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-Lilium-

[Daius Ind]Paying Homage

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Travelling in the last few months had proven difficult. Much like a mouse wrapped in the constriction of a boa, johnny law kept her from being able to fully breathe. She went underground to avoid the distraction of uneasy eyes with fingers itching to make mistakes; only reaching for sunlight when absolutely necessary. In reality it was more for what was going on below the surface than anything else, it all just happened to work out in a very convenient manner. After all, she doesn't really need to hide. 

 

Thankfully a very lovely and unique friend from that special place she likes to frequent, had been able to procure her a lift for a temporary visit to pay homage to new horizons. Then again, it was a place she had been to before. Not this particular city, but something more of a neutral zone. Her visage at the time something more suitable for acquiring her airship. Boy does that bring back many a memory. Cassius, look at you now... All grown up. An inexcusable smile lightens the tone of her features just as she turns to look out of her window at the bright blue sky. One hand relaxes in the crook of her stomach and thighs, her legs crossed at the knees. The other, preoccupied with a glass half filled with something cold and refreshing. A special concoction of her own design with additions from acquaintances. In more ways than one. 

 

 

The trip is short and the copilot explains this in a simple sentence. She barely listens to them ask and gain permission to land, knowing this was going to be a quick two way trip on their part. Offloading her being their main priority before turning around and leaving her there. Despite the pleasantries she merely nods and flicks her wrist in a wave of dismissal. Quite done with them and their business for the time being. It is easy to regard her attitude as flippant or arrogant and maybe even a little too self important from time to time... But that is how she survives. Her world, although encompassed by many great people, is still very much her own. Not only that, she's been around long enough to know when too much egocentricity is just that. Oddly enough it vanishes as soon as the ship's crew lets her loose in the port of Cosanastre. At least she has him to keep her company, to which there is never a lack of entertainment. 

 

He stands beside her right elbow silent and ever watchful. For many, they can appear to be mother and child, despite her youthful exterior. Then again, it could just be the difference in height. For the moment she stands above six feet, with the help of heeled shoes quaintly hidden beneath the flowing black legs of her pants. Though the click-clack they sound off with is unmistakable. They move in unison, one never straying too far from the other. Auburn curls bounce with every step she takes, and at the slightest turn of her head when lazy lidded amber eyes take a quick jaunt about. 

 

A few conversations from a distance are what brings her in. She'd gotten the jist of what it was they needed from someone like her, and she offered herself. Ambition the life's blood of her work. Every new placement offers opportunities beyond dreams, for her to continue her research and develop...new and useful things. The only issue she can foresee, is one where her lack of religion or belief in a holy system quiets their need for her. In the end all she can do is meet and greet with them. They would decide and she would accept, decline, or just make a short vacation of it. 

 

[edited title for clarity]

Edited by -Lilium-

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Surprisingly enough, he awaited her arrival--a strange thing, indeed, but if there's anything to be said about this High Mason, it's that he had little love for pomp and circumstance. He did not adore the games of the aristocrats, of making her seek an audience with him in the Cathedral. He requested her presence to offer her work and, Riva's tits, he'd be damned if he'd waste hours waiting for her to make the journey into the heart of Cosanastre.

Swathed all in black and flanked on either side by a pale haired servant in Justicar garb, Ocelot looked the part of the Prime Minister, if a bit too finely garbed for a politician. The suit hanging from Ocelot's frame was tailored to the assassin and upon close inspection a keen observer could note the runic stitching along the seams. Obsidian tresses fell across a pale brow and were swept back by a white gloved hand. Crimson eyes followed the approaching figures and upon their arrival the twins stepped forward. Practically identical from head to toe, it would have been impossible to discern the two were they the same gender. As it was, the female to Ocelot's left bore a slightly different insignia upon her collar that her brother lacked, leaving her as as his superior. When they spoke, however, their voices chimed in perfect unison.

"His holiness, the High Mason, Ocelot Royce, sion of the Devla line, High King of the Daius Syndicate, vicar of the Crystal and Prime Minister of the Free Nation of Alterion welcomes you."

The greeting droned out, the tenor and soprano voices devoid of any passion--only reinforcing its status as rote memorization. To his credit, Ocelot appeared none too pleased by the plethora of titles, but dismissed their use as a necessary evil. Waving the pair back, Ocelot stepped forward and gave a small nod.

"Welcome to Cosanastre, forgive me for meeting you here, I abhor ceremony. I'd sooner we discuss business and handle the idle pleasantries later."

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It is a slight relief to find her host and his small entourage waiting for her. The lull of a crowd and political conversation being dull as a flattened pencil tip. Any and all of her time better well spent in her private office[s] and working on the things she loves most; science, death, and destruction. Whether or not it is for personal reasons, is left undefined. 

 

There is no helping the genuine smile that climbs up her face. Beauty in the form of two austere looking individuals capturing her intrigue. Oh my... A gentle tug at her wrist draws her attention. The eyes of a child alight with cruel intent towards the woman's curiosity. In the end she places the freshly freed hand on the boys head and lovingly ruffles his hair. Mooting whatever the point he came across with was.

 

"I am very pleased to find myself in your presence and am also sincerely grateful for being invited into your nation and home. Since I have been invited I daresay that I may forgo an introduction." After all, it would be rude not to say something along those lines. If she truly believes in those syllables, it is neither confirmed nor negated by the comely expression she currently wears. Since she had been invited, she felt safe in believing there to be no need for a personal announcement. Especially after his words were spoken. Effort is placed in the removal of her eyes from the twins when he waves them away to step forward.

