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  • 📅 April 2024 is YE 46.3 in the RP.

RP: YSS Kaiyō [OPEN RP] Aside: Tanjōbi


Head in the Stars
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🌸 FM of Yamatai
🎖️ Game Master
Eastern Edge of Kyoto
Kaiko Park

Though there was chance of snow in Kyoto, the northerly winds had not yet dropped off their frozen bounty yet. In a final bid of farewell for the evening, the sun's last rays of light were casting long fiery trails amid pink clouds in the otherwise slate sky. The air was crisp and heavy with cold and the trees with leaves to shed had done so. As if picking up on their slack, conifers and evergreens grew tall within the walled borders of the long-awaited Kaiko Park.

Though the park was not set to open for another month on Victory Day of YE 45, the captain of the YSS Kaiyō II had invited many former crew members to visit on this day and the next for a pre-opening party. Captain Taiyou had, after all, anonymously dropped millions and spent several years planning and overseeing the park's construction. There were a few private features of the park, but having a fully private party at it now that it was finally set to have a ribbon cutting ceremony soon made her giddy with overwhelming excitement and glee.

The guests would arrive via rail line from central Kyoto to a quaint trainstop on the Western edge of the park, just steps from the gates that were now open a fraction with a steely faced Ketsurui samurai there to only allow past Kaiyō crew members on the list in. Magnificent emerald pines soared to the sky on either side of the stone entryway from which any invited guests would be allowed entry. On the bottom boughs of many branches were paper lanterns with an outline of a Fuji class cut into them to let their light radiate through. With a short walk in past the flanking pine path, the guests would be confronted with a strange sight for a park like this. In a huge open field was the ship they had once served on with its rear towards them and lower deck open. A warm glow emanated from its opening.

((OOC: Open to players and characters that have played on the YSS Kaiyō II before and are on good terms with the ship as well as @Wes. This is part birthday party, part ship launch anniversary, and part reunion party all set in a nature park made to memorialize the war. The title, tanjōbi, means birthday!))
YSS Kaiyō II
Kaiko Park

Within the lower deck, Hoshi was egging her XO on, asking her to step out more fully and more fully. She was floating behind her with her arms wrapped around the front of Ketsurui Aiko's head so that her hands covered Aiko's eyes.

"There's a step, take a step down," Hoshi prompted as the two stepped out of the ship. "Now just walk straight forward for about a hundred paces." She was having Aiko walk across some of the field before directing, "Turn left soon... Now!"

Behind them were some of the crew, Ketsurui samurai, and Boss, the ship's MEGAMI. Boss tried to look around wondrously, her indigo hair turning left and right as if to take in the trees and foliage, but she had a blindfold wrapped around her, stifling her view. She used to never inhabit a physical body save for protecting her ship during boarding actions. Since the war's end, she had been experimenting more with inhabiting it but had never been outside of the ship. Just walking on grass felt weird and she shuffled her feet oddly as she followed along to the sound of Hoshi's voice.

"That's it," Hoshi chimed, "two more steps."

Aiko stepped confidently and without concern despite Hoshi's cautiously presumptive directions. A princess of Yamatai did not trip whether or not her vision was obscured, but she had agreed to play along with this whole surprise alongside Boss and did so without much complaint.

"You are lucky for your rank and ability to order this," Aiko said, trying to sound more amused than uncomfortable. In truth, she was more the former, but did not make a habit of sharing her amusement. "I could have just as easily closed my eyes until prompted."

"I am lucky to have such a fine crew," Hoshi quipped back as her hands dropped from over Aiko's eyes and quickly turned to pull the blindfold off of Boss. The two and crew were in a circular arbor surrounded by lofty iron trellises that formed a dome which let strong woody wisteria climb up, now in their off season, behind which alabaster camellias peaked through. With a splash of purple in the center of the mossy ground, a ring of bellflowers drew the attention to the center of the

"And such a fine ship," Hoshi went on. The real treasure wasn't in the flora but something closer. Although they had just left the ship, it lay before them, just much smaller. On a short golden plinth was a Zesuaium representation of the ship itself. Still lingering overhead, the setting sun's warm hues were reflected in the blue grey of the metal in long splaying oranges and pinks.

