Thursday, December 1, 2011
Chapter 39: Ancient Chinese Tradition
Joffrey's eye light up when she when walks in, and she blushes under his stare.
"I don't dance," she sighs.
But lovely at is to be romanced by Joffrey Landgraab, Sage remains unsure if his intentions. "You didn't ask me here just to dance," she says, "You must want to talk about the documents I found." She had those sent directly to him in Redwood Harbor before she left France. "Or maybe you have a job for me?"
"Business before pleasure, is it?" he says, flashing her his charming smile, "Let me buy you a drink, and we'll talk."
"Of course not. That wasn't the job."
Joffrey laughs, "And you weren't in the least bit curious about what I sent you to break into the Landgrab Chateau to retrieve?"
"I was curious," she admits, "But if I needed to know, you would have told me. What I don't need to know could be dangerous to me if I found out."
"Very true, in this business," Joffrey agrees, "But in this case, I think you'd be interested. The documents were about Wane McMottder."
"Wane McMottder?" the name immediately lights a smile on her face. She never specifically told Joffrey that McMottder is her hero, but it would be any easy guess that she's read his many books about adventuring and tomb raiding before embarking on her career. "Why does MorcuCorp keep files on Wane McMottder?"
"Wane McMottder is a pseudonym, an anagram of Ewan McDermott. And before he was a McDermott, Ewan was Landgraab. His father, a younger brother of the main Landgraab branch, changed his name and left town, hoping to leave the stain of being a Landgraab behind him. MorcuCorp of course kept an eye on him. Ewan grew up, married a McDermott, and then started adventuring. He caught MorcuCorp's attention when he infiltrated the chateau in Champs les Sims. They used that knowledge to make him work for them in Al Simhara, but, unlike you, when the resistance approached him, he joined them. MorcuCorp knew he turned on them, and they let him know that they knew. So Ewan packed up his family and relocated, hoping to hide from MorcuCorp. He had to give up traveling, and he took up writing how to guides under his assumed name. MorcuCorp always knew where he'd gone, and they kept a close watch on him. They even planted spies in the local pizza delivery service. But they never moved on him."
"So these documents you have are what? Detailed accounts of how McDermott spent his days?"
"Yes, for the most part," Joffrey sighs, "It's incredibly dull."
"Why did you want these documents, then?" Sage asks.
"Because Ewan McDermott crossed MorcuCorp and fled. They knew where he was, but they never struck. I want to find out why they left him alone."
"That's my hope," Joffrey says, "But I'm afraid it won't be that easy. McDermott was the son of a younger son. If it weren't for the actions he took against MorcuCorp, he'd be nothing to them. But I'm...something else."
"What? The heir?"
"That was the plan. I've been told I don't measure up. They're already grooming a new heir."
"So they need you because...?" He obviously hasn't told her everything yet, and Sage intends to get it out of them.
Joffrey looks her in the eyes, "This is the kind of information it could be dangerous for you to know. Do you still want me to tell you?"
Sage nods, "Please, tell me."
"You know Harris Landgraab?" he asks. Sage nods; even people with no interest in history or politics would remember the controversial former president who tried to turn his elected position in a permanent dictatorship. "His son Harrison was actually his clone. And ever since, MorcuCorp has continued to create new clones from Harris' DNA, grooming them to run the company."
"And you're one of these clones?" Sage gasps. "That's....that must be weird for you."
"To be raised by a corporation rather than loving parents? I suppose it was much like that for Landgraabs even before the cloning started. But despite my directed upbringing and my DNA, I'm not up to the Harris Landgraab standard. We may be genetically identical, but we have our own personalities, you see. I've been told I take after Harris' mother, Lucy. They say she was the reason Adrien Landgraab never rose higher than mayor of Brooklyn Heights, that she softened him, gave him a conscience."
"So even though you aren't good enough, or rather, evil enough, to be the Landgraab heir, MorcuCorp doesn't want Harris' genes just running round free?"
"Not to mention the things I know about how they operate," Joffrey says with a grim nod, "Now that you know, do you still want to help me?"
"More than ever," Sage says confidently.
"I knew I'd be able to count on you," he says with a smile, "Will you come up to my room?"
"Listen, I want to test MorcuCorp, to see what they'd do if I left the country without notice. Will you run away with me?" Joffrey asks while his hand are busy unzipping her dress.
"I have a house in China. We could stay there," Sage answers.
"That's perfect. Your zipper is stuck. Care to help me out of your dress?"
"I'm physically and genetically identical to several other Landgraabs. I have to express my individuality somewhere," he laughs.
"I'm afraid your photo album is going to be nothing but pictures of my ass," Sage remarks.
"I've taken a few pictures of your ass," Joffrey admits.
"I don't suppose we could just find a door to this other chamber?" Joffrey asks.
"No, that's what the dive wells are for," Sage laughs, "You don't have to go through with this, you know."
"Let's get you out of these wet clothes," he says. Sage had encountered several dive wells in her explorations, and is soaked to the bone.
"I'm making it a self-cleaning toilet," Sage explains. Besides adventuring, Sage has a lot of work she wants to do on her house. And she doesn't want to make the same mistake with Joffrey as she did with Jeremy, so she's made sure to keep a lot of free time on her schedule.
"It's broken," Sage says, trying to imagine what it must have been like to live such a sheltered life. "I can fix it."
"I want to learn how to do that," he says.
"You are the sexiest bodyguard I've ever had."
In the thread at MTS, I mentioned that one of the changes I made to Appaloos Plaind before I moved my legacy there was to take the Remington's Ruse house from Riverview, change it to an exclusive lounge and 'hotel', and put it in the place of the enormous cat park. (I bulldozed both the cat and dog parks. The dog park I subdivided into three lots, to make a 20x30 dog park and cat park, and one space for the Red Cow Barn dive bar I downloaded from MTS).
So I was really happy to finally use the Remington in my story.
I've never thrown a bacherlor/ette party since Gen came out. And I rejected the offer the first time Sage got the call. But the second time she got a party call, I decided what the hell, why not. And since I never had one in my legacy, it amused me greatly to play it as an ancient Chinese tradition.
Sage has a level 3 visa in China, plus the partnership with China and the Prepared Traveler LTR, so she has 18 day vacation in China. That gives me a lot of time to goof around, especially since they can't skill anything except the specific WA skills like martial arts and photography.
Joffrey's LTW is to max painting and photography. He can't work on the painting skill here, but is taking lots of pictures. And it's true, while exploring with Sage, it's a lot of pictures of Sage's backside while she disarms traps etc.
Also, while I was going to have Sage do the tattoo addict requirement herself, I've decided to put it on Joff instead.
Joffrey's traits are: Good, Artistic, Perfectionist, Charismatic, Hopeless Romantic. The Hopeless Romantic he actually shares with Harris Landgraab, which I always found funny.
Posted by yangthecat at 6:36 AM