RP Call from the Void

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#1
Bridge of the Gulvi-ka Mui

Kohaku had been waiting patiently, she wanted to contact the Yamatai Star Empire, but the event had to be carefully handled. In a time of war, having a flotilla of unknown ships arrive at the edge of the home world system would not have been well received. So she needed another point of contact. So she sent out a command to the Clan, she enlisted the members of the Otâmovi Wiy Jael (Silver Moon Sect), and their Ismâo'a ships. They were instructed to follow and observe any engagement of Clan ships with the Many Legs, or NMX. Orders were given to observe the departing enemy vessels and scan for Clan life signs. If found, they were to follow, and wait. Kohaku was not idle during this time though, she spent hours every day scrutinizing the public news messages, of the various races in the sector. Several months went by very few of the Ismâo'a reported surviving members of the clan being taken prisoner. Not surprising given the mindset of the majority of ship crews. But finally her plan bore fruit.

A member of the clan, a Tula name unknown presently had been captured and taken to an NMX facility. Better yet, a Star Army vessel later visited the system, and liberated the Tula and other prisoners. The Ismâo'a was given specific orders to track the ship to its destination. The ship was one of the newer designs she had seen images of. It appeared to be a follow on to the Sakura-Class of her time in the service.

Kohaku readied the flotilla and gave them the order to get underway. They were heading for an outpost in the south that the ship had flown to. The images she saw showed the registration number on the hull. It would have to do for now as a means to contact the commander. The person who chose to save lives was the best starting point for contact. She did not know much about this Premier, in fact in her time there was no such entity. She had the flotilla stop five light years from the star system where the ship that carried the Tula went to.

She walked onto the bridge her robe flowing behind her, she looked around the bridge at the crew who were awaiting her command with her amber colored eyes. "Prepare to transmit an FTL message, unidirectional transmission towards the target star system." She said to the Qaktoro manning the Comm station.

"System ready Emissary." he replied

Kohaku held herself up and spoke in a clear and precise voice, speaking in Nepleslian, and interspersing the proper terms in Takavonai.

“To the Commander of NG-X1-409, I am the Vonai-Rya'ka of the Poku Degonjo Saeruo. You have recently liberated a member of our society from the Siama'bu Soujo or as you call them the NMX. I am here to negotiate the repatriation of our citizen, as well as to begin a dialog between our people. Please contact your Premier and arrange for her to meet with us.”

She turned towards the communications person, “Repeat at five Tui'sa intervals until we get a response. I will be in my chambers.” She said as she left.

Chiharu Star Fortress

Katae was making her way back to the Aeon when her communicator chirruped. She looked at the message on the display.

Ise Katae-Taisa
It is urgent that you come to the bridge of the Star Fortress. We have a matter that has come up regarding your most recent mission.
Taisa Gerard Magnus
Katae frowned at the message; she was puzzled to say the least. She consulted the station AI for directions to the bridge. After navigating through the myriad passages and levels Katae found herself at the bridge to the Star Fortress. A security specialist confirmed her identity and let her enter.

She looked around and spotted Gerard, she crossed over to him. “Taisa Magnus, you wanted to speak to me?”

“Yes, a short while ago we started receiving an FTL transmission from an unknown source. It is addressed to you.” He replied, and then he turned away from her for a moment, “Kontan, kindly replay the transmission.”
“Right away Sir” the voice of the station AI came out of multiple speakers on the bridge.

When the message started, all conversation and activities on the bridge stopped. Once it completed Gerard turned to Katae.

“The message is originating about five light years south east of the perimeter. It repeats every 320 seconds. While they did not know your name, it is readily apparent to us that they know your ship. So how do you want to proceed?”

Katae took a moment to mull over the events of the past few minutes. “Well, we did find an alien with a felinoid appearance. My Science Advisor from the Scientific Studies Service has been spending time with him on our dock. I guess the first thing I should do is send a message to the Premier, and then one to our visitors.”
 

