With a nodding bow and a "Hai, Shōshō," Takeda Tachiko sat up, affecting an at-attention posture and taking another deep breath as she squared her shoulders. Chin up, back straight, exactly as she was told. It was just in time, bracing her for what had come next. Despite being forewarned of Katsuko's intentions, what she had just been told was overwhelming. It was happening, though it was no less surreal when it was merely something happening in the future.
"Taishō, my Empress, I must accept; there is no situation I can imagine where it would be appropriate to refuse this honor." For all of her meekly self-effacing quietude, Tachiko knew her etiquette. She was assigned a clan name when she came out of the tube, for whatever reason according to the incomprehensible Uesurayan algorithm baked deeply into the black box PNUgen had left Ketsurui. And it seemed that reason was to trade it in for a new one, losing that name as Takeda became a tributary, and, by Motoyoshi custom, was cast off. "I will serve as I am called."
The ride towards the surface went smoothly, no issues there. The Chusa looked at her officers as Sui continued in and smiled softly “This is Motoyoshi area, please behave to their rules and wait in the main hall” She orders them as they both snap into attention with a salute followed. Kazue gave them a nod and followed on a quick pace Sui to the room they were supposed to go to. She felt nervous, it has been... forever since she had seen the whole clan together, was it really alright for her to be here? The whole walk her mind was occupied with it and it got blank the moment they got into the room.
Kazue could see from her eye corners that there were quite some members present already as her eyes were locked on Katsuko and a soft smile comes on her face. But her emotions disappeared as she made a slight bow to her to show respect “Chusa Motoyoshi Kazue reporting back from the frontline..”
The elevator doors opened and the lobby for the New Motoyoshi Bakufu Council room was in front of her. The middle-aged Nepleslian woman looked out of place, soft signs of age held on her face and a crisp tan from being out in the Jiyuu sun for an extended period. She lacked that pristine perfect Minkans and Nekos had, she was out of place, to say the least. Ara was going to ask the woman if she was lost until she has seen the Motoyoshi mon lapel pin on the right side of the black business formal pantsuit the woman wore rather well. She smiled and gave a nod towards Ara before the aide could speak she did, "Thank you, no I don't need anything and I will show myself in," she said. She double-checked her short cut hazel-brown hair in one of the polished surfaces next to the door briefly and walked straight into the council room and took one of the twelve larger seats, not one of the less formal smaller ones.
Besides Yuka, she was one of the first Yugumo Corporation personnel to come to Jiyuu when the order was given. She could tell Katsuko was busy, but she made an effort to make eye contact and give a nod of respect. When she sat down she pulled out her datapad and started to upload various secured reports from the corporate database.
When Taro noticed the woman entire he stood up from his seat and excused himself from Ayano. The green-haired handsome Minkan moved into position beside her chair and leaned his back against the table to get a good look at her. He smiled, it was heartfelt and warm beyond his usual. "Jessica..." he said quietly, "It is so good to see you. I'm glad you could join us today." He knew Sui was going to have plenty to complain about, a sight to see for sure. This Nepleslian was a citizen of the Empire though, and truly a Motoyoshi, probably more than any of them knew. The veteran Shosho leaned in and gave her a hug which she returned. The woman's brother Corro Adlich had been one of the greatest men he had ever served with, the Captain had given his life at the battle of Murf so that they could escape.
Yaichiro smiled, blushing ever so slightly at the mention of the access card and the attire she wore. Acknowledging both the said and the unsaid with a light nod, he allowed Katsuko to proceed to other business. Going to the table, he claimed one of the larger seats. Thoughts moved through his mind initially about if he deserved such a thing. If Katsuko would be offended if it picked one too far from her. If the clan would be offended if he tried to get too close. In the end, however, he simply picked one as instructed.
The meaning wasn't lost on him. Having him in one of these seats indicated her intention to elevate him to one of the highest places in her clan. Hesitating now would look bad.
"You're welcome." Blues responded with, paying the bill for them both and concluding his meal. He took out a mint and put it in his mouth, offering Kaoru one as well. They were just drinking a little, after all.
"You're right, of course. We should get down there. As my commanding officer, my tardiness would reflect on you badly if we arrive at the same time~" He teased gently. One of the amusing perks of being lower-ranked was that of how responsibility flowed. He stood, ready to head on down.
