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RP Session 1: War

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Yuumi smelled opportunity, and even the Lorath weren't going to sour it.

Vanderhuge and Pyros wanted Nepleslia to be left alone? She could work with that. The Lorath wanted a bigger presence on the galactic stage? They suffered enough for it, but they wanted to poke Yamatai in the eye to get there. Yuumi wanted to play honest and nice, but honesty came first, and the High Priest's proposal wasn't one she could abide, if only because the Lorath fleet — even if her numbers were low — was insufficient to stop an NMX invasion fleet, let alone strike at their territory. They had perhaps 10 warship classes, and only four of the massive Eagle-class battle carriers.

However, Yuumi knew Yamatai's fleets were becoming a liability to her nation. They were taking food supplies from the citizens in order to keep up the fight, and it was leaving her people starved.

"Ambassador Tafari is right," she said, harnessing the eyes on her as she leaned forward on the table, hands down. "The Yamatai Star Empire cannot, and will not shirk its duty to put an end to a menace it helped create. Our honor demands we fight it even to our own end, whether our neighbors hurt or help us.

"Premier Pyros' statement also rings true. Nepleslia wants to be left alone, and I agree that all nations deserve that right. If an alliance is not desired by Nepleslia, and Yamatai is unfit to lead, no purpose is served by forcing one."

She paused, letting the delegates hang for just a second. "But I cannot, in good conscience, allow you and your nation, High Priest Tomoe, take on this burden of an alliance, either. Your fleets cannot match an 11,000-strong NMX armada, especially after it extricates itself from Nepleslia's jaws and regroups."

Yuumi reclaimed the main projector and restored the map, then zoomed on Yamatai. The crater left over from the final moments of the Battle of Yamatai still was visible on the planet's surface. "My nation has lost at least 70 percent of its farming capacity, and though we are trying to make up for it, it is an effort that requires time. The Empire's citizens are doing their best to feed one another, but much of our food goes to the Star Army, to keep them strong to protect us.

"My people are starving."

She paused again. If she had hair on her ears, it would have been standing on end.

"Ambassador Tafari, Minister Schneider. Yamatai stands ready to end this war, but I'm not so foolishly proud to ignore the cries of my people. If you are willing to believe in my people's commitment to kill these bastards, we stand ready to shield you from them. I cannot ask that you send us your sons and daughters, but if you might share the bounty of your table with we who are hungry, you will have defenders the prowess of which cannot be matched by the enemy."
"Wait, hold on, the biggest problem your grand and mighty Empire is faced with is hunger?!" Velor, at that moment, was flabbergasted. It was absurd. Even with a moon dropped upon his people's homeworld, even with frequent migrations, even with a five thousand year subterranean exile, keeping the Lorath fed was almost never an issue. At that point, he smelled an opportunity.

"Former Empress, your Empire has ships, your Empire has land, and my people have the expertise and manpower to put food on your table. I have a proposition to make." With that, Velor gestured to one of the projectors the Matriarchy had set up, and upon the projector, came a display of the Yugumo Cluster. "Give the Lorath Matriarchy governing control and claim over the resources and assets of the systems within the Yugumo Cluster, and I can guarantee, that we will be able to provide food for your people in sufficient quantities to maintain the war effort, and, to keep your civilian population fed." That was one step, then came the next; "To ensure that this feat can be properly accomplished, I would ask that the Yamatai Empire donates any surplus ships she can muster to the space fleets of her northern, and eastern, neighbors. If the smaller nations will band together, as I suggested, then it would be possible to defend supply lines if ships were provided for the task... alternatively, if no other nation is interested, I am certain if ships are provided, the Lorath Matriarchy would be able to defend supply lines. However, I am only willing to provide this aid if we are given the proper land to do it. Of course, this is a rough presentation, and further details would likely be elaborated in a treaty."

It seemed, the Lorath were living up to their wings, as buzzards wishing to pick apart a dying and starving corpse-to-be.
Continuing to hold his silence, Ahrim merely contented himself to listening. Tafari's bold statements and flair for the dramatic were true to some degree or another he was certain, but the young man's fire could've very well turned an already delicate situation into a disastrous one. He knew that one of the delegates, one of the Lorath already felt betrayal toward the Nepleslians, and what could only be described as a seething disgust toward the Synthetic, Yuumi as she spoke.

