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RP [Star Army] Nataria Tour

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'Past tense is an inevitability for anything living,' was the old Azorean's response.

"I spent my entire life on diplomacy and politics to begin with," Washran replied, "I also do not claim to know everything that our military is up to." He made a kind nod to the Commodore to ensure it was known he didn't mean offence, but then continued, "Sounds like an interesting machine, though the intermediate steps sounds more like a way to make one's self slow and easy to find. Electing to have either of those disadvantages, or both, on my world, is looking to be 'past tense'."

The landing and opening of the shuttle soon caught the elder's attention. He turned to Kaieda and thanked her with a toothy smile before making his way out into the shuttle bay. Washran looked about as he moved, taking in the sights; his mind having trouble fathoming all that was going on - yet unafraid.

Rufus proved to be a thankful focal point after long enough with a wandering gaze. The Azorean diplomat could not help but notice the Taisa introduce himself as the same manner of being as the Senator. This brought up a couple questions to ask later; however the fact that this commander not only offered to demonstrate his ship's power, but was excited about having the permission as well, made him wonder more.

'Is he serious?' the elder sent to Johnathan.
"I suspect they'll be showing us starship technology rather than armour, Johnathan," Nibbi replied as she glanced at the Illustrious. "Powered armour is a wonderful invention, as it makes things just so much more personal." She chuckled, "I suspect if you showed a Fyunnen knight of Yore a woman in Power Armour," she accessed a picture of an illustration from an old Lorath combat treatise written long before first contact.

The image depicted a Fyunnen knight with her spear and her shield, writing and diagram in old Lorath surrounding them and pointing to parts of the armour, detailing their purposes and showing weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and possible solutions on how to patch them. Keeping the wrist protected was always a worry, for example - you'd sacrifice dexterity. Backs of the knee were also a sore spot - hooking blades were made just to target them and move around shields. "they'd think them a demon and engage!"

"Ah, wonderful," she said upon feeling the shuttle touch down inside the Illustrious, doors opening and waiting to exit after the pilots. She unbuckled her safety harnesses and stood up from her chair with a smile, "now to-" then she saw him and the words eluded her, smile vanquished. "to..." her words were extinguished in a drawn out gasp as dread and aversion filled her.

Oh my God and Goddess, you have to be joking. Nibbi asked herself as she felt her guts lurch as she looked upon the tall man. She'd heard unpleasant things about Sydney from her superiors. Accusations were hanging over his head over a myriad of things, but it wasn't Nibbi's place to judge or arrest at the moment. She flared her nostrils as she recalled the things she knew intimately and grimaced. "I think once is enough for a lifetime, Sydney," her brow furrowed and her voice was close to guttural, full of scorn. All the things she was supposed to sweep under the rug for the sake of politeness were welling up inside her.

One gunpoint peace treaty, one dead representative, and indirectly, one destroyed planet - one too many on all. The knuckles cracked beneath her delicate gloves, and she seemed to be rolling her shoulders uneasily. The bodyguard standing beside her seemed to notice and put her large hand on the Middlewoman's shoulder. Nibbi looked aside to her aide, who shook her head at the Middlewoman. Nonverbally, it simply wasn't worth getting worked up since there was nothing she could do realistically, but something within the Middlewoman was still winding slowly, growing tense and sore. Her hairs were standing on end and she wanted this leg of the trip to be over with.
From one of the shuttle's lockers, a humanoid in a M38 type bodysuit rolled out, before removing the bubble-helmet which was providing breathable air, and stifling his hair. It was Snider, who it seemed, was brought aboard as luggage; at least according to the tag which was adhered to his bodysuit clad backside.

"Fuwaaahh." Snider breathed, as he shook out his hair, and stepped out to join Nibbi and the Fyunnen bodyguard. "What'd I miss?" Snider digitally inquired of Nibbi, before his wide Helashio pupils moved to look at their host. Immediately the face was recognized, as Snider wondered if Yamatai had any good sense about the personnel they assigned to sensitive tasks. "Geeze, these Yamataians really know how to make people feel comfortable and welcome, huh?." Snider communicated to Nibbi, hiding his surprise behind a beaming smile.
"Hell yeah!" Johnathan simultaneously answered both Washran and Rufus.

