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

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Observation Deck

Cassie found Cheilith on the observation deck at the top of the Fuji class ship, looking down on Yamatai from above. Cheilith smiled and waved at the anthro, "Hey!" She greeted him brightly.

As Cassie explained, Cheilith listened carefully. She nodded at his question and looked out again at the stars to think about it for a moment before returning her gaze to Cassie. "When I was down on Yamatai, I met a writer. They were biologically male but also used they and them. He felt that while male pronouns were accurate, so were they and them. For me, I'm not sure I care very much about gender, I figure I'd be just as plain and boring if I was an IDSOL. I've decided to run with being female because it describes the body I have pretty well."

Cheilith swept her hands out to the stars, "Out there, the stars are numerous and unique. You have to find what makes you unique and interesting. I don't know if I've found it yet, but I am looking. There are a lot of guys out there that would be uncomfortable with feminine pronouns, and the other way around. Some people are very attached to what gender they are or are perceived as. Others are not. It's easy to fit in and be what everyone else wants you to be. You should be what you want to be. If that's using male pronouns, that's great. If it's using female pronouns, that's great too. If it's they and them, that's also great. Or any combination. No one says that you have to always use one set all the time. Be yourself, find what makes you unique and useful, and run with it. That's what I'm trying to do. Does that help?"
Kwabba-an awoke. The field of her vision was full of blue sky and for a moment she was scared, but then she realized that she must have fallen asleep in the warm sand of a quiet beach. She could feel the cool water lapping at her feet. She sat up and the sky transitioned seamlessly into the ocean. She looked farther and farther down until she saw the frothy waves silently rising and falling on the white sand on which she had been lying and now she sat, contemplating.

Rubbing the sleep and sand from her eyes, she pulled herself up from her resting place that was filling with more and more water with each wave. The tide must be coming in, she thought and began to walk farther up the beach that sloped downwards towards the water. The sand was warm under her feet, which she preferred to the cold water that was slowly encroaching.

A thought occurred to her and she looked back up, scanning the sky from horizon to horizon. There was no sun, yet the sky was light. Had it just set? Or was it simply out of sight? Something about this bothered her, but she couldn't quite articulate the thought.

She turned around and someone was there. Someone she knew. This person was talking to her, but she couldn't hear their voice. Was it Sanda? Or Cheilith? Or the hummingbird? Or was it the captain giving her orders?

"I - I am sorry. I cannot understand," she felt herself speaking but she couldn't hear a sound. Suddenly she realized she hadn't heard anything since she had awoken. She looked back to her bed of sand and watched in horror as the waves crashed with ever-growing intensity but were still completely silent.

She turned back to the person. They were desperately trying to tell her something, waving their arms and gesturing at her. Was it her father, trying to tell her some obscure story of Yamataian history that interested him deeply? Or her mother making a bold effort to give her insight into the ways that numbers moved and danced and combined into other numbers? Her father and mother had such differently-shaped bodies, she knew, but without hearing their voice they were just shapes, as abstract as the numbers her mother tried to teach her about.

Kwabba-an felt like she could cry from frustration. Everyone always acted like everything was so obvious just by looking at it. This person looks so distinct from that person. This hallway is a different colour from that hallway. Nothing was so clear to her just by looking at it or even reasoning about how it looked.

She exhaled deeply and closed her eyes. She listened. There was nothing. She listened with her ears. There was still nothing. She listened with her antennae. They were covered with olfactory sensors that could smell the salt of the sea and something...fruity. Citrusy? She thought it might be the person whom she presumed was still trying to talk to her. But her antennae were also covered in fine hairs that were tickled by even the subtlest movement of the air. Despite this, she still heard nothing.

Wait. There was something. She turned her head, eyes still closed, until she found the direction in which the sensation was strongest. She began to walk. As she approached, the intensity of the sound increased, but still not enough for her human ears to hear. She could tell the sound was a rapid fluctuation of the air from a small point source that traced a wandering path through the air. Then she could hear it, ever so faintly. It was buzzing? She recognized that buzz!

Opening her eyes, she felt the tension wash away from her body as she held out her hand onto which alighted Pidole's beetle friend.

Kwabba-an awoke from her daydream. She shook her head and looked around the laboratory that Eun-hwa had been showing off to her and Pidole. With relief, she found that she could hear again. She could hear everything.
After touring Ketsurui Fleet Yards, Pidole Henitot and Kwabba-an said farewell to Eun-Hwa the KFY rep and headed back to the ship to pick up the scientists for the tour of the old PNUgen facilities. Kalena expertly landed the shuttle in the bay where Iemochi Seinosuke, Aradia Sivins, and Kawa Euikoshi were waiting. The door of the shuttle opened with a gentle hiss.

Kwabba-an stepped forward out of the shuttle, beaming with excitement. She didn't know anything about PNUgen but someone...was it Pidole? Someone had mentioned that it had to do with genetics in which, due to her background as effectively a lab-grown genetic experiment, she was deeply interested. When she caught sight of Euikoshi, she gave her an enthusiastic wave. Then she saw an elysian whom she recognized from the train station and the medical bay. The one with the red to yellow gradient coloured wings. Then she saw the other elysian to whom she had just introduced herself in the galley. She felt her breath catch at the people with pretty wings, giving them an awkward smile as she walked over to join them.

Cheilith was the next out, looking around the smiling at Mochi.

Seinosuke was flying solo on this particular outing, his family staying with Arbles as she was taking a big nap. He was sure they were all doing well, but scientific research - especially regarding DNA - was certainly his thing. Mochi hoped that he would be like being in a candy store, seeing all the new and exciting developments that had yet to become mainstream. His emerald eyes swept over the shuttle as it gracefully came into the dock, catching sight of its occupants. It seemed that in particular, Kwabba-an was glancing at his wings. Seino didn't mind at all, there was a reason he had chosen to make his subspecies so distinctive in its colouration after all.

Pidole stayed strapped in her seat along the side of the shuttle, not expecting a long stay on the ship, but she gave everyone a little wave as they got aboard. Her small blue beetle companion sat in her lap, its antennae moving around in the air with interest.

"Erm, hello Euikoshi, hummingbird, and...sir," Kwabba-an addressed the waiting group of scientists, mostly looking at Euikoshi whom she knew best and was least anxious about talking to. "Sorry for keeping you waiting. Are you ready to go? Pidole is strapped in and prepped."

The stormy silver-and-blue eyes fixated on Kwabba as the word "hummingbird" was, once again, mentioned. "Though I do appreciate your notice of detail, Kwabba, please don't call me a hummingbird - my name is Aradia Sivins, or Aradia-Hei if we're going to be formal... Which, fair enough. Though, a bit of a note, many of us Elysians don't like to be referred to as birds. A bit like how many humans don't like to be referred to as apes."

"I'm ready! Er, do we need to bring power armor or any weapons?" Euikoshi asked.

When Aradia talked to her, Kwabba-an's face initially lit up and she turned to her, then she looked down and away as she realized she had made a mistake.

"I am sorry, Miss Aradia-Hei. People call me a bug all the time and I do not mind." The insectoid turned to Euikoshi. "I don't think so. I think PNUgen is on Yamatai which, as far as I know, is the safest place in the galaxy."

Mochi gave a welcoming smile to Kwabba-an as the rather curious anthro approached the two brightly toned Elysians. "Hello there." Seinosuke greeted the obviously nervous ant simply, "You didn't keep us waiting at all." The scientist would listen as Aradia explained some of the more niche social niceties to Kwabba-an, gently nudging the smaller birb with his elbow. "I'm sure she meant nothing by it, Arry. Just need some thicker skin, mhm?" Mochi chuckled in the dad-style that he had inadvertently picked up. "I can't wait to see what PNUgen is like, always wanted to visit, even in my university days."

"See where it all started. Yhea." Cheilith said.

Aradia took a moment to adjust her glasses when the tall phoenix gave her a teasing, reminding nudge. She cleared her throat and apologized, "-Sorry. It's not something people talk about, so acidentally doing so isn't something to worry yourself about." Then, to change the subject, "Though the biological is not my particular specialization - especially when Mochi himself is present, as he developed an entire species on his own - it's still something that can garner my interest from time to time."

Once everyone was aboard at the hatch was closed securely, Kalena gently lifted off from the shuttlebay floor and maneuvered the craft out of one of the shuttlebay doors and into the space above Yamatai, then angled down and began descent back towards Ketsurui no Iori again.

Cheilith tried to look out the windows as the ship flew thorugh space. "So why did you decide to design a whole new species?" She asked the scientist.

Safely strapped into a seat, albeit facing the wrong way because of her insect abdomen, Kwabba-an thought back to the tour she had taken deep below an old military base in Ketsurui no Iori where she had learned about the origins of the elysian species. She turned when she heard Cheilith asking a question, then looked to all the science officers and wondered who would answer.

At the mention of his name, Seinosuke would wave rather sheepishly to those immediately nearby who seemed to be following the conversation. "Well, *sub*species may be more accurate.." Mochi muttered, as if somehow embarassed. Looking over to Cheilith as the question was asked, a wry smirk touched the Neo-Caelisolian's lips. "Well, it's quite a story but if I dare say it, I did it for love." The green-panelled officer's smirk turned into a grin at the thought of his family. "My wife and I wanted to have Elysian children, so that they'd be accepted in Elysian space and be able to do whatever they wanted to. But I also never had much of any luck when I was a Minkan, only bad times from back then. A literal metamorphosis helped me put all that far behind me. Now I have two beautiful Elysian children and many more on the way." Seinosuke nodded wistfully, "It got me a nice job too!"

