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RP: YSS Kaiyō Aside: Enemies and Ethics


Well-Known Member
The couple from the YSS Kaiyo II had been escorted to Yui's office door. Hoshi looked from the samurai that flanked the door to the enlisted woman that walked next to her. The captain put one of her pink hands on the Nepleslian, choosing the organic arm to do so with.

"It might seem scary to talk to the head of our fleets, but just remember I'm right there with you," Hoshi told Molli reassuringly. They had both witnessed a council meeting between Mishhuvurthyar discussing some heavy topics and Hoshi had a feeling the contents of what they had heard would be less than welcome to Ketsurui Yui. Hoshi wasn't one for questioning the hand Yamataians dealt the universe around them, but this new information had shaken some of her core beliefs about their enemies.

Molli flinched at Hoshi's touch, her constantly shifting red eyes and sweating brow evident of the Nepleslian's barely-concealed nervousness. Despite the medals she'd recieved after the last assignment and all of the congratulations the crew had given her, Molli couldn't shake the feeling that she was marching into Yui's office for a reprimand, or worse. She'd never felt comfortable standing in front of office doors, given that every time she had in the past, it was because she'd landed in trouble with her school's faculty.

"Y'sure ah ent in trouble?" Molli whispered, repeating the question she'd asked Hoshi at least a dozen times from the moment she was called up, to the long walk to their destination. She knew what they were going to talk about--the Mishhu conversation that concerned their differing opinions on peace. It was a widely-held belief that their only goal was the complete annihilation of Yamatai and the subjugation of the galaxy, which was why overhearing two of the ugly squids arguing over whether to continue the war was a revelation, a Nepleslia-shattering one.

It was also the sort of thing Molli wished she or Hoshi hadn't told anyone about, because it sounded treasonous to suggest that their enemy wanted peace.

"You?" Hoshi asked incredulously, taking the opportunity to pull back and look Molli up and down. "No, not you. Me, I might be in trouble. But not you." She smiled in a way that pushed down the worry in her own throat. "That's why I don't think you should worry. You're just a bystander, Molls. So am I, in this, I suppose. But, still."

That made Molli snap towards Hoshi with a stunned look, "Ah don't want you in trouble neither!" She sounded incredulous, "Ah'm th'one that talked 'bout it!" More than a question of fairness, Molli couldn't stand to see her beloved Captain possibly take a fall for a mistake Molli felt she had made. "If they try'n do that, ah'll...tell 'em ah got ya brainwashed! Accidentally!"

This made whatever concern that was painting the edges of Hoshi's pink face dissolve at the edges and she breathed out a laugh. She shook her head out in the action only to smooth out her hair a moment after and her hands fell to the piping at the bottom of her Type 35 to tug it straight.

"The only real trouble I've ever been in has been at the hands of our enemies and Mistress Taisho knows that. We've got to lay the facts out for her without expecting we know better than her about what to do with them, alright?" Hoshi said, her tone becoming tense as she looked from Molli to the samurai guarding the door.

Molli side-eyed the samurai as well, but if Hoshi's giggling fit upset them, they weren't showing it. "An' if she asks what're opinions are?" Molli tapped her temples, "She ken read minds, what if ah lie by accident?" The notion made her eyes shift around even more worriedly.

Molli's question made Hoshi's dark blue eyes look up and to the left, then up and to the right as she considered the implications of her Nepleslian crewmen's query. Eventually she said with an air of finality, "I guess then we're really in trouble." The Taisa didn't give Molli or herself any more time to mull over the disquieting encounter they faced as she gave a curt knock on the door in front of them.

"Come in!" Yui greeted the visitors. "How have you been, captain Hoshi?"

Hoshi bowed at the door before entering Yui's office. "Better than ever after securing the Kawa no Uesu wormhole very recently. Which some minutiae of which is what I believe myself and Ittô Hei Molli Byrne are here to discuss."

