>Statistics: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1p2K_evlFKjbblbSTf3ZSf-0xECyNHEeiQEgyiFdADcw/edit?usp=sharing>Character: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1F43-0W17qNQ3Q_FwOOQPYw8Rf4HmSCFrEcAv-uOPQD0/edit?usp=sharing>Tasks: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1agFmzgoNb0jeqd2G9H2voZ5Zm4N6fxPTQXQyt_GY9ec/edit?usp=sharing>Map: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1R4k6mlYRnyTZwvhp8RvfBRJnOnAvD-3K57iKrFqBtsw/edit?usp=sharing>Rolling Rules: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1D6xlxpzfqF_rC2iemL-OGhFkNK4uiy8PZdvjkkdVBPU/edit?usp=sharing>Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=shipgirl+commander>Twitter: https://twitter.com/DiceToTableTop‘Hey.’You’re shaken from your reverie by the gentle—if a little rough—voice of your companion and driver, the Old Man. The morning sun shone in the distance as the comfortable scenery of rolling hills and rice fields once again entered your view. You were the only ones on the road, save for one or two trucks that passed by every now and then. The Old Man had decided to forgo his usual habit of gunning down the stretch in favor of a relaxing drive, which you were thankful for. The cold morning air hits you again… it was already the middle of autumn. It had been a while since you’d been out on the highway with just your own thoughts for company.‘Hey.’You turn to the Old Man, whose brows were furrowed as his eyes fixed themselves on you.‘You’ve been spacing out for a bit, sonny,’ the old man mentions pointedly, his hands tapping the wheel. ‘Everything all right?’‘Yeah, just a little sleepy,’ you try to reassure him, your eye once again staring at the passing hills and the field of a distant farm. ‘That’s all.’‘Of course it is,’ he chuckles, bemused. You don’t blame him; anyone whose gaze that lingered on your right about now would have been able to see just how much the gears of your head were clicking.To tell the truth, you were worried.The Grand Lieutenant had arranged for this. That was cause enough for alarm.What added to it was the acknowledgment that you were probably the most unscrupulous Commander under the wing of The Admiralty. Between your causing a scene with the local gangsters, getting a RAY wrecked and the display that you had given in Ominato, there was the perception that you didn’t have a whole lot going for you in a good direction.‘You know, sometimes when things are going south and you’re at the end of your rope,’ The Old Man offers, ‘talking about it helps.’>‘I’m about to go in front of a bureaucratic firing squad.’ (Defeated)>‘Just thinking if I’ve really done a good job is all; you don’t get your number called for good work.’ (Worried)>‘No, I’m fine, really. Just tired.’ (Reinforce initial statement)>‘I don’t think you can comprehend my situation, old man.’ (Dismiss the conversation)>Write-In
>>1311512>>‘No, I’m fine, really. Just tired.’ (Reinforce initial statement)
>>1311512>‘Just thinking if I’ve really done a good job is all; you don’t get your number called for good work.’ (Worried)
>>1311512>>‘Just thinking if I’ve really done a good job is all; you don’t get your number called for good work.’ (Worried)
>>1311512>>‘I’m about to go in front of a bureaucratic firing squad.’ (Defeated)
>>1311512>‘I’m about to go in front of a bureaucratic firing squad.’ (Defeated)
'It’s a little silly, but… I’m just wondering if I’ve really done a good job,’ you lean back into your chair; you can feel the Old Man easing on the throttle as you start heading uphill—it wouldn’t be long too long until you arrived at Admiralty HQ now. ‘If I’ve made a difference at all. From my experience, you don’t get called to the Boss’s office for a job well done.’‘Your Admiralty’s been fighting this war for almost a decade, right?’ He points out; your good eye turns to meet his hardened stare. The jeep lurches slightly—it appeared that this patch of road was a little more unrefined than the rest. ‘It’s not as if they can say anything bad about you not being able to turn the tide for ‘em within a month. If you’ve done anything wrong or not to your liking, you can just take your licks and get back to work—your type ain’t exactly easy to find, right?’A part of you argued that the Old Man had a point… but it didn’t ease you one bit. The Admiralty had been adamant about your position, your standing, even before you’d hired—The Admiral himself had made the truth clear that if the Abyssal assault hadn’t wiped out every other potential candidate for your post along with everyone who was already a Commander, you wouldn’t have been picked up at all. Ever since then… you could hardly say that you had put anything on the table to instill confidence in your capabilities; the Haszad incident was more or less the straw—or the anvil—which broke their proverbial back. You stare at the humming Old Man, feeling the fatigue of days past coming upon you again.‘I’m surprised that you’re so calm with an encroaching force trying to punch in our extinction card.’‘Worrying’s my wife’s job,’ he answers, the corners of his mouth turning up slightly. ‘I was never one to actually think past the moment, besides…’He trails off, his eyes on the road and his grip on the wheel loosening.‘We’ve bet out luck on those girls, right? They’re the only ones that can turn this thing around, like they told us?’His tone is… alien. There was a reluctance to it that you recognized when someone was trying to be unfailingly polite when they had something decidedly less pleasant on their mind.‘That’s not to say that I’m entirely okay with it,’ He takes on a guilty look, shifting a gear. ‘I’m sorry to say kid, but frankly those girls of yours spook me out.’You’re taken aback by the declaration.‘I’m sure they’re nice or whatever, but… like that, really?’ He questions you, his eyes still fixed on the dash. ‘But I guess that’s why they give you that uniform.’>‘I only do it so I can get the job done, to be honest.’ (Distant)>‘You don’t have to be human to be a good person.’ (Affirm)>‘If you ask me, it’d be strange to not offer them courtesy and instead… fear.’ (Confront)>Don’t answer>Write-In
>>1311795>‘I’m sure they’re nice or whatever, but… like that, really?’What does he mean by, 'like that'? As in they're not human or referring to something else?
>>1311795>‘You don’t have to be human to be a good person.’ (Affirm)
>>1311795>>‘You don’t have to be human to be a good person.’ (Affirm)
‘There isn’t a requirement that says that you need to be human to be a good person,’ you answer almost snappily; that hadn’t been the sort of thinking you would have associated to the old man. ‘To do what’s right doesn’t mean that you have to be human doing it for it to qualify… it’s an action, not a prejudice.’‘I understand that, sonny,’ he nods in understanding. ‘I’m asking you in what capacity could you consider the KanMusu anything… the same as us?’‘I don’t,’ you answer, firmly. ‘KanMusu are KanMusu and humans are humans, but if you’re going to ask me what I think about them I think that they’re a whole lot better than what we get from our side of street, right?’The old man—for a moment at least—stares at you as the car guns uphill and around a corner, passing by what appeared to be a truck by the roadside, two men on the roof staring onto the green fields. The serene view of the moving scenery has your eye in a sort of thoughtful haze… you recall your days with your Division: Takao’s misunderstanding of the human condition and her own attempts at simulation; Houshou’s own lack of experience on the idea of affection; Kaga’s full embrace of the concept of a connection that was more physical than it had any right to be… and Samidare and Shigure, who were a lot more human than they probably knew themselves.And yet, despite that simulation—that perception of pretense, they’d been more selfless and giving than any person in the past. For all the talk about where the KanMusu stood—and where humanity stood with them—the one constant that had always been there, even with the snarls and the snide remarks… you knew for a fact that they’d give their lives a thousand times over if it meant keeping a soul safe.You couldn’t argue that for humanity.Not without doubt.‘A KanMusu would give its life for a human without a first or second thought. We still have people who’d gladly turn away when someone’s down an alley getting mugged—that there’s someone down there that wants to cry out for help only to get ignored by people who do nothing but stare down… you can argue that we’re given the capacity to choose whether to risk our own skin and middle it every single time; so I guess that’s what I’m asking you now, Old Man…’You hesitate, gazing at his wrinkled visage.‘That if you consider all factors, all instances equal, who’s the better one? The one who hesitates to put a step forward, whose heel scrapes back… or the one that’d do it nine times in a row without so much a sweat or hesitation?’To your surprise, he laughs, turning to you briefly with a humored grin.‘You’re being a little presumptuous about your perceptions, ain’t ya?’>‘Selflessness is good, no matter what its form.’>‘Humanity can’t judge a test it’s failed over and over again.’>‘Presumptuous?’>‘I suppose I am.’>Write-In
>>1312251>>‘Humanity can’t judge a test it’s failed over and over again.’
