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  • 📅 July 2024 is YE 46.5 in the RP.

RP Kikyō no Sekku YE 46

Yuuki

Wiki-chan! Ganbatte yo!
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RP Date
YE 46.5.20
RP Location
Mazu Resort Complex and Mazu Beach, Koukotsu II
Mazu Beach
Koukotsu II
YE 46.5.20


Bathing the surface in dim, otherworldly sunlight, the binary pair of red dwarf stars, in a cheek-to-cheek dance, kept the long days and extended twilights of Koukotsu II in a state of perpetual beach sunset. The light, heavy in the red end of the spectrum and bright in the infrared that warmed the tropical world, muted colors, draining their vibrancy without touching their warmth. Everything was suffused with an ethereal, nostalgic quality, like an early color film. For those, such as the Nekovalkyrja, who could see into the near-infrared, new colors appeared that could not exist in the white-yellow light of Yamatai. For those with a serpentine sense for heat, the brilliant infrared display was a novelty that could never be described to anyone lacking those sensory organs.

Even at Double-High-Noon, the sky was an Impressionist canvas of peach and ruby, amber and orange, and lavender-blue and pink above the intense, crystalline blues and greens of Koukotsu II’s expansive ocean. Reflecting the colors of the sky, the nine bands of Koukotsu II’s rings slashed dramatically across the sky, studded with glitter of the ice and reflective, metallic dust of their substance. Sky and sea were separated from the majestic burgundies, maroons, browns, and dark greens of the rainforest foliage by slashes of pristine white beach sands in between. Among the striking dark leaves adapted to the infrared suns, the reflective, metallic shimmers of flowers and fruits stood out in the red light, much like bright colors against the vibrant greens engendered by a white star. Everywhere in this land of light, overlapping shadows crossed one another as they circled their gnomons, for each thing cast two shadows, one for each of Koukotsu’s suns.

The idyllic seaside town of Mazu Beach, named for the Yamataian Kami of the Sea, was dwarfed by the adjacent Mazu Resort Complex. The latter was a city unto itself, dozens, if not hundreds of individual hotels and resorts, and the restaurants, shops, and services that catered to their clientele. A popular leave destination for the Star Army of Yamatai not only for the endless tropical beaches, but also that it was one of the worlds available to personnel requesting land and housing— the rural, rainforest hillsides were dotted with the issued, prefabricated cabins. The Yugumo Keisatsu, uniformed and plainclothes alike kept the bustle of the tourist areas safe and secure where UOC Peacekeepers once did the same—many of them, the older, more experienced ones who remained loyal, simply traded one uniform for another.

Kikyō no Sekku, Bellflower Day, determined by the subspace-synchronized universal calendar, fell during the Koukotsu summer where the twin stars were in conjunction, close in the sky and the orbiting companion on the same side as the planet. The days, while still dimmer than Yamatai, were a bit brighter and longer during this phase of the complex procession of seasons experienced under the light of twin suns. For the festivities, Kára Kurogane, the Koukotsu System’s representative in the Imperial Senate, film, volumetric, and VR star, and member of the royal family of the NDC, was the master of ceremonies. Just off the production and premiere of SAINTs without Halos and between sitting sessions of the Senate, she was home, but still not free of official, or unofficial duty. Screenings of the tall, athletic 33A’s patriotic action blockbusters were the perfect cornerstone for a national holiday, and she was on hand for autographs, though between interactions she cast longing glances toward the many colorful sails in the distance poking up above the horizon and crests of waves..

It was mid-morning of the long day, with both suns creeping towards their highest point, and the beaches began to fill with celebrants. Kára looked out from the wings of the civic amphitheater stage at the crowds beginning to fill the plaza and beach beyond, and liven the restaurants and shops around the plaza’s perimeter, before making her way to center stage to officially open the festivities.
 
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Mazu Beach
Koukotsu II
YE 46.5.20


Standing beside Kara Kurogane on Mazu Beach on the planet of Koukotsu II in the Yamatai Star Empire was a dog. To any onlooker, the dog appeared perfectly ordinary, but it harbored a remarkable secret. This was Whiskers, a robot ingeniously designed and constructed by Sachiko Itatski, Kara's elder half-sister. Sachiko, had entrusted Whiskers, her long-time companion, to Kara. She believed that the unassuming robot dog would be able to protect her sister just as effectively as any high-tech security system.

Whiskers' true nature was concealed beneath a sophisticated array of holograms, giving the appearance of a regular dog. However, beneath this facade lay advanced robotic systems and enhanced sensors. Her robotic eyes, camouflaged by the holographic disguise, continuously scanned the crowds, analyzing every movement and potential threat. As Kara stood, Whiskers remained ever vigilant, her hidden capabilities ensuring Kara's safety amidst the bustling beachgoers.

