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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: Low Politics (part 11)
    Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    7th April
    23:19 GMT +2


    Lex walks slowly back towards his jet, with Ms Graves and I on either side.

    "So, that just happened."

    "Yes." Mr Luthor nods. "Yes, it did."

    "First impressions?"

    "Between the waffle, pontificating and wandering tangents, I could barely decipher what it is that he's actually planning. I think it might be wise for me to speak with the ClusterCorp board of directors and offer them my services."

    "He's not as stupid as he sounds. It's not wise to project onto non-humanoid species."

    "Does he know enough about our culture to encourage us to underestimate him with such… Precision?"

    "I would be surprised, but I wouldn't rule it out."

    "How.. badly would your colleagues in the Justice League react if I did have commercial dealings with him?"

    "A mild increase in hostility towards ClusterCorp. They're already as hostile towards you as they can get without bringing it into the open."

    "Ah. I find it rather a shame that-."

    I don't even let him finish his platitude before rolling my eyes. "Please."

    "As you wish. Still, it would be beneficial to present a united front."

    "There are too many people on Earth to present a united front. And while I don't think that the League will oppose your lawful dealings out of spite, that's the exact limit of what they'll do to cooperate with you."

    "That might make a successful resolution of this crisis harder to achieve."

    "You should have thought of that before you signed up with Savage. Or said 'no' to me."

    "You tried to implicate me in some rather serious crimes."

    "I wasn't trying to implicate you. I was trying to exculpate you, to give you better options for achieving your legitimate goals. You and Truggs…" I shake my head. "I'd be a lot happier about this if I wasn't expected to somehow 'fix' it."

    Mr Luthor stops at the bottom of the stairs up into his jet.

    "You don't have to."

    "It's like watching a child play in the front garden. I don't feel obliged to put reins on them, but I really think I should keep an eye out in case they start running towards the road."

    "At.. which.. point, you… Guide them back inside the house?"

    "At which point I gently guide them away from the road and then go back on overwatch."

    "I.. fear we may be pushing the metaphor further than it can withstand. But I take your point. Out of curiosity, what would the rest of the ClusterCorp do if their ship was destroyed or seized?"

    "I'm not sure. They do have better armed ships. If it was seized then I imagine that they'd take it back. If it was destroyed… In the past they've seized property from the aggressor or sued them. Neither really apply here. I suppose they might try taking orbital infrastructure-"

    Like the Watchtower or the Xenon base. But I'm not sure who officially or unofficially knows about either of them and I'm confident that the League wouldn't be pleased if I confirmed the existence of anything in conversation with Mr Luthor.

    "-or retaliating, but they're a private enterprise and there's little profit in revenge." I smile. "If you take it where no one can see, and the reason that it's taken this long for this to happen is that no one's watching Earth. And of course that sort of thing would make it a League problem."

    "Mm. I wonder why they chose now?"

    "Ah. That was me. There's a political dispute in Atlantis and I decided to back the weaker party. I thought Dox would send me a regular LEGION fleet. Instead, we get this."

    "You were..? Planning on bringing a fleet into near-Earth space?"

    "Oh, come on, Mister Luthor. I brought a planet into near-Earth space. The fact that I'd bring a fleet here is hardly a strange idea, and no surface world country cares about Venturia."

    Hm. An.. idea is occurring.

    I haven't wanted to introduce advanced alien technology myself because I was concerned that it would have a stupefying influence on human civilisation. But if Earth is going to get access to alien technology anyway, then I'm perfectly capable of making anything ClusterCorp does unprofitable by undercutting them. 'Lord-Lantern Comic King' doesn't strike me as someone who would be prepared to work on matter transmutation 24-7.

    Or I could find a competitor or two and invite them here. Or a mercenary fleet with orders to enforce a particular set of customs arrangements. Amalak would be happy to take on that role, I'm sure, and we're too far away from his centre of power to have to worry about him annexing the planet. There isn't really any group in this Sector that I'd want to-.

    Thanagar. Is Thanagar going to be 'officially concerned' about this? If I decide to take any action I'll have to check with the Hawks.

    "Venturia?"

    "An Atlantean city-state. I'm afraid that the incident has already soured relations between myself and King Orin, so if you want more information I direct you in the direction of Ambassador Vallambrosa."

