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Old 12-16-2008, 07:56 AM   #41
Icelander
 
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Default Hart at the luncheon

Hart stands on his own with a plate of food, studiously ignoring the alcoholic beverages. He's wearing a well-turned out uniform, for once, having taken extra time and care with his new ICfJ dress uniform. His face is set in a facade of blank politeness, the mark of an unwilling veteran of the political luncheon.

He exchanges empty platitudes with any dignitaries that approach him and little by little, his instincts begin to overwhelm tiredness of his abused body. This is a collection of powerful and influential people, some of which may be in a position to help him later with his work. It is not only convenient to cultivate them, it is his duty.

Accordingly, Hart turns on his idiosyntratic brand of charm.

Perhaps Hart is not quite into his stride yet when the Deputy Commissioner, making his rounds of the class, reaches #16. Because the DC's stump speech is notably stilted. He skips the bit where he asks "And what did you do before you joined the Imperial Service?", so that the follow-up question "And are you happy with the step so far?" is without context. He doesn't shrink so hesitate from the handshake, but it upsets him so much that he makes a revealing mistake while he does it.

Kendall Port, Deputy Commissioner for Justice (Pegasus Sector)
Welcome to the Commission for Justice, Colonel Hart.
Hart smiles wryly. They've heard of him.

Hart
Thank you, Commissioner.
The Deputy Commissioner smiles a vacuous politician's smile and hurries on to #17.

Hart takes his example and moves on himself, hoping to leave a more happy impression with at least a few people there.

By means of endearingly clumsy gallantry, he coaxes a smile from a bored lady in the uniform of the Political Division of the Colonial Office. He exchanges witticisms with two of the more open-minded instructors from the Academy, without sounding either stilted or forced. Finally, he comes to the happy knot of graduands and family around Kiloni.

At a moment when her brother Victor is fetching another drink, Hart politely diverts him.

Hart (to Victor)
Lieutenant Queldrona, Imperial Navy, is it not?

Oh, excuse me. Victor, I wonder if I might speak with you?


Victor appears somewhat nonplussed, but motions for Hart to continue.

Hart
My name is Hart and I am posted to Rohan with your sister.
Victor
Of course. I am pleased to meet a colleague of my sister.


Victor's answer is guarded, wary. He is unsure of what Hart wants and it is almost as if he dislikes him. He's much too well-bred and polite to indicate that with words or even gestures. If there is any visible sign of it, it lies in his reserve, instead of the warm friendliness with which he greeted other cadets who spoke with him.

Hart
Just so.

I noticed that she is trying to find escorts to the ball for her family. I just wanted to say that I do not have a guest for the ball. It would be a shame to let a guest ticket go unused like that.

I would be honoured to act as an escort for you.
(slight pause)
Or for anyone else from your family who cannot otherwise attend.
Victor blinks in surprise. Whatever he expected, it was not this.
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Last edited by Icelander; 12-16-2008 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 12-16-2008, 08:22 AM   #42
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Location: Newcastle, Australia
Default Re: [IC] Wear a Badge, Carry a Gun

Penny, standing with her uncle and nibbling at her food, manages to give the completely false impression that she is happy to be at the luncheon, something honed from many a party hosted by her parents' whilst she was growing up, as well as the knowledge of etiquette in entirely another area, gained during the course.

Her uncle, who has the same skills, fidgets irritably, due to his distaste for this kind of affair and his unwillingness to hide it.

Penny (sounding annoyed)
Uncle, please.
Perseus (sounding contrite)
Sorry, Pen. It's just that, this is the kind of thing I left the family to get away from. I'll behave. Cross my heart.
To Penny's relief, her uncle behaves himself from then on, charming the people at the luncheon.

One of those people is Bear, who approaches the two of them sometime towards the end of the luncheon.