"Wow, so you designed the body you wanted. That's pretty cool. Did you have to get used to the wings?" Cheilith asked.

"Yeah, many more indeed," chimed in Aradia with a smirk.

It seemed like the shuttle was starting to slow down into the dock, so unfortunately the reminiscing would have to take a pause, as the crewmembers started to crane their necks to see the sight of PNUgen below. "Oh, definitely. I'm sure Arble has some pictures somewhere - I remember crash landing on a beach while everyone was having a break from duties. Flying is very tricky if you don't learn it growing up! Luckily, it seems like other Neos have had better luck adapting to their bodies - mine is sort of a prototype which had some.. bugs. Hehe." At Aradia's comment, Mochi just winked knowingly back to his cousin-in-law.

Kwabba-an perked up. Her antennae wiggled excitedly and her vestigial mandible chattered quietly within her human-looking mouth. "Bugs? I like bugs."

Cheilith laughed, "I think he means bugs as in glitches."

The insectoid shrugged with disappointment. "Oh, that makes sense." Then she turned to look at Bidole for reassurance that she wasn't the only actual bug around.

After a smooth ride back to the city of Ketsurui no Iori, the away team was able to walk to the former PNUgen facilty, where a sign out front, partially obscured by a tattered tarp still said "PNUgen Kitsurugi No Iori Research Base and Sales Center." The entrance was blocked by a fence and some Star Army security personnel, who let them into the closed facility. On the ground level, they entered into an elaborate lobby with polished green marble floors. There were three alcoves on each side, some of which had elevator banks and others had plush but dusty armchairs and bookshelves. There were long hallways in various directions that were lined with statues of Nekovalkyrja and notable Yamataians and Nepleslians. The lights were still on. The high vaulted ceiling of the main hall was painted and each frame of the ceiling depicted different species of planet Yamatai such as smiling nude Geshrin, Nekovalkryja and Elves. At the end of the entryway was a huge, empty reception desk.

Pidole immediately went to find a map at the reception desk, and was able to find an old phone directory that had some floor numbers for various departments and scientists. She brought it over to show Seinosuke since he was the ranking officer on this mission.

Kwabba-an followed closely behind Pidole until her wandering gaze found the depictions on the ceiling, at which point she stopped and stared upwards. It reminded her of the ceilings of the imperial palace, but rather than depicting battles that overwhelmed her, she found herself admiring the naked forms of the various peoples that were presumably developed here. She thought about what she would look like if she were a massive nude painting on the ceiling. She realized she would look very distinctly different from the others up there, but she felt she would look pretty good and give the series of paintings some variety.

"You can tell the people who built this were not worried about a budget," Euikoshi observed, holding a finger in the air pointing upward.

"PNUgen is where a lot of the Ketsurui got a lot of their wealth and power from. So they had a lot of pepole they want to show off to." Cheilith offered.

"And a lot of peoples they wanted to show off," Kwabba-an noted aloud, though her voice was somewhat distant and monotone as she remained transfixed on the imagery above.

"It's definitely very impressive. I wonder who the architect was that made all this.. You'd think the Star Army would have its own architectural division so we can have bases like this everywhere." Seinosuke breathed, obviously quite excited by their first impressions. Once Pidole came over with the phone directory, Mochi accepted it with a thankful smile, brushing some dust off of it. "Let's see here.. I suppose we just start from whatever's closest." The officer ran a finger across the letters and numbers.

"Hehe, maybe. Though I imagine that architects for constructions like this are commissioned privately. That being said, I don't see any signature plaque anywhere obvious..." The redhead Elysian mumbled semi-to herself, looking around the room. Internally, she rolled her eyes at the perverted artworks. Typical for Neko.

Kwabba-an looked down at Mochi as he mentioned architecture. "The parents of my friend Kozakura are architects, I think." Her voice revealed the fact that she missed her friend. "I don't think they are old enough to have designed this building, though."

According to the directory booklet, there were two parking levels below, one for company vehicles and one for staff, and below that was a security level and many, many basement sublevels -- at least 40. There were also 12 above-ground levels and rooftop starport for small ships. The names of managers were listed as being on levels A08, A10, and A11. A01 was a sales center for products and A03 was where the sales and PR departments used to work. It also listed 8 different dining facilities.

"I wonder who's been here the longest? Anyone who worked on the first ones?" Cheilith wondered.

"The Yamatai Star Empire is surprisingly young, all things considered. Combined with the advancements in Soul Transfer technology as well as, of course, the development and refinement of newer, better bodies to live in - it's very likely the architects are alive to this day. And they could look just as young as us," Aradia stated.

Kwabba-an walked over to Pidole and looked at the directory booklet she was holding. "This place is bigger than I can conceptualize. But if we are looking for managers, it looks like we have three levels to choose from. I suggest we start at A08 and work in increasing order of numbering." Kwabba-an tried not to reveal the fact that she wasn't sure if A08 to A11 was moving downwards or upwards.

"Fifteen or sixteen years have passed since this place was open," Euikoshi told Kwabba. "I wouldn't expect to run into many people in here. Honestly, I would love to see it used again."

"Oh," Kwabba-an replied. "What is our goal here, then?"

"I think we're here to see the state of the place as part of our survey, I suppose," Euikoshi said.

Mochi listed to the input of Kwabba-an, as well as the insights of his fellow crewmembers as to the state of this place and its employees. "As Euikoshi says, I imagine the reason the Captain has sent us here is so we can get an understanding of what this place was, and what's left of it." Seinosuke wished that they could have come here while everything was working - and he was actually slightly sketchy on how exactly PNUgen collapsed - but it would be interesting nonetheless. Tapping the directory a few times, the scientist glanced around for a map, "We can look around freely I imagine, as long as we don't get lost."

Kwabba-an blinked slowly as she processed what she had been told. "We are here to explore an abandoned facility?" Her face unexpectedly lit up. She seemed so happy she was almost crying. "We get to wander around a big space with wonderful acoustics without having to talk to strangers? This mission was made for me." She let out a cry that echoed through the huge empty space around them, bouncing off the far walls and ceiling. As the sound returned to her, she built up a rough mental model of the area.

"I wonder if they have some computers here or something we could connect to that might shead some light on what happened. Probably on the executive levels."

The flat-chested hummingbird seemed to get slightly more nervous at the mention of the word "explore". She tried to mask it with a queston, a practical one. "Do we know where in this directory we are, right now? Making a reference of that will be useful for when it is time to leave."

"We can make automated maps with our mindware and share it telepathically," Pidole suggested. "I wonder if the elevators work," she said, approaching one. She pressed the button and a voice said "ACCESS DENIED."

"That would be a great idea, if... Everybody could interface with mindware. There are, however, limitations in that sense," Aradia mentioned aloud.

Kwabba-an watched Pidole walk over to the elevators. When the voice denied access, Kwabba-an walked over and tried to put all four of her hands into where the doors of the elevator met and tried to pry them apart by force. Though she wasn't as strong as a Nekovalkyrja, she was much stronger than a human.

The elevator doors really didn't want to budge. They were apparently made of some substantially thick starship armor material, as if the building was build to withstand orbital bombardments. Nevertheless, she was able to open them just a little bit, causing a horrible stench to fill the room as putrid air came rushing out of the elevator shaft. The robotic voice came over the intercom again and said "CONTAINMENT BREACH DETECTED. ATTENTION MAINTENANCE TEAM: REPORT TO LOBBY."

Kwabba-an was thrilled at first when she felt the doors pry apart even slightly, but then she recoiled and covered her delicate antennae, trying to block the odour she had unwittingly unleashed onto the group. "Oh no, that seems bad."

"Great, I wonder what horrors we accidently unleashed." Chelith said, looking around for something that she could put her hands on to do about the situation.

Seinosuke seemed to be pondering what Aradia had said, just as the elevator doors blared something fierce and a pungent stench suddenly swept through the room. The sudden nasal assault caused the scientist's wings to flare unhappily behind him as he turned to the source, bringing up a sleeve to his nose. "Oh my-" Mochi grimaced, "Let's.. hope that wasn't a mutagenic toxin and we start growing tumours with faces or something." Sein shook his head in dismay, remembering an unfortunate accident from his training days. "If anyone starts feeling bad..-" Mochi trailed off, before it dawned on him. "Well, we can always just use the equipment left behind to make sure we're alright. Whenever we find some."

"I think I found an access panel that will let us enter the elevator maintenance areas," Pidole chimed in. "There should be a ladder shaft we can go up and down with." She pulled a battery-operated automatic screwdriver from her RIKUPAT-pattern satchel bag.

Kwabba-an had a little trouble hearing with her antennae covered, so she released them. She nearly felt sick from the smell, but grimaced and tried to power through it. She looked first to Seinosuke and then to Pidole as they talked. "As long as we can reach the equipment."

Pidole's bug flew into the narrow gap in the elevator doors and its rear end lit up with a warm yellow glow, illuminating the elevator shaft and sure enough, there was a side cutout with maintenance ladders and platforms. When the red-haired technician opened the access panel hidden in the wall, the bug was waiting for her on the other side.

Kwabba-an watched with increasing adoration as the blue beetle flew around and helped them. "I must do the bug equivalent of buying your beetle a beer, Pidole."

