Birds Don't Kneel

Summary:
September 01, 2014: The Corvinus encounters an inspirational General from a dead world. Respect is given. No kneeling… yet.

Mysterious Building, East End, Gotham

This building appears to be a weathered brick structure that's seen much better days. Inside, though, it is most assuredly not. Someone went to a great deal of effort and money to have this put here.


Characters

NPCs
Scientists


Mood Music:
[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXzXL1YT1_k]


It is a quiet rain soaked evening in Gotham, black clouds fill the sky, and it seems as if most of the world is afraid to come out from hiding. In the distance sounds of muggers running free with ill begotten gains, in the foreground the sounds of alarms. Though on the outside the source of the alarms is a rather plain looking old style brick building, the blaring sounds, and ringing alarms prove it to be something more.

As of yet there are no police on scene, the heavy metal front door of this old building resting ripped from its hinges off to one side. Two thick hand prints are visible on the outside of the door itself, as if someone had ripped it off of it's hinges with a great deal of force, only to sit it back down to the side. The clinical interior of this building suggests even further that this old structure may not be as run down or as simple as it at first appears.

***

It's been a pretty good day for The Corvinus. Things are looking up, it had a chance to communicate with a technopath over in New York, and its partner didn't even get in trouble for it. On the other hand, Jim's employer did have a few cross words privately with it, warning it to be more respectful of space and the like.

But that was in the past and everyone involved learned from it. It is a good day when all gain Enlightenment.

As it is wont to do, this time it is joy-flying over Gotham, even in the rain. Allegedly this long-lost city had protectors and guardians. And then it detects the sounds and notices that none of them appear to have taken note of this spot. It then it does a curious circling around the structure, peering down at the entry-way.

It could probably do that. It'd take a bit of work, but this is not what would be termed a 'good thing.' Inwardly, its partner is bellowing at it to get out and get help, but it doesn't appear to be nearly as dangerous as the partner is letting on. It heads for a landing on the building's rooftop, looking for an entrance there.

While the Buddha Bird may not agree with the partner's concern, it is going to draw on his limited tactical sensibility. The front door screams 'TRAP', after all.

***

From the looks there is a single rooftop entrance to the old brick building, the door itself made of a rather lightweight wood, if nothing else then to uphold appearances. Just looking at the building it doesn't seem like there's much worth stealing, or real signs of conflict barring the blaring sirens and the ripped off door. It is possibility that whoever did this has already came and went, but there is a feint sound of movement bellow.

***

With sudden caution the ancient bird thing carefully extends a talon and shoves it into the lock to disable its workings and let the door swing open. Then, as stealthily as it can manage, it starts to make its way down the stairs from the entrance, stopping every step it thinks makes a sound of any sort. Slowly, carefully, while listening on the way down.

***

The old wood walls give way to rather advanced looking pristine white walls, with a completely sanitary environment, at the end of the staircase is some sort of small chamber that looks to be used for decontamination. Ahead the hopefully unconscious bodies of armed guards lay strewn about, their weapons completely melted, save the handle.

***

The Corvinus strides forward to the guards and looks for any sort of radio or signalling device that they might have for calling back - up or the like, checking one or two to verify life-status by placing fingers against key spots to see if there is heartbeat. It will then take a slow, deep breath and continue to stride forward. Weapons seemed to be attacked, so approaching whatever it is armed… may or may not be a good idea. Still, nothing insurmountable… yet.

***

Each person he comes across seems to have been simply knocked unconscious, their bodies left where they stood. Surprisingly there are no intact radios, on any of them, each one melted right through same as the guns they had been holding. Whoever did this didn't want anyone to radio ahead, though everything is still fresh, as if this whole attack had only happened moments ago.

As Corvinus makes its way further along a calm and friendly yet commanding voice speaks inside one of the labs already mid sentence. "…is kneel before me, and place a kiss upon my ring."