 

"I share your sentiments, Sir.  Where do you wish to converse, I assume here is not the appropriate place?"

 

Together the two take a step forward indicating their preparedness to go where he wishes. rather than maintain a hold of his head she drops her hand to accept his smaller one. Their actions leaving assumptions to be they're a visiting family of sorts. A commonly dressed pairing of a mother and child usually more acceptable and comforting to the eyes than lab attire and a looming shadow. Even if she's smiling and he remains devoid of reaction.

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"Absolutely not," Ocelot agreed, his face twisting into something akin to disgust. "Far too many prying eyes and eager ears."

Motioning for the twins to lead the way, Ocelot followed after the albino duo, his long legs falling into a steady gait. He offered the pair following him a lingering gaze, crimson eyes gleaming with a hint of understanding. Mayhap he was incorrect, but the 'child' appeared to him more experiment than progeny. Such could be claimed of the twins, so eery were their similarities and their fierce loyalty to the High Mason.

"I've a secure location, just outside the docks." Ocelot explained, gesturing with a cant of his head. "I've taken measures to ensure none but those within the room will be privy to our conversation."

And Ocelot Royce was not one to kiss and tell. Already rumors spread throughout the city that the nations newest leader dipped his hands in some rather unsavory research, but few acted upon such baseless accusations. It certainly didn't hurt that his people thought him the literal spawn of the Crystal and Ocelot saw no reason to dispute this.

It was a short journey to the small warehouse and along the way Ocelot made an effort to point out several different types of airships to the good doctor and her child, explaining the noticeable aesthetic differences between manufacturers, if only to further the impression that his guests were an innocent family here on mundane business.

Upon reaching the warehouse, Ocelot bid the twins wait outside as he opened the door and gestured for his guests to follow him. Whoever Ocelot acquired to prepare the room earned their keep. A pair of plush cushioned chairs encircled a coffee table near the room's entrance, two steaming kettles (one tea, one coffee) resting at the center. Cups and various accoutrements decorated the small table for those who wished to make use. Beyond the refreshments, near the center of the room was a small business table, a set of sleek high backed chairs placed in an orderly fashion about its perimeter. A crisp folder, notepad and pen sat at each spot, awaiting use.

"Sit wherever you like," Ocelot said, affording his guest the opportunity to dictate the nature and tone of their meeting.

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Merely tipping her head in response to his agreement of the conversational situation, she follows from arms length catercorner to his position at any given time. A personal preference. Those allowed in her personal space are: the ill, injured, and dead, her children, very specific affiliates, and on one occasion an experiment that found it necessary to strangle her. The lesson being a well learned one.

 

At times the duos hands would separate. Lilium's finding a gentle clasp on her child's shoulders while they took to enacting intrigue at the airships they were being shown. All to reinforce the precautionary illusion of sight seeing during a sudden visit. The only thing offsetting them from their host and his announcers, being fashion. Theirs more along the lines of the wife and son to someone a part of a future endeavor; Ocelot's clearly dictating the immeasurable power of his rank. Not to mention his well known face. Faces...

 

Yet again, she decided to make a move without considering the consequences of her actions. Her departure from Terrenus done with the help of an old friend and savior. Even with the little information given they had managed to find her in the underworld. Then again, if they were going off the mere description it was possible they'd have just done it based on assume... Or what some refer to as 'a gut feeling.' Their arrival at the designated destination disbands those thoughts. Her traipse through the doorway causing the flick of an inner switch. Pleasantry being set aside for the sake of business. Once vivacious expressions are suddenly marred with cold sincerity. All sunshine and rainbows devoid in the now empty expression she wears; stating that the vacation is momentarily suspended. Instead of taking a jaunt about the room or even taking a look at it, Lilium follows the boy. Who takes a seat on one of the cushioned chairs. She chooses to remain standing, positioning her self behind his seat which will possibly place him between she and Ocelot. 

 

"I would like to stand for a bit. I've sat idle a little too long for my taste." Between she and Freckles, the entire conversation would be remembered and stored for later use. A pen and paper more of a sketching distraction. "Please, begin when you are ready." It is in her nature to slice through to the nerve, making the journey to the point that much shorter.

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Lillium dismissed with the pleasantries, straight away—and it didn't break Ocelot's heart, in the slightest. Every tale that reached his ear of the good doctor, portrayed her as a professional, in every sense of the word. Ocelot came to appreciate this quality in his subordinates more and more, with each passing day. Every non-committal answer, every scrap of idle banter represented a moment of his time, gone forever—lost in the aether of time. It was the quintessential dilemma of powerful men, finding optimal use of their time. Adjusting a set of pulsating cufflinks, Ocelot strode across the room to to stand before the chair diagonal from Lilium and her charge. "Daius Industries is more than just a weapons company, we're security consultants. Our wares are any and everything capable of kowtowing dissent and disorder with maximum efficiency." The fine china clinked as Ocelot claimed a cup and poured a steaming hot stream of jet black liquid into it. Setting the kettle down, Ocelot lowered himself into his seat, gripping the coffee cup betwixt thumb and forefinger.

" Recently our alchemists made several advances in their effort to create artificial Humes—leaps and bounds, you might say." Ocelot leaned back to prop one leg over the other. "Top of line homunculi, highly intelligent chimera, and Hume-chimera hybrids and yet I require more." The Prime Minister chuckled and lips parted to form a dashing smile. "Some of them call me a spoiled brat, ungrateful for their work. While I am grateful, I need something more practical and widespread.
I believed you can help me in this endeavor. "

Raising the steaming cup to his lips, Ocelot gingerly sipped it and lowered it again. "One of our scientists, a Dr. Hellven Oates, was on to something. A massive army of artificial hume soldiers—homunculi, absent any will or thought. A mindless army of drone soldiers. While the prospect seems undesirable, I'm sure a woman of your intellect can see the appeal."

