Alpha Species Captain Interrogation 24th Of April

[11:30] <Minaplo> [Violet and Kess waited for Captain Hyuga in the hub of the brig, near the front security desk.-
[11:33] <Minaplo> [After taking the alien vessel back to Sisu, the ship's crew were still prepared to fight tooth and nail. Thus, the ship was subdued through a mix of marine action and Idris flooding the ship with knockout gas.-
[11:34] <Minaplo> [To Idris's irritation and surprise, the ship was equipped with a rudimentary dirac jammer. Thus it required him to walk into the ship, through the corridors, find the jammer and scrap it before gassing the decks.-
[11:36] <Minaplo> [Most of the 800 or so crew were transferred to camps on Sisu, overseen by the SDF.-
[11:47] <Minaplo> [The captain of the vessel, however, had been identified and brought to the Valletta, so Hyuga and Violet could interrogate her themselves.-
[11:48] <Minaplo> ["Now." Said Violet to Kess. "We will inform the Captain of our suspicions when she arrives, hoping the suspicion is proven false but believing it is accurate. As for the interrogation itself, I will be taking a passive role. I think it healthy for you to take a leading role, with me as a safeguard, high expectation."]
[13:34] * Kess nodded to that comment, turning to the desk idly. "We will indeed. acknowledges it's a plausible explanation, but it'd be better if it was false I'll do my best, though. I have no formal interrogation training, but safeguards and the captain are why you can trust me heady hopefulness!."
[13:37] <@Minaplo> ["Agreed."-
[13:37] <@Minaplo> [They could hear the hiss of a door opening, however- the captain was arriving.]
[13:39] * Kess turned and entered a salute pose, with a ruffle of her robes! …Her plumes were wavering slightly in hue, though. nervous about my prior conduct
[13:56] * Kayoko was a bit of a whirlwind when in motion. Straight-backed, self-assured and single-minded, everything about her posture ensured people stepped out of her way before she needed to deviate from her chosen course. As she approached her eyes flicked upward for just a moment, in the direction of Kess' plume, and if one was trying they could see the ghost of a smirk on her lips.-
[13:56] <Kayoko> "Violet, Ensign Kess. I trust you're both up to date on the second sweep of their ship?"
[14:11] <@Minaplo> ["Yes, Captain." Said Violet. Neutral calm. "Interesting developments to be sure."-
[14:12] <@Minaplo> ["Regarding our interrogation, Spiro has a theory she would like to discuss with you."]
[14:12] <Kayoko> Her attention swivelled quickly to Kess.
[14:14] <Kess> And she turned to Kayoko. "Captain, I have reason to believe that the comment of theirs referring to 'puppets', and similar notions of lies and control… could mean they believe humanity is an Overseer pawn. If Defectors were on-screen during the visual, this is a bit more plausible. But… as of now this is only a theory, as plausible as it sounds absent other evidence, ma'am."
[14:21] <Kayoko> "That's… a good theory, actually," Kayoko murmured. She looked at the ground, momentarily thoughtful. "It would definitely explain some of the gaps in logic…"-
[14:21] <Kayoko> She looked back up. "Very good work, Kess. I'm having the bridge follow up on it now."
[14:22] <Kayoko> "… and yes, there it is. Right to Tycho's left, apparently. Spot on."
[14:26] * Kess was actually pleasantly surprised, yet also conflicted. Violet could pick up on it as heady mix of pride at accuracy and dismay at this being true. "…But otherwise, the findings of that special room do help explain their other comments."
[14:32] <Kayoko> "Mm. I feel like I have a decent picture of the circumstances now, we just need our friends to fill in the gaps," she bounced on her heels, shooting an impatient look down the hall.-
[14:32] <Kayoko> "And on that note, is it a good idea for the two of you to be there, given your theory?"
[14:34] <@Minaplo> ["Technically speaking, them screaming on seeing us is evidence of a sort."]
[14:35] * Kess turned to Violet, nodded once valid point she has, then back to Kayoko. "It is risky, but given our linguistic ability, it will be more nuanced than interpreting for someone, or using a band." Pause. "…Your presence as a higher authority than myself or Violet might help if we can make progress, though."
