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RP [Day 3] One Piece at a Time.

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The heart gets to beat for another day; till the stars fall dark and oblivion consumes us. ~Crowned Prince Motoyoshi Tio -- "Letters to our Children"

Tio stood looking out the clear Zesuaium viewport, a cup of hot green tea hovering within his grasp that every few seconds rose to his lips. After the events of the previous day, he could not help but be in awe.

Philosophy had been his minor in college, he could not help but examine himself in comparison to the other leaders. He whispered lowly to himself, the words of a wise, ancient text; "He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all the stars turn towards it." he took a deep breath; "May all stars turn towards us..." He took a sip of his tea, his tear freezing to the side of his face.

"Your highness, the conference room awaits you." One of the station's sprites told him as she exited the room with a cart of cleaning implements.

"So it does...So it does." he reassured himself, entering into the room for the third day. Today he however did different than what he had the prior days. He took off his suit jacket and hung it from the back of his chair.

He ignored his emails, save for the one from his mother; quietly looking at the new version of the star map which hovered near the table. He was concerned, the Senate was allowed to return; how much would their ununified speech cost them now?

Another spite entered, with a very upsetting look on her face. "Listen...your bird has been causing problems." she pointed to the smear of feces on the shoulder of her uniform.

Tio laughed, calling out "Kichou! Kichou!!" he shook his head, as a small parrot flew in the open door. Most of it was covered in grey feathers, save for its head which was a bright brilliant purple. "I am sorry, I can watch him for the rest of today..."

The bird chimed, "I would of killed the bird, if the Prince was not hawwwwt." The sprite fleshed pink and headed towards the door. The bird had the last word, His butt is cute...his butt is cute.... Tio whispered to the bird as it settled on his left shoulder. "Shhh Kichou."
As the NSS Mirage arrived once again to the docks of Pisces station, the Sky Marshall turned his attention to a small package that had been sitting on the chair next to him.

Ah, that little girl's gift... The thought passed the Nepleslian's mind like a refreshing breeze. His gloved hand took the small package, and he examined it with earnest curiosity.

The little present was childishly wrapped in shiny green paper with yellow paper stars glued on it with a shimmering red ribbon on top. The box was small enough to fit the width of the Sky Marshall’s palm but still tall enough that it couldn’t be easily concealed between two hands cupped together.

Tearing away the paper would reveal what must’ve been taped together pieces from a cereal box- the cardboard was thin but had little drawings of stars in green crayon on a scribbled black crayon background of the light brown cardboard. There was a make-shift clasp from a button and thread that held the little box shut.

The whole thing seemed very fragile but it still held up to the handling of travel and the dangers of being handled by unknowing adult male hands.

The inside of the box was filled with a little beige felt teddy bear with small black button eyes and a little green Nepleslian style hat on his head. Most noticeably, the teddy bear had a small little gray beard on its chin.

Such a diminutive object it was--a child's plaything... a little girl's innocent crush.

But also, an innocence that brought so many things into focus.

Shaking his head with a smile, the Sky Marshall brushed the bear's head gently. Perhaps there was hope for everyone yet.

"Keep it warm for me," he said as he placed the gift to rest on his chair.

The bear stood silent vigil as the Sky Marshall entered the halls of Pisces station once more.
Ayana had slept badly the second night she was at the conference on the Heion. She had woken up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, and feeling shaken from the depths of a vivid nightmare...she believed she had felt herself die.

Sleep came very reluctantly as it always does after such dreams and when she woke again an hour before her alarm went off, she didn't hesitate to just start her day. She just couldn't shake the feeling of dread she had, it just felt like there was something ominous lurking somewhere behind her- waiting.

She tried to push the fear out of her mind but she couldn't quite shake it, even as she washed the layer of dried sweat from her body and hurriedly dried herself. Maybe I can't believe that the Mishhu are really gone. Not after what Melisson said yesterday. It doesn't make sense for them to completely pull out like that- they were winning. They had us backed into the corner and making fools of ourselves and then she just....

She wiped the steam from her mirror and glanced at the reflection of her eyes there. just for a moment, she thought she saw a glimmer of movement behind her. She turned to find that there was no one there.
I'm...jumping at shadows. It's nothing.... I just need to see this through. My anxiety is getting the better of me.

Sometime later, Ayana entered the conference room, her high heels clicking quietly against the floor. She had decided to wear her hair down loose upon her shoulders today and she was wearing a very dark purple long sleeve, a-line dress that fell to her knees, with two side slits on either side to allow her some more movement.

