Portal Breach: The Collision of Worlds :: v.4.0


    Hey, This Isn't Circumventing [Tag: Jo]

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    Hey, This Isn't Circumventing [Tag: Jo]

    Post by Zurg on Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:46 am

    Three days. It had already been three days. That was seventy-two hours, four-thousand-three-hundred-and-twenty minutes, and two-hundred-fifty-nine-thousand-and-two-hundred seconds! Whew. Talk about mental math on the spot. But they were well spent seconds, and they had done so many things together already! On the first day Zurg had shown her the infamous robotics factory, where Jo had the rare opportunity to see the actual makings of a Hornet. Sure the ruling AI had some moozle with the poor mechanic, but it was ultimately a great experience. After that had been the weapons factory, and Jo's reaction had been less than thrilled. Jo had always been one to despise weapons, so the Evil Emperor didn't know what possessed him to show her. He knew better now.

    On Sunday Jo had seen and observed how the staff worked. She got to see grubs and brain pods in their natural elements and even assessed the Evil Emperor's iron fist ruling. She had told him he was too tight and perhaps too harsh, but he was an evil galactic overlord! Still, since he valued her opinion like a good evil ruler, he did listen. Instead of creating near-impossible expectations Jo had suggested he make them more achievable, and the results were nearly staggering. Almost at once the grubs competed against themselves to be the best whenever Jo was around and that went double for the brain pods. It was like having Jo around got all those slackers off their lardy duffs and straight into work! He hadn't seen that kind of motivation since.... well, forever! Zurg was almost admitting that he was jealous.

    Monday had been a little fast -- there had been an emergency down in the maintenance level causing the entire complex to shut down while the Evil Emperor and an emergency crew did their best to block a sewage overflow. That day had not been fun.

    But today, which was Tuesday, had been a more laid back day. Zurg couldn't spend the day with Jo like he wanted and was instead mired in settling a few minor yet time-consuming issues here and there. In short, issues that Jo wouldn't have appreciated. Evil issues. As a result Jo was allowed to meander around the palace, but only during the recently-renovated levels. As much as he loved her, the Evil Emperor didn't want her stumbling into something she either wouldn't like or shouldn't be in. It was just for her safety as much as his.

    The only downside he could think of, at least an immediate one, was that Jo had to sleep in the dungeon all this time. He was rather ashamed and embarrassed, but that was all he had! This was going to change, however, and tonight. No more sleeping in the dungeon where prisoners and people he didn't like stayed! The minions had given him enough flack for that as it was.

    "So, Jo. What did you see today? I hope my staff didn't give you trouble. They seem to get awfully competitive whenever you're around." The Evil Emperor had finished tinkering with a command console and turned off the overhead monitors within his Throne Room. It was eerily quiet save for them, and the minions were either sleeping for the night or waiting for the next shift to start. There was always a batch of minions working, Zurg keeping watchful eyes around the clock just in case. He didn't want a repeat with Star Command like what happened not too long ago!

    Standing to his full height the Evil Emperor rotated his wrists to crack them and glanced downwards at her. "So?"


    Last edited by Evil Emperor Zurg on Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Hey, This Isn't Circumventing [Tag: Jo]

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:04 am

    Jo sat on the floor, letting her legs dangle over the edge of one of the ledges. The level below, which was a good drop away, was the level where the grubs were usually stationed, going about their work at their little monitors. Each work space seemed impersonal, as if the grubs had no real personality or identity, but after today and having met a few previously, Jo knew better.

    "Oh, nothing much." She craned her head to see him as he switched off the last of the screens. "I just explored a bit in the areas you told me I could and talked with a lot of grubs and brain pods today. And you know what they say about competition! You strive to get better when you're presented with a challenge that isn't easy to achieve, but hardly unattainable. Like the blockage yesterday!" She made a face in remembrance. No, that hadn't been fun at all. Zurg came back reeking of sewage. Yuck!

