05.26.3013: Terrace Talks
Summary: Cedric and Alexis discuss war while Jane and Tristan make small talk. At least the weather is nice.
Date: 26 May 2013
Related: None
Alexis Cedric Jane Tristan 

Menagerie and Terrace Park - Landing
This park is most aptly named due to the various tiers and terraces that are neatly stacked with one another to create a rather pleasing aesthetic. It is accessed through a series of pathways leading from the Statuary Forum. It encompasses about two square kilometers of space that, when combined with the various ups and downs of the tiers, means for quite a harch for those trying to explore every inch of it. Built within the parks architecture is a stream that burbles along and cascades over the tiers. Each tier varies in its ratio to lawn, trees, and flower beds. Some have stone bench seating, while others encourage sprawls across the plush grasses.

Tucked in the center of the park is a modest zoo and aquarium that is always open to the public and contains a wide range of animal life from all over Haven.

26 May 3013

The morning was proving itself to be pleasantly warm with a cool breeze and ample sunshine allowing for a most picturesque photo shoot for Jane. Unfortunately for her (and her photographer's gear), grey clouds rolled in shortly after the start of their session and proceeded to open upon the park. Giggling couples and children - and some irate, older amblers - scurry for cover as the rain begins. Luckily for Jane, her assistant saw to it that the actress was outfitted with a parasol.

Now the redhead is strolling rather casually along a lower terrace tier bedecked with sprawling flowerbeds arranged in colorful patterns. The photographer and his crew have packed up and are following the main path back toward the Ways, leaving Jane all by her lonesome - just as she likes it.

Alexis progresses rather laboriously along one path moving with energy but not much pace as she forces herself to limp along heavily favouring her right leg in the process. One hand is occupied with the cane she uses for assistance while in the other she holds a now folded umbrella, out from her body and angled to let the rain drip off to the side instead of onto her dress.

Instead of being on his ship or in some kind of meeting, Cedric has perched himself on a park bench, sucking down some kind iced coffee drink through a straw and sitting under a covered bench, which has thus allowed him to get out of the rain. The rain itself, is just fine by him, hasn't hampered any of his time reading on his pad or his drink.

One person that keeps away from umbrellas and such when it rains would be Tristan. And today is no different as he seems a bit more relaxed now, as he looks up to the sky, smiling at the feeling of raindrops on his face.

Jane spies with her little eye a familiar face hogging one of the benches, and one so carefully placed out of the rain. In her haste to relieve Cedric from the burden of his own company, she brushes right past Alexis with a murmured "excuse me" before placing herself firmly in front of the Orelle. "Hey," she offers by way of greeting, foregoing the use of titles despite their public surroundings. "Whatchya reading cap'n?"

Without waiting for a proper invitation, the actress settles herself on the bench beside him, propping the handle of her umbrella against her shoulder in order to free her hands. She smooths her skirts carefully over her knees, twitching the fabric to shake free the droplets clinging to the hemline. No doubt some of them land on Cedric's trousers. She then proceeds to lean in, apparently trying to catch a glimpse of the officer's tablet.

Alexis's eyebrows raise as Jane brushes past her and she halts herself to help avoid collision, forced to lean a moment on her cane though she replies with a smooth. "Apology accepted." Now halted she then pivots a little on her good leg to watch where the other woman is going before then inclining her head to Cedric as she spots him. "Well met Lord Captain, might I be introduced to your companion?" Jane indicated with a shift of her hand holding the umbrella.

Cedric jerks the tablet slightly at an angle, as he were trying to shoo a fly away from it. In reality, it's nothing of the sort, rather that it's a video game of some kind being played on the pad. The Captain himself is biting his lip slightly, while the generated first person view of someone holding a rather dirty looking rifle. The old kind. The one that spit projectiles instead of bullets. And hes currently hiding behind an overturned truck, while sounds of gunfire ring out from the little speaker. "Hrm? Miss Wyre. Afternoon. Nah, no reading. No Man's Land 2. Though I think I'd prefer the console version. Controller is better than on a pad." he replies with a quick glance away. "How'd the lesson go?" Another voice, and shooting people is getting difficult with so much outside stimuli. Now he pauses the game. "Lieutenant…." he grasps to put a name to the face. "…Alexis? Afternoon to you too. And this is Jane Wyre, actress."

