• If you were supposed to get an email from the forum but didn't (e.g. to verify your account for registration), email Wes at [email protected] or talk to me on Discord for help. Sometimes the server hits our limit of emails we can send per hour.
  • Get in our Discord chat! Discord.gg/stararmy
  • 📅 May and June 2024 are YE 46.4 in the RP.

RP: YSS Resurgence Resurgence of Yamatai - Mission 1: Homeworld

Not open for further replies.
Kozakura looked at Cheilith for a moment before reaching out to take her hand gently, "Tatsugami Kozakura," she replied while shaking the neko's hand. Her eyes drifted to Kwabba-an and noticed the rather funny puzzled expression upon her face. "Something on your mind Kwabba-an?"
Kwabba-an felt somewhat hesitant to answer Kozakura's question. She was unsure of herself and particularly her powers of observation, particularly when it came to visual details. Were it anyone else who asked, she would have answered in the negative. But she trusted Kozakura.

"Something about you has changed, and I am not certain exactly what."
Sanda held the flask up to Kagura, offering her a drink if she so desired. "Rum?"
"Oh, no thank you," Kagura declined as politely as she could. Alcohol didn't put her off, or anything, but was somewhat of a mystery to her. "Doesn't do much for my Nekovalkyrja biology, ya know?"
Captain Majime said "We're going to stop in Ketsurui No Iori first and visit Ketsurui Fleet Yards and maybe the old PNUgen facility there. These are places where they make a lot of the Star Army's technology and it might be interesting to see what we can get for our crew and to find out how things have changed during the war. I want to be casual about this, though, in the sense that this mission isn't strictly business but a chance to go experience Yamatai and other places firsthand. So have fun, just don't embarrass the Star Army," she said with a smile.

Meanwhile, Pidole's bug came racing from the cabin area and grabbed a wad of napkins from a table and then flew back to the cabins.

"Does everyone have their Mindy armor yet? We could get armors fitted at KFY," Gabriela said.

"We had to store ours in Kyoto because we can't securely store them on the train," Majime said. "We can get those LSTVs you mentioned, though! There are flatcars available to secure them to."

A server from the train came through with a cart and began serving everyone lunch consisting of tacos, a chipotle avocado salad, and a lovefruit-and-cream pie.

"I got fitted right before Glimmergold, not that it was hard, I'm pretty close to standard. I think that's why I was pipelined into it when they needed every hand they could find." Cheilith said.

Kwabba-an tried hard to focus on the Captain's words, and picked up on the major ideas. She didn't really know many of the places being referenced, but she was excited to see more of the world than just the train line between Kyoto and Ternifac down which she had travelled several times. When Pidole's bug entered, she made a quiet high-pitched noise indicating she was overcome with affection for the little thing, and her vestigial mandible clicked rapidly.

"What is an LSTV?" The insectoid said after the Captain spoke again. She was sure she had learned about them at some point, but couldn't recall.

"It is a light surface terrain vehicle," Gabriela told Kwabba. "It's an off-road utility vehicle. It's like the STV--but much smaller--whereas the STV is essentially a monster truck." The anthro claimed a seat at one of the dining cab's tables next to a window where the trees were flying by outside, and started on her salad.

"Aha," Kwabba-an nodded and smiled. "You mentioned off-roading. That sounds like fun."

"If you like speed and kinetic energy forces applied to your body," Gabriela smiled.

Kwabba-an thought back to Glimmergold when she pushed herself so hard in her Mindy that she lost vision and navigated briefly by sound. It was certainly not her favorite sensation, but she had found it thrilling. "I enjoy both of those things, yes."

Kagura couldn't remember the last time she actually got formally fitted for a power armor. It was probably during her initial training. But in the few-and-far-between moments she did don a Mindy 4, it always seemed to work properly for her. Among the many benefits of Nekovalkyrja life was that their bodies underwent very limited changes over the years. LSTVs sounded more fun, anyway. She'd always wanted to get a surplus one to serve as her sand cruiser to pack with surfboards and a bedroll for beach trips during leave, so Majime's mention of them made her pointed Neko ears twitch at the prospect of getting to mess around with some new ones.

When the attendant came by, Kagura took an avocado salad and the dessert. She'd already had her fill of protein for the meal from the fish snack she was still working on.

"How many LSTVs do you think we'll get, Shosa?" the First Officer asked Majime. "I think a Fuji is set up to only have one aboard, but we could easily do without our complement of cargo trucks or tankettes."

"There is a lot of room on that ship class," Majime said. "LSTVs do not take up nearly as much space as STVs, so I think we can fit at least four. The standard models seat three each if you fold the cupholder in the middle. I don't know about you but I kind of want to use them on as many planets as we can because it's just fun and after the end of this bloody war I think we're entitled to some."

The XO nodded at Majime with a smile. While Kagura was of the mind that the Star Army must always remain vigilant, she thought it refreshing that the captain recognized peacetime's benefits when they came.

"Gotcha, Captain," she acknowledged. "Sounds like a plan."

Kwabba-an imagined herself sitting in an LSTV, wiggling her awkward insect abdomen as she did so. Unfortunately, she didn't fit very comfortably on most seats, so she wondered if she could fit herself in one by sitting sideways.

