|Calling in Old Favours|
|Summary:||Fueled by a new goal in life, Jeffrey Alexander Ryan goes about trying to clear his name and rebuild his reputation. As part of a multi-pronged strategy to safeguard New Luna and to clear his name, Ryan approaches the Baron of Lexxam and starts to build a case to overturn the death sentence awaiting him if he's ever caught on Sivad.|
|Cast:||Jeff Ryan, Arndale|
This bluesy tavern is cool and inviting, a feeling made possible by its frequent use of stained wood and soft lighting. The walls are covered with old pictures and strange items that seem to have no purpose other than to offer an interesting look. Peculiar chairs hung on the walls, sculptures that look like child projects, items remeniscient of almost every alien race, and a menagerie of good and not-so-good paintings are just a few examples of the culture this room presents.
A bar sits in the far left corner of the tavern, a long curved counter that wraps around shelves of alcohol bottles and two large brass stills pressed against the wall. A pair of swinging door nexts to the bar leads into the kitchen, and is constantly being used by the waiters and waitresses as they rush back and forth. Dotting along the bar is a row of bolted steel stools covered with plush crimson cushions. Other seating includes a multitude of round tables set around the tavern in a trial and error pattern that offers plenty of space to move around. On the right side of the tavern, surrounded on all sides by tables, is a semicircular stage, elevated just high enough to distinguish itself. Sitting atop the stage is a pair of simple wooden stools, and set of two microphones attatched to stands. About ten feet above the stage is a rod that curves against the wall, with a crimson velvet curtain that can be drawn to cover the far half of the stage, and hanging just below the ceiling is an electric bar of stage lights, all pointed in various angles at the stage.
Just off to the left of the door is an antigrav platform that rises up to the balcony. This section of the tavern stretches across the entire left half of the bar, and has the same arrangement of tables as the lower level. It generally is lit darker than below; what little light there is glows a soft green. Each table has a small reading lamp affixed to the center. Along the very edge of the balcony is an arrangement of comfortable couches that are aimed for viewing at the stage. Sivad's sun, Ikeopo, begins its ascent through the tropical skies above Regreb Bay. +LHELP Available Contents: Exits: Holoviewer - 17373 <O> Out Arndale
Arndale is seated on the balcony, his form given a greenish cast by the reading lamp. Upon the table in front of him, alongside a stout green bottle and a small sherry glass is a leatherbound book, and a pda. He reads the book, holding his page in place with one hand whilst cradling his glass in the other.
A man enters the Black and White Tavern, he walks to the bar and with a few words to the bartender orders his drink, something quickly prepared as he glances around the room, perhaps looking for something. As he takes the glass, containing a white liquid, perhaps water he glances out towards the balcony, and spotting the sivadian noble, he glances back to the barman, handing over a yojj-sterling or two. He then walks in Arndale's direction, stopping at the table he gestures towards an empty chair, "May I join you?"
Arndale looks up from the book sharply, startled out of his enrapturement. He blinks twice, his mouth a little open, before the light of recognition enters his eyes. There is a slight red tinge to his previously tanned, smooth and engineered Sivadian cheeks, perhaps a sign of overindulgence in alcohol. He makes as if to rise, and then, instead, gestures to the empty space opposite him and smiles. "Certainly, I'm hardly busy." His tone holds a hint of disguised wariness.
The man smiles and nods and takes the seat, "Only the second time we've met." He almost sighs, "And yet strangely, you're one of the few I trust, I wonder why that is?" His own tone, emotionless, synthesised at odds with his overly expressive face, the mixture suggests he's generally curious of the answer. His voice is low, "I'm taking a risk coming here, too many know I'm not as deceased as they were led to believe."
Arndale is possibly in a state of mild shock as he watches his companion take a seat. He pours himself another glass from the bottle without even looking. "I, uhm, yes. Well.. I don't trust myself so I'm afraid I can't help you there." A sip, and then a slightly longer sip, before he recovers himself. "I could have arranged a more private setting had I been forewarned."
