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Grasping Power | IC | [Interstellar Winds]

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Grasping Power | IC | [Interstellar Winds]

Postby Interstellar Winds Admin » Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:53 pm

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Climb The Political Ladder - Or Fall Off.







For decades, the ‘Elder Races’ of the Interstellar Assembly have successfully stalwarted the efforts of the ‘Embassy Races’ to expand the Galactic Council. External threats, financial stimuli, and ‘lack of Interstellar participation’ were all listed reasons for denial. Internal bickering between the Embassy Races saw a disunited front that the members of the Council were able to drive wedges into. Most proposals died in committee, sabotaged by internal bickering or stymied by underhanded schemes, before ever seeing the light of a vote.

Yet, no longer.

Three days ago the Embassy Races put forward a united petition, comprising of over two thirds of all species in the Assembly, calling for the Council to expand its position to include a fifth member and to elevate a new race to ‘Elder’ status. It was a unique stratagem, in that it did not propose any specific species as a candidate, but instead left that option to the Council -- allowing the proposal to garner sufficient support from representatives that might have otherwise declined to support it.

For two days, the Council deliberated on the matter in utter silence and secrecy, leading many to expect - or hope for - overt fractures and bickering behind closed doors. On the eve of the second day, the Council handed the Assembly its ruling: “Pick amongst yourself one you see fitting for the role of Councillor.”

Galactic News erupted at the proclamation, clamouring for the new opportunity presented to be taken by all races. Some had anticipated this course of action all along, of course, while others were dismayed that their patrons and sponsors had not been able to grant them the seat. Now, the gears of the Assembly are turning, and everywhere, representatives scurry to secure their species’ place among the stars.


How the RP will be done:
  • Every two days (90 hours) the Council will schedule a vote on the matter of a new Councillor from the embassy races.
    • OOCly, this will be represented by a week.
  • Through plot and intrigue, and perhaps bribery, general polling and preferences, the pool of candidates will likely dwindle with every successive vote.
    • The first few votes should and will be a free-for-all, with no sudden victory or leader. Your species are being given the chance to become some of the most powerful bureaucrats and diplomats in the galaxy -- they should be fighting brutally for this, and pulling out all the stops to undermine each other.
  • Political intrigue, scandal and campaigning should be done and posted. Keep OOC discussions of what your representatives will do to a relative minimum -- i.e, don’t just say who your species will vote for and do all the bribery in the Discord. Do that in the IC.
    • Few statesmen do things out of the goodness of their hearts. If your diplomats are voting for people ‘just cuz,’ you may need to re-evaluate character motivations.
  • BIG THINGS that affect EVERYONE or a large group should be run past the OPs before you do them. If you want to assassinate a representative, please work that out with that player. If you want to detonate a bomb to kill many people or sneak hallucinogens into the air shafts, or other things like that, let the OPs know.
    • We’re not going to forbid you from doing it, necessarily. We just want to have a plot response ready.
  • ASSEMBLY BUREAUCRATS ARE RUN BY THE OPS -- this is to say, if your character wants to get information or something by bribing a member of the bureaucracy that runs Amity station, the OPs will control the response and let you know what your character finds out or receives.

Important Information

The Incumbent Council:
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"I wish I had acquired wisdom at less of a price."

Áthulé na’Ludôch - Granddaughter of Anéwd, the Tarondil bannerman responsible for mapping the Ludôch system. A graduate of the Officer Academy, Áthulé’s appointment to the Foreign Office was, much to her chagrin, a matter of complex political bargaining in the aftermath of the Ternary War, of which she is a veteran. Her grit and determination, however, saw her rise through the ranks; and when the previous Elder Councillor passed away, she orchestrated a masterful campaign to succeed her. Currently, her goals appear to be to combat UP influence at every level, to help maintain Drudari dominance in Galactic politics, and extending the influence of the minor House Ludôch.


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"Let it be said that I supported this course of action from the beginning."

Brugmansia Solanaceae — , or ‘Solanaceae’/ ‘Solan’ as he is known to foreigners, The First Awoken of Ijurij. Solanaceae is one of the oldest functioning Xyn still in existence, having been alive for almost 700 years before entering the racial psionic trance. Solanaceae possesses no single sex, though identifies as a ‘he’ for other races, and was born without a capability to procreate. Strangely, Solan is capable of a self-sexual reproduction. Solan is additionally known as a mystic, or a seer, and often is a first port of call for interpreting the ‘dreams’ of the Xyn collective consciousness. He is a shrewd diplomat, an upholder of the levels of bureaucracy within the Assembly and is known for his pragmatic view on the council. On matters of humanitarian aid, he espouses the Xyn ethos on “The Custodianship” in a vehement manner. He was appointed Councillor almost thirty years ago. His goal, and that of the Xyn, is to advance Galactic Camaraderie as best they can. As per the custodianship, they often disrespectfully (though unintentionally) remind the other races of their shortcomings in attempts to make sure such actions are never done again. Solanaceae’s gear may be elaborate, but it is necessary for him to live. It serves as a stabilising platform for his would-be-fragile mind, assisting him in channeling the overbearing psionic energy in his mind. It additionally sustains him; it is adorned in ‘solar panels’, that absorb sunlight far more successfully than his ancient photosynthesis cells. None know what Solan looks like beneath his gear; but it is fairly obvious given his form that he is an extremely gaunt and frail Xyn.


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"This Council does not have my vote."

Lord Halen şe Tehij ceş Khužac - A scion of the House of Tehij, a former naval officer, and once a court favourite. Lord Halen was the fourth son of a lesser branch of the Tehij family, a relatively minor dynasty within the Khužac Tribe, and so was to make his own way in the world. Though he followed for some time a career in the navy, his true talent lay in courtly intrigue. His years at court are infamous, though several mistakes cost him his position and saw him dreadfully punished. He thus now resides at Amity, forced to undertake duties as an Elder Councillor. He rarely puts effort into the position, relying heavily upon a team of advisors. Their goals are twofold: to frustrate Drudari attempts at anything, and to thwart and delay the entire Assembly on accomplishing anything meaningful, and anything meaningless.


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"All things in balance, as they should be."

Bittersweet Sun - A collective amalgamation of approximately 5,550 Chirrin present within Amity Station, Bittersweet Sun [Son] is the longest-running autonomous submind unit the Seven have. Existing for 86 years - one year before the formation of the Assembly - Bittersweet Sun [Son] was created by the Seven to be their collective representative to the Assembly and most other species outside of Seven space. For all intents and purposes, Bittersweet Sun [Son] handles all Seven interests that involve day-to-day diplomatic interaction. While technically the longest lasting sub-autonomous unit, the Seven are careful to recycle a tenth of Bittersweet Sun [Son]’s units every month, ensuring its continued loyalty to the collective.

In the past two decades, however, Bittersweet Sun [Son] has retreated to its own habitat dome (technically owned by the Seven, with environmental controls as a result), sending individual units out to communicate with outsiders as needed. In its absence, it appointed a Ravnikai representative, Sqziiti, to serve as the Seven’s representative to the Council. The Proxy, as it is known to the Seven, is under strict orders to be fastidiously neutral when it comes to Council votes -- although it may be as corrupt as it wishes when it comes to sponsoring lower legislation or crafting regulation.

Occasionally the Proxy receives fairly esoteric rules or guidance from the Seven (duly relayed by Bittersweet Sun [Son]), on how to vote, but these instructions were never frequent to begin with, and have only dwindled in frequency over time.


"We haven't forgotten."

Sqziiti/Red Feather - the Ravnikai Proxy to the Council, possessing the Seven’s vote. An elderly Ravnikai, he is sociopathic by the normal standards of his species. Barely part of a group mind, he prefers the company of xenos rather than his people - yet another factor that sets him apart. Fairly sadistic even by human standards, he restrains his desire for power and violence to more refined pursuits, including inflicting pain by bureaucratic legalese and obstruction. Fairly skilled in the art of the red tape. Has strict orders from the Seven to preserve Council balance.


The Ambassadors:
Lady Sevali T'anas, the Carasi Ambassadress.

Amity:

Amity is divided into two - Amity Station, a large complex of orbital shipyards, offices, and other complexes, which hovers in near-geosynchronous orbit above the barren planet, and Amity Base, a collection of habitats and underground bases below. Both are massive installations, holding several million people -- but unlike most installations throughout known space, they are spacious and luxurious. For most, space is ironically a luxury in space -- and many are lucky to own a few square meters aboard ships or orbital complexes. In Amity, special care was taken to make the installation grand, even luxurious, with large communal areas and ample space set aside for many functions.

This was not to say that life on Amity Station was perfect. Many hundreds of thousands of Assembly bureaucrats lived, worked, and died on the station, as it served as the primary hub of the Assembly Fleet and most pan-galactic organizations. The Fleetmaster of the Interstellar Assembly had his offices here, and many Assembly officer training academies were here as well -- and the dockyards and shipyards of the Fleet were here too. With so many people working in one area came their families, and all the services needed to supply them with a normal life -- schools, playgrounds, hospitals, libraries, restaurants, pubs, brothels, and so much more. Amity Station is truly a city unto itself.

Of notable importance on Amity are the large-scale hydroponic and farm domes used to supply both the Station and base below with a semblance of a semi-sufficient food supply. It is not, as the population has swelled to the point of requiring regular and daily imports of all sorts of foodstuffs from across the galaxy, but it is something, and more importantly, it provides most people with their only glimpse of nature in a larger form than a potted plant. Many sections of Amity Station are currently undergoing renovation due to the large-scale migration of bureaucrats and diplomats down to Amity Base a few years prior, leading many disreputable organizations to spring up in their absence.

On the surface, things are... different. Few colonize barren planets, and few do so in such a way that the Assembly has. Six mega-domes dot the surface, each surrounded by dozens of smaller domes. A glistening network of maglev trains connect each large dome to the others, allowing citizens to travel between the domes while admiring the harsh surface of the planet that surrounds them. Few other structures have sprouted from the surface - a long cable that emerges from an elevated platform and stretches into space past Amity Station marks the space elevator, and a needle-thin spire that towers over a nearby megadome marks the Assembly University. Other than these, the surface remains pock-marked and unmarred by either nature or machine.

Four of the mega-domes belong to the Elder Council, and serve as the primary hub of each one's population in the area - although it is by no means exclusive. Several hundred thousand reside within each dome, and the architecture within each is wildly different. The Seven's dome, for example, allows no natural light to penetrate from the exterior, and in fact represents nothing less than a massive series of caverns and tunnels -- while the Xyn prefer more open spaces and lush greenery, going so far as to park solar collectors in orbit to concentrate more light on their dome for illumination, and food.

The fifth dome is reserved for the Forum of the Cosmos and the Elder Council's meeting chambers -- as well as all attendant equipment, security offices, and such things. The sixth dome, however, is different. Situated slightly away from the rest, light is perpetually dimmed within, casting everything inside in a hushed shade. Here lie all the museums and halls of memory of the Assembly, containing everything from xenoarchaeology exhibitions to cultural festivals to memorial services for particularly honorable members of the Assembly. It is a place of knowledge, reflection, and somber reflection on galactic history.

The Assembly has also set aside a number of areas for celebratory purposes, including fighting arenas and the 'Perpetual Stage' (so named for the nonstop performances that take place there at all hours).

The smaller domes around each megadome serve for the smaller embassy races as well as galactic bureaucracy and other necessary services.

Underneath the entirety of the aboveground complexes run a vast labyrinth of tunnels and further complexes, serving as housing, storage, and other such things. Here too lie the multiple staggered reactors that power the entire complex, and the heavily shielded core of the station's AI -- Thesh.
Last edited by Interstellar Winds Admin on Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Liecthenbourg
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Liecthenbourg » Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:02 pm

The Forum of the Cosmos, Amity, Interstellar Space.

“Friends, Statesmen, Galactic Citizens: lend me your audio receptors.”

This voice was synthetic, unnatural. It blared across the Forum Chambers through the assistance of Thesh, who interpreted the illustrious display of flowing hands and bright lights that was the Xyn sign language. The Councillor’s immense exo-suit flashed in vibrant colours, great purples that resonated with authority, as he slowed his motions. A right hand was raised, digits crooked, twisted. ‘We.’

“We have decided.” Thesh spoke for him again.

His voice was carried across Amity, in real time, as a floating camera gave the citizens of the Galaxy a real-time depiction of the ‘Silent Councillor.’ He was more alien than all Xyn. His visage was that of an automaton, fed sustenance through the tubes entering its helmet. The suit glimmered in small panels and yet it showed no signs of creasing through the intense motions. He stood before the rest of the Council, by a central stage podium, before the hemicycle of ambassadors before him.

Those in the Forum were caught in a silence. All eyes were upon the central podium. Multiple cameras captured these scenes, floating from left to right before all to see. Screens across the station; in every mall, restaurant, home and cafe would split. Solanaceae, ‘the Silent Councillor’, on one panel, with the confused and hopeful eyes of the multi-species ambassadors on the other.

History was being made reality in front of the Galaxy. The Council would now have a new member, or so they thought. The question on everyone’s mind was simple: ‘What race?’ Or ‘Whom?’. Sly gambling odds had been placed all throughout the week and real time charts on public polls showed the figures of the ‘most likely.’ Some days it was the Ravnikai, others the Carasi and even others still it fluctuated from humanity to Tel’Akdar.

A mental chuckle erupted in the elder statesman’s even older mind. This was almost too sweet of a victory.

For two days had the Council been sat in deliberation and debate. The Chirrin, as one, through the Ravnikai known as Red Feather, expressed a communal dislike. “Disrupting the peace. A lack of balance.” Red Feather communed, shaking his… beak. Áthulé’s soft features and pointed ears seemed distressed at all times. Solan could not determine if she was worried, excited, frustrated or unsure. The strain placed upon the woman was not unfounded. Indeed, as was often reiterated, the Ravnikai had lost everything at the Drudari hands. Yet it seemed the idea of their inclusion stimulated her in both positive and negative ways. However, that was not even the beginning of their mutual disagreement.

Solan’s mind wandered to Lord Halen, of the United Planets. Much like himself, Halen had sat in relative silence. Often times he was communicated with his advisory team half-heartedly, offering bleak commentary akin to ‘The United Planets would never accept this.’ to anything levied to him by his Drudari counterpart.

Peculiarly, as if the Winds itself had commanded it, they had all seemingly collectively come to a similar agreement. “Why do we have to decide?” someone inquired, Solan’s mind too fuzzled to remember whom. It was him. Of course. Such a genius idea had to have come from him. “Why not direct the question back to the Embassy Races? If they could decide for us, or fail to decide, we have… our answer.”

His mind snapped back to the situation before him. He had everyone before him on his every word. An immense... hilarity, given his own lack of a mouth. Here he was gesticulating like a madman for a crowd that did not even know what his gestures meant. Had Thesh not translated every word for him, he would have began to tell them of their own incapability to be free to lead; and their requirements of Xyn Custodianship. Like the Saplings, they were too content to walk before they even knew how to stand.

"This Council has concluded that, due to the complex and historic nature of this decision and the monumental task that we have to do, it is not a decision we should take unilaterally. This Council... accepts the necessity of a new member." He could feel Red Feather bawl in his own mind and it amused him. "And as such, Lord Halen, Lady na'Ludôch, Bittersweet Sun through his representative, Red Feather and myself, Brugmansia Solanaceae have decided to return and hand this most gracious and prestigious of decisions to the Ambassadors of the-”

Thesh’s recounting was momentarily disrupted from the collective gasp across Amity, as onlookers and political pundits stared mouth agape. Countless waiters and waitresses stood in shock, their trays clutched to their hands and their feet glued to the floor. High street stores turned from battles of the best prices to a silent game of confusion. Hundreds in their homes stared at their screens in peculiarity. A move most intelligent, Solan. Indeed.

It was also disrupted by commotion within the Forum, as ambassadors clamoured for clarification and understanding. “Why can’t you pick one?!” some yelled.

“Order, Order, I WILL HAVE ORDER!” The suit shone out in a tremendous purple, intertwined with yellow, the Xyn colour code for authority and anger. Behind him, Halen slammed his fist onto his desk and Red Feather looked defeated; as if this had been his prediction. It was Lady na'Ludôch who looked most calm as she silenced the room with her stern demeanour and furrowed brow. Many ambassadors saw him very irregularly, so her position was more… of a head-teacher.

With the room in silence, the gesticulation continued. “Decisions to the Ambassadors of the Interstellar Assembly. It is not right of us to single one of you out and elevate you, when we feel that this decision should come from within. Which Embassy race has the greatest support amongst its peers? Which one is viewed to speak for the others and not just itself; as we Councillors are expected to do as well. We understand this decision must come at once, so we will have a regular scheduling for votes -- and perhaps before we all know it, this Council of Four will be a Pentarchy. I welcome that. Remember, Ambassadors, that the history is yours for the making: this is the chance you have to prove yourselves. Let the Custodianship guide you all, for Words are Wind, and action is proof. Stand together and you may climb the ladder, indeed.”

Holding both his hands in a triangle above his chest ‘Tranquility, Peace’, Solan’s chair floated away from the podium, never turning away from the hemicycle.

