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RP [Day 1] First break, 30 minutes

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"So... Cat people are leaving. So much for forging and improving relations. Clearly the only one they care about is brown-nosing with the Ketsuruis," Dominic Valken noted sourly as he stepped out after some reflection by himself.

"Don't even bother to ask us why we feel what we feel or understand our perspective. A dismissal of our actions because it differs from the accepted norm in their culture is typical of someone unwilling to open up to multiple viewpoints. Or so the IPG tell me. First step of positive contact: don't judge, just listen, I'm told. Of course, the IPG aren't known for their warm and gracious hospitality," he said to Charlie and Johnathan. "Still, I've seen the backs of Nekos before. Often riddled with gunshot wounds." He was unimpressed by these Hot Cross Bun people or whatever they were called. Shoving their judgments onto Nepleslia and Lor without even considering how their societies viewed the war. While he was trying to remain open-minded, they really were showing their true colors to his eye.

"I'll go say hello to those fellows over there," he pointed to the Iroma and Abwehran delegates.

"May I intrude?" Valken asked them as he walked over. Part of him waited to be rebuffed. Cliques were forming and groupthinking was already occurring. No one was going out of their way to actually MAKE new, informal ties. They just cluttered with the people who thought along their lines and hardened each others' opinions without first drawing the others'. They had formed their opinions without direct communication and were going to operate based solely off that. It was, according to Commandant Shang's briefing of human psychology, something called a groupthink. And it was most often seen when conflicting parties had decided that the other side(s) had nothing else that they needed to say. And if that was the case, Valken and the Nepleslian delegation might as well withdraw permanently and call it done.
Looking up from his seated position, Gerhard gazed at the military man and grinned. "Ah, I don't mind, Admiral Valken" the Abwehran replied as he waved a hand to a seat. "It's not everyday I get to meet with a Nation's Chief Naval Officer," the Minister of State commented. "Normally, that's the Emperor and the Minister of the Military's duty. So I hope if you pardon my lack of expert knowledge of such subjects." he stated before glancing at Ahrim.

"High Guardian Cu'seddir might be a better conversationalist in that regard," he continued with a respectful nod before returning his gaze to Valken. "But this Old Man will try to keep you company for a while," he stated with a chuckle as he joked on himself.
Watching Yuumi depart so quickly, even cutting the Lorath woman's sentence in half, a part of Johnathan recoiled, tense. He had to wonder just was going on - that just wasn't normal.

On the up side, he had something worthwhile to hear. Listening to Dom, Johnathan couldn't help but smirk.

"That seems to pretty much sum it up, though, even I don't get to say it like that when I'm on camera," Johnathan remarked with a half-truth. Even though it was how he landed himself a seat as Senator, he couldn't swear. Well, as much as he'd like. Otherwise, the punch would just wear off, like classic antibiotics, or maybe even Aether. Guys - and girls - just couldn't spam that kind of shit and expect to keep getting the same results every single time. People, germs and Squids just got tougher and ignored it after a while. Had to make it count, like nursing the last few remaining nukes in an inventory. The last thing anyone wanted was to run out and then retreat after all. Retreat. That was actually something interesting to think about. "Knock yourself out man," he replied after the Grand Admiral.

'Damn shame the Iroma guy didn't bring along an assistant or two - they always got their horns polished really nice.'

More important thoughts came to mind as he went back a little to retrieve his belongings, namely, a pair of bags with all sorts of random goods typically grabbed up by the average tourist. What the Senator didn't get, as he picked up his things, was just why the Big Cats were leaving the whole thing. It honestly made no sense from his point of view. After all, if they left, that'd mean their whole nation would be pretty much in the dark about what happened here at the Relations Conference. Their delegates, politicians and all that would pretty much have to get everything second hand, and nobody liked getting second hand stuff when it came to news on the big stage - news on things that happened fast and hard. He did see her talk to Yuumi, but, did that have anything to do with it? Maybe. Maybe not. There was too little to go on.

Even then, to make what would normally be a massive political mistake? Maybe it was something horrible after all.
As Kohaku left the building she informed Tesgi and Legos that she wanted only them in the vehicle with her. The guards could ride in the second vehicle. Once they were in the craft and it started moving she looked out the window before beginning to speak. The clouds that had threatened rain were still present, Kohaku could not help but wonder if they were a bit of foreshadowing from Siamaka. She turned to her two companions.

"Legos, Tesgi, I will need your insights shortly. But for the moment there is much that I must tell you. The Premier has agreed to an Alliance with Nepleslia and Lor. This treaty that she has approved, is not a good one in my opinion. But it is one that affects our relationship with Yamatai. We will never sign this treaty, it is too offensive for our people to accept. So once we get back to the Embassy I will provide each of you with a copy of the document. We will meet in my office thirty minutes later. I need to address the Mui, and by extension the Tonai. The Premier gives her assurance that Yamatai will honor our Alliance. However, there are facets of it that our government will have to decide how best to deal with. That is what I want your inputs for so that we can salvage what we can." she said then turned back to the window.
Ahrim gestured to the seat across from Gerhard. "Please, sit." The Iromakuanhe offered a little smile, sipped his drink and nodded toward Yuumi's exit. "This has certainly been a more entertaining Conference than last years. Or rather it comes close." With a sigh, he placed his freehand on his abdomen and leaned further back into his chair.

"While it is true I hold my fair share of military experience, Minister. It is a subject I am not so fond of discussing," He tapped the side of his head lightly. "It tends to leave its mark here. And a sour taste in one's mouth after so long in dealing with such ordeals."
"Thank you, gentlemen. But I am hardly the Chief Naval Officer. I and three others hold the rank of Grand Admiral," Valken said as he took the seat proffered. "So one might say that the four of us hold that title at any given time. But who said I came to talk about military affairs?"

He pulled out a hip flask and offered it. "Scotch, anyone?"
Nodding slightly at the comments on military matters, Gerhard smiled at Valken. "Unfortunately, I make it a habit not to drink while I'm working. Even during short breaks," the Minister replied. "Though I think later this evening, I'll be free to drink whatever I please." he quipped before glancing over at his aides.

"Of course, it would have to be away from the young ones. I've got to keep my air of --- elderly dignity about me," he continued to joke.
Yuumi talked fast to Kotori while Miki went back to start rounding up the other delegates.

"You think I've gone too far. I might have. But here's how this is going to go, so you should be ready for it — I'll meet the Empress tonight. I'll discuss the treaty, get her approval, and come back tomorrow ready to start crafting newly formed relations with the Lorath and Nepleslia. You, I need to talk to the other nations and feel them out. See where they are on the idea of a galaxy-wide alliance. We know the HSC won't go for it and that's unfortunate, but it's worth talking to the others. Understand?"
"Hai, Yuumi-sama." Rather than be obstinate, Kotori schooled her voice to be warmly supportive as she faintly smiled and again went into a shallow bow. "I understand your priorities." And what mine must be.

Inside, Kotori felt a coolness spreading inside, from the core of her being and slowly, fluidly, creeping to the ends her limbs. Yes, she understood. She understood what she had to do.

The black-haired Ketsurui reached out to take Yuumi's left hand in both of hers. Kotori's fingers, always somewhat warmer than the usual nekovalkyrja when she was operating at her peak, warmed Yuumi's. "I have faith that you are trying to do the right thing for Yamatai. I will not fail to follow in that same ideal, like you have taught me."
"Of that, I have no doubt," Yuumi said, squeezing back. No doubt that I've lost one of my best people and that I'd better make it count.

She looked past Kotori. "We don't have time to wait. Miki already is excusing everyone for the day. This will be your chance. I need to go face Himiko."
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