    "Your minions are adorable, and also very clever. They ask me so many questions at times!" Jo rotated herself to cross her legs underneath her feet and look up at him, but she did scoot away from the ledge. Don't want any accidents here. "What about you? Is your evil business all sorted out?" She didn't know what he was working on, but it had probably been important for him to need the entire day for it. "Any troubles? Was it about yesterday?"
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    Re: Hey, This Isn't Circumventing [Tag: Jo]

    Post by Zurg on Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:19 am

    "Do they now? It seems like they're taking a liking to you. I bet half of the grubs' questions were about asking what you were. You are, I will admit, the first woman allowed on Planet Z who actually gets about -- besides Ranger Nova whenever her and Team Lightyear decide to make themselves at home. Liz would have counted, but she hardly made nice with my staff. Something about them being too... creepy." The Evil Emperor concluded on a rather amused note. His staff could be so nosy at times, and none of them had noses! After seeing that Jo had a relatively pleasant day on an otherwise unpleasant planet Zurg killed the lingering power throughout the Throne Room and let the lights dim to half their capacity. Since all his scheming and plotting had been done by 15:00PZT he no longer needed to remain here and thus, it was wise to save on energy.

    "Ah, there we are. Down to 33% power output. Should save enough energy. Ready to go?" The Evil Emperor offered a hand for her to take. "And my evil business? Well, let's just say we--being my staff and I--figured out something. I wish it had been the sewage that was the only problem on my plate. The Financial Board isn't always one to be budge even though they, ironically, help set the budget. A bunch of grubs in suits, if you ask me -- which they are. But I don't need to bore you with needless details!" It wasn't like Jo knew anything about running a vastly complex evil empire. No need to bog her down!

    "You must be tired. Here, I'll escort you to your new room." He paused awkwardly. "For now. It's... not as great as it should be, but it's better than the dungeons. I'm sorry about that, by the way. I never included luxury rooms in a fortress of evil."

    Zurg had a chuckle at that.
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    Re: Hey, This Isn't Circumventing [Tag: Jo]

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:32 am

    "Pretty much!" Jo admitted, pulling her classic wrench out of her hair and letting her freshly-cut hair (thanks to Zim) rest past her shoulders. "I'm surprised I'm the first girl they've ever really seen, though. I mean, don't they have females in their species?" Then again, if the grubs did have a female, they probably only had a queen of sorts, as was common with insectoid-races. "And they're not creepy," she added, taking his hand and pulling herself up. "Stinky, sure, but other than that they're alright in my holobook! The brain pods are a little weird, but that's just because they've got that mad scientist vibe."

    She nodded in understanding at the mention of his Financial Board. "Money's always something to worry over. You know I don't make much of a profit in the end, even though some of the prices for the things I make are pretty high. It all goes back to the supplies for more, well, supplies! Maintaining a private business can be very tiresome. I'm almost glad for this vacation. It'll be a break from all that work!"

    She did blink at the mention of a new room. "I have a new room? Really? Where?" She wouldn't be missing the dungeon, that was for sure. Sleeping all alone in a cell, though spruced up a bit to suit her, hadn't been the best experience so far on Planet Z. "Oh, it's fine! There's no need to apologize. I mean, you barely sleep and this is a fortress of evil, as you just said. I can pull through." She mock-punched his arm. "I'm a tough girl!"
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    Re: Hey, This Isn't Circumventing [Tag: Jo]

    Post by Zurg on Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:55 am

    "Not every specie has designated genders like you and I, Jo. The grubs, while they are separate individuals, are really all the same gender -- or as close to the word gender as you can get. Think of them like ants: all of them are the same, basic unit. The brain pods, however, are a little trickier. What you see before you here on Planet Z is what you have. They're asexual creatures. Some are even sterile."

    The Evil Emperor kept steady as Jo rose to her feet and once she came to he shifted his hand, placing it upon her waist and walked her out past the dual pressure bay doors. There was a booming click behind and the doors were locked for the evening. Or unless the Evil Emperor decided to open them again.

    "Oh, it's not money we were worried about." Zurg sighed, keeping his gait slow and casual, enjoying the time he had with her. "It's actually about the supplies. We are running low on certain necessities to remain a functional world. Natural resources are starting to decline and the lack of a stable income for teryllium isn't helping, either. I don't want to mine Planet Z and strip it callously, so the expedition team I sent out a while ago will have to carry our hopes. The Board didn't like that -- the risk was too great, they said. But I said that sometimes you need to gamble in order to get a little lucky. And don't you follow that advice!" He tapped her nose again playfully. "Gambling is a terrible habit and will lead you to ruin if you can't control your vices!"