"Well I thought today was about making impressions, and you look amazing in it... The tag I honestly forgot about, but with the distractions of watching you get dressed can you blame me?" Eri responded in kind to Katsuko, a smirk on her face evident as her eyes flickered to her sister for the briefest of moments. They didn't linger long as she continued to observe Katsuko's business being dealt with. Promotions, elevations to vaunted positions within the clan, anyone at the table now or that would join later were people she would start to help Kat and her, so she needed to know the new faces.
While Tachiko was one new face, a forgotten soldier lost to time, she at least knew of Yaichiro through his dossier and accomplishments as both a captain and an inventor. Her teeth found the tip of her thumb for a few moments as she turned from the newcomers to space just in front of her as she pulled up whatever information she could find on the two, using a volumetric screen to read through. Her attention on the records that scrolled past her face, she still had an ear to the conversation at hand.
The Nepleslian woman's face wasn't entirely new to Tachiko, however. A Nekovalkyrja's digital mind never forgets a detail, and it was a mere fraction of a second before that face prompted her digitally-eidetic memory to overlay the right picture on top of that woman's. The resulting resemblance made Tachiko gasp quietly, but still aloud nonetheless. Whether she was violating some protocol or not, Tachiko instinctively reached out and put her hand on Katsuko's knee, giving it a panicked squeeze of alarm. Her eyes rotated from the elder Adlich's face, over to Katsuko's, with her heart pounding up into the back of her throat.
Katsuko nodded in affirmation of Tachiko's acceptance, the soldier was finally awarded for her actions and they would have to get to know each other better now. The Clan's leaders had started to arrive, and she couldn't help herself but to smile when Jessica took a seat, "Everyone this is Jessica Adlich, she's Corro's sister and is here because Yuka is unable to make it due to an important meeting regarding our Port Jiyuu development. Jessica and her family were made citizens when I was Empress for the bravery of her brother in the Fifth Expeditionary Fleet." Katsuko dropped her right hand on top of Tachiko's and gave it a light squeeze. She had expected that reaction somehow.
"We will get started once Blues and Kaoru arrive," she said as other ranking members of the clan began to file into their seats including Bando and Taru, who sat together on the far side of the table near the door. Eri's words were flattering, to say the least, it flushed her cheeks slightly as she was complimented. The Taisho cleared her throat, and announced, "We will get started in a few moments if everyone could be seated and be quiet so we can get everything in order. We have a fleet to get back to and things are moving rather quickly," she said. It was time to get things started.
"Kazue, it is good to have you home. We will get caught up on things soon," she said as she began sorting through the meeting agenda.
Kaoru was quiet during the elevator ride down, she smiled briefly at Blues when the elevator doors opened up into the lobby and she led him into the council room to the table. She sat on the right side at the end next to Jessica and motioned Blues towards one of the smaller seats next to her. "Mother," she regarded Katsuko and then went quiet as her mother was bringing them to order.
Sui entered behind Blues and Kaoru, she didn't say anything as she took her seat but if looks could have killed she would have taken out Eri right then, her eyes narrowed as she focused on her there sitting beside Katsuko like some kind of Queen. The entire situation made Sui so mad she had selected to depart for Nemesis Bastion that night instead of staying the overnight with the rest of the Clan. The volumetric screen to her right activated and she quietly reviewed her files.
Nodding slowly to the casual response of Katsuko, Kazue blinked and looked around for a seat seeing most smaller seats were taken. She shrugs and sees a spot free at... at the big table?! Kazue hums to herself a Sita down at the table as if the chair was going to explode. She leans backward feeling uncomfortable by it as she waits for the meeting to start.
Blues seated himself were indicated by Kaoru and noted that Yaichiro was already present. The two brothers nodded to one another in acknowledgment and understanding. Both had been 'tagged' by one of the Motoyoshi women. Of course, neither said anything.
Blues was a bit surprised to see Yaichiro in one of the larger chairs though. It carried with it...certain potential implications.
