RP [YSS Kōkatsu] Part 1: Seeking Alpha

Immortal Cyan

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#41
Wardroom

Uehashi stood up and bowed to Okano-Shosa once the briefing was called. She filed out of the wardroom behind her roommate before responding to Sakaki's inquiry.

"Oh of course Sakaki-san! We can dance with danger and for fun! Let's meet in the recreation room! What about you Iki-san? You said you like to dance too!", she finished as she looked directly at Iki.
 
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Speeder01

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#42
"Dance routines? Teach?" Iki the mini crossed her arms and tilted her head as she pondered the notion. "Well, I could, but i'm no teacher- and certainly not a master dancer, I may like it but I'm not talented." She then nodded to herself, now sure she would at least make an attempt. Yuu looked so, well, not overly enthusiastic maybe, but certainly interested.

"I wonder if we have the time to effectively teach anything in a mere fifteen hours however- when we will likely be using a portion of that for rest and readying our equipment." She gave a wry grin as she looked between them both. "Shall we set up regular times to meet?" The blood red mini asked from atop her drone.
 

SirSPT

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#43
Wardroom

With the briefing over and the crew dismissed, Hasewega lingered around the wardroom for a few minutes as she mulled over the details of the mission and eavesdropped on the other's conversations. While it seemed most of the others have taken an interest in dancing, the Minkan couldn't really see herself being much of a dancer compared to the enthusiasm of the rest of the enlisted. Though she did purse her lips as it seemed the dancing group may be moving to the recreation room, it seems she would have to settle to with some light mediation and yoga in her cabin.

After a few minutes of sitting in silence, she simply stood up and departed for her cabin.
 

raz

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#44
Corridors

Right when Hasewega reached her cabin's hatch, surely ready for some quiet and mindful relaxation, she heard the distinct sound of footsteps against the deck and was subsequently interrupted by their source.

"Oh, Sara-san," came Captain Okano's voice from behind the operative, just as Hasewega was preparing to open her door. When she turned, she'd see Yoshiko leaning against the edge of where the ship's central corridor met this more expansive living area. "No need to salute or anything, I was just here to retrieve something from my quarters."

Yoshiko still lingered there, though, looking quite comfortable as she stood with her long legs relaxed and her arms crossed while she rested against the bulkhead. The pause seemed long—especially because of the captain's direct, scrutinizing gaze—but not in a way that dismissed Hasewega's attention.

"Say... you were the one from the Heartbreaker, right?" she asked after a time.

Of course, Yoshiko knew that was the case. She was both a starship captain and a SAINT operative and so was doubly thorough about knowing facts and getting them right. But she didn't want to approach the girl without tact and get straight to her curiosity. Although the basics of the YSS Heartbreaker's mission was included in Hasewega's service record, certain details were compartmentalized and restricted to certain eyes only. And while Okano-shosa didn't expect Hasewega to divulge anything secret, a quick take or story about her previous mission—a task quite unique, even by SAINT standards—was too good to pass up.

"What was it like out in uncharted space?" Yoshiko questioned, sounding enthusiastic about knowing but not overly giddy. "Was it a lot of the 'strange and unknown' or just emptiness?"
 

SirSPT

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#45
Corridors

Hasewega turned and her hand instinctively went up when she noticed the Shosa before stopping half way. She let the silence sink in as Okano almost seemed to look straight into her.

"Yes, I was stationed on the Heartbreaker for about year." She answered as the memories came back. "And venturing out into uncharted space was quite eventful. I got to meet and spend some time with both the I'ee and Vekimen on their own settlements before the treaties were drafted. I also got to see how the USO handled both diplomacy and combat, even got to participate in a hunt on Ee'ee with some of their representatives." Her lips curled into a faint smile formed before she turned her attention back to the Shosa.

"But nothing too amazing. It was mostly just interstellar political finds about our new neighbors."
 
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raz

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#46
Corridors

"That experience should be useful now that you're an operative," Yoshiko nodded with a sly grin on her face. "Spycraft is largely diplomatic work in many ways. I can understand why you were selected for SAINT training. Plus, you might just be the service's number one expert on those alien cultures you encountered, now that I think about it."

The captain herself knew little about the I'ee and Vekimen and, frankly, cared even less. Until the day she was assigned to gather intelligence on them, they were but curiosities among the more powerful players in the galaxy. Still, it was nice to have someone so well-traveled on the crew. Those unique experiences Hasewega brought to a ship full of standard Nekovalkyrja—herself included—were refreshing and would likely be useful one day. Yoshiko had already made up her mind on who to call on if the squad actually encountered Lorath during their deployment to Tange IV.

