Saturday, June 6, 2015

Me and Aldaris: Epilogue

Well, that was a thing.  So me and Aldaris have an understanding now, I think.  Because of things. Things I'll be able to put in writing some day.  In any case, Aldaris is calmer now.  He's gone from seeing us humans as annoyances to seeing us as people-like beings,  Maybe even slightly above animals.  Hey, it's progress.

What's shocking is that he actually admitted he deleted me and Statkus' memory.  Heh, yeah, I already wrote it up in an earlier part of this journal, so that I could have a nice, sudden ending. But of course I couldn't write about it unless I knew it happened.  Yep, apparently I got the idea in my head that I didn't want to delete some pictures Statkus took on his phone of Aldaris' ship.  Charlie decided he wanted to explain all of this because...uh, I don't actually know.  I think it was like a combination of a warning, and sort of an opening up of trust.  I don't want to be presumptuous, but I'm starting to think the guy halfway trusts me.  D'aww.  Or maybe he feels sorry for me or something.  I don't know.

We talked about it, and I explained that I'm not really interested in Protoss technology (other than looking at it -- crystal based stuff is pretty), and that we humans have to figure out stuff for ourselves. Not to mention bad people getting their hands on it, or it not even working because we're not a psychic race.  I was telling the truth, but Aldaris might not have believed me.  Even as I said it, I couldn't help but wonder if I'm a traitor.  Even though I don't think Aldaris would attack Earth by his lonesome, in general the Protoss are potential enemies of humans.  These are the people who destroyed planets on a self-righteous whim.  If we were in the K Sector right now, my opinion might be different, but for right now I'm defaulting to manners. Manners mean no stealing.

Aldaris also confronted me about taking recording devices on the ship, and I assured him I wasn't going to film anything.  Of course then he had to read my mind and figure out that I wanted to take pictures of space from his observatory window.  Not that he meant to, but like he says, I have "loud thoughts."  You're probably thinking that that's some lie he's using to pretend he's not directly reading my minds, but that particular thought seemed pretty loud to me.  Hey, I was nervous, and I really do want to take a picture from the observatory.  Charlie immediately shot down that idea, because if I got another sudden whim in my head, he didn't want me changing my mind and breaking my promise.  That's really more than fair, and I didn't insist on it.

Now that I think about it, maybe I can get Aldaris to give me a picture of Earth from space.  I don't know what I'd do with it, but it'd be pretty sweet.  I'll ask him later, if he's still in his friendly-ish mood.

In case you're starting to think I'm some sort of FDR-type, ready to give in to Stalin's demands in the naive hope he's going to behave (seriously, FDR only gets worse the more I read about him), I made some demands of my own.  First of all, I demanded he apologize to Statkus and restore his memories too.  Aldaris wasn't going to do it, because he finds me more tolerable,  Charlie got pretty mad at that point and threatened to remove my memories again, but I said either he was going to tell Statkus, or I was.

"Besides," I said.  "If you delete my memories, you'll erase all the progress we're making right here, and we'll have to have this conversation again, without any reference points. And if you don't make it clear to Statkus that you've caught him, he'll only try again.  Ain't like he listened to me about recording stuff in the first place."

There was a momentary staredown after that, but Aldaris gave in.  I don't think he was all that interested in winning a debate with me anyway.  Aldaris seemed tired, somehow.  Like it wasn't worth the argument.  While he was feeling down, I made another demand.  Aldaris looked at me like I was nuts, but I wasn't going to give up on it.  After all, if this guy can zap my brain or teleport me into the void of space whenever he wants, then I want some real leverage on him too.


"Hey, Statkus, is the camera on yet?"

The video feed focused on the nerdy dark blonde standing on the back porch of Kinsley's house. Bethany pushed her glasses up her nose as she asked her question, directing it at the camera holder.

"Yep, it's on."

"Cool." Bethany waved at the camera.  "Hello, people.  I'm Bethany Beverly, and I'm here with my friends to show you something mindblowing.  That way, please."

She pointed to her left, and the camera's shaky stance turned to the right.  Into focus appeared the giant Protoss, sitting at some stool made invisible by his long robes.  Aldaris only rolled his eyes at the camera, before returning his focus to a metal easel, where he continued to draw.

"Yup." the voice continued.  "May I present to you Judicator Aldaris, fictitious character from Starcraft.  Only not so fictitious, as it turns out.  I'd make him say 'hi', but cameras can't record minds, so he can't say anything."

"So wait," John Statkus' joking voice came from the other side of the camera.  "If he can't talk, how can you prove you're not making this up?"

Bethany laughed.  "I wish I was this good at video manipulation.  As is, I don't even know how to begin to do something like that."

"Step one, have a million dollars in video equipment."

"Uh, yeah, no.  Not happening.  We'd have a better camera, if that were the case." Bethany walked over to Aldaris.  "Anyway, this is just a video we're recording as proof we're not making this up, to be kept out of sight unless Aldaris misbehaves."

Bethany stopped talking, and moment passed where she stared at Aldaris.  His eyes glowed unevenly.

"I'm holding onto the tape." Bethany answered.  "So I decide when it's best to use it."

Aldaris' eyes narrowed, and his yellow-gold eyes flashed some more.  After a minute Bethany just nodded.

"Relax, Charlie.  I'm not going to show this video lightly.  Though it would be hilarious as mess to see people's reactions to it." Bethany turned to the camera again.  "The deal is that Aldaris gets a chance to return home before I tell anyone that he was here.  Him getting back is complicated, but here's hoping he succeeds."

"I think that's long enough." Statkus said.

"Mm'kay." Bethany nosed around Aldaris' easel.  "So what are you drawing?"

The camera feed cut off.

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