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With This Ring (Young Justice SI) (Thread Fourteen)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Mr Zoat, Jan 27, 2019.

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  1. Threadmarks: Negetiations (part 5)
    Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    4th August 2012
    17:47 GMT


    "…escort will arrive tomorrow, my lord."

    The first officer of the largest cargo ship I've seen with my own eyes hasn't stopped genuflecting since she introduced herself. I'm not sure if her culture encourages this sort of behaviour between crew and foreign dignitaries, or if this is just for my benefit. Obviously I could find out with empathic vision, but that would be rude and... Wasn't there a Greek philosopher who got annoyed when one of his slaves told him that the reason his figs tasted sweet was because he was coating them in honey, because he wanted to try and work it out for himself?

    Maybe pay a bit more attention to what your servants are doing for you next time.

    "And then it's a two day journey, followed by between four and six days in-system, depending on whether a pilot is immediately available or not."

    "Yes, Clarissi Dox already warned me about that. Is that a common practice?"

    "I'd say that it was the technique used by perhaps one in eight worlds? It's more common around major trading hubs, due to the sheer volume of traffic. I can only apologise for the inconvenience, my lord."

    "No, that's fine. Do you have a spare room?"

    "Both yourself and Lantern Drusa have been assigned a state room. On a Gigantuous-Class like this we're never short of space."

    "Oh. Good. I'm sure that will be fine. Please lead the way?"

    She rises, head still bowed, and turns to lead us in the direction of the guest quarters.

    Drusa pulls up alongside me as we follow her.

    "Six to eight days on this ship."

    "We don't need to be on the ship until it arrives at its destination, and we can both fly faster than it can. But since you've got my undivided attention, you may as well make use of it."

    "You don't want to plan your approach?"

    "I can't plan my approach until I've gotten a look at the people I'm going to be talking to. Without an immediate threat, I can't justify an aggressive approach. Any planet like this is going to have thousands of officials they could send to talk to me, so there's no point in looking at the track record of one or two. And Dox picked me over an actual diplomat, or anyone else who might have had the time to study their culture in depth. So he clearly thinks that's not what the situation calls for."

    "Does he expect me to, in your opinion?"

    I raise my left eyebrow, glancing at her with my empathic vision turned up. She's.. intentionally keeping herself dim, but I can see enough of-.

    "You are aware that you don't need to ingratiate with me, aren't you? My whole function is to help other Lanterns improve. It's what I want, and it's how I serve the Corps. I also don't have anything like the ego that approach requires."

    "I apologise."

    I wave my right hand.

    "Apologise when you mean it. I just don't want you wasting your time by treating me like one of the pirate chiefs you used to work for. Just understand that it's pointless."

    "It's not easy to break the habits of a lifetime."

    "You've got a whole load of instincts you've cultivated to keep you alive, and now you're in a situation where none of them serve you. And you're intelligent enough to know it." I shrug. "I know a few people like that."

    "How have they adapted?"

    "Selina… Kind of… Hasn't. She used to be a cat burglar, now she's a cat burglar who doesn't have any reason to steal anything."

    Lantern Drusa's eyes glow, then her ring projects a Catwoman construct.

    "Do females of your species usually dress like that?"

    "There's a subculture. It makes more sense in context."

    "A leather subculture?"

    "She used to work as a dominatrix. But, no. I was talking about the separation between what my people would call normal clothes and what's normal within the… Within theme-crime circles. Now, before-."

    Her eyes flash and she stumbles a step.

    "Yes."

    "Your… Homeworld is insane." The Selina construct collapses. "How… How..?"

    "Yes. We know. The point is that while her costume is striking, it's outlandish within a gap of accepted outlandishness. If you see what I mean. But the point is that she instinctively looks around for people to steal from and objects to steal, while intellectually realising that it wouldn't actually benefit her and that she has everything she was trying to get through theft. I mean, how much time have you spent thinking about how to get hold of my ring?"