Looking around for a few moments, Tristan spots the group of people now, heading over in their general direction at the moment. Keeping quiet so far as he looks over at the people, he pauses a little bit away from them now.

Well crap. Jane's expression is a guilty one as the third voice draws her attention away from the mesmerizingly bloody display on Cedric's tablet. Video games are fun! Instead, she squints at Alexis and exhales between pursed lips, well aware that she is due for a proper apology and a little chivalry to boot. It is with some reluctance that she rises smoothly, relinquishing the bench to the woman who appears to need a seat more than she. "As if anyone needed to be given my professional title, you silly man. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, my lady. Sir." Hmm, which title is preferred? She uses them both, just in case.

"Please, sit. I apologize again for earlier. When I have something in my sights, sometimes the blinders are raised." Blue eyes turn upon Cedric once more, and the corner of Jane's mouth quirks. "Unfortunately, my lord captain, we had not a chance to meet for the lesson. Work called me away, as it is wont to do. I am hoping the rain will clear soon, and I can convince his lordship to spare me the time of day again. Besides, I need my shades back."

"Alexis Oriane Sauveur." Offers Alexis by way of completing her introduction before then waving off the offered seat. "Thank you Miss Wyre but I am fine to remain standing and as I said before, your apology is accepted." Cedric's pad then peered at for a moment before she notes. "I actually have something relating to the Hostiles I wished to discuss with a naval officer but perhaps this is not a good time?" She breaks off to incline her head to the approaching Tristan.

"I'm sure you'll find time for it. Although good luck. I wouldn't be caught dead on a horse." Cedric notes and starts playing again, though he seems to still be listening. "I hate these heavy armors. I need to upgrade the rifle…well…ah hell, that much for the grenade launcher…where I am supposed to…" he mutters under his breath while he sifts through store and inventory screens. Although, the mention of Hostiles always gets his attention, and once again the game is paused. "Depends on what you'd like to know. Although, some material may either be classified or above my pay grade. The Admiralty don't always release complete intel. But I'll answer what I can."

Offering a nod in return to Alexis, Tristan offers a bit of a smile to both her and the others. "Hello," he offers to the trio, approaching their bench now, as he listens a bit quietly for the moment.

"Oh, no, this time seems as appropriate as any other," Jane replies to Alexis, her words rushed as she strives to be as accommodating and non-invasive as possible. Despite the counter-offer of the bench seat so recently abandoned, Jane shakes her waterproof parasol clean of leftover droplets before replacing it upon her shoulder in readiness to depart. "I would not wish to intrude on military business, milord Captain, and so if I may be excused, I will leave you two to your conversation. Again, it was a pleasure, Lady Sir Alexis, and now I must insist you take my seat." She flashes a cheerful smile at the pair before turning on her heel, not waiting for a proper dismissal.

All of the hints from Alexis aside, Jane is unprepared for the sight of Tristan when she turns about, and so she nearly bumps right into him. She has had enough training on the stage to have fairly honed reflexes, and so the actress jumps back just enough to avoid a collision. How improper would that have been? Blushing, she tightens her grip on her parasol and bobs her head to the Arboren. "My apologies, my lord. I didn't know you were there."

"It relates to these pods they dropped with the scouts." Alexis continues after offering a slight nod to Cedric's reply. "They apparently have radios they presumably use for reporting back any reconnaissance information and it strikes me that they would either be immensely powerful for transmission over interplanetary distances, or they intend to bring in something closer to pick up the reports. My suspicion is that means they can either be located by the radio signals or prevented from reporting back but I suspect you know a lot more about radios and space than I do." That is all business but at Jane's near collision she does grin and offer a slight shake of her head. "Is this your day for near collisions with nobility?"

Cedric blinks at Alexis. "That's a lot of people's suspicions, Lieutenant." he notes dryly. "I've gone over the data from these transmitters before the knowledge became public and that more or less the conclusion that pretty much most Navy has come to. Transmission of data, code for location or signal to proceed with some plan of action. Whatever it is likely a failsafe of some kind, in my mind. Though, I do have the opinion that these scouts were meant to be found and encountered. Be that as it may…" a dismissive gesture with a hand, "The first fleet has been solidified around around Desolation. If anything is coming, we'll have advanced warning. Though…if you ask me, I think it's going to come a lot sooner than later. What that 'it' is? Who knows, but I'm sure we'll be surprised either way."

