United Nations General Assembly- Extraterrestrial Regulation.

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LunaHawk
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Re: United Nations General Assembly- Extraterrestrial Regulation.

Post by LunaHawk » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:22 pm

Sahi laughed. It was initially just a small laugh but she couldn’t help herself. They were so SERIOUS about their weapons and their warp bombings like no one had ever thought of it before. They were all such geniuses! It was too fucking funny. The laugh wasn’t the hysterical laugh of a madwoman though; it was derogatory and conceited in every sense of the words. The weapon announcement to her was like some kid at a science fair with a baking soda volcano.

There were many reasons she didn’t take the threat seriously. Most important of these was the most obvious. They had no idea what they were talking about. They wanted to drop a low level threat like bombing Cocytus from a distance but they didn’t understand…Cocytus wasn’t just a place, it wasn’t just a world, it was a planet split between warring times and places, it was a planet caught in the hell storm of a Temporal Conflux…and it was populated by beings that could wipe the bombs from existence with a thought. Pretending for a moment they could blow up or otherwise wipe out the population of Cocytus, so what? It wasn’t called the Temporal Diaspora without reason.

She smiled, amused and calmed her laugh, leaning back in her chair and shaking her head. “Excuse me, the thought of someone trying to blow up a planet like Cocytus with bombs is hilarious. Forgetting the morality of your plan, because frankly I don’t care, let’s examine the crux of the problem shall we? You don’t know…what you don’t know. I saw the looks on people’s faces when I said who and what I was. You don’t know what a Time Siphon is, you don’t know the first thing about Cocytus and I’m willing to bet your understanding of Binaries follows similar limitations.”

She leaned forward, slamming the front two legs of her chair back onto the tile floor in the process and stabbed the table with her finger. “You want to know why you’re attacked? Because it’s easy. No one takes humanity seriously, look at The Pardoner over here really closely because he’s THE PARDONER; he’s not even a diplomat. If Cotellia took you seriously, The Adjudicator would be here. Maybe that’s why Raeyn isn’t here, because she didn’t take you seriously either. It’s hard to take you seriously when you can’t be assed to learn anything about the peoples you’re labeling with a broad brush.”

She shook her head. “Earth is a backwater world and you have a large alien population because it’s an easy planet for refugees to get lost on. They know you won’t take the time to figure any of them out. Go out and learn something, send people to other worlds, talk to other cultures. If you’re capable of dropping bombs on strange new worlds and murdering billions of people you’re also capable of going and talking.”
She frowned. “Of course…that implies you want to learn. When I came in here, I thought you wanted to learn and put in place sensible policies that would help protect your people. I didn’t realize you just wanted to join the murder club. I should have though; you’re species is so good at it.” She paused, considering the last bit of her statement for a moment and smiled just a little. “As far as rationality, that’s…kind of my point really. You don’t know who’s rational and who isn’t. You need to go out and learn before you toss around bomb threats.”

She picked up the obligatory glass of water in front of her and took a sip. If they were too ignorant of her species to know she didn’t need the water…well…why let on? She hid her disappointment behind a wall of contempt. She’d been hoping for so much better when she came in here. In a way it stung as badly as having to come here in the first place. They didn’t want to know anything about the alien menace, so called, they just wanted to threaten people, wave their big dicks around and make sure people understood Earth was a big bad bully and to stay away, likely enforcing some sort of weird space Monroe doctrine in the process. She looked into the glass for a moment, golden light briefly tinting her eyes and her fingers tightening around the glass. She took a breath and put the glass down. What was just a little bit more disappointment?

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Re: United Nations General Assembly- Extraterrestrial Regulation.

Post by Deterrence » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:32 pm


Eris waited for a moment, peering down at the childlike alien from behind her glasses. The ongoing outburst was baffling, laced with declarations and insults. Some distance away, Arno's hand went towards a red-alert button to engage a retaliatory op. Eris shot him a look, anticipating his response before he'd even begun to react.

Eris leveled her gaze on the Siphon child. On one hand, it was nice to see an alien make the case for regulating aliens for her. On the other, someone had to say something.

"Are you finished, dear?" she asked, one silvery eyebrow cocked. She was beginning to wonder if maybe this alien was just a schizophrenic exile rather than the diplomat she claimed she was.