    "There wouldn't be any point."

    "At least you didn't bother trying to deny it." I pull it off my finger. "Want it? I can just get another one."

    "I don't-."

    "Go on. Put it on. See how it makes you feel."

    She takes it from me with her right hand, then slides it onto her left index finger. I don't notice any difference in her environmental shield, which honestly is what I'd expect. Unless Hinon's been holding out on everyone else, which seems unlikely.

    "Feel any different?"

    "No."



    "Are you planning on giving it back?"

    "I was.. waiting for something to happen."

    "Hinon customised that ring for me. If anything was going to happen, it would have happened when you got the ring customised for you."

    "I think they gave me one out of general stores."

    But she pulls my ring off her finger and holds it out anyway, and I float it back to my finger.

    "Thank you. Of course, while I couldn't work out how to help Selina make the change in her thinking that you're struggling with, I managed to help Jade Nguyen make a similar transition. She went from murdering people for money as part of a crazy personality cult on Earth to killing people for the greater good with the Darkstars."

    Lantern Drusa's eyes flash orange again.

    "Your lover?"

    "That's the one. I find the way she was able to make the shift that you're struggling with and that Selina's pretty much given up on to be an extremely attractive trait. Oh! That reminds me of a book I read. If… Back before you joined the Corps, if you found a power ring on an abandoned space station, and you had to hide it from your employer for weeks while you worked out how to use it, how happy would you have been when you finally got it working?"

    "Extremely happy."

    "And when you just got given it?"

    She thinks for a moment, then nods.

    "There's a book from Earth called 'Starship Troopers'. A school teacher offers someone who came fourth in a race the prize for first place, and asks if getting it would make him happy. He says no, and the teacher says that.. of course it doesn't. He hasn't earned it. Getting the fourth place prize might make him a little happy because that's what his effort got him, but first?"

    I shrug.

    "So perhaps we need to work out what tickles your 'I earned this' button."
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2021
    Rukkileib, Jaron, Grimnar and 168 others like this.
  2. hance1986

    hance1986 Not too sore, are you?

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    ' your '
     
  3. Darko

    Darko Well worn.

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    But you do have an ego.

    Some crime fighters or criminals do.

    The ones not in those categories do it for sex.

    Yes, yes it is.

    'from murdering'

    Sentence feels weird.

    Maybe 'to make the shift that you're'
     
  4. Grimnar

    Grimnar Versed in the lewd.

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    Bruh.
     
  5. inglorius

    inglorius Making the rounds.

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    "from"
    Is Dox just keeping OL busy and away from important stuff? Feels like it.
     
  6. Agent Orange

    Agent Orange Versed in the lewd.

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    So they boarded a Space Titanic? Hopefully there's enough lifeboats for when it inevitably hits that space iceberg.
     
  7. Handlewithcare

    Handlewithcare I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Yeah, I guess someone who values personal accomplishment wouldn't actually do so well with an Orange Ring.

    It's power is based on wanting things. Not doing things yourself, but merely wanting them to happen.

    It makes wanting things itself the only win condition, which clashes with accomplishment.

    A good OL needs to care about the outcome only.
     
  8. Chojin Patriarch

    Chojin Patriarch Veteran Lurker

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    Ah, already getting the delaying tactic runaround, eh? Though not the intentional kind this early in the mission. If Yuna has as large an off-world import/export and trading scene as Dox's briefing suggested, ships are expected to take some time to get through the system.

    But then you couldn't be a decadent philosopher dilettante... And if you have the money to be one, why wouldn't you want to be one?

    The wheels of bureaucracy move slowly, especially on a stellar scale. Still, that gives plenty of time to think and work with Drusa.

    If the ship's as big as you suggested (And I'm picturing something several kilometres long and over five hundred metres across,) there's bound to be plenty of crew space.

    Thought so. Though that's a peculiar class name. I'm guessing, nay hoping, a lot of their words will be wibbly like that, then...