Striding forward, the Nepleslian thrust his chest out proudly. "But you know what? There's one thing every Nepleslian man wants more - T&A!" the Senator declared. To Washran, a message appeared on his personal device. 'One: Pretty much. And two: Tits and Ass.' There was no way he was going to let the Azorean Elder stay out of the loop. Not if he could help it. Sharp eyes spotting a flight of Mindies just coming into the ship in preparation for the jump, he jabbed a finger at them. "You there! Front and left!" he warmly shouted. "No, not you - I'm talking about your left. Yes, you! Gimmie a pirouette or a pose!" Johnathan went on, raising a DataJocky and its camera to catch the sight. Grinning, he went on, "Lookit that," showing it to Rufus, then Washran, being sure to send the latter a copy of the Mindy as she shyly did a spin on her armored toe.

"Over two hundred pounds of armor, and she's still got some moves - give that girl a promotion!" the Senator exclaimed. "How about you show off some of your crew's assets, huh?" he suggestively suggested to the other Nepleslian. "Hell, tell me what you've been up to even. Taking it easy, or taking it easy? I haven't heard you on the news for a little while," Johnathan went on, quickly moving to draw much of the attention away from the others.

The Nepleslian Senator didn't need to go on this tour and observe. But he knew the others did.
Illustrious Hangar

"Yeah! I mean, of course, we should get to Nataria first," Rufus explained. "But later on we really could crack a planet. There's a major project going on that demands a lot of raw materials. I figure it'd be a good time to showcase the Star Army's firepower. Near this area of space there's not a lot of available targets so we would need time to travel to the frontiers. The ship has a good crew. Most of them are reenlistees on their second tour of duty. We've spent a lot of time training for combat operations since the Mishhuvurthyar war. The First Expeditionary Fleet is set up to be either a rapid response fleet or, in a catastrophe, an evacuation fleet. Personally, I'd like to see the Expeditionary Fleet only used for actual long-range expeditions."

Washran looked at the armored image of the Lorath Knight, but still found the idea of adding more weight to yourself as a bit of a problem on his world. At least Nibbi seemed to share his distaste for the large scale destruction that the Yamataian ship captain proposed - something that looked to get Johnathan excited.

The senator then seemed to continue onto something else that required the elder to pause and think about what was being said. Seeing how the armored soldier moved was impressive; but that only gave him some clarity on the power armor issue, while the other was lost on him due to translation issues.

"Now I see how it works," the Azorean nodded, "Done this way, the weight becomes less of a concern, in which case I can concede to the advantages. I've just never seen anything like it due to how useless un-powered versions would have been back home."
"I'd love to see a planet's cork popped, but even after we see Yui, we just gotta get back - there's an IRC going on after all," Johnathan explained, his voice a little downcast at the thought.

"It's kinda slower all around with the war over though, isn't it? At least you get to crack. That never gets old." Stealing a glance back at Nibbi however, he shot her a message; 'Don't get mad, I just want to talk to the guy. Never got to before.' Even though he valued whatever she had to say, he also didn't want her interrupting. "Even then though, it's a bit sad you're not going around like you used to," Johnathan admitted. "Exploring new systems, finding new life, coming where no man's come before - you're one lucky devil, you know that?" the senator grinned at him. "Even as a senator, I'll probably never get to do any of that. Hell, first time with the Lorath must have been fun, yeah? Their ladies are big, in more ways than one," he added.

It was a safe bet that their twins were as large as his head in many cases.
'Fine - but the homework on him from the Lorath camp is less than flattering.' Nibbi replied back as her toes wriggled in their shoes uncomfortably. She kept her mouth shut for the remainder of the interlude with Sydney, lips pursed tightly. She had to steel herself for Rufus' reply. She wasn't sure whether it'd be another blasphemous boast or an admission of guilt.