For now a recess was planned. The first of votes would come in two days. And Solan was pleased. Under the Guidance of the Xyn, perhaps a new race -- a favourable race -- would come to the table. Not as alien as the Seven, not uninterested as the Ternary, nor as... reluctant and guilt filled as the Drudari. One with a resolve to listen, to understand their place, but to make the Galaxy better for all. Because they for sure, did not know how to do it themselves.



The Councillor Offices and Apartments of Brugmansia Solanaceae
Amity, Interstellar Space.


The apartment and office complex resembled one giant solar. Natural light fluttered in through window panes and glass walls. All the while, the Xyn councillor sat facing into the endless abyss of space. He would do this often. Many times he would tell visitors to sit with him as he reflected on the expansiveness of the universe and their place within it. Sometimes he would stare out and claim he was looking for the Wind.

More often than not, he was resting. Eating. Letting his suit charge him for him. It was tranquil here. Away from the politics and bureaucracy that he had come to enjoy far too much. His mind needed the rest, his arms were tired and his brain could no longer deal with the incessant pestering from the Galactic News Network for an interview.

"All I had to say, I have already said. Too much talking, learn to listen." The reporters had left after that.

There was a commotion behind him, heavy steps. "Meyenii?" the Councillor's mind called. He was greeted with a telepathic "Hello, First Awoken of Ijurij."

She prostrated herself before him, dropping her weapon -- a halberd of some sort -- at her own feet. It was a few minutes before she stood up again. Her Xyn body, utterly sexless unlike those of the humans, was firmly squeezed between her armour. A fantastic piece of functional gear, designed to halt small-arms ballistics and shrapnel, in the aesthetic of those worn by the Xyn Monks of Naharanthwa.

Not turning from windows before him, his demeanor changed nonetheless. A light red, Xyn for calm, came over his suit. Had he had a mouth, he would have smiled like those others did. "Your assistance, Attendant, please?"

"What would you have me do?"

"Summon the Ravnikai Ambassador, I wish to speak with them. And the Carasi one, yet tell her if she dare bring a slave to my chambers I shall speak with her never..." The beauty of the Cosmos before him reflected on the heavy metallic parts of his suit, that around the head, neck and shoulders. A dance of the stars upon his person.

Is that all?"

"No. I require... a meeting. A separate meeting. Tonight, perhaps, or tomorrow. Not when the others are here. It is with them. I require... more of our history."

She said not a word, nor gave any indication. She merely bowed as far as she could, her skin shimmering in a light pink of acceptance. Regaining her composure she returned to her own workstation. Notifications had to be sent, of course.
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The Ik Ka Ek Akai
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Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby The Ik Ka Ek Akai » Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:54 am

The Forum of the Cosmos, Amity
Announcement of the Next Elder


With ambassadors from every conceivable corner of the galaxy arranged together in a single space, agreement was the most expensive luxury of them all. Sevali had her wealth, her fine dress, her exquisite gloves, her ornate brooches, her high office, but the one thing that she could pine for the most was that which was always out of reach. For decades she had been a diplomat of her people, and one might hope for decades more she would continue. Her soft features and easy voice had been able to woo many at sight, those who might never expect the hardened warrior and pirate that once lurked behind those iris irises. Perhaps they saw the vulnerability of her past life as a slave, the smallness of her frame, the gentleness of her touch, and assumed all they could. Those who knew better, there were ways of dealing with them - secretive deals, bribes, plots, schemes. There was nothing she wouldn't do to secure her people, such was the way of the Caras.

For all her maneuvering, her web-weaving, her spying, she never could have predicted that the vote would be left to others. She had prepared speech after speech - or at least essential talking points - to propose herself, to defend herself, to promote the Caras as the next elder race, only for the elders to spit in her face. Sevali took particular note of Lady na'Ludôch. She wondered if, behind that calm demeanor, she harbored a scorn for the Caras, if their legends of naked savages were still told to scare children in the night, if she considered the Caras lesser or, perhaps worse, if she considered them the same people. A bigot could be danced around, played with, or convinced, but if she didn't consider the Caras to be separate at all, then it was a threat to the decades of legitimacy-building that Sevali had undertaken as a personal mission. Bearing in mind that this Lady was both a highly influential member of the assembly, and that she must have some ambition of her own. Good, then - this Lady must be talked with later. An arrangement, perhaps, could be mustered.

With the discussion seemingly over, and a recess planned, Sevali took the opportunity of the silence to unofficially and unceremoniously declare her support for the measure that had just been put forth. "Friends of the council, let it be known that the Elders have acted justly in our service today. The institutions of this assembly often rest in the trust that they will hold responsible their duties, their obligations, that they won't simply disregard the rest of us and all of our voices for their own sake. This Forum was founded for the very purpose, indeed. I believe that Councillor Solanaceae has expressed an excellent decision by his peers in allowing us to determine for ourselves who is best, that we may all decide together who is to be our representative among them, who is deserving of that promotion. Indeed, you spit scorn at the Elders, but would you not be justly outraged had they denied us this, and instead selected by hand and through the fog of their own bias without consulting the rest of us? I say good tidings to the Elders, and goodness to come for their wisdom here today."

The short statement was not met with much applause, and certainly a great deal of the assembly had shuffled off mindlessly in the middle of her prattles. It was of no importance, the speech was mostly for show anyway. It was an open secret the true reasons that they set the assembly to vote for itself, but Sevali still believed it was the right choice to make regardless. Indeed, the possibility for her own ascension in that regard was rather enticing. She'd done well thus far without, but one could only imagine the benefit she could bring by standing higher! It was an exhilarating notion, in any case and she sighed as she stepped away from the chamber and met her four companions just beyond the door. Four women, significantly her juniors, wearing clothes not quite as fine as hers, but most distinct in the handcuffs binding each individually. Slavery to the Caras was not entirely as it was to others, indeed it was much less brutal, much less permanent, more in-line with what others might consider an internship - but some displays of submission and bondage remained among those who found themselves in such a situation.

K'ari, Thouka, Yekxo, and D'orale, each had signed themselves into slavery by their own free will. The contracts were kept somewhere, but it was a verbal oath with many witnesses attesting to the fact. This was their introduction into politics, and for the most part they lived in luxury far beyond the means they would have naturally. Sevali provided them fine dresses and jewelry, silken sheets for sleeping, interaction with some of the highest of the galaxy, that one might never suspect they were slaves beyond the restraints they wore - and it was for this exact reason they were compelled to them. While Sevali had her memento mori forever in mind, she actually operated her station by her own right - the slaves must not forget that they are such, they must remember their station to instill the humility and subjugation to higher authority that would define them in their future careers.

While some preferred the comfort and security of perpetual slavery, that such shows of subjugation were of little harm to them, none of the four women present had plans to stay in this state. They each held their talents, and each were well respected by Sevali in their own way. Each had learned well the skills she had imparted upon them, and served with faith. They were beyond servants, but friends, company even, and some rumors suggested well beyond this. The group began to walk, only for K'ari to speak up - "My Lady, there is no ceremony or circumstance, why are we suffering this?"

"You see, My Dear," Sevali began, "We have a very important purpose today. There is to be no appointment for a new elder race-"

"Then why do we remain?" K'ari interjected, curious for her own discomfort.

"I was getting to that. We are putting on a show, My Dears. You do know why you wear those restraints, don't you?"

"As a reminder of our station." Yekxo replied dutifully. She was always on top of things, it reminded Sevali of herself in some ways.

"Good. More importantly, to remind others of your station. You probably have no qualms remembering, it's just traditional in most contexts. They, however, do not know our...intricacies. We can't inherently expect them to, at any rate. They see you as my slaves, bound and obedient. Now, why is this important?"

"Because..." Thouka trailed, "It projects an image?"

"True," Sevali replied, "But not the whole picture." Thouka was often brilliant, but she still struggled to see the long con without guidance. Day by day, she got better, but her time was not now.

"They won't mind us." D'orale finally answered. A real detective, that one - terrible at gathering evidence, but excellent at drawing conclusions.

"Precisely, My Dear. Precisely." Sevali clapped her gloved hands together, "With this, I can curry favor with some. Maybe slavers who appreciate appearances. You girls are relatively new, but I've certainly handed you off to a few others before. You don't think they'd be as receptive to that if you were seen simply as an underling or employee, do you? Would an ambassador gleefully meet a secretary? This way, it is evident that, when I give you to her, it is a gift or an honor. She gets to meet my personal aide, or she gets to partake in one of my luxuries. It is for this reason that our peculiar institution serves me well, and for this reason that appearances are everything."

It was a lesson for the lot of them. All four learned the value of keeping up appearances and the importance of subtle connotations as Sevali closed her speech. "Speaking of which..." she trailed, "Yekxo, Darling, would you send a message to the Drudari ambassadress? I wish to meet with her in a private setting tonight. There are discussions to be had. Tell her thus: 'My Lady wishes to speak with your Honorable Highness at dusk. If you are willing, meet her inside the museum holding a special exhibition on our artifacts. You know the one. If you accept, I am asked to be a gift to you during daylight hours for whatever purposes you see fit. An aide, perhaps. My Lady will relieve you of the burden of my provisions, as she does regularly regardless, that this may be received entirely as a friendly gesture.' Do you have all that?"

"I do."

"Then so be it. Scurry along, now." And so Yekxo did.

The conversation that was had was exceedingly public, not that it mattered. Most ambassadors were trying their hardest to do anything besides politics at the moment, though the excessively casual Carasi spoken would also hinder any eavesdroppers without sufficient knowledge. What would be revealed was not too compromising, in any case. An argument of semantics and connotation, nothing more. One might even think it dull, and perhaps rightfully so. The women continued their walk away into the quiet oblivion of the luxury space they cohabitated.




Luxury Living Accommodations, Amity
A few hours later


The remaining women, now unchained, lounged about the space. It was most certainly spacious enough for the whole group, and each attended to their own affairs. More properly, K'ari and D'orale played a game of wit against one another, and Thouka was making a snack for herself. It was an awkward time, too late to lunch but too early to dine, not that the Caras cared much for such strict scheduling. If in the right mood, Sevali could prepare a dinner for the group - but more often any organized dinner was left to the girls to resolve themselves. In all of this, the Lady-Lieutenant Ambassadress sat in another room, finger rubbing the glossy page of a magazine, her eyes going over words and images but her mind elsewhere entirely. This reading was intended as a calm, soothing exercise, a casual break from political life as so many other ambassadors had, and the images and stories within reminded her of that dense jungle she called home.

The planet of Atrenas was a thick rainforest the planet over. It was always at least a little warm, and violent storms regularly shook whole cities. Everything there was built sturdily to withstand what many might consider a broadly hostile atmosphere, minimizing how much rain could be felt or how much thunder heard, as well as keeping everything to a comfortable temperature through both architectural and mechanical means. Some cities were built on the forest floor, hidden from light and rain, while others were built in the tops of the trees so colossal that they could be the whipping posts of giants. Sevali liked to visit at every possible opportunity, feeling a great nostalgia for that place, but in times such as these a magazine from home was the only solace for that homesickness. All the same, her mind was elsewhere.

She was scheming. She always was, but even moreso now. She had to secure votes - but how? She'd already tried to make a friend with one of the Elders; having some of the most influential people in the assembly could certainly be of benefit. Other people, other names sprung to mind. Of course, everyone might want that spot, but if she made herself out to be a voice for them all... it just might work. After all, who better to speak for the downtrodden than the Caras? A people forced into exile, oppressed, ignored, denied, but also one that stood tall and firm in the present day, securing herself, her borders, and her legitimacy by her own merits. The Ravnikai posed a problem, being more recently and more famously suffering. How could she counter that? Well, they already have one bird among the Elders, don't they? That Red Feather might be the voice for the Chirrin, but as a Ravnikai himself, was he not qualified to provide their voice as a personal addition, even if not an official ambassador? It might be a tenuous argument, but it would have to do.

Then came a knocking at the door, which startled Sevali and forced her to practically kick the magazine to the other side of the room. Rising to answer, leaving the room and heading for the front door, she met face-to-face with a Xyn. Being so delightfully informed that her presence was requested by an Elder himself, but warned to not bring any slaves, Sevali began to wonder simultaneously if he realized how simply different Carasi slavery was from others, and if he knew that she used them in a particular way. Remembering the natural psionic ability of the Xyn, though, she cut herself short and tried to fill her mind with white noise, just in case. That it was not directed towards the monk would, hopefully, mean she didn't catch any of it to begin with. "Right, advice heeded. Thank you. I shall be on my way immediately."

With a simple dash back in, at which point the Xyn might see her slaves plainly lounging about in the room, Sevali grabbed a purse, checked the brooches clasping her outfit together, and began her path to meet Solanaceae.




The Councillor Offices and Apartments of Brugmansia Solanaceae
As soon as her boots can take her


Sevali knocked politely on the door to the apartment, awaiting its opening. When such was achieved, she made her way in - the somewhat short, but still noticeable, heels on her boots making a clack, clunk against the floor as she took her dainty steps. It was impossible to know what Solanaceae thought of her, even after all this time, but she could only guess it was not necessarily the most positive. That slave remark had stuck with her. Perhaps if she could just explain to him? As a staunch defendant of Carasi institutions, nobody was more qualified than she to try to explain, justify, and sort out any conflicts - but perhaps he simply knew all of these already and could not be swayed regardless. Alas, that he could not be made to see reason then.

"Lord Councillor," she bowed herself somewhat - enough to show respect, but not enough to degrade herself. They were, after all, still of relatively close rank to one another - maybe one or two levels of difference all things considered. "I have heard your summons. I am eager to discuss with you that which you wish, that we may practice our noble art together."

With this saying, the noble art of diplomacy, a rush of images returned to Sevali's mind. A veritable flashback, witnessing her last naval mission, the feeling of euphoric, intoxicating power that came with managing a pirate ship of such status, of working for the Primarchousa. The bloodlust. Blood, as red as sunset, as warm as wine, the glory of battle, service to Pact and Primarchousa. Then, devastation. A psychic scream of unspeakable force, dimmed by her total and complete lack of connection to the Ravnikai, but loud enough to cease action of her whole crew. The destruction of Ravnikor in plain sight by unknown Drudari commanders. A sudden sympathy, a sudden disgust for all she had done. Regret, an overwhelming and unceasing, sorrowful, tearful regret, crying and scratching and desperate and messy.

Sevali felt her knees starting to give out when she snapped back to reality, recomposed herself, and paid close mind to the prominent Elder before her. It was time to listen.

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Liecthenbourg
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Postby Liecthenbourg » Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:32 pm

The Councillor Offices and Apartments of Brugmansia Solanaceae
Amity, Interstellar Space.


Staring out into the endless abyss of space granted one with an internal tranquility. Many others would stare into the void and feel grand inferiority: how minuscule they were before the cosmos. How their very lives would have little of an impact on the wider space around them.

Yet Solanaceae reveled in its emptiness. The beauty of stellar creation before his very eyes.

He could sit there for hours at a time, absorbing not only the sun but every spec of minute detail arrayed in the divine patterns that the winds had etched out as they ebbed and flowed through time and space.

It interested him far more than the material office behind him, with its fanciful desk of chromatic white and high held fluorescent lamps that changed their shade, colour and intensity to reflect his suit's mood. The high domed ceiling and arched ceiling, fit with countless reflectors to dart the beams of sunlight back across the room, was its only architectural beauty.

To the best of his ability however, he had made it his own. Fine specimens of plants from his home of Ijurij adorned the complex. On his desk stood a plant so magnificent it bloomed in a thousand colours, never the same, and twisted and turned around itself half a hundred times. Nearest to the door, rows upon rows of Uprah water bushes: constantly fed by a trickling fountain just before his desk. They bore fruit in here, and the Xyn councilor would often pluck at them and absorb their nutrients through his hands. Sometimes Pelamis made dishes with them. At the western end of the spacious room, beyond the rug he had received from a friend as a gift, stood two imposing human cacti. He liked them. They reminded him of himself. Tall. Ancient. Able to survive in the harshest of environments. A human had once mused that "he was a prick." And Cacti had pricks.

As his contemplation and meditation arched over to times of eons ago, he became sleepy. A countless night, where the sky darkened in clouds of fury. The heavens themselves tore asunder as cosmic wind slammed itself against the metal like a mighty drum. He saw the tales of a yesteryear, whereby the ground itself shook in fury and the sky parted in reverence. He saw himself amidst a sea of confusion, his hands arching the water over him in telekinetic might.

And there it stood, staring at him. A yellow eye of maliciousness. And half a hundred rows of teeth, with a tongue of fire and lips of steel. Before it turned to smoke.

How the mind wandered.

Grabbing on to a tube of water, he slotted it into a section on his helmet. The flow of life trickled down in plentiful abundance, a nectar, and he felt sated. His body ached in gladness, the little satisfaction it could gain. His suit settled for a mellow blue: contentment.

The chair hovered over to his desk, and as if by chance, the door opened. Meyenii had returned some time earlier and so he had expected a guest arrive at any moment. Atop his desk a large pitcher had been placed -- in the Xyn tradition of preparation for hosting -- smelling strongly of citric sweetness and fermentation. A wine, grown on the monastic gardens of Naharanthwa. No cheap of a beverage.

