‘Do you have any, uh … advice for me?’She casts a neutral gaze in your direction.‘I’m, uh, shipping out tomorrow,’ you explain further, finding the very pores on your skin burning from her glance. ‘Kerensky; I’ll be heading out on the Greyhound as part of its logistics unit … I’m wondering if there’s anything at all that you’ll be able to, uh, impart, I guess? Seeing at it’s my first assignment and all?’You find yourself stiffening as Memphis gets to her feet, her neutral look changing to that of a more scrutinizing glare. You try to a mutter some sort of apology, but find that your tongue might as well have been turned to highly-dense carbon contraption with how heavy it was to just lift. Memphis may not have been intimidating for the most part, but when someone talked during one of her lectures … this was just about the face that she made when someone laughed during her explanation of V-ON systems.‘Logistics? Why?’You blink, confused at her query.‘Uh,’ you let out in a drawl, looking left and right as if there was a prompt for you to grab on to. ‘Beats me … that’s where they thought that I’d best be suited for, I guess? I mean, I take what I can get; I’m not pick—EE!’You let out a small squeak as she draws what looks like a cutting pen on you. It’s a little bigger than yours … and looked a lot more versatile, too. Compared to your small-time machinations, this looked like it was suited for more than just some cables and patching some circuits for limbs or general affixing. A cylindrical handle and a textured grip … and you were staring down the minute barrel of the where the beam would pop out.‘I-Instructor?’ACQUIRED: [MEMPHIS’S SPECIALIZED BEAM CUTTER]‘A gift,’ she declares, nonchalantly dropping the tool … which you quickly grab before it hit the floor. For someone so specialized, she was quite callous with the item. ‘It should be able to help you cut and realign its fair share.’‘Huh?’‘Does it displease you?’‘N-No, not at all!’ you reply in a hurry, quickly setting the item into your bag before getting back to your feet. ‘I just, uh …’‘Nothing that I can tell you now will be different to what I have told you during my instruction of you. You are your own man … and I believe that you are aware of that much of yourself. As long as you remember that there is a difference between a controlled environment and a rapidly-changing situation and prioritize … there is nothing I can offer that can add to what I have already imparted. First assignments, however … they’re always the roughest, but I believe you’ll find your feet soon enough.’You can’t help but feel touched.‘Good luck,’ she throws up a salute, one that you quickly return.She goes back to her work, going on as if you hadn’t even bothered her in the first place.
>>2366924>Approach Marduk>Approach Donnel>Approach Wray>Approach Song>Approach Memphis>Exit Instructors’ Lounge>Write-In
Just so you know, you've talked to pretty much everyone at this point.
>>2366925>>Exit Instructors’ LoungeIf we talked to everyone then let's just go
>>2366925>>Exit Instructors’ Loungelet us go find our friend whose setting up a party or something if i remember right
So are we Seiging Zeon right now or are we filthy feddies?
>>2366938We're imperial but not actually in the gundam setting, it's it's own thing. We do have a not!zaku though.
>>2366938You're a Colony Fleet Inhabitant. Which is the setting equivalent of a Redneck.http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2194156/http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2237365/You can read up if you want. You live in Empire space but your people are essentially "muh freedoms" to the max.
>>2366925>>Exit Instructors’ Lounge
There wasn’t really anything left to do here … and even if you did, you didn’t think that any of the Instructors would appreciate being pulled from whatever they were doing anymore than you would. You’d taken up enough of their time … and you had other things to do, anyway. You gather your things and exit the lounge, several younger students jogging past you as you step back into the light. From the corner of your eye, you could see Instructor Fisk leading several suckers of students down the plaza to Emperor-knew-where. It looked like he’d found his latest round of guinea pigs after all.To be absolutely fair, it wasn’t as if they’d let Fisk go too far with his … eccentricities.Or rather, that’s how you liked to think about it. This was an academy for the AEGIS, after all; they wouldn’t …You shake your head. That was the sort of thing you worried after getting on a ship for assignment. Not before.You also catch a glimpse of a certain Gerard Jetdom … and, of course, his usual gaggle of groupies following him as he appeared to make his way to the Gardens. While you weren’t as close with him as you were with Ryosuke, Emilio … or even Sanza, Gerard had been one of the few of your peers that was, at the very least unprejudiced towards your kind. Not that that was saying much, however. You only really came to know him because of all the units you’d been coincidentally shoved in together. He seemed decent enough as a person … and the Instructors seemed to look at him as one of the models to aspire to among your peers.Maybe you could—‘Oh, what do I do …’You look to your right to see Rosaria, the woman who had just arrived and taken residence in your former dorm, fidgeting in place as she stared worriedly at the doors to the Instructors Lounge, a look of distress on her features.>Talk to Rosaria>Pursue Gerard>[DO SOMETHING ELSE]
>>2367035>>Talk to Rosaria
>>2367035>Talk to Rosaria
Considering that she’d arrived in the wee hours of the morning, you could only presume she was here to sort out the details of her placement. She must have arrived to check out her assignment or pick up a proper schedule. Still … she did look rather lost, fidgeting in place as she seemed weigh whether to barge right into the Instructor’s lounge or dart right back to her room. Deciding that it wasn’t much to just take a few steps to your right and talk to her … you decide to do just that.‘Miss Spirance?’‘Oh?’She turns to you, startled.‘Ah, Senpai,’ she greets you, giving a small, gracious bow as she had before. ‘What’re you doing here?’‘That’s what I should be asking, right? You look like you’re about to walk into a punishment fitting.’Rosaria scratches the side of her cheek, which was now taking on a slightly pinkish hue. ‘I, uh … I was wondering if I could get an advance on my stipend. The Dormitory Manager said that I wasn’t on any list and said that the financial offices wouldn’t be re-opened until the day after tomorrow … but I was told that if it was really an emergency, I could go and see the Instructors; that if there was anything that could be done, they’d be able to sort it out.’‘Do you really need money that quickly?’She looks down in embarrassment.‘Well, uh, I—’A loud grumble interrupts her words. She doesn’t dare look up.You’re thankful that you have the delicacy to at least not immediately point it out outright.>‘Here.’ (HYLOTHIAN CLASSIC CHOCOLATE BAR)>‘How much do you need? I think I can transfer some crowns your way.’ (Offer a monetary exchange)>'Hungry?' (Forego delicacy)>‘Well, uh … good luck.’ (Leave her be)>Write-In
>>2367238>>‘Here.’ (HYLOTHIAN CLASSIC CHOCOLATE BAR)
>>2367238>‘Here.’ (HYLOTHIAN CLASSIC CHOCOLATE BAR)
Throwing her a wry smile that she doesn’t see, you pull out something that you, frankly, didn’t have a use for. Well, perhaps you could sell it off to some confectionery elitist in the city, but if there was one thing that being a Colony Fleet Inhabitant taught you was that if something was there to fill your stomach, it better end up in yours or someone else’s before it ever saw the flat of a counter. The habitats weren’t a hundred percent reliable (ninety percent efficiency was still a risk up there) so if you were hungry and you had something on hand … it was something to tide you over, no questions asked.So if you weren’t going to see the end to a Hylothian Chocolate Bar, there was nothing saying that you couldn’t give it to someone who wouldn’t be able to appreciate it. You present the bar to your kouhai, who looks up in embarrassment. Wrapped in brown paper with the unmistakable mark of Hylothian quality, there is no mistaking the origins of this—‘Um, uh, what is this?’Maybe she was up in the boondocks a little deeper than you’d thought.‘You’re hungry, aren’t you? Never nice to let someone go around on an empty stomach … especially not a fellow Spacer.’‘N-No, I couldn’t!’ She waves her hands, reluctant to take your offering.‘You’re going to faint by the time night sets in if you don’t have something,’ you push, if a little more insistently than you’d intended to be. Rosaria looks up at you nervously, clearly not buying into the rhetoric of a literal free lunch. ‘Think of it as a responsibility of a senior to his junior; I’d be setting a bad example to myself letting you go unattended on your first day … especially knowing what you’ve gone through.’Her hesitance stays.‘It’s just a chocolate bar. If nothing else, it’ll fill you up so that I’m off world by the time you drop dead.’She giggles … before catching herself and covering her mouth in embarrassment. You give her another nod, holding the bar a little higher for her to take … which, this time, she does. She tears the wrapping off one end … and eagerly bites down. The reaction is immediate. Rosaria lets out a squeal, hopping in place as though she had just entered a realm of majesty, tears seemingly leaking from the corner of her eyes as she stared down at the confectionery in her hands before looking right up at you.‘This is incredible,’ she lets out thickly, small specks flying out of her mouth. ‘I didn’t know the AEGIS made such luxuries for its students!’‘It doesn’t,’ you correct her, before pausing briefly, ‘or at least … not regularly.’‘Oh, is it from the city?’You consider it for a moment. There were some confectionery specialist, but none that could specialize in importing something of that magnitude. That bar alone probably cost more than a bottle of Jupiter Moon, after all.
‘I don’t think so,’ you reply, scratching the back of your head, ‘I mean … Rhysode doesn’t seem like the type to bring in stuff from the Hylothian Brand on the regular.’She bites into the chocolate bar again, nodding in agreement.‘Understandable, considering that—ah.’Her eyes go wide, her irises go small … and she stares at the quarter-gone chocolate bar, her features going immediately pale as her brain finally catches just what you’d declared. She lets out a thick, wet whine, looking from the chocolate bar, to you … and back to the bar again. You move to quickly correct the situation, lest you be responsible for the meltdown of a student before she’d even attended one of Darton Wray’s drills.You weren’t going to deny anyone that rite or passage.>‘It’s okay, Miss Spirance.’ (Reassure her)>‘Careful, you might choke.’ (Joke)>‘Okay, enjoy your luxury chocolate bar.’ (Leave)>Write-In
>>2367437>>‘It’s okay, Miss Spirance.’ (Reassure her)calm yourself Space Jeannu
>>2367437>>‘Careful, you might choke.’ (Joke)
>>2367437>It’s okay, Miss Spirance.’ (Reassure her)
>>2367437>>‘It’s okay, Miss Spirance.’ (Reassure her)
‘It’s okay, Miss Spirance.’The words from your mouth are spoken with reassurance in mind. What they do, however, is anything but. Rosaria looks at the chocolate bar as though it were some precious antique. You observe her knees quaking, clattering against each other as she considered her next move; to you, it was as though she was on the teetering point to combustion. You raise both your hands in a placating gesture, hoping that she didn’t blow chunks of expensive cocoa-based confectionery all over you or the floor—the both of you were already an odd sight here, right in front of the Instructors Lounge. Your arms were raised as if warding off an invisible force … and Rosaria was practically going through the motions of a human time-bomb.‘T-Thank you.’You’re not sure if those words are more of a relief to you or her.‘You’re welcome,’ you let out, nodding. ‘Any good?’‘It’s … it’s delicious,’ she replies, swallowing another mouthful, ‘but are you sure that—’‘I said it was okay.’She lets out a sigh, nodding … before biting into the bar a little more before looking up at you. ‘It must have cost you quite a bit … back when we made port, the merchants would usually chase us off for staring too long.’You wear a wry smile. That was probably how it was when you were a Colony Fleet Inhabitant that wasn’t there to make a deal, you supposed. Rosaria savors every bite of her meal; it looked as though that she hadn’t had something that good—or luxurious, perhaps—for quite a while … or ever, really. The both of you quickly get out of the way as you realize the spot that the both of you were acting like idiots in was smack dab in the traffic between the plaza and the Instructors’ Lounge. The both of you park yourself on one of the raised barriers, your bags right by your side.‘It’s amazing that things are this busy even before classes start out …’‘Yeah,’ you say in agreement, watching your former underclassmen all run about. Commander Wray even leaves the Instructors Lounge alongside two proctors in black hats, wearing his usual scowl; he never seemed to take a break. ‘Even for the holidays, it’s all the same. Hope you didn’t come in here expecting to take it easy, Miss—’‘Rosaria.’You turn to her, raising an eyebrow.‘You can call me Rosaria,’ she says insistently.‘Rosaria, then.’‘And I don’t,’ she replies, ‘I came here to … do better than I had before, I guess. Things worth having never come easy … on or off a Colony Fleet.’The both of you share a knowing look … before erupting into self-satisfied chuckles.‘So, you’re from a Colony Fleet too, right?’‘Yeah,’ you answer with a nod. ‘We alternate between Course Plots Iblis and Jason.’‘High end,’ she gives a knowing nod. ‘Do you … miss the Fleet at all?’You rub your chin, letting out a thoughtful hum.
>>2367666>'We had three Administrators at one point. I think I'd rather not return to that chaos.' (Frustration)>'I do miss my family, my block, but that's about it.' (Personal)>'A little, I guess ... just nostalgia making things better I suppose ...' (Fondness)>'What about you ... I mean, I don't think you actually gave me a full picture.' (Redirect)>Write-In
>>2367670>I do miss my family, my block, but that's about it.' (Personal)
>>2367670>>'A little, I guess ... just nostalgia making things better I suppose ...' (Fondness)
>>2367670>>'I do miss my family, my block, but that's about it.' (Personal)
break time ladsMech's out doing shit
I'll be resuming in about 20-45 minutes.
‘I do miss my family, I guess,’ you admit, staring up at the sky. ‘My block, my unit … the Habitats, occasionally. Nothing further than that, though, I can tell you; the Administrators were almost always fighting among themselves when—’‘Administrators? You have more than one?’‘There’re about … twenty-odd ships in the fleet. Pretty small, but a lot of ‘em were previously owned by Trade Houses and anyone with a name worth having in this galaxy, so we’re able to fit in a lot more in terms of populace. We’re a little unconventional like that, but as my uncles and aunts used to say, it’s better they eat themselves then feast on us. They’re okay, for the most part … and they do their job well enough when they’re not trying to shack up with the corporations.’‘People have to do what they have to do to survive, though,’ she says pointedly, taking another bite out of the chocolate bar before unwrapping it a little bit more. ‘I’m sure that your Administrators have your needs … parallel to theirs, at least.’Her voice is a little quiet—not that she was noisy at all; she was pretty meek, even after knowing her for an hour—when delving into the topic. She shuffles slightly, staring at the concrete floor, looking a little—and you don’t have any other word to put to it—lost.‘Well, I hope so,’ you sigh in agreement, ‘hate to think that my family’s been left up there with a bunch of madmen in charge.’‘Senpai!’‘What? It’s a worry!’She giggles, her shoulders shaking as her expression takes a more peaceful quality, resuming her task of devouring the luxury chocolate bar.>‘Is it nice?’ (Talk about the chocolate bar)>‘So … what about you? There’s got to be more than just a little ambition on your end.’ (Inquire further)>‘You decided whether to use this opportunity as a booster or are you planning to go full career?’ (Prospects)>‘Well, word of advice. Try to stay away from any off-world cleaning products in your, uh … first few weeks. Buy local.’>‘See ya.’ (Leave)>Write-In
>>2368119>>‘You decided whether to use this opportunity as a booster or are you planning to go full career?’ (Prospects)
‘Have you decided whether to go full career or just using this opportunity as a booster?’She pauses for a moment, considering your question … and swallowing the latest bite of the bar. ‘I actually haven’t thought about it yet. I’m just so happy that I’m given a … chance, I guess. However it goes, I don’t think that there’s much in the way of cons either way, right?’‘A little idealistic, but … I guess that there’s a point there,’ you concede. You had been so sure of being one of the members of the proud military history of The AEGIS and had that interest be practically chiseled away by the end of your second year; by then, all you wanted was to pick up the data and get whatever assignment would come your way. ‘No use burning yourself out and then changing your mind halfway through, right?’Maybe you’d been the idealistic one, after all.She touched down keeping her pathways open; you’d practically marched in with a star on your chest and The Emperor’s speech in your ear. Still … most people had an inkling of what and what wasn’t on their agenda; it was hard to believe that Rosaria didn’t have something in mind for herself, even in the most minuscule sense.‘You seriously don’t have a clue whether you’re going to go full career or just using this as a booster, though?’‘Either way I take it,’ she replies—a little more crisply than you’d expected—clearly, ‘it’d be something for me to build on. Right now … I don’t even know whether I’m cut out proper. Everyone’s just so much more and … more, I guess. I want to take things one step at a time and … find my feet. I can barely walk in a straight line unconsciously as I am … if I rush right to the end without focusing on the now, I’ll probably end up getting nowhere. I’m sure that either road’s going to have its own obstacles—no way getting around that—but right now? I’m just happy that there’s a place that I can actually … have a chance to make something for myself.’You find yourself going a little wide-eyed at her words. That was surprisingly … poignant a perspective. Not that you hadn’t considered it time and time again yourself, but that a Colony Fleet Inhabitant, a Spacer, had put her own foot down on not making a decision was something that you had continually—or religiously—practiced.It was surprising. You’d always thought it was one or the other most of the time.When one side of the bank didn’t want you and the other despised your decision … you hadn’t really bought into it as a form of practice.Were you the one being naive or … was she?>‘Yeah, one step at a time …’ (Agreeable)>‘I’d rather set my foot down. Never know when you got to hold back the rapids.’ (Disagree)>‘People do as they do, I guess.’ (Agree to disagree)>Write-In
>>2368155>>‘People do as they do, I guess.’ (Agree to disagree)
‘People do as they do, I guess.’The loud sound of falling metal catches your attention. You look behind to see that several of the students were in a heap in the middle of a plaza, with an Instructor that you were thus far unfamiliar with staring down at their fallen forms. There appeared to be a mess of metallic briefcases scattered all over the ground … which appeared to be loaded with datapads and tubes.Whatever they were, they were worth a stern talking to, if the Instructor’s reaction was anything to go by.‘Are things always this lively?’‘Usually after a win for the jocks … or when Fisk gets one of his crazy schemes.’‘Fisk?’‘You’ll know him when you meet him.’She doesn’t inquire further.>‘So, how's the chocolate?’ (Talk about the chocolate bar)>‘So … there’s got to be more than just a little ambition on your end.’ (Inquire further)>‘Well, word of advice. Try to stay away from any off-world cleaning products in your, uh … first few weeks. Buy local.’ (Casual)>'Made any friends yet?' (Casual)>‘See ya.’ (Leave)>Write-In
>>2368183>So … there’s got to be more than just a little ambition on your end.’ (Inquire further)
>>2368183>>‘So … there’s got to be more than just a little ambition on your end.’ (Inquire further)
‘So,’ you start again, catching a glance from your companion, ‘there’s got to be more than just ambition on your end. Hard to believe that the story ends right there with you deciding to just jump right onto Rhysode’s Academy just like that … especially for someone from a Colony Fleet. I mean … I’m not accusing you or lying or keeping anything, but all of us have stories of why we wanted to join up; it just, uh …’You trail off, suddenly feeling very awkward. Who were you to ask about why someone left their Colony Fleet? Everyone had their stories, but they weren’t ones you’d let out at parties as anecdotes or to compare notes. As civil as your own departure was—and considering what some of the others had said, it was definitely civil—that didn’t give you the license to pry into the lives of others. What you suspected of her was immaterial; you’d be off-world by tomorrow morning … and the last thing you wanted was to leave the creepy impression of a senior who pried too hard into the lives of a junior whose acquaintance you’d made barely an hour ago.’‘Forget it,’ you let out apologetically, throwing her a sorry glance for good measure. ‘It’s none of my business … sorry, I—’Looking away, you pray that Sanza would come along right now and drag you away by the ear. Some Senpai you were.‘No, I understand that my story doesn’t quite … add up, given my—no, our background.’She throws you an apologetic glance. It only succeeds in making you feel even more guilty.‘No, I’m the one who screwed up there … should’ve known better, right? They’re never,’ you pause, considering the last moments on the ship: no hugs, no goodbyes, everyone going about their lives as though you weren’t there in the first place even after all those words exchanged in the run-up; a return to efficiency and duty, with or without you. ‘They’re never good stories to tell, are they?’As you stare at the ground, you feel a hand over yours, giving it a gentle squeeze. You look up to see Rosaria, wearing a reassuring smile, a little sad, timid … but wholly understanding.‘They’re not, but that makes them all the more worthwhile to share with others, right?’‘That’s an optimistic take on things,’ you comment, throwing her an amused smirk. She stretches her arms overhead in response, wearing a coy grin of her own, the heavy atmosphere shattered before it could even make a mark. ‘Although, I’m not so sure I’d like to share the story of how I landed on my friend’s face during our first year over and over, though …’She giggles, but doesn’t offer a remark, instead turning her attentions back to her chocolate.Perhaps you should get go—‘What do you know about … the Protocol Sixty-Eight?’Protocol what?
>>2368230>‘That there aren’t any Colony Fleets that practice it nowadays. I think the only proper record of its use in my fleet … or any others was about eighty years ago. Good on paper, bad in practice.’ (COLONY FLEET INHABITANT - Analytical)>‘That it’s nor a protocol at all … just an excuse for an Administrator to abuse his power. Bad as mine can be, it’s probably one of the few things none of them are willing to touch.’ (COLONY FLEET INHABITANT – Disgust)>‘Wouldn’t mind it, personally. Caste systems are practiced, anyway …’ (COLONY FLEET INHABITANT – Agreeable)>‘Not really, no.’ (Ignorant)>Write-In
>>2368235>That there aren’t any Colony Fleets that practice it nowadays. I think the only proper record of its use in my fleet … or any others was about eighty years ago. Good on paper, bad in practice.’ (COLONY FLEET INHABITANT - Analytical)
>>2368235>>‘That there aren’t any Colony Fleets that practice it nowadays. I think the only proper record of its use in my fleet … or any others was about eighty years ago. Good on paper, bad in practice.’ (COLONY FLEET INHABITANT - Analytical)
Protocol Sixty-Eight.From what was practically the holy scripture for Administrative action and management of the Colony Fleets that they are bestowed upon. It was something that people always feared of arriving; that one word from the Administrators that would change everything. What you could do; what you would do … and what you couldn’t.You’d never endured it … but you sure as Hell knew what it was. Protocol Sixty-Eight was less a protocol than it was the imposition of martial law upon the Colony Fleet by the Administrator to maintain what you could only understand to be a semblance of order. Administrators ruled differently based on the culture of their fleet; some loosely, some exercised their power only sparingly … while others were pretty much warlords without an army. Protocol Sixty-Eight’s intention had never been designed to operate on a long-term basis … or short-term. Being sorted into castes, having your lot in life decided by a genetic design and cold hard math … it was too cold to ever be put into proper practice. The typical structure essentially entailed everyone to suit whatever need the Colony Fleet deemed necessity. Labor, bureaucracy … and a bunch of things that they didn’t tell you back in class.Fortunately—or unfortunately—because of the entertaining content of such a speculation, you could recall almost every word your old teachers had on the subject.‘That there aren’t any Colony Fleets that practice it nowadays. I think among all the Fleets we encountered, there was probably only two or three that had a history of using Protocol Sixty-Eight in any … extended capacity, I guess. No more than a generation; it was always meant to be used in the case of emergencies or in the event of any dire, but there hasn’t been an incident severe enough historically to actually … you know, implement it. I mean, it’s not as if that it’d be a protocol that switched on at the start of—’You stop yourself. Why were you trying to regale someone with a classroom lesson that she’d probably heard of before?‘Wait, why are we talking about Protocol Sixty-Eight?’She doesn’t answer, wiping the stains off her lips with the back of her hand … before grabbing the collar of her tunic and—‘Ms Spir—Rosaria?’Rosaria scoots closer to you, wearing a reluctant expression and drawing you in, revealing the skin of her top right breast. You try to avert your eyes, wondering just why she—A tattoo: There was a number … and some letters.L7-0CNo, that—‘My Colony Fleet operates under Protocol Sixty-Eight. It’s been like that under the Administrators for the last ninety years … I was assigned to a … breeding program, but when it didn’t work out, I was able to … work my way a little. Wasn’t easy, though … Admiral Purvis gave me a chance I couldn’t quite … refuse, really.’You stare at her, dumbstruck.
>>2368332>'How did it get put in in the first place? Aren't there ... you know? People who would be against this?' (Confused)>'T-That's insane! Your Administrators ...' (Outrage)>'How ... how was it on there?' (Shock/Inquire)>'Breeding? You mean you actually have ...' (Confused)>'Harsh.' (Blunt)>Write-In
>>2368336>>'How did it get put in in the first place? Aren't there ... you know? People who would be against this?' (Confused)
>>2368336>'T-That's insane! Your Administrators ...' (Outrage
>>2368338>>2368346Flipping a coin. Coin flipped.
