Non-HPU: Crater City

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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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"The counsel is a part of the city government. You can't just get rid of it. And while there have been plenty of grassroots candidates running for mayor or various counsel positions, they never get the funding or publicity that the incumbents do. There are a lot of very rich people who like the current counsel, and don't like their influence being diluted by members they haven't bought and paid for." Wildfire explained, before spitting out a small burst of flame in irritation. "Money holds power. The counsel just has to make sure of two things: their dirty laundry doesn't get aired in public, and they give their donors everything they ask for. They do that, and they'll have all the funding for advertisements they need and the press will sing their praises, and challengers won't stand a chance no matter what they do."

---------------------------------

"I can drop you all off at the cafe and let you explore the town, or I can drop you off at the HQ and you can take the time to familiarize yourselves with it." Heather said to the passengers she was about to drop off. "Your pick."
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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"Maybe I should run for council." Ryan suggests.
"Couldn't hurt to have a Kaiju on the board, even if no one knows it."

~~~~~~~~
Almost without breaking step, Lightfoot shifts back into Ted and follows the truck through the gate.
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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Sipping his drink, Mordecai gave a nod at what Wildfire said, sighing as he did. "I'd vote for you. Heck, we have a few Kaiju's on our council, Ryan, one being a retired Navy SEALs," he then answered Ryan, before turning back to Wildfire, "Serious question: Since you're human as well as kaiju, is the council more lax with you or are they more strict?"
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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CyberDragon wrote: Sun Feb 13, 2022 5:34 pm "I can drop you all off at the cafe and let you explore the town, or I can drop you off at the HQ and you can take the time to familiarize yourselves with it." Heather said to the passengers she was about to drop off. "Your pick."
The cat's head swings immediately to Heather, responding with an eager "The town!" before he catches himself. "Ah, if that works with your plans, M- Gregg. You sounded like you were up for it earlier." He offers, sitting upright in his seat as he tries to catch sight of more familiar structures.

"What do we need to see at the HQ?" Tigress asks, a growing boredom inspiring discussion. "If you need those security passes and the checkpoint at the door there's more there than just the clinic, right?"
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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"Hm, sounds like we're decided then. It'll be good to see the area we'll be working in for the most part. Or at least what we'll be calling home base," Gregg says, reaching towards the door handle in preparation for their stop. "Get to know people, see the sights, stuff like that."
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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"Well," Julian said, not moving as he wasn't getting out, "I'll take now to bid you goodbye until tomorrow. Gregg" He nodded to the Human before turning around. "Tigress. Mist." To Mist he offered a hand to shake.
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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"Heh, thanks, Mordecai." Ryan grins, before looking at Wildlife, interested to hear the dragon's answer to the question.

~~~~~~~~
"Oh yeah. There's a lot of important stuff at HQ." Ted answers Tigress as he leans casually on the truck.
"I could tell you all about it. But then I'd have to kill you." he jokes, leaving the real answer to the Colonel.
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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"I believe so. Even though I am not technically human, I just look like one." Wildfire answered. "Most of the council are humans, so there's a little comfort in familiarity with my disguised form. And, of course, several of the more anti-Kaiju members are also not fans of Zoomorphs either."

Wildfire grumbled angrily and flames flickered in his nostrils. "Some of them I would really like to just throw into the bay."

--------------------------------

"There are plenty of things at the HQ to see and learn, but nothing that needs to be seen today. I took you to get checkups in part because it is needed for orientation, and partly to make sure no one was injured in that hunter attack. Everyone who wants to explore the town can get out now. Meet me back at the diner in about three hours, and I'll show you to where you can stay for the night."
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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CyberDragon wrote: Mon Mar 21, 2022 6:05 pm "I believe so. Even though I am not technically human, I just look like one." Wildfire answered. "Most of the council are humans, so there's a little comfort in familiarity with my disguised form. And, of course, several of the more anti-Kaiju members are also not fans of Zoomorphs either."

Wildfire grumbled angrily and flames flickered in his nostrils. "Some of them I would really like to just throw into the bay."
"Wouldn't blame you if you did toss a few," Mordecai replied chuckling, "Being a mayor and a member of one of the oldest kaiju species out there, you'd think they'd be a bit more open to me but no. In all the history of my people, none of us have ever went rogue, purposely destroyed a city, or ate anyone. We live to protect the lives of humans and we go out of our way to help them...yet, most rather look upon the negative of something and decide that all things must be negative." He reached for his soda and sipped it, "Funny enough, I got one more meeting with them before I return to Thunder Bay and, knowing how things went today? I don't expect anything different in the next; They'll still want me to register, still want me to show them where Jörmungandr is, and all this other malarkey. And I'll just keep telling them the same thing I told them today and my people have told them for years: I will not register and the sword will remain locked away."
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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Welsh Halfwit wrote: Sun Feb 27, 2022 4:05 pm "Well," Julian said, not moving as he wasn't getting out, "I'll take now to bid you goodbye until tomorrow. Gregg" He nodded to the Human before turning around. "Tigress. Mist." To Mist he offered a hand to shake.
Barely still in his seat, Mist's attention is focused outside until his name is spoken. With a note of surprise, he turns back, mistaking the handshake for a more casual goodbye and slapping his own hand against Julian's, then switching to a fist bump. "See you later, Mr. Julian!" The Raksasi beside him gives Julian no more than a curiously amused look, saying nothing of the fact that she didn't plan on leaving yet.
Hlaoroo wrote: Sun Mar 20, 2022 8:29 am "Heh, thanks, Mordecai." Ryan grins, before looking at Wildlife, interested to hear the dragon's answer to the question.

~~~~~~~~
"Oh yeah. There's a lot of important stuff at HQ." Ted answers Tigress as he leans casually on the truck.
"I could tell you all about it. But then I'd have to kill you." he jokes, leaving the real answer to the Colonel.
CyberDragon wrote: Mon Mar 21, 2022 6:05 pm "There are plenty of things at the HQ to see and learn, but nothing that needs to be seen today. I took you to get checkups in part because it is needed for orientation, and partly to make sure no one was injured in that hunter attack. Everyone who wants to explore the town can get out now. Meet me back at the diner in about three hours, and I'll show you to where you can stay for the night."
There's a flash of white as Tigress prepares her own witty remark, but the note on the hunter attack quickly kills whatever fun she planned to have. She gives a meaningless "Huh." as she settles back into her seat, turning back to the front windshield without further response for the doctor.

The other feline is no happier to think about it again, but any apprehension serves only to slightly dull his excited tone. "Three hours! Got it." and he's on his feet immediately to follow Gregg out of the car. Tigress's tenseness is seemingly nonexistent to him, but she does nothing to stop him.
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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"You mind if I ask what you're tryign to get out of the council, Mordecai? Perhaps I can help with it. You don't get to be COO of a multinational business without making a few connections." Ryan asks, taking another chip and then helping himself to a garlic scroll.

