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  • 📅 December 2022 is YE 44.9 in the RP.

RP: YSS Kaiyō Mission 22: Kenshō


Head in the Stars
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RP Date
27日 7月 YE 44
RP Location
Hanako's World
((OOC Note: Kenshō is a zen-like seeing of one's nature.))

Hanako's World
Harbor Town


Most Yamataian items and goods in the Shinjuku Market District of Hanako's World had been replaced by Kuvexian ones by now. Most Kuvexian textiles that were being bartered here were gilded, purple, orange or some gaudy pattern of the three. Parts for starships were being sold in a booth directly next to an emporium of cancerous flavored tobacco and vape masks for the remedy-seekers of the Kuvexian Empire. Troops of crazed Rixxikor scavengers licked at the weedy borders of the island districts like this one.

The ocean planet had once been a distinguished tourist destination, replete with beauty and charm afforded only to the elite. Now it was the former enemy's piss pot. In the middle of it was the bay of Harbor Town. With the Kuvexian occupation of the planet, it certainly wasn't ever frequented by oceanic ships. Most of the sailing boats that used to exist had been destroyed in the planet's bombardment.

But tonight was different for the waters of Harbor Town. If someone were to try to drop a boat's anchor in the bay of Harbor Town, it could unexpectedly hit the hull of a Plumeria class Gunship, The YSS Nyx.

Modified for covert missions and captained by Taisa Teien Eden, the decade old YSS Nyx was unlike anything being commissioned today. It was even an outdated model for the Plumeria line. The Nyx was the old workhouse 2D model, but this one was modified for the stealth a mission like this necessitated. It was a class which Eden had captained before, but tonight she was in a position she knew the 2D could be in but had never been in herself, which was completely submerged and stealthed in water.

Black-paneled SAINT operative Effy Penihatolapsoa had come with the black ship and Eden hadn't thought much of it. Now the two of them had just finished suiting up, outfitted in the saint operative field suit. The Nyx's power armor bay doors were open but the force-field at the bay doors kept the churning murky bottom of the bay from entering the ship. Though the water ebbed at the very edges of the almost invisible barrier, Eden rapidly leapt out of the ship and into it with Effy just behind.

Modular respirators assisted their breathing, but there was no special gadget on the high-tech suit to propel them through the water. They had to do that themselves as they crossed the large channel between the two islands deep below the water's surface. Eden noted that with a Neko team she would have opted to use gravity manipulation to cut the time it took to swim, but Santo Hei Effy had opted to remain in her Elven body after joining the Star Army so they opted for an efficient underwater butterfly stroke rather than propelling unfettered. Despite that, Effy was a strong swimmer and set a fast pace for the two that Eden enjoyed trying to better, as if in competition with the Elf.

When Shinjuku Starport, Shinjuku Market District, and New Kyoto were not just glittering lights on the horizon but all potential targets, Eden slowed. In her digital mind she utilized her neural link to Effy's headset. Though the Elf usually wore a tiara-like headband, when she wore the Field Suit she put on a headband that picked up her thoughts to communicate with telepaths, like Eden.

"Let's scan." Eden said over that telepathic link.

The pair bobbed to the surface and pulled off the field suit's masks to put on covert glasses and start looking at their target. Eden lightly touched the side of her temple on the frame to zoom in on New Kyoto. She breathed in sharply, seeing the devastation at the Fort there. Craters and pits in the ground had replaced skyscrapers. It looked like it had happened so long ago that there was very

"Distressing?" Effy asked while she kept a vertical position in the water to scout like Eden.

"Yes, especially." Eden said, looking in awe at the devastation as the SAINT operative had her covert operative glasses trained elsewhere.

"Noted," Effy mused as she did her vertical kicks in the water, "It would appear the museum remains intact within the marketplace. Shall we proceed, Taisa?"

"Hai," Eden said with a curious smile on her face as she looked at the tactful junior. GPS coordinates on the sunglasses showed their best point of entry was an unseen and derelict area of the boardwalk underneath shops located next to the water.

