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This is a Stub for an NPC enemy faction currently under RP. Will be appended as details are ICly revealed.
The Tachibana-clan were technically a Star Army Intelligence-aligned Black Spiral group of Nekovalkyrja, as they sided with the Star Army of Yamatai when the faction split apart. However, they are staunch believers in the ideas of Neko Supremacy. Their support of the Empire is true, but they believe that its current administration and laws have made it stray from its path. They never forgot their original mission as Black Spiral to engage in SAoY and NMX peace relations, and the development of the NMX Neko has shifted their focus notably and compelled them into action. No one is sure when their mission ends and their beliefs begin, since they seem at times mutually exclusive. They seem to specialize in intelligence gathering, slave capture, Neko-only technologies, and xenobiology. They are responsible for starting the Tachibana Incident in YE 33.
Part of their peace efforts with the NMX are the release of assorted mission details gathered from SAINT and from within the First Expeditionary Fleet gathered in the Ketsurui Military Sector within which the Tachibana Clan operates. They have access to SAINT and Star Army technologies including teleportation modules and ST backups, though they tend to use small amounts of resources to minimize notice as well as because of their small numbers. Many wear SAINT uniforms, and those old enough to possess NH-17 and NH-27 bodies have retained them as a matter of pride.
Favoring old technology has come back to bite them though, as the implementation of the Type 33 Star Army Communications Network Encryption System and the SACN Access Nodule have severely limited their access and removed many of their leaders from being able to access data and leaving their various outdated flavors of the Integrated Electronics System vulnerable to attack. On top of this, SAINT has further restricted access of sensitive data to known Tachibana Clan personnel – effectively leaving such personnel functioning without the infrastructure upon which they've come to rely to operate efficiently and quietly. This and the participation of Project THOUGHT's Test Team One are considered key elements which complicated their attack on Nishitama in YE 33-34.
Membership requirements are strict, as the pledge member must prove their loyalty to the cause not once, but five distinct times. Pledges are represented by purple, and wear a purple armband. When they prove themselves by accomplishing a mission or willingly dying for the cause, they earn an orange stripe on their armband. Armbands may have zero to four orange stripes. Upon the fifth successful proof of loyalty, they are permitted to take the Tachibana name and become full members. They are then given an orange armband, and are represented by the clan's orange color from then on. Loyalty is reinforced by the promise that if they die or kill themselves in captivity, they will be revived from an ST backup with a new stripe. if they stay alive and talk, they risk elimination and deletion through the clan's SAINT channels.
Not only does this system prove loyalty to the clan, but it also acts as a rank system within the clan for the pledges which can supersede normal rank structure within the Army, and keeps the full members from actually committing illegal activities themselves. The pledges act as a buffer between the full members and the law if their activities are uncovered. In illegal operations, those with more stripes often report to full members and command a group with fewer stripes. It is not unheard of, however, for a full member to assume command of such an effort if the pledges they are responsible for fail in their role.
Full members of the clan are represented by bright orange colors, and tend to keep to keep themselves distant from their lower ranked pledges through proxy by higher ranked pledges. Due to this, little is known of them. Many are proud of their heritage and standing, to the point that though they are a secret group, the clan “advertises” itself in assorted subtle ways. Examples would be the names of the SS and YSS Tachibana names and registries respectively, and the ship patch on the uniforms of YSS Tachibana personnel. It is hoped that the clan will expose itself and be tracable through these methods.
The Tachibana Clan are extreme Nekovalkyrja Supremacists, whose beliefs vary between slaughtering only those who do not submit to the Empire and tolerating Yamataians as a secondary race, and total termination of all non-Nekovalkyrja life – typically with the exception of who they deem “true allies to the Nekovalkyrja” This comes at odds with their original mission of working with and making peace with the Mishhu, but they have shown their ability and willingness to work temporarily with an enemy to further their own ambitions. The fact the NMX utilize Nekovalkyrja also mean that the Tachibana may negotiate more to appeal to that sub-section of their populace.
They see themselves as speakers for the previous generation of Nekovalkyrja that gave the Yamatai Star Empire their respect and strength, who they perceive as frowned upon for their efficiency and ferocity in war due to the general progressive shift in policy that followed Uesu's abdication and ushered in the YE 30s. They see the new generation as ignorant people who have forgotten how to wage war, more concerned with political correctness and the rights of their enemy than victory and expansion. They consider the Empire in decline due to this change in policy and ideals, an increased concern over the appearance of Yamatai in the eyes of other nations, and the insistence of rules and accountability in war – only for the new generation to rely on the old briefly and grudgingly when things get tough.
Some feel that the Yamataians are acceptable second class citizens loyal to the Empire who have wisely chosen to take on some Nekovalkyrja characteristics, though still inferior. Others, however, blame the creation of the “civilian class” for the adoption of soft policy and are as likely to slaughter them as they are those outside the empire. This is a key point of contention within the group, but they are united in their hatred for former UOC personnel “who helped put those policies in place”, political opposition, and foreign entities critical of the Empire.
It should be noted that even the hardliners who seek the annihilation of the Yamataian race make a special exception for former Emperor Uesu – one of the few who they consider superior to the Nekovalkyrja as a creator of the race, and a infamously strong leader with a policy worthy of appeasing even the most aggressive Nekovalkyrja.
The Tachibana clan is reported to have access to SAINT, Black Spiral, and limited negotiated access to NMX technologies, though their access to SAINT and modern Star Army of Yamatai technology has been severely restricted after their discovery by SAINT as well as the implementation of modern security technologies by the Empire. They are not above theft and coercion, sometimes using civilian ships as well for their dirty work. They consume as few resources as possible to minimize their appearance to other forces, and often use powerful yet outdated technology like the Black Mindy to cater to older bodies as well as to avoid the need to secure newer technologies for their illegal projects. Older technologies are collected and valued for their firepower and their history within the clan and in service to the Empire.
Often, the Tachibana Clan prefer guerrilla tactics due to their size and lack of fresh and regular resources. While they initially left prideful hints as to their identity, this practice has ceased in the shadow of the Tachibana Incident and they will often operate as if a regular cell of SAINT or as an unidentified force. When announcing themselves, they are likely to lump themselves in with the old guard of Nekovalkyrja to draw others sharing their beliefs to their cause, and are also not above using SAINT's name to commit the Empire to a course of action or completely obscuring themselves to attempt to achieve an end. In spite of trying to hide their true identity, their pride will sometimes still allow their identity to slip through subtle indications like their colors. This may result in a vast array of Power Armor types to be used, but older Mindies are always favored – usually with some combination of black, purple, or orange colors involved.
The Tachibana are small, but feel themselves the voice of a great number of soldiers who served before Uesu's departure. They believe that the Empire's greatness hinges on a return to the strong policies of the pre-YE 30 era, including the disregard for enemies and the indifference to international pressure. The idea that the old guard is frowned upon and criticized where they were once considered fantastic and strong is one which disgusts them, and the hatred they feel placed upon them by their own people is too much to bear. They are not above trying to subjugate or destroy minor races to grant the Empire new territory either.
Whether they accurately represent the feel of even a measurable percentage of the veteran population is hotly debatable, but it does not stop the Tachibana from trying to represent who they see as a majority of Nekovalkyrja.