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RP [1XF-SAoY] Resolutions of The Ghost - Episode 2: The Evening Orchid's War

Andrew

Submissions Reviewer
FM of Yamatai
Game Master
Retired Staff
RP Date
YE 41
RP Location
Jiyuu, Former UOC
Resolutions of the Ghost - Episode 2: The Evening Orchid's War

Continued From: [1XF-SAOY] RESOLUTIONS OF THE GHOST - EPISODE 1: I STAND, AGAIN

Index:
Part 1: Coffee and Broken Dreams, Session 1
Part 1: Coffee and Broken Dreams, Session 2
Part 1: Coffee and Broken Dreams, Session 3
Part 2: The Cake Went Stale



Companion Story: A Fortunate Day


Part 1: Coffee and Broken Dreams, Session 1
Authors: Andrew and Toshiro
  • Old Tokyo - Dusk

The sun had begun to set, the restored buildings of the old city were painted in the tones of warm fire; vivid orange and scarlet red reflected in the glass panes of their windows. Kaoru walked slowly beside Blues down the sidewalk, she wore a rather tight and short black miniskirt, with a cut top with a colorful chibi-looking bear in the center that barely covered the rise of her breasts which left just a bit of underboob exposed, and a open black leather jacket, that matched the skirt, with silver zippers and buttons. The Taisa looked around the street, it seemed to be almost deserted, "Not a lot of action around here at night, no wonder he is hiding out around here," she said to Blues." We should probably keep an eye out for Misato, she arrived today too. We don't want her to see us," the ease at which she spoke about her traitor of a 'second mother' even surprised her a little.

"Yeah...amazed that the old city got fixed up this well," Blues said, dressed in blue jeans, a dark blue bomber jacket, a black undershirt, and a pair of sunglasses. "I'm hoping she keeps away for now. I'd rather not have to deal with her while you have to look on. As for how quiet it is, the city has far more open room than people right now. The old town can handle up to a billion even at a conservative population density. Also...we should be careful of underground access. The city's meant to be a place you can hunker down and endure a siege. If anyone escapes into the underground who knows all the nooks and crannies, it'll be hell digging them up again without support." He'd been briefed on Tokyo extensively by his brother as well as by the Empire's own resources. They needed to win over Tio before he started to run...

Kaoru coiled her right arm around Blue's closet arm, as they walked she took in the scenery. "If they flee underground, we will have to contact your brother. I hear he knows this city like the back of his own hand," she replied to his statement thoughtfully. "That cafe up ahead, it is the one where Tio spends his nights, the sun is almost down. So we're just in time." She could see the fields of sunflowers that stretched out in the distance, it was beautiful despite the purpose it all served. Jiyuu fascinated her, it was where it all started, well as close to the start of it all that she could get anyway. "So, you think because you both were imprisoned, that he will respond to you?" she questioned, curious as to if Blues had a plan for what he was going to say to Tio.

"I'll probably lead by asking him a few irrelevant questions about things...ease into it. Maybe introduce you as his half-sister after that and convey through that our intentions. Still...I'd like you to watch the side door if that's alright. Paranoia and trust don't come easy to us after that life." He approached the café and, rather than trying to ambush or be crude, intended to give a polite knock on the door if needed.

"We should just get some weapons and storm..." Kaoru heard the words behind them and cursed quietly under her breath. She pulled Blues with her as she turned, back against one of the buildings. She pressed her lips to his passionately, as she kissed him Tange Fumiko and Tange Chieko passed behind him. It was likely they had no idea she even existed, but she was not going to take a risk. The conversation between the two Jiyuuian women continued, "...Katsuko is here now, we need to just kill him and get the hell out of here." Fumiko said, the volume of the conversation slowly faded as they continued down the street ahead of them. Kaoru keeps Blues tight up against her in her grip, her fuzzy ears twitched as she sought to try and hear every word the two said.

Of course, Blues also listened. Rather than be a dead fish though, he played the part. Kissing back with equal passion, he even moved his hand to her rear and gave the daring Taisa a nice little squeeze. Just to make it that much more convincing. He picked up on some of this as well but relied on her to let him know with her superior hearing when it was safe to stop.