    They continued to mosey on along, taking their sweet time in the wee late hours. Since there were no grubs or brain pods about like normal the halls were filled with a Hornet patrol here or there. But even then Planet Z seemed much akin to a ghost town -- or in this case ghost world. It was eerily spooky and anxiety-inducing.

    In the silence of his home Zurg nodded, confirming the news about a room. "You've finally got a room, Jo. It's not what you'd expect like the one on Portal Breach, but we tried our best with what we had. You have no idea how hard it was to produce a mattress." But he had to snort at her tough girl comment, rolling his eyes as a smile creased his face.

    "I don't know, Jo~!" He started to tease. "You certainly weren't very tough these past few days, what with X'ngtaat, the sewage escapade, and even when we had that power outage in Sector 8. Did I ever tell you that sometimes experiments escape and claim a few unsuspecting snacks~?"

    Jo received a pinch to her side out of nowhere.
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    Re: Hey, This Isn't Circumventing [Tag: Jo]

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:09 am

    "Are they really pickled brains in jars?" she asked, burning to know. They didn't seem to be, what with having eyes and all, but she'd seen enough of them up close to begin to wonder, and she hadn't wanted to ask a brain pod directly, deeming it to be too rude and too sensitive a thing to ask. She did have tact! Sometimes.

    She didn't mind their casual gait. It would be all the more time they could spend together, and she was glad for that. She rested her cheek against his arm, wrapping her own arm around his waist as they walked on and he explained that it was supplied and resources running low. She could understand from her own business's perspective. "I hope the space expedition comes back with some good stuff," Jo agreed. "Sure, you never know and they might come back empty-handed, but it's best to try out all options first." Things here were just different from home, and that included supplies as well as accommodations.

    "And I don't gamble anymore!" she added, puffing her cheeks out. "I-I mean I never gambled! I.... just.... sometimes bet on hardy individuals in fights.... sometimes...." she mumbled, looking away. She had never been addicted to it, but she had gambled upon occasion. When funds were low and she needed a quick way to make money. She had never made much out of it, but sometimes she'd make enough for a couple more days. And when she'd been temporarily homeless for a time, it had been a really big help.

    "A mattress? Alright!" She was looking forwards to sleeping on a mattress, but she had to wonder where they'd produced it from and whether it would smell. Who knew where they'd found a mattress for her.

    "Ow!" She swatted his hand away with a giggle. "But I'm not tasty! If a runaway experiment tried to eat me it'd just taste burritos all over me and spit me right back out!" she laughed. The funny part was, it would probably be the truth.

    "So where's my room?" she asked eagerly, hugging his arm. "Will you stay with me for a bit before I actually go to bed?" she added.
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    Re: Hey, This Isn't Circumventing [Tag: Jo]

    Post by Zurg on Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:28 am

    "Dohoho, the old brain pod secret. Yes, I'd say that's what everyone wants to know, isn't it?" They rounded a corner and walked down another vacant hall. These seemed to go on forever, twisting and turning like a strange, artificial labyrinth. One could easily get lost within Planet Z. "I'm not supposed to talk about staff information; confidentiality purposes." The Evil Emperor admitted. "But... I suppose I can spare a little detail to you, my dear." He drew closer then, nuzzling a cheek into her hair momentarily before pulling away for some distance.

    "That brain you see is actually their bodies. Their real bodies. When I found the brain pods they had already created their own artificial husks to protect and contain their softer, fleshier selves. Naturally their technology was waning and up until I stepped in they would have eventually succumbed to their environs. Same with the grubs. You should ask both factions how they came to work for me. It's very interesting, and they do like to blab to you."

    Again he nodded with what she said about the expedition, adding his unibuck. "Mm, I hope so, too. If not, Carrie won't be the only one I need to conquer in order to stay ahead of the game. First rule of being evil, Jo." Zurg let out a tired exhale. "If you can't get what you need by yourself, take it from others. If we go by that logic then the entire universe is evil to some degree." Ah, nothing like a little late night philosophy to make you sleepier.

    And that was interesting. "Jo!" The Evil Emperor mock-gasped. "I didn't know you gambled. Fights, huh? I suppose that's better than betting on machines or in one of Keno Kentrix's casinos. You know he tried to lure me down there? Hmph. No doubt to waste me and try to take over my empire. I mean, really. How stupid do I look to a fish in a bowl? I could eat that moronic Bathyosian. Maybe in a nice garlic sauce..." Zurg grinned most wickedly while speaking to the side.