He could say nothing, do nothing. Rules were rules, even if it seemed the exceptionally large Colonial toed the line with his latest outburst. Ahrim knew better, stonewalling it with calm indifference as he reached beneath his cloak to pull out a small silvery case. Eyes opening to slits, Ahrim popped the case open with a little -Snap- revealing several small multicolored bio-plastic tubes and a extendable crystalline rod.

Twisting the top off one of the tubes, he poured the contents within the glass of water set before him and then proceeded to use the rod to stir. He was careful not to touch the sides of the glass with the rod and make a racket. Satisfied, the Temple Guardsman took a sip of the now violet-tinted water even as a soft smile crossed his features.

It was nothing too special, a simple psychotropic flavor enhancer his people made that tickled and teased the tastebuds with the person's favorite flavors, or one that specifically was strongest within the mind at the time. The smile ebbed as he closed the case and returned it to underneath his cloak.

The 'Priest's' words brought a touch of curiosity to Ahrim's mind as he thought on the offer. Vast tracts of land, whole planets it seemed, in exchange they'd supply food for the Synthetics. It did not take long for Ahrim to conclude who would be receiving the greatest boon with this offer.

"A somewhat clever, yet still obvious ploy... Instead of offering assistance in shoring up the Synthetics' local agricultural infrastructure. He asks for territory with the compensation of food to feed the starving Synthetic masses." he murmured to Tafari continuing his usage of their native tongue.
Vishta’s face diverted from a stare at Flint Vanderhuge to that of the Lorath. She nearly snarled as she realized what the creature was trying to push for. This creature would use the war and the dying to its advantage. In the long term Vishta could see these Lorath becoming a potential threat, but she had a feeling Yuumi was smarter then that and would not bite on the Lorath proposal. Vishta would not turn this into an attack which would result in arguing

“We would support a coalition.” She said calmly. “The Nepleslians have made their stand and have chosen there side, Many distrust Yamatai, and would sooner cling to old grudges. But there is one of here who has done no such thing. One people who has sat by and watched this madness in but has shown no active interest in exploiting or invading its neighbors.”

Vishta took a sip of her water, and adjusted her robes. “They have not attempted to use this war to their advantage. "I suggest the Abwehran Empire lead such a coalition.”

Yuumi is correct, fighting the war on the front lines would be a struggle for us all. However, feeding and supporting Yamatai is not something my people are a stranger to. My people can do it on harsher worlds with ease provided we had access to them, and with the help of the other nations we could found a cooperative. Considering the military build up we could divert ships to aid in the defense of the Yugamo cluster. We are already sending Yamatai food, and aiding you in the conflict in any way we can. Providing you food and defending the eastern front could be managed by us if you wish it."

Vishta knew she may irk the other representatives. But the truth of the matter is The Gartagens were openly supporting Yamatai. They had the man power to expand their food production greatly, but most of the worlds in their cluster are unfit for farming. Xenoforming the worlds to such needs would take time. Vishta was also aware that the Lorath had a grudge against Yamatai.
"Representative Vishta, how presumptuous to assume that a coalition between peoples require a designated 'leader'." Velor spoke, almost in a scolding tone, obviously not impressed in the slightest with the Gartagen. "We are all responsible people, I have no doubt of that, and I am certain that through equal representation, and equal share in defensive planning and execution, that a military cooperative can function properly. I for one, am not open to the idea of centralizing leadership, it would make for vulnerability." Then, Velor decided to top off the matter; "Furthermore, the Abwehrans have not made any such advances for a simple reason; they've never had a reason to." With that, Velor made his opinion clear, as well as his stance. He was not seeking to be a leader of some multinational military power, no, he was just wanting to pool resources, and more so, he was not about to put his people under the reigns of another power, not after the last two colossal failures.

