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RP [Day 1] IRC YE 36

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Doshii Jun

Perpetual player
Retired Staff
Reikan Park was a sight to behold. Its vast expanses of meadow and gardens lining all of the roads and walkways; its embassies' varied architecture rooted to a distinctly Yamatai infrastructure; even the threat of rain from dark clouds overhead could not depress the inspiring surroundings.

The center compound deviated from the classic look of the Empress' Palace and the ultramodern transparency of the Imperial Palace. Long paths of polished stone beneath arching yew and ash trees wound to a cylindrical building with a shallow cone roof of black walnut, a rare tree cultivated from the area near Karen's Lookout. The roof was just this side of black in the overcast, standing out amid the bright leaves and nettles of the trees around it. Fourteen massive pillars held the roof up above the two stories of the structure. Each one represented a Yamataian prefecture, and each used a wood native to that prefecture — cedar for Kyoto, yew for Xiuluria, petrified copper walnut for Jhuniata and so on. Frosted glass panels created the walls between pillars.

The main doors to the south stood three meters tall, with vertical brass handles to pull them apart. Honor guards in red carrying NSPs and rifles stood at attention, with an attendant in white ready to open the door for all who paraded through.

Through wide halls of frosted glass walls and floors of deep rosewood, guests could watch as glorious scenes from the galaxy's populated planets volumetrically shifted every few minutes. A beautiful sunrise on the forest world Tami became a sparkling electric display of life on Nepleslia Prime.

Guests could enter any one of dozens of conference rooms, lounges and eateries on the first floor, but all paths led to the rounded heart of the center compound — the center conference room, complete with round table at its center, surrounded by four rounded galleries for assistants, officials, officers and other personnel of the primary players.

Ketsurui Yuumi waited outside. She leaned against the rosewood wall next to the frosted blue glass door. Floating orbs cast yellow tinged light, which made Yuumi's eyes look sickly. She took a deep breath, the silk of her suit catching a shimmer before it disappeared with the air she exhaled.

She kept her right wrist clutched in her left hand in front of her stomach. People would arrive soon. She felt unsettled.

The last conference laid some groundwork for wider relations that ended up ground into weak words and hollow olive branches. Meaningless shit from politicians much more interested in focusing on internal politics and colony building. She didn't blame anyone; she was as guilty as anyone. Her third year as Premier, and how little she had to show that went beyond Yamatai.

She wanted that to change, but the details bedeviled her.

Yuumi was close to a treaty with Nepleslia, but it came with costs to Yamatai, and the chances of the Empress or her sister accepting them didn't look good. Convincing either of them of the advantages of creating good will among their powerful neighbor? She didn't like those odds either.

But Nepleslia, flush with expansion, cohesion and matured military prowess, likely wanted to make deals with others. It had the power, and Yamatai's reputation remained in the toilet. While roughly allied with the Poku Saeruo Degonjo and the Gartagen Union, Yamatai effectively was hemmed in from the galactic east and south by nations that did not trust it and did not feel inclined to treat it with much favor.

What the hell are we doing, Yuumi thought, reviewing the schedule in her head once more.

1. Introductions
2. War updates
3. Economic updates
4. Joint operating agreements
5. Separation

Yuumi knew Nepleslia didn't want war. Nepleslia wanted to fight, sure, but not with Yamatai or the burgeoning new power of the Lorath Matriarchy. And Yamatai, drained from its latest war, had no business fighting anyone. The Lorath ...

Asura was a sore spot, and Morioka still was a madwoman in her own right. The moondrop remained. Cultures clashed.

But if it was possible, somehow, settle things with them in a positive, bloodless way ... Yuumi had to try for it.

Tanaka Miki, Yuumi's chief deputy, opened the door from the conference room and stepped out, clad in her own dull grey suit and white blouse, her new shorter blue hair just touching her ears. "Ready, Premier?"

Yuumi nodded, bucking herself off of the wall. The momentum carried her into a stride toward the main entrance. "Let's hope so."
Lorath Diplomacy Facility, Reikan Park
Nibbi had stood in the mirror for an indeterminate time that morning before she realised that in half an hour, it was time to present herself to the Yamataians like a lamb to lions. She was dressed to destress at the moment, wearing nothing but her bare skin as she waited for her anxiety medicine to kick in. Her diplomatic outfit was lying on her bed.

Nibbi squeezed her fingers before turning around to walk to the bathroom and took a shower, timing herself for a hundred and twenty seconds in just so she could wash away the sweat of last night's feverish preparation talks from her own people to her - telling her what to treatise, what to anticipate, how to act and carry oneself. She dried her hair and tied it back into a boxy bun like it was second nature before she peeled the protective film off of her diplomatic outfit.

There was a knock on the door as she was dressing herself. "Come in," Nibbi replied from the bed as she was slipping her socks and sandals on after underwear. The door opened and one of her assistants, a Fyunnen woman in LSDF uniform was there in the doorway. She was meant to be her bodyguard and her shadow, six foot ten tall and easily dwarfing Nibbi's five eight.