Sanda quickly put her flask away as the Captain came in and explained their first stop. She perked up at the mention of them going to Ketsurui Fleet Yards. Though she personally preferred a Daisy over a Mindy there might be a chance to pick up some cool Daisy gear as well.

An hour later, the train pulled into the ornate train station of Ketsurui no Iori. Unlike the new and shiny stations of Kyoto, the station was over a hundred years old with tracks flanked by moss-covered stones, and a station platform made of stone titles overlooked by a massive traditional building made of stone walls on the bottom and whitewashed wood on the upper levels, with a curvy tile roof. Red banners with the Ketsurui clan's insignia fluttered in the cool wind and the platform was filled with locals, Star Army personnel, and Ketsurui Samurai.

At the sight of the train lazily pulling the last few meters into the marvelous station before coming to a halt, a small group of Elysians had perked up. They got to their feet, seeming to be a couple, with a child being held by each of them. The doors of the nearest cabin hissed open, people of all walks of life passing to and fro between them. "I think this is theirs!" Seinosuke whispered excitedly to his wife, straining his neck to see who might be stepping onto the platform that he would recognize from the pictures he had been sent.

Kwabba-an, a short humanoid who looked like a standard Yamataian crossed with a giant red ant, walked out of the train onto the platform, weaving her way between the locals until she was sufficiently far away from the train doors to pause and close her eyes. She listened to the people around her chatting and the banners flapping. When the cool wind caught her, she used her hands to rub some warmth into her four arms and was glad that she had kept her duty uniform on. She suspected that it was significantly warmer than her exercise kit.

Cheilith came bustling out of the train with the rest, blending in with the rest of the crew almost invisibly.

Sanda stepped off the train and took a good look around. She instantly noticed the group of Elysians standing together. It was hard to miss their huge wings. Sanda also took note of the entrances and exits around the station, not that there seemed to be a lot of them. The place looked old but well maintained. This definitely was going to be fun. Probably a lot more fun than the palace.

After getting back into their duty uniforms, Pidole, Euikoshi, Cassie, Poppy, and Kalena joined the group as well. Pidole's bug didn't like the cold so it burrowed down into her coat. Gabriela looked at them with questioning eyebrows as she wondered about how they'd spent their train ride, but quickly turned around to avoid making funny faces and focused on their mission. She thought about what the empress had told them, about finding the state of the places in the universe and who the war had affected them, and that the empress would want some sort of report from each place they visited. "We should take notes," she suggested.

Seinosuke's eyebrows raised as he spotted several of the more distinctive members of the Resurgence's crew. One of his sunrise colored wings twitched nervously, as he nudged Arbitrated lightly with an elbow, "It's definitely them, we should go and introduce ourselves!" The officer beamed, before realizing his cap was absent from his blonde head. Glancing around for where it may have gone, the Iemochi spotted that his son, nestled against his chest by one arm, had managed to steal it unnoticed. It took some negotiation and sleight of hand to retrieve the hat, which Sein quickly returned to its rightful position as he took a few steps towards the nearest crew member. "Hey there! Am I right in seeing that you fine folks may be the crew of the Resurgence?" The soldier jostled the young Daniel lightly, to keep the boy occupied.

Sanda turned and regarded the Elysian for a moment before snapping a salute to the officer. "Yes sir. We are the Resurgence." A Taii by his rank pins. Just how many officers did this ship have Sanda thought. Out loud she said, "Is there anything I can do for you sir?"

Aradia Sivins, who had been quite quiet through the journey so far, perked up at the familiar sound of a man's voice - could it be...

A few moments later and she confirmed it. Much more casually than one would expect, she waved at the Taii, exclaiming as she approached, "Heya Sein, Arble! Didn't know you guys were coming over to greet me!" A playful chuckle escaped her lips, and Arbs - daughter Alicia in tow.

"Aradia! You didn't tell me! I'd have totally sent you a message ahead of time if we knew you were here!" The appearance of Arbitrated Iemochi would spark some concern for the medically-knowledgeable people in the Resurgence's crew. How someone so... Short, managed to walk at all with what seemed to be a late-stage pregnancy was in itself surprising. Arbitrated herself, as well, was rather surprised she'd made it this far with just Mochi's help. A little ahem from Arbles reminded her cousin that Mochi was, in fact, still an officer-prompting a quick correction in attitude, for display.

"Erm- Iemochi Taii. It is a pleasant surprise!"

Kwabba-an heard an unfamiliar voice that seemed to be addressing them, and turned to see a group of Elysians. Feeling anxious around the new people, she walked up behind and slightly off to the side of Sanda so as to be within her friend's peripheral vision. The insectoid was grateful that her friend had taken the lead when it came to answering their query. From her somewhat more comfortable position, she admired the color of the male Elysian's wings.

Cheilith followed Aradia as it seemed like the thing to do.

The father of two straightened his back at receiving the salute, raising his hand to execute one of his own in return, as was the done thing. Internally, Seinosuke realized that this had been the first salute he had been given, rather than had given himself. What strange, alien sort of feeling. "We're here to-" Mochi began, before hearing a familiar voice, but one he couldn't place immediately. Then, above the crowds, the distinctive wings of one of the few family members which he considered a friend.

