[GEN] What's in the Box? [Jackal 1.1]

edited February 2015 in Generations
So, Jackal.

Do you dream?

It's morning and you're getting yourself together to face the big world out there. One of the air vents don't work quite right all of a sudden and there's a unsettling, irregular tiny metallic ping every few seconds. What do you do to get ready in the morning? What's your place like? Do you even have a place, or maybe you're just staying with a follower this time?

About six minutes before you're done done with your hair or clothes or whatever, one of your regulars pops her head in. Thunder's a bit simple between the ears, but she's utterly devoted to you. But she's got a little box like an offering, and you know she's just going to ask you for your presence and blessing later on at the shindig. All of those civvies dress a little different, but Thunder only wears solid colors. "Hello, Jackal," she says in her deliberate way. "I brought you something. I hope you like it." What's the worst thing she could offer you?

You know this already, but here's Thunder.


  • edited February 2015

    Yes, I dream. Of electric sheep, no less.

    The Vent
    The air vent is a nuisance, but the air-flow is within acceptable range. I have already filed a Severity Four ticket in the logs where it has sat without care for three day cycles. I doubt it will be fixed by maintenance, I may need to barter for the effort. I agree it is non-essential, but the noisome squeak ruins any semblance of peace and quiet in this sector of the ship.

    I am staying with Roark at this time. I have no possessions. I have no wealth. I have no home. I am of the ship. All things I wear or use are gifts from my followers. I would have nothing if not for their generosity and their trust.
    I do have a period of required rest for every day cycle. It is a function that was programmed into me to help me assimilate into human society. Bio-organics do not feel comfortable when beings of equal or greater intelligence are functioning while they sleep.
    Joking aside, I do dream. I process fanciful thoughts and wonder of what might be. I communicate with the AI of the ship and the collective matrix of our AI Meshnet. It is wonderful and delicious. It is my ambrosia. I sometimes wish to lay down and dream and cease interacting with the bio-organics. But that would not do. We have a symbiotic relationship and it is my duty, my function as it were, to serve the whole.
    My morning routine is simple. I clean my body with soap and water. My skin is resistant to damage, like a bio-organic's, but I excrete slightly tangy oils if I do not maintain my cleansing regimen, and this can cause me to smell a little "off". My hair follicles are the most irksome. I normally keep my hair styled shorter. I can, of course, with the proper protein consumption, grow my hair to any length in a very short time. But I find that styling it is such a bother, so much effort for such a trifling result. I do it for special occasions, because a nice hair-do impresses my followers and those who do not yet follow me. It is a burden I accept without complaint. That said, I keep my hair short and clean unless a situation calls for a change in my routine.

    Roark's Place
    Roark is a military officer. His quarters are spartan, but functional. He has an organized mind. I tend to stay with him more frequently than the others. He left early this morning to attend to some of Nbeke's work. I hope that he mentions me fondly to Nbeke as I requested. Nbeke is a worrisome man, so brutish and violent. I must wear him down, bring him to my wisdom.
    The room has a soft mattress on the bunk, a private shower, a desk with a small workstation terminal, some lovely art on the walls that I helped Roark pick out from the market and best of all, a view-port to the stars

    Thunder is, technically speaking, a fully functional member of the society. Her IQ falls within two standard deviations of the mean. Her acuity with social norms is lacking, as is her self-confidence.
    It is dismaying. She should have responded better to my treatment, but she is still a work in progress.
    Thunder, short for Thunder Thighs. It was a hurtful nickname she received in her prepubescent years due to poor eating choices and fat storage primarily in the lower half of her body, especially her thighs.
    When she came to me two years ago, I guided her to a vigorous workout regimen, adjusted her daily menu, and taught her the value of taking care of her body. Now, after twenty months of hard work, she is trim and fit. It's a shame her body does not have the elasticity of her teenage years. She still carries numerous stretch marks on her legs and mid-section as well as loose skin. I have charted out a program for her to save enough credits to purchase cosmetic surgery, an effort that is low on the priority rankings of the medical practitioners. It will take forty months for her to be able to afford the surgery, but it is an excellent motivational tool.
    I do wish she felt better about herself. Nevertheless, she is a devoted follower and an energetic lover, eager to please myself and others who I designate. In the dim red light of our soirees, her minor flaws are nearly invisible to the human eye. She has been a very good girl.

    The Box
    It is entirely likely that the box contains another pair of earrings. I do abhor the baubles she fancies on me. It is an undertaking to wear them long enough for her to feel appreciated. I understand she trades for them, and I do find some of the patterns of glass interesting. However, I would rather she save the credits for her surgeries, or get her hair done, it is less attractive than it could be.

