Part 266: Special Disk Mission 4-3 - At the Risk of Pride
Location: South Ameria Tresor Institute Freeden, Lounge
The older men have asked Norman to bartend for them but he doesnt mind it hell do whatever he can to be of use.
Well, Rand is much obliged and Tex is impressed with the butlers skill: his drinks, the timing of his conversation, everything is perfect. Norman is pleased at their enjoyment.
Mel, nearby, comments on how theyve turned the Freedens lounge into their private bar but Rand says Jamil gave the OK for it. Granted, Kei wonders whether they SHOULD be drinking this early in the day.
Roger, meanwhile, excuses himself after a measly pint. Still, he tells Rand that hes some business to attend to and runs off. Despite that, Stoner does admire how stylish he is wearing a suit even now.
Thats because those are the only clothes he has, Dorothy quips.
Holland asks if she knows what Rogers up to but, no, she didnt care to ask. Still, considering who were dealing with, Gain assumes its work. Maybe or it could also be a hot date, Kei posits.
Rand seriously doubts it but Mel asks if Dorothys OK with him possibly being on a date. Again, she says it hasnt anything to do with her.
But, no, it actually is work. A Predgio Towers soldier has been asked by a certain someone to hire Roger specifically. And, indeed, hes not about to turn down a request made of such a polite, honest person especially after having his abilities given such high recognition.
With that, the soldier departs to relay the good news. Said job is procure a present to someone dear to the client but, before Roger leaves, he asks if Mel wouldnt rather show herself.
Shes surprised he noticed her but Roger says hes an old hand at shadowing and being shadowed by people. When he asks, Mel reveals that they thought he was going on a date with someone.
Roger concedes that hes going to be seeing a woman in a bit and Mel quickly peppers: who is it? How did they get together? Whens the wedding? Seeing how very curious she is, Roger allows her to tag along.
Mel worries shell be getting in the way but theres no problem. First off, Roger owes Rand one for helping Dorothy back in Paradigm City; secondly, he has a policy of treating women with respect. Even very young ones.
With that, they set out to see said woman while its still daytime.
Their stop is a flower garden, from which Roger has been instructed to arrange for some flowers to be purchased.
The woman he's been hired to deal with is the owner of the garden his date, so to speak. Mel realizes whats actually going on and sighs in relief. Roger does wonder why shes showing so much care about his relationships with women wasnt she wholly dedicated to Rand?
Course I am! Disappointed? she asks. Maybe if you were my type, Id be, Roger sasses back.
As Mel pouts, she says she was just snooping about because she was concerned for Dorothy.
: For Dorothy ? What do you mean?
: Huh ? Come on. She likes you, you know.
: That dry attitude of hers is just how she expresses her love. Im a girl, so I can tell.
: Im not so sure about that Shes an android, for starters.
: So is Mome and she really cares for Kei. Dorothy has a heart of her own, so is it really strange that she can love someone?
: Ill concede that she, indeed, has a heart. But I am not certain if that makes it so shes capable of love; to say nothing of the fact that Id be the target of such affection.
: Oh, please shes just being reticent.
: Well, well need to suspend this conversation for now. The other party to this negotiation has arrived.
The owner of the garden comes over, Ms. Flores (flowers in Portuguese and Spanish) and shes been informed that Roger wishes to purchase the flowers from her garden.
Indeed, hes been hired to intermediate the purchase and his client is more than willing to pay her appropriately for them. Unfortunately, the flowers arent for sale. See, this garden was Flores grandfathers pet project and while the Break the World did a number on it, the flowers still managed to endure.
Thus, these flowers are as significant to her as life itself and she couldnt possibly sell them away as mere goods. Roger thinks and quickly acquiesces, apologizing for the trouble.
Both Mel and Flores are surprised at how easily he backed down and Roger explains that, though hes a Negotiator by trade, he doesnt work merely to get a payday.
Indeed, he sees a kindred spirit in Ms. Flores so he doesnt want to hassle her. Best to try again another time.
Theyre interrupted, however, when Breakers from the Estee Company arrive. Mr. Estee is looking to buy her land and theyve come to get her reply.
She tells them to take a hike, as she wont sell it for whatever amount. See, that is precisely the kind of answer that Mr. Estee didnt want to hear.
Roger doesnt really care to watch the lady be threatened around these beautiful flowers and steps in. No, hes not Flores hired bodyguard but hes still very willing to give those who are abusive to women what they deserve.
The Breakers arent about to cause trouble out in the open and back off its Rogers lucky day. That said, they warn Flores that Mr. Estee will be waiting for her compliance ASAP.