Aradia's greeting was echoed by the officer, who exclaimed, "Aradia! Oh my word, I had no idea you'd be here!" The Elysian grinned, offering a wave with his free hand, just as Daniel began to gently lift his cap free of those messy golden locks. Seinosuke's fiery wings rustled gently in joy. "How lovely to see you!"

Sanda saw her musical friend Kwabba-an standing what seemed like behind her. She laughed and said, "What's the matter music bug? Scared of the big, tall bird man?" Which was even funnier because Sanda was the tallest one on the ship. At 5'11" she was just short of 6'. A fact that annoyed her very much.

Kwabba-an made an "eep" sound as her friend Sanda addressed her. She smiled nervously and nodded in reply. The man's height had nothing to do with it, but she didn't really want to explain her social anxiety in front of strangers.

Another laugh from Aradia, who took a moment to make a squishy, funny face at her cousin's daughter. Alicia didn't seem to mind, staring curiously at the woman that looked a bit like her mom, but not quite the same. This brief interlude faded back to relaxed talk.

"Saw your retirement mishap, by the way. Got a little chuckle out of that. What, did ya forget to hit "confirm" again?"

"Shuddit! No, they just didn't process it correctly. Probably accidentally logged it as another medical leave or something. I'm surprised they didn't ask for service, because of.... Yeah," the albatross-winged wife responded. She fired back with a taunt of her own, "At least you made it here for once!"

Cheilith watched the reunion of the friends. "I don't think I've met you before. I'm Cheilith." She said, introducing herself.

Cheilith's comment snapped Sein out of the little bubble that the winged family had found themselves in. He should probably give a bit of an explanation, other than this seeming like some sort of private occassion. "Right- I'd best give some context, eh?" Mochi chuckled warmly, running his emerald eyes across the crew members, quickly giving a knowing glance to his wife too. "I'm Taii Iemochi Seinosuke, and this is my wife, Arbitrated. We're to report to the Captain, if they're present?" The Neo-Caelisolian tilted his head to one side curiously, scanning the rows of personnel with some purpose.

"Majime-Shosa is... Ahh, I saw her just a moment ago! I remember seeing her disembark. She might be chatting with the conductor or the station management about something important," Aradia claimed.

Cheilith found an arm, pale and small, extended towards her in greeting. "Like my husband said, I'm Arbitrated - though many people simply call me Arbs or Arble. This is my daughter, Alicia, and her brother-" Indicating the cap-doting blonde toddler, "-Daniel. I used to be in the Star Army, actually," the little mother said with a proud, glowing grin.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, I think the captain is over there." Cheilith motioned towards where she thought the Captain is over there.

Seeing Kwabba-an's unease and knowing how stressful this might be Sanda took the momentary confusion of the two old friends reunion to side step closer to Kwabba and quietly said, "Let's step over there and see what's around here. It's getting too crowed over here for my liking."

Kwabba-an nodded and moved in the direction that Sanda indicated. She felt bad about not joining in greeting the newcomers, but it was very difficult for her to meet people for the first time.

"Look at that castle on the mountain," Gabriela gasped, looking up at the huge and ancient Ketsurui Castle that loomed over the historic town. "It is amazing that the Empress lives in Kyoto and not up there," she said to Poppy and Kalena, who were by her side. "I have seen on video but never with my own eyes before."

Upon the Elysian taii's approach, Kagura lifted her datapad and entered a few commands before eyeing the information she'd accessed. Now that the crew was in public again, she was back to her white paneled uniform and command cap. Everything seemed in order with the ship's roster and, it seemed, Star Army Personnel Command had indeed given them another crewman.

"New science officer, Captain," Kagura said as she stood beside Majime. "Freshly assigned during our transit."

"I asked for a clerk and a cook but okay," Majime softly replied to her First Officer, with a chuckle. "Apparently we're going to science the Hell out of this mission."

"Plenty of science around the Empire, ma'am," Kagura replied with a wide, toothy grin.

Mochi finally spotted the CO and XO of the Resurgence, whose pictures he had hastily memorized while waiting at the platform. Snapping a crisp salute, Seinosuke threw in a bit of Elysian culture, merging some of the way Elysians salute with the traditional Yamataian method. While his fingers were touched to his brow, the officer bowed his head a fraction and extended his burning wings out beside him somewhat. Their reddish orange tone billowed out like a cloak of sunrise.

"Iemochi-taii, reporting for duty." The science officer added simply, a pleased smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. "Science is always useful, Shosa, so I hope I'm of some benefit to you and the crew." The Elysian folded his wings back to their usually tucked state, Daniel now suddenly very interested in grabbing handfuls of his feathers.

OOC: JP by @Wes, @hyralt, @raz @Soban @Cowboy @Arbitrated and @Ethereal
Shosa Majime returned the salute. "Welcome to the crew of the YSS Resurgence. We are explorers and surveyors, getting a sense of the places in the Kikyo Sector and cleaning up the mess of the Kuvexian War. This is Kagura, my First Officer."