Penny (to her uncle)
Uncle, this is Dmitri Feodorovich Karapyetchenko, his nickname is 'Bear'
Penny (to Bear)
Bear, this is my uncle Perseus.
Bear (inclining his head)
I'm pleased to meet you, Mr Drake
Perseus (laughing)
Just call me Perseus. Being called 'mister' makes me feel old.
Bear (grinning)
Perseus, then. I came over to ask your niece if she'd save a dance for me at the ball.
Penny smiles.

Penny
I'd be happy too.
Bear smiles back and, thanking her, heads away to mingle with the rest of the people around them.

Penny, diverted by this exchanged, is soon bored again, and she is happy to hear the signal ending the luncheon.

Last edited by t@nya; 12-16-2008 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 12-16-2008, 08:51 AM   #43
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Default Re: [IC] Wear a Badge, Carry a Gun

Having suffered through far too many awards banquets and graduation meals as a detective and father of five Bear had grabbed a light lunch on his way and is now carefully nursing a single (non-alcoholic) drink. After talking to Vomact he spots a black haired, olive skinned woman with a slightly prominent nose set in an attractive dark-eyed face and goes over to her.

Bear (smiling)
Helena! This will be over eventually you know. Let me introduce you to Kiloni before someone snaps up your escort for the ball.
Bear gently but inexorably makes his way through the crowd around Kiloni and her family.

Bear
Kiloni, this is Helena. I know you'll want to introduce her to your brother.

Last edited by jmurrell; 12-16-2008 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 12-16-2008, 09:13 AM   #44
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Default Re: [IC] Wear a Badge, Carry a Gun

Kiloni is standing amidst a group of people, the men who are considerably taller than her. The older woman who is anxiously holding her hand is a little taller than Kiloni. Everyone is dressed impeccably in the most fashionable dress attire. Only the older man has a three piece business suit and the other men have shirts and slacks that are obviously well tailored. They could have stepped out of a magazine shoot. The woman is also dressed fashionably in a business suit with a skirt. It is obvious that they are all related, the resemblances can easily be seen. They are all very attractive and it is obvious that her beauty is a family trait.

Kiloni and her family are having no problems balancing the plate, food and drink. It is obvious they have done this many times before. She and her mother avoid the alcohol, although the men do not, and she takes little food. There is an empty pot on their plates which is used to hold their drinks and they hold it far enough away from themselves and each other so that any danger of it spilling on their clothing is nonexistent. Even in these uncomfortable circumstances they all practice proper manners almost as if they have been drilled in such things all their lives. While Kiloni moves along the crowds she always comes back to her family, sometimes alone and sometimes with other people.For the most part, her family allows the various people to come to them, or be brought to them. There is an indulgent look on her father's face as she moves to and from them. She continues to speak to quite a few people and she greets her new teammates.

Kiloni
Hi Karapyetchenko!
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmurrell

Bear
Kiloni, this is Helena. I know you'll want to introduce her to your brother.
Kiloni (A big smile lights up her face)
Yes! I would love that! They are right over there, c'mon! Are you coming Bear? They would definitely want to meet you!
She excitedly leads them over to her family.

Kiloni
Mummy! Daddy! Guys! This is Helena, she has been gracious enough to allow one of you to escort her to the ball tonight.
Philip (he says as he playfully poses)
Uh-oh! Looks like we are on display!
Donny (laughing good naturedly)
Seriously, you have your choice of a military man, a fire fighter, an athlete and a traveler.
Each of the brother gives her a slight bow as Donny names off her choices. At the last occupation, he bows to her. Then they wait for Helena to decide.

Helena
Oh my! So much to choose from, it's like a smargasboard! Hmm...I think I'll go for...the guy most likely to have the best stories. The fire fighter!
The brothers laugh and pat Philip on the back and shoulders as he pretends to cry tears of joy. Then he approaches Helena.

Philip (offering his arm)
Thank you very much for the honor. If you have some time, perhaps we can get to know each other a little prior to the Ball?
Helena smiles and takes his arm. Together they wander to an area away from the group and they talk privately.

Meanwhile...