Kaoru hugged Blue's tightly, and shifted her lips to his ear, "They know my mother is here, hopefully, they hold off from doing anything too stupid. If they're here though, they are likely watching Tio too." What she suggested had implications, the entire plan could be ended if they were found. "We should probably go into the cafe before it closes," she said and watched as the two Tange sisters disappeared out of sight. The presence of the Tange bothered her, it was her first exposure outside of Misato. The way they spoke, the way they carried themselves had her mind working overtime.

"Agreed. They might be going there as well...this will change how I intend to communicate. They could have bugged the place, or more likely have a laser bouncing off the window to monitor the sounds inside." He said, walking along with Kaoru...still acting like she and he were an item. Just so that they'd fool anyone else watching from afar.

He approached the café, entering like a patron if it was open, and knocking gently on the door if it was closed.


The bell on the shop door rang as Blues opened the door, the cafe was empty save for Mrs.Tanaka who was behind the counter with a broom in her hand. "Oh, hello you two, I'm afraid we're close to closing, so not hot food, okay? I got some pastries left though if you like the sweets?" she said in a hospitable tone as what she perceived as a couple walked through the door. She smiled, but the observant old woman noticed almost right away that Kaoru was a Nekovalkyrja, she reached for the light switch which turned off the light in the alley behind the cafe, a signal to Tio and his people not to approach yet.

Kaoru looked around the inside of the cafe, it was small but comfortable, the counter seats were framed on both sides with glass display cases which had homemade pastries, while the counter behind it had a coffee machine and dishes on which food was served. There were a dozen tables, and a comfortable living room-like area, the chair where Tio sat nightly was empty in front of the fireplace. "I could use something sweet and a hot drink," she said with a smile as she looked at Blues, still wrapped around his arm. So this was the place, the place her brother was hidden from the universe.


"Same here. The town's sure changed since the old days..." He said, ordering and dropping the hint that he was from an old guard. He'd noticed the light switch and was tempted to turn it on, but needed to appeal to this woman first. Records indicated that she was a loyalist...so he got a pad of paper and pencil ready, starting to write once out of sight of the windows...

"Mom wants her boy home safe. Low on time. Sister and her blackness circling near. Here to talk."

He slid this to the woman. Hopefully, this would be clear enough if she knew....while still being vague enough not to let her understand if she weren't in on it.


Mrs. Tanaka asked, "Oh you're from around here?" It was strange that this man was with one of them and yet claimed to be from the city. Times were changing. She set the broom up against the counter and reached for the note which he slid across the counter, she looked down at it and then back up at the duo. "I see...Well pick out something nice for yourselves and choose what you'd like to drink," she said, her tone had changed, she was more than a loyalist, the Prince had become like family to her. Like most of the city, she had seen the ships fly over in the morning, these people must be from the fleet. They were Katsuko's people.

Mrs.Tanaka weighed her options, she stood no chance even with the old peacekeeper rifle she kept stowed behind the counter. She moved back to the light switch and turned the light in the alley back on, she said quietly, "I should lock up, as long as you behave you can stay." She moved to the front of the cafe to shut the blinds and bring the shudder down over the door and lock up.

Kaoru watched as Blues worked on the old lady, her eyes scanned the interior again briefly, just to get a full handle on the layout. There was a door that leads to the kitchen, which obviously had another door into the alley as well as a restroom that was down the same hallway as the storage room on the other side. She gave a gentle nod in signal to Blues that everything was fine, then stepped to the side as she looked into the display case at the pastries, "Pick something out for me. I can't make up my mind," she said playfully to Blues.

"Hmm? Alright, let's see..." Blues pondered on the matter and after some time selected a sweet tea and a more fluffy and airy cake with nice frosting. She was high energy and seemed to be likely to enjoy sweet things. The young man picked a tea with a strong taste himself, a holdover from the days when Yaichiro needed to pick something strong just to perceive the taste. Of course, he made sure that he watched carefully as the selected items were prepared. It wouldn't do for them to be dosed with a sedative...

Mrs.Tanaka remained polite, she was suspicious of the two. She worked to prepare what the young man ordered for himself and his partner. "I know it is not my place, I'm just an old lady and I have very little to offer anyone. If you're here to take him, you can talk here. Don't take him in front of me, I don't want to see it," she said boldly as she set their items down on the counter. "Feel free to take a seat, They will be here soon, they usually wait until the sun is down all the way," there was a sadness in her voice, she was worried for Tio and scared at what exactly the Empire intended to do to their world. So much had changed, so much had happened.

