Outside, there is a sort of silent stillness that can only be achieve in a place where motion is ever implied, but never seen. Though you could never see the inner workings of the refineries from the outside, you knew they must have been a flurry of motion. But right now, in this instant, it seems even that has fallen still
Cid: "There is a fee for early termination of contracts, correct, mister Jacke?"
Jacke: "Correct, Cid"
Cid: "So, then, for ninety eight contracts I have calculated the termination fees" he pulls up a briefcase "And I believe"
Cid clicks it open, showing it completely full to the brim with money "That this should be enough"
Anton softly whistles for dramatic effect.
What you see inside the briefcase is a lot of money, in fact more money than any of you have seen in physical form before, maybe you've seen those numbers or heard about them when talking about the entirety of the funding of entire projects, but here it is, in full form. It's a little awe-inspiring, and in fact it seems to have struck everyone in the room silent for a moment
Harriet raises up her calotype, and takes a picture, being sure to catch both Jacke and the contents of the open briefcase in the shot.
Jacke just looks at it for a moment, almost succeeding but failing to not look impressed, the younger teenager visibly raises her eyebrows whence they remain for a while. The soft noise of the calotype seems to bring Jacke back to the present, he looks behind at you and you see his eyebrows furrow, he turns to look at Cid again "Yes… Yes, I will have to count but- Ingram please?" one of the guards pulls the briefcase closer and starts counting "It does seem to be… Quite sufficient for the termination fees"
Hughbert tries to do some mental math in his head. "If each bundle is valued at… hmm… That many across and that many deep… Well, then."
Cid nods in response "Very well, and I took the liberty of" he pulls a piece of paper from a drawer in the table "Putting the termination terms here" he puts the paper on the table and signs- It's a bit of a crude signature, then passes it over to Jacke
Amal is… impressed. And they've seen a lot of weird stuff.
During the entire process Cid keeps his eyes trained directly on Jacke's, almost threatening
Jacke reaches for the paper, looks at his guard who nods at him, he pulls out a pen- It looks like an old-style feather pen, but it writes with ink despite not having been dipped anywhere, plus given it was in his pocket the feather portion is unnaturally unbent.
Jacke signs slowly and with deliberate movements a very flowery signature "Well, then…" he sounds a little shaken "I was not expecting… This to happen. But if it must be so"
Harriet takes a picture of Jacke signing the agreement, too.
Serenity: "Man that's like, almost a decade worth of research funds. We should make a contract with these guys and get 'em to break it on the way out too, Hughbert."
Jacke nods to his guards and turns around to leave "Then, if that will be all…"
Hughbert: "Do you want to effectively be on Alcor's payroll, though, Serenity?"
Serenity: "I would GLADLY spend all of Alcor's money if given the chance."
Jacke starts to leave, but the teenager doesn't leaves with them. She walks over to the contract to inspect it before Cid has a chance to take it away. She furrows her eyebrows and walks over to Jacke, whispering somethign to him
Hughbert speaks up as Jacke's leaving, "Hmm… Cid? Just a moment, before we adjourn this meeting."
The guards have left ahead of Jacke, who seems to have stopped to have a whispered discussion with the teenager
Cid looks at Hughbert "Did something seem out of place?"
Hughbert whispers to him, pointing to the table, ( "Is that one your copy, or his?" )
Cid: "(Copy? I only made one-)"
Jacke makes a slightly louder, angrier noise at the girl and grabs her right shoulder and shoves her with a bit of force ahead to get moving, she looks distressed
Serenity: "Huh."
Serenity: "Would have guessed essentric bodyguard or something, not successor."
Anton scrunches up his face as he glances at Jacke.
Hughbert: "(That's alright. He is very likely in a rush, so let's send him a copy afterwards. To someone who can hold him accountable to its terms, if you follow.)"
Serenity‘ glances at Anton, then shakes her head before pointing at the girl with her eyes.
Harriet: "Well I’m glad that's not my boss." Harriet frowns at the scene between Jacke and the teenager.