    When Thunder comes to the door, I had just finished a sonic shower, followed by a hair rinse. I answer the door and let her in with a smile, moving in to kiss her cheeks as I do all my followers. Touch is an important connection between us, "Good morning, my radiant sun! It is so wonderful to see you today. Is this a gift for me?" I take the box with a nod of my head in thanks and take her arm, leading her over to the view-port. Who doesn't love the stars? I most certainly do. I stand close to Thunder, feeling her pulse race from just the touch of my elbow against her arm. I adore how excitable she can be. I open the box, prepared to portray happiness at whatever she has given me.
  • It takes three seconds before the water starts to flow, and a further nine seconds before its temperature is sufficient. Another Severity Four ticket? Whatever, the sonic shower feels good and the rinse smells fresh this time. Must be nice to bunk with Nbeke's officer caste. Which of your followers do you see the least, and why?

    But let's see after your morning routine, with your follower. Sounds like she's got a long row to hoe. But you've got a plan for her and the rest of the bio-organics.

    You hear contented small sounds from the back of Thunder's throat as you kiss her, accept her, touch her, praise her as your radiant sun. "Every day with you is wonderful... Jackal." Is it weird that she calls you by your name? What do your followers usually call you? She's looking out the window because it seems you want her to, maybe because you do and she's trying to see what you see. To be closer to you.

    And hey, you open the box, and what do you know, it's not earrings. It's a headpiece of some kind, feels like some sort of drawn titanium alloy. Who could make something like this?


    Thunder's turned to you, watching for your reaction. "For the celebration. Will you wear it?" Of course it's for the celebration, but remind me: Is this party private, public, or something in between?
  • imageJackal

    Water Flow
    Yes, I file a ticket. It could be a minor issue, it could be the fissure of the dam breaking. Also, that is an interminable time to wait for a wonderfully hot shower.

    Visitation Frequency
    Of all of my followers, I see Sony least often. He lives down below, and frequent visits there will irk Nbeke. I find Sony very pleasing. He is a very creative individual. He is interesting to speak with, emotional and irrational, but passionate. I think of him often in my dreams. I wonder if he speaks to the matrix at night during my rest cycles.

    I hope to gain trust with Sony's cohorts and arrange a peaceful meeting of the minds between them and Nbeke. At this point, I do not trust Nbeke to avoid the temptation to destroy the resistance if they came in good faith, so I am cautiously waiting for a better opportunity to offer it up. This would most likely come when Nbeke is weaker, when the resistance can provide something he lacks.

    Peace is so much more beneficial than this petty war. I must find the chink in Nbeke's armor, what he desires most of all, so I can help him to see the correct course of action. He has the capability to be such a strong ally.

    It is not in the least bit odd that Thunder calls me Jackal. It took several reminders and prompts for her to do so. She gave me honorifics and called me a goddess when we first met, when she came to me. I am simply here to serve her best needs, there is nothing divine about that.

    It is good that she calls me Jackal.

    The Circlet
    The craftsmanship of this titanium circlet is breathtaking. Only Andromeda could manage this level of expert quality, of beauty and simplicity. I look at Thunder and smile. "You traded for this?" What did she trade for this? Andromeda is not a follower.

    This object is truly regal. It is a testament to the wonder that is man. I could never create something this inspired. I can only copy. I can only mimic. This piece of metal is a totem of what I adore. It is also an anchor to remind me of what I can never become.

    I will most certainly wear it.

    The Party
    The party is something in between private and public. My followers are gathering to celebrate our newest member. They shall be called Dell and I look forward to welcoming them to our family. It will most likely devolve into an orgiastic expression of affection for each member of the cult. I encourage this, it brings them closer. I will share myself with them as I do at such gatherings. This sometimes brings in the public, but those who attend, must participate. It can be an effective recruitment tool. I gained Eyebeam this way.

    I am looking forward to wearing this circlet during the party.
  • It takes Thunder four seconds to see that you are impressed and delighted instead of incredulous. She claps her hands like a schoolgirl, and presses herself to you, her goddess of made flesh. She nods eagerly, "I did trade for it! Andromeda is so clever with the making of things. I am only good at the doing." What is Thunder good for around here besides simple labor? Does she have a hidden talent, a savant?

