain of the 4th succession war and Andurien invasion. something like 8 yeras of being to the brink of extinction, the extinction of life's purpose, of a way of life, of a whole people in a sense. The weight of the responsibility's as everything was crumbling around you would've been more then most grand statesman could bare. But she made it through, though most probably with a heavy toll on her weak mental stability.

She is, in many ways, a haunting character to impersonate. But for all the...lack of appreciation she provokes, I couldn't help but develop a great respect, as much respect as a fictionnal character can evoke, at any rate. So yeah, a haunting character, the night after I set myself in her shoes (in all relativity, I must again humbly underline), I couldn't help but be held by certain feelings, certain impressions, certain questions as to my being. I won't bore you with the details, but it also set me on the path of another reflexion.

Now I'm a big fan of Melville, Moby Dick is a personnal favorite amongst everything I read in my life and, as any Moby Dick and Melville fan, I read Bartleby the scrivener and coincidently had to study it in university. There's many a theory as to the origin, mneaning and everything of Bartleby...but looking through my (weak) memory and wikipedia, I realize that nowhere is it mused that Melville hit a writer's block through the character of Achab. Might sound strange, but I almost imagined myself rowing to my doom, led by the she-wolf of the Capellan Confederation, madly menacing the Leviathan with the torn limb of Justin Xiang... Almost imagined the short-circuiting synapses within my brain as I shared the eyes of the unshakable chancellor, facing a white peril, not really sure which one of us was the vengefull spirit. But I merely wrote a vignette. Must've been something else having to donne Achab's Ivory leg for a whole novel. Stopping now.




butchbird

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Re: Father-Daughter day
« Reply #12 on: 08 April 2023, 12:22:59 »
*Disclaimer*

I hate straying from the cannon... I've always had trouble picturing how Ardan Sortek could've been Hanse Davion's closest childhood friend considering the age difference. Likewise for Maximillian Liao and Dolman Kavajk. With the cappelan pair, this is compounded by the fact that apparently Dolman Kavajk was second in command of the red lancers in 2990, when max became chancellor...Meaning Kavajk was 11 years old. So lets just assume Fasa made a typo and as of 3025 he was 64 instead of 46.

*end*

Sian
Celestial Palace
3007

- Open your eyes!

Romano Liao gestured towards the 'mech hangar, sporting her biggest smile.

-Woh...
-Quite the site isn't it spookems mine?
-I'll say.

She made a few light and dashfull steps towards the late-teen cadet, coiling herself against him and pushing her arm under his.

-This is my parting gift for you my love. I felt that before you would behold the mangled steel of the battlefield, an aura of glory basking your silhouette as the sun sets on a carnage of free worlders , you should behold the true majesty of the most magnificient weapons of destruction our heavenly state has to offer its children.

His gaze simply went from one machine to the other. Nearly all the Battlemechs present in this hall were in mint condition. The few that weren't assuredly had marvels hidden beneath their armor. She startled him, giving a brutal pull on the arm, voice exited.

-Why there's father! Oh my love, I have to present you to him. A blessing of the celestial wisdom to shield you in your coming campaign!
-Uh, I'm not sure this is a good idea sweetheart. Being in the presence of such a...
He searched for his words as his eyes became pleading.
-Imposing man.

She gave him a slap in the groin, a scorning look in her eyes and face twisted with disapointment, her voice low and menacing.

-You will do as you're told and be gratefull for it spookems

She pulled him forward as a husky her sled. Getting closer, the man conversing with her father became easy to recognize.

-Dolman Kavajk. You buffonic, dice-licking, ground-locked heap of lust.
-My love...
-Silence! You're going to show him what a real man is like.
-Romano, please.

But his demand fell on deaf ears as she pulled him ever harder towards the pair. The poor, soon to be sub-commander , became even more distrought as he got close enough to see his Chancellor showing his teeths as he was visibly and noisely admonishing the colonel.

- The gods damn you! How many times have I told you not to go sniffing about under the skirts of the partners of the house of scions members? An yet there you are again, sheepishly confessing your crime, assuredly in some vain hope that the prospect of strapping myself in my cockpit would ease my mood. A man your age, incapable to suppress his carnal urges. A eunuch! Thats what I'll make of you! Castrated! No more puppys!
-But raj, you should've seen her!

Maximilian was just about to give a sloid slap to the back of his friend's head when he noticed the beaming Romano and...someone...standing near.
-Oh don't mind me as you dish out rightfull justice.
-Why if it isn't my favorite niece!
-Shut up Dolman.

