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  #2501  
Unread 4th of October, 2011, 11:28
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The man nods smiling at you Veronica, though his eyes betray a hint of irritation. He refocuses and continues.

Well of course, that's incredibly fascinating. I'm sure I'd like to hear about the supernova in a less formal endeavor of course. I hope that you find your stay comfortable here. If there's anything you need, I'm sure that I'll be able to accommodate you.

He'll continue the smalltalk, but his hardline questioning ceases.

Heather, the woman senses your tone and ceases her questioning, as well. Instead, she'll ask you about the things you liked about Earth, in an attempt to find out about planet-life.

The rest of the trip to the elder's compound is uneventful.

Once there, the attendants and the guards wait outside, and you head in with the elder.

As the door closes behind you, the Elder lets out a sigh and a small laugh.

I can't imagine what you must think of me, having baby-sitters following me around in such a manner. I am very sorry for those pests and their questions. You see, We're in a terrible situation, and so the clan is under strict security. Those attendants, of course, weren't part of my household.

She shakes her head.

Don't worry, though. They can't hear us here.

She sits down in a seat. There are other seats all around you. She suddenly looks very tired, weary, and sad. She waves an arm in invitation to sit, and then continues -

So, the Great Tree was destroyed, with just a remnant left behind. That brings much sadness to me and to the Blue Star. My brothers and sisters are gone but are now within the stars.

She stops and is quiet for a long time. She likely intends to speak again, but there is enough of a long pause to speak.
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  #2502  
Unread 7th of October, 2011, 08:01
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Thoughts of good cop/bad cop flicker through my mind.

I'll sit, and wait, not wanting to disrespect a moment of silence.
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  #2503  
Unread 9th of October, 2011, 12:06
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I also let the silence go past unanswered. I wouldn't presume to guess what's next.
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  #2504  
Unread 13th of October, 2011, 11:47
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She walks over to the two of you and then sighs -

The Whitehawk have been adversarial for so long that I do not know them any other way, but they never threatened war with another clan. This treachery is a terrible blow. The Great Tree -

She glances over to your companions -

- has refuge amongst the Blue Star, and may of course petition to join our clan, or maintain your own sovereignty. I shall heed and approve of either choice that you must make. Know that your house will always have allies amongst the Blue Star.

She looks back to the two of you.

Now then, your crew have traveled far to meet with the Blue Star, and while I trust the two of you based on our past history -


Your two companions look at each other in surprise -

I'm not sure how I feel about having a Raleshaz within my clanship. If the lore is true, it could destroy my home by itself, without the help of it's... family. Yet you seem to have some bit of trust for it. May I ask why?
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  #2505  
Unread 19th of October, 2011, 11:36
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"Because what they want help with is survival of their species. From a coldly logical and purely scientific standpoint, that is a powerful drive and it is unlikely that they will turn on us as long as that objective has yet to be reached. There are other reasons, but they are not as rational."
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  #2506  
Unread 21st of October, 2011, 10:50
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I give a little laugh, "For me it's all about the fact that Betty had plenty of chances to take us out. My gut tells me that she can be trusted, and since you have to build trust a piece at a time, that's as good as any place to start."
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  #2507  
Unread 25th of October, 2011, 13:22
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Kaoshi nods, happy to hear different, but supporting arguments from the both of you. She walks over to a small terminal and places her hand upon it. After a moment a map of the Orion Arm of the galaxy appears. You've seen a map similar to this, Veronica, in your studies. It shows, loosely, the systems under control of the Azmians and the Fidorians, as well as the small cluster that marks Centauri space. There are thousands more systems that are not affiliated, among them your system. Surrounding all of this political soup is a fringe of systems not marked as anything. Likewise, there are pockets of systems that are likewise unmarked.

Kaoshi highlights each of these unmarked regions, first the loose band surrounding the arm, then the pockets throughout the arm, then flips the view from above to a side-view, where the depth of the galaxy is illustrated. the image expands out into the room so that the elder can step into it, touching individual star systems one by one.

All of these are lifeless systems. They can harbor no life, not without exhaustive terraforming. Some were like that when first explored, others were quite suitable for habitation, but are no longer sustainable. Some even were already homes -

She touches a star very gently, one in the center of the Azmian expansion, but one that is lifeless.

This is the Azmian Home. We cannot reclaim it, because the planet is no longer there. The Raleshaz dest-

She stops and takes a slow breath, then continues -

The Raleshaz destroyed it. If I understand the... culture of the Raleshaz, they likely remember the event, as they likely were there. This... Raleshaz you have as an ally, it likely was there watching as the home of my people was destroyed.

She blinks back a tear and then smiles wistfully.

Forgive me for my emotion. This is something new for us, dealing with the Raleshaz. I am staking much with possible diplomatic ties to... them. It will be a first.
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  #2508  
Unread 2nd of November, 2011, 13:36
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An understanding look crosses my face as I respond, "The Raleshaz do not take any pride or joy in what happened to your homeworld. As I said, trust is built a piece at a time. I'm sure Betty would be happy to speak with you, when you are ready."
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  #2509  
Unread 8th of November, 2011, 02:29
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I nod. "Please accept our deepest condolences for your loss. I cannot imagine the pain and grief it must bring you to be here, in this situation. I am certain that they will understand, at least as well as they can, the difficulty you are having, as well. But Heather is exactly right. We can mediate, but any real connection or restitution cannot be made through us. We do not speak for them, any more than we speak for you. We can only vouch for our own reasons for trust, which have been proven to be fallible at best."