Kaoru was quiet as the woman spoke, she could tell that she cared for Tio. She looked then to Blues with a half-smile, "We should just pick a table," she meant, of course, a table with the position, just in case things went poorly, she trusted the Chui would understand. "We're just here to talk, to have a sweet or two," she said but figured Blues would say anything else that needed to be said now that the shop door was locked and the closed sign was in place.

Eisuke and Hiroji, along with Tio began their trip through the alleys from the sunflower fields where they spent their days. They too had seen the ships of the First Expeditionary Fleet flyover, and the loud broadcasts from the media that Ketusuri-Motoyoshi Katsuko had arrived, caution carried them at a much slower pace through the labyrinth of the old city towards the cafe.


Blues gave a light smile to the woman, after taking a look around. "This is meant to be civil, and her understanding of things has been revised a bit. He's in danger...but not from us. I even suspect she'd thank you for caring for him, regardless of politics."

The young man gave a slight bow and headed to a table that had good cover available from either door...and the ability to use either door as a point of rapid egress if needed. If absolutely necessary, they could call in a Mindy with a teleportation pack for a rapid evacuation of Tio at least...
 
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Andrew

Submissions Reviewer
FM of Yamatai
Game Master
Retired Staff
Part 1: Coffee and Broken Dreams, Session 2
Authors: Andrew and Toshiro

Mrs. Tanaka didn't say anything in reply to what Blues had to say, she let out a sigh and disappeared into the kitchen after she brought over their order. She didn't want her cafe shot to pieces, and she knew that if Hiroji and Eisuke heard voices they would end up in a panic. She stood in front of the stove, stirring the pot of soup she had prepared for their dinner as she waited.

Kaoru sat down with Blues and said, "At least she didn't kick us out." She leaned back in the chair, her fuzzy ears twitched briefly as she glanced around the cafe again then back to Blues. "It is hard to imagine that someone who lived the life of an imperial would one day be reduced to hiding in a place like this. Then again, I can see a parallel between my mother and this brother I have never met."

The back door, on the other side of the kitchen, opened and Eisuke came in first with Hioji and the Prince behind him. "Wait..." Mrs. Tanaka cautioned Eisuke as he headed towards the door which led into the main area of the cafe. "There are two Star Army officers out there, they say Tio is in danger, that his mother sent them..." she explained.

"Star Army?" Eisuke stepped back from the door, he checked the safety on his rifle. "How do you want to handle this, your highness?" he asked Tio.

Tio nodded, he didn't seem surprised at all, they had all seen the ships fly overhead earlier in the day. "We will talk to them, Eisuke and I will go in. Hiroji will remain back here in case we need backup."


Blues, in preparation for the conversation, removed his sunglasses. If he was recognized as a fellow prisoner, they might be a little less quick to shoot or otherwise reject the pair. Oh, they would still be on guard if they had any sense, but it might cause just enough confusion to let the talking start.

"Oh, this is far better than our previous accommodations. The fact he is here and still drawing breath is a minor miracle, even with the machinations in play on his big sister's part." He elaborated, reminding Kaoru that he'd been in a prison cell. "The higher the person, the harder the fall sometimes."


Tio placed his hand on Eisuke's rifle and applied a slight pressure to push it's barrel down towards the floor, he shook his head. "You won't need that." He put his own weapon down on one of the countertops, he didn't even wait for Eisuke to do the same before he pushed the door to the customer area of the cafe open and walked through. He could see the blue and pink haired Neko seated at the table with a face he was more than familiar with. The purple haired Jiyuuian walked slowly, his hands open and held out at his sides. "Cell 47-B..." he said quietly, as he regarded Blues. Eisuke emerged behind him unarmed as well, the Blackcoat remained a few steps behind the Prince as he slowly approached the table.

Kaoru didn't turn around to look at the door, she looked to Blues almost as if she had become frozen. Was that him? Was that her brother? She almost was afraid to look. All the preparation in the universe could not have prepared her for this moment, part of her wanted to jump out of her chair and wrap her arms around him, the other...she kept deeper. The Taisa waited for Blues to take the lead as they had discussed.