"I can go first." Chelith said, stepping towards the elevator.

"I wonder if the rumors about the mutants are true," Euikoshi rubbed her chin.

"We'll find out!" Cheilith said with false cheer as she made her way down. "Anyone got a pistol with them?" She asked.

Kwabba-an shook her head. "I do not have a pistol with me." She thought back with longing for her experimental aether whip, though she wasn't convinced it would come in handy under the present circumstances.

"I've mine! Here you go," the mini-scientist responded quickly, handing the weapon - grip first - to Cheilith. "Not so sure a mutant would survive down here without food of some kind, though. Guess we'll find out."

Cheilith took it and checked to make sure it had a charge, she at least felt better with it in her hands. "We'll let's just hope it's not the kind that feeds on Nekos." She held the pistol in one hand as she climbed down the ladder. Cheilith looked for where the smell was coming from as they climbed down.

"Do not be afraid, Cheilith. I have your back." With that, Kwabba-an followed behind the neko. At first, she climbed down using her four hands and two feet, but then she realized her clawed feet could grip the ladder adequately on their own, so she began vertically "walking" down the ladder after Cheilith. She let out another cry into the darkness of the elevator shaft, and listened as the sound ricocheted back to her from either end of the empty space.

Seinosuke was hanging back for now, a little wary of everyone diving headfirst into the unknown, before remembering they had literally *just* done their STs. May as well have some fun with it. "That bug's something special for sure!"

"M-hm! Kwabba-Hei has quite a few talents," Aradia murmured to Mochi. She took her time to get some space on the ladder before holding her breath and joining in the descent - wings occasionally twitching, brushing against the edges of the crawlspace.

"Maybe we should stop at levels B03 and B04, the directory said those were security," Pidole suggested, slowly floating down the shaft using her Minkan hovering ability. The elevator shaft was dark so she pulled out a type 32 floating flashlight from her bag and had it join the beetle in illuminating things.

Cheilith let go of the ladder and bloated next to B03. "Here we are, I'll cover you while you open up the door." She said to Pidole.

Kwabba-an remained affixed to the ladder as Pidole and Cheilith began to float. She grasped a pair of adjacent ladder rungs with her clawed feet and stood sideways in the elevator shaft, waiting for the others to open the door. Her pleated uniform skirt and her hair hung oddly from her horizontal body. She began to inspect her nails in the dim light as she waited.

OOC: JP by @Soban @hyralt @Wes @Arbitrated @Ethereal
Observation Deck

"A little," Cassie chuckled. "I guess I can't really expect anyone else to decide something I can only decide myself. Sorry it that was an awkward question and for dragging you into my personal identity crisis. Honestly, I was, and still am, shaken up by the Battle of Hanako's Star and losing everyone around me and almost getting left in space to die. Then the Battle of Glimmergold brought it all back and I've been feeling really out of it ever since, just trying to kind of figure out where I fit into the universe and what am I going to do with my life. Even more so now that the war is over and my whole identity is based around being a brave soldier and I have no more war and battles in front of me, at least for now. I also felt like I let myself down because I had a panic attack in the last battle and lost control and took huge risks..." The gray anthro shifted their position and scratched the back of their head. "Um, sorry to talk your ear off. I guess I can always try using different pronouns and see how I feel about it. Thank you for your help, I really appreciate that I can talk to you and I hope we can be friends on this ship. I have been really scared even to make friends because I'm terrified about losing them like I did at Hanako's Star...but I still miss friends and recognize the need to take risks. Basically I'm taking a chance here so please go easy on me."

YSS Resurgence, Bridge

Captain Majime got on the intercom, "This is the captain, anyone not occupied on an away team mission, you're free to recruit short term leave for love day celebrations or to form another away team. I want to pick up the pace here and just want to keep you guys from having to sit around bored so find excuses to get out and do things," she encouraged her crew.
Kwabba-an listened in the darkness, barely able to see her nails in front of her face in the dim light cast by Pidole's flashlight and beetle. She soon lost interest and looked up to see Bidole buzzing away. The sight of the insect pleased her, and she remembered that she still had yet to see the little creature play a cowbell.

Pidole found the door to level B03 and was able to use her technician skills to find and operate a manual release for the elevator door which let them out onto the floor. Moving around they were able to find sleeping areas, office areas, a few small lounge areas, restrooms, and two large armories which still had some weapons and body armor in them. "I was hoping to find a security control room," Pidole told the others, scratching her head a little. "This complex is practically its own military base."

Kwabba-an followed closely behind Pidole, squinting to see in the technician's light. When her large cat-like eyes spotted an armoury, she couldn't help herself but go to inspect further. She hadn't expected to feel so vulnerable anywhere on Yamatai, but walking around in the dark had started to put her on edge.

Cheilith followed, not sure what would be awaiting them down. She held the pistol ready for any threats that appeared.

Kwabba-an wasn't sure if she recognized any of these weapons from her training, but most of them seemed to be similar enough to the pistol and rifle she'd used. She picked one of the pistols up and inspected it closely. She really couldn't tell if it was in working order, but holding it made her feel better at least.

"It seems like this place was abandoned and not very throughly," said Pidole, looking at Kwabba-an's acquired pistol. "Can you beleive they just left all this gear around?"

"It seems strange, cursed almost. I wonder if we could take some of it with us. Stuff with a history, mysterous history now." Cheilith said.

Kwabba-an noddeed, making sure to keep the muzzle of her new pistol lowered so she didn't accidentally point it at anyone. "This place does seem cursed. At least, it makes me feel creeped out." She looked to Pidole. "You mentioned that security is on B03 and B04? Perhaps we will find the security centre on the next floor down."

In the middle-ish of the group, Aradia Sivins wasn't able to peer into the darkness as well as some of the... Ocularly-gifted members of the party. A preiodic thrum of her wings stirred the air in the corridor around them, providing a brief breeze - though it would barely help, if help at all, with the stale air of the complex.

"Old gear? I'm unfamiliar with some of the older weapons technologies from Yamatai. I wonder if they used ballistics a lot back in the day?" Inspecting one of the weapons as she said this, the little redhead blew off some dust from a rifle.

Even in the darkness, Kwabba-an closed her eyes to listen to the sound of her crewmate's wings. She enjoyed the humming and wondered if she had the ability to vary the speed of her wings to tune the pitch of the hum up and down. Could she use her wings as an instrument?

The rifle appeared to be a WickedArms GP-12 Pulse Rifle. The Star Army also used the model. It made since since Ketsurui no Iori was also the headquarters for WickedArms until it closed.

"I don't remember a rifle like this, I wonder if it's still issued?" Cheilith asked.

"There's some stairs to B04 over here," Pidole said, leading the way with her floating flashing and her glowing bug friend.

Pidole's other bug friend, Kwabba-an, followed closely behind. "I have certainly never seen a rifle like that one before." She looked down at her pistol, wondering if she should have grabbed a rifle instead. But then she remembered her combat history and that she would likely be more effective at throwing the gun at anything that attacked them than trying to shoot it.

Cheilith took a step closer, tempted to take the rifle. There was a moaning wind that passed though them, probably just something having to do with pressure. She tried to reassure herself, then she grabbed the rifle and checked the charge, it was mostly full having lost a bit of it's charge in the years since it had been left here. Then she followed Pidole and Kwabba-an.

Kwabba-an stopped when she realized her humming crewmate was getting left behind. "Are you coming, Miss Aradia-Hei?"

The security headquarters was pretty huge. It was clear that PNUgen had once been paramilitary organization with its own large security force that included warships, Nekovalkyrja, attack helicopters, and biological weapons. It was essentially a corporate miniature version of the Star Army of Yamatai. No wonder the Star Army had shut them down. In the starship-bridge-like center of the security center, all of the displays were on still, monitoring various parts of the complex. "Whoa," Pidole stared.

Feeling torn, but seeing no obvious danger, Kwabba-an jogged to catch up with Pidole and Cheilith. She only took a moment to look around once she reached them, at which point she began to look confused.

Cheilith sat down at one of the terminals and lay the balck gun on top of the terminal, "Ok, let's figure out what's happening here." She said, typing away and trying to see if she could pull up what the alarm meant on the screen.

"Huh. Guess some designs have really stood through the ages. Especially with how quickly things reiterate in the Ess-syy-oh-why. I wonder if their encryption is up to scratch? I didn't bring my kit with me, but I can probably still work it," Sivins claimed, with just a little hint of pride.

"Why did they leave all of this?" Kwabba-an wondered aloud as she walked over to a display and wiped some dust off and admiring the image of an attack helicopter.

"Well, probably anyways, they had to drop it and run when Yamatai outed them. Wouldn't have had the time after the strings they were pulling became apparent." The way Sivins stated this was rather... Tense. Those who knew their history could harbor a guess that the Elysian massacre in the First Elysian war was to blame.

"It came out that the Great Plague had been developed by PNUgen, not the Elysians," Pidole told Kwabba-an. "The public outrage was pretty serious and the Star Army had to act and close PNUgen. Even though PNUgen was where the Star Army started...as the makers of the Nekovalkyrja. That's also why Uesu's fleet lef..." Pidole suddenly froze.

Kwabba-an nodded her head slowly at both Aradia and Pidole's explanations, but then noticed when Pidole suddenly stopped talking. She turned to look at her technician friend, wondering what was the matter.