Tachiko bowed her head in respect after Jessica was introduced. There was a knot in her throat, but she finally managed to release her death grip on Katsuko's knee and compose herself enough to address Jessica. "Adlich-san, I am T- ah, I am Motoyoshi Tachiko. I was the Chief Medical Officer of the YSS Yukika." She rose from her bow. "It is my deepest honor to meet you." She tried to smile, Tachiko did. She could only hope it seemed genuine, and not just a mask for the pounding heart that wanted to just break down into tears. Tachiko had only just recently learned of Corro's fate, after all. She's had only days to grieve.
Eri couldn't help the small smirk that came over her face as she eyed Katsuko's blush. It felt good, felt nice to feel back at home next to her, yet she let the smirk fall away as Tachiko made her heartfelt introduction to the Nepleslian woman. She could sense there was some history there, but that was something for later. She simply sat back and watched everything as it unfolded, watched the newcomers enter including Kaoru and Blues. She knew little about the man, something to surely ask Katsuko about later.
But then she entered, and Eri couldn't help it. The venom in Sui's eyes was like an elixir from the heavens there to cure any concerns or issues she may have with this meeting and all the new people. She raised an eyebrow as slowly, ever so slowly a Cheshire grin crossed her face to show her pearly whites. She took a moment to truly drink it in before she sat back in her seat and puffed her chest out a little. Sui had Taro, she had won there... But Eri felt she had truly won as she sat at the side of Katsuko. She lifted her chin just slightly, enough to play into that image of a queen that Sui saw and looked down her nose just the tiniest bit at the woman. To top it all off, she gave Sui a small finger wave as she walked to her seat before she leaned her chin into her hand to watch the Neko.
Jessica smiled slightly and nodded to Tachiko, "It is an honor to meet you as well." The Nepleslian woman was not rude, but for now, she didn't want to see Katsuko's meeting interrupted by anything. She would have to seek the newly promoted cadet out later, there was a lot she felt that asking would help her journey of grief that had stretched for over ten years.
Katsuko looked between Eri and Sui and just shook her head, "Alright time to get underway. We're going to start with the official reformation of the Motoyoshi Bakufu for the leadership of our clan. Those of you who are now seated in the chairs, save for Miho and Yuka whom Jessica is here in place of, the twelve of you are my selection for the leadership of the new Bakufu. We have to see the clan into this new era, united and in the service of the Empire. Yaichiro, I know you're sitting there questioning but we will speak later, you arrived a bit late for us to discuss details and we have a lot to go over." Katsuko's words were given in a sincere tone, she stood up from her chair as the volumetric projection in the center of the tablespace shifted to the logo of the Yugumo Corporation.
"Last year, and this year we have begun to launch massive infrastructure projects both related and unrelated to the Star Army across the Outer Colonies. We've delivered on our promises to the hard-working resource industry in Siren and Shugosha and we continue to expand our operations. The main thing I wanted to touch on here, is that I think we're making headway when it comes to these projects. Gensou and Koukotsu have been selected for the next restoration projects. As we predicted..." she paused for a second as the statistics shifted, "...as we've worked to restore the local economy and employment, the level of insurgency has dropped over sixty percent and is continuing to decline. We've attributed the substantial decline also to the now solid presence of the First Expeditionary Fleet patrols," she explained as she stopped behind Tachiko's chair.
Katsuko wanted to give the full information on the overall progress before she continued, "We're in process of restoring PAINT routes, have added the Starchaser III to our civilian fleet and have given the people mobility again. We plan to maintain the older models of the ships which can be used in the event of a wide-scale evacuation, with this war, I don't think I need to weigh on any of you with the importance of our protection and preparation for disaster in this sector." The readout information switched again. "Ventures like Tachi's and Takeda House have proven very successful, which gives us an opportunity for market entry across the Empire. I'm very proud of Tachiko's contributions, and while I have not had a chance to eat at one of her establishments, I am sure I will shortly. I'd like to encourage all of you to consider venture projects geared towards the civilian market this year, it is up to us to improve the lifestyle and stimulate the new Imperial-bound culture in this region." This finally put out her first major point of the meeting. "Refugees are coming home, when they are home they are no longer refugees, they are citizens and they chose this as their home. Our mindset must be towards the permanent and not the temporary. We have colonies under construction, cities being rebuilt, but it is little things like a simple place to eat or a service restored that has been absent during the recovery phases that are shown to make an impact," she explained.
"Is there anything that any of you would like to add, in brief, before I continue?" she asked as she slid back into her chair.