Meanwhile Gabriela gave Kwabba a squeeze. "I have a perfect idea for you. Ketsurui no Iori has a lot of Yamataian culture and that means we can probably find a haramaki for you. It's a bellyband which is used to warm your midsection. Some of the ones sold up in the North have heaters built into them. We can check the local shops for them and get one for your body and one for your tail section," she suggested.
Kwabba-an tensed, startled by the unanticipated touch. But as soon as she felt her furry crewmate's warmth, she relaxed and nuzzled deeper into the squeeze, closing her eyes with contentment.

"Mmm," she hummed, imagining herself wrapped in extra layers of clothing. "This haramaki sounds wonderful."

The insectoid spoke the Yamataigo word awkwardly, sounding it out slowly syllable by syllable in an attempt to imitate how her anthro crewmate had spoken it.

"You are quite observant that the cold causes me to suffer exquisitely," she complimented honestly, not realizing that it was certainly obvious to anyone who looked at her shivering all the time. "I am not sure if we have spoken before."

"I am !Kwabba-an Ternifac-xuralkhi,"
she pronounced her name with a click on the first consonant. "But my friends call me Kwabba, and I would be honoured if you joined them."
Sanda walked towards the edge of the train station and took a closer look at some of the nearby buildings. The Captain had mentioned this was a fleet yard and they might have power suits and such things. "Just point me in the direction of the armory." Sanda said to herself. The lightning tattooed woman looked back at the group. They were all clustered in a group. Sanda shook her head. They could all be taken out at once with a grenade or any kind of explosion. Sanda laughed. She was still thinking like a ranger as though there was a war going on. The war was over. That might take some more getting use to than she had originally thought.

Sanda saw a sign with directions of the base. Area 2: CO's office, Barracks, Mess hall, Officer's club (of course there was an officer's club). Area: 3 Armory. Area 5: Labs. The armory definitely sounded fun. Sanda frowned. She doubted she had the rank to get in. She certainly wouldn't have let a Santo Hei who wasn't stationed here just roam about an armory if she was in charge. Try to sneak in? The idea appealed to her rebellious side that hid just under the surface. But the Captain had specifically said to play nice. Guess that meant trying to get an officer to go with her. Or at least someone over the rank of Santo Hei.
The Iemochi would grin broadly as Majime welcomed him into the crew, returning his arm to his side from his brow, before bringing it back up to calm his son down a little. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Shosa. I'm excited to be here." Mochi would state warmly, "I loved exploring on my last Fuji-Class, so I can't wait to see what we find on the Resurgence." The Neo-Caelisolian's wings ruffled a little in anticipation, betraying the fact that he was clearly looking forward to the promise of adventure, as much as he seemed to be trying to hold it in.

Upon being introduced to Kagura, the XO, Seinosuke would nod his head respectfully. "It's good to meet you, First Officer Kagura.." A thoughtful look took Mochi's face for a moment. "..I feel like I've heard of a captain by that name before. Did you ever spend time around Virginia or the Samurai Sector?" The officer mused, as he began to take a few steps away from the edge of the platform, as if to indicate that they could get things underway now the formalities were concluded.
"I was the helm officer on the destroyer YSS Mushaburi after Third Nataria and we fought against Kuvexian mercenaries in the southwest, so was in that area a few times," Kagura replied, thinking the question kind of odd considering the sum of his service record she'd quickly skimmed moments earlier. He'd been with neither the Third Fleet that garrisoned the Samurai Sector, nor the Ninth Fleet she served with, nor even the woefully understrength Eighth that still lingered over Valentine. Plus, she was quite sure that she was the only "Kagura" in Star Army service, having checked the personnel database for name-twins once or twice before. But the question was innocent enough, and so she thought little more of it beyond the initial flurry of perplexity that filled her digital mind.

"You must be thinking of somebody else or have me confused with ever having been a captain," she chuckled with a sympathetic grin. "And Hojo-taii will do. Great to have a science officer along for the journey, especially one who served with the Fuji-class's designer. With experience like that, maybe you can help our Chief Engineer, Howard-chui, unlock the Resurgence's secret potential!" Kagura joked.

"But more seriously — even though we're still waiting for our ship to finish getting built — welcome aboard."
Gabriela got permission from Captain Majime and then led the way for Kwabba-an down into the city's narrow streets that were lined dark-brown-and-white wooden houses. The air smelled of roasting meat and chocolate fudge from some of the local shops and restaurants. While not a tourist destination per se, Ketsurui no Iori was full of sweet shops, steakhouses, and tea houses, especially near the train station. The streets were ancient and sometimes narrow and made of cobblestones. A short walk brought them to the market districts where a large city square was lined with shops and outdoor booths selling everything Yamataian, from electronics to handmade sweaters. Taiko drummers played at one end, accompanied by a flutist. Gaberila spotted some haramakis easily and brought Kwabba there. "We should get one that matches the uniform," she said, picking one that was in Star Army regal blue and offering it to the half-bug to inspect. It had a built-in pocket with buttons for a battery-powered heater pack. "We don't want to break the uniform policy, just bend it," she smiled warmly.

- - -

Sanda ran across a woman with pale skin, red eyes, and spiky black hair that had kind of a goth look to her. She was dressed in a Star Army Duty Uniform. "Hi, I'm Blanche Tepes, can I help you find anything?" she asked Sanda.

