Description: His name: Potemkin. His type: a genetically gifted titan bound into an experimental supersuit. Recent history: a crash landing at the Fairchild Air Force Base after a thirty-one hour flight from the nation of Zepp. Incidental data: The ship, with the man who flew her, disappeared from the radar screen for twenty-four hours... But the shrouds that cover mysteries are not always made out of a tarpaulin, as General Dickinson will soon find out on the other side of the tarmac floor in the Goldlewis Zone.
"So what's the order of events, Lieutenant."
The question comes from General Goldlewis Dickerson. The general is a large, wide-set man. He wears a brown military-style jacket laden with badges on the arms, a pale shirt with stars on the collar, a deer skull necklace, brown cowboy-style chaps, a yellow tie, brown gloves with horseshoes on the tops and thick boots. The stout man has white hair and a thick beard. He is wearing a pair of glasses with the left side blacked out with a lipstick mark, silver bolts and small text on it. Behind him is a massive coffin, labeled 'Area 51' that he keeps a hold of on a chain. He was standing out by the landing pad at Fairchild Air Force Base. Normally, he preferred to stick close to his Nevada bases, but the guests today had unique aerial craft. ANd here at Fairchild?
They were well equipped for the Zepp Republic's unique transportation.
STanding by the landing pad, Goldlewis had his support staff on standby; a young, pale lieutenant quickly reviews his clipboard. "Yes sir. The aircraft from the nation of Zepp will arrive, bringing over the envoys from Zepp. We will make our introductions, and show the exchange of gifts." The lieutenant gestures at a table of appetizers and such on a small table not far from the landing site. Goldlewis immediately begins to saunter towards the spread, as the officer continues. "After which, we will tour the hangar, showing some of the recent breakthroughs in chi-technology. During this time, we will then move on discussing how the Zepp Republic can find itself-" "I'm sorry to interrupt, Lieutenant, but I have a question." The General states firmly, his eye going wide as he reaches the table. The Lieutenant nods. "Certainly, sir, I will be happy to answer anything-"
"Why are there boiled beets and decorative tuber-based jewelry on the table, Lieutenant?"
That same single officer sheepishly steps forward, doing his best to conceal the white-faced terror on his face. "We- Zepp was an isolated, slave-based eastern European culture, with a strong emphasis on technological research, and being extremely isolated and resistant to intelligence reports. Based on our records, the primary cultural identity of Zepp is beets, bread, and brotherhood-" Goldlewis's blood runs cold, as he stares at the display. "What the Sam Hill- I can't give these over as gifts. What kind of squirrel-brained idiot dragged this out of the depths of the dumbest cold war cartoon? The envoy's due to arrive in T-minus 5 minutes. If you don't figure out the nuances of Zepp culture in 15 god damned minutes and give some kind of sign of respect, You'll be processing weather metrics in Alaska until the next damned administration. Dismissed, Lieutenant." The general facepalms, wiping his beard swiftly as the officer quickly retreats, trying to figure out -something- in time. The coffin chained to him pops the lid open subtly. One of the soldiers on staff asks out loud. "Do we want to keep the beets out, sir, just in case-" Goldlewis scoops the entire spread, and dumps it into his coffin in one great sweeps of his arm.
"For the sake of the United States." Goldlewis states with the utmost seriousness. "I will not insult our hosts with provincial perspectives on modern, industrialized Republics."
Fifteen minutes ago...
"The Chi-Tek Engine has been loaded and charged. I'll certainly interested in what they have to show us."
"Understood. I will make the delivery and speak on your behalf. Your instructions are clear and have been received."
The first speaker does so via holographic projection. A tall man in a bright green military coat and hat studded with gold and bearing a sharp hawk nosed visage with stark white eyes and a giant almost sharp looking protruding mustache.
Well to say Potemkin is a walking fortress is an understatement. So inhumanly large he might well be taken as a Darkstalker and not a normal man but a man he is, if a strange anomaly of one. His mutated physique creaks and strains against his green uniform - itself a limiter suit of chi tek customized so well that at first glance it seems merely a very stressed uniform aside from the two reactor coolants in compressed state on his upper toso and upper back. He looks on, also with white glowing eyes, gripping his helmet in massive armored gauntlets, themselves a work of chi-tek weaponry.
His face is broad, neck tree trunk like, demeanor noble and calm. Expectant. Soon, however, it vanishes from sight as he brings down his helmet and the the helm and armored face-plate instead cements a more robotic appearence though he is indeed flesh and blood.
"We will be touching down shortly." his deep voice rumbles as the helmet settles down and red glowering optics light up and begin transmitting readouts from the ships system.
"Understood." responds President Gabriel. "Keep me posted."
Right on time, the Zepp VTOL soars into view. A work of 'industrial militarized complex' art, it turns in place and begins descending towards the landing area, massive cargo hold beginning to open up and slowly revealing the immense frame of the Zepp born juggernaut. A gigantic metal crate emblazoned with Zepp's symbol upon it is shouldered by one of his immense arms and the very air seems to rumble as the ship finally touches down with the ramp to the cargo hold opening settling onto the tarmac.
