*Welp, since I’m on an obvious B’arzz kick*
There is no possible counter tactic for you to turn to, Ambassador, B’arzz didn’t mean to sound smug (even if the likes of such a vile alien deserved it after experimenting on helpless children, taking advantage of their abusive environments), but there really was nowhere for the Ambassador to run and he had never felt so utterly relieved. This Miss Martian would soon discover the malicious plan the Reach had devised to get the Blue Beetle back on-mode. It pleased him that a member of his own race would be the downfall of such wicked, thirsty people, I am sure of it.
Oh, never doubt me, minion, the voice resounding in his head practically snickered, catching B’arzz off-guard, We have some very useful intel on this particular martian. She will be all too easily swayed to accept our side of the story.
Do not hurt her! he pleaded, desperate, Scarab, please, she is of my kind. Assuredly you do not want to cause her pain!
We are of the Reach, B’arzz O’oomm, his Scarab replied, its tone holding no hint of sympathy or regret, We serve the Reach and we will use whatever means necessary to assure their prosperity.
Excellent answer, the Ambassador said, You should not wallow, Green Beetle. It is unbecoming. Embrace her part in our wondrous plan!
"I’m not very comfortable with this," the Miss Martian said as she approached where he sat, her body tense and eyes wary, "Delving into your mind…i-it is, an intrusion."
She was scared to read his mind? But why would that be? Telepathy was an acceptable form of communication on Mars…and as long as she -
"You have my permission," the Ambassador spoke through him, staying as calm as ever, "We must be able to trust each other."
And then, the Ambassador pasted the widest smile on his face and B’arzz cringed along with the Miss Martian, I am not that ignorant of their customs to realize this smile is certainly unacceptable, Ambassador!
"Does my smile…displease?" the Ambassador tried to diffuse her discomfort, apparently considering B’arzz’s outburst, "Is this not how humans convey friendship and put each other at ease?"
The martian before him remained unmoved as her comrades debated whether this tactic would prove to be effective…and something about “martian etiquette.”
Please, read my mind, he looked to the Miss Martian, hoping somehow she could perhaps feel his frantic want radiating off his armor, Don’t be afraid. I promise it is all for the better.
Your efforts are futile as always, Green Beetle, the Ambassador snipped, Even one of your own cannot hear your struggles, no matter how hard you pray.
Soon, the Atlantean known as Lagoon Boy came forward and encouraged the martian, calling her angelfish and telling her reading his mind would be a “piece of crab cake.” While B’arzz had no idea what that was supposed to mean, Miss Martian’s eyes flickered back towards him and the Ambassador made another attempt, “Please, proceed with the mind link.”
The Lagoon Boy left her side and she shut her eyes, taking in a deep breath. Her eyes slowly opened as she exhaled. A moment later, the whole of her eyes lit a bright green. Soon, B’arzz’s own eyes brightened into a deep red and the oncoming rush of Miss Martian’s presence sent his mind in a dizzy tingle.
Link established, she said and despite the circumstances, B’arzz could not help but welcome her soft, feminine voice (as he had only the Scarab and Ambassador to listen to for the past few years).
But he couldn’t focus on her voice for much longer, for as she entered his mind, the Scarab and the Ambassador went on to actively investigate hers. Images of her childhood on Mars, of her true appearance and deep-seated insecurities unsettled B’arzz and an uncharacteristic growl escaped him, This is despicable, Ambassador! There is no need to seek out and exploit her pain!
But the Ambassador ignored him and continued on with his plan, Ah, so you a White Martian. You came to Earth in order to pass as Green. That must have been difficult.
The young woman, who B’arzz now knew as M’gann, stumbled upon her words, obviously flustered by his quick work, I-I’m supposed to be reading you.
But your reluctance to probe deeper is clear, the Ambassador continued on, sounding ever understanding and concerned for the martian, You hide the specifics, but I sense you have recently had a most negative experience during a hostile mind link.
It was then her eyes widened, although her face remained placid while her mind quavered with a creeping fear.
So, allow me to...the Ambassador trailed, shrugging Green Beetle’s shoulders, …volunteer my thoughts. In this way, you can be sure nothing so unfortunate will occur.
Do not trust him, M’gann! B’arzz begged, his voice louder than it had ever been since his capacity, Do not fall for it! He is luring you into a trap, taking advantage of your circumstance!
He was so sure that she could feel him, the way she looked so averse to proceed further, wavering between trust and doubt. Still, his hopes were dashed when she nodded and allowed the Ambassador to pass along selective memories of his time after the Scarab attached to his spine on his last archeological expedition. Everything from the Reach and their control over him was omitted and no matter how much B’arzz pleaded for her to not believe the misdirections, she accepted the Ambassador’s side of the story whole-heartedly, suspicion never arising.
After the last of the memories were played out, M’gann’s eyes returned to their normal shade and she turned to her teammates, declaring, “Green Beetle is on our side.”
Do not mourn what has occurred, the Ambassador told him after a few moments, the smug tone washing over B’arzz in spades, Besides, she is not really of your kind, now is she?
I do not believe… he trailed, somberly looking to M’gann as she conversed with the others of what she had witnessed, I could ever hate you more than I do right now.
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