This is a Stub for an ongoing RP plot. Will be appended as details are ICly revealed.
The Tachibana Incident is an ongoing conflict between Project THOUGHT and the Tachibana Clan. Though Project THOUGHT is technically a civilian group, its strong ties to the Star Army of Yamatai and the use of SAoY personnel on both sides may allow this to be considered infighting. Unlike other conflicts like the Second Mishhuvurthyar War, this conflict is largely localized at this time to the Ketsurui Military Sector.
When joining the Eucharis in YE 32, Kage Yaichiro observed oddities in the response of NMX forces in the missions of the YSS Eucharis. These ranged from subtle things such as strangely swift NMX response times, to a CFS collision with an enemy ship with infinitesimal odds. The annihilation of Task Force Torch, along with the other instances, was suspected by Yaichiro to be the fault of an information leak within either Star Army Intelligence or the First Expeditionary Fleet. Communications between Yaichiro and his organizations at Nishitama were intercepted and led to the assignment of Helen Klein to the Eucharis to investigate him. While she found him loyal and his efforts to by intended for the good of the Army, she revealed the existence of Project THOUGHT to SAINT and the information leak – the Tachibana Clan.
The Tachibana Clan, a SAINT-aligned Black Spiral subfaction with Neko Supremacist beliefs, took an interest in both Yaichiro's suspicions as well as the Neko and Yamataian-only technology being developed at Nishitama. They started focusing their efforts there in hopes of gathering some clues. They continued their previous efforts at capturing test subjects and slaves, as well as information gathering, through the civilian city-ship in spite of increased security.
Project Thought Test Team One was conducting their first test in modified remotely piloted CAMIE M11 Construction Mecha when the SS Tachibana, a stolen Ge-F6-1A - Light Freighter attempted to open fire and escape when it thought itself discovered in the midst of transporting slaves and test subjects. The remote controlled craft were destroyed, but successfully stopped the escaping ship long enough for SAoY craft to capture it. Its personnel were arrested and slaves of various races and many killed by the horrible conditions aboard were found and announced to the universe. This lead to much speculation and protest.
Later that day, the prisoners were transferred to a Yamatai National Police Station, and protests were conducted outside it. A truck filled with explosives was slammed into the building, killing and wounding various civilians and officers. Neko were blamed for freeing their sisters and Non-Nekos were blamed for trying to kill the neko prisoners inside at the risk of the officers' lives, and protests escalated. Some prisoners escaped and started instigating armed conflict with the YNP and the citizenry, in an effort to destabilize the ship-sized city state. Later, they would kidnap the Mayor of the city and spread further panic.
In the second sortie of Test Team One, they rode the Bellystabber 2-Class Raider Ship SS Atsureki to a half-gutted SMX Ghullfrashirv Escort in the Yui Nebula left over from Uesu's purge of the area in YE 30. The site had been earmarked as a Power Armor testing site for the newly developed LAMIA Kai, a heavy refit to the nine year old Lamia M1 Space Mecha. Since that time, however, the Tachibana Clan had also claimed the site as a testing base for their volatile SC Agent. The trio of Lamia Kai saw combat with a four-person combat team of Black Spiral Black Mindy, and managed to defeat the machines in spite of a suicidal final attack by the last remaining unit. As the Pledges at the facility sent the interesting data on Project THOUGHT's model to their superiors, Test Team One entered the facility and began unraveling more details about the Tachibana Clan and their research. They found a skeleton of a Nepleslian male in containment, complete with clothes and with no signs of blood, which they obtained a sample of. After engaging in brief combat with the survivors of the site and taking a willing prisoner, they escaped, and learned more about the true scope and ambitions of their enemy. They returned home, and interviewed their prisoner to learn more about their foes and their ambitions and SC Agent.
While the Mayor was being kidnapped, and the Vice Mayor supported the YNP's push for jurisdiction to allow them to save face and avenge their comrades killed in the explosion, the Star Army was being forbidden from taking jurisdiction within Nishitama. The Tachibana crew were actively stirring unrest in Nishitama, opening old wounds from the first war in its population, which consisted of both honorably discharged veterans and those kicked out by the Species Restriction Order by the Nekos. Test Team One would interrogate their prisoner, who told them of the Selective Consumption Agent, the Tachibana Clan's ties with Black Spiral, and their strong pro-Neko ambitions. They were also informed of efforts at peace with the NMX and possible integration with the NMX Neko population in the future, and the hope to cause a second plague which would force others to convert to the Yamataian body type or perish, extending the reach of the Empire. The Engineer even allowed her ST Backup to be used as evidence, honestly regretting her crime, which she seemed forced to do.
After this and a brief look at the new Kirie and Keiko prototypes, Test Team One save for Hisa went to dinner at a restaurant only to hear the Police Chief and his subordinate discussing the matter. Things were unclear until Kuroi appeared in a waitress outfit and explained to her comrades the unique situation in Nishitama's populace. At that point, Hisa announced Yamatai's invasion by the NMX, and it had a unifying effect on the populace against the wishes of the Tachibana. Forced to guard against vigilantism and maintain order, the YNP was forced to accept SAoY aid, though their involvement would be limited to mention as 'contractors' to save face.
After learning that the Tachibana Clan cell operated deep in the lower elvels of the city-ship, and had the Acting Mayor with them, Test Team One left to participate in an extraction while the YNP initiated a battle in the subway system and the upper basement decks. At this point, the SAoY used their hacking capabilities to aid in battling the older-yet-superior machines to great effect. The lack of the new SACN Access Nodule and access to the Type 33 Star Army Communications Network Encryption System hurt the Tachibana greatly not only in their combat efforts, but heavily restricted their access to SAINT and SAoY data, in addition to active but cloaked information control efforts on the part of SAINT.