~~~~~~~~
"Something on your mind, Tigress?" Ted asks gently through the window of the open door, making sure not to block the feline's escape route, just in case.
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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Hlaoroo wrote: Thu Mar 24, 2022 6:51 am "You mind if I ask what you're tryign to get out of the council, Mordecai? Perhaps I can help with it. You don't get to be COO of a multinational business without making a few connections." Ryan asks, taking another chip and then helping himself to a garlic scroll.
"What I want is for this council is to leave me and my people alone. Again, throughout this world's history, there has never been a rogue Tikbalang attack, purposely destroyed a city, or ate anyone. If you can make them see that we are not like the other kaijus of this planet and convince them to stop trying to get us to register...I'd...we'd be eternally grateful." He answered, almost sounding frustrated in tone. Of all councils he interacted with, Crater City is the only one that gave his people the most issue.
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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"...Like the other Kaiju?" Wildfire raised an eyebrow, before his eyes narrowed. He continued with a sort of cold calmness that betrayed a sort of fierce anger at the insinuation. "Well, I've got news for you. Tikbalang aren't at all different from 'other Kaiju.' We're all essentially members of the same, diverse species. There is nothing inherent in Tikbalang that makes you immune to the trappings that come with having the kinds of power we all do. If there were as many Tikbalang out there as there are, say, colossi, you would certainly have one or two who would use their power inappropriately. If there were Tikbalang living in this city for long enough, outside of the protection your village offers, where they'd have people hunting them and nobody on their side, I guarantee you eventually one would retaliate. You are not immune. You are not better than the rest of us. Turning a blind eye to the possibility of something going wrong all but guarantees it will happen, and insinuating that these problems only happen to 'others' or because of some inherent biological trait is what leads to people hunting us down because of the belief we are all just time bombs waiting to go off. It shifts the 'solution' to the problem towards extermination rather than understanding. It is a dangerous idea, as well as being wrong."

----------------------------

"If we don't leave now, we're going to get stuck in traffic, Doc." Heather informed him. "You know how the bridge gets during rush hour. We'll see you later, right?"

She put the truck in reverse.
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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CyberDragon wrote: Sun Apr 10, 2022 5:41 pm "...Like the other Kaiju?" Wildfire raised an eyebrow, before his eyes narrowed. He continued with a sort of cold calmness that betrayed a sort of fierce anger at the insinuation. "Well, I've got news for you. Tikbalang aren't at all different from 'other Kaiju.' We're all essentially members of the same, diverse species. There is nothing inherent in Tikbalang that makes you immune to the trappings that come with having the kinds of power we all do. If there were as many Tikbalang out there as there are, say, colossi, you would certainly have one or two who would use their power inappropriately. If there were Tikbalang living in this city for long enough, outside of the protection your village offers, where they'd have people hunting them and nobody on their side, I guarantee you eventually one would retaliate. You are not immune. You are not better than the rest of us. Turning a blind eye to the possibility of something going wrong all but guarantees it will happen, and insinuating that these problems only happen to 'others' or because of some inherent biological trait is what leads to people hunting us down because of the belief we are all just time bombs waiting to go off. It shifts the 'solution' to the problem towards extermination rather than understanding. It is a dangerous idea, as well as being wrong."
Almost smacking Ryan as he did, Mordecai stood up rather quickly from the seat as anger began to seep back into him. Unlike what he felt earlier in the day, the anger he was feeling now? This anger felt different. Many words began dancing in his head, many insults and many vulgarities as well. There was so many things he wanted to say right now and defend his people but, deep down? It wouldn't do anything but ignite a bigger argument. One that would even surpass prior events. However and realizing arguing would just lead to bigger problems, Mordecai simply and slowly shook his head at Wildfire and left the room, shutting the door behind him as he headed out to the pool deck overlooking the city, resting his arms on the ledge.
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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Hlaoroo wrote: Thu Mar 24, 2022 6:51 am "You mind if I ask what you're tryign to get out of the council, Mordecai? Perhaps I can help with it. You don't get to be COO of a multinational business without making a few connections." Ryan asks, taking another chip and then helping himself to a garlic scroll.

~~~~~~~~
"Something on your mind, Tigress?" Ted asks gently through the window of the open door, making sure not to block the feline's escape route, just in case.
The warrior's head flicks towards Ted suddenly, her attention lingering at the door as Mist passes by her to exit. "Nothing. It's fine. It's fine." Her muttering is accompanied by the balling of her hands into fists, then releasing, repeating the motion anxiously as she tries to focus on the sights out front. Her son vanishes along the side of the car, leaning briefly against the frame as he checks to make sure both his phone and the newly-acquired blade are still on him.
CyberDragon wrote: Sun Apr 10, 2022 5:41 pm "If we don't leave now, we're going to get stuck in traffic, Doc." Heather informed him. "You know how the bridge gets during rush hour. We'll see you later, right?"

She put the truck in reverse.
Tigress's phone is suddenly thrust towards the doctor at the door, her number (under the name GARIMA) displayed in the massive blocky font on the screen. "If ANYTHING! ANYTHING happens! I wa-I need to know. Right away. And - if any - ANY of that smoke is on him." She seems to have to stop to catch her breath, her short, panicked inhalations drawn between grit teeth. ""Please." Her voice, far more of a sharp demand than a plea, is deliberately lowered in an attempt to keep eavesdroppers to a minimum, but the soft sigh from the feline just around the corner suggests little effect. He pushes himself off the car, maintaining the smile automatically as though nothing were wrong. His attention deliberately turns away from the doctor and the car, the few steps away from the roadside letting him pretend to survey the nearby structures more convincingly.
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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"Some hard truths there but I think he needed to hear them." Ryan says quietly once the door is shut behind the Tikbalang.
"I'll do what I can to help, of course, but when it comes to policies like that I only have so much influence... It's strange, though. I didn't think our council even had jurisdiction over Thunder Bay. Why, then, would they be trying to round up Kaiju over there?"

~~~~~~~~
"Don't worry. I promise I'll let you know the moment anything happens." Ted assures Tigress, plugging the number into his own phone and stepping back to let the truck go.