Or perhaps neither. She could only hope. She had to dredge her brain for some positive memories as Johnathan bought up the topic of boldly coming where nobody has before. Reports of positive relations between Lorath and Nepleslians, Jiyuuians or Yamataians were good memories to bring up - those happy reports alleviated some of her stress - happy families getting together and having homes. The only thing standing in their way was that they were biologically incompatible; If they wanted children they had to adopt.
YSS Illustrious

Rufus simply shrugged. "I never really got a chance to know any Lorath that well," he admitted. "Shosho Hanako was more of an expert than I ever was. It's a shame about..." Rufus trailed off, catching himself before he brought up the genocidal High Priest Tomoe. "Let me show you around the ship."

After being whisked around seeing the ship's bridge, engineering area, and some restaurants and crew living areas, the diplomats were brought to the observation deck, where large windows, good drinks, and light snacks awaited them. The space-fold to Nataria went smoothly and, as promised, the diplomatic visitors were delivered to the "Nekovalkyrja homeworld" in a matter of minutes. At this point, Taisa Sydney asked, "We've arrived! Would anyone like to see some starship weapons demonstrations before you're off to the surface? Nataria has a number of old ships that I am authorized to destroy as dummy targets."
Washran began questioning whether this was a good idea; but if he was to be of any help in the decisions over Asorean involvement with the rest of the galaxy, he needed to be aware of everyone's power.

"Go ahead," he replied to the captain, "Let us see what you can do."
"Hell, you even got him tempted into seeing what's on the table," he remarked, referring to the older Azorean.

"Fire up those main guns, since I can't say no now" Johnathan reasoned. As a senator, he already had to know what the Yamataians had in stock for use, and as a Nepleslian, that went double. But, it was all too likely to not be the case here with the others. Even though they were getting a live demonstration however, it didn't help his feelings on the situation. Deep down, he was a little uncomfortable. 'I was really hoping to move on, but, I guess you need to see this,' came the message to Washran. 'Then again, there's always more to be seen in these parts - it never ends.' Thinking it over though, he had to ask Rufus, "Just what kind of ships are we seeing disposed of today?" He asked. "I'm guessing they're some of the smaller ones that got out of date?"
A volumetric image appeared with a much closer view of an Ayame-class cruiser with its shields raised. It was an old Star Army ship that had once been part of a vast fleet and had survived some pretty horrible wars, but now it was obsolete surplus. A Chiharu-class battleship in a similar state was next to it.

"Here is an old flagship and a cruiser," Rufus Sydney explained. "Unleash the fucking fury!" Rufus gave the order into his communicator. "Yes sir!" a female voice responded. After a short delay to charge, the Illustrious opened fire. They could see blush splashes as the initial salvos hit the doomed ships' shields, followed by explosions. With dozens of some of the most powerful weapons in the galaxy, it took less than 5 seconds to knock out the shields on the old Nekovalkyrja flagship and after that, the ship was quickly becoming a burning hulk despite its meters of otherworldly Zesuaium armor. Next, the battleship turned its attention on the cruiser, which erupted in an explosion like a bug being stomped on, except the bug's guts were burning napalm.

"If you'll come with me, it is time to return to the shuttle bay," Captain Sydney said after a moment.
'He seemed to be a litte too excited to do so,' came Washran's reply, 'but I suppose there is little harm in humouring him with a derelect.'

That was about when the display came up and the orders were issued. The old Azorean stoood by watching as the energy was built up, then released. What happened after that managed to give him great pause as he soon began looking between Johnathan and his compatriot as if trying to comprehend what had just happened. That was, other than a spacecraft getting raped by energy and disintegrated.
"It's always over too quickly," Johnathan remarked, shrugging his shoulders. "Oh well, after you Captain."

The feelings that most Nepleslians had towards Rufus Sydney were rather complex and volatile, but despite that, the Senator kept his lips tightly sealed. However, Washran seemed to pick up on this, but to what degree, it was hard to say. Personally, Johnathan felt that the destruction of those ships was wasteful, especially when the decorative halls of the Chiharu were so opulent that it could have easily served as a pleasure ship, or be used in some other capacity. Even then, with it being scrapped, the Zesuaium itself could have been more efficiently salvaged. That stuff was just plain weird in its protective properties to the point of simply being wrong in how it behaved. Not a word however. But, to Washran's observation?

'Too excited, yeah, and too excitable - that's precisely the problem. That's why I'm pretty wary of him.'
He casually glanced at Nibbi, the Lorath Middlewoman to see how she was faring however.

