Armada, All Powerful Queen Of Portland – Chapter 1
Written by castor :: [Wednesday, 29 May 2013 02:45] Last updated by :: [Wednesday, 29 May 2013 18:51]
ARMADA, ALL POWERFUL QUEEN OF PORTLAND
AND EMPRESS OF THE GREATER PORTLAND METROPOLITAN AREA
(EXCLUDING VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON)
(with special thanks for dru1026 for editing and proofreeding)
Every one mostly ignored the woman until she climbed on top of a car, crushing it under her feet, and set out into the air a giant burst of red lightning.
That caught people’s attention.
The woman was about 25. Pretty, with long brown hair and longer legs. Not the type on any busy Portland street to be ignored. However, when she was wearing a green mask with a giant crown-like tiara, and a long green black dress that looked distinctly like an evil Queen would wear in a science fiction movie, it was perhaps wiser to ignore her.
Some didn't. But most did. Especially as she began shouting how she was QUEEN ARMADA, ruler of Portland, and that they were now all her subjects and how they should bow to her. BOW.
It should be noted that a Japanese couple stopped and looked at her asked if they could take a picture with her. She politely let them.
It was after about half an hour of this in Crossing Square when she at last did the climbing on cars and shooting red energy business. This at last got peoples attention.
Yes … she was Queen Armada. Yes, she was now the ruler of the Portland metropolis. Some people fled, but she paid them no attention. Some got to their feet.
"Do not panic my subjects," said Queen Armada. However, it proved less then effective. Panic was developing … and quickly.
Another red beam. Her voice became louder. "BE CALM MY SUBJECTS"
The red beam ricocheted off a building creating glass explosions.
Queen Armada sighed.
She began to float over the city street. At last some people looked at her. Awe was the word on their face as she did this. Awe … and panic.
"What are we supposed to do?" demanded someone from the crowd.
"KNEEL" she said. "Kneel before Armada"
It wasn't very original, however some of the people present thought it was not a bad idea. A group that stayed in the crowd started to kneel. A brave man in the back looked at her and scoffed.
"This is America. We don't bow before anyone!"
Queen Armada looked at the man. "If you do not do so willing you … will be forced."
And with that, Armada opened her palm. A green beam of energy came to the man, and covered him … and with tremendous force pushed him to his knees. He panted.
"Do you have anything to say?" said Armada
"NEVER" said the man.
"Never is a very short time." She flew to him and with a slap knocked him unconscious.
Queen Armada talked to the group as she landed on the ground. "I do not want to kill you my subjects. For you are my subjects now, and that is not befitting a ruler. However: You will learn to respect me and my awesome might! I am your Queen!!!"
The group cowered.
It was about this time that a dozen police cars came to the scene.
The Queen turned. “Ahh … more subjects".
The cops, not quite sure how to respond in this circumstance, got out of their cars and drew there guns, forming a circle around the square.
"Be assured," said the Queen, "I strongly value law enforcement, and in my reign there will a strong place for the firm hand of the law!"
The cops hadn't been given the order to shoot. The Queen absently bent a light post as she leaned on it, which made the cops more reluctant to do this. There was a strong unspoken assent: This could go bad.
"Stand down," ordered a police captain. "Put your hands on your head and stand down"
And then things went bad.
The Queen let out a strong breath at the cops … a chilling cool. And suddenly all the cops guns began to get really cold. Really really cold. I mean unimaginably cold.
Just take a second here.
IT WAS COLDER!!!!!!!
The cops one by one dropped their guns. Out of curiosity, one decided to shoot her. The bullet bounced harmlessly off her chest. Another threw his gun at her using good thinking. It also bounced harmlessly off her breast. It caused it to jiggle slightly.
(It should be noted at this time that she had fairly large breasts, not simply being an effect of her clothes)
"Is this the mighty earth weapons I have heard of? Is this how it feels? Hah, I expected more then these trifles." She put her hands on her hips and laughed.
"Um … so your Queen Armada right?" Said a guy. "We’re still kneeling. What should we do?
"Oh" said Queen Armada "Carry on."
They kept kneeling.
"I mean, go on with your everyday business", Armada clarified.
Everyone got up slowly.
She considered. "Portland’s a big city, and I have a lot of subjects to attend to. Go out and be productive and all that."
