Carpathia III: Episode 65 - Captain Carpathia
Zhail City, Yseri, The Palace
Adell squatted on the floor of Artemis's lab in the basement of the palace and concentrated hard on the large stone block that lay before him. Slowly and carefully, he drew his outstretched fingers along the center and watched the crack in the stone lengthen little by little.
Artemis: Nothing ever happens down here.
Ignoring Artemis, Adell did his best to maintain his concentration and continued to move his hand in line with the crack.
Artemis: Yep, it would be nice if something interesting happened.
The stone block suddenly made a small "pop" noise and a small shard of stone shot out and hit Adell in his forehead.
Adell: Ow! Artemis, can you be quiet? I've never done anything this precise before!
Artemis grumbled and pretended to work as he listened carefully to what Adell was doing. Adell, hoping that there would be no more interruptions, continued moving his fingers along the crack in the stone, drawing it longer and longer. Finally, after much patience and concentration, the crack reached the length of the block and the two halves fell apart.
Adell: It's done. Where's the crystal.
Without looking up, Artemis pointed to a bag sitting on a table next to him.
Adell rummaged through the bag until he found the crystal, still neatly wrapped up in a piece of old cloth. He took it and put it in a hole in the wall where the stone once resided and pushed it all the way to the back. Once he was sure it was secure, he took the front half of the stone block he split in half and carefully placed it in the wall. Little rivulets of grout fell to the floor as he carefully adjusted the block to make it look like it had never been moved. Once he was satisfied, he turned his attention to the back half of the stone.
Adell: What do you suppose I should do with this.
Artemis: Just turn it into powder or something. I can just throw it out with the rest of the trash.
Adell: That's a good idea.
Adell placed the stone on the floor and focused on it. With one swift, fluid motion, he jabbed both of his fists at it and the stone exploded into dust.
Adell: That should do it.
Adell swept his hands high above the powderized stone, bringing all the dust together. Then, turning his palms upwards, raised the dust into the air and deposited it into a nearby bin.
With his his task finished, Adell turned and looked over Artemis's shoulder.
Adell: I'm sure nobody will find the crystal there.
Adell watched as Artemis fiddled with some new contraption that seemed to be little more than a steel ball with a flat spot on it. Adell's eyes, however, continuously darted over to Phobos and Deimos standing off to the side. They were behaving very strangely, constantly patting each others' bodies, pinching each others' cheeks and playing with each others' hair.
Adell: Um... Are they alright?
Artemis responded without looking up from his new gadget.
Artemis: I asked them if they wouldn't mind me turning up their curiosity parameters. I want them to learn everything they can about the palace, but I can't get them to stop doing that. They've been at it for hours.
Adell grinned and poked Artemis with his elbow.
Adell: Still giving them polite requests? You're getting soft!
Artemis rolled his eyes and put down the thing he was working on.
Artemis: No, it's simply the most expedient way of getting them to do my bidding. Now, if you don't mind, is there another reason you came down here? I want to get back to work on my speaker.
Adell leaned in closer to the small device.
Adell: Oh, you're making a speaker?
Artemis: Not that you care, but yes. If I'm going to be stuck down here, I'd like to be able to play my music at a decent level of quality and maybe the King would like to install an intercom system. Anyway, if you're here for your Captain Carpathia figure, it's finished.
Artemis rummaged through a stack of papers and chunks of metal, eventually pulling out a well-sculpted statue of Captain Carpathia that was about the same height as Phobos and Deimos. Adell took it from Artemis's outstretched hand and marveled at its detail.
Adell: This is really good! The details are perfect!
Artemis: Thank them. They're the ones who made it.
Adell again looked over at Phobos and Deimos, who were still busy playing with each other and he figured that anything he said to them would not be heard.
Adell: Thank you for asking them to do it. This will be very helpful.