Goldlewis stands fast, as the VTOL comes into view.
Shading his eyes, he watches as it lands. As the cargo hold opens up, the general is apprehensive. In the US, usually when something like that came out of a VTOL, it was something like APC or Tank. And in a way, it is. It just so happens that the tank is a towering figure of such impressive stature, that Goldlewis takes off his eyepatch to make sure he was seeing clearly. Jaw dropping slightly, he looks wide-eyed for a stunned moment. After a moment, the staff around him makes a soft coughing sound.
"... Sir... introductions..."
"Ahem. Mmmph." He clears his throat hastily, replacing his eyepatch. "You must be Potemkin. Your dossier proceeds you." He states with a formal, diplomatic air. "Allow me to be the first to introduce you to this fine country. I am General Goldlewis Dickinson, Security of Defense of the United States." The man hoists the coffin over his shoulder, and extends a hand out to shake the representative. "Hell of a specimen you have there, the aircraft I mean. I've seen VTOL's move like that with some of the research we've done down in Nevada, but never so butter smooth." There is a tinge of almost nerdy awe at the machine. "If you don't mind me asking..."
"Is this powered by that Chi-Tek I've heard about?"
The massive gauntled fist seems to swallow up Goldlewis' own as the handshake is accepted. But not by much. Let's be frank. Goldlewis is a giant by any definition of the word and comparisons to other giants and Potemkin takes mental stock of this as well. His expression is hidden but he purses his lips, impressed by what he already perceives of the mans strength and his decorum.
"Secretary Dickinson." he rumbles in acknowledgement while also nodding his head. "It is good to finally meet you. Thank you for this opportunity.."
That coffin is given a sidelong glance but Goldlewis has already beaten him to the first set of questions and so he releases the large mans hand and steps back, moving slightly to the side to allow a better view of the VTOL.
"Yes." he confirms, "It is an early test model for a future project that I will be personally responsible for piloting. "
With a loud *BOOM*, despite some effort at being gentle, Potemkin sets the crate he was carrying down and gestures to it. "I have brought another example for you. A gift, whose use is especially configured for you. I hope you will find it useful."
It is a powerful handshake, between powerful men.
Nodding in tandem with the titan, Secretary Dickinson's voice increases by a slight octave. "A prototype? Very impressive." He is only just able to keep up with the man's strength, before he releases. As Potemkin turns to the other crate, he briefly shakes out the hand a moment, tightening his own grip on the chain. "But the pleasure is all mine. I consider it important that democracies across the world work together in promoting peace, freedom, and unity." When Potemkin mentions the gift, he straightens his posture, his jaw tightening as he maintains composure.
Trying not to draw attention to the Lieutenant running across the flattop, with a briefcase.
Goldlewis steps forward at the great rumble, keeping poised as he looks at it. "A gift, configured for me? How generous, and thorough too. Now I must note, any gifts I receive, I must receive on behalf of the United States. Our folks at Congress sometimes frown on government officials accepting gifts from foreign nationals. But, well." He steps aside a bit, feebly doing his best at blocking the line of sight between Potemkin and the Lieutenant, who had just barely reached the table. Thundering with the steps, he sticks his gut out, watching the crate as he tugs his beard.
"You've gone and piqued my curiosity there, hoss."
Fortunantely for Goldlewis - or perhaps more fortunantely for the unfortunate Lieutenant, Potemkin doesn't notice the scrambling or antics and Goldlewis' big gut does more then an ample job of hiding anything from the other giants peropheral vision, height advantage or no. Instead, Potemkin focuses his attention onto the crate itself, searching for the controls of the release mechanism..and then finally finding it.
"I understand. Protocol must be maintained. I wouldn't want to put anyone in a compromising situation."
He finally pushes a button and the case begins to unlock itself and then retract its outer casings, pulling back and disassembling neatly to reveal--
An extremely massive and high tech looking barbecue grill emblazoned with the U.S. seal on the front and a partially exposed teched out looking power-source connected via conduits and platings not to dissimilar to Potemkin's own suits reactor. The device attached to the gril, replacing where one might normally presume a propane tank to be utilized. Cause..America..hot dogs..barbecue..fireworks...fourth of july..Goldlewis.. Yes. Of course this is a gift to give. He thought of this himself.
"It will make grill the tastiest of hot dogs." he says, deadpan and completely serious. "The Chi-Tek involved here will regulate the temperatures and simulate authentic .. 'backyard grilling'." he pauses and then adds, "It's quite safe."
Goldlewis's eye bulges as he looks upon the device revealed.
