3 January 2012 - Where am I? - Part 3
The Villain's Spire
Location: The Villain’s Spire
Timeline: The Year of the Apocalypse - January
Bethany turned slowly, her eyes moving over Lorde as though she were seeking some vital weak spot, then her eyebrow raised upwards at the mention of the weird hole in the wall. She eyed it and the look on her face spoke to the doubts that were racing through her mind. In truth, this place weirded her out, and his technology may as well have been magic to the not so tech savvy youth. Deciding to test the theory, she walked to it and asked for a specific kind of sushi that the chef at the tower had made for her once.
In a shimmer of multicolored light the sushi appeared. It was even on a similar ornate plate to the one that had been used to serve Bethany before. The spell that had been used could bring forth both things that someone had eaten or just something they could imagine as long as it was food or drink, including spirits. “So if you have had this before, depending on how fresh the sushi was, this might taste even more like it was just chopped up from a fish caught from a nearby ocean. That said some palates and sensibilities might take offence to the idea of the essence of the universe being the provider of a meal. In which case we have a full array of organics being grown here, and some specialties being brought in just for you.”
The tactical teen eyed the hole in the wall dubiously, an eyebrow raising again as the food did, indeed, appear right in front of her. Bethany fought down the automatic revulsion at the idea of eating something that had been drawn into being by what Lorde had called the essence of the universe, which only called to mind actual magic for the girl. Still, she tentatively took the plate, then walked over to the couch in the middle of the room, setting the meal on the hand carved, oak coffee table, then sat down herself.
In reality, Bethany wanted to scream. She was lost in this place, still had no real clue as to why she’d been brought here, but a realization was dawning on her. “Specifically for me? Why would you do that? Why am I so important to you that you’d try to set all of this up?”
The words were conversational, rather than accusatory, even though the girl’s jaw worked briefly as she set up her plate. As much as the idea of eating what was in front of her worried her, she could eat bugs, after all, not to mention buzzard jerky, so she was certain that she could at least choke the magic food down without making her reticence too noticeable.
Lorde sighed and walked over to the food creation device. “A large caramel mocha iced-coffee please.” After taking his drink he walked over to the barcalounger and sat down.
“Honestly? Out of most of the mutants I have studied, your goals are far more like mine than most. I despise big government and what they have done to the common man, and religion to me is just another form of government. Worse yet most of these grand entities have sold out to the highest bidder, or in some cases anyone willing to pay. I think the Children of the Atom have not only the opportunity but the responsibility to change the status quo, lest we be beaten down by our lessers like the neanderthal.” Then he paused. “Does any of that make sense so far?”
Bethany was silent during Lorde’s explanation, nibbling at her food as though she weren’t really hungry. He sounded a little too much like her father, but it did, indeed, makes sense to her. Well, except for one part. “Neanderthal? I don’t really know what you mean by that.”
The young woman sighed, then sat back on the comfortable couch, eyeing Lorde, scrutinizing him. He was responsible for the attack at the mall, he was ultimately responsible for Jon’s death, and he had obviously underestimated her hatred of her father and the way that she was raised. “What makes you think that I want to wage some kind of unholy war, or hurt innocent people, to achieve those goals?” Bethany finally asked simply.
Frederick held his hands together tapping his index fingers. “My views of innocence are quite jaded I must admit. Also, to me, all wars are unholy even just ones, sometimes more so. That all said the most important question you asked is the same I imagine every savior or champion has asked from the dawn of time. Why me? Right? To you, your days are a series of minutes, running into hours and days. To me some of what and who you are is etched in stone, but before I can explain that I have to ask what do you understand about time travel?” He had to ask. He wanted to know how she would react as he just smiled and his eyes widened as he waited for an answer.
“My views of innocence are really simple. You don’t hurt people that are non-combatants,” the girl said, shaking her head. She crossed her arms over her chest and continued to stare Lorde straight in the eyes.
“As for why me? I don’t consider it. I’m no saint, and no one’s savior. And time travel?” Bethany asked, an eyebrow arching slightly. “I mean, I understand the words and all, but I’m not really sure what you’re asking. I’ve seen some weird things since leaving the commune, but that’s not something I’ve ever really heard about.”
“Welp from my perspective you may very well be someone that ends a war between two major factions of power on this earth. The catch being that in the end there was no one left to cheer the victors. So on top of the other goals I have, I would like to avoid a kaboom quite like that. Also there's the fact that you're already experienced at trying to stop some of the bigwigs of this world from making it worse and I feel my people could benefit from that. I really do want the common man to be free of many of the oppressors they have today.”
He sighed putting his hands on the table. “No matter what you chose here there are awful choices I am going to ask you to make.”