She turned to the police. "Tell the press what happened here. The cameras. I will give an address to the populace through the media of television at 6 o’clock tonight. I want news coverage on all the local channels. ABC I think, CBS, NBC, Fox. Does Warner Brothers have a news thing? Have them all come to this square and I will address them."
"Okay,” said the police captain "That’s not really our department.”
Queen armada grew harsh "You are public servants, and thus my servants. Do you want to face my wrath?"
With that Queen Armada flew into the sky. There was a sense of confusion, relief and..
then Queen armada flew back. she landed and walked into a Tasty Free ice cream shop. "Got a lot to do today but there’s always time for an ice cream, my subjects"
The clerk in the store looked at her. "There’s a line"
"Quite right!!!" said the Queen "It's only fair I wait my turn!!!"
The police ended up not having to tell the media about it. Somehow, as often the case THEY KNEW. And within 2 minutes of the event they were at the scene interviewing people, breaking into midday reruns of Sonic cartoon shows, to report round the clock on the events in Portland.
Events to which Steven Norton was completely oblivious, as he was at work. And never watched local TV either.
Steven Norton was an architect with his own office. He designed commercial buildings. And the occasional skyscraper, which were his passion. He had a staff of five, and occupied part the 10th floor of a building 5 blocks from the square. One that he did not design himself. This rankled him.
Still at 35 he was generally happy, and by most measures a success. He was known for entering architecture competitions and designing strange and exciting buildings … strange spires that taunted the sky gods.
However when owners with budgets came to check plans, things tended to get rescaled. His real buildings were never as successful as his dreams, models of which decorated his office.
Despite recent depressions his practice was going strong. He was just sketching out a design.
His assistant Micka walked in. Amanda was short fat, and black with a good soul. "Got the soils report on the Tender building."
"Anything interesting?" Steven asked.
"No" said Micka "It’s a soils report. They say the ground will support 25 stories, they only want 10."
Steven nodded He had an idea for a 14 story building that was circular and streamlined narrow. It would have the same amount of floor-space, but the required design would be shorter and fatter. Fine.
He went back to his drawing. He knew the dream should never be as good as the reality, but, well it was still important to dream.
Meanwhile the mayors’ office was getting calls. Lots of calls. Not good calls. He wasn't answering them.
The mayor was Kevin Walters. He was the first openly gay mayor of Portland, the forth of a major city. He was a handsome trim man of about 45, who was generally a very good guy. A pleasant man.
A man who did not deserve to have his city invaded by an alien superwoman.
He looked out his window on the second floor of city hall. It had a view of a park across the street. He knew what was going to happen. And soon. The police had called and suggested that he be moved to an undisclosed location, perhaps out of the city itself. But well … he was the city mayor, and …
Outside she was floating of the ground. If it had been a 10 story tower it may have been more impressive … but he was impressed nonetheless.
"Come in," said the mayor. Perhaps he could reason with her. When he saw her green getup and the skull-like motif she was going for he realized this probably wasn't going to work out well.
Being mayor was a funny job. His partner had said stick on the city council and …
"Greetings" said Armada "I am Queen Armada Ruler of this city!!1 You are … Kevin Walters?"
He nodded. "Let’s talk about this."
"A street vendor selling hotdogs in Beverton said I should talk to you and he had a point." She said "You are the former mayor of the city."
“Current mayor," said Waters, "Elected by the people"
Armada waved her hand as she sat down. "Nice chair. But the elections no longer have sway with me. With my city!!!! And former mayor. Because your services are no longer needed. After tonight. I need you tonight … but tomorrow is your own."
"Oh,” he said.
Armada nodded "We’re having a press conference tonight to discuss my praxis and I want you there!!! You know what? Let’s keep you on the payroll until the end of the week. That’s fair."
Walters nodded "The governor may have some words on this, as will you know what probably the President"
Armada nodded "We’ll see about them later. I could, you know, blast you with powerful eyebeams and reduce you to dust. Or crush you in my fingers ‘til your life drains out … or throw you to the moon. Well not the moon, you would burn up before you hit it … but let say the mid-pacific. I could do all of these things, but I am sparing your life, though I am seizing your praxis"
"I never thought I would hear anyone say that," said Walters. "Well not in its original context."
"I am doing this because it’s the noble thing for a Queen to do. I want all to appreciate my mercy, despite my awesome might!”
"So your name is Armada?" the mayor asked.
"Queen Armada!!!!" she replied.