Once Tigress is safely out of earshot, Ted looks across at Mist.
"Don't worry, Mist. I'm not going to spy on you or follow you. You're old enough to look after yourself and the base is pretty safe as long as you follow any warning signs and stay out of restricted areas. I am trusting you to be sensible and let me know if anything happens or if you need help though, okay?" the doctor promises the tuxedo cat.
"You have my number now, plus you know where the medical centre is, and you know the code words. So I'm sure you'll be fine. Go enjoy yourself."
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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Hlaoroo wrote: Fri Apr 15, 2022 11:52 pm "Some hard truths there but I think he needed to hear them." Ryan says quietly once the door is shut behind the Tikbalang.
"I'll do what I can to help, of course, but when it comes to policies like that I only have so much influence... It's strange, though. I didn't think our council even had jurisdiction over Thunder Bay. Why, then, would they be trying to round up Kaiju over there?"
Mordecai stood there in silence for a spell. It was a good question Ryan asked, but it was one that even he didn't have the answer for. "Your guess is as good as mine and the rest of my people," he shrugged, "We never gave any councils reason to fear us, round us up, or keep an eye on us like other kaijus. We always strived to put mankind ahead of us and help out where we can...so why this council wants to, how you said, round us up is beyond my thinking." A small sigh left the horse's mouth, "Sorry for storming out again, Wildfire just...I swear he doesn't getus Tikbalang, our way of life, and beliefs."
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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Well, Julian thought, shifting back in his seat. this has been quite the day. 'Found' by the state, a new job, new friends and, hopefully, money enough to make my room a bit less sparse. " And," he thaught audibly, "it's not over yet. The lovely Tracie awaits." He seemed to reason he'd said that last aloud. "Uh, sorry. Just thinking how a day changes a life."
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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Hlaoroo wrote: Fri Apr 15, 2022 11:52 pm "Don't worry. I promise I'll let you know the moment anything happens." Ted assures Tigress, plugging the number into his own phone and stepping back to let the truck go.

Once Tigress is safely out of earshot, Ted looks across at Mist.
"Don't worry, Mist. I'm not going to spy on you or follow you. You're old enough to look after yourself and the base is pretty safe as long as you follow any warning signs and stay out of restricted areas. I am trusting you to be sensible and let me know if anything happens or if you need help though, okay?" the doctor promises the tuxedo cat.
"You have my number now, plus you know where the medical centre is, and you know the code words. So I'm sure you'll be fine. Go enjoy yourself."
In the same vein, half of the youth's outfit vanishes as soon as the car starts to move. The vest and suit are stuffed into his hat carelessly, leaving him in the black pants and plain white undershirt. His attention flicks back over his shoulder to the doctor as he hears his name, a quick spin leaving him face-to-face. His demeanor has changed significantly, the wide, forced grin and tense stance replaced with a more casual, unbalanced stance and comfortable expression. His head is tilted slightly as he looks up at the doctor, giving a nod once he's finished. "Yeah, you know it!" He grins, tail flicking in excitement as he gives an overzealous Boy Scout salute. "And with that said, know that while it's been great meeting you two, I've had way more attention on me today than I'm cool with, and Doctor Ted's right - I don't need a chaperone. So, Gregg, I'll see you in like... three hours, I guess! Take care~" His assertion ends in a sing-song fashion, with a quick bow directed vaguely between the two. A graceful pivot immediately turns it into a gentle jogging escape, his gaze wandering across the buildings around him. With his phone in his pocket and several years' experience running around urban areas after dark, there wasn't a thought in his mind that he could be late.

===========
Welsh Halfwit wrote: Sat Apr 16, 2022 2:23 pm Well, Julian thought, shifting back in his seat. this has been quite the day. 'Found' by the state, a new job, new friends and, hopefully, money enough to make my room a bit less sparse. " And," he thought audibly, "it's not over yet. The lovely Tracie awaits." He seemed to reason he'd said that last aloud. "Uh, sorry. Just thinking how a day changes a life."
Tigress, having fallen completely silent as the car begins to move, finally closes the phone cradled in her hands. She doesn't need to look up from it to see the look on Julian's face, the oddities of her senses giving as full a picture blindly as it would otherwise. The swell of celestial energy within his Aura, a sign of unrestricted self-expression, along with that line... resonates. Something vaguely familiar. The word she's looking for shields itself well, a word she'd been read in one of the audiobooks borrowed (indefinitely) from a local library, and it takes time to finally arrive at her bared fangs. "Smitten." She mumbles loudly, mildly disgusted by it. One of many words denoting attraction - one of many words denoting self-destruction. "Change your life is right." The soft remark lacks any form of hostility, left with an almost pitying hollowness. With the dead stare through the windshield, there's no sign she's trying to be heard.
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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"Have a good one, Jules. Good luck with your vixen," Gregg says with a smile. He turns back to the town after giving Julian a wave goodbye. "Oh, well," he pauses, "I hadn't really intended on being your chaperone, but I guess I'm getting old enough, so that's understandable." He says, brushing his hair back as if searching for the grey hairs he hoped weren't already there. "I knew apprenticing wasn't easy, but I didn't think I looked that old already," he said with a chuckle. "Still, I'll leave you to your own devices."
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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"Oh, don't get him wrong." Ryan answers the Tikbalang.
"He does get Tikbalang. Remember he's like eighty years old. He's been around the block a few times. What you need to understand, is that this isn't about you as Tikbalang. It's about you as Kaiju. The council wants to treat you the same as all other Kaiju, and like as not, you are still Kaiju, despite your ways of life and belief systems. You can't put yourself above other Kaiju when it comes to anti-Kaiju legislation. Because the fact is, if they come for all of us then they'll come for you too. You just have to look at how humans treat each other, how their history repeats itself, to see that."

~~~~~~~~
"I think I earned his respect and trust there." Ted confides to Greg once Mist is out of earshot.
"I just hope he'll be sensible and won't lose mine. Did you see how he relaxed after Tigress left though? That was interesting..."
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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Hlaoroo wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 4:59 am "Oh, don't get him wrong." Ryan answers the Tikbalang.
"He does get Tikbalang. Remember he's like eighty years old. He's been around the block a few times. What you need to understand, is that this isn't about you as Tikbalang. It's about you as Kaiju. The council wants to treat you the same as all other Kaiju, and like as not, you are still Kaiju, despite your ways of life and belief systems. You can't put yourself above other Kaiju when it comes to anti-Kaiju legislation. Because the fact is, if they come for all of us then they'll come for you too. You just have to look at how humans treat each other, how their history repeats itself, to see that."
Mordecai opened his mouth to speak, yet no words formed, instead shutting his mouth and just shaking his head as he leaned on the balcony. "I...I'd like to be alone with my thoughts for a bit," he soon said, "If that's OK with you. I just...I just need to think about this whole thing."
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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"Seems like it," Gregg says, a small smile crossing his face. "Don't forget to give him some chances though. You know how teenagers like to push boundaries if they think they can get away with it." He casts a look towards the doctor as his smile lessens. "I'm no doctor, but I feel like I can recognize a less than stellar home life, from personal experience."
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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Heather continued driving down the Kaiju tunnels like before, heading west towards downtown. The vehicle was hitting over 100 mph, though because of how flat and straight the tunnel was. She slowed down to take a couple of turns before finally arriving at the old WWII airbase ruins. A rough drive up a dirt trail, and they were on the Crater Rim again. After half an hour, they arrived in front of the warehouse the interview took place at. Tigress's bike was, thankfully, still there.
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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It isn't long into the drive when the warrior's head presses firmly against the chair in front of her, eyes shut tight against creeping nausea. She wasn't used to dealing with cars, and while distracting herself with the other passengers had helped earlier, the higher speed and lack of engagement made it hard to ignore the disjointed sense around her. Even with her eyes closed, her mock-synesthesia kept her keenly aware of the still metal box she was in as she felt the electric cables fly past. The drive drags forever to her, but even once they stop it takes her a moment to realize where they are. After a failed attempt to get up, she manages to release her seatbelt and exit the vehicle, carefully approaching and circling the motorcycle as she scans it for pieces either removed or attached. With no sign of a problem, Tigress releases a nervous breath. There's still plenty to be tense about, but at least now she could get around.

One hand draws her phone, and with a single button pressed begins a call. It's put on the seat, leaving both hands to struggle with the chain lock while she announces over her shoulder "Alright! I'm sure you have all of our information, so you can meet me at my place once you pick him back up and I'll follow you back." With a quick snap the lock falls open. The chain is quickly wrapped around her right arm, leaving her free to turn and address the car properly. She stares through the tinted windows at Julian, adding, after a short pause, "Just - good luck." The cell phone moves on to the voicemail message, with the muffled voice of her son responding to the missed call.
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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Ryan nods and re-enters the apartment.
"Some hard truths there, Wildfire, but I think he needed to hear them." he repeats to the dragon on the sofa.
"So, why do you think our council would be so worried about the Thunder Bay kaiju? It doesn't really make sense, given that they don't even have jurisdiction there. Something funny is going on..." the otter opines, seating himself, and grabbing another chip and his drink.