Instinctively, he covers his mouth, barely able to stop the rush of water from dribbling over his lips. The raw, brutalist execution. Goldlewis walks unconsciously to the machine, the siren song of the potential dominating his mind and senses. "You used the limitless potential of Chi-Tek to master grilling?" He asks outloud with childlike wonder and innocence. Now, even he doesn't notice the lone Lieutenant that was setting up at the presentation table. Goldlewis releases his mouth, and immediately drops the coffin behind him with a hearty, booming thump. Both hands liberated, he runs his hands over the grill, inspecting it with the cautious eye that had many time before oversaw the greatest of Lockheed engineering. And even then, he can only murmur in awe. "By the grace of God and everything below, can you imagine the quality of high quality kosher beef hot dogs grilled to perfection in with simulated propane and propane accessories... I can only imagine the depth of features and functions, the absolute control you can leverage..." And then, a voice rises up from the staff.
"Does it simulate charcoal?"
Goldlewis looks over his shoulder, his expression as serene and calm as the still waters upon a mountain valley. The soldier is quick to straighten his back. "I mean, sometimes you want to do pork chops with charcoal, or even a mesquite-" "Soldier." The general states formally, pointing off to the distance. "I need you get to the Commissary ASAP. And I need you to get an apron, tongs, as many brats, steaks, and scallops you can procure, that is an order. It's a vital matter of national security." The soldier salutes, and Goldlewis returns it. Dizzy from the potential barbaque, he returns to the coffin, hefting it up by the chain. "As for matters of professional curtesy, I must test it out to the full extent, you understand." Goldlewis hastily adds, tugging at his beard in dreamy passion. "This makes this an opportune time to return the favor with... with..." And Goldlewis seems to deflate slightly.
The Lieutenant stands behind the briefcase on the table, ready to reveal what's within with a nervous smile.
"It can." confirms Potemkin, "And if you wish to detach the power components and run it as a traditional grill, you will find it possible to do so. I understand that more conservative elements may simply want a traditional method of having their food prepared and so it will function to allow that. Instructions are provided."
And let's face it - better provide that then have them break it as he knows good and well that once the moment of awe has passed they will likely be attempting to break the whole thing apart to figure out how it works for their own chi-tek research. In fact...Zepp may be counting on that.
"Your gift?" Potemkin adds, eyebrows raising behind his faceplate and his glowering robotic gaze turning now towards the nervous Lieutenant in expectation.
Goldlewis's expression is stoic, as the Lieutenant nods along.
"This was a specially selected gift, on behalf of the whole of the UNited States and us here at Fairchild Air Force Base. See, when you come and visit here, you typically have different souvenirs- I mean, you can think of it as a souvenir of your visit!" Because it was a souvenir. From the gift shop. Of course, he doesn't add that part. He had a very good reason to have this. And yet, as he pops the briefcase open, he reveals the gift within, to the envoy of Zepp.
It's a pencil case.
Goldlewis's expression, if it can be believed, somehow becomes even more stoic than before, the features of Goldlewis achieving nearly granite limits. THe Lieutenant continues his pitch, trying very hard not to look at the general's becalmed presence. "What we have here is a reinforced polyamine case, forged with buckyball technology to carefully craft the resin molecule by molecule to ensure that it is practically impossible to shatter. See, when we were driving to get people to the moon, we worked hard to make sure we could have not only pencils to survive in the harsh environment of space, but that even in the most dramatic accidents or impacts, that the case would be able to survive!" The officer opens the case. Inside are twelve #2 yellow pencils, carefully sharpened to a neat point, and bearing clean pink erasers at the end. Drawing one up, he holds it out, giving it a sales flourish that would make even the most shrewd gem merchant blush. "These pencils do the impossible. Practically unbreakable, no matter the strength and power of the user, and yet easily sharpened by the simplest of sharpeners, mechanical or otherwise!" He grabs the dip, and tries to bend it. Straining and grunting, he either is trying his best to snap it, or is a very good actor. Smiling, he holds it out. "Here, you take it! Go on! T-t-try to break it!" His eyes dart around.
If Goldlewis's expression could be any more calm and stoic, it would very likely break the boundaries of reality, shattering all the world into a singularity of a man grimacing sternly.
Potemkin's rumble is non commital. Sort of like attempting to gauge the personality of an earthquake or slumbering volcano. You simply can't attribute an emotion to those things and such is the rumble from the behemoth as he listens and studies the...gift. Finally he intones, "I see.." Still nothing. No emotional response. This is very well about to be an unprecedent disaster, isn't it.
As requested, he reaches forward with fingers likely the size of the poor Lieutenants legs and carefully plucks the pencil forth with all the delicacy of someone attempting to pick up a dry leaf. He balances it upon a finger and then brings another finger in to carefully grip it with the deftness and agility one usually associates with..artists? A strange sort of mastery of the tool that is now evident.
But then the true test. He reaches over with it towards the side of the opened Zepp cargo crate. Naturally not intending to actually write upon it but to simply test the pressure of the pencil. To see if it can withstand the behemoths as he attempts use it by pressing the lead and the pencil against the metal of the case as if he were about to sign his own name.