She nodded politely to Tio as she walked over to him. The senator watched the bird curiously as she sat down in her seat beside the Crown Prince. "Why hello there. You've brought a friend with you today, Motoyoshi-sama?"
Roxanne entered the conference room and greeted no one. She merely took her seat, absently brushed her arm over her sore chest, and waited. She looked at her datapad as others were sure to trickle in.
Senator Edward Vanderhuge was waiting, his large stature contrasting the vacant hallways as he strode to meet Robert Davis. "Afternoon, Sky Marshall," the ID-SOL said simply.

For Edward, the return trip to Pisces was laden with interesting turns of events. The situation on Nepleslia was growing more under control as local law enforcement subdued unruly mobs of Yamataian protesters. Their reasons were justified, but in the big picture, more of a nuisance than necessary...the Nepleslia senators knew exactly what the situation was. With the exodus of the Mishhu, people seemed to be less on edge.

Flint wasn't entirely convinced, however. He made that fairly clear on the trip back to Pisces. The Grand Admiral seemed a bit distracted, and decided to forgo attending the congregation this time...which was fine with Edward. Truthfully, Eddy was glad that Melisson had taken her leave...Flint's little Mishhu bug, Killer, gave Eddy the shivers. The ID-SOL senator was all too happy to see it not turn up again with Flint.

The speedy retreat of the Mishhu also dumped a much larger mess onto Nepleslia's platter; twenty-something former SMX systems, apparently left vacant and neglected at Melisson's leave and relinquished to Nepleslia, through declaration of Melisson. The claim Nepleslia had was little more than word of mouth...what military ships they could spare to investigate the Mishhu exodus weren't enough to seriously secure them. Luckily, it seemed none of the nations were making aggressive bids for them to the ever-welcome relief to Edward and the other Nepleslian senators. Eddy was certain these new systems would become an issue, one that Nepleslia would have to hold very careful, in experienced hands.

"...remember our goal here, Robert," Edward said solemnly as they traversed the corridors towards the meeting room. "Remember that we are here for Nepleslia, and her best interest. Remember that our people will always come before Yamatai."
"Be careful," Davis said flatly. "Our conversations may be getting monitored after the chaos yesterday. We wouldn't want to say anything before the conference that would put us at a disadvantage... but, I know what needs to be done, yes."

Shortly after, he entered the conference room and took his seat, with the same polite nod of the last two days.
The senator sighed a little as she rose from her temporary personal bed. Although it embarrassed her to think about it... She kind of liked cuddling next to Roxxy after they got drunk yesterday. It was pleasant, to say the least. Enough about that.

She sighed a little again, and the next hour passed rather uneventfully. Mainly, she got ready. Clothing, food, chat with home. As she wandered to the conference room, she thought to herself. I wonder... Just how long people think this empire will last... The empires of the old never lasted too long... And they were always much more functional.

She then mummered to herself softly, "Maybe it'll turn out better then it seems... Why am I forced to think otherwise... Oh well."

Entering the conference room, she made a b-line for Roxane's behind and she gave the woman a ruffle on the top of the head to mess with the woman's hair a little. Playfully. She then sat down in the seat beside Roxxy. She smiled in greeting to the present Nepleslian representatives and Ayana before setting in her seat.
Roxanne gave a tight-lipped smile to Maysaki as she tried to reset her hair. Looking at the much taller woman, she couldn't decide if she wanted to strangle her or bang the mischief out of her later.

She vowed to ponder that later.
Tio smiled, stroking Kichou's beak as the bird trilled. "Good morning, Ayana...Yes, Kichou has decided to join us today." Something had changed, the tone in his voice was unusually happy.

He turned his attentions to the Sky Marshall, his eyes narrowed slightly as he talked quietly with his comrades. A new realization had settled in the Prince's mind, today was the day that would define what the real cost of the war was.

The delegates from Kohana and Elysia had yet to arrive. Tio got up from his seat at the table, leaving his mug and the comfort of Ayana behind. He walked around the table, his steps even and without hesitation. He approached the Sky Marshall, and held his hand towards him saying "Good Morning Sky Mashall Davis, My mother and I are honored that you agreed to return today, we express our apologies for the panic yesterday, I hope that you and your delegation are okay?"

His mother had told him Davis was an honorable man, it was time to gage the truth in that.
The Sky Marshall accepted the Prince's hand, but the young man noticed a slight pause in the Premier's reaction before the older man stood to shake it.