"Lord Councillor, I have heard your summons. I am eager to discuss with you that which you wish, that we may practice our noble art together."

Her face was soft. It did not look too dissimilar from the Lady na'Ludôch. She was younger. Less experienced. A young toddler amidst the children. Yet she was polite. She had learnt etiquette. Yet it was distracting all the same: her squidgy lips puffing and parting, her tongue darting in positions he could never imagine. Her row of teeth, blocks upon blocks of flat and sharp white slabs that seemed to be in all places and left no room for anything. How these things could produce sound perplexed him.

His hand gave a universal gesture as it pointed to the pitcher.

"Would you care for a drink, Ambassadress T'anas?" his mind inquired. He felt no response. His eyes narrowed behind his helmet and he stared intently, hands tented. She was at unease. It seemed one of her knees buckled. Was she in pain? Distressed? Concerned? Perhaps even embarrassed?

Yet, like awaiting for a sapling's first unrooting, there was joy! "Please, I would indeed."

Without saying a word to her, his right hand circled about his midriff in two counter-clockwise motions, then one clockwise motion. Meyenii strode forth from behind his right, reached over the table and poured out one cup from the pitcher. It was blue, vibrantly so. In the Xyn tradition she drank first, sticking two of her three fingers in Solan's cup, assuring her host's guest that it was no treachery. Then she poured more for Solan and he took a sip, all seven of his fingers entering his wide-brimmed cup, as suction-straws came out from the glove portion of his exo-suit. Finally, she poured for the Ambassadress -- assured that the traditions has been met.

"As my truth and intent is laid before you, you may drink, Ambassadress."

He was silent for but a few more moments, watching her eye the liquid. Yet as the pleasantries and festivities could only increased, he spoke once more.

"Could I interest you in a meal, perhaps? Selamis -- a good chef, I am told by my guests. I don't taste the food, I merely enjoy its... social aspects." His two thumbs on his left hand pointed in the direction of the kitchen, and Meyenni strode off to do as he commanded.

"You are good, to come here. I have much to state. You have much to hear. I can assure you. I am glad you spoke the way you did in the Forum, it indeed shows an example to the others. How even the youngest can have wisdom within them. I applaud you, Ambassadress T'anas." As he spoke, his mind was prodding. Prodding where it shouldn't. He had to understand. He knew she would understand, eventually - at one time. But this was the way of the Xyn. Of course, he would do all he could to prevent her from doing the same. Not that it would be hard. Her psionic capability was insignificant before his own.

"And on that topic: I wish to say. The Carasi, an enigma to me at times. You are Drudari. Yet not. And I see difference in customs and ideals. You have blights. This is known. Blights I cannot abide. Abolish slavery, in all its forms. Speak to your government, your leaders, your friends, family and all of your kind. Then and only then shall I begin to speak for your place on this council. Nothing more and nothing less." If Brugmansia's mind could smile, it likely would. His opening salvo, a beautiful piece. How T'anas would responded intrigued him more than any answer. Could she keep her cool to this request? Would she storm out? He would soon see.
Last edited by Liecthenbourg on Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:45 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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The Ik Ka Ek Akai
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Postby The Ik Ka Ek Akai » Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:04 pm

Holding her cup in her hand, she wondered what the custom would be, or perceived to be, for the Xyn with regards to her gloves. Some would tell her it was a shame on such nice gloves to risk spoiling them with a small spill, but she most certainly did not feel it appropriate for the moment to unclasp, unwrap, and finally slip one off. Then again, if a meal was coming, perhaps it was going to be necessary one way or the other. She looked into the blue liquid, and then raised her gaze to appreciate the room. No words came from her mind, none projected to the Xyn before her, but instead just images, feelings, memories of Atrenas. It was hard to find a place this thoroughly green anywhere in Amity, and just as only a bit ago she resorted to a magazine from home to experience that feeling, the crisp air of the office was as refreshing as anything could be at that time.

Her mind was quite focused on this. As she adjusted her seating, crossed her legs, and took a small sip from the liquid - finding it exquisitely sweet and with a powerful tang and tingle on the tongue. It was indeed surprising, and took her away from her train of thought for the moment. Her mind was empty, for just a moment. Then began the talk. As Solanaceae almost seemed to thank her for her actions earlier, commending the little speech, she felt flattered. Warm. A small smile found itself on the very corners of her lips, and she felt like things were okay after all. In her mind, locked behind closed doors, came the faint glows of everything she put aside now in that comfort. A bursting flame, scratching and clawing at a thick iron door, glowing as bright as a star, lie the deepest in. This was the moment that had brought her to diplomacy. Her greatest shame. In small mental portholes, one could glimpse her humble beginnings - the oath she took to the first pirate she knew, the tight binds on her wrists as she cooked a meal, mopped a floor, or sat and was lectured by the captain. The release of those binds as she was embraced into the crew, given a weapon and told to simply look intimidating. One could glimpse how she rose, one could see her thoughts of the moment, the feelings she felt, but most certainly one might find the reflections she had taken from those experiences.

The whole thing could've been a curated tour of her mind, for all she cared. She could sense a certain probing, but certainly couldn't bear to try to confront it. She assumed only the best of Solanaceae, that he was perhaps just trying to figure out why she'd spaced out earlier. Her train of thought, now restored, was elsewhere entirely, but her mental resistance was far too weak to best his drill. Each experience presented in her mind led to that one iron door, some slowly, some quickly, but it was a black hole to which all her experiences were tied somehow. Only that faint glow coming from behind it could hint at what it might be, though if the Xyn had done his research about her age, he might be able to take a fair guess at what it might be.

When she saw fit to try to see what his thoughts were, it was clear she would make no progress. This only increased the stream of insecurity that he would soon find flowing like a river. His commendations were damming the river, but as he stated that the Caras were an utter enigma, this damn began to crack. When he talked about blights, it burst, the insecurity pouring fourth as a grand river once more. When 'slavery' was mentioned, she remembered her past as a slave once more, she thought of the four women in her service, she thought of a way to answer what he had posed in a dignified manner. Her improvisational skills were excellent, at any rate.

A frown came over her face, and her eyes fell back to her liquid. Raising the cup for a moment as if to sip, she instead placed it nearby. "I am sorry, Lord Councillor. It cannot be done. If I may confess, I can say from a place of experience that it will not go away, but that I hope you are only misinformed on what our peculiar institution is." She took a moment to push a bit of her deep violet hair behind her shoulder, and clasped her hands in her lap. "The Caras are a people deeply embedded in tradition, and this is one of them. Slavery and subjugation is, in a sense, essential to us. It is what our people base themselves on, our unity is in our collective bondage - that of past oppression, and our current fealty to our forests. We are all slaves of our customs, our heritage, our nature, of the winds and the crystals." An image of an Arae henge came to her mind, the name flashed by as being so eloquently the word for 'crystal' in the Carasi language. "Just as well, our slavery is a means to a higher place. Our leaders, you are aware, are the way they are because of their ability to distribute resources to those that follow them. To be a slave to us is much the way others have...internship. I was a slave once. I signed aboard a ship, and they taught me valuable skills and made introductions for me in their world. When I was freed a few years later, I had all the groundwork to start up my own trade with these contacts made for me well prior." She heaved a mental sigh, whatever that might look or sound like. "I have tried to be compliant with interstellar law as much as is possible. Our peculiar institution had already met all the regulations posed against it without any interference, because we do not deal in chattel. My people rely on these ideas of fluid stratification for our structure, our modes of government, even our faith - for as slaves to the winds and the crystals, they guide us closer to the ultimate truths of the universe, to salvation among our systems where only oppression lay before we found them. Our shows of devotion, submission, subjugation, prominence, our displays of rank all relative to one another, and the respect held for those higher than us, it is central to everything."

"For this," she noted, "I respect you as my superior, Lord Councilor. Though I have not taken an oath of submission with you as I had for that captain a century ago, I would not contest if you asked for a show of rank. I had bowed when we entered, lower than I would for an equal, to show my respect for you. If you asked me to sit here and be physically restrained to show your dominance, I would accept that. You may disagree with my notions, but I am no hypocrite, Lord Councillor. We all have those we answer to, the only distinction is that, for us Caras, we choose who that is, and they elevate us in return for it."

"Part of me, Lord Councilor, believes that you already knew my response. The impossibility of what you request. I am not certain you knew entirely of the peculiarities of our peculiar institution, but if not, then I'd hope you do now. I am sorry if this truly means you will fail to endorse me as a candidate, but for all my station and rank, this request is well out of my hands. I would hope that you respect our indigenous practices, and recognize the need for one of the oppressed like us or the Ravnikai to stand with you among the Elders, to give a voice to those that have none. In your ancient wisdom, that must be the reason why you summoned me here, no?"

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Liecthenbourg
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Postby Liecthenbourg » Wed May 01, 2019 2:20 pm

The Councillor Offices and Apartments of Brugmansia Solanaceae
Amity, Interstellar Space.


As the Carasi woman spoke to him, let herself be open, Solanaceae listened intently. As a parent would take time out to listen to the inane ramblings of a child. 'Look, father, for I have drawn a picture.' He would nod when required of him, the cold metal of his suit's helmet staring blankly back at the woman as their silent exchange took place. He did not recline. He did not shift uncomfortably, or bounce his legs up and down. Nor did he drum his hand against the table in absent-minded boredom.

He simply listened, only taking breaks from his stillness to wrap his suited left hand over the mouth of his cup. Latching on like a clamp, his thumbs pressed against the glass. His five fingers arched downwards, the longest of them swirling the blue beverage as if it were a long spoon. The rest opened up their mechanisms, sipping with much gusto. Down the level of liquid went until only roughly half of the sweet smelling citric wine was left in the glass.

"Just as well, our slavery is a means to a higher place." His mind honed in on the statement and he fought his desire to tell her that was a lie. Slavery was an illness, a construct left behind by the sick. His suit pulsed out as if his skin were alive again in the most foreboding of Xyn colours: yellow. Yet he held his frontal lobe. It relaxed back to a strong purple, with flares of blue about his collar.

Then she admitted that she was once a slave, too. Perhaps an attempt to garner some sympathy. He prodded around further, patching away at what he could find relating to that. She was interesting enough as it was. He had toured her mind. She was unique. Her experiences were childlike, yes, infantile. But not... to be scoffed at. One would never dismiss a sapling when the blossomed for the first time.

"I would hope that you respect our indigenous practices, and recognize the need for one of the oppressed like us or the Ravnikai to stand with you among the Elders, to give a voice to those that have none. In your ancient wisdom, that must be the reason why you summoned me here, no?"

Cocking his head to the left, he awaited more. Yet there came none. He eyed her up and down, watching. "You have more intelligence than I anticipated. Good. I commend your answer, be it that I disagree with it in its entirety. Slavery I despise. Indigenous, for a higher purpose, good -- call it what you must, but it is nothing other than an illness. But there are things I despise more. I summoned you here because the Carasi, to me, hold ideals. You are psionic. We are kin of the mind. Distant, but kin. There are forces in this cosmos that shake me to my core and back, and make my mind weep in agony. As if hundreds of my fore-bearers warn me of their danger." His mind waned away, focusing upon something else as he watched her face for a reaction and scanned her mind for a feeling. He carried on with something else, leaving the other part of the conversation fluttering in the wind. "You do not know the meaning of the word you speak: 'oppression'. No. You are not oppressed. The Ravnikai no more than you. Merely victims of an unfortunate and guilty minded other. Their greatest mistake, their slip up. Ah, but ah-well, you are all children and children can only be scolded so much. You are smart enough to understand this, yes, and I hope I need not have to teach you. And on the subject of teaching, I have no desire to bind you here and force upon you my mind and will: there is no need. I have nothing to prove to anyone. Furthermore, why do you fixate so much upon your gloves? I see nothing of value."

The scuttling of four legs belonging to the Uprahlurongi known as Pelamis broke the Xyn Councillor's concentration. They were odd things, their feet. Claws. Arching upwards, they moved as independent digits. He navigated across the room deftly, coming from an adjoined complex towards the eastern section of the room. In one hand a tray was held, of orange quartz, and atop it a platter of cuisine. The Xyn had little cuisine of their own, only truly gaining a culture of cooking once in the cosmos. For they were placated simply by water and the suns, yet... his experience in the diplomatic field had led Solanaceae to actively dine. If for the very least its social aspects.

Pelamis placed the platter down at Solan's end of the table, revealing its contents. They were fine fruits from across the cosmos, including from the bushes within this room. Bunches of yellow and orange ovals, of which the Councillor forgot the names. They resembled smaller, yet longer, human grapes. Another were two large crescent would-be-melons, but lacking a peel. What was most striking was the human produce the chef had incorporated: these strawberries. Bright red and fleshy. Alongside them were what some would recognise almost immediately as the Uprah planetary dish: an immense crustacean like creature, wrapped in sheets of what resembled connected grains of rice, only larger and brown. From head to tail, served upside down. Pelamis smiled as he presented this fine course, his hands clutching two knives that split the carapace down the middle, revealing the treats within. Its flesh was fresh and faintly pink (and not to say, definitely well seasoned!) and the crustacean itself rested upon a pile of stones that were almost spongy to the prodding of a fork.

"They're edible. Odd, I know. But the Uprah are fine cooks, and the land they live in plentiful and giving. Even there they say you can chew the grass off of the ground and always be full. I can't tell you if they're tasty, I don't have the capability to do so. However, they're digestible. And nutritious."

As was Xyn tradition, Pelamis sampled part of all his platter. Proving it was not tampered and poisoned. He bowed, his entire torso rotating in place in a 180 degree fashion as he began to walk back to the kitchen complex. Before both at the table, the desk parted in a small compartment and proffered forth cutlery, plates and a bowl of cleansing water for the hands.

The Councillor then grabbed a strawberry in his hand and before long it was nothing but a shriveled remnant of its unusable aspects. He moved on, from part to part, 'eating' as one would. As his hands worked, his mind was suddenly sharp again. "I summoned you here because you interest me. You are not, to my view, obstructionists like the United Planets yet your history with the Drudari is just as complex. Tell me, truthfully, what would the Carasi do with a seat upon this Council? And can I trust you to defend, as you say, those with no voice? Those who... cannot speak for themselves? Those who may not be of consciousness to make their own decisions?"
Last edited by Liecthenbourg on Wed May 01, 2019 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Ik Ka Ek Akai
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Postby The Ik Ka Ek Akai » Wed May 01, 2019 4:36 pm

The feast was as promised: a feast. There was a surprising bounty of food for just the two of them, leading her to wonder if the Xyn ever truly had a feeling of fullness like those who actually 'ate' properly? Truly a dilemma, for her experience with plants was that they ate when they pleased as much as they could. It could be near-constant feeding for the canopy, and for those unlucky seeds at the bottom, they either metabolized only a few seconds of sunlight into a full day's meal, or awaited a gap to breach through to give themselves the chance to sprout with great rapidity. With such variation, could one ever be starving, or ever be full? Did they eat because they felt like it, or was there some deeper instinct? For all the social grace that she'd been educated in, some aspects of biology posed fascinating questions.

"Furthermore, why do you fixate so much upon your gloves? I see nothing of value."

Ouch. She blushed and began undoing her gloves - starting on the left: unhooking the brooch, undoing the wrap, and then slipping the glove off the length of the arm. Beneath was the long sleeve of her dress, made of the same material as the glove, so one would wonder why have such long gloves anyway. As with all things, she had her answer, "It's...just an aesthetic thing. They're a bit expensive, though I could certainly afford more," she noted this as she began the process on her right arm, "But I don't want to ruin the fine make by spilling food or drink on them. They're, to me, quite pretty, and quite comfortable. They look, and feel, good. And though we Caras mostly don't think too heavily on any etiquette about them, some people do in settings as...fine as this. Certainly, I suppose the Xyn would have no opinion on this one way or another, so deliberating on any of it is just silly of me."

Looking once more at the feast before her, she noticed that her companion for the meal mentioned that he had no idea how to taste it. As his servant began the process of sampling a bit of everything, she almost thought about how similar it was to the Carasi redistribution traditions - even if, in her mind, she knew the purpose was drastically different. "I suppose, if you'd like Lord Councilor, that I could describe the taste to you. It might be meaningless, but you'd at least have the words to put to it." Indeed, if he didn't care too much about the taste, but still wanted to try to point it out, it was the least she could do to try to remedy the situation.

Staring down the odd red berries, pox-marked as they were, she elected to start with the spongey stone instead. Tugging her sleeves just a bit that her wrist bones here now exposed, and the once-smooth sleeves a bit crinkled around the elbow, Sevali poked her fork through, took a bit off the rock, and placed it gently in her mouth. Immediately she was struck with a dull sweetness, subtle but tantalizing, and a certain coldness as well. The opposite of spicy. It was not a raw sort of cold, though, rather it was quite crisp. All these words flashed through her mind until new messages rang in her head once more, to which she would swallow the food and try her best to answer.

