Friday, October 25, 2013

Me and Aldaris (p19): Reporting In.

It was true what Aldaris said, almost.  I didn't see him for a long time.  Instead I started school, and normal stuff happened.  I had to drop my online tax course because it was too much work and too nitpicky to be online, and managerial accounting is proving....interesting, for reasons I probably shouldn't gossip about.

I know, I know, you guys are reading my journal here because you want to be entertained.  Well, I'm sorry.  This was meant as a record for all the weird stuff that was supposed to happen to me now that I'm one of the few people familiar with an alien that shouldn't even exist.  You'd think a lot of weird stuff would happen in the meantime. 

Not so much.  Aldaris kept his side of the deal, though.  He reported in to me once a month, grudgingly.   By "reporting in", I mean he signaled me (how in the world was he doing that?  What kind of comm system can signal directly into my head?) and left sort of this...I don't know, presence in my head.  He didn't actually say anything, but I knew he was there.  And then he was gone.

Really, that's all.  No wackadoo adventures or anything.  I'm starting to think this whole alien thing is a bit overrated.  That's one of the reasons it's been taking so long to update this journal.  Since nothing much has been happening, I've been feeling really lazy about updating.  I guess it's for the best, because I really do have a lot of schoolwork that needs to get done.  My economics teacher literally bickers at me if I don't get an A -- I'm the class nerd, you see. 

Fortunately I at least have a little bit to mention, and somehow...I don't know.  If wackadoo adventures haven't been happening, I just have this weird feeling that they will soon.  Either that or I'm going to get arrested.  I've giggled to myself for days on end at the thought of being a secret conspirator, but the truth of the matter is that I could very well be punished for my actions, and I'd deserve it.  There's a lot being gambled on our Judicator's good mood.

This feeling isn't entirely out of nowhere.  The last time Aldaris contacted me, I decided to probe a little.  After all, John is really starting to get antsy about us hiding important information from the public.  He thinks what we're doing is wrong.  I love Toby, because he thinks the whole thing is as hilarious as I do.  But even he's getting a little bored, and well, I want to know what's going on too.

So I was sitting at my livingroom table (my whole first floor is one room, so I can't exactly have a kitchen table), and expressing with unintelligible grunts my distaste for the tedium that is Quickbooks homework.  It broke my concentration when I sensed that Aldaris was there, but honestly, he might as well interrupt it.  There are a few times when accounting is as boring as it sounds.

"Hey, Charlie." I said before he could go away.  "Any news on your ship?"

This question startled him, for some reason.  Maybe he wasn't expecting me to catch on to him so quickly.  Or maybe he didn't want me to ask.

"It is fine." he answered smoothly, not quite smoothly enough to be convincing, but just enough to imply that I should shut up.  "The repairs are...progressing."

"Heh.  They're not going well at all, are they?"

"They are fine.  It is simply more work than I had at first estimated."

Somehow I doubt that the Judicator know all that much about ship repairs, but maybe Aldaris took some classes or something.  "Huh.  You're not missing any parts, are you?"


"Charlie, the past three months you've been telling me that you'll be gone soon.  Is it true this time, or is my own personal meaning of the word 'soon' too narrow?"

"So you grow impatient with me?  I should like to see you attempt to cross over from an apparently fictitious world to your own.  Or were you under the impression that such doings are the simplest of child's play?"

I blinked.  That was a whole lot more information than Aldaris had given since August.  Normally he only answered me with "yes", "no" and silence.  Maybe I was assuming too much about his ship.

"Well, sorry then, but I have no idea what's going on up there." 

"I fail to see how any of it is your business."

Facepalm.  I swear, I'm not going to have this conversation again.  How many times already do I have to explain to Aldaris that an alien hanging around my planet is kind of my business?  Whatever.  No more.

"I'm not asking for the specs of your ship, Aldaris."  I rubbed my eyes.  Between Quickbooks and this, I was risking a tension headache.  "I'm just saying that I'm kind of worried about you.  You're stuck by yourself in a flying box, trying to keep yourself hidden.  I can't imagine that's not a tense situation.  If you're not going to talk to those few of us that know about you, then you might just go stir-crazy up there."

I didn't remember it until I spoke, but I'd forgotten about the Kensley property.  Aldaris could probably take walks or whatever there, and even when that Kensley guy comes home he can find somewhere else.  Still. 

Aldaris took a minute to answer.  I think my colloquialisms got in the way of him understanding what I was saying.  Weird.  The guy can talk the most perfect, formal english, and I say the slightest redneck thing ("stir-crazy" is redneck?) and he doesn't get it.  Isn't the Starcraft world full of hicks anyway?

"Your concern is unnecessary." he said.  "And I do not require your help.  As I recall, the last time you attemped to make use of yourself you very nearly shorted out my engines and left the acrid smell of a rancid corpse to waft ever through the ventillation.  No, I do not need assistance from you."

Translation: stay the hell out of my business, human scum.

"One, I was not touching your engines," I huffed.  "I was trying to spare you having to mess with a bag of rotting oranges.  And two: are you sure it's fine?  Iffy as it might be, you may have to consider getting human substitutes for broken things on your ship or fuel.  I've still got that cash from earlier, and I converted some of it to dollars, so if we figure out that anything needs replacing and can find a substitute, there's always that."

Oh great, now I'm going to get in trouble for providing machinery to an alien.  I'm just asking to be charged with treason.  Fortunately, I guess, Aldaris was rather less than enthused with the idea.

"That is laughable.  To replace highly sophisticated Protoss technology with mere human substitutes, and obsolete substitutes at that?  No thank you."

"Son of a bleep, Aldaris, I'm just presenting to your your options." Quickbooks homework was really starting to sound a whole lot more appealing.  "You have some resources down here if you need it, that's all I'm saying."

"I understand you perfectly well, Bethany.  You are helplessly excited by the novelty of a being foreign to your narrow experiences.  You delight yourself in any opportunity you might have to please me, in the hopes that I might shine my favor upon a groveling creature such as yourself."

Is there any good way to reply to that?  Heh, it was kind of funny, actually.  Okay, fine, I like hanging out with aliens.  Is that a flaw in my personality just to like new things?  Sheesh.

"My dear Aldaris," I began.  "You certainly have a funny way of treating someone who has every intention of just being friendly to you.  It's okay.  I know you're under a lot of stress right now, and I can guess that you're having a lot harder of a time figuring out how to get back than I thought.  I forgive all of your petty insults.  Though I will say, it's rather unbecoming of a Protoss Judicator to lower himself to such name calling."

I shouldn't have said that.  Instantly the connection was gone, and I knew Aldaris was up there trying to decide if he was more mad at himself or me.  After all, it wasn't me that lost my cool.  But still, the smile faded from my face.  I didn't need to put any more pressure on Aldaris than he already had on him.  After all, he's far away from the world and people he knows, and he might never see any of that again.

"I wonder how that would affect Starcraft..." I wondered out loud.  "I guess that means his followers have to go on without him...."

Ouch.  Aldaris couldn't like that.  Well, for now, I'd have to forget about my cranky Protoss and just get going on the Quickbooks nonsense.  Yay....

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