~~~~~~~~
"Oooh, yeah!" Ted answers with an eye roll, thinking back to his own time as a teenager.
"That they do!" he grins, but his smile fades along with Greg's.
"Don't get me wrong though. I don't think there's any kind of abuse happening. I think his mother is just fearful and controlling as a result of that fear. And she has good reason to be, from the sounds of it. But don't ask me to explain any further. Patient confidentiality and all that. I shouldn't even have said that much, really. I don't know why I even brought it up with you." the doctor admits, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly.
"I guess maybe you're just a likeable person..."
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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"Oh, no, yeah, I don't think it's physical or anything and it comes across exactly as you said, so I don't think there's anything malicious about it either." He shifts his weight from one foot to the other, "Honestly I can't quite tell if he's just better at switching off than she is and I'm not going to overly speculate on it either." He smiled warmly at the hare, "And, uh, thank you, I try to make myself likeable," he says with a chuckle before turning away slightly to hide the blush.
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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As they dropped Tigress off, Julian came to the moment he'd feared, just a little, for the drive back. If Heather was to drop him off at his place - and, in point of fact, pick him up there tomorrow, she'd need the address. It wasn't exactly one of the nicer areas of town. In fact it was the sort of place where the house values would go up by having a vehicle such as this outside them for five minutes. "Uh, it's 238 Salamanca," he said, trying not to feel embarrassed. "But you can let me out on Caldwell if you like," he added.
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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Standing out on the balcony, alone with his thoughts, Mordecai gazed out into the city, his mind replaying not just what both Ryan and Wildfire said to him earlier but the days events on a whole. From his less than stellar meeting with the council to every event with Wildfire, he began to wonder if it was a mistake even having any interaction with the dragon in the first place. Yes, he did save his life and grandfather's and, yes, he did save the life of that kid, that much was certain. And yet? Yet, for every positive thing he did, there were three or more negatives that overshadowed them. He glanced back over at the two inside, watching them as they talked for a bit before shaking his head. With a huff of his breath, he walked back into the room and, passing both Ryan and Wildfire without even acknowledging either of them, grabbed his phone and headed towards the elevator, taking it down to the lobby and exiting the building entirely.

Once he was outside and away from the other, Mordecai took a deep breath to calm his nerves and began walking down the sidewalk. He had no destination in mind for this stroll, just a simple walk to cool the flames within him that was currently burning while letting the sounds of the city fill his ears; from children playing to folks chatting to the sounds of vehicles driving by him. It was honestly very peaceful to him, hearing the symphony of the world instead of the song of two folks. Still, as he passed by a family sitting on their porch, he couldn't get the day's events out of his head. "I should've never taken Ryan and that dragon up on that lunch offer in the first place", he said with a sigh to himself as he sat on the bench close to the house, "None of this would've happened if I went straight for a hotel room instead of going to that seafood place. That dragon means well but...he just doesn't get my people and why we never registered." Though he believed he was speaking to himself, he was unaware that the family behind him could hear every word he said.
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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Hlaoroo wrote: Sat Jun 04, 2022 7:23 am Ryan nods and re-enters the apartment.
"Some hard truths there, Wildfire, but I think he needed to hear them." he repeats to the dragon on the sofa.
"So, why do you think our council would be so worried about the Thunder Bay kaiju? It doesn't really make sense, given that they don't even have jurisdiction there. Something funny is going on..." the otter opines, seating himself, and grabbing another chip and his drink.
"The city's been trying to expand." Wildfire sighed. "Or, at least, the giant tech companies, developers, and real estate barons who pay for the counsel's campaigns have been trying to expand. Get the city to basically annex neighboring towns, bully the residents into leaving or seize their property through eminent domain, then let the fat-cats have their way. The Real Estate people want to tear down the small, affordable houses and replace them with expensive luxury mansions, or just buy and sell the land for a profit until nobody can afford to live there anymore. The tech companies want more space so they can make their developers live on campus, where they'll always have an eye on them. Developers are just the middlemen. They flatten what's there and build whatever they're told to." the dragon growled, flames flickering from his nostrils as his scales glowed a soft red color. "Not accusing your family of anything, Ryan, but a lot of people your family has to deal with, and has to be friendly with, are the scum of the Earth."

