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Title: Space Age: Inquisition
Author: D.L.SchizoAuthoress
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Shouldn't really be any; I did a setting transplant.
Warnings: strong language, soft sci-fi bullshit (I told you...)
Word Count: 1075
Summary: Two Tevene meet up in a tavern. Nobody gets what they want.
Word of the Day: .fainaigue , verb:
1. To shirk; evade work or responsibility.
2. To renege at cards
Note: Here's my secret, Cap... I really only care about the MOGII folk from Tevinter. >.>
This is the first part of an experiment to see if I can reimagine a quasi-medieval setting in space, just for fun.

Space Age: Inquisition

"Do you know this... Qunari?"

"Know me?" the Iron Bull said incredulously. "Krem works for me. So keep walking, Vint. Nobody wants what you're selling."

"Chief, it's not--" Krem tried to protest. This was highly irregular. The boss usually left them alone when potential clients approached them, but this time Krem had barely gotten out his name.

"As you say, Ox' Man," Dorian said, with a mocking little bow -- during which he kept his lit eyes on the Iron Bull's facial display -- before turning to leave.

The Iron Bull glared at Dorian's back. "Asshole," he grumbled. He really hated to be called an 'Oxide Man' (all Qunari were sensitive to their inevitable corrosion being brought up), but sometimes he forgot that not all Tevene were as easygoing as Krem about having 'Vint' slung at them.

"He's from a War House, Chief," Krem said, waving his hand to indicate the other Tevene moving across the tavern, "You can tell from the shape of his temple port. They're all a little off."

"You're a decent sort," Bull pointed out.

"The Aclassi family is under a Trade House, not a War House. I thought you knew this crap already, mighty spymaster," Krem nudged Bull with an elbow.

"You all throw in with the Imperium military against the Qun. You're --"

"...'All alike to me'," Krem said right along with the Iron Bull. The Tevene laughed, then switched his vocal implant off mimic mode, sounding like himself as he said, "Chief, don't ruin things by getting all Collective on me again."

"He was attacking you! I smelled the nanite stink!" Bull protested. The heat sinks on his back vented, lending weight to the impression of great ire.

Krem rolled his eyes. That was one commonly misunderstood feature of intra-Tevene communication, but if you didn't have the right enhancements to your olfactory nerves, the acrid scent of nanomite clouds lacked proper nuance. "That was a data packet, you big dumb bot. Talk about nanomite smells like you know, and you can't even tell the difference. He was introducing himself, augtech polite. I was gonna tell him I switched to cybernet and wouldn't be able to receive, but you came rushing over like he pulled a frag pistol on me."

"Things the Tevene do in the war," Bull said in a low voice, "Getting your body shredded by smart metal would be a pleasant alternative."

Krem shuddered, and lines of alert text flashed along the bottom of his ocular display in the right eye. Bull didn't see the telltale shift of iris color, too busy tipping his head back to drain his own drink into his fluid intake port.

"It doesn't sit well with me either, Chief," the former Tevene augtech said in a similarly quiet tone, artificially steadied. "But don't talk like the Collective hasn't done just as bad. The whole galaxy knows what the Qun do to magi."

"Thinks they know, you mean." Bull looked at Krem, and concern flickered over the Qunari's facial display. "Aw, shit. You flashin'?"

"Not so bad as I used to," Krem answered, trying for nonchalant. "The new subroutines Stitches wrote for me are much better."

"Tevene-standard discharge packages are a shitpile," Bull grumbled.

"Better a shitpile than the scrap pile, Chief," Krem shot back. He knew the Qunari repaired himself with parts salvaged from other members of the Qun Collective; those who had been deemed no longer useful and thus were decommissioned. "At least a discharge package can be improved."

"Yeah, yeah..." the Iron Bull scanned the tavern again, and waved over a group of Chargers. One of them started talking through the repairs needed for the starship, and any other subjects of conversation were dropped in favor of arguments over price.


"Thanks for not frying my boss," Krem said, lifting his bottle to toast the reflection of the other Tevene in the privacy-darkened window. The rest of the Chargers, including the Iron Bull, had left an hour ago. Krem had told them he wanted a chance to speak with one of the serving girls alone, and he still might. But he'd been expecting Dorian to come back around eventually. The man's mouth curled into a restrained little smile below his neatly groomed mustache, the motion making the visible augment hardware on his chin glitter in the subdued light.

"So he does have a legitimate stake in your wellbeing," Dorian observed with a faint chuckle, as he slid into the booth, across the table from Krem's seat. "I'd wondered."

"I know how it looks," Krem said, "but neither of us defected. I was discharged and I'm not too sure what happened with Bull, but he's not army."

(Krem did know what had brought the Iron Bull to Andrastian space, but nobody else needed to.)

"Do I look like the ConFORM?" Dorian asked.

That got a genuine laugh from Krem, who replied as anyone who'd done their service in the Imperium military would, "Doesn't everyone?"

"True enough," Dorian said. The entire point of the Conditioning Fidelity Oversight and Reinforcement Military Police was that they could be anyone, so the rank and file was always supposed to be on their best behavior.

Dorian laid one hand palm-flat on the table, as he had at the bar. This time, Krem had the opportunity to give the hand sign for incompatible systems, and Dorian drew back before releasing another data packet to the air.

"Sorry," Krem said.

"I'm sorry, Cremisius," Dorian insisted. "I assumed that as a mercenary you'd have replaced--"

"With Andrastian cybernetics, not Tevene augments." Krem explained. He winked his right eye, activating the targeting minicom as an example. The red circle and cross would be visible, temporarily stamped over his iris. Imperium military were given a similar targeting system, but it showed up in electric blue. "Cost effective, and decent kit for the job. You looking for mercs, Dorian?

"Passage only," he replied. "I need to land on Ferelden and can't risk the official channels."

"What's on Ferelden, other than a dirtside civil war?"

"If you don't know, you ought to find out."

"Now you sound like the ConFORM." Krem shook his head. "Most times I'd say welcome aboard, for the right price, but you put the Bull on edge. He really doesn't like you."

"But I'm so handsome and charming!" Dorian pretended to protest. When Krem snorted at that, he only shrugged and said, "Fair enough," accepting the refusal.

"Hope you make planetfall anyway."



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