The Star Army
Main Article: Star Army of Yamatai
Main Article: Star Army of Yamatai
The YSS Sakura, NG-X1-360, was a Sakura-class Gunship in the Star Army of Yamatai's First Expeditionary Fleet. During its service it was commanded by Rufus Sydney, Ketsurui Kotori, and Ketsurui Hanako. Sakura was built and launched in early YE 28 at Ketsurui Fleet Yards, Planet Yamatai and was the first production-model Sakura-class Gunship to be produced. Sakura's motto was “Quality All Ways.” It was destroyed in mid YE 29 during the Second Battle of Urghlaflu and replaced by the YSS Plumeria, NG-X1-390.
Sakura's campaign began July 25, 2005, and lasted until June 8, 2007 (1 year, 10 months, 15 days). Its Game Master is Wes, the owner of StarArmy.com. The Sakura plot's primary conflict was combating the brutal and mysterious Mishhuvurthyar; significant other conflicts included uncovering dark secrets of Yamatai and ongoing polygonal relationships between the captain and her crew. The YSS Sakura Forum was used for roleplaying the plot and included Sakura's last mission; Sakura's previous missions are available in archived text files. At the end of the first campaign the Sakura plot had somewhere between 900 and 1000 roleplay posts, most of which were joint posts lasting several pages.
YSS Sakura was the only active long term plot to be restricted to mature players eighteen and older due to graphic descriptions of sexual and violent acts. It was known for its sudden, alternating excesses of violent, brutal warfare and physical romance, and for its traditional Dare Lottery Party. Sakura also had more battles credited to it than any other active plot ship. Several gamemasters have been “raised” on the Sakura, including Fred (GM of the YSS Miharu) and ForteMaster (GM of Pisces Station). Likewise, the Sakura had also had its share of disappearing, incompetent, or inactive new players, whose characters Wes tended to dispose of in violent ways.
Joint Post (chat RP) sessions were held via Yahoo! Instant Messenger in the evenings about three times a week, usually at 8:30pm Eastern (5:30pm Pacific) with SPs (board RP) the rest of the time.
The Sakura's first adventure was a sudden early launch that sent Taisa Rufus Sydney and his brand new crew straight into a massive starship battle, the Battle of Hoshi no Iori. Rufus was a Nepleslian who, despite Nepleslia's recent declaration of independence from the Yamatai Star Empire, chose to remain in the Star Army as the Sakura's captain.
Taisa Ketsurui Hanako, former servant to former empress Ketsurui Yui, later joined the crew of YSS Sakura following its return to Yamatai after Battle of Hoshi no Iori, and would eventually become its captain.
The YSS Sakura encountered a cargo ship destined for Mishhuvurthyar space, and boarded it. Combat ensued, injuring several Sakura crewmembers. Two prisoners taken from the ship were taken by the YSS Chrysanthemum (along with rescued prisoners from a Mishhuvurthyar ship the Sakura crew later boarded) back to Yamatai. The Sakura did, however, keep one peculiar specimen: a small Nekovalkyrja/Mishhuvurthyar hybrid named Pumpkin.
The Sakura, after some wild partying typical of the First Expeditionary Fleet, also made first contact with the Lorath, finding a small starship of theirs. Unfortunately, the meeting went bad when “Feather,” the Lorath captain, insulted Hanako and pulled a blade on Hanako's bodyguard over a cultural disagreement. At that point, Hanako escorted the Lorath captain back to her vessel at gunpoint.
The Sakura suffered damage (including loss of atmospheric pressure) when the hybrid the ship had been carrying escaped, took control of a Mindy Power Armor, destroyed the ship's MEGAMI, and fought with the Sakura's experimental NH-28 Nodal Integrated Weapon System. Hanako was killed by a Lorath Matriarchy who had boarded the damaged ship without authorization and her memory backup data was brought to Yamatai by the YSS Oniyuri. Taisa Sydney shot a second Lorath in the head shortly afterwards, and (refusing to transport more Lorath) the Sakura returned to Yamatai for repairs and to be replaced by an Ecstasy-class Recreation Ship that would bring the Lorath rulers to Yamatai to discuss a treaty. During the time the Sakura was damaged, a black Sakura-class gunship was sighted in the Great Southern Nebula. This ship secured Pumpkin (a hybrid Nekovalkyrja Mishhuvurthyar), from the YSS Sakura, despite attempts by samurai from the YSS Oniyuri (NG-X1-362) and Shôshô Eikan Minato of the YSS Azalea (NG-X1-361) to prevent this.
On their visit to the capital city, the Sakura's crew received the assignment to track down the mysterious black-clad Nekovalkyrja along with their black gunship. The antagonists were identified as being Black Spiral: a Star Army Intelligence division responsible for relations with the Mishhuvurthyar. The Sakura was ordered to track down the Black Spiral Gunship and take her on, preferably capturing it in order to hopefully get more answers.
