You say the sweetest things, darling. But strictly speaking, although I am certainly magical, I’ve been an old woman for as long as I can remember. Now obviously, there was something before, so I cannot rule out the possibility I was once an old man. Perhaps I’ve swapped back and forth over the centuries to avoid creditors and confound detractors.
Yes, that is something I would do.
After all, my new Matari recruit treasure hunter Roden spy, formerly involved with Gabriel’s Tetra Grama Metatron Salon in some capacity, switched to avoid the Ministry of Eternal Nosing About. If a half Brutor half Thukker teenager can think of it, I dare say a half Udorian half Amarrian cyberneticist mummy could have thought of it, too!
I feel an obligation to give the studio audience closure on whether or not Space Force Marshall Diana darling ultimately judged Valerie’s image suitable for publication. I received the final judgement only moments ago. Though I found the image positively divine, it has been categorized “inappropriate.”
Based on capitalization and punctuation, I fear the decision-making process may have produced collateral damage in nearby plant and staff.
What a capital suggestion, darling! Think about how much safer the Cluster would be if Diana sweetie reviewed Valerie’s entire priceless art collection.
Oh my goodness, we could turn it into a campaign event! That would dovetail nicely with my new campaign video. I can’t thank you enough for bringing Amirah Damali to my attention. What a knockout! I still have bruises.
Now I’m thinking… an exhibit in the Rouevre Pyramid Pavilion.
It would be a series of white rectangles covered by the words “ABSOLUTELY” and “PROHIBITED” in Sani Sabi Wabi red ink painted by humorless Achuran calligraphers. Come to think of it, I’ve never met a humorous Achuran calligrapher.
“Patron of !ARTS! and Federation Presidential Candidate Gosakumori Noh presents a neo-modern post reductionist exhibition which reifies the juxtaposition of bio mechanical bondage fantasy and militarized chastity worship in failing police states.” Wine and cheese served by J-MWave boy/girl pop tarts in translucent latex gloss hot pants.
You can’t get more Gallente than that even if you’re a Rouvenor.
Okay, okay. I was getting the mo spruced up in my hawk when I overheard this from a totally reliable source, but apparently Heth never died. He was transmogrified by alien technology and given the exact same form as Roden, right down to his quantum level. Apparently this alien force silently removed Roden from power (hence his loss in the last elections, as a ploy to distract people from him) and replaced him with Heth-Roden who will be running in the next election as Roden.
But the election is rigged, and “Roden” will win it.
Isn’t it amazing what you can learn while having your mo massaged?
My last recollection of the Executor is he left some stains behind before being abducted to, well, Stain. That fate is consistent with being transmogged by ethereal Jovian ghosts. In fact, if he hadn’t been replaced, Roden could easily have become Kuvakei 2.0.
If I’m not mistaken, there was a Gallente industrialist who went full Kuvakei some time ago (though he might have been Kuvakei 0.5… I’m not absolutely certain who came first). His utopia was in… um… Eversea? Opensea? Something-sea. I always wanted to check that out, but I’m old and the pew pew gives me hypertension.
All of this is to say your salon information sounds credible.
It would be the most natural thing in the world for Kuvs to kack his most dangerous rival and replace him with a mind controlled madman. Mind control! Now the blueberry smoothies (which are totally delicious) make sense! I must confess at first Roden did not strike me as the “mind control smoothie” type so much as the “I replace everyone with drones” type… I suppose that’s kind of six of this half dozen of that. Oh my goodness! The smoothies contain Nation nanites!
I must study them.
Now, if mention of this gets to Diana sweetie… no, I’m confident she would dismiss it as an FIO black flag. Which pocket does the “replaced by Nation” flag go in, again?
Wait, so Heth was abducted by the Nation? So the Nation is what’s behind transmogrifying him into Rodan?
The whole blueberry mind control smoothies suddenly makes more sense. Because Heth’s favorite fruit, or so I heard, was blueberries, and Rodan was the largest shareholder for the largest grower and distributor of blueberries in the Federation. Or perhaps the entire cluster. So He, it, whatever is making isk hand over fist and subjecting people to mind control all at the same time. Very clever.
Taking the conversation in a light most favorable to having something to talk about, the prospect of an Amarrian “nun” becoming a political figure in the Federation is at least “thought provoking.” There would be questions of residency requirements, I’m sure, but attorneys for the other candidates will figure all that out.
The proposition Jin-Mei space serves as “Empty Throne Sect’s” center in the Federation initially provoked me into a stream of profanity. However, yes, it is true Jin-Mei have a fetish for secret societies. Our prolific fantasy film and gaming industries are also full of “vampire” overlords (in our tradition, a “vampire” might more accurately be considered a “malignant fairy”).
Forgetting about cults, our Saan Go are a caste of genetically engineered bureaucrats. Other civilizations may scoff at the notion of genetically engineering bureaucrats, but we understand the importance of an efficient, effective civil service. So while it is true our aristocracy reveres ridiculous, over-the-top characters (our form of opera being proof), by definition there are not many aristocrats, and so a politician who attacks the bureaucracy seems unlikely to find a following in our space.
As for Roden having been replaced by a meat puppet who was once Executor Heth… oh come on.