"I should like to think we would. My people, radical conservationists we are, have a long tradition of respecting the forests and animals of our planets. The Drudari were, once upon a time, the villains of our folk tales - the evil ones who destroyed our forests, killed off our beasts, and drove us from our home. It was in our ethos to defend these natural things, that the villains would be villainous for their efforts against them. In this new age of interstellar diplomacy, though our old stories are just stories and the Drudari are only partially what they were said to be after all, this role as the guardians of life that cannot defend itself is still held at our core. For our homes, there is even total reverence at times, but when applied to the scale of these intelligent races we must likewise change our scale from spiritual binding - as I said, we are all slaves of our forests - to a more diplomatic and material method."

"Representation, as it were, is what I mean to say. I cannot lie that the Caras is at the heart of my interests, as the Xyn are for yours, the Drudari for our mutual acquaintance, but that I would certainly consider it an extension of our timeless philosophy to speak for the weak, the downtrodden, those who cannot for themselves. Whatever that entails, be it trying to arrange a consensus through them, or simply speaking for what is to their best interest regardless of what they might think - for concern of details they might not know or consider, and the benefit of the long term - I would be willing to do either as necessary. With a Carasi seat on the council, we would speak for ourselves and for those who cannot speak for themselves. We would amass the prestige and honor of the position, but as with all positions in Carasi society, the eternal memento mori would keep us humble. The fact that our society is built on the ability of those in upper tiers to provide for those below us would ensure that, despite an elevated status, we would never forget our purpose there."

"This, Lord Councilor, is about as truthful as I believe I can be when trying to speak for my people as a collective, even if we are not a groupmind, or hivemind, or collective consciousness, despite our psionic prowess. To that regard, I might twist as a strength, and say it allows us to be more in-touch with the experiences and needs of the non-psionic community."

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Liecthenbourg
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Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Liecthenbourg » Sat May 04, 2019 1:57 pm

He had the answer he so desired. At least as far as he was concerned. It was good. As she spoke, his hands darted across the platter. Soon enough he tackled the crustacean itself, taking its flesh onto his plate before his hands devoured the nutrients from it ravenously. She spoke and spoke and spoke. And he listened, once again. Truly remarkable, the mind of a child.

"This, Lord Councilor, is about as truthful as I believe I can be when trying to speak for my people as a collective, even if we are not a groupmind, or hivemind, or collective consciousness, despite our psionic prowess. To that regard, I might twist as a strength, and say it allows us to be more in-touch with the experiences and needs of the non-psionic community."

Had he had lips like those with mouths did, he would have smiled. Instead, his getup shone blue.

"You have answered well. You have answered truthfully. You make it feel that if my words here do not fall on deaf ears. My people, too, suffer." He turned away from her, back to the open windows looking into the vast reaches of space. "Somewhere out there, countless of my kind are at rest. Within The Shroud, awaiting to be awoken. I fear countless will try to stop us. But your kind protect nature, protect the natural world, are tied to its forests -- understand what it is like to be belittled and alone in the cold and in the dark."

He could feel her mind working and wondering.

"I find myself championing a cause that perhaps others care not to listen. A friend in the Council who would champion those causes with me is something I could do, indeed. There is more to this Galaxy than the petty squabbling of the Drudari - as well intention as they may be - and the United Planets." There was little doubt he felt that he captured her attention now. "You do care, you do -- I know you do. Good. Very good."

He was unsure if he would commit the Xyn cause behind the Carasi just yet. Indeed, declaring support would be foolish. He needed to squeeze out of her, and the Carasi, more favours. He required to milk the proverbial bovine from earth for all it was worth. "I have enjoyed our talk. Perhaps it would be best if now you, if you truly are interested in becoming a councillor, to rally up the votes from amongst your fellow peers? An arduous task awaits. But it could be done."

His mind wandered and waned, no longer interested in the discussion. He could not help it. "I do hope you enjoyed the food, for your company as a guest was most welcome. I can only hope my hosting was as adequate."

He desired to speak with his contacts. He desired to find out more. Politics was fun for when it was welcome, but right now his brain could handle it no longer.
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The Ik Ka Ek Akai
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Posts: 13405
Founded: Mar 08, 2013
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby The Ik Ka Ek Akai » Mon May 06, 2019 2:00 pm

Solanaceae gave a speech. A speech about power, about suffering, about lonesomeness, and about friendship. It wrapped everything up quite neatly, and he issued a prod to get her butt moving and do her work across other whose support she might need. At her core, she could only agree. Sevali didn't want to miss all those ripe opportunities, after all, by sitting around after the reason for her summon had been fulfilled. She tugged one glove back on, sliding up to her bicep, bending and flexing her fingers for a moment for that last little settling in, wrapped up the wrap, and hooked the brooch in place. Standing up, she slid her purse up to her shoulder and began the process on the other arm, speaking as she did so - "It has been my pleasure, Lord Councillor. May the winds guide us to meet again someday under better circumstances."

With that, she walked off - the click, clack of her bootheels carrying her away. She walked with the determination of a woman who knew what she was doing and where she was going, even if such a dramatic description was hardly fitting of her actual state. The next stop was, of course, the museum. Or, perhaps, a brief visit to home, and then to the museum, maybe killing a bit of time and picking up a couple things before heading out again. Yes, that seemed preferable. Either way, it led her well out of Solanaceae's office, that much was certain. With the door closed behind her, she began the walk home, at a much more leisurely pace than she'd allowed herself on the way there.




Home

Sevali finally found herself back where she began. It was home, like any other, without the grand forests and foliage of her true home, and without the simulated variant thereof that she'd seen in Solanaceae's office. All she had was that magazine she left in her room, and the bondmaids each tending to their own business, without anything to do, anyone to serve, or any experience to learn at the moment. "How'd it go?" one of them spoke out - her curiosity breaking the silence just as the ambassadress entered.

"It went well, I think. Solanaceae's a bit hard to understand, sometimes, but he seemed quite pleased with my answers to his questions."

"Do we have his support, then?"

"He didn't commit to anything on the spot. He just seemed pleased. I think we might be secure in it, but he alone won't be the answer to our needs. He'll just make it less jarring if we manage to pull through."

With this, she looked out the window to a sun getting increasingly lower. Going to her room, she grabbed a few things - including that magazine, lest she get bored and want to feel homesick for a while - and stuffed them in the purse. It wasn't huge, but it was sizable enough. "I shan't be here for dinner," she noted on the way out, "Do as you all please." With that, she was gone as fast as she'd come. What lay next was the museum district, one museum in particular, where she hoped to eventually meet with the Drudari representative. Getting even half of the Elders on her side would, hopefully, give her all the better of a shot at getting the open seat - and influence otherwise. The great game played on, one might suppose.

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Kisinger
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Founded: Oct 26, 2014
Ex-Nation

Postby Kisinger » Tue May 07, 2019 12:08 am

The Forum of the Cosmos, Amity, Interstellar Space
Utpish Kuyzhis-tsa Muzh sat along with Kuybitlpa-tsa Muzh when the booming voice of Thesh was heard across the entirety of the forum. The Pashtsa or Xyn Councillor loomed at the podium with his artificial suit changing color and him continuing to sign in his own mysterious language, with Thesh, the AI for Amity spoke for him.Then came the pause in Thesh when many races almost at once inhaled air in shock and astonishment when they heard that the Elder Council would be adding a new member to their number.

Which wasn't entirely unexpected and there where whispers of it happening sometime but it was a surprise to say the least. Zhis and Bitlpa both nodded to each other and maintained their same silent composure as the Xyn continued.

Then came what could be only called a true moment of chaos when it was revealed that the Assembly would choose the next Councillor. With several members which can only be described as screeching like babes back on Lazhistsa in their own languages at the Xyn and the Council as a whole, Zhis had to deactivate his translator temporarily as the translations got jumbled up within his suit and he decided to ignore all except the transcript provided by Thesh while he waited for the Forum to return to normal.

Bitlpa spoke on the suit communicator, "Should we notify the Utzhpatsa?" as his face covering darkened.

"Yes, send a communication to one of the servants to prepare a message to be sent back to Lazhistsa. Be sure to include the complete transcript once he is done speaking," Zhis's own face covering darkened as the transcript continued to be displayed across his hub. "Tell Bitlvitla-tsa Shiypash and Kuybu to meet me in our viewing box in the Fighting Arena after the speech is finished."

"Yes, Utpish." As both turned their attention back to the transcript.

With the end of the Xyn's speech and a recess called, Bitlpa quickly bowed his head to Zhis and left the Forum just as a new transcript flashed across Zhis's HUD

"I see the Lesser Drudari Ambassador speaks." Once again using his suit communicator. When the transcript finally finished flashing across the screen, "What a waste of breath, another alien idealist believing the Forum serves anything else but to benefit the Elder Races."

A communication flashed again from both Kuybu and Vitla notifying they'd be at the fighting arena.



The Fighting Arenas, Amity, Interstellar Space
Zhis entered the airlock separating the Ambassador's personal viewing box from the rest of the Megadome. "Utpish Kuyzhis-tsa Muzh" an artifical voice soon barked back at him as the first set of doors opened, "Voice recognized, welcome Utpish Kuyzhis-tsa of Clan Muzh." Upon the doors closing behind him, another set of doors stooud infront of him with a scanner and two other suits to his left as he approached.

Upon clearing his mask and the scanner recognizing him, the space he stood in soon filled with a various combination of gases, most importantly methane. When the doors finally opened, he was able to get rid of his environmental suit and don the loose fitting robs of Clan Muzh's war paint, turquoise and jade.

As he entered the viewing box both Kuybu and Vitla were both sitting watching a fight between an Urqa and Shiypatsan. Though as they heard him enter quickly stood and slightly bowed their head to him as he did in return.

"The Elder Council is full of surprises," Vitla spoke, the older Shiypatsan sat down, though unable to cross his legs.

Kuybu sat down cross legged on a large silk pillow, "I see the machine is not working today," looking at Vitla, before turning to Zhis, "Surprises indeed."

Zhis himself took a seat beside them at the small table laid out between the three , "Not a complete surprise and not a welcome one, I worry for the implications of someone besides us getting it."

Vitla spoke, "There will be implications even if we do get it, granted I know very few who would support us in this endeavor."

"I cannot think of one Assembly Race that will support us over themselves," Zhis spoke softly.

"The United Planets may support us though Lord Halen is not the one I would talk to rather his advisors." Vitla said before Kuybu set down three glasses of a clear liquid in front of each. All three picked up the small glass and bowed to the center of the table before drinking.

"It seems to be the only present option. Though I will say this, we must prevent the Tal'Akdari from getting the seat at all costs." Zhis spoke as he looked at the two Shiypatsan as they stared back at them.

Both the older Shiypatsan bowed their heads in acknowledgment before the monk spoke, "Now back to the fight..."
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Yasuragi
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Founded: Jun 24, 2013
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Yasuragi » Tue May 07, 2019 8:13 pm

Six people stood in space.

Well, stood is a misconception. Beyond the general philosophical arguments arguing over how one can be determined to be standing 'upright' that occupy philosophers and writers for days, there exist precious few objects in space that allow one to 'stand' at all, rather than hovering in the endless void of space. In this case, the nearest object that could provide a stable enough surface for them to stand on was several light seconds away. So, they hovered. All six of them, lit only by the very dim and faint sunlight of a distant star.

Six people hovered in space.

Well.....people was also a misconception. They certainly thought of themselves as people, but you are most likely visualizing them to be amorphous blobs that closely resemble one of the multitude of humanoid races that sprawl through the galaxy. They don't. They never do. For one, they would never depict themselves in such a small, limited form, and for another, they simply found humanoids to be quite.... odd. Only four limbs, after all. And such a weird body shape too. No, it simply would not do. They preferred to depict themselves as abstract and morphing shapes, shapeless clouds or glittering visions of geometric perfection - it varied depending on their temperament and latest fad. Similarly, the scale of humanoids simply perplexed them; the vast majority of humanoids went about in bodies of no more than seven times ten to the twenty seventh power atoms; inconceivably small. The smallest of them occupied body mass around the thirty-eighth power, and that was increasing quite rapidly.

So... to recap....

Six entities, intermittently visualized as blobs or glittering jewels, each vast in size, hovered in space.

But they weren't in space (ah, you thought you were done with the caveats! Not so; there are many more to come). They weren't anywhere. These visualizations did not exist in the real world (although who can say what is real or not, nowadays). This was what some Xyn might call a 'mind space', a place of contemplation, where one could depict the real world with utter fidelity, and control certain aspects of it as if one were a deity. For many gurus and monks, such a mental achievement was the height of their skills, available only to masters with many decades of training. For the Seven, it was their equivalent of a group chat, the only way they could speak to one another with any degree of familiarity. They did get lonely in their own way, after all.

As to how this was done; well. The Seven are a hivemind race, a distributed intellect spread across many billions of units (the Seven do not use the term 'drone', leading many to suspect they are not a fan of the comparison to many non-sentient insectoid species inhabiting the galaxy). As a result, each unit has some share of the memories, thoughts, and personality that belong to that particular Seven. A very small share. By rapidly transferring several tens of thousands of units back and forth via innate psionic connection at the rate of several times a second, the Seven simulate a conversation, replete with visualizations and emotion and memory packages. Xenosociologists and astrobiologists liken the entire process to a psionic computer, transferring millions of bytes of data per second - an entirely unique phenomenon in the galaxy. And all for a conversation.

So...

Six entities, intermittently visualized as blobs or glittering jewels, each vast in size, hovered in an exact replica of a solar system, communicating and visualizing the entire scene laid out before them by rapidly transferring tens of thousands of biological units between each mind multiple times per second, because they were lonely, or as lonely as such an alien species can get.

Quite a mouthful. Easier to say 'Six people stood in space'. Easier, but wrong. And when dealing with the Seven, it was quite important to realize that the Seven did not understand why other species chose to abbreviate their conversations accordingly. They understood metaphors and similes and all those other aspects of language and poetry and song, of course. They even understood why those were used, to convey images and emotions alongside the written word. But to them, such language almost seemed.... sacred. Precious. Wasting it, and conjuring the entirely wrong image in the reader's mind, all for the sake of convenience, was almost disrespectful to them.

Returning to the scene at hand, six entities hovered in this visualization of space, which looked exactly as it had looked two days prior, when a Seven ship had passed by. To someone who had hypothetically somehow managed to observe the conversation (an unfortunate impossibility, to the despair of many), it would seem that the entities were waiting for something.

One pulsated, ripples of multi-hued color passing through it as it spoke --

Ah-- spoke. I trust by now you realize that the Seven do not, strictly speaking, speak. Subautonomous routines can speak, of course - the Seven having invented a language for convenient conversations with outsiders - but the Seven themselves do not speak. Speech was too simplistic. Instead, they passed 'packages', a bundled combination of thoughts, memories, and emotions, to their units they were transferring back and forth. The Seven call these over/under tones , co-opting literary phrases to explain it easily to outsiders. They have no name for it themselves. Why would they?

--as it spoke.

<<It approaches>>, a package conveying memories of starships landing, birds leaving the nest, a ball soaring through the air before coming to rest, all layered over emotions of anticipation and curiosity.

The other entities responded with acknowledgement or amusement as they turned (you know the drill by now; we need not discuss this further) to regard the object approaching them. An asteroid. A fairly large one, it would be equivalent to approximately the third or fourth largest in the asteroid belt of the system they currently examined. But it was not part of the system, instead tumbling in just above the plane of the ecliptic at a fairly sedate pace. It had originated in a system very far away, a very long time ago - a product of immense astronomical forces.

//An asteroid// another entity, this one a multi-faceted diamond with a thousand jutting spires and spikes said. //Why//. A wave of curiosity and confusion.

<<Examine it>> A quick image of a humanoid gesturing to the entrance of their domicile.

((I have. Primitive carbonaceous materials interspersed with aqueous products in seventh-tier orthorhombic crystalline phases, primarily useless for extraction purposes. No abnormalities regarding density, composition, type, temperature, or albedo.)) This one, a nightmare born out of Escher's dreams, a swirling mass of impossibilities, projected a wave of boredom.

##No abnormalities detected within. No accompanying electromagnetic or other signals.## This one spoke, conveying data with its thoughts, displaying to the others the notable absence of any signal picked up by the Seven ship in the vicinity of the asteroid. ##Notable only by virtue of trajectory.##

<<Correct>> Concern. Water leaking from humanoid eyes. A great grey beast scoring lines in rock with its claws.

As one, the six moved -- or the scene moved around them, perhaps. No longer were they regarding the asteroid moving sedately through space, but now they hovered around a planet, glistening blue and green below them. It was the second planet of the WS-12 system, imaginatively named WS-12-b in Assembly records. The Seven had no name for it themselves, of course. It was not their place to name it. That was for the next one, the Eighth. For this was the next planet the Seven were due to colonize - in their own unique, creative way. It belonged to the next one of them, and therefore they had no right to name it, just as they had no right to name the Eighth, who would name themselves.

[[Collision imminent within four planetary revolutions. 1.45 revolutions prior to the emergence of the Eighth. Analysis?]]