- - -

Meanwhile Kawa Euikoshi, always scheming, began chatting with Poppy. "So do you think those old PNUgen cloning labs here might be functional still? Maybe we could just clone ourselves a supply specialist."
Kwabba-an naturally heard music in all of the sounds around her. Though the air was full of scents that made her antennae wriggle, the sound of meat sizzling was to her much more tantalizing as a series of tiny bubbles bursting at varying frequencies. Even the clip-clop of her clawed feet on the cobblestones was simply another percussion instrument. When she heard the taiko drummers and flutist, she rushed over and closed her eyes to listen, letting the vestigial mandibles hidden in her mouth chatter with pleasure. She adored the flute, but her lipless mouth left her incapable of all but the most basic operations of wind instruments. On the other hand, her unique physiology benefitted her when it came to pounding such massive drums since her tiny frame was deceptively strong. Though she wasn't nearly as capable as these trained drummers, she had studied them extensively along with the shamisen at the Kyoto Academy for the Arts, which had an excellent set of courses for traditional Yamataian music. When Gabriela came to get her, she reluctantly parted with the wonderful sounds.

After focusing intently on what Gabriela was saying, she nodded to indicate that she understood and began examining the regal blue haramaki. The basic idea seemed simple enough, but when she found the buttons for the heating element her eyes went wide, she immediately picked it up in all four of her hands and burrowed her face into it for a short while before she looked up.

"Your wisdom is most appreciated," she praised her anthro crewmate. "This is the most wonderful piece of clothing I could ever ask for."

The insectoid bought four of them and immediately pulled one over her bulbous insect abdomen, then proceeded to take off her coat and struggle to pull a second haramaki over her head and both sets of shoulders to her waist. Without a hint of modesty, she lifted up her jacket, exposing the freshly-healed scars below her second set of arms where shrapnel from an exploding Kuvexian starfighter had torn into her. She then pulled up the haramaki, wincing slightly at the tenderness of her injury, then pulled down her jacket once again to cover it up. It was tight and made her look a little chubbier under her form-fitting jacket, but she held her arms around her midsection and clicked in appreciation of the warmth. She put her two spares into the pockets of her coat after she pulled it back on and buttoned it up.

"Thank you so much," she expressed her gratitude to Gabriela, seemingly on the brink of being overcome with emotion and not sure how she could repay her kindness.
"It's my pleasure," Gabriela smiled, giving Kwabba-an a gentle pat on the back before paying the merchant for their purchases. "I know something else we can pick up."

In minutes, Gabriela led Kwabba to Ketsurui Fleet Yards' headquarters, where they walked through blast doors into a massive, ornate hall with marble floors, and were promptly met by Han Eun-hwa, the KFY representative, who took them down a side hall and into a shuttle bay where there was a brand-new shuttle waiting for them. It even said YSS Resurgence on the side and had the registry number NG-S1-575-1. The shuttle was a new T11 model.


Gabriela thanked Eun-hwa and immediately slid open the door and went into the cockpit and got into her pilot zone, flipping switches and activating the shuttle's systems. "Come inside and hold on," she told Kwabba, and once Kwabba was aboard she took off, slowly rising out of the KFY complex and making a pass over the city and around the castle on the mountain, giving a Kwabba and amazing view out the side door. Gabriela made a careful and gentle landing on a flatbed train car on the same train that as moving them around planet Yamatai. Once they were in position, Gabriela shut down the shuttle and hopped out into the train yard and led the way back to the bulk of the crew near the train station.
Kwabba-an followed Gabriela, her expressive face clearly in awe at everything she saw. When they were greeted by a human woman with long red-brown hair, the socially anxious musician smiled and bowed slightly, not sure exactly what she was supposed to do. She was relieved when Gabriela took charge. The half ant took on a pensive look and quietly followed as they were led into a shuttle bay while something slowly dawned on her. When Gabriela thanked the woman and stepped into the shuttle, Kwabba-an knew that this would be her last chance to speak up before they left.

"E-excuse me," the insectoid almost whispered, barely able to get her words out. "Is this Ketsurui Fleet Yards?"

Han Eun-hwa, though somewhat surprised at the otherwise silent bug woman's question, smiled warmly and answered in the affirmative with the kind of reassuring tone one might use with scared children. "Welcome."

Kwabba-an spent a moment humming to herself, working up the courage to speak again. "Thank you. I am !Kwabba-an Ternifac-Xuralkhi," she introduced herself and displayed her identification. "I believe there may be a prototype here that was meant to be shipped to me. Could I pick it up instead?"

The KFY representative's warm expression turned to one of amusement and curiosity. "Of course, let me check for you." She bowed slightly, then walked away.

"Sorry Gabriela, I had to ask about something," the half ant apologized to her crewmate, poking her head into the shuttle. "I hope it will not take long."

Eun-hwa returned with a large metallic briefcase perched on a heavy-duty hand truck. "Thank you for your patience, Ternifac-xuralkhi-Hei," she gestured to the case. "Please be careful, it is very heavy."

