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  • 📅 December 2022 is YE 44.9 in the RP.

RP [YSS Imperturbable] Catgirls and Rusteaters

Soban

Convention Veteran
RP Date
YE 44.5
RP Location
Shurista
The Imperturbable sat just beside the Senti Diplomat Courier Himiko, they were stopped in what seemed to be a random patch of space suprisingly deep in Yamatai. "They're broadcasting their song." Selena Daru, the Separa'Shan communications officer announced, putting the communications onto the main screen. Suddenly, the random static transformed, a response from Shurista. The Himiko moved, and the diplomatic ship followed. They dropped back out FTL, and in front of them was what could only be derscribed as the most complected place that Ranga had ever seen.

Starships seemed to buzz around the mass like bees over their hive, dwarfed, dust around the horizon, starlight glinting off aggregate domes of starship glass that held forests behind them, rivers.

Ranga's eyes fixed on a old battleship design that was a part of that."Is that a Yuumi class?" Ranga asked, looking at her Phod science officer.

Valdosta Odum looked at the screens, considering the data that was pouring in. He carefully considered the information. "Not anymore, it's been hollowed out. What your seeing is more of a shell than a ship. The name's obscured, but I'm fairly certain it's the YSS Gold Dragon, it went missing presumed lost in combat around YE 27. I can detect scars from the weapons fire it took, they match Mishhuvurthyar patterns."

The huge ship was almost a kilometer long, once a mighty and proud warship. However, it was a speck on the disk. "Just how big is this thing?" Ranga asked.

"It's roughly a disk, about fifty nine hundred kilometers across, and about a hundred and fifty deep. It's closer in mass to a large moon than any station I've ever seen." Odum replied.

Ranga took a breath. "I knew it was large, but that's a lot. Follow the Himiko in, Raphel-hei." She told the Elysian who was flying the ship.

"Aye," He said, and the two ships glided together over the disk, ships passing around them. The whole bridge crew was transfixed by the incredible diversity of ships both flying around and buried in the structure. The two ships docked with the Gold Dragon.

"It's showtime people. Daru, Odum, suit up. I think I'm going to need my science officer and my communications officer on this one. Wolfson, Carpathia. Report to the airlock for body guard duties."

A few minutes later, the five were at the airlock. The Neko, Human, Kodian, Separa'Shan, and Phod made for a good cross section of Yamataian species. Something that Ranga wanted to subconciously reinforce, that Yamatai respected all species. While Ranga, Odum, and Daru wore low profile armor and only sidearms. The side arms were in retention holsters, but showed off that they were gold with perl grips. Wolfson and Carpathia were more obvious, helmets down on thier Mindys. The Mindys that the two wore were perfectly and immaculately taken care of. There were some slight gold accents, signaling that this was more of a dress suit of armor than something meant to be taken into combat. The shoulder mounted weapons were in a obviously stored away state and their side arms were holstered in retention holsters. The holsters also weren't standard, but they helped to signal that they were there for protection.

On the inside of the Airlock, two Senti standing four meters tall met them in a black and gold space suits, highly reflective strips highlighted the Burial Steel. There were a few other Senti about the same size as the Yamataian visitors with them as well. While the airlock was unchaged, beyond it was was looked like a park, and two Senti children ran past it.

Ranga smiled up at the two tricentarian Senti, unpreturbed by the size diffrence she floated upwards so that they could speak face to face. "I'm Ranga Havard, Yamataian Ambassador."

The giant smiled behind her helmet, not that the Yamataian could see it, before reaching up and detatching the neck seal with an audible hiss. Lifting the helmet off her head, she was shown to be a soft faced specimen, with dark grey eyes and short, black hair, though each strand was more like a length of steel cable. "It is an honor, Ranga Harvard. I am Astuna of Suras. The guard to my left is Galus, my brother. Our diplomat, near my right foot, is Khelas Nascen."

The diplomat gave a soft wave as she removed her helmet, revealing a wide smile and golden eyes. "Your technology has always impressed us. Though we were never able to recover the data from the ships lost to you. We wish to gift those drives back to you, at your lesure."