"See there on the top?" In fact, it read YSS Kaiyō II and 501, the ship's registry. Captain Hoshi started reading from a plaque, "A testament to all of your bravery on the Kuvexian frontlines. Other ships went out but none of them went so far or for so long into enemy territory, bringing the fight to the Interstellar Kingdom."

The princess stared out and surveyed the grove from left to right, slowly taking in all of the sights here and those still obscured further beyond the trellises. Her visage remained stern as ever, but could only maintain its steely resolve for a few moments before a smile grew from ear-to-ear and held until her quick panorama ended its tour upon Hoshi beside her.

"Amazing, Hoshi-san!" Aiko beamed before taking newly undirected steps toward the Kaiyō statue to get a closer look. "Beautiful, peaceful serenity," she added, invoking words from Yamatai's anthem. "And with a monument to our own struggle against the Kuvexians! What is this place?"

Alongside Aiko, Boss had moved in to gaze wondrously at the ship. She outstretched a hand slowly and with a little hesitation to lightly skim her fingers over the nacellles of the model Kaiyo. Suddenly wet, her orange eyes stayed fixed on the places her fingertips glided over. Hoshi watched her ship's AI from behind in awe before her attention went back to Aiko.

"I don't know exactly. It seems part war memorial part nature park. There are even more monuments and a huge forest, lakes, even a sea breeze from the bay," Hoshi said, theatrically sniffing in deeply to test her point with a smile. "It's incredibly serene as you said, and beautiful to boot. Speaking of lucky, I feel as much to have found such a place!"

"As do I," Boss said reverently, putting her outstretched palm fully against the miniature ship.

A look of disbelief passed behind Aiko's scarlet eyes and across her brow for a fleeting moment, but she would not question her captain's explanation about having "found" a Kuvexian War memorial before it had even opened to the public. Maybe it had been Saiga's doing; a gift to his girlfriend Hoshi and the Empire, he was the scion of a wealthy clan after all. But she would think no more of it in any case.

"It appears you have found your new home away from your body, Boss," the princess said, ribbing the Kaiyō's AI with a grin. "And so quickly. I have heard it takes most MEGAMI months to find comfort away from their ship."

Hoshi felt proud at both having gotten away with her feigned innocence and at Boss' reaction. She had stayed quiet a moment, then when she noticed tears falling from the MEGAMI's face, spoke again.

"Whenever you feel like visiting," Captain Taiyou said. "You can come here whenever you feel."

Boss spoke, "I didn't know we were doing anything special. I thought we were performing our duties. But in hindsight, looking at this... We were so alone." With a stroke of confidence, the ship AI rephrased what she had to say, "I was so alone out there. Having a belly full of personnel is not the same as being surrounded by sister ships. Our duty in Uesureya feels so different and less lonely alongside the task force and his fleet ships. Being here reflecting on the time when we were the only ones, it moves me in unexpected ways."

Turning on her heel, the MEGAMI brought her arms around the short captain, "Thank you for this."

Holding onto Boss in a hug, the captain realized she had never touched the ship's MEGAMI. Hoshi's big blue eyes were astounded, then she noticed Aiko, Rei, Asuka, Muyomi, and more behind Boss' back. She motioned with a hand for them to join in and hug Boss, as well.

Aiko let the other crewmen go in and embrace their MEGAMI at Hoshi's request, frozen with the same smile as when the captain had said it. The princess hoped Hoshi didn't think she was the hugging type after their time on Iðunn and Aiko's decision to comfort the weeping captain there, but nonetheless moved in behind the rest of them. Luckily for Aiko, there was precious little space remaining to wrap her arms around Boss, so she reached over her shorter comrades and placed a comfortably comforting hand on the MEGAMI's head.