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Re: United Nations General Assembly- Extraterrestrial Regulation.

Post by Travis McCoy » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:58 pm

Captain McCoy brushed his palm through the moustache of his beard. To him, it felt more like deflection. In the Art of War, Sun Tzu proposed that "The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting." and in a way this could be seen as deterrence. Though this wisdom also came from the same man who said that: "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle."

In the light of the revealation that Deterrence can warp a nuclear payload anywhere in the universe, Travis rather turned his attention to the two extraterrestrial representatives at the Assembly. He needn't consider the magnitude of such technology. Not now. Compartmentalize.

Travis stopped caressing his beard and twisted a pen lengthwise in his hands. Back and forth. Then the Time Siphon representative acted up. He stopped fiddling with the pen. His hand hovered over the push-to-talk button of the microphone like vapor over water. Ultimately, his fingers curled away into a fist at his side.

His instincts told him that someone was bound to re-rail this clusterfuck.

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Re: United Nations General Assembly- Extraterrestrial Regulation.

Post by Quirbles » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:29 pm

"Stop this."

It was a feminine voice, tinged with a Russian accent that cut across the incessant noise of the assembly hall like a sharpened knife through frayed twine; Anastasia's tone was raised, not to the point of exasperation but with the intention of being clarion to overpower the other speakers within this meeting. The subject had strayed so far from the assembly's original intentions that she had been forced to take back control like this, if nobody else was to do so.

"Whether you are a 'Time Siphon', 'Binary', human or any other damned race across the expanse of this universe, you will cease your insults. We were not gathered here today to have our time wasted with ad-hominems and idle 'what-ifs'— this is not entertainment television. This is a meeting among the leaders of the free world, and if you respect our authority— Earth's authority— over the land and people upon this planet, then you will allow this conversation to turn back to its original point of discussion."

Mikhailov gave a sharp breath, directed away from the microphone as to not cause extraneous noise. Before she could reel herself back, she found herself in front of the small device once more. Her gaze met the thing who called itself Sahi, her gaze neutral, unbroken, if not apathetic.

"Time Siphon. We do not care for your own planet's politics. The category of Earth as a 'backwater planet', in your own words, is wholly irrelevant— and you say that everyone believes this planet is an easy target to attack, yet you seem to oppose the building of our own defenses regarding extraterrestrial attacks. Which is not even the POINT of this assembly to start with; the purpose of this meeting is to determine whether or not extraterrestrial entities upon Earth should be forced to carry identification regarding their status, and whether or not Deterrence should be responsible in enforcing this certification."

She paused once more.

"Ms. Rushmore. I trust you know the consequences of this unprecedented resolution passing. Your company will be wholly, and unequivocally, responsible for the enforcement of this act— not to mention the amount of influence your corporation would gain with being able to deploy Deterrence forces across any country that recognizes this resolution. It is an amount of power I am uncomfortable with granting to a nation-state in the Caribbean, and it is an amount of power that can be exploited." Anastasia explained, resting a moment to take a drink of water before leaning forward to the microphone.

"What will make us trust you, besides your claims of being a necessity to the world?"

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Re: United Nations General Assembly- Extraterrestrial Regulation.

Post by Deterrence » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:25 am


Eris observed with a satisfied half-smile as Mikhailov returned order to the room. It was nice to have someone else keeping people in line for once, a job usually reserved for the Chief Development Officer. People were fallible and easily distracted, and it seemed that aliens were no different. Good; any such similarities could be leveraged as advantages. If beings were alike all over, the easier they are to predict, to defend against. That was their objective.

The question was a good one. It was something Eris had been waiting for.

"Representative Mikhailov," she responded, "The reason why Deterrence is trustworthy is because we are a natural response to the demand for planetary security. Allow me to pluck out the bee's stinger, as it were. We act in our self-interest, true, but in doing so, generate greater benefit for the human race. In fact, we generate an absolute benefit of avoiding annihilation. Though some, including Capacitor, have raised questions regarding our moral inclinations."

Eris traced a small circle around the rim of her glass before continuing.