Her former commanding officer, Taiyou Hoshi, had liked to off-road and shop on this world, so Eden had come to this boardwalk sporadically with her. It was a wooden footpath built alongside the water with buildings lining it, some kitschy and some interesting. The military museum hadn't been here when Eden had last been to it. During the Kuvexian War it had moved from Chateau Hanako to down here amongst the other less subtle tourist traps. The upkeep of the place under the care of the Kuvexians instead of Yamataians had obviously ruined the charm, making it look more like a slum. What disgusted Eden the most was that the Kuvexians probably thought they had turned it into the lap of luxury.

As Eden clicked her thumb to the area of her glove next to her index finger, she shook her head. With the devastation at the city, Eden wondered what reclaiming the world would even look like .

Effy had done the same with her glove, which had activated their molecure climbing agents within the palm of the hands. Without much ceremony, the two pushed past where the water lapped at rocks next to the boardwalk's retaining wall. Each put both of their hands high on the wall and lifted their lower bodies up to match the height of their hands on the brick facade of the building. With a click of the control on the glove, an electrical charge was released which interrupted the molecure bond of one hand while the other remained planted. Eden and Effy lifted themselves higher and higher and one hand after another as their feet followed until they were on the roof of the military museum.

Water lapped at the building below, where they would exit after they had gotten liberated the old Yamataian valuable from Kuvexian hands. Inside the museum was a platinum lined amphora that Eden had once come in search of five years ago when the museum was up on Chateu Hanako.

Within ten minutes of arriving, Eden was back on the roof with that very ivory vessel safely stowed on her field suit. The pair had only needed to engage active armor for a flurry of seconds while taking out a Kuvexian guard on his nightly rounds. Kuvexians had put their own valuables up for display up and made the innards complex. Teien Eden persevered and followed where her feet led, finally finding her prize.

With satisfaction Eden was able to slip the ivory white amphora, glittering in a beam of light not from a display case but coming in from a window to the lazy light on the boardwalk outside. Under the display case read details about how the Lorath gave it to Hanako, but someone had scratched four fourty-two in black marker. Eden's finger recoiled, then glanced to Effy. The Santo Hei made no motion before Eden quickly swiped her hand and cleaned it.

Before when she had come, the amphora had been sequestered away for cleaning and untouchable. Back then Eden would have been happy with even just for a look. Now with less oversight during the occupation of an enemy she despised she was taking it back to SAINT for analysis, as she should have done 5 years ago.

A missing piece of star princess had been brought closer to being placed. The larger picture made Eden chew her lip as she swam back to the YSS Nyx. Eden only hoped she could uncover the truth further to see what the whole picture was and that if she needed the enigmatic Kaiyō crew, she would be able to find them.
Last edited:


Head in the Stars
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Planet Yamatai

Within the hinterlands, Eden found herself trekking a ridged path with only hard stone steps to bolster her ascent. For the first time in a year, Eden felt the sweat on her brow from the light campaign she was making. The beginnings of this quest from half a decade ago had made her feel the cushiony mentality of medical leave surrender her spirits with her most recent lunge of her leg.

Eden and her partner for this mission, Ozaki Kasumi-hei, had started the day before the sun on Eden's recommendation. The sky above started getting creamier, as if the sun's rise put milk in the dark indigo of night. Now as day broke, the two black coated Nekovalkyrja trekked up to a lesser visited site of Yamatai, the temple of the Frozen Maiden. She was making this trek along with a jerrycan jug that was tied over her black coat and Kasumi, a white-haired green paneled officer that trekked next to her.

Lazy streams of fog crept from the Easterly ocean and over the polar region's barren landscape. The land was fondled in lazy streams of sea vapor that smoked upwards to coalesce with the freezing air fronts above. The cold pressure of the way the earth, wind, and sea touched down on the pair as they walked and on the landscape as well. Even in early Fall, the fog had frosted in the grasp of the cold night air and sturdy ferns trembled, made white in the night by the frost.
Eden saw her own foggy breath jet from her mouth as she exhaled into the frigid air of the morning next to the sea on the cusp of Fall she smiled. Eden stretched out the arms of her coat with a happy groan to match, but the wind thrashed at her black hair, justaposing her mood wildly.

"Taisa Teien," Jôtô Hei Ozaki Kasumi said. With her commander's vociferation, Kasumi decided to speak up. "What exactly brought you to ask me to provide insight on your mission?"