"As for providing Yamatai with food, I can recolonize that the Gartagen people are quite generous, and quite capable, and the Gartagen people have earned quite a bit of protection from the Yamataian Empire already, but if the Yamataian Empire is to survive, I think that the Gartagen people should aim to maintain the defenses of the north-eastern quarter of space as opposed to spreading southward and relying almost entirely upon Yamataian protection to prevent NMX raids upon the Gartagen held worlds. Ideally, it would be feasible for the Gartagen space forces and the Lorath Self Defense Force presence in the area to work together, while also establishing settlements and fortifications on the systems in the area for the purpose of establishing a defensive line and solid transportation route." Velor continued, making it even more clear, his thoughts were on the big picture, and not just picking at the carcass that was Yamatai for his own amusement, no, that was merely a bonus.

"In the long term, if the Yamataian Star Army is unable to muster the equipment and manpower to defeat the NMX, it would be imperative for those which may be affiliated in our cooperative to expand to new systems, to gain access to resources to muster ships to not only improve our chances of defense, but to eventually produce an offensive force, that can only come to be functional through cooperation." Velor explained, laying out what seemed to be the most obvious plan. "If all the involved parties work to help each other expand and grow to equal territorial power, then it will guarantee peace between our peoples in the long-term, as well as ensuring the capability to effectively render aid to our neighbors." As Velor spoke, he began to incorporate a few sweeping hand gestures, clearly charismatic about the cause of functioning as a group. "Together, we can grow to become capable enough to stand together, without having to burden a wounded Empire."
It seemed like everything was heading to trade discussions until the clever Commonwealth Envoy spoke up. His rather rousing speech brought talks about the NMX back onto the table. A small smile crossed her face for a brief moment before she returned it to a polite neutrality. She listened to the rest silently and began to weigh options, benefits, and opportunities for the Abwehran Star Empire.

Survival, of course, was of great importance, but war was a costly thing. Material would be lost, citizens would die, such was what happened in war. They were reasons why the Abwehran people were hesitating just as much as how ill-prepared they were to go into battle.

She listened to the High Priest's speech (riding the coat-tails of the Iroma) and to the Primier, since the Political Leader's ending was directed to the Iris as well. Iris was even surprised by the Gartagen Princess' suggestion that it should be the Abwehran's leading the coalition and not anyone else.

Iris remained quiet for a moment longer as she collected her thoughts methodically. "On the contrary, Herr Tur’lista, we have more reasons than you may believe." the Minister stated calmly as she leaned back in her chair. "With the United Outer Colonies gone, the NMX are practically next door to our Capital System. While Abwehr could hold out against any planetary invasions for years, it wouldn't matter much if the Mishuvurthyar decided to bombard the planet from long-range or induce Jaspis Prime to go nova like they did Taiie." the Abwehran Envoy continued as her emerald eyes gazed around the room.

"In fact, we do have a surplus of ground forces available to go to war. We haven't deluded ourselves in the fact that we could be next. However, while I appreciate Her Highness' trust, I doubt very many would follow a nation who has not participated in an interstellar war." Iris stated. "That said, I also agree that if there is to be a coalition, there must be a central hub of command and control. No war coalition should have separate chains of command, since it will just lead to everyone stepping on each other's toes." the Minister said before giving the Lorath Envoy a small smile. "It is only common sense, after all."

She then turned to Yuumi and nodded. "We will help your starving population as best we can. However, since our native food stocks are high in mineral content, they would have to be filtered and processed before they can be shipped. But we will provide what we can to you in the name of diaster relief," Iris finished, stopping herself from continuing with 'rather than be charecs upon a corpse.'
"Don't you know?" High Priest Velor spoke, as he smiled to the Abwehran representative. "They use mineral content to replenish their bodies, their military model units would be able to consume your food quite easily, more so, their Samurai types... that is, if they have not changed their model types to something less efficient and versatile." the High Priest explained, before he hopped back onto the war subject.