At the turn of the new year, YE 29, the Sakura underwent repairs and a refit at the star fortress that built it, while the crew visited the capital city below. The Sakura's crew left on the YSS Nozomi to get some time on the beach on Hanako's World. The stay was brief and the crew departed once more on the refitted Sakura. The YSS Sakura then headed to the Scorpio Star Fortress Secret Base. The YSS Sakura then investigated Hoshi no Iori, but had their efforts severely hindered by disruptions in the PANTHEON network. Taisho Ketsurui Yui sent Taisa Sydney a new set of orders that identified a Black Spiral hideout and bade the Sakura to move to the site and confront the Black Spiral there. Taisa Hanako suggested trying to parlay with the Black Spiral to discern their intentions. Her idea was received with mixed feelings, but Taisa Rufus went with that, lacking any other good alternative.
The search for an intruder aboard the ship was cut short as two Star Army warships intercepted the YSS Sakura and tried to force it into surrendering, arresting the crew on a false charge of treason - the orders of the arrest apparently coming down from Taisho Yui herself. A battlegroup of Mishhuvurthyar vessels of unknown class configuration made their appearance, engaging the ships. The warship that had docked on the Sakura's dorsal hatch received a crippling blow which quickly spelled it's end as well as the demise of Taisa Rufus. Taisa Hanako was spared from dying and Taii Kotori assumed command of the ship, but the two were later captured by the spy (the Neko-Mishhu hybrid Pumpkin). The YSS Sakura retreated from the scene, fleeing to the Ushobrakflug system. Luckily, it wasn't long before the two prisoners were rescued. Taisho Yui ordered the Sakura back to Yamatai, where it received repairs and upgrades to the C variant, and participated in the invasion of PNUgen Headquarters.
Twenty-five Sakura gunships, broken into five squadrons, were a key element in the invasion of Refidh and the subsequent chase of the Mishhuvurthyar through the Great Southern Nebula, to the Lor system. The YSS Nadeshiko, under command of Taisa Rufus Sydney, assisted the YSS Sakura when it was damaged by an SMX Xianthrafruglu Gunship. Sakura later headed into deep Mishhuvurthyar space to investigate the “Dark Ones” responsible for manipulating the Mishhuvurthyar, and managed to encounter the first known Shlarvasseroth-class Flagship, which would later devestate Taiie.
Sakura escaped with a warning from Melisson but returned to attack Sfrarabla Mishhuvurthyar Xhrafuklurp (SMX) shipyards. After two intense battles, the ship, on its third strike, was captured. Teleporting Ke-M2 "Mindy" Series of Power Armors came aboard and retrieved the hybrid prisoner Sakura had found while salvaging and captured several of the crew, depositing them on an icy moon where they had to fight their way out through hoardes of zombies.
Ordered to recover, Sakura headed for Lor where the crew split up into three groups, each engaging in various and sundry physical activities with the natives and each other. During the visit, hoever, Chief Med/Sci Officer Miles Gunn and pilot Elisa Metea (Deceased) were brought into the depths of the Lorath Palace's laboratory complex, where they met with former crewmember Nakamura Sana, who had been infected by the Sourcians. During this meeting, a Black Spiral clone of Hanako entered the facility and attempted to assassinate Miles. The doctor's life was saved by the real Hanako, but his body was too irradiated to survive. His mind was, against his will, transferred to a Yamataian body. Miles, enraged, went insane and turned against the crew, causing extensive damage to the ship before he was killed by MEGAMI's avatar. The Sakura returned to Ketsurui Star Fortress for repairs. During the repairs, Hanako and crew temporarily moved to YSS Ravisher.
During the following trip to Lor, Hanako took it upon herself to mediate negotiations between opposing Lorath factions. The conference prevented bloodshed, but was not successful in reuniting the Lorath people. It was at this point the Lorath began to call for evacuation from their home world due to the imminent Mishhuvurthyar threat.
Seeking out Black Spiral, Hanako and crew tried finding them on Democratic Imperium of Nepleslia, but narrowly escaped a short civil war there (over “pure” human DNA). They were more successful, however, after they returned to Scorpio to examine logistics records for the new teleportation units for Mindy power armors. Encountering a Black Spiral ship, the YSS Black Swan (commanded by Taisa Nagase Nagako), Hanako pleaded for Black Spiral to abandon Eve's hurtful leadership and return to Yamatai's side. The captain didn't say so at the time, but she apparently has accepted.
Ketsurui Hanako - Yuriko Towa - Akamaru Datenshi - Sakura Cherry - Dagsuz Mannisa - Kessah Itonori - Serizawa Ichi - Mango - Sunflower - Sakura Blueberry - Apple - Pineapple - Sakura Blackberry - Peppermint - Cinnamon - Yaganori Ranji - Jo Midori - Usami Ran - Nakamura Sana - Katsuhara Mori - Kobayashi Ichiro - Kage Yaichiro - Shina Risako - Kimura Bonichi - Ketsurui Kotori - Yukari Freeman - Nyton Claymere - Kôsuka - Yarani Tasuku - Itkatsu Kiyoko - Rufus Sydney - Nakamura Sana - Kessaku Sakai Yuuko - Kiroshi Minako - Yosef Elowhim - Nishiki Toshiro - Tanaka Sasada - Katsumi Kamiko - Sunada Rinako - Fuyutsuki Leiko - Sakura Taji - Zao-Fe Nei - Tanakaminamoto Fujiko - Kaile Misaki - Arik Lezatiel - Miles Gunn - Elisa Metea (Deceased) - Aendri Shasos'Shol - Kien Kicho - Ma'at Bolverk
The sprites created by the YSS Sakura became the Sakura Clan.