"Because Uesu sided with those genocidal maniacs?" Cheilith asked, shocked by the implications as she worked.

"Step away from that console," a voice ordered. It was Taii Meloral Subaru, and her sisters Balkaral and Alfaral, from earlier. They stepped out of the shadows with guns locked on the Resurgence away team.

Cheilith looked up, her face angry, "So is that why you left? Because you were ok with it?" She barked at them. Not seemng to notice the incongruity of their sudden appearance here.

Kwabba-an tensed at the order and felt a surge of adrenaline wash over her, though she wasn't sure why. The impulse to turn and shoot hit her, but she let it pass without acting on it. Why did she react so strongly? Then she remembered a war cry on an underground tour and realized from whence she remembered the voice. She relaxed a little, and stepped away from the display. Then she slowly turned to look towards the source of the voice with her gun still pointed towards the floor. She tried to keep her breathing steady while the sound of her blood pumping beat a steady rhythm in her ears.

Instinctively, Aradia raised her hands and stepped away - the commanding part of the Taii's voice proving effective. She furrowed her brow, silver eyes glinting in the moody lighting. One brightly-colored wing twitched in antsy tension.

"What are you doing here?" The Star Army of Uesureya officer demanded to know.

"We are here on official orders," Kwabba-an said, with unusual assertiveness.

"A better question is why are you here?" Chelith asked, picking her rifle back up.

One of the sisters shot Chelith as soon as she touched her rifle, hitting her with a stun pulse.

Cheilith tumbled backwards, stunned.

Pidole flinched, still staring at the Uesureyan nekos.

"We are also here on official orders," Subaru revealed. "This facility is supposed to be off-limits," she sneered. "Who sent you?"

Kwabba-an felt herself nearly overcome with rage as the shot rang out and Cheilith fell, but some part of her mind held her back. She knew that she wouldn't last a second if she put up a fight.

"We were sent by Shosa Ikigai Majime. Now you will tell us who sent you."

"That's classified and you don't have a need to know. But if you went to leave alive you should grab your soldier and go back to where you came from. This facility is under our control now," Subaru warned.

"They must have used a secret tunnel from the old Uesureyan base," Pidole quietly speculated.

Kwabba-an continued desperately trying to keep her breathing steady. "You have no jurisdiction here. You have fired on my friend. And I just got my soul transfered. I am not inclined to acquiese."

Aradia tried to remember how far down they'd gone. Then, she remembered - this was the whole group. No backup could be called, anyways. Positively electrified, the scientist had been perfectly silent - but not quite as still, arms having returned to her side. She, against what would probably be considered better judgement, asked, "What are you expecting to accomplish with this facility? Not only are its tools obsolete, but the overwhelming majority of the population on this world is immune to any pathogen - especially ones made here."

"Just go back to your ship and forget you ever saw us. In fact, why don't we help you forget with a little trip to the soul transfer machines?" Subaru said. She and her sisters kept everyone in their sights.

"Run?" Pidole suddenly blurted.

Cheilith's hand snaked over the console that gave her cover and grabbed the rifle, letting off a couple of shots. "Fight theese traitors!" She exclaimed, ducking back behind the console. She still felt pins and needles all over, but she wasn't going to let them kill her friends. No matter what.

Kwabba-an reacted as soon as Cheilith began firing, jumping to one side, raising her pistol and firing at the enemy nekos, before rolling behind the console with Cheilith.

The Nekovalkyrja took cover and started firing back using their NSPs grenade mode, sending consoles flying and burning. Pidole crawled towards the exit covered in her own blood.

"We have more people then them. Pidole, Kwabba covering fire!" She yelled knowing she had to do something, anything. Then she rushed to a collum to try and start flanking the three.

As consoles exploded and burned around her, Kwabba-an followed Cheilith's order without thinking, as she had been trained to do. She stuck her pistol around her cover and started unloading. As she did so, she was overcome with the urge to scream back at the nekos. It felt a little cathartic, a bit of auditory revenge for startling her with a warcry last time they met.

Kwabba's warcry was met by a warcy from Cheilith.

Disarmed from earlier, the Elysian in the room had to duck for cover, just in time as a deadly blast of scalar energy screamed through the air right where the center of her chest was - its immediate siblings annihilating a rather unfortunate monitor against the far wall. Using her tiny (for an Elysian) body to her advantage, the Sivins girl scampered lowly between workstations and chairs, getting into position for a surprise attack - albeit in melee form.

JP by myself, @Wes @hyralt and @Soban

Sanda finally finished rolling the sushi. The other dishes were just about ready as well when she heard the Captain make her announcement. From the sound of it, dinner was going to be delayed. And after slaving in a hot kitchen for hours too. But Sanda wasn't too bothered by that. This wasn't to first big meal she had made where no one was around to eat it. It would keep till a later time. She would set out some of the food in case someone on the ship came by hungry. The rest she would save till later.

As Sanda left the Galley she suddenly thought of Kwabba. She hoped the little music bug wasn't getting into any trouble. Probably having a good time making new friends and seeing new things. How much trouble could she get into anyway?

The tall tattooed woman roamed the hall ways for a bit. She wasn't sure who was still around on the ship. She considered attending the 'love day' celebrations. Sanda had had a lover or two growing up but nothing ever serious. She did desire to find someone special like her sister had. Maybe she would check it out, or if she could swing it, go see that new Aquarius Star Fortress. She had heard it was quite the sight. Maybe she'd fine someone more her type. Ha, someone above 5'5" which seemed to me the best she had seen lately on Yamatai. But putting love to one side, Sanda wanted some action. She pulled out her com and sent a message out "Sanda here, if anyone would like someone to ride shotgun with them, I'm game."
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One of the Nekovalkyrja fired a stun shot as Cheilith rushed to the column, expertly aiming with Nekovalkyrja accuracy, and took her down, causing her to stumble into the column and bounce off to limply lie on the floor.

"Cease fire!" Taii Subaru shouted, causing her sister to stop with the volley of grenades. "We're all supposed to be friends here," she yelled at the Resurgence crew, while they made their way to an exit door.

When the Uesereyan Nekos said that they were supposed to be friends, Kwabba-an felt herself somehow get even angrier. She popped her head around the corner from the smouldering wreckage of the console behind which she had been hiding, pointed her gun, and pulled the trigger. In expectation of the recoil, she jerked the gun forward in her hands when none came. She quickly turned it sideways and looked at it, just to realize that it was empty. In her anger, she threw the gun at the nekos and ducked back behind cover.

Aradia Sivins hesitated when the Uesereyans called for a crease-fire. Then she heard the unmistakable click of a gun trigger, a Dead Man's Click as the movies called it, and tensed up like a spring. Clearly, the Resurgence crew was still willing to fight.

Alfaral, obeying her sister's orders to deescalate, merely pointed at Kwabba instead of shooting her and called her an "asshole" in traditional Yamataigo.

A blur of pink, green, and blue shot out from behind a console, the pint-sized scientist trying to full-body tackle a hostile soldier nearly twice her weight with a shout.

As Alfaral did her best to keep Aradia off her, her sister Balkaral came over and kicked Aradia in the toes and there was an awful cracking sound.

Hearing the awful cracking sound, Kwabba-an frantically peeked around the corner and saw Aradia right next to the nekos getting kicked in the toes, her colorful form crumpling over in shock.

"No!" She yelled, then grabbed the nearest thing at hand, which happened to be the piece of still-flaming wreckage of what used to be the console behind which she had been hiding. The thing was bigger than Kwabba-an, but she hefted it easily over her head and threw it at her enemies.

Both sisters holding Aradia had the same idea and basically used Aradia as an umbrella and dumped her afterwards. The trio abandoned their efforts to talk it out and Subaru summoned them to the door and they left, closing a blast door behind them, leaving the Resurgence crew among the wrecked security room. A sprinkler system then suddenly went off and began dumping water on everyone, putting the flames out.

Meanwhile, Pidole's bug came and started poking Kwabba repeatedly for attention.

Kwabba-an, her chest heaving as she recovered from the excitement of battle, looked down at the bug with a curious look. At first, she didn't recognize it, but when she did she realized that she hadn't seen Pidole since the start of the fight.

Aradia was coughing a bit, and groaning in pain, but seemed to be... Not unconscious, for what it's worth. Her slightly-singed feathery appendages drooped, quickly becoming waterlogged in the dousing rains of the fire suppression system. She used a console to return to her feet, before realising - the hard way - that only one could properly support her weight.

"Dammit!" Aradia hissed, keeping her broken foot off the ground and leaning against the console for support. "What was all that about?"

"I am not sure," Kwabba-an replied, still looking at Bidole with curiosity. The rational parts of her brain felt like they were still turned off. "I am sure that they were not our friends."

Kwabba-an held out her hand underneath Pidole's bug, suddenly concerned that it might have a hard time moving around with the fire-extinguishing water pouring down on them.

"What do you want, little one? Where is Pidole?" Kwabba-an studied the creature intently, thinking deeply about its frantic poking and what it could possibly mean.

Bidole buzzed around dodging streams of water until she reached the elevator shaft. Water from the security control room was running by a trail of blood that went into it.

Kwabba-an was surprised when the little creature took off with such speed, but its movement triggered something within her and she instinctually chased it. The vestigial mandibles in her otherwise human mouth clicked rapidly with the thrill of the hunt until she noticed the blood on the ground and she became concerned.