"So, from what it seems, we are in a general agreement that if we were to pool our resources, that we will require a combined command structure, at least at the top, since restructuring all of our organizations will take entirely too long, and may impact morale." Velor spoke, nodding softly as he decided that the suggestion was quite sound. "I would recommend, in that case, that perhaps we create our top-tier officers." He spoke, leading up to something rather clever; "I would suggest that each race involved in this coalition produces one synthetic or artificial intelligence unit, to be sent to represent a given pre-established military. Of course, they would have no capacity to directly execute orders, but they would be able to coordinate fleet actions quickly, and effectively."

"As for military resources, if we pool our production capabilities, I can guarantee that the Abwehran military will be able to become viable in space operations within three months, and infantry mobilization will be enhanced within two." Velor spoke, promising something seemingly massive, but to the Matriarchy, such production seemed entirely attainable... after all, they had only decreased their production output to keep Yamatai off their backs.
Though Yui's message to her threatened to get a rise out of her, Yuumi kept her cool.

The High Priest was quick to make assumptions and step on her. She couldn't hold it against him for what he was trying to do, but Yuumi was there to safeguard her people, not sell them wholesale to the Lorath.

She looked at Tomoe — and smiled. "High Priest, unfortunately you are wrong about our population. The mineral content you speak of is not meant for nourishment, and besides which, those models of military body were phased out. We need real food, not rocks."

She turned back to Iris. "But my nation is able to process the food you send us, without burdening the productivity of your people. We might be hungry, but we are not dead, and the starvation of Yamatai's citizens is a slow thing. It will provide work for many whose towns were obliterated by the NMX invasion.

"And the Gartagens already have been so generous with what they have provided," Yuumi added with a gracious nod to Vishta. "Even if they had not done what they did to help my people, we would have protected them. Because that's our duty, and we aim to uphold it at all costs."

She looked up at the projection for a moment. "My proposal stands as is," she then said to Iris and Tafari. "I won't enter my nation, and my people, into a coalition with the Lorath where they might be in charge, let alone offer up our sister worlds to them as payment. The blood between the High Priest's nation and ours is too poisoned — not without reason, but it need not be stirred. They believe they can withstand the NMX just as the Nepleslians can, and I don't doubt them. But we stand ready to fight for you, — Minister, Ambassador — and my people thank you for any help you can commit."
Varuna leaned a bit to whisper to her fellow Iroma, still speaking in quiet Sal'Saari. She seemed to keep her eyes to the floor, trying not to drag attention her way.

"Hlarai always seems to produce a surplus in food-stock. Perhaps we can use that here." noted the Eyr Ranr humbly.
"I do not share your pretensions that the Yamatai Star Empire is irrelevant in these discussions, Velor of the Lorath. They still have the second largest and most powerful fleet in known space, and I will not shirk my responsibilities to project an illusion of power." Tafari looked across at the Lorath representative and leader's projection into the room, and then turned to give a glance at the representatives of the friendly (and perhaps eventually allied) Abwehran Star Empire, giving a telling nod. "As bright and fruitful as the notion of a defensive coalition is, I do not think it is valid without the support of the Yamataian and Nepleslian military."

"I believe it is clear enough that nobody here is intent to prostrate themselves before anyone else, any more than is necessary." The ambassador gave a stern look back at Velor, and then Vishta. He had clear goals and ambitions in mind, and subordinating his nation to another or being forced into promises that compromised the prestige of his people, who were still proud and reticent to venture out into space was not an acceptable compromise. "These oblique games of sponsorship and grand alliances are not something my people are keen to involve themselves with. The desires of my people, I believe, are ultimately shared by those of my fellow representatives."

"We wish to be your peers, Premier Yuumi Ketsurui. Whether or not you are willing to have us as such will determine the nature of our further interactions with you on the diplomatic stage."

"For the promise of our excess food production, a re-purposing of our unused industrial assets towards synthetic foodstuffs and show of token military assistance, the Commonwealth will ask for the assets to uplift our production capacity. The resources to feed billions... in exchange for a helping in modernizing our naval production." Tafari gave a glance aside at Yuumi, smiling thinly. "If you have the will and power to make such a decision, you will have the gratitude of an otherwise stubborn and cautious government."

