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File 128720255554.png - (52.76KB , 800x600 , title2.png )
244037 No. 244037 ID: 4f6e37

>((This quest is stat-driven, with dice rolls for most actions behind the scenes. For Chapter 1, and your current character sheet, consult http://quest.lv/kusaba/questarch/res/223628.html . I can set up a wiki page after this chapter to better keep track of Halaris' stats.))

The recruit didn't spare much time making himself more than comfortable on board the ATRF Vessel Unflagging, finding the lodgings (and shipmates) more or less to his likings.
He was pleased with how quickly he had established a rapport with the large, moderately intimidating Sergeant Anka Pribicevic, with the Delter Specialist Talia, and with The Captain, who refuses to go by any other name.
He considered his first day on the Unflagging to be a success in several ways. If he had known what exactly he had been signed up for at the time, it's possible he would have run for the hills.
But then Halaris has never been one to skip out on a bedfellow.
Expand all images
No. 244038 ID: 4f6e37
File 128720271918.png - (130.00KB , 800x600 , 38.png )

So wait, he leaves the city of debauchery, and then right after it blows up and his wife gets turned into salt or whatever he has sex with his daughters? I- hmmm.

Oh. Good morning, folks.

I've been reading this Bible thing someone left in my room. I'm not entirely sure if I get it. Would you explain to me what exactly was going on with the whole Rib thing? Because human females and human males are more or less the same size, so I don't see how the ratios could have worked out like that.
Maybe I missed something.
No. 244039 ID: 669ef7

Ribs are delicious, so are women.
No. 244040 ID: e973f4

I told you, man. Second half is way more accessible.

Although about that one --- there's a theory that "rib" in that particular context is a euphemism for a bone that, ahem, exists in many mammals, but not humans.
No. 244044 ID: 146c5a

It's actually a translation of an ancient word referring to any curved support bone and likely refers to the notable human lack of the baculum as compared to other related mammals. Besides, Magic is involved so equal conversion of matter need no apply.
No. 244047 ID: 0310e1


Short answer: It's magic.

Long answer: It's magic and it doesn't have to make sense.
No. 244048 ID: 94c0e9


Ye're reading the abridged version, mate!

So what happens for reals is that the first human is both male and female, like attached back to back, and this didn't work very well so they were split into two, adam and lilith. But lilith got uppity so god kicked her out and she goes and gets it on with some monsters and whatever. Then the boss makes another girl, whole, but adam sees it happen and he's so grossed out that he won't touch her. Poor girl doesn't get a name and we don't know what happened to her. So then adam gets put to sleep, the big cheese takes one of his ribs and then uses it as a base to make a new woman, eve.

One of the important things about this story is the idea of the trifold nature of women, this idea humans have of the Maiden, the Mother and the Whore being sort of encapsulating groups for all female humans. It recurs throughout their culture. Men get a similar thing, but it doesn't show up as often.

So what are you going to do today?
No. 244109 ID: e674ff

It's a story a bunch of crazy tribesmen made up to explain why they felt women belonged to men. After that it was translated, re-translated, interpreted, fanfictioned and basically messed with over the span of several thousands of years.

Hope that helps.
No. 244188 ID: f67dcd


Yall definitely need to do more research.
No. 244211 ID: 0cfe8b

That book contradicts itself all over the place, so take anything it says with a grain of salt.
Some of the stories in it are still interesting though.

Lilith is quite a bit older than than the story of Adam and Eve, though I have that version and I don't know what it was originally.
No. 244213 ID: 373448

In the end, it's kind of a fairy tale book. So don't think to much about it.
No. 244224 ID: 4f6e37
File 128726228163.png - (135.40KB , 800x600 , 39.png )

Oh. Right. Humans have no baculum.

Talia rises next to me, like Aphrodite out of the foam if the foam were freaky porous alien sleep gel and Aphrodite had been electric and armor-plated.
"Morning," I say.
"Morning, Hal," yawns Talia, stretching. Her carapace clicks, alluringly. "I cannot tell you how badly I needed that." She looks around. "Shoot. Where did my clothes go?"

>So what are you going to do today?
Well Talia again, if she's up for it. Last night was most memorably meritorious. What the Specialist lacked in experience she more than made up for in enthusiasm. Oh, yes.
More immediately, of course, is breakfast, which a cursory glance shows me it's 7 AM, which means I have more or less an hour before poor harassed Halaris goes hungry. The Captain and the bosun, Paul Killian, have also both left messages for me as well on that terminal thing outside my door. I was a little too busy last night to read them, said Hal knowingly. Oh, and I believe I still need to meet with Anka at some point or another to see about arming myself and such.
No. 244235 ID: 644ca1

Well, let's check the messages first, if the captain left a message I don't think we want to ignore it for too long.
No. 244245 ID: 40cb26

I was under the impression they had flash incinerated by her crotch-heat. Check for sooty residue.

Check your messages and head down to breakfast. Likely you'll meet one or more of the people you need to talk to there anyway.

>harassed Halaris
You use that bit all the damn time, don't you?
No. 244251 ID: 754124

Read your messages
No. 244259 ID: e674ff

Be a gentleman and help her find her clothes.

THEN go check your messages. After that, i dunno, go have breakfast i guess... Whatever they want you to do can wait untill after you have a meal.
No. 244545 ID: 4f6e37
File 128729124259.png - (83.19KB , 800x600 , 40.png )

Halaris and Talia eventually locate the various parts of her outfit thrown about the cabin. He then steps outside and scrolls through his messages. Here's one from the Captain.
No. 244546 ID: 4f6e37
File 128729125518.png - (76.09KB , 800x600 , 41.png )

Here's Killian's message.
No. 244549 ID: 4f6e37
File 128729143514.png - (35.43KB , 800x600 , 42.png )

And it looks like someone left a third.


Talia walks out of the cabin, pulling on her pants. "I think I'm going to go to the Dining Hall," she says. "Delter don't eat or anything but I need to ask Ernst about some combat armor I requisitioned. You hungry?"
No. 244551 ID: 1b42c5

sure, we could use some food. and reply to the captain "for you it would be"
No. 244553 ID: 0310e1


Tell him the truth; after that, tell him that you're going to go grab a bite to eat, and then you'll report to him.
No. 244556 ID: 56dc25

Inform the captain that you are a great proponent of fun of all sorts, including both speaking and the occasional bout of electrostimulation. You therefore look forward to speaking with him immediately following breakfast.

Tell him you appreciate the info. When people go out of their way to tell you things, best to make sure they know you're keeping track of who's helping you out.

If you can reply to an unknown sender, thank them for the tip and ask for an alias.

Then go with the lady.
No. 244582 ID: 24a9bd

To captain: "I try not to kiss and tell, but yes. Yes it does. And it's goddamn fantastic."
No. 244608 ID: 4f6e37
File 128729711027.png - (46.06KB , 800x600 , 43.png )

I can't respond to anonymous messages, and the guy who wrote this doesn't seem like someone fun anyway.
I fire off a thank-you for the heads-up, however, as well as a response to the Captain. Then I head down to breakfast in Talia's company.
It doesn't look like there are many people around at the moment. I eat and then heads up to meet the Captain while Talia (with a kiss that feels like a static shock, but nicer) excuses herself to go do what Delter do instead of eating. It's called Crzizzing after an onomatopoeia for the Delter word, and it is apparently extremely private and fun to watch. So that's what that other hole was for...
No. 244611 ID: 4f6e37
File 128729717580.png - (166.48KB , 800x600 , 44.png )

I head up to the bridge and let myself in. It's like walking into a toaster oven and I am the strudel. Someone has turned the thermostat way up and the ensigns are all in their shirtsleeves.
The captain turns to speak to me me as I walk in. He's decked out in bizarre red leather, making the Human-make shotgun slung across his back look a little incongruous by comparison. "Recruit," he says. "You appear to be overdressed."
No. 244614 ID: e31d52

"Naw, I just prefer these digs, is all."
No. 244615 ID: d3dfb8

A gentleman can never be overdressed.
No. 244616 ID: 1b42c5

you only have two modes, fancy and naked.
No. 244619 ID: 40cb26

Not overdressed, but maybe overwarm. If it's too much, put down the cloak while you eat. Never loose the hat. Ask what's up with the temp in here.
No. 244621 ID: 1854db

Remove cloak.
No. 244624 ID: 1854db

...oh, he's got the heat up to 'simulate' the planet we're landing on. Layers are important in the desert actually, it keeps the cold in.
No. 244646 ID: 754124

"No such thing."
This level of heat is totally inconsequential to beings of your noble race, right Hal?

If not, you might be interested in acquiring some sort of cooling device to wear on your... undercarriage.
No. 245071 ID: 4f6e37
File 128734942390.png - (268.44KB , 800x600 , 45.png )

"No such thing," I say. Shirm come from a tropical planet, so I'm fine with heat. It's a bit dry, but I'll live. "Layers are actually important in the desert. It keeps in the cold."

"That makes no sense," says the Captain, "but of course you were not talking to me because you didn't say 'sir', so I apologize for butting in on your conversation with Belding. Belding, quit making idle chit chat with the Recruit. That's a demerit for both of you."
"Yes sir," says Belding.
"Now that we have pleasantries out of the way, I need to talk to you about mission number one for you. So there's this planet..." he leans back and presses a button on his CO Console and a 3D projection of a desert world flickers into existence behind him, "...called Faro 8. Or Giter if you're the natives. Belding. Give Halaris the spiel you gave me, only less annoying."

"Yes sir," says Belding, standing up. "These are the Dreimians." He pulls up an image showing a pair of happy-looking aliens. "Their civilization measures around .83 on the Kardashev scale, but Alliance vessels already made contact with them in order to aid in the defense of their planet during the Sult incursion around 63 years ago. The Dreimians are a mostly pacifist species, with a strong agrarian bent and an optimistic, welcoming demeanor. A warrior caste exists, but it is small."
"And pretty much all male," says the Captain. "Sorry, recruit. No amazonian bug babes for you."

"We traced pirate communications to lands belonging to the Volitathis Dreimians," says Belding. "The Volitathis, like most Dreimians, are usually more than willing to shelter any extraterrestrial travelers. It's likely that a pirate stronghold exists on or near their tribal holdings."
"So I am going to go and blow the shit out of it," says the Captain. "Your job is to go to their village or town or tribal pow wow or whatever and convince them that the pirates are not their friends and that we are. We want them to turn over any that my retinue and I don't get. If you see any straggling pirates there, waste them."

"With extreme prejudice, sir," I say.
"Just try not to shoot any Dreimians," says the Captain. "They have no respawners, so if one dies, that's it. He or she is gone forever. Oh. Also. Pirate communications mentioned something about a buried trove of cash and weaponry in or near their village. If you could convince them to let us do some excavation and find it that would be great.