‘How did it get put in in the first place? Aren’t there … you know? People who would be against this sort of thing? Other Fleets.’‘Colony Fleets don’t dabble in each others’ business,’ she explained coldly, playing with a torn corner from the chocolate’s wrap, ‘and I’m not sure how it came to pass, but … there was some emergency that had the Administrator activate the protocol to streamline the recovery. I’m a little fuzzy on the history, but from what I heard—bits and pieces—was that the Fleet couldn’t keep an acceptable level of sustainability; there was a lot of division, riots … lost ships, habitats. From what I know … the faction that one of the former Administrators belonged to won popular support, but had to impose guidelines, programs. Everyone went through with it, back then … a return to systematic order over a chance at chaos.’She spits out the last sentence like a curse, letting out a breath.‘You know, it was funny; the girls would always doll me up and compliment how pretty I was … and then I realized just what they meant by it,’ she recalls bitterly. ‘Once I got my designation, it was hard … you couldn’t run forever. Security and everyone else … they marked you down. You were reserved, and when they couldn’t have you, they just wanted you more. It was hard; keeping out of sight, keeping yourself down, telling lies and then praying that there was the off-chance they wouldn’t take the risk.’Rosaria’s expression is hard and soft at a glance, her shoulders tense and drooping in alternation.‘You know how hard it is to pretend you’re just a pansy and then turns out they just don’t care?’You don’t dare answer the question.‘I was so scared … it was hard, running and running and knowing that you’d be thrown in just because that was your … duty. Your job; that you were inciting discourse just because you didn’t want to spread your legs for a bastard that put in enough for a new ship.’>‘Fear?’ (Inquire further)>‘So how did you … break out of it? They couldn’t have just allowed that, right? How’d you pick up the engineering?’>‘Breeding’s not a caste that I was aware of by the protocol guidelines … how does that work?’>‘Must’ve been a nightmare.’ (Emphatic)>‘That would put ambitions on a hold, I guess.’ (Dry humor)>‘I, uh, need to go.’>Write-In
>>2368392>>‘So how did you … break out of it? They couldn’t have just allowed that, right? How’d you pick up the engineering?’
>>2368392>‘So how did you … break out of it? They couldn’t have just allowed that, right? How’d you pick up engineering and mechanics at all with that system?’Typo correction.
>>2368392>Must've been a nightmare
>>2368392>So how did you … break out of it? They couldn’t have just allowed that, right? How’d you pick up the engineering?’
>>2368392>>‘Must’ve been a nightmare.’ (Emphatic)
‘So how did you break out of it?’ you question with a frown. ‘Being part of a caste system like that you wouldn’t have been able to just pick up mechanical and engineering know-how without breaking a few barriers in itself. Which, if I recall the Protocol, wouldn’t sit well outside of Administrative observation under the Protocol. No cross of caste responsibilities and everything being compartmentalized into specialization makes for little room for any independent thought on that front, right?’She taps her chin.‘In practice,’ Rosaria emphasizes with a drawls ‘it does, but not everything’s going to adhere to the percentages. Even if the Administrator wanted to, there were things that he couldn’t … control. Interests, actual talent … and just because you have a hundred people in charge for a hundred assigned units or cells, you’re not going to get a hundred of those to optimal output. The protocol may have kept certain skills separate, but when you’re dealing with systems and you have to wait for the Administrator to give an okay that’ll only come after catastrophic failure you kind of, uh …’She trails off, seemingly at a loss for words.‘Get a little naughty?’‘Adapt,’ she lets out with a sigh. ‘You have to adapt … because you can’t wait for the datapad to hopefully fix something that’s wrong if you can do it for yourself. It’d be … arrogant to say that I was the only one who rebelled—no, that’d be too strong a word, wouldn’t it? I disregarded the rulings and, well, you pick skills up faster if they become necessities rather than auxiliary. It wasn’t easy, of course, for none of us, but we had to. No one was going to look out for us but ourselves. We had to … I had to make that change. It wasn’t easy to keep out of the eye of the Administrator for so long … and by the time I was of age, I was decided to be too … pretty to be where I was. I was elevated, of course, my genetic information would be beneficial for the Colony Fleet. My children would be of higher standards than I’d ever reach.’Rosaria goes silent for a moment, her expression obscured by her mess of golden locks.‘It was Hell,’ she utters. ‘Just waiting there … and hoping that whoever would finally come to take me. They were just dolling each other up in hopes that someone else would be taken and not them. Every day someone would come to me and say let me do your hair … you’d smell so much better with this …’A piece of chocolate snaps, falling onto the ground and breaking into smaller shards.‘I’d just lie behind pillars, behind beds, pretending I’d been spent and taken for the night when the Officers were given free rein,’ she recalls wryly. ‘It keeps you focused, you know, on your toes?’She stares at the scattered brown scraps.‘I don’t want to go back; that's all I have in mind right now.’
>>2368504>‘Breeding’s not a caste that I was aware of by the protocol guidelines … how does that work?’>‘Yeah, that ... it must have been a nightmare.’ (Emphatic)>'What about The Empire? You didn't think of ... saying anything to them?'>‘That would put ambitions on a hold, I guess.’ (Dry humor)>‘I, uh, need to go.’>Write-In
>>2368504‘Yeah, that ... it must have been a nightmare.’ (Emphatic)
>>2368508>Yeah, that ... it must have been a nightmare.’ (Emphatic)
>>2368508>>‘Yeah, that ... it must have been a nightmare.’ (Emphatic)
You honestly don’t know what else to say to her. Your Colony Fleet might as well have been a pleasure port compared to what she’d been through. The Protocols … they’d never been made to abuse, but to “right the ship”, to use an old term. That the system had been twisted in such a way to interpret cold logic instead of adaptive and situational application … humanity for that matter. It sounded like something right out of a horror novel than it was a livable state of existence at all.Yet, for some reason … you somehow believed if you brought any brand of reason to her world, you’d end up shot out of a fuel-less pod onto some barren planet. It sounded like a right nightmare; one that you were thankful that your own leaders hadn’t seen fit to delve into. As much as they were selfish jerks, with a penchant for off-ship pleasures just to add to that sour taste, you didn’t see your Administrators establishing the protocol to such a degree—if ever.‘A nightmare,’ you utter quietly, ‘I’m sorry that you had to go through that … it must have been a nightmare.’‘When Admiral Purvis arrived … I didn’t know whether to trust him or not,’ she paused, ‘I was already at the end of my rope, but I didn’t know if he’d be able to do anything. The Empire … The Empire had come to us before. We’d had delegates, dignitaries … but that was the first time that I’d even considered life outside. They always taught us it was just more of the same … and I believed it, even coming down here. No one wants to leave the Colony Fleet, even as it is. Order before chaos; the many before you … and a destiny that is for the good of all.’The chocolate bar snaps in her hands as you finally see tears going down her face.‘So even if people here hate me for being … for being from a Colony Fleet, a Spacer … I’m glad for it. It’s so much better than I’m hated for what I am rather than loved just for what I can give. It’s a little stupid, I guess, for you … I guess it’s a little stupid on the whole, but I’m just happy that, small as I am, even though I’m alone … I can do things that I wouldn’t be able to before. I can live my own life and it wouldn’t be decided by what level I was born into … or how perfect a brood I can give.’She sniffles, raising her lips into a smile as she turns to you. The snot and the weeping, however, gives everything away.‘I’m sorry, but this chocolate … it’s good. It’s really, really good!’You find yourself speechless … and clueless, unable to decide what to do next. You hadn’t expected this.>Leave>Write-In
>>2368542> See if you can offer her a napkin or something >"....you know, I wasn't sure how I would fit in either, expecting people wouldn't want to deal with a spacer. Turns out I did pretty well for myself. I think you'll do just fine here too, you've got a good soul in you. Just put in the effort in your studies, and I promise you'll make a good life for yourself here."
You pull out a handkerchief for her to take … which she does.‘I’m sorry … I can get a little melodramatic sometimes.’‘No, no, it’s,’ you pause, ‘it’s best you let that kind of thing out, right? Sorry I was so … insistent. I didn’t know it was that bad.’Rosaria blows into the handkerchief. A long, wet, loud honk that left it stained with chocolate and snot. She stares at her mess, a slight look of guilt and embarrassment coming over her as she ponders just what to do with sullied item. A small whining sound escapes her throat as she turns towards you, offering the item back … only for you to raise a palm. You didn’t have time or a place to send that to a wash … and it’d probably get torn up by the end of your first week, anyway.‘Keep it.’‘Ah … I’m sorry, I’ll—’‘No, really, keep it,’ you repeat insistently. ‘Think of it as the dues of a senior to a junior.’‘Thank you,’ she replies quietly, setting the handkerchief aside. ‘You know, I have to admit that it really was nice to have someone to talk to … I didn’t think that there’d be anyone on this planet that would, you know … be from a Colony Fleet. I mean, I knew there were, just not, well … I didn’t think that they’d care much for someone else’s problems. Especially with … everything.’‘Yeah, I can relate to that,’ you chuckle, hoping to alleviate the mood, if only a little. ‘I found it hard touching down here myself, but nothing’s ever really cut out like you see it, you know. There are … good people, bad days, bad people, good days … and there were times where I thought that I wasn’t … that I thought I wouldn’t make the cut, I guess. People already look at you differently touching down, so you don’t really have the best thoughts in mind for the Imperials and the locals, either … but it turns out if you keep your head down, put up a handshake and keep at it, it’ll all just come together. If it did for me, it probably will for you.’She lets out a tired sigh, a nervous but small bout of laughter rumbling in her throat. ‘I’m kind of a bad judge of character like that. Avoiding getting to the front of the line all your life … you tend to have a really bad eye for those kind of things.’‘I don’t think that a lot of people have that gift, personally,’ you reply, ‘we’re all taking a chance on each other … all we can do at the end is hope for the best and that things turn out half as good as we hope.’‘That’s a little … bleak, isn’t it?’You pause, considering your words.Emilio. You’d picked that up from Emilio.‘That bastard’s really rubbing off on me.’‘Pardon?’‘Nothing, nothing …’>‘Out of curiosity, and I mean no offense, but … breeding?’>‘Going to finish that chocolate?’>‘So, uh, you have a feel for the place, yet?’>‘I should go.’>Write-In
>>2368907>>‘I should go.’
>>2368907>‘I should go.’>'I'm glad you liked the chocolate.'
>>2368907>>‘Going to finish that chocolate?’>tell her if she needs any help to give us a call
>>2368907>>‘I should go.’>>'I'm glad you liked the chocolate.'
>>2368907>>‘Going to finish that chocolate?’
>>2368915>>2368924>>2368927I'll take these as half votes.
>>2368954I meant is more as "Well, I gotta go. Glad you like the chocolate." Just a passing comment.I mean, we don't need to stay and talk about it, do we?
>>2368957i do. i wanna know more about not!Jeanne
‘Going to finish that up?’You point towards the cracked pieces on her lap, prompting her to squeak and scoop them up. Apparently in all the reminiscing, she’d forgotten about the meal in her hands—if it could even be called that, really. Rosaria picks up both shards (and they were shards) in both her hands, awkwardly holding them up as though they were ship parts under scrutiny … before holding out the slightly larger portion in your direction with an insistent, determined yet somehow innocent look in her eyes.‘Here,’ she offers, ‘you have some too … it’s yours, after all.’You hold up your palm, maneuvering to decline the offer. It wasn’t as if you were connoisseur of exotic candies that had a foot in the game. You’d merely chanced upon it because Savik happened to have something extra lying around to give out.Her expression, however, made it hard to decline it outright.>‘I’m all right, really …’ (Decline)>Take the offered piece>Write-In
>>2368977>>Take the offered piece
>>2368977>Take the offered piece
You take the offered piece, staring at in inquisitively as though it hadn’t been in your pocket minutes prior … before biting into it.It was … all right, you supposed.‘How is it?’‘It’s … okay, I guess,’ you comment with a shrug, ‘not something that I’d lead in with but I can see where the appeal comes from. Unique flavor; mostly bitter with a clean aftertaste. Still … unique, but something I probably won’t be seen spending money on unless I actually have good reason to. I mean … I guess I can get why people bother with ordering these, but like I said, I probably won’t unless there’s barrel to my temple. A little too rich in both senses of the word, I guess.’She scrunches her nose. Her disagreement was apparent, but you appreciate that she’d garnered a healthy enough respect for you to not call you out on it.‘Everyone has different strokes, I suppose,’ she comments, licking her thumb, ‘but it must have cost a fortune to bring here … never mind to actually place an order for.’‘Instructor Savik was giving them out to the jocks … I just happened to be there; right place at the right time, I guess.’‘Instructor Savik?’‘You probably won’t see him a lot, though … he’s mainly a conditioning Instructor when he’s not going around recruiting people for the sports teams.’‘Sports? Isn’t this a military institution.’‘It is, definitely.’ You give a nod. ‘Doesn’t mean that it’s all about learning how to line up a kill or wire up a Mech. Enough distractions lying around that you don’t go crazy, so they got that end covered. Savik usually works with the … you know, horizontally-challenged. Bring them up to speed … but considering that you’re, uh, pretty much set from where I’m, uh …’You rub the back of your neck as you realize that you’d been ogling her for your last few sentences, promptly looking away before she decided that you were exceeding your quota. She’d already given you an eyeful of breast … in spite of the context of her little show.You feel bad just thinking about it.‘I have good genes?’As you turn to face her, you see that she had a sardonic smile on her face … defeated, yet somehow, accepting.>‘Not remotely what I was getting at, it’s just … I’m just saying that you’d have to be breaking hazard warnings for Savik to get involved.’ (Continue)>‘Genetics?’ (Confused)>‘Right, you … sorry. Bad lead-in.’ (Apologetic)>‘I should go, I think.’>Write-In
>>2369096>'No, you don't fall flat on your face trying to walk like I used to.'
>>2369096>>‘Not remotely what I was getting at, it’s just … I’m just saying that you’d have to be breaking hazard warnings for Savik to get involved.’ (Continue)
‘Not remotely what I was implying,’ you clarify concisely, ‘it’s just … you’d have to actually be ticking off some health hazards for Savik to be personally involved. As someone used to a lower average of gravity and in possession of some … considerable girth, I can say that you’re, at the very least, healthy enough to not be … put into that category. Which you should really be thankful for, to be honest.’She throws you a quizzical glance.‘Trust me, you’d have to be pretty far over the line to qualify for Savik taking a hands-on approach to you. I think there were about seven of us in that remedial course … thankfully, I had enough help getting the ship right that I was able to leave in a year. Had to watch what I ate even after that, though.’‘You don’t look like you’re … overweight.’‘Of course I don’t,’ you huff, feeling a little indignant … although it’s mostly you trying to keep your ego as pressed down as you can manage; you didn’t need that stroke of validation anymore than you did a heavy steak burger (which you did, but that was neither here nor there). ‘I put a lot of personal hours into it, too.’You consider your answer for a moment.There was no harm in coming clean, you suppose.‘Well, my friends kind of got their mitts into my weight loss,’ you let admit, grimacing. ‘I think some of them actually carved some off with a knife when I was asleep.’Rosaria actually laughs.‘I think that it’s nice that you have people that care for you that much.’>'Yeah, I guess it is, isn't it? Too bad we're not going to be together for much longer.' (Regret)>'They can be right bossy sometimes, especially Sanza. Emilio and Ryosuke are decent enough, but man ...' (Look back fondly)>'I ... wouldn't put that much stock. I landed on one of them and could've broken his neck.' (Regretful)>Don't answer her>Write-In
>>2369235>>'They can be right bossy sometimes, especially Sanza. Emilio and Ryosuke are decent enough, but man ...' (Look back fondly)
>>2369235>'They can be right bossy sometimes, especially Sanza. Emilio and Ryosuke are decent enough, but man ...' (Look back fondly)
Oh, if only she knew …Compared to your friends back on the Colony Fleet, Sanza, Ryosuke and Emilio were a hydra. You were convinced that Sanza had hit motherhood by the time she’d hit ten and had the three of you as her sort of temporary coping mechanism. But for a bunch of people who’d really only spent four years trying to prep yourselves up for a life entrenched in warfare, you’d somehow developed a … fondness. They could be loud sometimes; Sanza’s maternal tendencies coupled with Emilio’s attempts to balance it out while Ryosuke did something stupid that needed the three of you would inadvertently have to bail him out while you let out sarcastic commentary in the background.It was a weird sort of chaos … one that you felt that you were dragged along the ride for rather than be in control of, sometimes.For someone so used to procedure it was strangely … welcome.‘They can be right bossy sometimes, I tell you,’ you reveal with a chuckle, remembering all those times you’d just given up and went along with whatever scheme or plans that they had, ‘and I’m still convinced that Sanza must have hit motherhood the day she was born … Emilio and Ryosuke are decent enough, but man, sometimes I just feel like I’m being swept by a tide around them—all of them. It’s a right mess that you don’t really expect coming from a background in Imperial military.’‘It’s fortunate.’‘Huh?’‘I-I don’t mean to speak out of turn, Senpai, but I believe that makes you … fortunate.’‘Fortunate?’‘That people are willing to be in that tangled mess with you.’She smiles brightly and warmly, radiant even on this dull, noisy day.You can’t not return it. Who wouldn’t?>‘I should get going, I think. Good luck.’>‘So, life on the Colony Fleet … mind if we get back to that?’>‘You’re going to be doing an Apprenticeship … is the curriculum really that much different?’>‘You know, Sanza’s still going to be around … maybe I could introduce you to her. She could probably use someone else to practice her maternal side on when we’re off-world.’>Write-In
>>2369342>>‘You know, Sanza’s still going to be around … maybe I could introduce you to her. She could probably use someone else to practice her maternal side on when we’re off-world.’>and it'd be nice for her to still have a friend on-board she can talk tonot a bad idea to introduce her to someone she'll probably meet anyway
>>2369342>‘You know, Sanza’s still going to be around … maybe I could introduce you to her. She could probably use someone else to practice her maternal side on when we’re off-world.’
>>2369342>>‘You know, Sanza’s still going to be around … maybe I could introduce you to her. She could probably use someone else to practice her maternal side on when we’re off-world.’
>>2369342>>‘You know, Sanza’s still going to be around … maybe I could introduce you to her. She could probably use someone else to practice her maternal side on when we’re off-world.’Yet another one of those "senpai to kouhai" things.
An idea hits you.‘You know … Sanza’s still going to be around after the rest of us get our assignments …’‘Eh? Is she held back?’You want to mention that she was, just for the absurdity of it.Sanza was such a fussbudget that you wonder how Marduk put up with her at all.‘Oh, no—not that The Aegis bothers at all with people who can’t make the cut, but … no, Sanza’s training to become a medic, so she’s not going to be shooting off with us any time soon. Since she’ll still be here, I think that it’d be nice for you to at least have a go-to in case anything happens.’‘N-No, I couldn’t! She’s your friend … and we just met!’‘I know,’ you let out, giving a slow, deliberate nod, ‘I’m just using you as an outlet for her maternal instincts. Heaven knows what’ll happen if she doesn’t have anyone to fuss over.’‘I really shouldn’t … I mean, I’m sure she’s a wonderful’—you barely hold back a chortle at that—‘person, but I’ve already taken so much of your time … not to mention most of your chocolate. I really don’t wish to be anymore of an inconvenience than I already have been!’You jab a thumb in the direction of the City-Campus Shuttles.‘No, really … it’s just a quick shuttle ride to the city, nothing wrong with that,’She remained unconvinced, however.‘T-Then all the more unreasonable the request! I-I don’t have my AEGIS ID yet … neither do I have my stipend, so … I can’t possibly ask for more than you’ve already offered!’>‘Don’t worry, I’ll foot your bill.’ (500 CROWNS)>‘Yeah, that is a problem … oh well.’ (Agree with her)>Write-In
>>2369712>>‘Don’t worry, I’ll foot your bill.’ (500 CROWNS)In for a penny, in for a pound. Or is it crown now?
>>2369712>Don’t worry, I’ll foot your bill.’ (500 CROWNS)Sounds large but it can't be that much for a bus ticket, we going yen system of currency? Like how 500 pennies would only be five bucks?
>>2369712>‘Yeah, that is a problem … oh well.’ (Agree with her)>Write-InHow about I give her your number and ask her to keep in touch?
>>2369716http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2237365/#p2255007http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2237365/#p2255693This is what's currently in your backpack, more or less. You gave her the chocolate, so you can cross that off.You can add the pen knife above:>>2366924
>>2369719Cents don't exist, so I suppose that would be the equivalent.
>>2369712>>>‘Don’t worry, I’ll foot your bill.’ (500 CROWNS)
>>2369724I think we were going to visit Sanza in the Hospital anyway, so might as well grab the kouhai for the ride.So still going for >>2369716.
>>2369712>>‘Don’t worry, I’ll foot your bill.’ (500 CROWNS)
‘Don’t worry … I’ll foot your bill,’ you declare, ‘it’s the least I can do for, uh … digging a little too much.’‘No, that’s a little …’‘I insist, really.’She considers it for a moment, crossing her arms and looking thoughtful as she digested your proposition. You don’t blame her for feeling a little … apprehensive; a new world, a man who she’d known for barely more than an hour suddenly being kind to her without so much as a lick of expectation for return. You would have been suspicious; you were apprehensive yourself when Sanza and Emilio barged into your life … or was it the opposite? You were the one who landed on Emilio after all.Some first meetings were a great deal painful for some and more fortunate for others, you supposed.‘All right,’ she chirps in agreement, hopping to her feet. ‘Lead the way!’Dusting your self off, you grab your things and get to your feet, heading straight for the City-Campus shuttles. You make your way slowly, of course, pointing out some of the sights along the way. She was a great deal more curious about the collection of plants than she was anything else; probably why she’d stayed in the garden overnight. Rosaria’s low whistles and impressed hums tells you that while she may have been qualified to be Apprenticed (You’d never heard of an Apprenticeship before, at least not here), there was an uncharacteristic fascination from her in regards to the trees and the flowers that lined the pathway. She occasionally asked about the statues, of course … not that there was much to talk about: they were related to the Imperial Family in some way: princes, princesses, in-laws.That, of course, and that they were, in a word: dead.Although, you find it a little strange that a Duke’s statue was used as a makeshift pointer for directions to the City Campus Shuttles.The lines were non-existent.You arrive right on time, too.The shuttles were archaic (A hypocritical came, even for you, you supposed). You peg their designs to be at least a hundred and fifty years old, very likely more, with some modifications to accommodate new derivatives of low-concentration Ether … but they were practical. Personally, you’d prefer that they used the term bus or transport, but those were just semantics.You lift your credit tab to the pad … keying in your old ID just to see if it was—[ID NOT FOUND]You supposed it was too much to hope.You key the credits in, hearing the automated warning and the verification beeps as you walk up the steps and past the elderly driver-conductor, Rosaria following right behind you.The both of you take a seat by the window, the engine revving right as you park yourselves.You lay your head back, letting out a sigh, it’d be—‘Oh, what’s that?’
You bring your head down to come to see an operated Mech taking several heavy steps in the field, brandishing its primary … you were passing by the hangars and would be off campus grounds soon.>‘That’s a Mech, never seen a Mech before?’ (Annoyed)>‘Probably getting some practice drills in … didn’t know they were operating this early in the year.’ (Curious)>‘Non-Standard Hellion Unit, refitted with a ranged combat module.’ (Analytical)>‘Eh, probably just some drills.’ (Disinterested)>Ignore her>Write-In
>>2369752>>‘Non-Standard Hellion Unit, refitted with a ranged combat module.’ (Analytical)
>>2369752>>‘Non-Standard Hellion Unit, refitted with a ranged combat module.’ (Analytical)I just hope we wouldn't NERD out Rosaria. Too much.
>>2369759nah, let's go full nerd with it. Mechs are a passion to be respected.
>>2369764Most people wouldn't nerd out in polite company.Then again, most people also don't be overly kind to someone they've only met for an hour or so.Fuck it.
>>2369759>Implying the GM doesn't have a tangent for girls that go "sploosh" over passionate gearheads or being gearheads themselves.Do not mock me.
>>2369767who wouldn't sperg out over these sexy machines?