That said, he looks a little crestfallen at Jane's sudden departure. "Oh fine, leave, Miss Wyre. And here I was going to ask if you dabbled in multiplayer. One doesn't often get the chance to ask a movie star those kind of things."

Blinking a bit at near collision, Tristan offers a quiet smile to Jane. "Don't worry about it, Miss… Wyre, wasn't it? I could probably have been a bit less quiet as I moved along, after all." Another pause, before he adds, "I hope you are doing well today?"

If Jane were a cat, her ears would be twitching. Despite the fact that her understanding of Hostile lore is at the bare minimum, the conversation between Cedric and Alexis is just enough to pique her interest. So the girl finds herself leaning back a bit with one ear to their talk while her other is tuned to Tristan's voice. She spares a glance for Cedric and her lips twist into an expression of wry amusement. "Multiplayer? I hope you're not flirting with me, my lord captain."

When the Arboren speaks, Jane turns her head to face him fully and arches one thin eyebrow. "Indeed, it is Miss Wyre. You have me at quite the disadvantage now, my lord. Have we met before? If so, then I must apologize for my faulty memory. But yes, I am doing very well today despite the inconsiderate weather disrupting my plans. And you?"

"Precisely, they have to have known their scouts would be killed or captured and they are almost certainly sanitised to try to prevent us really learning anything from them. My question was more about how practical preventing them from reporting was. At least to some extent. We are going to be fighting blind and I do not relish the hostiles being better informed." Alexis shifts her weight onto her good leg as she speaks, tilting her umbrella and letting it drain off to the side way from everyone else. Then in exactly the same tone she notes to Jane. "It seems like he is."

"We met very briefly in that nightclub, I believe. But there were a lot of people there," Tristan replies, before he adds, "And I'm Tristan Arboren. A pleasure to meet you." A look over towards the other two as well. "And both of you as well, of course."

Cedric raises a brow. "What? No, I'm flirting. I just enjoy my games and getting online tag for someone famous would just be a feather in cap. And you know, someone famous to smoke on team deathmatch." To Alexis, he just shrugs. "That's what five hundred years will do, Lieutenant. They've advanced and evolved and unlike us, they've probably been studying us for some time now. Hard to say just for how long, but if they're moving now, instead in six months like we've predicted, it's hard to say or even gauge just what they know about our tactics. And while I do believe we're behind the eight-ball currently, they'll show their hand eventually. It'll just depend if we're ready or not. Victory is never assured, but most presume as much. I've suggested to the Admiralty board the use EMP to block the transmissions. Or put the pods and bodies in a Faraday cage at the least. If they've done any of that," another shrug, "who knows. I'm just a Captain. I can make all the suggestions I like, but Admiralty has final word and they don't like that idea, then I'm just pissing in black pants. Warm feeling, but it doesn't do me any good."

"Ahh, so we did, but I was drinking and can never remember the precise details of those encounters," Jane admits to Tristan readily, obviously not ashamed of some of her less-than-stellar habits. She offers a cheerful smile, twirling her parasol despite the rain's cessation. "It is a fortunate coincidence that I bumped into you today, Lord Tristan. I was just remarking to Letha yesterday that I wanted to make it a goal to meet all of the tournament winners. Congratulations on your marksmanship. Have you won archery contests before? I will admit I don't follow the tourneys religiously, although I do like to show my face when I can."

"I just hope they have not developed the ability to shield large vehicles or something equally game changing." Notes Alexis in a sober tone. "I have spent years studying the hostiles and how to fight them but of course everything we have is nearly five hundred years old. I do fully agree that speculating they will be swarming idiots or not advanced at all, able to be ridden down with glorious cavalry charges, is entirely pointless." Then she shrugs before flicking her umbrella closed and dropping its point to the floor. Noted to Jane. "Did you see Lady Lucretia's victory yesterday? It was quite spectacular, at one point all three of the other remaining contenders tried to assault her at once only to be defeated."

