In the center of Kyoto, Yamatai (Planet), lies the Empress' Palace. It is a huge complex built for Ketsurui Yui with white walls, gray roofs, and a large courtyard area in the center (large enough that a Sakura-class Light Gunship and/or Nozomi-class Scout can land there. Under the palace, there is a laboratory complex where some of the development of the Nekovalkyrja species and PANTHEON network takes place.
The Palace's central computer network is referred to as SYSTEM. Palace grounds are heavily guarded by both uniformed and invisible sentries (formerly the Ketsurui Samurai).
The Empress' Palace is one of the two main palaces in Kyoto; the other is the Imperial Palace, which rests in the civilian district facing the Empress' Palace at the opposite end of Kyoto's ten-block-long central street, Ketsurui Avenue.
The Empress Palace was a tall, very artistic-looking structure in the center of the city, divided into many wings, each of which belonged to a person of high status. After the quiet drive, Anri stepped out of the car and opened the door for Sekiko. Samurai, who carried swords and pistols, guarded the palace.
The massive bath room was a large round room with a pool in the center. This pool was made of white and green marble, and had a large statue of a woman, with a fountain that streamed water down into the pool. Circular steps went down towards the pool's center. Steam lazily drifted from the water's surface.
One of the room's most prominent features was the larger than life Nekovalkyrja statue, whose labia were parted to unleash a stream of hot water into the bath below. A sexy smile was frozen on her brass face, her eyes looking to some invisible companion for a reaction that would never come.
“Your room,” Hinosami timidly managed, “Is next to the spiral staircase over there. In the morning, another servant or myself will come to bring you breakfast of your choice. There is a computer panel on the desk of each room that you may use to choose your breakfast. If you wish, I will show you to bed.”
“This way,” Hinosami smiled, and lead Sekiko a short distance down the hallway (from the Red Room). The door to Sekiko's new room slid open with a hiss. The inside was very spacious and beautiful. Everything in the room was a shade of blue. A large, soft, blue bed, blue dresses, and blue marble counter-tops. The only things that were not blue were the bulbs of the lamps, and the gold decoration on the furniture.
The large conference room was lined with gold and wood paneling, with a huge fireplace behind the throne and a matching one behind the other end of the long, sturdy table. The throne has a small YSE flag in a stand by its side.
The palace halls had a dark blue carpet floor and darkly-stained wooden panels on the walls. The ceilings were round and gold-colored, with chandeliers every few feet. Beautiful paintings of young women, nature, and battle scenes on walls (and some ceilings) add to the grandeur.
There is an ST machine in the lab downstairs. Down the hall there, past the bedrooms and baths, there is a stairwell to the lab section, when you can find one. I suggest having SYSTEM guide you though the process.
The parking area has orange flourescent lighting.
It was a short walk to the pool, a room down the hall that was about equidistant between Yui and Uesu's chambers, that the two shared. It was heated, indoor, with lights it in that made it glow a vibrant aqua. They passed a neko on the way, but the young lady didn't seem to be surprised (although she had wandering eyes). The pool itself was empty, but for Tsuya, one of Yui's samurai. Tsuya appeared to have fallen asleep on a floating inflatable bed of some sort. She was in the buff, too. There was a sign on the marble wall engraved in brass. “Taisa or Above.”
The room that the small group entered was bright red on the walls, with gold everywhere, running up the walls, lining the floors, making up the ceiling (which was one gigantic mural-statue of a battle between Nekos and Geshrin and some sort of alien race, complete with tanks and ruined buildings, all jutting out from the ceiling in gold. The explosions in the panorama were the room's light fixtures. The room had a depression in the center, and carpeted circular steps leading to it. It looked like it was perhaps an auditorium for giving speeches.
Uesu's chambers were very well-decorated, though a bit more subdued in lavishness. Like Yui's chambers, they opened into a central foyer with an empty receptionist desk, with stairways going from either side up to a balcony area where there was a small table and chairs. The bedrooms were upstairs, and the dining hall (followed by the kitchen) were on the bottom floor. The room's walls were painted a dark blue. The furniture was a dark golden color, each a masterwork of inlaid wood, encrusted with sweeping curls of gold. There was a strong aroma of fresh bread coming from the kitchen's wood-burning oven.
Ayame looked around, “It's lovely.”
The older man grinned, obviously pleased, “Why, thank you. I decorated it myself. Yui and I came up with the layout.” Walking through a set of massive wooden double doors, he went through the dining hall straight to the kitchen and opened the oven, with a worried expression.
. . .
The man's hand was warm and reassuring. With it, he led her out into the dining hall and to a large couch that was against the wall. The dining hall had 4 of the couches, with six coffee tables (so as to have two on either end of the couches) and three square tables in the center of the room. Soft, natural light filtered into the room through circular holes in the ceiling that were connected to mirror-lined tubes.
Ayame smiled, “The beauty of the palace never ceases to amaze me.”
Yui's chambers opened into a central foyer with an empty marble-topped receptionist desk, with stairways going from either side up to a balcony area where there was a small table and chairs. The bedrooms were upstairs, and personal dining hall (followed by the kitchen) were on the bottom floor. The well-heated room's walls were painted a dark red. The furniture was a dark golden color, each a masterwork of inlaid wood, encrusted with sweeping curls of gold.
More than any place, this had become to her the place she considered to be home. Up the stairs was her giant bedroom, which contained a giant sleeping nest filled with blankets, pillows, cushions and comforters, as well as a variety of couches and a sturdy-looking bed. A corner of the room was set up as a small office with a desk, printer, and computer.
The room was decorated in various shades of red, white, and gold, with the giant, soft red pit of a nest rising, then dipping in the floor like a crater on some moon somewhere. The hardwood floor shone from beneath carpets and furniture with a rich luster.
Kôsuka was inside a quiet part of the Empress' Palace — a part devoted to the dead. Small ihai were in front of her, on shallow shelves that rose far above her head, nearly 30 meters at the top with at least 60 dark wooden shelves from top to bottom. The ihai were made of dark lacquered wood, mostly ash and oak from the Trisylvania forest within the Melanchol prefecture. The names of dead samurai, many of them from the Elysian war, were inscribed on the tablets, one name for each, written in kanji and painted white, gold, red or green.
The room, tall and open save for the shelves on the sides, seemed filled with cool light from the open doors at either end. No one but Kôsuka sat below the shelves, on the plush, 20-meter-wide red strip of carpet cut the grey-white marble room in two. She sat with beads in her hands, eyes closed and incense before one of the ihai closer to her, just a couple meters or so up from the floor. The air carried the chill of the late night from the open skylight cut out of the roof.
Wes wrote this article.