YSS Kaiyo II
After the Captain's Speech
Mark Oaklen felt tired after his recent ordeal, but Sacre said he'd be fine, and should stop griping now that he wasn't dying anymore. He gave a quiet chuckle at that thought as he loaded up a plate with food. It felt odd now that his body was back to normal and not altered, he'd grown used to the arm and eye.
But that was a thought he brushed aside as he found an empty table. With so many new faces, and with him having only gotten back from his side trip, he didn't want to out right bother anyone.
Mehitabel had also just finished loading her fill of rice, beans, and cutlets. Having avoided any accidental squid she turned to the seating area. Strange faces weren't that much of a bother any more. There was a table close enough to wing with only one man at it, so she set the tray down, sliding in across from him.
"Afternoon," she said in greeting.
As people started to collect food, Elenor finally grabbed a plate for herself and started getting some as well. Of course, once she had that, she also walked over to where she'd put her seabag, grabbed ahold of it, and started looking for an empty table. She was certain she was going to get all kind of trouble for it, but she still didn't even know where her quarters where. Or who she reported to. Or what her duties would be exactly on this tour. Sadly, the emptiest spot she found at the moment happened to have a man, looked to be a Minkan and a Elysian woman present at it.
Walking over, she gave a shrug in greeting, what with holding her seabag over one shoulder and her tray of food in the other. "Room for one more?" She asked, only noticing the Scout patch on the Elysian's uniform with a glance. At least Elenor wasn't going to be the only Scout on board it seemed.
Sliding away from the food with a plate loaded with proteins and carbs he needed to maintain the currently ridiculous bulk. It was that goofy image that made Ragnar more than a bit uncomfortable in the standard uniform. He spotted a few vaguely familiar faces in the crowd, only a few he’d gotten to learn the names of. Off by himself for a moment but quickly building a crowd was Mark, his first patient.
Not hesitating or bothering with formalities, Ragnar squeezed himself in the midst of the group. “You’re looking better without the creepy arm, how’s the brain pan doing?“ he said, gravelly as usual, “sir.” he added remembering the formalities of ship board service. “Ragnar Halfdan, medic.” He extended the greeting to the others gathered.
Mark chuckled with Ragnar's comment, "No need with sir unless getting ready for an op. At least with me anyways. And much better by the way." He looked to the other two had joined them, giving a slight smile. "Always room. Itto Hei, Mark Oaklen, pleased to meet you both."
"Hiya. Mehitabel Calidius. Infantry. Pleased to meet you, Oaklen, Halfdan," she said courteously, plying fork and knife to the dish before her. The other two were old comrades it seemed, leaving her with the other woman in Type 37s.
Giving her a glance, Bel asked, "Fresh meat too?"
Elenor gave a quick nod. "Nito Hei Elenor Herrick. Yeah, I just transferred aboard." She said, sliding into a seat and putting her seabag down. As if that wasn't clue enough. "Had figured I'd get a day or two to settle in before getting thrown into a speech like that." She continued, settling in to enjoy her food.
Ragnar kept his eye on the food he was stirring into a single mashed up mix on his plate. “Yeah, no offense to anyone present or not; but between that speech and some of the shadier stuff that was going on in the...other place we were... I’m just saying, theres good guy speeches and bad guy speeches. We have certain ideals we should uphold even in the face of a Kuve horde.” He finished, openly asking for the tables thoughts but suspiciously eyeballing where the captain had stood.
"Good and evil are subjective. The other side probably views us in the same manner that we view them. At the end of the day, war is about survival, or in most cases it should be. At least we don't have to worry about demons with the kuvies.", Mark said as he cut a piece of the pork loin off. He popped in his mouth and chewed before continuing. "The major worry is how even this fight is. They have numbers, technology, and the resources to make this a drawn out war. The only thing we have the advantage on is that we're on our own turf, and that they have to come to us in waves."
"I think what you mean is the perception's subjective, Oaklen-hei. I'd be hard pressed to view the Kuvexian's methods of operation as 'good' under any light but their own self-interest," she suggests pleasantly shifting her legs into a more comfortable position beneath the table. Her tongue holds back comment on the nature of Yamatai itself in the good and evil equation in favor of another strip of cutlet.
