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In which Lun corrupts the wide-eyed innocent youth of America.

And I practiced dialogue heavy stuff.

"Look ma'am, I don't want to be dealing with a murder so late in my shift. For your own safety, I suggest you give it a rest for the night."

The officer made his point clear in a polite and respectful manner. Lun couldn't help but notice that his right hand was held comfortably close to his pistol holster, while his left had was open, offering her the chance to move on.

"Thank you for your concern, officer,"

Lun, offered him the same measured politeness he'd offered her. Arguing with the police was a good way to get a beating, in anyone's country.

"Have a good night, ma'am."

"And yourself."

After hours preparing her finest dress, polishing her brass until it shone like a golden constallation against the rusted brick cityscape, then a single hour on that street corner, she made her way back through the city on foot - having forgotten to bring enough money for a cab. There where only so many times one could take being called a Commie Bitch in one night, anyway. Time to head back to the ship. Tomorrow was mission day, and while the other ship-AI's scoffed, Lun would swear blind a few hours sleep every night made a difference for her.

Detroit in October was desolate city, filled with the rusting hulks of decades-past dreams and the faded glamour of industry. In a way, it felt like home. Even with the supposed economic rejuvenation, the dockside warehouses were still mostly empty, the few unbroken windows turned opaque by age and rain. Some of them were being used as squats. Most lay derelict.

Lun hurried to her berth. While she could handle herself in a fight if it came to it, it was still better not to get into a fight in the first place.

She turned a corner, finding a boy in a red jacket crying on the kerb. She considered just walking past him, but this wasn't exactly a safe place for a child.

"Are you lost?"

"Stranger! Danger!" The boy yelled. "Stranger! Danger!" His voice was like a siren, wailing for attention.

The few people around were starting to watch. Lun stepped back, keenly aware of how it might look to an outsider. She crouched on one knee, offering an open hand and a kind smile.

"I am Lieutanant Navigator Lun Alexeeva of the Navy of the Soviet Union"

The boy went quiet, studying her for a moment after wiping his yes.

"Andrew. Andrew Freeman ma'am."

"Well. Now that we are not strangers, where are your parents?"

She tried to sound kind, even if the boy had been raised on generations of propeganda to hear her accent.

"My mom's at work. Daddy's gone."

"I don't think she'd be pleased to know you were in a part of town like this."

The boy frowned "She lied to me. Said she had the afternoon off so we could see a movie, but then got a phonecall in the morning and she had to go to Walmart and they said they'd fire her if she didn't show. So I ran away..." "But now I don't know the way home."

"I can call the police.."

"No cops. Mom says cops are bad for kids like me... they'll take me away."

Lun sighed. "Alright. You can come to my ship. We will call your mother from there. She can pick you up."

The boy hesistated. "I shouldn't go with strangers.."

"I am not a stranger. I am an officer of the Soviet Navy."

"Are you a Communist?"


His brow furrowed. "You don't look the same as everyone?"

"What do you mean?"

"That's what they told me in school.... that Communism was all the same."

"That's the simple explanation. But I can tell you're a smart boy, would you like to know more?"

"Yes," he said, after a moment.

"We can talk as we walk," Lun answered.

The boy nodded, following her after a moment.

"So, what have you been told of communism."

"They said it was bad because the people weren't free."

"That's not entirely true. Have they taught you what the Soviet Union was in school yet?"

"Uhuh," the boy nodded. "They were our friends in a war, and then they became our enemies because they were communist."

"America and the Soviet Union both began with a revolution. In your America, you overthrew the English king. In the Soviet Union, we overthrew the Tsar of Russia. And like your America, we created a democracy where every body would be equal. Do you know what that means? To be equal"

"Everybody is the same," the kid smiled

"More than that?"

"Um.... we don't have any Slaves. Mom said we used to be..."

She nodded. "That's important. You have no slaves."

"Everybody can vote once."

She nodded a game. "Yes."

"Nobody is above the law."

"You are a smart boy. There is one more place people are equal in America."

"In America, anybody can um...." he churned his mind. "Everycone can be rich?"

"Yes. that's it. Everybody has the small chance to make a success of themselves and to be Noah Scott. You know who this is?"

"That fat old dude in a Space station?"

