• 📅 February and March 2022 are YE 45.2 in the RP.

RP Bastion of Winter: Mission to System E13


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By the time the Bastion is starting her jump into folded space, the good Captain is sitting down in her office. Already she is sorting out her itinerary. It will be several hours and multiple 'skips' in terms of hyperspace jumps before they'll even be within easy rendezvous range of the Mitsu. She clasps her hands, resting them on her lap, eyes closing as she takes in the familiar sensation of the ship thrumming around her with their jump drive operating.

Then she queues up the list she'd asked her Consort to make, seeing if Mishitari had left her any notes. Her lips curl into a smile, Ariah had already appended her own thoughts that she had already appraised the vixen with on the boarding concourse. "Right..." she muses aloud before keying her comms, sending a direct line to Mishitari. "Please have Miss Wynne Orlova sent to my office as soon as possible. And double check with Miss Xu Yanfei for an appropriate time for my checkup. I would like to be done with everyone before we arrive at our final destination so we can expedite our crew transfer and see to our tasks without any additional distractions."

"Yes, at once," Mishitari complied without hesitation, carrying out the Captain's orders. Even occupied by matters at hand in the cargo bay, she multitasked effortlessly with wireless communiques going out to both Wynne and Yanfei immediately. She took a particular satisfaction from handling multiple tasks at once this way, and it brightened her mood siginificantly in the face of her errant sister's premature awakening. Such a capable assistant seemed like a reward, but the efficiency and performance gains of an executive so assisted clearly overmatched the expense of assigning an expensive Consort.

Aside from the occasional mischevious smile, Woon did not interact much with her fellow crew. She set her bags down on her guest bunk. and let herself flop down on the mattress. She sank into the covers here eyes sliding closed. If she focused really intently she could almost feel Moon's thoughts dancing around in her head. It had been a mistake to leave him behind, but he would be safe for now. His position would be valued more so now that he was one of a kind. Their parting was only temporary. She traced the edge of the bed with her fingertips allowing herself to decompress.

She slid upright planning on trying on her new uniform when the datapad in her briefcase set an alert to her. Frowning she snapped the case open and retrieved it slipping on a delicate looking metal bracelet with a single, charm cut from a stone that was cleaved in two. She brought up the screen to read the message, her frown deeping into an unattractive deep crease. Somehow she had hoped that she would avoid an interview.

She adjusted her stockings and caught a quick glance of herself by flipping the screen of her pad into a self facing camera. She walked briskly fixing her hair hoping she would be able to keep her job and avoid any overly interested authorities.

She cleared her throat and lingered near the door to Cecily's office. She mustered a confident smile and opened the door.

She immediately extended her hand out in a graceful greeting. "Woynne " She cleared her throat going an off colour shade of purple. "I'm Wynne Orlova a pleasure to meet you.. Am I correct in assuming you'll be heading this scientific expedition?" She flashed the other woman a smile her eyes fixed on hers.

"Thank you, dear," comes Cecily's voice in reply to Mishitari's affirmitive. Her voice is kind and gentle, a tone that many, if not most aboard the ship are used to hearing--at least when there isn't a sudden crisis aboard the vessel to handle. Still, she has time before her interview arrives, and she takes the necessary space to double-check all of the information she does have. From her samurai's assessment to the documents that had already been forwarded and authorized.

When Wynne arrives, she'll see the well-appointed office, spacious, perhaps too much so for any single woman to utilize. Though, there are several desks in addition to the large one that the vixen herself sits behind. Those nine tails of hers floof up behind her and she gestures to the center of three chairs directly across from her. "Miss Orlova," she says almost curtly, maintaining a professional tone. "Please, sit."

Woon sank down into the central chair in a slow graceful motion. She mustered a professional smile and folded one of her long legs over the other one. She twisted the glossy bracelet she wore reminding herself she wasn't really alone. She straightened the coat that was draped over her shoulders giving her the appearance of a irridescent winged insect.

After her gesture, she clasps her hands on the desktop, folding her long fingers together and sits up. She isn't exactly imposing, five foot seven and all, but she towers over the Daur crew aboard the ship and her multitude of nine, fluffy tails certainls presents a much broader silhouette when they're fanned out behind her.

When she speaks, it's a steady cadence, as if well practiced between combat in the board room as well as in actual armed conflict. "As this is your first time aboard the vessel, I would like to formally welcome you not only upon the ship proper, but to the crew. I, as you may already know, am the Captain of this vessel, the Bastion of Winter, as well as a Buchō for the Yugumo Corporation. If you are not familiar with our ranking structure, you may consider it the equivalent of a vice president. A lower-management position. But here, you may refer to me as Captain, or Miss Winters."