Kiloni (with pride)
Oh! Mummy, Daddy, this is Dmitri Feodorovich Karapyetchenko, affectionately known as Bear. Bear, this is Michelle and Marius Queldrone. My parents.
Marius
So...you are one of the people who will be responsible for my daughter's safety. And what are your credentials?
Kiloni
Daddy!


Bear
As members of the same team her safety is a part of my job, yes. Although she is quite capable of taking care of herself. She just doesn't know it yet. My credentials?
Bears draws himself to attention.

Bear
Twelve years as an Imperial Marine, earned the Military Medal. Thirty years on the Blacksburg (Pegasex) Greater Metropolitan Police Force, most recently as Senior Detective and Academy instructor.......I'll keep an eye on her, sir.
Bear bows slightly and turns to Kiloni.

Bear
I have to go Kiloni. Save me a dance at the ball will you?
Kiloni (with a very embarrassed and apologetic look on her face, she mouths to him "I'm so sorry")
Of course I'm looking forward to it! See you tonight, and thanks again.

Last edited by ladyarcana55; 12-19-2008 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:35 AM   #45
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Default Re: Hart at the luncheon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander

Hart
I noticed that she is trying to find escorts to the ball for her family. I just wanted to say that I do not have a guest for the ball. It would be a shame to let a guest ticket go unused like that.

I would be honoured to act as an escort for you.
(slight pause)
Or for anyone else from your family who cannot otherwise attend.
Victor
That is very gracious of you and I thank you. I believe my mother still requires an escort.
At Victor's suggestion that he escort his mother, Hart starts imperceptably and then nods.

Hart (to Victor)
It shall be my pleasure as well as an honour
Victor motions for Hart to follow him. Hart then follows Victor into the group of people around Kiloni. When he's introduced, he maintains a stiff posture and attentive air, smiling with just the right amount of polite interest.

Victor
Mother, father, this is...another of Kiloni's colleagues. He has graciously offered to escort you, Mother, to the ball tonight.
Kiloni (her excitement impossible to contain)
Yes! Everyone, this is Specter Hart, he's going to be our team leader!
Everyone's interest is suddenly on Hart as everyone's eyes turn to him. Kiloni is blinded by her excitement, she does not notice the intense screening her parents and brothers are giving Hart.

Marius
Oh really? If you are the one with the primary responsibility to keep my little girl, the apple of my eye, my pride and joy, safe then we have a lot to discuss.
Victor
I'm sure we will have that conversation later. I don't believe it is the proper time or place right now.
Marius
Of course, of course. Do forgive me, sir. So, tell me of your background...your credentials? I would love to hear of your vast experiences.
With that Victor moves off to retrieve some drinks for his mother and his sister.

Kiloni
Daddy!
At the subject of Kiloni's safety and Victor's attempt to deflect the discussion, he appears vaguely uncomfortable.

Hart (to Marius)
Graduated sixteenth in the class, sir. Posted Acting Marshal on Rohan on account of tested proficiency and aptitude for leadership and administration.

I'm afraid the Empire selected me on the basis of measured capabilities for the job of enforcing the Imperial Crimes Act on Rohan. They may not have considered whether I was qualified to ensure the safety of your daughter.

They were satisfied that she was able and willing to assume the responsibility for that on her own.

I will do my utmost, sir, to ensure that the Empire did not misplace its trust in her. Or me.
Michelle (Patting Kiloni on the cheek and sounding slightly insulted)
There is no doubt that she is more than capable, or qualified.
Marcus
As her family, it is understandable why we would be...concerned of such things, do forgive us. If she is happy and confident in your experiences and abilities, then that's good enough for me.
Victor (As he walks back to the group with drinks)
Whether we like it or not, she is a big girl now. It is time for us to cut the apron strings and let her live her life.
Kiloni (peering off into the distance)
Oh my gosh! I think that Young Mi and Marina! Hold on!
She runs off and comes back a few minutes later with another young woman.