"Hello, 47-G. I'm Blues Arnoul. The one that escaped two years back, just in case I was ST'd after that. Wouldn't put it past her..." He was referring to Kiyoko, of course. "I learned your name recently when your mother showed me your face among a few other missing persons. Glad to see you're doing well...but I'll be blunt. The reason Kiyoko has yet to kill you is that she's hoping you lead your Tange tail to your son so he can be...liquidated. A few familiar faces are being watched by SAINT and have been recorded talking about their mission a bit too openly. Faces which we even saw while en route to this establishment. Motoyoshi Misato is also believed to be part of this conspiracy. She's here, in secret, without informing Motoyoshi-Taisho, and even tried to deceive all parties by arriving on an earlier flight." Blues didn't mess around with things and gave it to Tio straight.

"Motoyoshi-Taisho's exact words before sending us out were 'that child, my grandson is not baiting and is not a pawn in this game'. She considers him innocent in all of this and is livid that Kiyoko would dare. We're to see both of your safety and evacuation. She wants to convey that she can guarantee both of your security and that she can convince Empress Himiko to be mercifully provided some reasonable conditions from you."

Blues' eyes stared straight into Tio's. "I'm more blunt than diplomatic, but I can honestly say that coming with me and your half-sister Kaoru-Taisa here...is probably the only way you or your son are leaving Tokyo alive."


Tio stood at first, he listened as this man spoke; his thoughts ran with the memories of those moments locked away on the Akuro III. Torture, manipulation, and cruelty were the things his sister was known for. He sat down slowly in a chair at the table next to where the duo was seated, he folded his hands and placed them on the table in front of himself. Eisuke was going to speak, but the second the Prince's son was brought into the topic of conversation he fell silent; just his short visit with Aidan and his caretaker had made an impact on the young soldier.

Mercy, did he even know what that was anymore? Mercy was the rare moments he got to sleep in a chair rather on the ground now. "I reached out to Misato because I believed she supported my mother, she has promised safe passage for my son and me to Yamatai, or so she said. We're supposed to meet tomorrow," Tio said, emotion clouded his speech. He looked at the Neko that accompanied Blues, this was his half-sister? His thoughts drifted, he was curious about them and what he had been told so far. "Eisuke, tell Hiroji he can come out..." he ordered in a quiet tone.

The former Prince of the United Outer Colonies felt like an animal, trapped and at the mercy of two predators that had so far not shown him any at all. At least the Star Army seemed to promise something other than death. "So if Misato didn't speak to my mother, it means the correspondence I have had with my mother has been fraudulent. Its why it was always in text form." The pieces came together slowly in his mind as he tried to deal with the feeling of being overwhelmed.

Kaoru nodded in support of what Blues had said. She finally spoke, as she looked towards her brother with compassionate eyes. "Mother will help you if you help her. I will help because I want to, none of us have asked for the hands we have been given in this life. You are going to have to trust us."

Eisuke remained silent but he was scared, fearful that he had been followed on his mission the day prior.
 

Andrew

Submissions Reviewer
FM of Yamatai
Game Master
Retired Staff
Part 1: Coffee and Broken Dreams, Session 3
Authors: Andrew and Toshiro

Blues let Kaoru's comments sink in for a moment, before continuing. "The first that Motoyoshi-Taisho knew of your or your son's presence was through recordings from SAINT as well as intelligence from a source within Kiyoko's own ranks. Misato said nothing to her about your presence or any plans to retrieve you. It was certainly falsified correspondence."

"Also, while she told us to mention wanting reasonable concessions from you, Motoyoshi-Taisho didn't imply any such requirements for your son. When she said he wasn't a pawn in this, her orders followed those sentiments. We're to offer his safety and protection, and that is all." He elected not to describe the options available for where the boy might be placed, out of concern that he'd prematurely imply that Tio would be separated from his son. It was a possibility, but not one he needed to invite in these discussions.


Tio listened as Blues explained his mother's position and what they were willing to offer his son. He felt relief in the knowledge his mother had watched him independently from Misato. Tio knew she was a snake, but at the time she was merely a snake over what he perceived as a dragon. "I want to tell you that I wish to cooperate. I may not be in the best of positions to negotiate but, I have conditions as well, concessions that only my mother can agree to. I wish to be taken to see her," he explained as Hiroji came out of the kitchen to join them, he moved to stand beside Eisuke.

