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Full Version: A Flip of a Tail, Meeting on Freeport 4
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No one in the station looked at the Gallic Perilous that just moored with the docking belts outside. With the war ongoing, people of Gallic origins have leaked into the independent worlds past Bretonia.

The docking gates were bustling with people loading and unloading goods for the traders who waited before they were out in space again. With the activity going on, no one noticed a small robot wheeling down the corridor with a box on top of it.

Taking the first visible route out, the metal box on wheels left the loading bays and entered the station proper. Going down one of the halls, the odd machine found the bar. It wasn't the largest of bars, certainly not as large as some on Planet Manhattan, but it was a nice place where people seemed to not want to bother others.

On the right side lined booth seating, the last booth empty near the corner. Weaving past a few freestanding tables, the robot rolled to the booth bench. Once there, a small platform raised the box it was carrying to the booth bench. A zipper undid itself and something walked out. Whatever it was hid on the other side of the box it was just in so nothing would see it. The small robot activated minor anti-gravity hover pads on itself and lifted to the tabletop where it sat on. It was no larger than sixty centimeters in any direction, so it wasn't blocking any views. A small wire snaked out to the bench, and the robot went almost dormant.

Once a waitress figured someone might of taken the spot, she almost questioned the stuff in the way.

"I am here to meet someone. Let me stay where I am so I can do so. Also, please bring a small bowl of milk if you would, merci."

The waitress heard the robotic voice come from the small machine on the table, but did not see a person who might be there. Without questioning she left to get the bowl of milk, an odd request, and placed it down before quickly leaving again.

The figure hidden behind the box on the bench stirred. While he wanted to drink, he was going to wait for whoever it was that was to meet him.

He just hoped they would take him seriously.
Something seemed off.

Ken Matsuda couldn't qutie put his finger on it, but something wasn't quite right. As he and two other men entered the bar, he looked around and the booth appeared to be empty, but with a package on the bench and a small robot on the table. He pulled a handheld scanner out of his pocket to make sure there was nothing explosive, and noted an odd blip on the thermal scan while flipping through the results.

"You know the plan. Keisuke, you're on point A. Tom, you're on B," Ken said quietly. The three took their positions. Keisuke sat at another booth, where he ordered a glass of water and a couple Synth Crackers, and Tom stood in a corner - an obvious position that would draw attention to him, and away from Ken.

As Ken took his own seat he sighed and said, "Alright, get out from back there."
The figure stirred as a man sat at his booth. It got up, but it did not come high enough to be seen over the table. The machine on the table croaked into life with a pop, a cracked voice overlapped with mechanical whine began to escape from speakers on the sides of it.

"Oh, you actually came. I was expecting nothing to happen from this and myself having to flee to some other location."

The figure moved slightly to look over the table, but was not able to get a clear view of who he was talking to exactly.

"I am sorry, but I cannot quite see from this angle so you'll have to excuse me. I'm small in nature and it's rude to stand on tables."

With that, the machine opened a small hologram projector.

"These are my past identifications, if you can call them that. I am Sire Merlin of Rouillac, knight of House DeMatha which resides on New Paris. I come from a noble household, though any and all titles I may of had at one point were stripped when I left Gallia."

The hologram showed information on Merlin. Everything matched what he said, and a serial code was visible if the viewer wanted to confirm the document.

Quote:Name- Sire Merlin of Rouillac
Date of Birth- N/A
Age- Nine Standard.
Sex- Male
Occupancy- Royal Guard of the DeMatha Family

The document went on, but none of it was as interesting as the first few lines.

"I hope this will work for identification?"
"And you couldn't bring an extra box to sit on?" Ken asked, shaking his head and running the code through his tablet. "I'm Ken Matsuda, of the Vagrant Raiders. I'm the captain of Come As You Are... which seems strangely appropriate right now..." He glanced to the side. Tom was watching the conversation with some interest, but Keisuke was more focused on his snack and the news than anything else. But that would be sufficient; he was always quick enough when he was needed.