"I'm going to be taking a group down to hit the pirates where they live, but I think we can spare you someone to serve as bodyguard for you in the likely event you get into a firefight or two while you're there. Do you want..."
((Listing each companion's best stat and best skills))
"Sgt. Pribicevic, (Stamina, Heavy Wpns, Logic)
Specialist Talia, (Strength, Blades, Engineering)
Sgt. Killian, (Speed, Rifles, Diplomacy)

or, what the hell, why not
Lt. Belding, (Smarts, Shotguns, Erudition) I don't need him."
No. 245091 ID: 754124

Okay we already know that Belding is male, we can refrain from using him for that reason. Do we know the genders of the others? I forget. It would be untoward to ask.

Heavy Weapons sounds like something we could use. So does Engineering. For a bodyguard, we want somebody skilled in arms, of course, but they all seem okay as far as that goes; only heavy weaponry is of particularly heightened merit in that regard.
No. 245095 ID: 0310e1


Killian is male, and Pribicevic and Talia are female. Also, I agree. It's a toss up between Talia and Pribicevic, but I'm leaning towards the latter.
No. 245097 ID: 56dc25

Sgt. Pribicevic, I think. If it comes to fighting we'll want heavy guns, and we're unlikely to need any specialized secondary skills.
No. 245100 ID: 754124

Well, we've already met Talia, so let's ask for Pricibivec... Although she's the one who laughs at us, isn't she?

There is no clear-cut choice here.
No. 245103 ID: 4c7b39

"Specialist Talia would be extremely helpful to this cause, sir. If I also were to add the good lieutenant to this squad, however, I can see the odds of success dramatically increasing. Sir."
No. 245105 ID: cb475a

Well Killian is good at Diplomacy, but Talia is good at fighting and female.

So Talia.
No. 245106 ID: 1b42c5

yeah Pricibivec, Sir.
No. 245110 ID: 1037c7

oh man, if we could get away with this but with Pribicevic...

...it would be good. Very good.
No. 245124 ID: 5a2e05

Pribicevic seems to already be set into bro mode, let's bring her along for her firepower and witty banter.
No. 245128 ID: 2563d4

Diplomacy and Erudition are totally our bag. Agricultural seems to imply fairly low tech. And there's (hopefully) going to be digging, which means stamina. Pribicevic.
No. 245152 ID: 40cb26

Partly to show we aren't just a horndog, and partly because having someone to help with our actual mission of Diplomacy, I say we grab Killian. Out of all of them a guy with just a rifle and a smooth tongue is the surest way to keep the locals from reacting poorly to us.
No. 245156 ID: 4f6e37
File 128735683978.png - (177.44KB , 800x600 , 46.png )

"Well, sir, given a choice I'd go with Pribicevic," I say, diplomatically. "But if I could add another, say, Specialist Talia or the good Lieutenant, I can see my chances of mission success increasing dramatically."

"Well, it's true I could probably spare one other person," says the Captain. "But Talia can do insane things with anything pointy and look real good doing it, and I like yelling at Belding and making him do stuff for me. Decisions, decisions.
"Okay, Diplomat," he says, puting his hands on his hips. "You've got me listening. Convince me you want two ladies around for more than just a threesome. Or one lady and Belding. Who is the man I'm sure anyone would go bi for."
No. 245162 ID: 40cb26

Pribicevic is all the bodyguard you need, take along Killian for assisting in Diplomatic matters. Plus it sounds like the captain won't miss him as much.
No. 245163 ID: 1b42c5

stare at belding really hard and agree, sir.
No. 245169 ID: 644ca1

"Sir, if you don't want to part with Talia or Belding then I guess there is no objections with me taking Sgt. Killian then? I'm sure his diplomatic talents would be well suited to helping me convince the locals to assist us."
No. 245170 ID: 56dc25

In a situation like this, having extra sharp eyes and minds to examine one's surroundings can be invaluable. Also, between Pribicevic and Talia, we can be confident in our ability to see the pirates dead at any practical engagement range. As a final point, more bodyguards typically means greater importance in most cultures, and two is a significant step above one psychologically. It would make our representative seem more impressive to have a larger group, and losing one further person from your assault group wouldn't hurt much. I'm sure that half the people in this room can deal out death with grace and panache.
No. 245172 ID: 93e8e3

I am for the Pribicivec and Killian team up. Killian's of a good sort, and the chief doesn't need diplomacy, does he?
No. 245226 ID: 4f6e37
File 128736240786.png - (49.58KB , 800x219 , 47.png )

"In a situation like this, extra eyes and ears on the ground can be invaluable," I say. "Also, between Pribicevic and another soldier, we can be confident in our ability to see the pirates dead at any practical engagement range. And more bodyguards typically means greater importance in most cultures. Two would be a significant step above one, from a psychological standpoint. It would make our representative seem more impressive to have a larger group, and losing just one person from your assault group wouldn't hurt much. I'm sure that half the people in this room can deal out death with grace and panache. If you're unwilling to spare Talia or Belding, perhaps I could take Killian? His diplomatic talents would help."
"Hm," says the Captain. "I see your point about entourage size. But no, I don't think you'll be taking Killian. Diplomacy is your bag, Recruit. That's one of the reasons I'm sending you on this mission is to test you."
"But you said I could take Killian earlier, sir," I say.
"I changed my mind," says the Captain, quickly. "I might have to pop some skulls with him, or maybe (and it pains me to say this) do some negotiations of my own. And I need to keep an eye on him."
Oh. Right. The Captain and Killian have a major feud going on.
"No, take Belding or Talia with you along with Pribicevic," says the Captain. "I can provide you with jump packs so their closer range will be an asset."
He certainly seems intent on keeping me and Paul apart for some reason.
No. 245232 ID: 754124

Talia, then. With a jump pack, she could be very useful. And engineering is a good ability to have available in general.
No. 245234 ID: 35947f

Threesome cover worked brilliantly.
No. 245237 ID: d3dfb8

No. 245239 ID: 644ca1

Awwww, no Killian? Oh well Talia it is then.
No. 245241 ID: 5a2e05

We got the smart down by ourselves, take Talia.
No. 245242 ID: c71597

Some Lt. Belding here. It would be a nice to get the poor kid out from under the captain. You just have to be around him for briefings and stuff, poor Belding has to be with him every fucking day for as long as he's working on the bridge. He must either be going insane or be so fucking stable that nothing could ever faze him even slightly.
No. 245244 ID: 93e8e3

Hey, our first look at Pribivivisection without her helmet on. She's kinda cute.
No. 245249 ID: 4c7b39

Well, since we have a good diplomat, and a good combatant, it would only make sense to have someone that can outsmart people to have a well-rounded 3-man-band.

Plus, it seems an excursion outside the ship'll be good for him.
No. 245294 ID: 4f6e37
File 128736726078.png - (55.69KB , 800x219 , 48.png )

"I'll take Pribicevic and Talia," I say.
"I knew it," says the Captain. "I knew you just wanted to have an orgy. Oh well. Take pictures. Dismissed, Recruit. Go do other stuff. You've got two hours to do whatever and alert your team, then we're going planetside."
No. 245296 ID: c71597

Well then. Lets go alert them and then get to the armoury for some outfitting. Need to get some good gear and prepare a plan and all that stuff.
No. 245298 ID: 56dc25

We should drop by the armory, get a camera, and make a point of taking pictures of a series of mission-related and otherwise innocent things, just so that we can hand them to the captain and tell him that we took pictures as requested.
No. 245366 ID: 69bee4

not only that, but take the best damn camera our requisition allows us to acquire. Then take lots of pictures of wildlife.

Beyond that, gather up, suit up, and lets get DIPLOMATIC!
No. 245395 ID: 1854db

Gab at your team members, pop over to the armory, and also maybe see if you can find Paul and ask him what's with him and the Captain.
No. 245833 ID: 4f6e37
File 128745904516.png - (81.66KB , 800x600 , 49.png )

I find Pribicevic and Talia and inform them they're to be my companions on the mission. The former seems moderately pumped to get some actual work done and the latter to be on a mission with her first lay in three years.
"Outfitting comes first, then," says Pribicevic, leading them to the armory. "If you need my advice on anything I'll be on the second floor checking out the heavy weapons. You're to talk with Argus, he's Armsmaster. I think you pissed him off when you stole a gun from him, so tread lightly. I don't want to come back down to see you two started a fight." She starts to walk away, then turns back for a moment to add, "Oh, and I don't know why I have to tell you this, but don't seduce him either."

"So you're Halaris, then?" says Argus as I approach. "Pistols, right? We've got a good selection, although you've probably seen for yourself when you filched one from me."
"Be nice to the newbie, Argus," says Talia brightly, finding a powered blade off a rack and checking its reach, "or I'll end you."
"I don't have to like your boytoy to outfit him, Specialist," mutters Argus. "Fine. Argus Deathdealing Solutions come in three flavors. There's a stealthy laser pistol, sort of an upgraded version of the one you filched, a heavy Qal slugthrowing hand cannon with bullets the size of your thumb (that's an exaggeration, by the way, recruit, in case you were slow enough to believe it). I can give you a silencer for that, but it'll only reduce the sound to a loud crack instead of a sonic boom. And a sleek Human made automatic. It's modeled after something called a Glock 18. Looks like a trashy piece of plastic, but it'll fool you. There's a silencer for that one, too, if you want to go secret agent. You can take two, or two of the same one if you fancy one in each hand. Your choice."
No. 245834 ID: dad664

Ask how many shots the Glockenstein 18,000 has, and then how many shots the laser pistol has.
No. 245838 ID: 7011cd

Laser pistol and silenced Glock.

Privys got the heavy stuff.
No. 245839 ID: e31d52

Take the laser pistol.
No. 245841 ID: 93e8e3

I'm voting Laser and Slugthrower. Laser for stealth, Slugthrower for punching power. Laser will be our primary means of doing things, but if we really need to cause havoc, it's nice to have a backup.
No. 245844 ID: a9a46d


>"Oh, and I don't know why I have to tell you this, but don't seduce him either."

DAMNIT! That would have been so very fun. Oh well, laser pistol and silenced slugthrower.
No. 245848 ID: 56dc25

It doesn't really matter what guns we take; we've got bodyguards to do our killing for us. What we should be doing here is using our charm on the armsmaster to erase whatever bad impression we gave by filching a gun before, because we don't want to have anyone on this boat that dislikes us. All we encounter must be converted into friends, because one day our life might depend on, say, this guy being willing to break out the special weapons on our behalf.

So. Say whatever, based upon our read of him, would help most- perhaps a few lines about apologies for nonstandard requisition (but we did have permission from our escort to pick something up), deferring to his recommendations on weaponry, making a joke about how shirm don't have thumbs... whatever will put him at ease and make him like us more.
No. 245850 ID: d677cc

Seconding this.
No. 245851 ID: b0dd28

You must know a lot about guns right?