The lunite shakes his head, "I find public places are safer, less likely someone is listening in. I wouldn't put it past SHIELD to be bugging your place." He slight quirk of the mouth, "For your own safety of course." Arndale smiles for a moment. "I wouldn't put it past that bloody Sedgemore to have bugged my house. For all of his faults he's certainly shrewd." He pauses to finish his glass and reach into the inside pocket of his blazer, producing a silver cigarette case. Removing one of the filterless white sticks, he taps it twice on the table before seeming to realise something. Offering the case to Jeff, he says, "Uh, sorry about that. Would you like one?"
Ryan shakes his head, "I gave up." He then adds without waiting for a response, "But please, don't let that put you off. I remember when I smoked, the least tolerant of my habit were ex-smokers. I vowed not to do the same."
Arndale shrugs as he places the cigarette between his lips, and lights it with a silver lighter that matches his case. "I gave up for a while, actually. Then we went to war. Nothing like being responsible for a planet to require some stress relief." he smiles, releasing a thin stream of smoke as he does so. "Well then. All the talk of subterfuge and I must assume you're not on Sivad for pleasure." he closes his book as he speaks, and, leaning back, visibly relaxes a little.
The man leans back in his chair, "The war is one of the things I wished to discuss with you, amongst others." He puts his hand into his pocket and pulls out a small crystal and a vial, "This isn't proof, but it might help me in building up a case. And there might come a time when I need all the evidence gathered beforehand, however circumstantial." He sighs, perhaps feeling some, as yet, unseen pressure, "I wish to clear my name, at least on Sivad."
Arndale is a politician, and as such, could play poker with galactic champions. He looks at ease as he smokes his cigarette, but his eyes follow every patron and waitress that nears his table. "I see. Well you can trust me, in that case. I have, after all, had dealings with you, and whilst your current reputation continues that poses a threat as much to Sir Fredrick's government as to myself." he leans forward, and whilst pouring himself another sherry continues, "However, the last time I broached this same subject with the First Councillor, he was less than amenable. I am afraid you won't find any help from his quarter. What have you got planned?" he leans back glass in hand as he finishes.
"There's still a death sentence hanging over me on Sivad, something we could perhaps overturn," says the lunite. "Quietly, I'm not asking for a show trial." He places the crystal and the phial on the desk. "The crystal is simply a video of the blood sample being taken, the best I could do to prove to someone the blood comes from the same person as the one who's sitting here." He shrugs, almost apologetically, "Circumstantial evidence, I'm willing to come back if offered some sort of truce and donate a sample in person." He takes a breath before continuing, "Match the sample with that of Jeff Ryan, records of my last visit here after the Guardian Fleet released me should still be on file." He then seems to switch topic entirely, "I assume that although classified, there exists footage in store of the Nall assault on the Independence Dome as well as their attempted takeover of Sol Station?"
Arndale nods and takes a sip. "Most likely in the Admiralty records. You understand a trial to overturn a death sentence is not ever going to be quiet, and require much more than circumstantial evidence. You understand also that in consorting with you I am risking my neck quite literally." he looks genuinley worried now, and finishes his cigarette, stubbing it out in the small ashtray cunningly concealed beside the reading lamp. "How could the recordings help?"
The lunite shakes his head, "They can't overturn the original conviction, from what I understand, I pleaded guilty, and my own memory of the event is... well gone." The man still seems troubled, "However the footage will show that on both occasions a certain man engaged the Nall in combat, saving the lives of Sivadian troops on the first occasion and civilians on the second." Even with the emotionless voice, his face doesn't match that of a man crooning, if anything he seems slightly embarrased by the admission.
Arndale nods very slowly. "I don't believe I'll be able to procure the recordings for you. I could get hold of them, certainly. But I have signed the Official Secrets Act. You understand the implications?". A sip of sherry, though a shy one compared to those previously.