Kiloni
Everyone, this is Young Mi and Marina! Young Mi, Marina, these are my brothers. Thanks so much, again, for agreeing to escort one of them. Which shall it be?
Young Mi is taken in by Victor's uniform and Marina wants to hear all about Donny's travels. As the brothers talk to their escorts, Kiloni runs off again and comes back with Frances, who by default, will be Marcus' escort.

Last edited by ladyarcana55; 12-16-2008 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 12-16-2008, 02:37 PM   #46
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Default The Graduation Ceremony

It is pleasant at the side of the lake, and the temporary seating is mercifully comfortable. Which is a mercy, because the ceremony proves to be long. The Deputy Commissioner speaks for thirty minutes on the ideals of the new Independent Commission for Justice, and is followed by the Chief Justice of the Imperial Sector Court speaking for twenty minutes about the blessings of justice. The class valedictorian, at least, is both brief and heart-felt.

Cadet Goldek
I'll make this short, because this is the first time I've ever come first in anything, and I don't have any experience of making speeches much longer than "You're nicked, Matey!" There's only one I've got memorised, and that's not appropriate to this occasion.
Chuckles from the cops in the audience.

Cadet Goldek
I'd like to thank the Deputy Commissioner, and through him the Commission, for this opportunity. Not "opportunity", "privilege". I was on the scrap-heap at home, and the Commission has given me a new lease on life. I get to go on feeling collars until I am old and grey...
More chuckles: Goldek grew up on Dante too poor for Eugerione, and when he first arrived on the course he was bald and fat and looked ninety. Imperial medicine has made him look a lot younger, Imperial cosmetology has restored his hair, and he has lost a quarter of his body-weight. He looks 25 years younger than when his classmates met him. "When I am old and grey", apparently a line from a popular song, was a catchphrase of his in class, used to express incredulity and skepticism.

Cadet Goldek
The real privilege is that I, and may I say on behalf of the class "we" get to feel some of the dirtiest collars in the Universe. The greatest villains yet unhung are wandering the streets of every colony, in coats with velvet collars. And we get the privilege of making them safe for children!

How can a man die better?
He bows clumsily, and the applause though not raptured is sincere. Goldek turns and marches to the Chief Justice to take his oath, then to the Deputy Commissioner to receive his badge, which he turns and holds up to the audience. There is applause. After thirty seconds Goldek goes on the the Deputy Commissioner (Investigations) to receive his warrant-card in its black synthetic-manskin holder, to the DC (Personnel) for his cap-badge and commissioning pips, and to the DC (Administration) to have his gun-belt buckled on.

Discreetly, usher drones are drawing drawn the graduands from their places at the left of the audience, and down to a short queue. Each cadet walks across the "stage", taking oath, badge, warrant-card, insignia, and side-arm in turn. Following Goldek's lead, they turn to the audience and hold up their badges in triumph after shaking hands with the Commissioner.

The first ten in the class are allowed time to pass the entire receiving line with the stage to themselves. But directly after Penny Drake raises her badge #12 steps up to take his oath behind her.

Penny Drake
I, Penthesilea Drake, having been warned of the penalties for perjury, do solemnly and sincerely swear that I will be a diligent and honest officer of the Imperial court, and that to the best of my ability I will enforce Imperial justice without fear or favour, and with due regard to the law.
The graduands try increasingly to keep the process flowing smoothly, repeating the oath from memory after the Chief Justice's first prompt. Nevertheless, the ceremony runs over time, and safety-yellow taxis are landing at the gate of Cap Peninsula Park while the process is only up to #86.

Last edited by Agemegos; 04-05-2009 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 12-16-2008, 03:46 PM   #47
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Default Directly after the Graduation Ceremony

The Deputy Commissioner's concluding remarks, welcoming the newly-minted investigators to the calling of a law enforcement officer (which calling most of them have been following for twenty years or more) begins twenty minutes after the ceremony was supposed to end. A few graduates who have taxis waiting, and who have been careful not to return to their seats whence an exit would be conspicuous, slip away behind the laurels as soon as all their classmates are "made".