Test Team One initiated combat with the less experienced and less equipped forces remaining behind while the YNP and SAoY dealt with the main group, and managed to annihilate these forces relatively simply, until a salvaged NMX Ripper appeared. This Ripper was hastily modified to hold a pilot in much the same way as the LAMIA Kai, and proved formidable. It was, however, destroyed due to its ineffective armor and the presence of vacuum. After recovering the Mayor and Vice Mayor, the control room was accessed and it was learned that a variant of SC Agent was present and in preparation for deployment. After having the teleportation of the Mayor, Vice Mayor, and Kuroi facilitated by Star Army personnel; the area was decompressed. Hostiles in the immediate area were exposed to vacuum, only able to fight as long as they could hold their breath.
While Hisa and Yaiba returned to the SS Atsureki to swap into fresh LAMIA Kai Units 5 and 6, Amelia went to Rajio-cho to help YNP and SAoY personnel evacuate civilians to shelters in preparation for the decompression of Nishitama to prevent the distribution of the missing SC Agent. Tachibana Clan forces had taken over a shelter with another modified Ripper and some surviving Power Armor, and were holding back the civilian forces while they configured the SC Agent into the ventilation system of the shelter. This was prevented, however, by Test Team One along with the timely assistance of former SAoY soldier and UOC Peacekeeper Lolion Reglo.
Seeing themselves losing the conflict, a small group of Tachibana forces seized control of the YINN building next door, and made an announcement over the radio, declaring their existence and intent in a desperate effort to draw others to their cause. This was counter to the wishes of the older Tachibana forces, who wished them to simply fight to the end without volunteering information.
“We are Nekovalkyrja. Created to serve the Empire, we've fought in numerous wars, and our hands have been stained with the blood of incomprehensible numbers of enemies. Their races have not mattered. Elysian, Nepleslian, Mishhuvurthyar, and many others have fallen to us as needed for the survival of our race…we were the sword and shield of our Empire, and even our enemies regarded us with at minimum respect while our nation regarded us heroes…but this has changed. Our Empire has been infused with civilian soldiers, who know not the nature of true war. Bleeding hearts from the former UOC have re-entered our command ranks and pushed forth policies to restrict our actions. Nations which call themselves our allies wait for us to mutually annihilate ourselves and the enemies which threaten the known universe while lampooning and criticizing us at every turn in what they call 'diplomacy'. It is no longer acceptable to be a soldier following the old way. It is no longer acceptable to slay our enemies, and instead we must waste space and resources feeding and clothing those who would slaughter us without hesitation. We of the old generation are now vilified for that which we were once respected for. Hypocritical new generation officers demonize us and preach about accountability, keeping us muzzled and chained in the shadows with distant assignments, only calling upon us when convenient and unobserved. Then, when their failings have been resolved by our actions, we are sent back from whence we came and the reputations of these politically-motivated officers swell with our sacrifices. We can tolerate operating in silence, we can tolerate being hated by our enemies and by other nations, but we are sick and tired of being hated by our own people! On top of that, we now face an enemy whose stated goal is to wipe us from existence in our totality, and these bleeding hearts still care more for political correctness than victory! Those of the old generation; those who are called outdated, obsolete, and criticized…rise and take back what has been taken from you,…… remind the new generation just what……”
Test Team One worked in conjunction with the by then mobilized Star Army forces to reclaim the building, the recovered mayor having rescinded the orders given in his absence regarding jurisdiction of the Tachibana Incident. Test Team One acted as a distraction while the Army ambushed the enemy and swiftly loaded the space suit-clad survivors onto shuttles. The enemy resisted heavily, though the civilians were successfully evacuated. The colony was gradually depressurized as a precaution against the SC Agent, and gravity was lowered in the area after the YINN building sustained damage and turned out to be near collapse. Eventually, to save falling civilians, the gravity was completely nullified.
Explosions set off when the last of the Tachibana in the YINN building ceased to give off life signs, thrusting the building over into the next door structure and releasing SC Agent. The lack of gravity and the force of the blast and collision left SC Agent and building fragments adrift in the colony, forcing the colony's hull to be opened and the adrift contents vented out with the remainder of the atmosphere.
In addition to the protests between the Neko and non-Neko citizens of Nishitama, the conflict had created a divide between the Star Army of Yamatai, which control the docks and wanted to pursue the criminals; and the YNP, which had taken losses from the bombing and wanted to finish their mission for the sake of their fallen officers. The capture of the mayor which would have permitted the SAoY entry into the ship and his replacement by the Vice Mayor who supported the YNP's jurisdiction had intensified this divide, showing the Tachibana Clan's ability to pit Nishitama's infrastructure and citizenry against each other. Fortunately, the plot was exposed and the mayor was reinstated in time to let the Army help to resolve the issue. Time will tell how the incident has changed the political situation in Nishitama, but a more unified government may be the end result, in spite of the Tachibana's efforts.
The Tachibana lost a fair number of their pledges to the attack on Nishitama, but only one low ranking actual member. Regardless, this situation showed a strong vulnerability to hacking as well as had the effect of making the presence of the clan known. The predisposition to older technology, though at times more powerful, has served to sever the connection of the Tachibana from PANTHEON to a notable degree, in addition to SAINT's restrictions. Due to this, the resources and particularly the information of the Tachibana have been reduced.
The tactics of the Tachibana must change as a result, to more precision and swift strikes, as well as using proxy forces to fight each other to weaken their foes. They may also be forced to rely on old SMX and NMX connections, as well as civilian efforts and piracy to maintain their presence.