Parallels between the Caldari and Jin-Mei are intriguing. It is as if one culture had roots in a different time period of the other.
I am skeptical about the “lizard people,” of course, but I don’t deny that events in the Cluster proceed in a sustained four way symmetry that defies natural explanations. I understand why the Amarr and Matari are at war. As for the State and Federation, it feels forced. Some external force is driving the conflict.
I suppose personifying that force as “lizard people” is one way to make the subject matter approachable.
On reflection, I should also not be too swift to dismiss being ridiculous. Back when we had a primitive feudal system, there was a tradition of officials acting ridiculous in order to avoid being executed by paranoid emperors.
Come to think of it, those lancer drones which warp in, scan objects, and warp away are almost literally cuttlefish. You can hardly undock without tripping over some inscrutable threat to civilization. With these threats so prevalent, terms like “lizard people” or “cuttlefish” do have the advantage of not triggering their partisans.
In addition, having thought about Empty Throne Sect further, the Jin-Mei do actually have an empty throne.
We abolished our imperial system and modernized centuries ago. But there have always been “Dragon Restorationists” who want to put an emperor back on the throne - which still exists, and sits empty in the preserved Forbidden City. The Restorationists are few in number and opposed by nearly all of Jin-Mei society. But along comes an Amarrian madman claiming some other throne is need of a 'true emperor." Of course the Restorationists would use that to their advantage.
Whether or not Jacus Roden is a space cuttlefish with a brain pool sending out mind control vibes from somewhere between Algintal and Ani, it isn’t unreasonable to say something is not right.
Something is certainly not right, and I will fix it once I become president by leveraging a firm base of Jin-Mei Vampire Empty Throne believers (whose right to believe is firmly protected by all hitherto existing constitutional precedent).
Regarding my wider Jin-Mei base, I think it important to clear up a misunderstanding:
You see, I am not attacking the bureaucracy.
I am attacking the Deep Bureaucracy. The Deep Bureaucracy is an eldritch horror which has sunk its face tentacles into the bureaucracy proper. It seeks to drain the bureaucracy proper of vital juices. Yes, that may superficially sound vampire-like, or not even superficially, but the best vampire hunters are themselves vampires! I believe that is the central premise of at least one wildly successful Jin-Mei vampire hunting animated holo series, yes?
I therefore do not stand against the Jin-Mei caste of genetically engineered bureaucrats. Quite to the contrary, I stand firmly behind their quest to form a more perfect civil service, one which serves the needs of the people instead of some degenerate, decrepit, parasitic monstrosity.
My genetically engineered Saan Go secretary, surname Park, informs me that I agree with your analysis of Jin-Mei animated vampire hunting tropes, as well as your assessment of which bureaucrats stand where.
On my behalf, she has prepared an introduction to one “Auntie” Rieuxrieaux.
Rieuxrieaux (originally Liuliao, hereafter “RR”) resides on Luminaire and is well-known to those of us in that planet’s host club business. RR (no relation; “Auntie” is a title Jin-Mei give to eccentrics) is a zealous onmyouji fujoshi, and has at least one dungeon full of “malignant fairy” cultists worshipping altars (some of which might resemble empty thrones) beneath her faux rococo palazzo.
Should you pay her a visit, prepare to be informed (repeatedly) that several of the villa’s rooms “were inspired by the Palais Versace Rouvenor” (though not even Versace Rouvenor could match RR’s interior design excess; he suffered from not living in a time with interstellar supply chains).
Should you prefer more neutral ground, Secretary Park reminds me that, as mentioned, I have a host club in New Hueromont (Sky Crown Marina, Garoun Investment Bank Annex North Tower). Due to my error in not consulting Secretary Park before I selected a name based on a popular JMRPG character (the One Wing Angel), we have experienced some clashes between vampire cosplayers and drug addicts. However, the treatment facility added on the floor below has performed admirably. There have been few incidents recently, and the venue may serve as a backdrop for demonstrating proactivity in tackling pernicious social issues.
Great SOCT darling! Right there we see the consequences of substance abuse in a Cluster threatened by Roden’s rancid brain pool. If only I had been aware of the former president’s ghostly menace at the time… or aware of anything at the time… these things happen. Everyone knows it.
But this babbling spice brain is, or at least was (what is the expected life expectancy of a babbling spice brain?) connected to a higher plane of political awareness. With their compromised immune systems, advanced central nerve degeneration, and blurred individuation, some of the Snake’s repeat customers can serve as (partially…) mobile receivers for the Cluster’s most insidious plots. All that remains is to crack the code.
“The mural of conscious thought is our wall.”
Well, it seems at the very least to reaffirm, roughly a year in advance, my plan to build a great wall to a greater future. It also appears to foretell, prophetically, an art-themed campaign event.
Of course! How could I miss such a concrete metaphor? Instead of a wine and cheese event at the Rouevre Pyramid, we should find some underpass in the belly of one of those cities with a low sigma alpha pi rank and spray “Noh freedom is the best freedom!” all over its failing pylons.
Now that you mention it, I do rather fancy a girl’s night out. I hope it is possible to pick more than one favorite without depriving the other guests of too many squeeze toys.