"Nibbi, eighteen minutes until start. Are you ready?"
"One moment, please help me with the sash," she said as she turned around. The beaded sash was at least two metres long, meant to be tied at the back into an elaborate knot - the segments with the beads remained in the middle across the waist and the sides rather than on the back. The assistant obliged and tied it into a knot meant for around the home, for comfort - but the Yamataians didn't know that.

"Thank you," she said, green eyes trying to look enthused as she looked at her Fyunnen assistant. This assistant was one of the people paid to keep her comfortable and ensure her safety and wellbeing, and she quietly wondered if her services went beyond that. "Now, is the car ready?"
"Of course. We're waiting for you," the Fyunnen replied, putting her hands behind her back and watching her ward exit the room. The Lorath Diplomacy Facility in Reikan park looked more like a bunker - it had drawn comment that the brutalist architecture used was practical, but didn't leave much to the imagination or aesthetics - but it housed the cagey diplomat just fine, just as it was intended to when it was built.

She stepped out into the sun with her bodyguard, walking across the park and towards the wheeled vehicle. The bodyguard opened the door for her, and she stepped in, followed by the bodyguard. The trip was short, and the car was now in front of the centre compound. Nibbi was the first to exit, and she found herself pinching her index fingers as she admired the grandiose of the palace. It was here that it'd all take place, and despite being so far from home, it almost made her feel welcome - an open hand from a Yamataian to her government was to be treated with suspicion. But Nibbi wanted to, just once, take an offered hand on face value.

The bodyguard gave her a nod to lead the way after deeming everything safe, and Nibbi moved up the steps, towards the front doors flanked by the event staff - all there to ensure the event ran smoothly and cleanly. Ahead of her immediately was Ketsurui Yuumi, there to greet the delegates. She stood three paces away from her, and bowed towards her. The bodyguard did not budge. When she leaned back up, she simply addressed her as, "Premier."
Reikan Park Entrance

Arriving in a single Black Blitzer Hovercar with the Abwehran Imperial Seal emblazoned upon the side panels, the Abwehran Delegation had traveled the streets of Kyoto from its Civilian Spaceport towards the Embassy Park. They had no embassy on Yamataian soil --- yet. That was one of the many reasons they were arriving to the International Relations Conference --- even after the dismal results of the previous one. Once again, the Empire's Minister of State was attending the Conference.

However, it was a different Minister this year. After changes within the Abwehran Parliament, a new 'government' had been elected with the Abwehran Constitutional Party leading the Government. With this change in government, came an unprecedented change in Minister choice. For the first time in the Empire's existence, a male sat as Minister of State. The news back home declared it the breaking of the gender wall that still seemed to have portions standing even after the Abwehran Equality Movement. Minister Gerhard Stoffleth, a rather rotund individual, sat in the back set of the Blitzer as his Chief of Security dealt with Reikan Park's Security. His green eyes roamed over his touch-computer with the Delegation Agenda and notes on the nations invited to the Conference, though he had to hold the machine out a bit so it wasn't resting upon his long-bushy beard.

To the coal-haired man's left, sat the buxom Chief Aide of the delegation, Klara Kaldrack. The lovely blonde didn't have the personality that one would expect of her, since her cool brown eyes and lovely face seemed fixed in an expression of stern professionalism. To Gerhard's right, his Administration Aide sat with her own touch-computer as she began to set up her recording applications for any dictations and/or meetings with other dignitaries. Malwine Muenzner was the only Nightwalker in the delegation and sported the dark, black goggles over her eyes to protect them, though the band holding them to her head seemed to pull at her crimson, waist-length hair enough to force her to braid the long mane.

Completing the delegation was the Chief of Security, Oberbootsman Kriemhild Smollich of the Weltraumflotte Marines. A decorated veteran of the Khorsovaroloran Occupation, Krimhild shaved her head completely rather than keep her old mane of brown hair. Violet, hawk-like eyes seemed to swivel like security cameras as they sought for threats to the vehicle --- even as she dealt with all the security arrangements and paperwork. A delegation of Four, plus one driver, was all that was sent --- though a full squad of Marines stayed with the transport they had arrived on.

After the last bit of formality at the gate, the delegation was waved on through and the Hovercar continued down the road towards the designated meeting place.
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A large formation of green-colored vehicles had managed to bulldoze its way through Kyoto traffic; three cars in the middle being flanked on both sides by large vans. All of their windows were blacked out to deny any sort of ne'er do well the ability to guess as to which vehicle the new Premier of Nepleslia was riding in.

Charlie Coast, a man who had once lead the most aggressive of Nepleslian Fleets, found himself sitting in one of the armored vehicles of the motorcade. Grimly sipping from a mug of lukewarm coffee, the Nepleslian Premier found himself constantly loosening his clenched jaw. There was an air of restlessness in the air of the vehicle; Coast was in his natural element while on the offensive. Here, it seemed like a great fire within him had to be restrained for the good of the Imperium.

Nepleslia must grow larger, Charlie thought, ...we must become the unshakable pillar that will bring about stability. They will witness our strength through our sheer force of restrain-

The mug of coffee was launched across the vehicle, to impact upon the crisp clean suit of an extremely unfortunate member of Coast's security detail.