    What's wrong with that? Look on it as a chance for some paid time off. I mean, sure, there's probably not much to do aboard, but as a Lantern, boredom should be easy to deal with...

    Sensible, but what planning can you do until you get there? Do you have extensive databases of the cultural and behavioural traits of the Yunans? Personnel files on any possible points of contact?

    So... There's a measure of gunboat diplomacy involved here. Sending their biggest gun, namely OL, suggests a bit of 'This is who will be kicking your arses if you attack us' involved. But OL is also restrained enough not to resort to guns-blazing at the first sign of trouble.

    ...Is she trying to play suck-up? Must be force of habit, learned by dealing with mercenary leaders.

    Save the apologies for when you actually fuck something up, Lantern. Taker this as a learning opportunity.

    See, OL knows he's the biggest dog in the room. So no need for that yappy bravado a pirate captain (who usually serves at his crew's tolerance) would typically display.

    Including at least one as a personal student.

    After all, she's lost her chance at the Bat. What's the point of acting up if she can't play with him and leave him blue-balled and wanting more?

    To be fair, the typical Catwoman costume these days is relatively conservative. Wait until she looks up heroes like Wonder Woman or Phantom Lady...
    "Why is this one wearing... Is that lingerie?"

    ...Well, it's a bit more Latex these days, but hey, it makes her feel powerful.

    Congratulations, you've had your first brush with Earth Bullshit™. Try not to think too hard about it, you'll get a little crazy trying to work out why.

    Another Illustres meme: The Illustres' homeworld is so mad, fighting the Reach is like a rest period.

    And be honest now. You're clearly thinking it's got to have special capabilities, like shutting down other rings remotely.

    Well, after Hinon grouses at you for a bit about all the effort she put into tuning it being wasted...

    No, there's no subtext here at all. Nope, none at all. :rolleyes:

    Besides the obvious 'Current Charge: 189%' popping up on her ring's feedback.After all, multiple rings, multiple charges.

    Because, you know, he still does need it. He's not at full Orange Light Mastery yet. :p Though to be fair, he's getting pretty up there by now.

    And you don't get the good shit until you reach Honour Guard rank. Which I'm pretty sure no Orange Lantern yet qualifies for at this stage.

    Subtle little power play there she might assume he intended, with the whole 'I can take a ring any time I liked'. Knowing OL, he didn't.

    I suspect she's going to be doing a lot of database reading over the next few days, studying just what kind of world could produce a man like Pavlos.

    Eh, where's he going with this, I wonder? Still, it's a logical conundrum for her.

    Ah... I see...

    Something which didn't make it into the Verhoeven movie, I think. And a good idea about finding her natural wants...

    ...Oh, my.[/takei] Seriosuly, OL. phrasing. Especially with your mention of Dominatrices earlier.

    Okay, now you have an idea to improve her skills. Let's see how you execute that plan, though. I mean, it's not like you're going to get to Planet Yuna anytime soon. Not in any official capacity, anyway. After all, I suspect the locals would take a dim view to Lanterns flitting about their spacelanes, whatever their colour...


    ...while you worked out how to use it...
     
  9. Stitched_Lips

    Stitched_Lips Getting some practice in, huh?

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    Think that's a *your* not you
     
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  10. Shotiegun11

    Shotiegun11 Getting sticky.

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    Need 'full stop'.
     
  11. Darko

    Darko Well worn.

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    Wonder Woman may actually be wearing the armor that was made for her.

    Xor may qualify.

    The guy has shown extreme skill in light manipulation.
     
  12. Vaermina

    Vaermina Versed in the lewd.

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    It really is amusing how dense Paul is.

    Like... What reason could Dox have for assigning him to a mission that forces him to sit on a ship doing nothing for at least a week...

    Huh... It's almost like Dox want's him completely out of everybody's hair...
     
  13. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    Thank you, corrected.
    None of the good bits made it into the Verhoeven film, henceforth referred to a 'Bug Hunt'. There's a similar line in the classroom scene at the beginning, but it isn't properly explained.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2021
  14. Darko

    Darko Well worn.