"Okay: Queen Armada … I hope you considered the fact that … well America has been a republic for the last 200 odd years. I mean I am not going to sit here and say we haven't had um … the occasional kind of city boss or something and that’s been entirely unrigged, but where kind of used to a representative form of government.”
"The prior forms matter not,” Armanda answered. "Soon the people will grow to appreciate my iron rule."
The mayor nodded "Well, we will see, but … and um, but … why Portland, may I ask?"
"It’s the rose city." said armada "It's just beautiful here!!!! Even an iron fisted super-powered Queen of unlimited might can appreciate that."
"Not to rainy!!?" said Walters.
"I mean, you’re the former mayor," Armada said, "Sure it has rain, but it just makes everything greener!!!"
"I am also wondering why Portland specifically … you’re not aiming to, say to take over Oregon as a whole. Or we’ll just say America. Or the world. Or the Pacific Northwest?"
The Queen nodded "I have been asked this already. I am not a greedy woman. This city is enough to enthral me."
He nodded. It made no sense. None of it did. But it made sense to her. He looked out the window.
"See that tree across the way. Can you burn it down?"
"Yes." said the Queen. However she looked at a book on the wall. It incinerated leaving a pile of ashes but left the books to sides untouched. "But I would not want to destroy such a beautiful thing!!! That tree didn't piss me off."
Walters nodded. "I could ask you to destroy a building. I could get behind a barricade and shoot you a million times. But that would just create bloodshed and chaos."
"And there’s something else,” Armada added. "I would kill you. Destroy you where you stand. Not for your rebellion or your disbelief. But for standing behind innocent men to do it. I have not come to this city to destroy it. That would defeat the purpose. To have you sacrifice your soldiers to do that would be a perversion!!!!"
Walters stood. He didn't think this would end well. He remembered reading about what happened to the king of Belgium in the Second World War, who capitulated a couple of days too early. However, when he looked at her … there was something in her eyes.
He got up.
"So what do you want me to do?"
"Kneel!!!" she said.
And Kevin Walters, mayor of Portland Oregon, kneeled.
However he also knew now he would have to take some calls.
Steve Norton was eating a late lunch at his desk. Alone. Occasionally he ate with one of his employees, talked about ideas, but not today. Today he and his fake tunafish sandwich (he was a vegetarian) were enjoying lunch by themselves.
Norton was a lonely man by trade. He had lost his love … to professional wrestler Ted Dibase Jr. True story. He wasn't even a particularly good wrestler from what Norton saw, but it was working out for the two lovebirds. He knew that it was a hard job riding the roads of the wrestling circuit, but she was a good woman and was now, after breaking a 2 year engagement to Norton, burning the home fires for Ted.
And this was not the Ted Dibase people really remembered.
Norton sighted. Life was funny.
Casey, a model builder, came in. "Hey there’s something going on downtown!"
"What? A riot? A fire? A movie shoot … something horrible?" Deep down in his mind, deeper than his soul, faith or religion … he hoped no one was hurt. Also: His commute was kind of long, and he sure didn't want it any longer.
Casey shakes his glass covered head. "Can't say. It’s odd. Some woman was making some weird threats. Police have blocked of the square. It’s odd … there’s like a press conference about it in a couple of hours.”
"Tell everyone they can get home early if they want." He said "But whenever something big comes downtown, it’s just as well to work ‘til midnight"
Portland’s downtown wasn't the best laid out.
But Architects were used to working late. It was more romantic that way.
It was around 5:30 that Armada flew into the city square. There were dozens of cameras, hundreds of journalists, and thousands of people. They had thoughtfully cordoned of the street for the event which was practical. With her in her arms was the mayor.
She landed and let him out gently. However he still looked a bit sick.
"Is it okay? I want to call my husband … can I do that? Tell him I’m safe?"
"Certainly!!" Amanda said. "After this I want to feast. Do you know of any good local restaurants downtown? I want to eat local organic foods!!!"
A journalist walked up to her. An unusually tall Asian woman named Susan. "Um … so you're Queen Armada?"
"Yes dear. I am your ruler and master," she said. "Unless … you’re not from out of town are you?"
"Well … I work here, but I live in Beverton," she said breaking several principals of TV journalism. "Can you clear that up?"
"I shall rule the greater Portland metropolitan area. Excluding Vancouver, which is part of Washington State. Want no brook there. In the coming days I will define what that means exactly."