"Thank you, it will help us to learn the fates of our crews. Her majesty offically grants you the ships that you have salvaged. She was rather pleased when she learned the use that the ships have been put to." Ranga reached into a pocket and produced a real envlope made from the finest paper that was sealed with blue wax in which the Empress' signet pressed into the wax. On the front was a handwritten signature of the Empress addressing it to the leaders of the Senti. Inside on the finest paper was handwitten message informing them that Ranga was indeed who she said that she was and that she would represent Yamatai. There was also a personal note from her majesty to the leaders. The actual information in it was information that had already been shared and sent in digital form, but the physical presentation was an old tradition. She gently placed the letter into Khelas's hands.

Khelas bowed softly as she took the letter in both hands with her palms up, gently touching it to her forehead before accepting it. "The physical drives will be transferred at convenience. Please be aware that dock control will want to scan your vessel for potentially hazardous or invasive life forms before that transfer begins."

With a soft smile, she straightened, gesturing for the Yamataian diplomat to precede her. "It is protocol, as we trade with many worlds. Our environmental protections are fierce. But that is a matter for your ship's crew to handle. For us, we have a bit of a walk to the transit station. From this park we will cross a market before the substation. Welcome to Shurista. The view from the Reactor Trees is breathtaking."

Ranga floated into the park with her companions, it was wide and open. Several familys lounged around, picnicking with their families. Children played in the grass and trees, and a small stream wound it's way through the park, ending in a small pool. It was a peaceful place, fillied with life. "I look forward to seeing it, and learning more about your people. I can certainly say that the extent of the Shurista is already an incredible sight. It must have taken a very long time to build."

"Half a million years, by your reckoning," Khelas looked up, towards the way the park curved up the back wall, and grew over the spiralling pillars and maze of dereliction and constant recycling. "In fact, this is fairly small, for our parks."

She could see how people moved irrespective of her own "down," indicating that there was no gravitational field. In fact, that was something noteworthy, and not apparent at first. But they had exited the fold at speed, the orbital velocity of this greater disc. It may have been difficult to notice, but Himiko's engines had shut down, accelerating under maneuvering thrusters to dock. The whole disc was spinning, at the same rate as its orbital velocity, cancelling its gravity with rotation, of all things. The people still moved easily, and knowing Senti biology, it was clear. Everything was burial steel. The gold of metal poking out everywhere from the manicured park to the visible rotting hulks deeper in the superstructure. The diplomat stopped at a vendor's stand, speaking softly in her musical language before offering a smile.

Gently, she placed a few coins into the hand of the vendor before returning with several pieces of sliced fruit glowing a soft blue. Gently releasing her piece to float to the diplomat, she spoke again. "Cannonfruit. One of the few foods of ours safe for Nepleslians to eat. Described as a chocolatey bananna and pomegranate... Whatever those are. Perhaps you can show me one day. If you are hungry, of course."

Ranga caught the slices, glancing at Odum who scanned the fruit. "If you ever come to Yamatai, we'll be happy to show you. Your biology is fascinating, so hopefully they will taste as good to you as they do to us." The Phod nodded, confirming that the fruit wasn't going to kill her or put the diplomatic mission in danger. Ranga wouldn't refuse food, in too many cultures it was a grave insult. She bit into the slices, appreciating the unique taste. She had certainly eaten much more foul things with a straight face in the name of diplomacy.

"It is delicious, if you would send some back with us, I'm sure the royal cooks would enjoy finding some recipies to use it in." Ranga responded, passing slices to Odum and Daru for them to try.

Of Ranga's crew, Daru seemed to have the most issues adjusting to the frame of refrence shifts that were common. A heavy worlder, zero gravity was disorienting. Every twitch of her tail sent her in a new direction. She finally coiled her long tail into a ball and set the flight belt that helped in in Yamataian society to just follow Ranga. She listened closely to Khelas's lyrical language, trying to pick up on it as it was natively spoken. She swollowed the fruit whole in one bite.