At least, Ocelot hoped so. It was a mad man who sought otherwise, in Ocelot's mind. What better way to save Alterion lives than to insure the bulk of loss came from a pool of renewable soulless drones?

"It is my desire," Ocelot placed the cup down, "to bring you into Cosanastre and place my entire R&D division under your purview. It entails a position within my Cabinet as an advisor and one of the largest, most advanced laboratories in the known world. Also, you'd be free to pursue your own interests, provided you continue producing results." Crimson eyes passed from the doctor, to her companion and back again.

"In addition to this task, should you accept my offer, I would appreciate your insight on current projects. The creation of new chimera, homunculi and other useful beings, remain of some interest to me."

With a slight rotation of his hip, Ocelot rested his elbow upon the plush chair's armrest and allowed a silence to settle over them, signaling the end of his sales pitch.

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Any sign of life the woman may have possessed, extinguishes itself following Ocelot's address. Once intently constructive amber fires die down allowing shadows to loom over the sculpt of her face. Lilium becoming unintentionally reticent of the [abbr= pffft. hahaha]feelings[/abbr] associated with the inexplicably unethical desires of the man before her.  

 

In order to further the advancement of-or expand on-such a splice without condoning selfish behavior... This is, absolutely glorious. Multiple spindles of concentrated thought begin to unravel. Her auto piloted body seeming to move of its own accord; being as there is no sign of light residing in her comatose eyes. Right hand guided to hook her hip as her legs shift in a slow walk. Rather than actually tuning already formed or created brains with personality, we could instead build them from scratch... Motor functions could be increased to compensate for the loss of unnecessary neural functions such as thought, emotion, the need to procreate. Eventually the right hand, though twitchy, rises and begins to wave. The movement more at the wrist than the arm, where the ring and pinky fingers hold a slight curl. The others appearing to swipe an invisible screen from right to left.

 

With free will being inconceivable in such a project, we'd have to develop a command prompt in which each computer responds immediately. And even increase the memory size and neural synapses of the brain to enhance the speed of the enhanced motor skills. Heels clack loudly against the floor in an abrupt stop. The swiping hand curling tensely before slowly unfurling. Fingertips find solace around the frame of her eye, where nails press firmly against the thin layers of skin to leave behind reddened indentations. The pallid face lowering in apparent thought. Unfortunately, in order to have such soulless and mindless... organic lifeforms it's possible they would need to eat and sleep, otherwise over time the bodies would weaken and die. Rendering the actual amount of uses...to an unacceptable percentage. A complete waste of art...This can't be allowed to happen... With a deft finger snap from the left hand-free of it's idle waistline position-the right springs from her face. Dawning realization. What if... we could develop a cybernetic stem and spinal column to act as a sort of capacitor that would ultimately assist in replacing the need for such mundane things as food or sleep. Rather than needing to be constantly cared for in a nursed manner... This sort of docking system could possibly keep them running for days or weeks with one charge. BUT...in order to remap and build the new brain... I'd-We'd need stem cells.

 

The tall frame begins to pace, all the while her mind retains disembodiment. All attention on Ocelot and the child obsolete. Lilium began to make her mental exit halfway through Ocelot's declarative information. Having stepped into the privately built office in her self-involved-developed world. In order to repair the holes after eliminating all of the worthless portions of a normal human brain, we'd have to direct them towards the more notable and usable portions necessary to grow them as a whole. The most perfect, obedient, and malleable mind possible. But to get there we'd ha--a sudden tug of the arm crashes the system, ripping her back into reality.

 

Freckles had no need to turn and watch her antics, already being completely in tune with her. However, the warm trickle of fluid from her nose roused him from his position. Rising before the first copper droplet rolls from her right nostril. With the free hand he holds up the kerchief from the lapel of his coat. The glance between them is a silently heated exchange. Her face denoting the irritation of being interrupted, his a mere tilt of his head where dark tresses slide along the pale of his forehead as he indicates Ocelot's presence. Less poised than when they first entered the room, she walks towards Freckles' seat to claim it as her own. The boy having disengaged from her arm to go about making her a cup of tea. Carefully dipping and drawing the bag from the glass of freshly poured hot water from a carafe. 

 

The fact that this man accidentally found himself front row during her slight disillusionment, does not deter her winding train of thought. Apologies resting outside of her purview, even when they appear necessary. A few dabs of the cream colored cloth against her face is enough to clear away her current disposition.  "Do you have a sexual preference, your Holiness?" The question presents itself in a straightforward manner. 

 

Freckles delivers her a saucer on which the cup of tea is displayed, and it is graciously accepted by her waiting hands. Both exchanged for the handkerchief that he places back in his breast pocket, no mind paid to the fresh stains adorning it. Her small shadow then wanders away to sit at the large table, taking pen to paper while they continue their conversation.

 

Lilium lifts the cup and takes a sip from the cup without reacting to the liquids temperature. Then it's set back down; both dishes tabling against her closely knit knees. "I would presume it to be one inclined on the male anatomy. Which is understandable. Though I'd have to insist, for the safety of the soldiers, for them to lack genitalia. Without the hormones coursing through their systems and their obviously doomed-to-be-sterile-and-incapable states, there really is no need to build them in such a way that heretics might possibly molest and mar their beauty." 