Potemkin may have experienced the absolute extremes of man's physicality against machine.
The endless strain of flesh against steel. Muscle against metal. The raw, unstoppable force hitting the bulwark against the unmovable object. There was strength, there was power. Goldlewis and the Lieutenant watch with apprehension, the anticipation of how the envoy would react to such a simple gift. In the face of the flawless offering of a grill, mere school supplies seemed like the most heinous of insults. As he brings the tool to the side of the crate, a mere twig to the pure strength and size of Potemkin, the duo wince as he brings it upon the side of the crate.
And yet, it would not break.
The precise point, not quite graphic but a similar, sturdier carbon-based point, touches on the metal. It is not to write. But as the power is brought down upon it, it's like an extension of Potemkin's own form. Grace, long locked away in quivering strength, finally finds its catalyst, it's point. The foundations of expression, whether in the craftsmenship of sketches, of etchings, meet in the graceful balance to Potemkin's own heart and mind. Poetry. Prose. Even the simple reflective thoughts could flow out, a means for the fountain of the soul and spirit to pour out. The pencil does not break. It will not break, and the tip will not splinter. It was elegant, but powerful. Graceful, but firm.
"We also got them in different colors too, like red and blue!" The Lieutenant pipes up cheerfully.
It's like somebody read his profile. An indestructable pencil cast. Pencils that can withstand his writing pressure. He likes it. He really likes it.
"Well done. I will take some in blue and red if you have them." he rumbles with good cheer buried in the vastness of his deep voice. "Thank you. I am touched that you have all considered such a thoughtful gift. I will have to be sure and send you an image of the first piece of art I draw using these, presuming I find the time soon as there's many duties I am behind on."
He turns, handing the pencil back to the Lieutenant. "You have my thanks, Secretary Dickinson as does your assistant."
He doesn't even realize he probably just saved this mans life.
Goldlewis's expression slowly relaxes, and he realizes that this man has saved the day.
It was incredible to consider the miracle that had taken place. The very direction of diplomatic relations might have been salvaged by the quick thinking of this man. "You can go get the full set for our guest, Lieutenant." Goldlewis says in deferrence, not sure if the man was brilliant, or lucky. To be honest, neither did the Lieutenant, who was quick to collect up the set, and leave to procure the rest. With the commissary crew not back yet, and the pencil operation underway, Goldlewis clears his throat, and heaves up the coffin. "While the boys get together our stuff for art and cooking, that gives us a chance to review the Chi-Tek in Hangar B over there." Goldlewis strides along, leading the way to the hangar. "The nature of this meeting is diplomatic. Let me be direct. There are some serious concerns going in Japan right now, and it's tied to the aftermath of the Gears War, especially with the damage to the environmental leylines in the whole island. Now I know some parts of the report was retracted that I sent you, but, hell." Goldlewis takes a long look back at the VTOL, before reaching the wide double doors of the hangar.
"You probably know more about what it means than we do."
Goldlewis grips one of the doors outside the hangar; designed to be opened by a team of men or motorized assistance. The general felt he could save time. As he heaves it open with one hand, he continues. "The whole situation in Japan is horrible. Have you heard about the whole Illyria situation? I assume Zepp has been monitoring how, well, the rest of the world has been treating them. There's a lot of bad blood between the United Nations and Illyria, and I think the whole thing has been handled horribly. And the thing is, that sets an example on how other countries expect to be treated. Zepp. Japan. Even the Good Old USA is looking at what the Novus Orbis Librarium does when you're on the wrong side of history. It makes it hard to work together." Goldlewis takes a moment. Catching his breath, he switches arms, hefting the coffin on the other shoulder.
"But even the strongest country can't do everything by itself, you understand hoss?
The very tarmac rumbles from the movements of both behemoths as Potemkin falls into an steady shuddering walk just behind Goldlewis. He listens, certainly, but his attention is also partially on that coffin. Fortunantley his goggles go a long ways towars hiding what he's actually looking at but the urge to have that thing scanned is rising.
Diplomatic courtesy holds out and he refrains from any such invasive attempts and instead fully redirects his attention onto Goldlewis, especially at mention of the situation in Japan and at mention of Illyria he grimaces - the expression hidden by his helmet but visible by the subtle tightening of the multiple tonnage of his physique.
"Where to begin.." he muses aloud, finally, as Goldlewis finishes. "You are correct on everything you have mentioned. These situations are..complicated. I will say this: We are indeed monitoring all of the mentioned situations and there are troubling trends arising." He pauses and then shakes his head before continuing, "We were involved in both crisis that you mention. In fact, at one point, Zepp was considering permitting the NOL to set up one of their bases within our borders and allowing them jurisdiction. I met a Colonel Kagura Mutsuki and we brokered an agreement. We even assisted them in defending one of their information houses when the NOL and the Sacred Order was attempting to 'work together' to address the situation with the wild fey in what is now Illyria. We discovered, quickly, the darker elements of the NOL as they were planning on betraying the Sacred Order and killing any who did not join them, following the end of the operation and had kidnapped the command gear, Dizzy."
