Thursday, May 2, 2013

Me and Aldaris (p7): Downtime Conspiracy

I really like my house.  It's just about the awesomest place to live ever, if you're a writer type.  Or a recluse in general.  Eh, or maybe a semi-recluse.  The whole thing is surrounded by trees and bushes, and even though it's pretty close to some stores and the bank, nobody who doesn't know it's there would ever see it.  You can just barely see the little dirt road stuck there in a small gap between two of the trees.  My neighbors on both sides have fences, and there's some woods in the back.  That leaves me with a nice little enclave, all grassy with some embedded stone steps leading to the front door.

The house isn't very big, but that's alright, since I live alone.  Good thing, too, or I'd have to explain to a roomie/spouse/parent where I've been the past few hours.  Writing all of this may have taken a few chapters, but it really didn't last that long as an overall adventure.  I spent more time walking back to my house than I did running about with Aldaris and Cheonha.  I had to walk all that way with a suitcase full of foreign money, so you can imagine how relieved I felt when I finally made it to my little yellow tower with the sloping roof.

Yeah, the house is this odd shade of faded yellow, almost a brown.  It's cool, because I wouldn't like it if it were normal.  I call it a tower because there's literally three rooms to it, and two floors.  The bottom is an open area, both kitchen and living room, and it feels even more open since the back door has huge plate glass windows with sliding doors leading out to the back patio (a simple plank platform).  Up the stairs is my bedroom and the one bathroom in the house, which is the only thing I don't like about it, because visitors have to go past my room to get there.  Maybe I'll put up some partitions or something.

For now, though, the place is my writer's paradise, and I escape from the steadily falling night.  I barely have the energy to shut the door behind me before flopping down on the floor.  I should really get a couch at some point.  All that's in there, other than the major kitchen appliances on the far wall, is a table and chair set that my parents gave me.  Oh, and some pillows I snuck from Mom and Dad's so that my nephews have somewhere to sit when they come over and play video games.  I'm pretty sure they don't mind.

I really shouldn't have been surprised when I woke up on the floor some hours later.  My body is set to get up around six thirty, so that's the time I was greeted with when I lifted my head off the scratchy carpet to look at the wall.

"Nuggh..." I mutter, picking myself up.  "'S food time."

I really need to keep more food in my fridge.  Guacamole on toast is no way to greet the day.  Thankfully it was a Saturday, and I didn't need the calories it took to get through school.  Also luckily, I'd forgotten to turn off the coffeepot yesterday, and it was hot and waiting.  The third lucky was that I had that Saturday off, and there was nothing for me to do.  I gathered up what constituted breakfast, as well as the suitcase, and plopped down at the table.

"I should read my Bible." No one's there to hear me talk, so I always talk out loud at home.  "Or I could mess with this stuff and figure out what I'm doing with it."

The suitcase was a really big temptation on my time, and the Bible was all the way upstairs by my bed.  Going upstairs required more movement than cranky me wanted to do so early in the morning.  See, this is why morning devotions haven't really worked out for me.  That, and there's no space for my coffeemaker in my bedroom.

"So, monies." I poked around at the colorful cash.  "Huh.  Well, I decided I was going to keep this as Aldaris' money, so let's see how much there is."

I still have the receipts for all the stuff I bought over in Korea (well, except for the street vendor's food, but I remembered how much that cost), and so I was able to total up the won to about what it should have been before some was spent.  Oh wait, I also gave some to Cheonha.  Oh well.  Counting the receipts, I get up to an even 12,000,000 won.  Don't get too excited.  That's only a little less than 11,000 US dollars.

"Nothing to sneeze at."  my laptop, all decked out with shiny blue flower stickers, was waiting patiently for me on the table, so I went ahead and turned it on.  I had an Excel spreadsheet to make.

I love taking accounting in school.  Some of this stuff they could have been teaching us in high school, but because public schools seem to think programs in "global awareness" will help students in the real world get a dang job more than actual practical skills.  They could have at least bothered to teach kids how to do their taxes before shoving a diploma in their hands.  I can live without knowing French culture.  Rattling off European trivia isn't going to put cash in my bank account.

But enough political musings.  I have accounting to do!