 

Another pause is made to allow a much longer sip of tea. Revitalization short in arrival. Straightening her posture, she proceeds. "I would of course say the same if you decided on the features of a woman. In reality there's no need for them. Without souls or self awareness, there'd really be no point." Disregardfulness begets ignorance. Having spoken entirely without proceeding with an answer, is quickly rectified.

 

Curved pink lips flatten into a grim line while her eyes bounce from his left shoulder to his right before looking him in the eyes. Finally, sunrise approaches the horizon. "I believe I may be able to assist you in your scientific endeavors and am also more than willing to review whatever subject matter you deem desirable, Mister Royce."

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If Ocelot was perturbed by Lilium's behavior, he managed to hide it rather well. Given the fact that the man was a politician, there was a strong likelihood the calm visage he presented as more a facade than even he realized. Regardless of his personal feelings, Ocelot's crimson eyes followed the doctor on her journey about the room, wincing ever so slightly at the sight of blood. Ocelot reached to pluck a kerchief from his pocket, only to have the doctor's companion see to it first. More surprise than disgust, the look upon his face evened out into one of bored disinterest, waiting until Lilium claimed her seat to offer her a polite smile.

"I've no preference," Ocelot answered, truthfully. "Whichever is the easiest for you to mass produce, do so." At the doctor's insistence, Ocelot nodded. "I agree wholeheartedly. My goal in this is not to fund a race of rutting pigs, no more is it your desire to create them--I'd imagine."

At the good doctor's conclusion, Ocelot brought his hands together in a slow clap. "All your talk of heretics and souls...and this quiet ambition I spy behind those eyes..." Ocelot raised a chiding finger, only to wave it in proclamation. "Are you certain you weren't born in Alterion?"

Grinning with a great deal more satisfaction than he'd felt in weeks, Ocelot rose from his seat and moved to claim a folder from the head of the small conference table. Walking it over to Lilium, he set it down before her on the coffee table.

"The details of our agreement are held within. It's a standard [abbr=Non-Disclosure Agreement]NDA[/abbr] wrapped about the specifics of your position. You'll notice your bi-weekly stipend is a bit generous, contingent upon your work, of course. Otherwise, you've the run of the show." Plucking a pen from within his coat, Ocelot set it down beside the contract. "By all means, review it before you sign it. The only thing I ask is that Alterion has all of you, your full attention in this matter. You grant me that and I'll give you the moon, Dr. Concordia."

Settling back down into his chair, the lanky figure folded in upon itself with great comfort--long legs folding over one another. Ebon tresses play across his brow, and deep set crimson eyes return Lilium's gaze. "The specifics of Hellven's research are behind the contract. I am most interested in seeing the fruits of your labor, Dr. Most interested."

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Auburn curls bounce around on her shoulders as she nods in acceptance of his answer. Knowing his preference to be for neither and either will make her job that much easier. However, in light of his comment, she merely sips at her tea. His imagination questions her morals, morals she's yet to decide on herself. The topic came up on many occasion, her answer always waylaid by her desire for knowledge and the only true love of her life...Science. Everything in her current life comes down to one distinct set of coding. The hunger to meet and exceed the powers of the unknown by any means necessary. Unlike those who find a need to correct and dominate their personality traits over those that are assumed of them, she smiles curtly and lets it go. There's never a reason to let anyone know who or what you really are.

 

Suddenly her hand wavers in it's grasp on the cups handle. Laughter cautiously projected at such an idea as being born in this place. Lilium could not imagine a different course of action for her life. Were things so different, she'd be a monster similar to the man sitting before her, and that just would not do. "I can assure you, without insult, that I am not born of your people." A smile lingers on her features, though not quite as lively and disturbing as Ocelot's. Not one for real emotional expressions let alone pleasant things like happiness, she averts her eyes. The display making her somewhat uncomfortable. Receiving such from an old acquaintance more suitable to her tastes. 

 

His movements draw her attention. Citrine circlets watching delicately with severe criticism. Momentarily shrinking when her waist bends and her shoulders lean, she sets aside the saucer and cup in favor of the folder on the table. Slender digits fingering it open and flip pages rather quickly to find initial stops and signature lines. Back home she has an entire filing cabinet dedicated to similar clauses. All informing her of the necessity for silence, lest the contract be terminated. Each flip of a page is a mental photograph of the words fine printed or otherwise being taken. This one, is much different.

 

All....or None. All....or None.

 

It's like the game young lovers play, ripping petals off flowers in hopes it will give them some form of an answer. It doesn't take her long to review her options, having spent a few seconds going back through the paperwork in mock review of what she already read and understands. "I agree under the terms that this project has my full dedication and attention. You can save the moon for dreamer's Mr. Royce, but for someone like myself is is more a matter of personal interests. Interests I would like to continue with when the birth of your army comes into completion. I am well aware that it may take some time, but I can assure you I will do everything in my power to make your desire the one true reality you seek." The break in her words is used to find a more elegant way to dispense with her own personal clauses where the unspoken 'but' is left. Were she to succeed, and having signed this, would be under contractile agreement to stay put for X amount of years. Numerical sequences dance across her mental screens. Somewhere in there is an idea to be toyed with. 