>>1312251>>‘Selflessness is good, no matter what its form.’
>>1312251>‘Humanity can’t judge a test it’s failed over and over again.’
>>1312251>‘I suppose I am.’
‘Humanity can’t judge a test it’s failed over and over again,’ you declare, leaning back into your seat. ‘Who’re we to say just how much they weigh next to us when we’ve screwed it up more times than the Heavens can count?’The Old Man snorts, getting your full attention.‘Of course we can.’You raise an eyebrow, curious.‘We speak from experience.’Something hitches in your throat, something that threatens to come out… when suddenly, without warning, you find your resistance eroded into nothingness and you find yourself laughing—it was bleak, hopeless and above all, hilarious. The Old Man had outmaneuvered you there, even if it was a little too offensive for your tastes. Perhaps there was some degree of qualification left amongst your species that garnered at least some measure of superiority, but from your eyes—your eye—you’d seen too much of the bad to say that the good would ever catch up. Ignorance, deceit, selfishness… and maybe the KanMusu wouldn’t always be void of any of those feelings—good and bad, you realize, is what makes you fundamentally sentient.Ironically, you could call that humanity’s core.But a KanMusu would always, always be there for the human next to them, no matter how bad it got.It was a little sobering, really, realizing just how bad things were for both sides.A succession of constructs that strove to be human… and the humans who chose cowardice when it suited their needs. A romanticization of the understanding of humanity’s core values and actions from one end and the fear of the unknown and the different from the other. Maybe, truly, there was a point to all this.However…‘Maybe,’ you begin; a ghost of a smile comes over you as you enter the final stretch of road. ‘But if we’re speaking from experience… then aren’t they doing a better job of it than we have?’The Old Man doesn’t answer, gunning it past the curve and onto the last stretch of road—Admiralty HQ was coming right up. You decide to forgo the discussion in favor of gathering your things—your reports and documents, meticulously prepared for by Takao and Nagato—onto your lap in preparation for your disembarking from the jeep. Time seems to speed up as the jeep breaks past the last few turns and onto the final uphill stretch, where you arrive at a familiar looking pillbox and an even more familiar building.After showing your identification, you arrive at the steps of Admiralty HQ… where a thin but acquainted face, long and pale, greets you with a salute.‘Good evening, Commander.’It was the same Court Agent from before.>‘You’re that Agent, aren’t you?’ (Recall)>‘I was told that The Grand Lieutenant would be here.’ (Question)>‘I suppose you’re here to take me to my wall.’ (Jest, Sarcastic)>Write-In
>>1312890>‘I was told that The Grand Lieutenant would be here.’ (Question)
>>1312890>>‘I was told that The Grand Lieutenant would be here.’ (Question)
>>1312890>>‘I was told that The Grand Lieutenant would be here.’ (Question)>>Write-In"Good evening, agent"
‘That’s a surprise,’ you frown, looking around. It must have been just past 8 by now.The Agent stares at you in puzzlement, clearly wondering what you were implying.‘Oh?’‘The Grand Lieutenant,’ you begin, trying to make yourself a little clearer. For good measure, you look left and right again to double-check. ‘He said he’d meet me here—is he around?’The man looks thoughtful, his narrowed eyes squinting even further as his hand stroked his chin.‘I can’t say that I’ve seen him this morning, Commander. I do apologize if my presence isn’t what you expected, however.’You shake your head, telling him to think nothing of it before picking up the rest of your things—your work bag and the folders on the reports of Iowa and Yamato’s condition, which were the thickest of the lot—before waving off the Old Man. The jeep roars before driving off—there was a town nearby; you reckon that’s where he’d be spending his whole day away from Yokosuka. Another quick glance along the parking lot shows that there were a great deal more cars—fancy cars at that—than you would have anticipated. You wonder in amusement if the Court of Admirals owned any of the parked classics.‘They own all of them, yes,’ the Agent laughs lightly, reading your mind. ‘You don’t run a war effort without having the space to chip a little off the top for yourself, you know?’The words die in your throat as you regard the mischievous smile of the Agent as he turns around.You’re positive that the corners of his mouth don’t reach his eyes.‘Commander?’ He calls out to you, stopping in his tracks and gesturing with his gloved hand. ‘If you would?’You hurry up next to him.The both of you enter the decorated marble hall of Admiralty HQ… and it looked a whole lot busier than it had been the last time you were here. For one… there must have been at least a dozen people in ranked uniforms—both of The Admiralty and not—seated along the benches by the walls; up above you see people rushing and carrying files with the utmost urgency. The once-vacant receptionist’s table had an old lady who was busy tending to a set of ringing phones and two men in business suits. For such a large hall, it looked positively in a state of bedlam.‘I suppose it is the privilege of the betters to have their lessers shape the day into their mold, don’t you agree Commander?’You open your mouth… only to snicker behind his hand, casting a gaze across the busy room.‘Well, before I leave you… is there anything you would like to know? You’re free to do whatever until the receptionist calls for you.’He gestures to the busy desk.>‘Why was an Agent given the task of… greeting me? Seems like an odd luxury.’>‘Do you happen to know the context of this meeting? This hearing?’>‘I’ll ask the receptionist if I need anything, then.’>Write-In
>>1314292>>‘Do you happen to know the context of this meeting? This hearing?’
>>1314292>‘Do you happen to know the context of this meeting? This hearing?’
>>1314292>>‘I’ll ask the receptionist if I need anything, then.’
>>1314292>>‘Why was an Agent given the task of… greeting me? Seems like an odd luxury.’
‘Would you happen to be able to give me the context of this hearing, Agent?’ you inquire to the humming man, who tilts his head in confusion at your inquiry. ‘Or is that a surprise for me when I walk into the room?’He laughs into a closed fist, eyeing you in amusement.‘How rude—it’s more of a Hall, really,’ he chides you playfully. For some reason, the overtly effeminate shift in his posture makes you uncomfortable—but something scratches at you; it was as though he was trying to put you off—but for [i]what?[/i] ‘Do you think that someone with flair for the grandiose would settle for anything… [i]subtle?[/i]’You let out a small snort and offer a defeated smile of your own—maybe this was just the way his line of work required him to operate; in that suit and with that enigmatic twist of his features… but you really can’t help but wonder if he was just leading you somewhere you’d rather not follow. In a sudden and unexpected movement, however, he places his hands on his hips and lets out another hum—a surprisingly friendlier one—as he nods: it would seem that he would take your question.‘Well, if you’re seeking to sate your curiosity, Commander, then I’m afraid all that I can tell you is that your agenda isn’t exactly on the top of their list right now—you’re merely there for them to kill two birds with one stone,’ he lets out dryly before giving an uncaring shrug, turning his head towards the clattering masses on the floor above. ‘At least that’s how I’m seeing it anyway.’Despite yourself, you really can’t help but cut in with a light joke.Nachi and Kaga must have been rubbing off on you more than you’d previously assumed.‘A Court Agent without a clue to the inner mechanics of the organization?’ You shift your bag and files, smirking with a click of your tongue as the words left your mouth. ‘I thought you folks were into the cloak and dagger things a little bit more than the average pencil-pusher.’Something happens.You feel… [i]something[/i] drop from your throat to the bottom-most pit of your bowels as a pair of eyes regard you with a warning in red—close to a glare but not quite. There was [i]threat[/i] behind it… like a wolf warning you off its cave; that there would be no pursuit unless your toe crossed its threshold.‘[i]I would watch the etiology that you bring into this place, Commander.[/i]’ he takes an easy tone, this time his smile really does reach his eyes as he says it, narrowed as they were. ‘Just because things look busy doesn’t mean that they’re [i]blind or deaf.[/i]’You do the only thing that you can. You nod.‘So… two birds with one stone—if I’m the lesser bird, what’s bigger issue?’His shoulders shakes as he turns towards the ceiling.‘I wonder about that too?’>‘I don’t think that’s all there is to it. Am I right or am I wrong?’ (Roll a 1d6 each)>‘All right, then. Thank you.’>Write-In
>>1314393>Alright well thank you.That walls have ears and eyes vibs got me spooked.