Bel's movements bump Elenor with the out-sized holster at her hip, itself wider than the standard issue Type 33 with the bulge of some kind of cylinder from the outsized pouch. Giving the other woman an apologetic smile, she shrugged, "Probably a lot of folks asked the same question with the Mishuu, right? We're a pretty resiliant clump of planets, us and the Neps and all. What happens, happens."
Glancing down as her leg was bumped, Elenor quirked an eyebrow at what was there, though her focus returned to the discussion on hand between bites of food. "Demons? Can't say I've heard of us facing against any demons anywhere. Or at least, nothing that could be called such in a derogatory manner. As for the whole 'good/evil' discussion... I think people are people and people can be fucked in the head." She said, a touch of venom creeping into her voice.
"Oh, I can't believe I forgot to say it... I'm a Scout. Feel kind of like an idiot now." She stated, giving a nervous chuckle. "So, if you don't mind my asking, what kind of mission was
on before this new upcoming assignment?" She asked, looking between the obivous 'old hands' on board.
“That question requires a lot more knowledge of space travel and science I don’t rightly hold and I’m not sure if I’m even allowed to talk about it.” Ragnar responded Elenor, half the plate already emptied by the time Mark had finished his be about how bad things are. “As for this good and evil talk; I know what I signed up for and why. We all should. So long as we don’t cross certain lines for the sake of surviving or winning then we should be fine.“ he didn’t add that he’d rather go down for his principles than live a sham.
“So scout? That an infantry job? Last I had a chance to check my brother was infantry. Been a while since I heard from him. Unlikely either of you have met him, he‘s an enthusiast for his field.“ Ragnar said and asked, knowing it was unlikely but there was a well guarded bit of hope in his eyes. “No matter how things go and where our illustrious captain takes us; you’ve got me, a small jumpy lass, and an edgy snake lady to handle all medical needs.”
"Oh no, we didn't fight a demon. I was unlucky one to get possessed by one. It's gets annoying when you have stuck up voice in your head all day. I'm just glad I gave that her boot.", Mark clarified.
"Mishuu are monsters if you ask me. They aren't an easy fight by any means. Haven't personally engaged the kuvies yet, so I can't really judge their character, other then based on the tactical actions of their forces so far.", he added idly as he set his plate aside before sipping his drink.
"I guess if we're being specific, I'm a Scout too. Doubt there's going to be much scouting to be done most of the time, but we are here," she affirms with a shoulder bump of comraderie. Ragnar gets an encouraging thumbs up, "Good news! That's three times the medic I'm used to."
Bel holds up a fork with full tines of beans at Mark, "I'm sure that'll change before too long. Eucharis, my first ship, was one of the first to run into them. Suppose that did not engender any great amount of forgiveness for them. Besides, judging's a bit above our paygrade. Or mine at least."
"I hear that. I joined the Hana as it was capturing a Kuvie ship. Ship returned to dock to resupply, and I ended up transferred here. I still don't even know which cabin I'll be in, or who I report to for duty." Elenor said, shrugging as she took some of the meat and consumed it.
"Still, sounds like the Kaiyo is certainly going to be an interesting time, if you two are anything to go by."
“It’s definitely different from ground pounding and crisis response, and the people are eclectic.” Ragnar added as he finished his plate and pointed a confirming thumb at Mark. “Now I’ve got to get some lifting in. Hard enough to build up a Minkan form, maintainings a nightmare.” He said while getting up from his seat, flexing to show off yet risking a tear in the uniform.
”If you need me I’ll be easy enough to contact, and if you get hurt we’ll be sure to patch it right up. Mark, I’d like to get a few more one over scans and just make sure everything is as good as it should be.“ he said over his shoulder as he left the boardroom.
"It's easy Herrick, you look for a Heisho in infantry blue. Job done," she says with an easy smile.
"I'm aware, but I was told rather pointedly to get here for the speech right as I stepped off the shuttle. I barely made it here before it started!"
"Damn Rag, you almost mother over me as bad as Sacre. I assure you the medical personnel at Section 6 did everything perfectly.", Mark said to Ragnar before he left.
