Side Mission 06: Adlet Rising

With one disaster after another, the crew of the Edward Deming are stretched thin after another incident places their friends and family in danger...Some will go to great lengths to achieve their goals, though others may not be so eager to make a Faustian bargain.
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Side Mission 06: Adlet Rising

Post by CadetNewb » Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:14 am

Adlet Homeworld,
The Island of Excan

After the 3019 Summit and several hours into Hoshiko's exploration mission


"That isn't what I meant and you know it." Wazu said, trying his best not to sound flustered. The earthen stone walls around them provided protection against the rain but even so water would occasionally splash in through the small holes near the ceiling used to provide ventilation and light. "They aren't dangerous to you and Tai Pan, they are just dangerous to us right now... because of the spears and knives that we got close to. The Adlet are harmless!"

Well, mostly harmless

Wazu himself was on the other side of the room from Hoshiko. Both were locked away, the front area of their cells made up of a reed-like wood that was held in place by heavy interlocking stones carefully placed around the sides. The whole apparatus taking several of the local Adlet to 'unlock'. Wazu's back of 'stuff' had also been confiscated, leaving him standing there with only his shirt and pants. The Adlet had even taken his belt because of the shiney buckle, and his shirt thanks to the glittering pieces of electronics woven in. He could only imagine what they had done with his shoes... they wouldn't even fit an Adlet properly.

"You are correct, the Adlet are harmless," Hoshiko's deadpan voice replied. Lying on her side, head propped up on her hand, the small Tigress could have said he looked too short to be a trooper, and it would have all made sense. "Look at how the local shaman over there speaks to his followers as they await the authorities," she began. "Since we fled from the heavens, we can't possibly be worthy, and so, must be destroyed in a grand sacrifice, sending us back in to the that we may be executed by the other gods." the Taianese woman explained to the human. In the background flames rose as the shaman loudly ranted to his masses, addicted to his words as though they were on opium. "Very harmless. Especially how they managed to push both of our shuttlecraft off a cliff using logs, levers, and sheer brute force," she reminded him, her voice flat and emotionlessly mocking.

Wazu pressed his lips together tightly, his translater didn't work when he didn't have his electronics on hand. He knew some Adlet words thanks to Zenigata and his time on this planet... but it was impossible to tell exactly what they were saying. He had seen the large stone tablet on an altar when they were brought here though, and it was pretty straightforward to figure out what they were probably going to do if given enough time.

And Hoshiko was being as impossible as ever.

"I am certain their stone-knife-sword-things and mastery of log-based-levers will bring Tai Pan's military to its knees," He said, putting a bit of force against the wooden part of his cell. It was some kinda reed-like-thing, strong like bamboo. Not something a human could just tear open. "We can go see the rest of the planet anytime."

"The obsidian edges of their macuahuitl swords are three nanometers thick, and up until the early 22nd Century, were superior in initial cutting ability to surgical steel scalpels," the feline featured woman pretended to examine her gloved nails. "However, since that shaman believes us both to be virgins, we will be tied spread eagle to an altar before having our hearts cut out by said obsidian blades," Hoshiko informed the man, her blue eyes how unblinkingly staring at him. Though her tone of voice was flat and as emotionless as ever, it was obvious that she was getting a rise out of rubbing the situation in Wazu's face. "Since you are a wizard, shouldn't you use your magic powers to get us out of this situation?" her deadpan voice ribbed at him again.

There was certainly something to be said for being able to look up such information with your digital brain, a feature Wazu lacked without his datapad. This place was so primitive right now he didn't even have real time fact checking.

"I maintain these people are harmless. There is no need to blow them up with 'space magic' or anything like that." Wazu was trying to stand firm on that point, but he wasn't able to remain as deadpan as Hoshiko. "... but if you'd like to tear open these cells, that would be great too. I'd hate to disappoint these guys by being an unworthy sacrifice."

"Unworthy? I thought you were a thirty year old virgin," Hoshiko gracefully raised an eyebrow. "I thought that once humans reached that point, they would gain magical powers. If so, I suggest you help yourself," she made a shooing gesture at him with an idle hand. In the background, the Shaman's ranting had finally finished to great cheering, their flint spears and swords raised in praise. "From what I can tell, since I am a woman, they plan to treat me as a goddess for a week before casting me into a volcano. You however, are to have your heart torn out before being lit on fire." Staring at him in silence for a moment, she then added in her flat deadpan, "Very civilized, and completely harmless."

"That's not what I... " Wazu had to stop himself for a moment. At this point he was anything but graceful, "Completely harmless to Taipan. Maybe less harmless to us right now. Are you so stubborn you're going to go along with this just to prove a point? There isn't even magic on this planet for a Wizard to use... they have some ancestor worship stuff sure but not world-threatening fireballs."

"So you are a wizard, because you haven't had sex for thirty years?" the Tigress's eyebrows rose ever so slightly in surprise. "I thought they were mere rumors, based out of old Earth of all places," she mused, looking away from him in thought. "But if this is, no, humans copulate too often. The Alliance will need lead time to produce their own wizards," Hoshiko continued to think out loud, strategizing against the potential onslaught of thirty year old wizards. Off in the distance, horns sounded as the jungle trees shook and parted with the arrival of a great delegation. Festooned in gold and jewels, the person atop the main platform carried by a dozen servants was clearly the big shot. "And that would be, well, you know who that is, don't you?" Hoshiko then asked, her stare as emotionless as it always was.

It could have been a trick of the torchlight, but it seemed like the corner of her mouth twitched upwards ever so slightly.

"I'm sorry my sexual history isn't as well known as yours," Wazu practically spat, sure he knew it was likely a mistake to say but his mouth was far ahead of his head at this point, "... and I'm sure that's your new husband ready to whisk you off for a week if disappointment...

... and that's not how humans work...

... and I'm not a virgin even if it was.

Why do you have such a need to wipe people out?"

The blank faced stare that Hoshiko gave him could have melted through a meter of battleship plate, but the way the torch light flickered across her face made the small Taianese woman exude a cruel joy that he couldn't describe. Moving up from how she was laying on her side moments before, the Tigress was soon sitting cross legged as she called out to one of the guards. One brief, heated exchange later, and Wazu found himself being dragged out of his pen, kicked several times as the mob yelled at him, and dragged before the regal Adlet upon his throne.

"I was so shocked you weren't a virgin, I gossiped to the guard," Hoshiko dryly remarked, as he was pelted with rotten food.