"We are quite accustomed to being saved by those practicing a form of magnanimous morality. These heroes make personal sacrifices on a face-to-face level. Consider the raising of a barn by a small, tight-knit community after a disaster. This is regarded to be a heartwarming and noble act. In contrast, when one profits by helping others, the primary intention is always seen as profit. The benefits are, naturally, overlooked. Insurance companies can restore a hundred barns, though this is seen, at best, as benefiting from the misfortune of others."

She paused before continuing.

"Ours is a more mundane morality, characterized by adherence to contractual obligations, transparency, respecting the wills of others, and refraining from intentionally doing harm - in short, an adherence to justice. Our morality is impersonal, yet better suited to the conditions in which we now find ourselves. We can aid more people than any one group or individual can, and because we act in our own self-interest, you can be assured that we will always be dependable. We will not vanish, or turn down work in a specific country due to political differences or tribalism, or violate established norms in order to pursue some personal vision of a greater good."

Another pause, as was necessary.

"A great deal of powered beings exist on our world. The best of them are kindhearted altruists, sacrificing much to aid others, highly competent, perhaps even well-trained. But there is always the question of reliability. For them, personal issues may interfere with saving the world. They may grow old, or resentful, or simply fail to answer the call. When we are dealing with extinction-level events, a miscalculation costs everything. That is why responsibility matters."

She made sure to make eye contact with the Russian ambassador, and then the delegates around the room.

"With Deterrence, there is a system of dependence. We rely on you for jurisdiction and resources, and because of this, we can always be relied on to act when called. We are uniquely equipped to defend the world against exonormal threats, and uniquely in a position in which we may provide service to all groups, due to the impersonal nature of our work. There is a cost to all action. Individual superheroes can afford to defend their communities. We can afford to defend the world."


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Re: United Nations General Assembly- Extraterrestrial Regulation.

Post by LunaHawk » Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:17 pm

They’re all the same, a bunch of self obsessed, fear mongering catt.… An image of Prism came to mind without warning, like a light flicking on in the dark it made her eyes narrow. She recoiled for a moment and then her mind settled. Yes...that was true and yes…she deserved it. She’d allowed someone to off foot her, to put her in a dark and familiar place. She took a breath and steadied her briefly trembling hands. The golden light hiding behind her eyes winked out for the moment and she steadied herself. Maybe…a little light was what the room needed.

“I don’t think this is the way you should go.” She told the room, she ignored Eris, Eris was a zealot. “Before I begin…I don’t need or want your sympathy, but I think my story might shed a little light. Fear is an easy motivator and an easy thing to grip onto in uncertain times. I know…because I am terrified. I have spent my entire life living in fear. My mother is terrified, though I doubt you’d understand why if you met her. My father…was also afraid. You see fifty thousand years ago, sidereally speaking, there was a pacifist species living on Cocytus. They’re gone now.”

She adjusted her microphone for a moment. “They…from what I was told never hurt anyone. They didn’t have big space lasers or super beings; they certainly couldn’t teleport nukes to a planet. What they could do was sing, they could sing the kind of music that you feel in your genetic code, they could make the universe hum. A race of aliens came to their world and wiped out the adult population. They kidnapped the children and put them in pods which they set loose in a temporal wound in reality because they wanted to know what it would do. They wiped out an entire adult population to conduct a science experiment. This is what created Time Siphons. We were born as a species out of fear and darkness and hunger, it’s all any of us know.”