Wildfire looked Ryan in the eyes with concern in his own. "When a business becomes profitable, one of a few things happens. The owner forgets their principles and becomes like a sociopath, chasing further growth like a cancer. The owner sticks to their principles, and another company that doesn't grows big enough to absorb them and oust the moral owner. Or the owner sticks to their principles and company hits a ceiling. When that happens, the shareholders either oust the owner and replace them with one without principles, or they sell their stock to shareholders who will."

"I've seen it happen hundreds of times." Wildfire said sadly. "There's no room for moral men in Corporate America. Not anymore. Moral men don't turn a profit. The moment their morality gets in the way of growth, they get purged. Your father is a moral man. You are a moral man." Wildfire's voice was serious. "Be careful of your 'friends' Ryan. Tax Evasion, NDA's, Wage theft... Those are things that can be proved, and can be stopped. But they don't need a knife to stab you in the back. They don't need to break the law to betray you. They just need a check too fat for your company to refuse. The moment they think it is profitable to do so, they'll throw you under a bus, and I won't be able to stop them. You're a nice guy, Ryan. But the people coming to your party? They make a living eating nice guys for breakfast."

--------------------------------
Welsh Halfwit wrote: Wed Jun 08, 2022 2:10 pm As they dropped Tigress off, Julian came to the moment he'd feared, just a little, for the drive back. If Heather was to drop him off at his place - and, in point of fact, pick him up there tomorrow, she'd need the address. It wasn't exactly one of the nicer areas of town. In fact it was the sort of place where the house values would go up by having a vehicle such as this outside them for five minutes. "Uh, it's 238 Salamanca," he said, trying not to feel embarrassed. "But you can let me out on Caldwell if you like," he added.
Picking up on Julian's sense of embarrassment, Heather decided to let him out on Caldwell, as close to the neighborhood as possible. "Stay safe, and good luck with the date." she said.
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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After a symphony of various thoughts played in his head, Mordecai still wasn't back to his usual self. In fact, he felt himself getting angry once again over the whole day's events. He didn't want to go back to Ryan's apartment in this mood, knowing full well he'd lash out at Wildfire worse than he did a few hours prior. Still, he needed someone to chat with about the situation. Someone that he could confine in that he trusted. There was his town's council and his family, but he needed someone different. That's when a familiar name came to him, one that brought a small smile as he dialed in Mr. Jason O'Connor's number on his cell.
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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"Thank you, boss," Julian said. "I'll see you tomorrow? Uh, here? At what time?" After waiting on Heather's responses, Julian made his way home to change and get back out for the evening's date with Tracie.
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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"So... Basically you're saying there's no hope for me and Dad, that the company will just end up like any other?" Ryan asks quietly after a few moments of thought.
"I can't accept that. I can't let Grandad's legacy be destroyed. There has to be something I can do... And.... Yeah, I get it about the guys." the disguised kaiju sighs.
"It's a tough position to be in though... Some of them are my friends, but some I just have to have for the sake of appearances. I know some are just after my money, but when you have as much money as I do, well, everyone's always after your money. They stop seeing you as a person and just see you as an ATM. Especially if they're shareholders... I envy you sometimes, Wildfire. I sometimes think the company owns me as much as I own it... I was about to say it must be nice to not be owned by the public, but I guess you're in a similar position with the KDF, huh? At least you can talk to people without them seeing dollar signs though."

~~~~~~~~
The secretary answers Mordecai's call and quickly patches him through to the sea otter zoomorph.
"Mr Mayor. I didn't expect to hear from you again so soon. To what do I owe this pleasure?" he greets warmly.

~~~~~~~~
"Well, uh... I better be going, I suppose. Paperwork to do, and then my partner is expecting me home for dinner. I guess I'll see you around, Greg. You know how to get in touch if you need anything." Ted says after a slightly awkward pause. He offers the human-kaiju a paw to shake and then heads in the direction of the clinic.
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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Hlaoroo wrote: Mon Jul 11, 2022 9:54 am The secretary answers Mordecai's call and quickly patches him through to the sea otter zoomorph.
"Mr Mayor. I didn't expect to hear from you again so soon. To what do I owe this pleasure?" he greets warmly.
Mordecai was silent, with nary a peep coming from his mouth when Mr. O'Connor answered. He didn't want to come off as whiney or petulant nor did he want to bad mouth anybody, especially the son of a dear friend. But, deep down, he needed to speak up about the day and, if that meant saying some bad things about a friend's son, so be it. "It's less of a pleasure call nor or is it a business call. I just needed someone to talk to right now and you're the only one I can trust at this time," he began after a few minutes of silence on his end, "I just had an argument with Wildfire and, sadly, your son, Ryan. We were talking about the council and Ryan inquired what I wanted out of them and I spoke what many of my ancestors and family have been trying to do with this council for generations. I said that what I want is for this council is to leave me and my people alone and told them that, throughout this world's history, there has never been a rogue Tikbalang attack or one that purposely destroyed a city or ate anyone. We don't want special favors or privileges or any of that junk. We just want to be left alone to continue our life's work, which is protecting mankind and using our abilities for good. They saw it another way and tried to convince me otherwise, with Ryan trying to be peacemaker but..." he went silent again, "I'm sorry for talking ill about your son but...neither he, Wildfire, nor the council get us Tikbalang and why we are the way we are." His tone soon became one of anger, "I swear none of this would've happened if I never had accepted that blasted fire-breather's lunch offer at that awful sea food place...and finding out about the folks your son hangs out with and the junk they are doing, especially that Jeffrey Mason and what he's up to? Again, I don't mean to speak ill of Ryan. He's a good kid with a good head on his shoulders and was raised by an excellent father...I'm sorry, I don't know where I was going with that," he sighed, his mood calming down from the anger that had begun to boil, "With everything that happened today, I guess it just affected me on many levels...to a point where I should've just declined their invitations, went straight to you then back to a hotel room..." He went silent once more, the only sound being an quiet yet audible sigh, "Jason, let me ask you something: What would you do in my position right now? If everything that happened today happened to you? From seeing how two kaijus you just met used their gifts for showing off to seeing how the one saved someone at the risk of them getting hurt to them just not understanding your people's beliefs and ways? What would you do in my shoes, to use a human term?"
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

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Welsh Halfwit wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 8:29 am "Thank you, boss," Julian said. "I'll see you tomorrow? Uh, here? At what time?" After waiting on Heather's responses, Julian made his way home to change and get back out for the evening's date with Tracie.
"8 AM." Heather answered. "I hope you have a good night."

With that, she drove off.