 

"I have several conditions... First, I ask permission to have my personal belongings brought to me. Second, I would like to be allowed to continue my outside works after the completion of your army with the express knowledge that none of it will ever be a burden to you in any form or fashion. Which brings me to the third, my name and face will not be on any of the research developed here. Instead I simply request that you allow me to convert to a more pleasant carapace. One that can take the stage where I never would or could, and he-she points to the child-will play the role of confidant and assistant to this facade. Then, I could actually say I was from here since I'm sure papers and identification can be easily obtained. Plus, it would probably do you some good to have a friendly marketable face at your side when people question your motives. A pretty lying face usually gets by more easily than a severely edgy one." Ocelot's demeanor most likely as noticible to him as it is to her and everyone else. "And one day, when you need someone to take blame and die... That face will be perfect for it." 

 

You realize what you're going to have to do if you want that to work, right?

 

Of course I do. A complete personality overhaul and physical transfer. 

 

The once placid features of the boy quiver as his lips break with laughter. Her idea clearly too much for him to handle. But as head of R&D she would have to answer questions and present ideas to Ocelot and possibly give reassurances to others in order to appease their doubts. Forging pleasantry in order to aspire to the man's wants would not be a task she could do as she is now. Not for that long. "If you're alright with what I've said, the next time we meet... It my not be as pleasurable." Lilium soon to be of another look and nature entirely.

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"I have several conditions... First, I ask permission to have my personal belongings brought to me. Second, I would like to be allowed to continue my outside works after the completion of your army with the express knowledge that none of it will ever be a burden to you in any form or fashion. Which brings me to the third, my name and face will not be on any of the research developed here. Instead I simply request that you allow me to convert to a more pleasant carapace. One that can take the stage where I never would or could, and he-she points to the child-will play the role of confidant and assistant to this facade. Then, I could actually say I was from here since I'm sure papers and identification can be easily obtained. Plus, it would probably do you some good to have a friendly marketable face at your side when people question your motives. A pretty lying face usually gets by more easily than a severely edgy one. And one day, when you need someone to take blame and die... That face will be perfect for it."

"If you're alright with what I've said, the next time we meet... It my not be as pleasurable."


Ocelot studied the good doctor as she spoke, she was his intellectual superior--of that there was no doubt, but there were few more cunning than Ocelot, particularly in regards to a bargain. He listened to her terms and conditions, drank them in and savored them like a fine wine before imbibing them entirely. Her words made sense and while Ocelot could always find a way to see detriment in any situation, there was nothing here he couldn't slither out of, if so required.

Fingers formed a steeple beneath his nose and long legs unfolded as the supreme leader of Alterion slumped in his chair. Peering up at the ceiling, Ocelot sighed. "Your terms are acceptable...as to your appearance." Lifting his head, Ocelot fixed his eyes upon the woman, once more. "I don't care if you have three heads and tail, as long as you produce the work your renowned for and help me secure my empire, I'll reward you."

Popping up like a marionette brought to life by a string, Ocelot offered his hand. "Shall we shake on it?"

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The man's answer is definitely pleasurable to her ears. Although his original intent on sole activity remaining within his R&D department, stays intact. Amber hues follow his upward movement, the simple smile decorating her features is shadowed rather than highlighted by the sun colored gems. They manage to retain a distance that her slowly rising frame does not. Her hand meeting his with a quick shake of agreement. "Your will shall be done." Shortly thereafter, the appendage hangs at her hip, fingers stretching idly against the strain of contact. 

 

"I'll get to work right away."

 

With the conclusion of their little arrangement and the settlement of laboratory is addressed and finalized. Not too longer after settling in, the personal effects she requested be transferred to the city are afforded her greatest attention. Preferential treatment towards housing and other needs residing on board her temporarily long-term docked aircraft-Soul's Despair. The ship kept close at bay to ensure her ability to shift easily from work to home and vice versa. The new face spoken of to deal with the work for Lilium, close on the horizon.

 

[hr]

 

This thread will act as a continuation of work done for Daius Industries under Ocelot Royce, by ...

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The clink of metal on metal rings through her right ear while the gentle whir of machinery hums all around. It attempts to lull her into wanton sleep, but instead she awakens with fearful discomfort. Wrists and ankles refuse to lift any higher than the straps binding them-to a bed-no table?-allow. She cannot tell if her eyes are open, or if she's staring into the blacks of her eyelids. No light permeates past their edges. Sound is her only ally, and maybe taste. The thick of her tongue dry with a bitterness worse than the copper of blood.

'Hey, wake up.'

Somewhere in the distance the whisper of voices cuts in. Vain attempts at speech prove to be failures. Realization clambers about, her mouth is already pried open and held so by something forcing her lower jaw to separate from the rest of her teeth.

Pressure at the base of her skull causes her to jerk against the table. Belly side down. She isn't sure how she didn't notice it before. There is little she can do from this angle, aside from succumb to the procedure[?] befalling her.


'Wake up, what are you doing?'

The voices kept on as if she weren't there. Slowly the tones begin to clear so words can form. "Are you sure about this? You're stretched thin as it is. If things continue on in this manner you might have some serious side effects to deal with." Possibly masculine, she isn't sure. But the second, she recognizes somehow. The cool female voice devoid of emotion. "I'll take care of it, if it comes to that. This is going to work, even if only for the time being. I need to rest. She'll do fine, just stay close by and keep a sharp eye on her." Back to the first, "Alright...it's done." Just like that the pressure against her skull is alleviated and she's falling more deeply into a swirl of unknowns. In the end, however, she manages to open her eyes and on a table nearby she catches a a blur of color. Reddish waves...

"For the love of Riva, Gemini. Get your ass up!!"