She paused to take a brief drink of her water and then continued, marshalling her thoughts…and her inner core. “I can kill someone from thirty feet away in seconds simply by willing it to happen. What do you think a race of terrified children with the power to end worlds did with it? They ended worlds….in self defense of course. At least that’s the logic they used at first. Then it became a matter of simply enforcing their will. The bigger our empire they reasoned, the more people will be forced to fear us and the safer we will be. They enslaved countless beings, they wiped out whole civilizations and they never felt safe. They felt more fear because when sentient beings act out of fear, they merely generate more of it.”
She considered her historical knowledge and put it to use. “Mao, Stalin, Hitler…Vlad the Impaler…I’m sure you know more names you can add to the list. Vlad was terrified of the Turks; his terror caused him to create terror of his own. He impaled tens of thousands of his own people because he told himself it would make him safe. Fear is an easy motivator. It begins subtly. It begins to corrupt at meetings just like this one. You put up a barrier…but the barrier isn’t enough. You create mutually assured destruction…but…mutual isn’t good enough either so let’s just take it straight to destruction. You make people register; it’s just a registry after all. No one ever got hurt by a registry. It’s not as if registrations have ever led to ghettos and ghettos to camps. You aren’t those kinds of people you’ll tell yourselves. Maybe you aren’t. What about the people who come after you? What if…a registration doesn’t make you safe? What if someone comes out of the heavens and levels another city, or a country? What will you do then?”
Soon she would be making admissions; she hoped they would help because they would certainly be risky. It didn’t matter. This had to be stopped before she watched them make her own mistakes. “You will need to have these answers, because none of this will work. I laughed because you said you would just nuke whoever threatened you. Listen…there are worlds out there you can’t reach; there are races out there who won’t care at all. You could nuke Cocytus a thousand thousand times and it would not have an impact on my species. Cocytus is a dead world torn between times; it would be as if you nuked the Sahara desert in an effort to destroy America. You don’t know these things though, you haven’t taken the time to study or talk to aliens. So…let me tell you the answers to the questions you haven’t asked.”
Deep breath. “I am Sahi, daughter of Raeyn, Inheritor of Cocytus…Butcher of the Kathedians, Stalker in Mist, The Terror of Dresedia…” She paused a moment, considering the next one carefully. “Vlad the Impaler.” She allowed at last. “This isn’t even my body…I don’t remember my original body to tell you the truth. As a Time Siphon I regenerate after each death and my body is replaced with that of one of my previous victims…though in this case the girl was already dead. I am driven by fear. I was abducted by my father when was I very young and tortured by him on and off for the better part of three hundred years. It is burned into my memory, it is an experience I cannot forget no matter how hard I try and fear of its repetition has driven me ever since. I used to wear those titles with pride until very recently. How impressive I was, I was frightening enough that fear could never rule me. It was a nice lie.” It had even worked, or so she thought, for awhile.

“Then I met a Human girl named Prism. She showed me there were other options. It took a long time but I have begun to understand the meaning of our encounter. I have had several opportunities to kill her; I even set out to do it originally. I chose not to, I have chosen not to again and again because every time I see her I am reminded of the other way. So I came here hoping to negotiate a treaty of refugee status for my people but all I see here is fear. You should be afraid; some of us aliens are down right horrifying. I deeply regret the things I have done because of fear. I just…don’t want to see your descendants say the same thing. You know where this leads, you ALL know where this leads because your species has been down that path so many times already. Native Americans, Jews, Turks, the list goes on. There are other ways to deal with this; there are other ways to secure your world. You can cooperate with the aliens out there who would see your safe, you can learn about the peoples of the universe.”

She shook her head. “Or you can build nukes, erect your proverbial wall and a few hundred years from now apologize to yourselves for what you did when the walls and the nukes and the lasers weren’t enough and so you went another step forward…and another…until you’d gone too far. Don’t be like the Time Siphons; don’t let your names be written down with monikers that mean murder. Take another path. Talk to the Binaries, talk to the other races out there, ask for a ship so you can travel and see what is out there and maybe make a few allies along the way. Alliances build security, knowing you can get help builds security…making people afraid of you doesn’t help.” She shut off her microphone and finished her water.

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Re: United Nations General Assembly- Extraterrestrial Regulation.

Post by Orph » Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:09 pm

David kept his expression impassive, for the cameras, as the representatives argued. Surprisingly, it was Mikhailov who put a stop to the mud-slinging. He nodded slightly in approval, as she spoke.

The girl claiming she was Vlad Țepeș made him chuckle slightly, which those recording this were sure to capture. The President waited politely for the Time Siphon's monologue to end, before he said a word.

"Miss... Sahi," he said slowly. "I don't think you understand the situation Earth is faced with. But besides that, your story is... not entirely consistent. First, you use Vlad the Impaler as a historical example... and then you claim to have been him. Then, you claim to be wearing the face of a citizen of Earth. You claim she was dead when you stole her face, but you also claim that the faces you wear are from your victims. Not just any old corpse you stumble across."

Anger was writ on the President's face. Flash-bulbs went off, capturing his expression for all the world to see.