Maximilian gave her an annoyed stare.

-Romano my dear, I'm in the middle of something.
-So I saw, but I wanted to present you with a galant officer of our armed forces so that you may bestow your blessing upon him. He is dear to me.
-Dear to you? Well that's just kismet.

The celestial wisdom growled out the the last word. He and his sparing partner closed what little ground separated them from the young man and the lady at his side. Reaching inside his jacket, Dolman Kavajk took out an artistically designed and adorned flask, thrusting it in the face of the soon-to-graduate cadet.

-Drink this son. Do it.

Romano let go of him as he reached shakily for the acohol, his eyes locked in Maximilian hypnotically explosive stare. He closed them as he slowly shot his head up to empty the vial of its heavenly liquid.


David CGB

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Re: Father-Daughter day
« Reply #13 on: 08 April 2023, 20:48:13 »
Interesting, very interesting
Federated Suns fan forever, Ghost Bear Fan since 1992, and as a Ghost Bear David Bekker star captain (in an Alt TL Loremaster)

butchbird

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Re: Father-Daughter day
« Reply #14 on: 12 April 2023, 20:25:10 »
Taking his time to empty what was left in the flask, flavouring more the few seconds of contemplation then the drink itself, the young man opened his eyes only to be caught once again by the celestial glare.

- I-I-Interesting bitter. Pretty strong. Tastes a bit like cloves?

Maximilian relaxed his posture somewhat as Dolman constant grin seemed to broaden even wider, if only that was possible, as pride beamed from his very being.

- "Dolman's medicinal elixir", for whatever ails you. Distilled by my people on my lands. Secret recipe you know, quite proud of it.

Maximilian cast the colonel a bored sideways glance.

-Don't flatter yourself Dolman, you just wrenched it from mandarin Becher through a poker game.
-Perhaps, but then you were the first to jump off your feet at that hand.

Maximilian waived him off.

-Now tell me citizen...
- A-Akakyovitch, chancellor
- Citizen A-Akayovitch, what do YOU think of the house of scions?
- Loyal sons and daughters of the confederation, all, who's ever-present diligence towards a just partition of the expensens...
-Lies! All of it! Priviledged, spoiled, brown envelope begging powderd kleptocrats is what they are my little tin soldier boy. Yet they have their place in our well oiled clock. A role. A use to me. Can you be of use to me?

Dolamn gave is sire a light elbow brush.
- Take it easy on the spunk ras.
- Oh please, I'm not some ogre. I'm not going to eat him.

Before her darling had time to offer more then silent stuttering, Romano stepped in.

-He is a very promising Mechwarrior and officer father! Skillfull and most importantly loyal and obedient.

Dolamn let out a laugh.

-Splendid! He can show us how to ride a mech, we were just getting ready to hit the field!

A wry smile appeared in the corner of the chancellor's usual stern expression.

- Perhaps he could be of use indeed.

A mere finger in the air summoned an antique looking force commander whom nonetheless still possessed a swift step.

-Celestial wisdom?
-My good citizen Tikanen, we shall be three to play this evening.
- The chancellor wills it.

A brief but noisy bark and a few seconds later, Romano's boyfriend was being dumped the standard mechwarrior garnment, barely managing to catch it all. Shaken by the turn of things, citizen Akakyovitch began to shift, clumsily reaching for his uniform's collar.

-You'll only be taking the neurohelmet citizen A-akayovitch. The heat of battle and all that.

Maximilian set off towards his cyclops while colonel Kavajk, with his nearly ever present grin, turned towards the boy who was head down, neurohelmet in one dangling hand and crumpled cooling vest and boots at his feet.

-You take that griffin over there. Run it cool, keep things simple. Once you'll be connected with that machine, all will be kismet.
-Thank you sir.

Dolamn curtly nodded towards Romano and her hostile glare, leaving the young pair amongst themselves. She started gently stroking his cropped hair.

-I believe in you spookums. My father will probably set you against Dolman. If you humble him I'll let you get your tongue in. If you lose, I'll use your scalp as a doormat.

She uttered the last few words like a curse, the threat sounding very real. Throwing him a smile, she pranced towards the elevator to the control tower.