Doshii Jun

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#2
Yuumi faded the volumetric panel and got up from her desk. A trace of its old finish, applied by hand by a clan craftsman, followed her as she went to the windows to watch the rains come down. The storm hammered at the large rectangles of transparent Durandium, winds streaking drops around on their surfaces, but without carrying any of the noise. The Durandium hardly vibrated. She put a hand against the cool surface and looked out across the Palace Square, lightning casting above the Empress' Palace from purple-grey clouds followed by silent thunder.

She turned her eyes up above the clouds, to the unseen distances.

A new species, she thought. A real First Contact. A chance to do better than we did with the Lorath, the Freespacers ... a chance to avoid another UOC.

Yuumi shifted in her business suit, the dark blue silk of the coat hugging her without being improper or unprofessional. One of her many tailored suits. What would this species see when they saw her in it? Staring at the Empress' Palace, she wondered if Himiko had the right of it, wearing the traditional heavy kimono.

Yuumi didn't like them. Yui didn't wear the damn things; she was a warrior first and foremost. Yuumi might not be the fighter Yui was, but she felt weighted down by all that silk and wool. Walking was hard, gestures were hidden. As a diplomat, she needed absolute control over her expressions, over her body. Just as much as any warrior.

Even if that control was the difference between a placating smile and a genuine one.

Besides, it kept eyes off her. A new species probably wouldn't notice, but covering her skin meant they had to focus on her hands and her face. Her best communicators.

The cold on the window lulled her into a moment of calm. She put her other hand on it and watched the weather. Her breathing slowed. She emptied her head of distractions.

The door clicked open behind her. Yuumi didn't face it; she knew just by the sound of the turning knob who it was.

"Yes ma'am?" Tanaka Miki, 33, said.

" ... We're going out," Yuumi said. "Yamamoto's in charge."

"His wife is going to be thrilled," Miki said in Yamataian with a sly grin, sliding into the office. "The Imperial Ball is just a few days away and she's got a dress she wants to show off for the press."

"I'm sure she'll knock them out," Yuumi said as gently pushed away from the window and walked to her desk with renewed focus and imperativeness. She felt the pressure building on her; she hollowed her core, physically and mentally, to make sure she was ready for it. Miki speaking Yamataian to her always helped.

"With her usual one-two punch?" Miki quipped. Yamamoto, Yuumi's assistant deputy minister, was married to a woman possibly a decade younger than himself, which made her as old as Miki. The woman, Biko, very ... "healthy" was the most polite term Yuumi could summon. How Yamamoto, a balding salaryman perpetually locked in conservative suits and hidden behind big glasses, ever wooed such a girl — let alone had children with her! — was a mystery.

Miki jabbed one half of her chest forward, then the other, just to punctuate her joke.

"I hope this new species appreciates your blue humor," Yuumi retorted, slipping on the blood-red PHC she'd taken to after they had come out. Though she had purchased them for her small staff, Yamamoto and Miki preferred their datapads. The interns got them in the end, which was a good investment.

"New species?" Miki asked.

"They look like Kohanians," Yuumi said, looking around her desktop. She blanked on what she needed, then rolled her eyes at herself and grabbed the framed photo, nabbed from security footage, of a certain middle-aged someone. "I don't know if they're related. The fleet's waiting on us before engaging any further."

"A First Contact ..." Miki leaned against the opaque wall next to the door. "You want Yamamoto for this instead?"

"No. I need you. Better eyes and ears." She almost went for her go-bag, but the yacht would have everything she needed She sent a general readiness alert to the crew of her ship, as well as her guards. "Besides, who would take Biko to the ball?"

"I'm sure I could sway her," Miki said, licking one of her fangs behind her blue-painted lips.

"You stop that," Yuumi chastised, leaving her desk and walking to the door. "She's nice and happy how she is."

"Happiness comes in different flavors," Miki said, fangs showing as Yuumi opened the door and walked past her.

The Premier looked at Yamamoto, who peeked up from his plain desk and adjusted his large glasses.

"First Contact situation," Yuumi said. "You're in charge."

"T-that means I have to go to the ball," Yamamoto whined, eyes ducking down.

"Take Biko," Yuumi said. "Have fun."

"Easy for you to say," the man said in his surprisingly rich voice. Yuumi always suspected he was a singer. "She won't sleep the whole night."