"And even if that implausible story is true... how dare you compare us to the monsters of history? By your own admission, you've killed tens of thousands- and out of fear? If you're able to grow a new body after death, what did you have to fear that motivated you to go to such lengths? We humans- the ones from a 'backwater world,' as you say, the ones 'no one takes seriously,' we don't have that luxury. This life is all we've got, and I refuse to sit idly by while mad gods descend from the skies weekly, and kill whomever they see fit."

Mann took a breath, glancing around the room. The outspoken Mister McCoy, ostensibly one of theirs, sitting with the Czech of all people. Rushmore, Docesznic, the 'Pardoner...'

"Even if your claims of being Vlad Țepeș are untrue, those other names hardly paint a flattering picture. Butcher. Stalker. Terror. You claim to want asylum... I can't speak for the rest of the world, but the United States is not in the business of harboring alien war criminals. If whoever it is you're running from handed me a warrant for your arrest, I'd have half a mind to hand you right over."

Mann's gaze shifted over to the other exo-normal in the room today. "As for the Binaries... I'd rather not submit all of Earth to the authority of an alien species who already came here and attempted to enforce that law upon us, without so much as a word to the government of the nations they arrived in. But I'm sure you all are sick of listening to me talk. Instead, I'll let a man who's had personal experience with him to testify on the character of the Pardoner."

The doors behind him opened, and two Secret Service agents allowed Atlas through. Clad not in his red-white-and-blue costume, but a full military uniform.

"This is Brock LaVerne. A veteran of the second World War. Having had personal experience with the Nazi Party, I'm inclined to think he might disagree with your comparison of their leader to us. But that's not why he's here. After being... transported to our time, Mister LaVerne used his exceptional abilities to become the hero known as Atlas. He's personally helped combat the very sort of threats we're gathered here today to discuss. And at one point, that included the Pardoner."

As Atlas took his seat, Mann turned to him. "Mister LaVerne- Atlas- if you would be so kind as to give us your recollections of the events surrounding the 'Front Line incident?'"

Almost as an afterthought, he turned to Rushmore. "When he's finished, I have a few questions I'd like to pose to you, regarding the practicalities of what you're proposing."
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Re: United Nations General Assembly- Extraterrestrial Regulation.

Post by Atlas » Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:31 am

"Mr. LaVerne, they're ready for you."

The aviator nodded silently in reply, standing up from his seat at a small desk within an adjacent office to the General Assembly's meeting hall. There wasn't a need to linger around within a crowd or remain at a podium for any longer than he needed to. Ever since he'd awoken from the coma upon Miracle Island, he'd learned to appreciate peace and quiet far more than he used to.

And as those double doors opened to the mass of reporters, representatives, and extraterrestrials contained within the spacious atrium, he realized why he enjoyed the silence. Just minutes, if not moments ago, the sounds of raucous argument had seeped through the walls of the room and permeated into the small office LaVerne had situated himself in. Now, the conversation quieted to a murmur. Eyes cast downward stares upon him as he walked towards the stand near the center of the hall. People had anticipations, exceptions.

"President Mann. Representatives..."

Was this how an audience had always been? Had he mistaken the crowd's judgemental attention for praise and bewilderment when he was a stunt pilot? Did he see hope and respect where there was only skepticism and derision during his time in the Air Force? He did not know what to think. All he could do was shut the doubt away in a corner of his mind as his hands settled themselves upon the wooden stand, grasping the sides with a firm, but not tight, grip.

"I do not stand before you all today to push an agenda. Nor do I come here to change your minds..."

He did not choose to take a stance. It was a coward's move, but he had been brave far too long already. He had been brought here as a testifying witness, not an idealogue. Leave that to the rest of the men and women gathered here today.

"It was early October. The Front Line— a metahuman superhero team formed by me, Nicolas Pendragon, and the entity known as Weltgeist— had recieved word that there were extraterrestrial beings present on Earth. I'd met one of these beings personally at a similar event, the details of which are relevant to our motives."

Aberdeen. He'd seen that golden-haired woman use amounts of energy that bordered on unthinkable.

"There was an incident in South Dakota that was traceable to a young boy. Two Binaries believed it was their place to pass judgement upon the young child and control the fate of his life. When we found out, we moved to preemptively intervene."