"You'll have to tell me how the I'ee hunt someday," she added, looking Hasewega over from head to toe while wondering how the soldier girl moved in the field. "No sweat for a Mindy jockey like you, I'd wager."
 
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Ametheliana

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#47
Corridors

Sakaki smiled as she left her shared cabin and walked down the hallways until she was far from her room after the dance and martial arts session with Iki and Uehashi. She had enjoyed her time doing both activities with the two and wanted to explore more of the ship while they were on it. She chanced upon the captain and Hasewega shortly after leaving her captain and bowed to each.
 
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raz

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#48
Corridors

From her place leaning against the wall—looking a little too cool to be a Star Army starship captain with her arms crossed and her posture relaxed—Yoshiko acknowledged Sakaki's bow with a quick upward nod. The raven haired-junior operative seemed to be in good spirits as she gave her bow, her smile not going unnoticed by the senior Nekovalkyrja. Hopefully that'd last. Happy soldiers were focused soldiers, after all, and the fact that the girl had found it on her own was nothing less than a relief to Yoshiko. Now that Sakaki had arrived, though, the captain felt like her attention toward Hasewega had come to an end.

"Ah, Yuu-san," Yoshiko remarked, tugging at the lower hem of her white Type 35 jacket as she straightened up and set her feet properly. "I was just getting back to the bridge. You can both carry on with your preparations."

YSS Kōkatsu
Northwestern Edge of the Tange System
30日 4月 YE39, 0156 Yamatai Standard Time


At its maximum faster-than-light speed, it had taken the Kōkatsu just under 17 hours to travel to their destination. The pace of a Chiaki's distortion field was sluggish and graceless compared to ships equipped with speedier trans-system hyperspace fold drives. Indeed, the little escort destroyers were originally built to piggyback with larger battleships and cruisers for long journeys. But Yoshiko and the crew of her gunboat were in no hurry; their only foes in this region of space had seemingly disappeared and the secrets they'd been sent to retrieve had already waited for the better part of a decade.

Yamatai could spare a few extra hours before receiving the return on those Outer Colonies investments that lay hidden on Tange IV.

Even before Yoshiko activated the Kōkatsu's shipwide intercom, everyone could already tell they'd arrived. It wasn't that the trip had been turbulent or loud in any way. Chiaki were just as marvelously and elegantly engineered as any Ketsurui Fleet Yards vessel. But the ship's background hum immediately shifted and became less intense. And without any sort of sudden violence shuddering through their hull, the crew would know that their journey was complete.

"Attention, this is the captain!" Yoshiko grumbled officiously from her place on the bridge. Her voice echoed in a thin way though the Kōkatsu's lifeless halls, unimpeded by the abundance of soldiers present on larger ships. "We have arrived in-system and are starting our approach to the target world. Set condition two throughout the ship. Those of you not on bridge duty should suit up for power armor insertion. Information pertinent to your previously briefed mission has been unlocked and uploaded to the AIES on each of your suits. Operations team will insert in fifteen minutes."
 

Immortal Cyan

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#49
Cabin 2

For most of the trip, Uehashi had been spending time within her cabin, either dancing to music only she could hear through her digital memory files or reading a few texts on Yamataian collectivism. On the surface, the slightly hyperactive Uehashi did not seem like one who would have the patience for literature of any sort, let alone a dry piece on political theories. However, something had to drive her seemingly endless supply of enthusiasm and willpower. Furthermore, the pieces that she read kept her somewhat grounded within reality and gave her a healthy dose of skepticism towards anyone who's ideas and allegiances stood against those that she perceived Yamatai to represent.

Fortunately, Uehashi was reading when condition two was called. The hyperactive Neko never missed a beat when it came to business, and was out of her cabin within a few seconds.

Shuttle/Cargo Bay

After sprinting to the shuttle bay, Uehashi jogged over to the power armor frameworks, stripped down, and floated into her Mindy. Once the armor had powered on, Uehashi accessed the data files in AIES, and reviewed the briefing as she equipped herself for combat.

"Saeki-Hei, suited up, ready for insertion, and awaiting further orders.", she called out over the ship's general communications channel.
 
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Ametheliana

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#50
YSS Kōkatsu

Tsubei Kyoka arrived in the bay that held the power armors looking refreshed. She carried with her a serious gaze as she checked over the deep black power armor she was to pilot and touched a hand to its chest lightly. She then let her volumetric projection of clothing vanish and got into her armor before broadcasting over comms.

"This is Tsubei-Juni and I am ready for our mission, suited up and ready to go."