***

This is at least a hopeful situation. The entity in question has not terminated any of the potential future defenders of the world. Score one for whoever it is.

Then there is the commanding voice insisting on obedience… and it isn't the spirit of mischief. Or any of a number of other things it has run into. This is something new… but someone used to the voice of command, and like someone else, unused to hearing it bucked against. A little bit more cautiously the bird-thing advances until it can catch a glimpse of the source of the voice.

***

The complex lock on the lab door has been completely melted through quite recently still red hot from the extreme heat placed upon it. Inside of the room proper stands a man dressed in full black cloth from head to toe, a full 6'7" tall giant of a man. His once pitch black hair, looks to have greyed somewhat with the onslaught of ages, but he looks just as fit, as if he where a man in his prime. Though the bird man can only get a look at his backside it is clear that something about this man is very imposing, be it his general stature or something more.

"What say you Houstonians, will you join me?" Zod's question ringing through the air, as he holds out his ring towards a small group of somewhat scared looking men and women, in lab uniforms, who look to have been interrupted mid experiment.

***

The person has a heat weapon of some sort. Super strength. Voice of Command. The bird-thing continues to tally assets and liabilities… and finds itself woefully lacking in some regards. However, The Corvinus is an instrument of Enlightenment. No matter where it may be needed.

Despite its partner still screaming at it, Corvinus strides forth slowly, with a slow, rattle-y clearing of the throat.

"If one is truly in charge of a situation, one does not need feeble displays of control to prove it. One should simply be done with a thing, and move forward. To show doubt in the face of the uncertain is to sow greater waves of it. Does one not agree?"

What is this bird-thing's agenda, anyways?

***

"Would you dare to question General Zod?" The mans voice calls out, as he lowers his ring hand back down to his side. "I offer these Houstonians a chance at new life among the stars, where their genius will be respected," Turning on his heel the rather imposing man looks Corvinus right in the eyes, his shirt partially unbuttoned to reveal a small pendant around his neck, with a Z. "A life their wardens would not permit them."

***

"This one is but a vessel of Enlightenment. For this one to claim to be the one offering questions would be arrogance and stupidity. These two flaws one clearly lacks. This one would submit that there are much better means and ways to gain what one seeks without such a display of force. The humans — pardon, 'The Houstonians' — react much more readily to offers of hard currency, professional advancement, and personal liberty. When one seeks to deprive them of these things, they become… irrational. Such a situation would be counter-productive to one's stated goal of giving them 'new life and respect'."

It stares back, but keeps its head bowed slightly.

"Perhaps they volunteered to be here. Perhaps they were ordered. One has the sound of one who leads. One would expect those under one's command to remain at their post."

***

"It would behoove you to act with more respect winged one," Zod moves over towards Corvinus not moving his feet, more so gliding across the ground, then actually walking "On Krypton it is custom to kneel before your betters," He rather calmly stops just a few inches from the bird, looking him over. "I offer these Houstonians a Paradise, for the making, and the ones keeping them here refused to hear reason," He leans in slightly closer, to say in a rather fatherly voice, "If you show respect there may be a place for you on New Krypton as well,"

***

"One respectfully notes that it is difficult to maintain a position of respect from a position of subservience. One would not do this thing to anyone. This either means one has no respect for others who may or may not be better than one, or one views all as equal partners that work together to promote one's vision. This one appreciates the candor of a learned wise leader, for in saying little, one says much."

"This, however, is not Krypton, and the custom on this world is to see the one is talking to eye to eye, so that one may see the intent of another. One definitely understands the need to integrate one's followers via proper socialization and skill. This one definitely salutes one for having the Wisdom to listen, when so many others would strike first in arrogance and stupidity."

Throughout all of this, the bird-thing's tone is calm, respectful, collected. Not as if preaching to someone beneath, but treating with the respect of an equal. A student always needs respect, or they will not learn.

