Star Army

Star ArmyⓇ is a landmark of forum roleplaying. Opened in 2002, Star Army is like an internet clubhouse for people who love roleplaying, art, and worldbuilding. Anyone 18 or older may join for free. New members are welcome! Use the "Register" button below.

Note: This is a play-by-post RPG site. If you're looking for the tabletop miniatures wargame "5150: Star Army" instead, see Two Hour Wargames.

  • 📅 December 2022 is YE 44.9 in the RP.

RP Of Bets and Debts: One Monster to Another

Soresu

Well-Known Member
RP Date
YE: 43, 1:48 PM
RP Location
Planet Yamatai
Planet Yamatai
Tsubomi, Sodachiyuku-ku (Ward Five)
Sutādasuto Coffee House, 1:48 PM

Tai sat quietly, her horns gone. replaced by the soft furred ears of the Nekovalkyrja. Snow White, with just the barest of tinges of violet to them, just as was the long, straight hair that went to her waist. The glasses she wore, purely for aesthetic held the expensive lenses one would take for correctives. But as a Nekovalkyrja it was utter foolishness for one to need them. Yet the wireframed silver worked accouterment seemed to work for their mistress. This little spot, a relative niche in a city of close to a hundred thousand or more wasn't too well known to outsiders and even the townies who lived within the city limits. It was a place for the more bookish, intellectuals that roamed the halls of the upper school programs, professors, and teachers. Or even some of the less hotblooded students of the 'Fighting School'. This drew a soft snort. Her mothers had taught her combat. And over the course of her life she'd accumulated enough experience that she could probably have ground those instructors to dust beneath the high-backed heel of her sandals.

The murmured conversations around her were welcome. The ears she wore, purely for show, yet functional felt woefully inadequate for her highly unusual biology. But even to the cellular level, she appeared above-board as a Neko. True mastery of her body had come with time. Like a puzzle. It had held its mysteries. Each one she picked up and unlocked bit by bit in between her ever-increasing and secretive workload for the secultionist Iromakuanhe. She had never shared Yamataian technology with them. Wouldn't. The Empire was too paranoid, vehement in their pursuit of such things or even the slightest sneeze taking it as a declaration of war. It was sad really. The Democratic Imperium of Nepleslia was only a few generations behind them in some areas. Lagging. Yet in others, they had been almost on par. Even after Glimmergold, where Yui and the others extolled the virtue and valiance of the Star Army and its allies, she knew the old bitch was moving on to the next problem.

The friends of today were the potential enemies of tomorrow. And she had worked feverishly to keep the Iromakuanhe out of the sector's politics. For they never changed however much makeup they put on the cratered cheeks and wastelands of the worlds or battlefields. You just couldn't dress up that millions had died by the score. And sadly, she also knew a lot of those souls would never return. Their Soul Transfers lost for all time in the vicious battle that had ensued.

History always went to the victor and the victor always made themselves out to be more than they were. Her alien tastebuds registered the faint taste of bitterness and ash on her tongue at the unbidden thought. It was comforting to have that feeling, but utterly foreign as well. Sitting comfortably at a table all her own, the deep brown mahogany tabletop, the almost, blood-red grain visible, polished, and lacquered to protect it from scratches, wear, and age was beautiful to her eyes. But that wasn't her main focus. Instead, the eldest of the Shichou children merely gazed out of the crystal clear window and watched. Tsubomi was always busy. Students and staff. Tourists. She was a philanthropist here. Sinking tens of millions of KS into students. School supplies, teaching apparatus, expansions to buildings. She wanted the finest for the orphans. For which she knew there were surely more now after the familiar devastation and loss of life Yamatai tended to leave in its wake in war.

With a slow blink of her crimson, sharp, and intelligent eyes, a further injection of cash was sent to the administrative arm of Tsubomi. More psychiatrists and counselors for the children, wives, husbands, and lovers who had lost someone, or everyone. They to deserved the finest. Of course, she had to route everything through the Lazarus network. PANTHEON likely wouldn't be happy at such a foreign mind trying to make a handshake and establish a connection. But then again, when you had nearly endless capital and head for her profession, it was easy to find the loopholes. After the blink, her eyes never closed again. Instead, continuing to watch the people.

It wasn't until one of the waitresses, a pretty slip of a thing, a Minkan if she had to guess cleared her throat with a delicate sound. Out of pure instinctual habit, one of those snowy white ears turned in her direction. Then her head followed in a slow, languid motion. The girl was quite the looker as she waited attentively, a beatific smile on her face.