With so many hugging her, Boss shrunk a little in the embrace. Feeling the MEGAMI slump under the pressure, Hoshi pushed up and away and sprang into a booming peppy voice that broke up the hug.

"There will be more to see! Not just other monuments like I mentioned, but people, too! I've invited a lot of those we've worked with to celebrate the night away!" The pink-skinned captain was wearing a glittering blue sequined number beneath her heavy duty coat and she had applied a sparkley black eyeliner to accentuate the look, making her look all the more ready for this place she had just 'found' by chance.

"It's Aiko's birthday tomorrow and the anniversary of the ship's launch tonight, so let's party all night and all day! I even invited the Empress and Mistress Taisho." Hoshi added the last title with a wink to Aiko. "They weren't on the ship ever, but without them we wouldn't have had the luck we did.

The princess blushed at mention of her kin being invited to join them. And for her birthday no less. Being immediately recognized anywhere she went in Yamatai didn't faze her whatsoever, for she had been made a hero in the news even beyond earning such glory tenfold in reality, but the prospect of bothering anybody in the Ketsurui Clan with celebrating an occasion that Aiko had, until today, never had the time to observe herself gave her a moment of deep concern.

"This is all very splendid, Captain," Aiko said anyway, sighing out the redness in her cheeks with steady breaths through her nose. "I trust there is time to change out of my uniform. After some medidation here, of course."

Hoshi shrugged, "Who knows? People could start arriving any moment or not at all. Point is to have fun regardless. Happy birthday to you both." She added the last part as she looked from Aiko to Boss and the zesu statue of their ship with a wide smile across her rosy pink cheeks.
Arriving at the station was a vaguely familiar IDSOL. The man was dressed in his class A uniform, beret tucked under his shoulder board walked under the paper lanterns. A slight smile gracing his lips. It had been sometime since he had been back in Yamatai. Running a hand through his blond hair, he saw the ship he had served aboard for so long. He had served aboard the original Kaiyo, before it met a firey end. All those memories came flooding back as he made his way to the open ramp of the ship. He then noticed what looked like his former CO leading a princess to a new war memorial.

He waited for several long moments before he made his way over to the group. Clearing his throat to get their attention, he gave a perfect Nepleslian salute. "Its been awhile hasn't it?" William asked, a small smile playing across his face.
Civilian Sky Taxi
Kaiko Park

Too bad, Makoto-san isn't coming with us, I heard aunt Aiko, and a member of her family would be there, plus Aunt Hoshi would be there, and Aunt Boss! Luna said, looking at her mother as they were taken to Kaiko Park. Kiyo smiled at her daughter. I know, being able to meet high ranking people even as high up as the Empress would be good for her, but Makoto-san, isn't into parties much, she prefers to let her actions speak for herself, plus I think she wouldn’t want to talk when we Kaiyo 2 crew should be the stars, at least that’s what she told me when I asked. Kiyo said as she noticed the destination getting closer and closer.

So like a Shinobi! I bet she wouldn’t want us asking for things to reward her either right? Luna asked, and noted her mother’s nod. Indeed Makoto was a humble girl, and that her humble nature wouldn’t want to be rewarded when she felt she didn’t deserve it. Driver-San! Please stop here! Kiyo requested, and proceeded off her seat, ignoring his driver’s warning that they should activate their levitation as they were very high up.