-----------------------------------
Hlaoroo wrote: Mon Jul 11, 2022 9:54 am "So... Basically you're saying there's no hope for me and Dad, that the company will just end up like any other?" Ryan asks quietly after a few moments of thought.
"I can't accept that. I can't let Grandad's legacy be destroyed. There has to be something I can do... And.... Yeah, I get it about the guys." the disguised kaiju sighs.
"It's a tough position to be in though... Some of them are my friends, but some I just have to have for the sake of appearances. I know some are just after my money, but when you have as much money as I do, well, everyone's always after your money. They stop seeing you as a person and just see you as an ATM. Especially if they're shareholders... I envy you sometimes, Wildfire. I sometimes think the company owns me as much as I own it... I was about to say it must be nice to not be owned by the public, but I guess you're in a similar position with the KDF, huh? At least you can talk to people without them seeing dollar signs though."
"I didn't say there's no hope." Wildfire answered. "I'm saying you need to be prepared, and you need to be firm. When we start fighting back against the corruption of your 'friends' it's going to come with backlash. Backlash that's going to likely make your shareholders question whether it's going to be worth it to hold onto their shares. Stock prices will dip as your actions against other businessmen make investors nervous. That opens your company to being infiltrated by the very people we're going after, with people like Mike and the others buying shares of your company to basically hold it hostage against you. That is the kind of chess game we're playing, and sociopaths have the edge in this game. You need to be willing to fight dirty and covertly, because the people we're after make their own rules."

Wildfire stood up and stepped out onto the balcony. "Thank you for the pizza, Ryan. It's always a pleasure, but I need to get going. It's getting late. Goodnight, and I will see you tomorrow." Wildfire spread his wings, and took off from the balcony.



===============THE NEXT DAY===============

The news the next day was focused around a breaking story about a foiled child kidnapping, where a child had been rescued by 'Law Enforcement, aided by anonymous concerned citizens who were unavailable for comment.' Most of the news outlets showed the same video. The police Captain, Ahab, leading the rescued human child to safety. Only one or two bothered to mention that Kaiju were involved, and only one admitted that it was the Kaiju who rescued the kid, not law enforcement.

Instead, the main mention of Kaiju from most of the news outlets preferred to focus on the fact that the kidnappers were no longer in KDF custody, and were nowhere to be found. Somehow they had escaped, and the media was all too keen to make sure everyone knew it had been on the KDF's watch.

Wildfire woke up feeling very hot. He tried taking the temperature of his still human-like skin, but the thermometer started to glow red and warp on contact with his skin. He had a series of very stressful dreams, and his irritation from the previous night clearly sparked his own internal fire. This was not helped at all by hearing the news. Heather had called him in the middle of the night to tell him that the Dingos were gone, and that the base was on lockdown. He had been up for hours searching the area, and ended up only getting about three hours of sleep total. The dragon didn't want to, but he knew that the longer he went without cooling off, the more of a danger he would be. As such, he stepped outside.

Standing outside on his balcony, Wildfire's wings burst from his back. He leaped into the air and started soaring through the sky towards the bay. As he flew, he took his cell phone out and called Ryan.

"Ryan, you need to turn on the news. I'm on my way to the bay to cool down. Can you meet me there?" he asked.

-----------------------------------

Heather, meanwhile, got almost no sleep the previous night. She had spent all of her time interviewing staff, and was still in the process. She had to call in a favor, and thankfully the Cafe' owner was willing to drive down to pick Julian up at the agreed upon time.
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

Morning came acalling and Julian was quite happy to get out of bed. He might even, soon, be able to afford one that didn't creak and complain every time he moved in it. He stretched, had a scratch and used another half bottle of shampoo in the shower before getting some wheat biscuits for breakfast. He sniffed the milk. It still wasn't quite smelling off so he used it on the cereal and in the morning tea.

Last night with Tracie had gone well. He'd gotten there just a few minutes early, in his cleanest clothes and shoes. Whilst he waited, he texted the workshop to say he'd had to take up other employment and was sorry but he wouldn't be able to work there again and, as he hadn't been paid this week, could he keep the shirt as payment? Then she'd arrived and he'd spent most of his remaining money on foot longs and sodas. They'd chatted and swapped stories and Julian had found out Tracie was quite into Kaiju without dropping more than one accidental hints that he was one. He reckoned that was second date stuff. Or fifth. She'd been a little surprised at an avowed pacifist joining the armed forces but it was in the medical and engineering aspects, which she understood and, as he'd told her, they'd see each other in the evenings and at full on restaurants too! He'd had the feeling the beautiful silver fox had kept some news of her own back but he wasn't going to push. They'd parted with a kiss. A real, hands on shoulders, kiss that had left him so elated he'd practically skipped past the bus stop he needed to use to get home. He'd texted her 'thanks for a wonderful nite' before he' gotten home and immediately regretted sending it as soon as he had. Was it too soon?

Never mind. In a happy frame of mind, Julian got into his new stuff and sauntered down to the pick up point.
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

Post by Hlaoroo »

SeanWolf wrote: Mon Jul 11, 2022 2:16 pm "Jason, let me ask you something: What would you do in my position right now? If everything that happened today happened to you? From seeing how two kaijus you just met used their gifts for showing off to seeing how the one saved someone at the risk of them getting hurt to them just not understanding your people's beliefs and ways? What would you do in my shoes, to use a human term?"
Jason is silent for a few moments, gathering his thoughts.

"Well, firstly... Ryan is actually very supportive of Tikbalang rights, and Kaiju rights in general. He may not know much about Tikbalang customs but believe me, he wants the council to leave you alone as much as you do. Any offence he's caused you is purely from ignorance, I promise. He's actually working hard behind the scenes, brokering deals with the KDF and negotiating with senators and congresspeople. He sees what the council is trying to do and is doing his best to influence those in power to prevent it. It's not just Tikbalang in the firing line - the council wants to see ALL us Kaiju rounded up and cowed into submission. Ryan and I are doing our best to keep the council's sticky mitts off not just Thunder Bay but off Kaiju in general. I can understand how it may appear that Ryan isn't focusing on your people enough, but remember that he's looking at the bigger picture. He's trying to help you AND all other Kaiju in the area.

Secondly, I don't know exactly what happened with the person that needed saving, but I'd give Wildfire a little slack there. He has a good head on his shoulders, despite his temper, and in a situation where someone is in danger you sometimes don't have time to consider all options before acting. From how you said that, I'm assuming it all worked out safely in the end, so I'd focus on that outcome rather than on what could have been.