"Right now thousands of people are fleeing the city/" said an other journalist in a funny hat. "Leaving in panic."
"Do not flee. Fleeing is not advisable. Besides, my rule shall not be harsh. I do not wish to punish the fleers. But in 30 days if they have not returned all their property shall belong to the State. And I shall track them down and bring them back. The instruments of trade shall not be affected. Travel or vacation too. You want to take the kids to Disneyworld or Mount Hood? Fine. But this is your city. You know it’s your city. And this is my city now!!!"
Armada paused "You know I said six o’clock … should we wait until then to do this?"
A journalist looked at her. "You know that’s not a bad idea, if you want to get the full network news coverage all across America. Hey, you know what? If you want, before then we can give you a little powder. Make up. Make you look better."
"Am I not beautiful?" Armada demanded, "Am I not the most desirable women and existence!!?"
"Of course," said the journalist. "However, under hot lights everyone can use a little makeup to dull the spots a bit.”
And so Queen Armada spent the next 15 minutes in makeup preparing .
At 6:00 Casey had rigged up a connection to the feed. Norton stood behind him with Angie and the rest of his crew. No one really knew what was going on. They did have several models to do … but …
"People of Portland … I feel ashamed of what I have done today. Ashamed and cowed. However I have done so for one reason. Because I do not want bloodshed over this event. If some of you choose not to obey, well that is your right as free beings. If history proves me wrong a traitor, I shall take with it the knowledge that I did what I have done to protect lives, and I hope in some small way that is remembered. And so, as mayor of the city Portland, I announce that as of 1:30 pacific standard time, I formally relinquish to the conqueror Armada. She will be your new lord. She has no guard, no forces other then well … I don't know how to describe what she possesses. Power … pure power. I can only hope she will bring peace to the city, and that she will respect our rights as free men and women."
With that Walters walked away.
Armada came to the podium after that. Norton got his first look at her. She was beautiful, gorgeous, in some manner. Sleek, muscular, tall and well bearing. However he looked at her slightly greyish eyes. There was something sad. The entire concept he was dealing with at this moment was on her face. It was ludicrous, but as he looked into her eyes he saw sadness even as she said …
"People of Portland. Heed your former rulers warning! I have dissolved the majors’ office. The city council too. The police shall stay, and have been ordered to obey me. Only me!!! Well that and their commanders and things. But for the rest of you. I bid you be happy. Be fruitful and prosperous!! Be joyous for we enter a new age of joy!!! My goal is not to destroy Portland, but to see it thrive as a new Mecca for the world. Much will change in the coming days months and years. But as long as you obey me and respect me, I promise to be fair and reasonable. For now you are my subjects. And I am your Queen …"
Armada turned and lifted her hand to fly off into the night.
Many people in the crowd, more then would admit later, fewer then had wanted, knelt to her as she left.
And in his office Steve Norton chuckled. This was fucking nuts.
The next day the city of Portland woke up. It was a Thursday and it’s hard to get the hang of Thursdays. That night many bars had complicated business. Roughly 1/10 of the city had started to flee at the sound of the voice but most of the rest stayed relatively calm. There was the air of something weird was going on. A dreamlike quality, which was helped by a morning fog that went over the city. Most people went to work, even those who worked for the city as there was no indication they were to stop. Life for the time being went on as normal.
Steve Norton woke up to his empty bed and walked to his personal gym. He put 250 pounds on his weight bench and started lifting. Architecture was an easy job to get fat in, but he cared a lot about his trim appearance. Why? He wasn't sure, as Architecture was also a hard job to date in. Still as he pushed up the powerful muscles of his arms responded, getting a good pump as they extended over his flat stomach and his powerful thighs. He liked being strong like that. If nothing else he found it hard to think about architecture while he lifted, and he liked it like that.
His mind drifted to his new Queen. Steve had once designed a building in Bangkok, which had a king, and remembered the weird sensation when visiting. Thailand was a country where the government was complicated … where the king, the prime minister and parliament, and military, all ruled together, but hard to tell precisly how. She looked much more simple.
Stories had come of what she had done in the city … she had spent the last day going to public places basically and demanding people capitulated … turned over some police cars and melted a tank (A world war 2 vintage one. In a park.) Everyone seemed overly impressed with her. She was Superman. Evil Superman, though as far as could be told she hadn't actually killed anyone, preferring to leave her bloodlust unsated. He wondered if that would last. He hoped this would end well, which meant at some level he hoped it would end well for her. Steve kept thinking because he couldn't quite wrap his mind around her.