Jacket moves her out along, there's a moment and you hear their voices further away "Uncle, mother will not be happy I promise you" "That idiot isn't in charge of this company anymore, I am" "You can't do this kind of thing!" "Those savages don't even know what a contract is, I can well do what I want" "You can't just take their things and pretend you signed that"
Harriet: "Uhhh… should we be worried about that?" Harriet looks to Hughbert for guideance.
Serenity: "She's right you know, there's an Oracle watching this right now and is peering into the future as we speak. Would be a shame if you were thinking of doing something stupid and had to be preemptively stopped." Serenity shouts after them.
Anton scratches his head. "Aww shucks, you spoiled the twist, Serenity."
Serenity: "I was under the impression we wanted to end this *without* anyone getting shot, so might as well let them know they have snipers trained on them, you know?"
Hughbert sighs. He steps over to the two. "Pardon me. I would like to offer my services as a neutral third party mediator in your dispute. Primarily because that last part is sure to cause a dire misunderstanding. I'm sure a man of your station isn't a cheat, no?"
Anton: "I'd mention who the heck uses a bow instead of a gun in this day and age, but I think I just found my soul mate~."
Serenity: "Eh?"
Jacke freezes in place and he and the girl turn around "(What have you done?!)" he whispers, a little too loudly "Used your dumb ass against yourself" she glares at him "Fix it" he growls silently
Jacke clears his throat "Hrm… Y-you don't happen to…. Have a second copy of the agreement?"
Anton waves a hand dismissively. "Nothing of importance, my auburn-topped highness. The man wrote a false signature, that's all you need to know~."
Serenity: "Well yeah I caught that much, not sure what that has to do with bows, though."
The girl looks at her uncle, he looks down at her- You realize the guards have already gone with the money. He looks definitely like a cornered rat, and takes a single step back. The girl puts her right hand under her jacket. "I do not believe I do, mister Jacke" Cid says, in a loud voice, sensing something about to happen
Cid: "However, the press used to print it is still adjusted for more copies as needed in the room across from this one"
Cid stands up and starts heading through the door "You will wait a couple of minutes, certainly, mister Jacke?"
Jacke: "Yes, yes of course"
Cid leaves for the adjoining room
The teenager takes a heavy breath "I… Need to apologize for my uncle"
Anton: "Nothing you could have done, honestly. No worries, we aren't surprised~."
Harriet: "Hey, no problem. I've definitely seen professors who go on power trips, it's pretty sad."
A few moments later, Cid returns with now two copies of the agreement. Jacke almost jumps out of his skin when he approaches "Now, if you would?"
Hughbert: "Let's discuss that over a cup, shall we? What would you like to have?" Hughbert has pulled a tea set out from a disused closet of the meeting room, as well as a coffee pot. If he knew who had hidden it there, thinking no one would find it, he'd apologize for borrowing it… But it was their fault for hiding it in the same place that Silvester always hides his!
Teenager: "Coffee would be good"
Hughbert pours a cup out. While he does so, he keeps one eye on the pot and another on the contract itself…
Jacke and Cid once again sit down to sign, this time two copies. The signature is considerably different you notice.
The teenager stays close to Jacke the entire time
Harriet snaps another picture of them signing. You know, for the records.
Jacke's shaking, but finishes signing. The girl finishes her coffee "You make a very good cooffee mister Hughbert. You'd make great butler"
Anton snickers quietly to himself.
Jacke takes a deep breath, and stands up, Cid does the same. The teenager looks at the contract, she picks their copy and offers to her uncle, who takes it cautiously
Jacke is quick to start moving for the exit
Anton: "Heading back to Akavir, then?"
Anton: "It'd be a shame to leave so quickly."
Hughbert: "Why, thank you." He gives her a smile. "I sometimes envy the butler fashion. Compared quite well to the R+D uniform. Ah, may I ask one question before you go?"
Jacke: "My… Business here is done. So I must"
Teenager: "Sure, mister Hughbert, what is it?"