"HEY!" Coast kicked the back of the driver's head rest, momentarily sending the vehicle into an accelerated lurch forward as the driver stepped on the accelerator. "Where the hell did you learn to drive, you jackass?! Your stupid-ass jerking of the vehicle just cost one of my security detail a fine suit!" Coast was halfway out of his chair at this point, and it took the efforts of several members of his security detail to calm him down long enough for the driver to raise a bulletproof glass divider between him and Coast.

Meanwhile, the rest of the motorcade would be seen swerving in response to the Premier's vehicle lurching forward, then relaxing and reforming.

"Fine, I'm calm! I'm fine!" Coast sat back in his chair and pulled out a package from his dress shirt, which was basically a "demilitarized" version of his old uniform - without any ranks and only bearing the Nepleslian Flag and his last name. Producing an "electronic nicotine dispenser" from said uniform's breast pocket, Coast unceremoniously threw the packaging away in the car and disassembled the device - only to drink the nicotine "juice" from it.

"The sooner I can get to a real cigarette the better. I absolutely cannot comprehend these draconian-ass 'public safety' laws these cats put up with."

A few more moments passed before the Nepleslian delegation was the next in line behind the Abwehrans at the front gate of Reikan Park. After a few confused moments between the lead driver of the motorcade and the officials at the gate, the Nepleslian motorcade made its way through to the main entrance.

Twin doors opened to finally reveal Coast, just now putting on his dress uniform top and buckling it up. Coast looked further onward to see the Lorath delegation had arrived, as well. As his bodyguards flanked him, Coast looked back at the other cars in the motorcade and flashed a knowing grin at them.
Somewhere off to the side of all this, sitting in one of the park's benches and relatively unnoticed by most, sat a man.

A man in a rather plain looking business suit. One with a colorful bag full of what looked like random tourist merchandise on one side and another with what was potentially alcohol on the other. A man who was wearing a cap on his head that said, "京都ばんざーい!" It was a man and his "Real Yammie Food". He didn't know what the hell it was called exactly - even though he could speak and read the language - all he knew at this point, was that he was in a hurry, was expecting something with fish in it, but got some weird red bean paste inside instead. Taking a final bite before rising, this man picked up his bags and made his way over to the Nepleslian Premier, freely walking past the security with hardly a glance his way.

"Well, it looks like things are about to get started Charlie," the Nepleslian Senator spoke. "I got no idea why you want a Nobody-Senator like me to come along, but, thanks for the chance to go sightseeing," he added with a wry grin, pointing to the camera he had hanging around his neck.
It had been a long time since Dominic Valken, Grand Admiral of Nepleslia, Commanding Officer of 4th AASP Fleet and former soldier of the Star Army of Yamatai had breathed this air and trod on this soil. Once, he had fought in its name. Now, he faithfully served another planet, another flag, another military, and a better country.

Charlie may have chosen to wear a de-militarized version of his uniform but Grand Admiral Dominic Valken saw absolutely no reason to downplay who he was and what he represented. Golden epaulettes and aiguilettes glittered as his shoulders stretched. The dark blue and black of his Grand Admiral's jacket said exactly who he was. Grand Admiral of Nepleslia and Director of the IPG. His role in the latter was purely nominal and supervisory but the IPG did take anything he asked for as a command. His work had given them their pride back. His Fleet had given Nepleslia its new territories. Yet his Fleet wasn't here. In the here and now, Dominic Valken was a diplomat, not a battlefield commander.

Still, diplomacy was a battle in itself and no less cutthroat. Just usually less bloody. Last time, Flint and Westwood had done this. It had turned out to be pointless. Valken supposed that was why he and Charlie were here now. Westwood had retired and Flint was bored of dealing with Cats and their drama.

Everyone knew that Valken was the Grand Admiral with the most patience for the Cats. Even the newer Grand Admiral Motoyoshi Saito had more hostility towards than he did. After all, she blamed them for the fall of the UOC, not the NMX. Still, no one could deny Nepleslia was sending big names to what they expected would be another fizzler.

In fact, their's was probably the best working partnership in the Nepleslian military prior to Charlie Coast's election as premier. 3rd's Wolf Pack had provided the aggression, 4th Fleet had provided the heavy hitters. Charlie led the charge, Dom watched his back. And Dominic Valken intended to continue that here. Charlie Coast was not just a colleague or his Premier. He was his friend. And Dominic Valken was ready to do whatever his friend needed.

"Charlie needs someone without the fame we have to do the shadow work, Senator. We dazzle them, you get them to sign. After all, who here could take their eyes off the victors of the Rok'Veru Offensive?" Dominic Valken grinned. We commanded war fleets! We led the a part of the greatest Nepleslian offensive since Kennewes. No one here, Valken was sure, could come close to that as a recent achievement. If Flint was here, Valken was sure they'd start receiving breeding requests from Nekos.