Eyelids shoot open to disclose a flat clear screen filled with random textualized letters. Curled fingers having stopped on the holoboard when she blacked out. The chill of something fluid rests against the heel of her palm pulling her attention from the runaway scroll of useless information. Golden halos widen and she lifts the sodden hand to her nose to wipe at her nostrils. A thick sticky band of copper smudges the back of her fingers, a telltale sign the leak is already receding.

Before she knows how to react her chair is spun and the pale face of her counterpart is bearing down on her in creased irritation. "Oh shit... Gemini, what happened?" He is already pulling a cloth from his pants pocket and holding it to her nose when she responds.

Muffled by the pinch and wipe of her nose she chides him, "Obviously, I got tired. Where the fuck have you been?" With a quick swipe, she yanks the kerchief from his hand while knocking it away from her face at the same time. "With that being said... I have something for you." Discarding the fancy tissue on the floor she stands and fiddles around in the pocket of her lab coat, producing two vials of clear blue liquid with a teal cloud swimming separately-almost freely inside of it.

"Is that it?!" Carefully he plucks the vials from her extended hand to hold them in front of his eyes. "This is it...but how did you-" There is no hiding the wondrous smile tearing his face into two parts.

With a simple wave of her hand at she drops back into her chair with a wicked grin, "Unlike your shadowy pale ass, I work for a living." After a moment of respectful silence towards the accomplishment nestled in the steady hands of her assistant, her round lips curve and widen in a triumphant yawn. "We really need a change of venue after this is over. I've been dreaming again. And it's incredibly diverting, which is a serious problem." With that she turns back to the screen and begins clearing the unnecessary trash her sleeping fingers let loose upon her work.

Daemin, quite perturbed by her final comments watches her closely for a moment. Possibly staring for too long, as she yells without looking at him. "Analyze it and begin the cellular replication stage. We need to know if these trials will work as soon as possible. I don't think the man upstairs would appreciate your lag. He wants results. Now over later preferred." Silvery tufts jump as he spins on his heels, icy eyes cornered without his entire head turning to view her from over his shoulder. Should her condition worsen over time... No, he can't afford to think like that right now.

Edited by -Lilium-

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Daemin has no issue taking on the mantle of 'cool customer' even with Gemini lurking in the shadows at his back. Carefully watching over her, while also taking care of her researchers. If not for her brilliance most of their team would most likely have taken off out of fear due to the woman's eerie nature. Like a fish out of water her attitudes and expressions flop back and forth between ranges of normalcy and frightfully psychotic. It's a miracle she can balance them so easily.

Thankfully her residency behind the curtain has kept everyone else in optimistic moods. While they were afraid to be stuck between a crazed woman and a deadly high monarch, they stayed put. Greed, terror, and science sowing the seeds that eventually rooted them in place. Daemin finds this basic human instinct incredibly intriguing. He refers to it in his personal memoirs as 'self preservation with a twist of adventure.' 

"How's the Hatter?"

Enique, one of their geneticists, cannot seem to help herself. Thick lips purse with curiosity as she prods him for information. Slipping from behind her microscope to trail him. "If I didn't know better, I'd believe you tear the sheets with that woman."

"We all know you don't know any better, young lady. I'd watch my words if I were you..." He lifts a finger high enough for her to see it over his shoulder as it waggles back and forth in response to her unrealistic and adolescent jabs. "Jealousy doesn't become you."

Even he knows the whims of a woman in heat. That virile stench is enough to drive him mad with a hunger of a different sort, but he genially maintains his grace. What Enique believes to be some sort of romantic exchange between he and Gemini, is actually a protective circle. She would always come before anyone. Enique quite literally, un-cared for collateral. From the moment the pair entered their corner of the laboratory and took over she'd been after the pale and enigmatic stranger. The only one brave enough to cross that invisible line between business and pleasure. Unfortunately, her kind of beauty holds no place in his empty eyes. Being modelesque with long curly black hair and a stunning pair of legs that trail on for days... doesn't do a damn thing for her where he's concerned. Or him in his trousers. For Daemin, it's all in the science of her blood. If he told her he wanted to lay her across a table, that'd be fine, but only in order to eviscerate her... Now, how would that go over?

Sharp pints glint as they escape the edge of his lip with that sneering thought. Daemin is a great admirer of her tenacity, toying with her as he sees fit. Continually hooking and reeling her in only to cast her back, just for the sheer pleasure of watching the young girl squirm with contempt. "Take these and begin the fertilization process. Speed up the growth rate this time. This project is dependent on quick results."

The vials are then placed in her excitedly shaking hands. Longs fingers curling over her well manicured and soft ones to carefully envelope the glass cylinders. "Make sure you don't mess up, or you'll be the next Simmons." Life itself drains from her face, the stark white of terror the most beautiful he'd seen her in quite some time. Dark elegance that contrast the wily smile breaking the lower half of his face by way of a crescent curve. 

Memory puts a jolt in her step, quickly removing her from his presence.

No matter the amount of flowery romance she reads or witnesses, Enique cannot erase that horrid imagery from her mind. That damned fool stepped out of bounds and perished for it. The perfect example for anyone under their current reign-of terror. Somehow, with a grievous lack of terror. A one time incident that still haunts those who were present. How it didn't cause their employer to appear, she has no idea. It was the pure definition of a massacre. Religious fool... Her hands refuse to stop shaking, which cause the vials to click together in her hand when she tries to set them down. Focus Enique...focus damn it!