Thirdly, the showing off and lack of understanding... I can't speak for Wildfire, but as to Ryan, did you know you're actually the first Tikbalang he's ever met, as far as I'm aware? My advice to you here is to take some time to educate him in your ways rather than writing him off immediately. He's a people person and he'll enjoy learning about you. But also, respect that he and Wildfire and any other Kaiju here have a right to not adhere to Tikbalang customs, just as you have the right to live your life your own way. This is America after all. If he wants to show off a bit and he's not hurting anyone, from his point of view, and legally speaking, there's nothing wrong with that. It may not be the Tikbalang way but that doesn't mean it's the __wrong__way, know what I'm saying?

So... To sum up, in your shoes, I'd give Ryan and Wildfire another chance. Maybe take your leave of them tonight and give yourself a chance to calm down and gather your thoughts a bit. Try putting yourself in their shoes and seeing from their perspective a bit, and then try talking to them again in the morning with a clearer head and less emotional mindset and see how things go."
The otter kaiju advises calmly.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
THE NEXT MORNING

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Knowing he usually doesn't get calls unless it's important, Ryan reluctantly unwraps his arm from around Ted despite the hare's protests and, seeing Wildfire's picture on the screen, answers the phone.
"REALLY bad timing, Wildfire. I hope this is important." he grumbles, switching on the TV as instructed.
"Oh carp." he swears as the news scrolls past.
"I'll be there in ten. Has anyone secured the boy and his parents yet? They may go after them again." the otter asks, throwing on clothes.
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

Post by SeanWolf »

Hlaoroo wrote: Wed Jul 20, 2022 8:58 pm Jason is silent for a few moments, gathering his thoughts.

"Well, firstly... Ryan is actually very supportive of Tikbalang rights, and Kaiju rights in general. He may not know much about Tikbalang customs but believe me, he wants the council to leave you alone as much as you do. Any offence he's caused you is purely from ignorance, I promise. He's actually working hard behind the scenes, brokering deals with the KDF and negotiating with senators and congresspeople. He sees what the council is trying to do and is doing his best to influence those in power to prevent it. It's not just Tikbalang in the firing line - the council wants to see ALL us Kaiju rounded up and cowed into submission. Ryan and I are doing our best to keep the council's sticky mitts off not just Thunder Bay but off Kaiju in general. I can understand how it may appear that Ryan isn't focusing on your people enough, but remember that he's looking at the bigger picture. He's trying to help you AND all other Kaiju in the area.

Secondly, I don't know exactly what happened with the person that needed saving, but I'd give Wildfire a little slack there. He has a good head on his shoulders, despite his temper, and in a situation where someone is in danger you sometimes don't have time to consider all options before acting. From how you said that, I'm assuming it all worked out safely in the end, so I'd focus on that outcome rather than on what could have been.

Thirdly, the showing off and lack of understanding... I can't speak for Wildfire, but as to Ryan, did you know you're actually the first Tikbalang he's ever met, as far as I'm aware? My advice to you here is to take some time to educate him in your ways rather than writing him off immediately. He's a people person and he'll enjoy learning about you. But also, respect that he and Wildfire and any other Kaiju here have a right to not adhere to Tikbalang customs, just as you have the right to live your life your own way. This is America after all. If he wants to show off a bit and he's not hurting anyone, from his point of view, and legally speaking, there's nothing wrong with that. It may not be the Tikbalang way but that doesn't mean it's the __wrong__way, know what I'm saying?

So... To sum up, in your shoes, I'd give Ryan and Wildfire another chance. Maybe take your leave of them tonight and give yourself a chance to calm down and gather your thoughts a bit. Try putting yourself in their shoes and seeing from their perspective a bit, and then try talking to them again in the morning with a clearer head and less emotional mindset and see how things go."
The otter kaiju advises calmly.
Mordecai listened to his friend, absorbing each and every word he spoke, keeping his responses to himself for the time being so as to not cause another problem on an already problematic day. I see where Ryan get's his traits from, he thought as Jason continued on, leaning back on the bench to let the afternoon sun wash over him a bit.

"You're a good man, Jason," he finally said a moment of silence, though he was having trouble finding the right words to say, "Maybe it would be best if I just take my leave of them for the night. There's a hotel nearby and I can have my friend bring me a change of clothing for tomorrow." He thanked Jason for the talk and hung up then standing up from the bench and heading towards a hotel they passed by earlier in the day. As he walked passed a nearby record shop, he got onto his phone once more and placed a call to his house. After a few seconds of ringing, a male voice, belonging to his chauffer; a male human named Jarek. After making sure both him and the house were OK (Jarek was house-sitting for Mordecai while he was on business here in Crater City), Mordecai asked him to head to his room and pack him a few change of clothing and a few extra items like a toothbrush, along with the folder containing some documents he needed and the book on his coffee table, and head over to the Black Pearl Hotel where he was staying. Jarek told him he'd be there in a few and hung up, Mordecai then pocketing the phone and heading into the hotel lobby. Nice place, he thought to himself as he passed by a couple, who he could tell was on their honeymoon, and headed towards reception. After the standard greetings and questions, Mordecai ordered himself a nice room on the top floor for two days as Jarek arrived with his two suitcases.
"You seemed troubled on the phone, Mordecai. Anything wrong?" the twenty-nine year old human asked as he handed Mordecai his stuff. Mordecai looked at him and shrugged, "Just a long and eventful day. Nothing worth repeating." Jarek nodded, told him where he placed the documents and returned to his car as Mordecai, a nearby busboy handling his suitcases, headed up towards his room.

It was a nice room, one of the more expensive ones, but still had a simplicity to it that Mordecai liked. A wave of calmness washed over him as he stepped foot within, telling the busboy where to place his suitcases and handing him a pretty generous tip, one that made their day tenfold. Once the door was closed and he was left alone, first thing he did was head to the bathroom and take a nice, stress-relieving, relaxing shower. Better than sea-water, that's for sure, he thought as the warm shower water washed over him, taking all the days stress and issues down the drain. Once that was done, he changed into some more relaxing clothing, in this case a simple button shirt and a pair of jeans, and headed back to the TV area with the other suitcase and sat down on the couch, placing the suitcase next to him. He then opened it up and pulled out the book he wanted Jarek to bring. A book entitled 'Hogfather', which was written by one of his favorite authors, the late Terry Pratchett. Turning the TV on to the nature channel so as to have a nice atmosphere fill the room, Mordecai spent the rest of the day in his own personal heaven, reading the tale on how Death became the Hogfather for one night while his granddaughter searched for the real one.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
THE NEXT MORNING
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As the clock struck seven-thirty, Mordecai was on the phone with the front desk as he turned the room's TV on to the weather channel. Not for a complaint, but to order a continental breakfast (baked goods, jam, fruit, and coffee). Once his order was placed and he had gotten the weather for the day (which looked to be a rather comfortable day), Mordecai hung up and flipped the TV to the Bob Ross channel. Unlike other people who'd watch the news in the morning, Mordecai rather start the day with a sense of calm and peace within him and Bob Ross was the perfect way of doing just that. He watched as the late painter worked his magic on the canvas, turning plain white into pure beauty and a feast for the eyes. After a few minutes, his breakfast arrived and, after handing a nice tip to the bringer of his food, he sat down at the coffee table with his continental breakfast and enjoy both the feast for his stomach and Bob Ross's feast for his eyes.
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Deske
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