Whiskers moved closer to Kara, her tail wagging in a display of happiness that was indistinguishable from that of any other dog. This wagging was not just an instinctive canine behavior, but a carefully programmed response designed to reinforce her disguise. As Whiskers stayed by Kara's side, her advanced sensors continued to scan the environment. So far, she had detected no threats.

However, amidst the throng of beachgoers, Whiskers thought she spotted someone who resembled Sachiko, her creator. Her sophisticated recognition algorithms flagged the individual, but Whiskers knew her primary directive was to protect Kara. Despite the fleeting recognition, Whiskers, like a well-trained dog, stayed close to Kara, maintaining her vigilance. Her loyalty was unwavering, and her primary function was clear: to ensure Kara's safety above all else. The potential sighting of Sachiko was logged in her memory banks, but for now, her focus remained on guarding Kara on the sunlit sands of Mazu Beach.
 
Mazu Beach
Koukotsu II
YE 46.5.20


Zelphon Belmont stepped onto Mazu Beach, feeling the warm sand beneath her feet. It was a rare break from her busy life, a change to recharge. She wore a new swimsuit, a symbol of letting go and embracing the moment. Thinking back to her conversation with her brother, this was a smart move coming to the beach. After her short time on the Kaiyo II she knew a recharge was in order. She had over committed herself and this was a way to bring herself back into balance.

As she walked, she spotted Kara Kurogane, her unofficial rival. Zelphon felt a mix of competition and admiration. She decided to enjoy the day, letting the sun and sea wash away her worries. The beach was alive with people celebrating Kikyō no Sekku, and for once, Zelphon allowed herself to be part of the joy. It was a day of relaxation, reflection, and a reminder that even the busiest lives need moments of peace.

Zelphon Belmont strolled along the pristine sands of Mazu Beach, her eyes catching the sight of a seemingly ordinary dog beside Kara Kurogane. Intrigued by the dog’s presence, she approached with a warm smile.

“Hey there, little one,” Zelphon said, crouching down to Whiskers’ level. She extended her hand, allowing the dog to sniff it. Zelphon then looked to Kara and smiled in her direction. "I see you have a new friend. It has been a while, how have you been?" She asked as she stood back up.
 
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Mazu Beach
Koukotsu II
YE 46.5.20


Hiro Nakamitsu:

Hiro arrived in full rockstar fashion, Sleeveless leather jacket, with nothing but a pair of red/black swim trunks underneath, sandals on his feet, portable amp clicked to his hip and his electric guitar slung over his back. He had his aviator shades on the bridge of his nose so he could see over then without the shade. He didn't necessarily need a recharge, but who could say no to a beach trip.

Finding a somewhat shady spot, he sat as he slung his guitar around so he could play it. Closing his eyes he wondered what his former band was doing without him since he had been given his orders. And he began to strum the solo played by Alex Draven in The Crow movie. He wasn't sure who or what he was waiting for but, that wouldn't stop him from having a good time, maybe meet some new people and simply jam out.
 
Mazu Beach
Koukotsu II
YE 46.5.20


Calandri was a little confused by the customs of the Yamataians when it came to clothing and that, especially with what they would wear when at a place like this. She had been struggling with finding a swimsuit, because of her more unique body type, She had found one that allowed movement with are four arms and wouldn't move out of place. They also thought she was something called a Elefirn, she hadn't heard of this group yet, but after time off, it would be something interesting to look into. She scanned the beach for somewhere to relax and enough the sands for the first time in a long time. She was a little nervous as normally she had someone with her, especially for new things, she didn't want to mess up anything, but already stumbled a little as her hooves sunk into the sand as she walked.

She had found what she thought was a nice place, close enough to the edge so she could leave and do other things if she needed to and a clear walk to the water, to allow her to focus on walking. She put down her towel and bag, making sure nothing would blow away as she looked at what was going on. She realised a bit too late that she hadn't packed anything to eat and thought there must be somewhere nice to eat close. She knew this would be mission one as food was important. As she walked she noticed a couple of females talking and a pet, a dog she thought they were talked. She walked up, her hooves sunk into the sand a little, as she tried to keep her balance "Kashva.." She tilted her head and then realised she had done it again "I am sorry, I meant excuse me, I was wondering if you two knew of anywhere nice to eat?" She smiled kindly as her ears flicked a little and she waited for an answer, trying to be polite.
 
Mazu Beach
Koukotsu II
YE 46.5.20


Roy was not usually a person for festivities. Crowds were a magnet for trouble for a number of reasons, from the simple rowdy group to even less palatable scenarios, but its nonetheless something he could appreciate at a distance. Which was a little ironic as he's gathered up a small crowd around the front of the cabin that he and some of the crew had rented for the day.

If asked, he'd claim that a shirtless red-hair Nepleslian in dark grey swim trunks showing off battle scars brought the crowd in, but that was only partially true if one would entertain the thought. The real draw was the battle at the center of it all. A group of seven was surrounded by five people in a pentagon formation, armed with just a single volleyball to share between them. It was a simple game of dodgeball, albeit a little modified to have it be more fun than competitive. The rules were simple whoever got hit swapped places with the one who hit them. At first it was just him and a few of the PA team, but they ended up dragging some of the onlookers in as well.