You can tell from a glance.‘Non-Standard Hellion Unit, refitted with a ranged combat module,’ ‘no changes to kinetic weaponry loadout, but given a more advanced targeting upgrade to compensate for difference in bearings. They’re probably doing some stress-testing on some assault weaponry … it doesn’t look loaded.’‘Oh, you can tell?’‘The casing is missing at the bottom and the secondary magazine’s not there either. Chances are, they’re probably just testing just what coding needs to be done to synchronize the weapon’s systems with the Mech.’‘I thought all Mechs came pre-built and pre-programmed.’‘A lot of the fixed ones do, but they’re mostly Alliance-side,’ you explain further, nodding at the shrinking sight of the walking mech. ‘Imperial Mechs mostly adhere to man-walker titans with a loadout customized in the same way any human soldier could be fitted with. I think I’ve only seen two or three Mechs Alliance-side that have fixed armaments. Mostly support ones.’Rosaria rubs her chin, looking thoughtful.‘I didn’t think the Hellion-Class could be refitted and upgraded … the Operating System must be very versatile for it to be able to be fitted decades after initial installation.’‘Well, to their credit, the contractors were told to make a Mech for any “situation, any variation and put on a tight budget”; that’s pretty much the end-product … though I think that they’ll be phasing themselves out, soon; I think they’re on too low of a rung to keep up even on sheer numbers. There’s a limit to cost-performance rates, even these days …’‘That’s … surprising.’‘What is?’‘I mean … the both of us come from colony fleets but you lean more towards phasing than maintaining. Any reason for that?’>‘I like the Hellion-Class and its had a good run … but considering the heavy-hitters the Alliance has put out …’ (Logical)>‘It’s a tough old girl. I’m not going to say that I won’t miss it … warts and all.’ (Fond)>‘Never been a fan of the Hellion-Class, actually. I’d rather have the design practicality and specialization of Alliance Mechs to be integrated.’ (Harsh)>‘I don’t mean anything by it, really.’ (Non-answer)>Write-In
>>2369837>‘It’s a tough old girl. I’m not going to say that I won’t miss it … warts and all.’ (Fond)
>>2369837>>‘I like the Hellion-Class and its had a good run … but considering the heavy-hitters the Alliance has put out …’ (Logical)
>‘It’s a tough old girl. I’m not going to say that I won’t miss it … warts and all.’ (Fond)Then follow up with> … but considering the heavy-hitters the Alliance has put out …’ (Logical)
>>2369864I'm fine with a mixed vote personally
>>2369857>>2369860>>2369864That's a vote and a half each. Flipping a coin.
Despite your criticism of the Hellion-Class … there was also an underlying fondness for the model. It could be fitted for almost every task, was relatively cheap to repair and maintain, highly-customizable loadouts and was in possession of an Operating System and interface base that was highly adaptable to any successor patch. If the Colony Fleets could have a Mech of their own, the Hellion was it: practical and built for work and no show. You could even hold out for some unconventional charm from their end, the cyclopean camera; the bulky pads built like they were made to ram right through buildings … and although you complained a lot for someone do something about the Operating System, you could see why they just installed mere tweaks and patches instead of putting in wide-scaled reformatting drives for the units.You even remember the first time you’d slid into one. Not the simulation pod, but the real, operation-ready cockpit of the Hellion-Class Mech. Lean, hard … brittle and built to take more than a shake or two; if the Empire didn’t take up some Colony Fleet spirit in building that lean machine on the day, you’d have called them liars and thieves.‘It’s a tough old girl,’ you recall fondly, a smile making its way onto your lips, ‘I’m not going to say I won’t miss it if—when—it goes. They’re really built, you know …and call me a little silly, but there’s a little bit of love in trying to get that old bucket of bolts going … and she can go when she wants to. I can see why she’s lasted this long.’‘The way you describe it, it’s like you’re saying goodbye to a fair lady.’>‘You’re one to talk. Call yourself a budding engineer?’ (Tease)>‘Yeah, a good old broad that’s done the job. Salute.’ (Fond)>‘Come on …’ (Defensive)>Stay silent>Write-In
>>2369952>You’re one to talk. Call yourself a budding engineer?’ (Tease)
>>2369952>>‘You’re one to talk. Call yourself a budding engineer?’ (Tease)
‘You’re one to talk,’ you retort, leaning in and giving her a little glare … which she surprisingly meets; not that it deters you, however. ‘What kind of budding engineer doesn’t even have an inkling of romance or appreciation for their job?’She wears an uncertain smile, tilting her head as she lifts a finger to put her point across. ‘Well, it kind of collides with the pragmatism and the practicality of it; I never thought of it anymore than a means to get by … not that I never had a passion for it, of course, but I suppose that I have a lot to learn there.’You stare at her, a loss of words encompassing you right to the roots of your soul.‘W-What?’‘Nothing,’ you let out with a shrug, ‘I guess I just thought that you’d have a little more respect for some walking history like that … you know, fallacies and problems and progress.’‘I do,’ she replies quickly, ‘but I disagree that Mechs are anything to gush over on that front. It’s all moving parts, systems and wires … the intricacies of the mechanics that make them what they are what’s worth wondering; not the fascination with the history that they have. History doesn’t help piece together a hackjob for a surveillance backdoor.’You raise an eyebrow in her direction, feeling lightly … challenged.‘You’re saying that you don’t have a care for the history of service of a machine … and you call yourself an engineer.’‘Well, Senpai, I’d actually like to say that there is a degree of appreciation for it, but history or attachment—nostalgia—is a habit that I, uh, personally,’ she pauses, scratching her cheek, ‘find no stock in. The now, the future, the improvements and the evolution of ships, Mechs, technology … looking back isn’t my kind of thing, if you don’t mind me saying.’The bus zooms along the road as the both of you stare into each others eyes.The city wasn’t that far off from here.>Write-In
>>2370006.....psht>Go full gear head nerd on her to explain the greatness of the hellion unitShe will learn to love mechs
>>2370016It's not that she doesn't love Mechs.She just doesn't invest in nostalgia. Considering her background, you should know why looking back isn't high on her priority list.
>>2370017Make her invest, talk shop
>>2370006>'I get that. It's just that I spent the last (2, 3?) years piloting and working on them. I respect how much engineering went into making them last as long as they have.'I dunno if they'd let the freshmen get near the mechs. Just fill in what year you actually start working on mechs, I guess.
>>2370036She's an apprentice; not your regular freshman.
>>2370045I'm talking about why we like the Hellion so much. We're just a regular student, yeah?
‘You’ll grow into ‘em,’ you declare with a finality, crossing your arms in a self-satisfied manner. ‘You’re really not impressed that a piece of tech like that can keep at it for eighty years?’‘I am,’ she retorts, to which you ready your whoop of triumph before she continues, ‘but I don’t feel a particular compulsion for it. Getting attached to things … memories, experiences … I always find that kind of thing distracting when it comes to action. On the Colony Fleet, holding on to things … was a bad way to go for a lot of us. So you keep your eyes front, going straight on; even if the Hellion is a marvel in itself, it’s not going to do anything once it fades away; you can use it as a precedent or to give you drive, but looking back? That kind of thing is distracting; there’s nothing to learn from being clouded like that. Engineering, mechanics, maintenance in general … the task at hand and the now, the future … means more to me than memories that I can bring up from a schematic archive somewhere.’Her eyes suddenly widen and she immediately stiffens, dropping into a quick bow in her seat.‘I-I’m sorry, Senpai; I didn’t mean to speak out of turn! I’m sure that there are merits to such passion,’ she backtracks profusely. ‘Please … please don’t mistake my opinion for disrespect!’‘Rosaria, uh …’She smacks her two hands together, causing you to jump from the sudden action.The drive-conductor turns around, getting a glimpse of the sight before shaking his head and looking away.>‘Well, so long as you know.’ (Stoic)>‘Hey, we’re all different … I can’t force you to just take my opinion and shape it into yours.’ (Understanding)>‘No, uh … you might have a point.’ (Concede)>‘Accepted.’ (Dismissive)>Stay silent>Write-In
Really sorry guys, I literally lost track of time trying to find "futuristic bus innards", etc
>>2370162>Hey, we’re all different … I can’t force you to just take my opinion and shape it into yours.’ (Understanding)
>>2370162>‘Hey, we’re all different … I can’t force you to just take my opinion and shape it into yours.’ (Understanding)Calling it now, the next time we see her we'll have swapped opinions and she'll try to convince us to be nostalgic.>>2370173We all have fetishes, don't worry about it. I'm particular to steam-powered trains.
‘We’re all different,’ you sigh, as much as you didn’t want to admit it, ‘and I can’t just force you to take my opinion and shape it into yours. I’m sorry too … passion leaks like that, right? Forget I … forget I said anything about it. Not going to change how you see things and I’m … well, I’m too deep where I am to bother reconsidering it.’‘Senpai …’You shift your gaze to the head of the bus.‘Hey, look … city’s coming right up,’ you point out, ‘there we are: Rhysode Alpha.’Rhysode Alpha was the first settlement on Rhysode, and one of the three points of population concentration in the last 200 years of colonization; the others known as Rhysode Beta and Rhysode Delta, although the latter had been renamed Ciraca about a hundred years ago as some sort of privatized deal (You only knew about it because Emilio had clued you in on Trade House matters). There were officers, hotels, science centers and apartments installed … many of them acting as branches for Trade Houses and corporations that had stock in Rhysode’s well-being. Curiously enough, despite many of the Trade House-owned units among the spires and the dishes and towers that made up the architecture, this was one of the few Paradise Colonies (albeit a low-level one) that Emilio had pointed out that his House didn’t have a stake in.It involved Ciraca and its renaming, but you didn’t follow enough of that to actually process it.‘I saw it on the way to The AEGIS,’ she replies—although it doesn’t deter her from standing up to get a better look at all. ‘It’s so … clean.’‘Yeah,’ you chuckle, leaning back in your chair. ‘Just wait until tonight.’‘Tonight? What’s tonight?’‘Graduation party,’ you chuckle, pointing to one of the banners by the side of the road that reverberated the truth of your words. ‘It’s going to be something.’‘Graduation?’‘For a lot of us, it’s going to be the last that we’re going to see of each other … ever,’ you reveal. ‘It’s rare that the odds play right and you get an assignment that matches up with someone that you spent the last four years with. I’m headed off to a Logistics Unit myself … Ryosuke and Emilio have their own thing and Sanza’s going to be staying on to complete her training. Not to mention everyone else chipping in to make sure their last goodbye’s one to remember.’‘Oh,’ she replies dully, sitting down, ‘but you’ll still be able to visit each other, wouldn’t you?’‘Playing the odds on that one … unless we get an invite back to give a speech or something, can’t bet on that with any certainty.’‘That’s … right,’ she concedes, drooping her shoulders. ‘It’s unfortunate, isn’t it? The four of you sound like you’re very close.’‘Yeah.’The bus screeches to a halt, prompting you to steady yourself before—
Oh, they were soft.‘A-Are you all right, Senpai?’With great embarrassment and some unfortunate feelings of reluctance, you push yourself up from your cushions. You had to hand it to Rosaria … she kept a cool head. You half-expected her to smack you silly like one of those old comics that you’d picked up from port as a kid.You wonder if they threw your things out for compost or something the moment you stepped off that ship to pursue your ambitions. You hope they only threw the bad series away … like that one with the weird pink-haired devil woman. There was some lingering regret you’d spent your allowance buying that collection; no regret at all if that ended up being recycled.‘Yeah,’ you finally reply, getting to your feet. ‘Hey, what’s—’There was an accident. Two heavy vehicles had found it in themselves to form a t-bone and they were blocked in such a way that the flow of traffic was only allowed from one direction. You glance at the on-board clock, wondering just how long it’d take for the bus to go find a detour around this mess. Outside the window, you see two men being restrained by AEGIS Commissioned Contractors—third party security by another name, who appeared to be taking statements from the both of them.You also notice that one of the two transports were carrying an assemblage of—‘Oh man, I know what that is,’ you smile wryly. ‘Guess there’s not gonna be a prank this year.’Plus-sized undergarments.‘Prank?’You shake your head, getting to your feet.This was good enough. Your hotel wasn’t that far of a walk—half an hour tops—and the hospital was just about the same distance from here. You gesture for Rosaria to follow you, heading down the aisles and swiping your tab, your bag firmly in your possession.[-1000 CROWNS]‘It looks like a nasty spi—what’s that smell?’The mean part of you wants to comment it was just the Spacer produce on her acting up … but you find yourself covering your own nose too. Jogging to the pavement, you find your eyes on what appeared to be a large pool of sewage gushing from the manhole right in the middle of the road … which the other vehicles were lazily zooming over, splashing it all over the place. You hadn’t noticed it from the overturned vehicles, but now that you’re able to get a good look …‘How can they stand that smell?’ Rosaria cries out, looking dreadfully ill. ‘Isn’t there a-a Unit Monitor or an Officer?’‘They’re probably on the way,’ you glance around … before reflexively pushing her bag to keep yourselves from getting any micro-semblance of that gunk on you. ‘We should too.’‘Hospital?’>‘Hospital.’ (Perpendicular road)>‘Actually, I want to check on the hotel first, you mind?’ (Main road)>Write-In
>>2370367>‘Hospital.’ (Perpendicular road)
>>2370367>>‘Hospital.’ (Perpendicular road)
>>2370367>Hospital.’ (Perpendicular road)
‘Hospital.’You had to see Sanza first.Well, not really, but you kind of felt the obligation to go and meet up with her before anything else. It was already approaching the late afternoon … and with the party being less than a few hours away, this was probably the last opportunity for you to talk with her before then. Plus, if Emilio’s implications were right, if you decided to go and see Fisher and bail on her without giving prior notice, the vacuum of space probably wouldn’t be enough to distance you from her wrath. She was an aspiring medic, after all … and meshed together with a maternally-fueled pettiness, escape would be an exercise in futility.You take a slow pace towards your destination, Rosaria right beside you. The offices and facilities were already undergoing what appeared to be preliminary preparations for the party … which would inevitably spill from the central district and all over town. You’re not sure who would be more impressive in that aspect: that the budding warriors of the Empire were partying their hearts out knowing that they’d have to be up by the crack of dawn for their assignments … or the city for having endured this tradition over dozens of decades.Rosaria lets out low, impressed sounds at the impressive buildings and amenities, all the way to the end of your short journey.The hospital was easily the oldest building on the planet that remained from the early years of settling. Having been erected for the early settlers, its grayed, expanded structure looked like a construct being built as a shell over another construct, making it look like a crescent moon that was being eaten by the shell of a crab. An emergency shuttle—a real one—had found its place on the pad on an attached block (a further expansion, but you hadn’t bothered to ask for details), a pair of pilots or maintenance men standing by its edge, chatting to each other as they appeared to wait for duty to call upon them again.‘It’s so … fancy.’You turn your head to face Rosaria, eager to comment on the fact that she had called a building that looked like it was in the middle of entering its cocoon stage … when you catch a glance of a familiar face, chatting with what appeared to be an elderly doctor and a middle-aged Officer, right at the main entrance.It was Sanza.Being this far from them, though, you couldn’t make out what they were chatting about … but it appeared to be something that was serious enough that all parties appeared to be rather … pensive.‘Is that your friend?’‘Yeah,’ you reply, wondering what they were going on about.>‘Come on.’ (Approach the trio)>‘Must be something important.’ (Let them finish their conversation)>Write-In
>>2371057>>‘Must be something important.’ (Let them finish their conversation)
>>2371057>‘Must be something important.’ (Let them finish their conversation)
‘Must be something important,’ you state, nodding in their direction. ‘That guy’s probably a Field Officer at least … and if he’s in the fatigues, that means he’s been called here from an outpost or from duty. Means that there’s a lot of time he’s wasted in coming out here to a civilian area … and that guy looks like he’s something important, too. Senior Physician, surgeon … definitely someone who’s been here a while, at least.’‘You can tell that just by a look?’‘Guess work is never an exact science.’Her eyes widen … before she turns away, giggling into her fist.‘Still … you can tell that the Officer’s probably called in from outside; in urban areas we usually wear something a little less rugged,’ you point out further. ‘Probably docked in in port or more than likely from the OER a little further north.’‘OER?’‘Orbital Entry Relay,’ you explain, ‘it’s what Imperial worlds use as a check of sorts on any fold activity within orbit. It’s an involuntary checkpoint of sorts … keeping records of ships that drop out within the range of habitable worlds and all that.’‘Oh, hop-watching.’You conceal a small smile. You hadn’t heard that term since you were on the Colony Fleet. Hop-watching had two meanings to it: the casual slang regarding the practice of watching space-fold anomalies and aligning them with safety protocols of the Colony Fleet receiving a nearby drop out of fold … or being part of the gaggle of fanboys that watched a ship practically will itself into existence from what could only be a mini supernova to impressionable minds. You remember those days, sitting by the viewport when the klaxon sounded—in spite of the klaxon sounding, really—and rushing to see what cruiser or carrier was docking in for a trade, negotiation or repairs.It was thing that little boys and girls didn’t grow out of, growing up up there.>‘You hop-watched too?’ (Nostalgia)>‘I hope it’s nothing serious, though. If an Officer came all the way here from his post …’ (Worry)>‘I wouldn’t call it hop-watching …. but the terms are reconcilable considering the context.’ (Analytical)>Stay Silent>Write-In
NOTE: What is Fold Activity? Just what it is. Folding space to make travel distance shorter.Pioneered by a kind scientist who only wanted the best for people!
>>2371315>>‘You hop-watched too?’ (Nostalgia)
>>2371315>‘You hop-watched too?’ (Nostalgia)
>>2371315>‘You hop-watched too?’ (Nostalgia)I may or may not have gotten sidetracked by Stars in Shadow.
jaysus still talking to the nerd
>>2371315>>‘I wouldn’t call it hop-watching …. but the terms are reconcilable considering the context.’ (Analytical)
You turn to her in surprise.Well, not so much surprise, but it had been a long time since you’d heard the term being used in such an informal manner.Maybe you were a little too nostalgic for your own good.‘You hop-watched, too?’Rosaria wears a fond smile, giggling lightly as she relaxes her shoulders. ‘Yeah, it was probably the one thing that wasn’t policed that much; with everything else under the Administrator’s thumb, one thing that the bunch of us liked to do was hop up to a Habitat and have a watch. I mean … it’s bad on the eyes to look at it directly yeah, I know, but, well, kids. Can’t keep something cool like that down. I think I …’She trails off, her smile fading away as the seconds ticked by, until the only thing that you are able to see is a reluctant, troubled expression, the young woman uncomfortably rubbing her bare forearms with the raise of her chin to a higher angle, staring at the sky in melancholy.‘We started going up there less and less when we hit … well, until we were of age. Hard to stay out of sight and out of the Officers’ hands when you risk it all just to get a look at a docking ship. Not that it happened open enough for us to care about, anyway …’She lets out a light, humorless sound, saying nothing else.‘I—’‘I think they’ve finished talking.’She gestures to Sanza and the two men. You turn to see their forms marching right back inside … while Sanza stood, staring at their retreating backs … before marching inside in a huff.She didn’t appear to be too pleased, if her body language was any indication of her current state of mind.>‘Come on.’ (Follow her inside)>‘So, uh … what was that about hop-watching?’ (Pursue the conversation)>‘I don’t think it’s a good time to see her right now.’ (Leave)>Write-In
>>2379554>>‘Come on.’ (Follow her inside)
>>2379554>‘Come on.’ (Follow her inside)
‘Come on.’It’s not long before you find yourself in a lobby that was scarcer than the cafeteria on lab night (The evening standard that was dedicated to a flurry of fusion dishes from many worlds over—there is yet to have been a positive review on the subject). There were two nurses in the middle of the large hallway and a family of three on some chairs by the wall. Even for a hospital, the place was much too sterile for your liking. In fact, rather than a hospital, every time you came in here, it felt as though some interior designer and contractor duo had been given an unlimited budget to splurge (Which, considering the origins of the settlement, they probably were). It was fancy and elegant, much like the interior of the bus. From what you’d heard from the older folk landing here, though, all the sleekness was a relatively-recent addition … and that the architecture was archaic compared to the metal towers of the Core System worlds.Still, the fact that all the scent out of the outside world had practically died stepping into here made you feel a little … imbalanced. No matter how many times you did it.Maybe it was the type of sterilization that they used, maybe.‘You know, if you’re so desperate for lunch, I’m sure Emilio could have whipped you up something.’You roll your eyes, but couldn’t quite keep the smile off your face as you turn to face your friend, clad in her orange uniform underneath her white lab coat, a smirk on her face.‘So what can I do you for, Fatty?’You throw her a withering gaze.Sanza Urale, one of the few female friends that you made in your lifetime and your one-time personal trainer, is as affected by it as a volcano being introduced to an ice cube.>‘It’s been more than two years. Is that really how you’re going to keep addressing me?’>‘Saw you chatting outside … what was that about?’>‘Sanza, this is Rosaria … she’s a Spacer. She’ll be starting an Apprenticeship, soon.’>‘I’m just here to talk to you about the party …’>Write-In
>>2379830>‘Sanza, this is Rosaria … she’s a Spacer. She’ll be starting an Apprenticeship, soon.’
>>2379830>>‘It’s been more than two years. Is that really how you’re going to keep addressing me?’
>>2379830>>‘Sanza, this is Rosaria … she’s a Spacer. She’ll be starting an Apprenticeship, soon.’
‘Sanza,’ you begin, stepping aside and gesturing your junior, ‘this is Rosaria; she’s going to be undergoing an Apprenticeship for the next few years.’‘Oh?’ Sanza raises an eyebrow, placing her hands on her hips as she nears the both of you.‘It is a pleasure to meet you, Senpai,’ Rosaria greets, bowing respectfully.‘Pleasure’s all mine,’ she returns, nodding in return, ‘an Apprenticeship, huh? Haven’t heard that being tossed around before …’‘She’s a Spacer, like me,’ you explain, ‘not from the same Colony Fleet, though … I thought that I’d show her around for a bit, introduce her to a few folks, show her how to get the shopping done and all that. I thought that I’d at least give her a reference so she’d at least have a name in the book to refer to in case she needs any, well … in case I miss anything.’‘You mean like the fact that I had to key in your storage for you when you forgot to register and sign your belongings over?’‘I paid you back,’ you retort, feeling more than a little defensive. ‘Besides, you weren’t doing anything at the time.’‘Sure I wasn’t,’ she counters sarcastically, nodding for further affect. ‘Do you have everything sorted out for your launch tomorrow?’‘Yeah, picked up my orders and assignments and have my hotel up,’ you reply, rolling your eyes. She could honestly be such a worrywart sometimes. ‘I haven’t set up my storage delivery, though … but chances are, I probably won’t be seeing any of that stuff for two years, at least. Still … thanks for keying it in.’Sanza sighs, shaking her head … but otherwise wearing a fond smile. That was Sanza. If she ever had children, you’d probably relate more to them as a sibling instead of an honorary uncle. An aspiring combat medic, Sanza was one of the brightest and hardest-working people you’d ever seen … and that extended to her habits outside the classroom and the medical center. She sorted everyone out. A right mother hen, you found it hard to imagine any of your own family fussing over you like Sanza did your little gang. While not white you’d call bossy or an annoyance (fort the most part), it astounded you just how she managed her studies, her progress … and the three trouble-makers that you, Emilio and Ryosuke made up.And you wouldn’t have it any other way.Not that you’d tell her. Ever.‘So how’s the big lug been treating you?’ Sanza suddenly chirps, nearing the slightly taller junior. ‘Has he told you about how we met?’The warning alarms blare in your head, even before you see that amused smirk flash across her lips.>‘Sanza!’ (Stop her)>‘Here we go again …’ (Resign yourself)>‘I’m going to go and check out the commissary. You two have your girl talk.’ (Leave temporarily)>Write-In
>>2380124>>‘Here we go again …’ (Resign yourself)
>>2380124>‘Here we go again …’ (Resign yourself)
‘Here we go again …’‘Come on, it’s the stuff of legends!’‘It’s me landing on Emilio’s head with my bare ass,’ you run counter, getting the bulk of the embarrassment out of the way, ‘that’s all there is to it.’‘E-Excuse me?’The both of you turn to Rosaria, who had her head tilted, confused. You don’t blame her … but at the same time, her having a full understanding wasn’t something that you were, well, comfortable with. Your sadistic excuse of a friend, however, wasn’t about to let the opportunity to tell how it was in her eyes. She wasn’t built for mercy: not when your dignity was as malleable to her as a child’s mud set.‘Your kindly Senpai here was running some basic drills with us,’ Sanza began, smiling, ‘back then a lot of us were finding our feet … but none of us were particularly noticeable outside of him and Emilio.’‘Emilio?’‘Another friend of ours,’ you explain, ‘he kind of … belongs to a Trade House.’‘A-A TRADE H—’Rosaria’s hands fly onto her lips, catching herself before she could turn the building’s noise sensors inside out. Her eyes seemed wide, panicked … not an uncommon reaction coming from a Colony Fleet Inhabitant, especially when it came to Trade Houses. If relations between the Imperial family and its government were frosty at best … a Trade House and a Colony Fleet could only ever hope to have something that didn’t involve playing blaster roulette. Unlike the more political and ideological nature of the Colony Fleet opposition to the Imperial forces, the Trade Houses and the Colony Fleets had one very simple tiff.It was about money.‘W-What’s a Trade House member staying in the-the AEGIS?’‘Emilio’s got his own reasons,’ you interject before Rosaria forgot to not make light of Emilio’s own issues—you owed him that much, at least, ‘but generally, Trade Houses put members of their family into Imperial governance to increase their prestige … or, in this case, the military. Trade Houses generally want anything that’ll get their name up there. Council members, Governors, Senators … they’ll do anything to spread their influence; and if they can’t … well, at least they’ve got some pull somewhere up there.’‘I … understand,’ Rosaria manages, biting her bottom lip. ‘A power play, a grooming for a role …’‘And our good friend here landed his bare ass on top of a scion with his pants caught in the rope,’ Sanza quipped. ‘I mean, that’s how it looked from where I was standing, anyway.’You turn red.‘I mean, from where I was lying down,’ she snipes playfully. ‘How do you lose your balance at the top of a wall?’‘How many times do you want me to re-live this?’‘For as long as it’ll keep you to a healthy diet.’‘I’m a grown man, woman!’‘I’m sure Emilio can vouch for that.’You look away, grumbling.