Get into idle chatter with him about the specifics.

something like
"Oh the X model? <rattle of specs>, very nice selection you have here..." etc.
If you feel awesome enough, try and disassemble and reassemble the gun while you speak.

How does EVERYONE know about what you did last night already?


Maybe you could appeal to his crush on Talia somehow.
No. 245852 ID: 40cb26

Silenced Glock sounds like the best balance, assuming it has no glaring weakness compared to the others like for ammo. Taking the pistol too might be good, I mean we shouldn't have to use "Delter diplomacy" but why not have the option.
No. 245871 ID: 644ca1

Let's take the better laser pistol and talk to him about guns showing trying to make him forget about that whole incident earlier.
No. 245893 ID: 6ad08e

Above all, take the weird human pistol. It's supposed to be silent, and we're the softly-speaking, subtle one of the trio, so if we do decide to kill someone, it has to be done with minimal noise.
No. 245895 ID: c71597

Lets get the laser one and the glock. See how human harware compares.
No. 245900 ID: 1854db

Use some [diplomacy] to ease into conversation with someone who's pissed at you.
No. 245960 ID: 2563d4

Yup, laser and silenced glock, leave the dakka to Pribicevic. I can't imagine she'd be best pleased if you stole her fun. Sociable nattering also good.
No. 245969 ID: acfc0f

take lazer pistol you must kill but bullets too slow
No. 245970 ID: 1854db

I'm interested in the human automatic. Silenced of course.
No. 245978 ID: f52552

1x laserer, 1x glock.
I see no benefit to taking two of the same, unless you also happen to be able to run up walls and carry ten more under the jacket.
I bleev we have heavy damage covered already?
No. 246139 ID: 4f6e37
File 128753806094.png - (108.78KB , 800x600 , 50.png )

The Automatic holds 20 rounds. In full auto it fires four rounds a turn.
((You have learned several new skills upon equipping the Automatic (Tied to Hal's Handguns skill):
[Bullet Hell]: Can only be used behind cover. Hal buckles down, steadies his aim on his cover and with both hands and empties the clip at whatever he's firing at. Destructive if profoundly wasteful.
[Switch Firing Mode]: Hal can cycle between Full Auto and semi-automatic. The latter is more accurate and less damaging.
[Blindfire]: Can only be used behind cover. Hal fires his automatic blindly, giving a chance of hitting any enemies in the open in front of him and suppressing any enemies behind cover. Wildly inaccurate but Hal doesn't have to leave cover to use it.
[Gun Kata]: Hal has worked a long time with the ergonomic handguns of humanity. He can enter a state of heightened speed where he can use his handgun like a melee weapon. His attack rolls can use either his Other Melee skill or Handguns skill, whichever skill is better. His attacks are unblockable. Hal can also use the Gun Kata to gain the equivalent of full cover if out in the open. The Gun Kata can be used only once per battle and lasts for two turns. Hal is exhausted for one turn upon completing it and can move or act at half speed.))

No. 246140 ID: 4f6e37
File 128753806717.png - (111.85KB , 800x600 , 51.png )

"Let me at the upgraded laser and the glockenstein, please," I say. "No need for the hand cannon. I don't even know if Shirm have thumbs. Do you?"
He smirks, unlocks a nearby cabinet, and gingerly retrieves a small metal carrying case containing the gun and its silencer. "Right, so I'll sign you out on that or the books will say you stole it like the last one," he says. "And do try to follow the armory rules, Halaris. It's my job to discipline you if you don't, and I take my job seriously."
"I'll keep that in mind," I say, utilizing a bit of diplomacy. "Is the mag release filed on this one? Because I find with the stock GN53s sometimes it catches when you can't afford for that to happen."
"Yes," says Argus, unable to hide his surprise. "I'm actually pretty pleased with what I did on this one. New metal sights to replace the shite plastic ones and the grip's resized for nonhuman hands and 360 degree stippled."
"Because why not splurge on ergonomics if you're government funded?"
"Yeah. And the trigger's actually from a 52, which was really the only step back when they went to 53."
"Really? I never had the privilege of working with a 52."
"Much smoother. Tell you what, take it to the range and trigger a few rounds." He seems to remember himself. "And see me again before you go or I'll assume you nicked it."

"Well, that was a quick turnaround," says Talia, watching as I get used to my new business partner. "I think Argus may actually be able to stomach you, soon."
"He seems perfectly competent, if a little highstrung," I say, disassembling the gun a bit and checking the firing pin. "Oooh, hello. You aren't stock, are you?"
"He's been wanting to shack up with me for years, now," says Talia, "but he's got the personality of a brick wall and you know what they say about gun enthusiasts' junks. I never did get that desperate. I don't think he ever moved on. Him finding out can't have helped you in his favor. I guess news travels pretty fast on a boat like this." She eyes me examining the gun. "Though it almost looks like you've moved on from me to that piece already. Should we find Anka or do you want to trade it in for something a little more testosterone-drenched?"
No. 246149 ID: 0de654

Oho! You can't let that go.

Now you have to sweep her off her feet
Layer on the charm bro, and include the gun.

Full on James Bond mode.
No. 246150 ID: e3f578

"M'lady, a gun has always been a nameless man to be your brother in tough times, never a replacement for refined young lasses such as yourself. Army flicks always romanticize these burly gentlemen into femme fatales, and, frankly, I just don't understand why."
No. 246155 ID: 9fcc8d

You forgot to add "And if I am to rely on someone, I must know'im."
No. 246158 ID: 56dc25

Excellent, excellent. Charm the lady, then go talk to our heavy weapons platform, see what she's taking. Then perhaps everyone at the range for a bit, at the good armorer's recommendation, where we will learn the finer points of our newest weapon whilst charming the ladies even more. And then drop in with Argus once more before departing, to exchange a few more well-chosen words and abide by his request.
No. 246172 ID: 5a2e05

It's not the size that counts, it's how you use it.
No. 246189 ID: 40cb26

"But even so, nothing's better than a good piece used well, eh Talia?"
No. 246192 ID: 4f6e37
File 128754620381.png - (145.06KB , 800x600 , 52.png )

"My dear Talia," I say, sweeping her off her feet. She lets out a surprised squeak, then relaxes and holds me back. "A gun has always been a nameless masculine thing. A tireless tool for toil in tough times. Never a replacement for beautiful women such as yourself." I feel her hand creeping up my back. I do not break composure. "Army flicks always romanticize pieces into femme fatales, and, frankly, I just don't understand why. Women in general are far too elegant to lend their likenesses to such lamentably low-class things as guns." She lifts my hat up off my head and sticks it on hers as I talk in an effort to get me to break. No dice. "And, in your case, far too dangerous. But if I am to work with someone" I tap the gun against her back "I need to get to know him, first. Believe me when I say getting to know you was far more fun."

She laughs first, a nervous giggle to cover a furious blush. Victory Halaris. "It must be some kind of gift, knowing exactly what to say to get any woman to crash carapaces with you," she says.
"I swear to use this power only for good," I say. "Let's go check out our new toys."

Anka looks upon my choices with approval, and if Argus is pissed at seeing Talia and I walking out of the firing range together he swallows it long enough to give me the two new guns. I ask for a camera as well, and he gives it to me, with a quizzical look on his face.

"Now unless there's anything you want to accomplish on the Unflagging in, oh, say, the next ten minutes or so, let's go check our landing boat out," says Anka.
No. 246197 ID: 4f6e37
File 128754644929.png - (229.76KB , 800x600 , 53.png )

"I wasn't expecting such chrome cargo to be on a leaky tug like this one," I say, surveying our landing craft down to the surface. It's less a lander and more a skiff. I wave to the engineers performing the final checks on our engines.
"Captain confiscated it from some shirm banker," says Talia. "He never uses it, since it's unarmed, but it's fast and ritzy and we're technically operating as official Alliance envoys to the Dreimians, so it'll give a benevolent-looking spin to the whole thing. That sort of means means no stabbing them but hey," she elbows me, "look at that beauty. Every job has its perks."
"The Unflagging can't get any closer or the pirates will spot them," says Anka. "This thing was used for running funny money, so it's radar invisible. The trip'll take about two or three hours."
Two or three hours, eh? Plenty of time to better get to know one of my comrades, in the literal or biblical senses of the word.
No. 246206 ID: 754124

Hey, did you get your hat back? Because that's something that should happen.
No. 246213 ID: 40cb26

We'll have plenty of time getting to know Tania in both ways. Let's get to know Anka better, and Talia can help with that. ...Err by commenting as Anka tells her story, of course. I'm sure there's some good times they can tease each other about.

He is clearly wearing it here:
No. 246214 ID: 1854db

Talk to Anka!
No. 246217 ID: 69bee4

Agree to talk with Anka, and make sure you know what heavy weapon she has taken with her, and what category is falls under.
Category 1: The safe place is behind the person firing it.
Category 2: The safe place is in cover and nowhere near the line of fire.
Category 3: The safe place is off planet.

Also, get to know em both! what about their background has them here of all places? Also, share that awesome story of the time you single handedly were dropped behind enemy lines, had to face off against a psycho who kept calling you brother, had a giant robot you had to single handedly disable, and involved an oddly appealing (though still squishy) human girl who helped you out.
No. 246282 ID: c71597

Check the boat yourself as well. Can never be too careful with stuff like this. Or well you can, but dying because someone missed some trivial little thing is never fun.