"Thank you," Tristan replies with a smile now as he hears Jane's words, before he shakes his head a little. "Nothing this big, at least. I mean I have won some small contests back at home, but a real big tourney, no." A brief pause as he hears Alexis speaking of Lucretia's win. "I was sort of hoping she didn't win it, but that's because the last one she defeated was my little sister," he offers, with a bit of a smile. "But it was a great day for my family, when both my sisters ended up in second in their respective events." A brief pause, before he adds, "Oh, and my oldest sister's betrothed too, of course."

"Personally? I think we've dropped the ball on intelligence gathering." Cedric remarks. "That we were content to sit on our laurels and decide to wait out the next war instead doing something constructive about it. Masked surveillance satellites sent to the Fifth World. Scout ships of our own. Hell, build up an assault force and take the fight to their front door for a chance. But, no, let future generations worry about that, as it never be previous one's 'problem'. We're rebuilt, massed a fighting force and…what? Waited. Trained. Drilled. Drill and train all you like, tourneys don't take the place of the real thing. Some people might say I give the Hostiles too much credit, but I'd rather presume too much than too little. We're out of date. And with the lack of advancement of our technologies, I think it may end up costing us more lives than expected."

Jane has not the head for family trees, and can barely keep track of her own, so when Tristan expounds upon the glories of his family, she can only stare at him with a charmingly blank smile. "I am not acquainted with your sisters, my lord, although it is always exciting to hear that such skill persists within an entire generation. My I inquire as to their names, and perhaps the name of your eldest sister's betrothed? Perhaps I may know someone, although I think you are the first Arboren with whom I've exchanged more than the most basic of pleasantries."

Still twirling her parasol, Jane allows her gaze to drift away from Tristan momentarily to focus upon Cedric and Alexis. Alas, the conversation has deepened enough that she can no longer participate - which is likely for the best, considering the topic is vastly different from the lighter one she is holding with the Arboren. Her gaze snaps back to Tristan and she gestures toward the terrace walkway with her parasol before folding it up. It's useless now, anyway. "Shall we walk, my lord?"

"Her brother is the individual responsible for my using this cane." Alexis taps the cane in question on the ground with a clack. "So I must admit I was hoping somebody bested her but still, she deserved her victory." That addressed to Tristan before she chuckles in a not very jovial manner at Cedric's words. "Which is of course why most people train in tournaments, I spent years being loaned out to vassal houses that were having wars in order to get experience of the real thing, then the now Knight Commander shattered my leg through my armour with a lance strike. Half a meter higher and I suppose I would be dead instead."

Tristan smiles as he hears Alexis, offering her a bit of a nod. "I see. But yes, she deserved it in the end, that's true." Listening to the rest, before he nods at Jane. "Lady Sir Brienne Arboren is my older sister, Lady Eilara Arboren is the younger one. And Brienne's betrothed is Lord Ser Cambric Leonnida." Nodding again, along with a bit of a smile at the suggestion of a walk. "Sounds like a lovely idea, Miss Wyre," he replies.

"Tournaments are pale facsimile to the real thing." Cedric replies, taking a moment to power down his tablet. "That's not said to downplay their worth or relevancy, but to me, we could've done more. Much more. And we missed decades of missed opportunities. That's the long and short. Too focused on ourselves instead of the larger picture on hand. I guess I can't blame anyone, being such a short lived species. We think in manners of years and decades, not hundreds of years between wars. I'd call it short-sightedness but…it's not like we didn't know this would happen. But we've always been at a disadvantage. Driven them back, but never truly defeated them. To me, that's failure, but letting your opponent retreat and regroup, and become stronger the next time. I believe they have done just that. As for us? Hard to say. We haven't gone back, frankly I don't think we could go any more backward, but we've hardly taken another step forward. Being prepared is nice, but taking the advantage would be better. Barring some revolutionary technological breakthrough, I don't think we're going to get any more prepared."

"Hence why my family ensured that as an expendable but military minded cousin, I got plenty of experience of real war." Alexis notes to Cedric in a matter of fact way. "Unfortunately for myself, I ended up sort of half expended in the process. Regardless it is too late now to muse on projects that might have helped if they were begun a century ago or even last year."