‘He … was he angry? What'd you do?’>'I kind of ... stepped over him trying to get up.'>'He struck first. Punched me square in the jaw. I gave right back, though.'>'I was kind of in shock and embarrassment until the Instructor dragged me off him ... and Sanza, of course. I'd just dropped my butt fifteen feet up onto his face.'>'The only thing I could: apologize. Not that he was interested in it at all.'>'I'd rather not talk about this.'>Write-In
>>2380327>>'I was kind of in shock and embarrassment until the Instructor dragged me off him ... and Sanza, of course. I'd just dropped my butt fifteen feet up onto his face.'
>>2380327>'He struck first. Punched me square in the jaw. I gave right back, though
‘I was kind of … in shock, embarrassment, the whole, uh … class was. Emilio … no one had actually tried to get to know Emilio; being part of a Trade House, you’d think that people would try to butter him up a lot more, but … well, that’s that,’ you start, a little hesitant, ‘but he was still part of a Trade House and that kind of made him some kind of mini-prince on base. I think they were all waiting for him to put his hands on my throat or something, but … the Instructor dragged me off before anything could happen. That’s how we met, in a way … but it wasn’t how we ended the day.’‘I’ll say; we were the first team to ever not finish the course in over thirty years,’ Sanza snorts, taking a step back, ‘and all of us were assigned to a remedial unit … no thanks to this big guy.’‘Why? Wasn’t he the only one that didn’t succeed?’‘The AEGIS operates on everyone being on the same page, the same mentality,’ you explain, ‘or at least, that’s how it starts off: every freshman is attached to a five to eight man cell, regardless of their specialization … and you had to make sure that no one lagged behind. Because of my screw up, I was kind of …’You sigh, remembering the elbow to the gut.It was less painful than the slurs that came after.‘Emilio came to my rescue, though … and he smacked me in the jaw to keep the rest from tanning my hide anymore than they already did,’ you chuckle. ‘That’s friendship for ya …but they did kind of request transfers out of the group. Considering that we were a Spacer and a Trade House scion, it was probably an understandable course for the Instructors.’‘That’s how Ryosuke came in, wasn’t it?’‘Oh yeah,’ you snicker, ‘I remember that day—him and …’You pause again; who was that fifth member of your Cell?‘She was only there for a year before she up and left,’ Sanza stroked her chin, ‘but she was a nice girl, that being said.’‘She was a little apprehensive around me for that span,’ you wear a half grimace as the words leave your mouth, ‘but I guess that being from a Colony Fleet does that to people by default. Didn’t you say that she was admitted to the hospital for something or other?’‘She was … and it felt pretty awkward, really, by the time we were allowed to break the cell, she’d been gone for about eight months.’‘I think she just had some really bad constitution, to be honest.’ You shrug. ‘I thought that she was pretty quiet, though … would’ve liked to have known what happened to her.’‘Excuse me, but … who’s she?’‘She was our fifth transfer in, I think her name was … Meia-something,’ you scratch the back of your head. ‘Pretty quiet … and she carried these tubes or something for her health.’‘She kept to herself most of the time, nice to talk to, but she didn’t really make an impression, I guess.’
>‘I don’t know, compared to you, she was something to look at, at least.’ (Tease)>‘I think she only really talked to you or Ryosuke … she didn’t really feel comfortable around me, I think.’ (Social)>‘She felt like an outsider … but it was probably by her own design. I didn’t talk to her that much, either.’ (Observant)>‘She was absent too much for me to care. I thought it was a miracle that we passed … with me bringing up the rear.’>Write-In
>>2380446>>‘I think she only really talked to you or Ryosuke … she didn’t really feel comfortable around me, I think.’ (Social)
>>2380446>>‘I don’t know, compared to you, she was something to look at, at least.’ (Tease)
>>2380446>‘I think she only really talked to you or Ryosuke … she didn’t really feel comfortable around me, I think.’ (Social)
>>2380446>I think she only really talked to you or Ryosuke … she didn’t really feel comfortable around me, I think.’ (Social)
I'll be running a session in about an hour.
‘I think she only felt comfortable around you or Ryosuke, she didn’t really feel comfortable around me … and as far as I know, Emilio was kind of indifferent to her back in the day, too. She didn’t really … stand out, did she? I think the only time she actually tried to initiate conversation with me was to find out where the remedial classes were going to attach themselves to our schedule. She didn’t seem enthusiastic about talking with me otherwise.’Sanza wears a small, wry smile, but doesn’t answer.‘So this is where you’re undergoing your training, Miss Sanza?’She shifts her attention to the blonde newcomer, shaking her head.‘Yeah, a lot of needle work,’ Sanza chuckles, tilting her head towards the corridor, ‘but I’ll be out in another two years for a more practical course. Hopefully I’ll be able to serve on a Support Unit on a cruiser as an intern, but … well, hope’s hope. Right now, though, I’m just happy that I’ve got my schedule sorted for the next week … the party’s been a killer on my timetable.’‘I told you not to do it if you weren’t up to it.’If there was a failing to your friend … it was that she didn’t know when—or how—to quit. You remember having to drag her away from the desk with Emilio and Ryosuke more times than you can count.‘Party?’‘Our … assignment party—well, ours, not hers.’‘Hope the pranksters aren’t going to go overboard this year …’
>>2382360>>‘Actually, if my guess is right … I don’t think there’ll be one this year at all.’
>>2382344>'You're not really taking prevention that seriously, are you?' (Disbelief)>‘Actually, if my guess is right … I don’t think there’ll be one this year at all.’ (Reveal occurrence)>‘You got eyes everywhere, right? They’re not going to get far with you on the case.’ (Praise her security efforts)>‘Don’t worry about it. Just let it happen; it’s good fun.’ (Relaxed)>Write-In
>>2382375>>‘Actually, if my guess is right … I don’t think there’ll be one this year at all.’ (Reveal occurrence)
>>2382375>‘Actually, if my guess is right … I don’t think there’ll be one this year at all.’ (Reveal occurrence)
‘Actually, if my guess is right … there probably won’t be one this year.’‘Huh? Why—wait a minute, you’re not planning to—’‘No, no, of course not!’ You hastily interject, raising your hands. You’d believed that she would have had a kinder opinion of you after all these years. ‘I mean … there was an accident on the main road heading into the city from The Academy. There was a sewer rupture of some sort, but one of the transports was carrying quite a load of … undergarments. If my guess is right, your would-be culprits aren’t going to be having a chuckle at your cost any time soon.’Rosaria gives a slight tilt of her head, confused. ‘A chuckle at her … cost?’‘Oh, uh … every year, there’s a committee to sort graduation week out. You know, parties, club showcases and all that. It gets really chaotic … and most of the time the Instructors don’t want to bother with a bunch of their new wave of peers causing a ruckus all along the planet, so they form a committee of sorts to make sure that we don’t, uh, get too out of hand or cause a mess. There was a debacle about a decade back that banned any on-campus shenanigans, I think.’‘And yet, they let Instructor Fisk run wild …’‘I don’t think anyone’s got the guts to stand up to him, to be honest.’‘What … happened a decade ago?’ Rosaria inquires, confused. ‘I mean … what was so bad about it?’‘Oh,’ you frown, stroking your chin. What did happen all those years ago?‘There used to be a holographic display of The Emperor in the main plaza, I believe … one that the class of the time modified to, uh … I believe they re-coded him to be a party-raving maniac; top hat, baggy shorts … the works. Kind of crossed the line there.’‘O-Oh, my.’‘They even gave him a song and an interactive module so he’d do pelvic thrusts. The Instructors were in an uproar.’>‘That’s hilarious.’ (Amused)>‘No way. They actually installed a VI into a display? That’s … no way.’ (Disbelief)>‘Some lines just can’t be crossed.’ (Solemn)>‘Anyway, you got everything else sorted?’>Write-In
>>2382479>>‘No way. They actually installed a VI into a display? That’s … no way.’ (Disbelief)
Basically, what happened was that they turned a holo-program of something like THIS, majestic, proud and inspiring ...
>>2382486And coded it to animate to this. Complete with ambient songhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdcTmpvDO0I
>>2382479>‘No way. They actually installed a VI into a display? That’s … no way.’ (Disbelief)They must've planned that for a while.
>>2382479>‘No way. They actually installed a VI into a display? That’s … no way.’ (Disbelief)
‘No way,’ you practically gasp in disbelief. ‘They actually managed to install a VI into a display? That’s … what—no, no way. That’s incredible.. The amount of memory and rerouting that they’d have to do …’That was your main focus, of course. The sheer impossibility of the occurrence was one that went right over your head. You wonder why you hadn’t bothered to ask about it before. You knew that there was a tradition of pranks prior to the departure for service, but the sheer magnitude—the [audacity—was one that you doubt that even the most keen and seasoned of practical jokers back on the Colony Fleet wouldn’t be able to sniff.‘Man, that’s … that’s impressive,’ you let out breathlessly, for some reason turning to Rosaria as if you had some sort of kindred spirit despite she hadn’t even said a word on the matter beyond her declaration of shock. ‘The retooling that they would’ve had to have done … a VI module’s huge in itself; for them to be able to get that sort of thing in such a compact display without any sort of remote back-up. I mean, it’s a simple function, isn’t it? But considering what they shifted, it must’ve taken ages for them to re-do it.’‘Reprogramming a holographic unit into an interactive module via VI isn’t an impossible task …’‘Yeah, yeah, but can you imagine having the Emperor doing a shuffle in front of a whole gaggle of staff and freshmen? It’s craz—’‘You better not be getting any ideas.’>‘Hey, you know where I’m coming from. It’s amazing in the technical sense, however you cut it. (TECHNICAL HABITS)>‘What?’ (Offended)>‘It’s pretty audacious. You got to admit that much.’ (Impressed)>‘Lighten up, Sanza.’ (Relaxed)>‘Yeah, we should go … Rosaria, Sanza?’>Write-In
>>2382612>>‘Hey, you know where I’m coming from. It’s amazing in the technical sense, however you cut it. (TECHNICAL HABITS)
>>2382612>‘Hey, you know where I’m coming from. It’s amazing in the technical sense, however you cut it. (TECHNICAL HABITS)Also don't forget guys, we need to tell her we're gonna leave the party early.
‘You know where I’m coming from,’ you snort, crossing your arms. ‘It’s amazing that they were able to do that, however you cut it. Displays that aren’t made for interactive purposes on that scale are hard enough to be re-wired … and if they’re compartmentalized like I think they are, it’s more amazing that they were able to do it like that, aren’t they?’‘But,’ Rosaria interjects, ‘if you’re talking hard-wiring, wouldn’t that sort of thing actually lead back to the source anyway? It’s hardly an achievement if you’re taking a whole block’s worth of processing power and language understanding, isn’t it?’‘Independent displays are like the vase’s of intelligent design—static and standing out from the rest of the system; it’s like having a painting animate itself—it’s just not done in this sense,’ you explain, ‘so really, from a technical standpoint, they pretty much changed the whole circuitry while installing their own VI so the interactive model would work with the existing program. There’s not that clear of a picture, but … that they were able to implement it at all, even in a limited sense is incredible. It’s like loading twenty-five cells into a ten-cell unit and not having it explode … without even caring that it shouldn’t be holding ten-cells at all.’‘A ten-cell unit can be modified to hold a fifteen-cell capacity without straining safety regulations, however.’You pause, turning to stare at the young woman.‘Wait, fifteen?’‘Y-Yes?’‘I never got higher than twelve … we’re talking cruiser-viable cell units for sectors, right?’‘O-Of course.’You blink, finding a newfound respect for your … most surprising junior.‘Wow, I’m—’‘All right, you brainiacs,’ Sanza interrupts, clapping her hands. ‘Anything else?’ >‘No, I just came to check up on you is all. Take care, Sanza.’>‘Actually, I’d like to talk about the party.’>‘So, since you’re going to be here for a while longer, can I count on you to show Rosaria here the ropes?’>‘Who were those two? The Officer and the Doc?’>Write-In
>>2382761>>‘Actually, I’d like to talk about the party.’
>>2382761>‘Actually, I’d like to talk about the party.’
Taking like a short, short 1 hour break. Going to have brunch.
>>2382761>>‘So, since you’re going to be here for a while longer, can I count on you to show Rosaria here the ropes?’
‘Actually, I’d like to talk to you about the party.’‘Oh?’>‘I’ll have to leave early … so I’ll probably have to skip out on most of whatever you planned after.’>‘Do you need any help? I’m about free this evening, so …’>‘Where is it going to be?’>‘Actually, you know what? It’s all right. I’ll just see you tonight.’>Write-In
>>2382974>‘I’ll have to leave early … so I’ll probably have to skip out on most of whatever you planned after.’
>>2382974>>‘Where is it going to be?’
>>2382974>>‘I’ll have to leave early … so I’ll probably have to skip out on most of whatever you planned after.’
‘I’ll have to leave early. I’m sorry, but if you have anything that you have planned after … I’ll probably have to skip out on it.’‘Any reason?’You had to think fast.Sanza … didn’t have a particularly high opinion of Instructor Fisher. While it’d be presumptuous to call it envy—and probably reciprocated, seeing as how professional she was—there was a strange twitch to her attitude whenever the topic of the Instructor came up.Emilio had given you good advice on the topic, and it only took one word: don’t.As far as you were concerned, it was one of the best things he’d done for you.>‘Actually, I … I’m supposed to meet up with Instructor Fisher.’ (Tell the truth)>‘Just hoping to get an early night … I have to report in before dawn.’ (Avoid)>‘I’ve got a prior engagement that’s relevant to my … posting.’ (Lie)>‘You know, you can stop acting like my mother any day now.’ (Push)>Write-In
>>2383079MINOR GRAMMATICAL CORRECTIONWhile it’d be presumptuous to call it envy—or even reciprocated at all, considering how professional Fisher was
>>2383079>>‘Just hoping to get an early night … I have to report in before dawn.’ (Avoid)feel like she'll know we're lying
>>2383079>>‘Just hoping to get an early night … I have to report in before dawn.’ (Avoid)
>>2383079>‘Just hoping to get an early night … I have to report in before dawn.’ (Avoid)The only idea I can come up with is saying we want to run the Toph-Lathu Scenario one last time, but I doubt that'd work.inb4 she gives us a condom.
>>2383102What's a condom?
>>2383113Fine, Space Condom. Or is safe sex not a big thing in the Empire?
>>2383122You would deny the Empire dominion of your brood? Heretic!
You look away, sighing, ‘Just hoping to get an early night … I have to get up and report in before dawn at Kerensky. Been assigned to a Logistics Unit on The Greyhound.’‘Logistics? Ouch.’‘It’s … what it is, I guess. Don’t have anymore control over where I go than Ryosuke does trying to pick up women.’She wears a look of understanding … and curiosity.‘I’ll still see you there tonight, right?’‘Yeah, of course,’ you answer insistently, ‘not that I’ll be able to miss it. Chances are, you’ll probably be bringing the party my way, anyway.’She frowns, puffing her cheeks and taking a step towards you. ‘Are you calling out my organizational skills?’‘No,’ you reply evenly, ‘but you’re in charge of a bunch of boys and girls who’re probably going to take every second of the next several hours as an outlet to a prelude of service and sacrifice. You honestly think that you’re up to that?’‘It’ll be controlled.’‘Sure it will,’ you answer, smirking. ‘I’m sure you can keep at least one building from catching fire.’It may just have been the mean bone in your body, but to you, watching a Medic-in-training such as Sanza huffing and glaring, but otherwise keeping her silence—and her pride—walled up as she is now … was truly a sight worth cherishing. It wasn’t often that you were able to get her to retreat into a mode of speechlessness, especially with the head-start that her brain had on yours when it came to a quick tongue … but when you did?You could endure Darton Wray’s glares for a whole week with that to heart.The sound of giggling catches your attention as you’re broken from your reverie brought by satisfaction, turning to its source, whose owner was regarding the both of you with a look of the utmost warmth and fascination.‘You’re really good friends, aren’t you?’You uncomfortably scratch the back of your head as Sanza looks away, her expression obscured from yours.>‘We better get going now. You probably have some last minute things to set-up, too.’>‘Is there anything that you need help with?’>‘By the way, who were those two guys you were talking to?’>Write-In
>>2383180>>‘By the way, who were those two guys you were talking to?’
>>2383180>‘By the way, who were those two guys you were talking to?’
>>2383180>By the way, who were those two guys you were talking to?’
‘I noticed you were talking with an Officer and a Physician … what was all that about?’‘I was trying to get my name on the shortlist for an Internship as part of a reserve unit … but they’re not about to let a third-year anywhere near that. The Officer you saw me talking to was part of a Ops Blade that’s currently in reserve. I thought that even one that small would’ve been all right, but … well, Doctor Karner could only have so much pull. I’m glad that he’d try that hard for me, anyway.’‘Doctor Kar—’‘Ops Blade? What’s that?’Oh, it looked like your exposition was needed. Your own inquiry could wait.‘Ops Blade is an archaic term. Most of the people that use it are Rim-Worlders like Sanza here. It’s a play on the word Operative Blade; which is what they called it about a hundred or so years back. Term’s origin’s a lot older, but not I’m going to go that deep; these days, they’re known as Task Forces. Only reason to use the term Ops Blade in specification at all is if the particular unit … or units attached to that Task Force is over a hundred years old. I think there are about … what? Eight left these days? Which one did that Officer belong to?’‘The Iron Khans, I think. His son’s attending The AEGIS this year and he’s hoping to retire to an Instructor position himself, from what I heard … Doctor Karner tried talking to him to put me on board, but, well … things only got so far.’‘I’m sorry, Senpai.’Something catches your attention.‘Wait, why are the Iron Khans a Reserve Unit? I mean … not that I ever heard that much from them, but if you’re calling them an Ops Blade—a Task Force—that means that they should be out there on the borders or something, right? Why would they be placed in Reserve at all?’‘Wait, you didn’t know?’‘Know what?’She stares at you, bewildered.‘The Emperor and his council are planning to decelerate militarily. Quite a few of the Battle Groups and the like are on the waiting list to be … in a word, redistributed. After what happened to Princess Urnae and the Prince Horun, the Emperor’s hoping for a gradual decrease on the front. The Iron Khans were one of the first to be given their orders … and they’ll be policing local navigation ways rather than quelling Border Worlds.’‘Wow,’ you let out a low, impressed sound. ‘Wait, what about—’‘Yeah, I’m worried too,’ she cuts right in. ‘Still … I guess I should be counting my blessings that we live on a Rim World instead of a Border World. I don’t know how they’re going to manage on that front … but frankly, it’s out of my territory.’‘So, uh,’ Rosaria cuts in. ‘Why is it a bad thing? Isn’t less fighting good?’'It's ... not that simple, actually,' you sigh.
‘Eh?’‘Border Worlds are kind of a no-man’s space for The Republic and The Alliance Military … and The Empire. Generally, there’s a claim by both on certain worlds, but there’s also a sort of gentleman’s agreement that everyone play nice and share. Task Forces and the like are the ones sent to these worlds to … in a word, make sure everyone plays nice. It’s a lot harder said than done, because due to that gentleman’s agreement, the battle in certain systems gets … heated and rogue factions and the like—hah—try to step out of line. The Republic and The Empire generally try to keep the management of these things … discrete, which is why singular Batallions at best—and Task Forces more frequently—are sent out there.’‘So, kind of like Security Units?’‘Well,’ you consider it for a moment, ‘yes and no, Task Forces, Ops Blades, receive funding from the Empire for their day to day stuff, but generally they operate with The AEGIS’s own tenets in mind than that of The Grand Hall or any of the Emperors general advisers. Basically, they’re independent in practice, but accountable on paper. It’s to make sure things don’t get to messy, but they generally don’t stray any closer than Rim Worlds on their rounds … exceptions aside, of course. Sometimes they can’t help being celebrities.’The Starjammers come to mind for you.If only because of the merchandise.‘Yeah, anyway,’ Sanza coughs, catching your attentions again. ‘That’s how it is.’‘Why do you want to put yourself on a shortlist, anyway?’She stares at you, unamused.‘Because it’s better to learn applicability than it is trying to struggle applying theory, of course.’You shrug. Medical expertise was never your thing … but that, you could understand.>‘Well, we better get going, then.’ >‘Do you mind babysitting Rosaria? I need to check into my hotel and then some.’>‘You sound like you got your hands full. Need any help?’>Write-In
>>2383413>>‘You sound like you got your hands full. Need any help?’
>>2383413>Need any help?
‘Actually, now that you ask, there is something that you could do for me.’‘What?’She rummages through the inner pocket of her lab coat, bringing out what appeared to be a tab drive.‘That?’‘I need you to deliver this to Conlast’s Cakes and Bakes. They should be on the main road on the way to the entertainment plaza. Tell them that it’s for tonight’s order and tell them that the contact is 07-99-2365.’>‘Main road? That’s a little out of my way.’ (Decline)>‘You got it!’ (Enthusiastically accept)>‘You’re not going to … sprinkle something on the top for me?’ (Ask for a reward)>Write-In
>>2383945>You’re not going to … sprinkle something on the top for me?’ (Ask for a reward)
>>2383945>‘You got it!’ (Enthusiastically accept)
>>2383971>>2383986Flipping a coin. Coin flipped.
You give an enthusiastic nod, picking the drive right out of her hands. ‘Conlast’s Cakes and Bakes; you got it!’‘Remember the number, all right? I’d hate for them to send it to some abandoned warehouse or something.’‘I’ll remember, Sanza,’ you counter, rolling your eyes as you deposit the tab drive in your pocket. ‘Don’t you have Doctor things to do or something about now?’‘Thanks!’Something soft and warm briefly presses against your cheek. Before you’re able to discern, however, the culprit had already retreated some distance back before whirling around, her feet skipping along the floor as she throws a friendly wave back, smiling brightly with every step down the corridor.‘I’ll see you tonight, okay?’You raise a hand to the side of your face, gently caressing the spot where she had made her mark.‘Y-Yeah …’‘Senpai?’>‘Come on, let’s get going.’ (Head outside)>‘Wanna do some exploration?’ (Do some naughty snooping)>Write-In
>>2384036>‘Come on, let’s get going.’ (Head outside)
>>2384036>>‘Come on, let’s get going.’ (Head outside)
>>2384036>‘Come on, let’s get going.’ (Head outside)>Write-InWrite that damn number down. On the last day before everyone ships off, you can't rely on nothing of importance happening to drive it from your memory.
>>2384036>>2384055I'll back writing it down.
‘Come on,’ you gesture to Rosaria, ‘we better get going.’The both of you step outside and back onto the road, right as several bodies of personnel make their way back into the building, either finishing up lunch, rounds or whatever it was that aspiring medical specialists did in the middle of the afternoon. Today was, to be honest, quite relaxed … especially when one weighed that a bunch of potential lawless drunkards and amateur soldiers (And that observation is made on the most affection of terms) would be prowling and howling their way down the streets by the time night came along.Maybe that’s what this was. Just the calm before the storm.‘Senpai?’‘Hm?’‘I was wondering … would it be all right if I asked you, um,’ she pauses, before throwing up a nervous smile, scratching the back of her head, ‘you know … never mind! Sorry!’>‘Spit it out.’ (Annoyed)>‘No, no, questions are good. What is it?’ (Encouraging)>'If you don't have anything worthwhile to inquire about, then it doesn't have any worth.' (Stern)>‘Suit yourself.’ (Indifferent)>Write-In
>>2384086>‘No, no, questions are good. What is it?’ (Encouraging)
>>2384086>>‘No, no, questions are good. What is it?’ (Encouraging)
‘No, no, questions are good,’ you hurriedly encourage her, keen to keep her curiosity from dropping into intimidation. ‘What is it?’Rosaria wears a nervous smile, holding her head up to face you as her hands fold at the front.‘I’ve, uh, I’m a little … surprised, I guess,’ she smiles. ‘I didn’t know that you were so enthusiastic when it came to Mechs—not that I didn’t get it before, of course, but … you seem be quite invested in this, aren’t you? Far more than the average Colony Exile would be.’You give a slight grimace. That was a little harsh, even coming from her. You may not have had a departure worthy of fanfare (You doubt anyone would have, given the context), but you hardly believed that you were—in her words—and exile. Shaking your head, you try to focus on the question at hand. There was no use getting worked up over something that she probably hadn’t meant to offend by, anyway.‘Well, I came here under the impression any moron had getting into the grinder had,’ you recall with a chuckle, ‘and by that I mean some kid that thought saving the galaxy and giving back to it meant getting in a mech and chasing down bad guys. You don’t come to that conclusion without getting some exposure to the world you were getting into … and with Mechs, there were legends, tales of heroism, all that jazz. I mean, I’m not much of a history buff myself, but the way the Empire fed it through their channels … well, they made it interesting. The Last Stand of The Wrecking Crew, The Orbit Reclamation of Severine.’‘You … bought into that?’‘Well, not so much [i[bought, but I did get that there was a lot of things that didn’t appeal to the Administrators and the Colony Fleet in regards to the truth of the Empire.’‘What’s that?’‘That keeping the peace isn’t done by letting someone else take up arms in your stead and being fine with it,’ you declare, adjusting your slipping bag. ‘I mean, independence or no, we all got to do our part, even the little guy. Besides, it was a better deal than listening to the Administrator wax on about habitat maintenance for the fiftieth time to the middle decks.’She giggles into her hand. ‘I get what you mean.’You toss a smile her way.‘So, with the retreats—I mean, with the Empire deciding that the Task Forces are going back into reserve … like the Officer from the Iron Khans, back there, what do you think is going to happen?’You consider it for a moment. You didn’t really know; you couldn’t see into the future, but you did trust that it was a decision made out of practicality and with goodwill in mind.‘Do you think that the Emperor made a good decision bringing them back?’‘Taking an interest?’‘I’m curious, actually,’ she admits, ‘it feels that there’s a little … too much compromise, if that makes sense.’