His grip was firm.

"Ah, do not concern yourself with that," he said. "It is good to have a station to come back to, after all. You reacted swiftly out of concern for your peers and citizens, no doubt. I am certain that they would have wanted it that way."

He broke the handshake and smiled lightly.

"We are doing fine, thank you. How is the empress? I would have liked to see her before our deliberations ended. Our last meeting was cut short after all those revelations."
Taisa Hanako arrived, fresh from Azorea, with an ambassador at her side. Dressed in her spotless, sexy skirt uniform, the Senator-Captain arranged a seat for the Azorean woman before taking her own nearby.

"I have just returned from the far North, where I have visited two new star systems along with the SRSS Yggdrasil. I would like to introduce Aqueniss, a representative from the Azorea system, which is considering joining Yamatai. I have the appropriate translator plugin available on PANTHEON."
"My mother, the Empress is fine; likely pregnant by now with my other maternal parent has returned to her side. Perhaps you would be willing to come to Yamatai, and visit her there after these deliberations." Tio smiled, pulling his hand back from the Nepleslian.

"My aide will be around in a few moments, feel free to order some coffee or tea. It is my hope, that today we can begin making progress on the issues which brought us here." Tio walked away, still wondering when the delegates of Kohana and Elysia were going to decide to get there.

Tio's attentions drifted to the Ketsurui followed by a new representative. He said cheerfully, "Welcome back Captain. Nice to see a new face; Yamatai welcomes Aqueniss and her people to the conference."

He returned to his seat, lowering himself into his chair, whispering to Ayana. Great, now our dirty laundry gets to be hung within sight of a new potential member world. Chiharu help us.
The moment Hanako entered that room, and Davis saw her, Tio could feel the scathing resentment coming off the Sky Marshall. How the man managed to contain all that bile behind his calm face was a miracle in itself.

"Nepleslia as well welcomes these newcomers to the forum."

He lifted his hand to Tio.

"Prince, if I may have a word with you in private?"
Ayana offered a soft, quiet reassuring smile to Tio. She smiled at Hanako and her other senators. Her eyes rested appraisingly and curiously on the ambassador that the Taisa had brought with her, uncertain of what to make of the new woman and species at the moment. She nodded politely in greeting to the ambassador before shifting her attention to the Crown Prince again. "Hopefully, they don't have a question of our methods.. already," she whispered softly back to Tio.

She spoke in her more audible tone of voice again, "Perhaps we should try to give Elysia and Kohana a little more time? Yesterday was a little.. hectic for most of us."
The Crowned Prince smiled and said to the Sky Marshall, "Sure, walk we me..." He gave a nod to Ayana, "Man the fort until I am gone...Get these people talking...civilly."

He motioned Davis to follow, heading out the door towards the view port where he had spent his morning.
Davis walked alongside Tio, speaking in a hushed tone. "Nepleslia protests the presence of the former princess in the conference. Her presence will only interfere with the process of our meeting. I also feel that Mr. Vanderhuge will have tremendous problems controlling his discontent for the Taisa.”

He cleared his throat. "I am interested in a painless conference as much as you. I am willing to give you a list of transgressions if you find my request inappropriate."

Tio sighed. "I figured as much...." The crowned prince stood with Davis in front of the viewport. His eyes lost themselves in the stars for a moment. "You understand, that if I were to act on that list, it would spiral my people into a civil war, one that would leave the nation broken, and more lives lost."

Tio added quietly, "I understand Nepleslia's need for justice, but I also ask… that you remember the price that justice extracts.”

The Sky Marshall nodded. "You need not tell me the price of justice. I am aware of the tensions within your nation--mine was spawn from them. For now, a formal apology and perhaps a signing off on a condemnation of Uesu will suffice, but that is not the immediate matter at hand, I'm afraid."

Davis tipped his hat a bit, crossing his arms. "Notwithstanding the Taisa's inability to operate with the common courtesy expected from those in a position as high as hers, I feel she lacks the diplomatic awareness to benefit these proceedings. The incident of day 1 was escalated partially due to her own goading of the senator of Lor. Also, her actions, both past and present, have created an environment, which, unfortunately, causes Nepleslia to react very negatively to her. We are trying to mend our differences. Having a woman who has diligently, to this point in time, represented the opposite will not make this day go smoothly."

He sighed as well. "I would not have brought this up to you if I did not feel it was a serious issue, as well as one that could be easily avoided without much consequence."