Teien Eden chuckled as she looked back at the lower ranking woman. The two made an interesting pair; the taller Eden wore an officer cap and had long wind-swept dark hair underneath that contrasted with the pointed style Kasumi wore her severe white ponytail in.

"I don't know how to say it, Ozaki-hei." Eden speculated, "I think you could come up with the answer."

Ozaki Kasumi pursed her dark lips in a playfully upset expression as Eden looked at her on the path up. She had left two small wisps of her hair from her temples exempt from her severe ponytail and they moved gently with her quick movements. Both wore the Type 32 coat in this weather. Both had the curvy bodies whose athleticism was being betrayed as they pumped their legs over the steps at a quickening pace. The long trail was purposefully meant to give the patrons time to meditate on the temple above. In their case it was a good place to brief her newest partner.

"A SAINT operative -our handler- that you'll meet later, Effy- She and I were just swimming in Hanako's World together," Eden said mildly.

"Oh?" Ozaki's burgundy lips split, curious. "How is the planet?"

"The enemy has taken her," Eden nodded solemnly. We went in undetected, but that is the current state of things. As for you, bit of right place right time. Your specialty helps a ton."

"That's too bad," the white-haired woman said. "Not about why I'm here. Was it at the Temple of Star Princess?"

Eden chuckled, "You are smart. Yes it was. When the box was opened and the Avatar of the Stars deposited knowledge in us, in me- did you feel it, too?"

Kasumi took a considerable amount of time to respond, using the beautiful locale and breathtaking view of the ocean to their left and forward and warm hues of arctic ground cover to their right as an excuse to wait to respond.

She finally said, "From what I recall you had to be carried out, Teien-Taisa. I dd not experience such an effect. But the answer is yes, Taisa. I did gain access to what I had not known before. Snippets of the sector, about AvaNet and moons of the sector and such."

"All things a textbook should include, but I don't think astronomers have figured some of the things I saw, uh," Kasumi stammered, "Teien-taisa, I still sometimes get the same feeling only to see the same sorts of images. Not many, like two... but still."

"Me too," Eden whispered as she stopped. The dark haired and golden-eyed warrior put her hand on Kasumi's shoulder. The green-eyed Jôtô Hei looked surprised and off balance momentarily as the Taisa held her unexpectedly.

but the wind took the sound away and Kasumi simply read her lips and expression to understand the dark-haired woman. Eden had an imposing strength to her stature which had been thrown at Kasumi, but now she shirked as she shook her head to look at the sea, "And I dream of the Kaiyō, still. The ocean before us speaks of her..." Eden considered this then added to Kasumi especially, "but not like the dreams, not really."

"The dreams really spoke to you, don't they?" Kasumi asked, stepping forward with her wedge heeled black boots cutting into the moss next to Eden's feet. She held onto Eden's hand as she took in her breath sharply before asking, "That's why I'm here and why you came out of retirement, isn't it?"

"Well, it wasn't retirement," Eden said with an emphasis on the last word. "But yeah, I guess it looked that way. I'm here for this, though," she added with a chuckle back on track to the nearing giant yew and temple to her left. Water here is supposed to be phenomenal."

"Water?" Kasumi asked quizzically before running to catch up with the now jogging Eden. Saying the word had conjured the imagery and the scientist asked, again, "Water, Teien-taisa?"

Temple of the Frozen Maiden

Once inside, Eden wasn't inclined to move deep into the shrine. Instead, the woman stopped short at the entrance to hold out her hand. The water pittering and pattering from the entrance's trough-like chozuya. The boxy wooden rectangle had a shishi-odoshi that plopped water ceaselessly into it from its bamboo spout. The sound was a constant pitter pattering on the peak. Normally this area was covered in snow in the winter months -and soon would be- but right now Fall was just beginning to creep into the lovingly tended gardens.

Eden looked around, wishing she could linger. She could imagine meditating under the evidently ancient and incredibly large Yew that shrouded the Shrine's Eastern side to be peaceful at this early time of day.

"Let's get to work," Eden said with a mewling grunt as she started moving on to the mission at hand.

"Taisa!" Kasumi called as Eden brought her jerrycan jug from her back to her front, then over her coat, which she started working on next. "Taisa... What are you doing?"