>>2384202>'Deceleration of arms is good any day. If this leads to less conflict on the whole, all I can do is be thankful for it.' (Pacifistic)>'There's an ancient saying: If you wish for peace, you must be prepared for war.' (Grim)>'I do have my misgivings. Deceleration of arms is nice, but considering the situation ...' (Doubt)>'I can understand why he did it. Politics.' (Realpolitik)>'Don't really have an opinion.' (Indifferent)>Write-In
>>2384206>'I can understand why he did it. Politics.' (Realpolitik)>'I mean, if they're pseudo-security and keep the peace, why are they among the first units getting pulled back? Seems like a good way to make the situation worse.'Assuming that Task Forces aren't the only kind of military unit stationed on the border.
>>2384227As far as you're aware, they're the only ones outside of occasional Carrier Divisions coming in with reinforcements in case things get too explosive.
>>2384230Oh, just ignore the write-in then.
>>2384202>>2384227Just switch me to Doubt if no one else votes.
‘I mean, I can get why he did it,’ you let out, if a little doubtfully. ‘There’s nothing to this but politics, right? With what happened on Kaibara and losing the Prince and the Princess and the Republic of Aramis being out for some form of an answer, this is probably why he decided the best course of action was to pull back. By doing this, he has the opportunity to enter a negotiation without the Alliance Military weighing on as a decisive influence. Last thing anyone wants is a response of force to a threat of force … and this allows him to curb both the Trade Houses pushing for an industrial windfall.’‘What happened on Kaibara?’‘There was,’ you pause, thinking it through. Could you be certain at all? ‘There was an alleged malfunction that led to the deaths of a Senator and two members of the Imperial Family. Two ships, The Independence from the Alliance and The Bulwark of Callorn were docked in. The Jenner Limitations were signed in the aftermath … so I guess this is a bit of a trickle down effect from the deceleration. It’s pragmatic and practical … but he’s putting the border worlds up for season in trying to maintain this stability. Bringing Task Forces in is a gesture of confidence in itself, of course, but …’‘You don’t support it?’You cross at the junction. You hadn’t realized that the main road was already in sight.The wreck of the two transports was still there, but the rupture had been thankfully cleaned up … for the most part, at least.‘It’s more like I see the purpose, but that it’s done so callously, I feel like that there’s something that’s going to snap right back.’‘You don’t have faith that The AEGIS would be able to respond should the need arise?’>‘Of course I do.’ (Faith)>‘Tactics and logistics play a way bigger role than sheer reputation and strength.’ (Pragmatic)>‘Let’s just say I have … realistic expectations of performance.’ (Doubt)>Don’t answer her>Write-In
>>2384385>They would, but any response will take longer to implement and be less effective now.
>>2384385>‘Tactics and logistics play a way bigger role than sheer reputation and strength.’ (Pragmatic)Oops, sorry I took so long to vote. I guess I missed the submit button.
>>2384385>>‘Tactics and logistics play a way bigger role than sheer reputation and strength.’ (Pragmatic)
You want to say that you do, but for better or worse … you remember Instructor—no, Commander Wray’s words on the matter. Hardass as he was … he had earned every right to be one; that being a beacon, being a symbol or a steady rock or whatever was all well and good, but in the end, those that weren’t prepared for failure weren’t prepared at all. It was one of the things that he’d beat into his class, whether they liked it or not … and you were quite sure he didn’t like you, achieving the correct solution to the Toph-Lathu Scenario notwithstanding.‘Preliminary tactics and logistics play a way bigger role compared to reputation and strength,’ you declare, ‘in fact, there’s not a war to fight at all if you don’t establish a proper set-up for intercept on any forward units from the other side. The AEGIS is the bastion to the Empire, but no matter how much skill or men you have, you’re not going to be able to punch your way out of a kill-box situation or running out of fuel and ammunition in a quadrant.’‘It’s understandable … but is that really the mentality to take with this? Aren’t doubts on Imperial power generally met with … derision or something?’‘People are going to talk smack about politics, whether the Empire allows it or not—fortunately, the line of Emperors is big on criticism. The Trade Houses and The Grand Hall wouldn’t have anything to say otherwise.’She brings a hand to her lips, looking thoughtful. ‘I suppose that would be … counter-productive, but isn’t that kind of mentality giving a little too much of a hand up to the possibility that everything will … just deteriorate from opposing attitudes?’It was a proposition worth taking a thought to, to be honest.On the Colony Fleets, the Administrators could be slackers for all you cared, but because of the environment, vying for any real power, any real pull didn’t go far, if anywhere at all. In the endless void that was the galaxy, however, you had more—for lack of better word—options to move by, hence more opportunities to position yourself. In opposition or in support. That still left a wider berth for potential power to be seized. The Emperor, regardless of the anthems and the tales, had a finite hold of power, even within his own dominion.However, considering he was The Emperor, it would be naive to think that he didn’t have contingency after contingency to deal with such an occurrence.He was The Emperor, after all.‘I guess going that far, I’d have to say that The Emperor would probably have something in mind. You don’t stay Emperor without taking the necessary precautions.’‘That is a truth, I suppose,’ she replies with a smile, placing her hands behind her back. ‘Oh, isn’t that the place Miss Sanza mentioned?’Conlast’s Cakes and BakesYou read the fine print.‘Formerly Sneed’s?’The both of you glance at each other, shrugging.
>>2384688>'Let's ... go in later. I want to go and check my hotel out first.' (Detour)>'Come on. The sooner we can get this over and done with, the better.' (Go inside)>'I'll do it later, I think.' (Secretly keep the tab for yourself)>'Don't you want to check out the other shops first?' (Decline executing the task now)>Write-In
>>2384688>>'Come on. The sooner we can get this over and done with, the better.' (Go inside)
>>2384692>'Come on. The sooner we can get this over and done with, the better.' (Go inside)
>>2384688Also I think your gif broke.
>>23847054chan is fucking the bed with some image uploads, so I'm not surprised.
‘Come on, the sooner that we can get this done with, the better.’You cross the street, entering the shop.It didn’t look special at all—to you, at least. A lot of grey metal, some wooden tables that probably cost more than the whole plot combined … and a selection of displays of ready-made cakes, bagels and the like. There was a price board at the bottom with a display of all the available pastries that they had for sale as well … although by the look of things, it probably wasn’t meant to be there. There seemed to be a dent at the top, which meant the magnet link didn’t have anything going for it.All in all, it was quite … plain. You wonder just who had a hand in the design of this shop. You’d seen better on board your Colony Fleet. Except for the wooden tables, of course. Those were quite nice … and also quite a tell as to the nature of the owner of the place to be able to afford such a thing on a settlement that was less than five-hundred years old.‘Hi, can I help you?’You look to the counter, which was probably raised about a foot above the floor, if the height differential between you and the man behind it was any indication. He was portly with a scraggly beard and a chef’s hat, wearing an expression that demanded urgency but at the same time, courtesy.‘Ah, hang on a sec,’ you get to the point, taking the tab drive out from your pocket and handing it over. ‘I was supposed to hand this over to you.’‘Oh,’ he blinks, giving it a once over. ‘A rush order.’He does something behind the counter—one that is accompanied by a buzzing … and a snapping sound.‘Ah, of course … you’re with those crazies,’ he cries out jovially, keying something in on a pad at the top of the counter. ‘What is the Contact ID?’>[Key In Contact ID]>'Crazies?'>'Fancy set-up you have around here.'>'So you're a bakery?'>Write-In
>>2384890>>[Key In Contact ID]>07-99-2365
>>2384890>[Key In Contact ID]>'Crazies?'
>>2384890>Key In Contact ID]Seniors are always crazy by graduation, just get this done
>>2384890>>[Key In Contact ID]
>>2384896Friend who graduated from Imperial College confirms. All those years makes you go wacko.
‘07-99-2365.’He keys it in.‘All right, all done.’‘That’s it?’‘The wonders of automated service,’ he cackles, clapping his hands. ‘Can I interest you in anything else while you’re here?’>‘Can I have a look at your menu?’>‘This is … quite the set-up.’>‘So you’re a bakery, huh? That’s … something.’>‘No, thanks. We have to be on our way.’>Write-In
>>2384986>>‘This is … quite the set-up.’
>>2384986>‘No, thanks. We have to be on our way.’
>>2384986>‘Can I have a look at your menu?’Maybe get a snack for us and the freshman
‘No thanks. We have to be on our way.’You give a respectful nod as Rosaria falls into a bow, before exiting with you.‘Don’t be a stranger!’It was still a fair while until night would come … but outside of a few people with shopping bags and some middle-aged ladies chatting away as their group escorted themselves back to their homes, there didn’t seem to be much going on. So much for this being the Main Road … although, considering your earlier hypothesis, you couldn’t very well rule out that everyone was just bracing themselves for an onslaught of drunken—‘So this is … Rhysode Alpha, is it? It doesn’t seem too … busy.’‘The population’s only the few hundred thousands at best,’ you reveal. ‘You can get around on the G-Train system … not that we’re going to be able to get far without you having a credit tab, anyway. This is the Main Road, the first street to be made for the settlement. Technically, we’re still along the outer city; specifically, the North-Eastern Quadrant. Most of the places of business in Rhysode Alpha are subsidiaries of Trade Houses or first time settlers from a whole bunch of other worlds. You have to go in a little deeper if you want to check out the heavier shopping districts, though … everything here’s mostly a bunch of old-timey shops and inns converted into hotels.’‘I see. So all these are …’‘They mostly sell antiques and odds and ends, old book stores … you get a lot more industrious heading towards the inner city, though. That’s usually where I go if I feel like sneaking a little contraband back to the Academy.’‘Contraband?’‘Drinks, mostly. Still have to watch the weight, though,’ you chuckle. ‘Anywhere you want to go?’‘M-Me, no … I can’t. I haven’t even received my stipend yet. It’d be rude of me to take anymore of your kindness … Senpai.’‘You su—’‘I am sure,’ she replies firmly, before adding, ‘thank you very much.’You wear a small smile, nodding in return.‘So … where to?’>‘I need to drop my things off at the hotel and check-in, at least.’ (Head to the hotel)>‘No harm doing a little browsing … not that there’s anything to shop for around these parts.’>‘Back to the Academy?’>‘Do you want to go to the Inner City? If nothing else, you can get a better feel when you come here next time.’>Write-In
>>2385124>‘I need to drop my things off at the hotel and check-in, at least.’ (Head to the hotel)Seems better than having someone try to sell us a pile of sticks they found in the gutter for the equivalent of $40.
>>2385124>>‘I need to drop my things off at the hotel and check-in, at least.’ (Head to the hotel)
>>2385124>‘I need to drop my things off at the hotel and check-in, at least.’ (Head to the hotel)
>>2385124>>‘I need to drop my things off at the hotel and check-in, at least.’ (Head to the hotel)Finally.
‘I need to go to my hotel … if not to drop my things off, then to at least go for a check-in.’‘Hotel?’‘I can’t stay on campus. I already keyed myself out of the system; I think that everyone’s going to be doing that by tonight,’ you explain, hoisting your bag. ‘Before anything else, I’d like to at least be able to dump my bags somewhere without worry. Can’t be lugging this around town all day, you know?’‘Oh …’‘Something wrong?’‘N-Not at all,’ she replies quickly, nervously waving her hands in what looked like an attempt to alleviate your worry. You want to point out just how jumpy she is from the suggestion, but considering how nervy she had been since you’d encountered her, you decide that the less you point and straighten her out, the better … and it wasn’t like the Instructors were going to ease up on their tradition of trauma, anyway.You’d allow her this merciful grace period to acclimatize herself.You’d been a worse case than she was, after all.‘Come on.’It’s not that far a walk. Private transports roll past you with uneven hums and shakes as Rosaria—more subdued than ever—takes opportune glances at the tall buildings that made up the bulk of the bright, shimmering city. You’d been speechless too. Coming from a Colony Fleet, anything that had a make of more than six levels was just incredible. Other than Ylam, most of the places that your place had made stops at were, in a word, tiny. Outposts that were made on the ruins of old settlements; AEGIS emergency stations; the odd city that was still in its growing pains …You certainly remember your first night in the city.Night.Maybe it was just you, but you wondered if there were any other Colony Fleet Inhabitants that had problems acclimatizing to wide, high spaces and natural gravity. Back on the ships, you could maneuver and tell the difference between an access vertical and an auxiliary exhaust chamber. It took you more than just a little while to get your bearings on that front … and register the word “street” into your vocabulary proper. Still, even for a hundreds-year old settlement with slightly-dated architecture (And it was; many of these buildings were endorsed by Trade Houses before your grandfather was even a thought), it was an exceptional fruit of effort and design. Maybe if you did anything significant post-career, you’d endorse Spacer-friendly street directories …‘Oh, we’re here.’The Lux-Kimura, luxury on a budget.Good thing you’d already paid in full.It wasn’t that big (It was about the same size as Ylam’s second tier hotels), had one counter right in the front with a stiff-looking pencil-necked man as a concierge peering through the glass doors of the establishment and two burly men in fancy suits standing outside wearing the most fake of smiles.This was the service industry, all right.
The lobby was fancy; just like the previews had showcased. Ornate tables and chairs, two elderly women in strange dresses playing what appeared to be a game of chess (Ostran-modern rules, if the eight pieces were any indication), a bar down the hall and another lounge—and empty one—with a man in a suit attending to it. The air inside was a little warmer than the outside already, so the atmosphere calibration was decent at the very least.You approach the concierge, holding up a hand in greeting. ‘Hey.’The mustached-man raises an eyebrow in your direction, replying, ‘Hey … and may I greet you to The Lux-Kimura. How may I help you?’‘I have a room for one night. Departure by 0330. Wake-up call requested.’‘And your … registration code?’‘The Starjammers.’He brings up the console, his fingers flying all over the keypad before stopping … and instantly widening into a toothy grin.‘Ah, yes, the cadet,’ he smiles widely, clapping his hands together. ‘Your room is on the sixth floor and—oh, you have brought a … friend.’You turn to Rosaria … who was still looking rather subdued. This was probably the first time she’d even been in a hotel, really.‘Oh, is that a problem?’‘No, no, no problem, we are in completely understanding,’ he declares, still smiling. ‘Our assistance numbers are on the writing desk in your room, should you need anything at all.’‘Thanks.’‘And,’ he pauses, turning the display your way, ‘would you like to put any add-ons to your current services? A dinner presentation? An additional atmospheric adjustment?’You consider your options.>‘Some dinner would be nice, actually.’ 6000 CROWNS>‘An atmospheric adjustment would be swell.’ 5000 CROWNS>‘Actually … the souvenir basket sounds nice. Could you send one up?’ 4000 CROWNS>‘No, thanks.’>Write-In
>>2386579>>‘No, thanks.’>handrubbing in space
>>2386579>‘No, thanks.’IIRC we only have 6500, right?
>>2386590I should really do a counter for that kind of thing, but yeah.
>>2386599Make a pastebin account, other users can't see what email's attached to it. Or you can use a burner if you want, all you'll need it for is activating the account.
‘No, thanks.’Still wearing that bright (and thoroughly insincere) smile, he nods. Behind the counter, your hear buzzing and snapping sounds, followed by a gentle ping. The concierge holds up a red-striped key card, holding out for you to take … which you do.‘Please enjoy your stay, sir,’ he declares, though you can’t quite get past the fact that there was an unnerving twitch in the corners of his mouth. ‘And I wish your companion the same.’You give a small nod and a wave, maneuvering past the counter and down the corridor. The lift was right at the end, past some fancy black pillars with holo-displays. You swipe your card on the console, pressing the button to head up, you rub your neck, turning to your silent companion as you wait for the lift to come down … only to find that she looked as though she was steeling herself like a horse rushing out of the gates.She’d been quiet all the while … was all this really so overwhelming to her? You want to ask her what was wrong, but there was something about her that seemed … intimidating, or, at least, at this very moment. You decide to approach it carefully … lest you step on toes you could avoid anyway.Maybe you could ease her into it.Maybe.>‘Something wrong?’ (Inquire)>‘First time in a hotel, huh?’ (Casual)>‘So how’d you like the city? Up to standard?’ (Casual)>‘Overwhelming, huh? I remember my first time …’ (Regale)>Stay quiet>Write-In
>>2386789>>‘Something wrong?’ (Inquire)>inb4 she thinks we're gonna do lewd things
>>2386789>'Yo gurl I ain't tryna to smash.'>‘Something wrong?’ (Inquire)
>>2386793Fuck, there goes my black Facebook card.
>>2386789>>‘First time in a hotel, huh?’ (Casual)
‘Something wrong?’‘What? N-No, of course not!’She shuffles her feet.>Pry>Try to ease her>Take a step back>Write-In
>>2386858>Try to ease her
>>2386858>>Try to ease her>relax, just gonna get my stuff settled here and we'll move on
>>2386858>>Try to ease her
>>2386858>Take a step back"I'll just go drop my stuff off upstairs. If this is too overwhelming for you, feel free to wait around outside, away from all this... opulence."
‘Relax,’ you reassure Rosaria, giving her a friendly pat on the shoulder as the lift arrives. ‘I’ll just settle things here and then we can move on, right?’She gives a slow nod, taking a sharp intake of breath as the doors open and the both of you step in. You hit the button for the sixth floor, turning to her and giving another reassuring smile. It hits you that perhaps it was the luxury of it all that was overwhelming to her. You didn’t have an idea of what would qualify as squalor on her Fleet, but you doubt that she had exposure to something like this on board any of the ships. Even back on yours, the closest thing to it were the … pleasure houses, and those had to be fancy by any measure to make up for the seedy undercurrent of their purpose. You’d never attended of course.Although, you did find out that you needed some sort of Administrator’s license to operate. Bureaucracy never knew where to stop, even up there.The ding of the lift has Rosaria stepping out first, with you following right behind her. The floor was carpeted and there were mirrors and paintings on either side of the corridor. Cheap knock-offs from a passing trader, but they help with the ambiance, anyway. Rosaria jogs quickly right to the end of the corridor to a wide window overlooking the streets below. You hold up your key, reading the room number to yourself before glancing left, then right. Odds were to your right, evens were to your left.By the count, that made your room … right over there.You swipe your card. The buzz and beep has the door—made of wood—hissing open and standing ajar for you to enter.Cream-colored sheets on a bed, a dresser … and a table for two with a chess set on it.‘Rosaria?’She keeps her silence, her back still to you.You try again.‘Rosaria?’She whirls around, marching towards you before dropping herself in an apologetic bow.‘I-I’m sorry,’ she apologizes. ‘I was just … trying to get a good view.’‘That’s fine,’ you reply, albeit feeling a little confused. She sounded a little … reserved—no, not that; she sounded restrained, there was some reluctance and … anxiety, you supposed? Did she feel like she was imposing?‘Senpai?’‘Oh, sorry,’ you apologize, moving out of the way so she could get in. Your bag was bulky enough to allow you to block the whole doorway.Yes, your bag.Not you. You weren’t that big anymore, no you were not.The door shuts behind you … and you toss your bag in a corner. Rosaria immediately whirls around, her eyes wide with … fear?‘C-Can I use the toilet, please?’You keep yourself from laughing. So that was what she was so anxious about.‘Go ahead.’She doesn’t wait to ask twice, moving straight out of your sight and into the bathroom.You observe the room. Not a bad selection for what you paid.
>>2387079>Check the channels>Check the dressers>Rest on the bed>[USE ITEM]*>Go head back outside>Write-In*You can ask me what you have
>>2387091>>Check the dresserswhat items do we have?we got a comm device we can use to let Sanza know we finished the errand for her
>>2387091>>Go head back outside
>>2387091>Check the dressersI'm just gonna copy paste the items I know of.[RESERVE CREDIT TAB: 6500 CROWNS][CASUAL CLOTHES: LAMBARDO][CASUAL CLOTHES: ZAMBOSKI][THE AEGIS: THE SHIELD OF THE PEOPLE VOL. 1][THE AEGIS: THE SHIELD OF THE PEOPLE VOL. 2][FORMAL UNIFORM (BETA)][MEMPHIS’S SPECIALIZED BEAM CUTTER]There's also the knife from that one guy.
>>2387102Oh, you don't have a comm device. Yours came with the Academy and you turned it in prior to the Quest MECH RAILROAD REEEEE. Current items for use are:>[MEMPHIS'S SPECIALIZED BEAM CUTTER]>[LIFE OF KOMPAS]>[RESERVE CREDIT TAB: 7500 CROWNS]>[CASUAL CLOTHES: LAMBARDO]>[CASUAL CLOTHES: ZAMBOSKI]>[THE AEGIS: THE SHIELD OF THE PEOPLE VOL. 1]>[THE AEGIS: THE SHIELD OF THE PEOPLE VOL. 2]>[FORMAL UNIFORM (BETA)]
>>2387113Yeah, and Zalatz's Blade.
>>2387126Just in case anyone missed it when I asked earlier, we only have 6500 crowns.>>2387133>that feel when even the QM forgets youBeing Zalatz is suffering.
>>2387147His wife did just divorce him. Him giving you that knife is symbolic in that he just wants to forget about her and move on. And you told him not to indulge in hookers and blow. For shame.
>>2387157Fine, we can convince him to try and find a qt3.14 librarian waifu with glasses instead of a high class bitchy one if we see him again.
You move to check the dressers.There was a light pen and a datapad. About eight years old, judging by the serial number … and not much else. In the bathroom, you can hear the shower running. It hits you that she probably had access to that amenity since she had landed. You flip the pad to find that it … hadn’t been charged or had its cells replaced since its last use. The data probably hadn’t been reset either.>Turn it on and see what’s on it>Put it back>Write-In
>>2387319>Turn it on and see what’s on itGay midget scat porn incoming.
>>2387319>Turn it on and see what’s on itProbably gonna be either a comedic porn scene or the news/a mech fight/pilot interview to add stuff for plot later
>>2387324>>2387330Was gonna do this, but you changed my mind.
You turn it on.The previous user hadn’t even bothered to fully shut the program down. It looked like they had uploaded something.It was a message … that had been unsent.I don’t know what do.Strange.You peer at the corner, tapping on the icon with the pen. They had used an external mail application … probably an off-world one, judging by the exclamation marks on the windows you drag down. They’d signed in somewhere else. Who was in here anyway?Why’d they written something like this?Enigmas of enigmas.Was it even something worth having? It was probably nothing.>Copy the message to your own external off-world mail account and save (50 CROWNS)>Bring it downstairs>Put it away>Write-In
>>2387385>>Copy the message to your own external off-world mail account and save (50 CROWNS)wouldnt hurt to see where this leads
>>2387385>Copy the message to your own external off-world mail account and save (50 CROWNS)Eh, why not right?
>>2387385>Copy the message to your own external off-world mail account and save (50 CROWNS)We'll commemorate this moment for all time. We could even have it engraved on our tombstone.
>>2387391I was going to write a tombstone for the MC, but I just realized. Does he even have a name that's been said?
>>2387467Your name is [YOUR NAME]
It was an impractical course, but you decide to save what was left of the data to your off-world mail account. Placing it in a folder, you key in your hotel room number and hold up your credit tab for a transfer of the funds for access. Swiping away, you realize that the software had enabled a lock from the address from any unauthorized entry—standard, really, for any convenience. It wasn’t as if you wanted to hack into it. You just wanted to keep it.For whatever reasons you had.‘Okay …’You save the it to your mail account, sending it to yourself for good measure.That was 50 Crowns down.At least now you could access any on and off-world news with the pad.>Put the tab away>[USE TAB]>Write-In
>>2387521>>[USE TAB]check the news right quickand get ready to head back out
>>2387521>[USE TAB]Lets get riiight into the newssss.