Kiloni is glad to get out of her seat when the ceremony is done. Her family have all examined her badge and warrant card as she passed them from hand to hand, but only when standing does she get to show them how the warrant card lights up when she puts her finger on the corner, or try the effect of the full ensemble. Her mother puts the badge and warrant card into their holder, and tucks it into Kiloni's breast pocket so that the badge shows like the star of an order of knighthood. He father fiddles to get the cap badge exactly in the middle. Victor takes her commissioning pips, little embroidered patches of the ICfJ badge, and says:

Victor Queldona
Here, Sis, let me show you.
He gives the silver cadet's buttons on Kiloni's cuffs a sharp tug each. A thread snaps, and they come off.

Victor Queldona
Return these to the Principal of your school some time before you ship out. It's tradition.
He then looses the first stitch of the chain-stitch holding the bases of the labels, the chain unravels, and they come free.

Victor Queldona
You send one of these to each parent. Or burn them in front of a photograph, if that's the only way.
He kneels on the grass, and taking her arms one at a time, attaches the commissioning pips through the thread-holes left by the the buttons. The self-darning backings weave the embroidered patches into the fabric of the coat. Victor stands and hugs Kiloni, kissing her on each cheek.

Victor Queldona
And tradition says that your best friend does that for you.
Pictures are taken of various combinations of the family, some with the help of bystanders. In none is a dry eye to be seen.
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:08 PM   #48
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Default Re: Directly after the Graduation Ceremony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos
Kiloni is glad to get out of her seat when the ceremony is done. Her family have all examined her badge and warrant card as she passed them from hand to hand, but only when standing does she get to show them how the warrant card lights up when she puts her finger on the corner, or try the effect of the full ensemble. Her mother puts the badge and warrant card into their holder, and tucks it into Kiloni's breast pocket so that the badge shows like the star of an order of knighthood. He father fiddles to get the cap badge exactly in the middle.
She is more than happy to let them play with the badge and such. She is very excited and it shows. It is also beginning to take a bit of a toll on her, her cheeks hurt from smiling so much and her energy reserve is getting low.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos
Victor takes her commissioning pips, little embroidered patches of the ICfJ badge, and says:

Victor Queldona
Here, Sis, let me show you.
She looks at him surprised and curious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos
He gives the silver cadet's buttons on Kiloni's cuffs a sharp tug each. A thread snaps, and they come off.

Victor Queldona
Return these to the Principal of your school some time before you ship out. It's tradition.
A long, slow gasp comes out of her as she puts her hand out to recieve them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos
He then looses the first stitch of the chain-stitch holding the bases of the labels, the chain unravels, and they come free.

Victor Queldona
You send one of these to each parent. Or burn them in front of a photograph, if that's the only way.
She takes them reverently. She looks at her parents and hands each of them one, tears streaming from her eyes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos
He kneels on the grass, and taking her arms one at a time, attaches the commissioning pips through the thread-holes left by the the buttons. The self-darning backings weave the embroidered patches into the fabric of the coat. Victor stands and hugs Kiloni, kissing her on each cheek.

Victor Queldona
And tradition says that your best friend does that for you.
She was doing really well containing herself, but that was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak. She squeals loudly as she throws herself at her oldest brother and hugs him as hard as she can. She holds onto him for quite a while.

Kiloni (whispers in his ear as she hugs him)
I did it! I really did it!
Victor Queldona (voice brimming with pride)
Yeah you did, sis. Yes you did.
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Old 12-16-2008, 05:16 PM   #49
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Default New Year's Eve Ball, the Palace of the Imperial Minister for Pegasus Sector

A throng of gaily-dressed ball-goers oozes slowly from its vehicles, up the steps of the Main South Front of the Imperial Minister's Palace, through the imposing colonnade, across the giant Rotunda with its thirty-metre dome, and through a long row of etched glass doors into the ballroom, which is as big as a Rugby field. Even here the crowd of three thousand doesn't really have room to dance freely until almost half the people make their way through doors in the west wall into rooms set aside for card games, Go, chess, and social mingles.