For them, Rufus Sydney was one of the most loaded names around, and for good reason.
Soon enough, the guests were transported down to Nataria, where they found Ketsurui Yui herself waiting for them at the spaceport when they stepped out of the shuttle.

Taisho Ketsurui Yui stood a mere 5'4". She had hair a shade lighter than forest green with black streaks in it, with big red eyes like blood drops, and a slender, pale body that concealed a lot of muscle power. Her hairless catlike ears were pointed and had little puffs of green hair growing out of them and long bangs on either side of her face. She was dressed in a white duty uniform with one of the new officer hats. Standing behind her were four million other Nekovalkyrja in a massive troop formation that stretched as far as the eye could see in any direction.
Washran was a little surprised at the Johnathan's response. He had almost suspected that the man was all gung-ho to see as well.

Moving along was almost a relief. Away from the laser cannon toting child and down to solid ground again. More water would have been nice; but it had been a while since he realized how many of those around were land dwelling.

Upon exiting the shuttle down, however, he began to question what kind of diplomatic stance Yamatai was truly trying to project. It wasn't Yui herself who made him wonder, though; it was her plus the ranks unending behind her that finally put him on edge. Intimidation was all he could come up with in the end, and through that Rufus' actions became easier to understand.

The old Azorean began looking between his compatriot, the Middlewoman, and the Nepleslian Senator. What were they thinking about this? Were they still working this out, or was he late to the party?
Nibbi had decided to bite her tongue for the duration of the trip to Nataria. The Rufus part of the tour wasn't in her mental brochure and she found all of his displays tacky and tasteless. Those ships probably had histories. You could make a museum out of them, strip them down and let them live on in a modern vessel or planetside. Turning it into a twenty million piece puzzle just seemed unfitting for such an old thing. Her eyes were in a permanent narrow.

During the shuttle ride back down, she sent him a message. 'Mr. Izgimmer, words cannot express how much I do not like that man. At least for now, it's over.' The way she was sitting seemed to be like a threatened hen, legs crossed and fingers drumming against her thigh. When the shuttle touched down and she followed the others out, she realised that she was now a pigeon amongst the cats. The millions of cats.

Nibbi froze in place as her gaze travelled across the millions and millions of soldiers before it finally settled upon their mother. "Taisho," she greeted simply. It wasn't difficult to see that she was equally amazed and terrified by the sheer scope of the Nekovalkyrja assembled. You could only get assemblies like this for other soldiers after a year of solid organisation. Perhaps this was every Neko on the planet coming down to say hello and greet the ambassadors.
"Ambassadors," Yui nodded, strolling over. "I thought you might want to see what our planetary forces look like. The army you see is composed only of soldiers created on this planet in the last year. You can see why we call Nataria the Nekovalkyrja homeworld."
'I know. But hey, think of this - he was the first Nepleslian that the Lorath had ever met,' he cryptically replied to Nibbi's sour remark.

It was very unusual of him to do so, but the circumstance itself was rather unusual. He didn't even look happy either, but on the ride down, the Senator got the chance he needed to put his thoughts in order. Soon enough however, what was most likely unusual for many out there in the universe, passed as normal here on Nataria. A pretty face was what greeted them. One with deep red eyes and straight, silky hair...and an astounding history. Of course, that wasn't what was unusual. Off the shuttle, the smile he showed Yui herself was laid back and lazy, almost like one a fat, lazy cat (a real one) would have, oddly enough. But what he saw when he looked past her - the unusual part - he was speechless.

He blinked once. Twice. Then finally spoke.

"I'm sorry. I haven't even said Hi yet, but did you say, uh, these millions are just a year old? At most?" he asked Yamatai's head Taisho, overall military leader and supreme commander. Out of all the things he could have said or asked, that was what he started with first.
"That's correct," Yui confirmed. The admiral extended a hand to Johnathan. "I'm Taisho Ketsurui Yui, commander of the Star Army of Yamatai," she introduced herself. "I'll give you a moment to take photos in front of the formation and then if you'll follow me, I'll show you were these Nekovalkyrja come from, where we equip them, and where we train them. I will also take you to the Star Army museum. I can answer any questions you have about the Star Army at any time during your tour here."
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