Post by Deske »

It was still dark when Gregg rolled out of bed. "Man, old habits really do die hard," he said to himself with a yawn as he glanced over at his alarm clock which was blinking out a steady "5:00". "Leaves me time to make a proper breakfast though."A quick shower later and he was slipping into a nice pair of navy slacks, white dress shirt, and a matching vest. He eyed a couple of suit coats in his closet, sifting through a couple before eventually deciding none of them really fit how he felt that day. Sliding into some brown dress boots, he headed to his kitchen to cook up some food. One filling breakfast of eggs and sausage later and he was grabbing his briefcase and heading out to catch an early morning bus to his place of work. On the way there he ran some measurements through his head that a couple customers had sent in and a checked if he had any appointments today. "No in person appointments, a few phone calls, and some deliveries. Easy day, hopefully," he said, running down the list. Stepping off at the bus stop it was only a short walk to his shop which, after fishing some keys from his pocket, and unlocking the door, was open. He flicked on the lights and flipped the sign to open, before heading to the back to get a few suits ready for delivery.

He carefully pulled each suit off of the rack and slipped a static free cloth bag over it, zipping each up at the bottom before laying them neatly in a large case. One or two he finished up by taking them to the machine and quickly stitching a serial number and a stylized version of the Vittorio logo into the inner fabric, then those too were carefully lain into the bag which he pressed the air out of and zipped up. Two others were placed neatly into separate wooden boxes that he sealed for shipping. Taking an iron he burned the name "Vittorio" into the front of the box and placed the prepaid shipping labels in their correct spots. It took a couple hours but finally the delivery prep had been completed and he could move on to making phone calls. He skimmed through the customer list and dialed the first number to tell them that their suit had been finished.

Listening to the dial tone he waited for the system to patch him through to the correct number, "Hi, this is Gregg Collins from Vittorio's, I'm trying to reach Mr. Mordecai."
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Re: Non-HPU: Crater City

Post by DdeeStar »

Sleep had always been a fair-weather friend to the younger Kayto. That's not to say he made much of an effort, given the completely unfamiliar city around him, the (relatively) large room the inn had provided, and the volume the night always held. He'd kept to his word and been back for the Colonel's check-in a few minutes early, but the jaunt around the inner city had only left him more curious about what he wasn't seeing. With his extra baggage left in the room, he was free to stalk, climb, leap, and generally investigate the dimming lights around him. He knew better than to stray too far from the lit streets or portray himself as suspicious, but by and large, the people passing by never even looked down to see him. Not that this was anything new. His mother's strength was obvious, visible. Mist's was subtle. Or, more accurately, subtlety. Without something to draw attention to himself - the glittering cape, the red sash, the obnoxious hat - people had a tendency to simply overlook him.

It would only be an hour more he'd spend wandering the concrete jungle, though. Even though Tigress would normally be asleep long before he snuck back out, he wasn't foolhardy enough to risk being caught breaking curfew. Answering a static-filled call from his friend, he found his way back to the inn and retired to his room, spending some time washing the blood from his top layers before finally ending the sleepless night by passing out in the massive bed. His phone and the new blade were tossed onto the bedside table with the unplugged alarm clock, letting the substantive darkness of the space push him to some form of rest.

The morning light doesn't wake the mage; the sound of footsteps in the hall do. He stumbles wildly to his feet, blinking the sleep from his eyes as he struggles to untie the entirety of the bedspread engulfing him. Once he fully meets the ground he manages to snap awake, burrowing out of the comforter to find himself in the unfamiliar room again. Several seconds pass as he collects his thoughts, trying to figure out what he was supposed to be doing today, but he's snapped out of his daze by the violent thrum of his cell against wood. A lunge is necessary to catch it before it shakes itself off the table altogether, and he answers with a breathless "Hello?"

===========

"Mornin' Lee~" The red-tailed hawk Zoomorph replies, sprawled across the cat's futon bed. He sits up briefly to look at the card table across the room, where Tigress lays slumped in her chair, then flops back down. "Yer mom's still out cold, so we c'n talk a bit better." A school friend of Mist's, Briar was a year older and practically blood in Mist's eyes. While their relationship hadn't had a great start, it had withstood a number of obstacles, not least of which being Tigress, and the teen had managed to walk out not only unscathed but with a key to their apartment.

"Nah, she'll be fine. Dad's makin' coffee, she'll be <^^^> but awake. Oh, 'nd we're gunna leave ar present so when ya get back you an' yer ma can try it. Wish ya woulda come by b'fore headin' off to camp, but..." Briar lets out an overdramatic sigh, waiting for Mist's apology just so he can chuckle and add "Ah'm just messin' with ya. Enjoy yerself." Mr. Brandy's caffeine-wielding entrance into the room prompts the hawk to pull the phone to his chest, adding "Lee's on th' phone, anything to add?"

The older human, clad in wrinkled clothes and disheveled hair, winces at the hawk's loud announcement. Tapping a finger to his lips pleadingly, he whispers back "Ask him how his first day of being seventeen was."

"Nah, tha's cliche." Briar responds immediately, pulling the phone back up to his head. "Dad said 'ave fun at camp, an' yer gunna 'ave to show us some cool freerunning stuff when ya get back." The muscled mass at the table starts to groan as Mr. Brandy places the warm pot by her head, one hand digging into the table as a rapidly-forming headache helps her greet the day. Mist's reply is quickly cut off as Briar rolls off and to his feet. "Sorry man, but she's wakin' up, so either you c'n talk ta her or- ...I fig'red. She'll 'ave me call ya later, don' worry." A moment passes, with Briar listening intently to the phone and Mr. Brandy grabbing glasses from the kitchen, then he concludes "Peace!" and brings the phone down to hang it up.

"Mmm..." Her jaws fly open as a yawn overtakes her, finally disturbing her enough to get her to push herself upright. "TV. News." She mumbles, reaching towards the telltale fragrance of dark coffee. The youngest quickly retrieves the remote, setting up the channel to play in the background as they spoke, but the report being played quickly overpowers any attempt at casual conversation.
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