As they go, Roger ponders this landgrabber and his interest in his beautiful garden. This situation warrants a closer look
Over by the Estee Company, Mel is quite impressed with how smart Roger was in offering to negotiate on Ms. Flores behalf. Deal with her problem and shell certainly give him the flowers as reward and, thus, he gets his payment from the Predgio client.
Not quite what Roger had in mind: the two are separate jobs, and Flores offered him cash for his time like any other assignment. The last thing Roger wants to do is use other people's hardships as a fodder for his own business interests.
Mr. Estee shows up then and greets Roger, who notes how things seem to be very busy around his company. Indeed, Estee chalks it up to the times themselves. No one knows when another plot of land might simply be warped away, so his company has been offering to purchase these from their owners. You could almost call this philanthropic work, no?
Roger isnt buying it. From his point of view, Estee has been leveraging the instability of the world and the peoples anxiety in order to buy land at vastly undercut prices. And when people wont play ball, he sends his goons to intimidate them into compliance.
Estee calls lies and slander but Roger isnt here to debate how he does business. He just wants the guy to back off on Ms. Flores and her garden. Not going to happen as, indeed, this is business and Estee will give Roger what for if he decides to be a problem.
Roger now sees in full what kind of slimeball Estee is, and Estee tells to never show his face around here again.
Roger amiably withdraws, though he rather suspects that Estee WILL see him again, and soon. Lest Estee forget, this town has things called "police" and "public opinion"... things which Roger intends to use to make him change his ways.
It's already dark when they exit the office building but Roger still has one more job he wants to take care of. Wreck the company with the Big O? No, he tells Mel, as using violence to get his way would make him no better than Estee.
A Negotiator has his intellect and vocabulary as his main weapons, and physical violence is only justified for self-defense Granted, Mel and the rest of ZEUTH certainly had the wrong idea about that, considering how Rogers negotiations usually end.
Despite how often Rogers had to rely on the Big O to see his job done, he insists that it was unavoidable. He just has the bad luck to often get trapped in situations where brute force is the only option. If that makes him a "troublemaker", so be it.
Well, Mel wants him to explain it all to everyone lest this misunderstanding put him in a ZEUTH v ZEUTH situation with one of our folks.
: Mel, your feelings for Rand Travis are a delusion.
: Hes been by your side since you were young and, thus, youve mistaken your familial feelings for romantic ones. This is what everyone in ZEUTH says.
: No, thats not true! No way! And screw what anyone else says! My feelings for my darling are real!
: If youve something within you that stands unwavering at all times, then you shouldnt mind what others think about it.
: Alright, Mel. These words are for your ears only and mustnt be repeated to anyone else, OK?
: I want to see everything with my own two eyes. That is why I left Paradigm City, why I joined ZEUTH Even our battle against our other half was no more than another step towards ascertaining the truth.
: But that only happened because someone tricked us into making that sort of mistake.
: If our reasoning was flawed, then we must acknowledge our mistake and move to correct it.
: And if that unwavering core is present, you neednt be bound by regret or shame. And while I do not speak for ZEUTH as a whole, thats how it is for me.
: Hm I understand, Roger.
: Granted, I am still human and I get hurt when Im misunderstood. However, there is someone who does understand who I am.
: So long as that person is there to call me Roger Smith, then Ill remain myself.
Regardless, this conversation has gone on for long enough. Roger wants to poke around town to gather proof about Estees misdeeds judging from the rumors hes heard, it shouldnt be difficult.
Of course, it wont be easy as the guy has sent his Breakers over to silence this squawking crow. Whatever info he mightve gotten, it wont do him any good once hes six feet under!
Roger sighs at these petty thugs, running their mouths before even seeing their task done. His lap annoys the guys and, without a gun handy, Roger grabs Mel and calls for retreat.
Special Disk 4-3 At the Risk of Pride
The bad guys turn out to have Walker Machines, which they gleefully haul out for the chase.
Since the whole damn town can see the mechs clomping down the street, Roger needn't even worry about exposing him anymore. The Breakers are unafraid of the law, which they think will turn the other way when faced with Estee's overwhelming forces. This isnt the full extent of Estees toys, though.
MSs and Chiram Devices also pop out, part of Estees proprietary Guard System a bunch of second-hand units running on AIs. Isnt this a bit too much to run down a couple of people, Mel thinks? Maybe but the Breakers figure its a good chance for a show of force.
This is exactly one of those situations that forces Rogers hand and, with Mels own validation, he calls out to Big O but it doesnt come instantly, like it would in Paradigm City.
The Breakers figure hes bluffing and move in for the kill. Mel cries out for Rand to be strong without her. No need, though, as Roger sees someone coming the one who does understand him.