"Yep that's the brass for ya. Things don't seem to change no matter what military you're in. I would suggest finding the new XO later and asking her, or our logistics officer.", The black haired man commented on the banter.
"Always some crazy mess, or another going on around here."
"You'll probably end up with me one way or the other, but you never can predict the whims of those who wear gold around their sleeves," she says, tugging at her own plain knit cuffs. Bel nods in agreement with Mark, "If you'd missed it, I don't think even this Captain would have put you out the airlock or anything."
Elenor gave a quick nod. "Fair enough. I'm not surprised by the hussle, but I was honestly expecting to get a chance to get my bearings first. And when you have a officer tell you 'Go here, do this', well, I just saluted and hurried." Elenor explained, shrugging.
"I'm just hoping this isn't going to be a short term tasking like my time on the Hana, though, I admit I think I came to like a few of hte crew during my short time with them."
"I actually spent six months as a civilian aboard here before enlisting. I used to run a organization prior to that, who I visited recently for my demon problem they fixed.", he said waving a little like it was nothing, just giving a bit more about himself.
"Good thing they knew what to do. Don't think the Star Army has a whole lot of exorcists on call... Come to think of it, that's probably not something I should be so sure about," she says with a spark of amusement.
"Hearing that, I suppose I should worry more about what crazy we're walking into than any crazy we walked from..." Elenor remarked, grinning as well. "But hey, considering all this, I'm sure my skills will have to remain top notch to keep up."
"Didn't take a preacher to cleanse this one, just science and my good ol Geist. But yeah, we've been in situations ranging from routine, to just damn bizarre.", Mark said with a bit of a laugh, "Not to say you won't find some of the crew odd. I have a Elysian named Kiki as my sister, and a Android named Chlorate for a daughter, both are aboard. So fair warning." He said with a grin.
Bel raises her mug in salute, eyebrows lifted dispassionately, "It's an unconventional world. Civilians or...?"
Elenor shrugged. "I'll work on just keeping to myself in my off time." She said, not really wanting to go into more detail.
"Kiki is the ship engineer, Chlo is not enlisted, but she does help around. And why would you want to do that? You've made friends and already want to ditch us?", He said clearly playing with her.
"I tend to spend my off hours with friends, family, playing my guitar, or with Nerai."
"Oaklen's right. I mean, we can't make you socialize," Bel hastily adds along with him, "Being friends with your room mate, or room mates as the case may be, can sure make being away from everything you know a little easier. Having my friends all around helped me a lot..."
She admits, in the past tense.
"I didn't say I wouldn't socialize, or get to know people. I'm just nervous is all. I've a few, things I need get over. And one of the folks back on the Hana was helping me get through them. Just gonna be all that much harder long-distance and all." Elenor pointed out, shrugging. "Not saying anyone here is bad or anything, just, that I have my own troubles to work through, and I'd rather not drag everyone down with them too."
"Everyone has problems to work through. I can't tell you how many times I've needed help with personal stuff. I have....A complicated history....people I miss....secrets I wished I'd never learned.....but the crew helped me through a lot of that. And it sounds like you may have gotten rather close with someone to help you before. Personal issues aren't something you share with just anyone.", Mark said rather to the point, even if albeit vague.
"Point being. There are people who are willing to help you, and I can't speak for bel here, but I can honestly say I volunteer to be one of them."
Bel holds up her hands in surrender, giving them both a cryptic smile, "Everyone's got stuff they need to figure out. So long as it doesn't effect your duties, go for it."
"It, well, it shouldn't. But I don't know." Elenor states, shaking her head in uncertainty. "I just know it's one of those things that, well, I keep worrying people will notice and give me trouble for is all."
"Trust me, some of us have issues that people would think were crazy, or well....outliers for. Do you have a evil clone?", He said seriously.
"Here we go again with good and evil," she says, feathers rustling as she leans back. Her mouth turns serious, no downward bent but there aren't any more jokes for now as Bel gives Elenor a polite nod, "He is right though... If any group is used to... Differences from the accepted normal, it is spacers."