Kwabba-an was sure that none of the Uesu nekos was injured, Aradia hadn't been this way, and she was relatively certain that Cheilith had only been hit with stun blasts. Whose blood was this if not Pidole's? With increasing worry, she followed the trail into the elevator but stopped when she couldn't see if it led up or down.

Turning back to her crewmates, Kwabba-an yelled. "I think Pidole was injured, there is a trail of blood leading into the elevator!"

Kwabba-an looked around frantically for Bidole. Perhaps the bug could lead her to Pidole.

A commotion-borne splashing in the small puddles of water echoed through the halls behind Kwabba-an, Aradia Sivins catching up as best she could with only one properly usable foot. The wet, erratic buzzing of her wings was the primary thing keeping her upright, but the little birb didn't seem to be able to fly anymore.

Seeing Aradia approach made Kwabba-an realize they were also missing someone else.

"Wait, where is Cheilith? I stopped hearing her war cry when a stun blast went off." Kwabba-an noted Aradia's impaired movement and rushed back to where they had been fighting. She saw Cheilith's body and ran over.

"Oh no. What was I taught to do in my first aid training...?" Kwabba-an put her sensitive antennae up against Cheilith's mouth to try and feel if she was still breathing. Once she felt her breath, she sighed with relief, then picked up her unconscious body and ran back over to the elevator.

"Thought she seemed fine... Bleeding though - Pidole? Do you know if she went up or down?"

"I cannot tell," Kwabba-an said as she turned to Aradia with a worried look on her face.

The beetle zoomed down to level B13, ten stories down, its rear end glowing yellow in the dark shaft.

Kwabba-an saw Bidole fly downwards and reacted by swinging herself into the elevator shaft and grabbing the ladder. Then she hesitated and looked back at Aradia. "Will you be able to follow? Your movement seems impaired."

"Can't support my weight on one of my feet... Soaked, can't fly. I'll be fine. Getting back up is a bigger issue," the winged girl claimed through gritted teeth. Her eyes shone like furious stars in the night, in the darkness.

"Not a critical wound. Just hurts like a Patrician's pride in Hell."

Kwabba-an spent a moment admiring Aradia's pretty eyes before she snapped out of it.

"This will not be a problem. I will carry all of you if need be." With that, Kwabba-an began descending the ladder in the direction Bidole had flown. She was hardly encumbered by Cheilith's body, which she had thrown over one of her shoulders and was using just one of her arms to hold in place while she climbed with the other three.

OOC: JP by @Wes @Arbitrated @hyralt also @Soban was there but stunned.
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Kwabba-an climbed down the elevator ladder in silence. As she did so, enough time passed for the adrenaline to fully wear off and so she began thinking about why the Uesu Nekos hadn't pressed their advantage. Had they actually thought of themselves as friends? That didn't make much sense after they had threatened to kill them all. Maybe it had been an empty threat, she thought as she continued climbing down, careful to keep Cheilith's limp body steady on her shoulder. Kwabba-an continued to climb for some time, silently mulling over the thoughts.

Cheilith groaned and started to move as she woke up. "Kwabba?" She asked weakly.

Kwabba-an stopped climbing when she felt Cheilith stir and heard her voice. "Yep, just me, Cheilith. I think Aradia is waiting back up above. I am trying to climb down to wherever Pidole ran off to. Are you okay?"

"Advice, if pure addrinaline and terror manages to get you out of one stunbolt, don't get shot again." Cheilith said, regaining some strength. Her weight lightened as she started to float.

"That is wise," Kwabba-an replied as she let Cheilith float out of her grasp. Without her friend's body to be careful of, she turned herself so she was horizontal again, holding on to the ladder with just the claws on her feet. She began to walk down the ladder at an increasingly fast pace. "Pidole is far below us still. You might have missed it, but the Uesu Nekos withdrew. Any idea why they would not press their advantage? This has been troubling me."

Cheilith shook her head, "No but when I was sitting down at the computer. The vaults, their open. The warnings wern't silenced, so I saw them all. I was clicking through them as fast as possible to try and figure out what was going on. I saw warnings for things that weren't on inventory lists. For vaults that didn't seem to exist. I don't know what they all mean, but with what she was saying about PNUgen, I was starting to get a really good look at them. I... I don't like what I saw." She said as she floated down beside Kwabba.

Kwabba-an furrowed her brow, trying to understand exactly what Cheilith was telling her. "Do you suppose that is why the Uesu Nekos were here? To retrieve something from these vaults? Or do you think it is possible that they showed up because we set off some kind of alarm?"

"We only came down here because of the containment breach, I don't think that was us. We do need to fix it while we're down here. Or something." She explained.

Kwabba-an nodded slowly in the near total darkness as Cheilith spoke. Ahead of her, she could see the faint light of Pidole's beetle lighting up the entrance to level B13. "I see. I am afraid I will not be of much use in this regard, but I will help in any way that I can."

B13 contained the complex's central medical medical bay and was one of the seven hospital floors in the complex, and it contained an emergency room. Signs to each were on the wall right outside the elevator door, which had been manually activated, probably by Pidole. She they got onto that floor, they found Pidole leaning up against a wall taking a rest. Her uniform was wet with blood. She looked up at them. "I'm not feeling too well," she struggled to say.

"We're going to get you fixed. Stay with us, ok? Kwabba, grab a medical scanner. I'm going to see if I can find something to stop the bleeding." Cheilith said, looking around the room.

"I will do this." Kwabba-an nodded, but then hesitated before walking over to Pidole. "But first, Pidole, will you be alright standing there for a moment while we look for things to help? I can carry you if you wish."

Pidole tried to reply but she ended up just coughing so she just ended up nodding. After a moment she weakly said, "was just taking a break."

Cheilith looked doubtful, as she scooped a bunch of random bandages from the cabnet and brough them back to Pidole. "Ok, ok, let's try to stop the bleeding."

Kwabba-an nodded, and felt better when Cheilith came over to start applying a bandage to Pidole. Confident that if Pidole fainted, Cheilith would be there to help, Kwabba-an set off to try and find a medical scanner. She wasn't completely sure what a medical scanner looked like exactly, but she had a rough idea. She was pretty sure she'd seen one when Poppy had performed the physical on her.

"I think I...got hit by shrapnel..." Pidole explained. She felt queasy and was struggling not to pass out.

"You've lost a lot of blood. We need to stop the bleeding and get more blood into you. Hey Kwabba, do you see any hemosynth tanks or a auto-doc of some sort?" She shouted down the hallway at the bug girl as she tried to find and stop the bleeding.

"Okay!" Kwabba-an yelled back to Cheilith, though she was not at all sure what either of those looked like. She figured she would recognize one if she saw it as she continued opening drawers and scattering the contents, still trying to find a medical scanner. When she opened one drawer, she saw a metal case and almost shut the drawer and continued on, but something about the case caught her eye. She pulled it out and blowed on it, sending a cloud of dust everywhere that made her cough.

"Well that was not wise," Kwabba-an whispered to herself before she opened the case and found that it contained a selection of old-looking but still quite recognizable medical supplied, including a book of of first aid. She smiled, and ran back over to Cheilith and Pidole with the WickedArms TA-13 Medical Kit in hand. "I found this!"

"Great!" Cheilith exclaimed, finishing with the bandages. Pidole slightly resembled a mummy with swaths of cotton running across her body. It was probably overkill.

Kwabba-an flung the case open to reveal a useful selection of medical supplies, practically none of which she knew what to do with. Her medical training was limited to how to apply a pressure bandage and how to call for medical aid. Kwabba-an picked up the First Aid/Medical Book and began skimming it to see if it had a section on shrapnel.

"She needs blood, how do we put the blood pack in her?" Cheilith asked picking up the blood pack.

"Uhhh," Kwabba-an filled the stale air with the sound of her ignorance as she paged through and found the section describing the use of the blood pack. "It says that the hymosynthetic material can be released in a solid stream, various ranges of sprays, and a slow trickle."

Kwabba-an looked up at Cheilith. "I guess we use it as a topical spray on the wound?" She looked down at the book again. "It says that the spray control valve is a small knob located on the front of the nozzle assembly."

"Ok, ok, let's see how this works." Cheilith said, carfully unwrapping one of the larger wounds and put the nozzle ove the would and shot a small stream of hemosynth into it.

Kwabba-an looked up and watched in rapt fascination as Cheilith used the hemosynth on Pidole's wounds, before looking up to Pidole's face, anxiously awaiting her reaction. Would it be painful? Or soothing?

Kwabba-an was suddenly reminded of her injury at Glimmergold, when she'd dropped her shields for just long enough to get hit by shrapnel that tore into her Mindy between its plates of armour and proceeded to shred her insides. Kwabba-an looked down at Pidole's injury again and felt a wave of sympathetic pain wash over her. It was almost enough to make her faint, but she managed to stay standing and only wobble slightly on her feet.

Kwabba-an felt one of her hands feel under her lower arm where her injury had long since healed, but had left a distinct scarring pattern that almost reminded her of a flower. She knew that it shouldn't still be sore, but when she touched it, she could swear that she felt the pain. Probably just a memory, she thought to herself.

"Uh is that still good," Pidole asked. But she seemed to be hanging in there. "Thanks," she added. "So...what happened up there?" she asked.

Kwabba-an quickly replied: "The Uesu Nekos withdrew shortly after you were injured and Cheilith was stunned again."