>>1314393>>‘All right, then. Thank you.’Let's not push this conversation further than it needs to go.
>>1314393>>‘All right, then. Thank you.’
>>1314393>‘All right, then. Thank you.’oh yeah, not dealing with that
>>1314406Aw, but watching you guys fuck up is the best part of being a GM.
Rolled 4 (1d6)>>1314393>>‘I don’t think that’s all there is to it. Am I right or am I wrong?’ (Roll a 1d6 each)Fuck it, ill bite
Rolled 5 (1d6)>>1314393>>‘I don’t think that’s all there is to it. Am I right or am I wrong?’ (Roll a 1d6 each)Pooooooooooi!
Rolled 1 (1d6)>>1314393‘I don’t think that’s all there is to it. Am I right or am I wrong?’ (Roll a 1d6 each)
>>1314393>‘All right, then. Thank you.’
Rolled 1 (1d6)>>1314393>‘I don’t think that’s all there is to it. Am I right or am I wrong?’ (Roll a 1d6 each)
There were some things that weren’t worth the trouble to press on.Despite your growing worry… it would be foolish to not regard the Agent’s words as anything less than a warning.‘All right, then,’ you manage, giving a slight bow—a sign of your respect, but none of your hesitation. ‘Thank you.’He gives a small bow of his own, one hand across the belly while another was at his back, bending over with as much regard as you afforded him.‘If you need anything, the receptionist is right over there,’ he repeats, to which you nod.He begins to turn on his heel… before stopping and offering your a curious glance.‘And I really do wish you luck, Commander,’ he comments, prompting you to raise one eyebrow visibly. He didn’t look like the [i]type[/i] to actually [i]wish[/i] someone well. ‘After all… I shudder to think about how we’re going to fill in the gaps if they decided that your case wasn’t worth the fatigue.’Before you can reply, the man takes his leave… with you in the middle of a crowded Hall like some befuddled intern looking for his post. Deciding that you’d rather at least sit down and go over your files before the meeting, you approach one of the benches—which was lined up as part of what you discerned to be a sort of mini-lounge-cum-waiting-area for guests of the Admiralty. Across from you, you spy a bespectacled man who could have been The Old Man’s twin and a portly-looking gentleman with a face that reminded you of a cooked hamburger.‘Have you heard what happened in Hajime?’ One one of the men across the carpet, sitting in a large chair and stroking his great beard, questions grimly with a violent hiss to his troubled-looking companion. ‘Nasty business… how did they miss that kind of attack—at this rate we won’t survive the season! We’ve already working at 200 percent of our reserve rate—it’s only been climbing since this whole—!’‘Yes, we know what happened in Hajime. We run the damn province, damn it,’ the thinner man interrupts him. ‘But they’re not going to do anything about it—the Lords have other plans for The Admiralty.’The larger man harrumphs, grabbing a cane resting against the table between their chairs and striking it against the carpet.‘Or does the Admiralty have a plan for the Lords?’‘Of all places to put out those words, you choose here?’‘Of all the places to say them, this is the most appropriate!’ the large man hisses, audible enough for you to hear it. ‘They summon… [i]demons[/i], practically use up our national budget under our watch and what do we have to show for it? Dozens of villages and towns ravaged—oil platforms and ports, gone!’The thin man nods… before finally glancing at you.>Approach the receptionist>Wander the upper floors>Wander the lower floors>Join the conversation>Write-In
>>1314647>Join the conversation
>>1314647>Approach the receptionist
>>1314647>Approach the receptionistLarge man is trabbu
>>1314647>>Approach the receptionist
You get up from your seat, a feeling of discomfort coming over you with the pudgy man joining his compatriot in fixing their gazes upon you. Gathering your things, you decide to approach the receptionist—you might as well ask her if there was anything for you to know about the base… or if there was anything for you to do while waiting, because you really couldn’t stand the idea of being pointed at by a bunch of gossip hounds, whatever it is they were talking about. Hajime was some ways north… and by what they had said in hushed—well, slightly hushed—tones, there had been an attack that had broken through the defensive line in the last few days.It would seem that with every small victory, that would be all the solace that would come for you As the last of the men leave the counter, you near the bespectacled old woman behind the desk, who was shuffling her papers and whistling a happy tune as the din around you rises.You cough to get her attention.‘Good morn—[i]oh![/i]’ Her eyebrows shoot up into her hair as she regards. ‘Commander… you’re here early—I don’t think you’re due for’—she picks up a small clock on her table—‘another an hour, at least. The Court is just about getting ready for you and The Grand Lieutenant. I’ll be sure to get you when they call.’She flashes a brilliant smile that looked like it had been obviously practiced over the course of years.‘Yeah, the Agent…’ you shake your head, getting yourself back on point. ‘I was actually wondering if you could brief me on how things are run… and the layout. I must’ve skimmed over the chains a hundred times, but…’‘Say no more,’ she giggles in a motherly manner. ‘You know, for the last bastion of humanity, you really are a scatter-brained bunch.’Your cheeks turn pink.‘The place is actually a lot smaller than you’d think. We have two wings, both office branches… right up there? That’s the KanMusu Intelligence Division… and I’d stay out of there if I were you,’ she takes a warning tone. You tilt your head—you’d been there before. ‘The wing doubles as their Quarters, but if you’re able to get a pass, I suppose you can afford a visit,’ she looks thoughtful, if only briefly. ‘That’s also where the ISSF Liaison is—I’m not sure who’s running that office now, though. You’re gonna need even more permission if you want to get in there.’‘I understand,’ you nod. You didn’t know the ISSF had a branch here.‘The other wing has general staff offices—The Grand Lieutenant and The Agency are stationed there when they’re not required to go on-field… and on the lower floors you have REC Rooms, minor meeting rooms…’ she takes out a clipboard, flipping through a piece of paper, ‘and this is where you’re going later: The Tribunal Hall.’She sets down the clipboard.‘Anything else I can do for you, sir?’
>>1315111[Talk to the Receptionist]>Ask about the Agency>Ask about the ISSF's presence>Ask about the Grand Lieutenant>Ask about the Court>Write-InAction Points: 2/2[Leave]>Go to REC Room>Go to The Tribunal Hall>Go to Taigei's Office/Intelligence Division Quarters>Go to the ISSF Liaison's Office>Go to Agency Offices/Grand Lieutenant Offices/Staff Offices>Write-In
>>1315126>>Ask about the ISSF's presence
>>1315111>Ask about the ISSF's presence
>>1315126>>Ask about the ISSF's presenceI wonder how we would go about getting permission to visit the ISSF office.
>>1315126>Ask about the ISSF's presence
Guys, I apologize for the very late post - I fell asleep at my compy. Also, I would like this opportunity to ask:Would you like this to be more:>RP-focused>Story-focused>Combat/Roll-focusedChoose one and give me a reason why. Trying to retool things a little here.
>>1315159i think it was pretty ok as is?we get fights, some RP-ing, and nice loads of story as-isfeels balanced as is, but thats me
>>1315159if you're talking about the quest in general, I think it's a fine balance.
>>1315159I like things as they are now
>>1315159That's actually a pretty tough question for me. Generally, I like the way the combat system works now, so I don't see much reason to make the quest /more/ combat-focused. It also feels like we get plenty of story and lore as we go along. And with the Commander being a pretty well-established and fleshed out character at this point, I'm not sure what making it more RP-focused would entail. While I like things as they are, I wouldn't mind trying out a more RP-focused approach, simply out of curiosity.
>>1315159I like how it is actually. It feels like a nice balance.