"I see a xenolinguest among your group," Astuna gave a small chuckle. "The way she watches, and her ears move to the language around us. We would be happy to offer lessons in Shuristan."

Separa'Shan perked up, "Thank you, I would love to learn more about your language." She responded.

Khelas happily chewed on her own piece of the fruit as she walked. "As you can see, everything is recycled. This water in our parks is really an open tank, deep water with fish and edible plants down there." An old ship, possibly once a primitive space shuttle, now held on rails pulled up across the road, the rail leading deep within the open, twisting sectors of the megastructure. "There is the tram. Please climb aboard. It will take us across the agriculture dome before bringing us to the Core, where Shurista's original seedship lies. There, we will find the Council halls and the Grand Library. My home is not far from there. I admit, I am young, only... Let's see, convert to base ten, account for year difference... Perhaps eighty of your years old? And I only graduated from my training a few years ago. I likely do not have the experience in theory or practice that you do, miss Ranga. My specialty was actually xenopsychology."

Ranga laughed, as they floated into the old shuttle. Ranga appreciated the fact that the tram could be very old. "I'm twelve in our years, I spent my first three years of life as a communications officer before joining the diplomatic corps, I became an ambassador about three years ago. It's been an eventful life though, I'm constantly on the move meeting with the people who live around us. Trying to see how we can all work together and learn from each other. I'm here to learn about Senti and share about Yamatai." Ranga motioned to the other members of her team.

"The Phods, Kodians, Minikans, Separa'shan, Nekovalkyrja, and more are all citizens, with the same rights and responsibilities as any other species. We all have our own histories, cultures and perspectives that add to what Yamatai is."

Ranga looked out of the shuttle as it passed through the agriculture domes and the variety of crops that were being grown. Some were being grown in soil, others in hydroponics. Ranga recognized one fruit that was native to a planet that was undergoing a ecological collpase. "I can see you have a wide variety of food, all of which adds up into a varied and healthy diet not just for your selves but other species you meet. Similarly, the species in Yamatai all add up into a varied and healthy society for ourselves and our neighbors."

"We have enough space to not only grow foods endemic to our own culture, but those exotic plants from dying worlds, or found aboard derelicts in our travels. Some, I am sure, will be excellent foods for your peoples, however, we are very careful about introducing invasive species to terrestrial environments. Life is precious, and we have found so much death and destruction on our way here," Khelas gave a small smile as the shuttle passed into a tunnel, the windows darkening as it continued, lights moving across the only indication of its travel.

"We are about to cross to the cannonfruit fields. I recommend you hold on to something." The shuttle lurched as it accelerated sharply, passing the exit to the outside of the hull in a blur. The starlight illuminated the greater golden hull, gaps showing canyons in the surface housing a grey, swaying lichen that seemed to infest the deep crevices, and more agricultural domes could be seen either under construction or glowing in the infinite black. "The fruit I gave you all is of a radiophagic lichen, a staple crop in the fronds and fruiting bodies. It is easiest to grow on spent reactor fuel in hard vacuum, we try to harvest it before the fruits get launched into deep space. When they hit something, the fruit ruptures, seeding asteroids with water and organic compounds that allow it to grow. But we pride ourselves on our xenobiology research, especially in xenobotany and in situ resource utilization. You'll find that none of our ships require refuelling or resupply. But we always come home, to visit, and add our findings to the Grand Library. We hid for so long, and it past time we meet those worldborn. A new frame of reference, so to speak. And perhaps a peaceful solution to Katamura's headaches."

It was time for Odum's eyes to grow, and he started scanning the fields. "Fascinating, an edible space borne fungi."

Ranga was more focused on the issues that they were facing. "Katamura... That's another one of your worldships, correct? What sort of problems are they facing?" She asked.