He felt the weight grow too heavy to lift. Too much to even put it in the cradle. So he let it drop to the side and climbed out. Not good form.
Salem, Oregon, is a very quiet town. Less then 300,000 people south of Portland. It was a silent church-going place, which often looked as if around 1956 something had come and frozen time. Full of empty public squares, an often empty downtown of small buildings, its main industry was running a government for a state with surprisingly little government. Its most prominent feature was a very large statue on the state capital that was turned the wrong way.
However, underneath the city buried 200 feet deep was the secret government command centre. Governor Janet Marguiles had been here once early in her term for a tour and had been impressed. When she had came in here to save her state from the invader last night, she realized how 70s it was.
She had been told that the computers where state of the art, but the monitors the keyboards looked as if they had originally graced apple 2s. There was a very green light on the formica floor, that suggested high alert. The desks looked, well, 'ergonomic'. She had paced the surprisingly small space as alert technicians (who should have been wearing jumpsuits but weren't) reported on what was going on.
"We’re seeing the first activity today," said one of them.
"What?" said Janet, with as much authority as possible.
"She was spotted entering the state building today. She maybe … yes she’s meeting with the secretary of state’s office."
"My god!!!" said another technician "We will loose the ability to form a corporation or an LLC. How will small business thrive?"
Janet shook her head "Jokes aside, it’s a cornerstone of my administration. Still, one of our advantages so far is she has been largely unaware of us"
Janet had talked several times with the president. He was in Europe for a summit with G12 leaders, but was reportedly in the air to fly back. He was surprised as she was at this. He was also talking to there military leaders to form a proper response.
Janet had wanted to talk to her National Guard leader, but discovered to her dismay that most of her guard was in Afghanistan. Still, she had a large base north of the town and thankfully south of Portland proper that she was prepared to use to stage … a response, she assumed.
"Janet. Um … this isn't good …"
Janet turned to the technician.
"It’s the southerly national guard base …" the non-jumpsuit wearing technician said.
Speak of the devil.
The technician continued. "The subject has come this morning. They fired heavy weapons at her … machine-guns; which she then incinerated. Many of the troops are fleeing … the rest are falling back. Colonel Falcon, the head of the state guard, is with them"
Inside the compound Falcon’s troops where disorganized … fatigued. A mixture of state police and guardsmen, he knew they where unprepared for this. He was unprepared. But this is what was there. He had been in Iraq (the first one) and felt pined down. However there were no bullets outside. Only …
"Come-out and find my mercy. I do not slight you for your bullets. They felt tickly. But I do slight you for testing my patience."
"I have orders," shouted Falcon
"I am your Queen!!!!," said Armada
"I thought you where Queen of Portland!" said Captain Rickler, Falcon’s well moustached lothario compatriot "This isn't Portland.”
"I consider it part of the greater metro area," she replied.
"I work for the governor. For the state," said Falcon. "And the state will not allow it."
"As you wish. Is everyone on the base accounted for in that room?" said Armada
Falcon looked around nervously. "No, we have got like, 20. There where 300 people on base."
There was a silence. "100, 181 … 185. Does that sound like a realistic number?"
Falcon paused. "What?"
"I have x-ray vision. Your defences. Your men are all known to me." said Armada.
Then there was a hum. A horrible loud screeching hum. Several of the men covered their ears but Falcon listened. It wasn't a good hum by any means. He was either about to die, or …
After a second he heard a voice. "You can come out now. Or not. Your choice."
Falcon didn't come outside, but he looked out the window.
His entire military base was now a vacant lot, except for the command shack he was in, and a bunch of solders who were flopped on the ground.
A solder came to him with a phone. "The governor wants to talk to her," he said breathlessly.
He turned to look however Armada was gone.
Outside on highway 5 the state police had setup a roadblock at the edge of the metroplex. No cars except government personal where allowed in. It was around 9:00 and even the cops there where a little groggy. So far not many people where coming in.
Then the concrete roadblock no longer existed.
Armada flew 10 feet above them. "Leave this place. I want free flow of people and commerce into the city. No more road blocks, no barriers of entry. Your presence isn't needed in my domain.
One of the cop cars exploded. They all nodded and thought leaving was a very good idea.