Prepping the cells for germination isn't anything new for her. But making sure the gene sequence fits the guidelines of the master afterwards, is the true test of her job. With the assistance of other hands, they begin to carry the cells through integral processes. Gemini's job to create two optimal specimens from the original mash up of her work, hadn't taken as long as she surmised. Having given her little time to completely get in the mind set of what she has in her hands. The mother and the father of a new breed of being... That's what drove Simmons mad... drove him into her hands... drove him to his catastrophic death.

Shaking her head quickly to empty her mind she shifts back to the work at hand. Forging life and pushing the process into a rapid growth isn't easy. They'd already moved from a gestation of months to days, then to hours... But minutes? Her mind is spinning. Why do they need such a thing, it wouldn't help the people. Creating such monstrosities in bulk...Massive bodies... Armies. Her hands freeze in their quantitative movements while she stares at the small artificial wombs that would eventually be transferred and dissolved in the larger incubation chambers.

"Beautiful, isn't it?"

Colorless tones in a wondrous whisper cause her to jump from her seat. There is no need to turn around to figure out whose voice lifted her from her chair. Enique merely does so out of respect and fear for the woman that is Gemini. She has no idea how long the woman has been standing there examining the progress of her work, nor does she really care. Worry lies in the threat she presents by proximity. Running away won't save her, and standing their dumbstruck doesn't help much either.

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Things had gone wrong, terribly wrong. Overnight, every single one of the fetuses in the artificial wombs had somehow disintegrated. Fucking, disintegrated. Hours, so many hours...lost. Sometime between seeing them the day before and this moment of sheer horror-spent staring aimlessly into the cloudy, fleshy, oil-in-water, bladders full of desecrated life-they had malfunctioned. Impossible...

Having dressed for the success of the previous day, Gemini's glamour is out-shined by the sheer radiance of shock/dismay/anger she feels. Possibly even a twinge of fear due to The Man upstairs. It had been almost a year since she was brought into this world, to create something more. Something beyond the ordinary restraints of the 'natural' and even enhanced hume. Fingers twitch and bend against her thighs. Nails cutting into and through the baby blue silk her gown is fashioned from. Much like Alice must have felt during some points of her crazy adventure in wonderland, is Gemini now.

Not only had this eradication of her 'babies' delayed their work, but it also delays something much more important. Freedom. As a self-aware child of Dr. Concordia, she fell into the binds of the woman's contract, inadvertently taking her place. A special addendum attached solely for her benefit. Just to make sure she doesn't leave and ruin her 'mother's' contract while the woman just sleeps away. So, Gemini must stay in the lab until the job reaches completion.

There in the faint light of computer screens and lava-lamped biological matter, she stands. Silent and trembling. How long she does so, cannot really be accounted for. Her memory lapsing over and over to the moment she entered and found them in such a decayed state.

Eventually lights begin to flicker on in twos; the long tube bulbs set into the ceiling over head, having been placed in pairs. Voices emanate from the doorway. At first joyous, then whispered, then comes silence followed by heavy and troubled breathing. They can see what she sees. The same dismay and shock pouring off their auras as they witness it. Energy permeating so pungently and strongly, she doesn't have a need to turn and face them to know they're there or what they feel as they are.

I feel like this tie is very dapper, what say you my cherry bloss-Oh fuck...

“Out...OUT! ALL OF YOU! GET THE FUCK OUT!!”

“Gemi... Calm down. It's just a mi--”

A MINOR SETBACK?!?! IS THAT WHAT YOU WERE GOING TO SAY YOU POMPUS...FUCKING...PRICK?!?!...Get...the...fuck...out...Daemin...”

Aside from him, the others quickly turned and exited. Daemin's refusal only causes the storm within her to ignite. Arms reach out with deft precision, intent on destruction. The table with the glass wombs is unsettled as her limbs swing madly across it. The clear basins simply slide and fly through the air, their lids toppling from them and crashing to the floor with them.

Crash...crashcrashcrashcrash....splat...

Every single one is sent to the tiled floor, biologicals and broken glass completely covering it on that side of the lab. And Gemini does not stop there. Fingers hook and snag at the monitoring systems and lines, ripping them from the consoles and weight plates they are connected to, where each womb once sat upon one.

crunch...crunch...crunch...

But then...something small, and cylindrical catches her eye. And she walks across the glass to retrieve it. Caught mistakenly under the edge of a table leg, is a vial. No, one of THE vials. She'd given to a certain someone the day prior. Shakily, her hand brings it towards her face so that her eyes may examine it, only to find less than a droplet left inside.

Her focus blurs for a moment, the cold surface of the glass now gently being rolled back and forth along the horizontal plane of her lips.

Daemin, afraid to engage or startle her at any point during her frenzy and even her calm, stands where he originally stopped. Paler and more frightened than usual. Knowing exactly what this atrocity means to and for her. And no matter the orders given him, there is no protecting her from herself. No matter how hard he may try.

“Bring me Ms. Enique Dormer...” Though low, Gemini's voice slices through the thick rage filled air like a precision scalpel.

“Honey Bee, you don't know that she-” Slowly she holds up the vial so that he may view her evidence, proving contrary to his verbal belief. “I see... I'll make the call. If it really was her, she'll be on the run.”

Edited by -Lilium-

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Indeed. The woman is running. Running for her life. Despite the man's over religious exertions, Simmons had been her lover. And that retched woman Gemini, that monster, had taken him away from her. So in recompense, Enique destroys what she believes Gemini cherishes most. She'd seen it in her eyes the evening before. The young woman loves those damn abominations, loves watching them grow. Her priceless babies. As if she were, no could be, their mother and somehow posses the slightest hint of a caring bone in her body. No. She had to pay. And with that belief, Enique took out her revenge after everyone else had gone.