OOC: JP by @Wes @hyralt & @Soban
Pidole seemed to stabilize and while she wasn't in top shape, she was no longer in danger. "So what is the plan now?" she asked. She began to stroke her beetle's back with one finger, whispering "thanks," to it too.

Kwabba-an, having no sense of how Pidole was medically, did her best to give her a critical once-over. As far as she could tell, she was just as poorly as before, but something Kwabba-an could hear in her voice suggested that she was feeling better.

"We need to figre out what's wrong and how to stop it. They stole something, but I get the feeling they may be trying to cover their tracks.with something else." Chieleth said.

Kwabba-an turned and nodded to Cheilith. "Yes, I am also very curious about what they were doing here." She turned back to Pidole. "Will you be alright to continue? Or should we prioritize getting you back to the Resurgence?"

"I think I'll be okay," Pidole told Kwabba-an. "Also...I feel like that could have gone better. Those nekos were really easy to provoke. I wonder if they really do much outside of fighting. This, uh, this seems like something we should probably inform the captain about."

Kwabba-an was relieved to hear that Pidole was feeling better. "I feel that could have gone much worse. I did not expect we would walk away from such a confrontation. I am no match for a neko, let alone 3 of them. And we only had Cheilith on our side." Kwabba-an gave Cheilith an appreciative nod. "I agree, that is a very good idea to send a message to the Captain. I suspect we will need to reach the surface again to do so."

"Thier traitors, I should have gotten at least one." Cheilith said, still slightly sore about how the fight had went. In retrospect she realized how bad of an idea it was, but she still wasn't sure how she could have done anything diffrently. "Can you still fly Pidole? If not, we can carry you up and back to the shuttle if they didn't steal it." She suggested

"They had every advantage over us, you...we all did very well, considering." Kwabba-an replied to Cheilith, then turned to Pidole as she awaited her answer. Kwabba-an couldn't help but look down and admire the little blue and yellow beetle that she was petting.

Pidole pulled out her communicator onto to find it had been totally destroyed by shrapnel. She made a sour face. "I can still float around but I don't have a lot of energy for it." She slowly, gingerly made it to her feet. Bidole the bettle buzzed around and landed on her shoulder. Pidole checked her pistol to make sure it was ready, just in case. "On stun," she told the others.

"Ok, we'll head back up then. Music Bug, you'll be in the lead then Pidole, and then I'll be below her to catch her if she isn't able to float upwards." She suggested.

"Right," Kwabba-an confirmed, then quickly packed up and closed the medical kit, lifting it as she stood up from where she had been kneeling to read the medical instructions. She turned and made a direct line for the elevator, where she stood and waited for the others to catch up before beginning to climb.

It was a little slower than usual, but the group was able to make it to the ground floor successfully without anything interesting happening along the way. Euikoshi was there. Looking at Pidole, she asked. "Everything alright?"

Cheilith shook her head, "We ran into some traitors who were raiding the vaults, they shot at us and some of the shrapnel hit Pidole. I think the rest of us are ok."

"We need to contact the Captain as soon as we can, then go back down to figure out what they were doing," Kwabba-an informed Euikoshi as simply as she could. "The so-called traitors were Uesu nekos and they must have had something urgent they needed to do, because they threatened us but ran away the moment we put up a fight. They could have easily killed us all."

"I think they just got spooked. Neither of us expected to run into anyone else down there. When we didn't do what they wanted things got...well, explosive," Pidole explained. "I mean, we could have tried talking to them," she grumbled.

"They said they were going to kill us." Cheilith said.

"They shot stun bolts at first," Pidole stared at Cheilith. She didn't like that this was becoming an argument with the infantry neko but she didn't agree with her. "And only because you went for your gun. I don't know what happened after I get a chest full of metal, I just tried to find a medical lab after that."

"They were pointing guns at us, they went with Uesu because of the genocide, because of what was locked down there. I just wanted to even the field." Cheilith protested.

"Shooting a stun bolt at my friend does not make me feel like talking," Kwabba-an noted. "But Pidole has a point. I find it hard to explain their reluctance to press their advantage if they had actually intended us harm."

Euikoshi listened to the other crew members discuss what had happened and then got on her communicator. "Resurgence, this is Kawa-Hei and the away team, we were exploring the PNUgen site and some of us had a surprise encounter with some Star Army of Uesureya Nekovalkyrja and it turned into a brief fight. Henitot-Hei has sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Request instructions, over."

"Standby, Kawa-hei," Kagura sent back from her station on the Resurgence's bridge. A ton of quick, half-informed thoughts raced through the XO's mind as she absorbed Euikoshi's startling report. That she and the others had engaged in some kind of combat was somehow less surprising than the fact it'd been a fight with allied Nekovalkyrja. But since none of the Resurgence crew had been taken out of action, Kagura refrained from having them rush back to the ship so soon. "Hold your position for now," the XO added after she'd conferred with the ship's roster for a moment. "We'll get you some sort of assistance down to you soon."

The First Officer turned toward Captain Majime with some minor concern on her face. Kagura was sure the commanding shosa had just as many questions as she did — had there been some irrelevant misunderstanding between their Star Army crewmen and the Uesureyans? Or was there a more grave situation developing now?

"Should probably contact the Military Police, Captain," Kagura said to Majime, still looking over from her XO's station with a little urgency. "For now, I recommend we send more of our crew down to help out, secure our team, and see what's up."

"Eh, unless Pidole wants to press charges I don't really think it's necessary," Shosa Majime replied. "I'll send a message to the SAOU Taisho who's leading them and ask them what their deal is. I agree with your recommendation. I guess what I want to know is what's the motivation to sneak into a decades-old genetics facility? They're there for a reason, even if it's just a survey mission like ours."

"Maybe one of 'em forgot something back before Emperor Uesu departed the sector," Kagura joked, more to calm her own adventurous train of thought than as a serious observation. "I'll start putting a team together, then."

"Permission to take the shuttle back to the ship to recover?" Pidole asked over Kagura over Euikoshi's intercom. "Jackson should be able to take my place as engineering support."

"Negative, Kawa-hei," Kagura replied as she stood up from her bridge station's chair, having not learned the crew's voices well enough yet to discern Pidole's particular tone blasting in over Euikoshi's comms signal. "Unless Henitot-hei's injuries are more than they first seemed, we'll have somebody patch her up when backup arrives so y'all can finish your exploration. Hang tight. Help is on the way."

"Hōjō-Taii, with all due respect," Pidole said over the radio, "I need Poppy to surgically remove a lot of metal from my torso, ma'am." She looked at Kwabba and Cheilith with obvious frustration on her face. "This place is like a haunted house," she told them, not transmitting that last part, though.

Kagura took a second to consider Euikoshi and Pidole's conflicting injury reports (while also coming to the realization that two soldiers were talking to her rather than one). "That does sound a little rough," she said over the open channel. "But we wouldn't want Henitot-hei to succumb to any of her wounds flying back up herself," Kagura concluded. "Do your best to stabilize any injuries. We'll bring whoever needs to come back up along with that first shuttle after your reinforcements arrive and assess the situation. Again: hang tight. Keep us updated if your status down planetside escalates or changes."

"We copy all, over," Euikoshi replied.

OOC: JP by @Wes @hyralt @Soban & @raz
Sanda had been wondering around the ship for the last hour and was becoming increasingly board. She had picked out a cabin and unloaded her belongings. She had explored the ship, at first just seeing what her new home was going like then with a tactics eye incase she had to repel boarders or retake the ship itself. Finally she made her way to the bridge to have a look around. As she entered the bridge the first thing Sanda noticed was the CO and XO standing together with a concerned look on their faces. She stood to the side, not wanting to interrupt the officers but she caught enough of their conversation to figure out that something had gone wrong. They were about to send a team planet side to aid. "Ma'am, if you're preparing a team to go I'd like to be a part of it."
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Sonoda Takashi stepped onto the Resurgence from the shuttle that had brought him from Kyoto. He deposited his bag gently onto the floor of the shuttle bay and pulled out his datapad. He scrolled through a series of messages until he came to one from Hanako that told him he had been reassigned to the YSS Resurgence, NG-S1-575. He frowned when he realized that it didn't have any more info. He wished he knew the commanding officer's name or at least had some way of knowing which way to the bridge.

Looking up, he scanned the room he was in and saw a couple of doors on the far wall. He tucked away his datapad and hoisted the bag up onto his shoulder before making for the doors he saw. The next room he found was the power armour bay. Further wandering ended him up in the galley. Finally, he found himself in a cargo storage area, which he almost dismissed until he saw a cargo lift.

Aha! He thought to himself that this was a stroke of luck before walking over to it. After a moment's thought, he punched the button for the highest the lift could take him, reasoning that the bridge was probably at the top of the ship.

Sometime later, he began wandering deck 2 of the Fuji-class YSS Resurgence. He adopted the strategy of "always turn right" that ought to work if the layout of the deck was an acyclic graph. It didn't take him long to discover that there were several cycles in the floorplan, but he adopted his strategy to skip right-turns that led him down hallways that he had already explored. Finally, he came to the conclusion that the bridge was not on this deck.

On his walk, he had discovered a set of stairs. Once he was sure that this deck had no bridge, he found the stairs again and realized that he was not on the top-most deck. Why would there be an area that was inaccessible to a cargo lift? He followed the stairs up and found a small deck that he explored quickly. He marvelled for a moment at the view from the observation deck and then was dismayed to find that the ship's science lab was on this level. Surely the ship designer should have realized that there was some need to bring cargo into the science lab, he thought to himself with some frustration.