Molli mimicked Hoshi's motion, bowing low to the point her back was practically horizontal, before following her captain. She kept her hands behind her back, that nobody could see her fidgeting with them, and her mechanical eyes quietly whirred throughout the room, darting rapidly from point to point, before settling on the back of Hoshi's head once she was introduced. She nodded, her jaw too stiff to allow any words to form.

Yui's lip curled in distaste for a moment before she returned the bow to Hoshi and Molli. "I don't believe we've met," she told Molli. "What about it?" she inquired.

"There seem to be tensions among the Mishhuvurthyar warlords," Hoshi replied. "Byrne-hei and myself were able to listen in on arguing during a council meeting that happened to take place during our operation."

"Good," Yui said. "Any effort the NMX expends on hunting down warlords who are insubordinate to their organization means more resources they could be using against us are wasted. Go on."

Molli felt that was her cue to speak up, and she found her voice after several seconds. "Few've weren't innerested'n fightin' us. Said somethin' like... 'we kin be better'n weapons.'" She could recall a number of their protests even now, "Mentioned...uh, summat called Mel...Mefpralphra?" The name was unfamiliar, and hard to pronounce from memory, but she tried her best. "Oh! 'Nother thing... Back on Nebel! One've th'big scary squids wanted t'give 'emselves up fer their soldiers. S'kinda...selfless, innit?"

"They're certainly acting in ways unseen in their kind up until now," Hoshi added, bringing her hands behind her back as her back straightened more than usual when in Yui's presence. There was something about exactly what they had seen and heard from the Mishhu recently that made her less than comfortable which she combatted with her most rigid stance.

"Perhaps we could find ways to deepen the divides. Divide and conquer, as they say," Yui mused. "Is there anything else?"

Something about the response didn't sit right with Molli, who looked to Hoshi for some kind of direction, some sign that she should press the issue that fermented in her mind. But before good sense and patience could reign her in, the Nepleslian was already speaking: "Ent y'innerested at all? Ah thought they all wanted us dead," Molli asked, eyebrows quirked high in disbelief, "Y'think some've 'em would...uh, not fight us? If w'asked?"

"Why would we ask?" Yui rapidly retorted, almost laughing.

“The Grey Mishhuvurthyar seem to have the most complicated view of the war, preferring to be better than weapons, as Molli recounted. They want to be something else, something beyond that. It seems absurd, but the fact that one gave their life up to save the million NMX Nekovalkyrja on Nebel shows they have evolved some sense of…” Hoshi trailed off, unable to find the word. “Those against the war may be persuaded with to abandon their brethren that are bent on fighting. It may not be such a strange question after the infighting we heard.”

"Captain Hoshi, I don't care about their feelings. I intend to eliminate them from existence. This is war, the conflict between tribes that has existed since the first humans walked the legendary planet Earth, whereever it is now, and I have fought war and after for Yamatai and I'd like to think I know a little about let me remind you that we can't sanitize war. Our survival and success depends on victory, and whatever it takes to achieve victory, I will do, and so will you. The Mishhuvurthyar might seem like monsters instead of people and it's easy to justify violence against them when you don't see them as people, with diverse and individual viewpoints, like faceless pawns on a chessboard or like fish in a lake. But war isn't usually fought against the faceless or the inhuman. It's fought against other people. Sometimes brother against brother. And if the Mishhuvurthyar are becoming more human, like the Nekovalkyrja have, that's simply not a reason to stop fighting them."

Yui began to pace around her office, continuing. "I don't care if I have to stomp on their eggs as their children hatch, I don't care if I have to drop bombs on their elderly in Mishhu retirement homes. We're going to be as brutal and merciless as they have always been to us, until they're dead or they unconditionally surrender. If that means killing them to the last organism, all the better for the Kagami Galaxy. If you think that sounds evil or heartless, just remember they're worse. We fight for Yamatai. That red circle around the peaceful white disc on the flag is us. We're the defenders who spill blood...sometimes ours, sometimes the enemy's. So when I hear that some of the Mishhuvurthyar have a difference of opinion, excuse me if it seems like a small matter."