    What didn't sound tasty was a fat, greasy burrito and the Evil Emperor made a face of disgust openly. "Well, I hate to burst your bubble but there won't be any burritos here! Here I make my staff eat well. Not necessarily tasty, but well. Vitamins, nutrients, you know. Something that will keep them working for at least sixteen hours a day. The chef is also pretty good! I like his punch, although everyone else says it tastes like battery acid. And your room?"

    He paused in their walk upon coming to a section elevator and he waited for the doors to open before he responded. "It's down in engineering. There were a couple vacant rooms but I figure you would appreciate somewhere warm and cozy." What he didn't tell her was that it was further away and somewhat secluded, making it a great room for a little privacy if she wanted.

    "Your chariot awaits." Zurg tipped his head at the uninviting elevator.

    Were those scribble marks from a few bored grubs?


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    Re: Hey, This Isn't Circumventing [Tag: Jo]

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:53 am

    Jo's cheeks reddened when he pulled her close. She wasn't a stranger to intimacy, but she was sometimes thrown off guard at his random displays of affection. For someone who didn't like to show what he felt in public he was surprisingly very affectionate. Jo made a happy sound and nestled closer, listening eagerly. She always treasured these moments.

    "Oh, I should have known it! Those eyes looked too real and too stuck on their brains to not be a natural part of them!" But what he said about both the grubs and the brain pods was very interesting. It sounded like he had saved both species from extinction. "Hmm~" She pinched his side. How noble of him. He really was a softie underneath all that armor.

    "Everyone takes from those who are weaker. It's the game of power. It never changes. Be you human, Bathyosian, Shragarakian.... it's always the same old story." Jo didn't know Keno Kentrix other than by name. His casinos on Mahamba 6 were known throughout the galaxy. "It was only to survive. But I did enjoy betting on some surprising winners sometimes. The looks on their faces were priceless! And fish and garlic is a killer combo," she agreed, to some extent. Though if Zurg ever had the urge to eat a sapient species Jo would give him the scolding of his life.

    "Who's your chef?" Jo asked curiously, eyes narrowing a bit. "I want to file a complaint! We need better food, and stat!" So far, she hadn't been enjoying the food one bit. Oh, what she wouldn't give for a good, healthy portion of solar rings and crispy fries. Not the disgusting mash of food cubes she'd been forced to consume in the cafeteria!

    "Engineering, eh? I can live with that. Thank you~!" But of course, that meant riding more elevators. Jo held back a groan as she stepped inside. How long would this elevator take to get them to their destination?
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    Re: Hey, This Isn't Circumventing [Tag: Jo]

    Post by Zurg on Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:19 am

    "Hey, ow! That hurts, and I mean it." Okay, so he was a big baby who was a softie but he didn't have his underarmour thanks to a certain car demon. And he probably wouldn't for another month or two at this rate. But, that said, he could also appreciate the contact better. And okay so maybe he wasn't comfortable airing out his romantic laundry to the public--hello, Evil Emperor with a reputation to keep negative--but that didn't mean he couldn't display his affection when in private. Hardly! People should understand that by now. How many sides of a coin did you see when rested? One. How many sides does a coin have despite not being able to see at the same time? Two. Possibly three if you counted the edge. He rested his case, ladies and gentlemen.

    The elevator doors closed quietly and the transport dropped down, the tunnel humming.

    "The chef? Why, he's a grub, of course." Zurg answered. "And better food? There is no better food on all of Planet Z! Chef makes gourmet with what we get. We're not too choosy. The only one who constantly complained was Darkmatter. His palette was too refined he said." The Evil Emperor sneered with an evident pout. Still sore about Darkmatter? Probably so. It was going to take some time for that wound to heal. And apparently Jo wasn't liking the food, either. "If you don't like it you can tell him, but he will whack your knuckles with his rolling pin. Or your knees. He's not too fussy. And given our budget limitations I doubt the menu will change."

