Thread: The Despicable
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Old 04-28-2007, 08:20 AM
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Many of the inhabitants of Mudos lack the necessary facial features to express their emotions through ways recognisable to us. Gestures such as smiles and frowns are more often purveyed through body-language or gestures (in a slig’s case, gestures of the face tentacles).

Part 2
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Tormentor’s Decline

Chapter 7

“Vykkers and Gentlegluks! I must begin by thanking you all for attending this private meeting!” Doctor William Krik, writer, geneticist and rising star in the slavery debate, spread his four stick-thin arms wide in welcome. “It is my understanding that you are some of the most important, and therefore some of the busiest leaders of the Industrial World, and I know just how precious time is. It is due to your importance that I have called you here today; I have concocted a chemical which could prove useful to each and every one of you in your daily lives! Though,” He lowered his voice conspiratorially, “It’s not something we would want Rumor Kontrol to know about: they might get the wrong idea,” He winked enormously and continued at his normal speech-giving level, “An enzyme, as I imagine many of you will know, is a chemical that is used to break down other chemicals,” Chances were few of the glukkons new what an enzyme was, but to get a crowd on your side you should let them think you don’t know just how ignorant they are. “For example, enzymes are used naturally in the digestion of food. The enzyme, protease, breaks down proteins. The enzyme, lipase, breaks down lipids.” He doubted that many of them would know what a lipid was, but again he shouldn’t let them know that. He removed a small glass vial from an inner pocket. “This,” He declared with flourish, “Is DNAse! An enzyme I have artificially produced with the ability to break down DNA in all living creatures, with a 97% success rate.

“Perhaps some of you wonder at the use of such a chemical? Well, our tests on mudokons and paramites have shown that a subject regularly injected with DNAse will suffer an unpleasant death over two weeks, when they are likely to die from blood loss. However,” He grinned wickedly, “When a subject was also given frequent blood supplements they lasted longer, up to an industrial month, before death by bodily degeneration. A very nasty way to go, I assure you, and a very effective way of executing a prisoner who you want to make an example of.” The murmurs from the crowd seemed unimpressed. “Obviously, I didn’t call you all in to such a private meeting simply to tell you about new execution methods.” The talking stopped.

Krik looked around the room, smiling subtly and announced, in a perfectly sincere voice, “All of us in this room are, of course, legitimate businessgluks and vykkers. And as such, I know none of you would ever harm anyone who was causing you trouble. People of our standing would not dare eliminate any opposition we could do without.” There was a murmur of unrest around the room. Krik would have bet his reputation that there was not a glukkon or vykker in this room who had never had someone murdered, or at the very least beaten senseless, when they got in their way. Back-stabbing, cheating and plotting went hand-in-hand with success on Mudos. “But let us imagine, briefly, that you had had reason to take out an individual and you had gone ahead with these plans and had them assassinated. Just imagine; I know none of you would of course.” He kept his voice free of sarcasm and sounded genuinely convinced of the truthfulness of his statement. “Assassinations can be so messy, and so many clues can be left at the scene of a crime to give you away: blood, hair and skin all carry DNA and can all link you to the scene of the crime. However,” He brandished the tube of DNAse again, “Just a couple of drops of this, sprayed into the area as an aerosol would totally remove all that incriminating DNA and making it impossible to link you to the scene.” He paused, smiling a vykker smile, “Are there any questions?”

The room was full of murmuring, but no one called out. He added, “Spilling it on your skin isn’t dangerous, unless you try bathing in it. You might be a little sensitive where it touched you for a week or two, but not badly so.”

A glukkon called out suddenly, “If I did use it, wouldn’t it leave a trace? Wouldn’t they be able to find your stuff?”

Krik nodded, “If used, for example, for destroying evidence – not that any of you would – a trace of DNAse would be left behind. But think of it like this: at the moment those in this room are the only ones who have any idea what this is,” He waved the test tube. “If the Cartel law enforcement did find it it wouldn't mean anything to them! And by the time they find out what it is, there should be enough people using it that it wouldn’t tell them enough to be used as evidence.” He was quite pleased with that answer. “Now, if there are no more questions I will bid you farewell, until I see you in the main assembly in an hour.” He looked around at the inhabitants in the hall. No more questions were asked so he bowed and left.

The 250 inhabitants in this small hall, made up of around 100 vykkers and 150 glukkons were some of the most important or influential in Western Mudos. While there was no security in the hall itself, all of their personal security sligs were standing guard outside to keep anyone, from nosy glukkons to MOM News reporters, out. The building, however, was filled with over 1000 glukkons and vykkers, plus their slig guards, who would all be meeting shortly for Krik’s main talk.

The glukkons did not fear terrorists, simply because there wasn’t any. This was 39 years before Abe blew up Rupture Farms and no one even imagined a single mudokon could ever cause so much disruption.

Doctor Krik was only 32 years old and already he was one of the most famous vykkers around at the time. Two years ago he had written a book explaining the advantages of mudokon slave labour in factories and since then the number of factories using mudokon slaves had doubled. As well as his thoughts on mudokon labour, he was also praised for his research into genetics and had worked with a number of famed vykkers over the last twelve years on a number of projects with varying success. Despite all this he had failed to make much money of his own, and so was rather limited on the resources he had for his own experimentation. It was why most of his work was written theory, rather than any physical product. It was something that annoyed him greatly; fame was hard to win when all your ideas were nothing more than scribbles on paper.

