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RP: YSS Aeon [Mission 1 Prologue] Regroup and Advance

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Katae slowed her pace a bit to allow the midshipmen to catch up to her. Can't carry on a conversation if she's having to run to catch up. As she walked towards the slide walk, "So Kim-Kohosei what is your first impression of the crew."

Eun-Kyung remained silent for a moment, considering her answer. "I'd say, ma'am, that I would be worried about the relative inexperience of the new additions, except for the obvious competence of the, er, older crew and Haruhi-juni." She paused again, eyes slightly defocused as she replayed the interactions in the lounge in her mind.

"I only really had a chance to talk to Usaga-hei, whom I was quite impressed with. The only issue, and forgive me if this is not my concern, is if there are any... post-combat issues." She looked earnestly at the Taii before continuing. "Has there been an opportunity for any of the crew to address any concerns or worries?"

Katae looked at Eun-Kyung for a moment, scrutinizing the midshipman. "During our journey to Virgo from the Ketsurui Military Sector, we had several meetings to discuss what happened, and to come up with ideas to mitigate the situation. You are correct about the new additions, most are extremely green. Which is why I am planning a few training exercises to get them up to speed as it were."

"Understood, ma'am," said Eun-Kyung, nodding in agreement. She certainly saw the necessity of having the whole crew performing to par as soon as possible, given the war footing so clearly expressed around them. "How bad is it, ma'am?" she asked quietly. "I mean, fighting the Mishhuvurthyar, ma'am. I wouldn't want to express these fears to anyone else, but I'm worried about my performance as well. I'm as green as any of the new Santo Hei."

"Right now, its difficult to say exactly. There are lots of conflicting reports. We were actually attacked by older Star Army vessels back at UX-25. The KMS is pretty effectively blockaded for the time being. And reports are that mothballed fleet was destroyed at Nataria. Basically Yamatai is on the defensive. These new Mishhuvurthyar vessels are fast, and they carry large numbers of drones"

Katae paused for a moment to let her words sink in. "Reports also came in of erratic behavior from Valkyrja, that were some how taken over. It is feared some unknown biological weapon is to blame; hence the new security procedures."

Eun-Kyung nodded gravely. "Keeping the medical screenings in place does seem the most prudent choice, then," she said. "Do we have any expectation of operating within a larger unit structure, or will the Seventh continue to operate independently? For that matter, are we expecting any more additions to the crew? In my conversation with Usaga-hei, at least, it seemed as if the addition of. another technician might be in order."

"Our initial orders will have the 7th operating independent. Right now one of the most important things the fleet needs is intelligence. Usaga-Hei is working on a project that is vital to our mission." Katae paused as she stepped onto the slide walk and waited for Eun-Kyung to rejoin her.

Eun-Kyung trepedatiously stepped out onto the slide walk, having no interest in repeating her previous embarrassment. Much to her relief, her caution was rewarded with success and she straightened up besides the Captain again. She rode in silence for a few moments, trying to think of any other useful questions, but for the moment she had none. Rather, more personal curiosity entered the forefront of her thoughts. "If you wouldn’t mind saying, ma'am, do you have any particular concerns relating to myself or any of the other new crew?"

Katae thought for a moment. "Well as you mentioned we are currently understaffed. But from the interviews, I do not foresee any major concerns. However, I still have several key positions that logistics has not sent any applicants for. One of those will directly affect you."

"Indeed, ma'am?" said Eun-Kyung, unable to keep the surprise out of her voice. The surprise rapidly mutated into fear. "Has there been some issue with my performance, ma'am?"

Katae observing Eun-Kyung’s response said "Relax midshipman, there has been no issue with your deportment. But at present you are the only other officer on the Aeon. So when we head out on our training, you will be Acting XO."

Even more so than before, surprise overpowered Eun-Kyung. Her mouth quite literally hung open for a moment before she regained control of herself. Her mind raced to figure out what was happening. She had heard of a few Academy graduates going on to relatively high positions, and even of one graduate a little older than herself who had been posted to the Eucharis as Executive Officer under the famous Hanako-Taisa, but she had never thought for even the briefest second that it might happen to her. "Ma'am, I'm..." she began, struggling for words. "Ma'am, I had not expected this. I understand this is a matter of expedience, but all the same, it is an honor."