Yuu Sakaki had already suited up by the time Kyoka was in her armor and looked over to the now-ready Ittô Juni and nodded her head, realizing she should give some mention of having become suited.

"Yuu-hei ready and willing!"
 
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SirSPT

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#51
Cabin 4

Hasewega mostly kept to herself in her cabin during the travel to the planet, somewhat to contemplate the mission but mostly for some peace and quiet during the trip. Near the tail end of the trip, she donned her working uniform and decided to venture out to the and explore the ship somewhat before hearing Yoshiko declare condition two as she neared Engineering.

Shuttle/Cargo Bay

With the mission about to be underway, the Minkan quickly rushed towards the cargo bay and into the cargo container that contained the suits. She looked over the black Mindy 4, admiring the step up from the Mindy 2 she wore during her time on the Heartbreaker. She removed her belt and pins she had on uniform before stepping, feeling the suit close in around her.

Once the suit was online and the quick diagnostics were ran, Hasewega armed herself with a GP-12 Rifle she's been wanting to try and reviewed what information she could about the mission through the suit's visuals. She wanted to try and modify the rifle later but first, she wanted to give it a dry run through this mission.

"Hasewega-hei, suited and standing by."
 
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Speeder01

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#52
Shuttle/Cargo Bay

Takaki Iki arrived in style as she always did, comfortably standing atop her drone. Her entering of her Sylph was quick, and seamless. One moment she had been standing on the edge of her drone, as if she were about to embrace the chest of the black armor in front of her, the next a small entrance on the base of its neck opened up, and with a single step, she fell straight into it, as if she were never there. Moments later, the sylph moved with purpose, checking its camoflauge, sensors, and lastly, communications.

"Takaki Iki, standing by for deployment." She then picked up a single Plasma Saber- as she had her drones and forearm pulse cannons for mid to long range combat, and for the time being, it seemed more sensible than requesting a solid blade, even if it would be quieter. Perhaps future future experience would change that.
 
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Gunsight1

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#53
After the conclusion of the briefing, Maki departed from the wardroom and made her way about the small vessel. The Chiaki class were not small by any means, on the outside, at almost 400 feet long, they were pretty big actually, but their internal space was arranged oddly and eaten up by systems and hardware in strange ways. That all said, there was still plenty of space for Maki to pace about and think. They had plenty of time before reaching the mission IP to check over everything that was needed, relax, get some sleep, food, whatever, before needing to be concerned with the mission it's self, but Maki had always been the type to pre-analyze and mentally prepare for a mission well in advance.

And as she did all this internal preparation, thinking, plotting, scheming, she walked. She paced the upper deck multiple times from bow to stern, then took the main zero G passage down to the second deck and paced that one, deep in thought, her hand on her chin as she tuned out the world about her and paced.
 

raz

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#54
YSS Kōkatsu
On Approach to Tange IV
31日 4月 YE39, 0156 Yamatai Standard Time


The Tange star system was a veritable ghost town of a place. Where its spacelanes had once been a constant bustle of cargo haulers and patrol runners — even somewhere this far out from the sector's core — it was now home to little more than the dreaded phantasms of the past. Sitting on her bridge as the Kōkatsu weaved gently past the system's sparse outer asteroid belt, Chusa Okano Yoshiko still felt the back of her neck prickle every time they passed into the shadow of a particularly big rock. SAINT's preliminary sweep noted no activity whatsoever, but surely the Matriarchy had missed at least one NMX raider, right? But still, the vast loneliness of Tange persisted.

This was the consequence of the Lorath and United Outer Colonies' independence: Utter devastation.

By the chance of this mission's schedule, Kōkatsu's advance brought the ship past the gas giant that'd only ever been named Tange VI, its myriad moons silhouetted over the swirling bands of creation that tore across its surface. There'd once been a military outpost in orbit there, too, now just as dead and empty as the rest of the system. Still, just after the obsidian-hulled SAINT destroyer had cleared Tange VI's gravity well, a klaxon rang out just once to let all aboard know that something was amiss.

"Sensors, report," Yoshiko called over to one of the two black-paneled Nekovalkyrja who worked on the bridge with her. Only one of the three of them was usually present here, but entering the mission's primary area of operations meant all three were on duty. While the alert had been sudden, the captain managed to keep her composure and not jump out of her skin. If a Neko's heart could race, though, hers surely would have been.

"Give me whatever you've got on-screen."