    "I quite understand. I can grasp the implication of you calling in a fleet."

    "Right. So -just so we don't step on each other's toes- what are you planning on doing about this?"

    "I'm.. still in the planning stages. As I said earlier, this has.. really been nothing like what I thought the Earth's first contact with an alien corporation would be like."

    "Okay, of course you're not obliged to tell me anything. But if you don't tell.. me..."

    Competent authority.

    "Paul?"

    "Sorry, I-. I can't tell Manga Khan-"

    "Lord-Lantern!"

    "-what to do while he's not on the clock, but I can still discipline him for breaking our code of conduct."

    "Which.. includes trading with worlds like Earth?"

    "No, that's fine. Like I said, he's not on the clock. But because the Orange Lantern Corps is trying to build a defensive alliance, there are rules about how Lanterns are obliged to relate to governments we might want to open direct negotiations with. They're.. pretty relaxed, and…"

    I look out across the night time desert.

    "I now realise exactly why he's here rather than a few miles north or south. I'm also revising upwards my estimate of his intelligence."

    Hm.

    "I'm going to do some reading. Get in touch when you've formulated a corporate strategy and I'll let you know what I've got."
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
  2. Citizen

    Citizen Experienced.

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    I really wish we could see more Paul & Lex Funtime Hour(s).
     
  3. Pinklestia

    Pinklestia Experienced.

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    Oh, really?

    You are gonna drag this out?

    Just buy his robot assistant and use it to ruin him.
     
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  4. Darko

    Darko Versed in the lewd.

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    'this if I' not 'this is I'
     
  5. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    Thank you, corrected.
     
  6. RichardWhereat

    RichardWhereat Aia airëa Fëanáro.

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    But first scan its hard drive so purchase doesn't delete the desired information.
     
  7. Ganurath

    Ganurath Apologizes For Nothing

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    If they didn't suspect that he was eavesdropping before...
     
  8. Diraniola

    Diraniola Not too sore, are you?

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    The underlined section seems like a non sequitur. Does it make sense to anybody else?
     
  9. Chojin Patriarch

    Chojin Patriarch Veteran Lurker, Rookie Proofreader

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    Two 'sane' men, in a mad, mad, world. Your opinion of Lex's sanity may vary... And also of OL's...

    Lex, run in circles by corporate marketing speak? Was Manga Khan that incomprehensible?

    Given that all his knowledge of humanity seems to come from the internet... I shudder at the thought.

    And that would mean having to explain to regular citizens why they're so hostile. Which would open them up to Slander lawsuits...

    OL really wants Lex to stop pretending he's not a supervillian, huh? Given how much it annoys him. Of course, that has its' drawbacks, like Lex running around in purple and green powered armour...

    Sort of a 'we may not be allowed to arrest you, but that doesn't mean we have to bother protecting you.' thing.

    Admittedly, I have the suspicion that he's simply in too deep to pull out now. Savage probably arranged for any manner of 'contract-breaking' punishments by way of Klarion... Who knows if such things are still active?

    To be fair, most of Lex's problems with Superman seem reasonable at first glance, like the whole 'encouraging complacency' thing. The problem is that he's taken it all too personally to think clearly about it... Truggs? Some assholes always trying to ice-skate uphill... Grand goal, poor execution.

    Unfortunately, when all your peers seem to be standing back and looking at you...

    Bit too much, Lex. That sort of thinking leads to things like participation trophies...

    ClusterCorp brings an alien lawsuit against the entities responsible? And we've seen how some alien cultures settle lawsuits...

    True. I'm sure Lex suspects the Watchtower exists, but the Kryptonian moonbase remnant? Not so much...

    Oooh... OL, wanna take that one?

    Lex, you do remember Lantern Mother of Mercy showing up? It wouldn't be his first go-round.

    Oh, dear... Chances of this turning out poorly?

    The problem is sustainability. Would you want to commit to doing it yourself, given all your other projects?

    Yes, good plan. Check first before leaping into action. Just look where that got Lex: in hock to a caveman up to his ginger eyebrows.

    Oh, boy. Likelihood of Lex throwing his oar into the situation? I can see him wanting to get a non-atlantean way to access magitech...