"Imagine my pity," Yuumi snapped back. "You married her, you handle her. Get one of the interns to babysit."

"Yes Premier," Yamamoto said, forlorn and resigned to a night without sleep.

Yuumi left the salaryman to his "woes" as Miki followed her out of the office area and down the elevator. A car already was waiting for them outside of the palace, and it took them to the Kyoto starport where Yuumi kept her yacht, Premier One.

The captain, a yellow-haired Neko with wispy grey eyes, snapped down to bow at the top of the port shuttle bay. The four Ketsurui Samurai guards there also bowed as more lightning and rain hammered down on Kyoto.

"Make for Chiharu Star Fortress," Yuumi shouted up to the captain over the din, dipping her head in a small bow at the bottom of the ramp.

"Yes ma'am," the captain replied, turning on her heel to get to the bridge.

"How many guards are with me today, Kei?" Yuumi asked one of the Samurai.

"Twenty-four, Premier," the tall, platinum-haired Neko replied.

"Settle into the upper-crust quarters," Yuumi said, walking past her personal shuttle inside the bay with Miki following. The aide was furiously swiping, tapping, whisking and playing on her datapad, ensuring everything was in order. "Please check with me before letting me be disturbed."

"Yes Premier," Kei said, sending out instructions to the Samurai contingent.

* * *

Soon after Premier One docked, Yuumi was inside the star fortress, flanked by Kei and another Samurai. She found the Taisa who sent her the message, and bowed slightly to her.

"Thank you for contacting me so quickly, Ise-Taisa," Yuumi said, perfectly coiffed and wearing her best blue suit. "Please lead the way."
 

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#3
Katae returned the bow, a bit uncertain about protocol so she opted for one slightly deeper than Yuumi's.

"I have replied to the message to say that we received it and were awaiting your arrival.

As for contacting you urgently. The people out there asked for you by title. Seemed prudent to get you here as you are far more trained to handle this kind of matter. As it is I have to leave in the morning the Seventh Squadron has a strike mission against an NMX held system.

I presume you would like to meet our guest, before you establish contact with whomever is out there."

Katae sent a mental message to Josea, "Premier Yuumi has arrived. Going to bring her to meet Tesgee before she contacts the others."

She led Yuumi and her entourage through the star fortress to the docking port that the squadron's Ikoi was currently connected to.

"Gustav-San's has informed me that at least our visitor aboard the Seventh Squadron Starbase is definitely not related to the Kohanians. Tesgee has a totally different physiology and genetic make up. Further more Tesgee as he is called, is reluctant to divulge information about where he comes from beyond general and personal matters. He is pretty certain it is not out of fear, but rather some sort of personal code.

From what Tesgee has told us, there is apparently another species within their culture something called khaktoro. Apparently they are larger than the Tula which is the species Tesgee is one of.

We have not yet informed Tesgee about the message. Josea is still working on a translation program, linguistics being his specialty. I had him run the term Vonai-Rya'ka through it. It came up with The People's Spirit. We are hoping that with more time and getting Tesgee to cooperate the program will improve. But we of course are running into issues when it comes to abstract matters."

When they reached the airlock to the Ikoi, Katae entered her personal code to unlock the door.

"Tesgee is currently in the park on the starbase. He prefers being in there than other parts of the facility. He will come out and eat in the dining facility, but he sleeps in the park. He has informed us that among his people he is a scientist. I do know that he has a knack for botany. The park caretakers have noticed that plants he has tended to are healthier than the ones he has not." She added stepping into the starbase.

Katae walked down the hall to the nearest lift. She opened it and waited for Yuumi to enter. "Gustav-San is expecting us, and has explained to Tesgee that a visitor wants to see him."

Once everyone was in the lift Katae pressed the button for the park level.

When the lift stopped the doors opened to the park. the doorway presented a seemingly endless expanse of grass, flowers, and trees under a warm, glowing sun. The smell of recently-rained-on earth and plants filled their senses. Over near one copse of trees Josea in his SSS uniform could be seen standing next to Tesgee. Tesgee was about 1.2 meters tall covered in gray fur.
 