"Getting undressed, Jôtô Hei," Eden replied with a frustrated expression on her toughened face. "What's so wrong about that?" Funny enough, Eden had stopped at rolling up the sleeves on the turtleneck of the 30C Duty Uniform she had on underneath her coat.

"Calm down, it's not that serious," Eden added with a laugh as she strutted to the chozuya's water basin. She knelt down and splashed her mouth with water as Kasumi relaxed, then she placed the jerrycan underneath the rippling surface of the chozuya's rippling water.

"Wait, Taisa-Teien!" Kasumi called again as she realized what Eden was doing. "That's sacred water!" She didn't make any moton to stop her and pulled out her scientific scanner and approached the water to start a series of tests on it as her deep red lips pursed.

Eden could tell Kasumi was more interested than upset, so said nothing. The air glugged out of the jerrycan as it was replaced with water inside, making big gulping sounds in the silent morning. Eden felt bad for breaking the silence, then a crow started calling a cawing sound to warn its kin of their presence.

"Check that the bird is real, Kasumi," Eden said as she hid her actions with the line of sight on her actions with the jerrycan and chozuya from the crow behind her.

"Right away," Kasumi said coldly as she changed out the module on the top of her scanner . She scanned it then called, "No power source detected."

"Good," Eden said, relaxing. "Birds that are real are just nicer to be around."

The crow screeched again. Even though Eden had only just now set foot on this part of the continent, part of her mind -the part that always controlled a version of Eve- knew this area intimately well. Eden's golden eyes flickered to the distant blue glaciers. In this universe, the ST backups there didn't work for this universe's Eve. If others had destroyed those places where revive the previous NH-17T, could she destroy them too? Could she use them?

Eden shushed her mind with a breath out, closing her concerned eyes as she quieted this universe's mind. In another universe the blue-haired and horned woman whose mind that Eden always gripped had the same backup places... and now Eden knew. The thought of these locations had never slipped from her Eve to Eden, worryingly. A wind swept over the wet skin of her forearms and of her face, making the chill running through her SPINE interface almost debilitating for the Taisa.

"I'm ready to go if you are," Eden said to Ozaki Kasumi, whose green eyes betrayed other plans as she looked to Eden. Her delicate pink hands were even on the scanner already while her black wedges were pointed towards the alluring temple.

"T-teien-taisa, uh... I would have liked to take scans of the old portal rooms," Kasumi said, taking off the ochre module and power cell of her scanner. "But as an order from an officer, it's okay if no-"

"Go ahead. But," Eden stopped her, looking to the warm hues under the incredible yew tree and the misty ocean with hopeful golden eyes. Eden had put her coat back on and jerrycan down to nestle near a rocky and leaf-strewn outcropping. The weak rays of an Autumn sun pushed into the canopy above, casting rods of light amongst the meandering dust and balls of soft light that floated in the delicate branches.

"I will be out here meditating beneath this blessed tree." Eden finally added, "Join me when you are done, Ozaki-hei."

"Hai, Taisa! What an aptly ceremnial way to conclude a successful recon of some phenomenal water!" Kasumi's verdant eyes sparkled above her smile. She was soon off and into the temple with her equipment.

With a wane smile Eden agreed, then closed her eyes.


Head in the Stars
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Yamataian Star System

Freya's Moon


Eden and Kasumi had dropped from near the exosphere of the moon, taking a slow descent down in their shibui suits. They had used them more like squirrel suits with a modular addition of wing flaps that zipped into the wrist and ankles of the suit. Their descent to one of Freya's many moons's unusually thick atmosphere had meant that they were now intimately aware of the landscape as they flew towards their destination.

The features here were in this pre-garden world were either flat masses or simple and angular shapes. They extended from the landscape in unwieldy, jutting movements of soul-less monotone hues. Below them the smooth but slightly concave soil was a level plane to fly above with a curve not unlike a subtle caldera in the strange landscape. Around and behind them were large jutting chasms of limestone rock formed from the mineral compounding over millennia. The bright whiteness of limestone extended into a sort of canyon that encased the long stretch of calcium-rich soil.

Though this area was as chalk white as Kasumi's hair tightly secured under her helmet, on the horizon it bled into the sulfur sickly yellow and pussy green colors of the sulfur fields beyond and the the North. In time, that sulfur would bleed into the calcium-rich land and create something more habitable for life, along with the rest of the moon's terra. But in this moment in time, the moon was bleak.