He sighed as he wearily put one foot in front of the other towards the Griffin.




butchbird

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Re: Father-Daughter day
« Reply #15 on: 16 April 2023, 01:15:48 »
*Man, too much sugar, hadn't eaten cake for far too long. Just want to say sorry for the very poor quality of language of the last part. 'Tis but fanfiction, but still makes eyes bleed. Justifying it by the exhaustion doesn't make it right.*

Sian
Celestial Palace Training Grounds
3007

Engine...online
Sensors...online
Weapons...online
Training protocols...online
All systems nominal

Cadet Akakyovich let out a sigh of relief as he felt his avatar come to life. One could not help but feel a certain sense of well being. As the Griffin came to life, he picked up the last few words of gibberish pronounced by force commander Tikanen who, despite all his years in the CCAF, had obviously never managed to master the Confederation's official languages. Then Maximilian Liao's voice came on the air.

-It matters not old comrade. Just play something light-hearted.

A few seconds later, the sound of a string instrument he had never heard filled his cockpit. Melancolic chords, playing a spirit lifting air. In this surreal atmosphere, he pushed the throttle, walking out of the hangar to join Maximilian's Cyclops and Dolman's Thunderbolt. The Cyclops took the lead, the other two mechs falling a few steps behind at the wings.

-Where to ras?
- The urban grounds.
- A bit of urban sightseeing then, eh? What's the programm you have in mind for today?
- You'll see.

They strode the two kilometers in silence, their mechs pounding the tarmac and then the grassy soil in a clockwork pace. As they reached the designated training ground, the Cyclops stopped. A whole minute passed, gently rocked by the magical sound of the kankele. Then the Cyclops lifted an arm, letting go of a low-powered laser dart to the head of the Thunderbolt. Colonel Kavajk didn't even had time to register that his hud indicated the loss of armor on his 'mechs head before his 90 tons nemesis sent its left fist crashing. The entirety of the armor plating protecting the startled mechwarrior caved in, rougly banging Dolman who, surprised by the manoeuvre wrestled the controls to stay upright. He failed.

It wasn't a pretty sight, much like a drunkard slowly tumbling to the ground. Nothing gracious. Nothing majestic. Cadet Akakyovich swallowed hard. Dolman's muffled and pained yet excited voice crackled on the general frequency.

- Blake's holy trousers Max! You could've killed me with that punch! Broke my bloody nose you did you blasted maniac!
- On the battlefield, you WOULD be dead. Remember that punch the next time you feel like cuckolding someone I have to deal with. Much like it is too much to ask for that you would stop being an embarassment to me and by extension the confederation, it was too much to ask me to merely pass the sponge.

Romano's voice cut into the conversation on the general frequency.

-You sould simply write down the fool's name on the list father.
- One does not put down a good hunting dog for a mere jump of the fence child. Now, citizen A-Akakyovitch. You have a minute to enter this rubble before I come for you. This evening, I will bestow the grace of celestial wisdom upon you.

The cadet asked for nothing more then to take his distances. Pushing the throttle to maximum power, he entered the training ground, running along a main road. He ran his mech for a full 50 seconds before hitting the jumpjets. The light spike of heat was enough to remind him his lack of cooling vest. He was afraid. He was desoriented. He was under too much pressure. But he knew he had to put on a good show. Good enough to win some mesure of respect from his love and her father.

He knew full well his Griffin stood no chance against the Cyclops head on. The weaponry disparity was evident, made even more critical due to the close quarter environment which would tip the scales even further in favor of the Cyclops...but he had one advantage that he would have to press for all it was worth: his mobility. In urban combat, he knew he would have to depend on his jumpjets. No other option presented itself if he wanted to "go the distance". No options at all.

Finding a small square from which he could let go of a few volleys of his long-ranged optimized weapons, he stopped and srated looking at his radar. The kankele ws still playing but somehow the music, though soft it was, felt more and more menacing. Mocking. The blip of the cyclops was nowhere to be found. No options at all. He would have to be the one giving chase to a war machine nearly twice the size of his. Romano's voice came on the air.

- What are you waiting for spookums? Take the high ground. Spot him and prove your worth! His probably waiting to ambush you just as you thought you could.

He hit the jump jets, setting on the tallest nearby building. His visuals caught nothing. Switching the different sensor modes, he located three potential positions for the assault mech. Each time he jumped was uncomfortable. He dared not imagine what it would be when he'd fire an alpha strike. The Griffin might not be the hottest running mech, but they didn't have you wear a cooling vest for nothing. He jumped down then made his way slowly towards the first spot, studying his satellite map on the way, trying to figure out the best angle of approach. Then there was a blip on his radar. It moved perpendicularly to his own vector, then eventually vanished.