‘I thought the ISSF didn’t want to have anything to do with The Admiralty anymore?’ you ask the first question that comes to mind. While it wasn’t strange for them to have contact… it was strange that they would still have an office assigned to them on Admiralty grounds—it was like a disgruntled co-worker that had quit last month but still had their own cubicle. ‘Why would they still be here?’She hums, looking thoughtful again.‘I’m not one for politics… but from what I had to deal with with the upstairs folk, it’s not as clean a split as people would think,’ she nods tightly as she answers you. ‘When I was hired… things were already sour, but as far as I knew, the ISSF—who were just the consulting Shamans back then—had already a sort of agreement with the Admiralty over the treatment of their KanMusu… there was a sort of assumption, I suppose… that their impasse would be short-lived and one side would give way for the other. The middle ground turned out to be little more than minefield.’She giggles humorlessly.‘I’m sorry, for an old bird like me, it’s always hilarious when two bulls butt their heads. Makes good for office talk.’You nod. She clicks away on the typewriter before her, but still giving you her attention.‘The ISSF still has an office here because even if though they have split, The Lords and The League of Nations had been ensured that the Admiralty would assume responsibility of the activities of the Shamans… they’re not from Taiyouga, you know—and as a nation, a culture that dabbled in magic more than any others, they saw fit to have the Admiralty as the leash—and vice-versa.’The logic was sound—too much power without a counterbalance was practically a doomsong when held. That didn’t explain their presence that well to you, though.‘So while… in practice, the both of them don’t see eye-to-eye outside of a few exchanges of paper and the occasional meeting… on paper, the ISSF is still very much The Admiralty’s sister branch—one that operates independently under the banner of the Shamans.’‘So there’s a Shaman around here, then?’‘Sometimes—most of the time it’s just a ward, though,’ your conversation partner chuckles in a grandmotherly fashion. ‘If you want to speak with him, he’ll be where their offices are, but I don’t expect that you’ll get much out of him, young man—he’s a bit… off.’‘Off?’ you furrow your brows, wondering what she meant.‘Yes, he’s a bit of a mope,’ she sighs. ‘Polite, but not someone you’d like to share a cup of tea with.’‘Is he from Basilius?’‘I… think so, but if you line up the times, it just doesn’t make sense, really.’‘Why?’Her eyes widen, her neck stiffening as she regards you.‘Because if he was a Shaman, even one in training, he’d just be too young, wouldn’t he?’
>>1316194[Talk to the Receptionist]>Ask about the Agency>Ask about the ISSF's presence>Ask about the Grand Lieutenant>Ask about the Court>Write-InAction Points: 2/2[Leave]>Go to REC Room>Go to The Tribunal Hall>Go to Taigei's Office/Intelligence Division Quarters>Go to the ISSF Liaison's Office>Go to Agency Offices/Grand Lieutenant Offices/Staff Offices>Write-In
>>1316194>>Ask about the Agency
>>1316199>>Go to the ISSF Liaison's OfficeCurious
>>1316199>>Go to the ISSF Liaison's Office
>>1316199>Ask about the Agency
>>1316199>Ask about the Grand Lieutenant
>>1316199>>Ask about the Grand Lieutenant
‘I’m a little curious about the Agency, actually.’‘Oh?’‘I mean… what do they do around here, anyway?’She stops clicking away on her typewriter, lifting her hands off the keys and onto the edge of the wooden desk.‘I’m afraid that I can’t answer that question—other than the fact they are under the sole command of The Court of Admirals, there’s not much that I know about them.’‘Not what they do? Nothing at all?’She lets out a hum, deep in thought.‘They work as The Admiralty’s hands and eyes… but I suppose that comes with the description. I can’t say that I know anything about them other than that—I’m sorry, young man.’[Talk to the Receptionist]>Ask about the Agency>Ask about the ISSF's presence>Ask about the Grand Lieutenant>Ask about the Court>Write-InAction Points: 2/2[Leave]>Go to REC Room>Go to The Tribunal Hall>Go to Taigei's Office/Intelligence Division Quarters>Go to the ISSF Liaison's Office>Go to Agency Offices/Grand Lieutenant Offices/Staff Offices>Write-In
>>1316398>>Go to the ISSF Liaison's OfficeThank her for her time and make sure to get her name as well.Like "Thank you, miss...." and let her fill in the blanks.
>>1316398>>Go to Agency Offices/Grand Lieutenant Offices/Staff Offices
>>1316398>>Go to the ISSF Liaison's Office
>>1316414>>1316419>>1316422>>1316430Flipping a coin and...Coin flipped. Winner decided.
‘Thank you for your time, Miss.’She giggles again, smiling kindly up at you.‘You’re a very polite sort yourself, Commander… if you’re planning one wandering off, just be sure to be back within the hour, would you?’You give an affirmative nod—it’s not as if you were going to wander off-site, but your curiosity of the building’s layout had to be sated… and you just knew where to go. Making your way past several pairs of chatty men in various formal states of dress, you make your way up the stairs onto the balcony opposite the one you had ventured during your last trip here; as you step onto the marble, you look down… and find yourself amazed at just how luxurious it looked; if you didn’t know any better, you would have assumed that the place was getting ready for a function in the mold of a ball or a dance.Stepping down into a wide corridor and the carpeted halls, you make your way past several rapidly-dashing men and women with files and folders in their hands, some of them muttering their discontent at being put to work on a weekend. None of them seemed to pay attention to you, so engrossed they were in their work. You see several men lined up against doors, some of them indulging in their morning coffee. You quickly dodge to your right as a woman stomps past you, looking every bit as irked as she could manage as the men stare after her, snickering. You walk a little more, noticing the business of the hallway slowly petering out as you ventured further down and past the corner—past the water cooler, there was virtually no one but doors, walls and oddly visible pipes.The designation on one particular door, however, catches your attention.[green]GRAND LIEUTENANT[/green]‘Can I help you, sir?’You barely suppress your shriek, turning around to see a… plainly dressed man that wouldn’t look out of place in a janitor quartet. He was sharp-faced, with eyes like a wolf and a mop and pail in hand, staring down from his advantage in height as he stares at you with a piercing gaze. As his eyes travel to the insignia on your breast, you notice his gaze visibly softening as he takes a step back, letting out a snort of amusement.‘My apologies, Division Commander.’He makes a small bow—you follow suit with a small one of your own.‘If you’re looking for The Grand Lieutenant, Commander, he’s not in,’ the man turns on his heel. ‘Or would you be here for something else? You lost?’He chuckles—almost darkly, those narrowed eyes digging through you with an almost relentless edge.>‘You have me at a disadvantage—who would you be?’>‘Where would The Grand Lieutenant be, then?’>‘The Offices further down there—that’s the Agency, right?’>‘I know my way around, you don’t have to worry about me.’>‘Why’s this place so… scarce?’>Write-In
>>1316531>>‘You have me at a disadvantage—who would you be?’
>>1316531>>‘Where would The Grand Lieutenant be, then?’
>>1316531>‘You have me at a disadvantage—who would you be?’
‘You have me at a disadvantage, I… who would you be?’His eyes widen, if only slightly, before his lips turn up with a smirk that was both bemused at the same time, in disbelief.‘I just work here,’ he lets out a small chuckle, turning down the Hall. ‘Most of the men have gone out… so I’m the one that’s stuck with cleaning duty.’‘Is that what the pail and the mop is for?’He lifts the pail, the water sloshing inside as he does so before letting out a tired sigh.‘The janitor doesn’t like our part of the building—he thinks it’s cursed, so we have to do our own dirty work around here,’ he lets out a small snarling sound as he sets down the metal pail; the mop head follows suit, hitting the marble floor with a wet squelch that seemed to echo all the way down the corridor. ‘This place has a proud history… it used to be owned by an old Lord.’‘Yeah, I know—it used to be a fort, right?’ You nod, recalling your conversation with the last driver to have brought you to this location. ‘By the Fifth Lord of Hanma or something like that.’‘The Sixth Lord of Sakura,’ he corrects you, letting out a bemused grunt. ‘This was back in the days of Unification… this fortress was made in the event of a possible defeat—and outright war; it used to be a lot bigger, but the Congregation decided a courtyard wasn’t worth utilizing over a car park.’‘It’s a lot of space,’ you joke. The man gives a half-smile, looking down the corridor.‘Well, this place has its fair share of legends… a lot of the locals down in the town believe that this place is cursed, or at least some parts of it are,’ he lets out a sigh, the mop shifting in his hands. ‘Something about a place that never fulfilled its purpose becoming angry that its Lord would abandon it before it had a chance to succeed or fail. Local superstition; high-end hogwash if you ask me.’He makes a low growling sound, dipping the mop into the pail.‘Anyway, that’s how the story about how I’m stuck with a mail and a mop on a weekend is, Commander,’ he lets out a cynical snort. ‘I’m sure you’re a lot more conditioned against the nonsense than any of the townfolk.’‘But still, you have my curiosity a little tickled—why would you be here off the frontlines on a weekend?’ he questions you, the sound of wet cloth and marble reaching your ears as he begins his work with vigor. ‘I never thought we’d be in a state where we could afford a Commander being anywhere but on red alert.’‘I was called here by the Court… I have a hearing with them this morning.’He doesn’t bother looking at you, mopping rigorously.‘You don’t say?’>‘That’s the Agency’s section down there, right?’>‘Would you happen to know where the Grand Lieutenant would be?’>‘Why’s this place so scarce?’>Leave>Write-In
>>1316761>>‘Would you happen to know where the Grand Lieutenant would be?’