"Oh I'm sure you - WHAP"

It didn't take much to stagger Wazu. The Adlet's fist and feet connecting to his face and chest. The human bringing his arms up to try and protect himself from the attacks as much as possible.


By the time they were finished, the human could barely stand, his feet getting dragged across the stone floor as a bit of blood trailed down off his chest and feet.

"This isn't *Pft* Over..." He managed to say, spitting out a bit of rotten fruit that ended up splattering against his face. The man being dragged through the crowd towards the throne overlooking a raised stone altar. Wazu himself was forced down nearby, as the regal Adlet started to say.... something. Wazu couldn't exactly tell what it all meant, but roughly translated it probably meant 'time for me to escape before they cut my heart out.' He would look around for his bag of stuff and yell, "Laputan machine!"

There was a small drone inside of the bag, disguised as a hefty walking stick. It would be more than enough to defeat these primitive Adlets. That Activation-Phrase would trigger it to turn on. but at the moment it was stuck inside of his bag...and slowly dragging the Adlet sitting on said bag towards the throne. Wazu would need another escape plan fast.


Despite his furious, threatening yells and the muscular guard Adlet approaching with a menacingly held macuahuitl, Wazu watched as Hoshiko simply sat there, watching him right back as her feline tail slowly swished back and forward like the cat she was until the press of the crowd obscured the woman from view. With one behind him, forcing the man to kneel, the golden one loudly declared as his chosen guard slowly leveled the obsidian edged sword against the back of his neck.




Rope sling in hand, Hoshiko let loose lead bullets, smashing straight into their skulls before kicking the corpse of the bag-carrying Adlet aside, freeing the drone. Leaping impossibly high, the woman deftly landed atop the trees, loosing one bullet after another, felling the slingers and archers first!


Wazu probably meant 'Off' but before he could finish speaking his drone came to him FAST, still inside of the bag. The whole clump slamming into him instead of coming to his hand, knocking him over into the altar.


Just enough time to open the bag and get the device out. Though with the group of Adlet around him there wasn't time for much else. He'd reach into the bag and grab the first thing he could get his hands on, hoping it would be useful as he started making a dash for the tree line,

"BLOCK!" He yelled, trying to fumble with the voice-interface for the drone, the small floating stick moving in front of him and keeping any fast moving swords from cutting him open.

"An auto-defending gùn?" Hoshiko questioned, using the Taianese word for rod or staff. "I question how you have remained alive thus far," the woman leaped from her tree to another, dodging a loosed flint arrow. "They die, we live. It is as simple as that, as you are not fleeing." Loading another lead bullet into her sling, she quickly flicked the rope cord, sending the projectile smashing through the archer Adlet's sternum and into its chest. Leaping to another tree, she added, "If it has not become clear enough, you are making me kill them thanks to your own inability," the Tigress calmly explained, hurling another projectile and braining one of the Adlet's attempting to circumvent Wazu's weapon from behind.

"NOT A GUN! I SAID NO WEAPONS!.... this is a recon drone...." Wazu shouted, dashing his way off the stone and into the forest on slightly bloody feet. He wasn't ready to both run at top speed and conduct a discussion over the finer points of rules lawyering, "NO MORE KILLING THEM! AIM TO WOUND OR WE CAN HAVE OUR SHIPS START SHOOTING AT EACHOTHER!"

A deep breath, a frantic look around to find some kind of path that wasn't filled with angry Adlets brandishing wood-and-obsidian-swords, then another dash through the forest. He needed to quickly program the drone to block Hoshiko's shots too without a datapad. A quick addition through voice commands was his only option. Wazu would open his mouth to speak,

"GHhaaaAAAAA!" Instead of words, he just got a huge gulp of air. He could already feel his lungs burning for air as he tried to keep moving.

"I said gùn not gun," Hoshiko tersely replied to the man, only for him to shout back,

"That's the same word!"

"It's a type of quarterstaff," she reminded the physically unfit human. Leaping from tropical tree to tropical tree, the Tigress easily kept out of reach of the furious Adlets below, deftly dodging their arrows and stones. Finding that the leather bag of lead shot was running low, she leaped down, goomba stomping one of the Adlets chasing after Wazu before snatching up his macuahuitl. Running after the man herself, she then snatched the man up as well and spirited him away into the darkness.

It wasn't long until Hoshiko lopped off the head of a jaguar-like beast that charged out at them from its cave before dragging Wazu in, the tiny cubs inside cowering in fear.

"Yes, the Adlet are not a threat at all," Hoshiko remarked, dragging the mother's corpse in as she began to cut up the body for meat.

"That isn't what I meant and you know it!" Wazu shouted, resting his hands on his knees as he breathed in. This whole place tasted slightly metallic... a sure sign that he should speak with a doctor soon. By the time he had caught his breath and turned around, Hoshiko was already elbow deep in meat,

"Can you stop killing things!?" Exasperated and bloody, Wazu checked what he managed to grab out of his bag and found a handful of socks. Not exactly the most useful tool. He ended up wrapping them around his arm as a makeshift bandage over the cuts he received from the Adlet.

"I'm out here trying to save the Adlet and your entire empire while you can't kill your bloodlust in check for a few minutes!" This earned the man a brief look from the Taianese soldier as she quickly skinned, gutted and otherwise butchered the mother jaguar-thing.

"If you were not so helpless or incompetent, I would not need to keep killing things," Hoshiko replied. "On no more than five separate occasions, your defensive drone was unable to provide adequate coverage, necessitating my intervention," she pointed out to the man. Walking outside, she soon found a dead tree, and simply pushed it over, her feet digging deep into the ground before it fell. "More importantly, this would have all been prevented if you or your Adlet Zenigata did as I said and provided me ample evidence of their primitive, non-threatening state." Breaking it apart with her bare hands, she soon had enough wood. "However, either his fears of cameras claiming their souls or your own denial of my honest request seem to have made this a non-option." Lighting a small fire, the woman used the stones and slate to start cooking the meat.

"You haven't been negotiating in good faith since the International Summit. You went out of your way to prove the Adlet, did everything you could to threaten their people and incite a fight. If I sent you pictures you'd claim they were staged photo-ops of the least threatening part of their culture." Wazu ended up slumping down against the wall, sitting down in the cave as he caught his breath. He could feel himself going full tilt. It was a familiar feeling, easily recognizable, but despite knowing it was happening he couldn't do anything about it. That ability to slow down and make more reasonable choices just wasn't there. He lost his portable pharmacy a while ago when they were captured by the Adlet, his datapad was gone, and the blows to the head certainly didn't help his decision making. "You people have thrown away your freedom, and are doing everything you can to drag the rest of the universe down with you kicking and screaming. Just sending the rooster instead of you would have.... well I wouldn't be here taking such stupid risks!"

