AN: I'm still here, just been working out on my other Skyrim fic. Haven't forgotten about this fic. It's hard to do both.


Work and Play

It'd been hard work trying to get her head around of being condescending to all these people.

Caroline had been working alongside Ri'Son in preparing leaflets to send out to the public. Caroline, being her stubborn self had designed something so fantastic and beautiful, but Ri'Son complained it would do was make people's heads hurt.

Aperture was about to be reborn into the world. In Caroline's mind they'd be a super power in the world. Life as they would know it would change forever.

She dreamed of navigating and being in control. Directing everything and commanding everyone. Tests running around the clock and ideas letting run wild. Yes. Skyrim needed this and it would behold the might of science!

Ri'Son had warned against divulging in too deeply and advised her to look at the Dwemer as an example. Caroline assured him no doubt into getting advisers and reading up on the basis of magical history and even recruiting those of the college. In fact...

"While Science is our primary goal here, we still need to head to the College of Winterhold to speak with their Arch-Mage." Caroline noted.

Ri'Son busy scribbled writing onto the small pieces of paper.

"Hoping to get some of their best students no?"

Caroline smirked.

"The College is practically a perfect resource. They get good funding, their Arcaeneum is said to house a lot of books, ancient and not found anywhere else. I was thinking that Arch-Mage might send a few Apprentices my way."

The Khajiit thought the woman was a bit crazy sometimes.

"And how exactly are you going to lure them to support your projects hm?" He queried. He just didn't want septims to go to waste over nothing.

"You're not as busy-savvy as you might think you are." Caroline taunted, adorned an evil grin. And Ri'Son hated, but he didn't dare show it.

"Ri'Son can advise you as best he can." The cat spoke calmly.

"This one is just seeing your strategies and can offer constructive criticism if asked."

Caroline readjusted herself.

"Noted. My plan was to advertise the prospect of a the magical field of magitech. We'd have a class and the education I will set courses for will be brilliant. We'll have many TechnoMages employed and allow them to test as they so chose. Within the boundaries of law and servitude of course. Keeping the peace would be a priority."

Ri'Son groaned.

"Yes you're not taking this ones suggestion into molding the study fields into terms they can actually understand, you're going to teach them your lingo instead?"

Caroline smirked.

"Why not? It won't be that hard. If they fail they don't deserve a place in Aperture. We'll only expect the best."

Ri'Son wasn't happy with it, but as long as it made profit in the end, he didn't particularly care.

"Ri'Son would be interested to learn himself, to see how your business structure and the education procedures will apply. How long do you think it will take to get that organised?"

Caroline had the perfect plan.

"Schools where I come from have their own classes like the College does. Structures that involve written and practical work that are set out evenly have the best effect. From what I recall that students enjoy the practical work. They get practice within a safe and supervised environment, that I know the College has already."

The Khajiit still wasn't entirely convinced it would work, they'd have to convince the Arch-Mage to include the subject in their timetables and somehow make the Magitech class more appealing. He then had an idea.

"Ri'Son suggests giving a demonstration to the Arch-Mage. This way, one can be selling the idea to impress the Arch-Mage. This one suggest developing one ready for such an occasion."

Caroline nodded, she liked that idea a lot.

"There's that savvyness I was looking for. I'll have to look for something I can use to demonstrate the power the students will be able to learn once I've gotten the resources for doing so."

Ri'Son couldn't think of much. After all the explanations she'd given to him previously, he still couldn't get his head around the subject. He wasn't a primary magic user himself but understood some of the basics. He put into his mind the amount of things he already knew existed, such as the facility and the robot people, Rick and Katria.

"What about those weird looking people? The green eyed armoured monster and the female one?"

He suggested.

"Rick has his services to the Companions at the moment, plus he's annoying so we'll have to leave him out of the picture. But Katria is a perfect example of a successful soul transference. It'd be the the more cleaner alternative to necromancy."

With discussion upon the decisions with the educational structure, Caroline's plan became closer to fruition, despite neither of them knowing the situation at Arkngthamz. Caroline was so entirely focused on getting the facility back that it left Chell thinking about other things...

She was working on the pamphlets alongside Ri'Son and Caroline when she heard screaming in Cassandra's room.

One look from Caroline informed Chell she needed to deal with it to shut her up and see what the problem was. With her all her will she got up and headed into the bedroom, to see Cassandra on her bed in hysterics.

Chell immediately went over in the attempts to help her, albeit not really knowing what to do with the poor girl who was thrashing about. Chell bit her lip and patted her on the back, albeit hesitantly. Cassandra looked at Chell with puffed up red eyes and cheeks and sniffed.

"No no...that was not supposed to happen." She cried.

Chell went with it and sat the girl up and then sat next to her. She wiped the tears off her face with her sleeve. Comforting people wasn't her strong point but she made do with what she could pull off.

She stared at Cassandra with a questioning but concerned look.

"The Rat has followed the Pied Piper and has him lured in with the trickery of his song."

Rat could only mean Doug, but what did she mean by the Pied Piper and his supposed song?

Cassandra tried to stop crying.

"The Rat will become a slave to the Pied Piper and will serve to bring in all the creatures to his house."

She then stared blankly at the piece of paper at her desk, with Chell following suit. She got off the bed to look a picture that Cassandra had drawn. She tried to analyse it, seeing a picture of what appeared to be Doug as a Rat enclosed in some kind of machine. She showed it to Cassandra who nodded.

"The voices in his head are no longer his own." She muttered.

"The song of compassion can cancel out the Pied Pipers music. That's all I can say."

Chell tried to think for the moment, while Cassandra shrivelled up on her bed and fell asleep.

She tried to wrap her head around her poetic wording. If she showed Caroline, it'd create more mess. But otherwise the only aspect she understood was the possibility of Doug stuck in some kind of machinery. Was he captured? Where was Wheatley? She'd have to investigate, but not while she was stuck here with Caroline and Ri'Son. So many things to do but to be tied down...

She placed a blanket over the girl who was deathly still, frightening Chell somewhat. Someone had to keep an eye on her on times like this...

She went out to see Caroline and Ri'Son who just stared at her, as if expecting Chell to say anything. Lucky for them, Caroline knew Chell well enough to read her body language.

"Children can make such a fuss over nothing. Especially helpless orphans." Caroline mocked, deliberately trying to get on Chell's nerves.

Once they were finished, they prepared themselves for another outing. Chell didn't want to leave Cassandra behind alone like that again. Normally the girl could take care of herself and never caused much trouble to anyone. She was distant to the other kids in town, with Katria checking up on the girl every so often.

Caroline saw Chell's concern and groaned at the subject and had to remind her that Cassandra was going to be fine. That a little kicking and screaming is just a child's way of getting attention. Chell wasn't convinced that was the case, knowing what kind of somewhat cryptic messages she gets across. She just felt the bad vibes regarding Wheatley and Doug, and pressed hard in the elf's hand made pendant.

There was a knock at the door. As Caroline and Ri'Son were busy, Chell answered it. Outside was a courier who handed a letter to Chell. He didn't say who it was from, just that it was for the Dragonborn. Chell nodded to thank the man and closed the door.

Of course the busybodies Caroline and Ri'Son were all too interested in the letter itself, knowing that the Dragonborn wasn't likely to read it any time soon as she was in bed.

Chell ignored the poor joke, but she was curious as to what the letter was for. Caroline had a point, but it didn't feel right to open it. Ri'Son made a comment on who would send a letter now at this stage.

Chell didn't trust the pair enough to let them read the letter. Trusting Caroline was like trusting your best friend not to poor ice down your shirt on a cold day. Then setting you on fire for no reason.