A small space station appeared on the big volumetric screen at the fore of the bridge, in front of the empty chair reserved for another crewman they didn't have. Its design was simple, with a main working compartment and somewhere to dock plus a few weapons platforms, and reflected Motoyoshi Fleet Yards sensibilities. But its drab mauve-and-cornflower hull was scorched and torn, even revealing some decks within, and bits of detritus hung suspended in the vacuum around it. It had no light that shone from without or within.

"We've been pinged for access verification, Shosa," one of the bridge operating operatives replied. This one's skin was as white like a blizzard on Vicky and almost glowed beneath her long, dark green hair. "No life signs... no major energy signatures and... no additional signals since the first. We must have triggered an old Peacekeeper protocol. It probably drained whatever residual energy that place had just to send it."

Yoshiko examined the station from her captain's seat, sitting relaxed with her back angled into one corner and her legs crossed. Her face was locked forward on the screen but her golden eyes darted around at all of the battle damage that marked the station, noting each kind of Mishhuvurthyar weapons system that had been leveled against it.

"Nothing to worry about there but the ukabarenairei," the Shosa decided, flipping open a comms channel to the cargo bay where her field operatives were assembling in their power armor. "Sorry for the alarm, everybody. Please continue your preparations. Oh, and if you'd like some sort of cool designation other than 'team' or 'you girls,' now would the time to let me know," she said with a chuckle. "Bridge: out."

And so the Kōkatsu kept flying forward to its destination. Its pilot traversed the system's inner belt with ease, even though it was more compact and crowded both geologically and because of hastily left-behind mining equipment that still floated around certain asteroids. From there, they were home free, and Tange IV grew from a bright dot on the bridge's view screens — and the armor team's AIES, should they check their available data feeds — to a frosty orb flanked by infinite darkness.

The planet wasn't as frozen solid as SAINT's headquarters world, but even from orbit looked cold. Great, blue oceans churned beneath wintry weather systems, even though it was early spring here, and the telltale white of snow gripped down from the planet's poles to claw at its sweeping green-red-and-yellowy tundras. Two of its three main cities were visible from Kōkatsu's orbital position, too — Frozen Coast and Yuriko Bay — both dark and sprawling outoward from the seas they were built beside while the last — Misato City — lay somewhere on the far side of the world.

Frozen Coast would be the team's first target. Scout ships had identified facilities there as likely research installations, among others elsewhere, but it'd been the least populated of Tange IV's cities so would be the quickest to check over. By now, the Kōkatsu had entered the upper atmosphere and raging winds beat against its hull. Yamataian technology saved the ship and its crew from experiencing the effects of turbulence, but the gargantuan currents' sound still howled through their shields, hull, and power armor suits.

Especially after Yoshiko ordered the cargo bay door open.

"Ready to—" the Shosa began, stopping herself when she heard the winds' roar on the other side of the channel. "Are you ready to launch?" she asked with her voice raised, yelling on the bridge even though her operatives would hear her just enough on their end. "Your coordinates are locked in so you all have the green light from me!"
 

Ametheliana

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#55
YSS Kōkatsu

"Kitsune!" Yuu Sakaki called out to her team's comms. "The Kōkatsu Kitsune!"

Tsubei Kyoka looked over at Sakaki and nodded, "That works, but ask the rest of your team. We can talk names on the way down, team." She breathed in deeply and took point, "I'll lead, we'll all drop in an echelon formation with Yuu-hei at the rear and the rest of you in between. Depart immediately after the person in front of you. Once we're in the lower atmosphere, snuggle up and we'll land relatively close together. LZ will mark itself out on your HUD once wind speed is accounted for. Let's move out!"

Kyoka thrusted up, though she had her back to the open bay door. She leaned backwards and slowly exited the craft while completing a back flip with straight hips and legs that eventually ended in her nose-diving towards the planet.

"Kitsune are cunning!" she said over comms once she had gained a bit of distance between herself and the Kōkatsu.
 

Immortal Cyan

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#56
Shuttle Bay/Space

"Three cheers for Neon Frontier!", replied Uehashi affirmatively as she sprinted towards the opening of the shuttle bay. In a few graceful movements, just before reaching the ledge, Uehashi jumped up and completed a 360 degree spin before coming down with her hands outstretched, now fully within the void of space and flying down towards the planet below.

Flying in behind Kyoka, Uehashi positioned herself just next to and behind the field commander. Holding her primary weapon close to her chest, Uehashi looked in her rear cameras, seeing the other infantry positioning themselves after her.
 
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Speeder01

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#57
"Hmmm. I'm not too confident in any name i'd pick myself." She uttered, just before she flung herself into the void- and blasted along with the team. For her, her primary weapons were her cunning, and her drones. It wouldn't do to get caught in a fight high above the surface like this. But she did have her fellows flying along side her- surely they would assist her no matter what comes.