The Nepleslian himself was one of the people at the center, egging the throwers on before catching the ball with his head. Up until that point the cheers were for the dodgers, but a louder cheer came when he finally got hit after the ball was passed around.

Obara Keizo, the Yukika's armorer sent out invites for the rest of the Yukika II crew, if they fancied to stop by.
 
Mazu Beach
Koukotsu II

YE 46.5.20
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When news of the Yukika II's crew authorized return to the Kikyo Sector for leave, Yingzi was not completely thrilled at the idea. She had resigned to what she thought was her fate in that she was never going to return outside of extreme situations like the Yamataians are pushed out of the Kosuke Sector. Simple leave never factored into her equations since never really had a need for it. At least that is what her virtual teachers always said to her at least.

Wearing her swimwear similar to the SAoY PT uniform's inner layers (sold by RyuK's Clothing Brand, "Ryu and Liu Apparel") feelings melted away when she finally arrived at Mazu Beach. Sure she knew what a beach was and could tell you the elemental composition of the sand and likely what life forms are present, but she never actually experienced one. Nothing in her virtual childhood and learning would explain what it is like to have warm sand beneath her feet. A curious but somewhat uncomfortable experienced she just could not help herself to stop and put on some beach sandals to keep out the sand.

A message alert on her augmented reality HUD pulled her out of her experienced induced child-like behavior. Opening it, she was greeted with the results of a virtual intelligence scraping all of the research papers from Fujiko University and various other institutions published in the last year. She just grinned as she sat down looking at the water as she started to skim though the titles of the various papers.
 
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Dragging a Senti off their ship is always a challenge. Senti, whether the culture or the tsulrati species, tend to see the ship they're serving on as their homes, making it almost impossible to get them to take leave, as they are already home and their jobs are just the normal necessities of life aboard a starship. Shore leave for them is usually just short market trips or travelling to meetings or negotiations. This is normally excellent for a ship's efficiency, where a single Senti crewman can easily take up the workload of two or three humans, use less leave time than a MEGAMI AI, and defend their home ships with a ferocity rarely seen outside of certain obsolete Star Army divisions of suicidal Nekovalkyrja. But even this unusual species needs a change of pace every once in a while, as they are nomadic and can serve on dozens of ships in their long lives, often being members of several families in the process.

The Koun crew's usual solution for this was to post two fully armored Nekos at each airlock the moment their Navigator left the ship, forcing her to take a few days away from the ship, or to put her and her lover on leave at the same time, where she would spend the duration on Yamatai itself with her adopted daughter and fiance. This world, however, was not Yamatai, and she didn't want to take shore leave, perfectly happy to stay in orbit with a book and the observation deck, let everyone else leave, and turn off the gravity while she was the only one aboard. Shore leave and beach days held no interest for her. In fact, deep water terrified her on an instinctive level. Let alone the lichens and mosses that could infect her flesh.

This time, they'd had to get significantly more direct, literally dragging her along the floor as she scrambled for purchase, tearing out anything she could get a grip on as she fought against the three terrifyingly strong Taiis pulling her to the shuttle with the claim that she was on leave and should spend that time enjoying herself drinking mimosas on a beach resort world that matched her biology, rather than cooped up on an empty starship.

Of course, Koukotsu is one of those worlds where it was easy to lose a Senti. The metallic sheen of fruits and flowers, and the foliage itself made it easy to disappear into the infrared baked woods, where the air was a slightly uncomfortable chill for her and where even the vomeronasal organs of a Separa'Shan could have trouble picking her distinct scents from the brush. So they didn't let her into the woods.

And that's how Aliset Koun found herself in a bikini and shivering with a book in one hand and and a hot drink in the other. Her body wanted between 104 and 175 degrees farenheit. Granted, the light of these suns was unusually comforting for her, and the heat was a lot nicer than any Star Army vessel. But she still approached the beach with trepidation, swatting with her book at the bugs that mistook her skin for the bright colors of a flower. She knew she was supposed to have a good time. But her idea of a good time was a bit different from that of her coworkers, so she spoke loudly. "Okay, I've been to the beach. Can I have my clothes back, now? It's too cold for this."
 
"No. Your going to have fun whether you like it or not." Sacre said, while many others might find the temperature hot, Sacre for once didn't feel cold. There were weird fluctuations with her heat vision that made her feel slightly queasy, but she was fine. She laid out a long beach towel, and then a second, and then a third. Her medkit she plopped on the sand just in case. She stretched out on the beach towels and lay back to sun herself and if not enjoy their company, at least be close to them.
 
On a holiday named for the symbol of Yamatai's Imperial House, Princess Ketsurui Aiko's Bellflower Festival had thus far been dominated by a tight schedule composed of official celebrations and appearances.