Ryan nods, "I'm not asking for you to hand them over." He takes a sip of his water before continuing, "I'm asking you to show them, offering the evidence through a third party if necessary to whomever you think would help." He places the glass of water on the table. "There is one other thing... you remember of course the distasteful business of the rebellion here in Enaj?"
Arndale looks as though he can, indeed, taste something bad for a moment. He takes another small sip as though to wash it away. "I could hardly forget. A little more than distasteful, but go on?"
"I was mute at the time," says Ryan. "For reasons that still confuse me, I should make clear my memory of just before and just after my death is for all intents and purposes gone. Perhaps I arranged it, perhaps not. But one of my first clear memories is here on Sivad. I fought in the King's Party, alongside Richard himself. If you show these images to the King, he is one of several people who could confirm I fought at his side, I even helped him take down the traitor the Director General of Naval Intelligence. One of the others who could confirm this story is Dame Amanda Ramlan, she was in the same party." He leans over to pick up the glass again, "I hate to collect on past favours, I didn't do these things to form some sort of balance, I did them because they were the right thing to do. But now I have to take steps to restore my reputation and..." He leaves the sentence unfinished.
Arndale finishes his third glass in a relatively short time. "I'll... I'll speak to His Majesty. I'll have to find a way of presenting your case without incriminating myself, you understand, and I am not promising any miracles. I might not be able to get the recordings, at least not without the cabinet finding out." he pauses, removing a second cigarette and lighting it much quicker than the first. "But if what you say is true I shall try. It seems you ought to have the Order of Sivad rather than a death sentence." a puff, a nervous one this time whether the Councillor realises it or not, "I'll see what can be done."
The man nods satisfied, "I /am/ sorry for putting you in this position. I ask that you don't take any unnecessary risks on my behalf, if you can find a way of presenting the case without endangering yourself, all to the good." He takes another sip of the water, "All the evidence is there, it just needs someone to put it all together."
Arndale takes another puff. "If Amanda were on Sivad I'd have an ally, she'd add weight to the whole thing. If you're sure she will vouch for you I'll get in touch with her." he runs his hand through his hair. "Why are you worried about your reputation now? And why Sivad? You seem to have done alright so far, if you don't mind my saying."
"She doesn't know me as... me," cautions Ryan. "But if you can get a hold of the footage, she can vouch that the man there, the man sitting in front of you is the same was the man who helped defend the King."
Arndale rubs his temple once, cigarette still in hand, before he flashes a holovision smile. "Alright. If you aren't lying then you deserve my help. And I think you're sincere. If I am succesful you'll hear about it, no doubt."
"I hope so," says Ryan taking another sip of the glass. "I've never been the terrorist described, though perhaps I am guilty of never having hired a good PR agent." A small quirk of the mouth.
Arndale chuckles a little, the alcohol beginning to take hold. "I've never been a competent administrator, of course, I have got a good press agent." he smiles again, "I am glad to hear that, anyway. I don't make a habit of chatting to terrorists."
"I'm a patriot," says Ryan. "Like you, like any number of any other sivadians. Which is why I wish to clear my name. I can't help my people if the Orion Arm believes Luna's main voice is a mad terrorist. I'm not even at war with the Solar Republic, though Diana knows they deserve it. It would only add fuel to an already out of control fire."
Arndale smiles again, a little. "The republic is a problem for another day, I believe." he rises, and takes a moment to steady himself with a hand to the table. He smiles broadly this time, probably from embarassment, and gathers up his book and PDA. "I shall do my best. So long, uh.." he pauses, unsure of himself for a moment, a glance for the nearest patrons. He shrugs and smiles, and goes to take his leave.
"I do appreciate it this," Ryan stands and takes the hand, the other ready to support the man if the table doesn't quite do the job. "If we can do this, Sivad has another ally. Though she always has." He takes his seat again.