There's a brief pause, and she gives Wynne a curt smile, "While I have your files here at my immediate disposal, I would like for you to tell me a little about yourself, please. Your purpose here, your role on my ship, and of course, what you hope to accomplish within our employ." Her fingers unfold, given Wynne an open-palmed gesture, opening up the floor for her to speak.

The scientist gave her captain a curt nod in return. "Certainly Miss Winters"
She enjoyed talking about herself and being the center of attention. Woon could do this. She could impress her future employer. She may not have the right credentials but she would make that up with skill and confidence.

"I'm a planetary scientist captain, I specialize in plate tectonics and terraforming but I also have expertise in exogeology and climate science. Alongside a colleague, I recently stabilized a portion of a highly volatile volcanic planet so it could be better utilized for colonization. I imagine I'll be able to identify planets of interest and conduct research that will aid in decisions that you and the remainder of Yugumo leadership make for the benefit of the company."

She pressed her thumb against her bracelet bringing up a holographic image of a planet. "I'm experienced in the operation of equipment utilized in cartography, geologic sampling and atmospheric scanning. If your ship has a scanning array I'm unfamiliar with I assure you that I will easily be able to adjust to what you have to offer. I take my work very seriously and look forward to working alongside yourself and the rest of your staff Miss Winters.

Woon leaned forward and let her hand rest on the massive desk in front of her, she used her mind to flick through several statistical summaries and crosssections of he planet she was making an example of. "Here are some examples of deliverables from my work in the past, I'm more than happy to provide simulations and predictive models as well depending on what the research project requires. She continued her cerulian eyes staring with an intense expression. She peered through the translucent hologram to look deeply into the Captain's eyes. "Is this acceptable or I should I elaborate?"

Throughout the entire explanation, Cecily's countenance remains completely neutral. Her expression is reserved, she has no words to say. Not even a single sound comes from her. The vixen's ears and tails are the perfect picture of stoic, professional neutrality. She doesn't show signs of boredom or annoyance either, however. She may not be dancing around the room or interjecting every two minutes, but she isn't indicating that she wants this to be over.

No, she pays rapt attention, knowing enough about their current mission to be able to digest the show she's being given. Her eyes flicker across all of the data she's being shown, from the simple holographic image of the planet to the actual statistical research. Eventually, though, she's met with those eyes and meets Wynne's right back.

"No, it will not be necessary to elaborate," she states. "Though..." she leans back, resting her hands on her lap. "That still doesn't quite answer my questions. Tell me what your personal goals are here? And a little about where you came from before you signed on with Yugumo and the Bastion? I'm fond of getting to know my employees and crew a bit more intimately than one might normally." There's no double entendre there, even if there was an opening for it. She seems sincere--and serious about this.

"After all, I liken the crew of this ship to my family. We're all here in the gulf of space, and we need to all pull our weight together and trust each other with the tasks we're most suitable for. Wouldn't you agree?" she offers a thin smile. "While I don't expect you to have anything to truly offer in terms of ship maintenance, you are an integral piece of the puzzle for establishing our place in system E13."

Wynne flinched at the question her eyes darting away from the Captain's gaze evasively. "I'm here because I enjoy my work, because Yugumo pays well, and because I enjoy the finer things in life." It wasn't a lie but the real answer was more complicated than that. As 'intimate' as Miss Winters wanted to make things aboard the ship, she had no reason to trust her with such things. If the wrong person found out where she was it wasn't just herself that would be in danger. "I want a challenge, to do something more than I already have. I want to make a name for myself, to become respected and perhaps even envied. My previous employer did not allow for such lofty goals. "

Woon bit down on her lower lip to still her words afraid she had already revealed too much. "Forgive me if family is a foreign concept to me. My other half is my only keeper of my secrets Miss Winters." She stayed vague, her tone becoming terse.

She twisted her hands together, knuckles creaking as she stared down at the shimmering blue skin.

"I am sure, given your position, that you'll be perfectly capable in delegating appropriate tasks to the crew." Woon's smile faltered, betraying her discomfort. "I'm sorry Captain I'm just nervous."

The more uncomfortable Wynne seems to get, the more serene does Cecily seem to get. Her fingers lace together and she affixes those violet eyes on her new planetologist. "You have no reason to be nervous, unless you feel you are hiding something from me." She sighs and slowly rises to her feet, her tails fanning out behind her as she moves to the side, towards a cabinet with a tea set.

She sets the water to heat and arranges the necessary trappings for making tea--and lays the sidearm from her hip next to it. Her setasis sword and scabbard are, too, layed next to the E2 energy pistol. For all intents and purposes, it would seem the fox is unarmed now, tending to her tea as she lets the other woman take note of this. Whether it's an intimidation tactic, or to make her nervous, or even just do something to alter her guard state, it's hard to tell.

Woon's breath caught in her chest as the captain laid down her arms, within reach , visible but not on her person. She didn't know how to take the gesture, but a cold dread was welling up within her.

