"Negotiations of failure" - an Oolite short

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Cmdr Wyvern
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"Negotiations of failure" - an Oolite short

Post by Cmdr Wyvern » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:46 pm

In my career, I've seen many strange and wonderful customs. Successful negotiations depends on who, or what, you're dealing with. - Embassador Ge Xach

Slowly, Derik woke, and like any accomplished warrior, assessed his situation.
He found himself in a dimly lit room, and judging by the vibrations in the metal floor, he was on a freighter, Python class or larger. Secondly, he was seated on a hard bunk, with his wrists in shackles, bound by heavy chains to the wall. Not only that, he was as naked as the day he hatched.

Derik sensed the scent and heat signature of another in the room. Switching his electronic eye to night vision mode, he determined that the other was a human female. "Alright, lady," he addressed the stranger, "If this is some kind of unusual mating tradition, then I can't say I'm impressed."

"And what makes you say that?"

The dracolid snorted in bemusement. "I don't see the ol' lovespike comin' out, do you? I'm sorry miss, it doesn't work that way. I think I'd notice if getting konked, disrobed, and chained up in a brig was a turnon. Heh, if that's your game then you got the wrong guy. Besides, my paet'a would so not approve."

The woman snickered, stood, and stepped into the light. A petite frame did its best to fill the coveralls she wore. And she struggled to hold a shock-rifle pointed at her prisoner. "I've been warned about your wit, mon Capitan Roh'i. Ahh yes, very funny... Tell me," and she gestured slightly with the rifle at his chest, "Are you still amused?"

"It must be tiring to lug that old slugthrower around. It looks about as heavy as you are." Derik yanked on one of the chains, "It's not like I'm going anywhere. Why don't you put that thing down, hmm? Oh, and to answer your question, yup, very amused."

The woman said nothing, just rolled her eyes.

"So this isn't some kind of sex game?" She merely shook her head. "Riiight," the saurian continued. "Pardon my bluntness madam, then what the frak is this about? Money? Revenge, perhaps?"

"A little bit of both, Capitan. I wish to hire you to dispose of Governor Thral of Inines."

"Oh, I see. Let me guess: You got tired of the bastard's evil ways, and now you're staging an open rebellion."

She nodded, "Correct."

The big Lizard laughed, a loud, deep bark that made her wince. Then he stared her right in the eyes, "Miss, there's not a single merc anywhere in the Great Eight that would take that contract, not after being treated like this. If you went through the slight inconvenience of the proper channels, well yeah, they'd line up to exterminate Thral for you. But kidnapping a combateer like myself, and expecting your victim to willingly go to war on your behalf? Are you on drugs, or just moonbat crazy? All you're getting for this is a hold full of bad magic."

The woman frowned, jabbing the muzzle of the gun under his jaw, "I could kill you, sunbasker..."

The great reptile was unfazed, grinning and showing his sharp teeth, "And there we are, the customary death threat. Yeah, like that's getting you what you want. Maybe you didn't notice as you were peeling my duds off, but I'm a Warmblood; with all due respect, kindly stuff that 'sunbasker' comment up your pretty little arse. After that, go ahead, pull that trigger, and make your situation worse. Look at me! It should be obvious that I consider myself expendable, but my family and friends strongly disagree with me. If I know my wife and crewmates - and I do - your vessel is being tracked. You can't fart without somebody knowing exactly where you are. That means if I die, then Thral will be the least of your troubles; you'd have a slightly better chance going it alone through a Bugfest of epic proportions. Count on that."

She sighed, letting her weapon droop as his words sank in. "How do I know you're not trying to deceive me in order to save your tail?"

The dracolid was quick to answer, "I don't lie, madam; it's hardly worth the effort. I'm not very good at it anyway. Listen, I feel for your plight, and wish you the best with your rebellion. But going about like this is a mix of certain doom."

"But you're not going to help us, mon Capitan?"

"What, with your uprising?" He chuckled, "Oh no, absolutely not. But, I'll try to save -your- tailend. In fact, why don't you go check with your crew, ask if there's any iron-assed combat craft closing in on your ship right now." Derik watched her grow pale under her tan, and leaned back against the wall with a grin. "Go on miss, I'll wait."

=================================================================================

Aya made her way towards the bridge as fast as she could. The legendary Lizard she had bound in the cell, despite being in a position that would distress most men into compliance, remained cool, jovial, and, apart from some light profanity, eerily polite, not at all what most said about him. She expected a rage-driven, murderous irrational savage, and instead got a noble gentlebeing! At least the part about his sense of humor and fearlessness was true.
Aya wasn't doubting his warning of dire consequences, either; he was biding his time, knowing his mates were out there, tracking Aya's Boa, and calling in reinforcements. This gave her all the more reason to sprint onto the bridge.
"Tony! Check the scans, now!"
"There's over a dozen blips, closing fast!"

Streaks of green and cyan laserfire cut across the forward view, some of the bursts striking the shields. "Caduceus decloaking...and another! Dragons grouping for a torpedo run! Oh Giles, we're screwed!"
Aya reached over and slapped the tacman, "Get a grip, Tony! They would've killed us already if they wanted. That's a warning shot."
She turned to the com man, "Hail them, Fred. Tell them the Capitan is our honored guest."
Fred called back, "Sent. Got an incoming transmission."
"Main screen, Fred."
The screen showed an angry blue-scaled face. "You will return him at once! Alive and unharmed, then we may let you go. You have one minute to comply." The screen went blank.
"A tad snappish, isn't she?" asked Mick from the nav station.
"I don't blame her," Aya said. "She only wants to be with her hubby again."
"Ok, so what now?"
"So we put him in an escape pod, and eject him into her care. Or we can refuse and eat nukes. He's not going to help us with Thral anyway, he said so. I believe him."
"Your call, Aya. I'm voting for letting him go."
"Ditto."
"Thirded."