"They are pirates." She nearly spat the last word. "I apologize. Our culture is one that emphasizes the idea, no, fact that a positive action will encourage the entire community to prosper, enable growth, and build a better Flotilla for all. On the converse, everything here is in such delicate balance that a single negative can become a cancerous growth that puts the whole community at risk. The communities grow, from family, ship, cluster, sector, Flotilla, and beyond. One t`1ruly evil action by Katamura could put the whole Kikyo sector at risk. But their loyalty is undying. To earn their protection is a mighty boon. It patrols the Western Frontier, and mostly hunts slavers these days. On happier subjects, I apologize our Councillor of Military Affairs cannot be here. Aliset Koun is... I am not sure where her vessel is. I hear she was a brave bomber pilot in your Grand Star Army. And now she helms a warship? For the first Senti warrior since the Skydasi, truly a proud addition to your ranks, yes?"

Ranga filed the details about Katamura away, SAINT would be interested. "She is very impressive, and has her own way with things. I recently read about how she saved a first contact that was going sideways. As a whole, when I spoke to Hanako, our director of personnel, Senti across the fleet have been valuable additions. Although, I'm curious as to why a Councillor would be allowed to join our Millitary, there seems like there might be more than enough work for them here."

"That walking political disaster saved what? With who?" Furrowed brows, tilted head, Khelas gave a soft, chuckling smile.

"She is Councilor because of her military service to you. The Senti have not had an official military in half a million years, and she was the first to join and fight. So she has the most experience. Thusly, she is Councilor. Mostly a figurehead title to prompt your nation to keep her out of trouble... Which clearly isn't working."

"Apparently, your species have had dealing with the species before, the Rathenkans, things were tense. She shook the hand and apparently they only wanted to deal with her." Ranga explained

"That... Sounds about right. It may be before your time, but Aliset almost lost her Captain's rank for the stunt she pulled in YE 28 during the disasters on Akina. She loaded her ship with supplies and landed unauthorized and unannounced in a disaster stricken area." Khelas rolled her eyes. "And to think she was in my diplomacy class for several years."

"That was in my briefing, she took initiative and while Taisho Ketsurui-Motoyoshi would have appreciated more warning, she did ultimately approve of Aliset's actions." Ranga replied.

"That... That she did. We would have preferred that first contact happen more like this, with a gift of song and a guest stay for a proper diplomatic team. Such as today." Khelas gave a shake of her head and roll of her eyes before looking out the window. "Ah, we're getting close. Please brace for deceleration."

The Yamataians grabbed onto the bars as the shuttle started to slow and they approached their destination. Ranga looked back out at their destination as the shuttle arrived.

As the shuttle slowed and stopped, it was drawn into a vertical airlock on top of what seemed like an ancient piece of the steel, blackened with time, but the flag was still visible. Three chevrons on a field of black with three round stars bordering one silver. That same flag had been seen on ships throughout Yamatai. But the craft was drawn inside and the airlock closed. White plumes of gas slowly grew louder as air returned, before proceeding into the station. "Welcome to the Core."

She stood, stepping towards the door as it opened. "We will be meeting with the Council in the observatory above the Reactors. The Council convened includes representatives and delegates of agriculture, sciences, sociology, and other crafts. These are all multi century experts in their field. Though they don't know a damn thing about politics. But they are all volunteers."

One of her body guards went first, and other following the group. "So what is the council's role and influence?" She asked, if they didn't know anything about politics then it might mean that they didn't have much power.

"Our society runs on volunteerism of expertise. The committee that decided on the panel decided not to use politicians, but experts of the arts and sciences. To give a better view on out culture. As this is merely the first of many visits." She gave a shrug. "I will be acting as a translator for those who cannot already speak Yamataigo."

"Interesting, I'm betting that our political scientists will have a lot to explore. So who am I talking to specifically? What are their backgrounds?" Ranga asked, preparing for the meeting mentally.

"Well, try to avoid getting Subati talking about the smithcraft. He will dominate the conversation," she started, thinking. "Gulaha is a lady of few words, but if you can get her to open up, she's an archeology engineer, specific to life support systems. Essentially, her craft is to take life support technology from derelicts and adapt them into our amalgamate system, everything from hydroponics to air recyclers. She conducted my Trials in aquaponics... Terratel is a logistician, responsible for two major cargo groups..."

She went through each as they came to her mind, with their specialties.