“Well I did say earlier that this war was going to change the rate people would be called upon to take more responsibility.” Katae said with a grin. “Although to be honest I did not expect in your case it to be so much. Unless things change, when we board the Aeon take cabin one. As for Usaga-Hei when we head out for drills while the rest of the squadron is being repaired. I am pulling Ruri-Hei from the Integrity to assist. Ruri was part of the original crew before her assignment to the Integrity. There is no need for her to be idle while her ship is being repaired. The two of them have a talent for creative technical solutions. ”

Katae looked ahead and saw the sign for the Seaside ahead. “Well here is our stop.” Katae said as she gracefully stepped off the slide walk. “I will notify Eternity of your position and have her give you appropriate access. I will also have her queue up some pertinent reference material for you. Any questions Kim- Kohosei?”
Hoshi winced. "We have autonomous equipment on the Aeon."

He shook his head at the correction, "To be honest, I haven't been a very talkative person throughout my life. I'm sorry if I made a mistake, Miss Alia."

Hoshi turned his head to the Neko. "However. . . Questioning my abilities as a Medic and as an Infantryman is an insult, Miss Alia. I would not stop and wonder if you could fly your ship - so why would you talk about how I might screw up? Well, what if you screw up, Miss Alia?"

He looked forward, pointing with his arm outstretched. "What if, somewhere down that road you get us shot down? Or in some other way get us killed? You want to make fun of my job, and those are the real possibilities of what might happen to us in the course of your job."

He stopped and turned to the Neko. "Miss Alia, I trust you to be able to do your job. I will and am trusting everyone on the Aeon with my life." He looked up, then around, then met Alia's eyes. "Not because it's fun, but because we'll be in combat. It's inevitable. I don't want to die, and I'm pretty sure you don't want to either. So are you going to trust me to be able to do the job I trained for? Or are we going to wonder how the other person might get us killed?"

Hoshi sighed, then began walking again. He wouldn't wait for the Neko's reply unless she wanted to walk next to him to give it to him.
Eun-Kyung was entirely too distracted by the Taii's announcement to notice that she dismounted the slidewalk with ease. "No, ma'am. Again, thank you, ma'am." Trying desperately to think of something else to say aside from mumbling repeated thanks, she glanced back down the slidewalk to see how far the rest of the crew had come along. "Do we have a table reserved already, ma'am?"
Alia was stunned. She had meant her statement as a mere jest, but Hoshi took it very seriously. She quickly caught up to him and held his shoulders looking deep into his green eyes. "I'm sorry Hoshi, I did not mean to cause offense to you or your profession. I do know that we are all dependent on each other to do our jobs to the best of our abilities. I trust you, I trust Ise-Taii and I trust everyone else on the Aeon with my life. If I didn't then I wouldn't be here now. Sure I don't know them, but I do know that they wouldn't be on the ship unless their worth was justified. So please trust me as well." she said still holding his gaze.
"Eh..." Hoshi said, slightly embarrassed. "I trust you to do your job, Alia."

He pushed the Neko's hands off of his shoulders gently, then continued to walk. "So, how do you know the Ikoi 'like the back of your hand'?" he asked, trying to change the subject. He was shamed. He had overreacted to her joke.

What he said was true, and... Maybe, in the long run things like that, me opening up like that will help people take me far more seriously. Maybe, I'll stop being the push over I know I am. He thought.
Katae smiled at Eun-Kyung. “One does not come to a restaurant wanting a table for twelve or more without a reservation. I reserved one of their activity rooms, so that we will have enough space and privacy to relax. We probably should wait here until the majority of the crew arrives.”

The prior members of the Aeon crew filed out shortly after the Taii. Sachi waited until all the crew was out so she could notify the Kyoten’s crew that the lounge was now empty.
After giving Hoshi another long look to make sure he wasn't becoming depressed for mistaking her joke for seriousness, Alia walked a little faster to catch up to the captain. "Well Yukimura-san, I was 'born' here. I also received my training here. The Ikoi's commander, Gurei-Taii, is like a father to me. I've done a lot of traveling around the station so I know how to get from one end to another with out assistance. I assume you know your home the same way, where are you from Yukimura-san?"
"The best I can say is Yamatai. My father moved around so much because of his career it was insane... No specific city really comes to mind. I do know my dad's Clinic well enough, I guess." Hoshi looked around, slightly embarrassed.