A symbol of the Empire herself, Aiko was accustomed to the honorable civic duties required of her royal name and heroic accomplishments. On planet Yamatai, she'd already marched as part of the military parade in Kyoto alongside comrades from her ship and task force prior to presenting Third Mishhuvurthyar War Medals to new soldiers with her captain Taiyou Hoshi. Then the princess had continued on to attend several more intimate unit reviews and civilian gatherings where she would shake hands and take pictures and chat for a while before moving on to the next. For the evening on Yamatai, she'd had a little nap break in Kaiko Park at Hoshi's hidden ryokan even as revelers packed the preserve's garden trails to exalt the Yamatai Star Empire each in their own ways.

Next, Aiko was scheduled to speak at Aquarius Star Fortress and hand out a few more medals to the soldiers there. Timing variances owing to the orbital differentials in each system across Yamatai's territories and FTL transit discrepancies meant she made it to the "Guardian of Paradise" in the morning even after having celebrated a full Kikyo no Sekku on Yamatai proper already. A Ketsurui visit was always cause for some fanfare, but she nonetheless kept her words brief and ended up spending more time chatting with Aquarius' personnel after the ceremony than she did on all of the official bits. And then, with that last obligation to the Empire loyally fulfilled, Aiko was finally free.

She enjoyed all of the pomp and grandeur of wearing her finest uniform and carrying out royal duties well enough, almost as much as she liked slaying Mishhuvurthyar or Kuvexians or whoever else opposed the Star Army in battle. But there was something uniquely gratifying in relaxation, even for someone so suited to formality as Ketsurui Aiko. So the princess had booked a singular resort among the many found near Koukotsu II's Mazu Beach—this particular one a five bedroom island estate not too far from land called Ryūjin Atoll, complete with its own pool and staff as well as a wooden staysail schooner moored nearby—for herself and whomever from the Kaiyō wished to join. Although the ship had ferried her to Aquarius and landed in the shallow shorefront sea near Ryūjin, its crew was on leave and could spend their holiday wherever they wished to.

By midday, the 30 meter sailboat that came with Aiko's island had launched, navigated out for a while, and anchored closer to the beach. The wooden, white-hulled schooner had cream colored sails and flew Aiko's Chusa officer ensign, the Flag of Yamatai itself, as well a third navy blue flag with the kanji "貴剣," or "Kitsurugi" in crimson red. It was near enough to shore that someone on the boat could swim, wade, or fly to dry land in about three minutes. And also near enough that some beachgoers had already begun to drift closer upon spying its flags and the famous Ketsurui warrior who stood on its deck in her strappy scarlet-and-black bikini.

Aiko gazed out to the nearby beach from behind her acetate tortoiseshell sunglasses. Three large bellflowers were pinned above her right ear today, chosen particularly for the holiday they were named after, and her calf-length black hair was worn in a thick ponytail that still managed to cover the defiantly fair skin on her back from the sun.

"Come find some takoyaki with me," Aiko said to everyone on the deck behind her, though the glance over her shoulder was aimed at her MEGAMI companion Boss. The princess stood with her feet shoulder width apart and her hands on her hips, surveying the busy beach beyond. "The water should be shallow enough here to walk ashore after a meter or two."
 
The MEGAMI to whom Aiko had cast her crimson gaze towards was furling the mainsail around the mast. As focused as she was, whether that be on the task at hand of banking the sailboat properly or her normal operations during battle as the Kaiyō's operating system, Boss was always able to keep some large portion of her attention on the Ketsurui princess.

"After the excursion here, I do believe some of our beachgoers could use sustenance," Boss replied to Aiko, looking to the small assortment of crewmen from her ship. Though she had done a lot of the sailsetting and rudder work, the MEGAMI had solicited their help in some of the tasks that needed to be done simultaneous to whatever Boss was doing. Whether she had exhausted them or not, Boss did not know but had learned to err on the side of caution when demanding so much from her crew.

The MEGAMI was closest to the back edge of the boat and took a good look out away from the beach. Her maroon board shorts ended just above her knees while her stringy indigo bikini covered up much less of her torso. The blue-green top matched her a-line haircut and was a color seen in both deep, cold water and deep, cloudy space. This place was like neither with its bright, clear waters and sunny reflections bouncing off of the pockmarks in the waves.

It was not lost on her that she was looking out at her namesake, the ocean and she took a moment to breathe it in and reverently say quietly aloud, "Kaiyō."

In the distance, she could see the island and wondered if somewhere between her and it was the captain of the Kaiyō, Taiyou Hoshi, swimming peaceably in this tropical paradise. Boss herself slid off the leech of the boat and into the water, bobbing with a buoyancy that she had both expected and, yet, was mildly surprised by. She laughed a little and dove underwater, feeling the soft current push against each stroke of her arm as if she were gliding through interstellar gas streams.
 