>>1316761>>‘Why’s this place so scarce?’
>>1316761>‘Why’s this place so scarce?’
>>1316761>>‘Why’s this place so scarce?’>>Write-In"Need a hand?"
>>1316761>>‘That’s the Agency’s section down there, right?’
‘Why’s this place so scarce?’The corridor looked like a mix of a hospital hallway and a hotel floor; the marble and carpeting were gone, making way for a sterile wooden floor tileset—it stood in stark contrast with the grandiose majesty of the entrance hallway and the office environment that was just a turn around on the other side. In fact, you could argue that the whole building—the whole keep, if you’re using its old designation correctly—was a strange mix of formal, practical and dull affairs. The man continues mopping, grunting and seemingly ignoring you.He raises the mop, dipping it into a pail again, throwing you a swift glance before going back to mopping the floor.‘It’s the weekend—people have things to do that don’t involve desks and ink,’ he manages, grunting as he begins his task with renewed dedication. ‘All except for me, of course—stuck here with my mop, pail and an ugly divorce.’You’re taken aback by the announcement.‘I’m sorry.’‘Don’t be,’ he straightens himself, his rough gaze on you again. ‘I’m actually winning my case.’You decide not to pursue that thread, doubling down on your initial inquiry instead.‘Then what’s up with the crowd down there?’ You jab your thumb down the hall, indicating the busy masses at work.‘The Court’s holding some sort of tribunal—I can bother sparing myself with the details, but they’re compiling as much as they can as fast they can,’ he snorts, as if disapproving of the action. Then he turns to you, his expression blank—but inquisitive. ‘I wonder whatever it could be for.’Your first instinct was to answer that the tribunal was exclusively for your alleged misdeeds… before you realize that couldn’t have been the case—or at least, it wouldn’t solely be the case. As far as you knew, The Court of Admirals weren’t the type to have to do things twice—you’d been put to task with the Court Representative and the Submarine, Goya, but the more you think about it if this was solely your concern… you would have had an official reprimand or letter asking you to come. If this was indeed something centered around your incompetence—and the complications—of your time as Commander, then wouldn’t there have been more direct contact with you?Of course, you couldn’t discount the possibility that The Court was just [i]that[/i] vague with the details, but the only thing you’d heard about this where you were concerned was The Grand Lieutenant’s message for your You wonder if this really was about you at all.Or if it was just about you, at least.‘Your foot.’You step out of the way as the man keeps mopping.>‘That’s the Agency’s section down there, isn’t it?’>‘Would you happen to know where the Grand Lieutenant would be, then?’>[Leave]>Write-In
>>1317260>‘That’s the Agency’s section down there, isn’t it?’
>>1317260>>‘Would you happen to know where the Grand Lieutenant would be, then?’
>>1317261>>1317262Flipping coin. Coin flipped.
You turn your gaze down the hallway, lined with doors and with naught a soul to be seen—it was as if only you and the tall, lanky man were the only two living things present down this stretch. The wooden tiles were deceptively clean as you had observed before, but save for the Grand Lieutenant’s office marking specifically mentioning that the domain was his, the other doors—except for the one that was ajar at the end with the word “Supplies” emblazoned visibly—none of the them seemed to have any sort of designation. You think back to the receptionist’s words—if this was The Grand Lieutenant’s office, the ones at the end would be…‘That’s the Agency’s section down there, isn’t it?’ You inquire.‘It is,’ he answers dully, nodding… before going back to his mopping, his back turned towards you.As the time passes, you wait for him to follow up to your inquiry but find that he was, more than anything, ignoring you… or was just not as bothered or inclined to enter your line of inquiry.‘So that’s where the Agency works?’‘It’s an office,’ his voice takes a rough quality to it as, with his back still turned to you, he continues to mop—the tip of his boot, his combat boots— hook onto the pail behind him before he drags it to the front with the quick movement of his leg. ‘I would suppose that that would be the case, yeah?’You calculate your next response. There was a reluctance—a discomfort—that was hanging in the air as the both of you spoke. Compared to follow-ups and responses, there seemed to be the factor, the quality of a pursuit in the conversation. It wasn’t interrogative or aggressive, but you notice that he was either shying away from anything you could pull out with quick, direct answers with dead ends. You didn’t feel like he was lying or trying to hide anything… but it was the subtle vocal implication of warning signs telling you to not continue your pursuit.He straightens up again, his mop steady in his hand like a staff.‘I can’t say for the whole, but the majority of them aren’t usually in when you want them to be,’ he chuckles, looking over his shoulder at you. ‘This kind of sight, really… isn’t that uncommon for this little corridor.’He pauses, lifting the mop and shouldering it, the droplets flying onto the walls… and onto you. You wipe the dirty water from your face, clicking your tongue as your eyes meet his fiendishly dark slits.You mimic his pause… and realize that the movement wasn’t accidental in any way.It was a snake coiling for a strike.It was your last warning.>‘So… would you mind telling me just what The Agency does?’ (Persist)>‘Would you happen to know where I could find The Grand Lieutenant if he isn’t here?’>[Leave]>Write-In
>>1317308>[Leave]even the "jaintors" are goddamn secret agents
>>1317308>‘Would you happen to know where I could find The Grand Lieutenant if he isn’t here?’
>>1317308>[Leave]Agency is so top sekrit
>>1317308>‘So… would you mind telling me just what The Agency does?’ (Persist)
>>1317308>>‘Would you happen to know where I could find The Grand Lieutenant if he isn’t here?’