It had all seemed so simple then, hadn't it? Brock recovering from his spinal injuries, the three moving out in a jet to track the pair down. He'd been callous, unprepared. Naive.

"Intelligence placed the first extraterrestrial in question somewhere within California. From this point onward, I'll be referring to the two Binaries as he and she as to avoid confusions."

It was at this moment that his gaze turned to a face he'd seen only once before. The visage of the Pardoner. His gaze was unperturbed, his stare apathetic. Emotionless. Brock suspected that he would be met with a similar gaze, should the alien meet his own line of sight.

"These beings were complacent in using a boy to exploit information and later judging his life. They saw it fit to be judge, jury, and executioner— of which one of the twins was actually named. They were complacent in assuming all of these roles at once. We took issue with that."

He stilled himself, gaze turning back to the Pardoner.

"We issued an ultimatum. The Binary known as the Executioner struck first against us, and the Pardoner, ironically, found us guilty for defending ourselves against this offensive."

LaVerne's gaze moved back to Mann.

"These entities operate with a completely different mindset than our species— which is odd, considering their likeliness to humans."

Engineered.

"But I digress. Hostilities moved outside of the bar, where I engaged the Pardoner singlehandedly."

Brock looked, now, to Miss Rushmore. His gaze was still emotionless, if not containing traces of pity.

"What I soon came to realize was that these Binaries are unkillable. According to databases written by Nicolas Pendragon, they are unable to be killed unless they are to fall in love, authentically. The Pardoner, with his specific skillset, can transform and transmute most matter and energy into harmless alternatives to spare him from harm— an act that seems useless, given his immortality. Ms. Rushmore, conventional ballistics and weaponry does not work against these entities. They are wholly incapable of dying."

He let the statement hang in the air for a moment before continuing.

"During my confrontation with the Pardoner, I witnessed his transmutation ability firsthand when—"

He paused, but only for a moment. Not here. Not now.

"— he... transformed my flesh and muscle into carbon fiber. Changed the molecular structure. In the course of only a few seconds— though I don't remember the exact time— I had lost both arms ending at the wrist and a leg ending at the ankle. Further damage had been done to my chest, neck, and face."

The façade began to crack. His voice wavered towards the end of his explanation and he gave a fleeting glance around the room.

"I was powerless to stop the process. If the Pardoner would be so inclined to finish the job now, I am still wholly unable to prevent it. We cannot rely on the promises of neutrality and mercy, of understanding and cooperation. You cannot negotiate with a being that will forever retain an advantage over you. Saying that you have the capability to kill every single soul in this room does not help with bargaining, nor does it allow us to understand intentions and see eye to eye."

LaVerne's gaze narrowed as he squinted his eyes, relaxing the stare once it settled upon Mann for a final time.

"There are good extraterrestrials in this world. I implore you to seek relations with these species. But in doing so, we must remain hyper-vigilant. There are entities out there who will take, and take, and take until there is nothing left. I have seen it with my own eyes. Beings who are wholly unkillable, and who do not care for the laws of our planet. They are already here."

He let his eyes fall to the floor.

"I cannot change minds. I cannot put forth policies. My time of heroism has passed, I see that now. All I hope to do is shed light. Bring forth perspective as an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty."

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Re: United Nations General Assembly- Extraterrestrial Regulation.

Post by illirica » Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:46 pm

So much talking. The humans talked well, he thought. Questions, answers. Back and forth. They didn't listen particularly well, but they did talk well. He'd intended just to stay where he was, offer advice if requested, answer questions if asked. Be there to be supportive, not to try to influence the procedures. Others, of course, had other ideas. The Time Siphon talked almost as much as that Veltgeist fellow in Rome. Maybe even more. It was a very impassioned monologue. So dramatic. Both of them, really. And so contradictory. That was Time Siphons, of course.

The humans didn't have much patience for listening to her, either. It seemed they had other plans. The doors opened, and admitted a man that the Pardoner had not expected to see again. He watched the man, as he spoke. Watched him relive the pain. Humans felt pain differently than Binaries. Binaries felt pain, of course, but it was something to be endured. There was never the question of it being debilitating. Never the question of it being final. This man... it could have been either. Perhaps should have been. And yet he stood here, and relived it, because he thought it was important.