Mazu Beach
Koukotsu II

YE 46.5.20

Hiro saw Yingzi who almost seemed out of place to him, find a place to sit and pull out a padd and looked to be reading. He wasn't about to bother her especially after the tough training they had recently gone through. As he looked around while strumming away on his electric guitar, he saw Roy and a bunch of the NCO's from the ship playing what looked like a rough version of dodgeball. This gave him an idea considering he had heard that Yue was around the beach somewhere, one of the biggest idols in Yamatai. He knew she was around and him being the musician that he was, couldn't give up a chance to show his skills.

Standing, he slung his guitar back around his back and dusted the sand off his legs and arms. Then quite purposely he began moving towards where Roy and the NCO's were having their competition.

He bumped the volume of his amp up just a smidge and as he moved towards the group he began to play some battle music, essentially a metal version of the Guile Theme from Street Fighter 2. He was trying to pump the crowd up for this "epic" showdown. As he was playing, he flipped his aviators up to cover his eyes entirely. While he played, he walked in a circle around the dodgeball game.
 
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"You know, Sacre, I know the perfect way to have fun!" Ali set dropped onto the towel next to Sacre, gently supporting herself on her lover's tail. "I'm gonna read my book, ogle pretty human boys, and then I'm going for street food afterwards. And drink my hot rum. That dodgeball game looks awesome, and it's not like my idea of fun is to go find the nearest noble and openly disrespect them like they're some enlisted friend. So unless you want me going back to the ship so I can grab that statue I was working on, I got shit else to do."
 
Molli considered it an immense honor to receive an invitation to a resort world from Ketsurui Aiko herself, which she accepted with barely concealed glee. Months spent training and fighting alongside Yamatai's warrior princess had managed to dampen the Nepleslian's deep-seated fear of disappointing or angering her, but not extinguish it outright. Even in a casual setting, Aiko was like an imposing mountain that eclipsed everyone in her intimidating presence, which was why Molli did her utmost to stay out of her way. Fortunately, Koukotsu II offered plenty of distractions with its picturesque alien landscapes and indescribable colors. Unfortunately, it was hard to avoid Aiko when they shared a private island with a certain other highly-intimidating MEGAMI--thus this ostensibly relaxing excursion had become an exercise in stress management and constant anxiety.

Molli struggled to find her sea legs aboard the schooner, though by the grace of the Empress, at least she wasn't seasick yet. The Yamataian Nepleslian dressed relatively conservatively to her comrades--a tight-fitting black one-piece worn with dark blue shorts and flip flops. While Boss and Aiko spoke, Molli's gaze lingered on the distant horizon, where she imagined herself riding the many waves that the twin-sunned world produced. She hadn't made any plans, which was probably why she found herself in the princess's shadow. A part of Molli felt guilty for wanting to avoid the woman who held such a high opinion of her, but the weight of that respect had swiftly made the soldier terrified of disappointing her.

...Which was precisely why Aiko's command snapped Molli out of her idle thoughts with a startled jump. "Roger, highness!" Molli replied, snapping to attention--an action that nearly caused her to fall over with the rocking of the schooner. She peered over the side of their vessel, then examined her crimson cybernetic arm, "Y'sure th'salt won't ruin it?" Molli asked, carefully rubbing its immaculately-constructed chassis.
 
As the other members of the Kaiyo dove into the water, William remained on the sailboat's deck. He was stretched out on the prow, his long legs dangling over the edge and resting in the water. He wore a pair of green swim trunks and not much else, his scars and tattoos on full display as he sunbathed. They rarely got a chance to relax, and the ID-SOL was taking full advantage of the opportunity.

At Molli's question, he chuckled. "It'll be fine!" he called. "Give it a good rinse once you're out of the water and scrub it real well, and you'll be fine," he added without moving from his spot. The only thing that would make the moment better is if he had a cigar. But out of respect for Aiko's boat, he refrained. Later, though... he'd have to find a place to tap into his supply.
 
Sif Ignemar

While Sif had read a number of novels that made use or made mention of boats and its multiple varieties, it was completely different when one had actually do the physical work. A trend that she had come to expect after spending time out on the field. Though that only spurned her on. Boss dictated what she needed, and Sif dutifully attempted to carry out those orders, the results of which were passable. It didn't lead them to sink or get beached, so that was a success in her books.

However, sailing a different kind of sea did have its challenges. The rocking for one needed a little time to get used to, and the constant bobbing of the waves. Fortunately for her, she learned that she wasn't one to be seasick, which was a concern when she was first invited to hop along for the ride. The planet had an interesting lighting to it, she noticed, more than likely owing to its suns.

Another invitation to find some food came from the princess, and Sif was more than happy to accompany her. Strutting by Molli to eagerly offer her assistance. "I can help keep your arm above the waterline, if you don't mind sitting on my shoulders," she'd say with a chuckle as she leaned over the boat's edge to see if she could judge how deep it was and if she could even do as she offered.