With a bob of a curtsey to Alexis and Cedric, Jane turns on her heel to lead Tristan away and along the path through the flowerbeds. She holds her parasol by the handle, swinging it to and fro like an impromptu cane. The metal tip taps along the cement walkway in time to her steps. "I have heard of Lord Sir Cambric Leonnida, although I have never had the pleasure of meeting him directly. I have spied him from a distance a time or two, having been raised in the Southern Wilds. Perhaps someday we will become acquainted, hmmm? And I with your sisters as well, my lord. Are they about much, would you say, or do they tend to spend the majority of their time in Arboren? Unfortunately, I haven't had to go there much for work yet, but my agent did mention being sent a promising script about a rebellious Arboren girl. It's not quite a step out of my usual realm, but I've had so little practice at archery that it would definitely test the limits of my skills. Do you watch the 'vids much?"

Cedric gives Alexis an odd look for a moment, but whatever is on his mind at that particular moment is left unsaid. "That's because you decided to keep you leg, Lieutenant. If I were you, and were still willing to put the effort in to the fight, I'd consider having your leg replaced with a cybernetic one. You wouldn't have that limp, nor would stop you from competing in the joust again and you'd just be as physically capable as you once were." He taps at the side of his head next to the cybernetic eye in his head. Another shrug. "Perhaps it is too late, and we'll have no one but ourselves to blame for our own downfall be because of it. Doesn't matter. We're committed to the hand we've been dealt. Let the chips fall where they may."

"Only if I could also wind back time twenty years and spend several more intensively training captain." Alexis pulls a face briefly then before adding. "Not that I was ever anything spectacular in the joust." Still she then straightens despite the resulting wince and carries on with. "Hardly. We are committed to the hand we have been dealt and so now we have to strive to do everything possible to win with that hand."

Tristan nodding a bit as he hears that. "My sisters are around every now and then, although I think they, like me, like to stay back in the woods as much as possible." Another brief pause, and a grin, "Oh, sounds like an interesting script, that one." A brief pause, before he adds, "I'm sure I could help you if you need to improve the archery skills, of course." At the last question, he nods, "Every now and then. I've seen a few of yours as well. Quite nice, those."

"I'm what optimists call a pessimist call a realist, Lieutenant." Cedric seems amused, as if he's heard the same comments said towards more than a few times. Apparently, it's something he's become accustomed to a long time ago. "In my eyes, we have just as much a chance of winning the war as we do of losing it. It is neither a faith or belief that will be successful, it the duty of doing the best that one can. Everything else is just gravy. Either way, it's likely that I'll be long dead before the war ends. I'll only hope that my actions will be of some benefit. And if I'm lucky, I'll be able to pick and choose the time and place when that happens, though if I could be choosy, I'll take out a few Hostile ships in the process."

"Then perhaps you haven't viewed them very closely," Jane replies to Tristan with a loud laugh at his compliment of her movie roles. They have been less than absolutely savory, to be completely honest, and the actress is well aware of the trite dialogue and stilted action sequences. "They were, at most, banal - and the critics were happy to remind everyone of that. Still, the audiences ate them up, so perhaps the general population is doomed to poor taste."

Jane keeps the pace of their walk down to a leisurely stroll, although her gaze goes skyward from time to time to check for impending rain. "You are offering to consult on my archery skills? If I get the role - I only have a call for an audition, you understand - I will drop your name. You know, you are entitled to payment and consultant credit if you accept the job. Teaching me is not necessarily the easiest work imaginable, though, and I will warn you of that up front. Still—a tourney winner as a teacher? I am thrilled, truly. You are too kind to offer your services. Is that what you do when you aren't competing? Do you teach?"

"I am not aware that I disagreed with you on any of that?" Answers Alexis with a quirk of her head to the one side. "You have a very sensible grasp of the situation though I do hope you frame things in a different light when speaking to the crew of your ship. What you are doing is preaching to somebody who has had the same view for decades though. I am not some child who has been lapping up this talk of the generation of vengeance, I am a soldier who was training for the arrival of the hostiles thirty years ago and knows fully well she is not going to survive the war. I just plan to do my very best to ensure the same cannot be so confidently said of your generation."