Back in her bunker Janet was not having a good morning. She managed to talk to Walters, who was in a smaller office in city hall. She had cursed him out. He told her to avoid violence, as he didn't think that would improve anything. As reports of Armada destroying roadblocks and other government installations that were forming around the city came in she began to agree with him privately that there may have been some wisdom in his advice. The subject looked like she could destroy most of the weapons in the western United States easily.
(Which were surprisingly few. For all the talk of homeland security in the last 10 years, the actual defences of the United States for invasion were surprisingly slim.)
So Janet sat in her ergonomic chair and drank her non ergonomic coffee. Terrible coffee. She lived in Oregon and you would think there would be good coffee. Was this going to be her life from now on?
"I want to talk to her," said Janet “That’s all. Talk with her and reason with her."
There was a loud smash. The bunker was built beneath 200 feet of bedrock. But there was still a large smash as a hole formed in the roof as if a massive freight train was coming through.
"I heard that," said Queen Armada as she landed in the cave in a crouch. Nice thighs, Janet noted. All together a nice package, if her green getup was kind of weird.
"You must have muscular ears," said Janet. "There not just holes in your stupid head."
"Your comments offend me. I wanted to send a messenger telling you how I disapprove of you and your vain attempts to reconquer my city … but i decided to tell you myself.”
Janet sighed. Vaporized … this is not how she imagined her life ending. "Look, Amanda …"
"DON"T CALL ME THAT NEVER CALL ME THAT!!!" the Queen commanded.
"Armada … sorry. Portland is the largest city in my state. And I don't want to be the governor who just gives it up without a fight.”
"Well then," Armada said, "Let’s have a fight for it. Only fair. A catfight between Queen and governor. We can do it in a ring. There’s something called pay per view and perhaps we can get decent ratings."
"I don't want to do that either. That’s stupid and dumb." said the governor. "I just …"
"You don't have good options here," interrupted the Queen. "Look, some definitions state that Salem is part of the Portland metro area. I don't believe it. You and the rest of the state are free to do as you will. That shall be whole of the law. Leave Portland to me. I don't want to destroy you.”
The governor sighed. The catfight option was mighty tempting at this point. Still she paused. "I am not giving up. However I have decided to respect your power. Let’s get a map.”
And so an agreement was worked out. Armada agreed to confine her powers to Washington, Muttangarh and Clarkmass County, Oregon would not attempt to build up military forces or block access to the area, or block Portland’s ports. Power and water such as it were would flow, provided they were paid for respectfully. Other areas of state service were quietly not discussed.
The governor told her that the state legislature would have to agree to it formally, but both sides informally agreed that until such time they would abide by it. The governor didn't want to do any press conferences … or actually ever talk to the press again. Ever. Armada, having left Salem out of her domain, agreed.
And then she flew off.
During this time, Steeve went to work. Most of the city did the same. The building he was designing was in Provo, Utah, so the builders (other then a call to see if he was alright) were largely unaffected. Two of his staff, Karen and Bridget (who he was not sure were a couple or not) hadn't come in that day. He hoped they would come in eventually.
However it was a light day for the most part. There wasn't a lot of traffic. Portland can be a city of milling about. However there was little of that today. He didn't go to Starbucks or any of the better houses, but he got the sense they were rather empty, which was perhaps a pity. He went to lunch with several of his staff, Amanda, Clark, and Johnny, at a Moroccan restaurant that was doing business, but not a lot business.
The mayor of Hillsbor and Greensboro where no where to be found. Most of the smaller cities governments where operating in smaller forms … however things where going, apparently, the day after the dream, things were … well not normal, that was definitely not the word … but being sorted out.
That night there was word of another speech in the city square by the new Queen. Steven paused, and decided: What the hell? He’d go. He let his staff go home early … well, actually at the right time for once … and walked the five blocks to get there. You didn't want to go to your car and repark in a city this small.
He found thousands of people. There were several signs, even "We love you Queen Armada" on some of them. Some were "Free Portland, Free Portland", the latter outnumbered the former, but the police were doing a good job of keeping them separate. Steve thought this may not be his scene, but …
She came down. And she calmed the crowd … well not really, they just shouted at her more, but she talked over them.
"Portland has a long history of free speech and the free press. This shall continue to those of you who are mocking your Queen. Your cries are like the mewing of infants to me. However you will not be spanked for your insolence, merely denied the glory of my light."