The Prince looked at his two blackcoats and he said, "I meant what I said to you the other night Eisuke when this is done. I expect to see you both settled down somewhere here in the colonies, living a happy life." Tio stood from the table and he looked at the one who had been referred to as his sister. "I surrender myself to your custody. I will cooperate so long as you take me to our mother so that this can be done properly," he explained. "I will hold you both to your word that my son will be taken to a safe harbor once these discussions are over." he expected they would place him in handcuffs, it was the end of his freedom. The freedom cake was a lie after all.

Kaoru shook her head, a hand extended towards Blues almost as if she was to tell him not to move. She looked at Tio, directly into his eyes without a blink and said firmly, "You're not going into custody now Tio. You're expected to meet with Misato tomorrow, we need your cooperation as my companion here explained." Kaoru placed her right hand against the side of her brother's cheek. "You're a Motoyoshi, and you will come back from this. We all will."

"Blues, get command on the line, we need to get him to Jiyuu-jo and back without Misato noticing him. If she sees him with our people she will back out of meeting with him." Kaoru said, she finally pulled rank and gave the Chui and order.


Blues nodded. "Hai, Taisa."

Opening the covert communications channel and using encryption, Blues spoke. "This is Arnoul-Chui. Objective 1 Preliminary Condition met. Beginning voluntary extraction operation as planned." Blues stood as he said so and went to a certain point in the room. With a little care and the proper authorization, he was able to access a hidden hatch in the room which had been recently installed with the benefit of nanomachines.

It was good to know the person in charge of the city's underground.


Tio trembled slightly when Kaoru touched his cheek, he reached for her hand and pulled it away from his face and said quietly, "A Tasia, I'm sure mom is very proud. I'm happy she found a way forward." Tio watched as Blues opened the access hatch, he wondered how it had been there and they had not once noticed it. The look on Mrs. Tanaka's face was equally astonished, as she watched this doorway open up to the underground that had never been in her building before.

Eisuke cleared his throat, "Your Highness, I wanted to volunteer myself to go and retrieve Aidan and his caretaker. I know the way, and I know the caretaker now. I will bring Aidan to you safely so they can take him somewhere safe."

Tio nodded slowly, "Be careful, Eisuke." He looked to Blues and waited to see if his new benefactors would agree to this action.


Blues simply explained this to those assembled by saying, "My brother helped build this city. Twice. And that is within the bounds of our mission parameters...but I do request that he minimizes risks. Things are still dangerous. Does he have a communications device that can be used to track him?" Blues inquired, pondering options.

Eisuke looked at Blues, the words that came out of his mouth made him want to feed the man his fist. He didn't understand why it angered him so much, maybe the man told the truth and his brother was one of the city's builders. He said, "I've defended this city more times than you have time to count, Star Army." The harsh words were fine until he felt Tio's hand fall on his shoulder. "Eisuke, that is not necessary. No, he doesn't have something that can be tracked. I trust his intuition, he has managed to keep me alive for this long, I trust him with Aidan."

Kaoru noticed the sensitive nature of the words back and forth between the two men, Tio had stepped up to relieve them, yet she felt it was better she said something, "Blues, give Eisuke your communicator so he can keep in touch with us," much like her mother, she knew how to take control of a situation.

Mrs. Tanaka approached as they discussed their plan, she handed Tio a gift-wrapped box and said to him, "You take care young man, and no matter what these people tell you or do. You will always be the Prince to the people who really live in this city." She forced a smile and let the box go into his grip. "Take care of yourselves," she stated to the others then disappeared into the kitchen, she did not want to witness their departure.


"That works as well. The tracking comment was more for quick assistance and guidance than a lack of trust. Sorry if it came off wrong." Blues got out his communicator and handed it over, without hesitating. "If all else fails, you can ask for aid. Given the situation, you could get directly to and through the city's underground. I wasn't lying when I said my brother built it. If trapped with the child, and no other option is possible, a Mindy teleport in and out could serve to evacuate you, with this giving exact location data. We'd prefer that not to prove necessary lest it tips off Misato, Kiyoko, and the crew of enforcers we all know and despise, but if push comes to shove...just try to cover his eyes and ears. Teleportation is flashy."