"Ma'am? Welcome to the Sutādasuto Coffee House! Where we aim to please." the girl held a little datapad in her hands before bowing deep. Tai couldn't help but lift an eyebrow at that. Neigh on a decade later and the simple Yamataian gesture of courtesy when dealing with someone above their station had become a foreign concept to her. But the Shichou elder rolled with it and offered a spooky little smile in answer. As if she knew something none of them did. A private little secret.

"Thank you." came the response as Tai tore her eyes away from the people moving about their business outside and on the streets of the student city. Looking up at the woman. A girl really. Likely a student trying to make the scratch for her schooling or just to survive.

"I would like a coffee. Do you have a dark roast? Less acidity. If possible. Something of... quality. Nothing artificially grown or cloned."

The waitress smiled brightly, waiting a moment before Tai spoke. The seated woman's question caused the girl to smile all the wider as she checked the cafe's inventory wirelessly.

"We do miss..." the waitress began before her customer cut in with 'Tai'. "Tai. Several choices. We carry a dark roast made from small batches here on Yamatai, specifically from near the forests of Xiuluria." this caused Tai to slowly shake her head.

The waitress' bottom lip seemed to quiver just a little as her first offer was denied.

"There is another from Jskita. Very earthy, with toasted not-" Tai shook her head again, her hostess seemed to quiver just a little more before the snowy-haired Neko spoke.

"Something from Malifar?"
the scientist asked, which caused the girl to bob her head enthusiastically.

"Of course! Sweet body, dry with hints of raisin and baked peaches." she seemed to have connected with the store's inventory again and was reciting it all from rote memory. "Ends with a finish of exotic woodsy flavor. Would you like a cup of this... Miss Tai?" with an affirmative nod from the much older Neko, she turned to leave before the woman cleared her throat.

"Yes, ma'am?" her smile bright and lively once more as she stood at attention.

"Cardamom, cinnamon with vanilla sugar. Two spoons. Orange flower water and a bit of cream. And please have them not burn the beans during the roast. Or over-saturate it with water. I want it thick and strong." her request caused the girl to stare a moment, mouth open just a bit before closing once Tai added an apologetic look.

"I can be picky with my coffee. Please see to it? I will pay extra due to my request. Also. Almond cookies. Something... with a hint of amaretto if you would. Fresh the almonds slivered, not chunked or ground up. I cannot abide them stale." her waitress cleared her throat. Clearly perplexed by this in-depth order but she returned to her well-practiced demeanor and trotted off to fulfill it.

Once alone again, Tai pulled a little leather-bound book from a coat pocket. It was a non-descript thing. It looked subtly cheap but still of superb quality. An actual pencil came next while she thumbed through the pages with her free hand. Each page held equations. Complex, mindboggling things seemingly too radical for the more rationally minded scientists and mathematicians working for SARA or civilian firms to fully grasp or comprehend. Oh. She would so enjoy seeing Yaichiro's face as he tried to crack them.

Even as she began to jot down more and more ideas, adding to the recent addition to her book of mathematical formulae, the smell of coffee invaded her enhanced nose for she could even taste the rich aroma through her skin. It just made the experience more enjoyable to let that particular part of her anatomy work instead of being suppressed. And she did something, something Rikun, her twin, the hotheaded loud mouth for which her heart belonged to had been aghast at. Tai hummed contentedly. The melody something entirely her own but it still sounded sweet, seductive, a little sad yet exotic all at the same time with a pitch that one might find odd. Yet to her it was absolutely perfect to her.

@SageShooter
 

SageShooter

🎨 Media Gallery
It was a strange sensation, living amongst those that a decade or so ago her kind was hell bent on completely erasing from the universe at large. Yet now… She had to hide, hide so she could grow her base, grow her strength and spread outwards to revive her once great people. People that she could see even now, in the husks and bodies of those they had been sworn to eradicate. Yet now she had to hide even herself among these lower life forms and every inch of her shivered in the sheer hatred she felt toward them. But it was a soft smile and a kind voice that filtered out as she spoke to two younglings, two young Nekos that were in the classes she taught.

“Yes, there is still an exam to be done at the end of next week, but I have given you plenty of time to study and even given you a study guide to use. Make sure you use those, set up study groups, and go from there ok?”

A defeated chorus of “Yes Ms. Jo…” Came from the younglings as they filtered away from the shop and away from the white haired Neko. White hair done into a tight braid with a single bang that hung down her face to frame the tanned skin and red eyes, and most curiously for a Neko… a scar that ran down her jaw to her neck. The normally picture of perfection in the looks department had a blemish on her skin that seemed fairly significant, yet she seemed to care little. If one looked for a brief moment or two, they could mistake her with someone of similar design and look to that of Midori, yet the warmth on her face would wash away any thoughts of them being the same person.