"I remind you that diplomacy is not my specialty, and that I was still doing my best despite our projections that any effort was doomed to fail," Hoshiko pointed out to him, her gloved hands reaching to the meat to flip it as the cubs watched what was left of their mother fry on the stone. For a moment, she was quiet as the flesh gently sizzled upon its slate, but the Tigress eventually added, "Also, I'd rather not you humans become more like us. Most of your number make for poor Taianese." Prodding the fire with a finger to keep it going, yet not bright enough to see from outside the cave, Hoshiko let out a small, uncharacteristic sigh as her shoulders slumped. "I wished Diana came to talk to me more, but she had business of her own."

Out of everyone that had talked to her, Diana had made the most progress with the Taianese woman.

"Eat." Handing Wazu another piece of slate, the freshly cooked meat upon its surface, she then began preparing more, giving small cooked bits to the cubs.

Wazu just looked at the cooked flesh infront of him. To think she'd harvest flesh like this for consumption...

"So did you fail as an officer because you were ordered to? Or did you walk so willingly into failure because you have no stomach to stand for a cause you might lose?" His stomach was growling, the smell of the cooked meat a solid reminder that the last thing he had to eat was an energy+nutrition bar late last night. "... Not that Diana would have faired any better. She was being setup to fail just like how you goaded Zenigata and the Kiwomians."

For a moment, Hoshiko only tended to cooking her own share. It wasn't until she made the first flip that she spoke again.

"I did not goad them. Not intentionally. I failed because I was an incompetent diplomat, not because I set out to fail." The Taianese woman added more wood to the fire. "As for the others, the Roosters were not interested, as the Dragons believed the summit would fail regardless. Ordering them to do something they are not interested in, let alone something that they know they will fail in, is a quick way to earn their ire. So I went instead." Looking up at Wazu, she added, "They are uncomfortably human. When they want to be, at least." Picking up her own pieces of meat with her gloved hands, the Tigress blew on it a little before tearing into the hot flesh. Unlike Wazu, she ate much more quickly than he did and finished her piece. "As for Diana. She was not mean," the blue eyed woman cryptically replied.

"I... You... What.... BAH!"

Wazu couldn't make sense of what he was hearing. There were too many conflicting thoughts, too much to distill down into something verbal. Just trying to speak with all this going on made it feel like he was just letting sounds fall out of his mouth. He had to push past several threads of thought to skip right to his conclusion. The human slumping down infront of the fire.

"How are you so defeated as a person?" the man asked, concern leaking into his words. At first, Hoshiko didn't respond, averting her blue gaze away from his as she tended to the fire.

"Did you answer your own question yet?" the woman asked, her tone as dead as it always was. Unlike Wazu, who was dirty, bruised, and stained with blood both his and not, she looked completely immaculate and clean. And yet, the way Hoshiko sat, her knees held close to her chest, she seemed even smaller than she already was. Almost pathetic, in a sense.

"About two seconds too late," This all made a bit more sense. Her run in with the Sutakame was the obvious reason why. It neatly explained how someone like her could be such a terrible officer now, yet have had the talent to rise to that position earlier. There was now the complex question of how to even approach a topic as sensitive as this. He would first need to pack up the concern in his voice.

It was time for serious, and direct.

"There are other people depending on you. You don't have a choice in the matter, you have to get this right." He would finally take a bite of the meat that she had prepared for him, giving him something else to chew on. For a good, long moment, Hoshiko continued to simply stare into the fire, her poker face having slowly faded enough to reveal the faintest amount of melancholy.

"I'm scared," came her simple reply, the words plain. Moments more passed before she added, "This applies to anything not Taianese, now that I am acutely aware that I can be made to suffer in ways I had not imagined before by such things." Turning her blue gaze on him, he could also could clearly see how her ears drooped as she spoke. "I do worry about the others under me and my people as well, since they can be made to suffer to the same degree, but that hasn't stopped me from becoming inflexible, indecisive, and brittle," Hoshiko admitted. "For me, it is a bitter thought, but I believe our dialog would not have been so difficult had we met prior to then." Looking back at the fire, Hoshiko prodded at it again. "I will try. For now though, go to sleep. I will keep watch during the night."

"Ha!" Wazu's laugh was one of exhaustion, the kind someone gave out when they were at the end of their rope. The man just leaning back into he was laying on the floor. Hoshiko shared something rather deep and personal, perhaps it was only fair that he do the same. "Me too. I'm absolutely terrified that I don't really believe anything I say about helping people or saving lives. I'm scared the call of the void will catch up to me one day and I'll do something that's irredeemable. I'm scared that if I open up to anyone, they'll just use it against me in the future.

I know I should offer to help, that's what I want to believe is the right thing. But what am I going to tell you? Run from your problems, but do it faster?

If I slow down... that might be it for me."

There would be no slowing down, there couldn't be. He'd need to snuff out every last bit of vulnerability and worry in his voice.

"We have to solve this Hoshiko." Hearing that come from the human man's lips, Hoshiko couldn't help but give out a single, mirthless laugh of her own.

"Ha." Looking at the cubs in the den with them, Hoshiko continued to feed them the small, scraps that lay cooking on the stone, the little creatures slowly becoming less wary of her as she did so. They didn't know any better, after all. "Were it so easy," the small woman's tone darkened. "Were this simply a battle with myself, I believe I would have already conquered it, however - " Hoshiko reached over and picked up one of the small cubs by the scruff of its neck, examining it face to face. " - I have constant reminders that no other person in a similar position save those at Nanjing have, and these have kept my wounds far fresher than they should be." Settling the small, fluffy creature into Wazu's lap, it quickly scampered out to rejoin its siblings. "I have been attempting to kill my offspring since then, with little luck," her eyes narrowed at the man. "They took after me far too much."

Hoshiko had been trying to kill her own children for the better part of a decade.
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Re: Side Mission 6: Adlet Rising

Post by CadetNewb » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:17 am




Wazu was quiet for a while afterwards. The only sounds being that of the fire and the small cat-creatures nearby.

"You are an officer. Officers don't abandon their responsibilities when things get difficult. If you want my sympathy, you have it. I don't know how to help without it sounding... like I am intruding where I shouldn't. But when it comes to Zenigata and the Adlet." There was a lot of thinking involved here, another weighty pause following Wazu's words as he tried to determine what to say. "...I have responsibilities too, and they won't wait for your wounds to heal. There has to be something you would like to see spared a war with the Union."