At last, though, as she pours the tea, she speaks. "Out here, the most important thing is trust. A lot of moving pieces make this ship work, and a lot of those moving pieces are the people aboard it." Slowly, she turns, cradling the cup in both hands, the steam rising as she leans casually against the little countertop shelf.

"The door is sealed, it's just the two of us here. Now... Miss Orbloon..." she says as she puffs away some of the steam atop her teacup. "...we know your education certifications are good. The rest of your credentials, however, need work. You can imagine things are a bit strained when an expatriate from the Kuvexian side makes their way here, looking to board a vessel such as this."

Eyes widened and the Aealim shifted back in her seat. "I--!" The excuses died on her lips How had she learned her name? No one was supposed to know about who or what she was. What digging had they done? Did they know everything about her? About Moon? She took on a grey pallor like she was going to be ill.

She immediately gives a small wave of one hand, "Had we suspected you of any true ill intent you likely wouldn't have set foot on the boarding concourse, let alone been added to the crew. No, someone above me trusts you, and in turn, I will trust them and their decision." Cecily blows on her teacup before bringing the edge to her lips.

"We've also taken the liberties of covering some of your tracks a little better. We're not about to broadcast your selection and placement across space. You still check out as a planetologist, and honestly, there's quite a few of us willing to give you a chance. Now, if you like, you have the opportunity to speak freely."

Remaining quiet for several long seconds, Woon splayed her fingertips across the fine wood of the desk drinking it in as she found her words. "Naturally you should know that I have no loyalty to Kuvexia, nor would I have been considered an actual citizen. The situation I left behind before I sought work aboard your ship was... undesireable. I wasn't lying I came here for me." She dared to look up from her hands and took a deep breath.

"Please call me Miss Orlova. I don't want to put my brother in danger. We wanted to leave our previous posting together, but fate dictated otherwise." She took a deep breath. She could nearly taste the tea Miss Winters had brewed. "Captain I ask you to banish my name from your mind. The less people know who I am the safer everyone will be... Someone with my expertise is coveted where I come from." Woon frowned, wondering if they would actually give her this chance like they claimed they would. "I do hope you will not resent me for not being forthright with you Captain."

"Of course, Miss Orlova. Your pen name will be used at all times. I was merely speaking it to illustrate my point," Cecily states, taking a slow drink of her tea now that it's cooled a little more. "Only myself, my bodyguard, and our internal intelligence sector know of your true identity. As I said, we've taken measures to cover your tracks further, and I personally welcome you aboard this vessel."

Woon Laughed nervously. The point was certainly well illustrated. Hearing her own name had sparked a brief but terrible moment of fear.

She exhales a sigh, "And I certainly bear no love for the Kuvexians, nor the state of things on Sood Zadra, though I admit to knowing precious little about the other side of the sector. Regardless, should you do your job as well as your education credentials suggest, perhaps we can see about recovering your sibling as well at some point."

Then the tall fox turns to pour another cup of tea, though this time not for herself. She leaves her armaments and her own container on the countertop, delivering the freshly-poured cup of steaming green tea goodness over to the desk to 'Wynne' directly. She gives the woman a polite smile as she places it down on a panel that seems to have been designed expressly for the purpose of beverages resting upon it.

"The Yugumo Corporation has many opportunities for those with the will and the desire to take it. You have shown extraordinary amounts of both, considering the lengths you have gone to make it this far." She turns, tails lightly brushing over the other woman as she returns to her own drink and resumes leaning, watching, and conversing. "Given your reactions to my knowledge being calm and collected, I have confidence you will do well here. We do, after all, have a job to do. And you are indeed here to do it, regardless of your prior... situation. No resentment at all. Perhaps... admiration, for your boldness."

Cecily brings her cup to her lips again, cradling it in both hands. She fixes her gaze firmly on Woon's, saying sternly, "Welcome aboard the Bastion of Winter, Miss Orlova."

Wynne cradeled the tea cup in her hands, gently lifting it to her lips. The corner of her lips twitched up into a smile a releif overtaking her as she contemplated what she had learned. If she did well, they could attempt to Extract Moon, That was a boon she had not expected. "In my experience chaotic theatrics bring nothing but trouble Captain. I prefer to keep my feelings contained. I'm pleased that its impressed you. " She took a long drink of tea letting the warmth spread through her. The purple flush had returned to her cheeks.

"Thank you Miss Winters. I must say I'm very excited to be working with you. I hope I can live up to the expectations laid before me and then some." She lingered, drinking her tea. "I have a feeling I shall get along well in my new home"

"I have every confidence you'll succeed in your given tasks and chosen vocation, Miss Orlova," Cecily assures in her professional tone before taking another slow drink. "You will be well taken care of here. We have absolute need of your services and this is why we were so very thorough in your onboarding--as well as trusting you. We had to dig, after all, to make absolute sure. No false promises here," she says with that thin smile.