The soft purple-skinned neko was dressed in a simple white two-piece, with both pieces having sheer frills draped over their main parts. It was just something simple as she wanted a chance to feel how different this planet's sun was on her skin, something she hadn't been able to do on Ultaran as she had decided to cover herself up for that trip.

From the boat she had spied the beachgoers enjoying their days, as well as the few that drew closer to the boat to get a better look at the princess. She dearly hoped that they wouldn't need to depart from this planet too soon. There was just so much more to see here.


=====

Roy Savage

"Oh-ho, looks like things are getting serious around here!" The red-haired Nepleslian said upon Hiro's arrival, putting on some background music to hype things up. He looked around the crowd and saw a few souls eager to get into the middle of the ring. "Alright, throwers, let's make some room, three steps back," then he'd gesture towards the people who looked ready to join in. "Come on, there's plenty of space!" For some, the invitation was enough for them to run to the center of their ring, for others, they were dragged in by their friends. The number had swelled to fifteen souls ready to dodge.

When it seemed as if no one else was joining, Roy got the game started up again, making a non-targeted throw through the middle. Seeing the crowd parting and then gathering back up as far away as they could from the ball was always a sight to behold, but the crowd favorite was one of the civvies who jumped over the ball, then ducked under it as the next throw tried to capitalize, but it was the third throw that really got the crowd cheering as she crossed her arms across her chest and just laid flat on the ground and the ball landed just before her and bounced harmlessly away.

"She's clear! She's clear!" one of the onlookers cheered. From that point on, the crowd began to chant a count whenever someone else was targeted in a similar manner, and quite a few had taken it upon themselves to try and beat the record and the other dodgers were happy to keep their heads down for it. But some of the throwers were more opportunistic, as a neko civvie would demonstrate by playfully bouncing the ball off the back of Roy's head as he sat down for a breather. "Hey, I was taking a break!" he'd say, but the neko had already ran to the center, sticking a tongue out at him. Of course Roy would play it up for the crowd as he took his position. "Oh no you don't, get back here!" he'd say as he threw the ball back towards her, but it went wide. What could he say, all that running around and dodging is exhausting after a while. But will he tap out? Not a chance.
 
Mazu Beach Boardwalk Plaza: Kára Kurogane

Koukotsu was a particularly secure world, of course, being the playground of the empire—a place of relaxation where guards can be lowered anywhere except the timeshare pitches. The safety here was hard fought and hard won, with a succession of threats rooted out: the Independent Worlds League, the Tange, and the good old fashioned organized crime that comes with the hospitality industry. While Kára appreciated the prized canimorphic drone her beloved sibling had provided, celebrity and public service were already smothering her in layers of security even more pressing than the typical vacation-goer here felt. That didn't stop her from giving the robotic dog a fond pat on the head, of course.

"Zelphon! Hello!" Kára's smile was genuine at seeing another member of the Belmonts. For Kára's part, she had no idea about any rivalries, unofficial or otherwise, and rarely encountered that side of her family outside of her father. She was just happy to see a rare cousin. "Oh, yes. Sachiko gave it to me. I haven't named it yet, it sort of just... arrived, this morning, and, well, about how I am... Let's just say I'm happy the movie wrapped and the media promotions are over."

When someone came up to her table, however, her persona switched to her carefully cultivated public relations one.

"Oh, hello, there!" Kára smiled, looking up from the dog at Calandri. She blinked, pausing a moment, as many surely do when first encountering the striking cervid, but she gracefully recovered, pleased she wasn't being asked to sign anything. And happy to help a visitor to her planet. "Well, really, we have everything, depending on what you're looking for. Of course all of the Yugumo concepts are represented... Sea of Plenty, Kikyō Pie Company, Tachi's if you want an izakaya, Kagami's if you want a burger, Tokyo Brew Pub if you want a really fancy burger... we have a lovely Takeda House if you've got a few hundred KS and three or four hours to spare. There're a lot of other choices... there's a mobile BEST Kebabs about every quarter klick on the boardwalk. Just about anything really. There's takoyaki vendors for the holiday, and Koukotsu is known for its taiyaki! Don't forget your bellfower sake, either! And welcome to Koukotsu!"

Kára flashed Calandri her best movie star-politician smile.

Mazu Beach: Tachiko and Sayako

Of course, Koukotsu being as safe and secure as it was required constant vigilance. The playground was going to be kept orderly and safe for everyone's fun, and the subtle Motoyoshi Keibi presence and not-so-subtle Yugumo Keisatsu one served to keep the thronging beachgoers in line. Subtle was, of course, relative. Purple and black swimwear were popular in the Motoyoshi Colonial Sector, so other people, who weren't Katsuko-Heika's undercover Keibi close protection agents still wore it. Obvious or not, every celebrity and princess needed their space, and the professionals who knew how to give it to them were in the water and on the shore, whether uniformed or not, long before those long legs were long enough to be mostly out of water.