    Zurg had always adopted a policy. As a fair and strict overlord, if one minion got something then ALL his minions had to get something. This was to prevent complaints and internal fighting. So, if Jo were to get a special meal then everyone would have to get one. The Evil Emperor didn't think he could stand another massive pizza delivery like last time! The tip had been ridiculous!

    Besides the talk of food and incompatible stomachs, the elevator ride was relatively short. After passing five levels they had arrived at Engineering and the elevator opened up with a cozy little chime. "Well, we're here."

    Here was a dark, uninviting corridor that went on literally for what seemed like forever. Every corridor had the habit of going on forever. But unlike the silver walls from the levels above these walls were made out of a dusty red metal. The air was dry and warm, and the sound of thrumming machinery could be heard coursing like a heartbeat. There must have been generators or motorized substations nearby.

    Zurg stepped out first and looked around to make sure it was safe. You never knew down here... When it was all clear the Evil Emperor waved for Jo to come out. "Alright, you can get out of there. It's safe. I just wanted to make sure no loose experiments were on the run -- I wasn't kidding about that. The loose experiments, that is."

    As he looked around, eyes roaming, Jo would notice them reflecting like a cat's whenever the light hit them just right.

    Spooky.




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    Re: Hey, This Isn't Circumventing [Tag: Jo]

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:36 am

    "You big baby," she cooed. She knew he was just complaining for the sake of complaining, so she made sure to take advantage of the fact and cuddled closer, feeling his warmth and smelling his scent. Best way to end the day ever.

    "Don't tell me you eat this mush too?" Jo wrinkled her nose. She couldn't eat baby food! She couldn't survive on mush! She had to find a burrito within the next three days or else chaos would ensue. She couldn't go without a burrito at least once a week.

    Forget Zurg's torture chambers. This would be true torture.

    The elevator ride surprisingly didn't take long, and the doors opened out to a dark corridor. Jo wasn't spooked since Zurg was with her, but she did cut her yawn in the middle when she saw him look left and right, say that the coast was clear, and remind her that he had been dead serious about the loose experiments.

    Oh, craters. "My room's got a lock, right?" She'd feel safer with a barred door, personally speaking. She looked up at him and noticed his eyes glittering and was reminded of Homo. She wondered what Homo and Proxy were doing and hoped they were faring fine.
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    Re: Hey, This Isn't Circumventing [Tag: Jo]

    Post by Zurg on Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:54 am

    "That's Evil Emperor big baby." Flaunt that title! It was respect! "And that mush is good for you. I personally like the squash. Has half of my daily vitamin intake right there in one meal! How more convenient can you get?" The best part was that Chef always put extra sodium on Zurg's portions. Oooh, gotta have his salt.

    And a lock? "Oh..." The Evil Emperor looked down at his feet, shuffling them. "I knew I forgot something..." Oopsie. He was going to blame a hapless grub for that one. When in doubt, blame a minion. Always classy.

    But Jo was in safe, capable hands! The best! In fact Zurg took one of Jo's and started to lead the way, going deeper into the Engineering level. Again, it seemed mostly abandoned and it was just their footfalls gracing the halls now. There were no patrolling Hornets down here this time to comfort Jo's mind that not everything would pit her against the unsettling loneliness of Planet Z. Oh, but she needn't worry. Zurg was here for her. Expect when he went to do some evil things for hours on end. Actually, poor Jo....

    Thankfully the level wasn't as void of sound like the previous ones and this actually had a soothing pace from the thrumming machines. It was impossible to tell where they were coming from, but they were there. And soon, Jo's room! The front didn't seem more than the doorway to a broom closet but the high-tech scanner said otherwise, and the Evil Emperor placed his hands before it in a showcasing gesture.

    "This--" Zurg indicated with a wiggle of his fingers. "--is a scanner. Duh. You knew that, right? Anyway. You will also take this--" He then handed her a PDA of sorts. "--which will allow you to enter your room. And since I'm such a thoughtful individual only two scanners can unlock this door: yours and mine. Keys are so retro." And to prove his point he took out his own individual PDA and swiped it with ease.

    BEEP! The scanner's red light shifted to a happy green and the door slid up instantly in a dramatic, spacey whoosh. Ah, science fiction at its best!

    "Come in, come in! You don't want to sleep in the hall!" He called out to her, already heading inside.