Artemis said nothing. He simply grunted and waved his hand dismissively. Adell took a few steps towards the door before turning to face Artemis again, who was now busy tinkering with his new speaker once more.
Adell: You know, I could ask Riven if you could have a lab that wasn't in the basement, if you want.
Adell waited several moment for a response and he was nearly ready to give up when Artemis finally spoke.
Artemis: I'm better off down here where it's quiet and private.
Dejected, and still unsure what was bothering Artemis, Adell once again walked somberly to the door when Artemis spoke again.
Artemis: My bedroom could be better. If you could get me something nicer than the shoebox I'm in now, that would be good.
Adell smiled, happy that he could help.
Adell: I think I can arrange that!
Adell hurried out of Artemis's lab. Artemis buried his face in his hands as he listened to Adell's footsteps fade into the distance.
Artemis: Thick-headed idiot.
Suddenly, Artemis felt a tug on his sleeve. He looked up to find Phobos and Deimos looking up at him expectantly.
Artemis: So what do you two want?
Phobos fidgeted nervously before responding.
Phobos: Um... Dad? We were wondering if you could...
Artemis: Yes, spit it out!
Deimos: Could you make us some functional genitalia?
Artemis stared blankly with his mouth hanging open while Deimos smiled and Phobos nodded his head in agreement. After several moments of silence betwen them, Artemis simply allowed his head to flop onto his desk where it landed with a loud "thunk."
Artemis: Even the androids get more attention than I do.
Adell rode the clanky elevator back up the the top floor, all the while admiring the Captain Carpathia figure and wondered where Artemis managed to obtain such nice resin and other necessary materials. It even had articulated joints, a nice, fur wig, and well-tailored clothing.
As he opened the door of the elevator, he became more excited to present the figure to Riven. He trotted down the hall way to his door and entered. Riven was sitting in his chair, as though he were doing nothing but awaiting Adell's return. Adell proudly held up the doll for Riven to see.
Adell: It's finished!
Riven raised an eyebrow and rose from his chair as Adell brought Captain Carpathia to him.
Prince Riven: This is exceptional workmanship.
Adell passed the doll to Riven, allowing him to examine it further.
Prince Riven: Please tell me about Captain Carpathia. Why does your world have such a mythos?
Adell scrached behind his head and thought for a moment.
Adell: Well... I guess his purpose is to remind everyone of what we want our culture to be. Captain Carapthia defends the common individual against people who take without giving anything back. Greedy people. Scam artists. Mafia. That sort of thing.
Prince Riven: Hmmm... Perhaps we could use such a resolute hero type of character.
Riven paused, leaving Adell intrigued.
Adell: Oh? What would your hero do?
Riven slowly moved around the coffee table and sat on the couch. He sat Captain Carpathia on the edge and stared at the doll thoughtfully.
Prince Riven: Stating the premise simply, he would be strong enough to destroy Nekramentia. Our society is structured in a rigid class system. Everything is segregated and orderly. Farmers, traders, merchants, and machinists all keep to their own area and nobody is allowed to cross into other territories without proper paperwork. This order is supposed to provide safety from Nekramentia and its ruler, Maelstrom. However...
Riven's voice trailed off and he said no more. Adell waited for him to continue, but Riven simply absentmindely played with Captain Carpathia's hair.
Adell: You sound uncertain.
A few more moments of silence passed while Riven tweaked Captain Carpathia's ears.
Prince Riven: I question the need of such measures. I do not fully understand the intended result. Further to that, I am not aware of any attacks by Maelstrom on the lands of Zhail. There have been none in my lifetime, as far as I know. I feel as though I have not been told the full story.
Adell took a seat next to Riven on the couch.
Adell: Someday, you'll be in charge and you can change everything for the better. So, what would you like to hear about next?
Riven turned his head slowly as he reached up and stroked Adell's chin.
Prince Riven: I suppose we can arrange more time before it is time to retire. Tell me more about Captain Carpathia.
All city pictures from SimCity 4