Doshii Jun

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#4
Yuumi and her entourage approached the alien and the officer with care.

The surroundings were beautiful. She understood anyone who wanted to sleep in a natural-feeling place as the park, even if they were in space. Yuumi couldn't get past that. If she was in space, she wanted a bed. She wanted to sleep under stars that were beyond an atmosphere, not a layer of transparent metal.

"Tesgee?" Yuumi said as she approached. Bowing seemed ill-advised just yet; she decided to wait for him to introduce himself with a gesture of respect, so she could repeat it. "I am Premier Ketsurui Yuumi of the Yamatai Star Empire. It is good to meet you in such a marvelous place."
 

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#5
From up close it was easy to see the injurious wounds that Tesgee had suffered at the hands of the NMX. There were scars of various ages that crisscrossed his body. His right ear was heavily bandaged. He wore a piece of cloth with a floral pattern wrapped around his waist. He beheld Yuumi with his pale blue eyes, they briefly moved away from the Premier and looked at those who came in with her. His eyes taking note of the sheathed blade on the Samurai. "tăv-ē făū Jă-ěl" he murmured.

He took a single step forward and bowed with his eyes fixed on Yuumi's. He held his arms out with small claws extending from their tips. He pulled his lips back to bare his teeth.

He then said in a soft voice, "Tē bānă'te tes-gē rūō-kă'ū sēn-lăō. Tē ōvū'te tăv-ē-gōē ōdnej'jō fōkăr pănăē nō."

From Gustav's ICP a synthesized male voice said. "I named be Tesgi of Sinlao house. I standing teeth bared and arms wide."

Tesgi look at Yuumi and waited.

"The expression means that he is not lying, as best as I can interpret. The gesture is because he is a lower rank." Josea offered from his position.
 

Doshii Jun

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#6
Yuumi stuffed her questions away and replied with a similar expression. She didn't know how low to go with her bow, but she went half the distance of his, to be safe. She kept her arms out too, and kept her eyes on him. She didn't bare her teeth.

A text message appeared before Josea, as Yuumi didn't want to startle Tesgee. "Why does he appear so injured still?"

To Tesgee, she said — "it is an honor for my people to meet yours."
 

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#7
Josea replied via text,
"Because Tesgee refused any treatement besides cleaning his wounds and bandages. Unfortunately many of injuries were already healed into scar tissue. When we brought him onboard the Aeon and into the Medical Center, he went into a panic is the best word for it. Most likely an after effect of his treatment at the hands of the NMX. He did consent to us using the PMS-1 on him which has allowed us to ensure he has no life threatening injuries. So for now we have no choice but to accept his decision."
Tesgee straightened and took a moment to study Yuumi's features. He then contemplated her statement.

"gě-lī tēă-tě..." he shook his head, "honor mine.. Tesgee ... life... owe... to Amatai" He turned his head towards Josea, "Joseah... wūmī ... friend...."

He then turned his attention back to Yuumi his shoulders slumped. "Tesgee... lost... to the people... Tesgee no... travel home... Tesgee no... have... the way."

He stood silent for a moment, then said, "tesee děgōn-jō nōr sēă-mă-kă,,," The ICP spit out a partial translation "Tesgee hidden from ?heaven?" the last word said with a questioning inflection.

"How.. can... Tesgee... serve?"
 

Doshii Jun

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#8
Yuumi updated her text message: "Is there an IES unit that can do a better job of translating his speech?"

She tried to reply. "You have served us, and your people, enough, Tesgee. Where is home? We could take you there."
 

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#9
Josea looked at Yuumi's query. Does she think just putting the translation program on a bigger computer is going to make it magically work. Doesn't she understand the complexity of trying to piece together a language when we have such a very small data sample.

He entered a polite response to her query.
Ma'am, I can upload my translation program to any IES that you like, it is not a matter of computational power. It is a problem of data. He knows some Neplesiian, but nothing in Yamataian. But its not like he has ever spoken to a Nepleslian, or has a full grasp of the languages sentence structure.
When Yuumi asked her question, Tesgi looked at her, then started gesturing vehemently, he spoke first in his language so fast that the words ran together. Then after a moment, he composed himself, and replied in Nepleslian there were gaps in what he said as if he did not have words for what he wanted..