Hughbert: "When can mister Cid expect the transport to collect his people? I believe you've offered to bring him to them- I'm sure we'd be able to prepare an ample fleet of vehicles to bring everyone home."
Jacke: "Unfortunately… As per the original contract's terms, we were only obligated to offer transport to Akavir… But I am certain mister Cid already had that in mind, yes?"
JayM: Did I miss something, last I saw was Hughbert's question, did you get the answer
[OOC] Hughbert: yes
Cid: "I… Yes. Unfortunately, that is our responsibility for now… I will see to it"
The teenager shakes her head sadly
Jacke haven't looked back yet "Now if you'll excuse me" he heads out the door, quickly. He almost breaks into a sprint before he leaves your view range
Anton calls out. "I don't believe I got your name, miss?"
The teenager, however, has remained "I… I am really sorry about all this I… We don't work like this…"
Harriet: "Sounds like you're working under some tough conditions."
Milla: "Milla Reinford… Daughter of the company's owner"
Hughbert: "Oh, I see. Meaning the transportation of the workers to Akavir for your project. Hmm…" He watches him bolt. "…Well. That is hardly sportsmanlike."
Milla: "Hrm… I'll… I'll see what I can do about that. Uncle has… Someone with power wanted someone far less competent than mother in charge"
Serenity: "It is FUNNY though."
Serenity: "I don't think I've ever seen a guy in a suit running away from a meeting looking that scared before."
Harriet: "It's pretty hilarious, yeah."
Milla: "And Uncle's some baroness' bastard kid (because the old coot can't keep it in his pants) so he… Got more claims on owning property than the rest of the family and… Ugh"
Milla: "Sorry, again…"
Harriet waves a hand. "Hey, no problem. If he causes trouble, we've got photographic proof that he agreed to this."
Hughbert: "Well, I suppose he needs time to cool off. Miss Milla, I don't know how… hot his temper gets when it boils over, but if he causes you any trouble, I'll gladly sort him out for you." He pounds a fist into an open hand with a smile. "Unofficially, of course. Not Masharas business."
She looks at the party, then looks at Harriet, tilts her head to the side. She heads over to her and pulls out something out of a pocket "You're Harriet right?" it's a tiny measuring device "Here, uhn… Please keep this, for when you visit… I just know you'll end up visiting" she chuckles at Hughbert "Oh, don't worry mister Hughbert. I don't look like it but i'm, a soldier- Well, sort of, still in learning I guess. Also i'm ready" she pats something under her jacket
Milla: "He's hot headed, not dumb"
Harriet: "Oooh, this looks cool." Harriet takes the device and examines it, turning it over in her hands.
Hughbert: "That being said, if he expresses the desire to take extra effort to cover his misstep, perhaps you could have him grant us a small favor? We'd appreciate a guide to get to Akavir safely. I am by no means implying he'd do anything as lowly as ambush us en route, but… He hasn't given me much reason to trust him, either."
Milla looks sad "It's… Nobody can grant you that"
Milla: "News of you have reached, well… Basically everyone important"
Milla: "None of them actually want you there"
Serenity: "no doubt."
Amal: "Hehehe."
Harriet: "Being so amazing has its consequences, yeah."
Milla: "Though, when you do go, well… We can't really help you but… RF has a train that departs from north of Orsis… It's mostly ragnite tankers, but it has two vehicle flat beds as well. Usually to bring war machines"
Milla: "You… Do what you can with that information"
Harriet: "So, like, why are you being so cool with us?"
Harriet hasn't looked up from the measuring device. It's really interesting, okay.
Milla bites her lower lip "Well, I met a bard"
Milla: "That's all I can say, sorry"
She turns around "I better go before I cause an actual problem… Again, sorry for this mess" she runs after her uncle
Harriet looks up as she leaves. "… huh."
Hughbert: "We appreciate what you've done, miss Milla. Consider us even for the trouble your fool of an uncle has caused." He salutes.
Harriet: "She seemed pretty cool for someone from Akavir."