Subati Atros, proprietor of Subati Forge, Councillor of the Smithy
Gulaha Nurat, Councilor of Archaological Engineering and dockmaster.
Terratel Nascen, Dockmaster General
Rastul Shubata, Invasive Species Control
Nitsu Shubata, proprietor of the Core General Hospital.

Only five, plus Khelas Nascen, the one politician they had sent for this meeting.

Ranga absorbed this information, turning inward to work out how to tailor her comments for them as they rode up to where she could be meeting the council. Her goal was to help them develop stronger ties with Yamatai. This would be the first contact, hopefully of many to come that would develop into a fruitful relationship for both of their peoples. "Do you think there are any concerns I should address specifically?" Ranga asked.

"To be honest, Ranga, I think this is a silly formality made up by bored tricentennials and will not change a thing. Your army already has well over a thousand of our kin. Our flag is widely recognized in your space. I am sure that with your presence here, recruitment into your nation and the growth of our culture outside the Flotillas will be certain. And now that you know how to find us, I see no problem with opening a proper embassy. But I am young and brash." She opened the elevator, gesturing that she would step in after the party.

"The bigger question is what you wish to accomplish."

"You are in Yamatai space, so we have to decide what to do with you. At the moment, the Empress is content to allow you your self determination. However, that was based on not knowing exactly where you were. I think there are basically two solutions. First, you can leave, there are a couple of details that would need to be worked out, but it is an option. Second, you can join the Empire. I think Yamatai has a lot to offer the Senti people, and you have a lot to offer Yamatai. It's a good option for both of our people." Ranga explained.

The door opened as Khelas stepped out under the looming of the group of tricentennials shifting their papers. "Will we have to anchor Shurista, assuming the second option? Because we all know the third, and no one on either side would be proud of. However, Yamatai represents too many trade opportunities and a range free of major threats not available outside of this area. This, of course, means that we both know that getting the grouchy old pilots to abandon this territory would be like shouting at a sun. Yamataian space is simply too valuable."

"Agreed," Terratel squatted down to come closer to Ranga. "My profits tripled after Akina, Then waned when the Kuvexian War drove the cowards off. Then tripled again this last cycle."

The others followed his lead, approaching the party before sitting down cross legged to hear the smaller race.

"I will present this information to the general council. What would I need to know?" Khelas leaned against her great grandfather's knee, brows furrowed in thought. "Both options are a hard sell."

Ranga considered their words, "You are a nomadic people, and you enjoy flying between the stars. I have spoken at length to the empress what we can do. We agree that requiring you to stay in one place would be a great change to your people and culture. There are two basic options, first you could submit to the laws of whatever system you are close to at the moment. Second, you could be your own system, with a govenor and senator to represent you to the Empress and in the Senate. This would allow you to keep livng by your own laws and customs as long as they don't violate the rights guarenteed by the constitution."

"I can tell you right now which of those options we will take. And I need not justify it by speaking," Khelas stirred a laugh among the gathered elders with her sharp, near instant response. "I volunteer as governor. And immediately delegate all power to the Councils. The Senator will be a volunteer of my age. I will convince the Councils. You may retrieve your spray paint."

Ranga laughed with the elders, "My role here isn't to make your decisions for you. I'm here to help you understand the options and provide information to help you make your decisions."

"Well, the options were self explanatory. And I am not subjecting my children to a revolving door of laws and zealous tourists. Nor to Aether fire or the knowledge of abandoning our kin and claim to the wide spaces between the stars that you do not use. Too much at risk in the long term. Perhaps Yamatai will collapse before the end of my time. Or it learns to endure as we do. We have been out here since the Skydas War, travelling. We made our home in this gap. We will minimize the harm to all possible. But we're here to stay." She shrugged, approaching Ranga with a hand outstretched to shake.

"I bet you thought we'd be stubborn about it. Or that you'd have to bribe us."

Ranga took the hand, sealing the deal. "I've run across many old goats in my time, I'm pleased to know that you aren't one of them."

JP by @Soban and @HarperMadi
 
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