***

For a time Zod silently watches the bird-man backing off slightly, as he thinks of what to do next. His head raises slightly, looking down towards him for a few moments. "You are treading carefully feathered one,"

His expression is cold and calculating as he takes in each and every word that Corvinus utters "This I can respect,"

"Be warned that my respect is easily lost," For a second he looks as if he is about to strike, though instead he simply turns his back on the bird man, so that he can float back towards the somewhat more calm scientists.

***

The avianoid backs up slightly, indeed treading very carefully with micro-metric precision, and does not flinch at the attempted strike.

"This one deeply appreciates the forthright nature of one's direction. Far too many on this world are lost without vision. Far too many are adrift. And far too soon, a Storm will come. This one seeks all to be ready for that Storm."

It is a very simple statement of facts with no pandering.

"One has some time yet. One can do more research into this world. One will discover many, many interesting things that will help one's agenda. One should not move boldly on an opening move with ephemeral short-term gains when one can make much larger gains over time."

Sound advice. What, is this thing attempting to become the General's adviser or something?

***

Suddenly without warning this large man lets out a boisterous laugh, with the kind of backing that shakes the walls. "I only ever look to the bigger picture" He turns back around with the sort of confidence almost impossible to imagine seeping out of his every pore, "When New Krypton is risen all of planet Houston will be protected, educated, and ready for the universe," He floats a little bit higher into the air, still oozing confidence as he explains "I was not allowed to save Krypton, and I will not let that happen again."

***

"This one salutes the Enlightenment of the sentients of this world. That is this one's goal. This one was not allowed to save Thanagar, and will not allow that to happen again."

The avianoid has spoken to the God of Mischief, Atlanteans, and others thus far. And that's before the epochs of life experiences are factored in. It does not share the laugh, for that is the purview of this man alone.

"This one will keep an eye out for resources that might help one with one's laudable goal."

It backs up a bit, slowly.

"With the resources and capabilities one has, it would be the work of moments to recover these honored men of learning to one's banner. This one suggests allowing them to return to their homes, so that they may confer with their families of the great adventure one offers. After all, a happy scientist is a productive one."

***

"Then it is settled!" Zod again spins around to face the now somewhat confused scientists. A smile on his face, as he moves towards them, with open arms "I will personally fly each of you home so you needn't waste time in asking your families about this momentous journey," He throws his hands up high, giving off another boisterous laugh "Of course any family you wish to take along will be provided proper housing!"

Zod says, "We will along the way work out this whole 'pay' business."

***

The avianoid would smile if it had the capability, as it remains silent and watchful. It is simply waiting for a good opportunity to leave this place or find some way to send a signal to someone, anyone, something subtle that will get some sort of attention without bringing the delicate stepping to an end. It cannot help but think this is going to become worse before it gets better, but it has most assuredly bought that most sacred of commodities.

Time.

***

"One last thing" Zod turns back to face Corvinus "I hope you don't mind," He moves a bit closer towards the bird, leaving behind the now smiling scientists, "But" For what seems an age he thinks of the words, before finally saying "I can't have you telling anyone what you saw today, I hope you understand?"

***

"This one has no interest in seeing this unwoven. This is in keeping with one's purpose. To spread Enlightenment is the most important of tasks, and one understands and respects this. One must do what one must. This one simply hopes that it is not a painful process."

And if this strange person does injure it, well… that will change the equation in the future.

***

Raising his hands up to either side of Corvinus' head, looking the creature right in the eyes. He moves in a bit closer keeping his eyes locked as if trying to look inside of his soul through his eyes. Moving in he offers a single quick kiss on the end of his beak, the intent to try and wipe the last twenty-four hours from the bird mans mind.

Backing away quickly after the kiss, he moves to try and evacuate the group from the building. He's surprisingly quick for a man of his age, gathering the scientists in a quick flash.

Then in a blur of movement, and a loud crack that shatters beakers bottles and glass in the area. The only signs left behind of his ever being there slow falling chunks of debris, and glass.


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