"Well, to those paying too much attention to such things, they might be, but still good entertainment, you know." Tristan offers this with another smile, before he nods as he hers that last part. "Well, I like teaching people archery, although one of the main things I do is mostly to help keeping an eye on the woods and such, but helping people learn is always one of the things I've enjoyed." A brief grin, before he adds, "Besides, if I can help you guys make it look better on the screen, one can't turn down such a chance, right?"

"And I wasn't aware there was an argument going on." Cedric blinks. "But if you want to think I'm being presumptuous, I guess you're free to think that." Although he frowns at the mention of preaching. "Last I checked you wanted my opinion on things. I gave it. So if you want to think that preaching then…" he shrugs. "I guess I'll just shut up then."

Jane is silent while Tristan speaks, and she glances sidelong toward him multiple times while offering a nod where it is most appropriate. "I have found that few people turn down chances to see their name in the credits at the very least, although I am sad to say that by the end of each production all the starry-eyed apprentices are exhausted, burnt out and pissy. The glamour of the big screen is only on the big screen, and behind the scenes they learn that it is actual work. It is always a bit sad to see the disappointment when reality does not live up to one's gloriously elevated expectations."

She ceases speaking for a moment, perhaps recalling memories of experiences past. After the space of a fifteen seconds or so, however, she lifts her gaze to Tristan while the pair draws close to the 'end' of the terrace and are faced with the decision: up or down to the next level? This is communicated silently by Jane as she gestures with her parasol, granting Tristan the burden of choosing. "What does it mean to 'keep an eye on the woods'? I mean, what kind of work does that particular job entail? I imagine men sitting in tree houses staring boredly at a pair of birds building a nest or something of that nature."

Alexis gestures to the side with the point of her furled umbrella. "Not exactly but you did seem to come across as if you were lecturing some facile, optimistic tournament knight perhaps? Which I suspect is something you have to do all too often, and it is refreshing to see somebody with a more measured viewpoint, but is vaguely irritating to be on the receiving end of when one is a soldier in her late forties." Then a slight shrug. "Regardless if that was not your intention then I misinterpreted you. I must apologise for my rudeness."

"Well, I spend a lot of time whenever I can moving through the forests and such. And also helping with hunting and similar things," Tristan replies with a bit of a smile. "And also keeping my skills up, both for archery and other kind of fighting, of course."

Jane's irritation makes itself known as she purses her lips together, glancing once to Tristan before deciding to go up to the next terrace level. Here it appears to be a mixture of stone gardens and shaped topiaries. "Yes, I understand that you 'move through the forests and such', but my curiosity lies therein: what is it you do while moving through the forests? Do you hunt game? Do you check the quality of life for the trees and plants? Do you scan for such things as poaching? Do you have a sector of the forests that you scout for signs of illegal activities like the cutting down of trees or some such destruction of natural habitats? I don't think I've even read so much as an article that explains the nature of your work."

Jane pauses beside a particularly amusing topiary cut to look like a rearing horse; its image is very reminiscent of the Cindravale coat of arms. She swings her parasol up to rest it on her shoulder while crossing her free arm over her chest. "Does your work involve aesthetic upkeep as much as monitoring the freely sprawling growth? Do you actively plant things to expand the greenery as much as possible? Are there action plans in place for such things? You must be realizing now that I am a curious woman. If I were to take on such a role, I would want to know the intricacies of the character's culture and lifestyle in order to appropriately convey her on the screen."

"No harm done." Cedric shakes his head. "Fact of the matter is, I can hold a bit of fault on my own end. I'm -used- to having to explain myself like that. Especially when your family is oblivious to the real issues as mine is, or at least seems to be. Talking to people twice my age and I feel like I have to speak to them as if they're teenagers. Like my father and brother who can't even buy a clue if it was for free. Lecturing to Sailors and Sergeants is something I've used to, but I don't deny a bit of…exasperation when people older than myself just aren't getting it. And worse, ones that choose not to." Beat. "Present company excluded."

Alexis leans her weight back onto her cane now before shifting her grip on the umbrella to halfway down instead of retaining her grip on the handle, then she shrugs again. "People have a vested interest in the status quo given that it provides us with our wealth, social status and power in addition to being fundamental to the organisation of the military we will need to survive the next few decades. In the depths of history there were societies who fought with melee weapons without having knights or nobles, where they less effective? More effective? Either way it is something very difficult to experiment with and even if somebody could dredge up enough information on Swiss Cantons to recreate them, anyone in a position to make such social changes would have a great deal to lose from it personally."