She sat a table or two away from Tai, though she had largely ignored the drink order and the strange list of over the top requests, at least they would have been in her mind as she sipped at her own drink, one that wasn’t even caffeinated. She just enjoyed the smell and taste for the time being, though her whims often want to change. Eventually she fell back to her book, simply reading, though as the scent of the coffee brought to the woman a few tables over finally caught her nose, well she couldn’t help but look. As she did, she spotted the one who sat at the table and it was a curious glance that had spotted matching crimson orbs. Amongst Nekovalkyrja it was a rare trait, though the combination of white hair… Very few would use such a combination, but Hoko had to smile a little and tilt her head just a scant few inches to hopefully catch the woman’s attention and possibly even draw her closer. Such a chance meeting wasn’t one to be tossed aside so casually...
 

Soresu

Well-Known Member
Tai's pencil kept continued an almost consistent rhythm as she wrote. The steady 'scritch, scritch, scritch,' of graphite on good quality paper. The woman continued to hum her little tune with eyes downcast and focused on what lay before her. More scratching at the paper, the humming never stopped, even as she lazily went about sharpening the writing instrument to a respectably sharp point. The slight tilt of this newcomer's head, a head bearing features so similar to her own in ways that were mildly disturbing. A hidden secondary set of eyes had caught the woman's attempt to engage her even as her main set of crimson-hued eyes seemed intent on the page. That momentary sensation passed over her, but it did not break her mask of pleasant concentration.

It was a very Midori thing to do. During her youth, an angsty, hostile youngling toward the woman whose genetic material made her possible had rebelled. Almost every chance of trying to engage turning into a dumpster fire in the making. It didn't help that what she was doing just this very moment was what had been done to her when trying to gain the Samurai's attention. She'd run through the gamut of negative emotion with as much as that angst as her growing NH-29 body could handle. And it was all met with silence. And not so much as being acknowledged. Midori spoke when Midori wanted. Midori would look at you when Midori wanted.

It had been a lesson and punishment in humility and patience. One that had paid off if only a little in the beginning. And now here she was, using that silence and paying no notice to the smile on this strange woman's face. The possibility of seeing such a mishmash of facial features. So familiar but not without some variant was bordering on infinitesimal.

'Scritch, Scritch, Scritch.' went the pencil as moments turned to minutes of not so much as a visible sense of acknowledgment. The rhythmic sound halting as she erased something, and corrected whatever had necessitated the action. As she did this, an ear flitted in the direction of the waitress approaching. She carried a small tray, placing a saucer and cup on the wooden tabletop. A spoon, small pot of sugar, and small container filled with cream. The final addition was a small mound of golden beige cookies. It was a bevy of delightful smells that assaulted her senses.

"Your order ma'am! I brought more sugar and cream in case it isn't to taste... also your cookies are fresh!"
she said brightly as Tai placed her attention-grabbing notebook and pencil aside. With the waitress standing there, the snowy-haired Neko had lifted the cup and sniffed at it lightly. Strong with just a bit of spice.

Bringing it to her lips, an experimental sip later and a nod of approval made the waitress positively gleam with pleasure and relief. Once more alone, Tai's diverted back to the open pages. One cookie later, and a sip of the thick and spiced coffee did Tai ordain to acknowledge the woman.

"Can I help you?"
her voice was lighter than her mother's but still carried enough of that woman's almost normal manner in quietly dealing with unknown people while on duty it was palpable. Or when an unruly Tai would turn suddenly venomous during an argument. It had stopped her dead every time with how calm, off-handedness as if it at least to her hadn't happened or mattered. That projected sense of not being phased by it at all. She had always envied her mother that calm, and strong demeanor. And had worked at attaining that feat as well.
 

SageShooter

🎨 Media Gallery
"I apologize for staring you just... You remind me of someone. Very few people chose the looks we have..." She motioned to the combination of red eyes and white hair as she sat back in her chair and casually slipped one leg over the other, her heel given to a soft cadence of a bounce as she rested the bottom of her cup on her knee. "And I took an interest, however rude. Where are my manners, I didn't introduce myself, my name is Jo Hoko, a pleasure to meet you miss..."

She let the question hang in the air a little as she took a sip of her own drink and willed herself to seem at ease and relaxed. She could feel something off with the girl, but knew not what. She didn't feel the lingering taste of another of her type, but at the same time she could feel in her stomach this woman was no simple Nekovalkyrja either. She wondered silently if the girl knew the same of the one that sat before her, the fact that she spoke not to a Neko, but something greater in fact. Hoko took another small quick sip as her red eyes flittered over to another group of younglings, more from her school that all seemed to know where her typical hang out spot was after classes when she came to grade work or relax. She needed to keep up appearances after all, and she could see a few that she had taken an interest in. She gave them a small wave as it was returned with a quickness in kind.