It ejected their things from the trunk and the blue-skinned girls caught them, and proceeded free falling down to the ground. Falling face towards the ground, the girls caught sight of where they were going, also they saw some familiar people too. Uncle William!” Luna squealed with glee as she adjusted her direction and more flew towards him with outstretched arms. Behind her Kiyo adjusted so that her feel were the first to make land as she slowed her descent.
Kiyo moved to join William, Luna and everyone else. “My, it's been a while, hasn’t it, Oh! Captain, I heard some news about you! Also, I thought I heard your voice during Operation Fireplace, but I wasn’t sure. Kiyo said with a smile on her face, before turning to look at the others who have arrived.
Kaiko Park
Underneath the Kaiyō

"My, my, you've grown! Do ID-SOL even grow like this!?" Hoshi said, adding the last part as a sort of rhetorical question as she hugged into William then held his shoulders in her hands as she floated near his eye level. "You just missed Aiko, but she'll be back out. Ready to fight alongside her again?" She seemed enthusiastic to tell him more, but stopped short and jumped back as she watched the descent of a blue duo and noticed the telltale signs of another hug incoming for the blonde man.

"Luna!! Nice to see the ship-born can stay airborne so well!" To Kiyo, Hoshi's face looked seriously perplexed, "I don't know about that, maybe I went back in time and created a paradox where I was there."

"It's nice to see you all again." Boss interjected with a chiming greeting and deep bow. "There's a statue of the ship that's just wonderful. Please come see."
William chuckled at Hoshi's remark as they embraced. "More like getting old." He remarked. He was about to answer her second question when a small neko shaped torpedo launched herself at him.

Catching Luna, William hugged her firmly. "Hey there kiddo. Long time no see."
Luna laughed as she was caught by her uncle “Very long time, how have you been, Uncle William?” Luna asked before turning her attention to Hoshi “Of course we can, Shipborn Neko’s are Sky Girls Aunt Hoshi!” She said with a grin on her face as she snuggled in William’s arms.

Luna and Kiyo both took notice of Hoshi’s words to William which brought their focus, before Hoshi’s comment to Kiyo. “Oh! My apologies then, though time travel seems interesting! Kiyo commented as she stretched before Boss spoke to them, causing her to blink, “Oh! Boss, I see you have a new body! You look cute! And yes, I’d Ike to see this myself, ” she said to the indicated area. “Oh! Guess what, me and mommy are cloned! Luna said with a grin before her focus went to Boss, and the environment. “ohh, this place is beautiful, and I like the decorations."
"You've got some of those spacy colors and everything," Hoshi countered Luna in a happy tone, then it dropped to Kiyo's comment. "Oh... That was... a joke." She was trying to get better about keeping classified missions under wraps. "But trust me, it's more trouble than it's worth... if I had done such a thing." With a big breath in, she caught herself thinking too hard about saving Eden and Kasumi when they went back in time to the gladiator arena within Kuvexia. She had always admired Kiyo's to-the-point bravery on that rescue mission and looked at the woman respectfully, "I'm very proud to have one of our finest warriors here today. Kiyo was indispensable when we fought the Kuvexians, Luna. I never once questioned her courage or fortitude. I'm happy to know you have such a strong mentor and mother."

Boss led the way to the stony archway at the edge of the field, "You think I'm what? I've never experienced a different body than this, though I very rarely used it and thus you have never seen it before." It felt almost frivolous to do so before. Until seeing this." She let the others enter the grove first and then followed up the rear. Now that the sun had dipped a bit lower, the zesuaium ship reflected more of the slate blue sky than anything and looked like the spitting image of the ship parked on the lawn which they had just been under. She recited what the plaque said:

"A testament to the YSS Kaiyō II's bravery on the Kuvexian frontlines. Other ships went out but none of them went so far or for so long into enemy territory, bringing the fight to the Interstellar Kingdom." Boss then added, "Does this resonate with you as it does me?"
William chuckled once more as Luna snuggled into him. "I've been very busy. They've been working me to the bone." He replied looking back to Kiyo and giving her a smile.