Once within just a couple of dozen feet of the surface and after Kasumi had started using her Type 31 science scanner, Eden spoke.

"It looks so barren," Eden noted of Gersemi.

"Not at all accurate," Ozaki Kazumi said and her hand went to her science scanner on her belt. "As you know the ground in this region is particularly rich in calcium."

"No, no-" Eden said, "I understand it will be beautiful one day. Pre-garden words tend to seem so hostile to life."

"A false front."Kasumi had the response on the tip of her dusky red lips.

Eden nodded, "Rarely do facades hide beauty. Here they do, I suppose." Her head tossed up to look towards the two ships docked at the survey station high in atmosphere of Gersemi. A sleek black Plumeria gunship that she now captained, the YSS Nyx, was there and next to her was a Henry Chen science vessel from the task force they shared.

"Often that is how the algorithms of science, work, Eden-chusa." Kasumi's green eyes dashed to Eden underneath her delicate white lashes.

Ozaki Kasumi had been working diligently in her digital mind. Finally with a breath of relief, she concluded mental calculations took the emission module out of her science scanner.

"So why is you use that science scanner," Teien Eden asked as she took a look at the white-haired Nekovalkryja in the shibui suit next to her. "And not the new one?"

"I learned on this one," Kasumi looked between the ground below and the clunky modular scanner she had been using for a year, now. "When I was on your ship for Project Star Princess, I was a cornflower infantry."

Eden nodded.

"When I took on collegiate work to become a science officer, it was a big step. This little guy saw me through." Kasumi said with a happy tone as she clipped the scanner to her belt and stored the emission module in her butt pack. She seemed to be taking a breath of relief as she looked at the surroundings with new eyes. "Back to the mission profile and this moon, Gersemi. Many believe the Yamataian Star System to be artificial. The Nepleslians think it all started here."

A sly smile had grown on Eden's heart-shaped face, "What do you think?"

"Along our current course," Ozaki Kasumi informed the Chusa flying next to her, "we should approach the location for a foot search to begin."

"You didn't answer my question," Eden prompted.

"I think I'll theorize for you at our destination, Eden-chusa."

Though Kasumi retained her helmet, Eden was wearing her long black hair in a traditional Yamataian style called yoko-hyogo where her hime cut and bangs were down while the rest of her hair was wept in two large mountainous buns that formed sharp wings atop her head. The Shibui she had worn at the Temple of the Stars during Project Star Princess fit snugly now as it had then, given her stacked chest and the thick hips she had in common with the science officer next to her.

"Telemetry copies your coordinates." Aboard the Henry Chen in the avionics section, their SAINT handler Effy spoke to Eden and her partner, Ozaki Kasumi, in the Nekovlakryja's digital minds. A few moments later, Kasumi and Eden touched the ground of the planet for the first time. Kasumi knelt to sample the earth, then popped out the module on her science scanner for another. She was wearing a field uniform as white as the the calcium-rich rock formation jutting out beneath her.

"Sending science scans as I process them," she said.

"Copy that Ozaki," Effy replied in comms. They flew on several more meters until coming to what looked like a flat plane of earth in the center of the large white expanse. Underneath the amphora that SAINT was still housing and studying, there were coordinates in an old, almost unknown language, that when combined with the same type on the box that had been opened in the Temple of the Stars, the coordinates on Gersemi were the only ones any algorithm would connect the clues to. So now they approached those coordinates with hopeful optimism their mission's conclusion would be closer in sight.

The placid look on Kasumi's face was disturbed after the pair touched down on the white rock. When their boots touched the white chunks of calcium shale on the ground, Eden felt herself being pulled down and engaged gravity controls. Eden could barely stand, but she seemed to trust in it as she looked to extend an arm to help her partner next to her.

"Chusa..." Ozaki Kasumi remarked with an uncharacteristic guttural cough. Her science scanner open once more, but it had spilled out of her hand as she fell to the white earth.

The grippy, foreign fabric on Kasumi's Shibui suit crinkled at the fingertips as she sunk towards her knees. The white gritty earth pebbled and crushed around her as she gasped for air to speak again, but she reeled and let her head fall between her knees in a rasping shout.