>>2387501I KNEW I WASN'T CRAZY>>2387521>[USE TAB]Check on-world news and skim for any majorly notable off-world news. Now that we're in the real world again, we should pay more attention like Emilio does.
The tab had seen heavy use, but aside from some marks, it was still usable.>[RHYSODE UPDATES]>[IMPERIAL INQUIRER]>[HOT SEXXXY SINGLES YOUR WAY!]>[ABOUT THE LUX-KIMURA]>[MERCHANTS]>[TRANSPORTATION]>Write-In
>>2387602>>[HOT SEXXXY SINGLES YOUR WAY!]Clearly we need to give this things viruses, right?...Right?>[IMPERIAL INQUIRER]
You decide to check on the Imperial Inquirer. It was mostly nationalist jingoism save for a few lifestyle articles and vacation fluff pieces, but it was the only real news stream that had any sort of hold on current events … which meant that it could at least keep you on a delay that wasn’t any more than three days. The galaxy was far and wide, after all, and it’d be a miracle for anything that spanned that wide to be able to receive constant updates on the occurrences. Swiping to the right, you’re immediately met with …Of course that would be the headline.SIGNING OF THE JENNER LIMITATIONS: A SIGN OF TIMES TO COME?With the recent tragedy that claimed our beloved Prince and Princess, the decision of the Grand Hall and the almighty Emperor to open doors for the Senate of Aramis to dictate the terms of the national security of the Empire presents the populace of hundreds of systems and millions of cities with a question: are we truly prepared to lay ourselves with those that have leaned on our borders for so long? Many of the Rim Worlds and Border Worlds sleep with worry over the hypothetical conclusion to the Jenner Limitations: that they are merely a front to decelerate our own means to defend ourselves and to position their own forces through the mountain of intimidation of their own bolstered military might. The Trade Houses, in a rare show of defiance, have voiced their grievances at The Grand Hall’s decision to abide by their sense of practicality by decreasing their commission requirement. Minister Thrall was interviewed on the legitimacy of such a signing.‘It is an attempt by our beloved Emperor to show that we, the people of His Empire can be the better men, regardless of whether the other side are scoundrels or law-breakers,’ he said at a recent feed. ‘That there is doubt in the wisdom of the Emperor in his endorsement of this decision after over a hundred years of his reign shows that there will always be room for doubt, even with perfection … even with consistency. The legality of the Jenner Limitation stand to ensure that regardless of our backgrounds, the prolonging of our dominance in this galaxy, in this universe, as a species and not just end up as a mere footnote due to our profligacy on account of an itchy trigger finger that cannot see the intricate value of human life.The Jenner Limitations, in their initial incarnation, did not cover the use of sub-orbital weaponry and …It goes into a tangent on how the whole thing was just an attempt by saboteurs to keep the Empire from reaching its full potential; how they were actually tarnishing the memory of the late Prince and Princess by agreeing to it on those terms.You close the feed.
>>2387775>[RHYSODE UPDATES]>[IMPERIAL INQUIRER]>[HOT SEXXXY SINGLES YOUR WAY!]>[ABOUT THE LUX-KIMURA]>[MERCHANTS]>[TRANSPORTATION]>Write-In
>>2387782>[ABOUT THE LUX-KIMURA]
No harm checking transportation. You’re presented with a visual of the Fold Beacon at the top and several other options at the bottom. The page mostly detailed into advertisements, mostly. G-Train passes, bus registration, on-world shuttles. You scroll down, finding a geographical map of the main continent and several routes that connected all the population centers. A lot of them seemed to be corporate-subsidized airports for the most part. There weren’t really many roads from here. You were effectively smack dab in the middle of what was a terraformed valley that was a few hundred years old at best. Most of the other settlements were more coast-inclined.You scroll a little more to find a picture of Rossiu and a Warp-capable, Fold-ready shuttle in the distance of an advertisement, promoting vacation opportunities off-world … and a—in their own words—coming destination:GARLAND IIYour eyes light up in surprise. That was a Primal World, as far as you knew.How did they—PRICE ON REQUEST. BOOKING OPEN.Oh, right. Of course that would be how it was. Primal Worlds were discoveries by voyagers, Imperial forward scouts that held worlds which were, in a word … alien. Not just by its archaic origin, but in possession of biological life-forms that were already evolved and indigenous to that world’s own brand of biodiversity. As far as you knew, most of the creatures on Garland II had never left the planet’s surface.Except for when Trade Houses had a feel for exotic pets.Salamanders in particular.Winged draconic beasts ranging from ten to even sixty feet long, you’d seen one or two Trade Houses parade themselves with those creatures. They didn’t breathe normally, as far as you knew … something about carbon and compounds that they took in to maintain normal functions.In a word, they were the very things little boys dreamed about.You’d asked Emilio about the Salamanders once.Apparently his house didn’t care for anything that didn’t involve ballooning their own ego.Still … to be able to catch a ship and see one in its natural habitat …>[INQUIRE ABOUT THE PRICE]>[RETURN TO BASE MENU]>Write-In
>>2387931>[RETURN TO BASE MENU]If dinner at a midline hotel is almost out of our price range, this certainly will be.
This is a Salamander, by the way.>My Salamander died yesterday>Time to get a new one>Just_Trade_House_Acura_Things.gif
>>2387947Salamader-inspired mech when?
>>2387931>>[RETURN TO BASE MENU]lets get ready to head back out
You return to the home screen.>[RHYSODE UPDATES]>[IMPERIAL INQUIRER]>[HOT SEXXXY SINGLES YOUR WAY!]>[ABOUT THE LUX-KIMURA]>[MERCHANTS]>[TRANSPORTATION]>Put the item away>Write-In
>>2388007>[RHYSODE UPDATES]Fuck, I guess I'm really bad about clicking submit.
You tune in to Rhysode’s—OUR BUTTS FOR THE EMPEROROUR HINEYS FOR HIS HIGHNESSIN OUR MECHS WE STOMP IN HIS NAMEAND THEN WE FART IN SILENCEFROM ALL THE CORNERS OF THE GALAXYWE PLACE THEM, PROUDLY ON DISPLAYBECAUSE LAST NIGHT WE HAD ONYXIAN NOODLE STOCKLOOK OUT ALLIANCE, IT’S BOMBS AWAY!You cover your face with your hands.Leave it to the graduating class to vandalize a planet-wise news feed.>[RETURN TO BASE MENU]>Put the item away>Write-In
>>2388143>Put the item away
>>2388143>>Write-In>show Rosaria it when she gets out
You groan, putting the item back in the dresser.>[USE ITEM]*>Check on Rosaria>Check the channels>Check the dressers again>Rest on the bed>Head outside>Write-In
>>2388166>[USE ITEM]*Memphis's Beam Cutter. We haven't given it a detailed look. Better to know what it's capable of before we need it.
You pull Memphis’s Beam Cutter from your pocket, giving it a good look and making sure it was pointed away … before igniting it. You let out a hiss as the light from the beam almost blinds you. Running your thumb downwards, you lower the intensity … but the scent of a beam of that intensity sticks. It was a whole different standard to your own. This wasn’t to just work on limb circuits and to right current flow. This was a heavy duty, industrial tool. The kind that you found in mech maintenance boxes. You turn it off with a gentle squeeze. You probably wouldn’t be using this on Fisher’s limbs. The amount of control to use this … maybe one day you’d achieve it. Right now, though, it was as dangerous to you as Zalatz’s knife.If that knife was even for cutting.>[USE ITEM]*>Check on Rosaria>Check the channels>Check the dressers again>Rest on the bed>Head outside>Write-In
>>2388166>>Check on Rosariaask if she ready to head back out
>>2388218>>Check on Rosaria>ask if she ready to head back out
>>2388218>Check on Rosaria>If that knife was even for cutting.Now I'm curious.
>>2388225There are cultures in the galaxy where ceremonial knives are dull on purpose. Although, you may not know much about that.
>>2388218>Check on RosariaWhy is she plugging the toilet for so long.
You decide to check on Rosaria. Ir’d been close to half an hour since she’d gone inside. You doubt that there was anything else to—for lack of better word—shit out, given that all she had was some—albeit expensive and imported—chocolate. You walk over to the sliding door, where you hear the tell-tale sounds of running water, although it was less like rain hitting the awning and more a hand-length crack of a pipe spilling its contents onto a silicon surface. You give the frosted glass a gentle knocks.‘Rosaria?’‘A-Almost done!’ She calls out—you can hear a faint squeaking sound behind the door, holding back a chuckle. It appeared that she’d lost herself in the indulgence of the hotel’s luxuries; a glance around tells you that most Colony Fleets wouldn’t even have a single room (That wasn’t the Administrator’s) that preached this level of indulgence.It cost you 9010 Crowns (The last two was for some kind of charity that the hotel had set up), but considering just where you were going to be shot off towards … you supposed that there wasn’t any harm blowing the rest of your stipend. This was what it was for, after all. The Academy already had food and a roof over the heads of all its attendees, staff or student. Outside of some contraband you’d occasionally bring back (Which they were surprisingly lax with so long as you kept everything tidy … and shared it), you hadn’t really found a use for all that money. Blowing this much on one night, even if it was for merely a stay, wasn’t that hard a decision to make.You’d have to shack up bunkers with people who you didn’t know for the remainder of your life. This was warranted.‘I’m ready …’‘Great! Before we go, though, you I got some—urk.’Rosaria was there.Her clothes, however, seemed to have left the picture.She glistened with what you could only surmise to be a sort of oily substance, probably with one that was provided by the hotel. Her supple breasts unbound, one arm crossed over and holding them up, she contorted slightly to the left in a bid for hesitancy and modesty … which was moot given that she had laid herself bare for all to see. Something dies in your throat as your eyes travel from her wide hips and crown of golden pubic hair, a tattoo of what appeared to be a feather or a knife to the right and under her waistline. Her hair was dripping wet and the towel that she could have used to dry it and the sopping bangs that fell over her eyes laid in her hand, dragging along the floor as she made her way to you.Her eyes appeared fright—no, not frightened. They appeared reluctant, nervous … but otherwise reserved.‘Please enjoy yourself,’ she mutters, dropping the towel to the floor, ‘Senpai.’
>>2388806>'What are you doing?' (Annoyed)>'What's this? What?' (Clueless)>'Rosaria, put some clothes on.' (Deny)>'Sorry, uh ... but you're not my type.' (Reject)>Grope her>Write-In
>>2388809>>'Rosaria, put some clothes on.' (Deny)
>>2388809"Wow, you really are going to have to unlearn a lot of the more recent parts of your life. Why are you doing this? Didn't you come here mostly because you wouldn't be put in this position anymore? Seriously."
>>2388809>'What's this? What?' (Clueless)>>2388872I get where you're trying to go with this, but it kind of just makes you sound like an asshole.
>>2388896Maybe drop the first sentence? I reread it and you're right, I typed it up stream of consciousness and didn't revise because lol phoneposting
>>2388809>'Rosaria, put some clothes on.' (Deny)
>>2388941No you'd still probably get a crying girl/smacked even if you dropped the first sentence. The whole thing just feels like an overly shitty scolding.
>>2388809>>'Rosaria, put some clothes on.' (Deny)do not lewd the psychologically damaged former breeding slave
>>2388806>Rosaria I didn't bring you here for this, and your no longer on the fleet so you don't need to do this at all. So please get some clothing on even if it's a great viewFucking hell hit all my spots
You avert your eyes, holding up your hands to erect an invisible barrier between you and the vulnerable woman. In your mind, your thoughts were racing. You were hardly an innocent on the subject, but even a moron could tell that the atmosphere was more than off; you’d known her for barely a few standard hours, probably even less than the lifespan of a few insect species across the galaxy … and you’d swallow raw sewage before you believed that a woman would open herself up to you like this in a week, never mind a few hours.Which was why, despite the protests of your more primal side, you had to allow rationality to have its day.‘Rosaria … put some clothes on.’‘Oh, I’m-I’m sorry, how … how presumptuous of me.’You let out a breath that you didn’t know you had been holding. Maybe now you could—‘Would you … like me to just put my top on or my skirt?’‘Neither!’Your shrill tone surprises even you. Rosaria’s eyes widen in shock, fear … before descending into a babble of apologies, imitating your own stance from before in an attempt to, in a word, placate you. She trembles, looking away. Compared to her reserved, friendly self, she looked uncertain, fearful, small.‘Isn’t this … what you brought me here for, Senpai?’>‘Why would you think that?’ (Offended)>‘I think we … have some messages that we have taken out of context or meaning.’ (Try to relax the atmosphere)>‘No,’ (Blunt)>‘Actually, uh, I’m just here to drop my things off …’ (Clueless)>‘If you’re … willing, I don’t mind.’ (Take advantage of the situation)>Write-In
>>2389565>‘Actually, uh, I’m just here to drop my things off …’ (Clueless)But switch me to >‘I think we … have some messages that we have taken out of context or meaning.’ (Try to relax the atmosphere)in case there's a tie. I'm fine with either.
>>2389565>>‘I think we … have some messages that we have taken out of context or meaning.’ (Try to relax the atmosphere)time to teach the space nerd proper etiquette
>>2389565>‘I think we … have some messages that we have taken out of context or meaning.’ (Try to relax the atmosphere)
>>2389565>Try to relax atmosphere>"Didn't you leave your fleet precisely because you didn't want to do things like this anymore?"
>>2389565>‘If you’re … willing, I don’t mind.’ (Take advantage of the situation)
‘I think the both of us have some messages that we’ve put across and understood without proper understanding or context,’ you say, trying to relax the atmosphere, if only a little. ‘I have to admit, though … this isn’t what I had in mind letting you in this room.’Her eyes widen, this time in shock.It was little better than that fearful look that she gave you not moments ago, but compared to that, even garnering some concentrated vitriol and spiteful glares was a preference. Rosaria intertwines her fingers, looking right up at you, the shock giving way to confusion as she bites her bottom lip, apparently trying to make sense of the situation.‘You … didn’t bring me up here for that?’It’s really hard to keep your gaze above her chin. Her breasts were plentiful enough that even the slightest or reserved of nods—Hell, even the most minute of adjustments to your viewing input gave you a distracting beeline right to her perky, glistening nipples. Steeling yourself, you let our a breath. Simple words were so hard to come by when the road to devilry yielded rewards that were so much more … tangible.‘No, I … I just came here to check-in and drop off my stuff,’ you explain yourself, rubbing the back of your neck and now staring at her feet. Or rather, you try to keep your eyes on her feet, lest the sight of the grail give rise to something else. ‘Maybe have a nap, watch something on the channels … what did you think I came here for?’‘I … you didn’t come here to … have me pay you back for your kindness?’>‘No.’ (Blunt)>‘It didn’t even hit me that it was something worth even checking up on, to be honest.’ (Ease her)>‘Do you really think that this is all it is? A trade?’ (Angry)>‘Yeah, of course. I brought you up here so I can deposit my sperm in your womb.’ (Sarcastic)>‘If you put it that way …’ (Take advantage)>Write-In
>>2389739>‘It didn’t even hit me that it was something worth even checking up on, to be honest.’ (Ease her)
‘No.’She stares at you, incredulous.‘So, everything you did for me, that’s …’>‘I didn’t do it with your vagina as central motivation, if that’s what you’re implying.’ (Joke)>‘How many times do you have to make me repeat myself?’ (Impatient)>‘Well, you looked like you needed someone to at least get your feet steady … that’s about it.’ (Honest)>‘You actually think you’re my type?’ (Reject)>‘Do you want to MAKE it a transaction?’ (Press)>Write-In
>>2389852>‘Well, you looked like you needed someone to at least get your feet steady … that’s about it.’ (Honest)
>>2389852>>‘Well, you looked like you needed someone to at least get your feet steady … that’s about it.’ (Honest)Spacers look after their own
You mimic her expression.Had you conducted yourself in such a way that she believed that there was no possibility that an angle wouldn’t be present for your generosity? Well, generosity was a stretch. You don’t think you did anything that was out of the norm for someone from similar backgrounds. You were a Spacer, as was she; you knew how hard it was to accept that there were people that didn’t look at you like some … traitor to the cause, if that was the word for it. You remember being frightened stepping onto terra firma … and you doubt she didn’t feel the same, even moreso with her background.Was this really the damage that one protocol, one command could do up there?It was crazy just thinking about it.‘You looked like you needed someone to get your feet steady,’ you say to her, wearing a reassuring smile as you tentatively place your hands on her shoulders. ‘I didn’t … it never crossed my mind that it was something that you’d have to, uh, pay back; especially with your, uh … feminine enthusiasm.’You wince slightly. Perhaps you could have worded that a little better. No matter, though; she looked as though she had visibly relaxed from the attempt at clearing things up. Although, you wouldn’t bet against a little … confusion still being present.She wears a wry, humorless smile, muttering, ‘This … is awkward.’You lift your hands from her shoulders … instantly finding your hands wet from whatever substance she had deemed fitting to lather all over herself. Even her nipples reflected light.At least it smelled nice.>‘Do you want to talk about it?’ (Pry)>‘This isn’t the first time, for you, is it? No one makes an assumption without a precedent for it.’ (Gently inquire)>‘Now that you get it … maybe we can leave it at this.’ (Cut it off)>‘Still can’t believe you thought that little of me. I know we’ve only known each other for a few hours, but …’ (Hurt)>Write-In
>>2390073>>‘This isn’t the first time, for you, is it? No one makes an assumption without a precedent for it.’ (Gently inquire)
>>2390073>Do you want to talk about it?’ (Pry)
>>2390073>‘Do you want to talk about it?’ (Pry)
‘This isn’t a first time, for you, is it? No one makes an assumption without some sort of precedent.’She hesitates, looking downward.Your assumption appeared to be dead-on.‘Would you … mind listening, then?’>‘Of course … sure.’>‘I think I’d rather not, actually. Doesn’t feel like something I could approach objectively.’>Write-In
>>2390126>>2390130Oh shit, guys. I didn't see you there, sorry.
>>2390210>Write-In>Wanna put some clothes on first?
>>2390217It's fine by me. It's basically what I wanted.
>>2390210>>‘Of course … sure.’
>>2390210>Of course … sure.’>>2390217>senpai didn't notice meI-it's not a big deal really
‘Yeah, of course … sure.’You try to sound your most reassuring. You’re not sure how well it works, however.‘Back in the Fleet … the Protocol wasn’t really there to keep control,’ she starts, looking away. ‘Even with all the edicts and what not, the absolute power of the Security Units, the Officers … people still manage to rebel, if only a little. No one actually … questioned the Administrators, of course, but there were things that you could do to … curry favor and keep yourself from going down certain paths. A lot of the girls did it; when you were pretty, you could … get away with certain things, certain favors. It was hard keeping yourself from standing out when they … when the people that looked at you decided that you were what they wanted, so you …’She trails off, folding her arms underneath her breasts.‘I … struck a deal with someone—and Officer’s son,’ she began, ‘I’d … be his reserve and he’d … not breed me. I was free to do what I wanted under him, until …’‘Until he decided that he could get more from you?’‘No,’ she lets out, laughing wryly. ‘he already had a lover … unsanctioned, unapproved and … unable to reproduce, to carry on the best genetics for the upper castes. When you don’t have anything, you … you use what you can to get by. My friends … they weren’t given that choice. Maybe I was a little naive at that point … maybe I betrayed them a little by putting myself on an elevated platform, but sitting in those rooms and waiting for a chance to just hop a shuttle back to a lower caste ship … there was a certain appeal to us, I think, and the girls did anything they could to make sure that they’d get on the right … path, wherever it went. Ironically, most of the lower-born caste wanted to go back … and where there are mutual needs … you have a trade.’‘So you traded a facade for your own security.’‘I’d done worse.’ She thins her lips, looking up at you.‘I’m sorry.’‘I guess it’s a good thing that most of the Security Unit … preferred currency and stature to favors. That much … I could manage. I was more valuable as a … forger, I suppose. An extra bonus here and there, a rewritten record … they kept me off the grid and out of the eye long enough for me to get picked up like that.’‘So he picked you up and didn’t intend to breed you at all?’‘There are good people on the Colony Fleet,’ she says insistently, ‘but most of them are just too scared to make a choice that doesn’t have a certainty in value. He … was devoted to her, even after she couldn’t afford to bear him children. I’d rewrite shuttle records, repurpose certain programs … and they’d be on their way. Ir was … romantic, I suppose, to be part of that.’‘But?’‘Then his father found out … and I was … to be put back into stock for my … sedition.’
>>2390524>'Why does not being able to breed suddenly mean a ... downgrade?'>'Wait, why would anyone want promotions or raises with the Protocol in place?'>'Sounds like quite a guy. Did you like him?'>'So why did you think I ... was the same as a Security Unit? Why did you think that I'd want ... that kind of thing?'>'Sounds a little harsh.'>Written
>>2390539>>'Wait, why would anyone want promotions or raises with the Protocol in place?'
>>2390539>'So why did you think I ... was the same as a Security Unit? Why did you think that I'd want ... that kind of thing?'>WrittenIt got you again Mechanic.
>>2390539>So why did you think I ... was the same as a Security Unit? Why did you think that I'd want ... that kind of thing?'
‘So why did you think that I … was the same as a Security Unit? Any reason that you’d … well, think that I was anything like that at all? That I’d expect anything?’She looks away, her cheeks heated in shame.‘I’m sorry, I … I just met you and I felt … I guess I thought that even if you were sincere, it wouldn’t be … unexpected that you would actually turn out not to be. It’s hard for me to actually take things at face value, so I believed that you … even if it was for a fleeting moment, I’m glad that someone would at least offer their time of their own charity. You gave me food when I was hungry … and afforded me kindness and your service as well. For me, that is more than what I could have expected; I’m sorry to say that I … was only expecting for you to slip that you were expecting something back. When you mentioned the hotel, I thought that …’Rosaria looks downward, flushing herself purple.‘You thought that I was bringing you here so that I could have my … way with you?’You stare at her, incredulous.‘Do I look like the sort of person who would—okay, okay, stop, let me rephrase that: why would you even … go along with it anyway? You could’ve just made up some sort of excuse to head back to the Academy and I would’ve … so why, you know … go ahead with it?’‘I felt like I owed you, I suppose …’‘Owed me?’‘And, even if you did turn out to be that sort of person, I thought that you’d at least be … gentle about it.’>‘I think that if I wanted to woo a lady such as yourself, you’d think I’d hold more than just a chocolate bar and a bus pass for it …’ (Joke)>‘Hey, I can be assertive if I want to!’ (Indignant)>‘I’m not sure if that’s a jibe or some form of praise, but frankly, I don’t know if I’d accept either.’ (Flat)>‘Well, I can’t say that it’s unfounded, I guess. Some people are scumbags like that … Republic, Colony Fleet, Imperials …’ (Rationalize)>Write-In
>>2390747>>‘I think that if I wanted to woo a lady such as yourself, you’d think I’d hold more than just a chocolate bar and a bus pass for it …’ (Joke)
>>2390747>‘I think that if I wanted to woo a lady such as yourself, you’d think I’d hold more than just a chocolate bar and a bus pass for it …’ (Joke)
You snort, a smirk finding its way upon your lips despite your most determined of resistances.‘I think that if I wanted to woo a lady such as yourself,’ you begin with a tone of playful haughtiness, ‘that I’d hold you to more than a bus fee and a chocolate bar.’Her eyes widen … before you notice that her cheeks were growing more swollen. For a moment, you think that she was having an allergic reaction of sorts, with her face growing more and more purple … until a high-pitched—albeit considerably restrained—giggle escapes her lips. She quickly brings her hand to her mouth, evidently embarrassed at the show of weakness. You wiggle your eyebrows in amusement, placing your hands on your hips … which was an unfortunate action, as your hands were still rather stained with the oil that she had on her body … whatever it was.Smelled nice, though. Maybe you could sneak some out.Then again, you weren’t sure if you wanted to deal with that grinning concierge anymore than you had to.‘You feel better?’You place your hands on her shoulders again, and this time you’re met with an affirmative nod.‘Although … word of advice? From a Senior to a Junior … maybe you should stay a little vigilant.’‘But didn’t you just—’‘I know what I just said, but others, well, they might …’You frown, considering your answer. You didn’t want her to look over her shoulder for the length of her apprenticeship … but at the same time, you knew how much damage it’d do for her to keep everyone at an arm’s length …‘Rosaria …’>Write-In
>>2390816>If you DO feel like you owe someone a debt, make sure you're both on the same page before you get naked in front of them. And remember, you don't live on your Colony Fleet anymore. You don't have to do anything you don't want to.