"Amatai... You... like many legs.. always ask Tesgi same thing, where home, hurt Tesgi.... where home... you not listen... I say not know... you going to hurt Tesgi same as many legs... Tesgi answer same... NOT know... way home... restricted... Tesgi can not tell..... even if want to.... Tesgi... know not." there was a haunted look in his eyes as he said this.

Then from Josea's ICP a more clear translation came out.
"Speaker for Clan Yamatai, you just like Mishhu. Always asking Tesgi same thing. Where is your home. They hurt Tesgi, cut and put things in to hurt him. Ask where is home. You like them not listen... I tell you Tesgi do not know... so now you going to hurt Tesgi like Mishhu. Tesgi answer always same. NOT know. The path home restricted to ship Speakers. Tesgi can not tell... could not tell even if wanted to. Tesgi does not know."

Josea moved closer to Tesgi and put a hand on the aliens shoulder. "Tesgi.. kavoráy ria wumy ria poku amatai ri niopaw'bu." he said to his friend, the spoke Nepleslian for Yuumi."Tesgi my oath my friend Clan Yamatai not hurt you."

He sent another text to Yuumi,
Well that is one way to get data. The ICP is updating its matrix as we speak.
 

Doshii Jun

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#10
Yuumi updated her text message as well. "Route it through the IES," she stated, "so the translation instantly comes to my mind, not through a synthesized voice that takes time to listen to. It will facilitate a more natural flow of the conversation." Biting words would not serve at the moment.

"It is as Josea says," Yuumi said. She wasn't sure what to gesture, so she kept it simple, with one hand folded in front of the other before her lap. "We do not want to hurt you, only to return you to your people. If that is not possible for now, then you shall be our honored guest. Are you hungry? What do your people eat?"
 

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#11
Josea linked his ICP to the IES, as Yuumi requested. The question she asked made him smile, it mirrored some of the discussion he and the alien had aboard the ship.

Tesgi gave a slight tilt of his head to his left, he spoke and the IES translated; "Your oath is accepted. Tesgi stay here, can not contact."

He looked around the park and walked over to one of the fruit trees. He brought the fruit back, he spoke again "Tesgi can eat many things, Tesgi being Tula. Like fruit..." holding up the fruit. "and nuts. Can eat but not like fish. Back home eat lizard for meat. Tula not eat as much as others."

"Are you being hungry? What do you eat Nekovalkyrja? Why is your air dead?" he inquired.
 

Doshii Jun

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#12
Hunter-gatherers, Yuumi thought. It was a reasonable conclusion, but she didn't take her conjecture for fact. Not yet.

"Why do you say our air is dead?" she asked, leaving the other questions for later.
 

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#13
Tesgi looked at the red eyed Neko before him. She likes to ask questions, but she rarely answers. She speaks for another. Interesting, but what does she want with me. he thought to himself. He took a light hold of the bosh next to him and felt its calming presence.

"Because all your air, except in this place has no life. It smells of stuff that cleans. It smells like old air from containers. Only this room the air has life, but only because of the plants. They give this room life."
 

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#14
"Can we get some food for him and I to share? Served on basic plates. Keep it to fruit and nuts, things we know he can digest." Yuumi ran the risk of telepathy, sending to Josea. She wanted the natural flow of the conversation to continue, but she wanted to see if he reacted to a digital signal.

"Our starships and structures recycle air," Yuumi answered, sticking with simplicity. "This area is special, and somewhat rare. Do your starships have more plants?"
 

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#15
"Certainly ma'am." Josea replied, and quietly left the park to retrieve the requested items.

Tesgi thought about her question, and how best to answer it, he watched Josea walk out. He wondered what prompted Josea to depart since the Yamatai Speaker did not say anything to him prior to leaving. He wondered perhaps if his friend had gone to get food since the Speaker had inquired about it.

He turned back to Yuumi, shifted his position a little to the right to allow him to see her and keep her entourage in sight.

"No... Not all ship's have plants like this. Only those with Tula on ship have plants. Tula always have plants with them.