The giant takes a deep breath, swelling his huge chest and shaking his head, "President Gabriel withdrew his support of the NOL following that and we have not been on ideal terms since. Given that this information fell into the hands of the Sacred Order it is a small wonder that they sought refuge within Illyria - both to protect themselves and prevent the NOL from getting control over the various old-world magical technology.."
He shakes his head again and then lifts a hand up and gestures, "As to Japan..I was there during that conflict as well. It is interesting you mentioned the damage to the leylines. I may have some information for you - or at least know of an individual you may want to keep an eye out for.."
Goldlewis grunts as he pulls with the other hand, letting Potemkin explain the sorry affair.
"It's a real messy divorce, and it's bad enough the NOL got the whole world in with the dirty laundry." Goldlewis says with a huff. "We at the United States are getting pushback on setting up a diplomatic mission in Illyria; there's some real nasty opinions and fake news about the whole Gear/Human relationship there. Now I almost got this door here, and don't lose that thought on that individual, but this is why I think it's real important that Zepp help us out here." The hanger reveals a number of posts, nearly as tall as the hangar itself, spread along a tile-like grid across the hanger. There is a booth, where there is a number of switches and dials. In the middle of the hangar.
Well, it's the US counterpart to what Potemkin flew in.
It is primitive, to say the least. It looks something like a gyrocopter, with a corkscrew-like propeller on top. It looks suspiciously like Leonardo Da Vinci's own research into chi-tek. It's even made partially out of wood. Goldlewis waddles to the small booth, and slams his coffin upright beside it. "This is about as far as we got on the VTOL personal carrier stuff. We have a chi-breeder engine in the base, which uses a seeder unit in the center to draw out ambient chi. In theory, it's a reactionless drive that could run forever. In practice? Well. We had to use wood because the metal would fuse with it; it's simulated living wood too; see if the drive draws living energy, well, it's not good for the pilots. We got a black box in there to keep the computer system from getting destroyed by the chi feeder, and we can fly it remotely here, no need for a pilot. FOr now. " Goldlewis turns a switch. There is a low humming sound. And it hums. And hums.
Goldlewis leans against the upright coffin a bit, as he turns back over to Potemkin. "It's going to take a while to warm up; once this green light turns on here, we'll be able to fly it around for a bit. I think the message is pretty clear, hoss. Outside of Gear research, the United States is woefully behind on using chi energy as a power and technological source. Goldlewis looks out at the gyrocopter, as it continues to hum. "Zepp is the world experts on the scientific research of chi and chi technology. And it comes to my attention that not only the rest of the world doesn't realize it, but there are people in the world who want to suppress. Or worse, shackle it. And that's wrong." There is a pause, as the humming continues. "When I sent this invitation to President Gabriel, I wanted to show you how much we are like children out here. The NOL wants to confine the artifacts in the world, and keep it away. ANd they are fine at that sometimes, but... it's becoming more clear to me, between them and the United Nations, that there is too much corruption, too many bad actors working at the head. It's stopping good people from stepping up." There is another pause from Goldlewis, as he tries to find the right words. "It's my opinion, based on our meeting so far, and communications between our presidents... that Zepp is good people."
"And I want to help you country help the world, hoss."
It's a good start. But one meeting isn't going to be sufficient to get countries to commit to sharing state secrets and Potemkin knows..and Secretary General Dickinson knows this. Better then him, frankly, as politics is not Potemkin's arena. He's here on behalf of Gabriel but though he's sincere..there is much that he's already rehearsed to prepare for this and it's thus far going as he anticipated. Fortunantely.
I appreciate your vote of confidence, Mr. Secretary. However I must be frank with you on two fronts. First, Zepp's understanding of Chi-Tek did not come without a price. It is built on the backs of experiments and research and development done during its time as a dictatorship during the heyday of the Communist Bloc. I was one of those slave soldiers and my abilities were heavily studied along with others to experiment on the production of weaponry and the potential to create super soldiers. Most of those experiments failed, many did not. What we've achieved since then is still but the tip of the iceberg compared to what can be done and what was being aimed for. There is much knowledge that cannot be released to the world and that has much blood attached to it."
There is a frown now as he turns from studying the experimental craft, "And the other issue is that we but a neophyte republic. Our needs and attention are inward, securing our own security and stability. In recent memory I have had to step in on no less then two attempts to destablize our growing government. Helping the world is a noble cause but we can't help the world until we are able to stand without our legs shaking beneath us."
Goldlewis listens, and Potemkin explains the price of Zepp's advancement.