>>2390820Alright, that doesn't really get across what I wanted to say. Basically, tell a joke about her being naked then say shecan say no to sex if she doesn't want it.
>>2390820This Also add>Over all, just use your head and make friends you can count on instead of people that'll use you. Try not to worry your senpai too much while he's gone, ok?A bit of teasing
>>2390816>"All I'm saying is be careful. Sanza's trustworthy, and she associates with other good people, if you stick with her you'll be in good hands... But there are plenty of people around who have unsavory motives. Get a group of friends you can trust, people that have your back. It might be slow goings at first, but around here it usually doesn't take long to see if someone's bad news. I'm not saying you have to keep every new acquaintance at arm's-length, but if someone seems a little too chummy too soon, you might want to be a little suspicious. You aren't in the Colony Fleet anymore, so don't feel like you have to pay people back for everything nice they do either."
>>2390816>>2390850This is basically mine and blu ID's write ins but better so I'll swap to this.I'd really appreciate it if we can tease her a little bit though.
>>2390865I agree, the teasing is important. Please make it so QM
I'll be running again in an hour.
‘I just want you to be careful. Not a lot of people have the … sense to turn down or not take advantage of something like … you—I mean, no, I mean a proposition like this. I think to that, though … you might want to stick around Sanza a little more; hopefully she won’t mind you peeking in often.’She flaps her hands in protest.‘I wouldn’t want to trouble her!’‘Yeah, I know,’ you continue calmly, ‘but she runs in a good crowd—present company excluded of course—and considering that Emilio, Ryosuke and I aren’t going to be around … she’ll probably need someone to mother and suffocate on the way to getting her own assignment. Getting back to the point … there’s no, uh, purpose keeping every single acquaintance coming your way at an arm’s length or putting some mistrust. It’s not going to help you get or keep friends. At the same time, though, you kind of don’t want to put all your eggs in that basket and, well, uh, I guess for reference we could use us as the base. You’re not going to get a lot of guys … and some girls, I guess, that offer to do things wide and quick without some sort of angle.’She tilts her head, wearing a confused smile.‘But … you are, Senpai?’You let out a breath.‘I’m just saying that this isn’t the Colony Fleet anymore … not yours, at any rate. It doesn’t operate like an exchange anymore, you’re actually counting on your peers to watch your back … but at the same time, you don’t want to be naive enough to think that a hundred percent of the people you know are going to be, well …’You gesture to her naked form, not quite sure how else to communicate your message.She scratches the side of her face, looking thoughtful.Then it hits you.‘Okay, let me put it in … more complicated terms: Admiral … Purvis, right? He gave you a spot on The AEGIS in exchange for you helping him with the technical work on his ship. He didn’t ask you to … strip naked or anything extra, did he?’‘No, he didn’t.’‘Then that’s how it is. You’re not trading your body in for … favors. This isn’t the Colony Fleet,’ you repeat, gesticulating and closing the distance a little more, ‘what your assets here are … are amicability, the ability to work in a team environment, the refinement and expansion of your skills and your general contribution to its body. If you find someone that you’re, uh, willing to give it to on your own terms, then I honestly hope that it’s a great guy to … do it with.’She looks thoughtful … and that she understands it, somewhat.‘But if someone’s just around you to leech off what you have or that you feel that you’re getting too short-changed one time too many, then …’‘Oh, I know that much,’ she cuts in right as you trail off. ‘I’m sorry, I must come off as very … naive.’
>>2392681>'Not at all. In fact, you have less issues than I did getting off at Rossiu.' (Empathize)>'And I must come off as some eunuch to you. Hotel room, pretty girl and I can't help but be rational.' (Joke)>'May I at least comment that you are ... at the very least, very breedable material. From a ... personal perspective.' (Flirt lightly)>'You are, actually.' (Throw it back)>Allow the silence to stew her thoughts>Write-In
>>2392693>'Eh, you just grew up with a different set of rules. You just need to learn a new one is all.'
>>2392693>>'And I must come off as some eunuch to you. Hotel room, pretty girl and I can't help but be rational.' (Joke)
>>2392693>'And I must come off as some eunuch to you. Hotel room, pretty girl and I can't help but be rational.' (Joke)
>>2392693>And I must come off as some eunuch to you. Hotel room, pretty girl and I can't help but be rational.' (Joke)
>>2392693>Allow the silence to stew her thoughts
‘And I must come off as some sort of eunuch to you,’ you chuckle, wearing a wry smile. ‘A hotel room, pretty company and I can’t help but be rational.’Rosaria mirrors your expression. ‘I won’t lie that I do feel a little … humbled, I suppose, but … thank you.’Before you can react, she throws her arms wide and—The squelch has you grimacing something fierce.‘Oh!’It appeared that she, too, had forgotten that she had practically covered herself in … whatever substance that she had deemed fit to apply upon herself. Rather than enjoying the hug, you let out a small whine of discomfort as Rosaria detaches herself from your person, staring down at your clothes, now uncomfortably sticking to your skin in the same manner the maintenance uniform of the Colony Fleet did when you went to the belly of your block. You tentatively bring your hands to your chest, taking a pinch of the fabric … and pulling. It permeated quick, whatever it was. The scent did little to comfort your situation, despite its appeal … but the combination of attributes had you suspecting that the oil was one of those Honeymoon specials for newlyweds.‘I-I’m so sorry!’Even if you had planned to laze around and flip through the channels for the rest of your evening … now you definitely had have a shower and a change of clothes.Or you could just lounge around naked. That’s always an option.Just like your friend’s dad back on the Colony Fleet. No sense of decency, that man.>‘It’s okay. I’ll just … have that shower.’ (Have a shower and a change of clothes)>‘Eh.’ (Take off your clothes and just lounge about naked; there’s bound to be something on the channels)>‘You got it all over!’ (Annoyed)>Write-In
>>2392882That second option is meant as a joke. Please don't pick it.
>>2392882>‘It’s okay. I’ll just … have that shower.’ (Have a shower and a change of clothes)>>2392891Dude. Never put up an option you're not willing to write. It's like rule #2 of questing.
>>2392882>>‘It’s okay. I’ll just … have that shower.’ (Have a shower and a change of clothes)
>>2392898I'm willing to write it.I'm just not prepared to write it.
>>2392882>‘It’s okay. I’ll just … have that shower.’ (Have a shower and a change of clothes)
‘It’s okay … I was planning to have a shower anyway,’ you let out with a sigh, glancing down at your clothes. ‘You might want to get that off you, though … whatever it is.’‘It’s scented oil,’ she reveals … although, that much you could figure out for yourself. ‘I thought that I’d …’She gives a slight grimace, pressing her fingers together. You get the message. You didn’t need the more … explicit details of what she intended to do with it.Pulling the sliding door open, you step into the bathroom, already a little wet from your Junior’s use. It had all the amenities, albeit in a tone much too … fuchsia and orange for your taste. You wonder why they couldn’t have gone with a peach shift, but who were you to judge? There was a bath—large enough for three—and a shower by the wall along with a rack where you spied Rosaria’s clothes neatly hung. There were two stone cabinets, one at the top and one at the bottom, with small labels clearly marking which was for which: bathrobes and towels. You see that Rosaria had already used one, if the one on the rack by the sink was any indication.You pull out a thick white bathrobe and pick her towel up, moving back out of the bathroom and into the living space to see that she already had the remote in her hands.‘Senpai?’‘Here.’You toss her her towel and the robe.‘You should try to get off you before anything else. I don’t think it’ll be comfortable walking around with that much … all over.’She gives a quick nod, thanking you again.You slide the door shut, relieving yourself of your shirt and staring in the mirror.Four years.It had taken for years, but you were a specimen now.People could call you big-headed all they wanted, but after years and years of getting yourself fit for the role of a military man, you could now boast that you were right up there with the—no, not yet. Well, you couldn’t boast that you were right up there with the jocks (much to your chagrin), but your physique was a lot more chiseled compared to that fat tub that landed in Rossiu all that time ago. You had never thought of weight loss until you found the effects of natural 1.04 gravity to be a lot more taxing than advertised. Aching knees … a more flatulent habit born out of a normalized body reaction …Despite yourself, you can’t help but hold your hands behind your head and bend yourself slightly backwards, making your abdominal muscles tighten by reaction. Call it narcissism, but believe you’d earned the right to do this.Even if you were a failure, your abs and pectorals would be a testament to your new place in the world.Logistics, nothing.‘Man, I’m pretty.’‘Senpai? Are you okay?’‘I’m fine, Rosaria!’ You call back out, unzipping your pants.Shower … or hot bath?>Shower>Bath
>>2393000>>Showerdamn sonwe look good
The water dripping from your hair, you hock a loogie down the drain. That was a good, quick shower. There definitely was something to say when it came to luxury when the difference of water droplets falling over you had a significant improvement in quality to what you were used to. You step out of the shower, grabbing your towel and drying yourself off before picking out a robe from the cabinet. You stare at yourself in the mirror, feeling the robe tighten around your shoulders as you lean forward to wash your face.That felt refreshing, truly.Tying it up around your waist, you go back into the room, finding your Junior by the foot of the bed, her robe open and her knees close to her chest, watching what appeared to be a … weather stream.>Get a change of clothes>Slip right next to Rosaria and watch the channel with her>Take a nap>Write-In
>>2393195>>Get a change of clothes
>>2393195>Get a change of clothes
‘The atmospheric reset is still a standard year off, but it looks like the formatting thus far … looks great. This is Philippa Coulter reporting.’You rummage through your bag.What did you want to change into for now?>[CASUAL CLOTHES: LAMBARDO]*>[CASUAL CLOTHES: ZAMBOSKI]**>[FORMAL UNIFORM (BETA)]***>‘Eh, I’ll stick with the robe.’*A half-hoodie with pants and a sleeveless tunic underneath; a rebel’s choice. You listen to angry music, probably.**Baggy pants styled with a large t-shirt; probably went out of style before you were even born. Nostalgia to the next level***The uniform you wore for more upscale events. It fit then and it probably would fit right in among the finer dregs of society. Probably.
>>2393307>>[CASUAL CLOTHES: ZAMBOSKI]**
>>2393307>[CASUAL CLOTHES: ZAMBOSKI]**
>>2393307>[CASUAL CLOTHES: LAMBARDO]*
Sanza would have probably smacked you for wearing this outfit, but you weren’t one to change your ways. Baggy pants, a t-shirt that dangled halfway down your thighs and some kind of archaic symbol with unpronounceable characters screamed immaturity … but at the same time, age. The outfit was probably something your parents had put on back in their younger days if they were Imperials, it just looked so … retro. You wouldn’t to go so far to say that you’d fallen in love with it, but considering just how bad the usual Imperial build was for a man of your (former) size … you hadn’t quite outgrown this phase of fashion.You meant that in the metaphorical sense, of course.Maybe there was some truth to you being called a hick.‘Ro—’‘The Yambaster Mountains have a record drop in temperatures and winds over the last nine years; the Meteorological and Atmospheric Divisions have thus far not been able to come up with an answer to this phenomenon. However, several studies from independent academic observers hypothesize that the forceful change in magnetic pulses in the establishment of the atmosphere may be causing dome delayed effects in certain regions. As if a 32-hour day isn’t enough!’Rosaria stares at the screen in fascination, completely engrossed.>Slide quietly next to her>Try to catch her attention>Leave>Write-In
>>2393890>>Try to catch her attentionpoke her cheek
>>2393890>Slide quietly next to her
>>2393890>Try to catch her attention
>>2393890>>Slide quietly next to her
>>2393890>Try to catch her attentionWe only came here to drop off our stuff. We probably have things to do.
Okay guys, I got your votes. I'll be running later after dinner, prayers and a nap.
Okay that was a little bit more than a nap.
You slide right into a spot right next to her. She doesn’t even turn to face you, outside of a body shuffle to the right that was more than likely just an unconscious reaction. Her expression wasn’t vacant, however; she was just that engrossed by the prevalence—the presence at all—of something that reported on meteorological phenomena that she’d forgotten to do up her robe … or even be alerted to your presence. It wasn’t child-like fascination or wonder … it was genuine technical interest in the mundane. Maybe you’d been more blessed than your typical Spacer; you’d seen Ylam once; more than what the majority of Imperials could claim, after all … and the Fleet’s Habitats were advanced enough that the sensation of rain was hardly a thing to behold—You snap yourself out of it. Perhaps you were taking things for granted.Rosaria’s brows crease as she mumbles something under her breath, staring at the screen, showcasing the titanic Atmospheric Birth Units (There was a more technical term for them, but it was too long to remember it word for word; Oxygen-Nitrogen-Molecule-something didn’t roll off the tongue that well), as big as half the mountains, stood. Above, vortexes of wind, cloud and water churned at incredible speeds, more than enough to turn a military-grade transporter to shreds without a the manipulation of gravity to compensate for turbulence … never mind resistance. It looked like several tornadoes had decided to party several miles up. The camera—and the crew—were in a safe bunker several miles away, getting a full view of the phenomenon. It was a marvel of engineering. The design must have been thousands of years old and it still applied to this day, turning planets into worlds fit for habitation … within reason of course.You actually have to admire the reporting crew. They had guts being within a hundred miles of that thing, never mind five or six, shelter or no. Not to mention doing it with a wide dopey smile.You knew that it was perfectly safe to approach at other times … just not when it was actually putting the hours in.‘Here at the Shingo Range, we see that the Converters are applying the new dynamo technology from Trade House Akaba. The expectations to the rotational grit are through the roof for the public, as many see that the price in applying the technology to outweigh the potential benefits. While the cost of the purchase has yet to be revealed, it is suspected that Trade House Akaba will be given a continued revenue stream from the Empire’s use of the technology, adding another layer of controversy to circumstances that are already suspect. Some Trade Houses have decried it as a blatant attack on exchange laws, while the majority have remained neutral. Here we see—’‘Amazing, that …’You look at Rosaria, her eyes still glued to the screen.
>>2396342>Stay silent>'Marvel of engineering. Thousands of years old and still works to this day.' (Impressed)>'You know, the purpose of clothes is to protect your decency.' (Point out her state of undress)>'Revenue, huh ... that never sounds good when a Trade House is involved.' (Political)>'You're weirdly interested in the Weather Feed.' (Point out her abnormal level of interest)>Write-In
>>2396342>'You're weirdly interested in the Weather Feed.' (Point out her abnormal level of interest)>'You know, the purpose of clothes is to protect your decency.' (Point out her state of undress)
>>2396354>>'Marvel of engineering. Thousands of years old and still works to this day.' (Impressed)
>>2396354>'You're weirdly interested in the Weather Feed.' (Point out her abnormal level of interest)>'You know, the purpose of clothes is to protect your decency.' (Point out her state of undress)
‘That is a weird amount of interest you have in what’s a Weather Feed.’She jumps from her spot, not having noticed you at all.‘S-Senpai, I’m sorry, did you want to watch something else? When did you get out of the shower?’‘About … five, eight minutes, give or take,’ you answer with a chuckle, ‘but really … the weather channel?’She turns red around the ears, wearing a tight, nervous smile as she leans against foot of the bed. ‘But that kind of thing … that level of engineering, you don’t get that on the Habitats. We have simulated environments, Habitats, but what the Empire does is on a whole different level, don’t you think? You don’t find it interesting at all as a Spacer?’‘I do, yeah,’ you admit, before adding, ‘but not enough to, you know … stay glued to the screen like you are. It’s impressive, but … it’s still a weather channel; you don’t find it boring at all? Listening to someone drone on about what angle they’re putting the core at relative to whatever thunderstorm they want to bring about next …’‘They can actually do that?’‘Well, only in the early stages,’ you shrug, ‘once your scope becomes the whole planet instead of a fixed geographical point … and then chaos theory applies when you’re working with about twenty different systems trying to work in tandem. It’s not so much control at that point as it is trying to normalize after a jump start.’You don’t think much of your own words on the topic.It appeared that she did, however.‘Incredible, such complex systems would … yes, it does make sense …’>‘Wow, you … uh, you’re really easy to impress for someone who’s, uh … been through all that.’ (Blunt)>‘Thousands of years old and the only changes we’ve effectively done to it are odds and ends. (Exposition)>‘I can see your tattoo, Rosaria.’ (Point out her state of undress)>‘You catch that part about the Trade House?’ (Political)>Write-In
>>2396527>>‘Thousands of years old and the only changes we’ve effectively done to it are odds and ends. (Exposition)
>>2396527>‘Thousands of years old and the only changes we’ve effectively done to it are odds and ends. (Exposition)
>>2396527>‘Thousands of years old and the only changes we’ve effectively done to it are odds and ends. (Exposition)>‘By the way, I can see your tattoo, Rosaria.’ (Point out her state of undress)
You want to comment that she was still going on on a topic that was constrained to a weather-focused channel … but you couldn’t put down such enthusiasm. You remember your own exposure to Mechs … and considering just where she came from, you couldn’t fault her for the fascination she had with the mundane; not with your own sparkly-eyed expression at seeing the mechanics of a Hellion joint.‘Thousands of years old and the only changes we’ve effectively done is a few odds and ends for power efficiency and a little more rotation,’ you let out, ‘it’s amazing that ancient humanity even came up with this in the first place … never mind how they did it.’‘I wonder why Colony Fleets haven’t recreated the technology; as massive as the effort is, it doesn’t seem like it would be out of reach at all.’‘Resources and costs, not to mention finding a planet with a pole flow that is actually compatible takes some time. Early voyagers had to endure going through the universe without Fold and Warp tech, true, and they probably had a harder time doing it than how The Empire and The Republic approach things, but it’s more about convenience. Even if someone does a blind warp into an unclaimed system, how’d they get specialists and the like to even establish a settlement? The big picture may be easy, the little niggling worries, though … that’s what breaks the deal.’‘I’d only heard about them before … sometimes I’d sneak a view in on an Imperial video, but I’d never actually seen one work. It’s incredible; the geothermal draw must be titanic.’>‘Depends on the planet, actually … with enough solar winds in non-atmospheric conditions, a recharge is enough to power them in the early phases of the terraforming project. (TECHNICAL HABITS)>‘Probably is.’>‘I wouldn’t know.’ (Disinterested)>‘Thinking of pursuing a career with them?’ (Egg)>Stay silent>Write-In
>>2396743>‘Depends on the planet, actually … with enough solar winds in non-atmospheric conditions, a recharge is enough to power them in the early phases of the terraforming project. (TECHNICAL HABITS)>‘Thinking of pursuing a career with them?’ (Egg)
>>2396743>>‘Depends on the planet, actually … with enough solar winds in non-atmospheric conditions, a recharge is enough to power them in the early phases of the terraforming project. (TECHNICAL HABITS)
>>2396743>‘Depends on the planet, actually … with enough solar winds in non-atmospheric conditions, a recharge is enough to power them in the early phases of the terraforming project. (TECHNICAL HABITS)
‘Depends on the planet, actually,’ you explain, pointing at the screen, which was now providing some archive footage with a secondary window showing the changes in precipitation. ‘Not all worlds are geothermically-viable by Imperial standards, but if they have to colonize anyway, they’d have to make do. Currently, a lot of the energy draws from the units are solar-dependent from the go and convert into alternative measures as the planet gains an atmosphere … or a first layer. I’m not sure about the science of that, myself. All I know is that solar winds were a viable source of power in the process … and probably still are, I mean … if they’re working in mostly non-atmospheric conditions. I reckon ionization would be a chore to work around when trying to get the planet working, though.’‘They can’t just dig and let it work, can they?’ she muses, smiling.‘Not if you want it to work. Ley lines, gravity, fertilizing the soils, making sure mutations are kept at a minimum … and I guess it’d be stupid to credit just one part of that process at all. Bio teams, hazard watchers, there’s a lot of thought that goes into the placement of settlements in colonies. It’s why there’s only about …hundreds out of thousands that actually have a place on the galactic map. As things are, though, we have plenty of space to work with, so some stagnancy on that front might be expected. You could probably fit the population of Rhysode on an island on some other Paradise World.’‘And you don’t find all this impressive at all?’You shrug.‘It’s an interesting topic, but … I guess I’m just a little boy at heart. Titans of steel and gunsmoke appeal to me more than terraforming. It’s not what I’d be part of The AEGIS for anyway; those’ll have to be from approved institutions and I think four years working my way up to be a grunt is hard enough … never mind twelve standard sitting behind and having someone lecture me on what types of rocks are able to be approved through administrative means for a settlement to be erected, anyway.’‘I suppose it would be,’ she responds, leaning back before turning her attention to the screen as she brought her knees to her breasts. ‘You’re such a child, Senpai.’You chortle, sliding your back down until you were in a slouch, the screen shifting back to the news room as the weather man enthusiastically points out certain spots facing storm conditions.He also had his fly down, but you wouldn’t know anything about that.>‘Aren’t you going to cover up?’ (Point out her state of undress)>‘Do you want to head out?’>‘Do you mind if I take a nap? I have a big party I probably need all my stamina to endure later.’>‘Change the channel.’ (Assume direct control)>Silently watch the feed with her>Write-In
>>2396964>>‘Aren’t you going to cover up?’ (Point out her state of undress)
>>2396964>‘Aren’t you going to cover up?’ (Point out her state of undress)>Assume direct controlNo, Harbinger, no!
‘Aren’t you going to cover up?’‘Huh?’‘I can see your pubic hair,’ you point out, jabbing a finger in the direction of the crown of trimmed fuzz, ‘aren’t you going to … put your clothes back on?’‘Ah, sorry, does it … cause you discomfort?’Yes.No.You’re … not sure how to answer that, really.>Write-In
>>2397063>"Little bit." "I mean, if we hadn't just had that talk earlier, I might almost take it as an invitation."
>>2397063>>2397099I'll back this.
>>2397099>a wee bitSpacers really are Space rednecks
‘A little bit, I guess,’ you admit, wearing a wry smile. ‘If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought that you were … inviting me.’She gasps, covering her mouth, before stuttering an apology, ‘I apologize, I … it slipped my mind that you …’‘It’s okay,’ you hurriedly respond, raising a hand to stop her from stumbling over her words any further. ‘It’s been a day for miscommunications. I don’t think my lack of a reaction is good for your self-esteem either, huh?’‘It just … I guess I just allowed myself to get too comfortable. I suppose I’m still trying to acclimatize myself to the concept,’ Rosaria lets out with a sigh, letting her breasts spill out as she shifted herself slightly. ‘I hope that it remains applicable even without you here.’You snort, shaking your head as she gets to her feet, the robe billowing slightly with the motion‘You’re assuming too much of someone that you’ve known for barely an afternoon,’ you declare with a grimace.Rosaria ties the knot, before bending over and grinning at you brightly.‘Aren’t you doing the same yourself, Senpai?’>‘I guess I am.’ (Agree with her)>‘Spacers look out for each other.’ (COLONY FLEET INHABITANT)>‘Only because you’re so pretty.’ (Mock flirt)>‘I trusted my gut that you wouldn’t stab me in the corner … although you asking me to breed you is, uh … something.’ (Joke)>‘Hm.’ (Don’t respond)>Write-In
>>2397244>‘Only because you’re so pretty.’ (Mock flirt)
>>2397244>>‘Spacers look out for each other.’ (COLONY FLEET INHABITANT)
>>2397244>‘Spacers look out for each other.’ (COLONY FLEET INHABITANT)
You meet her grin with a grin of your own. ‘Spacers look out for each other, after all.’Her eyes widen slightly. She draws herself back into a stand, staring at you with an expression that looked like a cross between shock and … reservation. She opens her mouth to say something, her form rigid as she brings a hand to her chest … before letting out an exasperated, defeated sigh.‘Yeah,’ she says agreeably, tilting her head and immediately shifting to a cheerful smile. ‘That’s right!’>‘I have a party later … you can flip through the channels if you want, but I’ll be heading for a nap.’>‘Let’s go downstairs, maybe we can catch something in the lounge.’>Watch the weather channel with her>Ask her to change the channel>Write-In
>>2397353>>Ask her to change the channel
>>2397353>‘I have robo thighs a party later … you can flip through the channels if you want, but I’ll be heading for a nap.’
>>2397353>Ask her to change the channel
‘I’ve got a party later … you can flip through the channels if you want, but I’ll be catching some sleep.’She immediately looks hesitant.‘Senpa—!’‘It’s all right, really,’ you insist, getting to your feet and stretching … before jumping onto the soft flat of the bed. ‘We’ll get going before it gets too dark. Sometime around’—you let out a great big yawn, pulling a pillow close—‘2300 will do, I think.’‘O-Of course, Senpai.’Your consciousness drifts as you close your eyes, snuggling into the pillow.‘Wake me up if you need anything …’END: EMBERS FOR TOMORROW - HOPEFUL DAWNS (1)
>>2397514>Nerding out together, naked.It's like my ideal relationship. Pity we're getting deployed tomorrow and will never see her again.