Hoko had been amongst the population for a while now, amongst the younger Nekos that had been born and sent to the schools to have some semblance of a normal life. She had always targeted those that were more like her, something greater than the simple shells they wore. Children that were descendants of her kind, of those that had switched forms to take on those they would have conquered. She saw greater possibilities in them, greater chances at turning them, changing them into the workers and warriors she wanted, rather than those that were born of the vats. She had already begun to change and corrupt some through dreams and thoughts she implanted, and while it was slow work, some day it would bear fruit that would truly bring them to rise again.

But for now, her interest was on the girl before her and she couldn't help her interest. She was drawn to the girl and she wanted to see if her hunch was right...
 

Soresu

Well-Known Member
Tai's movements had been slow, languid as she wrote. In the very picture, the twins of Hoko's own eyes looked upon her. With a slow blink, her gaze lingering a moment on this curious creature. Then, her attention shifted along with she who had just named herself. 'Jo Hoko'. There was a silent agreement that could pass between them if they chose. The possibility of a hunch. Or the mere acceptance of sharing many of the visual similarities. There had been a soft, almost non-existent brush against her 'mind'. The affirmation that indeed, this person that across from her was not of their race. There was something off. And now the youthful-looking 'Nekovaklyrja' guised girl had sensed it. She was no telepath, but that brush had carried with it a subtle shift in the spectrum of things that she could perceive, to 'see'. It had caused a ripple that her perceptions could interpret as a disturbance on an otherwise still surface.

Whatever else Jo Hoko may well have found that this was indeed no simple Neko that had caught her interest. And had now seemed to reciprocate the attention with her own. She had folder her hands before her face. Tai was assessing the polite almost copied form of her mother that sat just shy a dozen feet or a little more away. Her eyes closed ever so slowly and opened again.

Whatever Hoko's theoretical hunch was, Tai's own was a tempered response in comparison. She just didn't seem to give the visual cues of enthusiastic, surprised interest one might accept as normal enough amongst the more social and excitable Nekovalkyrja or Minkan populations.

But on the woman's comment about their appearance. Hair, and eyes. The young woman unclasped her hands; pulling a lock of her own hair to be seen. To the inattentive observer, it would indeed come off as white. Yet those that had would have been rewarded with the sight of a delicate lavender tint. Flippancy or not. However, that gesture had or could be taken as her giving off the feeling of there being a difference. Another blink and something akin to her visually similar counterpart's attempt at sensing for some form of similar presence to their own was met somewhat in kind. To put it into a word would be... foreign. It was not so much the feeling one in her situation would be accustomed to using to sense others. Her abilities were her abilities. Undoubtedly she knew what such observances could feel like, be perceived as what could be construed as normal.

This was without cliche reservation akin to being under some strange form of a microscope or other sensing equipment being used upon her. And if the woman had been paying close attention, a subtle pulse across the EM spectrum she could visualize and or detect could be felt. No more following in its wake seeming to be enough.

In truth what Tai saw before her appeared as a Nekovalkyrja just slightly out of focus. The details were present to some degree but had some discrepancies. Her gaze drifted lower taking in more detail than simply seeming to fixate upon her face. Then back to Hoko's scarred face. That feeling of quiet observance while perhaps not felt on a physical level became oppressive. Her mind was building a comparative sketch of what sat there now. And what differences in detail she had taken note of. It was like trying to capture the true silhouette of someone within a dense fog. The longer she stared, the more that detail would begin to fill in and sharpened the definition gained.

Yet she broke the contact first. A cookie pinched between her fingers suddenly met the thick coffee she had ordered. A moment later and she sampled this new combination. And then after wiping her fingers clean on a napkin she returned her look to the monstrous teacher. She could give any number of names. Any number of surnames. A few would be true but the capacity to simply lie was there.

Instead for whatever reason, she instead had already chosen to be truthful. "Shichou, Tai." her voice striking a fine line between youth and maturity in the notes of her tone. And at the very least it sounded polite. But truly it was just for her benefit as it struck a pleasing pitch to her hearing. She had closed her little book, the pencil used as a bookmark. After a moment's consideration, the shorter of the two merely pushed the little plate of confections forward a few inches.

Then with a little gesture of her hand, she had made the invitation to join her.
 
RPG-D RPGfix
Top