Either he's running passive sensors or he's stopped. According to the map that's a pretty good spot to wait for me, many angles of fire. Yet that would be too evident. Guess I should regularly shift sensor mode as I advance cautiously

He made his way along a cluttered street before reaching a crossroad, pausing to acknowledge the situation. He heard a a woman's impatient sigh through the soft music provided by the portable harp.




butchbird

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Re: Father-Daughter day
« Reply #16 on: 01 May 2023, 21:15:39 »
* Strayed from the "father-daughter" concept. How to get Romano back in the spotlight? Tought about it a bit, couldn't manage to get a good idea, might as well just roll with it. Still, hate stepping on my self-imposed concept*

-Romano my dear, why don't you fetch your violin to accompany force commander Tikanen?
-What? No! How can you deprieve me of this occasion to weight...
-You will obey my every whim!

Listening intently to the short exchange between father and daughter, cadet Akakyovich distinctly heard his love mumbling "SO, unfair." as she purposefully soisely dragged her chair as she rose. For a moment, his concentration had broken. Snaping out of it, he started shuffling through the different sensor modes. He spotted him as he tuned on the seismic sensor. Too late. He pulled on the joystick as he rammed in the left pedal but couldn't turn fast enough. His hand flaying wildly on the control board, much in the same way he had smeared ketchup on an instructors office door that wild night, he barely managed to flip back to visual sensors as the Cyclops grappled his Griffin. He fought the controls, trying to maintain balace against the overpowering assault mech.

- In time, if experience allows it my little tin soldier boy, you shall learn of this truth. Ambushes and other like surprises are not something common, but neither are they something you walk away from without some measure of pain. You shall expect it. You shall relish the idea of countering it. Proving your worth, your mettle, of what wood your stove burns. Always shall you caught unprepared nonetheless. And someday, you will die. Battle is not to be feared, but it is vain to hope for a fair fight. Always should you look for the advantage. Catching your opponent pants down. And always keep in mind, even caught unaware, completely by surprise, there shall always be another astonishingly disagreable element to the attack to double up on your frustration.

As the last word seemed to get caught in the chancellors throat, the Zeus-36 autocannon roared to life. As the grim realization imposed itself on thecadet that his 'mech war rocking through the punishment of live ammo, he struggle to break free of the Cyclops embrace, mucus flowing from his nose and tears from his eyes. In an uncharacteristically high-pitched voiced he cried.

-Have mercy my lord Liao! Spare me! I Don't deserve this! I don't want to die!

 One of the Griffin's arms gave in due to damage and the mech leaned in to the side. The cyclops let go of its quarry as it slipped to the ground lifeless. Will had evaporated from its pilot. While he would not accept death, he could not evade it and merely gave up, awating the darkness, as his 'mech hit the pavement in a loud thump.

-Remember this lesson on the front, step-son. This glimpse of the reality of warfare will serve you well. You shall keep this Griffin as my "end-of-schooling" gift. May it serve you well.

Shaken by a hiccup, the would-be mechwarrior watched the Cyclops stomp out of view and waited emotionelessly for the recovery team to come pick him up. He uttered no sounds as they got him out of the mangled wreck.

Sian
Celestial Palace 3007

Romano looked furious as she stared forward, twisting his hand as they walked.

-Always like that! "Oh, Romano my dear, fetch this! Roll over! Get me my slippers!". He never gives that to that harlot Candace! Always on my back! Always with the leash! You know...

Cadet Akakyovich marched numbly on, only listening so as to be able to repeat his sweatheart's words. Suddenly, she stopped, and the twisting of his hand became like a deliberate attempt to break his fingers.

-All this has been too much for me. I've been sweating from nervousness. We shall retire to my room. You failed in taking down my father's lapdog but through no fault of yours, I can't hold it against you. I need to relax after all this. Come spookums, I shall review the holovid of my last ballet while you rub my feet.

He barely uttered a response, the image of the cyclops unloading its large-bore autocannon at point-blank range while overpowering him was all he could think off. She shook him and said something he couldn't make out, and as he realized where he was and who was by his side, a tought formed in his head.

Can't wait to find solace in battle.

butchbird

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Re: Father-Daughter day
« Reply #17 on: 15 September 2023, 20:30:21 »
Sian
Celestial Palace
Early January 3009

The room was dimly lit. It was cold, damp, lifeless, its only furniture a desk. As Jeremy was shoved in, he concentraded on the romm, trying to ignore the creature leaning on the desk. Chandra Ling greeted him with the smootest smile and a honey glazed voice.