"I think we're here." He said, turning the corner and... There the restaurant was, with the Taii and a few crew members waiting. Right on time. He thought.
Haruhi was satisfied with the Taii's generous offering of a free meal dockside and nodded agreeably. During the short trip to the restaurant of choice she ambled along towards the rear of the scattered group, choosing to observe her new crew mates for the moment and get a better feel for how they meshed. It almost paid off when it looked like two of the Santô Heis were about to have an argument, but to her mild disappointment they patched things up quickly enough. Putting the Fear of Warrant Officers into them would have to wait a little longer.

She pulled up outside the The Seaside not not far behind the blue and grey panelled pair and gave the restaurant the a brief look over before sniffing the air. “Smells like your friends recommendation will pay off, Taii.”
Katae turned to face Haruhi. “Yes, I do hope the food is a good as it smells. My friends have been stationed here on Virgo for a while, and they say this is the best place for surf and turf.” She looked around taking a quick head count of her crew.

Katae looked back at Haruhi, “Haruhi-Juni I do have one last piece of work to discuss with you. Tomorrow when we board the Aeon, I want you to take all the new personnel down to the power armor bay and assign them a power armor. They will need them later for our training exercise. You will need to set the weapon systems to training mode.

Also after the exercise I want you to modify a Daisy for Gustav-San, disable all the integrated weapon systems. Our advisor is not supposed go into combat, but if he’s on an away team and things go hostile, I do not want him to be an easy target in an AMES. You will also have to provide him with training.”
Glancing up Alia saw the sign for the restaurant, The Seaside. She had eaten there only once in her year of life while traveling with her father. It was known to be one of the most expensive restaurants on the Virgo. It has a small fresh water tank from which it has a fish farm. The vegetables were also grown in the restaurant. All in all it is a great dining experience worth it's hefty price. "Wow I thought she was joking when she said we were going to The Seaside. Wait until you go inside Yukimura-hei, it is wonderful."
Hoshi Yukimura stopped near the gathering crew of the Aeon. "Is it?" he wondered aloud.

He looked around at the sign, then to the crew, and then down to his feet. This'll be grand the thought was sarcastic. I don't even like seafood all that much. He picked his head up with a slight smile. "Oh, well." He mumbled under his breath. At least he was beginning to make friends.
Katae paused for a moment and said, “Well we may as well enter instead of standing out here torturing ourselves with the aroma.” She then entered.

The interior of the restaurant was spacious with lots of quality wood work and sconces mounted on the columns providing a friendly atmosphere. There was an aquarium in the waiting area with various brightly colored tropical fish. The air was fragrant with the aroma of the food. There were a good number of patrons eating. Background music was playing a tune that Katae did not recognize, but she did not find it unpleasant.

She found the hostess and identified herself. The hostess then led her to one of the private dining rooms. A large wood table filled the room and chairs were arranged eight to a side. Each place had a napkin folded in an origami like fashion. Katae walked to the opposite side of the table and took a seat near the center. She looked at the menu and started looking at the options. Well, this is going to take a chunk out of my bank account. At these prices I think a nice steak will be good for a change. Now to decide which one. she thought.
Eun-Kyung nodded at the Taii's suggestion, but before heading into the restaurant she stepped closer to the two new, conversing shipmates. "Alia-hei, is it? You'll have to suggest something from the menu for me, since you've been here before," she said with a kind smile. "I believe you had the advantage over Yukimura-hei and me; well the Captain too, but it won't do to mention that." She winked conspiratorially before looking up and scanning about for the rest of the crew. They were trickling in steadily enough, but there was one she had yet to see at all. Fishing out her communicator to remind her of the name - a Toranaga Siyun, or so the roster reported - she took one final glance before turning back to her companions.