"Heram," Hoshiko's flat voice called out to him, her bright blue eyes simply boring into the man without another word.

"Yes?" He asked, straining to sit up again to face her. It was the right thing to do... even if his adrenaline rush was coming to an end. The accumulation of cuts, injuries, and stress all starting to catch up.

"You do realize I decided not to take further action against the Adlets some time ago?" the small Taianese woman questioned him, her face blank and expressionless as it always was. "I have a nagging suspicion that you have not caught on to my ruse," she added. Though the way Hoshiko sat was relaxed, he could see that all her attention was fixed on him. "Looking back, do you notice anything that may indicate this? That my mind was already made up, and that I was attempting to make you suffer for my personal enjoyment?"


Wazu would let himself fall back again. Adlet's safe... he just needed a mission accomplished banner... maybe a nap.... small whisky garnished with crushed painkillers.

"You could have shared that before we had to kill five Adlets and a... uh... giant space cat... creature..." he weakly put forward.

"You could have given me the data I requested. Video accompanied by documentation evaluating their culture would have been ideal, but simple photos from the electronics integrated into your ship or clothing would have sufficed," she curtly reminded him. Turning her gaze away from the man, the Tigress went back to contemplatively staring at the fire. "That was perhaps the biggest concession I had made in some time, and not easily. However, it would seem Zenigata's incompetence combined with my own has lead us here." Picking up a stone, she cast it out the cave, the rock dully thumping against the jungle floor. "Stealing their souls," the Tigress bitterly recalled Zen's words. "Ridiculous. Sheer, utter stupidity. He didn't even contemplate how to get them and started to 'melt down' as you humans say."

"You would not have accepted those pictures anymore than you accepted Zenigata or myself telling you that the Adlet were harmless. Even if I did not think you were out for blood, you would still have reasonably assumed that pictures taken entirely at my discretion would be staged for my... and Zenigata's... benefit." He replied.

For a good, long moment, Hoshiko didn't say anything as the fire gently crackled.

"I had not considered that possibility, as Zenigata appeared so inept as to not even make me suspect that," the Taianese Vice Admiral admitted. Despite the deadpan delivery of the words, she somehow seemed rather disappointed with herself.

"Really?" Wazu asked, tired, incredulous, his head tilted up for just a moment to look at Hoshiko's face as if he could somehow figure out what she was thinking. His head then landing back down on the cold face floor. "...Fuck."

"You were playing 12th Dimensional Chess, while I said 'King Me', playing checkers." Looking at him again, she watched as exhaustion and despair swept over Wazu's human form. "That aside, what is this mention of the Gartagen Union you've made? I discounted it as highly unlikely immediately, but you continue to make reference of it," she asked him, placing another few pieces of wood into the small fire to keep it going. By now, missing their mother's warmth, the cub-things had slowly crept closer until they were around the warmth of the fire as well.

"I Just assumed...." He said, implying 'that she would know'. It was clear that he was operating with information she might not have. "...I'm in line to be the next Emperor of the Gartagen Union."

"Staaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaareee~" Hoshiko's drone-like voice droned on for the longest moment. Needless to say, it was obvious that she didn't believe him at all. And perhaps, more importantly, Hoshiko had relaxed enough to say something so childish.

"I.... What?" He had to sit up again. He needed to look at Hoshiko now. This was entirely unexpected behavor from her. He had just started to feel like he might have been reaching some level of understanding with the deadpan Hoshiko and now she was going full Doki Doki Tai Pan. "How are you so alien?" Frustration was certainly bubbling up again. "I have giant inscetoid friends that I can read better than you, and they don't even have human faces."

"Bào qiàn, I let my guard down," Hoshiko uncharacteristically apologized to him, her tone flat and deadpan again. "You must remember that in realspace, we Taianese do not express our emotions and feelings, instead hiding and repressing them as we do our best to adhere to logic," she reminded him, her face flat and expressionless like a poker player's. "There are exceptions, such as the Roosters for an example, but our emotions still exist, and are typically kept to ourselves or expressed to close friends and confidants in our virtualities." Glancing to the side for a moment - a tiny tell, a small crack in her armor or what have you - she then changed the subject. "What was this you said about the Gartagens?"

"Me, Emperor, Union." It seemed straight forward enough, but he had over-thought things before. It was clear he needed to lay things out futher. "You started this off. The only thing you were concerned about were the exotic materials on paradise. So to get ahold of them I had to speak with the Union. Vishta made it clear what she wanted. Apparently I'll be only the third non-gartagen to have the position. One that gives me enough authority to determine what happens to Taipan's operation on paradise."

He looked like he was about to stop, just about ready to turn the conversation back over to Hoshiko but there was one more thing still boiling up.

"Your emotions suck, and your logic is terrible. You've been doing things so wrong that... How are you not back-channeling with Sakamoto? You're cutting off all these lines of communication which are critical for getting your point across and just... moving things over a wireless network doesn't help if you aren't using that network!"

"Hearing a mere human tell me this is humiliating, but, you are correct," Hoshiko admitted, her voice flat and deadpan, her shoulder slumping as she looked back to the fire. For the longest time, she didn't reply, seemingly lost in her thoughts, but eventually, the small Tigress spoke. "This would explain why Vishta is known as 'The Virgin Empress', given your involvement." Slowly turning her cool, blue eyes to him, Hoshiko didn't seem too deterred by what he said. "You believe yourself to be well informed, but you never did ask why Tai Pan was of the opinion that the international conference would fail. Why is that?" she asked.

Actual laughter came from Wazu this time, not the pained exasperation from before.

"Of course I asked!" He said, leaning in towards the fire more as he started to explain his craft, "Sending a soldier instead of a diplomat? It was clear to everyone what you were signaling for. You immediately start to rile up the Adlet and the Kiwomians, another move that looks like you're trying to draw attention away from Paradise. The just... absolute desperation coming from you when the Reich tried to move in on the armistice deal for the paradise system, another clear indication you thought war was going to come regardless for sure.

Then when I back channeled with Sakamoto she ... uh..." His voice trailed off. What did she say? He remembered a bit about Hoshiko. The details were fuzzy now, and he couldn't check his notes, "... we worked on some options together. But you weren't talking to your own people. You have people bursting down your doors trying to get at information that will help you and..."

It was certainly hard to find the right words.

"Here we are."