Then I guess you should get to know them both better. And maybe take a few pictures. Just make sure you get the right props, like a few books and stuff. So you can have a few pictures of all of you sitting in seperate corners of a room, just reading. Lets see what the captain thinks of that.
No. 246304 ID: 2563d4

Literal sense is probably good right now.
No. 246400 ID: 4f6e37
File 128762195312.png - (163.58KB , 800x600 , 54.png )

The takeoff is without incident, and after taking a while to get acclimated (and resisting Talia's attempt to tackle me onto the waterbed) I visit Anka, with a tensed Talia in tow. She's idly rechecking her armor's joints for full range of motion.
"Hello, Sergeant," I say.
"Hey, Hal and Talia," says Anka. "What's good, carapaced compatriots?"
"I wanted to talk," I say.
"What about?"
"What weapon are you using?" I ask.
"Big ol' MG," she says, hoisting it. An understatement. The gun looks like something you'd mount on a helicopter. "Normally you need to use a tripod with it but the power armor lets me carry and hipfire it pretty easy. Anything else?"
" A soldier like you has to have some interesting stories under your hat. Helmet."
Anka shrugs. "Guy walks into a bar with a slab of concrete under his arm. He says to the bartender, 'Gimme a beer, and one for the road'. The end."
"I was thinking more your story. The Anka Pribicevic Experience."
"You should have specified," says Anka. "Well, shoot. Uh, I'm not sure what there is to tell about me. I'm a marine, I guess. I joined up at around seventeen or so, after I skipped out on my parents. I'm a first generation spacer, so I've never actually been on Earth, which is some sort of grave milestone in our race's history or something but whatever. Mommy and Daddy were part of some weird Roman Catholic cult that opposed integration into the Alliance and use of respawners, but eventually it got dissolved by all the other humans because we really didn't have anywhere else to turn. So they just sort of tried teaching me their ideals on their own, but I was all rebellious and when my cousin signed up to register I figured I could too. A few years and a few hundred thousand bullets later I made it into the ATRF, and so yeah. Here I am." She snaps the last seal on her gauntlet shut and starts industriously field stripping her gun. "I actually tracked mom and dad a few years ago. I got guilty for just skipping out on them, you know? Turns out they started an Italian cuisine place on a Qal central world. They're not even Italian, but the jellyfolks can't tell and don't care. They love pizza napoletana with a passion, apparently. Just shows people can change, right?"
She snaps the forward grip back on. "The end. Hey, look. I've told you my entire autobiography and we've still got like two hours. I guess I'm boring."
No. 246402 ID: 40cb26

Well if you just go to the basics like that of course its going to be short. I'm sure there were smaller but interesting tales to tell along the way, I mean "a few hundred thousand bullets" is never exactly boring. Except when stored in a warehouse or something but she didn't mean that so ANYWAY ask her and Talia about their assorted adventures on the Unflagging.
No. 246404 ID: 51f267

yes, ask about what adventures have happened around here, tells you what you are in for and what you should consider 'normal'.
No. 246709 ID: 4f6e37
File 128771254739.png - (214.64KB , 800x600 , 55.png )

"There has to be more to it than that," I say. "A hundred thousand bullets is a lot of bullets. What exactly is 'normal' on the Unflagging?"

"The Captain casting himself as the hero in his own riveting space drama, then dragging everyone else along," says Anka.
"In his defense most of the things we do are actually riveting space dramas," says Talia. "The Captain has his own unique style of leadership from the front. He dies a lot."
"Yeah," says Anka. "A lot. You probably won't be working with him all that much, but whenever you do my advice is just to stay the fuck out of his way. Qal can make themselves immune to pain, and he's seemingly immune to fear too, so what he normally does is carefully construct a deep tactical plan for everyone else, then cast himself as the wrecking ball."
"Some people appreciate how recklessly brave he is," says Talia, "and some people-"
"Cough Killian Cough," says Anka, dryly.
"Some people don't," says Talia. "It's true that he can let himself get swept up in the heat of the moment, maybe whatever he's been watching lately..."
"Remember when I showed him Star Trek?" says Anka.
"Oh yes," says Talia. "He found a starfleet uniform, I have no idea where, and whenever we took a hit in combat he would stand at the terminal and stumble all over the place, despite the internal stabilizers."
"Brilliant tactician, ruthless fighter," says Anka. "Trusts us enough to generally let us do our own thing as long as we snap to attention and respect him. He sets an extremely high example and he expects everyone to work to match it. Just don't get on his bad side like some people or he will clamp down on you and not let go. Killian learned that the hard way. Not much bad to say about him, otherwise. Sans eccentricities."
"Remember when that Sulimian warlord sent that threatening transmission, and then..."
"Oh god, I remember that," says Anka. "And so the Captain stands up all calm and says, 'How many dumbfires do we have left?' and then Belding is all 'but he'll just plot an evasion with that AI he's bought,' and then the captain is all..."
"Not if I STEER IT," announces Talia in a booming imitation of the Captain.
No. 246711 ID: 4f6e37
File 128771262333.png - (327.64KB , 800x600 , 56.png )

This breaks open the floodgates, and we spend the rest of the ride discussing entertaining ways the captain has blown himself and his enemies up.

"And so then Anka is all, I'm taking the shot, and the Captain goes NO WE CAN'T SHOOT HIM IT WILL BREAK THE TREATY, and he dives at the Triumvirate envoy and takes the bullet himself. Turns out he was just tackling him into the volcano and they both go barreling over the edge," Talia is saying. "And the best part is that didn't actually violate the rules of the ceasefire because..."
We're jolted from the conversation by a computerized chirrup from the communications link near the front of the boat. I appear to have completely lost track of time.
"This is the control tower of Tribe Volitathis," says a polite female voice, with a buzz to its tone and a hint of exotic accent. "We welcome our esteemed visitors from the skies. We remind our visitors that Giter, also classified as Fero 8, is a full protectorate of the Alliance and humbly request identification and reason for entrance into Volitathis space."
No. 246720 ID: 6164e0

Alright, you have an accent to work with, and a bit of her linguistic perks. Can your personal experience makes some estimations about the owner?

If it could work, I'd suggest some innuendo involving docking your hot, shining ship all up in her dock, as a means to get her distracted enough you can pull more information from her before giving an answer.
No. 246724 ID: 676dda

Nah, screw flirting until you are face to face.

Wait, what am I saying? IT ALWAYS ON BABY!

Yea, reply diplomatically with a hint of charm. Don't layer it on too thick though, or Talia will get jealous and Anka will solidify you in the James Bond role (which may be a good thing as well as bad).
No. 246747 ID: d677cc

Okay, yeah, charming a bit while answering the summons could be amusing.

But just a bit!
No. 246754 ID: 69bee4

Well, diplomacy seems the right way to go.

something like this as a start:
"We are here on a [diplomatic] trip involving interest in some resources we have heard are here on your planet."

people and the bounties on pirates are definitely a form of resource, and im a fan of lying while not lying.
No. 247030 ID: 4f6e37
File 128781395778.png - (173.26KB , 800x600 , 57.png )

"Your dulcet tones are coming in loud and clear, Tower," I say, hopping over to the communications panel. No video feed, it seems. I wonder what she looks like. Oh well. Even homely women need some [charm] in their lives. "Requesting permission to slide into your dock nice and easy."
"Acknowledged, honored guests," says the voice brightly, showing no indication of understanding my innuendo. "What is the reason for your visit?"
"We're envoys of the Alliance," I say. "We're here on a [diplomatic] trip involving interest in some resources we have heard are here on your planet."
"Ah, you are from the Alliance," says the voice. "We shall confirm this when you land. Welcome to the planet Fero 8 and the Volitathis tribe holdings. What conditions and resources will you require to be comfortable and productive upon landing?"
No. 247032 ID: 701a19

"An appointment with your local head-of-state equivalent is all.
No. 247036 ID: 40cb26

You are now aware that your companions are giving you looks. Lay it easy on the innuendo and implications but be your charming self. Oh and ask her name, just so you can speak casually. Do remember that if there are few females, those there are will be coveted and as such... there's a threat to diplomacy, with such relations.

Now then, what do you need? Only real important thing is someone in charge to talk to. Meeting someone important when you land would be ideal.
No. 247050 ID: 1854db

Could be an AI. That would explain there being no picture. Abandon the charm, continue diplomacy. We could probably use some form of shelter or something.
No. 247062 ID: 5c4201

yes, lodgings and someone up the chain of command. also you can stay charming, just don't lay on any more sexy things.
No. 247069 ID: 203fd3

Some nice rooms, a hot meal, and a chance to meet you face-to-face, darling.

Also I guess >>247032
No. 247131 ID: 4f6e37
File 128786418553.png - (341.75KB , 800x600 , 58.png )

"Some lodgings for myself and my comrades, and a chance to speak to the head of the tribe, please," I say.
"Of course," says the voice on the other end. "We will make preparations for you. May I ask your species?"

"One Shirm, one Delter, and one human," I say.

"I see," she says. "Representatives of the Shirm and Delter are already present. Are you a separate party?"
"Yyyyes," I say. It appears the pirates have made themselves at home as well.
"We shall make preparations for you," says the Dreimian. "And petition the tribal council for a visitation. Will that be all?"
"Yes. Thank you very much."
"Visitor ship, you are cleared to land on Volitathis Dock II. We anticipate your arrival. Tower out."

I disconnect and head off to bring the ship in. Talia follows me.
"'Slide into their dock', eh?" she says, raising one eyebrow...analogue...thing. "Thinking of bagging a bedbug while we're down there, Halaris?"
No. 247134 ID: 1854db

"Charm is part of how I work. I don't have any plans to fool around." Or something like that, via [diplomacy]. Maybe "Nah, just trying to smooth talk her. Didn't seem to work, but we got what we wanted anyway."

...wait, we should make it clear to her that we might wind up seducing someone to complete a mission someday. Probably not this one though.
No. 247163 ID: e973f4

This, I, uh... I'm going with this. Can't really think of anything else.
No. 247179 ID: 5eea01

"If the mission requires me to, then yes."
No. 247259 ID: 4f6e37
File 128787662186.png - (41.93KB , 800x600 , 59.png )

"I was just trying some smooth talk," I say, [diplomatically]. "Didn't seem to work, but we got what we wanted anyway."
"But you're going to chase tail at some point on this mission," she says. It's more a statement than a question.
"If the mission requires me to, then yes," I say.
"Yeah," Talia sighs. The ship rocks slightly as it moves in for a landing. "Oh, hell. I need to make this quick. Hal. Listen. I like you and everything, but I barely know you, y'know? I just don't think I'm ready for a really really close relationship with you right now. With anyone, I mean. It's sort of traditional for a Delter to wait until they are finished warring to really get with someone anyway, and I know you're sex on three legs, so you probably wouldn't be too happy being with just one person either..."
Oh nuts. Here it comes.
"...so I was thinking maybe we should just be fuckbuddies instead."
No. 247261 ID: 4f6e37
File 12878766742.png - (166.89KB , 800x600 , 60.png )

"Hal? Halaris? Hello? Are you okay?"
No. 247282 ID: 754124

"I am, of course, amenable to any sort of relationship that pleases you."
No. 247283 ID: 1037c7

No. 247304 ID: 0cfe8b

"I'll try to contain my disappointment"
No. 247315 ID: 1854db

"I will be perfectly satisfied with such an arrangement!"
No. 247323 ID: 5eea01

Breathe, Hal. You don't want to faint in front of your fuckbuddy, do you?
No. 247353 ID: 4f6e37
File 128788532623.png - (416.25KB , 800x600 , 61.png )

"This is me containing my disappointment," I say. "I suppose I shall be satisfied with such an arrangement, if that's really what you want."
"It is," says Talia. "You're the only man I know on the Unflagging who I won't accidentally screw to death."
"What about Argus?"
"Who I won't accidentally screw to death and isn't an insufferable prick. Probably. I've forgotten how good sex feels cooped up in that stupid ship. So blow off some steam with me every now and again and we'll see if anything happens from there."
"Well gosh," I say. "Crud. Curses. I guess I have to say yes. I am, of course, amenable to any sort of relationship that pleases you."
"Just keep in mind that you can sample the local poontang all you want but I can't get any on this particular planet," mutters Talia. "I'm a walking bugzapper."