"I'm sorry about that. We had better head in." Taking a half stride forward, she looked back for a moment to see if the two Santo Hei were following before walking forcefully to catch up with the Taii. The large table, unoccupied save for her superior, was easy to spot and she quickly made her way over and slid in to the chair to the right of the Captain. Her head swiveled about as she inspected the expensive decor of the restaurant. "Certainly nicer than your average mess hall," she muttered offhandedly.
Alia didn't get to reply before Eun-Kyong had walked off. So alia followed the rest of the crew inside. Even though she had been there before, Alia was flabbergasted by the decor of the restaurant. It took all that she had in her not to simply marvel at the towering columns and the fish in the aquarium.
When she arrived in the private dinning room she took her seat between Hoshi and Eun-Kyung and picked up the menu. "Personally Eun-Kyung Kohosei, I would chose their Fugu, the chef here teaches the certification classes for other chefs around the empire."
Katae watched as the crew started filtering into the dining room. She arched an eyebrow at Alia’s usage of Eun-Kyung’s given name with rank. I think I will wait and see how the Kohosei handles that. she thought.

Returning her attention to the menu she made up her mind to have a house salad with balsamic dressing, a sirloin steak, with red potatoes, and green beans. Perusing the wine selection she chose a nice Yamataian red to go with her meal.

She noticed Gustav-San and Toranaga-Hei walk in together. Katae looked around the table at those who had seated, and noticed one thing that ruined the sense of unity. The newest members of the crew all had bare spots on their right arm where the ship’s patch should be worn. Well that is a relatively easy thing to address. I will remind them to pick up their patches when they return to the starbase. she thought.
“No probs, Taii, will do,” Haruhi replied before she followed the the others as they all made their way into the restaurant. The neko chose a seat on the near side about a third of the way from the end and dropped herself into it, flipping open the menu to the drinks section. “As long as they can make a respectable cup of tea to match the effort they put into the visuals here,” she said as she swirled a finger in the air lazily to indicate the décor while she scanned the menu, “then I won't mind. Looks like they've got their bases covered though.”
While the Aeon crew found their seats, the wait staff entered the room wearing black skirts and white blouses. With skilled precision they placed glasses of water by each person and several baskets of rolls and butter on the table without interfering with the crew. Once they were done Katae motioned for the waitresses to come and take the group’s orders.

When the waitress approached Katae she ordered her meal with her preference of how her steak was to be prepared. However instead of ordering a single glass of red Yamataian wine she ordered a carafe so that others could have some of it.

Josea looked at the menu and did a double take. He had never spent so much for a single meal in his life. He watched the members of the Aeon interact. The former members were comfortable with each other and doing their best to make the new recruits comfortable. He realized that part of that ease was due to them all having a common theme. As members of the Star Army they were all part of a greater group. I’m surprised that the Ise-Taii did not transfer me off the ship when she evacuated the casualties. With the advent of the new war he was unsure how he would be able to contribute to her mission.
Hoshi took a seat, and had barely taken a sip of the water when a waitress got to him. He smiled, and ordered a soup he somewhat recognized. He also ordered a straight-out beer. Hopefully, that would be enough for him...

Hoshi eyed the rolls for a moment, and then grabbed a pair. He buttered them, then began quietly eating them. He watched the Wait Staff move around, and the Crew. Wondering how easily that could have been him if he had stayed on Yamatai.
Eun-Kyung started to blanch at the familiar use of her given name, but stopped short of making a comment. Praise in public, criticize in private… Perhaps she was simply confused by a non-Yamataian name. Deciding to give Alia the benefit of the doubt for the time being, she remained silent until the wait staff reached her. Being neither particularly hungry nor interested in breaking the Taii’s bank, she only ordered a light, house salad.

Glancing around, she noticed the SSS liaison viewing the crew, with an air of distance, if she guessed right. Feeling both an obligation to do her part to strengthen the much lauded “unit cohesion” and genuine curiosity, she smiled to attract his attention before speaking.

“Tell, me Gustav-Juni,” she said, softly so as to avoid interrupting those still ordering. “I am curious about the Scientific Studies Service. I have heard mention of it before, but I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting a member before. Indeed, I was not aware that any personnel deployed with the fleet until Usaga-hei,” she looked about for and smiled briefly at the neko, “was kind enough to explain your rather curious uniform.
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