-My, my Jeremy, how glad I am that you came to visit ol' aunty Ling. Come to me dear.

The poor man started weeping. As an automaton, he rigidly stepped towards the desk. Towards his destiny, towards a fate that he could not dodge.

She simply smiled warmly at his beaten and swollen face for what seemed like an eternity. Clacking her tongue, she sensually moved her lips while making a gesture towards his waist. She adressed him as she moved behind the desk and reached for a drawer.

-Take down you pants dear. Show me...oh, my my, aren't you a big boy.

She continued as she she opened the drawer.

-You know what would please me? Hm? Place your mighty manhood in there. Yes, that's right darling, just like that.

As he executed himself, Chandra Ling's features lost all their pleasentness as they twisted into a horrifying mask of hatred and agression. Repeatedly opening and closing the drawer with all her strength, she wailed at the top of her lungs as the porr man mewled in and cried in pain.

-You will talk you sorry excuse for a living being! You will talk like they all do! Even if I have to desecrate your entire spiritual being on top of your useless traitor's body!

A loud knock was heard on the door. She didn't have time to completely let out her sigh and drop her head that it opened to let Maximilian Liao inside. Pain getting the better of him, Jeremy collapsed, though fortune was not kind enough to allow him to pass out. His cries of pain filled the room.

-Chancellor, how good to see you.
-I can't understand a word you're saying over his racket.

He pointed at Jeremy and she noded. She swiftly took out a needle and unceremoniously administered the concoction, silencing her victim. Maximilian put his silk sleeve over his nose.

-How can you work in these petrid odours of human feces?

A spasm in the corner of Chandra hinted at her displeasure. Their gazes crossed.

- Never forget maximilian that while you sit on the celestial throne, behind closed doors, I am the one damning herself for a hundred eternitys, hands soaked in blood, smelling feces.

Maximilian's face hardened.

- Mind yourself director. He that sits on the celestial throne will not tollerate the smallest slight from you. I hand no hand in the misfortunes that beset your house, but trust me, of yours I can be the harbinger.
- Forgive me, celestial wisdom.

She dropped her eyes to the floor and slightly bowed her head. He slightly lifted his chin. His tone had dropped a few degrees.

- You wanted to see me?
- Your wife is system-bound to Sian, my chancellor.
- Jasmine?
- I thought you might appreciate to be informed.
- How is she?
- Physically sound. I regret to inform you that her last guide reported her recklesness grows. He said it was near suicidal during the last ascent.
- When will she be in system?
- Anytime now.
- What will I say to her?

A compassionate expression briefly flashed in Chandra's face before vanishing as abruptly.

- I could never advise you on Lady Jasmine Maximilian. She isn't like us. She isn't...bound to the state, like us.

He nodded and left, leaving her to slowly turn her eyes on Jeremy. She sighed.

« Last Edit: 15 September 2023, 20:54:37 by butchbird »

butchbird

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Re: Father-Daughter day
« Reply #18 on: 15 September 2023, 20:53:59 »
Oops, major dating error, a few glaring mistakes erased too.

butchbird

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Re: Father-Daughter day
« Reply #19 on: 24 September 2023, 18:21:24 »
* I wasn't in the right kind of mood when I started this one. My take of Chandra Ling might get to be interesting...but fact is I tried to bite on more then I can chew with a Liao family dinner. Since I've commited, might as well get something done. Also wondering if I shouldn't have gone 1 to 3 years earlier...Elisabeth Jordan has to be in her early twentys  when Jasmine Liao dies in an ascent, or so I figure.*

Sian
Celestial Palace
Early January 3009

Maximilian was greeted by the usual motor and metal sounds of the 'mech hangar. He'd rarely found it to be annoying. As each step drew him nearer to the working technicians, other senses ticked on. Other aspects of nostalgia pinched you. In here were his fondest memories. That knowledge that you were more. The perspective of being a god of war, be it strategical or needlessly destructive, Towering over your fleshy followers.

None paid attention to him as he made his way, nor should they. Not in here, not even in these silks. In here, he was a mechwarrior, waiting to ascend to godhood.

Candace had spotted him darting for her long before you began to move. Resting in a folding camping chair, clad with a furcoat over her mechwarrior garment, she'd been reading an ecomics treaty by an obscure expert of the 27th century. Her gesture of covering her whole body with her coat, lifting her head and locking gazes with her father, took thirty of the chancellor's strides. Ter speed of her movements was constant throughout.