"No, I don't. At least I'm pretty sure I don't. I haven't exactly ST'd a lot yet." Elenor replied, shaking her head. "But I suppose I'll have plenty of time to find out if things are as crazy as you imply. Suppose I should sharpen my combat skills just in case."
"I mean he is, but I digress. We have one mission after another around here, so plenty of chance to keep your wits sharp. If you don't mind learning some sword skills, I wouldn't mind a sparring partner....Or two.", Mark added nodding to Bel as well. "One of the best things you can do is diversify your skill set. And I don't mind helping if it will keep you guys alive."
Bel gives him a slight shrug, "What's your preferred school? I was trained to use a Xiphos, but honestly it has done me a lot better clearing brush than it ever has fighting. With the operations tempo in my old outfit, most of the down time was gym time anyway."
"Uhh... I tend to stick to ranged combat. With preference for chemical-fired solid projectiles. Just has more feeling of firing it than energy weapons do." Elenor said, not really sure what they meant by 'school', so just going with her area of skill.
"To answer Bel, I use a katana. And having practice in hand to hand can save your life when it's literally down to a knife's edge. Something I specialize in.", He said stoicly, as he found it a very serious topic.
Tapping Elenor on the arm near her rank bar and Scout badge, she gives Mark a pleasant smile, "They teach hand to hand, armed and unarmed, in Infantry training, plus another round of more practical stuff in Scout school. It hasn't gone unused since, but like Herrick said, I'm a ranged specialist. Of course, I got my Xiphos instruction in basic. Elysian swords aren't popular in the fleet though."
"SACQC here. Slightly more indepth than standard, I think some aspects were pulled from SAINT stuff, but yeah, that's my CQC style. I myself though, don't like getting that close to a enemy if I can help it. But I definitely don't let myself get rusty about it." Elenor pointed out, smiling. "I was more a hunter growing up, so I didn't really do a lot of close quarters work till Basic."
"My mother was the sniper. I'm more used to medium range combat, being in the thick of things like back in the marines.", he commented idly.
Mark took a sip from his drink, wondering just how nasty this war was going to get. Suspecting to be as he phrased it, "in the thick of things" becoming a frequent thing in the near future.
"My brothers are the same way."
"Quite the family," Bel says, maintaining her mild smile, leaned back in the seat. She wished the Star Army had thought to provide larger beverage containers that also weren't just bottles to drink out of...
"Marksman here. Give me a target at range and chances were, I got it, if armed with the right weapon." Elenor said, a grin on her face. Though she did sober a bit. "Course, being a good shot don't matter much on the frontier back home."
"Yeah, quite a family.", he said somberly. He made himself perk back up though, in an effort to hide that particular sad part of his life.
"One of the gifts I got on that side trip I mentioned, is a configurable rifle. Two of those configurations, are a DMR, and a high caliber sniper rifle. Maybe you guys can help me see if it's up to snuff, next time we have range time.", Mark said with a chuckle.
"Be my pleasure. I used to build guns, when I was younger," Bel says wistfully, fingers briefly caressing her holstered revolver, "Good at it to. So they promoted me to a desk job. It may need some tuning to you, though if it was a gift that might not be the case."
"Would be glad to." Elenor said, giving a nod. She was actually glad no one noted the mention of 'growing up', and wondered about that, being a Neko and all... Small mercies. And a hint of that thought crossed over her face as she pondered what to talk about next.
"Eh, I a started gunsmithing when I was younger too. Living on the streets as a kid wasn't hard if you had skills to get even a small amount of money. I started with repair jobs done for cheap. Then again, what can you expect from a man who was made for war.", he said waving a little as he recounted that.
"Little bit different on Keren III. My parents apprenticed me out at the naval arsenal fairly young. Lots of machinary and moving parts. Very educational. Both in the ordnance shops and the office of the chief clerk," Bel hid her mouth behind the lip of her nearly empty mug.
Plenty of people changed bodies in this day and age, voluntarily or not, even if the idea held little enough appeal to her. Cosidering there were things Elenor didn't want to talk about, she was officially in 'no prying' mode.