The only problem is, she didn't run fast enough. Little does she know, eyes were on her the whole time. Glowing garnet lights flickering from inside her own shadow. Rather than act out against her meddling, they intently observe her actions. Following her as she pours some sort of acid-the label too worn to read-into each of the small incubating wombs.

Instead of taking the main elevator, Enique uses the cargo lift. Riding with tech supplies being sent from sub-basement C up to the ground level. The ding as she hits one floor, then the next, is a relief to her thudding heart. It's the only sound she can hear aside from the whir of the lift as it rises. Thumpthumpthumpthump... Fear rides what little backbone she has, causing the intricate layering of hairs on the back of her neck to stand straight from root to end.

Suddenly the yellow warning light comes on. Gently spinning in circles and flashing over the large boxes and equipment with every rotation. Thankfully it's not a blinding one. But it does little to stave her fraying nerves. What catches her surprise is the overly large elevator coming to a slow stop at the basement floor. Eniques eyes widen questioningly, but are still too afraid to peek around the old stack of computers-or whatever they are-she's kneeling beside to see which door is opening.

The sound is a mistaken one. Too muffled and yet slightly echoed by the metallics surrounding her, for her to properly discern. What is that?! Her eyes glimpse something trailing the light as it passes. Long inky tendrils. Could they be searching for her? Or is she just too paranoid and in the moment. There it is again! Now she's just ready to crawl out of her own skin. And soon shes on knees and palms trying to crawl away from them. Long twisting obsidian arms, reaching for and trying to ensnare her like vines.

Ahuuhuuhuuhuuhuuhuuhuuhuuhuuhuuh...

Of course, with her still elevating heart rate, freshly forming sweat droplets, and sudden exertion, shes beginning to breath more quickly. Though restraining herself. Pressuring her lungs as if to help keep them silent. Every muscle in her body is tense, her joints beginning to ache from the painfully slow and quiet, yet rushed pace she's trying to force them into. Again, out of the corner of her eye, she sees the branching tendrils, and something else... Is that a red...light...no, it's gone. She must really be losing at this point. Terror sometimes having that effect on people. “AHHHHHHHH!”

A brilliant light flashes on in her face following a few plastic like smacks. “What the hell are you screaming for?! Actually, what are you even doing in here Enique?”

Her eyes come face to face with a lowered flashlight and slack covered shins. Upon further review, and with the help of slender hands, she's looking up into a familiar face. “Are you alright?” It's a shocked and questioning tone.

I-I, I thought I heard something in the lab, and I was afraid to head towards the door...so I ran for the shipment elevator. It was dark...and and I couldn't see... You scared me.” Relief floods her when she realizes it's just him. Just him. Her wildly rolling eyes looking nervously into his. “Wait...what are you doing here?”

Even in faint light, the expression on his face reads clear as day. The flashlight in his hand dropping from his fingers so that both sets of them can grab and tighten around her forearms. His features darkening while his red eyes begin to glow with a passionate radiance. Although quite frightened, she felt as though he were about to kiss her. His lips curving in the black of shadows as his mouth grows ever near her own.

And kiss her he does, but not in the way she wished he would. Like a deer staring into the brilliance of headlights and still very much able to see what is coming. Enique finds that distraction to be her undoing.

Razor tipped teeth sink into the thin skin below her chin. Clamping down and ripping a relatively large portion of her neck away. Sinew, cartilage, veins and arteries alike. Simply removed as if they hadn't belonged there to begin with. It's an appallingly short end, but gets the job done. The spatter created by such a loving gesture would be explained away quite simply. Like the garbage the man finds her to be he lets he go, allowing her exsanguinating body to drop like a sack of coal. Then proceeds with plucking at cords and plastic wrap. The tower of heavy machinery pieces easily toppling and crushing her now glossy eyed frame.

With that, he pulls a hanky from the pocket of his trousers. Gently rubbing the side of his mouth and face to help remove any evidence from his remarkably clean visage. Much like shadows during nightfall, excess matter is simply absorbed and forgotten wherever it may once have touched him. Clothing or otherwise. In the end he turns and walks away. Melding into the darkness as the warning light and flashlight cease to emit illumination simultaneously.

Before he knows it, he's adjusting his tie and stepping through the crowd of onlookers standing in the lab. Ready to play another game. One that leaves him straining for resolve.

I feel like this tie is very dapper, what say you my cherry bloss-Oh fuck...

Out...OUT! ALL OF YOU! GET THE FUCK OUT!!”

Gemi... Calm down. It's just a mi--”

A MINOR SETBACK?!?! IS THAT WHAT YOU WERE GOING TO SAY YOU POMPUS...FUCKING...PRICK?!?!...Get...the...fuck...out...Daemin...”

Bring me Ms. Enique Thompson...” Though low, Gemini's voice slices through the thick rage filled air like a precision scalpel. Startling him.

Honey Bee, you don't know that she-” Slowly she holds up the vial so that he may view her evidence, proving contrary to his verbal belief. “I see... I'll make the call. If it really was her, she'll be on the run.”

Fuuuck me.

Had he taken care of Enique before hand, when his little shadow dwellers first called him, he could have avoided this whole scenario. More quickly than he entered the lab, he's exiting. Needing to find something-No! someone-to take the place of what Gemini really wants without her knowing it. And well before she notices he's been gone too long, and that security hasn't really been called.

Edited by -Lilium-

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