You step out of the shower, stretching. It was late evening … and judging by the sounds from the street below, the attendees were already on their way to enjoy their last nights as relatively free youths. Rosaria had already donned her clothes and was staring in interest at the local news, which featured a female reporter donning what appeared to be a hard hat and a utility vest as she reported from the rooftops of the city. Whatever it was that she was talking about, there was—’We pray that the measure of devastation this year from The AEGIS actually turns out to truly be measurable.’Ah, of course.Rosaria giggles, leaning a little more forward.You dry off the back of your neck, wondering what clothes you’d wear this time. On paper, it was a formal event where the next protectors of the Imperial way of life would wine and dine, sharing their hopes for the future of their prospective careers. In reality, it was a bunch of repressed Hell-drudged young men and women given a chance to let loose before it all clamped down again; a celebration of idiocy, alcohol, cake to go along with a last goodbye before everyone got scattered to the four corners of the known universe in the line of duty.In short, it was the party to end all parties.So you return to the present dilemma, scratching your chin.What would be the best thing to wear?>[CASUAL CLOTHES: LAMBARDO]>[CASUAL CLOTHES: ZAMBOSKI]>[FORMAL UNIFORM (BETA)]
>>2400922>[CASUAL CLOTHES: LAMBARDO]
>>2400922>CASUAL CLOTHES: LAMBARDO]
>>2400922>>[CASUAL CLOTHES: LAMBARDO]
You look like your fashion sense was still going through an awkward adolescence while your build had blitzed right onto a forward position on a field. Still, you feel like it was appropriate. After all, you were out there to have fun.‘Rosaria?’She mutes the screening, turning to you.‘Are you leaving already, Senpai?’>‘Actually, I was wondering if you’d be my date? At the very least, you’d get some free food for that stomach of yours.’>‘I’ll drop you off at the Academy first.’>‘Yeah, you behave yourself.’ (Leave)>Write-In
>>2401132>>‘Actually, I was wondering if you’d be my date? At the very least, you’d get some free food for that stomach of yours.’free food is free foodplus shenanigans
>>2401132>‘I’ll drop you off at the Academy first.’Since she doesn't have any money of her own to get back.
>>2401132>Actually, I was wondering if you’d be my date? At the very least, you’d get some free food for that stomach of yours.’>though I might need to leave early for another appointment later, so I'll drop you off back to the academy then.
Something strikes you.It’d be irresponsible for you to let Rosaria stay here all by her lonesome … and you really couldn’t leave your credit tab here either. It’d been keyed to your signature … and even if you did unlock it, there was no telling if you could go without it on the streets. One never knew with emergencies coming along on a night like this … and with a bunch of rowdy former cadets, taking a risk with that wasn’t wise.‘Actually,’ you begin, catching her attention once more, ‘I was wondering if you’d be my date for tonight? Senpai to a Kouhai.’‘Date?’‘At the very least, you’ll probably get something to eat. There’ll definitely be some food there, at least.’Despite your reassurance, she still looks hesitant.>Write-In
>>2401240>'If you don't want to, I can just take you back to the Academy now. I can't just leave you here, since you don't have any money to get back on your own. >'I guess the reporter didn't give the best impression of what's gonna happen?'
>>2401240You don't have to think it as a date, think of it more like a chance to see a little more of the city, meet some people and enjoy yourself. I can show around a little, get some food, and I'm planning to leave a bit early so I can escort you back to your dorm on the way, so you won't have to worry about staying out too late. What do you say?
>>2401266>and i can introduce you to the others. they can tell you other things bout what to expect while learning here supportin
‘You don’t have to think about it as a date if you don’t want to,’ you expand calmly, placing your credit tab in your pocket, ‘but it’ll be a chance for you to get a better look into how things work around here; maybe you can get some food … and I’m planning on leaving early, anyway, so you don’t have to worry about being given a penalty before your first class—day of apprenticeship … whatever.’She brings a hand to her chin, looking thoughtful … and hesitant.‘Are you sure that I wouldn’t be imposing? Isn’t this … your night?’‘No, you wouldn’t be, really,’ you insist, walking towards the door. ‘And if you feel uncomfortable at any point, I promise that we can leave … and that I won’t spike your drinks or leave you to the mercies of faceless strangers.’She wears a humorless smile, throwing a half-glare your way. ‘That … isn’t funny.’‘It probably isn’t,’ you let out a wry chuckle as the words leave your mouth, continuing, ‘so what do you say? Mind stretching that trust taffy a little bit more?’Rosaria gets to her feet, wearing an enigmatic grin as she walks over to you … before giving you a prompt nod.‘I’m all yours, Senpai.’You’re out the door and down the lift, a good night wished upon you by the concierge as you hit the streets … only to find yourself instantly bombarded by the first wave of party-goers, charging down the street yelling obscenities and cheers in what could only be a stolen military vehicle. You recognize the man standing in the back seat as one of the jocks, his formal tie around his bare neck as his underwear-clad form thrusts itself into the air as it thundered down the road and past the corner. You’re not sure if the man in the driver’s seat is entirely sober or sane … but you’re able to at least get just which street the party would be on.It couldn’t be more than a twenty minute walk … hopefully.‘They seem happy,’ Rosaria comments, although it sounds more like an attempt to reassure herself with the fact that those young men would be the first one in harm’s way for the sake of the Empire. ‘Is it always like this during graduation?’The both of you start your trek in the direction of the speeding jeep.‘I have to confess … I thought that our batch would actually end up being a little bit more,’ you pause trying to find the right word, before continuing, ‘restrained with the celebrations. Don’t think Sanza is going to be happy if she has to deal with another hostage situation.’‘Hostage situation?’‘Last year someone spiked the wine; made the guy think he was some sort of Senator from the Republic. He held a guy hostage on a rooftop with a banana.’‘That’s horrible!’Her words don’t do well to mask her amused expression, however.
>>2401471>'You'll get there.'>'Nice to see that you're warming up to the festivities already.'>'Yeah, it's a little too much, I guess. A lot of steam builds up back there.'>'I guess that's why Sanza was put in charge. She's an aspiring medic, so she should have less tolerance for that insanity then most.'>Write-In
>>2401473>>'Nice to see that you're warming up to the festivities already.'
>>2401473>'Nice to see that you're warming up to the festivities already.'
>>2401473>Nice to see that you're warming up to the festivities already.'
‘Nice to see that you’re warming up to the festivities.’She giggles in amusement as you continue your chat down the street. There are private cars out on the road, but not many. Office hours may have just closed, but considering how scarce the streets were even in the afternoon … you wonder if they weren’t just given the day off so that the working Imperial subject could actually get their barricades up for the celebrations. You continue your chatter as you make your way down the road, half-wondering how she didn’t seem even the least bit bothered by the drop in temperature. Rosaria takes an interest in the erection of certain buildings, old and new … but mostly the new. Many of the construction works of Rhysode Alpha were undergoing an overhaul decades in the making … all the better to fit with its pearl-like aesthetic. She asks about many of the buildings, some of which you knew of, most of which that you didn’t have a clue about and descended into outlandish theories of their origin. You talk with her about life back at the Academy, providing warning on where to go and what to eat … who to listen to for the most part. You’re not sure how her apprenticeship worked, but being a Spacer, you don’t doubt that there’d be quite a few more hurdles than usual.The first of which would be her body odor, which, while not as horrible as yours upon arrival … would take some time and effort to get rid of. You don’t know why Spacer-made deodorants; toiletries in general, really, made such poor application upon hitting atmosphere. It was one of the weirdest things.‘And I remember you telling—’You’re interrupted by a loud cheer as you turn a corner, finding several jeeps parked in the middle of the street … as well as a whole party.There were at least a hundred former Cadets there … and probably quite a few crashers that didn’t belong. Bars lined up either side of the road as electronically-controlled parasols and holograms of birds danced beneath them. There were railings lined up to both sides of the roads as sort of makeshift balconies like a half-finished canopy, men and women on top, chatting animatedly or waving to their friends below. You maneuver past the tightly-packed jeeps that acted as a sort of partition, realizing just where the party was.Bars and cocktail assemblages left and right … and several spreads of food right in the middle; a buffet of all sorts of delicacies. All the restaurants on this stretch had apparently decided to take one for the team and contain the wildness to thei district.This was After Hours Central; one of the first districts erected for the early settlers.And it was positively loud.Rosaria winces as she places her hands over her ears, staring at the chaos before her.Fine suits will all manner of gunk over them.Drunks by the bar chatting sports.A woman slapping a cadet in uniform getting too fresh.You had arrived.>Write-In
>>2401658>search for the compadres while grabbing snacks and avoiding drunks and flying drinks
>>2401658Look for your friends while picking up some plates of food, make sure to give rosaria an arm so you don't lose her
You don’t see Sanza or anyone else you knew—well, you knew a few of the faces on the outer layer of the crowd, but not well enough to call them friends. Rosaria steps a little closer to you, seeing the chaos. The music was loud, the smell of food was strong and you think that that pyramid of wine was something that cost more than what you’d earn as part of a Logistics crew member in a year. Music blared from the speakers as you and Rosaria entered the crowd … and instantly find yourself the only one that wasn’t in formal—You immediately feel a hand on your shoulder, turning you around.‘Hey, hey, hey, this is for graduates only, civilian, don’t.’Turning around, you find yourself face-to-face with stubble-lined man that had at least an inch on you, flanked by a young woman and his shorter friend. All of them were clad in their formals.‘I am a graduate.’He stares you up and down, scrunching his nose before giving a dismissive snort.‘Sure you are … and I’m a Converter Engineer,' he remarks, crossing his arms. The shorter man shakes his head while the woman, whose hair was a shocking pink, points her head in the direction that you came from.>Write-In
>>2401734>'Pfft, no. I'm not leaving just because I don't want vomit on my dress uniform.'
>>2401734recite our deployment orders>GAIA-0401ASSIGNMENT: LD-065 GREYHOUNDR. POINT: Kerensky LaunchportOrders: 0500 HOURS, m.266EXECUTIVE REFERRAL: Technical Officer Seraph Miloshov
>>2401734>>2401738I'll switch to this.
>>2401738Supporting, maybe flash a school ID if we've got one
>>2401743we turned ours in earlier
‘I’m assigned to the Greyhound, filed as LD-065. Referenced to Technical Officer Seraph Miloshov. Former identification was by GAIA-0401.’His eyes widen, before covering his mouth in a guffaw. The woman shakes her head as she walks away … while the shorter man fixes you with a pitiable look before turning on his heel and following her, leaving the man who had initiated with you alone and trying to conceal his amusement.‘Sorry,’ he snorts, shaking his head, ‘enjoy yourself, man … party on.’‘That satisfy you enough?’‘No problems,’ he reassures, giving you a pat on the shoulder. ‘No one’d march in saying that they were assigned to Logistics!’You grumble as he turns away to catch up with his two friends, absorbed by the crowd.‘Senpai?’You were here to have a good time.You would have a good time.>Write-In
>>2401765>resume search for the friends
There were six restaurants (and bars), four installations of alcohol, a stage at the end, two platforms on top that seemed to have a mess of former (and probably current) cadets, enjoying the night. You linger by the first stretch of buffet, looking around … and finding no sight of Emilio, Sanza, Ryosuke … not even Gerard of Lucion. Perhaps they were inside … but considering the crowd, you wouldn’t be surprised if you’d bumped shoulders and passed by without notice. The music may not have been that loud, especially with the open-air nature of the festivities and that despite the hundreds, the place was mercifully wide enough to accommodate the masses. Even crowded, it didn’t feel you were being boxed—‘Sorry!’You stumble forwards, grumbling as you nurse your shoulder.There were three restaurants, two after hours cocktail bars and one fusion of the two. You could get access to the top platforms; there was a stairwell on each side of the pavement leading up. Maybe Emilio and the rest were up there. No, not Emilio, he’d probably find a corner and just take it all in. Ryosuke would be up there, you suppose … trying and failing to pick up women.Sanza … where was Sanza? Wasn’t she organizing this—‘Senpai?’You turn to face Rosaria … who had two plates of food in her hands.All right, perhaps you needed a place to just sit down first.There didn’t appear to be any tables out here, though. Ones that were available, anyway. The ones by the bars were full, couples and friends taking their spots and chatting the night away … and you doubt that they’d allow you to eat at the counter.>[The Emperor’s Hours] (Bar)>[Watch What] (Fusion Restaurant/Bar)>[Black Phillip’s] (Restaurant, specializing in BBQ)>[The House On The Lone Star] (Restaurant, steak house)>[Where Everybody Knows Your Name] (Bar)>[Quick, Thick and Slick] (Restaurant, specializing in exotic dishes)>Head up the North-Eastern Platform>Head up the South-Western Platform>Write-In
>>2401811>>[Black Phillip’s] (Restaurant, specializing in BBQ)SPACE BBQ
>>2401811>Head up the North-Eastern Platform
>>2401811>[Black Phillip’s] (Restaurant, specializing in BBQ)
You hadn’t been to Black Phillip’s in a while. Mostly because it (and the whole damned place, really) was just so expensive. Much too high for the budget that the stipend gave you were afforded. Not that you came down this way often enough to consider it anyway. Most of the restaurants on this particular stretch of road had a … strange hick to their way of business. That all their meat came from suppliers that didn’t criss-cross (Whatever that term was for) with one another … and that their prices always varied. You’d seen some dishes from one shop being able to bug your eyes out and actually suit your budget.Again, you didn’t come here often enough to judge, but you did notice things when you did.Black Phillip’s focused primarily on meat. They weren’t picky on what meat, just that it was meat.As a Colony Fleet Inhabitant, you didn’t care as long as your nutrition levels were kept to standard.You approach the entrance, finding your eyes instantly watering from the sizzle of hot barbecue. Your throat constricts as your gaze roves along the shop … and find that it was at least half-vacant. The place wasn’t big … and by that you meant that there were at least two or three back on the Colony Fleet that could give it a fight on sheer size; the roof was low and the tables were lined up by the wall in booths or basic dining arrangements. It didn’t look like much and was a tad claustrophobic with its low ceiling … but there was a rustic charm to it that told you that despite the regular prices, there was a passion.The pits and grills were all out in the open, several men between your age and Instructor Fisk’s barking out orders at one another, undeterred by the smog from their meals. In the middle of the establishment was an old-fashioned wagon, an aesthetic addition to emphasize the age—or the age it wished to convey—to its customers. It wasn’t as if this was an exclusive establishment for the night, though, as you spy differently-designed uniforms marching in and out with datapads and hurried expressions.You let out a small cough, making your way to an unoccupied table for two, pulling the chair back for Rosaria and taking one yourself. You raise your hand to order … before noticing the sign by the pit closest to you.PICK UP ONLY!**If you ask for Coleslaw, we reserve the right to inflict violenceSeveral graduates cough as they pick their food up, stacking sausages and wings at least an inch high before walking away with soot-covered faces.Rosaria fidgets slightly, wearing a guilty smile.‘Is it wrong that I like the aesthetic here?’>‘No, feels like a Colony Fleet establishment for me, too. Enclosed, a lot of stuff going around …’>‘If you like holes like these who am I to comment?’>‘You like what you like.’>‘Is this mine?’ (Pick your food)>Write-In
>>2401862>>‘No, feels like a Colony Fleet establishment for me, too. Enclosed, a lot of stuff going around …’
‘No,’ you agree, nodding in agreement, ‘feels like a Colony Fleet establishment for me, too. Cramped, a lot of stuff going around … it’s got the feel, if not the full aesthetic.’Rosaria doesn’t wait for you, picking up a green sandwich and tossing it into her mouth, before muttering thickly, ‘I wonder if the owner is from a Colony Fleet, too?’You doubt it. If anything, the owner of the establishment was a cheapskate that wanted to put his money in his meat rather than his environment. The place really looked like it could use a reworked ventilation system … but something about the layout told you that it had been deliberately designed in such a manner. It wasn’t suffocating, of course; you don’t think the owner wanted to choke his customers out of their cash, but what else could it be for? The whole place permeated charcoal-cooked meat … invading your nostrils whether you liked it or not.It wasn’t that you were adverse to it, of course.You make a move, picking up one of the trays and walking over to the pit and lifting a pair of tongs from their rack, picking up several wings and patties … and some fillets of charred venison. Can’t forget those, of course …Couldn’t go wrong with some bread, either.Sauce. You couldn’t forget that; sauce was a must.Maybe more wings.Some patties.You were a growing boy, after all.Maybe more fillets.You can’t even feel the weight on your arms yet.You could take more …Right?>‘More.’ (Put more on your plate)>‘You went through Hell to get here; don’t ruin it.’ (Exercise control)>‘Can I have some coleslaw to go with this, please?’
>>2401879>>‘You went through Hell to get here; don’t ruin it.’ (Exercise control)the struggle is real hereBBQ cant be resisted so easily
>>2401879>>‘You went through Hell to get here; don’t ruin it.’ (Exercise control)
>>2401879>You went through Hell to get here; don’t ruin it.’ (Exercise control)
You had willpower.You did.‘Get a grip,’ you mutter to yourself, turning away from the rest of the spread. ‘You went through Hell to get here; don’t ruin it in one sitting.’‘I have taught you well, my son.’You whirl around see Sanza, looking positively radiant and … dressed for the occasion. She had foregone her usual uniform, her eyes sparkling with mischief (and some inebriation, by a guess) and energy … matching her dress. A blue high-slit strapped gown that was made with class and vigor in mind. It wasn’t satin or silk; you could tell that much. As elegant as it looked, you could tell that it was designed to accommodate a lot of movement … which suited Sanza’s long strides. The evening gloves, though, you felt a tad too much.‘I was just looking for—’‘And why do you look like a wannabe poet from seventy years ago?’You felt that. You felt that right there. If there was anyone that could judge you with a look and a sentence and made you feel like a moron, it was Sanza. She stares right up at you, unflinching as you stumble through your vocabulary to get an answer. A glance over your friends shoulder has you seeing your Kouhai wolfing down the contents of her plate, the oil and dressing spelling messily all over her lips and cheeks.‘You seriously come up here dressed like that,’ Sanza comments tightly, bringing your attention back to her. She gestures to your state of dress. ‘Where are your formals?’>Write-In
>>2402276>Uuum... I didn't want to get soot on them?
>>2402276....meh, I'm not gonna stay the whole night anyway and I'd rather just enjoy my time with my friends in something comfy. Speaking of, nice dress, it looks really good on you.>thumbs up
‘Because I didn’t want crap all over a fine suit?’Sanza rolls her eyes, giving the right side of your chest a shove.‘Good call,’ she commends, bringing up her hands and grinding her teeth as she lifted her hands and rubber the thumb of her right into her left in annoyance. ‘It feels so suffocating wearing all this … I wish I could actually have something else that fit the occasion.’‘Wish you’d gone full slacker like me?’She smirks up at you, chuckling before shaking her head. ‘I do have a measure of pride in how I look, contrary to what you believe.’‘I have no doubts about tha—oof!’You find a steady knuckle smacking you unawares, right above your left pectoral. Sanza shakes her head as she resumes her stance, looking you up and down.‘Wish I could say the same for you,’ she comments. ‘Don’t you have any care of how silly you look? All you need is a hoodie to complete the ensemble.’‘That would be the other set I have in—’‘Excuse me …’You apologize, moving out of the way as a man with a buzz cut makes his way past you, making you almost bump into your friend, your tray barely being saved from spilling its overflowing contents onto her dress. Sanza curses, glaring up at the man (who didn’t pay either of you any attention, choosing to feed himself first) before glaring down at what appeared to be your selection of food.‘Sorry!’‘No, not that, it’s just … urgh,’ Sanza grumbles, tugging at the slit on her thigh, ‘I don’t know why I didn’t ask for an alteration … I had to go without underwear just to get this zip right.’‘Yeah, that’s what you—’It takes a while for the information to hit.‘What did you just—’‘I told you I was doing fine!’‘You were doing pelvic thrusts crouched on a stool!’You turn up to see your male friends, Ryosuke (Who was being dragged by the collar) and Emilio (Who was marching into the establishment wearing a glare that could make Gene Milk turn pink), growling and sniping at each other as they stumbled into Black Phillip’s. Ryosuke looked like an odd accessory dangling from Emilio’s hand, struggling in a manner that reminded you of those cartoon characters trying to escape a set of chains that he had been placed in by a captor … which was odd, considering that Ryosuke could mop the floor with both you and Emilio at the same time if he so wanted to. It didn’t need much awareness that Emilio had a frustrated look about his face … and looked absolutely disheveled, despite it being so early. He shoves Ryosuke onto his feet, only for the slightly shorter man to pout, huffing indignantly.Emilio straightens his collar, scrunching his nose and opening his mouth to say something …Before turning his attentions to you.‘Why are you dressed for a comedy masquerade?’
>>2402512>'Is everyone going to rip on me for the whole night on that one thing? Seriously?' (Annoyed)>'Rough night ... and it isn't even after hours yet. You two all right?' (Redirect)>'I'm going to go eat. Nice to see you guys alive.' (Rejoin Rosaria)>'Mah dag-gumb suit got all messed up, yup. Jus' another one of those things us Spacers do, ah guess.' (Sarcastic, Cultural Humor)>Write-In
>>2402512>rubber the thumbSkynet's taken over your spellcheck and is fucking with you.>>2402521>'Mah dag-gumb suit got all messed up, yup. Jus' another one of those things us Spacers do, ah guess.' (Sarcastic, Cultural Humor)
>>2402525I use LibreOffice. I apologize. It can barely recognize existing words.
>>2402526It's fine. Can you not add words to its dictionary though?
>>2402521>Mah dag-gumb suit got all messed up, yup. Jus' another one of those things us Spacers do, ah guess.' (Sarcastic, Cultural Humor)
>>2402532The Discord can attest to my many, many sad attempts. At one point it didn't even know over-"encumbered" or "apologize" were words.It's too bad OpenOffice's addons don't exist anymore. Libre is my default now.
>>2402521>'I'm going to go eat. Nice to see you guys alive.' (Rejoin Rosaria)Make them jealous of our date.
>>2402547I hope you didn't pay money for it.
>>2402554I've told him before to just use google docs or something else at least
>>2402585>'Why don't the five of us pull up a table? This is the last time we're going to be seeing each other ... ever, probably.'
>>2402585>Why don't the five of us pull up a table? This is the last time we're going to be seeing each other ... ever, probably.'>rosaria glaringMech....
>>2402585>>'Emilio, what'd Ryosuke get up to that you had to drag him away from this time?'
>>2402585>>2402591>Rosaria glares at him, thoroughly unamused.I hadn't even noticed.
>>2402591I'll rewrite this. I'm not satisfied with how the scene turned out either.
You make your best impression of being cross-eyed, tucking your chin in for effect. 'Mah dag-gumb suit got all messed up, yup. Jus' another one of those things us Spacers do, ah guess.'Ryosuke laughs at your feat of exaggeration; Sanza pinches the bridge of her nose, throwing you a disapproving look—and a restrained twitch of her lips—as she positions herself to a more open position on your right. Emilio, the target of your sarcastic retort, however, doesn’t so much as show a change in expression … at least, until he tosses up a defeated smirk, shaking his head.‘Noted,’ he replies, before turning to Sanza, ‘and just so you know, I was at The Emperor’s Hours … I think some of the stalls there are being used for, uh … unsavory matters. Just … just so you know.’Sanza grumbles, covering her face in her hands as she begins muttering curses under her breath … but otherwise remains as steady as a rock bringing them down. She looks reserved, tired and defeated … but somehow still in the fight. Taking a deep breath, her lips shift direction into an amused, albeit uncaring smirk as she runs both her hands through her hair; she looked like she could do with a punching bag just about now.You take the chance to put a step and a half between you and her.‘Some stalls are better than a whole block,’ she lets out with an air of satisfaction … although it sounds more like a mantra that she had merely recited to keep her sanity.Ryosuke snorts in amusement, puffing his chest. ‘Night’s still young—we’ll get there.’Sanza growls, her hands forming into claws …>'Why don't the five of us pull up a table? This is the last time we're going to be seeing each other …ever, probably.'>‘Don’t worry, Ryosuke, that’s not trouble that you’ll be seeing any time soon.’ (Quip about his lack of charm)>'So, uh, Sanza, you did it. This isn't a bad arrangement at all.' (Divert to Sanza)>'Emilio, what'd Ryosuke get up to that you had to drag him away from this time?' (Divert to Ryosuke)>Write-In
>>2402630>>'Emilio, what'd Ryosuke get up to that you had to drag him away from this time?' (Divert to Ryosuke)
>>2402630>'Why don't the five of us pull up a table? This is the last time we're going to be seeing each other …ever, probably.'Let's sit down before we get run over by someone else.
>>2402630>'So, uh, Sanza, you did it. This isn't a bad arrangement at all.' (Divert to Sanza)
>>2402630>'Why don't the five of us pull up a table? This is the last time we're going to be seeing each other …ever, probably.'