Kaoru winked at Blues, a silent approval for his apology to Eisuke. "We should get moving..." she said and motioned to the hatch that Blues had opened. "Tio, you and Hiroji go down, Blues and I will follow behind you," she said, her voice still had that authoritative tone to it, she couldn't help that. Eisuke left the room so he could change in the kitchen, he would once again need to appear as a normal civilian.

Once Tio and Hiroji had gone down the ladder, she said quietly to Blues, "Careful what you say, it is going to take some time for them to warm up to things." Her caution was not unfounded in how Eisuke reacted. "If things get messy, we get Tio to Jiyuu-jo," she added as she caught his hand briefly and gave it a squeeze with the same affection she had shown the night before.


"Understood. Also, my backup is up to date as of right before the mission. Don't go taking needless risks, alright?" Blues said, lightly squeezing back as they moved along. He would climb down next, in the order that Kaoru had indicated unless she had other plans.

Kaoru proceeded down the ladder after she let go of his hand, "A backup, is just a backup." she said, it subtly indicated that she understood his thoughts behind the words and countered them. They would join Hiroji and Tio in the underground, their journey towards Jiyuu-jo had just begun.
 

Andrew

Submissions Reviewer
FM of Yamatai
Game Master
Retired Staff
Part 2: The cake went stale

Tokyo, Jiyuu III

The group of Mindys tore through the sky, they dropped beneath the cloud ceiling just ahead of the Heion. The Taisho's Yacht caught the setting sun as it emerged from the clouds, a glistening beacon in the sky, lit by the display of fiery reds and orange in the Jiyuuian sunset.

“Kasairyuu Leader to Heion. Evening Orchid has already confirmed flyby formation,” the wing leader confirmed the plan over the comm. The group of armors filed into formation in a swarm around the yacht as it maneuvered in for a close flyby of the Furui Tokyo skyline. The reverberation of the yacht's engines vibrated windows as once again Katsuko demanded the attention of the people of Tokyo. “Furui Clear, heading for a pass over Atarashi Tokyo and to Jiyuu-jo. Command, confirm all clear for landing pad-JX-01 Jiyuu-jo,” the Kasairyuu armor pilot held formation as they turned to cross the Motoyoshi Channel towards the new city. The formation lowered, the Heion's sleek form passed just above the touch of the waves the force of its field systems sent water spraying upwards in an aesthetic display.

Ayano sat down on the arm of Katsuko's command chair, she looked out the viewport, “I think it is safe to say, their freedom cake has gone a little bad, I've arranged a more refreshing dessert instead,” she said as she turned her gaze to Katsuko who only smiled in reply.

The Heion plowed forwards and then swung upwards as they met the crowded Atarashi harbor, the formation of armors followed in pace with the yacht as it turned to follow the shore northeast towards Jiyuu-jo. Was it a show of power? To show she was not afraid anymore? Whatever it was Katsuko hoped that Misato and the Tange who were now on the run would look up in the sky and see her coming.

Katsuko took a deep breath and smiled at Ayano, “I've never been a fan of cake.” She stood up and adjusted her uniform slightly. “Showtime,” she said. The Yacht's engines whined as it set down on the landing zone at Jiyuu-jo. Katsuko was finally to see the home that she designed, she had complete faith that Yaichiro had seen to it's a restoration to everything she had ever expected it to be.

Landing Area, Jiyuu-jo

Katsuko and Ayano walked together as they emerged from the Heion. The two uniformed flag officers nodded as they were welcomed by a group of soldiers that had been sent from Fort Tokyo as a welcoming party. Katsuko took a deep breath and stopped near the edge of the platform and looked out over the channel that had been named in their clan's honor. “I didn't think I would ever see this place again...at least not without a weapon in my hand,” she commented. It was beautiful, the opal shimmer of the white-capped waves and the whimsical flow of sailboats and the skyline of the city in the distance.

Ayano smiled warmly, she whispered quietly to Katsuko, “I always knew you would. Let's go inside, I am sure the others are waiting for us.” The two officers turned in unison and headed towards the towering beauty that was their rightful home.
 
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