His own bodyguards were no less impeccably dressed as Charlie's. The IPG had assigned him a pair during the recent assassination attempts. He had liked them but afterwards, he had told Shang to find him a pair that were sociable. So now he had security who knew how to look human.
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The arrival of the Nepleslian contingent was a welcome sight for Nibbi - announced by their trademark boisterousness and militarism that rivalled that of the Yamataians. She turned around as gracefully as she could, fingers no longer being pinched and gave them a smile. "Premier Coast, what a joyous occasion," she said, keeping her hands clasped together and having to look up to look into their eyes, "And you must be Admiral Valken," meanwhile, the name of the third man escaped her - but she didn't hazard a guess to risk offending them.

Passively, she could sense the tension in the three of them, and it was a comforting thought to know that they were feeling some of the pressure too - but the way they were holding themselves with such aplomb told her that were ready to get something done, they had their fears under control and a plan - just like they did on the Rok'veru Offensive. That comforted her the most. Say what you would about Nepleslian culture, but when they had to get something done they didn't half-arse it.

"It is a pleasure to meet you all. I am Ik'hin Nibbi New Tur'lista," she introduced herself to both the Nepleslians and Yuumi after a brief pause. She had to take a step and lean backwards to look up at Coast, removing her eye level from his pectorals comfortably. Only her Fyunnen bodyguard was taller than he was - possibly only to keep up or exceed with a full-blooded ID-SOL.
The air. It's too clean. Almost sterile. Valken felt no freshness in the air. Like everything on Yamatai, it was probably the result of some kind of synthetic process. Once the planet had a life. Now it felt like a machine pretending to be alive. The smog of Nepleslia might be bad but at least it was evidence of life. This was evidence of an absence of life. I might dislike smoking as much as the next Yamataian but this is preposterous. What sort of right does a government have to tell its people what they can or cannot do for recreation?

Valken recalled reading something about a Yamataian Taisho who had resigned in protest about something. It was an IPG report, not a news report. He'd have to visit the fellow.

His reminisces were interrupted by the appearance of a New'Turlista, flanked by a Fyunnen bodyguard. Dominic Valken shifted his gaze to the Lorath ambassador. "Madam Nibbi, I would be cautious to call this a joyous occasion. Wherever Charlie Coast goes, all of the good food is taken, all of the good booze is taken and all the interesting people are killed by him. We mere mortals must survive on the scraps he leaves us," Valken said seriously before Charlie could say anything. "Nonetheless, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance and to know our reputation precedes us. While Charlie has ascended to the high and mighty position as Premier and Sky Marshall, I do hope that, as a mere Grand Admiral, I speak for all of us that we look forward to improving relations between the Imperium and the Matriarchy."
"I hope you're right about that," Izgimmer remarked to Valken. When they neared however, it was the Lorath that greeted them first.

'Well, here goes nothing. I hope they're all as nice as they look pretty,' he thought to himself. Despite the gravity of the situation, he couldn't help but feel he should make the most of it. It wasn't every day he got to step off his homeworld after all, senator or not. And Yamatai of all places - bitter history or not, everything was interesting.

"All the good booze? All of it?" the yet-to-be-named Senator exclaimed wide eyed, a hand rubbing the stubble of his chin in astonishment.

The man pretended to find his resolve then and there, a playful act which they were all aware of, and took off his cap to reveal dirty blond hair, plopping into his bag as though what he had heard was too much, too far. Humorously, a stray strand stuck out thanks to the hat. "Nope. Not if I can help it Dom. It'd be pretty shitty of us to leave these ladies out, that's for sure." Reaching into his bag, he pulled out something a little unexpected. Despite looking a bit like a Nepleslian Tourist on Yamatai - a very odd sight indeed - what he was holding was a bottle of fine Whiskey. "Here, it's something I brought from home," the senator proffered. "I guessed you might like something like wine more instead, but I thought that maybe something different would be nice for a change if that was the case," he explained with a warm smile.
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Behind the Nepleslian Motorcade came the single black hovercar of the Abwehran Delegation. A much more simple affair, Oberbootsmann Smollich stepped out of the passenger side door in full Military Dress Uniform with a Standard Energy Pistol holstered upon her hip. Taking the time to place her uniforms Shako upon her shaved head, the Marine took a quick glanceat the surroundings with piercing violet eyes before opening the rear door for the delegation.

First one out of the door was the Chief Aide, whom stood a mere inch taller than their bodyguard. Golden locks seemed to curl at chin level while brown eyes surveyed the area as well. Her business attire was a simple grey pant-suit, which didn't seem to hide her bustiness at all. Stepping off to the side, Klara made way for the much larger individual behind her. Minister Gerhard Stoffleth was by far the largest member of the delegation in both height and girth. The 6'7" tall representative stepped forward to make way for the smallest of the delegation, the Administration Aid named Malwine, and stretched out with a sigh of relief.

"Frau Muenzner, remind me to request a vehicle with a higher top when we return to Abwehr," the Minister asked his small, crimson-haired aide in the Volksprache.