"Our ships are powerful and our aerospace strike capability is significant enough to change the outcomes of large confrontations. Unfortunately, our ability to produce new vessels quickly is limited due to careful environmental protocols and difficulties in adapting biological engineering to spacestation and capital ship construction."
Yuumi kept her expression as flat as she could, though a small smile tugged at her lips anyway.

"Understand that I can't commit a shipyard already in production for our own fleets. We need every one we can get," she said to the Iroma ambassador. "However. An NMX shipyard was captured near Nataria after the battle there. Tell us where you want it and how, and it's yours."
Vishta responded calmly after the harsh glare.

"As far as continuing the war, we will continue in our own efforts to wage it. We are willing to cooperate with any other nation who is willing to do the same. This includes coordinating military forces, and resources as needed." She said looking at the Iroma Delegate. "Mutual cooperation of military actions and logistics are what wins conflicts. We are willing if you are."

"As far as our needs go premier, they are similar to that of the Iromakuane. Our fleet can fight as required, and are powerful, but constructing replacements is problematic for us. We have the troops, we have the weapons and ships, but our production levels are struggling to keep up with the demand."

"Logistically speaking we have plenty of troops, and our food strained at first due to the sending of our surplus to your world for distribution. But we have converted one of our new colonies to begin farming, so before too long we will have more food then ever"
There was a soft shrug from Velor as Yuumi spoke, and denied his offer. He knew it was a stretch, and he knew it was likely to be shot down, but that was part of diplomacy, to test the waters, to find boundaries, to know limits. Velor knew, at that moment, that Yuumi was not nearly in as bad of a position as she made out to be, that much was clear by her continued stance. As the conversation went on, and Velor listened, he felt out things as the other nations chimed in. He had been in the shoes of those he was listening to, looking to make a friend of Yamatai, looking to find someone to help lean against while providing what they could. There was no animosity from him, there was no bitterness, just a sadness to see more nations forced to pander for aid against a threat that should have been dealt with long ago.

With his thoughts mostly sorted out, Velor spoke up; "Perhaps, since it seems a military alliance is undesired by some without the aid of Yamatai, which I would be entirely open to cooperating with, a pact to exchange equipment and supplies seems to be favorable, then perhaps we should aim not for a military coalition, an alliance of assets for those which would wish not to be involved in such a pooling of military resources.." Velor spoke, entirely willing to forgo being in a military alliance if need be. "What it truly comes down to is a simple matter; my people are willing to work together with those who are in a bad position, to help build and develop. We are even willing to work with Yamatai... while I will honestly say that indeed, Yummi, there is bad blood, I will also say that out of respect to the legacy of my sister, I would be willing to direct my people to aid you, even without concessions of land." With that, Velor tipped his head in a slight nod of concession.

There was one thing clear to Velor though, as he gave that bit of ground to the Empire, he knew that the other nations gathered would look out for themselves before any other, and that once the NMX would be gone, they would not make good bedfellows, not in the slightest, not without ample work, and a great quantity of relationship building, and Velor was open to that. He knew at that moment, that he was going to have to take a friendly approach to his neighbors... no matter how much he loathed some of them. His personal feelings, they were irrelevant, he had to follow the will of his sister, especially in her death.
To hide the telltale flutter of an ear, Miki tucked a few strands of dark bangs back into place. She had heard the buzz of telepathy, but the encryption was not hers to understand. Probably, it was the Empress, and for a moment, Miki considered not making the offer.

Of course, in the end, she did so anyway.

'Premier, would you like me to start screening your messages, so you may focus on the task at hand?'
Tafari steepled his fingers and gave the assembled representative a single quick glance, before giving a satisfied nod. "The Iromakuanhe Astral Commonwealth has achieved their aims with regards to discussions of the NMX war. We will negotiate with the Yamataian Star Empire on the matters of transference of the captured shipyard, and the creation of the supply lanes to assist in their food crisis after the conclusion of the conference."

"We have nothing more to add, or discuss, at this time."
Since a reply was not immediately forthcoming, Miki added;

'Also it seems we have reached our goal in regards to the trade agreement, already. We shall be fed.'

She glanced bright-eyed around the table, lingering a few moments on each representative, before smiling, brief but full.