Following behind Boss, he looked up at monument and read the plaque. Nodding he replied "It does. We were in the black for quite some time."
Kiyo smiled as she saw her daughter snuggling into William’s arms. She knew that her daughter’s uncle was one of her favorite people growing up and she was pleased to see that was still the same. Her attention returned to Hoshi as the previous conversation continued. Kiyo simply nodded her head silently, she didn’t think there was more for her to add, since she agreed that time trouble was more trouble than it was worth.

Kiyo had to admit though she’d have wished she could travel back to prevent Saya, William, and Aiko’s capture. Then Tsubame could have been born in safety, and not being forced to be in a scary environment. Sadly, it was not to be, and Hoshi’s words brought her out of her thoughts. Kiyo blushed as she was complimented to her daughter.

Kiyo also complimented Boss on her new look and smiled at her reaction. Luna on the other hand was all smiles as Hoshi spoke of her mother. “Yeah! Mommy is very brave, even when we crash landed on that one ice world, she was calm and brave as she and I got to safety, and the same thing happened to Vice too. That was where we met a ninja who helped us off world!” Luna said with a smile. Kiyo continued blushing at the compliment. Luna and Kiyo saw the sight before them and felt awe at it. They listened as Boss, recited the plaque “yeah!” the two said in unison after William spoke.
"Then I am truly at peace," Boss seemed happy with this answer as her lilting tone had grown confident. "To be in total harmony with my crew past and present heightens my feelings today."

"There's more to see," Hoshi offered.

"I think I will meditate here as Ketsurui-shosa suggested," Boss said, choosing to stay with the ship statue.

"There are some beautiful lakes and greenery. Luna you could get a better view if you were up on William-san's shoulders!" Hoshi led them out of the woody grove and onto a stone footpath that was flanked by small round bushes and intermittent stone lanterns. She looked back to be sure Rei had watched the path they took and would guide Aiko to them after she had changed.

"Ah it sounds like Kiyo's just as she always has been, just with the added responsibility of a fully grown Nekovalkyrja... and clones, I guess? A ninja, though!? I want to learn to be a ninja, honestly! Would the ninja you met want to teach me, do you think?" Hoshi had been doing a lot of secret ops in her time away from the Kaiyō and thought the traditional arts of sneak could help build her repertoire of field knowledge or at least make for a fun time. "Have they taught you anything, Luna-chan?"
Kaiko Park

Mikodimus made his way into the park. It had been awhile since the last time he had seen the crew of the Kaiyō II. He had been awhile since he left to chase after his sweetheart Sora. He knew it was the right call at the time as they had only grown closer together, though still sad he did not get the chance to hang out with the crew more. He had really started to enjoy spending time with Hoshi who made life on the ship more fun and anyone willing to wear an apron was good people in his book.

Miko noticed a large crowd had gathered and heading in that direction. He was quick to see some old faces. "Hey everyone, long time no see." He shouted out while waving his hand in the air.
Miko perked up and bolted straight towards the voice. He knew this yelling all too well and was going to tackle hug his prior captain. "Hoshi, my has it been a while. Looking as good as ever. Guess you found a good cook in my absents." He walked up towards her and gave a solute, followed by a hug. "Breaks my heart to hear you say that but I get it. We had something special and I was pulled away. I hope there is no hard feelings."
Hoshi's face scrunched up and she turned a bit away from the ship's former cook, not willing to show him how much he had gotten to her. The hug made the scarlet of her face flush even more.

"Sorry I think the guards mistook you for someone that served on the Kaiyo, who are you again? Cook?!" Hoshi balked in faux surprise. "Why, we've only had one cook that was a guy and from what I remember he was a gentlemen. A gentleman wouldn't pull out, there must be some mistake."
Miko watched as Hoshi tried to hide her blushing face. This was such a treat to see her in this state. "Hoshi, I did serve on the Kaioy. Don't you remember your favorite chef Mikodimus. Would wearing my apron help bring back memories?" He said with a smile as he released her from the embrace. "Your words sting me to my very core. And Hoshi, we both know I am good at putting a bun in the oven so yeah." He gave a sly wink to her knowing she was just trying to get him fired up.