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    Zoat, I think you didn't read these corrections I posted last night.

    Maybe 'far, I still'

    'shown'

    Also Ngamer11 left you some corrections for Tamaraneans.
     
  15. Shotiegun11

    Shotiegun11 Getting sticky.

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    The first officer is referred to with female pronouns for the rest of the update after this so: she, herself.
     
  16. Fellow

    Fellow Know what you're doing yet?

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    'make'
     
  17. Lothlo

    Lothlo Know what you're doing yet?

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    missing the opportunity of ending the chapter asking her: 'Would you like to know more?'
     
  18. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    Thank you, corrected.
    If someone posts a lot of old corrections I'm probably not going to be able to deal with them immediately. It may not seem like it, but I do actually have a life outside of this story.
    Bug Hunt.
     
  19. moralrelativity

    moralrelativity Recovering pendant.

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    gap -> range ?? Not at all sure about this, I don't think I'm groking what you're trying to say.
    if -> it
    maek -> make

    I'm quite enjoying the interactions and learning more about how OL thinks. I wonder if he'll be successful in helping another lantern achieve enlightenment... Very slow going so far.
     
  20. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    People expect superheroes and supervillains to dress weird. It's not that it's not weird, it's that them doing it isn't weird.
    Thank you, corrected.
     
  21. Zig

    Zig Know what you're doing yet?

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    Is Paul still using an "inferior" ring that Hinon made for him in a rush? Also, what makes a ring inferior or superior? Hinon mentioned that the ring she made for Paul was better than what he had before but worse than the ones most of the crops were using. So like, quality of AI? Efficiency?
     
  22. NightmareWarden

    NightmareWarden Not too sore, are you?

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    Are you asking whether Paul has two rings right now? I think he is down to the one high-quality Hinon-grade ring.
     
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  23. Bramble Thorn

    Bramble Thorn Verified Silhouette

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    It did, in the the classroom discussion about the vote.

    What is with all the hate for that move?
    I read the Heinlein book. Before the movie even existed even. And enjoyed it, like I did most all Heinlein novels.
    I still really enjoyed the movie. In fact, I would consider it a classic.
     
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  24. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    They took the 'mobile' out of 'mobile infantry' and the director openly acknowledges that he never read the book.

    It's not a terrible film, when viewed on its own merits. But it's an in name only adaptation of something that a lot of people liked.
     
  25. Bramble Thorn

    Bramble Thorn Verified Silhouette

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    Ok, that is fair. I guess I just really like the style and cinematography. Maybe I'm getting old, but many of the movies lately just seem like crap. Especially in the horror and (what used to be sci-fi action) genres. Dark lighting, whispered walking, few people shown on screen, and boring as fuck.

    I want something like Freddy Krueger, and I get a more boring blair witch project that looks like it was made by an indy outfit, except the major producers are doing it now more and more.

    Starship Troopers has the soul of an 80's action romp. I have no problem slotting in between a marathon of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis classics. Total Recall, Starship Troopers, Fifth Element.
     
  26. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    Hands up everyone else who actually read Total Recall.
     
  27. Zig

    Zig Know what you're doing yet?

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    IIRC Hinon gave him a new ring after his most recent death, but said she made it in a rush and while it was better than his old one it wasn't as good as the ones the rest of the corps were using.
     
  28. quietwhile

    quietwhile Getting out there.

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    I would also like to know that, but I'm guessing it's going to be revealed as a plot device.
     
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  29. PDV

    PDV The Revelation That Uncertainty is Itself a Answer

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    Absolutely, the initial good news of 'no more back-breaking work' is very good news. Even now, 'no more bullshit makework' sounds good. But that would wear off in a decade or two at most, and then you're stuck with "Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens". Humans are not psychologically built for idleness.
     
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  30. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    That's not how I remember it.
     
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