"We should head to your house first," Alice said staring at the skies while code flickered across her pupils. She then decided to retract her previous statement, and said "In fact let's forget that as everyone is already at the mansion,"
"Everyone?" asked John.
"You'll see," said Zeel.
After three minutes of walking, they arrived at the mansion gate where Red Queen scanned Zeel and Alice before letting all three inside. Once they entered, John was appalled at all the advanced tech he was seeing for the first time.
While he had little memories of Lorien, John was sure that the tech here was still slightly superior to Lorien's technology for some reason, excluding the legacies of the Garde.
After walking for a couple of minutes, John got confused since he felt that the mansion was larger on the inside than the outside. Alice quelled his confusion when she said "We are just showing you how to run if you should ever enter without us since there is a specific pattern you have to follow so the traps don't trigger,"
"Oh. Good to know," John replied with a slightly strained smile.
Entering the base of operations, they saw Lexa with John's Cêpan named Henri, who had already been updated. Henri attempted to sneak in earlier, only to trigger a trap. He would have died had Lexa not intervened at the last moment.
"John is up to date," Alice said.
"Henri is up to date as well," replied Lexa.
"Now that the small stuff is out of the way there are questions that need to be asked. Why did you guys wait so long to act?" Zeel inquired.
"The nine were young and could not defend themselves –," Henri began but couldn't finish as Zeel and Alice both interrupted.
"Sorry for the intrusion, but when people said they couldn't do anything pisses us off," Alice said and then continued "Where we are from is, or rather was, a lot worse than this place. To survive you had to do anything that was necessary. Kill to survive, kill to eat, kill to sleep, kill to save, kill to run. When Zeel wasn't by my side when my abilities could not be used. I had to kill with my bare hands, my hands were unusable for a while so I killed with a pencil in my mouth, I couldn't speak for a while. Then when all seemed lost and my body functions were slowing to a crawl, I killed by bashing my head against the enemy. I could only hope my skull was even 1% stronger than his,"
Having experienced similar things, Zeel could sympathize with Alice. That's why they made such a great couple, after all, they said it before when he proposed 'we have seen the worst of humanity'.
"Compared to us, you are in heaven. You have technology that outstrips this planet for thousands of years. At the very least, you could have used the ship you came in to hack and destroy all satellites in orbital, how do you think the Magadorians locate you so easily? While you were running they were learning, assimilating, finding the weakness of humans. They gave a rotten carrot to the humans who were hungry and they accepted due to fear of starving, while you guys running had a golden carrot that you failed to use. To me, you're all a bunch of idiots who haven't recognized the situation you are in," Alice said in a mocking and spiteful tone, angry at those who could lead such carefree lives of ignorance knowing they could do more for themselves and others.
"Sorry, she gets a bit edgy when she sees people give up. Where we come from suicide was a form of salvation, we've seen it for years but she hasn't gotten used to it yet," Zeel said as he accepted his role as a mediator for the first time; usually, he would be the one causing the trouble.
Zeel was not as ignorant and Alice, he had long since learned that everyone's struggle was their own. Well, he never truly learned it, Zeel just never cared about others since the beginning.
"That's okay! I get where you're coming from. I guess we didn't account for all our options at the time," Henri replied as listening to Alice's story made him realize just how lax they were. John especially felt guilty about wanting to stay in one place and live a life.
"Well, let this be your first lesson," Zeel said as he proceeded to tell one of the many stories he had told Alice before "There was once a king who liked the finest of everything, finest jewelry, finest women, and finest clothing.
One day three men came to the kingdom claiming to be the finest tailors in the known kingdoms. They had worked for several kings before him, and all sent word of the brilliance of their clothing. The three men claimed they could make special clothing that only the most brilliant and competent of the king's vassals could see, meaning those who were dumb and incompetent could not see the clothing.
The king hired them and the three men immediately began to work. Month after month the men asked for funds over and over again until the king grew tired and started sending his vassals to look at the progress.
Each of the vassals came back singing praises of the clothing, making the king excited to wear it. Then after several months of working and toiling; the three men stood before the king once again and presented the clothing on a rack. But the rack was empty. So the king asked, "Where is the clothing?"
To which the men replied, "Can't you see it my king?"
Not wanting to admit he was a dumb and incompetent king he replied "Yes I see it, the gold lining and lion fur,"
"Yes my king, you do see it," The three men said excitedly.
"Do the vassals see it as well?" asked the men.
Yes, of course, obviously were the answers given by the king's vassals. Making the king question himself since there truly wasn't anything on the rack. Then the day of coronation came and the king came out wearing nothing but still, everyone clapped for the king singing praises of his wonderful outfit.
At first, the king was upset walking around naked but after hearing the praises and applauses he regained his confidence. The king straightened his back and walked towards his throne.
Once there he asked, "Can everyone see the magnificence of my outfit?" Everyone in the room replied yes and sang praises. When everyone fell silent one child stood out and asked his mother "But isn't he naked?"
Alice giggled a bit at the end of the story with everyone else bursting into laughter until Zeel asked "What's the moral of the story?"
"Humans would do almost anything for vanity and greed," Alice replied to which Zeel approved of her answer.
"So here is $100,000,000 dollars," Zeel points as he began projecting his thoughts to The Red Queen "I just uploaded different locations that are possible Mogadorians bases with a description of their usual attire. Mercenaries from all over the world are going to be heading to those locations as long as the money continues to grow. They may even kill a few Mogadorians for us,"
"Always use the provided resources," Alice said from the background.
Then silence permeates throughout the room.
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