Abdication in Advance

Hitura Rael

Staff member
Sep 29, 2018
Northeast Ohio
The world passed by in an unfocused blur of light and shadow to James. He stared out the window as he always had on the ride home, but this time, his mind was elsewhere. His discussion with the queen was out of his mind at this point, as well as his plans for the future. His mind was set squarely on getting through the next two hours, getting everything he would need before fleeing into the night. He closed his eyes with a soft sigh and laid his head back. The pieces just didn't fit together right. There were too many unknowns. How long until Selene revoked his access to ports? How long until his security clearances were revoked, if not already? What about his status with the Genion? Could she erase him from the AI's databases and memories? Or over ride him? Hell, could they register another pilot? There was an odd pang of heartbreak and jealousy at that thought. He hadn't realized how possessive he had become of the weapon at this point. But then again, it wasn't entirely unexpected after all they had been through.

The car came to a stop and James opened his eyes. "Sir Steelheart, we're at the apartment complex."

James nodded, "Thank you." He stepped out of the car, frowning at the man holding the door open for him. "You don't have to do that..."

"Nonsense sir." The guard responded.

James sighed harder and started in to the complex, leaving the guard to shut the car door and catch up. Unfortunately, the other one was right on top of him, much like a puppy, he thought. Selene's little puppies... Loyalty to the queen in an undying fashion. Or was it the crown? If all went well tonight, he wouldn't have to find out. He swiped his access card to the main door and let the guards following in behind him. He didn't flinch at the stale smell of various foods mingling together in the air that seemed to always pop up in apartment complexes. He led them up the stairs, rather than the elevator. A little exercise wouldn't kill anyone after all. And if it did they had no business being in the guard.

Finally, on the tenth floor, James swiped his access card and let them onto the floor before slipping into the hall and down to his own door. He paused at the door, then turned to glance at the two guards. "Uh... you two stay out here okay? My room mate is..." He frowned a little more, "Eccentric. Better not to poke the tiny badger. She's anxious enough."

James opened the door and slipped inside, letting the two guards stand outside the door. He shut the door behind him and let out a slow breath. So far so good...

"Oh, hey, you still have your head."

James grimaced and ran his head over his face. "Yes..." He slipped away from the door and approached his room mate in the kitchen. At least she hadn't attempted to cook in his absence. Cereal was hard to set on fire. He lowered his voice, taking the opportunity of her having her mouth full. "Merida I need your help and I need your silence."

Merida frowned at him as she chewed her cereal. She nodded though, he could swear she was a saint.

James took a slow, deep breath and quietly but quickly summed the situation for her, "My sister wants me to move in with her and arrange a marriage for me and I have no interest in being king ever at any point in my life and I need to go after the sphere so she cant recover it and use it to sacrifice herself for something that we can fix without it. I have an hour and a half at this point to get my things together, escape the apartments, fetch the Genion, and get off of Luna. I need your help"

Merida stared at him, spoon half way to her mouth, eyes boring into his soul. She dropped the spoon into the bowl and heaved a sigh. "Go gather the shit you need and wait in the back bedroom. We'll discuss it more back there away from prying ears."

James nodded, getting up to head to his bedroom and pack a bag with the necessities; clothes, wallet, important documents, etc. Once his bag was set, he started toward the back room when an ungodly noise began to blare through the apartment. His burned scarlet as he ducked into the room and shut the door. Merida entered with a bag of her own shortly after. "What the fuck did you do?" James hissed at her.

Merida smiled up at him, shifting her bag over her shoulder. "Blaring porn on a loop as a sound cover. Duh. I also locked the door."

James stared at her with wide eyes and a disgusted look that slowly melted to one of amusement. "Clever."

"Yeah. So. Let's go. The fire escape is over here. " Merida went to the window, opening it and pulling the screen out. "When we're on the transport I'll call my dad and have him and mom handle the apartment for us for now. At least the stuff we leave behin-"

"Woah woah. We? What we? You're staying here."

She turned to glare at him, half hanging out the window, "Oh please. You're going to get yourself caught or killed without me. Come on. You don't have time to waste."

James sighed and stared at her, watching her slip out of the window on to the fire escape mounted to the side of the building. "Why are you like this?"

She smiled up at him, head slightly cocked in that bird like way a falcon gave when evaluating prey, "You asked me to be your mechanic and you're an idiot."

"I am not-" She reached up to put her hand over his mouth as he started out the window, giving him a slight cock of the eyebrow with a 'told you so' grin. He grumbled and nodded, lowering his voice.

"You didn't even read the Genion's manual."

"I did so.." He grunted, banging his head on the window as he pulled himself from the confined space.

"Then you'd know you don't need to go get the Genion. We can go straight to the port and get out of here on the next transport without a problem. But first we need to stop and transfer your funds to some other account before you get locked out. Once your sister finds out about this she'll freeze everything. You also failed to grab any means of feeding yourself." she pat her bag with the thunk of the converter somewhere inside.