"Th-thank you," Kwabba-an replied and hoisted the case without much apparent strain, causing its handle to give a metallic groan before she stepped aboard the shuttle. "Thank you for waiting, Gabriela."
Sanda regarded the woman who had approached her a moment then extended her hand and replied, "Sanda." The tall Nepleslian noted Blanche Tepes' rank pins and duty uniform and smiled. Here might be a chance to get into the armory. Or better yet, see some experimental weapons and armor. "Yes as a matter of fact you might. I'm part of the YSS RESURGENCE a ship that's almost finished being built now. We're on a little tour to pick up supplies and such before our launch. I would love to take a look around your armory and see if there is anything useful there." Sanda smiled and had a predatory gleam in her eye.
"Well, you can look but our weapons are ours. Your unit supply specialist will be able to order you weapons through Star Army Logistics," the pale, dark-haired woman replied with a smile, revealing fangs. She floated over and and gave Sanda a handshake. "Ketsurui no Iori is the best assignment in the Star Army. This place is beautiful and historic, and it's not too far from Kyoto if you need to be in the capital megacity. It's one of the oldest military bases on the planet, dating back to ancient times thousands of years ago. You can't dig without finding rusted armor and guns, tunnels and turrets. I love it! I hope you enjoy it here too. Say, we have some historic stuff in the armory too. Are you familiar with the Army of Uesureya?"
Cheilith shook her head, "Just what they taught us in basic, that was before we were made wasn't it?" Cheilith asked. Trying to follow their guide.
Sanda felt a little disappointed. She had supposed the fleet depo was kinda like a shopping center for soldiers to get really cool new equipment. Well at least she could look at some of the weapons and then put in a requisition for it later. She did perk up at the mention of old weapons and tech. Her brother in law loved old weapons and history like that. Might be nice to learn a bit. "No I'm not familiar with the Army of Uesureya. But that does sound pretty interesting. I don't suppose you could show me around and share some knowledge?"
"Of course," Blanche offered. "Anyone who wants to come along can."

Gabriela smiled. "I would like to see everything," she nodded, then rubbed her smooth-furred white chin with one hand, thinking. "The more I think about this mission, the more I think about efficiency. While our survey mission makes us a sort of tourist group we also have a serious mission and there is in enormous amount of things to do. I think we need to start thinking about what star systems are likely to have been the most affected by the war, and prioritize those."

"Mmm," Majime simply nodded, absorbing the suggestion pensively.

Kwabba-an, still carrying a metal briefcase, quickly rejoined the group. She looked back and forth between Gabriela and the black-haired minkan who she didn't know. Which star systems had been affected by the war? She hadn't been involved in the war effort until the final battle, and was never quite caught up on current affairs.

Gabriela gave Kwabba a grin. It seemed like they were developing the beginnings of a friendship and she loved that. "I see you thinking! What do you have in mind?" she inquisitively prodded. It was important to her that everyone was included.

Kwabba-an smiled back awkwardly at Gabriela. "I am thinking about how little I know of the effects of the war on the sector," she stated embarassedly, then she thought about it a little more and recalled a map of the sector with Yamatai approximately at the center. "I understand that the Kuvexians attacked the star systems in the...bottom left of the sector? I do not know their names."

"Hanako's Star is one of them," Cassie said with a hiss. "That's where my fleet was destroyed. It's still under Kuvexian control." The thought clearly upset the anthro.

Kwabba-an nodded, and was suddenly reminded of their visit to the Palace. The gradient-haired woman, whom Kwabba-an had found so familiar, she now realized was Hanako, who had written the Yamatai national anthem. Now she regretted not getting her autograph and discussing possible improvements to the song. She shook her head, and tried to focus on the present discussion.

Kalena laughed, "It's going to be nice when we have our ship and we don't have nearly 20 of us standing around like this, we can send small away teams as needed. Not to mention the privacy a ship offers and the climate control."

"You're talking about getting naked again aren't you?" Euikoshi observed.

Kalena just shrugged, not denying that.

Kwabba-an thought about this for a moment, and was surprised to think that she was beginning to feel quite comfortable in the bigger group, now that she was getting to know her crewmates. "I think I will miss us all hanging out together."

"Hey Kwabba, did you know Pidole was a drummer in her high school?" Euikoshi told her insectoid crewmate.

Kwabba-an's eyes went wide. "I did not know that!" The insectoid looked around for the red-haired technician. "We should play together."

"Well, I suppose I could afford a drum set here," Pidole blushed. "I haven't spent too much money since my trip to the East was cancelled early for the battle at Glimmergold. The train has cargo cars for us so it's possible if the captain is okay with it."

Kwabba-an smiled at Pidole.

"I've seen her arms, she still has drummer arms," Euikoshi giggled. "I bet she drums on things with her wrenches in engineering."

"Indeed, it does take some fortitude to keep a steady rhythm for a prolonged period." Kwabba-an said, while flexing as a visual aid. "I just had the pleasure of seeing a Taiko drummer in town. It was wonderful."

Pidole kind of stared at Euikoshi for a moment and finally mentioned, "My beetle can play cowbell."

Cassie laughed so hard they fell over.

Kwabba-an's vestigial mandibles clicked rapidly as she thought about the cute bug. "I would very much love to see that."

Blanche Tepes led the way for the group and brought everyone through the ancient cobblestone streets, where small houses and shops lined each side and plants and traditional lanterns and flags hung from second-story balconies above. They emerged from the city into a large garden which was dotted with hatches for anti-aircraft gun turrets, and then reached a blast door in the mountainside.