But even ship with no Tula, air is always alive. Our system passes air through plant essence to convert air. Tesgi maintained system on last ship. Air alive not dead.

Tesgi prefer our air to your air here. Josea tell Tesgi this place is for resting. Tesgi stay here to feel better, so Tesgi take care of plants."

At that moment Josea returned with a tray there were two plates with an assortment of Yamataian fruit and nuts. Ones that Josea knew that Tesgi liked and could eat them. He also had two small covered dishes, one with white rice and the other with cooked beef strips. There were two small glasses filled with water, and a carafe to refill them.

On plate had standard utensils and chop sticks for Yuumi, and the other had a fork and knife for Tesgi. Under his arm he had a cloth tucked.

He let go of the tray which floated where he released it.

"Premier, would you rather eat standing or shall I spread a cloth so that you may sit upon the grass and not stain your clothes?" he said. These are all items that I have experimented with Tesgi earlier and he enjoys. he sent telepathically to her briefly.
 

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#16
"A cloth would be wonderful, thank you Josea," Yuumi said to the man before looking back to Tesgee.

"We have no system like yours, which sounds like a natural marvel." Yuumi put her hands behind her waist, looking up at the sky. "Yamatai lives a very artificial existence. Climate, terrain, our very flesh — manufactured."

She sweeps an arm across the park area. "We feel ourselves masters over nature. It's not true, even with our technology. But we live that lie, if only to make ourselves feel better."

A little breeze picked up some of Yuumi's hair, then gently set it back down. She looked at Tesgee. "The Tula. What are they like?"
 

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#17
Josea proceeded to layout out the cloth on the grass. Then he brought the tray over and lowered it in the center.

Tesgi listened to Yuumi's questions and watched what Josea was doing. He approached the cloth and paused. He was uncertain what the customs were for the Amatay clan. So he chose to go with the customs of his people, the lower status would sit first, but wait for the high status to start eating.

He took a seat on the edge of the cloth with his legs folded so that one of them was on the grass, while waiting for the Ta'a to sit and start he did his best to reply to her question.

"Those systems are very old, before we left the old home."

He took a moment trying to understand her comments, they were puzzling to say the least. He would return to them after giving his answer.

"Tula are also called plant clan. Tula are smaller than the other people. Most Tula are not warrior. We study sciences, we work with plants, we raise them. We raise families and some of us tend the gardens of the great houses."
 

Doshii Jun

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#18
Yuumi sat as well, in a side-saddle fashion, and took to nibbling a little cheese before replying.

"Are there different clans for different jobs?" she asked. "Warriors, scientists, poets, laborers?"
 

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#19
Once Yuumi started eating, Tesgi took a number of fruit and put them on his plate. He also put a couple of pieces of beef. He then picked one up with his fork and popped it into his mouth. He savored the flavor as he chewed quietly. One of the smaller fruits followed the beef.

He put down his utensil and took a moment to consider how to answer.

"Once we are have many clans, long ago before the Norka. When come to this place in space, oldest clans become Jael... sects. Other clans become Houses within the clans. Tula... plant clan is being onliest sub-clan. Honor to Tula for sacrifice during the Norka.

Best of our Daho'a... what you call warriors are coming from two sects, Blood Tooth, Swift Knife, but warriors can be from others. Sar Yuumi you is being Nekovalkyrja, you is Daho'a Poku.... your word warrior clan? Why you no have Nekovalkyrja male Daho'a?

Kynkasâjo'ai our scientists are coming from Silver Moon Jael. We some time work for other sect, sometime work for our Jael. Tesgi was Silver Moon, work on Science vessel... until the Defilers of the Dead come.

Poets.. word dancers... can be from any Jael, most are elders, those who can not serve sometime. But young clan people learn the way of poems.

Workers... all people work... do what is necessary for their Jael, or clan. Those who gather and harvest... they belong to Blood Tooth, Silver Moon, Swift Knife, and Faith Walker sect.

Is Sar Yuumi, being Yamatai second speaker? Tesgi not wanting to give offense, but no understand honorific-Sar Yuumi position."

He picked up his utensil and resumed eating his food.