Cid crosses his arms as he watches the scene unfold "Seemed like a kid in a grownup's pants" he looks at the party "Then again… That seems to be the way the world moves now, huhn?"
Cid: "Hrm… They're not all bad there. They just have bad leaders I imagine"
Cid: "Bad leaders can… Do terrible things"
Cid sighs "Thank you, by the way"
Cid: "If it was up to me i'd just have… Let him go when he ran first"
Amal: "Heh. For the moment, maybe. Not forever. There's other ways to run the world!"
Anton scratches his head. "Poor girl already caused a problem. Hope she doesn't get too hurt in that fight with her Uncle."
Serenity: "Anton why'd you say that outloud, now Amal's going to Start Caring."
Harriet: "I mean, if she's a soldier, she can prrrrobably take care of herself."
Amal: "…I hope she's okay…"
Anton: "Well I mean, I come across little things like this multiple times a day. You can't just create zero fates on the hour. Well you CAN, but Amal doesn't reset the world every hour either." He pauses. "… I think?"
Amal: "Hehehe. I'll never tell."
Anton: "In reference to earlier though, she uses a mechanical bow so she's capable of holding her own to some degree."
Serenity: "Oh."
Anton: "Also she's an engineer, not a soldier."
Serenity: "In training, maybe."
Hughbert: "Ah, so that's what you meant by 'soulmate'. Well, Anton, I can teach you how to brew a proper cup of coffee if you think that'd be information relevant to your future plans."
Harriet: "Well, that explains why she had this." Harriet holds up the measuring device, which looks like a bird's beak.
Anton: "And next you'll be trying to get me into a suit again, my dear Hughbert. And I already explored that worldline enough for one lifetime."
Amal laughs gently.
Serenity: "Well anyway. Mission accomplished?"
Anton: "Randomly, Serenity. If you were cloned would you get along with yourself?"
Serenity: "I… have no idea."
Anton chews at his lip before nodding. No further elaboration it seems.
Harriet: "I know I would. If I had two of me, I'd get twice the amount of work done!" Harriet takes the cooled papers with the images of the meeting, and hands them to Cid. "Anyway, be careful not to tear these, or a chemical reaction will destroy it."
Hughbert nods to Serenity and looks to Cid. "So, we've gotten through the meeting. What is your next move?"
Cid sighs deeply and sits down almost dropping himself on the chair. He pours a bit of coffee for himself, his hands are shaking "Take five? So my voice can get back to normal" he chuckles uneasily "Then call Horizon, they're heading towards Akavir in their travels- Have you met clan Horizon yet?- They'll find a way to get our people back
Harriet also moves the boley gauge to her belt, of course.
Serenity: "I think so?"
Cid: "Yeah, they migration's taking them towards Akavir for now, thankfully. So they'll pick our people and return when their migration takes them back here again"
Cid: "That… That should be it, for our troubles with our personnel"
Harriet: "Cool, that's another problem solved."
Cid: "To be honest we had a real lucky break here, everything seemed to fall right in place at the right time"
Amal: "Hehe~."
Harriet: "We're really good at being incredibly lucky, yeah."
Amal: "It's almost like they call us the fatebreakers or something."
Hughbert doesn't look satisfied with just that. "Hmm… Let's say Horizon encountered difficulties on their trip there or back. What sort of problems await them?"
Cid chuckles "You know, you're right, I guess taht's why they call you that, huhn?"
Cid: "Hrm… I think their biggest problem would be… Dealing with the border guard. Goddess knows akaviri border guard has been on pins and needles lately, lieable to shoot you if you approach them too fast"
Cid: "Then, they'd… I don't want to admit it but there's likelihood they'd have trouble to access our people to begin with, they seem to be dealing with some sort of secret project? Which means there's a chance our people… Won't even know what happened here until someone forces their way to them"
Cid: "… Then there's dealing with… Ugh… Ours aren't the only rissani who went there for work, and there's… Others, who went on their own, of other clans. They probably have their own problems… That they may try to get away from on the same trip as our people. I'd love if they could, I wouldn't mind if they did, but whatever their personal demons are, they're like to follow too so I can't even imagine that"
Cid: "I'm… Actually hopeful Horizon has the solution to those problems, they've made this trip countless times"
Cid: "You, though? From where, whence you go? Returning already? I'd… Like you to take something with you, we'd been trying for a while to get an research agreement going but, well, problems. We'd like to get some material we promised almost a whole decade ago to finally be delivered, if the project is even going on"
Serenity: "What project?"