>>1317308>leave and thank him for his timw
The both of you lock gazes briefly… before he lifts the mop off his shoulders and goes back to mopping, as if you weren’t there at all. Your curiosity had all but died out now; you weren’t intimidated—you’re sure that he didn’t mean at all to send you into a quivering mess of cowardice… but you were also a man of practicality and nuance; being a Commander… and after one too many scuffles, you knew that the one thing that allowed a soldier—a Squadron—to see another day was to pick and choose the battles. There was no need to initiate one that would make a foe just because you didn’t find an answer satisfying,Letting out a humored—but overall defeated—chuckle, you decide to high-tail it out of there; you were never one to push your luck unless you really had to, anyway. That… and the threat of Akashi beaning you over again wasn’t a future that you would like realized in any timeline; you’d already caused her enough grief with the how you’d shuffled back your base the last few times… now wouldn’t be a time to add to it. You decide to take your leave—there wouldn’t be much more time left until the tribunal—or whatever it was—would convene.‘I think that I’ve taken too much of your time,’ you apologize, dipping yourself into a light—but formal—bow, a salute following right after. ‘I’ll leave you to it, then.’The man nods curtly.‘Right,’ he continues his task of mopping, not bothering with your words in the least. ‘if you see anyone coming this way, be sure to tell ‘em that I’m busy mopping here.’With a good-nature smile and another courteous bow, you go on your way… but not before throwing another glance down the corridor to the unlabeled doors and the strange man. Turning the corner, you once again see a plethora of men and woman chatting away and rushing out of their offices, the sound of fluttering—more like flying—pieces of paper hitting your ears as two people collide. The sound of an opening door comes with the dull thump of footsteps as another pair of bespectacled men walk up, heading right towards you with purpose in their eyes.You remember the man’s words as one of their shoulders scrapes against yours.‘Excuse me,’ you get their attention, catching them as soon as they blitzed past you.‘There was someone back there who said that he was… mopping.’The both of them turn ashen before muttering their words of thanks, turning on their heel and going back the way they came.You tilt your head. As far as reactions went, that was indeed… odd.Action Points: 1/2[Leave]>Go to REC Room>Go to The Tribunal Hall>Go to Taigei's Office/Intelligence Division Quarters>Go to the ISSF Liaison's Office>Go to Agency Offices/Grand Lieutenant Offices/Staff Offices>Write-In
>>1317639>Go to the ISSF Liaison's Office
>>1317639>Go to Taigei's Office/Intelligence Division Quarters
>>1317639>Go to Agency Offices/Grand Lieutenant Offices/Staff Offices
>>1317639>>Go to the ISSF Liaison's Office
When you finally make your way back to the balcony, you spy that the crowd downstairs had somewhat petered out since you’d paid the offices a visit. The two men were still there, seated and talking, but most of the other chattering groups had all but gone; a few women in uniform—Navy representatives by their colors—and a few men and women in a mix of formal business suits and what appeared to be a lab coat. You decide to try the ISSF Liaison’s Office—you hadn’t met a Shaman before… and even if one wasn’t there, getting friendly with whoever was, in your mind, would help you try to establish an audience with the ISSF itself.Passing the landing, you step onto a familiar platform—and a familiar balcony soon after. A few men in hats were overlooking the entrance hall further down, their gums flapping so rapidly and thickly you couldn’t discern heads or tails of what they were talking about… except for something about a port town to the north-west. One of them throws you a curious look—you return it with a polite nod of acknowledgment before turning the corridor past a familiar set of paintings and table, your bag and files firmly in your hands. The corridor, walls and carpeting, strike you with a sense of deja vu—the last time you had been here it had been to inquire about the lives of Yamato and Musashi… and now, today, you were here to face the Court of Admirals for the first time. As you take your steps, you spare a quick glance to a wooden door to your right, the Keeper’s office door firmly shut… and her name as pronounced as ever.You decide not to pay her the courtesy of a visit—you highly doubt that she would care much for your presence here unless it came with a firing squadron and a volunteer call.There are many doors, aligned with many names and number designations; the place was indeed more of a refurbished palace than it was ever a military installation in the past, let alone the administrative building it had boasted to be since handed over into the hands of the people. As you walk more and more, turning one corner after the other, you wonder why no one had bothered to hang up a legend for people that would not know the way… before you realize that making life hard for anyone looking to pry that wasn’t already in the know would be very much unlike The Admiralty’s usual policy.Their correspondence with you, of course, being the prime example.You stop in your tracks at one door—your supposed destination.[ISSF – LIAISON AND RECORDS]Your hand touches the knob… only for it to be locked.Looking around for assistance, you find that you seem to be the only soul out here.>Try knocking again>Try Taigei’s door>Leave>Write-In
>>1317773>>Try knocking again
>>1317773>>Try Taigei’s door
>>1317773>Try knocking again
>>1317773>Write-InKnock on Taigei's door
>>1317773>Try Taigei’s door
You decide to try the door again, raising your hand and giving it a good knock.Again, there is no answer.Not one to be deterred, you give the door a few strikes more…A thought arrives that, perhaps, because of the weekend, they wouldn’t be here.‘Um, can I help you?’You turn on your heel to come face-to-face with a… disheveled looking man that looked about your age—an advantage on your part that you would have put at most a year or two in your favor. He looked indistinguishable from every other office worker that you’d passed on the way here, wearing clothes that were entirely too big for his size while clutching what looked like two bagels and a cup of coffee—no, tea—in one hand while his other clutched what appeared to be a host of files and folders with emblems ranging from the Army to the Navy to the Formerly Imperial Seal. His face was sunken, pale and exhausted but his eyes were very much wide and youthful, a stark contrast to his body language.‘Sorry, you’re…?’He gives a nervous laugh, offering a good-natured smile in greeting.‘Ah, I work here,’ he answers,, gesturing towards the door with his chin. ‘Excuse me.’You step aside, allowing him to work the door… only to hear the jangle that could only come from falling keys.A low grumble followed by mumbled curses reaches your ears as you step back to give him some space—if there was one thing you could relate to it was a set of keys dropping just when you were at the door. Setting his things down—not without some form of struggle, though—he picks up his keys and goes for the door. With several clicks and turns, the door opens and the man bends over to pick his things up again, pushing the door open with his knee.‘No rest for the wicked,’ he sighs, shaking his head. ‘weekends don’t mean much when you’re practically at the beck and call of a bunch of taskmasters, ain’t that right?’His accent was funny—his pitch a little high but not quite nasal; there was a small whining sound at the end of his sentence.‘I can relate,’ you reply. He flashes you a grin.‘Come on in’—he spares a glance at your tags—‘Commander,’ he mutters the last part thickly, biting into the ‘Is there something I can do you—?’The office looked normal en—You’re greeted by the view of a disembodied head—a skull of sorts, adorned by all sorts of decorations—and find yourself paralyzed by a mix of shock and fear as its maw widened, soulless eyes regarding you as a colorful and somehow dull mist rose with it.‘God damn it!’ the young man swipes away at the apparition, cursing up a storm as the thing, somehow cowed now, disappears into what looked like a table clock on a shelf.‘Sorry about that,’ he apologizes. ‘I’ve been meaning to get rid of things but, well…’He shakes his head.‘So what can I do you for?’
>>1319487>‘You don’t look like a Shaman, but you don’t sound like you’re from Taiyouga either.’ (Inquire about him)>‘What… was that thing?’ (Ask about the apparition)>‘Where can I find the Shaman?’>‘No rest for the wicked, indeed.’ (Casual)>Write-In
>>1319497>>‘What… was that thing?’ (Ask about the apparition)
‘What was that thing?’He glares at you, seating himself on the edge of his table.‘That’s a little rude, you know?’ he points out, crossing his arms as he regards you. ‘It’s a he—and he… is a minor spirit.’‘A minor spirit?’ You frown, wondering what he was talking about. Was it like a ghost?’‘That’s tutorial talk for a nameless soul,’ he explains, nodding towards the wooden table clock, which looked as unassuming as ever. ‘Before they could be pronounced fully-fledged by the Watchers, Shamans practiced on aged objects abandoned or given away to see if they had the talent to bring out the life given to an object that was thrown away or kept. Basilius has a very ancestral tradition, so it’s not hard to find a Clan or any family at all that has some sort of heirloom or old item that’s been in their family for generations. Sparky over there’—he indicates the unassuming clock—‘is a Spirit that a Shaman was able to call upon from that clock over there; he’s not overtly powerful or malicious if that’s what you’re wondering. As far as heirlooms go, he’s pretty low-key.’‘What’s that kind of thing doing here?’The sunken-faced man shrugs.‘Call it nostalgia—a lot of Shamans tend to hang on to their first few trinkets,’ he hesitates for a moment, a cloud seemingly washing over his eyes as he lets out a sigh. ‘I mean, some of them just re-seal the Spirits for further use, but, well, it’s kind of hard to put things away when you give something…’He adopts a thoughtful pose, tapping his heels against the wood of the table.’‘I can’t recall what Shishou said but it’s got something to do with emotion, anger, joy, whatever—I can’t really remember all the fuzz, so I’m probably a bad frame of reference for that kind of thing,’ he sighs heavily. ‘If there’s one thing I’ve always been told it’s that if I can’t explain something properly, I shouldn’t say anything at all.’‘So what’s the deal with—him?’As if on cue, the colorful, mist-covered skull pops back out, floating towards the now stern-faced man.‘I think he just likes coming out once in a while,’ he chuckles. ‘It’s not a widespread occurrence, mind you. If you’re gonna compare, minor spirits are a lot like… cats in a way. They kind of do their own thing.’The skull spares you a glance… before—at the gesture of the man—it floats back into the clock.‘You said minor spirits… what about major spirits?’‘You’re gonna have to ask a Shaman about those. I’m not qualified about that sort of thing.’‘Shamans practice on old inanimate objects to bring out spirits, then?’‘More like… coax,’ he pauses, scrunching his nose. ‘You start small and, well…’He lets out an amused grunt.‘You’d know what going big would be.’
>>1319576>‘The same principle of summoning… would apply to KanMusu, then?’>‘Where can I find a Shaman?’>‘You don’t look like a Shaman, but you don’t sound like you’re from Taiyouga, either.’>‘Are Spirits in general dangerous?’>Write-In
>>1319577>>‘The same principle of summoning… would apply to KanMusu, then?’