"Okay..." I titled the spreadsheet "Charlie's money".  I will never tell Aldaris this, but I have a character in an original fiction that's based off how he might act if he were a human.  And that guy's name is Charlie.  True, the character ended up not being that much like Aldaris, but I'd rather put a normal looking name on the spreadsheet just in case my computer ends up in the wrong hands.  You never know these things.

I titled the first column "Date" then expanded the second column and put "Journal".   The third and fourth columns became "Debit" and "Credit", and I was ready to go.

"Huh, maybe I should have like a manual book for when I can't get to my computer.  Bah, whatever."  I put yesterday's date in the first column, under the heading.  "Okay, so I'll debit cash for twelve million won, and since my credit has to equal my debits, I'll  How exactly do you credit 'random money that showed up on an alien spaceship'?  I'll just  Yeah.  Capital."

I typed in all the proper amounts in the columns, then below both entries, in the journal column, wrote, "original funds".  Then since I spent some of the money, I skipped another space and entered in yesterday's date again, debiting all my expenses and crediting cash.  See, when I created the "cash" account on the debit side, it means that that much cash exists.  When I put cash on the credit side, it means I'm spending the cash and I have to minus it from cash when I make my T-accounts later.  See, if public schools actually gave a crap, you'd know what I was talking about.

"Okay!" I clapped my hands.  "There's probably a simpler way to do this, but whatever!  Okay.  Now I need to gather up all my Starcraft stuff!  I need to be ready for when Aldaris comes to find out about Starcraft."

I ran over to my way-crammed bookcase, full of books on communist history and Korean dictionaries.  Seriously, how the heck did I end up with three Korean dictionaries?  I don't need that many.  But anyway, on the top shelf was all my computer stuff, right next to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  I pulled out a couple of cds, and there were my Starcraft discs.

"Huh, I don't have the manuals.  Do I need those?  Probably he'll want to see them.  Maybe there's something I forgot in them that would be interesting to him.  There's some at work, so I'll probably just check them out."

I placed the discs on the kitchen table, then started thinking of what else I would need.  There was obviously my laptop, and later that day I'd have to call Dad and see if I could borrow a projector.  But sitting there didn't seem fun.

"Oh yeah, recording Starcraft 2 let's plays!" I brightened.  "I'll have to record them, and then edit them down so that only the plot parts show -- Aldaris probably doesn't want to watch someone just playing.  Ooh, and I can make a survival bag!"

Since the coffee was kicking in, I shot up the stairs and dug into my closet.  Behind my storage bins, clothes, and old coffee advertisements I've been meaning to use as posters, was my leather bag.  I bought it a while back, but never got much use out of it.  That wasn't going to be the case anymore.  I needed a survival bag!  If I kept teleporting randomly like yesterday, then it was pretty clear I was going to have to be ready for just about anything.

There wasn't much in the bag already, besides some AA batteries and packets of instant coffee (coffee is important).  I went ahead and packed a spare change of clothes and an unopened pack of pretzels I left on my bed.  In went some spare makeup, extra pencils and a notebook, my throwing knives, one of my forty bajillion bottles of lotion, an extra zip drive, and a book on the KGB.  Y'know, in case I get bored.  And since I lost nothing by so doing, I threw in one of my Korean dictionaries.  Maybe Charlie will let me see Cheonha again.  I sure hope she's okay.

I made a mental note to go to the store a little later to get more food and maybe some matches for my survival bag.  I wasn't going to work, so I couldn't get the Starcraft manual.  Dad was either sleeping in or selling houses, so calling about the projector was out.  So that meant basically all I could do at this point was get to recording somebody's Starcraft 2.

Snatching the pretzels from my survival bag (I'll get more later), I rush down the stairs to set up a workstation at the table.  My laptop was already there, so I tossed the pretzels down, went and grabbed some more coffee, and surveyed the fridge for something to dip the pretzels in.

"Hm..." I poked around the fridge, shoving aside a bowl of pasta.  "There's ranch or.....salsa.  Which goes better on pretzels?"

After deciding on both and returning to the table with my mixture, I settled down at my computer.  Without my even noticing, two hours had gone by.  I spent the rest of the afternoon getting snacks, calling Dad, getting some writing done, recording some more SCII, and watching an old Star Trek VHS.

Aldaris didn't contact me at any point.  Not the next day either.  Or all that week.  I did get the projector from my dad, but I ended up having to return it before he got suspicious (I did get to use it to watch Interstella 5555, though).  By the time I'd finished recording Wings of Liberty, it was the end of the month, and I still didn't hear anything.  Well, from Aldaris, in any case.