A very slight, rueful smile touches my lips.
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  #2510  
Unread 8th of November, 2011, 11:02
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A slight smile breaks Kaoshi's mouth and she nods with a sigh.

Well, then I shall do so when we have seen your business through. Now, speaking of your business -

She stands up and waves a hand - the galactic map fades and she says -

Bring up the Velana system, focus on Velana Five.

The view shifts to a red dwarf with a number of planets in a large system. There is an enormous asteroid field on the outer rim of the system and a super gas giant (likely a failed brown dwarf) near to that. The supergiant has nearly it's own system in orbit as moons. There is a series of small rocky planets close in relatively close orbit to the star. Velana Five is one of the larger of them, and from the map looks like it has water, at least. Kaoshi continues -

Velana Five, the local population simply calls it Lyra, is a water planet. The amount of actual dry land to be found on Lyra would make your homeworld look like a barren, lifeless moon. As such, the population consists of water-breathers, and the dominant culture is aquatic. They are called Yrsa, and are well along the path toward system travel, though they are a bit behind, er, your species in that regard.

She zooms in on the planet map.

There are a few spots where other species have encroached. The few islands house small off-worlder settlements, and there are a number of stratopoli amongst the clouds. There are a handful of underwater cities developed by the off-worlders, a sort of mixed ground where Yrsa and air-breather can mix in more comfort than on the surface.

She pauses as the view continues to zoom, down beneath the surface and toward one such compound.

We believe that Adam Worth has a compound in one of these underwater cities. The Yrsa are not interested in space travel, and are stunted in that regard. They are, however, quite intrigued in genetics, especially microevolutionary genetics. In short, they play with species design, building unique creatures through incredibly advanced bioengineering.


She looks up and sighs.

As you can see, this is a problem. I'm unsure what the man has in mind, but knowing what we do, it cannot be a good thing.
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  #2511  
Unread 12th of November, 2011, 14:03
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"Sounds like a good place to start to me." I look to Ronnie waiting for her reply.
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  #2512  
Unread 30th of December, 2011, 00:12
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(And I've been not answering this for even longer. Sheesh. Sorry. So I'm just going to write out why I haven't posted so maybe if I write it out it'll work itself out. But it's going to read gibberishy.)

She's just going on talking and even though her words make sense I guess, uhhuh, right lady. You're talking to me about Adam Worth, about the Raleshaz, but we were just brought here by some sort of armed guard that obviously we can't speak directly of and I didn't even bring up Adam Worth and I guess yeah, I'm Terran, and we're working on the Adam Worth connection here, and apparently I'm the result of some of these genetic experiments, so I really can't dare tip my hand there because how the hell can she trust me then but really how the hell can any one trust any one else when there's these layers of political stuff that is intergalactic and I don't care about this Caladan planet it's not like he's easy to figure out like the Baron. Hell, this isn't a book and I don't even like history classes in school because they're so boring, so how am I supposed to keep track of who is who and who is lying and who is assuming whose name and while you seem to be a very nice lady don't get me wrong I am not even sure this history lesson here is all that truthful - you might have had it spun to you or someone of the seven races we know of or some other more insidious 8th or 14th player may have made you think that you think that while you and I are sitting here playing in space and really all this is interesting but it'd be more interesting from a book as I can't keep it straight in real life and don't have a minute to divine and from one moment to the next I don't even know how to keep track of what space ship I am on.


(And so on.)

Instead of saying any of that, I frown. "I guess."
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  #2513  
Unread 30th of December, 2011, 00:14
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(And I know that's not useful as far as moving the story on. But that is what I've thought every single time I've come out here... more or less.)
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  #2514  
Unread 7th of January, 2012, 03:45
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((My mind has not been in this place. Sorry for the long delay.))

Kaoshi poorly masks a frown at the seeming lack of enthusiasm, but then breathes slowly as she continues -

Well then. We were planning on providing for you logistically, that is a spacecraft, weaponry, communications. Your companion, though, does that change your needs? I sorry if I seem uncomfortable. It is because I am. We can offer you a ship, even a pilot if necessary, and equipment for your mission, but your Raleshaz companion might meet your needs. What do you need. Let's go from there.

There is clearly something upsetting her. Veronica, it seems that it might be more than just Betty in the docking bay of her clan ship.
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  #2515  
Unread 21st of January, 2012, 02:04
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(Why wouldn't it move the story along? See. watch...)

"You know, sometimes you make my brain dizzy.." I turn from Ronnie's frown...