Kwabba-an followed along with a noticeable bounce in her step, excited at the thought of playing with Pidole's bug. When they reached the mountain's blast door, she squinted and felt that this seemed very familiar. Hadn't she just been to a building with a similar blast door? "Are we at the Ketsurui Fleet Yards?"

"This is actually an old military base," Blanche told Kwabba. "I actually took Lively-Shoi to the Ketsurui Fleet Yards headquarters earlier."

Kwabba-an nodded to indicate her understanding.

"We got our first shuttle!" Gabriela grinned, pleased at making progress.

"The Army of of Uesureya and the Uesureyan Empire's Spacy were the military forces of the Uesureyan Empire. They built this base," Blanche said. The doors slowly opened with a groan, revealing a spartan interior with a massive platform elevator that went diagnonally down into the underground.

Seinosuke perked up from the back of the group, where he had been enjoying the sights and listening in to the fascinating conversation those in front were having. As the term 'Spacy' came up, the Elysian would raise an eyebrow and speak up in a curious tone. "By Spacy, does that mean the Navy or the soldiers onboard those ships?" The formation of the Star Army in YE 22 was a long time ago, when he was just a toddler. "Clearly they had major resources if they made places like these."

As Blanche answered her question, Cheilith considered the question she had been trying to work through. What would the Empress not know about this place that she would want to know? It wasn't an easy question to answer for her as she wasn't completely sure what the Empress knew or would be intrested in. "A place like this could date back to the Black Claw space empire even. Is there anything from them that is still here? What is the oldest part of the base?" She asked, trying to remember her history lessons.

Kwabba-an closed her eyes and listened to the sound of the blast doors opening. It was music to her ears, as everything was. When her crewmates spoke up, she heard their voices only as more instruments joining the symphony.

Blanche led them onto the elevator. It was large enough for two trucks and had rails on the sides. The elevator had sets of step-like rails that served as footholds for car-sized gears. "The spacy was a space navy, similar to the Star Army. They operated the Empire's space warships. Eventually they were absorbed into Yamatai. There's been a renewed interest in the Uesureyan Empire since the fleet or Uesu's Nekovalkyrja returned after the battle of Glimmergold, since the former Emperor has apparently restored the Empire. They're very interested in visiting places like this," she said. "Indeed, there are some very old parts of this base."

Seinosuke nodded a few times in understanding, making a mental note to investigate further on his own time. It was amusing to imagine there were people substantially older than himself who had fought in Glimmergold, while he considered himself the elder of many Nekos. It was funny how the digital mind and immortality worked. Still, he thought, as he looked over to his family, what he had was worth sacrificing that for.

"So are they still here? Can we meet them? They've been away from Yamatai so long, I bet they have a lot of intresting stories to tell." Cheilith said, excited.

"Yes," Blanche said as she started the huge elevator platform. "Keep in mind that they're kind of old-school Nekovalkyrja who are not used to civilian life."

"They are from before we were considered a species, not equipment." Cheilith said, as she brought down some addtional information. To her that they weren't equipment happened a very long time ago.

Kwabba-an started focusing again on what others were saying, in time to pick up parts of a conversation about different kinds of nekos and a time when they were considered equipment. She wondered if she would have been considered equipment, given the semi-artificial nature of her creation. The insectoid turned to her friend Cheilith and felt sadness at the thought, then looked to the black-haired woman who was leading them and wondered what old-school meant exactly.

The elevator came to a halt some hundred stories into the rock under the mountain, and Blanche led them into a dated looking base with decorated tiles on the walls and vast, arched ceilings. There was a plinth with dozens of signs indicating the way to various places in the maze-like facility including vehicle bays, a dining hall, command center, and delivery receiving area. The triangular symbol of the Uesureyan Empire, looking very much like a Star Army fleet logo, was carved into the top of the plinth, and on top of that there was a statue of Empreror Uesu.

There were a trio of Uesureyan Nekovalkyrja looking at it, and they turned to face the newcomers. They were identical other than their facial markings and wore Star Army type bodysuit uniforms in a more teal color.

Cheilith smiled at the identical trio and went straight up to them. "Hi! I'm Cheilith, your uniforms look strange. Are they from Uesu's fleet? Why did you go with Uesu? Did you fight anyone? If so, how tough were they? Did you see anything like really cool? Do you like the changes since you've been gone?" She said, bombarding them with a stream of questions.

Kwabba-an looked around with awe at the vast space, particularly admiring the arched ceilings above them. When she saw the trio of nekos, she fought the urge to hide behind her friends. Instead, she did her best to stay calm and listened intently to Cheilith's questions.

Seinosuke looked over to the Uesureyans, peering over the shoulder of someone in front of him to get a better look. With the colour of their uniforms, a trainee might mistake them for medics, or some other similar occupation. Chances were, however, that they were cold and calculating warriors through and through. His emerald eyes followed Cheilith walking over - this should be interesting.

The Nekovalkyrja visitors looked a Cheilith and the lead one let out a Nekovalkyrja war cry that sound like "EEEEYAAAAAAAAO!!" and gave a bow. "Izaiyo, fello warrior! We are warriors from the reformed Uesureyan Star Empire and these are simply our uniforms. Taisho Parasparta has given us special shore leave to view our historic homeworld. We left because our Emperor ordered it. It was a critical mission. What we saw was mainly war."