When he reached his desired spot and halted before her, she slightly dropped her sight on his lips and smiled in a most polite way.

- I still believe you chose it just to spite me. And that name...

She let out a playfull laugh, not managing to contain it.

- Ximen Qing. Have you ever finished reading it father?

He barely shrugged. She went to another subject.

- Regardless of the reasons for my choosing, I have grown fond of the vindicator. So steady and stead fast despite its desperation. So Capellan.

As she spoke those last few words in a respectfull tone, both their eyes had turned towards the mechanical avatar. They admired the latest paint job, specialy commanded by Canadace for her stay on Sian. He then turned his head towards her.

- So Capellan... Candace...What am I going to say to your mother?
- She's gracing us of her presence?
- How long has it been since I've seen her? And then the time before? My very existence is the reason she's always off escalating this or that useless pile of rocks. What will I tell her?
- Why do you even care? I,ve seen how you've been warming up to that little Jordan "first lady" in the making.
- I will have a happy and unified family. Not even you will manage to deny me. And as far as Elizabeth is concerned, you're not in a position to comment.
- Oh but I am. At the very least, I'm not one to be content in having the power my consort allows me to.
- Power...enough of this. That's exactly why I came to you. If anybody can relate to you mothers disdain in court politics and affaires of state within my inner circle, it is you, with all your frivolous buisnesses. What do I say to your mother.
- Allow me, father dearest, to point back to the very start of this joyful discussion.
- I am in no mind to play your little mind games Candace.
- Jin Ping Mei. Mother loved it, what with her interest in ancient litterature. Read it.

His stoic composure suddenly showed a crack. A certain feeling of shame briefly punctured his armor.

- I can't remember how long it's been since I read a fiction.
- Didn't grand-father Tormax constantly mention how time is the most precious of ressources.

Maximilian twitched, then frowned.

- You've been most usefull, daugther. How long will *you* grace us of your presence?
- I'll be departing as soon as my buisness here, which is not really of importance to you, is concluded.
- Hmpf.

Maximilian slightly bowed his head as she slowly bowed her upper body, turned on his heels, and took his leave in a somber mood.

butchbird

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Re: Father-Daughter day
« Reply #20 on: 25 September 2023, 21:13:15 »
Chandra Ling held the post on the wall of the elevator in a white knuckle grip as it took her ever upwards, away from the celestial palace's cells.

Another glorious day to add to my career. A singer. Torturing a handicapped singer. To what depths will this ordeal take me? "I wanna know". If only I could say "I don't care".

The door opened as she reached her desired floor. She reluctantly let go off the arm post, putting her hand in the doorway.

Step into the corridor. Leave it behind. Pick-up my things and head back to the headquarter. Should've sent someone in my stead. Shouldn't have indulged that feeling that I had to make my presence felt. He probably ordered me to interogate the poor chap just to spite me. What kind of a human being actually takes pleasure in such buisness? When did I last feel like I enjoyed myself? Probably was a few months after the coup, when the novelty of being head director wore off. As time made its weight felt and the pride of elevating my family back to its rightfull place in Capellan society wasn't enough anymore to blind me to the harsh realitys of my responsibilitys.

She grabbed the doorknob and slowly turned it, leaning agaisnt the door, pushing with her shoulder. She flicked on the lights, headed for her chair and slumped in it. Rubbing her face as she kicked off her shoes, she was musing of calling her driver as someone knocked on her door.

Actually waiting for a reply. At least that's not Maximilian.

- Come in.

His ever present grin set in place, Dolman Kavajk passed the doorway.

- Why my lovely Chandra. You come to visit us at the celestial palace and you don't ring me? I'm hurt, really I am.

She rose from her chair and hurriedly tiptoed on her bare feet to meet him. A genuine smile had formed on her lips.

- Dolman my gentlemanly co-conspirator, you of all people should know that a call from me is rarely good news for the receiving end.

He took the offered hand and kissed it with a mischevious look in his eyes.

- How could hearing from you be any kind of news but a good one?
- Come. Sit down. I have a few minutes to spare before my flight from these walls.
- Better off in your crazy house then this one eh? The ras gave you an unsavory assignement again?
- 'Lil Jeremy...

He guffawed.