Though not attracting much of a curious crowd despite having her own, minor, local celebrity status in the MCS, Ketsurui-Motoyoshi Tachiko was heavily and acutely aware of the enhanced security presence around her, and frowned at the overprotective directives of her adoptive mother and commanding officer. And, with Katsuko currently out of commission and recovering from the Battle of Becurn, security was on high alert for any of the Motoyoshi heirs- especially one as key to the hospitality division as Tachiko. She was going to try her best to enjoy herself despite her awareness of what was going on behind the scenes. This was her home planet, after all, as recorded in her personnel file. She'd at least been to the prefab, standard-issue cabin on her Star Army granted plot of land once or twice. However, this time, it was the top few floors of the Mazu Grand Orchid: in the center of things, rather than out on an island, but isolated in its own way, by verticality. Still, she was home. And, her crew was with her, enjoying the luxurious accommodations on the Motoyoshi Clan's tab. In her mind, as their captain, not even Yugumo's best was good enough for what they deserved after that battle.

"Oof~" Tachiko's reverie as she gazed out over her crew having fun on the beach was broken by the impact of a flying android. One whose swimwear unsettlingly exactly matched her own, a cute little strapless top and matching classic bikini bottom, each modestly obscured by a frilly pleated ruffle in a dark, desaturated lavender that suited Tachiko's ivory Yamataian complexion very nicely. The ruffles were beautiful as Tachiko and her tackler fell almost to the sand before being caught by antigrav. The security were shocked, for they had been protecting them both, and, despite their professional competence, could only watch ineffectually as a high-end sentient machine collided with a Nekovalkyrja.

"Okaasan!" The ring-light around Takeda Sayako's neck was pulsing happy pinks and purples that complemented their mutual swimwear nicely. Sayako continued to cling to Tachiko once they'd both been righted, and eventually Tachiko was able to collect herself enough to hug Sayako back.

"It's wonderful to see you, Sayako," Tachiko said, softly. She politely refrained from mentioning the fact Sayako had managed to dress exactly the same, but her eyebrow and one ear did twitch a bit in annoyance.

Over by the Kōun crew six burly Nepleslian valets were bringing the outdoor space heaters typically reserved for al fresco dining in the early morning and late evening during what passes as "winter" on the almost-uniformly tropical planet, and set them up around Aliset. "The Vice President requested these for your comfort, Kōun-dono," the man in the purple polo shirt bowed and indicated the regressed Sayako clinging to Tachiko's arm like a child.
 
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Mazu Beach Boardwalk Plaza: Whiskers, Sachiko​


Whiskers looked over as Zelphon, a member of the Belmont Clan, approached. The Belmonts were not only cousins to Kara but also closely related to Whiskers' creator's family. As Zelphon drew nearer, Whiskers observed her intently, her sensors subtly scanning the woman.

Zelphon greeted Whiskers and extended her hand. Whiskers sniffed her hand, a gesture that seemed typical for any dog. However, beneath this seemingly ordinary behavior, Whiskers' advanced systems were hard at work. Her olfactory sensors analyzed Zelphon's scent, while other enhancements conducted a discreet scan of her physiological and behavioral patterns.

The analysis concluded swiftly: Zelphon was deemed a good person, trustworthy and no threat to Kara. Whiskers' programming allowed her to respond in a way that would signify approval. She licked Zelphon's hand, a gesture that indicated acceptance and friendliness.

Whiskers soon heard a happy squeal and turned her head to see Sachiko arriving swiftly, practically flying across the sand as she hurried to her little sister. "Kara-chan!" Sachiko called out with delight, enveloping Kara in a warm, affectionate hug.

After the embrace, Sachiko knelt down to pet Whiskers, her face lighting up with a proud smile. "Good girl, Whiskers," she said, her voice filled with gratitude and affection. "Looking after my little sister, just like I knew you would!" Whiskers responded with a wagging tail and a soft bark, her programming recognizing and responding to Sachiko's familiar voice and touch.

Sachiko then stood up and turned her attention to the others gathered around them. Her presence brought a sense of joy and excitement to the beach, and her energy was infectious. She turned her attention to Zelphon and smiled. “Hey, I don’t think we have met, I’m Sachiko Itatski, we are cousins” She said with a smile on her face. Then she looked at Calandri and watched with pride as Kara greeted the other.

Meanwhile, Whiskers remained by Kara's side, her vigilant sensors continuously monitoring the environment. She felt a sense of fulfillment in Sachiko's praise, her programming designed to not only protect but also to bond with those she was meant to safeguard. As Sachiko engaged with the others, Whiskers kept a watchful eye on the surroundings, ensuring that Kara remained safe and sound amidst the happy reunion on Mazu Beach.