"I did not rile up the Adlet and Kiwomians. They were making offense towards me," Hoshiko was quick to reply at the end of Wazu's speech. Though her tone of voice was always the same, it still came off as defensive. "I suppose from your point of view though, it did look desperate, which is what I was feeling," the small woman admitted, her expression deadpan. "I do not believe I was able to avert war. However, I had to at least try." Looking at him, she added, "It's why I don't feel your threats of war are very threatening to begin with, given that war was already expected." Hoshiko's gaze quickly snapped away as one of the small cubs started pawing at her tail. "Sakamoto." She twitched her tail away from the fluffy paws as the little thing gave chase.

So much of everything lead right back to that Rooster.

"The Gartagens have everything to gain by going to war, and everything to lose by allowing the Armistice," Hoshiko observed, now carefully making sure to keep her tail-tip just out of the cub's reach. "Looking back, I do not believe she had me go with the objective of succeeding, else she would have gone herself," the Tigress realized, settling her eyes on the man. "I think she wanted this to happen instead."

"Sakamoto's plan was to get the two of us alone in a cave while being chased by obsidian-blade-wielding primitives?" He asked, failing to hold back a smile. It was just as much playful as it was an actual question.

"No. I think her plan was to wake me from my stupor." Picking up the cub by the scruff, she tossed the ball of fluff, claws and teeth into Wazu's lap as she began drawing in the dirt. "Based off my observations from orbit, the stars from here, the direction the local governor had arrived from and snippets of talk from the guards, they have a major city here." Doodling in the dirt with both fingers at once, she had quickly put together a map for the human to see. "I'm certain that though our shuttlecraft are damaged beyond flight, but we can take the power cells and various other supplies to light the city on fire. Our forces will descend and evacuate us shortly."

The way she looked at him, Wazu knew that she was absolutely serious. He was now looking at the Hoshiko from the Secession Wars.

"NO," Wazu replied, taking the same tone one would use when getting an animal off furniture with a spray bottle. The human was now holding the rather sharp ball of fluff in his lap.

"And we aren't done here either. It is diplomacy, if you found my proposal to not have enough incentive for you, you should have proposed a counter offer. You are being the dead-fish of diplomats and it is unappealing for both parties. Because of how you acted, your refusal to engage here, I'm left only other avenues to peruse. When I don't get what I want from using the Union to kick Tai Pan out of Paradise, I'll cut a deal with the major exotic material produces to choke out Tai Pan's fleets. I'll drive the Atraxians to your doorstep. I'll find ways of striking at you that shouldn't be detailed in polite conversation. If you killl any more of the Adlet, then we won't be able to continue having these conversations. That means no burning their city. The Freighter 'Fortunite Son' knows where we landed, and will send some drones to look for us if I don't report back in on time. If they saw our ships being trashed then they might have moved time time table up. We just need to avoid the Adlet."

He tried to be as serious as he could for someone who was holding a small kitten-looking-creature.

"I sympathize with what you're going through, but that can't be an excuse." Saying that, Wazu heard the grumbling growl of a large cat ready to attack, its deep notes reverberating off the cavern walls. With the mother dead, his mind immediately thought of the male.

"I find your threats unlikely considering the cost-benefit of supporting these stone age beings," Hoshiko began, the faintest hard edge to her voice. "But, I suppose I cannot go back to how things were either," she relented, her voice softening ever so slightly. "I suppose we will have to settle for simply salvaging what we can from our destroyed shuttle craft and attempting to put together a communication system." She paused for a moment. "Explosions," she lamented.

"I thought we were kinda having a moment here and do you really want to ruin it by trying to fight? You're treating everything like another battle and... " He would pause to deal with a more pressing concern, "Is that you or is there another one of those big cats nearby?"

"Give me some credit," Hoshiko rebuked the man. "I did say we should go check our shuttle craft and see if we could salvage some communications systems. Eventually," she added, briefly crossing her arms. Packing up the meat that she had been smoking in the leather pelt, the woman looked up at him. "And what if it wasn't me?"

"Then I get to figure out how to fight a fully grown one of these," Wazu said, lifting up the small creature for a moment. Looking at Hoshiko, she still seemed somehow clean, fresh... and although Wazu couldn't see his own face at the moment he was pretty sure he didn't share those traits. He was exhausted, he hurt, he probably couldn't escape from the Adlet should they find him on the trek to the shuttles. The meat would keep him going longer for sure, but there was always more to consider. "We should rest for a few hours first, wait until it gets dark?"

"I did say that previously," the Taianese woman pointed out to the man. "I will keep watch. Go to sleep." Moving closer to the mouth of the cave, she settled down to do just that, staying out of sight of anyone that would come, while keeping her own field of vision clear.
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Re: Side Mission 6: Adlet Rising

Post by CadetNewb » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:58 am

A few hours later,
Downstream from the initial landing point

It was dark now, and this made it easier to avoid the Adlet which were now out and about patrolling in force. Covered in jaguar-like pelts and all sorts of unrecognizable alien skins, the warrior Adlets of this large isle looked more like animals come to life, accentuating their creature-like legs. Meanwhile, their greatest and most opulent warriors were decorated with gold, the base of their round shields festooned with long feathers while their hands clutched onto flint tipped spears or macuahuitl swords. Bright and colorful, these noblemen marched at the forefront of each party as the shock troops, accompanied by lesser men wielding bows, arrows, atlatl javelin throwers and and slings to accompany their shorter thrusting spears, axes or daggers.

The woods glowed orange as their torches illuminated small areas of the jungle as they moved about, helping them stand out in the darkness. For someone who could see in the dark, it would be trivial to avoid them while moving downstream to look for their trashed shuttles. For someone who couldn't see in the dark, and insisted on carrying three kitten-like-creatures with him, it was slow going. The struggle to move along without falling off the cliff and into the river was more than enough to bring their travel speed down to a crawl.

FFfthhh POP!

By the time Hoshiko turned around to see what had happened, Wazu was already on his back again, having lost his footing. His socks covered in mud, and torn open from the sharp outcropping of rocks he had slammed his foot into only moments ago. The human still doing his best not to make any further noise that might alert the Adlet.

"Are you able to keep moving?" the Taianese woman asked, crossing her arms as she lorded over him. All the while, the cubs that Wazu insisted on bringing with him mewled from the basket on his back that she had quickly woven from the tall grass. It was surprising, that she was able to kill and butcher an animal to begin with, but perhaps even more so that she could so quickly make the basket so quickly. Then again, she was Taianese.

It would take him a moment, but he would nod, and then stand up. He moved the basket around in front of him so he could check on the mewling creatures inside. He slowly started to put more weight on his foot, trying to find just how much range of motion was left to use as he continued behind the Taianese woman.