"Of course, Minister," Malwine replied happily as she made a note on her touch-computer before adjusting her goggles. From there, Gerhard lead the delegation towards the gathering of delegates flanked by his aides and the Marine bringing up the rear. The majority of the delegation seemed to be wearing business attire over all. The Minister wore a black suit with green pinstripes and a gray blouse visible from the buttoned coat. Both aids wore simple gray pant-suits, though Klara's had a white blouse to Malwine's teal. The Marine escort stood out the most with her polished and starched military attire. The Oberbootsman seemed more ready for inspection than escort duty.

"Ah, greetings!" Gerhard greeted in accent-less Trade and waved his upper right hand to the Nepleslian and Matriarchy delegates. "Wonderful weather for an outing, no?" he stated before giving them a rolling belly laugh that sounded like some jolly old man than a politician.
Yamatai Kavoráy Rouka

Kohaku looked at her reflection in the full size mirror. She was wearing the traditional robe of station for the Emissary, but at the moment her hood was down around her shoulders. She was debating if she should wear it up or down. The protocols from the archives only covered meetings with the Emissary addressing a single faction for discussion. This IRC was a meeting of most of the known factions; she wanted to make sure things went well. The lessons from the history of the clan made a clear point. They would be very cautious about entering into more alliances. A repeat of what destroyed their empire would not be allowed.

The three main delegates had already divided the areas they would focus on. No major decision would be made without a discussion between them. Kohaku found herself in the dubious position of making the final decision.

“I am just going to leave it down. Better to have everyone see me for who I am. The old protocol can be followed if we enter treaty discussions with another faction.” She said to herself. “Are the vehicles ready? “ She asked her attendant.

“Yes, Vonai-Rya'ka they have pulled up in front of the main doors. “ Geiars replied. “The decorating of the vehicles was done as you requested.”

“Excellent, please notify the others that I will be down shortly.” She said with a smile.

Tesgi was in his garden behind the Kavoráy Rouka. He was more than a little nervous, the only thing he had at all this morning was a glass of chilled Damuisa. He did not wish to attend this conference. Dealing with so many leaders from other empires made him uncomfortable. He still could not fathom why the Emissary had appointed him to the position. It was pleasant enough to spend time on such a lush world, but the dealing with matters of state always worried him. At first he thought meeting the Nepleslian would easy, they were once part of Yamatai. But he found their ‘embassy’ to be a travesty. It more resembled one of the marketing centers that Yamataians seemed to enjoy visiting. Let alone the presence of military equipment prominently displayed on ground that was supposed to convey a sense of neutrality and cooperation. Another recent addition from a faction he had not yet met was large squarish structure. It had no aesthetics that he could discern, wondered what that said about both cultures.

His communicator chimed softly, and the voice of Geiars came through the speaker. “The Emissary will be ready to depart in a few minutes.”

Tesgi took a last moment to feel the garden extending his senses through the plants, and then selected a section of Jodauvit and wrapped it around his arm. At least he could draw comfort from the plant while in the meeting area. He walked into the embassy and made his way out to the main entrance.

Legos stood at the entrance to the Embassy. He thought about his instructions from Mui Tarbah Leyto. He would have preferred to remain on World Station, but some of the proposed topics could pose threats to the clan. He was needed here to listen and assess the potential risk of each. He had enjoyed the past few days on this alien world. It was strange to move amongst aliens after so many years of avoiding them. He monitored the local news channels, to get a feel for the mood of the people here and what had been going on between the factions for much of his time.

He watched as two ground vehicles rolled up. The long eight wheeled vehicles had been specifically modified to make a civilian appearance. They were painted a golden color that resembled the clan heraldry. Small replicas of the heraldry flapped in the breeze as the vehicles approached silently. Half of the armor had been removed, and a see though armored canopy installed. It gave the vehicle a softer look than the scout version. Electrically powered by fuel cells he knew the craft could operate for several weeks of operation without refueling.

A movement at his left caught his attention. It was the Tula Tesgi approaching. He turned and rendered a brief salute to the smaller clan member. “Good day Ambassador. Ready for the madness to come.” He said in his naturally deep voice.

“Good day Legos, I sincerely hope that we can avoid the madness. Is it too much to hope that some sense of sanity and intellect will prevail?” Tesgi said.

“From what I know about some of the other groups, sanity and intellect are probably the least we will see.” Kohaku said emerging from the doorway. “This gathering is supposed to be about cooperation and open communications. But I suspect it will be more along the lines of shadow talking, manipulations, and posturing. The Mui is not of a mind to hurry into agreements. I for one agree with her. If we come away with one or two proposals for a Treaty, I will consider this a success.”

She walked down to the first vehicle. Her attendant Geiars walked up to the crawler and opened the door. When the delegates approached and entered the vehicle she bowed and offered a single arm across the chest salute. Once the delegates were in, she and the other attendants entered the vehicle.