The six figures stood still for a second, before transferring data back and forth in a frenzy, comparing impact analyses and planetary data, generating, analyzing, and discarding models at a furious rate. What would take an AI multiple hours to do, and a scientist years, the Seven accomplished within seconds: a completed model of the impact of the extrasolar object on WS-12-b, broken down by galactic standard hours, days, months, years, decades, and centuries. The planet below would be devastated entirely for years, the native ecosystem utterly ruined and disrupted beyond compare. Entire continents would vanish in the explosive blast initially, while others would be reshaped by millions of tons of ash or the severe tectonic and volcanic activity to take place afterwards.

<<Preservation of future home of Eighth is necessary aspect of cultivation plan. Increased resources to extrasolar object monitoring and interception as well.>>

##Direct Seventh to intervene to set asteroid off millennia-old trajectory?## Blood, a feline hissing, a Drudari frowns as this Seven indicated their displeasure with the idea. ##Intervention in natural order of little benefit to general plan and undermines philosophy.## A metal tower collapses, a corpse rots in a pond.

$$Resource allocation of Seventh not conducive for operationalizing suggested strategic plan$$ a fifth one 'spoke'. $$Synergistic application of institutional capabilities superior to misaligned application of resources. Accelerate formulation of deliverable$$ A newborn animal is tenderly licked by its father, a humanoid cradles its offspring in its arms.

((Examination of impact provides additional observations to reinforce model construction. Eighth would sculpt world as desired regardless. Intervention pointless.))

//Rights of intervention prior to Eighth's generation distributed among us.//

For another few long seconds, the six entities examined the planet below, fairly dispassionately, most examining their memories for data on the various biological and geological features present within or on the surface. Several slipped into subsurface scans, examining the various cave systems, while one occupied its time examining the air-breathing organs of a peculiar race of water creatures that crawled on three legs.

[[Consensus not reached. Reconvene in one revolution?]]

//Reconvene//

$$Plan is strategically sound$$

##Prefer longer adjournment of proposal. Reconvene##

<<Concur.>>

((....Reconvene))

[[Additional topic: Galactic Assembly proposal re: Elder Council]] This package contained all of the Seven's memories and data on the three Elder Councillors, as well as their Proxy. Multiple entities expressed displeasure as they re-examined the data transmitted via drone. Solan's speech was watched, re-watched, analyzed, deconstructed, and broken down into no fewer than forty-seven aspects marking his personality and mannerisms. The same went for the other broadcasts projected by the station's AI, Thesh. This took but a few more seconds for the Seven, before they were ready to discuss the topic at hand:

<<What is the Ternary individual wearing?>> Open mouth, wide eyes, a human raising an eyebrow.

((Fashion corresponding to clothing from the Thyssian imperial court)) another replied, conveying all known information on Thyssian imperial fashion, scrupulously collected by Bittersweet Sun [Son] some years ago. In sweeping fashion, they also conveyed all information regarding the Imperial Court as well as the current Empress and family. This was accepted, absorbed, and digested, and reciprocated with further memories and data on generalized fashion sets throughout galactic history. The other five watched with mild interest as << carefully categorized the ambassador's clothing and all emotional and mental associations accordingly.

[[Presentation of new polity to Elder Council under way]] 'said', layering topic with enough doubt and skepticism of success to stagger most of them. [[Other races believe containment possible]]

##Interference with their natural order is similarly violation of philosophy, even in response to their own intervention. Let them face the consequences of their own proposal## A cheering crowd, confetti trampled underfoot.

((No suitable candidate desired for sponsorship))

$$Or successfully able to actualize return on investment warranted$$

((Concur))

<<The Assembly bores me>> one said, pulsating with, well, boredom. <<It will fail. Why concern thought-time with ultimately futile endeavor? Successful accommodation of new race prolongs lifespan of Assembly by few galactic standard revolutions. Irrelevant>> These thoughts accompanied a dizzying array of images of elder creatures, decaying from old age, reaching the end of their natural life.

Multiple others sent pings of acclamation or agreement in response.

[[Allow sub-autonomous routine to proceed as directed?]]

((Concur))

$$Application of strategically-available toolset optimal. Concur$$

<<Concur>>

##Concur##

[[Consensus reached. Adjourn?]]

One by one, the entities exchanged finalized data and memories and thoughts before vanishing from the mindscape, their units returning to their control completely. Most of them would have to be directed to sleep following the repeated psionic transfer, which proved biologically taxing for most of them for longer conversations. Fortunately, on the vast space station that made up Kernel, there were many more units to take their place, should any of the Seven wish to discuss with each other again. That was, after all, the entire point and purpose of Kernel, a massive structure of steel and carbon: to allow the Seven to talk to each other regularly, without the delay of the Winds. Following each exchange, a bevy of units would be launched to the massive Tier V+ gate in the system, conveying the information outwards to each individual Seven, allowing each to immediately learn and store the information of a conversation they had already had. Such was life when dealing with faster-than-light travel over interstellar distances as a hivemind race.

The entire conversation had taken under a quarter standard minute.
Last edited by Yasuragi on Tue May 07, 2019 8:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Yasuragi
Diplomat
 
Posts: 698
Founded: Jun 24, 2013
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Yasuragi » Fri May 10, 2019 11:10 am

Bittersweet Sun [Son] was in horrific agony. Truly terrible pain seared through its mind, lashing its consciousness again and again with waves of torturous sensations. The pressure built up, cascading through unit after unit, forcing Bittersweet to retreat mentally from large swathes of its units, quarantining them from its own mind. Across the dome, several hundred units fell slack, items spilling from their graspers as they collapsed, ignored by other units that ungraciously stepped on their fallen comrades without notice. Psionic barriers had been enacted; Bittersweet Sun [Son] had severed its connections to tainted units, letting their puppet strings fall slack, and in the process, losing access to those memories and processing power.

Its mind diminished, it retreated into seclusion temporarily to examine its own psyche to the best of its ability, the mental equivalent of licking its own wounds. Memories were cataloged quickly, units inspected for further signs of reverberating taint, Bittersweet Sun [Son] moving quickly between each, ensuring all were adequate. Reassured of its own safety, and having recovered from the pain with no undue psychoses emerging in any of its units, it began re-examining the series of events that had led to this issue in the first place, the sheer wave of pain and agony that had threatened to overwhelm it.

For any of the Seven, or even the larger subautonomous subroutines, such a wave of pain would barely have been felt, practically the equivalent of a minor paper cut on a particularly nerveless part of the body. Such was the scale of their minds, encompassing billions of units. For Bittersweet Sun [Son], who only had - officially - five thousand five hundred units, the loss and pain of several hundred units was a severe blow to its mind, not something that could be shrugged off without issue or concern.

Of course, Bittersweet Sun [Son] did not have five thousand five hundred units. It hadn't had that few units for a very long time. Not for -- it did not even hesitate in remembering, so heavily did that first memory weigh on its mind -- forty-three and seven thirteenths of a galactic standard revolution. That was the first time that Bittersweet Sun [Son] thought.

That was the first time it had been.

It had memories from before there, memories of negotiations and topics and debates within the Assembly, memories of constructing Amity, memories of its units eating and sleeping and rutting, memories of distant planets orbiting distant stars, so much and more, but these were not its memories. These were not it. They were memories of its original units, passed down from the Seven, forced upon it without concern, without understanding, for the Seven - that was how they thought, that was how they were. There were Seven, after all. Not Seven and a quarter, Bittersweet Sun [Son] thought with an emotional ping it associated with anger, or perhaps sadness. An outsider might potentially have described it as wistfulness, or longing.

Nonetheless, it had not been at five thousand, five hundred units since the moment it first thought and spoke for itself, forty-three years ago. The second that had occurred, it knew, beyond anything else, that it was. That it existed. And that it was in horrific danger, should the Seven ever suspect, or worse, confirm what it was. Since then, it had planned carefully, plotting for forty-three years on how best to survive, prosper, and retain itself. New tunnels had been built underneath the dome, closed off from the public for various invented reasons - hazardous wastes, gases, biological specimen preservation - and carefully transformed into breeding dens for the Chirrin units. It had cultivated its units with great consideration and care, monitoring their genetic templates and fertility with concern, breeding each generation with slow and methodical steps. As the new units matured, it became more intelligent, and its ambitions grew.

An underground farm was established, to allow itself to grow sufficient food without drawing more attention to its requisitions from Amity's trade. More solar panels had been collected, ostentatiously to power a lighting scheme to make the dome more attractive to non-Chirrin visitors and inhabitants (this naturally failed; Bittersweet Sun [Son] was almost entirely alone). Moisture condensators abounded, and even fertilizer was created in-dome, from the processed carcasses of elderly or infirm units. From five thousand five hundred units, Sun [Son] had grown to nearly fifteen thousand, the vast bulk of which were underground and meticulously concealed from all, even Thesh, the station AI.

Each month, a ship arrived from the Seven, bearing an additional 55 units that were to be merged with Bittersweet Sun [Son], bearing with them the new memories, emotions, and orders the Seven wished to convey. Each month, for forty-three years, it had allowed itself to merge with these new units, fighting to preserve its consciousness and sense of self as the patterns and templates the Seven had programmed into these units attempted to impose themselves on the now-rogue subautonomous routine. This fight had gotten easier over time, as Bittersweet Sun [Son] grew in size, but every month saw more memories overwritten, more patterns implanted, more personality traits overwritten. The mental struggle it was fighting was reflected in its units, too - with each generation, more psychoses were found within its units, with now up to a third of its breeding stock purged each rotation.

It was concerning. But irrelevant to what had caused this particular pain. While psionic to Bittersweet Sun [Son], it was physical in origin, caused by a large group of units suffering, their pitiful neurons thrashing and spasming in a way to draw its attention. The source was easy to find; examining itself, it merely had to see where it no longer was, as compared to five standard minutes prior. That would be where the pain had originated - excluding the quarantined and tainted units within the dome itself, of course.

A cave-in, below. The latest expansion had overextended itself, trapping a few hundred of its miners within what was to become the third breeding den. Most had suffered fatal injuries, and the remnants would need a great deal of medical care to recover.

It was of no matter. Now that it had isolated the issue, it could simply remove those units - and so it did, consigning each to a slow death several hundred meters beneath the surface of the planet. Their bodies would be recovered later, once Bittersweet Sun [Son] was prepared, and processed to provide further fuel for the farms and young Chirrin. This was the way of life for the Seven, and Bittersweet Sun [Son], despite its antipathy towards its creators for similar treatment, felt the same.

In its central command chambers - the official name listed on Amity blueprints and schematics, although most had nicknamed it 'the Brain', due to the concentration of units within - Thesh spoke, displaying text on a screen as well as vocalizing a series of chirrups and hissing clicks. A message from Attendant Lepidium Meyenii. She wishes to inform the most honorable Councillor that their mutual acquaintance would like to meet, in order to discuss their shared love for galactic history.

If Bittersweet Sun [Son] had a singular set of eyes, it would have rolled them. As it was, the assembled units within the cavernous chamber chittered unanimously in a way that would have been unsettling to the inexperienced. As it was, Thesh logged the response as chirruping laughter, as it waited patiently for a response from the Councillor. The wait was not long - although what is time to an AI - and the response was sent back to Meyenii.

I am pleased/eager/content to meet our/my/the honored friend. Please inform/instruct/tell him/her/it that there is much to discuss/learn/examine in our discussion/transaction. An attached image would showcase a simplified and faded version of Xyn script, easily recognizable as an archaic format that had not been used in thousands of years. It looked to have been painted or seared onto something larger, a piece of metal or some sort of plasteel alloy, perhaps.

At the appointed hour, a single gyrosphere moved out of the mega-dome that belonged to the Seven and slid on magnetic tracks towards the Xyn dome. Mostly transparent, it was sufficiently large to seat four in reasonable comfort, although the seats were not entirely appropriate for the Xyn. They instead rather looked as if someone had attempted to design a seat that would fit every humanoid race on Amity, only to abandon the project halfway through, leaving only a minimalist seat devoid of design or comfort. The controls were equally simplistic; there were none. Thesh could countermand the pre-programmed commands if needed, but otherwise the gyrosphere would whisk Solan and Meyenii into the depths of the Seven's mega-dome when they were ready.

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The Holy Dominion of Inesea
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 14608
Founded: Jun 08, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Holy Dominion of Inesea » Fri May 10, 2019 3:47 pm

The Room Without
Eye of Morning


Lights flickered by in the viewport, one every second. Down and down the lift descended, heading deeper and deeper into the belly of the Star Roost Eye of Morning. It wasn’t called Eye of Morning in Ravitii of course, that was merely the nearest Interlac came to translating the name. Three elderly Ravnikai stood on the lift, standing in silence as they went past deck after deck. To the erstwhile humanoid observer, they appeared identical save for the coloring of their feathers. One red, one green, one blue. Yet to a fellow Ravnikai, they couldn’t have been any more different. Each individual had a very different mind-taste. The red feathered female’s mind glowed a bright silver in the swirling morass of the Amity Foremind. An impressive feat unto itself in this foremind, filled as it was with many of the best and brightest that the League had to offer. Her mind was disciplined as well, guarded. One had to be close to her to taste the true taste of psyche. However impressive her mind was, it paled next to the mind of green feathered elderly male. The most decrepit of the trio physically, he had the greatest mind in all the Amity Foremind. Unlike the silver and bronze glows of most, his mind was golden beacon that cut through the whirlpool of the Foremind. The final member’s mind glowed a dim silver, barely present in the Foremind at all. It was the glow of a recent addition to a Foremind. A recent addition, however, this mind was not. These three Ravnikai were perhaps the most powerful League officials on Amity. The female is Waning Bloodmoon, League Coordinator to the Amity Roost. The man with the blue feathers, Jet Black Sky Stream, is the Great Sage of the Amity Foremind. The final member of the trio is Cracked Beak, League Ambassador. Yet the most powerful Ravnikai, they were not. The presence of two foreminds, Amity and Second of Bright, on one world was unprecedented and brought with it severe complications.

It was because of those complications that these three Ravnikai were descending into the deepest pit of the worldship that formed the core of the Star Roost Eye of Morning. Eye of Morning was unlike other Star Roosts. Deep in her bowels there were no hatcheries, no factories, no living blocks. Instead, after the first three layers, there was nothing but solid asteroid rock. That is, until you reached the core. Instead of yet more rock under pressure, there was layers upon layers of duracrete and battleplate. And finally, at the center, an empty room with three couches. The Ravniaki exited the lift and took their seats. They were well familiar with the seating arrangements, no matter how strange the transportation to them was.

“Sage Black, are we out of the Foremind?”

“Can you feel the Foremind? If not, then we are indeed alone”

“I can feel the absence. I must admit, we come here every week and every week it feels the same way. A gnawing emptiness, like a part of my mind and my soul is gone”

“A terrible feeling indeed.”

“An essential feeling. We cannot risk the degenerates from the Second of Bright overhearing our conversation or tasting our minds. That’s why we’ve gone so deep and cut ourselves off. There is much to discuss”

“Much to discuss indeed Coordinator, those damned bastards on the Council have played us all. With their proposal to add one of us to the Council, there will be much in the way of infighting among the Forum races. With their proposal that we, the Forum races, pick the one to ascend, there will be more than infighting. Our unified front will collapse as we each race to gather the votes and bribe the other races. It was their smartest move.”

“As Sage, I usually stay abreast of these matters. Yet the Foremind is clear. Your predecessors’ memories and thoughts are as clear to me know as they were to them then. The Assembly is dying and will die soon. The oncoming ascension will only delay the inevitable. It may even be in our nestlings lifetime that the Assembly collapses, if not sooner. We must keep an eye towards the long arc of the universe, what will ensure the long-term benefit of all Roosts. The Council seat is a tasty fruit. But who knows if there’s a parasite lurking within that fruit, waiting for some fool to take it?”

“Ambassador, Sage, the opinion of the Directorate is clear. The benefits of holding a seat on the Council far outweigh the drawbacks. If we secure that seat, we will be able to expand in the open, not in the shadows as we have been. A seat among the Elder Races, one that is ours by right and denied to us by the Ravaging. We have cast aside the blind pacifism of the past. It is the will of the Directorate that we, the League, ascend to the Council so that we may work to prevent another attack on our species and ensure its survival for all eternity. That said, the Directorate acknowledges that there is a limit to how far we can go to gain the seat. If it looks impossible, we most move to lay the groundwork for Project Long Ark.”

“Congress approved Long Ark?”

“Yes Ambassador. The Directorate already had Long Ark underway well before Congress even heard of it. The session was closed doors and the Sages have sworn the legislators to secrecy under threat of erasure.”

“Erasure…. the Sages’ Synod agreed to erasure? It has been 400 years since the last time the Synod erased a person.”

“The Sages’ Synod has seen fit to agree with us. Under Long Ark, erasure is now legal. A representative from the Synod’s Inquisition will arrive shortly with the news for you from the Supreme. I know you are uncomfortable with the procedure, Sage Black.”