"Kasumi-hei has fallen!" Eden gasped. "My inertial controls are not working and- and I feel weaker." Her stance had widened as her knees locked and feet remained planted in the calcium white shale and dust below her.

"Gravitational redshift on the planet," Effy called back to them. Then she seemed to be speaking to more than just Eden and Kasumi momentarily.

"All personnel are advised to evacuate the station." To Eden, Effy said, "I'll continue to monitor you, captain, but the station is in jeopardy!"

"No..." Eden said, straining her neck and jaw to look up. She could barely lift her head and when did, it made the black hime cut hair that wasn't up in her traditional bun fall and show her tendons flexing under her straining jawline. She peered up to see that the Nyx's docking connection had been broken. Slowly the matte black Plumeria moved away, then with a sudden blue and orange melding of light, the modified SAINT vessel was gone. Simply no longer in existence despite the station being next to it, still safe for the time being.

Eden blinked, her wide amber eyes filled with wonder over her mouth, which was agape with horror for the station as she switched over to her digital mind's telepathy. She was listening to the terror-fueled thoughts of every Nekovalkryja on the station.

"YSS Nyx you are being cleared for launch. All personnel are advised to evacuate the station immediately. Escape pods are being evacuated as we speak. Security authorization 5499 Delta opening shuttle bay doors. Station personnel for immediate...all hands..."

They were relaying the words Effy had said before to them.

With a heavy sigh, Eden felt herself feeling sick and unimaginably heavy. She felt like with every deep, pained breath she took she had to feed every muscle the oxygen it needed just to exist.

In her peripheral, Eden saw Kasumi grabbing for for her scanner, but she couldn't reach. Eden began pushing against the white ground, crawling to it like a snail coming home from a funeral. Eden groaned with the effort of taking a step, but she struggled towards the science scanner Kasumi had dropped. Grabbing it, she scooted towards Kasumi, who worked hard to reach into her buttpack for a different scanner module.

Eden nodded, "Take scans!"

"I am but these recordings mirror those of our experience in Temple of the Stars, captain. I think we're aboouu-" Kasumi's voice was stretched out and slowed to the point of being unrecognizable to anyone observing, such as Effy in her escape pod. The SAINT elf saved the communication she had just heard from Kasumi and one last proximity scan, then kept working at her station, hoping she'd get to an escape pod. She had already sent her last will to SAINT: do not revive. Many personnel of the station were gone in one of the many stuffed escape pods alongside some the personnel of the station. The station was deeply pitted and crumpled on the sides closest to the moon and it looked a bit like a tin can half-crushed beneath a heel.

They didn't need to stay away long, though. Effy's scans showed the abnormal super dense mass that had formed within the center of the moon was suddenly gone... but her scans also showed Kasumi and Eden were gone as well.

A Different Time:
20日 4月 YE 42

A Different Place:
Uesureyan Fields

Eden was still listening to the mental voices of the station and the escapees when she disappeared from Yamataian known time and space. They all stopped just as she did. The silence was soon overcome by her own speculative thoughts, all full of concern and alarm at what had been caused. Kasumi was in her arms and the pair in the Shibui were for a moment in a very closed space, dark, then it was all light around her. She felt she could see someone, then all light. Light like a person's face but also like the feeling a weight lifted.

Was that a face that of a Neko's? Eden wondered.

"Sister?" she asked.

"No," the blanched woman said. "I'm AvaNet and your ship avatar. You're on the YSS Nyx and I have further modified it for your mission." Her features were soft save for her sharp eyes and mouth, both fair as snow.

Eden could hear Eve in her mind laughing and cackling. The crazed dictator told Eden to check the date. When Eden didn't, she just kept howling with laughter.

The Avatar spoke again, "You have a mission to the Kitsurugi and Nepleslian that I know." Eden's mind went to Aiko and William and the woman nodded her head and closed her white eyes solemnly. "They are in captivity during this time, but where they are I do not know." The Avatar said. "I need you to take me to them."