Now Krik wandered through a number of large rooms where food was being served for the waiting officials. He gestured to a few people, engaged in idle small talk, feeling incredibly bored and going over the words of his planned speech in his head. Today was a general meeting for a lot of vykkers to turn up and present their research to the industrial world for the first time. Krik would be the third person to talk, which was good because most of the glukkons would still be listening by that time; they tended to get bored and lose interest as the afternoon’s talks wore on. But Krik had used some influence to get in early. He would never admit to being nervous, but (to put it simply) he was. When it came down to it, his ideas were still considered rather revolutionary by many and he wasn’t sure how the masses would react to his new research.

* * *

“Vykkers, Gentle-Gluks and distinguished members of the press!” Here goes nothing. “The industrial world is changing!” The room was quiet. He had their attention at least; “We live in a world which is rapidly expanding and can no longer rest alone on the labour of sligs and interns.” There was a murmur of unrest and he went on quickly, “We as the managers and controllers of this world,” The murmuring stopped and he mentally sighed with relief. One thousand people was a lot to talk in front of, “We are charged with its continuation and growth. The responsibility is ours to bear, and if we are to bring industrialism to its full and deserved glory, we must be prepared to adapt to new ideas.” He stopped to let that sink in. The audience was silent. He smiled, confidence returning, Let them think they were important. Make them feel big about themselves and they’ll be on your side all the way. “Slave labour… is undoubtedly the way forward.” Some more talking from the crowd.

Despite all the positive advantages to using mudokon labour, the idea was not popular with everyone and even as it increased the debate over it still raged throughout the Magog Cartel and the Vykker’s Council. Krik failed to see what all the worry was about. The labour was very cheap and it was widely accepted that there was not much the primitive mudokons could do to fight the industrials, and there was no shortage of mudokons to use. In addition, industrial factories were appearing all across native land; it was better to start harvesting the mudokons now before they could pull together a defensive force.

All this and more had been in the book Krik had published two years gone, and still the debate raged. Sometimes Krik just didn’t understand people. He was glad he had never tried taking up psychology.

The labour debate was at the front of the minds of all those present, even the simple-minded sligs who stood around to make sure their bosses weren’t bothered. A lot of the vykkers to talk at this seminar would be discussing the debate. Some would be for it and some would be against. That was the other reason Krik had wanted to get his own presentation in early on, to argue his case before they were turned against him.

Now Krik raised his voice over the noise made by the crowd, “Vykkers and Gentle-Gluks, when considering this debate one must consider the pros and cons of mudokon labour.” Maintaining their interest was hard, so it was time to talk financially. Mention the M-word and you’ll get the attention of any crowd on Mudos. “At the moment, all mudokons available to us have to be caught from the wild. Obviously this is expensive work, to track down villages, and then to attack them and harvest the slaves.”

There was a lot of noise from his opposition, those who were against using mudokon labour. Sarcastic shouts of ‘Exactly right’ and ‘Couldn’t of said it better myself’ floated across the hall.

Krik pressed on to keep their focus on him. “At this very moment there are several groups out in the wild, hunting down the Mudokon Queen. She’s out there somewhere and our sligs are getting closer every day.” He smiled encouragingly to his audience. He was relaxing more now. “’But what about now’ you say! ‘It’s all good talking about the future but right now mudokons are still expensive; we’re using up all our resources hunting down mudokons when we ought to be building up our empires!’” he surveyed the crowd. By their reactions that was exactly what many of them were thinking. “Well,” He declared, “That’s exactly where my work makes itself useful! Over the last few years, I have been conducting a great deal of research into the differences between males and Queens of species such as glukkons, sligs and mudokons,” He nodded to the glukkons and sligs in turn as he names them. “And the total of my research is this: I am more than confident that with the correct recourses and materials, I could go out now and manufacture a fertile female mudokon. Not a true Queen, but smaller, similar in size and stature to a normal worker class mudokon. These ‘mock-Queens’ will be designed to produce a low amount of eggs, say about one nest of 3 or 4 per month, will be easier to care for and transport than a normal Queen. Imagine having your own little egg-producing mudokon, able to perform normal labour between egg-layings. For a single fee, free labour for as long as want it.”

Someone from the crowd, another vykker, shouted out, “And where’s the proof? You want us to take your word for this?”

Krik didn’t give anyone else a chance to add their two cents, but called out himself, “Well that is of course why I need the aid of these admirable glukkons. Once these females are produced, I can assure you money will grow on trees for all of us, but until then I’m afraid Moolah is not easy to come by.” By ‘all of us’ he of course meant anyone rich enough to by one of his females, but didn’t say that out loud. “I require assistance from my fellow vykkers and funds from these admirable glukkons to continue my research and produce a female. I can faithfully promise that all money invested will be paid back twice over.” He smiled and spread all four of his arms. “Any questions?”

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Lot o' long paragraphs in there...

I often struggle to make long conversations and speeches sound good. They often end up sounding rushed and being too short. I thought I had that problem with the first one. Though I think the second is better.
I would appreciate any comments on that. Feel free to say they're both rubbish if you really want to. It all helps me get better as a writer.
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Oddworld novel: The Despicable. Original fiction: Small Worlds.


Last edited by Splat; 12-09-2007 at 05:48 PM..
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