Steve looked down at his feet. She talked some more. They weren't so much nuts and bolts … but nutty. Things where moving smoothly. She had formed a truce with the governor’s office (which the radio and internet were not saying). We should worry not, and simply be. She had talked to various government offices and various plans and services would be outlined.
It was actually kind of boring after a point.
After it was over, he turned and walked back to his office and his car. It was around 7:00 and he wanted to get home. He had thought several times about moving, but realized that may get complicated. However he did feel that he wasn't in danger, so that was nice.
The night was cool and a bit drizzly as it often was. But he liked Portland. He liked its old buildings its weird sculptures, the small city park he walked to. yes he liked it. before walking up the stairs(got to stay in shape) to get his car keys from his office. Building was empty.
which was just as well for he let out a little yelp. Becuse when he opend the door, standing in his office, was Queen Armada.
"What are you doing here?" asked Steven of Queen Armada as she stood in his architectural office. It was a nice office. He hoped she hadn't busted a window or anything.
She was wearing a green garment that looked similar to the one she had worn during her speech. A flowing green dress that veiled her legs in silk while covering her top in something that looked like leather. Up close he could see her curves, the thinness of her waste, the strength of her arms. Yet her kind of matted brown hair somehow ruined the illusion. She looked very big and very small at the same time. She was bout 5'5, 7 inches shorter then he was and he looked down at her.
"I have come to discuss business," said the Queen "Your doorman let me. He was wise to do so."
Steven shook his head. "Look, I am not city government, I don't work for city government, I have never worked for city government … actually, well, once. When I was a junior architect I worked on the design for a library, but that’s it."
Armanda smiled at him. It was hard to tell of her smile, from her face. "You amuse me. Do you think a Queen only requires the police? No! She requires everyone!!!"
Steven paused. Perhaps an opinion now was important. He had studiously avoided one so far.
"What do you want?"
"I have been looking through the city at buildings, the ones you design … have a certain flair. I like the angularity. They remind me of a medieval palace, a treasury. I want you to design me that."
Steven paused "What?"
"I need a royal palace fit for a Queen!" she said. "And your going to design it!!!"
Steven shook his head and turned. "look, I do some residential, but not …"
"I am a modern Queen. I don't want a house, I want a skyscraper. 50 stories tall. With a large entrance for me to fly in. The lower floors will contain the … functions … of my empire. The top, my throne room, my kitchens, my boudoir. You know I had to sleep in a hotel last night? This does not befit a Queen!"
Steven sighed "Look …" he then turned to walk out.
Armada turned and with a sudden force grabbed him. However it was not horrible force, not terrible. He was touched by her and it was not burning or painful … just a person. Her voice slightly hanged. There was power and incredible insanity, but there was humanness to.
"You can say no. Certainly. I am not going to incinerate you with my eye beams for this.”
Steve felt a strange heat on the back of his neck. He turned to see to beams floating to his throat from out of her eyes. Then she moved them up his face. They felt maybe 100 degrees.
"Hee hee." she said. Literally, she said "hee hee".
"You’re insane!" he said.
"Insanity is when you think delusional thoughts; believe the world revolves around you. This is not a delusion for me!!!"
Steven admitted as such. "Okay."
Armada smiled at him. Something of it seemed genuine "I have looked at your buildings. They’re holding something back … something important … but you want to let it out. To express it: To make it be … yes I know something of this."
"Who are you?" he demanded of her.
"I am Armada, Queen of Portland: Emperor of the Portland Metropolitan area, excluding Vancouver, Washington." She smiled. "And I want to have a giant tower from which to view my domain. And I want very much for you to build it for me."
Steven shook his head. He saw a model of a skyscraper. "Can you follow this. Does this make sense? It’s a 1/8 model."
Armada looked. "Yes, I think so. It’s a small copy of a building. You use it to show people before it’s done."
Steven went to a file. Inside where blueprints. He put them on the table. "Lots of people can't make head nor tale."
Armada looked at them. "Plans. Yes I can see this. You want to know if I can read plans. Understand something Mr. Norton. If you do badly … provided say a 100 workman die in a horrible preventable accident … I am not going to incinerate you either. I may destroy the building and start over with a different architect, but that’s that. You will also be paid your fee. Actually you will be paid 200% percent of your normal fee. Does this sound okay?”
Norton paused a second. And then extended his hand. They shook on it.