Blue eyes darting to Molli after Yui's monologue, Hoshi nodded curtly to her crewmen, then looked back to Yui. "Divides will deepen with this information, then, and we'll use it to our advantage, at best. Regardless of if we've been helped or not by this small matter, we will persevere in being that which protects our people, Taisho Mistress."

The Taisho's lengthy diatribe elicited a look of confusion from Molli, whose emotions got the better of her as she spied what seemed to be a contradiction in her leader's logic. "But- If y'wanna do anythin' t'win, what's wrong with tryin' to talk wiv some what donnat wanna fight? One of 'em says...they're part o'humanity. Ent that enough t'try'n reach out?"

"Put simply, it's not about the individuals. This is nation versus nation," Yui explained. "Right now we are in a state of war, and as long as it lasts, we're going to fight. I'm not a negotiator, I'm a soldier. Besides, the last time the SMN government made peace with us, they made a new military and the NMX attacked Nataria. You can't trust them. There's no room for a second chance."

This time, Molli didn't wait for Hoshi to mediate, "They weren't tryin' t'trick us! We were stealthed -- why would they pulla veil on each other?" she countered, one foot tapping impatiently, "An' ent wars ended faster when y'talk?"

"This is the Mistress Taisho of the Star Army," Hoshi cut in, not about to forget Yui's role in their world so quickly. "She knows what she's saying. Even after learning of the continued divide between the SMN and NMX, she knows what threat they pose and what characteristics of theirs she has fought and won wars against. We appreciate you sharing your breadth of knowledge with us, Yui-sama."

"To the best of my knowledge, the SMX and NMX work for the same government still," Yui pointed out. And that's who we're at war with. Additionally, SMX ships are making increasingly frequent attacks in the Kosuke Sector against the Fifth Expeditionary Fleet, so I'm not convinced of the SMN's unwillingness to fight. If that were true they've completely lost control over their military, and their political power would just be their own fantasy at that point. We need more intelligence on this issue and to exploit it to sow chaos in their ranks. At the same time, we can't relent on our hunt for their ever-growing military forces."

“’Say no. Don't join the NMX. There's no future for us there,’ is what one of the Grey Mishhu said,” Hoshi recounted, light blue brows stiff over her eyes as she remembered the Mishhuvurthyar words. “Whether they are the same government, there is disunity between the shepherds and the flock, as it were.”

Molli nodded along with Hoshi, "Ah got taught that we fix our problem efishuntly, ent it 'ffishent t'get th'enemy of're enemy on our side?" she asked, "Ent like we gotta make 'em cityzens, we, gun 'em down if they breathe wrong," Molli tried to use phrases that Yui might seem receptive to.

"Continuing on that line of thinking, your daughter and our ship's first officer is very much your kin, Yui-sama" Hoshi said. "Ketsurui Aiko-chusa sees the enemy as you do in every sense of the term, but she is also a trained diplomat and negotiator. Are we disallowed from pursuing a further understanding of the enemy with the knowledge we have and tools at hand?"

"You're free to gather info, but not at the expense of the mission," Yui replied. "Figure out what that means for yourself. I trust you to get the job done," she told Hoshi, leaving some room for personal interpretation of her orders as she often did.

"As you always can," Hoshi said, pursing her lips as thoughts brewed in her head. Cerebrally, she gave a momentary pause to bow once more and say, "I appreciate your candor today."

"For the Empire!" Yui said, giving a thumbs up.

Thanks to Hoshi, Molli could simmer down with the satisfaction of knowing they'd come to a compromise -- and the relief that their ideas weren't going to get them jettisoned in space without Mindys. The Nepeslian gave her Taisho a quick salute, "Fer th'Empire!" she echoed, with a side-eye toward Hoshi, and a smile.
OOC Notes
JP by Gles, Wes, Ametheliana