We rejoin Anka on the bridge as we descend toward the Volitathis village. "Looks like the dreimians are gathering to greet us," she says. "I hope you weren't trying to be subtle."
"Do I ever try to be subtle?" I ask.
"Good point..." says Anka.

I look down toward the staring dreimians, as a smalll crowd begins to gather near the landing pad. Their faces shine in the rosy light of the Giter sky.
"Visitors, Your rooms are prepared and the council has agreed to meet with you," says the cheery voice of the Tower. "They shall receive you officially this evening."
"That frees up the afternoon for meet-and-greeting the locals," says Anka. "We could find a market or something down there."
"Yeah," says Talia, "or we could find some pirates down there and kick their asses, since they obviously realize we're here now and striking first is a good idea. Plus I really want to try out these new jump packs."
No. 247358 ID: 754124

Ass-kicking is the captain's job. If pirates attack us directly, we can kick their asses, but that's it. Our job is to schmooze. So let's see what we can do to get the populace to like us.
No. 247359 ID: 5c4201

they may know we are here, but do they know WHY we are here? doubtful. attacking may result in them alerting their boss and the important ones will get away. they also probably have a respawner on their ship, so kill one and they are in perfect position to alert everyone. so for now you need to stay low and pretend you are an envoy and bodyguard group.
No. 247389 ID: a76809

Maybe we can appease Talia's urges AND leave the violence to the captain?

Perchance we seek out a bar with our time before the meeting?

We can get a better feel for the locals, you get to see a whole mess of social hierarchy in bars, there will probably be pirates, as who does not like getting drunk when finally dirtside, AND you can get Talia a drunken brawl, insinuate yourselves as being pirates. If you strike first in terms of first impression, you might not need to be careful around the pirates, as they'll be so sure you're just some more pirates, not potential enforcement agents.

So yeah, go toa bar, have some drinks, talk with locals, get Talia drunk, get her a drunken barfight, maybe reconnoiter with a bar maid, give yourself a tutorial of the local species, and THEN go to your official meeting.

Boozing and whoring before your official meeting.

No. 247394 ID: a17cca

Splediferous idea, chap!
No. 247592 ID: 4f6e37
File 128795110827.png - (294.53KB , 1000x600 , 62.png )

We decide to drop in at a bar to get the feel for the inhabitants of Giter. My drink senses lead me to a tavern the locals tell me is called The Tumbling Cheesewheel, which they assure me is a real knee-slapper of a pun in their language.

It proves moderately difficult to start a drunken brawl, as the bartender immediately notices us as we walk in (Anka nearly smacks her head on the entrance) and declares a welcoming feast, with free drinks for everyone (well, half-priced drinks, he says, after a moment's hesitation).

"I think I like these people," says Anka, squeezing into a booth.
"Ugh," says Talia. "It's so idyllic I want to scream."

"Welcome to Giter, out-of-towners," says a pretty barmaid, swanning over with a couple of tankards. "Can I help you folks? Drinks?"
"No thanks," says Talia. "Delter don't drink things."
"Really?" the barmaid looks confused. "But I've got an ale for you courtesy of another tall glowing funny-legged alien who..." she looks around. "Huh. He was just in here, but now I don't see him."
"Another delter?" I ask.
"Yep, from the other group of visitors," says the barmaid. "They got here about a month or two ago."
"I'll take that ale if you won't," says Anka.
No. 247594 ID: dad664

No. 247596 ID: 5c4201

"didn't even have to say anything and already got a lead, hot damn i'm good"
No. 247597 ID: 56dc25

Normally, an ale courtesy of someone is something that they've paid for, not something they've actually handled.

This is an excellent opportunity to find out a little bit more about their other alien visitors. How many of them there are, for example, and where they live/what they spend their time doing. Charm it up, bearing in mind that the charm skill encompasses more than just outrageous flirting. Tone that bit down a little, since it didn't go over terribly well last time.
No. 247646 ID: 4f6e37
File 128795885771.png - (282.15KB , 800x600 , 63.png )

"Hold onto that, Anka," I say, nudging her hard in the ribs. Ow, my elbow. "Don't drink it yet. Listen, uh... I'm so sorry, I haven't gotten your name yet."
"Diminai," she says.
"Pleased to meet you, Diminai. Listen, can you tell me more about these other visitors?"
"Of course," she says. "There are a few three-legged ones like you, and some black and red glowy folks...Delters, you called them? And some colorful people without any faces. I haven't seen anyone like the armored gentleman here."
"Lady," says Anka.
"Oh crud, I'm sorry," says Diminai with a nervous laugh. "Uh, yeah. Just those 3 sorts of people. There are about two dozen of them in all, I'd guess. Four or five of them drink here every day then pack off to wherever. The embassy they've set up in the Commons, maybe. If I'm going to be honest-" she looks around to make sure no one is listening in. "I don't like them much. They're rowdy, they're armed, they don't tip much, and once or twice one of them grabbed my ass. Uninvited. There's some that are friendly enough, though. And I think that..." she gestures for me to come closer. "I think your delter friend has caught one of their eyes, or whatever those things on their faces are," she says. "He told me to slip a note into the glass for her."
No. 247652 ID: dad664

No. 247657 ID: 40cb26

Comment how rude that was of them, and that you never knock if uninvited. Not even on such a nice place as that. Ask more about them, names and appearance and such. Perhaps let on that they aren't folk that should be trusted, not even the nice ones. You shouldn't tip your hand on that freely, but her being aware may prove useful for gathering info.

Not sure on that, but let's take no chances. Have the waitress return the beer and be sure to poor it out.
No. 247661 ID: 56dc25

You don't want to read the note? It might say something interesting. We can fish it out and read it without actually drinking, or even touching the beverage.

Make sure that you are not guilty of that most heinous sin of not tipping much.
No. 247664 ID: 40cb26

Oh, just didn't mention but yeah, take out the note and dispose of the drink.
No. 247668 ID: 1854db

Let's put on a little bit of [charm] to encourage her that we're not here to cause any trouble or anything. Ask what the general opinion is of them aside from hers.
No. 247686 ID: 1854db

Wait, does that always involve flirting? If so, don't bother, use [diplomacy] instead. After all she said she doesn't appreciate the attention very much.
No. 247687 ID: 45cd95

She mentioned she didn't want such unwanted forward advances. There is a big difference between grabbing a persons ass and using a bit of [charm]
No. 247713 ID: 754124

>"Ugh," says Talia. "It's so idyllic I want to scream."
Welcome to Brom's quests!

Okay so Talia should get a hold of the drink, and the note should be read. It could be a letter bomb or something. I'd consider that unlikely, but Anka's in power armor, so she could open it if we want to play things ridiculously safe.

We could perhaps assert that while we are armed, we are not rowdy. Except, perhaps, in bed. We should also note that we tip plentifully. Especially in bed. On a different note, we ought to get some information on the location of the embassy, and its nature in general. That sounds like the Captain's target. Hopefully not in bed.

The fact that she specified that it was uninvited implies that she would not be averse to it if they were politer (and, indeed, more [charm]ing).
No. 247734 ID: 4f6e37
File 128796749149.png - (354.49KB , 800x600 , 64.png )

"Really," I say. I take the tankard and dunk a hand in, fishing around inside. I pull the note out, unfold it, and hand the ale back to Diminai. "Pour that out, please."
"What-" she says. "I, uh, I think that was for the lady."
"It could be poisoned," explains Talia. "Those other patrons..."
"Let's just say you've got the right hunch about them," I say. Let's try laying on some [charm]. I don't have to use it for flirting all the time, but she certainly does have an intriguing pair of claws. "You should never knock uninvited, after all. No matter how nice the place looks."
"Oh really," she says, with a smile. I may just be imagining her leaning down a little to show off more cleavage.
"Yes really. I promise not to do that, or to be rowdy, unless that's what folks round here are into. Does anyone share your view on them?"
"Well, we don't really like speaking ill of our guests, but there has been some uncomfortableness," she says. "They do smell nice."
"And their embassy?"
"Big and walled and patrolled," she says. "They commandeered one of the shops in the markets. The shopkeepers moved out, I guess. It's traditional to let strangers stay with you but it's generally agreed that when they mount an MG nest on your roof they're pushing courtesy a bit far."
"You couldn't describe them generally for me?"
"Well, they vary a lot, but most of them are sort of like you folks. Tall and armor all over and with weapons, too. Most of them have guns but I saw one or two of the faceless colorful ones carrying sword sorts of things. Spooky. The only standard thing I can think of is that they were all generally pretty cold, unless they wanted to get in your dress." Her antennae twitch. "None of the squid folk tried anything, though. What did you say your name was?"
No. 247765 ID: 40cb26

Give your name my good man. And of course get hers as well. I dunno if there's an equivalent to exchanging phone numbers but if she can contact you that could prove useful in case something comes up. Something concerning the pirates, of course. And maaaaybe she'd like to hook up later or something.
No. 247895 ID: 1854db

Markets noon tomorrow... hey, we have a little time to scout out their shack. We should do that. Visit the marketplace and get a good idea of what you can expect at the meeting tomorrow. Show the note to the other two.

In the meantime, have a drink and [charm]flirt with the barmaid a little more. Ask about local customs. What's good to eat around here?
No. 247899 ID: 5c4201

scouting sounds good, knowing the lay of the land would really help. also yeah, see if you can get some bug booty.
No. 247974 ID: 24a9bd

Make a 'slip up' and say "who's". Tell Diminai your name.

Hm, you might want to subtly ask if they have cameras, it might be good to have someone look out for you, since it's probably a trap.
No. 249133 ID: 4f6e37
File 128823662529.png - (406.41KB , 800x600 , 65.png )

"Halaris," I say. "Call me Hal. Is there anything to eat around here, Diminai?"
"While you're on Giter you have to try Watuskin. We got Watuskin burgers, Watuskin steaks, Watuskin fingers..." says Diminai. "Pretty much half the menu is Watuskin carved into different shapes."
"Big red woolly hairy animal things," says Diminai, pointing at the window. "They're sort of a staple. It's why everyone's clothes are so red."
Out in the backyard of the tavern, a hairy lumplike thing grazes peacefully on tall grass. "That's Diservi," says Diminai. "She's a Watuskin and also sort of our mascot."
"I'm game," says Anka. "Bring the Watuskin."
"I guess I'll just watch everyone else eat," grumbles Talia.
No. 249134 ID: 4f6e37
File 128823662685.png - (103.71KB , 800x600 , 66.png )

((New Contact: Diminai. Contacts are like allies who take no active role in combat but instead form a support network for Halaris, giving him bonuses and perks on-mission. Dimiani's bonuses include:
Free Drinks,
Knows Some People (Halaris gains a bonus to diplomacy if Diminai speaks to the target) and
Hears Some Things (Diminai can be relied upon as a source of information about the Volitathis tribal holdings)))

After a few minutes, Diminai brings the meal out. Steaming, generous helpings of dark red Watuskin served on pillowy slabs of bread that is perhaps a bit gummier than I'm used to, but tasty in an exotic way.
As we polish off our Watuskin burgers (they taste sort of like a gamier version of a Gronthorodon, but then I suppose you don't know what those are), I make a bit of an effort to score myself a sampling of a different sort of local delicacy. "So how is this job, anyway?" I ask. "Barmaiding's a bit of a lost art back in the Alliance."