He is calm, respectful as he listens. BUt forlorn. Zepp's story isn't a new one. It might be a bit fantastic in ways. But there is an all too familiar story in it. "I would whole-heartedly offer a hand in helping, but well, I can't deny that America has a somewhat unfortunate reputation on the matter of nation building." Goldlewis states informally. "And I understand how important it is to be able to stand on your own two feet. At the same time..." Goldlewis was a little better at the political side. But he was a general first. He cocks his head, as the damned machine continues to hum, with no progress shown.
"What do you think Zepp needs?"
Goldlewis tugs his beard, looking at the console on the booth. "Not from nations, from governments. But from people? You mentioned you knew an individual." Goldlewis asks, as the booth begins to hum. With a brief flicker of impatience, the general gives a pat. The humming -stops-, and the lights flicker on the cabinet. GOldlewis holds his breath. THe coffin lid shifts slightly, and a blue hand extends out, touching somewhere behind the cabinet. The lights and humming returns, and Goldlewis exhales. "Sometimes, nations are the worst way to help people. But individuals?"
"Individuals can make a whole world of a difference."
Okay so he's not supposed to ask about that? Potemkin stares as the blue hand extends out and a flash of light dances across the readouts on his goggles. His mouth quirks into a look of confusion behind the covering of his faceplate. His body just stands there stoically.
"Uh." he rumbles, clearly caught off guard and not sure what direction to move in. He opts for choosing to ignore that for a moment longer and instead focuses his attention on Goldlewis inquiry. It's a good question. What type of people are needed to build a strong nation?
"Anji Mito.." he answers, somewhat indirectly, "Does that name sound familiar? He is a japanese man o some considerablreskill and ability and seemingly knowledge of chi. He infilitrated a facility that we were decommissioning in search of information. I caught him and after some... 'discussion' I was able to persuade him to leave."
He grunts at that letting that sit for a second before adding, "But before he did he shared that he was investigating what he called strange occurances involving chi. He described it as chi surging. I think I know what he's talking about. I've felt something unusual myself in the heat of battle. A strange interference from types of chi that I am not normally accoustemed to. Someting disruptive. It's possible this began only after the destruction that took place at Mt. Fuji. This Anji Mito is touring the world, searching for answers and allies..."
Why, even Goldlewis doesn't seem to notice it.
"Anji Mito..." Goldlewis repeats, staring at the panel, as the gyrocopter continues to hum. "So. Anji Mito is investigating the same thing. Very interesting. When the Command Gear Justice unleashes her nuclear laser into Mt. Fuji, it did untold damage to the leyline network around the island. Well. Untold is a bit of a dramatic language. We are finding out what that damage is, and working with Japan in helping discover it. While they are open to discussions because of our backing of Japan in the Gears War, they are very wary about foreign government agencies uncovering their secrets. But those chi outbreaks... may be tied to the leyline damage. We think it might be a leak, but, well, we need to find the source." Goldlewis finds the opportunity, and begins to take it. "We are organizing a team to work on it."
The air takes a sort of sales pitch tone. "I've spoken with Major Charlie Nash, and he reaching out to Ryu Hayabusa and Heidern of the Ikari Warriors. We are looking to organize the first citizens of the world, the do-gooders against the likes of international terrorist organizations, into an independent organization supported by the nations of the world. I think if Anji is looking to find answers, he may be the kind of character that would fit in with us. And well." Goldlewis clears his throat, as finally, the green light flashes on. "Oh, it's ready." He says, as he begins to flick switches on the panel. "I believe someone like you would fit in too. You're a good man, Potemkin. Honorable. Respectful. Dutiful. I praised quite a bit on the technological poweress of your country. But I saw how you handled those pencils." The propeller blades begin to spin, the chi-tek engine finally turning over into a start.
"I think the world needs an opportunity to see more of the heart and character of Zepp instead, don't you think?
"With the NOL based in Southtown, they might be placing pressure on the Japanese government regarding anything dealing with the supernatural. Southtown is effectively ground zero for all manner of disturbances.."
Potemkin falls silent to allow Goldlewis to make the pitch. He considers the words carefully. Mulling them over and pondering them with the weightiness dsue both his station and mannerisms. He merely gives a grunt of acknowledgement as Goldlewis address his character. It seems the Secretary can read him like a book. The giant is indeed a warrior-poet of sorts. Despite his vast girth his fists are not for killing and his heart for the making of the arts..
"..I see." he finally rumbles, sounding non committal with this initial response, "So you seek to replace or the Sacred Order or step over the likes of Interpol? There was once a time when a task centered around supernatural crisis would have fallen to them but...no this is more then just that yes. International terrorists. So answer this then.."
He brings a finger up to his helmet, mimcing the gesture of rubbing his jaw even though he can't quite reach it, "How will you reconcile the intersts of your country with the interests of the world? As Secretary General, your priorities must ever be with the needs of the United States just as my loyalty must remain with Zepp. How can your group be an independant organization when the priorities of its members allegiances and affliations are so disparate and orders are handed down to see to their homelands agendas?"
