Jake and Ethel Give Up

Jake and Ethel Give Up

The Geist of Dimension ZX89Ω looked over these Heroes from Dimension P-52 assembled before him. Seeing them was like looking back in time, at an more raw version of S.A.V.I.O.R., one which still had Granny2Good and was partnered with Jake Thompson, L.L.C.. They had all come here with questions about a night that was almost six months ago now, when Jake and Ethel confronted Empress Arcadia of the Atorian Empire here on Earth, and ultimately left with them. The Heroes wanted to know how that meeting went down. The Geist began to tell the story.

“It started while we were at Ethel’s for dinner. We had a couple interruptions – that was also the night we met Cai, and we dealt with some thugs Mason Blodget’s goons sent after Ethel. But all of us, Jake included, were enjoying the meal when Katherine remarked that the Atorian Empress had been trying to reach her. Jake and Ethel agreed they ‘might as well get this over with,’ and agreed to meet the next day.”

“Through the conversation Katherine was directed to contact Director Anja Balisong to meet in the ‘usual place’ the following night. I was a bit worried as to what this might have meant. I could tell I wasn’t alone in this concern. Thanatos used his unique abilities to help clear this up. He…” He made eye contact with the Thanatos from the other dimension and let whatever he was about to say trail off.

“Turned out the Director had been meeting with the Atorians as other-worldly delegates for over a month now. The Empress had opened negotiations with ‘local law enforcement’ to apprehend enemies of their Empire hiding out here on Earth.” He looked straight at Jake and Ethel when he said this. “The ‘local law enforcement’ consisted of Director Balisong on behalf of Earth and Alpha Prime on behalf of the Thissera-Micean Cooperative.”

“Once the Empress had started dealing with Alpha Prime and Director Balisong, she wouldn’t accept anyone else – especially none of the men which our government sent to try and join in. These talks stalled once Alpha Prime went to Antarctica to deal with the Elemental Rift which opened there after, well you remember that I’m sure.”

“Anyway, the Director was surprised, but she facilitated our meeting. We met at the Century Park Skyscraper over in the Silver City district. Nathan had of course scoped the building and meeting site out ahead of time with Ava’s help, and made sure Alice was with us that day. Director Balisong let us set up and stage ourselves ahead of time. We suspected some sort of trick, especially after their attack the night before. Alice, Katherine, Ava, and Ethel were our main speakers while the rest of us backed them up.”

“When Empress Arcadia arrived, she brought 8 of her guards with her. It was, we noticed, one less than there were the night before. They wore their full armor, including helmets. The Empress walked in confidently and regally, but that was offset somewhat the Earth clothing she was wearing. If it wasn’t for her attitude and the tattoos on her head, she could have looked like any typical modern teenager.”

“She sat down across from Alice, Katherine, Ava, and Ethel. Her guards stayed close behind, paying attention to both her and the rest of us. Empress Arcadia looked at the Director and asked in English if she brought ‘that drink from the mountains.’ The Director said she did and smiled, producing a can of Mountain Dew. She took it, started drinking it, and prepared to say something when she was interrupted.”

“‘We’ll go,’ Ethel said suddenly. Everyone was surprised, but no-one seemed more surprised than the Empress herself. ‘I don’t want to see anyone else get hurt by you. Jake and I will go. Right, brother dear? I think it’s the least you could do, to come with your dear sister.’ She said that in such a charismatic way that I could see Jake was having a hard time saying no.”

“The Empress could only say, ‘What?’ She sounded very confused. Whatever she had planned for, this was obviously not it.”

“Ethel continued speaking, saying stuff like ‘this is what you came here for,’ ‘this will keep anyone else from getting hurt,’ ‘if this will make you leave Earth then fine,’ and ‘I can handle myself. It’s not they can really hurt me.’

“The Empress looked to all her guards. They had a conversation in their language. Ethel called them out on being rude while Garrick simply translated in real time, out loud, to the rest of us. ‘The guard said See, it worked out after all and now we can go home finally. Now the Empress said Maybe it’s a trick and we should stay longer to be sure. The guard just told her Respectfully, she’d be a fool not to take this chance. The Empress now said Fine, I guess. She sounds like she’s sulking. Now she just told the guard to Send the order to repel the Niamese Coalition’s boarding party and prepare to leave orbit. Oh, the guard is surprised to hear that and said Repel what? Those annoyances are here and attacking? Now the Empress said Not yet, but any moment now. Hurry up and relay the order.'”

“When that conversation ended Jake looked to Ethel and said ‘If that’s what you really want to do, then I’ll go with you. This is dumb, but I’ll do it.’ Ethel told him ‘See Jake? I knew that deep down you’re a good person.’ Jake’s only reply to that was a shrug.”

“The Atorian guard stepped away and made a call to their ship as ordered. The Empress looked at Ethel and said, ‘Well, I guess all vacations have to end eventually. Thanks. For being reasonable about this. You two come with us and we’ll leave now.’ Katherine and Nathan confirmed she was being honest, but was also clearly disappointed. Especially as she talked about a vacation ending.”

“We tried to reason with Ethel and Jake, but they stayed firm. Ethel especially. They eventually let the Atorian guards restrain them and they all walked away. The Empress seemed almost sad as she thanked the Director, Ava, Katherine, and Alice. Whatever she had hoped would happen that day obviously did not, and it showed clearly. I believe may have been part of why Jake went along with Ethel.”

“That was it. We haven’t seen or heard from them since. The Atorians left with Jake and Ethel. That was about six months ago now, and we’ve heard nothing since.”

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