    She wants to see you wear it, it's plain in her seeking eyes and open face. Perhaps she's hoping that's all you'll wear for the celebration. "Can I help you with anything else? Where do you want us to gather this time?" She always tilts her head between 20 and thirty degrees when she asks you a question.
  • edited February 2015

    Thunder's Talent
    Thunder is a very talented gardener. Her diligence and attention to detail, combined with her caring spirit, give her a veritable green thumb. She has saved crops and coaxed blooms in the harshest of situations. Her crop yield is a full three hundred percent greater than any single person on the ship. She is also skilled at growing very rare plants. Which, of course, my followers like to smoke or eat.

    Thunder's Query
    When she asks if I need help with anything else, I turn to her. The starlight reflects ever so slightly off her hair. There will never be another person who looks the way she does. I am a simple model. My face is worn by hundreds of others on hundreds of worlds, on thousands of ships. "Thunder, you are so precious to me." I reach my arms around her, pull myself to her for a gentle embrace.

    Pulling back, I brush stray hairs out of her face, "I am fine, Thunder. I do not require anything further at this time. You should soon return to work. We will meet at the algae/oxygen exchange tank storage area. It is warm there, enough room for everyone to... lie down, if they wish." I kiss her cheek and guide her towards the door.
  • When you draw Thunder close, you can faintly smell soil- it never quite gets out of her skin. She closes her eyes and enjoys your simple embrace in the utterly focused way she has. She's very devoted. Very.

    Her eyes follow your fingers when you brush the hairs away, and you see the precise instant she is sad that you are sending her away and the other precise instant when her mind's eye starts to imagine the celebration tonight. She's very devoted. "It as as you say, Jackal." She stalls on the way out, looking at Roark's art. "Are you going to market today?" she asks hopefully. If you bring her along, who knows how long it will take to dislodge her, and doesn't she need to get some work done before the celebration? I mean, she is devoted, but nowhere near as good as recruiting as you are.
  • imageJackal

    Thunder's Exit
    I delay with her, her eyes drawing me to Roark's art. My favorite piece is an abstract work by Fisher. She refuses to say what the subject of the painting is. I have decided it that the growing structure in the light of the yellow sun of the painting is the Tower of Babel, and the ant-like creatures falling away from the summit are the nations of men. This deduction is based partially on the painting and partially on the psych evals of Fisher herself. It is wise to know the art through the artist's eyes.

    Thunder's delay means she must expect more in recompense for the circlet. I do not want her to be disappointed, but there is preparatory work to be done for the party. "It is uncertain if I will visit market." I answer in a noncommittal fashion. I turn to face her, looking fully, unwaveringly into her brown eyes. "I am very pleased with your gift, Thunder. It was very thoughtful of you. Is there anything I can do for you to show my gratitude?" If she wishes to couple, I will acquiesce. Roark can be territorial at times, and the idea of my intimate activities taking place in his area without his presence could be problematic, but I do not wish to disappoint Thunder.

    I wonder how much she traded for this circlet?
  • Fisher's got a gift.

    You can see the capillaries in Thunder's cheeks start to engorge, and her pupils dilate by about 13 percent. "Goddess, your attention and presence alone is reward enough." She very likely wants to couple, just the two of you, without sharing. You could find out for certain... but between her devotion and your skill, you will delay her work, which might negatively impact Dell's welcoming celebration.

    What do you do?
  • imageJackal

    Thunder's Desire
    Assertiveness is important. I've coached Thunder on this eight times, but she still hints around what she wants. In this instance, I shall take her at her word. I do not wish to offend Dell in their welcoming celebration. Also, Thunder is well in hand.

    I guide her to the door, which opens as I near since Roark coded me for it. "You are so very sweet, Thunder. I hope your work day is productive. I look forward to seeing you at the party. Perhaps, at some point tonight, we can steal away from the others for more time together."

    Party Preparation
    Then I kiss her cheeks and bid her adieu. I will wait for her to disappear down the corridor and then leave on my own to go to market. There is much to do.

    While I am the "drug" of choice for many of my cult, I also like to offer other intoxicants. That will be the first item on my shopping list.
  • edited February 2015
    Thunder nods eagerly at the (to her) promise of solo time. She turns out the door, stealing a last look at your divine, perfect, manufactured form, but her face drops as she leaves your presence and prepares for work. As you watch her going down the corridor, her gait changes a little, looks somehow more purposeful and less slouchy. She is also devoted to her gardening. A couple of people are headed in that same direction, so she's well in hand. Not all of their doors whoosh as smoothly as Roark's.

    Let's skip to market, unless you want to sidetrack on the way.

    Market is thisaway: http://ngp.calypti.ca/discussion/599/gen-three-bags-full-jackal-1-2

    ===END SCENE===
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