She situates herself in her lean, crossing her legs at the ankle, "I do hope you get along well here. The ship is currently running over the usual personnel capacity, so things may be a bit more busy and snug than the norm, but hopefully it will not put you off too much. Now, there is still time before my next crew interview. Do you have any questions or concerns for me, personally? As I said, my crew is my family. And now you are an extension of that. Please consider my door to be open for you, and any needs you may have I will attempt to handle to the best of my ability or the best of those around me."



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Back outside the workshop, Melody piped up from the doorway with a smile. "It was a lovely song, thank you for sharing! I hope to catch many more performances of yours while we're all together aboard the Bastion."

She then decided it was a good time to make her exit, so she wasn't in the way of any guiding going on. She turned and took one step towards the lab, but the universe again decided it was time to distract her from her original goal. Upon hearing Kozakura's outburst, her ears flattened on top of her head as she spun on her heel to return to the workshop doorway. "... what happened? Are you okay?" she asks the Consort, not moving out of her way just yet.


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There existed a set of words that, if spoken or perhaps sung in the correct order, could've helped Kwabba-an explain to Kozakura that she hadn't meant any harm. At least, that was Kwabba's firmly held belief, but she knew that the moment for those words had come and gone, and so they slinked off to wherever unspoken words went. Kwabba-an imagined some great lake somewhere in which they commiserated with each other silently.

Turning, Kwabba saw the person whom she'd been following quickly pop her head in to offer praise, then disappear. Kwabba wondered for a moment if everyone in her life might be like that. There but for an instant, then gone to leave her alone with her thoughts. When she saw Melody reappear and ask about Kozakura, Kwabba turned and gestured and tried to say something before this moment had also passed.

"I," she began, but felt her words catch in her throat. She attempted to swallow, cough, and speak all at the same time, and barely managed to say anything at all. "I said something wrong."


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Mishitari emerged from the reception area in front of the Captain's Office with a quizzical, nonplussed expression. She'd got an alert that something was amiss with one of her fellow Consorts, yet the scene in the corridor seemed calm. The singing was over and the crying had moved somewhere else. Whatever it was passed before she could respond. Excusing herself to anyone waiting to see the Captain, Mishitari scanned and located Kozakura, altering course to track her down and inquire, in person, rather than wirelessly. Wirelessly, Mishitari told Kozakura to hold position until she arrived.

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YCS Bastion of Winter
Outside of Workshop

Kozakura was inconsolable, her emotions a raging, volatile storm as her newly-awakened mind sought to process what had transpired over the last few minutes. Due to the fact that she had been activated only a couple hours prior, that brief timespan registered as a significant portion of the Consort’s life. For the first time in her short existence, she took a few cycles to reflect and in doing so she realized that while Kwabba-an had been blunt, the musician hadn’t insulted her in the technical sense.

What then, had caused her feelings to veer towards anguish?

Kozakura’s ears folded in opposite directions on top of her head, confusion registering across her pale features even as more lubricant streamed down her cheeks. She let the thought go unresolved when Melody’s musical voice registered in her awareness, her ears shifting upward at the Lorath’s approach. Once more, the Consort found herself dazzled by the Doctor’s voice, but the Consort’s distress and bewilderment were still apparent in her facial expression.

Upon hearing Kozakura's outburst, her ears flattened on top of her head as she spun on her heel to return to the workshop doorway. "... what happened? Are you okay?" she asks the Consort, not moving out of her way just yet.

“I don’t know. Kwabba-an mentioned my ‘inevitable irrelevance’ and it made me feel bad.” Kozakura answered, her voice low with embarrassment. “Is something wrong with me? Was I supposed to feel that way?” She asked, her ears moving quickly from one side of her head to another in a sudden panic as she processed her big sister’s message.
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Melody looked from Kozakura to Kwabba-an and back. She was... probably-almost definitely-not qualified for this. She addressed Kozakura first, since she was the more confused of the two. "It... well, it's sort of the last part of everyone's existence, but we don't usually say it out loud. Nothing is wrong with you; it's a bit much to contemplate after just being 'born.' I've known for a long time that I'm not always going to be able to be a doctor, and it took longer than I'd like to admit for me to fully accept it. So for me, it's important to do as much good as I can with the time I have."

She turned her attention back to Kwabba-an next, offering her a small, hopefully reassuring smile. "It sounds like you just got a bit too heavy, too quickly to me. I don't think you meant any harm, but maybe next time you should wait a bit on the 'inevitable irrelevance' part?"

She paused for a moment, before asking "Are you both going to be okay? Do you need a hug? Either of you." It probably wasn't the most professional thing to offer, but sometimes it just helped.