Diminai shrugs. "Well, it pays well enough for a Maiden Dreimian, and you meet interesting folks. Speaking of which, it's not exactly every day we get alien diplomats dropping by. I'm intrigued."
"We're probably rolling out soon on official Diplomaticy business soon, but I'd love to tell you all about it some other time," I say. "Is there any way I can call you to get back in touch or something?"
"I doubt Alliance phones will work with Dreimian lines," says Anka.
"Then you can just drop by the tavern if you need me," says Diminai. "It's pretty much a round-the-clock job. I was thinking of going to your meeting with the council. It would always be nice to hear some poetry."
"Though it might seem a dumb waste of time, the proceedings are all in full rhyme," says Diminai. "The council's decision, though it may cause derision, at least will sound simply sublime. It's a cultural thing. Official stuff rhymes a lot."
"Intriguing," I say. "We'll have to see for ourselves. Thank you very much for the hospitality, Diminai. I can see why you're the most popular place in town, with such steamily savory succulence served."
"Thanks," grins Diminai, as she walks away, with a purposeful sway in her stride "I hope you liked the food too."
No. 249165 ID: 4f6e37
File 128823965391.png - (274.36KB , 800x600 , 67.png )

We excuse ourselves and head to the Bad Guy headquarters. The courtyard in front of the abandoned shop is empty, save for a Watuskin hide draped in its center. The leatherworker treating it is nowhere to be seen.
The abandoned store is at the very end of the cul-de-sac, surrounded by other buildings and impromptu fortifications. I can see two pirates on parapet patrol right now. I don't want to get any closer and risk being possibly seen by that sniper.
"We could jump jet right into the windows, they're completely unguarded," says Talia. "Or maybe onto the roof, take the sniper out quick, drop in and pay them a visit when they least expect it. The jump packs are right in the shuttle, I could go get them. There's like two of them, so one of us could stay back here and watch our asses."
"We're wanted in front of the council in about an hour," says Anka. "We'd be better off spending it finding out more about our hosts and our targets than charging in."
"An hour is plenty of time," says Talia. "Then we go up to the council and go, Eenie Meenie Miney Med, all the pirate fucks are dead. Hooray, big damn heroes. Grub buffalo cow thing meat for everyone."
"Nice rhyming," says Anka.
"I'm a marine, not some slutty barmaid ant thing," says Talia. "What do you want from me?"
No. 249166 ID: 40cb26

A little patience and caution. You're the diplomatic team who is able to defend yourselves, not the goddamn assault team. Stay out of trouble as best you can and report all your findings so the ones who are supposed to blow these fuckers up can do their jobs.
No. 249178 ID: ef1658

I'm sure that if the Captain wanted some pirates dead before anything else, he'd be down here himself. For all we know, half the pirates are out anyway.

Best to scope out the scene at the council, size people up before talking to them. The pirates have an advantage in probably knowing the who's-who already, and we need to close the gap.
No. 249185 ID: 754124

We are primarily a diplomat. We should radio the location of the pirate base (and all the info we have on it) to the captain, and then stand by for an hour.
No. 249190 ID: c16ebe

Diplomat or not, I don't think standing by for an hour is the kind of action the captain wants us to take.
Instead we should probably be scoping out the pirates, deciding a way to attack it later, maybe even setting up for later offenses / crippling things in their base. But nothing too reckless yet. We do want to be ready in an hour for that meeting regardless of what we do here.
No. 249245 ID: 3df3c1

We are a diplomatic mission. You're giving orders, Hal, they're your backup. Don't let anyone's primal instincts get in the way of your negotiations.

Radio the hideout coordinates, its defenses estimation, then head out for the meeting. You've got rhymes to prepare.

Did you take pictues at the bar?
No. 249499 ID: 69bee4

Stay focused Hal! no, not on the mission, we need to deal with that diplomatically. Before that meeting though, you better damn well get pictures of the most boring and culturally significant things around! We have a captain to mess with, this takes priority.
No. 249518 ID: 4f6e37
File 128832312440.png - (318.49KB , 800x600 , 68.png )

I decide to refrain from attacking the pirates, instead relaying the coordinates of the pirate base to Belding, then spending about 45 minutes taking pictures of Watuskin in various states of repose.

After a while, prompted by my companions' badgering, we head to the Council Hall.
"Impressive looking," says Anka.
"For a bunch of farmers, sure," says Talia. "So do we just go in?"
No. 249519 ID: 4f6e37
File 128832312728.png - (243.16KB , 800x600 , 69.png )

"Not quite, most honored guests!" says an excited Dreimian, popping up out of nowhere and startling Anka enough to make her drop her gun. "All those appearing in front of the Council have the right to choose an official Scribe to serve as their advocate, rhymer, and representative before the Council! I am Senior Scribe Dinordai, and I have the honor to serve as your Scribe before the council, if you would simply follow me!"
No. 249520 ID: 4f6e37
File 128832313042.png - (276.38KB , 800x600 , 70.png )

"I believe Senior Scribe Dinordai is in fact mistaken!" says a second scribe, hurrying out of the doorway. "I am Scribe Diamanda, and I would be most honored to represent you in front of the council."
"Ah, Diamanda," says Dinordai warmly. "This, most honored guests, is my sister, and a bit misguided. Fare well, sister. Shall we proceed inside?"
"I believe the guests have a right to choose which Scribe will represent them, honored brother," says Diamanda.
"I believe the choice is clear enough to have already been made, junior Scribe Diamanda," says Dinordai.
"Perhaps they would appreciate a poet rather than a pencil pusher," says Diamanda.
"You must forgive her, Guests, she is a bit wrong in the head."
"You are a dusty dinosaur, Dinordai. There are verse forms besides iambic pentameter."
"She is rash and young, o Guests. Please, think nothing of it."
"Step out of the way, fossil."
"One side, little girl."
"Antiquated exhibit."
"Fiery wanton."
"Slut. She can barely put together a sentence. She blew her way through Scribe Academy."
"He's a giant liar and a huge cock and if he represents you he'll bore everyone to death."
No. 249527 ID: 361d44

If you can bust your own rhymes, this is the time.

Case else, take both.
No. 249530 ID: e3f578

You could do your own rhymes and have a really awesome moment, but that would rob us of the opportunity to get a rap battle out of these two. You know the drill, Hal, you can't go any further without a rap battle... which then you'll suddenly join in and win the entire thing at the last minute
No. 249531 ID: 40cb26

I like these two already! Fucking hilarious!

"Do I have to choose only one? Neither of you could be nearly as entertaining as the both of you together."
No. 249535 ID: a17cca

"If only one can accompany me... how can I put this eloquently?
I suppose you both shall have to make
me find out who is the true fake."
No. 249538 ID: 1854db

RAP BATTLE. We shall see who is the best rhymer.
No. 249539 ID: b1e451

Maybe an impromptu poetry slam is in order.

Oh! Or "test" them on their knowledge of what the political situation is like, who the big players are, relevant laws, et cetera et cetera
No. 249541 ID: 69bee4

I vote for Dinordai personally, but really Id want to respond in poem... but I need some time >.< im working on another one atm.
No. 249564 ID: dd9c1c

There once was a pair of Volitathis
The other's methods, they each found amiss
The sister and brother
Tried outdoing each other
And amusement was brought forth by this.
No. 249566 ID: 361d44

Lets test their skill.

Let's provoke then end the rap battle! xD
No. 249585 ID: d3dfb8

No. 249589 ID: 701a19

Sure, lets see how well these two can freestyle.
No. 249623 ID: 2563d4

Well, so far neither of them are being particularly poetic.
No. 249682 ID: 1854db

We should probably use [diplomacy] in order to smooth things along.
No. 249686 ID: 3df3c1


Try to persuade them that your cultural traditions dictate such quarrels are resolved by employing both of them and having them take turns.
If they entertained us, their rap battle surely will entertain the Volitathis audience.
No. 249764 ID: 3392ab

God dammit, Brom. Your quests are the only ones that actually make me laugh.
No. 249783 ID: 4f6e37
File 128838464639.png - (270.38KB , 800x600 , 71.png )

"There once was a pair of Volitathis
The other's methods, they each found amiss
The sister and brother
Tried outdoing each other
And amusement was brought forth by this," I say. "Neither of you are being particularly poetic. Rap battle, you two."

"A showdown of the spoken word," says Scribe Dinordai. "I accept. Pay attention, sister, you might learn something." He shuts his eyes for all of two seconds, then launches into an extended sonnet.

"The sky takes on a rosy hue
The street is hush, the sun is low.
There are men who would admonish you
'Pay silent heed to this tableau.

"'Be still and tranquil, in thy troth
To this earth and to its fair state,
Lest she obscure herself in wroth
When she hears us enunciate.’

"But you and I know they are wrong,
The dusty coated, feeble men.
The soul is best expressed with Song.
The verse provides us acumen.

"My gifts I tender up to you,
To ensure that your words ring true."
No. 249784 ID: 4f6e37
File 128838467022.png - (237.78KB , 800x600 , 72.png )

"Iambic pentameter again, brother?" says Scribe Diamanda. "I will never understand why you insist on hitching your wagon to a horse long expired. The Honored guest specifically asked for a rap battle. Now then...