THe gyrocopter begins to take into the air within the hangar.
Goldlewis makes sure to keep himself positioned to allow Potemkin to watch him fly it. As he takes the controls, he is gentle with the levers and dials, adjusting it. And all the time, listening. The gyrocopter rises up, then down, and then tilts side to side. All while listening to Potemkin's rebuttal. He smirks slightly at the challenge. A giant in intellect as much as in body and in spirit. "Not step on, hoss." He states.
The gyrocopter begins to make circles around the hangar. "My goal is to unite champions across the world that are dedicated to stopping the villains of the world. The Shadaloos, the Black Dragons. I have looked at what good men and women have done in the face of corruption. The Sacred Order acted in the face of corruption. An agent in Interpol, named Chun-Li, left the organization after having been betrayed to Shadaloo, where she was kidnapped, tortured, and forced into the psychic armies of the terrorist organization. Delta Red, a special forces group from Great Britain, had gone rogue to join the Ikari Warriors. Good people, with good reasons, are dividing themselves, and in their place are sycophants and malcontents. As to how I am going to keep them independent?" He begins to dance his fingers on the controls, making steady half-circle motions.
"By making sure it's not mine."
The gyrocopter begins to sway side to side, making figure eights in the air, as Goldlewis continues to navigate it. "Oh, I'm throwing my weight around to get this together. But it will not be commanded by me, or the United Nations. It will manage and administrate itself, with a multinational team. And my vision is that all these good guys will comes together, and speak freely about the villains in the world, and how to act. Where every villain is shared, and every ally is there to assist. A league of justice, to avenge against the wrongdoers in the world. A group dedicated to fighting injustice. And at the same time, having men like you who can constantly question and challenge what's right. To keep perspective, to keep the good men of the world from being consumed by their vengeance. It won't be totally free. By having oversight from the outside world, with transparency, it'll keep itself legitimate. Especially with folks from different governments. United States. Japan. Zepp. Maybe even Illyria." A twinkle flashes in his good eye, as the gyrocopter flies before them, hovering in the air in front of the cabinet. Goldlewis steps aside, motioning for Potemkin. "Want to take the controls? It probably doesn't handle like what you have at home."
"But I think you got the right touch to fly it around."
"I'm afraid that my fingers may lack the precision and delicate touch of yours." Was that a joke? Possibly. You did just see him whirl that pencil around after all but..it was a pencil made to withstand his pressure and he's still nevertheless wearing gauntlets that have fingers as fat as some peoples legs.
But he still takes the offer and steps forward to study the controls and to get a better look at the device and then he lays his fingers onto the controls and after a moment to gather himself and measure his own strength, he begins to attempt to manipulate and move the machine around.
"Your people have done impressive work." he offers, "Chi-Tek is not an easy field and it is incredibly new and furthermore most of the breakthroughs are carefully guarded secrets. The NOL and Illyria are both utilizing and experimenting with technology that is simply Chi-Tek by another name and principle but it all emerges from the same core principles. The United States is moving further along then you give yourselves credit for. I might suggest you consider studies of your local fighters and martial artists and magic users if you have not already involved them."
He pauses for a moment and then says, "Your previous answer satisfies me. I heard the words I wanted to hear and that President Gabriel will want to hear. Transparency. Multinational. Third party oversight. You don't simply want to create another U.N. Security Council."
Despite the size difference, Potemkin can take control.
The controls are actually a little stiff; maybe it was built for the general, who had a reputation for being a little rough. The handling of the UAV is a lot less intuitive than the general made it look; it is a finnicky piece of equipment. The general responds. "We have some contracted organizations looking to support the United States on expanding research to private individuals. We just need to ensure that it meets our humanitarian standards..."
And Potemkin gives the most important answer.
The officer puffs out his chest, and nods firmly. "The U.N. Security Council is a lesson in the limitations and risks of such a group. Thank you, Potemkin." He states firmly, giving a nod and a pat up on Potemkin's shoulder. "You are a wise man, and so is your president to trust a man like you. I think I'll try and find that Anji man too; along with any other individuals you can recommend." As the Gyrocoptor jerks upwards to the roof, the general considers the most important next question. "My men will be returning soon, with the pencils and the barbeque supplies. I need to ask you, hoss..."
"You do take your steaks medium rare, right?"
"Er...no..I prefer medium well or well." offers Potemkin, even knowing he might offend the Secretary's grilling sensibilities. "But this won't be necessary, Mr. Secretary. I appreciate the gift of the art supplies. That is a fantastic gift. You need not extend yourself to go as far as grilling for me."
The giant seems satisfied and sets the controls back down and then after considering it for a longer moment turns to face Goldlewis once more, "I will think more on that but searching for this Anji Mito may very well be a good first step. I will need to bring your full requests and suggestion to President Gabriel and you will have our answer soon." he nods again, accepting the prior compliment and notes, "President Gabriel has taught me much as has fighting besides him in our revolution. I owe him everything. I am sure that his response will be enlightening to us both."