She smirked at her own thoughts then- afraid of even the zero evidence there was an enemy lurking on the surface... The most dangerous thing would probably be any automated defence systems still online. As she flew, distracting herself, she felt... Well, free. She usually did here. She swore she could almost see the curve of the planet. Maybe. In anycase, she decided she may as well stick as close to the others as she dared. "I hear snuggling is much more fun when you have a body around the same size as your snuggle buddy yes?"
 

SirSPT

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#58
YSS Kōkatsu

"I would rather not be the one who gets us assigned a poor callsign." Hasewega tried saying over the blaring winds, following her peers with jumping out of a perfectly good starship. She didn't add much flare to her exit. She simply hurried to the edge before stopping, leaning forward and over before hopping off and into the hallowing of the winds.

Not wanting to get sent flailing off course, she kept a straight posture to keep the winds from whipping her around as she descended to take up a trailing position behind Iki. The boosters were barely used for the occasional adjustment to make sure she didn't make too much of a signature for some automated sensor to pick up. Being encased in the Mindy made the jump feel sublime among the roar of the upper atmosphere, looking back on the edge of the void and the fading Kokatsu with it. She turned back to the group and pinged Sakaki that she was in position.
 

Gunsight1

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#59
PA/Shuttle Bay

Nagato Maki had suited up in her Mindy along with the others, picking a light kit to bring with her as far as weapons went. She preferred stealth over explosions any day. She did though pack a teleport pod for quick exfiltration, just in case.

"Deploying!" Maki announced in a no-nonsense manner as she followed the others out of the open portal, exiting the bay, jumping into the vastness of space and quickly jetting into her place in the formation with the others. As she dropped into her spot in the formation, she pinged to signal she was in place, then started scanning for anything that might be out of the ordinary, or of vital interest to the away team.
 

raz

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#60
YSS Kōkatsu Power Armor Team "Kitsune"
Frozen Coast, Tange IV
31日 4月 YE39, 0201 Yamatai Standard Time


"Kitsune works," Yoshiko said after a few quiet moments without objection, her voice sounding cool and thin over the wireless command channel. "All mission objectives have been released, so you should be seeing the insertion point marked in your heads-up displays."

Today was a particularly turbulent day. The massive weather system swirling over Frozen Coast was thick and impenetrable, forcing the team to fly by sensors through its cloudy gray layers. That flat monotony of this storm's churning guts belied its violence, though, and even made flying in power armor a laborious task. Each phantom gust tore hard at the SAINT girls as they descended, making every wayward limb or tilted head feel the strain of 100 mile-per-hour winds compe against their rocket-like trajectory downward.

Takaki, for her part, had the hardest time and was constantly pushed far and wide by sidelong winds that blasted against her tiny Sylph. Sometimes she'd even drop off of proximity sensors, though the little red imp was certainly in-control and on-target from her perspective. It was so extreme that she didn't appear from within the storm for a full 20 seconds after the others when the Kōkatsu's operatives finally cleared its low-hanging clouds.

Flying was much easier once they pressed into the lower atmosphere and the surface opened up before them. The change from difficult flight conditions to the relative simplicity they now experienced was instantaneous. Just as was the change from the storm's flat, dark gray interior to the sight of a vast, nearly-black sea broken up by foamy white capped waves that broke themselves against the icy coastline for which this place was named. Frosty, skeletal constructs gripped into the earth and rose out from the settled, undisturbed snow all along Frozen Coast's shoreline. Pipelines and what could only be insulated power conduit bundles wrapped and navigated around dormant exhaust stacks and sensor spires. Those were markers of industry and innovation and, while they were now twisted and dim, their structures stood defiantly against the elements where few else could.

It was dark under the behemoth storm but the weather hadn't truly started to come down yet. Only a flurry disturbed the air down here over the water, so it'd be a simple task for the SAINT operatives to access their mission's first target. Indicators from each team member's AIES showed that where they were going — an R&D facility known to have been used by multiple big-name Outer Colonial firms before the war — was at the northern reaches of the city, directly adjacent to the ocean.

Once they were in range, visual close-ups of a low cliff face blistering with bulkheads, ventilation screens, and gangways above the sea became available. There appeared to be some sort of blast shutter or maintenance door there, too, accessed by way of what looked like a surprisingly resilient metal grate pathway. A six meter platform extended out before the entry point. Just below, a veritable garden of sharp three-meter long rocks stabbed out from the frothy tidal backwash, reaching upward alongside each breaker that slammed against the cliff.