"At least I can safely say, I don't think I'm gonna want for action if that speech was anything to go by. I'm sure the rest of the whole meshing into the ship's crew will come with time after all." Elenor say, smiling. "And who knows, I might get a bunk mate I can work with. Would make things a lot easier."
"I pray you don't get Alastair. A major playboy. Void help you, he might and try to add you to his harem.", Mark said with a half chuckle.
"Out of curiosity, what race do you guys think I am? I usually get one of three answers."
"It certainly was a speech," she reaffirms with the rustle of uncertain wings. Not something she put a lot of stock by. Minds changed frequently. All that time with SAINT officers had put a strain on her credulity. Her eyebrows rose substantially, however, as Mark picked up, "Ah... Cross-gender bunking always seems like trouble to me. I'd rather sleep in the tubes."
Bel blinked. Not having thought about it, she gave him another once over, "Well, you mentioned the Marines... I'd say you're a human, Nep, or one who had a very good fascimile made as a replacement."
"My first thought was Minkan actually." Elenor said to Mark, shrugging. "And I'd, rather avoid that kind of situation. I'm not sure I'd be r-I mean comfortable for that kind of, closeness with someone."
"Don't worry, I try to keep him in check. Just......beware shock collars around him. He's a good officer, but he has some unsettling habits. I'm bunked with my family, so I'm glad I don't have to deal with him."
But Mark snapped back to answering the guesses, "I am a genetically tailored human. 100% baseline."
Bel looked extremely pleased with herself!
"Sorry." Elenor said, seeming to shrink a touch at the admonishment from Mark.
"Like nekoes, I was tank born however. I was literally made for war. Guess I'm certainly fulfilling the product statement.", He said kinda quietly, having noticed the discomfort he had caused Elanor. "Don't worry, there are good people aboard.", Mark added to try and make up for it, but in a way as if he hadn't included himself in that category.
"Can't say, just got here too," Mehitabel adds on her own.
"I wasn't tank-born actually." Elenor quietly mentioned, sighing, though she shakes her head and returns her focus to the two at the table. "So, what kind of things are there to do when not on duty, if you don't mind my asking, since you've been here far longer Mark?"
"About a year now. We have VR, an observation deck which is a nice spot to read, or just think. Gym and dojo, and we have a onsen for the relaxing bath. I generally enjoy the observation deck, and VR combat sims.", He answered, not paying much attention to the first comment. He sensed more to that maybe, but wasn't his business.
"This place is a luxury star liner compared to a Plumeria," the ex-clerk says happily at the thought of Kaiyo's recreational facilities, "Looking forward to that, I say, when I'll probably just spend my time reading or working out..."
"And a massive step up from the Hana's... I think she was rated for maybe 20 people to operate it tops. She was a tiny little ship." Elenor remarked, shrugging. "Still, at least I'll have plenty of things to do definitely besides keeping up on my training."
"Again, never a dull moment. Planets tend to explode around this ship.", Mark chuckled, "Will be nice to have a actually normal battle for once around here."
"Bad things happen to them around Kuuvexians too," she says darkly.
"Right." Elenor nodded, taking in what was being said. "Still, I suppose I should probably find the quartermaster, get myself squared away and all."
"Yeah, bad things do happen around kuvies too. It's called us.", Mark said with a chuckle, "If this conversation has shown anything, I look forward to working with both of you."
"And get yourself a bunk assignment," Bel agrees with Elenor, tapping a fork on her empty plate, flashing a smile back at Mark, "Sounds like it, yeah."
"Yeah. Part of getting myself squared away and all." Elenor replied, standing up, and collecting her bag. "I'll likely catch ya both around." She said, giving a quick wave as she put the empty plate and used silverware in the correct receptical for dirty dishes, before walking out.
"I should probably get going too. Hopefully we can arrange more time for our little circle here to hang out. Catch ya later.", Mark said taking his plate and cup, as well as trying to take Bel's for her, before also discarded them into the dish bin. Then heading off for duty.
"Be seeing you," Bel says, raising a hand in parting as Mark makes off with her dishes. She was only a few paces behind, headed towards the PA Bay for a little bit of personal check-in time.
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