The fact that that's always been the automatic insult for Kai is great
Doubts begin to mount almost immediately. <Fish guy is even dumber than I thought.> She thought, as she found his idea of leadership simplistic and childish. <It doesn't matter how nice of a guy you are if the GDP tanks and unemployment skyrockets.> But no matter. Those were his problems.
Or at least they had been. Now she was shackled to him by the common bonds of membership in this consortium. Bonds she immediately begin to question as Lichter laid out his plan for a defense of the world. <Response time isn't the problem. And he exposes fish guy to defeat in detail. Very bad plan.> She thought, but did not say.
<Perhaps. Or perhaps is not bad plan. Perhaps Lichter wish to see his kingdom weakened. Perhaps Lichter 'set him up' for defeat, for purpose of his own.> The Shogun resolved to be wary of such traps in her own dealings with Lichter and the Consortium.
Her first impressions hidden behind her stoic Russian mask she addressed Lichter's question.
"No. STRIKE conern with alien invader, but details few. 'Time Siphon' capability unknown, motivation unknown, culture and worldview unknown."
A shrug. "Same go for timeline. So. STRIKE worry for alien invasion, but not give me enough intel. Maybe they not trust, maybe they not have. Result, it is the same."
Sparrow's doubts rose. Skyrocketed. He furrowed his brow, but his mask still hid his face, and if any consternation would show on a normal man, in deed or appearsnce, it was not visible on him. Klaus was perhaps less aligned with his ideals than had been apparent when they had discussed the situation of the League twice. He would continue along as he had planned, however, if only to manipulate the conspiracy for his own ends. Perhaps Ivana would be party to a smaller alliance, should the Lichter Legacy become a liability. Aurelius already was. "I'm sure you have a plan for me as well, and I'd be glad to hear and obey, should it promote my agenda as well. But before we continue, I have a few small requests to make. To remain in secret, we should move location from meeting to meeting, and I would like to suggest your home next. You have not been there in a while, if I am not mistaken, and as a show of faith the location of your fallback would be appreciated. You know where we are, you must reciprocate. Also. I have taken on an apprentice, recently, who has a unique ability. I would bring her to our meetings, and perhaps our battles, should e become embroiled in one, to utilize her power. We have a very talented fighter in this group, and if Ivana would consent to have her combat skills copied by a Leaguer, I would have her use them."
The Shaytans statement nearly drew the king to his feet in anger, Kai rolling his eyes and leaned forward pensively, rubbing his chin, turning his mind back to the matters at hand.
“Depending on the size of the troops this could stretch my army very thin and leave my kingdom open to attack...” For a moment he remains staring at the ground contemplatively and then sits back with a snap of his fingers.
“I’ve an idea that can assure these areas are safe and leave my own country safe. “
“I’ve a branch of army that has extremely honed magical skill. Some of the more skilled members are capable of teleporting great distances. As my kingdom inhabits the shore to these countries, covering Spain and the Middle East will not cost my army much. As for the rest, I can create different groups, each with a Magus on their team, to mobilize and get to these areas instantly. “
Kai raised a brow at the Shaytans second statement:
“I’d much rather not. I’m extremely fond of young ones however; I believe all of this should remain between us four. Nor do I think Ivana would let someone copy her fighting ability.”
Klaus laced his gloved fingers together, listening to his allies become acquainted. Already, plans began to arise from within the group, each member offering rebuttal and solution to any and all potential outcomes. From the ashes of debate would rise the phoenix of a meticulously-crafted plan, the valuable input of his three representatives had begun to offer new possibilities.
"Mystic mobilization will serve the group well, Kai. We thank you for your devotion to the cause."
He turned to Sparrow, who'd just suggested they make their next place of meeting Klaus' home.
"When the time comes, Raysh al-Shaytan, I shall open my home to the group as Kai has so graciously opened his," he began, hitting another button. On the viewscreen, his enormous residence appeared, complete with a map of its location in Switzerland. "Presently, I offer my home to the surrounding inhabitants of Lichter fief. I am more landlord than traditional lord, and I shall continue to provide residence and resources to the civilians of my town. The winters are cruel," he concluded with a dismissive tone, indicating that their next topic was at hand.