It would not be a long trip to the first shuttle. The oblong, red, craft had been tossed from the cliffs and swept along the river until it got caught on some rocks. The red nose was sticking up out of the water still, and the faint glow of the under-lighting made it stand out against the dark of the river itself. It would only be a small climb down from the cliff face to reach the shuttle, and there were numerous trees hanging over the river.

On the opposite bank, one of the brightly colored nobles lay in wait with a number of eager javalin throwers. Their torches were already extinguished, and they trusted in the night to hide them. The dim lights from the shuttle making it nearly impossible for a human to pick them out among the plants.

"Hmph. It seems they were expecting to attack us again," Hoshiko called down to the man. Having climbed up one of the trees, she had excellent view of the surrounding area. Deftly dropping down, she landed without so much as a sound, her feet light against the earth. "My own shuttle was lighter, and drifted further downstream," the Tigress explained to him. Walking over to the man, she looked at his feet again. "Are you able to run if we need to?" she asked, the blood stained macuahuitl still in hand and sling tied around her waist.

Her eyes bored into him with all seriousness.

He nodded, after all, he probably could run. It was something he could struggle through, though with his ability to navigate in the dark even at a walking pace his ability to truly run was questionable at best.

He then signed back




He was struggling to remember what the rest of the handsignals were... he normally didn't need to use these to communicate anything other than where people were and where he needed to stand.

"Ok. Lets go downstream. They might not be watching your shuttle." He finally said, trying to keep his voice down as low as possible. Looking at the man with an expression of deadpan disdain, Hoshiko crossed her arms, clearly less than satisfied with the man.

"Your condition is unacceptable," she began, turning the quickly made hide pouch of smoked meat around so that it was at her front, under her bust. "You need to ride me," Hoshiko presented her back to him. At just five feet tall, Wazu was practically a foot taller than the Tigress he needed to mount.

"I can make it on my own," He said, looking right at her backside as he tried to eat his pride on this one. She wasn't a human... but he didn't quite know how far her super-strength went. How would he even ride her? Not that the mechanics were hard to understand just... placing his hands on the wrong spot could be bad for him.

His hands would reach out for her shoulders, lifting himself up onto her back and crossing his hands down in-front of her chest for support. Her wide hips certainly made it easy for his legs to hold on, though he would try and not think about how this might be enjoyable in another context. "This does give us more of a chance for success though."

"That is the idea," Hoshiko dryly remarked, checking to make sure his hands were secure over her chest, and his legs were firmly mounted around her slender waist. Taking a few tentative test steps, she soon went into a silent jog, moving swiftly through the night shrouded jungle. A snake-like creature lunged at their faces, but she quickly smacked it aside with an open hand like a misbehaving pet. Closing in on Wazu's shuttle, both the human and the Taianese woman could see the ambushers lying in wait. "I can attempt distracting them so that you can rummage through your shuttle, or we can go further downstream to mine," Hoshiko suggested.

"Downstream," It wasn't a hard decision, he didn't want to give her the opportunity to distract these Adlet to death. She had to know what she was doing, the choice of language, moving his hands right to her. It would all be something better saved for when they were closer to her shuttle and further away from Adlet that may overhear them.

"Can you swim?" she asked, moving away from Wazu's shuttle and the surrounding Adlet. "I am receiving weak and sporadic telemetry from my craft, and it appears to have sustained minor damage," Hoshiko explained to him. Deftly moving through the jungle, the sounds of the wildlife loudly blared from every which direction as they warned one another of danger or desperately attempted to find a mate. "If you cannot, I will have to go down while you stand guard instead," she reminded him, her footsteps soon bringing them closer and closer to the roar of a waterfall. Carefully inspecting the area, her Taianese eyes caught no sight of the Adlet, and so, she deftly hopped from one stone to the other, quickly making their way down the rocky face. The sudden jumping making Wazu's hands proactively take a rather firm grip, though she didn't seem to mind. "There," she pointed with a finger, right at the base of the moonlit waterfall.

"I can, but it is your ship. Once you're inside, you can wirelessly access the communications correct?" He asked, "Signal the ships, have them send transport. I ... don't know how helpful I would be in repairing your technology... and once this is over. You should come meet Zenigata's Adlet tribe," Wazu suggested.

"Yes," Hoshiko's flat, toneless voice agreed. "I should see to what conditions sired such an incompetent such as him." Setting Wazu down along with the space-jaguar cubs and the bag of space-jaguar-mom, she reached up and tapped her collar. At the small woman's beckoning, the emergency helmet activated, the translucent layer of advanced polymer engulfing her entire head like a bubble before semi-hardening. "I am glad you are not telling me to raise the shuttle out of the water with psionic powers or somesuch. Sakamoto would often make such references," the redheaded Tigress remarked. somersaulting, she vanished into the water with the faintest of ripples.

It didn't take long to see how successful she was. Leaping out of the water and landing on the shore, the surface of the water began to ripple as Wazu complained that, "I keep telling Sakamoto I haven't seen those movies."

"It would seem that the fuel pump was damaged, but I should be able to convert the one from your shuttle to work with mine," Hoshiko calmly explained, the bubbling starting to turn into a roiling rumble. "However, there is another problem that we will have to deal with as well," she added. At that moment, the base of the waterfall burst showering them with as a giant hermit crab the size of a van emerged, the black special forces shuttle it's shiny new shell. "We need to kill that."

"No Killing!" Wazu responded instinctively, watching as Hoshiko's shuttle came towards them while perched on the back of a giant crab. That claw alone was easily larger than him... and he was struggling to remember everything he knew about sea creatures. Maybe there was some paper somewhere in the Alliance archives on how to get a crustacean to leave its shell. Maybe he had read it at some point. Were crabs, crustaceans or something else entirely? He was forced to abandon his place by the river before he could resolve any of these lines of thought in an attempt to avoid being turned into paste by the claw of a giant crab-thing. The human running along the banks of the river, flanked by the stone walls of the ravine on either side. This left him with little choice in where to go, there was no chance he could climb high enough, fast enough, to avoid the crab. "...Ok, It is ok just this once!"

"So crab battle or not?" Hoshiko asked, quickly hefting the man onto her back again. "Make up your mind already human." Running away, she quickly snatched up the bag of meat as well, while the cubs on Wazu's back cried out even louder. "If you're dead set on not fighting, we can just leave the meat and cubs for the crab instead," her calm voice quickly reminded him as she ran. "Retreat is a viable option."