"Perhaps I know someone in a position to view your list with more of an ability to take action then I do..." Tio said quietly with a pause. "This individual has more of an ability to extract result without my mother’s administration taking any kind of physical action. Send your list to my ship and I will see it gets sent properly."

The Prince contemplated a moment, adding: "Actually...I must... admit I invited her and the other Senators back for a very specific purpose, I assure you the moment they step away from ensuring this nation has a single voice, one that reflects the growing influence my mother has seeded, they will be leaving the conference." He passed Davis a datapad, which contained the email from his mother.

The email explained that the Empress had grown very aware through PANTHEON polling that the people of Yamatai and her component nations were feeling as if the Senate was out of touch with there needs, and was violating their public trust by pursuing personal endeavors. It explained that they were to be dismissed from their positions the second they provided with reason, that Katsuko had a new... advisory committee in mind in which the people would be represented more wholly.

Davis read the message intently. "I see... and since the former princess is a member of the senate, her attendance at this conference is unavoidable."

"I will do my best to diffuse the anger of Mr. Vanderhuge as well as myself,”he said as he handed the datapad back to Tio. “But her newest discovery, should they declare themselves under your flag, puts another possible wedge between our two nations."

The elder Nepleslian rubbed his eyes with his fingers, as if he was collecting himself for what lay ahead. "Your mother has the makings of a great leader. I hope that her experience transfers well to the position of Empress."

Tio slipped the pad back into place on his belt clip. "The Motoyoshi are grateful for Nepleslia, and hope that in the future we can work towards a peace which excludes the need for this constant string of unharmonious events between us."

Tio smiled, pointing back to the conference room door. "Anything else Sky Marshall, or shall we return to the conference?"

"Please send that address you mentioned to my central communications mail. I appreciate your willingness to address my concerns. Let us hope that these senators of yours are quick to make their first mistake."

Davis smiled as he tilted his head to the prince knowingly. "I have a strong belief that change is sometimes the best thing one can do.”

"They always are..." Tio said lowly.

Pisces took care of the address that Davis requested. Tio headed back with the Sky Marshall into the conference.
Aqueniss listened intently to the others speaking. Their languages were completely foreign to her, but the female Azorean still listened. She nodded politely back to a female senator that had done the same for her. As she sat down, her flowery priestess robe of a gray color hugged her body slightly. Her tail wrapped into her lap since her seat did not seem to be made for beings with such appendages.

The ambassador watched and listened to the rest of the representatives, vaguely amazed at so many different faces, forms, words, and much more. A small, innocent smile covered her face as her crystal blue eyes gazed around lazily.

Her two bodyguards unfortunately had to stay outside of the conference room. The holy warriors waited patiently, yet a little warily. They would have to leave the person that they swore to protect in the hands of Hanako for now. The blue-skinned aliens stayed out of everyone's way and kept to themselves for the most part.

Roxanne immediately downloaded the language plugin from PANTHEON as she rose from her seat to greet the new ambassador. She brings an alien she just made contact with to THIS?! Of all things?! The Princess should return to her high tower and stay there, where she can do no damage except to herself.

She gave a stiff nod to Hanako; she wasn't true royalty anymore and she didn't like her anyway. "Greetings, Aqueniss. I am Kurokawa Yasuko, a representative from Yamatai." She bowed a good ways down to the Azorean. "It is a pleasure to have you here at our conference. Did your journey go well from your home?"
Her cheeks flushed a light violet before Aqueniss realized that Yasuko could not know Azorean culture... or the fact that her body language indicated that she had just proposed to the ambassador.

She bowed her head in a deep, respectful nod while responding in her hymn-like whisper of a voice, It is an honor to be here, representative. The journey was shorter then I expected, but your technology is much more advanced then ours, so it is of little surprise. It is a lot... dryer then I am normally used to, but my slight discomfort is outweighed by astonishment on how many different peoples are here...
Fish Peoples said:
Her two bodyguards unfortunately had to stay outside of the conference room. The holy warriors waited patiently, yet a little warily. They would have to leave the person that they swore to protect in the hands of Hanako for now. The blue-skinned aliens stayed out of everyone's way and kept to themselves for the most part.

Once Misaki was sure the exploration squadron was secure and the Eucharis effectively guarded and locked to non-authorized personnel, she departed after her commanding officer and made it a point to stop and see the holy warriors in person, smiling when they met her eyes. "I'm Kurusu Shosa, the voice you heard when we left your home world? Is there anything I can do to make your duties more comfortable while we wait for the day's activities to conclude inside?"
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