"Yes, that's him!" she grinned, allowing a small chuckle to escape. "But the American idea of equal, and the Soviet idea of equal are different"

"But if everybody's the same, how can they be different?"

A good question.

"Think of America as your classroom. How do you sit in your classroom?"

"At a desk, duh?"

"How is your class arranged. How are the desks in the classroom laid out."

"They're all in rows," said the boy, looking up at her.

"So some people sit at the front of the class, closer to teacher, and some sit at the back. Now where is the rubbish bin.... the wastebasket you call it."

"At the top of the class, beside the door."

"Now imagine one day that your teacher comes into class and hands each student a small rubber ball. And she tells the entire class, that all they have to do to get an A for the year, is to throw the rubber ball into the bin while sitting at their desk. To make everyone equal, everyone has one chance at making the shot. And only one chance. Would you say this is fair?"

"Well if everyone gets one shot, then yeah. It's fair," answered the boy,

"Do you think the people sitting at the back would think so? What if you were sitting at the very back of the class, what would you think?"

"That it's harder for me to make the shot?"


"Would that be fair for you, for the people up front to make an easier shot than you?"

"Of course not?" He looked to her to confirm.

She answered with a smile. "That is American equality. Everyone gets the same shot. Everyone can still succeed But some people have an easier shot than others. Now, does that seem fair to you?"

"Not really?"

"So how would you make it fairer?"

"You could give the people at the back an extra shot?"

"You could," she agreed. "But then the people at the front would complain about it being unfair, because the other people have two chances, compared to their one." "

"Damn," sighed the boy.

"But, there is one way for everyone to have an equal shot at the bin. What do you think it is?"

"If everyone was the same distance away from the bin."

"Exactly! You re-arrange the seats in the classroom, so that everyone sits in a circle around the bin. Everyone gets their one shot, and everyone gets the same shot. And that was the dream of the Soviet Union. That was real Communism."

Her eyes sparked with zeal.

"So what happened in Russia?"

Lun sighed. "A man named Stalin ruined it all. And Instead of re-arranging the classroom like we'd hoped, what he did was just move the students at the front to the back, and if any of them complained, shot them and their parents for speaking out."

"So, they ddn't have the second amendment?"

"First," Lun corrected. "They did. But since anyone had to be mad for speaking out against the government, so anyone who spoke out against the government was sent to an insane asylum,"

"That's not very free, then...."

"No," Lun shook her head. "Stalin murdered his comrades who had once supported him. Kruschev, who came after him, sent those who disagreed with him to an asylum. Brezhnev, who came after Kruschev, grew fat on prestige while the state crumbled...They ran the country for their own benefit, rather than the people's."

"But...." the boy's thoughts trailed off. "You couldn't vote against them?"

"They wouldn't let us." She offered him a wan smile. "I think you can see that the problem was not communism, but something else."

"The people in charge?" asked the boy.

"You are a smart child," said Lun, placing a hand on the boy's shoulder.


"Hello, yes. Ms Freeman. My name is Lun. I have your son. I can tell you he is safe and unharmed...." A loud clatter from behind sent a shudder through her body. "....For the time being."

The scream on the phone nearly burst her eardrum.

--m(^0^)m-- Wot, no sig?
Dartz Wrote:...
"Yes. that's it. Everybody has the small chance to make a success of themselves and to be Noah Scott. You know who this is?"

"That fat old dude in a Space station?"
Rob Kelk
"Governments have no right to question the loyalty of those who oppose
them. Adversaries remain citizens of the same state, common subjects of
the same sovereign, servants of the same law."

- Michael Ignatieff, addressing Stanford University in 2012
Heh. Somehow you'd think his favourite daughter would be the one who's not sleeping with a Communist, really...
Noah has half-convinced himself that Sora's suffering from Stockholm Syndrome and will shake it off and come home Real Soon Now. (Poor deluded billionaire...)

In the meantime, Noah and Lun don't really get along, but neither is particularly rude about it.
Rob Kelk
"Governments have no right to question the loyalty of those who oppose
them. Adversaries remain citizens of the same state, common subjects of
the same sovereign, servants of the same law."

- Michael Ignatieff, addressing Stanford University in 2012