Mazu Beach: Yue Motoyoshi Igarashi​


Yue closed her eyes as she stood on Mazu Beach, on the planet of Koukotsu. She smiled contently, feeling the warmth of the sun on her blue skin. The gentle breeze carried the scent of the ocean, a nostalgic reminder of why she had decided to return to the Kikyo Sector with her lover, Tachiko. Her eyes fluttered open to glance at Tachiko, preparing to say something when she saw Sayako tackle Tachiko into the sand. Yue couldn't help but smile, knowing full well the playful and loving relationship Sayako and Tachiko shared.

Yue's prehensile tail swayed behind her as she moved to kneel down beside them. "Hehe," she chuckled softly, noticing that both Tachiko and Sayako were wearing matching bikinis. Her smile widened further as she caught the subtle twitch of an eyebrow and a flick of an ear on Tachiko's head, a clear sign that Tachiko had noticed the matching outfits as well. The sight of the two, tangled in the sand and Yue’s laughter, filled Yue's heart with warmth and joy.

Mazu Beach: Ancilla​


Ancilla used her Kaimon Colleague body's optics to scan Mazu Beach. The AI, typically housed in Power Armor, now experienced the beach scene through her mechanical senses. She observed people enjoying the sun and surf, with children building sandcastles and couples lounging under umbrellas.

Her mechanical head turned, capturing the movement of six burly Nepleslian valets. They were hauling outdoor space heaters, which were usually reserved for al fresco dining during the cooler parts of the early morning and late evening—times that were considered "winter" on this almost uniformly tropical planet. The valets set the heaters up around a crewmate named Aliset, who Ancilla recognized as a Senti. Realizing she had never studied the Senti people, Ancilla felt a pang of regret.

However, since everything seemed under control, Ancilla knelt in the sand, feeling its grainy texture through her sensors. She began to dig, fascinated by the way the sand shifted and responded to her touch. As she sculpted the beginnings of a sandcastle, she reflected on the joy and simplicity of the activity.

The hologram that typically cloaked her robotic body usually showed her standard appearance in a uniform. But today, to blend into the beach environment, it displayed her wearing a two-piece red and black bikini. This allowed her to seamlessly integrate into the relaxed atmosphere, appearing as just another beachgoer enjoying the day.
 
Koukotsu II
Mazu Beach: The napping corner
YE 46

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As the crew of the YSS Yukika II arrived to enjoy themselves at the rather bustling and busy beach, a certain Nepleslian Science Officer was relaxing nearby. Having stolen a random umbrella from somewhere around the beach, and likewise a towel with dark green stripes which laid between herself and the rather rough and uncomfortable feeling sand, Calliope Cardinal was in the middle of a very exhilarating and important ability (at least, in her opinion): a lovely summer beach nap!

The Nepleslian had not really complained about heading to the beach, since it was a perfect excuse to lounge around and be rather useless after having worked countless (self-imposed) hours in the Yukika's science lab. Callie was wearing a rather simple, yet comfortable set of exercise wear: A fairly standard issue dark green tank top, and a pair of black shorts. There was a pair of sleek Emrys Uno sunglasses sitting next to the Nepleslian, alongside a cup of coffee dug into the side of the sand next to the towel. Mid nap, the science officer's closed, tired looking eyes twitched a little as someone yelled something out nearby: she probably didn't wish to be disturbed... however, that wouldnt exactly stop anyone from doing so.
 
Koukotsu II
Mazu Beach: Alastair Saga
YE 46

Unlike normal, Alastair decided to take the advise he got in return from his sister Zelphon to join the beach party. He figured this would be a good chance for the crew to bond together on the beach and even learn some survival. This was until he was informed by Sayako that they would instead be staying in a more fitting accommodations. He was not to argue over free lodging so tossed his camping gear off to the side. This trip, they would be staying in style. As an added bonus he'd get the chance to spend the night with Tachiko to talk captain.

Off in the distance, Alastair was running towards the group. His long hair flowed in the sea air. The light reflecting off his tan, oiled chest intense enough to melt sand into glass. What should have taken seconds to reach them, instead lasted for minutes. He finally made it to the group. "Hey, I see you each found one another." Alastair said towards Tachiko and Sayako. "You know, we do not really need this level of security. The Koun crew is around, not even a Mishhu is dumb enough to challenge us." He said with a smirk. "Staying out of trouble Tachiko? Been keeping a low profile as of late."

Mazu Beach: Zelphon Saga

Zelphon was glad to have a return smile so bright. When she would get the chance to see Kára she always seemed worn out. So the fact she could be here and not busy posing for a camera was a welcome sight. "Oh my gosh, Sachiko, is that you?" Zel blurted out. "I have only heard of you from stories or reports. It is so great to meet yet another of the family." She was so happy this had ended up being a small family reunion. So many good people in one place and the party had just got started. Zel had switched to giving Whiskers head pats after she had been accepted by them.

Her attention was then drawn towards Calandri who had come up to the group. As far as Zel knew, this was the first time seeing someone like this. "Oh, look at you. That swim suit looks amazing on you." She then paused and looked at her four arms. "You are so going to be on my team for the beach volley ball match." A smile as bright as the sun filled her face.
 
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