James frowned at her, rubbing his head, "Why are you like this? What do you mean we don't need to go grab the Genion? And why are you so cool about this?" The woman had the audacity to only grin in response and start down the many stairs.

Hitura Rael

Staff member
Sep 29, 2018
Northeast Ohio
James' leg bounced rapidly, his eyes on Merida as she worked. It wasn't that he was impatient for her to hurry and be done with the transfers. It was a distraction from the churning sensation in his stomach. He had felt anxiety before, but never this badly. It was a wonder he was not painting the inside of the transport with his last meal. He swallowed back bile and saliva at that thought, dangerously close to the edge when he thought about it. Think about other things. he chanted in his head as a mantra, desperate to focus on anything but - there he went again.

He focused again on his room mate, the way her glasses slid down the bridge of her nose, this was the eigth time she had pushed them back up to their proper seat. Yet the tip of her tongue remained sticking out, her concentration never broken by the motion. She didn't need them generally, just for reading. Just how long did it take to transfer funds from his account to hers anyway? He sighed, leg bouncing faster as he glanced around the cabin, looking for other things to focus on besides his room mate before she-

He jumped back, rubbing his calf with a glare at her.

"Stop bouncing your leg."

He grunted, at least she hadn't scolded him for staring at her. "Are you done ye-" He flinched as her foot came into contact with his leg again.

"What did I say about rushing me?"

He grumbled, rubbing his leg again. Little Goblin, that's what she was. Even evil little things could sometimes be cute he supposed. "We don't have much longer you know."

"If you don't relax I'm going to put you in a choke hold until you pass out. We have time. We're almost there."

She would too. James sighed and chewed on his bottom lip. They had an hour left... but ten minutes to get on a ship and get moving out to the colonies before Selene's deadline to be back 'home'. There wouldn't be another departing shuttle until after his time limit, and by then their only option would be to stow away or break in and get the Genion.

"And done." Merida set her equipment away and took her glasses off. "They shouldn't be able to follow that too easily I hope."

James turned his head to her. "What-" He flinched back at a glare from her.

"Several toss away accounts, proxies, so on, so on. Hoping that the sheer number of accounts I made and transfered chunks around to at least throw them off long enough to keep our location quiet for a few days. Months if the colonies aren't cooperating."

James nodded blankly as Merida continued on. He coudln't quite followed what she said... She got far too technical when she spoke of things. He wasn't even about to ask her how she knew what to do in this situation. He didn't need more bruises. Finally, the cab pulled up to the docks. James shuffled out and grabbed his bag, Merida on his heels. She glanced down at her displayed notes and took his hand. "This way. Stay close, don't get separated from me."

She didn't have to tell him twice. He squeezed her hand tight, keeping right on her as she led him through the crowds to a shuttle. All he could do was watch the clock tick down. Eight minutes... Merida flashed their IDs to security at every step of the way, stopping only to go through security... Security took far too long for his tastes. By the time they had their bags back they were left with three minutes... They ran the rest of the way, the last call for their ship going out over the intercoms. She practically threw James on board first, then hopped up behind him, doors sealing on her heels. They both panted to catch their breath.

James' body trembled, a ball of ice settled in his stomach. The shuttle launched with only seconds to spare before departure. Merida pat his shoulder and took his hand again, gently guiding him to a private cabin. He sank down into the chair and hung limply, supported by the furniture alone. He closed his eyes, breathing in slowly and deliberately.

"So. You going to tell me what's going on now? Or do I have to start hitting you with the Genion's manual?"

James opened his eyes, blinking up at the woman hovering over him with a bottle of water perched on top of his head. The woman was infuriating and such a dork. Couldn't he relax for five minutes without her bitching at him or balancing things on his head? He frowned and snatched the bottle away. "You better have deleted those photos."

She stared at him with wide eyed innocence. Too wide eyed... "You know I did. Why are you bringing them up?"

He glared at her, she could at least have the decency to squirm or something. She probably had backups of those photos. He couldn't help but wonder how many like the stack of cookies on his head as he slept through half a game night she had. "I wouldn't have remembered if you didn't put the water on my head." He grunted and took a deep drink of the water. "But fine... I'll tell you."

He took a deep breath and relaxed back in the chair, staring up at the drab ceiling as he told her everything, who he was, his family, what had happened with Enfield, and now Selene... Selene pushing him down a path he didn't want to go down and his desperate flight to save both of them.

Merida sat down in another chair, leaning forward slightly and listening, just as she did when she was DMing, right down to the blank, cold, calculating expression on her face. The one she wore when she listened to a player describe their actions, looking for something to use to her advantage, plotting to be two steps ahead of them. When he finished, she dug in her bag and pulled out the Manual for the Genion, then threw it into his lap. "Read it. Front to back. ALL of it James. Not just the part that tells you how to operate it."

James' face went red as he winced and settled in to do just that, reading until it was time to disembark from the shuttle at one of the Lunar Colonies.