>>1319577>‘The same principle of summoning… would apply to KanMusu, then?’>‘Where can I find a Shaman?’
‘The same principle of summoning would apply to KanMusu then, right?’He shrugs.‘I think so,’ he sounds unsure himself, throwing another glance at the table clock on the shelf. ‘I’m probably in as much of a boat as you are with this sort of thing, though; a lot of the Shamans start of with simple things like getting their magic up to talk with trees or that kinda stuff… things like KanMusu summoning are beyond me. Other than the fact that they use Summoning Modules I can’t figure out the kind of preparations you need to pull something like that off.’‘What’s the difference between a KanMusu’s spirit—their soul—and any other spirit out there?’He stares at you for a moment, before bursting in laughter.‘Man, I remember when I asked that question,’ he says, slapping the table as he regards you with amusement. ‘According to Shishou… it’s something about violating smaller laws, I guess?’‘Violating laws?’You make a face, confused at the wording. Was there a Shaman or Spirit Police or something that had their eye on miscreants?‘No, there ain’t a court of law for it, either.’ He grins, reading your mind. ‘It’s more like… in this world, when a thing passes on, human, animal, plant, whatever… that’s how it should be. That’s life, you know? A life that’s lost is a life that’s gone—the dead stay dead and the living live and, well, they hopefully move on. Don’t quote me on this, but Shishou, he told me that being a Shaman? It’s all about bending the rules of the world; you can’t break—no, that’s not right—you don’t break them. I can’t recall the exact wording, but… it’s something about being a house guest…’He mumbles, looking up and down, trying to gather his thoughts.‘RIGHT!’ he declares, slamming a fist onto an open palm. ‘It’s a sort of my rules are not your rules situation—something about because they never died here or something, bla bla bla, it makes it easier for them to bind and ground them to this world on their own terms. It’s not easy to do—Hell, I’m clueless how they do it myself outside of using the modules, but yeah… a spirit that wasn’t here in the first place doesn’t have to play by the rules of a spirit or a soul that already belongs,’ he takes a smug, proud look, very happy with himself at being able to put the puzzle piece together, ‘because if the spirit was from here it’d have to follow the rules that the world’s set for it so it…’His shoulders slump as he trails off, sighing as he can’t quite find the words to continue.‘Yeah, that’s it for me.’He takes a sip of his hot tea.>‘So where can I find a Shaman?’>‘You don’t look like a Shaman… and you’re not from Taiyouga, are you?’>‘So what do you do here?’>‘Are spirits dangerous?’>‘Thanks for your time.’ (Leave)> Write-In
>>1319601>>‘Are spirits dangerous?’
>>1319601>‘So where can I find a Shaman?’
>>1319601>>‘So what do you do here?’
>>1319601there fro ma differnt world?
>>1319617This.Seems like a nice fella.We should keep an eye on the time though
>>1319601>>‘So what do you do here?We should get to know this guy, the more connections we have, the better things will be for us
>>1319768we wanted shaman, we got sorta shaman
>>1319601i think we could recruit this guya rookie shaman is better than no shaman, id say
>>1319601>‘So what do you do here?’
>>1319827You expect a Shaman to bother with paperwork and be in the vicinity of people he no longer trusts?
‘So… what do you do around here?’‘Mostly? I file stuff.’He takes a bite out of his anpan, following it up with a sip of his tea.‘Shamans aren’t really big on pieces of paper that don’t have soul to them, so at the end of the day, that falls down to me to sort out, I guess,’ he mutters thickly, before gesturing towards you with the half-bitten bun. ‘Not that I mind, mind you—patience and concentration’s all part of the experience.’You nod, giving the room a once over. There were shelves lined with books in different languages, odds and ends, trinkets and several photographs of people you didn’t know. They must have been the man’s acquaintances.‘So other than filing stuff, you…?’‘Well, I talk with the Court of Admirals when I can, you know, being the liaison and all that,’ he shrugs, ‘and I talk to the Keeper as often as I can manage, not that I look forward to it, yeah? Always ends up being a bigger pain outside of—!’‘Taigei?’He raises his head at you, looking quite surprised.‘You know her?’You feel a tightness coil around your throat.‘We’re… acquainted.’He throws you a look of understanding, nodding as he crosses his legs and shifts in his seat. There seemed to be some form of kinship between the both of you now.‘Yeah, well, personally I’d rather meet with The Court or their drones five times before I’d rather deal with Taigei once,’ he grumbles, scratching the back of his head, ‘that’s not a knock against her, I’m sure she’s a wonderful KanMusu to be acquainted with’—you let can’t help but snicker at that last part—‘but man, as far as KanMusu are concerned, she’s probably the scariest one I’ve seen.’You find yourself thrown back to the conversation that you had with the old man.‘By scariest… you mean you’re scared of other KanMusu, too?’‘Aren’t you? Even a little?’You’re taken aback by the question.‘I mean… Shishou tells me the stories of the Summoning Modules and just how many violations they have to go through to find a KanMusu; I mean, I guess,’ he grunts, looking thoughtful, ‘I’d be a little surprised finding someone that didn’t at least get a little scared being around a being that could level a city block unchecked… and that’s not even counting just where they come from and how they’re grounded and, you know? Made in our image and the like. I mean, they’re not all horror stories or daunting personalities, but… I’m surprised that at the base that there’d be someone that wouldn’t at least think that they’re…’He hums, looking up to the ceiling.‘You know, worth at least a little cowering in the corner?’>‘I guess I am. That sort of power does seem a little intimidating.’>‘There are times that I feel like I’m delving into something I don’t quite get.’>‘No, not at all.’>Write-In
>>1321181>‘No, not at all.’‘There are times that I feel like I’m delving into something I don’t quite get.’ applies to the dealing with humans here
>>1321181>>‘No, not at all.’
>>1321181>>‘No, not at all.’Not like they would anyway, at least on purpose
>>1321181>>‘There are times that I feel like I’m delving into something I don’t quite get.’
>>1321181>Not at all
It doesn’t take you even a moment’s thought—the answer was at the tip of your tongue; the hesitation that would have come with such a brazen line of interrogation is just wind to you as the words are uttered.‘No, not at all.’The Liaison’s eyes widen, if only briefly; you feel amusement rumbling in your belly at the modicum of emotion that he showed. You can tell that he hadn’t expected you to be so quick with your answer. He regards you for a bit, evidently puzzled by your quick answer… but not entirely against it. Nodding, he goes back to his anpan and tea, picking up one of the folders set on the table and giving it a brief glance before once again placing his attention on you.‘You’ll mind me for saying this, but that’s a little surprising.’You snort… and in the process, probably surprising him further.‘It’s kind of surprising to me that for someone that works so closely with a KanMusu… you’d expect me to be even a little scared.’His eyes widen again, before he lets out a defeated chuckle.‘Yeah, I guess that I should be giving you a little more credit, huh?’ He glances at the papers on his table before turning his attention back to you. ‘It’s rare to find a Commander that puts so much faith in a Spirit of Conflict.’You furrow your brows, confused.‘A what now?’‘Oh, sorry—it’s what the Shamans call the KanMusu before they’re KanMusu,’ he pauses, looking to the ceiling. ‘There’s a more specific term for it, but I’m not well read enough in that direction but… well, anyway, it’s just a little strange that you got so much faith in ‘em after all that’s happened. A lot of Commanders, Vice-Admirals and Admirals barely break the tolerance barrier with their Squadrons, Divisions and the like, never mind actually rack up camaraderie.’That was an interesting tidbit.‘You’re saying it’s rare for KanMusu and their Commanders to end up a fondness for one another?’‘I didn’t say that,’ he points a finger in your direction. ‘I said that it’s usually really, really hard for a Commander or Admiral or whatever to develop a proper positive rapport with their KanMusu; it’s not rare—it’s just usually kind of a chore for them to pull off. There are cases here and there, but a lot of Commanders, well…’He shifts uncomfortably.‘They don’t last long enough for that kind of build-up… or they get disillusioned by the propaganda and end up treating their girls with, well…’He looks away, huffing.‘You know what I’m getting at, don’t you? I don’t really have to explain that part, right?’You see Iowa’s weeing face and the smug features of the girl with piercings, egging her on. It wasn’t a side of things that you wanted to get too acquainted with.