I say who’s the baddest scribe in town
To whom all others must bow down?
Diamanda. Yeah, bitch, you got Shafted
Burn you so hard gotta get your skin grafted
Don’t look on your ass for spare epidermis
Cause I own that shit. Yes sir I am all over this.
You’s what we in the pros call a Hit-and-miss.
Said that I got a reputation as the Ruthlessesst.
So you’re pissed?
Didja miss when I said you could kiss it?
I must inquire, O squire, are you fed up with dis shit?
Believe it. You see it. You feel it? You need it.
Cause the verse you rehearse ain’t no thing but a curse
Locks you in place. In your face, fucker. Brace
Yourself for a kickin’, son, trust me I’ll be stickin
my name on your lips, Thou Shalt Not come to grips,
Cause I know that you ain’t never ever heard nothing like this
There was a little lady in a little old town,
whose flow (so you know) smacked the haters all down
Why looky there at that fair little girl see her spittin’
That good shit, alacritious, I believe I am smitten.
Why I float like a butterfly. No. I purr like a kitten. No.
I rap like Ali, all these rhymes that I’m hittin’ said the
ain’t where you at. Want an
Because you just fell flat. Wanna
Your rep after that?
Bad news, son. You can’t, son. Sit down, son. Just walk, son. Fuck off, son.
I wrap it up
Rap it up
What the fuck
Y’outta luck
Diamanda Di Greatest is here for the squid man.
And she is a-thinkin’ it’s time that you hid, man.
No. 249789 ID: 1854db

I'm gonna have to go with the girl. She's got energy.
No. 249791 ID: 754124

Yeah, she does and she be good. But I kind of suspect that Hal would be pretty decent at busting his own rhymes.
No. 249800 ID: 3df3c1

Now, dismissing them might cast a shadow of overconfidence on us. Wouldn't want to seem intrusive, would we?

All right, I change my vote. Screw the guy, Diamanda wins. Hands down.

Dramatic reading of this. You know you want it.
No. 249802 ID: 361d44

Yes, taking a rapper to meet the highups. That will totally end well.

Go with the brother.
No. 249806 ID: 3392ab

I was thinking the same. I think taking Dinordai would be best.
No. 249814 ID: 701a19

I called rap battle 'cause it's like diplomacy,
you've gotta know how to adapt and show versatility.
I know it's not your forte,
so I would've nudged your way,
but when your lack of even trying
nearly had me crying
I knew your mind was all stone when I was looking for clay.
You're a master at your task,
and you're running high on class,
but when I changed the game and your moves still stayed the same
I simply gotta say that this just ain't your day so the girl with the killer ass is the one I've gotta pass."
No. 249815 ID: f5d873

No. 249858 ID: e33093

pretty solid kid, but we gotta give Dinordai a fighting chance, oi?

"Brother Dinordai, you've clearly a grasp
But for this round, you've been handed your ass.
Sister Dimanda, you've an impressive flow
But for all fairness, let's have another go.

Come on kids, round two!
Show me what you can do.
You've got two round to go
Before the end of this show.

Bring the best you fucking got
Cause round three's your last shot
At sittin' high and pretty on the throne
Of being the one who'll scribe for those flown
In from above well high in the sky
So now, don't leave us out to dry.
Go on, go now, get on with it.
I've gone and said my bit."
No. 249876 ID: 2563d4

I'm afraid that my hatred of all things gangsta means I cannot possibly condone this. Brother.
No. 249987 ID: 4f6e37
File 128841089879.png - (106.25KB , 800x600 , 74.png )

((New Contact: Diamanda. Bonuses include:
Freeflow (Diamanda's signature style. Light on meter or structure, but heavy on lyrical alacrity and speed; This is either a benefit or drawback depending on the receiving end, with the more traditional opposing her unorthodox delivery),
Fluid Style (Diamanda did not, in fact, blow her way through Scribal Academy. She has dabbled in Haiku, Sonnet, Delter Kural, Blank Verse, Limerick, Free verse, Slam, and, of course, Rap. She is unpredictable in her choice of form, but frequently effective. Critical success is more likely using her as a speaker, but critical failure is slightly more likely as well),
Firebrand (Diamanda is one of the younger scribes of Tribe Volitathis, and as a result is unusually passionate about her craft. As she gets into it and picks up momentum, she provides progressively higher bonuses to Diplomacy), and
Scribal Secrets (Diamanda is more easily swayed than her older brother, and as a result can be talked, threatened, decieved, or seduced into providing sensitive information only an official of the Volitathis would know).))

"Dinordai," I say, "I called a rap battle because it's like diplomacy.
You've got to know how to adapt and show versatility.
I know it's not your forte,
so I would've nudged your way,
But I knew your mind was all stone when I was looking for clay.
You're a master at your task,
and you're running high on class,
but when I changed the game and your moves still stayed the same? Kind of lame.
I think I have to say say this just isn't your day. Diamanda."
"Can I tap you?"
"But of course," says Diamanda. "I offer up my services to you."
"Be a little more suggestive, Halaris, the folks in back didn't get it," says Anka.
"Shall we enter and speak with the Council now, or did you have some questions for your new representative?" says Diamanda. "What, exactly, are you trying to speak to the Council about, if I may be bold enough to inquire?"
No. 250026 ID: 701a19

"You know those guys who took over that shop in the market and put guns all over it?
Well, they have a nasty tendency to do that to other people, only using bullets instead of words. They're pirates who've been using this planet as a staging ground for raids, and we're here to get official approval so we can stop them.
No. 250043 ID: 40cb26

Can we get a more private area to sit down and explain things? Don't want to do it here and now, even if the only other person you see is her brother. Too open and exposed, and we should take the time to explain the situation fully. Just say something about Alliance diplomatic policies. Try not to be flirty about it, not when you're next to her brother at any rate.
No. 251021 ID: 05d350


Yeah this. Hmmm. Actually, see if her brother could tag along anyway. He might have a different tome of knowledge tucked away in his bug brain. (Considering the rhyming scheme, a dusty one)
It might take some [diplomacy] though.
If we can get a good idea about the council and how certain members feel about the pirates before hand...
No. 251331 ID: 4f6e37
File 128867066276.png - (151.91KB , 800x600 , 75.png )

"Can we get a more private area somewhere?" I ask.
"Of course," says Diamanda. "I'm sure one of the interview rooms is unoccupied. Our companions can wait here and entertain each other. If you'll follow me?"

She leads me to a smallish room with two wooden chairs nailed to the floor. "Spartan, no?" she says as she sits down on one of the chairs and gestures for me to do the same. "It's to make you uncomfortable. Uncomfortable?"
"I've been worse," I say, sitting opposite her. "Okay, Diamanda, right down to the brass tacks. You know those other visitors who took over that shop in the marketplace and covered it with guns? Well, they're pirates, they use this planet as a staging ground, and I'm here seeking official sanction to blow them up. In a nutshell."

"Hmmm." She squirms forward a little. "That may not go over well. The thing is, Honored Guest, Dreimians have a traditional code of offering safe haven to anyone who wants it. Getting them to agree to something like this will be by no means easy. But you've hired the best to represent you, of course, and I'm sure your arguments will have some merit. Plus, and I'm going to be blunt here, the Council may be predisposed to look more kindly on you because you smell nice."

"I smell nice?"
"Well, you and the other aliens. Dreimians work a lot off of smell, and your species and the Qal and the Humans actually smell quite nice. Not so much the Delter, which as a collective smell altogether too much like ozone. If you don't mind me mentioning it."

"Not at all. Do you have any insight on the Council?"
"There are about fifty active members, but only four will be at your meeting today," she says. "The others will be listening in remotely. For several reasons, one of which is that every one has a different opinion on poetry, and they want it to be fair, after all."

"So poetry means a lot?"
"Not quite as much as facts, but it can be the tipping point. You just leave that to me, Honored Guest. I'll rephrase your arguments for you. All except your introductory poem, which I'm afraid you'll have to compose for yourself. A word of advice, freeform rap may be good fun, but even a Maiden like me recongizes it has fewer uses in the council chambers. For an introduction you want to have a bit more structure, test the waters, that sort of thing."

"Okay," I say, [diplomatically]. "Is there any way I can get both you and your brother to represent me?"
"Well. I mean I suppose you could, but a scribal team is really only reserved for major cases with weeks of preparation," says Diamanda, quickly. "Don't worry. I am more than enough scribe to get you through this. Besides," she grins, "Dinordai, bless his blowhole, is what happens when the Stick in the Mud and the Thawed Neanderthal have a lovechild. We'll have a more fun, productive time without him."
No. 251359 ID: 701a19

Tell her that if they were just claiming safe haven then you wouldn't even be here, ask if it would help to play up the fact that they're not using their people for asylum, but as meat shield hostages.
No. 251366 ID: 40cb26

We should try to get a better idea on this Dreiman hospitality, surely it isn't endlessly open and forgiving. Such as when Diminai mentioned "pushing courtesy a bit far" there must be something about what these pirates have been or will inevitably be doing that crosses the line. And that you can't be a good host to others if you keep such desirable sorts about. Also convince them that a proper Alliance friendship is so much nicer than putting up with those jerks. See if you can't find out if any of the members have a special relation to the pirates.

Oh and that is important too. Makes for a nice little bit to wrap your case up with.

Using charm for diplomatic ends is of course the way to go here. For the purpose of having fun whist productive, of course. And what is it about your guys smell that is so appealing to them?
No. 251471 ID: a5038a

It'd help if these pirates had made trouble of some sort. Did they kick someone out of that building they are set up in? Have they caused trouble of any sort?

It'd be perfect if we could somehow get them into a firefight with some locals, but we are a bit short on time to be setting something like that up.
No. 251486 ID: 69bee4

My introductory poem for Hal!

My greetings, hospitable Dreimians
May my presence today be fair for you.
I speak to ye today about houseguests, lemons.
For a true neighbor is a pas de deux

What you have instead is pirates, vulgar.
Who do harm upon others in your care,
Who use your peace as a form of bunker.
To those seeking peace, we come your prayer.

I request the power, right, or your aid
To expel these pirates and uphold staid,
By the way, that is a fabulous robe,
Allow me the right to aid peace on globe.

As is plain to see, they defend for war
Something preytel, I know you must abhor.
They steal from the area peace, leather,
A cul-de-sac that could be used better.

Guards stand and fortifications are made,
A kind of permanent guest that you wish not stay.
People of the local bar express their dismay.
These kinds of guests will soon surpass just jade.

And so I may exit with all my charm.
I promise to seek things that do not harm.
For they are your guests now, and so are we
Thus let us work together, fruitfully.

I figure its worth offering that were willing to try peace with the pirates first. Though this can be removed we all really don't like that.

I like my poem, though somewhat short notice, decided to mix around a bit between the more formal ideas behind stanzas and rhyme with a bit of more freeforming also mixed in to try and avoid sheer boring. So the rhyme scheme and stanzas stay about the same, but some non-true rhymes are used, iambic pentameter is used as hexameiter at one point, blah blah boring poetry stuff only I as the author care about.

No. 251508 ID: 4f6e37
File 128872522074.png - (157.69KB , 800x600 , 76.png )

"I'd like to get more of a handle on this Dreimian tradition of acceptance," I say, continuing with [diplomacy] and adding a pinch of [charm].