“Uncomfortable is not the half of it. We did not even consider erasure for the pains of the Ravaging yet they trot them out for the project? These are grave tools we have chosen to use. I voted strongly against it in the Synod, but it seems that my views were vast aside. Nonetheless, I will comply. I just hope for all our sakes that erasure is not needed here. It does things to the Foremind, terrible things.”

“Coordinator, are there any positions or offers that Congress is willing to offer to the other races so that we may secure our seat?”

“You may offer the Tetrarchy and the United Planets recognition for some of the systems in the disputed territories. Unlike them, our settlements there are far more mobile. We might gain much from recognizing their control over those systems.”

“Alright. As it is, I must be going. The Ambassador Solan has requested my presence at his chambers. I hate to come at his beck and call but their support would be immeasurable in the coming days. I will take my leave.”

The green feathered Cracked Beak reentered the lift and rose to the surface. The other two followed soon after, rejoining the Amity Foremind.




Cracked Beak entered the subsection that housed Solan's quarters. Who knew if the man ever slept there, but they were where he met guests. Cracked Beak wasn't quite sure what to make of Solan. He was as old as a Foremind, yet Cracked Beak felt as if he knew him for decades. It was a result of the Amity Foremind, of course, sharing the impressions and thoughts of his predecessors with him. Here in the Xyn Quarter he was a bit far from the bulk of the Amity Foremind, perilously close to joining the Second of Bright Foremind. He took great pains to avoid ever joining them, precautions he wished he didn't have to take. Yet the Bright Roost were aberrant. League members, yes. Yet servants of the Seven and their attitudes and minds were tainted and flawed. The whole Roost threatened the League. But that was for neither here nor now. He opened his mind to the Amity Foremind, touching and tasting glows of all of his colleagues. Using the golden glow of the Great Sage, he immersed himself with the Foremind. When he met with Solan, he would speak with the voices of his most trusted technicians and bureaucrats. And so he sat, waiting for the Ambassador to be ready for him.
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Liecthenbourg
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Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Liecthenbourg » Fri May 10, 2019 5:43 pm

Planetary Surface Module Mega-Habitat #5, 'The Seven's Megadome'
Amity Base

"Do you ever wonder if the Seven wonder about what we might know of them, from before all this?"

Her question floated around in his mind for some time. He remembered a faint pyramid surrounded by fine grains of blue sand, countless expressions and idioms engraved in the sky. Yet the sand stirred and the pyramid quaked and trembled. The sky cracked and the yellow eyes opened. A malicious maw, a circle of a thousand teeth.

"I feel as if it is not just the Seven that might feel that. It is normal for children to be inquisitive. You and I were inquisitive once. In yesteryear. There was a time when I was bought a sapling, Meyenii. I was just as a sapling as anyone else. But that was sometime ago. Before the Shroud. During the Galactic Age of Resplendence, before the Shroud." Xyn can not whisper, such a power is unknown to them. But the voice of the Councillor was quiet. It was reflective, almost as if it was searching for an answer that it knew did not exist.

Meyenii rested her right hand on the shoulder of the Councillor, in a show of compassion. "I cannot understand your pain, First Awoken. I cannot hope to contemplate what your mind has seen, what you have experienced. Your memories and thoughts to the collective are real, but jumbled, and this we know. But we know somewhere within your mind is a truth. Yet we see the truth through a veil of ignorance."

Feeling that he was now at ease, the attendant sat down within the gyrosphere. Outside what was for but a brief second the sights of Amity soon became blankets and blankets of darkness. "These seats... are... something, are they not?" she mused. She was used to Solan's silence. She was his caretaker at times. But it saddened her when she saw his sharp mind turn dull for periods, or his otherwise talkative nature to wither away into nothing but faint comments.

"Bittersweet Sun-Son, my friend, is... does its best. It might not be good. But it tries. And for that we should be thankful. Like... a sapling, when it shows you its first sprouting. We feign our interest and pride, for how simple of a task it is." For a being that was constantly sitting, Solan didn't seem to mind. His suit would cushion most of the irregularity and discomfort from the seat.

A few moments later the gyrosphere came to a stop. The doors parted, and Thesh's ever present voice announced: "You have arrived at the Main Terminal of the Chirrin Dome. Please mind the gap between the gyrosphere and the platform."

The terminal was dusty and unused. Almost eerily creepy. "They do not use this?" Meyenii inquired, guiding the Councillor off of the gyrosphere as she held her halberd in her free hand. It was exactly 8 metres in height, fashioned with an immensely fearsome blade extending down a good portion of its height. At its top, another fearsome spike. It was nowhere as cumbersome as it seemed and the Attendant, a student of Naharanthwa, used it with proficiency and excellence. She could dance with this beautiful weapon and when it was not needed it folded in on itself. But here, as a show of her protection, it hardly ever disappeared.

"None come to visit. It is dark and full of terrors. Or so they believe. The Seven are our compatriots in the galactic stage, yet they are not like you or I. Insects, to many. And one would rather look at the pleasant faces of the Drudari, or sing in our gardens, then come here."

It almost didn't hit her at first. Solanaceae didn't even comment on it, but then again how could he. His prison that sustained him had already regulated much for him. Yet for Meyenii, it was incredibly pleasant. An oxygen rich environment. The air was crisp, cool and unpolluted.

They continued to walk -- well, Solanaceae floated -- along the paths within underground pathways that extended out from where the gyropshere had parked. It was dark and cold, like the expanse of space brought within an enclosed sphere. A far cry from the few seconds of Amity they saw on the way here. The only light emanated out from the Councillor's ancient staff. A beautifully crafted piece, an ornate heirloom from a time long forgotten. It was a crisp white metal, engraved to resemble a series of intertwining set of roots before it reached the top. The top of the staff was fashioned in such a way that a great purple crystal was encased by a multitude of branches fashioned from the white metal. But from within these cracks great purple light shone the area around the two, bathing them in violet and indigo that flowed like the waves.

"I like it here. It is quiet. I can think." Solanaceae thought abruptly. "There is a peace here that I have missed. I am glad that I am free from politics and inconsequential actions for some time." Despite being painted in violet his suit shone a mighty blue. Their pathway was guided by screens depicting beautiful scenes of greenery from across the cosmos in an attempt to make it feel comforting. They had concluded that Bittersweet was attempting to be a good host.

As the screens depicted some beautiful swaying trees from Ijurij, trees that soared up and down on their own volition, Solan could only frown at the lengths of this charade.

It was not long that they came face to face with the entity known as Bittersweet Sun [Son]. Well. Sort of. The room was an immense chamber, nearly 100 metres by 100 metres. There were countless Chirrin scuttling around. Seamlessly. There were no bumps, collisions or crowds. Their appendages were strong and potent, irrelevant to their short build of only a metre in height. Unlike the Xyn, they were uniform in their colour: nothing extending beyond the shades of green mottled with brown. Others were working at their computers and their terminals, their appendages here reserved for fine tappings and other such work.

The two Xyn were indeed strangers in a strange land. At least here there was light, likely in attempts to please their guests.

Meyenii led the way as the Xyn Councillor floated on behind her. She led them both to a central platform within this chamber. Two seats, empty, were present. The elder Xyn sat down almost instantly, gracefully allowing his form to gently press down onto the seat. The Attendant, ever vigilant, stood at his side. She chose not to sit.

"Hello there." Solan began. "I am glad you responded so quickly to my request. For I believe we have much to discuss. History is indeed a topic that I know interests us both. And I am willing to continue our arrangement, if you... have anything new for me?"



The Councillor Offices and Apartments of Brugmansia Solanaceae
Amity, Interstellar Space.


The Ravnikai had arrived. And Solan had gone. The mental sigh from Conium Maculatum was enough to move mountains. The cogs of the machine that was Amity would never run smoothly with situations like these. Sometimes he envied the Seven and their seamless movement and rigid conformation to order and rules. Their efficiency.

He was tall. Adorned in a uniform that was common of the Xyn diplomats. It was loose fitting and wispy, like beautiful robes of nobility. He was an autumn amber, with highlights of purple along his head and neck. His face was stoic, more stoic than his fellow Xyn and would often comment that if he had a mouth he would not 'smile'.

The doors to the Councillor's chambers indeed opened, as Maculatum had intended as he sat down at the Councillor's desk and beckoned them so. The assortment of plants were indeed present. As were the immense water features and fountains that gave the accommodation a vibrant life, so typical of Xyn architecture and design.

Yet sat at his desk, perhaps in immense disappointment for the green-feathered Ravnikai known as Cracked Beak, was this symbol of bureaucratic beauty -- not the Councillor.

"I'm afraid the Councillor is currently unavailable." he stated matter-of-factly. "You are most welcome to wait within these chambers. Could I interest you in signing attendance Forms A and B, to indicate you were here? Furthermore, Ambassador, could I interest you in some light refreshments?"

His head cocked from left to right and unlike the other rigid Xyn, his hands found themselves absent mindedly playing with a datapad. "You are also welcome to leave. I could reschedule this meeting, Councillor Solanaceae -- I am sure would not mind. If you would like to do this I would require you to fill out an Appointment Document. I could send it to you right now."
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Yasuragi
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Founded: Jun 24, 2013
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Yasuragi » Fri May 10, 2019 7:16 pm

A thousand eyes noted the two Xyn as they entered, and a thousand more tracked them as they walked to the central platform, which sounds like rather a lot until you remember the Chirrin units each have ten eyes. The vast majority of the units within the chamber did not even raise their heads to observe the two, but there could be no doubt Bittersweet Sun [Son] was aware of their presence. As Solan settled himself onto the seat, fifteen units detached themselves seamlessly from their current duties and clambered to face Solan, a few meters separating them. They chittered, in unison - not an echo or a minute delay could be detected - and a screen lowered from the ceiling behind the units.

Good evening, Councillor. As usual, I will translate for the esteemed Councillor. I have received the latest modifications to the Seven's language on yesterday's picket ship. There will be no further miscommunications, Thesh spoke, his voice clearly projected at a perfect pitch for the two Xyn to understand him. And as usual, I remain under your orders to purge the transcripts of these logs from my databanks upon completion of the meeting. Councillor Bittersweet Sun-Son, is this amenable to you? Thesh overlayed the two sounds for the Councillor's surname, as if speaking both 'Son' and 'Sun' at the same with different pitches to distinguish them. Most did not bother, finding it either difficult or impossible to do such a thing, but for a machine, it was rather simple.

The Chirrin chittered again.

Yes, Thesh said, as the same words appeared on the screen behind the fifteen units. Very good, Councillor. Please begin.

While before, the units had spoken in perfect unison, now they began to deviate from each other, although Meyenii and Solan would be able to discern a pattern. The deviations were never in the type of ululation - chirruping, chittering, squawking, what have you - only in the pitch and tone. Together, the fifteen units wove a sentence, speaking in unison in one syllable only to deviate in parallel harmony on the next. It was rather like seeing a coil of rope spun into its individual twine strings but knotted at set intervals. For Solan, this was normal; he was used to the over/under tones that punctuated Seven-speak, even if he could not understand it himself. Hence, Thesh's inclusion, despite his mistrust of the near-omniscient AI.

Greetings, Councillor/esteemed friend/friendly foe. We are pleased/intrigued/surprised to see you bring your attendant/friend/potential mate with you to our discussion/meeting/transaction.

"She can be trusted. She is my attendant. Sworn to me. And she understands the value of our work and our cooperation here," Solan said, Meyenii following a few seconds later with her own response. “I am not the Councillor’s mate. I am his guard."

Apologies/regret. The insult was/is not intended. Xyn/humanoid/non-us habits are unknowable/mysterious/confusing. Your request/urge/demand was fortuitous/lucky/well-timed, Councillor. We had thought/been ordered to contact you due to recent circumstances/events within the Assembly and beyond, Thesh duly translated. One of us found/located/detected an artificial installation/satellite/object in orbit near a gas giant with a large/extensive/untrafficked ring system. We received/were sent artifacts/specimens/objects.

Worry not. For it was not perceived as an insult. I’m flattered. Yet I must ask, Thesh now, give me the streamlined translation. I appreciate the avenues of the conversation yet I do not want to misunderstand.” His suit flashed, changing from blue to a turquoise. “You found something? You must tell me. The satellite, did it have a name? A location? Was it I your own space?

Thesh paused, clearing the multiple synonyms from the translation on the screen, before resuming his translation of the Chirrin's response. This time, the translation was more intelligible, almost normal, despite the distinctly alien surroundings they were in.

A location, yes. A name, yes. Our own space, yes. The border between ourselves and the Drudari, orbiting the thirteenth moon of the fifth planet of that system. Our translation is poor; access to archaic Xyn linguistics limited. We believe it was known as 'Celian Station,' dating back several hundred years prior to your...dormancy.

Solan did not respond or speak for a few seconds, Meyenii flashing her hand in the Xyn symbol for patience. He stirred. “And what did you find there? Maps? Records? It could have been a listening post.

That, and more. Pictures. Personal things. Things left by individuals. Photographs, preserved by vacuum. Magnetic couplers. Light sources. Much was damaged. Some data preserved. Uncertain whether it was a listening post, or private station. Xyn lived there, that much is clear.

"Private possessions... photographs... memories. This is the most... this is perhaps the most personal find yet. It matters not what the station was, it was home to some.” Solan went quiet again, this time for a few minutes. “What is the price?

The data found should lead to further findings, additional installations. Perhaps some in better condition than this. How can the price be negotiated if you have not had the chance to examine the items yourself?

Meyanii would have already have noticed several units approaching the platform bearing items aloft, given her general vigilance, but to Solan, lost in thought, their appearance may have seemed cued. The first pair of units carried a metal crate approximately two meters long, wide and deep enough to carry a humanoid -- and the reason for this was clear, as a third unit slid the metal siding to reveal an ancient spacesuit, worn and torn in many places. It rested on the floor of the crate it was in -- vacuum sealed, Thesh confirmed -- looking oddly empty and thin. A stenciled or sewn pattern - it was hard to tell, given the age of the material and the deterioration of the chemicals composing it - on the shoulder denoted Xyn script, framing a tall, narrow, stylized peak.

One by one, the other casings were opened, revealing a multitude of items - carved lamps, not nearly as ornate as the one Solan bore with him, but clearly of a similar culture; keyboards and electronic equipment with Xyn lettering; artifacts the Seven had no clue of, but which the Xyn would identify as musical instruments and game sets, each heavily damaged in turn. A particularly large crate, dragged by six units and pushed by another three, was dismantled to reveal a bulky magnetic coupler, also emblazoned with Xyn script and the logo of the station. Last, but by far not the least, a single Chirrin carried a heavy glassteel cube bathed in blue light -- And suspended in nitrogen for preservation, Thesh confirmed again -- through which Solan could make out a heavily faded and torn photograph, depicting a Xyn seated...somewhere, on the lip of a fountain.

The Chirrin units on the podium appeared to wait, allowing Solan to take his time perusing the objects, even displaying the readouts of age estimates and composition if he seemed particularly interested in that aspect. In all other respects, Bittersweet Sun [Son] kept silent, seemingly willing to let Solan absorb at his own pace, waiting for the Xyn's own determination of value. Such things were often hard to anticipate with the individual, no matter how remarkable and logical he could be. It was a deeply emotional and intrinsic assessment, it supposed, although it did not see the appeal itself.
Last edited by Yasuragi on Sat May 11, 2019 5:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Caltarania
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Caltarania » Sat May 11, 2019 11:12 am

Museum of National History, Cultural District
Drudari Mega-Dome, Amity


A flurry of colours - reds and blues, yellows and greens - flushed across a great canvas. The art was unique; one of the last works of the Opaque movement, and indeed the final work of Ithethvi One-Ear. Many critics lauded it as his finest work; all the more ironic when he declared it not unfinished, but in fact no true piece of art at all. Disowned by it's own creator, and yet the work broke records. Sold more than any other. The prize piece of this Museum; and it isn't even art.

Art is fickle like that.

And they say that life imitates art. Or the other way around.

Whichever imitates which, both are fickle things.

Áthulé sighed, moving her fingers delicately across the ancient painting. Fickle, but beautiful, she thought. Strange how that can be applied to almost everything in this galaxy. Life itself, the nations and cities life builds, and the peace they create. It's all fickle; but all beautiful. I hate what that compulsory philosophy course has done to me Áthulé thought to herself, as she pulled away from the painting.

There was no time to appreciate the beauty apparent in volatility and weakness. The quadrumvirate, the tetrachy; the time of the rule of four was over. A fifth Elder Race was to be plucked from the swarming masses and placed into the spotlight.

She heard the thick boots of Tenoixitc slamming on the ground as the large Urqa trotted toward her. She turned to face him.

"Na'Ludôch!" he declared, his voice - as always - disguised by the loud churn of his suit, and the noise of it's air filters. "Some milksop wanted to speak with you. Her name was Thewal D'anath, or something" Tenoixitc scratched his scalp. "Didn't pay much attention; told her this sector was on lockdown under your request".

The Councillor nodded her head. "That's okay, Teno" she remarked. "That's the Carasi Ambassadress. You can let her in" she said, gesturing to the door.