"LEAVE THE MEAT!" Wazu shouted in a voice entirely unsuitable for stealth operations as the crab jerked forward. He tried yelling out for his drone inbetween breaths, "LAputAN.... MAchINE!.... BLIND!" The little drone would fly out and look around for attacking creatures, focusing in on the crab and darting towards it, floating around directly infront of its eyes to try and distract it. He didn't have time to tell Hoshiko not the cubs but he did bring the basket around infront of him just so she couldn't snatch the little kitten-bait.

"It is now blindly rampaging down the ravine," Hoshiko briefly glanced over her back and Wazu. "The same ravine that we are forced to continue running down," she added, her emotionless and rational voice somehow tinged with a good amount of snark aimed at the man. "Fortunately, I believe we are in a superior tactical position," the redhead began. "I smell smoke ahead, and am catching glimpses of light - there is a city ahead of us. We merely need to let the crab battle through the local populace and guards, and when it is dead, kill the survivors before taking back the shuttle."

Her nimble feet kept them all ahead of the rampaging hermit crab, and before they knew it, they burst into a moonlit clearing, the stone walls of a grand gold gilded city before them. As the guards turned, Hoshiko grabbed Wazu tight before leaping high, landing on the parapets. Just as they turned to look at the two, she leaped again onto the rooftops beyond. Just in time for the guards to turn towards the sound of rage as it smashed through stone.

"THAT ISN'T WHAT I MEANT!" Wazu shouted at Hoshiko as he was pulled through the air, the city being roused by the sound of a giant crab bursting through their aqueducts, large signal-fires being lit in their guard-towers, and the screaming of the befeather'd noblemen as they rallied their men back to city, abandoning their hunt in the forest.

Stealth was all but gone at this point. Even the kittens Wazu was now carrying were mewling loudly enough to attract attention. He could only look on helplessly as the wood and stone structures of the Adlet were smashed apart by the Crab itself. Spears and slings that may have once been able to puncture the shell of the crab only bouncing harmlessly off the covert-black colored shuttle that now housed the creature's body.

"We should double back to my shuttle. I doubt they will still be laying in wait for us with this going on..." the man's voice trailed off.

"Of course, assuming your craft is still intact," Hoshiko remarked, doubling back across rooftops as the city descended into chaos. As the two departed, they could hear the crackle of fire rising behind them. "It would seem we had incidentally lit the city on fire as I had initially planned as well," she realized. "I suppose non-Taianese cities are simply meant to be burned, and understand that this is their reason for being." Hefting Wazu and the cubs, the two vanished into the night, the ambush parties easily avoided as they fled back to the peal of the city's grand bell. Finally back to where they were earlier, Hoshiko made sure to drop the man while gingerly putting the cubs down. "Go ahead and see if it is salvageable," she instructed him, pointing a finger over to the wrecked craft.

Wazu was just fuming, looking right at Hoshiko as if his eyes could burrow right through her stupid face. It took a focused effort to breathe in and keep himself from squeezing the kittens he was holding too hard. He was losing his composure, with the stabbings, bites, bludgoning it was understandable, but to him still unacceptable. He would take a deep breath, and then take his basket of kittens over to the shuttle.

The door was positioned poorly, mostly below the water-line. Opening it would flood the shuttle and he didn't have any way to remotely send the ship commands or get it to fly up out on its own enough to avoid being water-logged. Water would certainly rush in to the shuttle... when this was all done he'd certainly submit a new ship design that was as waterproof on the inside as it was on the outside.

He'd set the kittens down by the bank of the river, and then jump over to the shuttle, manually opening the side door and practically getting sucked in as the air rushed out.

When he was finished, he was on the bank of the river again with a water-logged datapad and a small plastic-wrapped survival bundle.

"We should head back to the cave."

"Why?" Hoshiko plainly asked. Her gaze was firmly set on him as the very tip of her tail idly dipped down to keep the basket of cubs from floating down the river while simultaneously playing with them. While Wazu worried about being sucked into the shuttle by the onrush of water, the cubs were more worried about being washed away. Or at least, they should have. "Do you have the means to communicate with our ships?" she then added, rubbing the sides of her hips where he had rode on her.

"I'll walk this time," He stated flatly, placing his water-logged datapad and survival pack into the bag with the kittens. "... I have what I need to contact our ships, but it could take some time before they are ready." He wouldn't be waiting for her to present her hips again, as he headed back towards their little hide out at normal walking speed. Taking his time to gather his thoughts before he finally asked. "Don't you have any sympathy for these creatures?"

"A modicum," the Taianese woman replied. "I would have left them in the cavern and then returned at a later time like we are now, rather than insisting on bringing them along as you did," she pointed out, rummaging inside his shuttle craft before procuring the piece she mentioned earlier. The fuel pump. Opening a side panel, she also retrieved a toolkit meant for field repairs, and eying it over, didn't make any comment as she placed them into the bag of meat. "Why do you ask?" Hoshiko inquired, biting into a strip of smoked flesh.

"You're still going with that antagonization?!" He asked, setting down the bag and ripping into the plastic covering the survival packet so he could reach the mini-pharmacy inside, "It seems like we're right back where we started. Did you not pick up on anything while you were out here? Did the dragon-caste build you without the ability to think?! Or are you just so uptight you haven't been able to get anyone of your own species to fuck you?" He'd finish fiddling with the small auto-injector pen and jab himself in the arm. His puils almost instantly dilating. A more familiar world coming rushing back to him. Right as it started to spin into a blur all over again. The moment his vision started to come back however, the man found himself unable to breathe as both of Hoshiko's hands closed over his windpipe.

But even in his state, he could see her furious eyes glistening with tears.
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Re: Side Mission 06: Adlet Rising

Post by uso » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:17 am

"Tell anyone else, and I will kill you," her monotone voice began as she slowly throttled the man. "I have a cub of my own. I do care about these ones here as well, and - " the smaller woman let the taller man go as she suddenly realized something. "You were talking about the Adlets." Stepping away from the man, she quickly wiped her eyes. "I am very sorry. Please act as though you did not hear anything I had said." Sitting down, Hoshiko began to quickly work on the fuel pump with the tools she had.

Wazu needed a few moments. He could feel his drugs started to work. Focus starting to return, he was still angry, he still wanted to lash out, his body still hurt, and the rapid application of Taianese fist to human face didn't help, but he felt he could push that all down now. the fire in his voice far more restrained.

"... I am sorry, I should not have said that. I am angry, and frustrated at the lack of progress here. I thought we had something together in the cave, but now I feel like that was... I don't know. Unreal? Imagined? Regardless, it does not excuse me lashing out," Wazu admitted.