Medium well or... well done.
Goldlewis's expression remains cordial. But deep in his heart, he knows. He knows he must endure. His focus, broken. The lid of the coffin begins to slip. A blue hand begins to emerge. And yet, as the gyrocopter begins to land, he grips the coffin, dragging the lid back in place. "Of course. Medium Well.... to Well Done." He would not ask him politely, but firmly, to leave. He made sure of it himself.
But Potemkin proves himself to be even more diplomatically aware than he thought himself to be.
As Potemkin gracefully evades a diplomatic fallout over the temperature of meat, Goldlewis straightens his back. He barely hides his relief, over the dramatic diplomatic fallout over the nature of overcooked beef. "Well, I understand. It is a long way to Zepp, and those steaks, hot dogs, and burgers take an awful long time to cook and eat, for a pair of men like ourselves." Goldlewis gives a slap across his own belly, and extends his hand out to Potemkin, as he hoists the coffin off the ground onto his back. "Just promise me one thing. No matter what happens, between decisions across our leaders, and the united justice force."
"You'll share your artwork, when it's done, right?"
Indeed, Goldlewis is certainly not about to risk further diplomatic faux pas by telling a guest the right way to enjoy their own food...right? Riiiight?
Not that Potemkin wasn't expecting this potential. He knows how some Americans feel about their grilling and he anticipated this about Goldlewis hence why he selected the gift in the first place and had it commissioned. He may think himself a fool who knows nothing and a clown -- but he has some moments of clarity and insight it seems.
"You are correct." he says after Goldlewis finishes, "I require a substantial amount of food. It can be..eventful..getting enough of it prepared and between the two of us..well." he pauses and then says with his first chuckle accompanying it, "..Perhaps we will need to set aside a fair amount of time and make an event out of it. Maybe..when you inaugurate your justice force.."
He reaches out to accept the hand in another powerful grasp, "I promise you that I will send you the piece of art. I hope you will be satisfied by it."
It is while he is shaking, that the coffin lid slides again.
"I will have it framed in my office. Nothing less deserves it. But since you mentioned it, what is a part of Zepp cuisine?" Goldlewis's mouth waters a bit, as his stomach groans. The blue hand slips quietly to the panel behind him. "See, and this is quite funny, some of the boys thought that people in Zepp only eat beets. I would like to be more mindful on what we ought to be cooking. I mean, I like a good borscht every once in a while, but a man can't live on vegetables alone-"
There is a booming sound.
The coffin lid slides back quietly, as Goldlewis turns around. The gyrocopter is gone. In the roof of the hanger sits a fresh hole. Goldlewis releases Potemkin's hand, and looks to the panel. The lever that controls the vertical access was snapped, and all the way to the 'up'. Goldlewis rubs his face.
"Aw hell, that cost us 40 million in taxpayers dollars."
A well timed Cryptid intervention - or so the rumors say.
It spares Potemkin from needing to make any sort of answer to the comment about beets and the potential ..hilarity..giving that as a gift might have caused. And it also spares him from having to run through any possible Zepp themed menu and possibly embaressing himself - and The Secretary. He didn't see that glowing arm. Really he didn't.
Instead he redirects attention to the disaster of the missing gyrocopter. Thankfully.
"I believe it is best to not distract you with any menu at the moment and to let you..attend to your missing technology. It has been a pleasure, Mr. Secretary. I eagerly anticipate giving my report to President Gabriel and I think you won't have to wait long for a response to your requests and proposals. It will be reviewed and we will be in touch."
He gives a proper salute to the Secretary General and then turns away to begin approaching the Zepp VTOL. His eyes widen slightly and then narrow in abit of relief. He'll be glad to getting back to easier tasks of drawing pictures..and punching things.
Goldlewis pinches his forehead, looking up to the hole.
"Understood... yes." He says distantly. As Potekmin thunders back to his VTOL? He gives a quick scowl at the coffin. And then, Goldlewis lays the coffin down, and takes a seat right on top of it. Bringing a hand to his eyepatch, he projects a holographic display. "This is General Dickinson. The Envoy from Zepp is withdrawing, make sure the airspace is cleared for him. You might see our own CTUAV, make sure you, uh, don't shoot it down this time. What about the gift? You've already got the pencils, and are loading them into the VTOL? Excellent. Yes, I do expect a full supply of meat. Yes, you can have some, I assume you like them medium rare."
There is a pause of solemn silence.
"What's that?" Another pause. "Soldier, I strongly recommend you reconsider your life choices when you come to me. Dismissed." Tapping it again, the holographic display fuzzes out. He gives a long sigh. And then, without looking down on the coffin below him, he says something that doesn't make sense, because nobody is there but the coffin.
"Are you really that starved for attention that you had to...?"
Log created on 22:18:29 08/22/2021 by Goldlewis, and last modified on 12:41:52 08/30/2021.