=================================================================================

"Ahh, my jailor returns, and so soon, too! Esei's in a bit of a mood, hmm? She promised to shoot you to Hell, and brought enough firepower to do it thrice over?"

"Yes, something like that." Aya sighed, "She convinced us to let you go."

"Well, imagine that. Let's not enrage her further." The dracolid held out his arms, rattling the chains, "Make with the key already, lady. I'm hungry, and want to go home for a good meal and a beer. And you want to stay in one piece, right?"

Aya couldn't help but smirk as she fussed with the locks. "I think I'm going to miss your humor, mon Capitan." To her surprise, she felt his tail coil about her waist. She looked into his face, to be greeted with a disturbingly fangy, but kindly smile.

"I'll forget this little incident, and convince my wife to let you go in peace," he rumbled, "Dungeon play aside, it was a pleasant stay...Not that I'd want to do it again." Then he rose and stretched, seven feet of rippling muscle under scale-armored, fight scarred hide. "Would you be so kind as to show me the egress, miss?"

=================================================================================

Derik gently nudged the cumbersome little craft out of its slow tumble, and towards the waiting Persistence of Memory. Once the course was set, he struggled to get his jeans on, a feat that proved impossible in the cramped pod. "Crap," he snorted, setting the jeans aside. "Oh well, no worries... Perci, please open the doors. I'm coming home."
He guided the pod into the ship's scoop, waited until the droid set the pod on the deck, then stepped out, to be nearly bowled over by his all too enthused mate.
Derik hugged the centarid warmly, pressing his snout in her feathered mane. "Why hello, paet'a. Missed me?"
"Yes, love," Esei answered. "I've been so worried! The nerve of those fraking terrorists!"
"Not terrorists, Esei. Freedom fighters. They're desperate for help with an out of control dictator. Although their recruitment method needs a rethink."
Esei looked him up and down, "What did they do, nude beach you into signing up?"
Derik burst out in laughter, "Oh, good one! It's an interesting tale, to be sure. Let me tell you about it over something edible. I'm hungry enough to eat the energy bomb!"
Esei raised an eyeridge, "That doesn't sound appetizing, paet'a. How about a goat steak instead?"
"Deal! And dearest, call off the warhounds. They did me no real harm... A bruised dignity, maybe, but I'll survive that. By the way, good show!"
"Hmm, not overly dramatic? My goal was to..." Esei landed a playful swat to Derik's rump, "...scare the pants off them!"
Derik jumped, then let out a barking laugh. "That you did, dear paet'a, that you did."

-end
Last edited by Cmdr Wyvern on Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by JazHaz » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:19 pm

Nice story.

Noticed one little error/typo, in the second paragraph, I think you meant "assessed" not "accessed"?

Have added a link to the story to the Oolite Fan Fiction page of the Wiki.
JazHaz

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drew wrote:£4,500 though! :shock: <Faints>
Cheers,
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Maybe you could start a Kickstarter Campaign to found your £4500 pledge. 8)
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Post by Disembodied » Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:55 am

:D Good fun! Some small typos:

A petite frame did it's best --> its best (no apostrophe)

All your getting for this is a hold full of bad magic. --> you're getting

unfased --> unfazed
She sighed, letting her weapon droop as his words sank in. "How do I know you're not trying to deceive me in order to save your tail?" The dracolid was quick to answer, "I don't lie, madam;
should be
She sighed, letting her weapon droop as his words sank in. "How do I know you're not trying to deceive me in order to save your tail?"

The dracolid was quick to answer, "I don't lie, madam;
(needs a para break for change of speaker)


iron assed --> iron-assed

decloacking --> decloaking
Aya couldn't help but smirk as she fussed with the locks. "I think I'm going to miss your humor, mon Capitan." To her surprise, she felt his tail coil about her waist. She looked into his face, to be greeted with a disturbingly fangy, but kindly smile. "I'll forget this little incident,
should be
Aya couldn't help but smirk as she fussed with the locks. "I think I'm going to miss your humor, mon Capitan." To her surprise, she felt his tail coil about her waist. She looked into his face, to be greeted with a disturbingly fangy, but kindly smile.

"I'll forget this little incident,
(needs a para break for change of speaker)

Derik gently nudged the cumbersome little craft out of it's slow tumble --> its slow tumble (no apostrophe)

autoscam --> autoscan (? or is this some invention that Hesperus sold you? ;))

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Post by Cmdr Wyvern » Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:06 pm

@Jaz
Noticed one little error/typo, in the second paragraph, I think you meant "assessed" not "accessed"?
Both of my spellcheck programs gave 'accessed' a pass. That's good enough for me. :)

@Disembodied
Good finds. Fixed.

From the Elite manual, an autoscam is the robot that arranges containers in the hold.
If Hesperus sold it, it would most likely be a lemon. ;)

Anyway, changed it to 'droid' to avoid further confusion.
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Post by JensAyton » Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:35 pm

Cmdr Wyvern wrote:@Jaz
Noticed one little error/typo, in the second paragraph, I think you meant "assessed" not "accessed"?
Both of my spellcheck programs gave 'accessed' a pass. That's good enough for me. :)
They’re two unrelated words.
access
assess

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Post by Cmdr Wyvern » Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:54 pm

Ahruman wrote: They’re two unrelated words.
access
assess
Gotcha. Fixed.
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Post by drew » Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:04 pm

Excellontay! "Scared the pants off 'em"... chuckle chuckle.

Cheers,

Drew.
Author of the Oolite Saga, the officially licensed Elite: Reclamation and Elite Dangerous: Premonition
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