He spun in his chair to face Ivana, at the same time bringing back the image of the STRIKE helicarrier.
"STRIKE's unexpected departure from the United Nations does not concern me, but whatever they're holding back from the public, I want in our hands. Cooperation with them would not be out of the question. You've had dealings with Director Tyrus before, as have I. However, our last conversation may have destroyed my good reputation with her group. I may or may not have been the catalyst for the falling-out between the United States and STRIKE...regardless, they'll continue to operate at maximum capacity until Congress declares that helicarrier a weapon of mass destruction. At that point, I imagine they'll return to working for the government. This little...tantrum...won't last long," he said confidently, tilting his head to the side.
"As for the rumored invasion...well, that's where we come in. STRIKE is crowd control and a distraction for whatever force threatens the planet. Our job is to neutralize the command branch of said force, quickly and efficiently. Once we have more information, we'll formulate a plan."
He turned back to Sparrow, ice in his voice for the first time.
"As for your apprentice, Sparrow...she is to remain in the dark when it comes to our group. Should our mission be compromised, know that there will be...consequences," he said, letting the last word hang in the air. He would not, however, lead the group through negativity, implied retribution, or idle threats; their mission was honorable, if not noble in the traditional sense.
Warmth returned to his tones.
"I urge you all to remember our purpose. I am not a naive idealist; it is hard pragmatism, with a dash of moral superiority, that drives me. Optimism, my friends! Our world is not so bleak. Power for power's sake? Please. Orwellian socialists we are not. We are those who shall save society. There can be no nobler purpose," he decreed, spreading his hands out.
Hm. I have to cultivate trust, camaraderie. It won't come naturally to them, except maybe for Kai; he seems friendly enough. Besides, they know where I live and my name. What else is there to give away?
"A masked man," he began, "is but a commander. To be a leader, one must have trust."
He reached up behind his head, disengaging the microweave static-magnets that attached his cowl to the rest of his uniform. Pulling up with both hands, he removed the magenta hood that obscured his face, letting it hang down over his neck.
"I trust you, my Consortium. All I ask for is a little trust in return," he said, smiling at all of them. His smile was genuine, that of a young man stepping into a brave new world; but his piercing brown, almost black eyes, were those of House von Lichter.
The Shogun listened to Sparrow's request to have a kinetic learner record and replicate her moves. "No." She replied.
While she understood why he would make the request, and its potential value to the organization, her combat abilities were the root of the three of her success. Ivana did not lead a country with billions in revenue because she was a scientific genius nor was she included in Lichter's list of influential movers and shakers because of her persuasive nature. She was here because she was very, very good at killing people and her martial mastery was a significant part of that.
Not the only part of course, but to allow her skills to be duplicated would devalue them. She would be.. replaceable. It was not a situation she would willingly place herself in. (Though in truth she had no respect for the martial abilities of those with photographic reflexes.)
Then she turned her attention to Lichter.
"In future I can speak with Tyrus. We have.. understanding." Somehow, some way, Ivana and the director of STRIKE had developed a level of trust that allowed them to communicate, despite their initial conflict.. or perhaps because of it.
Ivana wander if perhaps their intense focus on out maneuvering the other had lead them to meditate upon the personalities of their opposite number, and thus come to understand one another.
To the Shogun such an understanding between opposing warriors seemed logical.
"Some trust.. it is necessary for success. I agree with this."
Klaus acknowledged the Shogun's response with a slow nod in her direction.
"Splendid. STRIKE makes for a valuable resource. It's a shame that in a perfect world they aren't necessary."
He looked back to the other two members of his Consortium, his crafty eyes betraying no emotion.
"Anything to add, Raysh-al Shaytan? Lord Kai?" he inquired, leaning back in the chair.
I smile, this admirable young man indeed possesses the qualities of a leader. "I too concur on this subject, and I too regard you all with some bit of trust." All of you but Raysh, I added mentally. As the leader of a nation I must deal with things with caution unless those things prove otherwise. Ivana? She's dangerous yes, but smart enough not to incur my wraith face to face, but Raysh's little remark about burning things puts me on the edge with him. I remain optimistic of course, these are my comrades and they will be treated like such, and I can only hope that our " bond" will only strengthen with time.
Please Log In to post.