So I was playing around on my computer.  Candy Crush on facebook is addictive.  I was switching the candies around, trying to beat other people's high scores, when the little bleep that meant I had a notification sounded.

"Eh." I muttered.  "I'll look at that in a minute."

The next thirty minutes were eaten up by repeatedly failing the game, so I just gave up and scrolled to notifications.  I had a friend request and a message.  I checked the friend request first, nearly shooting tea out of my nose once I saw who it was.

"It's John!" I gasped, trying to make the tea come out of the wrong pipes -- peppermint tea stings.  "Statkus finally found me.  Holy crap!"

What the heck, I accepted the friend request.  Why not?  The message was also from him.

"The picture looks like you," it read.  "So I sure hope you're the right Bethany, or I'm going to look completely crazy.  That being said, how did you get away from Aldaris?"

"I hope this guy's still online...oh good, he is."  I started typing a reply.  "You've got the right one.  It's okay, our dear friend Charlie let me go.  I was worried about you.  Why did you yell at him?  He was pretty pissed off when I got back."

It didn't take but ten seconds for my reply to go online when the "John is typing" notice appeared.  Here, let me just copy/paste our conversation here.

John: I didn't yell at him.  I just told him he dies in Starcraft.

Bethany: We're calling him Charlie from now on.
Because it's cute.

John: Why not "Al"?

Bethany: Too obvious.  The cow does not like obvious things.

John: .... "the cow"?

Bethany: Moo.  
Anyway, what else did you tell him?  He didnt know much when I got back, and asked a lot of questions.

John: I'll start at the beginning
When you and Chonna (sp?) and Toby left the ship, he told Toby to come to the bridge.  
I got called later

Bethany: Cheonha.

John: Oh
"Charlie" said that Toby went home.  He told me to point out where I live
He asked me how the game ended, and I told him.

Bethany: And you told him he died.

John: Yeah

Bethany: splendiferous
he was mad when I got back.  What did you say?

John: he frakked out on me and said I was lying
I told him if he had a problem with it, he could go play the game himself.
Then he got mad and sent me back
What happened to you

Bethany: you are the shining star of diplomats.  

John: Bite me

Bethany: I just might
I helped Cheonha get to the police station in Seoul
had some tteokbokki

John: What did you say to the Korean cops?

Bethany: Nothing, Cheonha went in by herself
She didn't want me to go with her
Then Charlie came and got me
I told him about starcraft (nicer than you)
and I said I would play the game for him so he could see it
Haven't seen him since.

John: He'll probably talk to you later.

Bethany: I think so

John: Did you tell anyone?

Bethany: No.  Who are we supposed to tell?
Everyone will think we're nuts

John: I think we're nuts

Bethany: I'm keeping a journal so that everyone will know what happened if there's an investigation.
We're nuts.
Did you tell anyone?

John: Not yet.  I want other witnesses. 
If we tell them together, then maybe someone will believe us.

Bethany: Let's not tell.

John: I found Toby.  He's okay

Bethany: 1. people will think we're nuts
2. We've got to get Charlie used to the idea of being here, and if we're nice things will go better.  He doesn't get anything from hurting humans

John: No

Bethany: 3. Who the crap do we call about aliens?

John: Charlie hates us.  He's a threat and people have to know.

Bethany: He'll be less of a threat if we accept him.
Not bigint people's heads off

John: I don't know

Bethany: Don't you watch Star Trek

John: No
You nerd.

Bethany: lol
Just give him a chance to calm down.  He's freaked out about everything and waiting can give him a chance to figure things out.
It'll be easier if he's the one deciding.

John: That's what Toby said.

Bethany: and if we tell, people will eventually figure out we're talking about Starcraft and we'll get arrested for pranking the government.
Toby's fine?

John: Yeah
When he got back to England, he was closer to his grandma's than his house
He had to walk a mile to the bus and pretend he was visiting.

Bethany: Lol.

We talked some more after that, but I don't feel like pasting it all here.  Needless to say, I sent Toby a friend request, and me and John talked for a while after that.  It was nice to have a little conspiracy going on.  Conspiracies are fun.

I just hope we get to see Aldaris again.

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