Eden looked down and saw the ultramarine carpet of the Nyx's bridge. Next to her was Kasumi and the captain's chair. She was telling the truth. Eden remembered Aiko's debriefing and her mention of an something coming to her and saving her and William. In Eden's eyes she had interpreted that as the Kami of the clan spirits wafting into Aiko's thoughts to inspire the princess warrior. Eden thought it had been nothing more than a holy experience for the Ketsurui.

Now Eden was beginning to rethink her assumption.

Now that she heard the the avatar's request, Eden felt like she saw how everything was coming together, even if only to ferry someone to Kuvexian space. At least it all made sense to Eden, now. 

When Eden had opened the box at the Temple of the Stars, she had been flooded with information, but also the features of this Avatar, her searching eyes pointed mouth looked like something Eden had seen in that experience. And that experience was that which had brought her back into the army and to captain the Nyx.

Eden knew little, but at least she knew the Avatar and her shared the same mission.

Kasumi moved to the Nyx's closest bridge console Eden raised her hand to stop her, but seeing her glittering chusa striped and remembering her mission -not her personal motive to ignore the dictator that resided in her head. Eden let the science officer check anything for herself.

"Chusa, it's YE 42," Ozaki said breathlessly. "It's the fourth month of YE 42, Chusa! The Battle of Nataria is happening today!"

Kasumi had stopped toppling over her words; she had realized Eden was standing still, sniffling.


"My wife and child died at the Third Battle of Nataria." Eden's shibui-clad wrist wiped a tear from her face. Kasumi breathed out but Eden talked on, "I was in Kuvexian space, where this Avatar wants me to lead her, instead of here to save her." She looked to the white-faced Avatar. "Did you bring me back to this time to save her? Can I save them this time?!"

With a shake of her snowy head, the Avatar had given her reply.

With a choked whimper, Eden stepped forward, powering up systems on the Nyx through her captain's chair. Her fingers were working the ship systems, but her digital mind brought up the names of her family members that would die today, hoping to see it as it happened during her second experience of losing them forever.

"Talk to me if you need to." Mournfully, Kasumi had taken off her helmet and approached Eden to put a hand on her shoulder with a soft squeeze. Kasumi took to the science and sensors station while the Avatar walked behind the bridge where there was a connected section. She began wiring into AvaNet up there as Eden's brows had lifted, remembering that the avatar had said she had modified it. The Avatar's implicit connection to AvaNet allowed her to fly the ship she had refitted for herself as its AI from there.

"What should we call you?" Eden called behind herself to the Avatar.

"Stars. You may call me Stars," the Avatar replied evenly. "I am ready for teleportation sequence."

"The wha-" Kasumi asked excitedly. She suddenly took out her science scanner once again and she jumped up to start scanning Stars and the ship's consoles.

"We have a prince and princess to save, now don't we?" Eden said, smiling through the tears.

She wasn't ready to be taken far from Yamatai and away from where her loved ones would soon die in battle, but Eden lied.

"Ready when you are, Stars!" The captain said before disappearing from known space... once again.


Head in the Stars
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A Different Time:
8月1日 YE44

A Different Place:
Planet Yamatai

"Stars Prefecture," the static-tainted voice of the Fukuro shuttle's pilot toned into the rear cabin, "is directly below us. RADAR confirms we're approaching the center of the prefecture. Trajectory for descent to the temple not yet viable from our stratospheric position."

Hoshi stood in the mostly empty aft cabin of the Fukuro shuttle with her arms spread, standing as still as she could. Two specialists from Hera Group were zipping the extra fabric onto her Shibui with extra care. It was difficult to not let herself feel like a celebrity or a princess being fitted with a tulle ballgown. Especially after her interrogation at Star Army Intelligence's headquarters, Chusa Taiyou Hoshi let herself revel in the sense of calm before the storm. The tumultuous beginnings of the cold season meant that the shuttle couldn't make a landing on the ice below. Rather than wait for an opening in the blizzard, they were sending her lone body in to breach the storm and get to the temple, possibly saving Teien Eden's life.

"Remember, this squirrel suit design is not yet out of testing, so be careful with it!" A grey haired SAINT agent, Effy, said as she shrugged into the rear cabin from the cockpit. She had been looking at the two people kneeling and working deliberately on the garment of the lithe woman above them before her slight blue eyes strayed to the Chusa.