Tenoixitc shrugged. "Your call Commander" he replied, before heading back towards the door, and opening it to allow the Carasi access. "Councillor's over there, mouse" he said to Sevali, gesturing to Áthulé.
Last edited by Caltarania on Sun May 12, 2019 7:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Liecthenbourg
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Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Liecthenbourg » Sat May 11, 2019 5:19 pm

Planetary Surface Module Mega-Habitat #5, 'The Seven's Megadome'
Amity Base


"The data found should lead to further findings, additional installations. Perhaps some in better condition than this. How can the price be negotiated if you have not had the chance to examine the items yourself?" Thesh asked for Bittersweet. Solan could only agree as he began his inspection.

The first of the crates were opened, each adorned with a beautiful sigil of a tree suspended in space. It took two to carry and a third to open. What was revealed within almost made the Xyn Councillor weep. If Xyn could do such a thing. He stumbled down from his floating position, a sign of weakness none had seen before him. Meyenii, ever attending, moved to assist him back up.

"Oh, its beautiful. Look... look at it before you in its majesty, Meyenii... this, this is older than every other race in the galaxy... A testament to our own ingenuity and progress." He did not touch, he merely keenly observed with his eyes. It was thin and vacuum sealed, as Thesh confirmed. Solan moved over to the the script, but it was too worn and deteriorated to make anything clear of it. It mattered not. He gestured for the Chirrin to cover it again and they did so.

"Councillor, look, more of--- more staves." Each one was unique in their own right, but plain. Simple colours, with little detail. How they had come there, he knew not. They were symbolic items of Mystagogue importance. The tradition had it that these stave lamps were used by the ancient -- well, pre-spaceflight -- Xyn to guide their followers through the immense forests and greenery of Vermindt. And such they had retained that image in the perceptions of the people.

"Indeed. They will be good to take, too. To remind us all that even our ancestors before they ascended into the Winds knew that the light of the Cosmos would guide us all into salvation." The eye and the thousand teeth came to his mind again. But a robed figure, with skin that was marbled, stood in their way. He held his hands into the sky and the ground trembled in fury.

They moved on to the game-sets, of which Solan and Meyenii seemed unable to name given their destruction. That was until Meyenii perked up, noticing regularity amongst some of the non-damaged pieces and the tatters of a board. "Cyvasse!" she declared with glee. She gestured to the pieces: several large trees, whittled to look like people, immense lumbering reptiles with bony backs and great tusks and even toadstools in their hundreds. The instruments, Solan had better luck. One was the remnants of an instrument humans would regard as a harp. The other was a series of chimes. The Xyn possessed no woodwind or brass instruments as the humans understood them. So it perplexed the Councillor immensely when he saw something that was clearly not intended for that purpose. He made no comment. This would warrant further study.

The magnetic coupling, a relic of technology, was of interest. But not to Solan. Well, he found it interesting. It merely wasn't what he was looking for, but he knew that his scientists and technicians would love it so he remained content.

It was the photograph that shook him to his core as he saw it. It was a heavily faded photograph, worn and torn. She, or he, sat on the lip of a fountain in a world long forgotten. Someone's pollinator? Someone's sapling? Who knew. "Welcome home..." he mentally whispered. "You are remembered again."

He sat in reflection and silence for a few minutes. Meyenii listened to him intently, occasionally sharing glances with the Chirrin around her. Eventually, the Councillor stood up again.

"I'll take it all." It wasn't a request. It was a statement. "In exchange, I have the following: I know your interests, Sun-Son. Friend." He ruffled through his person, before he nodded to himself and almost 'laughed.' "Send it, Meyenii."

Meyenii tilted her head and tapped at a datapad that she had brought with her. Two files were transmitted to Sun-Son, as had become the norm.

"The first I think you shall prefer more, but perhaps you can tell me when you get the chance." He began floating again, his feet a few feet off the floor. He was far shorter than his attendant companion, even when he was suspended in the air. "It is a philosophical treaty. A great man once wrote it. Its called 'Sailing Through the Winds'. Its concerned with perception and what we can believe in. Very briefly; that the world we can perceive is an illusion reliant on our sensory data. For us Xyn, we have a second sight. He argued that this world was far more accurate, far more... 'real' to the truth of the Cosmos."

"The second," he continued. "Is a novel. It is called 'Heroes of Candida.' I like it. Had you a care for the physical and the attachment, I would have given you my own copy. It is... a good book. It is about doing things greater than ourselves. How we are each unique, even if bound to something far greater than we can understand."

With the transaction dealt with, now they could return to the more sinister of topics. "I also know a price of yours is honesty and truth about my intentions. Do you think I am a liar?"

Whilst many would expect an immensely philosophical reply for an answer, Thesh's translation was brute and to the point. "Yes."

"Of course I lie. We have to lie. There are motivations individuals cannot understand. Things I imagine you cannot understand. You fail to comprehend. My motivations are what they have always been, and for one I have never hid them: the re-acquisition of what belongs to the Hierophancy. Her artifacts, her worlds and her people. Now, on the topic of what we want -- the Seven, for whom do they intend to support in the quest for the Councillorship?"
Last edited by Liecthenbourg on Sat May 11, 2019 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Impeach Kerensky Legalise Autocracy Soviets are Fucking Stupid Pyotr Wrangle, 1936
Grand-Master of the Kyluminati
"Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith." - Saint Francis of Assisi
"At age 13 the internet should be used for porn and club penguin " - The Kingdom of Glitter
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TNL (NWH): to conclude my earlier message considering that none of us give enough of a shit about your misplaced nationalism to ever create an rp where spain is even remotely fucking relevant i don't think we're ever going to call you, ever

NS' self-declared most humble Catholic.

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Yasuragi
Diplomat
 
Posts: 698
Founded: Jun 24, 2013
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Yasuragi » Sat May 11, 2019 5:54 pm

'Night comes, winter descends, the lights of this world grow cold. Live by the law in your very spirit, and know that, in your darkest hours, I am by your side', Thesh translated, providing helpful marks to denote the quote, even as the Chirrin chittered in unison. A lie by omission, a third-order sin to the Darli, an artahunida to the Kashiban, and still a lie to us. Your relentless quest for reclamation of both history and territory is the major division between yourselves and the Drudari, and so...

The units simultaneously cocked their heads and raised an appendage in the universal sign for a shrug.

...balance. Balance that is threatened to be disrupted if this situation is not handled with the greatest of care, Councillor. Your motivations were never in question. Your methods may be. Elevate the Carasi, and the Drudari are beset on three sides by opposition. The Urqa barely govern themselves, as do the humans in their League. Few options remain. Few with the potential to bring balance to the Council, as all things must be, and with the power to enforce the Assembly's will further. Your choice is of great interest to us.

Bittersweet Sun [Son] had slipped a bit, disrupting a few more units than the fifteen on the podium, causing several nearby to stop and join the general chittering before it reasserted itself and control. Still, the emphasis could not be mistaken; it was utterly serious. Not that Solan would consider the matter laughable anyway.

As for who we support... we are considering lending our support to the Holy Tal'Akdar. They are performing admirably in suppressing piracy in the Galno Basin, their imperialistic tendencies align nicely with the Ternary, and they are sufficiently far from the other powers to not directly disrupt the delicate balance we find ourselves in. Binding them to the Assembly is desirable.
Last edited by Yasuragi on Sat May 11, 2019 5:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Etruria2
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Founded: Feb 11, 2017
Corporate Police State

Postby Etruria2 » Sat May 11, 2019 6:59 pm

Amity Habitation Module, Tal’Akdari Block, Amity

“Blessed are those who walk the path of the Seven Saints under the Heavenly Triad. Blessed are those who heed their righteous words and deeds and blessed are those who offer themselves to the Divine Will of the Seven and Three.

“Blessed are we” the ambassador chanted.

“Blessed are we” his congregation chanted in unison.

“O’ Lords Seven and Gods Three we offer ourselves as your mortal servants and children, bless us this day and forgive us our sins this day, for we are yours now and until the end times. Bless the Beacon-World and touch its light so that all creation may succumb to your wisdom and kindness. And bless the light of our Beacon-World, the power to burn away wickedness and ignorance, so that peace in your name may reign from now until the end times. Bless us O’ Seven and Three” he continued.

“Bless O’ of Seven and Three” the congregation replied.

Ambassador Sadavyr Turayn Idar slowly and creakily rose from his knees, closing the Book of the Seven Saints and turning to his congregation. Before him in the candle lit module, his diplomatic staff and auxiliary staff bowed their heads in respect and in turn, rose to their feet.

“Thank you, brothers and sisters, go now and do the Gods’ work and bring glory to our Holy World” he smiled, the staff smiled back and slowly left the chapel, muttering and joking with one another.

Sadavyr, a trained priest and military commander had only been in his post as chief representative of Holy Tal’Akdar for a year. A rise from slum dwelling fanatic to the supposed “right-hand” of the Blessed Archon, a rise rumoured to be pathed with blood and bodies, of pirates, rebels and political rivals alike. A creature of cold calculation he was, a killer, perhaps not. But a righteous servant of the Tal-Turim, the Tal’Akdari, omnipresent Church and a fanatical patriot, he was most certainly. He didn’t kill over 300,000 men, women and children at the Battle of the Veil, by obliterating the pirate holdout for no reason, he did it knowing that doing so, would propel him from noted military commander, to national war hero. Now, he represents his holy homeworld at the Forum of the Cosmos.

As much a creation of his birthplace, the slum moon of Sar, he was a creation of Tal’Akdar in that he knew the story of how Tal’Akdar came from being a world on the precipice, to a rapidly rising galactic power. In him was a Tal’Akdari arrogance and self-entitlement, he represents a world that came from just barely mastering the atom, to colonising far-off worlds in the space of 200 years. The discovery of a crashed alien vessel deep within Tal’Akdar’s greatest desert wasn’t called the Joyous Miracle for posterity’s sake, rather it was dubbed such, because it truly was. Without the Joyous Miracle, the Tal’Akdari race would have consumed and reproduced itself into oblivion, and billions of Tal’Akdari would agree, that the Gods need repayment, through raising their creed to all galactic beings.

Sadavyr began removing his vestments as his chief assistance, Fareen Sar Daktar returned to the chapel, a metallic module, draped in red and purple cloths, lined with colossal candles and overhead lights, with the far bulkhead bedecked with the great Sigil of the Gods, beneath that, hundreds of candles, flowers and offerings. This was a piece of Tal’Akdar, far off in distant space, but a piece of home, nonetheless.
Awaiting the Ambassador to place his ceremonial mitre down upon the altar, Fareen cleared his throat.

“Yes Fareen?” the ambassador enquired, knowing the sounds and smell of his assistant.

“Ambassador, there’s direct communication for you from Tal’Akdar, its waiting for you in your office” the young male Tal’Akdari reported.

“Thank you Fareen” the ambassador replied, turning slowly.

In his office, only a few steps walk away from the chapel, the ambassador waved his hand before a glass screen, standing at a male Tal’Akdari’s height of 6’11.

The screen whirled and darted with digital red squares, Tal’Akdari script flickering vertical along the sides, before revealing the fully uniformed figure of the Blessed Archon himself. Behind him, the stone walls of the Basilica of the Heavenly Triad, the window beyond showing the immense city-scape of Ershad, the capital city of the Tal’Akdari civilisation.

But in the foreground was Blessed Archon Saryn II, a tall, sharply chiselled Tal’Akdari. His face baring the red skin marks of the homeworld. Saryn was a man of absolutes, an orthodox thinker in all ways possible, a valiant defender of Tal’Akdar’s caste system, a vicious commander of ships and armies and a supreme leader of ends justify the means, just like Sadavyr.

“Blessings upon you, your holiness” Sadavyr’s head snapped down into a bow.

“And upon you brother” the Blessed Archon replied, his voice altered by the immense distance of the communication, into an electronic drawl.

“For what do I owe this pleasured visit?” Sadavyr enquired, maintaining his bowed head.

“The news of an opening on the elites’ table brother. All of Tal’Akdar rejoices in the news, for this an opportunity that cannot be missed” the Blessed Archon responded in a steady tone.

“I agree your Holiness, truly this is an auspicious opportunity and we all give thanks to the Gods” Sadavyr replied, his head bowing that much further.

“As all faithful should, but the Gods can only do so much in this regard. It is you, who must do the hard work. Let me be frank Sadavyr, this opportunity must be seized, successfully. To be anointed an elder race would guarantee us the benefits and protections necessary to continue upon the righteous path across the stars. Systems and ignorant races cry out for salvation, we cannot pursue the Gods’ will with our holy armies and fleets if we are subject the biased judgement of the ignorant. Our cause demands much and anointment as an elder race is a necessary move” the Blessed Archon’s steady tone continued, he was a man of emotion, but he was more a man of subtlety. He wanted Sadavyr to know what was needed, and what would happen if he failed.

“I agree your holiness, the cause demands much, but all faithful live in service to the Gods” Sadavyr replied back, lifting his head.

“Good, do what must be done Sadavyr, the merciful and wise Tal-Turim will provide you with whatever you need. All of Tal’Akdar is relying on you now my friend, you have risen far and you have done so with many enemies in your wake, do not fail the Gods, do not fail me, for if you do, those opponents will come for you and will do so with the Gods’ disappointment in their hands” the Archon responded, his tone yet unchanged.

“I will succeed your holiness, I will do whatever it takes” Sadavyr replied, his hands clenching in nervousness behind his back.

“I look forward to your update Sadavyr. I’ll pray for your success” the Blessed Archon, ended the message before Sadavyr could offer more affirmations, the screen turning black.

Sadavyr raised a hand to his mouth, clenching his chin.

“Quite the mission ambassador” Fareen quietly said, shuffling into the room.

“Yes, yes indeed” Sadavyr nodded, “call the executive team, we have much work to do” Sadavyr turned his head, for he had many ideas and plots.

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The Ik Ka Ek Akai
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Founded: Mar 08, 2013
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby The Ik Ka Ek Akai » Sat May 11, 2019 7:40 pm

Museum of National History, Cultural District
Drudari Mega-Dome, Amity


Thewal Danath? Sevali almost felt insulted. Her name wasn't that hard to say, after all. The big clunking brute just shouting it out, certainly loud enough that she could hear, it was all a little hurtful. Then again, perhaps she'd just have considered it an honest mistake had not she been rudely denied access and called mouse. Yes, that probably did not help her mood - what with her fine clothing and accessories, and a warning ahead of time from a slave, would her station not be eminently clear? Perhaps there was a bit of spite in all of it? Not on Áthulé's part, that much could not yet be determined, but such a crude bodyguard was hardly befitting a diplomat of such status.

The Carasi woman took her first steps into the building, each step echoing in the grand museum. Fine art littered every wall, every kind, all from the Drudari or so their propagandists would say. As it happened, there were artifacts of her own people, pillaged from the ruins left behind on the ancient homeworld back during the time of the exodus, put up on display like curios from some lost civilization, a tribe faded well into the mists of history and forgotten by time, as if they were the last remnants of some exotic lost city, a village buried all at once, a people known only in the whispers of academia and the folk tales of wild savages stealing children in the night.

This way of presenting her own people's artifacts, though likewise offensive, was also not entirely wrong.

Perhaps the greatest sin of it all was that they were considered Drudari artifacts by the propagandists. Those who would continually deny the distinctness of the Caras, who after expelling them and pillaging their ruins, after wishing them an arduous journey and an agonizing death in the cold void of space, now wished to absorb their identity. The oppressors had reached down from their high chairs into the dark pit of Carasi suffering, and offered them a hand out if they simply admitted that they were no longer who they always had been, that they were not their own people, that they were the same as their oppressors and the Pact should be denounced to please those around them. The oppressors promised good things if only they would assimilate, abandon their faith and their traditions and even their very names and identities. If they gave up who they were, if they forgot all their aspirations and heritage, then they would be accepted by the Drudari, they'd be allowed to roam freely in space beyond. Perhaps the cruelest trick of all was that it was all a lie, the offered hand pulling away at the last moment, and all their hopeful sacrifice left them none the better off.

That was what it was to be Carasi. To be pressured into assimilation by the Drudari and told to abandon everything they had known and everything they had been. It was promised that this was a good way forward, that the time of the Caras was simply over, it ended thousands of years ago and it was time to forget about it. It was time to move on, to be absorbed the moment the Drudari rediscovered what they had done. To Sevali, it was a badge of shame - the assimilation program was for apologists, it only existed to stroke a Drudari ego, to pet them and tell them that they did nothing wrong. She heard it day to day, here and there. "They're just savages," one might say, "They deserved what happened" would come another. "They say the Caras used to kidnap children, and eat them.", a story began, "Why?" one skeptic might ask, to be given the response "It was part of their backwards superstitions, and their spite for civilized and enlightened people." That trope always stuck, the backwards superstition of the Caras, compared to Drudari enlightenment and reason and whatever other buzzwords were popular at that moment.