Kohaku waited for confirmation that their security escort were in the second crawler before instructing the driver to get underway. It seemed somewhat silly to require cars to travel such a short distance, but the unpredictable nature of the weather made it a necessity. She looked out the window briefly and looked at their destination.
Center Compound

Yuumi bowed to the Lorath representative in the traditional Yamataian way, but more deeply than she had to — a sign of respect she knew the Lorath recognized. Miki did the same. But before she could open her mouth, the Nepleslians showed up. The admiral Valken, the Premier Coast, the senator Izgimmer. Equal parts boastful, cautious and prepared. A fine trio of Nepleslians if there ever was one, and a trio created to do business. Yuumi respected that, even if they didn't respect her back.

Minister Gerhard Stoffleth, along with his aid and his marine, acted every bit the part of a politician who could be underestimated. He had no issues referring to everyone as equals, dismissing formality to praise what was, for Yamatai, a good day. The storm clouds in the distance promised winds that had not yet licked the tips of the trees.

She felt a little outnumbered. Her other compatriot waited inside the gallery of the central conference room, ensuring everything inside was just so.

The Emissary from the Poku Saeruo Degonjo had not yet arrived. Miki signaled that the trio from the Hidden Sun Clan would arrive soon.

Time to herd the wolves, she thought.

"Honored representatives and aides," she said, speaking up over the Nepleslians to address everyone. "It's good to see you all. Please follow me to the conference room so we can begin our business as soon as the other representatives arrive."

The Yamataian guards quickly got the door, and Yuumi began to lead the group down the main hallway.

"Wait for the Emissary, and find out where the hell the IAC and GU reps are," Yuumi sent to Miki, who stayed outside.

As she led the group down, the large volumetric images of interplanetary scenery flickered. Each of the eight panels shifted in unison to images of Nepleslian, Abwehran and Lorath scenery and accomplishment.
Ryantax paced back and forth in his cabin. he was inching to leave, but the Security, that was assigned to him and the other two delegates, were busy going over the large hover vehicle they bought just an hour before. It was parked in the hanger of the Palsar. Hell they the three guards were under orders not to let the three delegates out of their sights.

Pacing he was making sure his cloths were laying right and that his breathing system was up to snuff. the drier air of Yamatai was going to be a minor challenge for them all as the conference carried on. With a last sigh to settle himself Ryantax left his cabin and made his way to the hanger to wait for the others.

Commodor Asri stepped out into the Pulsar's hangar. She had just spent the last few minutes going over recent information received from homeworld. She had spent much of the trip on the bridge. She had been previously posted as Executive Officer of the Pulsar before her promotion and posting to the Senate. It was strange, now outranking her previous Commanding Officer, who still commanded the gunship. She had spent most of her career aboard one kind of ship or another and now posted to what she considered a glorified desk job, she missed being aboard one.

Crossing her bay, she strode to where Ryantax stood. "Ambassador" She nodded curtly to the man. "Everything is set" she reported, still functioning in her military mentality and making sure security and proper proceedure was taken care of.

"Is it. Good. I hope your security members don't interfere with the conference. It would be upsetting and quite worry-some if others start to view the Azorian peoples as warlike." Ryantax frowned a hair at the thought. He had heard of the other factions that would be here, and if they smelled blood in the water, things could get quite bad for the the homeworld and it's ventures.

"Does the Security know how to drive that machine?" He asked before mumbling that they needed to think more and more about supplying their ships with Azorean build land vessels.

"I do not think we have anything to worry about as far as interference with the conference goes" Asri answered. "They know their place and will be so quiet that no one would notice a ripple in the water from their movement" she went on, "As for these..." she gestured to the ground vehicle, "My people spent the entire trip here studying their proper operation and the local vehicular procedures and laws, I think they will do well"

"That is a good thing to hear," Elder Washran said with his calm, yet intensely present, demeanor as he entered the bay, "One must always be mindful of the current and leave as few ripples as possible." The old Azorean's body moved with some restraint; however his face remained that of neutral contentment. "And I am ready when you are, Senator," he offered.

With a nod Ryantax walked over and climbed into the vehicle and got comfortable. "The ride from here to the conference hall shouldn't take long." He spoke as he looked over the objects he had ready for gifts and what not. "Once there we will need to see what the schools are doing in the bigger pond."

Asri nodded, sliding into the vehicle after Ryantax, settling into one of the available seats and fastening the safety buckle. She closed her eyes, relaxing in silence, waiting for them to start moving.

"Bigger pond indeed," Washran commented with sober bemusement as he adjusted his breathing apparatus and climbed into the vehicle after his compatriots. He groaned slightly as some of his more calcified bones called in their complaints over the movement; but continued, soon relaxing in a seat himself. The Elder closed the door behind him then, and laid his hands in his lap before releasing himself to meditation.

As the vehicle pulled out of the hanger the three diplomats and their security were treated to the views of Yamatai. the landing port they were directed to wasn't far from the embassy park. So their show was only about fifteen minutes long before they pulled up before the Conference hall it's self.

The Security got out first, they were in their military dress uniforms with blue kelp draped over their pistols. Looking around for a moment, they made sure it was safe before they opened the doors for the officials. It was the first time a diplomat had arrived on another world to ply their trade. And the Security were dead set that they weren't going to lose the first.