At 19:00 the orchestra (which is in a gallery in the middle of the west side) plays the Imperial Anthem, and even the politicians stand to attention. Two minutes are allowed for people to find their partners, and then Verdi's Song of the Hebrew Slaves from Nabucco is played as a waltz. In honour of the occasion the Minister dances the first dance with the Deputy Commissioner for Justice. After a little confusion over who is going to lead that goes off satisfactorily.

Dancing continues with due intervals until the Supper March is played at 21:30. Couples, foursomes, and sixes file into the supper-garden for refreshment and a cool drink. The ICfJ graduates have had nothing substantial since noon, and have been dancing for two hours. They eat hungrily, with a notable fondness for iced savoury mousse (five flavours are on offer) followed by Pche Melba.

After supper the dances are a bit less stately (though nothing like the vigorous pasos and jives that will be being danced at private parties at this time of night). A good many of the less keen and accomplished dancers, feeling that they have put in the required appearance, choose to stay in the garden, or to move to the side rooms, and there is space for the better dancers to quickstep and tango. After the final tango there is a pause of several minutes, and then the percussionist plays the twelve chimes of midnight on a deep tubular bell. After a general shout of

Omnes
Happy New Year!
a dozen bagpipers who have marched onto the south dais play Auld Lang Syne, extra-slow. Everyone starts singing along, and the Imperial military types keep it up for four verses and choruses.

Omnes (singing)
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o' auld lang syne?
Imperial naval officers, Imperial marines, the stewards, and the Minister (continuing to sing)
And for auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp!
And surely I'll be mine!
And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And for auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes
And pu'd the gowans fine;
But we've wander'd mony a weary foot
Sin auld lang syne.

And for auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl'd i' the burn,
Frae mornin' sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin auld lang syne.

And for auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And there's a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak a right guid willy waught,
For auld lang syne.

And for auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o' auld lang syne?
The pipers march down the dance-floor playing a reprise, the crowd parting to let them pass. A lone bugler in the orchestra-gallery plays The Last Post so that its strains interweave with the pipes. The military types come to attention, but being indoors and without their hats they do not salute.

The party-goers mill about, and ebb away gradually after the pipers: some figuring quietly that there is still time to catch the tail end of a fun party in Administrative County. In a corner an impromptu chorus of Marines officers, feeling tired and emotional, sing The Tennessee Waltz capella, as the lights are slowly dimmed.

The Agent of the King of Metheglin (loud enough to be overheard).
No-one else ends a party like the Imperials.
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Discussion of FLAT BLACK

Last edited by Agemegos; 12-19-2008 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 12-17-2008, 03:28 AM   #50
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Default Hart at the Minister's Ball

Hart leads his guest, Michelle Queldrona, out for the first waltz. Surprisingly, Hart is a competent dancer. His style is somewhat old-fashioned and no one could accuse him of innovation, but he has an instinct for the way his partner wants to go and a deft touch at leading. His manners feel archaic and stiff to any Imperial or member of the Suite, but he imbues his formality with a hint of endearing coyness. Even if one had heard unsavoury tales, its hard to believe that behind the avuncular and affable manner there could really lurk someone responsible for decades of brutal repression ofa whole people.

After the first waltz, Hart and Michelle have time for two more dances before he is buttonholed by towering factory-wall of a man in a beautifully-cut black tailcoat and white tie that would have been acceptable (if conventional rather than fashionable) at any diplomatic ball for eleven hundred years. He is wearing a collar of turquoise and gold plaques, and a large gold signet with a lapis lazuli intaglio. And, rather more strangely, an elaborate mask of gold, silver, polished copper, lapis-lazuli, and blue opals that completely covers his face.

Jorge Borger (reaching for a handshake)
Colonel Hart? I'm Jorge Borger, Agent for the League of Rohan.
His handshake is diplomatic. Hart gets the impression that in private life he might like to crush hands. Harts own handshake is firm and accompanied by what looks like a heartfelt smile.