Kwabba-an was startled by the sudden cry, and reacted without thinking, bringing the heavy metal briefcase she was carrying up over her head, ready to use it as a weapon. When the neko bowed and began speaking, she visibly relaxed and breathed a sigh of relief before lowering her case again. In retrospect, she was sure that she wouldn't last long in a fight against any kind of Nekovalkyrja, but she was glad to know that she would have gone down swinging.

Ever the professional first officer, Kagura had remained generally silent in oversight as she tagged along with the crew. They'd been exemplary representatives of the Resurgence, so she hadn't much to say and simply enjoyed listening in and watching their exploration of Ketsurui no Iori thus far. Now face-to-face with Uesureyan Neko, though, Kagura's eyes lit up a little more in interest. The XO herself had been from a batch that bore traditional Nekovalkyrja tattoos like these older Uesu Fleet cousins. And though Kagura was a product of her own times, she still appreciated and did her best to dutifully emulate her species' Valkyrie-inspired traditions.

"Nice markings, 'fellow warriors,'" Kagura said to the group of Uesureyans in a way that probably sounded cheeky even though it was merely the thrill of speaking with them on her voice. "What sorts of power armor do you fight with? We've got fourth generation Mindy here in Yamatai, now. Ya made new developments out in deep space?"

Cheilith seemed fascinated by the much older Neko. "Wow, a critical mission for the Emperor. That's a cool battlecry, it is a battle cry? You've been fighting the whole time? That sounds exciting. Are they still a threat? If so, what's the best way to fight them? Can you show me some of the tricks you learned? It would be an honor to spar with you. You said historic homeworld, isn't it still your homeworld?" She asked in curious enthusiasm.

Kwabba-an still felt the adrenaline from her reaction to the sudden warcry, but she tried to calm herself down by humming quietly. At first, it didn't seem to help, but she kept focusing on the tune and her breathing, and she started to relax eventually. Only then it dawned on her that she was humming the melody to the Anthem of Yamatai.

"It was necessary to continue the war against the Mishhuvurthyar," the Nekovalkyrja from Uesu's fleet said. "My name is Taii Meloral Subaru, and these are my sisters Balkaral and Alfaral. We are Technical Sentries from the 27th Spacy War Fleet. The best way to fight the Mishuvurthyar is to shoot them until they die. Preferably with aether. We use Mindy armors as well."

"In the pre-Yamatai era," Blanche explained, "Most starships were smaller ones like the ASF-57. We still have some of them and old 'Sting' fighters down here as well as tanks and armor and other war machines lost to the passage of time and progress. During the Battle of Yamatai, this place was used as a shelter from the orbital attacks."

Now that she had calmed herself down, Kwabba-an tried to move to the back of the group without drawing attention to herself. Once she removed from the social situation, she relaxed further and resumed her admiration of their surroundings. She noticed the way that everyone's voices seemed to carry in the enclosed space, which gave her the urge to make noise. Unfortunately, this urge was in direct opposition to her desire not to be noticed. Looking around, when she was satisfied that nobody was paying attention to her, she clapped two of her hands together and listened with satisfaction as the sharp noise bounced off the walls and the ceiling.

OOC: JP by Wes, @Ethereal @hyralt @raz & @Soban
Gabriela had more questions for Blanche. "KFY and KZ are here, PNUgen and WickedArms were here, the Star Army is here in in the form of a basic training base and the Ketsurui Academy. Really there is a ton of activity in this old city. So what is this facility's relationship to the places around it?" Gabriela asked.

They're all connected through a series of tunnels. Some of the tunnels are newer and some of them are ancient. Down here is the direct entrance to Svartalfheim, the land of the black elves. We believe when Yamatai was young and terraformed thousands of years ago, in the dark times we don't have many records from, it was designed to the vision of someone with an appreciation for myths and legends. This is why we have angelic Elysians, demonic Lorrfolk, elves in Trysylvania and Xiuluria, and so on. And there are elves down here too. Relations with the Svartalfar were very bad for many years because in the old times, people would enslave them and their population was at risk. Empress Himiko has been particularly involved in restoring goodwill and they promised to open up and let us in once the Kuvexian War ended. In other words, you have the opportunity to meet some people most Yamataians never could until now. This base is also an archive for a lot of relics and treasures of Yamatai, which were hidden in the caves to keep them safe."

"Wow!" Gabriela blinked, reflexively looking back at the other crew members to see their reactions.
Kwabba-an, satisfied with her acoustic experiment, turned back and listened to her friend Gabriela ask a question about a bunch of things she didn't really know about. While she had expected an answer that would go over her head, instead she heard mention of terraforming and various species on and within her home planet.

The insectoid felt curiosity welling up within her, at odds with her anxiety around the nekos who had scared her. A third feeling, that of frustration at her own weakness, came to the forefront. She gritted her teeth and counted beats in her head, trying to phrase her question as a song with a simple melody.

"Elysians and Lorrfolk,
And elves above and below,
The planet surface was terra-
formed, by someone long ago.

If Yamatai was created by
This person lost to time,
Did they create the species too?
I can't think of another rhyme."
  • Haha
Reactions: Wes
Not open for further replies.