Cid: "An old project called Arcus. I don't remember exactly what it was, it was somewhat secretive on your side but as far as we were aware it concerned ragnite studies"
Hughbert: "At the very least, we should meet with Horizon before they cross over. We may be able to offer some assistance. … Would we be able to fit the material in our truck?"
Serenity: "Never heard of it."
Cid: "At the time we had promised a form of aerossolized ragnite compound we had managed to extract from the flows to help with some part of it in exchange for data on ragnite crystallization"
Harriet: "Oooh, ARCUS. Yeah, we've definitely gotta help with that."
Cid: "Oh, yes, it's just a small pressurized box. Maybe you've seen some of our gas collectors when you came around? Those little boxes"
Cid: "And as for finding Horizon, uhn… G-good luck? I'll them on the radio, they should probably agree to meet with you, but that's around the only way to contact them"
Serenity: "H'kay."
Cid considers, he pulls up a piece of paper and writes down a number on it "Actually, this is their frequency. Mention it was me who gave you that"
Hughbert: "Ah, I'll try not to inconvenience them, in that case. Still, with so many souls counting on them, it'd be negligent of us to do nothing to aid them." He takes the frequency and securely keeps it in a notebook.
Hughbert gives Cid a slightly apologetic smile. "After that, I believe we have business with the Silvarant Knights, while Horizon does its part. I don't know how long their trips take, but perhaps we'll be able to catch them on their return leg as well?"
Cid chuckles "I'm sure you've dealt with pressured gases before, same rules all apply. Just don't forget it's ragnite, and if it ignites it's fuel-air reaction, there is literally no way something can explode worse than fuel-air compounds. But i'll pack a full safety manual with the box
Cid: "Oh, Horizon trips take months, they only spend six months here in Rissan, the others abroad"
Cid: "Hrm… If you're meeting with the Knights I suggest caution, they're… Well, they're having internal disagreements. Try not to get mixed in them, never ends well."
Serenity: "Too late."
Hughbert: "Oh." Hughbert mentally scraps any plans he had to send some R+D support along with the caravan. "Ah, well… Getting mixed with their conflict is very likely our job, you see. Just like…" He gestures to the contract on the table.
Cid: "… Why'd I expect differently? I mean, it's just logical"
Cid: "Then I wish you luck there, hope you can resolve their problems as well as you've been resolving every problem up to now"
Harriet: "Piece of cake."
Amal: "I mean, we can provoke their internal disagreements even more so that things turn out aces for us!" They grin.
Anton: "You don't have to worry about us, that much is certain." He smiles.
JayM: "You sure like poking tigers with short sticks, don't you?"
JayM: "Well… If you need any help that we can offer, i'll be happy to assist"
Harriet: "It helps that I really, really don't care about politics."
JayM: I wonder, what will fate have in store for those who strive to break it as they dive in the territory of the knights with no king?
JayM: I wouldn't know, not yet, not now. As far it's already the Time Of Regrets, and my plans grow short.
JayM: I wonder, though, why receiving a measuring tool was so important in that moment? Could there be some hidden meaning in that? Who'd know
Hughbert: "Right now, the only thing I can think to ask is that you turn a blind eye to whoever happens to duck into this room when it's unused to make some coffee!" He pours himself a cup from the pot he borrowed.
Harriet: "Well, I'd love to hear more about your lava tech, but that's just me."
JayM: You'll have to excuse me if i'm my limit, i'd love to humor Harriet- But we'd be here all night

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