Ryantax stood up and pulled the bag with him that had the gifts for the different parties. "Well lets taste the waters here." he smiled at the older Azorian, an old friend that he had gotten to work for him with these delicate matters. And well the you cute Naval officer that was a bit upset that they were off ship at all.

Asri followed Ryantax out, adjusting how her new flag officers uniform sat, making sure her collection of commendations and insignia were properly in their place after the trip in the car. Her bright orange eyes swept the area, taking in their new surroundings, keeping an eye out for anything that seemed out of the ordinary.

Washran exited the vehicle last and was the most drab of the team, looking mostly gray but for his violet eyes. He looked up to the storms rolling in and felt an extra measure of peace come over him at such a comforting sight. "We should ensure we take our recess outside with that rain coming," the old man mentioned nodding towards the coming clouds.

"A Very good Idea. Though I doubt any of the others would like to join us. Ashame." He grinned before turning to the entrance and starting for it. A line seemed to form at the main door so Ryantax fell into the queue and waited for the Azorians' turn to enter.

Asri smiled at the mention of the weather, remembering the times her submarine had surfaced to find a similar sky back home."At least not all is too alien on this word so far from home" the Commodore said, falling in with her companions.

"Hopefully this will only be the first of a number of commonalities we can share with them," the Elder offered keeping up as best as his bones and calm, assured strides would allow, "Whether or not they join us in anything."
Kohaku watched as their destination grew larger as their vehicle approached. While the grounds were obviously carefully designed and laid out what struck her most was the main structure. A wry smile came on her face. She looked at Tesgi, "It is interesting this new building. It has the same basic appearance of the structures of our people. "

The vehicle entered the drive and slowly approached the entrance. It rolled up silently and came to a stop. The doors of the second vehicle swung open and the members of the security force walked over to the delegations vehicle. The eight black clad warriors lined up on either side of the door forming two ranks of four. Once in place the driver activated the door. Kohaku waited for it swing fully open. She then stood up and exited the vehicle. She walked until she was halfway down the path lined by the warriors. She waited as the rest of the entourage exited and joined them. On her left on half step behind was Legos, and Tesgi was on her right, followed by the seven attendants. Kohaku then motioned for the group to move.

The two senior warriors walked to the left and right of Kohaku and the rest of them fell in behind the entourage. She kept her face neutral as she walked towards the door. She noted the large doors and the armed guards at the door. She wondered if they were there as security force, or honor guard. She decide to presume that they were intended as an honor guard. When the doors opened she slowed her pace slightly so that she stopped two steps into the room. She performed the Nutarka, to size up the occupants of the room. She had hoped to see the Premier before going in, but the crowd was already moving towards the inner doors. She chose to wait until a member of the compound's staff to approach her.
One of the nekovalkyrja seated in the outer chambers observing the throng of alien envoys to her world trailing in took notice of the later arrivals after the Premier had made to usher the representatives in. The Azoreans seemed fine, as they seemed to just 'go with the flow' and follow the other representatives to the inner rooms.

The Hidden Sun Clan, though, waited after entry, expecting welcome.

Kotori stood, smoothing down her white-and-blue traditional-styled dress, and gave a telepathic ping to Miki's attention. "I'll handle the HSC, Tanaka-san."

Sandaled feet gliding over the marble floor, the Ketsurui noble intercepted the Hidden Sun delegation and addressed them: "Emissary and entourage of the Poku Saeruo Degonjo?" Her voice pleasantly professional, the dark-haired nekovalkyrja leaned forward respectfully. "I am Ketsurui Kotori, and on behalf of my people, bid you welcome to our world. "
"Certainly Premier," Nibbi replied back to Yuumi, following her towards the conference room inside the . Along the way, she saw another of the Ketsurui walk past, watching her warily as she went by. She'd heard of her - to her knowledge, Kotori was one of the daring Military commanders responsible for some renowned breakthroughs on the Yamataian front of the first and second NMX wars. She could've been wrong though. Nibbi's bodyguard gave her a pat on the back to keep moving forward, eyes front.

She was walking through the display of accomplishments by each of the races and nations and decided to watch what'd happened to the Lorath. Images of the moon crashing into their old planet made her tense and gasp - but then, a more pleasing image of regrowth and rebirth through tenacity and will was shown, each of their three castes united together in the struggle to find a place amongst the stars, lead by a Queen upon high. She sighed a sigh of relief and smiled.

She muttered a quiet prayer to the Goddess that they didn't show anything about the altercation and subsequent eradication of the Occhestians - which was their business alone and not the rest of the universe's like it was a couple of years back. It was one of the worst days at the office that day with angry calls from across the galaxy. They were very honest about it though, and if it did come up during talks as an attack on their character or trustworthiness - it was to be dismissed, perhaps even worn with pride as the advisory told her.

And she wasn't going to bring it up either if she could help it - she wanted to make someone else make the first move so she could egg their face, making it look like they were reduced to resorting to ad-hominem attacks in a place of diplomacy to smear a deal or sabre rattle. She was pinching her fingers again as she kept her eyes forward, looking past the Premier's back.
They were scenes utterly opposed to the tranquil nature of the Yamataian city that the Nepleslian contingent had just passed through.