After descending to deck 3, he resumed his exploration and at last found himself on what seemed to be a bridge. He saw a tall woman (or at least, taller than him which wasn't saying much) with a cool lightning-bolt facial tattoo who seemed to be reporting to the bridge officers. He quickly looked for rank insignia and spotted the one with the most stripes who seemed to be a red-haired Nekovalkyria with matching cat ears and bright blue eyes.

He dropped his bag to one side, neatened up his uniform, then stepped forward and offered her a crisp salute.

"Sonoda Takashi Santô-Hei reporting for duty."
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YSS Resurgence

"That sounds good," captain Majime nodded to Sanda. "Report to the shuttle bay"

The captain then turned to the new arrival, Takashi. "Welcome to the Resurgence, Sonoda-Hei. I'm Shosa Ikigai Majime. Pleased to meet you."

Takashi stopped saluting but continued standing at attention. He wasn't exactly sure what to do next. This was the first time he had reported for duty since he had enlisted back at the tail end of YE 42.

"Do you want to join Hoshi-Hei on the away mission?" the captain offered. "We're poking around different places and right now it's the old PNUgen genetics lab at Ketsurui no Iori so science specialists might come in handy."

Takashi was about to say no, but when he heard the words "genetics" and "lab" so tantalizingly close together, his eyebrows show up with visible interest. "Uh," he stammered, barely able to contain his excitement.

"Hai, Shosa. I would like that very much." Once again, Takashi wasn't exactly sure what to do. "I can hop on a shuttle as soon as you give the okay."

Takashi's mind raced as he wondered what kind of genetic experiments he might find. He had never heard of PNUGen, but he was sure that anything genetic would interest him deeply.

Down in the shuttle bay, they found the new supply specialist, Beryl. She had pretty bright sea-green hair in a wavy style and a lot of curves. "I've been told to bring the reinforcements down to the surface, so anyone who needs to get there can board the shuttle now."

Takashi smiled nervously at being counted among the "reinforcements." Though just like on his last assignment, which had been to provide security in Kyoto on Victory day, he carried with him his standard-issue sidearm. But he hoped he wouldn't have to use it at a genetics lab. Instead, he carried his datapad and Type 31 Science Kit. He nodded curtly to Beryl and sat down and strapped himself in.

Once everyone was seated and strapped in, Beryl flew the shuttle out of the bay and set a course for Ketsurui no Iori down below on Yamatai. After a brief and fairly smooth ride, she set the craft down on the rooftop helipad of the PNUgen facility and popped open the door. "Resurgence away team, this is Leyton-Hei, we have arrived on the roof," she sent.

Takashi unstrapped himself and made his way out of the shuttle and looked around.

It looked like the elevators were offline, but there was a maintenance entrance to the shaft and also a stairwell access. It looked like someone had already busted the lock on the door to the stairs and there was some graffiti spraypainted on it.

Takashi tried summoning the elevator but gave up when it didn't seem like it was coming. He saw another structure on the roof that he guessed was a stairway. After walking over to it, he discovered the broken lock which made him stop and pause for a moment.

"Curious," he muttered to himself mainly out of concern. He entered the stairwell and descended to the ground floor, where he stuck his head out of the stairwell door and said "hello? Resurgence crew?"

Takashi found himself in a huge, elaborate lounge and lobby level. The away team was there waiting.

Kwabba-an, who had been sitting cross-legged by the others and almost dozing off out of boredom, perked up when she heard an unfamiliar voice. Her first instinct was to reply in the affirmative, but then she realized that it might be the Uesu nekos coming to finish them off.

"Who is asking?" Kwabba-an yelled to the disembodied voice. "Are you a Uesu neko?"

Takashi was taken by surprise at the strange question but tried to answer as best he could. "No, I'm Nepleslian. I'm Sonoda Takashi Santô-Hei, the newest member of the Resurgence crew."

"This is acceptable," Kwabba-an replied naïvely. "We are the Resurgence crew. Are you our reinforcements?"

"I suppose so," Takashi responded anxiously. "I'm just a science officer, though."

Takashi, noting the broken stairwell lock along with the generally run-down look of everything, checked to see if the door he was currently holding open would automatically lock if he closed it. Just to be on the safe side, he took a disposable glove from his science kit and used it to keep the door from completely closing behind himself. Then he walked over and joined the others.

When Takashi saw Kwabba-an, his eyebrows shot up again. "Very curious," he began furiously taking notes on his datapad about this species he had never encountered before.

Kwabba-an felt somewhat wary about being investigated by this stranger but decided that as long as he was being polite about it she wouldn't say anything.

"I intend you no offence, Sonoda Takashi Santô-Hei," Kwabba-an began. "But you are not quite the reinforcements I had expected."

Medic Poppy had also come down on the shuttle. She emerged from the stairwell after Takashi and went to go attend to Pidole, carrying a hemosynth injector. Pidole took a seat in one of the lounge's plush armchairs while getting the transfusion.

When Kwabba-an saw Poppy, she smiled at the familiar face. "Hello, Poppy!"

"Hey Kwabba!" Poppy grinned, giving a little wave. "Unexpected dangers, eh?" she asked.

"Yes," Kwabba-an nodded sagely. "I had not expected any mission on Yamatai would be so dangerous. I have always felt extremely safe here."

Euikoshi raised an eyebrow and rubbed her chin. "A science guy, you say?" She had not expected to see another green-panel soldier added to Resurgence.

Takashi, who had been oblivious to Kwabba-an's earlier comment, looked up from his datapad when someone mentioned "science."

"Hmm? Yes. I'm a science guy, I guess." Takashi responded as he looked around to figure out who had spoken. "I almost got my degree before I enlisted. Alas. I focused on physics and math for my studies before I enlisted, and biology and psychology during my training afterwards."

When Takashi realized that Euikoshi was wearing the same colour uniform as he was, he gave her a timid smile before hiding himself behind his datapad. "Do you have any specialities?"

Kwabba-an felt her social anxiety start to act up so she quietly stood and walked over to where Poppy was attending to Pidole, where she promptly knelt down on the floor next to Pidole's armchair.

"Chemistry, and particle physics," Euikoshi replied. "Starship sensors. Also, I dabble in studying Yamataian love and mating practices," she beamed.

"I can confirm," Pidole blushed.

"Oh," Takashi spurted as he looked back and forth between Euikoshi and Pidole before he began to blush a dark crimson and hid further behind his datapad, almost pressing his nose to its surface. "I enjoy microbiology myself. I was taking samples of the natural microfauna around Kyoto while I was waiting for an assignment."

"So does this place have a medical lab? If Pidole can't go back to the ship, I could remove the shrapnel here," Poppy asked.

Kwabba-an tilted her head. "Yes, we...Pidole found a medical lab far below. I forget the floor exactly. Bidole led us there."

"Basement level 14," Pidole said. "The floor list I found at the front desk had operating rooms listed there."

Chelilith joined them, still with the rifle she had acquired. "I'll go down with you, but let's be more ready if there are more of them down there." She said, checking to make sure everyone had a weapon.

Takashi, who was eager to change the topic of conversation away from Yamataian mating practices, turned to Cheilith. "More of whom?"

"Those traitors." She said with an angry look. "They're here to steal the secrets buried in this place and... there aren't any good ones."

"Oh." Takashi nodded slowly, unaware of any traitors but not wanting to anger his neko crewmate any further. "Okay."

Kwabba-an looked from Pidole to Poppy and back, clearly concerned for their well-being while Pidole was still in a vulnerable state. "Would you like me to stay here with you? Or should I go with them?"

"Is Iemochi in charge of this away mission? We don't have any NCOs on the crew," Poppy pointed out. "Everyone else here is a Hei. If not we need to figure out who is leading."

"Honestly," Pidole said, "I just want to go home and call this a day," she told Kwabba. "This hurts!"

Kwabba-an frowned at Pidole. "I am sorry for your pain. I would take it from you if I could."

Takashi similarly frowned, but in his case, it was at the lack of clear leadership. "I agree that we need to determine a leader."

Kwabba-an looked over at Takashi and tried to speak, but found herself unable to. Instead, she turned to Cheilith, whom she found much easier to talk to. "I would pick Cheilith to lead, she gave very clear instructions when Pidole needed help."

"Me? I'm just a Santô-hei." Cheilith protested.

Kwabba-an shrugged, clearly unconvinced by Cheilith's protestation.

OOC: JP by: @Wes @Soban and @hyralt
Sanda had headed for the shuttle bay at a run almost before the Captain had finished speaking. She stopped just long enough to grab a Rifle and a few clips from the armory before boarding the shuttle. Sanda didn't say much on the way down. Normally she made small talk with the new recruit, even if he was just another sciency person. Heck, the guy was over 5'5" and Nepleslian to boot. Instead, Sandra spent the whole flight planet side checking over her weapons and running practice drills with the rifle till she became familiar with it. She also synced the rifle with her own cybernetics, which would greatly increase her aim and accuracy.