    And inside wasn't so bad, to be honest. It was still made out the red metal, but it actually looked like an honest, decent room! There was a desk, a working lamp, one chair, a nightstand, and even a work station for her tools. Everything made from metal, and she could still hear the thrumming generators emitting their soothing tones. The only thing that seemed out of place was the mattress he had been talking about earlier. Well, the mattress... He tried his best, he really did!

    It was nothing more than some carefully-crafted insulation to look a mattress. There was no bed fixture, and instead it was more like a thick sleeping mat with barely a foot in depth. At this Zurg winced and he hoped Jo wouldn't be too bothered.

    "At least it... looks... comfortable~?" He tried to smile.

    The moment Jo would come in the door would slam shut, leaving the room secure.
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    Re: Hey, This Isn't Circumventing [Tag: Jo]

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:12 am

    "I'd rather eat something with actual substance! I'm still starving after one portion of that baby mush!" But Jo would probably just have to suck it up. It would only be three weeks. She could do this!

    The lack of a lock was a little disappointing, but when Zurg took her hand, leading her down the hallways, then finally revealed her room, she decided that a lock wasn't really all that necessary. She'd been expecting some long-forgotten room, not a door with actual security measures installed into it. "This is better than a lock!"

    She took the PDA from him and watched him swipe it through the slot, the door sliding open. The fact that only they could open the door reassured her even more. "Good! Oh, and you're always welcome inside whenever. Not afraid of you, just loose experiments," she teased, following him inside.

    The room was bare, but homely. She saw her bag placed in a corner and a few bits and pieces of furniture. There was even a lamp, and a place where she could set her tools. She could even still hear the engines, and the sound was soothing, reminding her more of her home on Tradeworld. But of course, there was no bed again, but at least this time she had a much softer support to avoid back pains. Ugh, back pains.

    "This is great! Much better than the dungeon!" She hugged him and stood on her tiptoes to kiss his nose. "Thanks, Big Z! It's more than I expected, so don't worry. I'll be fine now." She pulled away when he was ready and sat down on the mattress to test it. She was surprised to find it more comfortable than she'd expected and she pat the spot next to her so he could sit too.

    "How long can you stay before you have to go?" Maybe the nature of her question was odd, but he hadn't kept her company the previous nights when she'd been sleeping in the dungeon. He had been far too busy for that. And it was only now that she was on Planet Z did she realize how much work he always had to go through. Her work usually finished when she got home, but Zurg lived where he worked. No wonder he was always so stressed!
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    Zurg
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    Re: Hey, This Isn't Circumventing [Tag: Jo]

    Post by Zurg on Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:22 am

    Brace for it, brace for it...!

    Zurg was still tensing for a backlash by the time Jo came up and gave him a kiss, the Evil Emperor peeking with an eye before opening the other to smile. "O-Oh, well~!" He was practically blushing, feeling useful. "It was the least I could do, Jo. The dungeon was just a terrible idea, and I let my minions know that I was immensely displeased with their suggestion." Huh, that went better than he had thought! Why did he always prepare for the worst...

    He didn't hesitate when Jo asked him to sit and the Evil Emperor had to groan as he lowered himself. The mattress was so low and his joints were so stiff from standing up all day and shouting orders! A few things cracked, most noticeably in his back, and he winced. "I can stay, sure, but not immediately." He told her. "I need to leave soon and make sure the next shift is ready to carry out their orders, but I just want to make sure you were situated first before I did anything. Oh!"

    The Evil Emperor then held up a finger with a smile and partially turned his body to face the opposite direction of Jo. There was some noise and movement and when he returned there was a familiar soft, fuzzy mouth yawning.

    "Look who is here to spend some time with you~! Shalti~!"

    The cat mewed once, eyes still groggy, and she purred with her tail curling around Zurg's robed arm. Shalti was now bigger than the last time Jo had seen her and she was pleasantly content. Her food and water bowl were also in the room along with a deodorization litter box to keep the place smelling fresh. With another mew Shalti wiggled out of his plated hands and stumbled over to Jo, her paws sinking into the plush insulation like it were quicksand.

    "I thought you may get lonely at times so I figured Shalti would love to keep you company. She keeps me company when you're not here, so returning the favour seemed the best thing to do!" And he had visited Jo in the dungeon, but only while she slept. It was to make sure she was safe. After all, this was Planet Z: the planet of pain and evil. Not Planet Hugs!