- Had to make 'em sing did you?
- I'd rather put that behind me, if you please.
- Sure thing.
- I'd merely passed by to tell Jasmine was system-bound...
- Seriously? That's awesome! Ain't seen the lass for ages!
- "Awesome", Dolman?
- Well, the ras should be pleased.
- Oh Dolman, cut the act.
- Here we go. You're gonna tell me about doing my duty again aren't you?
- This is serious. You weren't given that post all those years ago just to go carousing about and courting married mandrissas.
- Lady, a man of my age doesn't accept to keep such a posting that exposes you to getting chased around with a rolled-up magazine on any given day whithout perks.
- Yes, yes, but I need to be sure you're ready for "case green".
- Pshaw. Won't be any need of that.
- Jasmine is a major headache. I know the chancellor hasn't been very adamant at taking his medication lately. Seeing his wife, or not, might be the last straw.
- No worry. If it comes to it, I'll make sure he takes it. Slip it into his evening whisky if I have to. You can count on me. The ras'll take his stupid pills.
- You're just sidestepping...hush.

As she held up her hand, a loud knock was heard. Whitout waiting for an answer, enter Maximilian Liao.



butchbird

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Re: Father-Daughter day
« Reply #21 on: 02 October 2023, 18:43:48 »
"Citizen Ling, has he talked?"

A short silence followed, broken by Dolman, throwing around what mirth he could muster. "Hey Ras! The gang's all here! All we need is Pavel!"
Maximilian raised an eyebrow. "I can do without Ridzik today. Self-important, scheming ingrate."
Chandra Ling had gained back her contenance and offered her answer smoothly. " He has, he has. He had no idea about his patron's links with the MIIO."
Maximilian briefly rubbed his jaw as he mumbled. " How unfortunate."
"That's one way to phrase it."

Another silence setted in. It was evident Maximilian had something further to discuss while the other two could do nothing but wait. Shifting his eyes to the floor, eyes which had momentarly lost their fire, he adressed Chandra with an uncharacteristic tone. The tone of a man worried by matters of a lesser importance then those of an interstellar state.

"Chandra... I know of your hobby, of your collection. The ancient novel " Jin ping mei", wouldn't that be whithin your sphere of interest?"
" Ximen Qing and his concubines? Well the novel itself no, but I have related articles."
Dolman interupted, his grin beaming. "Hey, ain't that the old comic book you showed me a while ago while we were..."
Chandra cut him. " No, that was an old 20th century graphic novel. Though it was directly inspired by the text the chancellor is refering to. I regret to inform you Maximilian that I fear I do not possess that which you seek."
He frowned at the answer. "Yes, well, I suppose I do not have the time to indulge in such hefty reading anyway...I need another course of action to reach this goal. Do you know of a teacher who could offer me a good synthesis in less then 3 hours worth of time?"
Her eyes became foggy for a few seconds as she thought about it, then she shifted her attention back to him. "Not that jumps to my mind, but it can assuredly be arranged. Ancient Terran litterature is very prolific in its churning out of thus specialized scholars. Should I fetch one for you, celestial wisdom?"
" Hacve him delivered at one past noon in the garden. You know the spot."
She bowed slightly, putting her hand against her chest. "The chancellor will's it."

* Can't even come up with a tantrum for Mad Max. Some good points, but simply sub-par even for my standards. Bit on more then I could chew, now I'm regurgitating small milk. Good occasion to start using the "real" format for conversations though. Apparently, I need more training.*
 

butchbird

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Re: Father-Daughter day
« Reply #22 on: 08 October 2023, 22:35:05 »

Sian
Liaoning continent, near Sian university
Early January 3009

The crackling of the match broke the early morning's silence. The orange flame licking the dried corn was looking for rest in on this damp morning, its light the sole colour as the sun refused to rise for a few more minutes. Slowly, as the raspy inhaling sound made itself hear, the flame was forced into the bore, then allowed to retire by an experienced shake. The smoke's billow floated up briefly, as a spirit whithout a care in the world, to then be forced down, dissipating in the morning mist.

Pengfei shook his head as he muttered. "That thing's gonna kill you you know?"
"It'll give me time enough to appreciate it's taste and bite citizen.

They waited patiently for the right time to act. Everything was scheduled to an ass's hair. No point to rush. The two maskirovka agents were simply happy to inhale the smells of a humidity filled northern Liaoning morning.

 As his comrade took a long pull from his pipe, Penfei finally stirred, pulling himself from his dozing state. "Right, so how do you wan't to do this? We go have ourselves some fun or we go gently with the fellow?"
 "Bah, his day'll be interesting enough. Let's give him a scare to jump start him real good."