Grimy streets snaking almost to infinity beyond the horizon, choked by the steel monoliths of industry that seemed to crack the sky. Scenes of armor-clad government troops with shield and baton squaring off against civilians burning lines in the air with fiery bottles. Coast had to pause for a bit to appreciate the fact that there were photos from the Nepleslian Civil War that threatened to destroy the Imperium before it took its first breath.

Images of internal strife would give way to still frames taken from the combat footage of Nepleslian Marines, each frame having the name and rank of each Marine captioned on it.

One scene depicted one Marine's view of the NMX invasion of Rok'Veru. Another was the first person view of the heavily armored hand of an Aggressor burying a VCBS into the face of a NMX Ripper, entitled "Rok'Veru Offensive." The final image was another first person view of several Nepleslian Hostiles and Aggressors, as well as UOC Peacekeepers, holding off an NMX assault on the Hizagari space port during the Evacuation of Tange.

"Inspiring, isn't it, boys?" Coast could not help but feel a burning sense of nationalistic pride, but soon did his best to contain it. "After all the shit our people have been through, we're still standing. It's like we're the universe's burning hate machine that won't give up."
Among the rather 'colorful' display which was the assorted imagery of the accomplishments of species and races which were present at the conference, one attendee saw nothing portrayed which he felt any personal sense of accomplishment or pride in, after all, his people were a backwards sort which were still scraping by a living on nuts, berries, and tree-forts; and their single greatest exploit also happened to be their worst mistake and the action which damned his people to five-thousand-years of repentance for their sin.

Carried on rubber soled shoes was a humanoid figure which could have easily blended in with the Nepleslians, if not for the prehensile tail which lingered behind, and the large fuzzed ears which protruded from his scalp. Clad in an ankle-length thin leather coat, with hands obscured within leather gloves, the frizzy-blonde haired Helashio approached Nibbi and gave a short bow before he spoke; "Forgive me Madame, needed additional time to get up-to-date figures from our secure server. Lag time between here and the Matriarchy is horrendous due to distance and security precautions." After excusing his late arrival, the Helashio representative looked to the others, before waving in a manner which was entirely too light hearted for his attire; "Hello, my name is Snider, I am the tribal representative of the Helashio tribes within the Lorath Matriarchy." What would be gathered by any attentive eyes was something 'out of sorts', the Helashio representative was wearing blue denim pants, and a pair of green canvas shoes with rubber soles which were mostly obscured by his leather coat. What was above those pants was anyone's guess, but, for the fact of the matter the Helashio wore merely a plain white pocket tee beneath the coat, the coat which a Lorath Self Defense Force officer insisted he wore over his clothing to at least attempt to look civilized.
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The Helashio didn't make it inside. There were protcols to be followed and his disrespect for the conference had not gone unnoticed.

Garth was approached by a trio of Yamataian security personnel, led by a huge black-furred Kodian. "Excuse me sir, proper attire is required for the conference. We'll have to ask you to leave and change," the bear-like YSA captain explained.
"Hey there, good to meet you, my name is Snider, and... uh..." Snider eyed the Kodian, who was too rude to introduce himself as he made his request "Smokey, yeah, you look like a Smokey, that'll be your name, since you did not introduce yourself, Captain." started Snider, as he looked the grizzly security officer right in his teddy-bear eyes. "You have disrespected me and my culture." With that, Snider smiled, a toothy smile, not one of being a jerk, or confrontational, but one of being friendly. "Since you are from another culture, you may not understand this, but what you're looking at right now is one of the most well-dressed Helashio, outside of being dressed up as a plaything for a Lorath Mistress, or being used as a military or corporate puppet."

"What I'm explaining to you is simple; this is my formal wear, and this... this gesture on your part, it is insulting. Just because I don't dress in the military-style garb of the Nepleslians, or the fine-robes of a New Tur'listian, or a gown of woven of worm extrusions as a Yamataian would, I am being disrespected." Snider's smile slowly faded into a frown. "Would you prefer me to show proper respect as my former oppressors would have? Must I bend a knee to another who I've not satisfied properly?" As Snider spoke, he went about unbuttoning the coat which was loaned to him by a Lorath officer, before he let the coat fall to the ground, and he began to pull his white t-shirt out from being tucked into his jeans. "Tell me right now if you want this Helashio to pay proper respect, I could disrobe right here, and give my respect just as we've done for centuries. If my garb is not good for you, just as my ancestors tribal garb was not good enough for the Lorath, then I could show you the same respect as we were encouraged to show them." As Snider spoke, his black-plastic framed eyes did not waiver from the bear-like security officer before him, there was pure sincerity in his every word, no sarcasm, no disrespect, nothing that would even begin to hint at some sort of dramatics. For the Kodian, there was something more as well, the Ursine would likely be able to smell the sincerity; because there was a spike in adrenalin, an anxiety response, one that was easily able to be linked to a heightened emotional state; the Helashio had been truly insulted by the request which was a clear sign of cultural insensitivity.
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