The Pardoner ought to respond to that. After the conflict, he knew everyone expected it of him. And yet he wasn't quite ready to take that on, not just yet - and so when he spoke, he started with the easier parts of the discussion. Easier targets, perhaps.

"Time Siphon. Sorry, whose side were you on again?" he inquired, as if confused, "Ah, it doesn't matter. I don't like you. My sister and I killed a Time Siphon once. It took two days, with all the regeneration. Yes, yes. Terror and confusion. You're all scared children. Unfortunately I am not The Psychiatrist - no, there isn't one, don't ask - and I see very little in your race worth pardoning. Fear is an important motivator. But what you do with it is just as important, and, darling, you eat people. Do you still do that? Oh, not your human girl, of course - I'm so glad that you've found love, by the way, good thing one of us has - but you probably still get the munchies now again. How much time does that little girl have, when she's doing the light thing? Light lasts a while, doesn't it? I'm sure she'd be delicious. Don't tell me you haven't thought of it."

Of course she had thought of it. She was a Time Siphon. She probably thought about it all the time. Admittedly, she hadn't yet killed the girl, but there was a big difference between hadn't and won't. Or, even, for that matter, haven't and didn't. It was more of an ongoing term, one that implied the word yet. On a planet full of delicious humans, the Time Siphon could afford to be choosy - but once she'd devoured a few billion, the special ones would start looking less decorative and more edible. He'd seen it happen before, after all. "You know what Time Siphons are? Addicts. 'Oh, just one more, then I'll stop. Just a few more. I can quit any time, you know.' Ah. That was unkind of me, wasn't it? But I already said I don't like you."

Enough of that, though. He wasn't here in the General Assembly about the aliens. He was here about the humans. He considered the Czech, pointing a finger in his direction. "This man. I like him. He thinks. He asks strange questions, which you don't think about, or don't think about nearly enough. He speaks, and others trust him to speak for them. He questions our motivations, whether we would harm you because you attacked us, or because you threatened us, or simply because you are delicious," with a sidelong glance back to the Time Siphon. "The alien mind is a strange place. There are those who would be happy to destroy you. There are those who would be happy to help you. There are those who would be happiest pretending you didn't exist."

Including maybe the Pardoner, especially right now. Ah, that wasn't quite right. This sort of meeting was what he was designed for, after all. It was good to be here, listening to all the people not listening to each other. Everyone wanted to be heard, no one wanted to think. No one wanted their minds to be changed - except, perhaps, the UN itself, which most people were conveniently forgetting actually existed.

"This woman." Eris Rushmore, Deterrence representative. He smirked. "I like her. She is so tiny and fierce. She talks in little circles and pretends that she is here because of how and not because of whether. She admits before galactic representatives that she would be willing to drop weapons on alien worlds regardless of the situation. Or perhaps troops? It's a bit unclear. Never mind the idea that some of these aliens have empires, and would consider a planet 'acceptable losses' if they could strike back at you." He inclined his head in her direction, with false gravity. "Some of you may die, but that's a sacrifice she is willing to make."

He laughed again, amused. "Tiny! And fierce!" She would make an excellent warlord. It was rather a shame Earth didn't really need one. Or maybe they were about to decide they did. Well, as he'd said before, that was their choice, not his.

That was all so easy, though. He turned, at the last, to the man who'd been ushered in. Atlas. The last time he had seen him, Atlas had been almost dead. Truthfully, the Pardoner had expected him to die - the fact that he had not spoke more for humanity's level of invention than all the warp-nuclear devices that Deterrence could offer, he thought. Atlas. The one who had been the voice of the most reason, trying to get his comrades to stop provoking the Binaries. Trying to get everyone to settle down, even when it was obvious that they'd all been in it for a fight the moment everyone had walked in the door. "You." Quietly, without the glibness - the second person, not the distant third.

The one who'd stood with his team anyway, when the fighting had come, who had not shied away from the battle, and who'd taken worse damage than the other two combined, in the name of protecting them from the fight they had begun. Who came to this place, and relived his pain before the people he looked up to, and before the one who had done it to him - because he had been asked. Because he thought that it was important.

"I respect you."

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