>>1321479>‘So where can I find a Shaman?’>‘You don’t look like a Shaman… and you’re not from Taiyouga, are you?’>‘Are spirits dangerous?’>'It's surprising that you're telling me that my kind of rapport is rare. Most KanMusu seem close with their Commanders.'>‘Thanks for your time.’ (Leave)> Write-In
>>1321479>>‘You don’t look like a Shaman… and you’re not from Taiyouga, are you?’
>>1321493>>‘You don’t look like a Shaman… and you’re not from Taiyouga, are you?’
‘You don’t look like a Shaman,’ you mention, considering him for a moment, ‘but you’re not from Taiyouga either, are you?’He shakes his head before biting—and finishing—his anpan.‘No, I’m not a Shaman,’ he reveals. ‘I was born in Mondanar.’You practically balk at that declaration. He didn’t—‘Yeah, I don’t look like it either, don’t I?’ He seemingly reads your mind with the rhetoric, chuckling thickly in amusement as the crumbs drop onto his shirt. ‘My mother was from Haszad; from Southern Bilal and my father’s from Naito.’You frown; things didn’t quite add up.‘So how did you end up in Mondanar?’‘Well, dad thought it’d be a good environment to raise a kid in,’ you practically snort at his words—he smirks himself, raising a finger to stop you from saying anything further, ‘and before you say anything, I know just how stupid it sounds. That’s why mom left him and brought me up to Basilius when I was old enough to start school.’You would have kicked yourself. Maybe you’d been a little hasty in taking the humor out of such a circumstance.‘I’m sorry to hear that.’He laughs—you take that he had accepted your apology with that.‘Don’t be; Basilius is a little bit up the sticks more than I was used to, but hey, being without a television isn’t exactly the end of the world,’ he shrugs, swiping the crumbs off his lower lips, ‘plus, my mom was able to set herself up as a school teacher up there, so neither of us looked back at Mondanar and thought we’d be better off there.’‘Didn’t have a good time there, I reckon?’He lets out a sigh, a troubled expression making its way across his features as his eyes focused on the floor. He doesn’t say a word—neither do you, for that matter. He seemed to be engrossed in his own thoughts, troubles… maybe you’d crossed a line in your questioning; the man had already told you about how his parents had parted and you’d probably stepped into a minefield he wasn’t entirely comfortable with and dragged him along with you. Finally, he raises his head, grimacing but otherwise… serene.‘Let’s just say they’re a little more in love with their money than I would’ve liked,’ he reveals, letting out another sigh. ‘I like being able to feel my wallet and not worry, but man, they take it to the next level.’‘What about your father?’You swear that if Kaga or Nachi were here, they’d probably give you a nice chop for your lack of tact.‘I haven’t heard from him in years,’ ‘mostly because of the war, though… with supply and fuel lines being this wound up and land routes being the only possible way to travel… well, it’s not like I can just hop aboard a plane to go see him. Last I heard he was doing well; working his way up the caste the best that he can however he can—I think he was about to be contracted by a Guild or something last time he replied.’>[TBC]
‘How’d you end up in Taiyouga, then?’His cheeks turn a little red as he considers your question.‘Well, it’s a little involuntary, really—I just finished school and I didn’t know what to do with my life. In Basilius, the war isn’t that big a deal… magic and all that, you know? It makes us feel a little bit more… protected than you guys—no offense,’ you shake your head—you suppose that Basilius would be a little more sheltered, after all, ‘and, well, Shishou was doing his usual rounds and I decided to get a part-time job under him sorting out scrolls and the like and one thing led to another and… next thing I know I’m on a plane to Taiyouga.’‘So you’re not a Shaman-in-training or anything?’He regards you flatly.‘I haven’t even had a girlfriend, you know? Do I look like I have a wife and kids to leave to pursue a career in the mystic arts?’ He sighs again, scratching the back of his head. ‘I mean, it does seem like an exciting path, but… man, I don’t know how some of them go through with it. I guess I’m a little interested, but…’You tilt your head, confused.‘You have to be married?’‘You need to have a… significant life,’ he corrects you, sounding hesitant himself. ‘According to the Shamans, the easiest way to break that threshold is to have kids, a wife and a happy family; or at least, that’s my general understanding of it.’‘So, if you do go through with this training, you’ll have to—?’‘Yeah, I’m going to have to leave my family behind,’ he nods, looking more reserved than anything else. ‘Leave my old life, my old name… everything.’You balk, again.‘Why would anyone even consider that?’‘I don’t get it myself, really, but… from what I understand about it, it’s something about conviction or something,’ he scrunches his nose, trying to dig deeper into his thoughts, ‘something.’He pauses for a moment… a feeling of clarity seemingly washing over him as he looks straight at you.‘That you’re willing to pay the price to gain knowledge, wisdom and insight into the ways of the cosmic truth or something like it,’ he goes on, not missing a beat. ‘Everything’s got a toll, you know… and that just so happens to be the price you pay to be a Shaman.’‘So what happens to the family you leave behind?’‘They’re just… not your concern anymore, I guess?’ he shrugs nonchalantly. ‘You leave that life behind and start this new enlightened one in place of it… or that’s the gist that I get.’>‘That’s horrible!’ (Outrage)>‘I suppose that sacrifice has its many forms.’ (Grudgingly accept)>‘I don’t think I’d be able to do it. That kind of thing, I mean.’ (Disbelief)>‘You’re right, everything does have its toll.’ (Agree)>Write-In
>>1321763>>‘I suppose that sacrifice has its many forms.’ (Grudgingly accept)
>>1321763>‘I suppose that sacrifice has its many forms.’ (Grudgingly accept)
‘I suppose that,’ you sigh, running a hand through your hair, ‘sacrifice has its many shapes and forms, doesn’t it?’‘That’s how it’s supposed to be, though,’ he takes an assuring… if low tone. ‘It’s a sacrifice because it’s just not easy to do.’The both of you share a laugh—it’s a defeated, bemused laugh, but it is a laugh; one where the wry and the droll seem to meet, the realization of inevitability rising within the both of you. Everything had a price… that was the way of the world, after all—you couldn’t take a step forward without letting go of your capacity to take a step back. At the end of the day, you suppose… the question was whether you were willing to pay it? That despite that writhing, crying hand reaching out and refusing to let go, if you were willing to give something up to gain something?‘Yeah, I suppose it is.’You don’t know. You really don’t.‘It’s still kind of harsh, isn’t it… leaving your family behind, your old life?’His shoulders slump as the both of you return to the root of the question.‘You can argue that it doesn’t necessitate leaving a family, but that seems to be the criteria that the Shamans have decided upon—it’s kind of a taboo to ask them on their feelings about it, but I’ve never heard or seen any of them saying they particularly angst about it,’ he shrugs, his face scrunching as he looks deeper in thought than you’d seen him before. ‘But I guess… you know, it’d be rude to even consider it; whatever it is, someone’s life is their own, right?’‘I guess,’ you concede, shifting the folders in your hands. ‘Just feels a little off to me, I guess.’‘It’s not something that they expect anyone to understand,’ he runs a hand through his hair. ‘It’s not a practice that some of the folks back in Basilius are fond of either, but I guess politics seeps into anything, huh?’‘What?’‘Well, it’s nothing,’ he hurriedly assures you, before briefly pausing, ‘but I heard that some Shamans didn’t particularly like that kinda practice—it’s just rumors and one or two dissidents, last I heard,’ he adds, pausing again, ‘but you’re not alone in the feeling that it might be a little wrong, Commander. I can’t say for certain, but… well, there are a few that share the sentiment, yeah? But they’re considered kind of… I don’t know, Heretics, so don’t quote me on that.’You frown—why did that sound so… familiar to you?‘Division Commander.’You turn to the doorway, where the silver-haired Agent stood, flanked by two MPs in more regal clothing than you’d seen back at Yokosuka.‘Didn’t you hear the announcement?’ he smiles, bowing and gesturing towards you. ‘The Court has gathered. It’s time.’[END INTERLUDE]
And that's the last post for the thread. It's a little slow, but things are building up to your big meeting with The Court of Admirals. As always, any word is a good word, so drop your comments here.