"It's not particularly complicated," says Diminai. "We simply take pains to keep our guests as satisfied as possible, within reason. Taking quarters in our market is pushing it, but it's not enough for us to sanction throwing them to the dogs. No offense."
"See, if that was all that was going on and they were just claiming safe haven I wouldn't even be here. What's happening is that they are hiding here and putting your asses out on the line for them, which is a serious waste of fine alien tail. As a member of the Alliance I can see better uses for it."
She sits up straight, raising an eyebrow, and grins. "Are you implying something, Honored Guest?"

"All I'm saying is that there's probably a reason people appreciate Dreimian hospitality so much beyond the charmingly rustic accountrements," I say, evenly. "Yours is a fairly photogenic race, on the whole. And I'm sure you'll find a solid friendship with the Alliance to be much nicer than putting up with Pirates."
"Well, if we look nice and you smell good, I see no reason this won't go swimmingly," says Diminai. "Shall we meet the council?"
No. 251509 ID: 4f6e37
File 128872523144.png - (266.14KB , 800x600 , 77.png )

We regroup with everyone else and head to the Council Chambers. We're greeted by a small crowd who have showed up to watch, including Diminai, who waves at me, and a tall cloaked figure I can only assume is a Delter pirate.
The Councillors themselves sit on a raised platform at the opposite wall, each dressed in blue and green finery, each with a glowing green screen on the platform before them. I can't make out what's displayed on them from here. The furthest right of them stands, and announces,
"Salutations to our guests
Who visit us from distant sky.
Here before us to contest
Some matter deserving of our eye."
"Dersichore," whispers Diamanda. "Big into tradition. May be difficult to sway."
Another Councillor says,
"Welcome indeed, Guests.
Blessed is this August Court
To accept your fare."
"Delanida," says Diamanda. "Sensetive, motherly type."
The Councillor in between the two of them, a bored-looking man, says,
"This is a Kethu Ballad Verse, whose first and last lines sole must rhyme.
Which means I can make the middle line as long and lucid as I need it to be. Now then. Introductions tend to take a really long time without going anywhere while someone tries to find a poetical bridge into the subject at hand, so before this one gets too long winded, I'm Derdilus, that's Derischore, there's Delanida, and the young one over there is named Derbule. I feel it's time for us to get down to the brass tacks, if it's all the same to you, Honored Guest. Yours is the opening remark. Feel free to begin at your leisure.
This was a Kethu Ballad Verse, which has just saved us lots of time."
"Derdilus is more a practical man," whispers Diamanda. "I don't really know Derbule, he's new."

Shall I go ahead and let out that diplomatic sonnet, now, or does anyone else have anything to add?
No. 251674 ID: 69bee4

Halaris [charm] poem (a Shakespearian sonnet)

Let me not to, keep my desires own.
I seek to know you much better, and more
Let me show you a good reason to moan.
Let me remove the pirates you abhor.
With this taken care, before it does spread,
Removal of pain, let us flush with glee.
I know what you need to happily bed.
Removal of false alliance, my plea.
There’s more to this group than just honeyed words,
So take a moment, breathe it in, for you
Before the Hal experience? For the birds.
Beyond these clothes, there is much more to view.
So I beseech thee, givers of the law
Lets be quick, I want to get to know those claws.

I was supposed to go over the top sexual with this so noone would choose it! Instead I made it potentially subtle enough to pass as is, ah well. I leave up to you all to choose. Oh double meanings, there is much more to Hal under those clothes ya know, like a marksman, and a rather intelligent fellow...
No. 251711 ID: 1854db

I'm thinking stick with pure diplomacy. Charming a whole group of people is a bad idea, especially with mixed gender and sexuality involved.
No. 251777 ID: 40cb26

Well charm like for seducing of course not, but putting yourself forward as personally likable and trustworthy is a good idea. Keep it secondary to the actual issues though. Speak well of their good nature, and poorly of those who would abuse it.
No. 251987 ID: 4f6e37
File 128883949512.png - (257.45KB , 800x600 , 78.png )

My greetings, hospitable Dreimians
May my presence today be fair for you.
I speak to ye today about houseguests, lemons.
For a true neighbor is a pas de deux

What you have instead is pirates, vulgar.
Who do harm upon others in your care,
Who use your peace as a form of bunker.
To those seeking peace, we come your prayer.

I request the power, right, or your aid
To expel these pirates and uphold staid,
It's plain to see they're preparing for war
An act I know you must abhor.

Let me deal with the pirates, the source of your moans,
and help you go to bed with more sonorous tones" here I break verse for a moment, for effect "(If I may be so bold, of course).
These ill-bred guests want a permanent stay.
The Alliance now offers to drive them away."

A few Dreimians, Diminai included, grin at that last verse. The council takes a moment to consider what I have said, all of them tapping their monitors with soft clicking sounds. Perhaps communicating silently?

Finally, the far right one, Dersichore, stands up, and says:
"We recognize these piratical woes
But I fear tradition ties our hands.
Each Dreimian in this hall knows
Strangers must not need fear in our lands."

Delanida says:
"These bandits, you call them, put their faith in us
And we are bound by our honor to keep that faith strong.
A breach of our code may well prove disastrous
To the wider soul of our people, before too long."

"All this being said,
The behavior of these men
Lends your will credence," muses Derbule, the quiet one.

"The issue we face, here, Guest,
Is one of Precedent, for each of our decisions
Will forever be noted, and forever referred to.
We need to know if it's worth it,
To take such a leap of faith in our ethics.
And for that we need to know fully
Of the malignance of these pirates.
To our knowledge the worst they have done
Is to take Quarters where they do not belong.
This does not seem like a worthy cause
To go against the Volitathis spirit.
And that was freeverse, so anyone who says I didn't rhyme can stick it where the sun doesn't shine," says Derdilus. "You may now rely on your Scribe for your rhymings, and need not compose any sort of doggerel for the sake of this council."
No. 252000 ID: 56dc25

...we did get briefed on their crimes in detail, right? Read a dossier or something?

But their worst crime against the Dreimians, so far as I know, is tricking them into supporting criminals unknowingly and presumably lying about their intentions on the planet. Which is kind of a dirty thing to do; a lot of hospitality traditions have escape clauses for the host if they're stuck with a poor guest, so that might be worth mentioning as a supporting point to the whole pirate bit.

If the Dreimians fail to kick them out now that they've been informed of this, then their government will be guilty of piracy against Alliance vessels (assuming that aiding/abetting criminals in their acts causes equal guilt according to Alliance law as in the US) and the Alliance will be able to legally take action against them. Let's save that point for if it looks like we've otherwise lost, though; it's really rather hostile to the Dreimians present.
No. 252078 ID: 40cb26

The issue here is with precedent, it is one thing to establish that those who harm them should not be treated as a guest, or that those who have wronged or intend to wrong them be cast out. But right now all they have is the accusation and possibility of betrayal, if they act on that it undermines their traditions. You can't have trust if you are afraid of what anyone might do, or provide open sanctuary while still allowing others to enforce their own laws those they grant it to.

Couldn't tell you what the solution to all this is, but if you recognize these facts it will possibly help them to be in your favor. Provide evidence of all they have done, and what they are actively doing, and if that falls short than offer to provide further proof via investigations.
No. 252482 ID: 4f6e37
File 128892592536.png - (143.29KB , 800x600 , 79.png )

"So do I just whisper to you?" I ask.
"Sure, if you want," says Diamanda. "But it's just as common for you to present your case in prose to the council and for me to handle the poetry."
"Okay, well," I say, thinking. "Tell them I understand the importance of this decision as precedence, but that the Alliance is their protectorate, and these guys are wanted criminals. These pirates are actively attacking the people sheltering you, and it's your responsibility to turn them in."
"And tell them if they don't the Alliance is hanging them out to dry," whispers Talia.
"I'm not sure if that's the message we want to send..." I say. Diamanda cuts me off.

"Scribe Diamanda Volitathis," she says, pulling off her hat and bowing to the council. "Representing the Alliance Guests.

the lion stirs which curled dormant
once on the sun-baked crackstone
where it had known no disturbance
save its custodianship.
who is the cub to challenge
its stretching limb or the lazy turning
of its great back looming as the sky looms?
its place has always been accomodation
Thank you."

The Council takes a moment to consider this, as several members of the assembled audience rap their knuckles on their seats. Finally, after some more tapping on consoles, Derdilus says,
"Kenthu verse now on the way.
As may be apparent, I do not subscribe to much Volitathis Tradition. It seems to me that what the Guest says is simple common sense. For years, the Alliance has shielded our entire planet. I don't know about everyone else but I still remember the Sult incursion. Even if it was not our responsibility as protectorate to hand over one scruffy band of brigands, the debt we owe the Alliance for their aid would demand any decent Dreimian to heed their words. I say we lift our protection from these pirates.
Kenthu verse has gone away."

Derbule nods.
"We owe you this much.
To show our loyalty now
I yield to the guests."

They look to Dersichore, who shakes his head no and is silent.

Delanida stares into the distance in pensive thought.
Finally, she says, in a quiet voice,
"I wonder for what grave offense
Life was exposed to violence."
She looks up grimly. "Is there no other way to settle this matter?" she says, addressing me directly and out of verse.
No. 252563 ID: 1854db

It's possible, maybe. The pirates invited us for a private chat tomorrow. We could see what they want before we move against them. Get their side of the story.
No. 252606 ID: 40cb26

Well if the pirates want to peacefully surrender that is an option... but they might rather fight instead of surrender. It would be smarter of them than fighting a battle they can't win, so maybe you can try to talk some sense to them. Why not ask the plainly obvious pirate sitting right fucking there about that idea.

We may not want to mention that here and now. For all we know that one guy is working against the rest.
No. 252858 ID: 4f6e37
File 128899431664.png - (171.51KB , 800x600 , 80.png )

"That is entirely possible," I say. "I assure you I'll do everything possible to secure a bloodless surrender from the pirates. They may see how hopeless their situation will be and come quietly, should you agree to side with the Alliance."

"Then I see little other choice," says Delanida. "I support the Alliance Guests."
"That didn't rhyme," says Dersichore.
"Stuff it, Derse," says Derdilus.

"Now perhaps I could get these negotiations started immediately with the rather obvious pirate sitting here watching these proceedings," I say.
"What pirate?" says Derdilus.
"The one with the glowing eyes and the cloak," I say. "Over to the far right."
"He left during Delanida's last couplet," says Derdilus, dryly.

Oh, bugger.
No. 252917 ID: e973f4

Well, looks like you're going to have to go find that guy, or something.
No. 252926 ID: 880ed2

Catch that guy!
No. 252939 ID: 072851

No point trying to catch him NOW, isn' it?

Time to call the captain, and tell him you promised to make them surrender first. Time to try to get talking with those pirate pals...
No. 254734 ID: 35190f

Why haven't you had sex with anyone on this planet yet? Something is going terribly wrong here...
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