Tristan nods a little as he hears that, "Ah," he offers, before he smiles. "There's some hunting, and also checking for the quality of life for both the plant life and animals, as well as looking for anything suspicious. We have other people doing things like planting things and forestry and such, of course. Those that have trained for such work tend to do it more efficiently, after all." A brief pause, before he adds, "I was always drawn to the hunting and tracking side of things, myself."

"At the sake of survival?" Cedric waves a hand in dismissal. "I care little for the status quo. Surviving to make sure that humanity sees the next five hundred years is what matters, nothing more or less. You don't need a social class structure like ours to have a ground-based military. It was just out greed and convenience of the situation that it happened at all. It's only when that status quo hampers the continuation with the species is when I have a problem with it. But I also blame the status quo or our lack of expansion, Hostiles aside. And that is why we're even here, isn't it? Why we left Earth? We were explorers, not lords and knights and so on and so forth. When the war is over, whether that's in forty years or four hundred, there will come a time when we will have to take a hard look at our society as a whole. I'll hope our species will be mature enough to make the right choice, whatever that choice might be." A laugh follows that, a bitter one. "Not like it's any different from the democratic one we had before we arrived. Politicians are politicians, no matter how much you pretty them up. Adding a surname doesn't change that. I'm a soldier, not a politician, just because I personally disagree doesn't mean anything. I still have a job to do."

As the pair moves along the terrace, another bench comes into view. Jane has had quite enough of walking for the time being, as meandering about on such high heels can be quite exhausting for the calves. Without even asking Tristan, she glides over to the seat and perches on the edge. She props the parasol against the side of the bench, thus freeing her hands to clasp them together in her lap demurely. "Hunting and tracking sounds like it can be a bit of fun," she murmurs to Tristan, squinting against the backdrop of the sun as the noble presumably follows her lead toward the bench. "Although as much as I adore nature, I prefer the creature comforts of city life like central air, holovids and restaurants. I have a sense that those in Arboren tend to 'rough it' a lot more than we weakly-bred urban folk. Or is that simply a common misconception?"

"But you would probably not be of the same opinion if you were a Paramount Lord, or the King." Answers Alexis to that in a matter of fact tone. "After all, any changes would then almost certainly lead to a loss of your power, of your ability to make sure that our society did the right thing, as decided by you, which you would of course know is the right path to ensure survival. That is why power is so very seductive." Those words said she then frowns. "Expansion is actually my biggest worry given there are what, fifteen million of us? We are doomed if the Hostiles have fully populated their planet, there could potentially be billions of them with hundreds of times our industrial and military capacity though if that is the case then there really is nothing we can do about it."

Tristan is unable to hold back a grin as he listens now. "Most people prefer those comforts. And as much as I like those as well from time to time, I tend to prefer having the chance to g out there and 'rough it' every now and then. Staying in a small cave when there's a stormy night outside, for example." He chuckles, before he adds, "But I know one's got to be a… different kind of person to enjoy that, of course."

"Power is seductive by the weak, the selfish, and the manipulative." Cedric states flatly, the very bit of a militaristic tone. "Whether that be a noble house, a mega-conglomerate, a sports team, a citizen union, or whatever else. If there's anything I can say about history, it's always been the adage of 'the needs of few or the one outweighs the needs of the many' rather than the other way around. Or sure, we romanticize about it, but the reality of things is drastically the opposite than the truth." A shrug follows, as if somewhat resigned, tired of the same statement made over and over getting the same result. "I'm more a fan of a meritocracy myself, ideally. But it doesn't matter, and there's little I can do to persuade anyone otherwise. Besides, I little desire to be the head of a house, nevermind king. I can make a bigger difference where I am now. But perhaps, I'm just in the minority."