"Isn't the Shibui suit not out of testing, either?" Hoshi asked, met with a narrowing of the elf's eyes under her golden circlet and silvery bangs. The elf smacked her arms together, crossing them over her black paneled duty jacket.

From what Hoshi could tell, this was Teien Eden's handler. Seeing as Eden was lost to known time and space, Taiyou Hoshi didn't have to guess why she was hiding a bad mood behind her crossed arms.

The Chusa wondered if there was more than just concern for Eden on the elf's uneasy face. Hoshi had also seen her notes on the father of Star Army Special Operations and Hoshi's boyfriend, Nicholas Saiga. It had almost left out for the Kaiyō captain to see and included, "Girlfriend: Taiyou Hoshi. Last promotion eight years ago. He could do better!" While another was about the good looks and charming demeanor he possessed that gave him the ability to win over any target. Hoshi had added a little doodle to the page of the SAINT operative, nothing clever or jokey about it, just her best attempt at a likeness. She fancied herself an artist after enough practice at drawing him from real life in the past, even if it annoyed him at times.

As one of the gadget creators that knelt below Hoshi moved up from her leg to reinforce the zipper, they prodded into her ribcage with a sharp pressure of their thumb. She breathed out at the press, remembering simpler times when she had come to this same temple with her full crew. How ironic it was she wished for the company now after years of pushing them away. She had been relying on Ketsurui Aiko in their stead, but the princess had not been summoned by SAINT. Something about the evidence of Avatars connecting with those who had seen the box open all those years ago meant that only Hoshi making contact with it again was of interest. The small captain had even thought to ask Nicholas Saiga to assist her in the mission, but she would have regretted pulling him away from some SAINTly camaraderie building exercise that happened to be today and actually seemed fun.

"I've kept mine in perfect condition." Hoshi added as she tucked her blue and white ponytail into the back collar of the suit, "Why would that change by zipping some wings onto it? Besides, what am I supposed to do with them when I get down there?"

"Remove them by unzipping here and here." With a graceful pointed finger at the wrist and then ankle, the HERA specialist pointed out the detachment points on the impromptu wing suit. "You'll want to unzip your hands and legs and have them free before landing."

"Thank you," Hoshi was a little uneasy about the suit she had used for 5 years being sewed into and potentially destroyed, but she was willing to do anything to save her former XO. If that included jumping into the eye of a storm or if it meant her favorite piece of clothing being ripped into to get her there, so be it. "Is trajectory for descent viable?"

"Let me check," Effy said as she uncrossed her arms and turned away from looking at the pink-skinned captain who was now donning her Kabuto helmet over her pink features. She locked in the seal to her suit with a twist at her neck as one of the modified side modules on the helmet linked in to the Shibui's AIES. Soon, her own digital mind had synced up with the variety of electronic suites, allowing her to begin tracking the movement of cloud particles far below in order to get the clearest shot through.

"Spread your arms and legs to slow down and control your movements," one of the specialists said, tapping Hoshi's arms. "You'll want to rely on your inertial controls for landing and your aether engines in case of emergency."

"As for extraction?" Hoshi asked.

"Your suit's aether engines!" With their delicate bony fingers the smiling specialist made some motions to denote Hoshi's legs running then dangling, as if flying.

"Oh, same thing as if in an emergency!" Hoshi nodded back with a cracking smile. Part of her ideated that Teien Eden's handler had it out for her, sending her to her death like this. Of course that wasn't true, but with none of her usual comrades at arms around, the little captain's imagination was filling in the blank spaces where she wished they were with whatever intrigue she could muster.

With a warning from the cockpit and a faint guttural rumbling of internals, the port-side of the aft cabin's hull cracked open. Quickly the side of the shuttle had lifted to expose the unseeable ozone layer below. Below that, the huge swathe of clouds looked picturesque as the late day sun touched their peaks and fluffy forms. The only testament to the chaos beneath was their unending breadth of billowy white murk.

The opening of the hull's large door all but indicated it was time for the five foot naught captain to jump. Effy had ducked through the cockpit doors again, giving a solemn thumbs-up to the small captain standing on the only thing separating her from the ceiling of the storm she would be descending through.

"May the stars shine on you," Effy gently whispered as she clasped her hand to her black-paneled chest, though Hoshi couldn't hear her.

She had already jumped.