Bethany paled dramatically at the mention of her possibly causing some kind of great catastrophe, her skin going nearly white, along with her hair. She despised the idea of hurting innocent people, and had always figured that going back to her cave in the desert might be the best thing for everyone involved. She also suddenly realized that this Lorde guy seemed to know about her hidden eco-terrorist leanings. “I never hurt anyone when I did all of that. I made sure of it,” she muttered, her jaw working slightly. “And what if I refuse to make those decisions that you want me to make?”
He nodded, “Refusing is a decision. You see no matter what you decide hereafter, seeing what I have to offer you, I want you to deliver a message to your people. That I can bring all those people in the mall back. If they allow it of course. No tricks no sleight of hand. In fact, whatever is left of them can be shipped here if it makes your people feel safer. What you witnessed in that mall was mostly for show. ‘Course some people might have a moral compass that would disallow such things, or worse yet feel like the very act of delivering the message was a acquiescence.”
“I really don’t think that I can do that,” Bethany said, her eyes suddenly sparking to life and beginning to swirl with the colors of the spectrum. For a moment, she thought about just burning the whole room down around them, lasering the man in front of her down into a smoldering pile of ash. “Not right now, anyway. I need time to think,” she finally managed through gritted teeth, and she managed to pull her powers back without going insane with her rage and grief over Jon’s death, and this man telling her it was all for show.
“That's fine. I do want you to know you are free to move about The Spire and the city. There is much to do and explore. In the heart of The Spire there are training facilities, educational areas, parks, and medical of course. Outside the main building there are far more recreation facilities such as bowling, movies, cafes and so on. Also we have a new thriving populous some just now getting a second chance to live things the way they have always dreamed. That is at least one part of this grand design I hope can endure. Also don’t forget there is a train to get you around the major areas of the town. It is far faster than walking. Lastly you might be needing this from time to time.” Lorde handed Beth something that at least looked like a new cell phone.
Bethany arched an eyebrow at the offered device, then glanced back to Lorde as she slowly reached out and took it from him. She looked it over briefly, then set it down next to her. “I don’t really know how to use those things,” she said, her eyes returning to Lorde, the colors fading back to their normal green. It wasn’t that she couldn’t figure it out, really. Jon had just told her never to use a smartphone, and that’s exactly what it looked like.
“AH well why didn’t ya say so...” The blonde madman got a silly look on his face as he tapped away on his own wrist computer. Shortly after the device beeped, vibrated then said, “Hello Bethany,” in a wee voice.
The tactical teen glanced down at the device next to her, a bit of a surprised look on her face. “Okay, that’s weird.” Bethany muttered, taking up the device since it was apparent that Lorde wasn’t going to leave her alone about it. “Burn phones don’t do that, even if they do make pretty decent detonators.”
“These are more micro computers than phones. They can be used as guides for the city and keep you in contact with anyone within its walls. Later, if you decide to stay, that would extend beyond the walls of course, not only including phone, but internet as well. So, say for example you want to call me, just say ‘Ariel’ please call ‘Lorde’ and there you go! The phone will call me, or let's say you wanna go out for a movie and popcorn you would just ask her where the nearest movie theater is and a map will come up with directions.” He motioned at the device somewhat curious to see if she could or would do it.
Bethany eyed Lorde, then, without looking away from him, she raised the device to her face and demanded of the little handheld computer, “Ariel, tell me where the largest cache of weapons is in the Spire.” She gave Lorde a slight, devious upturn of lip.
The sprite like voice answered back. “The largest cache of weapons depending on need is either in the third basement level or under the airfield hangar facilities. These areas are restricted to Findelion Watch members only.”
Lorde nodded in agreement, “Yerp the girl knows her stuff.” It was a somewhat satisfying feeling to see she wanted to know the layout of his weapons. What the hell is it about angry girls and guns?
The green-eyed brawler just shook her head. “So I see,” she answered, then set the device back down beside her, filing that information away in her own mind for possible future use. “Look, I told you that I need some time to think. This is all a lot to take in and I’m not going to give you an answer today. Or even tomorrow, most likely. I need time to see what I’m walking into here.”
He gave a nod, “Absolutely. Take all the time you need, it's what I was building up to by giving you that computerized talasman. So why don’t you go check some things out for yourself while I make sure things are going well for our new arrivals. Fairly sure as some of the sick and elderly aren't anymore they might make decisions they might not ordinarily, but I did promise to take care of them and I am a man of my word if nothing else.” With a snap and a cloud of black and red smoke he was gone and suddenly the room was eerily silent.
The green-eyed brawler sighed softly, then got up, shoved the small computerized device into a pocket and began wandering around her rather large quarters. Bethany had plans to make, and there was no time like the present.
Bethany Davies - Fractal
Frederick Hollywood - Lorde