Miko too a few steps back with his outfit coming into view. He was wearing a uniform with an apron over top of it. On the front of the apron read, "Captain's Fave Chef."
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For a moment, Hoshi was in pure shock. Had she dated Miko and forgotten about it, or was it just playful flirting as she remembered now? More than a decade ago she had dated someone and died, then when she was revived she didn't have a clue who they were. Something about this moment brought back those memories.

"Did we...?" Hoshi had quietly leaned in and whispered to Mikodimus. Her wide blue eyes were on his face before they dipped to the words on the apron, searching and confused.
Boss seemed to want to stay back, while the rest of them went on ahead. Hoshi mentioned there were some lakes and scenes that were beautiful, and suggested to Luna that she’d get a better sight on William’s shoulders. She giggled as she flew up to sit there on William’s shoulders, and gently patted him on the head with a grin on her face.

“Yeah, the other day, me, mommy and the ninja had backed up our st data and had it sent to ships leaving the Kikyo Sector. We thought our skills might be useful as they go out and eventually make a colony outside. She and mommy did add to my self defense training, and she continued mommy’s sword training that aunt Rei had given mommy. As for teaching you something, she might, not sure, it might depend on what you want to learn I guess.” She said before a newcomer had arrived. He seemed to know Hoshi but she didn’t recognize him. “Mommy, do you know him?” Luna asked.

Kiyo shook her head, it might have been before her time, but “wait… chef? I dont think so, might have been before my time. ” She said
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Having quickly changed out of her uniform as more former crew arrived, Aiko had soon seen her old comrades and watched their interactions from afar at first and then much closer under the cover of her Nekovalkyrjan ability to manipulate holographics above her skin to remain concealed. It was partly her nerves at seeing Kiyo and her daughter, and Mikodimus, and William after what seemed like decades, and partly a conscious decision to sneak up that motivated Aiko's clandestine approach. She sometimes grew tired of her stature and grace identifying her from a mile away and so made it her mission to pop up unexpected rather than walk through and make everyone wait while they watched.

When the time was right Aiko's form bled into sight underneath William's left arm, and she wrapped her arms around his huge ID-SOL trunk from the side. She stayed there, squeezing him for a moment before standing with a smile to greet everyone. Her new outfit was a simple black dress whose thin fabric clung to her body, with two side slits cut all the way up to just below her belly button. Long sleeves kept her arms covered, and the garment ended in turtleneck at the top.

"You have been missing Wil-kun," the princess said, looking up to him first. "Has serving alongside your Nepleslian battle brothers hardened you against we mere 'cats?'" she joked, then shifted her gaze to the others. "And Luna! Now a full Nekovalkyrja. You must have raised her well, Kiyo."

To Miko, Aiko gave a friendly grin. "Chef," she said with a nod. "I think you perhaps owe Hoshi a feast."

Hoshi's blue and white brows popped up on her reddened face at this. To Luna she smiled thankfully, "I'll have to think on what there is to learn. What have you gained from your friend's insights?"
Miko reached up and rubbed the back of his head. He was confused since it had not been that long that she would have forgotten him. "Did we...um we spent time together in the kitchen a couple times. Just some wholesome fun, nothing to serious. Though I do recall having a soft spot for you, thought had a girl friend at the time. Which is Asuka around here, be nice to see her."

He heard another speak up. "Ahhh, I see someone here has heard of me." He said looking towards Kiyo. He reached up and waved towards them. His attention was then drawn towards Aiko who gave a suggestion. "You are right. Just like old times back on the ship. I will make her the best dish." Miko then reached over and booped Hoshi on the nose. "Promise it will blow your clothes clean off your body." He said with a sly wink towards Hoshi. Miko then reached down and removed a belt around his waist. In a grand fashion he took the cloth and wrapped it around his head to tie his hair back.