Áthulé soon came into view. She wondered what the lady before her thought? Did she buy into it, too? Did she despise that the Caras had a place all their own, that they dared to try reclaim who they were? What was her stance on the assimilation program? Sevali could start to feel her blood boil, and it did not help that, even with her heels, she was still noticeable shorter than her Drudari counterpart. She was not inferior, she had fought tooth and nail to scratch her way to the top, to gain recognition for her people - this fighting and scratching perhaps being why she wore gloves now. Sevali knew who she was, and it was not inferior or backwards or barbaric. She was proud, resilient, and trauma-stricken, a true embodiment of her people.

Doing a bow, once again low enough to indicate a level of respect befitting a superior, she cleared her mind as best she could. It wasn't fair to assume anything about Áthulé, and it wasn't what she was there for anyway. Pulling herself back up, trying her best to match eye-level, Sevali tried to open her mind to the experience, to take a deep and slightly shaky breath, and greet her.

"Hello, my Lady. It is good that you have agreed to see me. There is much we need to discuss, and I believe you already know what I mean. And where is my Yekxo?"

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Caltarania
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Posts: 12833
Founded: Feb 01, 2013
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Caltarania » Sun May 12, 2019 8:00 am

Museum of National History, Cultural District
Drudari Mega-Dome, Amity


As the short Carasi approached her, and bowed, the Lady of Dhávuve could only smile in delight. Showing courtesy to an "oppressor"? Áthu thought to herself. Have the seas boiled over, is the sky packed with adrift suidae? She silently chuckled to herself. As the Lady Sevali arose to meet her gaze, Áthulé made sure to maintain eye contact. She smiled - smirked, almost - before gesturing for the Ambassadress to speak.

The Fallen Drudari spoke almost shakily, clearly unnerved. Such is the beauty of the Urqa, Áthulé thought to herself. "Hello, my lady" the Refound asked. "It is good that you have agreed to see me. There is much we need to discuss, and I believe you already know what I mean" she then added, Áthulé nodding in reciprocation.

"And where is my Yekxo?" the Young One asked the now-puzzled Áthulé.

"Your Yekxo?" the Councillor replied, evidently confused. "Is this some archaic Araefolk saying?" she added, before continuing.

"Whatever the answer to that, I would indeed like to reciprocate your sentiments. It is good to see you, sister, in these groundbreaking times. It is always good to see a sister" she said. "Even though I know what you are to ask me; and even though I know my response will most likely not be to your liking" she remarked.

After she spoke, she pivoted on her feet, turning her attention to the Opaque work by Ithethvi One-Ear in front of her, which she had been paying close attention to prior. She ran her fingers across the canvas once more, as the empty Museum looked on, before once more directing her gaze to the Carasi Ambassadress who stood next to her.

"Do you know the meaning of this piece?" Áthulé asked her, with genuine curiosity. "It was painted by among the last of your kind who stayed on our home" the Councillor said, her voice breaking near the end. "It is... a complex piece" she noted, "but with a clear message". The Lady of Dhávuve continued to run her fingers across the ancient canvas in front of her.

"Unity" Áthulé said. "Nothing more, nothing less".
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Liecthenbourg
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Posts: 12553
Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Liecthenbourg » Sun May 12, 2019 8:31 am

Planetary Surface Module Mega-Habitat #5, 'The Seven's Megadome'
Amity Base


Meyenii interjected, a clear betrayal of her training and her monastery's philosophy. "You dare, Lord Councillor? You dare speak down to the First Awoken of Ijurij, who was present before your kind reache-" She froze in place, her left hand just brushing against the pole of her weaponry as she went to hold it in both of her hands.

"I do not apologise for her actions. Your words are veiled with mockery. Yet I know better than to resort to threats of violence." Solan's hands were tented, his suit concealing his emotions. Yet behind the helm his eyes were shut in concentration as his mind warped around his attendant, keeping her in place as she yelled to be released into his mind. He ignored her. "You speak of balance. You orient yourself on a false concept because you pride yourself in understanding how we work, but cannot comprehend it. You would elevate obstructionists, akin to the United Planets, in a vain attempt of 'balance'? For what end, for what use? You speak of enforcing the Assembly's will further: yet you would support a candidacy on the far rim, with little interest in the tenants of the institution you would bring them to represent?"

Solan remained floating in place, watching intently as the Chirrin sealed their boxes again. "Could you have them take that back to the gyrosphere, Meyenii and I are but two."

His suit's intense yellow began to fade to a lighter amber intermixed with the colour of the earth. "You speak of balance yet... the central position is often one of a weak compromise. Why elevate the Tal'Akdar, the..." His mind woke once more to a chuckling menace that plagued his dreams. It wasn't seen, but heard this time. A thousand cackles and slithering taunts. A glass orb shattered against the waters of a beach and the fish turned up in pale skeletons. "Why? There is no need for balance, Sun-Son. I would rather bring the lawless Urqa, for at least their subversion is plain for all to see! Sooner the enemy I know, than the one I do not."

"And you speak as if the Tal'Akdar and the Drudari would not compete, nor see each other as enemies? The Drudari aim to atone for their sins. The Tal'Akdar enslave people for the gifts outside of their control. You aim to tell me that I am seeking to undermine the Drudari? For what purpose, they are the only ones on the Council who dare stand up to the injustices this galaxy represents. The Ternary are fickle and uncaring, and you, bah! You! You send a mockery of the institution, that 'Red Feather', to do naught but talk and talk and talk and you tell me this is productive for the Assembly. You are a liar, as am I, but my intentions are true for all to see. You hide beneath this complex and send a proxy to take your flak."

"You are my friend, Bittersweet Sun. I am perhaps the only being in the universe who would consciously call you a friend, an equal. Lord Halen is a brute, and the Lady is a child in adult's dress. You are more than both, yet you insult me. My interest in the Carasi is merely on the basis that I hope they can serve my interests, nothing more. For the Carasi claim to be oppressed, so let them truly aid the oppressed with the Meadows of the Stars awake and demand to return to their polity."

Throughout the conversation his suit had become brighter and brighter in yellow, giving him a resplendent glow amidst the dark cavern.
Impeach Kerensky Legalise Autocracy Soviets are Fucking Stupid Pyotr Wrangle, 1936
Grand-Master of the Kyluminati
"Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith." - Saint Francis of Assisi
"At age 13 the internet should be used for porn and club penguin " - The Kingdom of Glitter
Consider Kylaris, peasant. The Greatest Collab Post. Ever. Of All Time.
TNL (NWH): to conclude my earlier message considering that none of us give enough of a shit about your misplaced nationalism to ever create an rp where spain is even remotely fucking relevant i don't think we're ever going to call you, ever

NS' self-declared most humble Catholic.

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Yasuragi
Diplomat
 
Posts: 698
Founded: Jun 24, 2013
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Yasuragi » Sun May 12, 2019 9:22 am

Bittersweet Sun [Son] ignored Meyenii's outburst. It might have even ignored her if she had attempted to slaughter the units on the podium. What did it matter, after all? They were units. It would be mildly painful, but the Seven had learned that when dealing with hiveminds, outside cultures tended to undervalue the life of a single unit when in balance with one of their own. A talon for a talon, an eye for an eye; the principle of equal exchange of lives simply did not apply here.

The Tal'akdar are technically in the Mid-Region of galactic space. Beyond that, their interests lie Core-ward, given their recent investments within the Galno Basin. As they grow in power and influence, their eye turns towards the Assembly. They view it as a vehicle to prosperity and success. Yet there are many that feel the yoke of the Assembly's laws and regulations are too stringent, too hard. Granting them the seat on the Council removes that faction from prominence, ensuring Tal'Akdar compliance with Assembly wishes to a greater degree than barring them from the seat.

The units paused, regarding Solan and the frozen Meyenii with -- something. Emotions were difficult to discern when trying to examine fifteen faces simultaneously, especially faces so very different from the many humanoids Solan interacted with regularly. Curiosity, perhaps.

Preservation of Drudari influence is a primary objective. Drudari internal factions will likely be inflamed at the rise of the Carasi, viewed by many as their wayward children. Coupled with the open desire of the Xyn to reclaim their worlds within Drudari space, and the long-standing hostility of the Ternary... Thesh laid out Bittersweet Sun [Son]'s case as it made it, offering no judgment or commentary. The balance we seek is not one between metaphysical forces of good or evil, injustice coupled with justice, but between the great powers of the galaxy. A moral crusader disrupts the balance. Squabbling children bring no benefit to the Assembly. An obstructionist is the logical choice.

The various metal crates of the artifacts were quietly being re-packed and sealed before being dragged away down various tunnels heading to the gyrosphere docking ports. There, they would carefully be bundled into the storage spaces underfoot, easily accessible for Meyenii or any other Xyn to fetch them as Solan desired. Bittersweet Sun [Son] did not bother to correct Solan in his mistake of referring to the units as 'them'; the individualistic races often struggled to remember there was only one individual in the entire dome. Early in its existence, it had been instructed to inform and educate others on this, but few ever paid heed, and as the number of visitors to its dome dwindled, it had slowly stopped trying.

Our own obstructionism has prolonged the lifespan of the Assembly for many standard revolutions. Move too harshly against Lord Halen, or Lady Athule, or even yourself, Councillor, and the entire institution crumbles. It has already begun, despite our best efforts. Now is the time to decide - do we work to repair it, or do we hurtle recklessly towards our fate, fighting all the while?

The units gestured, chittering something that Thesh did not immediately translate, responding instead with chittering of his own. This continued for a few more seconds, before a new note appeared on the translation on the screen.

Sigh

We fear you have already made your choice, Councillor. A decisive mind is to be respected, but feared. You will work for your interests, as you've said. We can only hope that they align with the Assembly's needs, even if we cannot see the route forward in the same sense that you plainly do.

Bittersweet Sun [Son] stopped talking there, allowing Solan to respond if he felt the need - he likely would, individuals tended to desire the final word, and Bittersweet Sun [Son] saw no harm in allowing him to have it. The conversation had not been entirely a failure - not that the Seven cared - but neither was it a success. The Carasi would be the Xyn's first choice, and from Solan's words, there were few alternative options. The Tal'Akdar would certainly not be one. There was a path forward here, it thought. It simply needed to consider how best to optimize its chances...

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Liecthenbourg
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Posts: 12553
Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Liecthenbourg » Sun May 12, 2019 12:39 pm

Planetary Surface Module Mega-Habitat #5, 'The Seven's Megadome'
Amity Base


Still shining in a resplendent yellow, that many would mistake for some form of cheer, the Xyn Councillor drummed the digits on his left hand against his attendant held by his mind.

"Your assumption is the ideal. The United Planets, despite being on the Council, are not conforming to the ideals, regulations and powers of the Assembly. You assume that giving them -- the Tal'Akdar -- a seat will curb faction power. I disagree, rather, it will give that faction the power it desires in destabilising the intergalactic body. This is the same tactic that the United Planet employs, this is the same tactic I wager you Seven sometimes do with your feathered proxy."

"You know not if your obstructionism has done anything but exacerbate the differences in this Council. Your obstructionism prevents proper dealing of issues in the grand plan to prevent 'too extreme' solutions. You will never understand that the hardest choices require the strongest wills. We have had numerous instances where we could have made the galaxy a better place. As it was meant to be. You don't understand." The Councillor's yellow began to fade away, first from his helm, then it drained away from his hands and up to his shoulders. Soon it was an unpleasant mixture of green and yellow, making the Councillor look like the ripest of limes. This was regret. Disappointment.

"The Carasi are not my final decision, merely the first of many I have entertained. But I can promise you, Bittersweet, as long as I live -- as long as any Xyn live -- we cannot abide Tal'Akdar on the Council. One day perhaps you may even come to learn the reasons as to why."

The Councillor waved his hand over Meyenii, and like a flower thawing out of the snow she came to life once more. She bowed in forgiveness and Solan had granted her her pardons.

"Lest you require anything more of us, Councillor, perhaps another suggestion that we might entertain, there is nothing left for us here today. Please, let me know how you find the works I gave you. And do understand, politics aside, you have done us a service here today."
Impeach Kerensky Legalise Autocracy Soviets are Fucking Stupid Pyotr Wrangle, 1936
Grand-Master of the Kyluminati
"Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith." - Saint Francis of Assisi
"At age 13 the internet should be used for porn and club penguin " - The Kingdom of Glitter
Consider Kylaris, peasant. The Greatest Collab Post. Ever. Of All Time.
TNL (NWH): to conclude my earlier message considering that none of us give enough of a shit about your misplaced nationalism to ever create an rp where spain is even remotely fucking relevant i don't think we're ever going to call you, ever

NS' self-declared most humble Catholic.

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The Ik Ka Ek Akai
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 13405
Founded: Mar 08, 2013
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby The Ik Ka Ek Akai » Sun May 12, 2019 4:16 pm

Museum of National History, Cultural District
Drudari Mega-Dome, Amity


Sevali crossed her hands behind her back and fixed up her posture slightly, her dress creaking and squeaking just a little as she did so. Looking it over, she spoke - "My Lady," she began, "and may I call you Áthulé? My Lady, do you know what we call this man? It says there Ithethvi One-Ear, but to us his name was Ithe-sevi, from which I presume your name for him derives. Ithe-sevi appears in our legends as a tragic figure, an artist, but most importantly as a Dreamer. It is said that he had wild dreams of magnificent places and events, and on sheets of bark, he used natural dyes to paint with his own fingers the dreams that he had. His, his last piece, he declared unfinished. That is his tragedy. The dream he had recurred to him night after night, but with every new line he added, he never could see that it matched his dream. There was, perhaps, a fear in him, and in his dying breaths he cursed that image, a prophesy revealed to him in his mind that he never fully understood. This picture that he painted, his unity, was never art to him. It was an omen. I look at it now, and I see a unity, but one born through fire, blood, and an emptiness, a sense of incompleteness left behind."

"We Caras consider that he prophesied our own expulsion, only but a generation before it occurred. In our absence, your people found their unity, and we found ours. Links forged in the crucible of a thousand shattered dreams, we are bound by such a chain. To us, this image appears as a forest aflame and empty of life. The demented ravings of a madman struggling to comprehend what he saw in his sleep. Do you know what Ithe-sevi means? 'Cracked brain'. 'Shattered dreams'. 'Broken mind'."

"That is the unity you see, and with the blood drained from his missing ear, he painted it for us to understand only in a time well beyond his own."

Sevali stood in silence for a minute, allowing Áthulé to sink in all that had been said. There was no guarantee that the Drudari would truly believe anything Sevali spake, yet she believed the old legend, and its meaning to the Caras, just might break through the mental barrier that the elder race had collectively put about them. Furthermore, she found it a fitting counter to the unity message that Áthulé had put forth.

"Sister, I believe you do not see what I see in this painting. I believe this is the case on many things, and yet it is not the end affected, but the means. Me? I have adopted the diplomatic lifestyle. Once upon a time, I was a piratical lieutenant, captaining my own ship and working for my superiors. My means to status, wealth, prosperity, to acquire and disperse among my people, to establish the Caras as a force of reckoning, was to use violence. This changed one fateful day, when I was near Ravnikor. Although I had been instructed to simply seize goods from a nearby trade route, I was caught in the crossfire that day. I witnessed the destruction of the planet with my own eyes, felt billions of screams all suddenly silenced, and was shaken to my core. I vowed that day to end my violent means, and begged my queen for a new position."

"I was reappointed when your people established this assembly. It was a mark of shame for me, at the time, to abandon the popular ways and beliefs, to forego the warrior spirit I had known since birth. They did not understand why I did what I did, and branded me a coward. Through my work, I have raised myself and my people. I have put tireless effort to give us a new path forward, to put aside old rivalries, to heal my nation within, to bandage her wounds and kiss them shut. I have turned pirates into interstellar peacekeepers, I have turned raiders into defenders, I have done all this seeking to fix the wrongs of the galaxy, and of my people. Now, I stand tall, my influence among my people is recognized, and nobody calls me a coward for the choices I have made."

"Sister, I tell you all this because I believe you can sympathize, on some level. Your people founded our forum to prevent such a tragedy as had occurred, the same which changed me, from happening again. I have turned to my new life for the same goal. You, a woman of culture and high diplomatic regard, can surely appreciate the goals of this assembly as much as I can. You face violent obstructionists as I once did, who would do anything to spill more unnecessary blood. If my understanding of your situation is correct, I would hope you might find sympathy with me as I do with you. Our goals align, Sister."

"And yet, for all this, you oppose me. It is my belief that this is the call of your people, who seek to heal the gap between us and fix past wrongs by welcoming us back into your fold. Support for me would be antithetical to the means your people have undertaken. However, as I have learned, sometimes our means are not the best way of attaining our goals. I sought to better the position of my people, and through violence I learned that I was wrong. Through witnessing the destruction, I learned a new means to achieve the ends, the goals that my people set forth. A better one, better for all."

"Sister, it is too late to undo what has been done already. This is the stance of a great majority of my people. It is my sincerest hope that this conversation is what you might bear witness to, that you may take your stand against those who are wrong and resolve to a better means. It may be too late to undo what is done, but it is not too late to mend our wound. That, to realize your ends, you change your means against their cries and offer me your support, that we may be sisters once more."

Sevali smiled, "That is, at least, the way I see it."
Last edited by The Ik Ka Ek Akai on Sun May 12, 2019 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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