Hart (shaking hands)
Delighted, Sir. Though it's 'Investigator' Hart now, I suppose.
Jorge Borger
Pah! Ranks above lieutenant are retained in retirement, as a courtesy.
Hart
The Empire is a little jealous of its honorifics. Especially for "four-stripers".
Jorge Borger
You will allow a diplomat to be diplomatic!

Anyway, I hear that you have been appointed as Imperial Marshal on Rohan. I can't tell you how delighted I am! The Secretary-General will be delighted, too.
Hart (smiling with apparent sincerity)
I have to confess, Excellency, to being rather delighted myself.
Jorge Borger
We opposed the Act, you know. Thought we'd get a dreadful bleater like your Deputy Commissioner foist on us as marshal. But your appointment changes the whole picture. Shows that the Commission for Justice understands the problems we face and means to be helpful. We consider ourselves lucky to get such a notable proponent.
Hart
I hardly think Ive proven myself worthy of so much honour, Excellency. Im just another aging officer trying to remain useful.
Jorge Borger
You are too modest, my dear Colonel. Your reputation precedes you.

And if you can spare half an hour from the dancing, I should be honoured by the privilege of introducing you to a fewer people.
Refusal would be impossible. Hart follows Borger to the important end of the room, and is treated to a variety of striking reactions as Borger introduces him to the the justices of the Court of Appeals, half a dozen assorted Agents and their wives or husbands, a Metheglinite prince, three members of the Minister's cabinet, the various Assistant Deputy Commissioners, and ultimately the Minister herself. The manner of his introductions gives the impression that he would like people to think that he invented Specter Hart.

Jorge Borger
Minister? May I present our new Marshal? Colonel Specter Hart.
The Minister for Pegasus
How do ye do, Hart. May I congratulate you on your commission?
Hart
Thank ye kindly, Minister.
The Minister
And are you happy with your posting?
Hart
I am. I feel that Rohan and I will have much to offer one another.
The Minister
I'm sure you will.

What about you, Excellency? You seem pleased with the appointment
Borger
Delighted! Couldn't be happier! Colonel Hart is a leading proponent, may I say the leading proponent in our times, of counter-revolutionary counter-terrorism. If I had known he was in the job market we'd have snapped him up ourselves. Lucky to have him in any capacity! I don't mind telling you that we had been half afraid of getting a half-baked idealist and high stickler for libertarian nonsense.
While Jorge Borger is singing his praises as a champion of inequity, Hart maintains his polite expression of interest. Smiling with just the right amount of pride and pleasure in being recognised. Not a single flicker of emotion betrays his true feelings. Hart is a consummate actor.

The Minister
Well, no-one would say Investigator Hart was half-baked. I'm glad everyone is happy with the appointment.
The Deputy Commissioner is still not in uniform, nor wearing a name-plate. His idea of evening dress seems to be some sort of Mandarin robe.

Borger
Deputy Commissioner! Allow me present our new Marshal, Colonel Specter Hart.
Kendall Port
We met this morning, of course. How do ye do, Hart?
Hart

I prosper, Commissioner. As I hope you do.
It is nearly two hours before Borger has finished with Hart, and lets him go with a parting word:

Borger
Heavens above! It's almost time for supper, I must let you get back to your celebration.

Listen, Colonel, I shouldn't worry too much about this "acting" marshal thing. The D.C. is as cold as a fish, but I'll see you're alright. If the worst comes to the worst I think that a brigadier's stripe can be arranged.

Call me before you ship out and I'll give you a brief on the people you have to know on Rohan. And a few letters of introduction. Join me for a glass of sherry at six on Thursday: I don't have anything on and we can have a quiet chat. I'll give you a few tips on choosing a mask.

Good evening, Colonel. Honoured to make your acquaintance.
Hart
And I yours, Excellency. Most honoured.

Thank you for taking the time to introduce me around. It was most kind of you.

I shall certainly enjoy meeting you for sherry and hearing more about Rohan.
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