Jane offers Tristan an understanding smile, slipping a hand into a hidden skirt pocket to pull out a small PDA. With a gentle tap on the screen, she checks the time, and her eyes widen in horror at the sight. "Oh goodness, can you believe how much time I've idled away in this garden? The weather has been deceptive, damn you light-of-day." Heaving a sigh, she returns the PDA to her pocket and rises from the seat, picking up her parasol as she goes. "My lord Tristan, it has been a great pleasure to wile away the afternoon in your company. I have learned many things about your people of which I was not aware. I must beg your pardon for leaving in such a rush, but if I have any hope of an even fashionably late entrance to the feast, I must go home and get ready. You know us women - we always take so long to prepare. Will I be seeing you there?"

"Personally I am not in line to inherit anything unless far too many people die, and any hopes of military high command I might have had were quashed by that Cindravale lance." Answers Alexis in an actively neutral tone. "Do I want power? I suppose the answer is yes given that I judge myself a more then merely capable commander and would rather not see people die due to the inadequacies of those in charge. I am sure most knights view themselves as obviously the best suited to lead though."

"Of course, Miss Wyre. I'm glad I was able to help you a bit," Tristan replies, with a smile, before he nods a little at the mention of the feast. "I will be there, yes. I'm not sure my mother would forgive me if I didn't take part in the feast, especially after the Archery event," he replies.

"If my two siblings ahead were to pass away suddenly and I was in line to inherit Orelle?" Cedric considers a moment, standing then putting his hands in his pockets. "I'd decline. I'm a ship naval ship Captain, not a head of house. That's what I've always wanted to be. Perhaps an Admiral, but I'm not sure I'd enjoy being stuck behind a desk. Power is nice, I suppose, but it's not as intoxicating to me as it might be to others. I have a career, a ship, a wife and children that I love. I've already achieved everything that I wanted and I enjoy what I have. There is no desire for more, save for being chosen for an exploratory ship." There's a nod. "I'm sure most do, but how often that seems to be the truth. In my experience, there are those who can lead, and then there are leaders. The former anyone can be, the latter is something special that can come from any walk of life."

"Of course she wouldn't, and that is a mother's right," Jane says to Tristan, laughing quietly as she flips open her parasol with a snap. The lace pattern beneath a protective plastic overlay flutters as a gust sweeps along the terrace, kicking up her skirt and her hair as well. She turns her head toward the breeze, closing her eyes for a moment while inhaling the fragrance of the gardens carried toward her. "Mmm, I do loathe to leave such a beautiful place, but - argh, yes, I have to go. A pleasure, my lord. I will see you tonight at the feast, although I am not sure I will have much time to speak to you. Doubtless you will be crushed nearly to death beneath the press of admirers new and old. Don't let it go to your head now." She offers Tristan a parting wink, turning to retrace their steps and traipse down to the lower level terrace. She lingers long enough to offer Cedric and Alexis, now wholly absorbed in their talk of all things military, a proper curtsey before she hops onto the main path and follows it toward the city's center.

Alexis just nods to Cedric there, definitely a respectful sort of nod. "I have spent rather too long stuck behind a desk and can only agree though it has forced a certain perspective, certainly I can agree that being married with children introduces a more mature viewpoint though." This Alexis considers briefly. "Though I can assure you that even if you can effectively lead soldiers that is unfortunately not a skill which transfers to keeping control of teenage brats with royal surnames they shamelessly abuse."

"I'm told I'm mature for my age." Cedric muses lightly. "Be that as it may, I understand my viewpoints are less accepted and only mildly tolerated. Perhaps I read too much, ah well." He checks his watch after a moment, thought there's no hiding a laugh. "The first thing my eldest, seven years old, has learned was humility. I'll not have him running around like spoiled kid, thinking he's entitled. I worked for everything I've gotten, and so will he. It builds character. But…I should go make sure my dress uniform looks somewhat presentable if my wife is going to drag me to this little shindig that's going on. However, good speaking with you, Lieutenant."

"Now to hope, and pray, you can maintain that as he gets older. Sadly I doubt you will succeed." That is Alexis' dire warning coupled with a not very successfully suppressed grin before she glances at his watch, and winces. "Indeed. I have to limp laboriously back then find some way to get myself properly installed into something fashionable. A pleasure to make your acquaintance Lord Captain."

Waiting for a few moments longer, Tristan glances around a little before making his own way out from the park, humming a little to himself now.

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