Here comes the Big O, with Dorothy at its controls. Roger was expecting this and, indeed, she figured theyd best prepare the bot when she heard he left for a job.
Roger himself is very appreciative of her precise help, always respecting how he does things and perfectly poised to support him when the need arises; neither too far away nor underfoot.
Rand is also here, apologizing for Roger having to take care of Mel (not that its any problem). Hes also dragged Löwen along, though the guy has no idea whats going on here.
Dorothy calls Roger over she and the Big O are waiting and the Breakers are surprised that something did answer the guys SHOWTIME call. Still, its only three units. They can take them!
No, you cant. Dorothy deadpans.
Its the rest of ZEUTH, having been called over by Dorothy. Roger apologizes for dragging them into his mess but Apollo quips that theyre all used to things ending in a brawl with him.
Mel is just about to correct him when Roger prods her and she remembers to keep quiet. Rand does wonder whats going on with the two of them but she waves him off. Estee hops on the mic and, having seen us on the UN as the Federations elite attack force, yells that the Feds are trying to annex their city.
Renton wants to get in a yelling match with him but Mel tells him to ignore the guy. Let him say whatever he wants, we know who we are and what we do!
Rand is impressed with her new insight but Gain and Holland very much agree: weve always done what we thought was right and thats that. With no choice, Estee orders his guys to wreck us.
Since Dorothy's in the cockpit already, she tells Roger she'll support him directly. He smiles and observes that she's in a fine mood today: did something good happen to her? She shrugs.
Oh, well. Lets get to it, then!
Kill everything, dont lose a ship. Weve a straight up battle with assorted Walker Machines, Fed MSs and Chiram Devices and no surprises. Dorothy is supporting Roger but, no, you dont get to use Final Stage.
Spread out and destroy.
: Hm, the Big Os performing marvelously today. Is it thanks to your being aboard?
: Its thanks to Normans maintenance.
: That was a joke, meant to lighten the situation.
: Looks to me that youre the one whos had something good happen.
Estee's ambitions end up in smoking ruin in short order, bringing part of Roger's job to a close in somewhat more spectacular fashion than anticipated. As for the other half...
Roger goes see Ms. Flores, who thanks him for making this town peaceful again. All in a days work.
Still, she feels bad for the paltry sum hes being paid but, as he said before, his priority isnt making money. If anything, he didnt care for those ruffians trying to claim this garden that means so much to her.
Then, she hopes hell accept these with her gratitude:
A bouquet of anemone flowers which Roger recalls signify fleeting love.
Flores pokes him and says that they also signify expectation for the future. Regardless, she adds that Roger can now complete his original job.
He ponders this for a second and asks if he could presume upon her for one flower more.
: Did you finish your job, Roger?
: Indeed. I just delivered the items for the clients envoy.
: A present to a certain special someone. The client hired me to procure it.
: I see.
: Um Dorothy this may sound unlike me but
: Thank you, Dorothy. Ill always be grateful for your support.
: A flower
: I imposed on the gardens owner a wee bit but it seemed appropriate to get one for you, too.
: A present to a certain special someone, hm? If thats the case with this one, then Im very happy my beloved
: R. Dorothy Wayneright
: That was a joke.
: I like to make people smile and be happy as anyone else, you know.
: Well, I beg your pardon for my surprise. How about I offer a smile by way of apology?
: Still, I really do appreciate the gift. Thanks, Roger.
: Dont mention it, Dorothy.
: ( I do wonder how thingsll go on the clients side )
So, thread, are you Team Dorothy or Team Angel?
Location: North Ameria New Earth Federation HQ, Anemones Room
: Im back, Anemone.
: That was quite the hectic mission spanning from southern Galia all the way to South Ameria. Ive only now just returned.
: Operation Crusade was a success, though, so I think well both be quite busy now.
: Dewey didnt come to see me even once I was alone all this time
: But the Colonel has been terribly busy and
: No he really doesnt see me as anything but a tool
: Dont even think that, please.
: Shut up! I dont wanna hear your crap!
: Oh, yes I brought you a gift. Here
: When I heard they had your name, I just had to look for them.
: Anemones mean fading hope
: Huh ?
: If I fail, Ill just be thrown away like garbage These really do suit me to a T
: Youre wrong, Anemone. These flowers mean expectation.
: The person who found these flowers for me said so, you know.
: Expectation You actually think that applies to me?
: Not just me. The Colonel also has very high expectations of you, Im sure.
: Hm Quite the thoughtful present, coming from you
: (Id do anything for you Id stand against the entire world, if only to see you smile )
: (Blast that fleeting love business. Im going to help you.)