'Also-also, if it interests you, I have decided what to think of the delegates, now.

The Lorath Delegate is afraid of you. You can see it in the way he sits and holds his eyes; he's looking around at the other delegates, and isn't confronting you directly even if he is speaking to you. Many of the demands he makes, particularly the bargain he attempted to strike for some of our planets, have no purpose except bluster; really, if we were bartering in a market, I could confidently say I could take him to town as a tourist. He knows he has to buy sunscreen, and we're the only people selling. He is agreeing now because he knows he must; later, he will be our enemy, and if this union breaks he may be the first to withdraw.

The Abwehran delegate is feigning confidence, but the only really confident face I see here is the Gartagen delegate. The Commonwealth... It seems to me that they are capable of their own ship production; I believe they asked, simply to see if we would cede it to them. You may think this a small thing, Premier, but it's more a gift of information than a production capability. I believe that what they will get shall put them forward several hundred years. In the future, the Commonwealth may become a strong ally of ours, if we can secure their trust and treat them well, now.

The Nepleslian Delegate is quiet, but he is probably just waiting for a chance to dig into you.

Overall, from what I see at this table, I have to say that while I am completely disgusted they now think the Empire weak, it has served our purposes exactly.'

Miki paused in her evaluation. The whole idea, or series of ideas, had taken less than a few milliseconds. Now, she glanced to the Premier, the first physical sign of her actual conversation the whole session.

'Are you sure you don't want me to screen your messages?'
Ahrim looked to Tafari as he sat back down. Listening to all of the talk, all of the inflections and subtle shifts in body language caused him to rub at his chin all the while muttering to the envoy still within their language.

"It may be beneficial to suggest a short recess soon if no one else wishes to address the room. The tension between delegates is steadily rising. And their possible emotional outbursts will be no more productive than the opening deliberations."
Velor's golden yellow eyes shifted, as his gaze moved from person to person, as it had for the duration of the conference. He weighed each person present, and decided to speak up; "I move for a recess, request that the duration be four Yamataian hours." Velor spoke, curious if the other delegates would be interested in such.
"I think the ambassador and High Priest have the right of it," Yuumi said, her smile kept as demure as possible. Feeling joy at the results was a bit too much to for her.

Instead, she felt relief.

My people will be safe again, she thought. Prices were paid, but prices always are.

"While we could move onto trade, a recess sounds good. Maybe a drink or two of something a little more enlivening than water? Let's take those hours to regather ourselves before we drum ourselves with talk of shipping containers, space lanes and how much we love to kill pirates."

Yuumi didn't wait for a confirmation of it — it was her house; if she wanted some honeyed tequila and a crunchy roll, she was going to have it.

The product of my silver-spoon upbringing, she thought as she stood up, bowed to everyone, and then turned to speak to Miki. Privately.

"Tomoe's no fool. No one here is," she sent. "Any way they can buffer themselves against us is a way he'll take, no doubt. I'm sure he's thinking more about his sister than he wants to show us; she died not too long ago."

She twitched her eyes over her right shoulder, toward the Iroma. "Tafari's a fox. I think you're right — he wanted to know how far we'd go. Yui might get pissed, but those Mishhu shipyards are gravy we don't need. I'd rather have allies in the Iroma than another nation feeling cool to us.

"We can afford to look wounded, but the Abwehrans and Iroma think we're worth backing. We just have to show them we are."

Yuumi turned and gave a sweeping glance to everyone. "So far, we've gained two semi-allies; got Nepleslia to affirm they're going to stay out of the way and let us handle the war our way; put the Lorath in a spot where we might be able to work with them; and reaffirmed our relations with the Gartagens. To top it all off, I won't have to see another kid begging for food. That's a good day."

She smirked. "And to top it off, Yui's pissed. That's a small win for me. Let her buzz in my ear; if you don't, she'll practically soul-hack you to get her way."
With that this session came to a close. Vishta stood and bowed lowly. "Thank you Sal Yuumi. It was an honor. I look forward next session."

Vishta stood. Bow gracefully, and then with agile movements she turned and exited the chamber.
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