    ((Finally! Now that Jo is in bed, I am going to bed. XD Good night, Jo! Spoil Shalti for me!))
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    Jo Pistonne
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    Re: Hey, This Isn't Circumventing [Tag: Jo]

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:57 am

    "Well, you didn't have any other room for me. I understand, it's not something to be ashamed of. And don't scold them too much, they did the best they could," she reminded with a shake of her finger. The poor minions already had too much too handle with Zurg's other orders. She didn't need to add to their load.

    "Sounds like you need a massage," Jo noted, rubbing his lower back. Come to think of it, after sleeping on a hard bench for the past few days, she was feeling a little stiff herself. "And that's alright. Thanks for staying a little longer, though." She smiled and squeezed his hand. "I really appreciate it."

    She looked at him curiously when he turned. He looked like he was tinkering with something, but when he turned back she was pleased to see that none other than Shalti was in his hands. The cute, adorable kitten had grown, but she still had the same dopey expression on her face. She got down from Zurg's hands and crept along the makeshift mattress, all curious at her new surroundings.

    "Awww!" Jo carefully picked her up and cuddled her close, stroking her fur. Shalti always struck this motherly cord in her for some reason, making her feel all fuzzy and warm whenever she was around. She was the most adorable kitten in the entire cosmos! "Yes, Shalti will definitely keep me company! Won't you, baby? You'll keep Mommy company while Daddy needs to work, yes~? Oh yes, you will~!"

    She cooed and awwed at the kitten some more before giving Zurg a kiss on the cheek. "Thanks, Big Z. I'm really enjoying my stay on Planet Z so far. You're making the experience so much fun, even if you do have to work. Sometime, we should go on a proper vacation to the tropics again so you can relax too!"

    (( And I'll haul my butt to bed too! Good night, and Jo will definitely be spoiling Shalti! ))
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    Re: Hey, This Isn't Circumventing [Tag: Jo]

    Post by Zurg on Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:32 pm

    "But I should be ashamed!" Zurg disagreed. "I mean, Jo. I put you in the dungeon." As if the mechanic would get the implications in that instant. "I normally put people I don't like in the dungeon. Usually to rot away or to hear them plead for their insignificant, mundane life. You see where I'm going with this?" He gave her one eye, hoping she would realize that the dungeon was ultimately a place where he put people to forget about them. It wasn't a nice place!

    Oh, but a massage sounded nice. Very nice. In fact he almost didn't want to get back up when she rubbed his back, but! Alas... duty called. The Evil Emperor of Planet Z couldn't stop for a mere back rub. He had things to do, people to torment, and evil to spread. It was a big responsibility to be the galactic overlord. Ain't no rest for the wicked, right? Wasn't that how the song went? Bah, what did he know.

    And this galactic overlord couldn't help but give a small, sincere smile as Jo and Shalti hit it off smashingly, the cat licking Jo's fingers and purring from all the attention. "Uh-oh... now she'll never leave you alone. You are forever doomed to pet the cat! Doomed!" With a grunt he got back to his feet, but not without some effort on his part. Hey, carrying around all this armour was heavy and he wasn't no dainty cake! "Shalti is better than some of those crack children, anyway. And I think I shall take your advice..." The Evil Emperor rubbed his arms, grimacing.

    "Maybe I'll bother X'ngtaat and have her throw me into one of the machines to stretch me all out!" Dohoho, Jo was sure to love that one. "Oh, and before I go."

    He placed two items upon the desk: a communication device and one, single-barreled plasma blaster. And sensing Jo may object to the weapon Zurg held up both palms. "JUST in case, Jo." He said. "Planet Z is still a dangerous place, guest or no guest. You should always carry a weapon here for self-defense. And the communicator is already tuned to a secure channel if you ever need anything. All you need to do is press the button at the side and a grub or brain pod will come assist you. At least I hope..." The Evil Emperor wasn't sure his minions could be relied upon completely but they liked Jo and they were sure to perform better for her than him.

    Bunch of ingrates. The whole lot of them! Ingrates!

    That out of the way Zurg made his way for the door and addressed Jo one last time. "Anything else you want to discuss before I go? Anything at all?"

    With cat and blankets nearby, Jo was set for a good night's rest!


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