I look to Kaoshi, and ask in my normal tone, "Is that part of the plan, so that Adam can keep tabs on us? Put us in a ship he can track, with a spy to report to him?" I'm not angry, or anything, it just seems like things just turned a little puppet-like.
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  #2516  
Unread 24th of January, 2012, 02:02
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Kaoshi glances away from you for a brief moment, Heather, and then near-imperceptibly nods assent. Back in character, she then quickly laughs quietly and then says -

That's unfounded supposition, and I don't need to remind you that we've got just as many problems with Mr. Worth as you do. Think of it this way -

She manipulates the screen and the dossier for an Azmian agent appears on the screen. You see an image of a striking Azmian man - handsome and young, wearing a military uniform. From the look of things he's a new member of Blue Star Counterintelligence. She looks directly at Veronica and carefully, barely noticeably and quickly mouths "Whitehawk" -

A man like Commander Atres here is a testament to Blue Star dedication. You'd do well to include him in your expedition to Lyra, whether or not you take us up on the offer for the ship. His role as an intelligence officer has provided him with a unique understanding of the situation.

She smiles at that, and then makes the dossier fade. She then says -

[COLOR="rgb(221, 160, 221)"]So, what would you do? You are all my guests and any harm that would befall one of you from someone less... progressive regarding the Raleshaz would be a threat to my personal honor, so please consider staying safely amongst the Blue Star for a few days to prepare for your journey. As I have said, we can provide what you need. Just say the word.[/color]
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  #2517  
Unread 24th of January, 2012, 10:02
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I nod. We can handle the Whitehawk, right?

I'm going to take a page from Heather's book and go on trusting that she's going to trust me.

"The offer of assistance is most appreciated, however I feel our current accommodations are much more tailored to our needs at the moment... I do think, that your young man..."

I think of David and try and channel the lust of someone who has no chance in hell of ever having a boyfriend unless she mixes with the locals. I figure that if I can manipulate other people's emotions, my own will be easy. I act as if I'm trying to mask my interest, too.

"...might be just the thing to have along with us. That offer is most appreciated!"
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  #2518  
Unread 25th of January, 2012, 13:00
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I smile and chuckle to myself, "Of course"

"I know, I know, have paranoia issues.." I just let it lie at that, and nod to Ronnie's answer.
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Unread 6th of February, 2012, 14:25
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Kaoshi keeps her face from betraying her emotion, but her eyes light up. She taps a control calls out -

Prepare Commander Atres for escort duty, please.

A voice comes online and replies -

Commander Atres is ready for duty, Elder Kasoshi.

Excellent. Tell him to report to the Terran ship under escort. He is not to board until he is cleared by Veronica Sawyer, hereby granted standing rank of Consul, under myself. Also mark Heather Chandler a standing rank of Consus under myself, as well.

It has been recorded. Atres will report to Sawyer and attach himself to her command.

Thank you Pala

Of course, Elder Kaoshi.


Kaoshi turns her attention back to the two of you -

You are granted civilian authority of Consul, which is a special agent of my house. It is a special assistant, and only my superiors would be able to command you, though to do so without my consent would be unacceptable. A human military rank would be... "Captain", I believe.


She smiles and then says -

Do you have any more questions for me?
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  #2520  
Unread 10th of February, 2012, 05:27
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"I don't believe so. This has been a most informative meeting, and I hope that it will bear much fruit in the future. We will be in touch."
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Unread 14th of February, 2012, 15:15
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If Heather has no questions, then the two of you will be escorted back to Betty. You will see that a well-appointed, uniformed Azmian man is standing, talking to the group of guards placed near Betty. When he sees the two of you approach, the man smiles and walks over to you. Extending his long arm to Heather, he bows his head and then extends his hand to Veronica, and bows again. You get the impression that he's trying to follow a "human custom" and is missing the nuance of a handshake.

Greetings Terran Delegates, I am Commander Atres of the Blue Star Intelligence Command, and I am reporting for assignment aboard your vessel. What... is the name of the ship, if you don't mind me asking, um, Consul Heether?
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  #2522  
Unread 17th of February, 2012, 14:28
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No, I have no questions, but I do give her a proper good-bye.

I smile at his mixed greeting, and give him a nod back. "Her name is Betty. Are you ready to roll?"
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  #2523  
Unread 20th of February, 2012, 14:05
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Oh, when he sticks his hand out I take it and shake it, smiling warmly while gently correcting him, but since he's addressing Heather I'll not speak yet.
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  #2524  
Unread 29th of February, 2012, 12:35
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Commander Atres nods and watches as you, Veronica, demonstrate a proper handshake. He smiles (uncomfortably), and then looks toward Betty.

Betty looks like a fine... ship. Is there anything that I... might need to know upon boarding? Any... precautions?


Oh, he hasn't let go of your hand, Veronica.
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  #2525  
Unread 2nd of March, 2012, 03:21
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I said I SHOOK his hand. I didn't say I extended my hand. If he tries not to let go of it I'll let go first. I wouldn't let that hang there or keep shaking. I'm teaching him how, not going along with his awkwardness. If he tries to hold on, I give him the "this is how we do this" face and show him again. He's the stranger, not me. I don't have to humor him, though I am all nice and friendly while showing him.

I let Heather answer the question, though.
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