This left him with one problem though - he couldn't see who he was talking to. And it would probably be somewhat rude to lean over. So...

"Now, I know that guy at Heisenberg couldn't get that shrink ray to work, something about conservation of mass and human tissue not withstanding that sort of internal pressure, so you're not human. So what exactly are you?"
An odd grumble flopped out of the speakers of the robot that was speaking for Merlin. One could only guess it was what the machine took as a sigh. It was clear Merlin did not like to explain who he was.

He sat up in the bench, and two almost pointed fuzzy ears poked over the table.

"I am Sire Merlin, the cat."
Ken was momentarily silent, taking a slow breath to compose himself before continuing. Tom was quite amused by the revelation, and even Keisuke's attention was drawn away from the television - apparently some actress or another had gone topless on Curacao. He wasn't sure how that was news, but until recently that was still the most interesting thing going on at the Freeport.

"Alright, the only reason I know this isn't a joke is because Victor has a terrible sense of humor," Ken said quietly. "I don't even know where to begin with this. I guess we start with 'how?'"
Merlin tilted his head to show interest but quickly remembered he could not be seen from his position.

"Victor? Who is that?"

Merlin felt uneasy and looked around the box beside him on the bench which hid him from the others at the bar. He couldn't make out much, but it seemed someone who was leaning on a wall was keen on making sure the conversation went well. Or he ended up dead and dragged back to Gallia.

"Before I continue to answer your questions, I must request two things. Proof of who you are, and if that shows well, permission to be on the table to drink my bowl."
"Victor Delacroix, the one who contacted you to arrange this meeting. That I even know that should be enough proof, but here," Ken replied, fishing a card out of his pocket and setting it on the table. A simpler model than Merlin's hologram system, the card still had all the relevant information and a code to scan for confirmation. "Go ahead and climb up there. And don't worry about the guy in the corner, he's security, for both of us. Got another guy in here too. Gallia's a touchy issue, don't want to take any chances."
Powerful back legs propelled Merlin onto the table. The landing sounded heavy, as if someone had hit the table with metal wrapped in a towel.

Merlin was indeed a feline, one of the few creatures brought from Sol when the sleeper ships left. His fur was mostly white with a few areas of orange on the back. The top of the head and full tail length was also orange. A wire was burrowed in the side of his neck which led to the machine that was somehow speaking for the cat.

A deep motoring purr came from Merlin as he looked at the person he was talking to for the first time. He did not seem like a person who would harm him, and looking at the card shown gave some proof as to this man's origins.

Before commenting, Merlin lapped at the bowl of milk. The worrying made him thirsty, and he hadn't had a proper drink since he left the apartment on Manhattan. He felt sorry for leaving there, but he needed to survive.

"You must excuse me, I'm not really used to trusting humans."

The robot piped after Merlin finished lapping at the milk.

"Now what did you ask? Ah right. 'How'.

How I came to be is from a certain woman pouring too many francs into a dead thing to have her daughter happy again. Of course, things are always more complicated than a simple answer. I guess you could call me an experiment? Enjoyably enough I find I'm not the only one that was in Liberty, though the others were hideous animals crossed with humans. Such weird beings.

Also, I am not fully organic. Over half of my body is machinery or the micro systems that allow me intelligence at near human level. That was done by Gallic scientists who believe I had some 'god' DNA in me that could cure this or that. I really don't know that much about the testing that was done."

Merlin closed his eyes peacefully in thought.

"I hope that answers your questions, at least partially."
"Okay... that leaves me with two remaining issues," Ken began, taking his time to phrase everything correctly. "First, why are you on the run? I've been running security jobs long enough to know that there has to be a reason for it. More specifically, why did you leave Gallia?"

Ken glanced at the two men he brought with him. Keisuke had returned to watching the news (now there was some crackpot on there talking about weather patterns in the Barrier), and Tom had turned his focus to the door. This was good, both were doing their jobs.
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