    Wouldn't want to pull something only to discover the Light was doing the same thing. Imagine the Xanatos Pileups...

    Interesting logical leap. Something Lex said, or he said to Lex, sinking into his subconscious?

    Rude, Manga Khan! Listening in to customer discussions like that...

    Unfortunately, that's on the list of approved activities...

    Ah... The same reason he picked neutral Antarctic territory? No clear claim of ownership by any government... But... He chose to drop into outback Australia, which isn't unclaimed...

    Caught out by a loophole. Manga Khan's going down Capone-style. Hmm... If he does sell something, how are they going to handle import duties?:sneaky:

    And now OL's motivated to, as he put it, 'fix it himself'. I have to wonder what he's planning, but I'm sure we'll find out soon enough... And with a time jump, that's a good chance to see another Paul's return to their universe.

    ...first contact with an alien corporation...
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2020
  10. RichardWhereat

    RichardWhereat Aia airëa Fëanáro.

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    No, it doesn't make sense to me either.
     
  11. Darko

    Darko Versed in the lewd.

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    Hm it is possible that the members of the Light need to give some kind of magic oath now when they join so as to not betray the group.

    Even if they don't have Klarion they still have other magic users and they may have Circe, assuming she's working for the group as a whole and not just partnered up with Truggs.
     
  12. BR549

    BR549 This is filth! FILTH!!

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    That is Paul realising that he is the competent authority...and that he has the authority to administer Orange Lantern Corps discipline, as he explains to Lex immediately thereafter.
     
  13. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    Thank you, corrected.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Sceptic

    Sceptic Critical Irrationalist

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    He's decided to go for a con job. You know, somehow make Lord Comic King believe that competent authority actually exists in that universe.
     
  15. Darko

    Darko Versed in the lewd.

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    Who's that guy and from which comic is he?
     
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  16. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    Vartox the Hyperman, though the wiki page linked to doesn't really do him justice.
     
  17. Darko

    Darko Versed in the lewd.

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    Thank you.

    My jumped up elementals he looks like an aged porn star from the seventies.

    Odd question but is Paul going to meet him anytime in your story?
     
  18. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    [​IMG]
    Probably not.
     
  19. Darko

    Darko Versed in the lewd.

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    His Prime/n52 counterpart isn't really any better

    [​IMG]

    Still the whole Channel 52 thing with him and Ambush Bug were hilarious and insightful.
     
  20. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  21. RichardWhereat

    RichardWhereat Aia airëa Fëanáro.

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    If that's formal eveningwear on his planet, why does she think informal clothing would be any better?

    He's likely disappointed that he has to take off the expensive jocks and put on something smaller.
     
  22. Darko

    Darko Versed in the lewd.

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    Let's not turn this into a contest to see which of us can find a more disgusting picture of him, please and thank you.

    This site may be more lenient on things like this than SB and SV, but there may be a limit.

    My pic had him with nipple rings. That is much more disturbing than him just wearing underwear.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
  23. Stsword

    Stsword I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    His look is based on Sean Connery as Zardox.
    [​IMG]
     
  24. Sceptic

    Sceptic Critical Irrationalist

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    I would just like to remind people that this thread is not in the NSFW section. That means that anything you say, and anything you post, is indexed by google and viewable by your grandmother. And there's no guarantee she's not getting off on it.
     
  25. Handlewithcare

    Handlewithcare I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Good for her,then.

    There are limits to what even a reality warper can do.

    So the exact position has something to do with League engagement protocols? Khan found some badly worded loophole?
     
  26. Prince Charon

    Prince Charon Just zis guy, you know?

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    I think it's more the fact that he's landed in legitimately unclaimed territory (the two nations with the best potential claims each say that it belongs to the other), and thus isn't directly engaging with any local government in their territory.
     
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  27. Coda

    Coda Not too sore, are you?

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    ClusterCorp.

    Unless somehow there's more than one, perish the thought.
     
  28. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    Thank you, corrected.
     
  29. Diraniola

    Diraniola Not too sore, are you?

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    He looks like Lobo crossed with slave Leia.
     
  30. Darko

    Darko Versed in the lewd.

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    Now that I get a closer look I can see it.
     
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