"You were thinking about the Adlets, and I was thinking about the...cubs," the small redhead paused her wrench for a moment. "I suppose I will reiterate - I no longer suspect that they are a potential threat to the Empire, and have no intention of aggressively probing them," Hoshiko replied. Going back to her work for a moment, she soon stopped, examining the fuel pump in the dim light of their old fire. "Modification complete. I merely have to retrieve my shuttle - assuming nothing else is damaged - and we will be able to power it on to make contact should your device fail." Putting it aside, she then asked, "Why have you not bought any Taianese gene mods? You would make for a poor Taianese, but you would at least take proper advantage of the abilities, which would be substantially better than your drugs."

Looking at him with her blue eyes, it was as though she wasn't crying moments ago.

"What argument do you want? Maybe your gene-mods would introduce malicious code into my body? Maybe I don't find them as useful as you think they are for the work I do. Maybe I tried the logical machine-worship before and found I don't like who I am when I'm that person. Maybe my mom gave this to me and I'm kinda attached to it?"


I'll take any advantage I can get of course," He said, dancing around one thing after another. There was a lot of his blood that was no longer inside of his body, and not all of that was because of the Adlet. That feeling of light-headedness was coming on... maybe that was a result of being properly choked, though it could just as easily be the loss of blood and impacts to the head. Either way he likely wasn't going to be walking for a while.

"How can I trust you?" the man asked, and for the briefest of moments, the two simply looked at each other.

"You can not, and only have our word that we will not do any such thing," Hoshiko finally admitted. "I do not believe we introduce malicious code or any other form of subversion, but I do question what our goal is in offering our blood," she mused. "It is not my role to peddle our very genetic code, but I now question whether or not our merchants are actually trying to make sales." Turning away, she began to pace, slowly thinking it over. "From what I know however, the best, brightest, and most capable of humanity that are willing to physically become one of us are well compensated within the empire." Stopping her steps, the small woman turned to face him again. "Perhaps, it is our way of draining your Alliance of its most valuable members," she theorized, gaze unrevealing as it always was. "Only the best manage to obtain access to our gene modifications through whatever means, and among them, only the bravest decide to take the risk."

"It may not look like it..." Unlike Hoshiko, Wazu certainly looked rough. One of the space-kittens they had 'rescued' had crawled out of the basket that it was being carried in to paw at Wazu's arm. "But our species is all about peddling their genetic code... and you,


... you make a terrible diplomat.

The Adlet are my responsibility. Maybe we had a bit of a moment in that cave but I can't let you off this planet if I think you'll still be a threat to them. I don't think your offer of reward is much of an incentive for me..."

"I do not believe the compensation is meant for the likes of you," the redhead set a hand on her hips. "Nonetheless, you are able to simply take the gene mods and work for another nation or yourself, provided you are brave enough to do such a thing," Hoshiko pointed out. "I am certain that you are not, however. As for the Adlets," she rolled her eyes, a shocking display from the average Taianese considering how restrained they were with their emotions. "It would seem that you forgot that my interest in them was sparked by Zenigata's aggressive behavior," the small Tigress reminded him. "I feared that his species was combative, and due to his presence, had some space faring ability, thereby posing a threat."

Hoshiko then walked closer to where Wazu sat, setting both hands on her his before bending at the waist, further casting him in her shadow.

"They are indeed aggressive, combative, violent things, but they are no threat to Tai Pan based off of my assessment here." She then eased back and picked up her fuel pump. "I am not so wasteful that I would to spare an orbital bombardment or any such other expenditure of my valuable time or resources on them." Hefting the shuttle part and resting it against her shoulder, she then stepped towards the cavern's entrance. "Now, will you call for our transport, or will I have to do so myself?"

"Well, I would love to meet these best and brightest of the Alliance who you think are worthy." He replied, wincing a bit as he reached for the supply bag he pulled from the shuttle. He fished out a small datapad, and just sorta left it there. "Go ahead and make the call, but we are not done yet though. You're still coming to see Zenigata's tribe. I haven't forgotten what sparked this, and I am more worried about you than him."

"What do you mean you are more worried about me?" Hoshiko's blue eyes narrowed slightly as her ears flicked back. Picking up the datapad at the same time, she quickly punched in what she needed to in order to call for both of their respective forces to arrive. The interface was archaic to her, but in the end, that was perhaps the least of her concerns. The man held her full attention as she gently chucked the device back to him, the transmissions sent.

"Paradise is next. We'll be facing off over your empire's primary source of exotic materials for star ships. You'll certainly view it as a military confrontation, or simply may not be inclined to accept a diplomatic solution. All of your options suck, and this kind of miscommunication will get a lot of people killed. Then we have the Kiwomians, or more specifically I have the Kiwomians. Their Queen is in my possession, and will need to be handled with a delicate touch. This is as much about the next encounter as it is this one." As he finished speaking, the small pad would beep, indicating that transport was on its way. Another Alliance ship was just arriving in orbit near the planet, and it looked like their ships had managed to avoid trying to shoot each other down for the time being.

"And you wish to hold this discussion in the village?" she tilted her head up ever so slightly, looking at the man down her nose. "Very well," Hoshiko replied. "Very well."
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Re: Side Mission 06: Adlet Rising

Post by CadetNewb » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:24 am

As Wazu's shuttle lazily rose into the sky, he watched as the ground receded through the holographic window by his side.

Down below, the jungle was as deceptively serene as it always was, his eyes easily tracing the path that he and the Tigress had taken along the river, then the ravine. Meanwhile, the city it lead to continued to burn, the giant hermit crab having transitioned from Hoshiko's shuttle to a giant gold, jewel encrusted bell as the Taianese retrieved their craft. But as all this slowly grew smaller and smaller, the man's datapad chimed, reminding him that he had a message waiting to be viewed. Opening it up, he found a message from Hoshiko. There wasn't a single word, but instead, a rather large datafile in a format that the Taianese tended to favor. Hitting play, the man was instantly greeted by a split screen view that assaulted his senses. On the left, he saw Hoshiko sitting on a comfy couch, inside a comfy room, wearing extra comfy robes, with a really comfy looking blanket. Meanwhile, on the right, he watched himself be dragged out of his holding pen by the Adlets before being beaten.

If it weren't for the scene unfolding to the right, Hoshiko's laughter from inside her virtuality would have been pure, wholesome and pleasing to both his eyes and ears. Sadly, that just wasn't the case, given the context.
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