The two of them rappidly hopped the few stairs to the small house's porch, then Pengfei knocked as loudly as he could on the door. Turning to his partner with a smile that bared his theets, he shouted. " Open this instant! This is the maskirovka!"

A light came on, some rustling was heard along with worried voices filtering through an open window. The door opened slowly a few moments later, right after another serving of loud knocking. A small man, looking like he was well into his sixties, shakily stood before the agents. Mustering all his courage, he offered his calmess tone. "Good morning gentlemen. How may I be of service to our honorable agents of the peace?"
 Pengfei looked at him with disdain. "You are coming with us."
 "But, why? I am but a loyal..."
 Penfei cut him off. "Silence!" They grabbed the man by the arms, nearly lifting him off the ground in so doing.
 As they manhandled him towards the waiting hover car, his voice broke as he pleaded. "Please, hear me! At least allow me to put on some clothes!"
"You'll be handed all that you'll ever need where you're going, citizen."
The teacher's voice was now but a shriek. "Martha, I love you! Remember me always!"

***

The agents never spoke another word to him all throughout the trip. As he recognised the surroundings of Zi-Jin Cheng, he tought that it was truely miraculous that he hadn't needed to go to the bathroom since he woke. The stress had effectively shut off most of his body functions for nearly 5 hours. The sights offered by the forbidden city finally gave him the courage to adress the two men with him. "Where are you taking me?"
 "You'll see." Was all he was offered.

Through the city they drove, stopping at the checkpoint just short of the celestial palace. Feeling ridiculous is his bathrobe, he was taken all the way to the gardens. The agents were visibly in a hurry, rushing him along. They took a small path which led them to a demi-circle of marble benches, shaded by what looked like cherry trees of a breed he could not identify. Before him sat Maximilian Liao, his face stern, his piercing gaze locking in his eyes the moment he was within distance. Cold sweat emerged on his skin.

This is surreal. Surely there is a mistake.

The two agents let go of him and he nearly stumbled to the ground, barely managing to stay upright on his weak knees. The chancellor did not let go of his sight on him. The celestial wisdom looked as if he was seizing down an old mare brought to him for a blessing. Slowly, Maximilian reached for a small cherry above his head, ate it and spit out the core, which looked nearly as big as the cherry itself. "A pasty fruit this maskinongé cherry. Still it makes the finest cherry wine you'd ever tasted. I would share this divine nectar with you citizen, but it seems you have not been out of bed for long enough. You could've at least put some clothes on."

Maximilian looked past the man to the two snickering agents whom were departing, pacing slowly enough to make sure they would eavesdrop on the chancellor's greeting. Sketching a smile and briefly looking at the ground, his celestial wisdom turned to the man, whose colour was now as pale as could be. He gestured to the foliage behind him. "Over there are plants of a most exquisite odour. You can relieve yourself over there."

The teacher sheepishly acknowledged and went to do his buisness. This being done, he came back to see Maximilian with a somewhat less stern expression. He gestured to a marble bench besides him. The man could do nothing else but sit as commanded.

 Maximilian spitted out a cherry core. "Now my good citizen, You will teach me about the Jin Ping Mei. You have two and a half hour to brief me fully on this ancient text. I trust I can rely on you?"

 The man stuttered somewhat, immensly relieved, on his first few words. " Of course celestial wisdom, it shal be the greatest honour I have ever received to lecture you on such a delightfull novel. I am sure a man of you standing will be entertained by this tale of jest that derides so skillfully of the ancient middle empire upper classes...".



* Game over man, game over.

I should've known that, when lavrenti beria is the first thing that pops into you mind when you start writing that I should've kept from trying my hand at this short. The opening was probably too much for most and the core of the text outside of my current competence. Still, I've learned from this and started using the proper format for conversations, so it was in no way a loss on a personnal level.

While my knowledge of the jin ping mei is limited, I couldn't end this sorry short whithout mentioning how the lone chapter I possess is truely a master piece of humour. Quirky, dark chinese upper class humour from the 17th century, but delightfull non the less. If ever fate allows it, I'll read the full thing with happily and would recommend to any who has read through my aimless story (Mad Max looking for a book...heck of a plot this) to do the same. Again, It's not the kind of humour "fit for our times", but with historical relativity in mind, its delicious and surprisingly modern in its style (at least the translation I read...of course, "Traduttore, traditore", but still).