As soon as the shuttle touched down Sanda exited with rifle raised and swept the room. Until she was sure otherwise she was going to treat this whole place as hostile zone. She headed down the stairs ahead of Takashi and Poppy, scanning every turn carefully with her rifle held up and ready. When they found the away team, she didn't move ahead. While the other two went forward to tend to the injured and gather intel, Sanda blended into the shadows and explored the immediate area. She stayed close to the group, not wanting to get to far incase of trouble. Only after she was satisfied there was no immediate danger did she rejoin the others.

"How the hell did you manage to get into so much trouble in so short a time music bug?" Sanda said to Kwabba-an as she joined the group. She had caught the last part of the debate about what they should do, which really annoyed the tall Nepleslian. Even Santo-hei should know what to do without an officer or NCO telling them. First priority should be to secure the wounded and get them the treatment they needed. Once they were safe, then they could go after any threat. "Our first priority should be to secure the wounded." Sanda said without looking at anyone in particular. Her eyes kept scanning the surrounding area. "Poppy, your our medic. Can Pidole make it back to the ship? Or should we try to secure this med bay for you to work? Once she's secure, either on shuttle headed back to the ship or in the medical wing here then we can go hunting for bad guys." She nodded at Cheilith as she said this last part. Cheilith, Sandra knew, was standard infantry. On a ship mostly full of what Sanda would consider non-coms, Cheilith first job was combat, just like her.
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"Oh, Sanda!" Kwabba-an visibly perked up again the moment she heard another friendly voice. She warmly recalled the feeling of having Sanda watching her back at the assault on the Scrapyard planet. "I am pleased that you are here, sister. We should also revisit the armoury. I am afraid that while I have an abundance of arms, I am not abundantly armed. Could I borrow one or more of your knives in the meantime?"

Takashi had flown down with Sanda and seen her go on ahead to secure the area, but he still jumped when she just seemed to appear out of the shadows. It began to dawn on him that this away mission wasn't as simple as he had originally thought. The way that Sanda was acting was like they were in a war zone. Takashi felt the icy finger of fear stroke the back of his neck as he began to suspect they were all in immediate danger. He moved his right hand from his datapad to the pistol in its holster on his hip, but he could feel that he was trembling.

"What exactly are we dealing with here?" Takashi asked, his eyes firmly fixed on Sanda. "I must have missed something in the briefing. I thought we were just here to investigate an abandoned genetics laboratory, but we already have a casualty."
"We were exploring the facility when an alarm went off. A containment breach. We made our way down to a security center as there wasn't anyone else to contain it. There were a lot of messages, some of them... weird. It was pretty clear that someone was breaking into the Vaults. Then the Nekos from Useu's fleet showed up and threatened to kill us. There was a brief firefight and Pidole got hit by shrapnel." Cheilith said, relieved that someone higher ranking was taking charge.
Takashi looked to Cheilith when she began to speak, nodding as she explained the situation clearly to him for the first time. The understanding helped him calm down a little, but he was still trembling. In the absence of anything better to do, he started taking notes on his datapad.
  • Alarm: containment breach
  • Security centre: weird messages about someone breaking into the vaults
  • Uesu(?) nekos threatened to kill them
  • Brief firefight in which Pidole (red panel, red hair, blue eyes, light skin, has a bug pet) was injured by shrapnel
"I see," Takashi replied, choosing to tap his finger against the side of his datapad to try and hide the fact that he was still shaking. "How many Uesu nekos were there? How well-armed were they? Did you neutralize them? Do we know if they will have reinforcements?"

Takashi brought up a new document and started making a tally of the away team's personnel and equipment.
  • Self: carrying a GSP type 28.
  • Sanda: light purple panel (infantry?), Nepleslian, lightning bolt tattoo on her face, dark skin, tall. Carrying a Type 41 rifle.
  • Cheilith: light purple panel, Neko, black hair. Carrying an unknown rifle.
  • "Music Bug" (probably a nickname): dark purple panel (some specialist branch of infantry, perhaps?), unknown humanoid/insectoid species, red skin, red hair, four arms. Unarmed.
  • Poppy: light blue/green panel (medic?), Minkan(?), pink hair, green eyes. Carrying a GSP type 28.
  • Pidole: red panel, red hair, blue eyes, light skin, has a bug pet. Not obviously armed.
  • ???: green panel (science), green hair, green eyes, Minkan(?). Not obviously armed.
Takashi resumed tapping his datapad as he tried to deal with his fear by breaking down the frightening situation into manageable subproblems.

"I would also recommend that Pidole go back to the ship, but I'm guessing from context clues that it isn't an option." Takashi turned to Kwabba-an, who did not meet his gaze. "You mentioned an armoury?"

Kwabba-an nodded silently and Takashi looked to Sanda, who seemed to be taking command.

"Given how lightly armed we are and assuming we can't get Pidole back to the ship, I recommend we go to either the armoury or the med bay, whichever is closer," Takashi explained. "If the armoury is closer, we can each grab a rifle and we'll be in much better shape if we encounter any more hostiles."
Sanda looked at Kwabba-an and snorted. She reached down into her boot and pulled out a black Pistol. Then she pulled a Straight Silver dagger from the small of her back. She had taken to carrying two since the battle of Glimmergold and was now very thankful for that. She handed the weapons to Kwabba-an and said, "You know I'm going to want those back."

Sanda noted the way Takashi seemed to be taking notes on a datapad and had to force herself from rolling her eyes at the science boy. Probably the first time the kids been out of the lab and in the field. "The shuttle will be closer to us than the Armory or med bay." Sanda commented. "It took us no time at all for us to find you from up top. Let's move Pidole there. The shuttle will have a first aid kit and Poppy should be able to get Pidole stable enough to make it to the ship." Sanda knew that they had to keep moving. Standing around talking about what they should do was worse than moving and doing the wrong thing. So with a confidence born from being Nepleslian and a Star Army Ranger, she would rally this group and get the wounded topside. Once that was done, someone else was more than welcome to give orders. "I'll take point."
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"Thank you, Sanda." Kwabba-an took the knife with excitement and the pistol with reluctance. She wasn't going to complain, but she knew that she was practically hopeless with a firearm. Though it was black instead of the blue she was used to, she recognized the pistol from basic training. She had one just like it back on the Resurgence.

Kwabba-an checked the display on the back of the pistol to verify that it had a full 50 shot charge, made sure it was in single-fire mode and that the safety was on, then opened the grip compartment and removed the multitool, opening its knife to give her a third weapon to work with. She readied the pistol in her upper two hands while her lower two hands each held a knife, with the spec ops dagger in her right hand and the multitool in her left.

Now that she felt prepared for their next fight, Kwabba-an looked from Sanda to Poppy and Pidole to see what they were going to do. Whether they were going up to the shuttle or down to the med bay, she was ready to cover them.

Takashi amended Kwabba-an's note to read:
  • "Music Bug" (probably a nickname): dark purple panel (some specialist branch of infantry, perhaps?), unknown humanoid/insectoid species, red skin, red hair, four arms. Armed with an NSP type 33, a dagger, and a multitool.
Seinosuke groaned weakly as his heavy eyelids blinked to life, blearily opening and closing as his head slumped forwards. What had happened? Raising a hand to his forehead, the officer's fingers came away a sticky crimson. Ow. He was injured? Casting his emerald eyes across the scene before him, the Iemochi tried to take in what he could. It was a corridor, same as many others they had passed during their away mission. That's right.. He was on an away mission. When had he been wounded? It all seemed a bit of a blur. There was a vague memory of hearing a firefight, but maybe he had been hurt before then and simply heard such a thing in a near unconscious gaze.

Putting his hand against the wall, the Elysian sucked in some air and pushed himself up, back sliding along its smooth metal surface until he was upright. A wave of brown and purple swam across the Mochi's vision as he regained his stability. It was times like this that his old Minkan body came to mind. He probably wouldn't have had such issue before his switch. "Bloody hell." Seinosuke grumbled, looking up and down the hallway, hoping for some inspiration as to where the others had gone.

Telepathy would have been useful, but without another Elysian on the team, such a thing was pretty unlikely to work. Scrabbling at his belt a little, the blonde unhooked his handy scanner. A few taps later and Seino was homing in on what he imagined Kwabba-an's life signature would look like - at least, with his educated guess. A ping appeared, which Mochi followed at his own pace, keeping one hand on the wall.

After a short while, and feeling much better as his senses solidified, the science officer came across the sound of familiar voices ahead. Forcing himself to stand upright, the Elysian with his fiery wings rounded the corner towards the others, coming into sight. "Friendly." Mochi stated simply, holding both arms slightly upright at his sides, having caught the last few sentences. "Good to see you all. I'm not sure how I got split up - who do we have here?" The slightly injured soldier would ask curiously, an eyebrow raised at the newcomers. Reading the room a little, and taking a good look at the others, it was clear that they had already concocted a plan. Some were gearing up with what little they had. "Looks like we need more firepower. Does the Resurgence know what's happening here?"
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Sanda had heard someone following and halted the group to prepare for a fight. She had her rifle up and trained on the passage behind them when the Elysian science officer came into view. She lowered her rifle slightly as the Elysian joined them. Just what she needed, another science boy. Hopefully, as an officer, he wouldn't spend all day debating what they should do next. "Santo-Hei Hoshi, Sir. Resurgence is aware of the situation as has sent me and.... Santo-Hei Sonoda to aid." Sanda glanced at Takashi who had ridden down with her then continued. "Sir, I recommend we head topside with our wounded. We have a shuttle standing by to get them back to the ship. We can go back down to neutralize hostiles and get answers after they are secure."
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