[14:35] <Kayoko> "Fair."
[14:37] <Kayoko> "The damage is done, in any case. Probably doesn't lose us anything to have you both there.
[14:42] <Kess> "As good a conclusion as any." Kess noted, shaking her head and maskshowing a frown.
[14:42] <@Minaplo> ["On your word, Captain." Said Violet.]
[14:54] <Kayoko> She turned, and seemed ready to move before turning back to look at the Attache. "… To give fair warning, Violet, I suspect you might not like how I'm going to go about this. If you need to step out, I understand, but please hold onto your concerns until after we're done."-
[14:54] <Kayoko> And with that she set off down the hall.
[14:56] <@Minaplo> [Violet turned toward Kess momentarily- slight irritation, but mostly dry amusement before floating after the captain.]
[14:58] * Kess turned back expecting what humans refer to as good cop, bad cop …which itself was a surprisingly complex series of gestures that communicated it in terms of the 'platonic' notion of policing with a veneer of 'human culture'. Stll, she followed the captain.
[15:58] <Minaplo> […-
[15:59] <Minaplo> [Sitting within a cell, visible through a door of transparent surovite, was the captain of the enemy vessel.-
[16:03] <Minaplo> [She had catlike features- the slit pupils, the high, triangular ears, a powerful jaw lined with sharp, white teeth. Her fur was straight, thin and sandy-yellow in colour, darkening towards her hands and feet. She was solidly built, roughly two metres tall and wearing a basic white jumpsuit- part of her own uniform. She had large hands- a thumb and three fingers, the little nubs of claws visible beneath the fur.-
[16:04] <Minaplo> [A mane of hair- of a darker yellow- sat around her head, but much of it had been combed and pulled back into tails. There were five of these, each bound with a small band of a different colour- a blue here, a green there. One of these tails had three red rings on it instead of just one.-
[16:05] <Minaplo> [Curled around her waist like a belt was a long tail, ending in a small tuft.-
[16:05] <Minaplo> [[She sat, cross-legged, and stared stoically at Kayoko as she entered. But when Kess and Violet arrived, she bared her teeth and widened her eyes. A low growl could be heard through the speakers.]
[16:07] * Kess …was expecting that. Again, unsure whether to be proud of being right or dismayed at what it implied. She remained silent for the moment, turning her masked face to the captain, trying to imitate a posture of deference - arms lowered, plumage restrained, a sense of lessening size.
[16:09] <Minaplo> [Violet followed suit.]
[16:17] * Kayoko seemed rather unconcerned, by contrast. "Hello!" she said, augmented by her translation collar again. "I believe we spoke briefly over comms - I'm Captain Hyuga, with the United Earth Federation. Is there something I can call you?"
[16:25] <Minaplo> [She glowered at Kayoko, but said nothing.]
[16:28] * Kess waited, giving a brief headcrane and subdued AT impression to Violet along the lines of Waiting, anticipating shocking action. Talking or making plumage gestures… that might set the cat off even more. … -
[16:28] * Kess began daydreaming about Creeper-of-the-Eversoft.
[16:53] <Kayoko> … but no shocking action seemed to be forthcoming. Kayoko just folded her hands in front of her and shrugged.-
[16:53] <Kayoko> "Fine. Maybe later," she said simply. "To dispel a misconception right off the bat, you should know that the people with me aren't Overseers."
[16:55] <Minaplo> ["Lies." Said the captain, hissing the word out.]
[16:57] * Kess shook her head, and began. "We are Defectors. I, might… assume you have not heard of that term before?" She was slowly adapting to the woman's language, and peppering in experimental tone shifts. It sounded… a bit funky, to be honest. "It is complicated and given how the Overseers act, I can understand not getting it."
[17:01] <Minaplo> ["I know you masked ones." Said the Captain. "You spread lies. You create strife amongst us. You murder our most precious children, and you poison our worlds. You look like an Overseer, you speak our tongue like the Overseers… I am not so stupid to believe that you are not an Overseer based on you saying so."]
[17:02] <Kayoko> "So you're in league with the people pursuing you? They seem to speak your tongue."
[17:03] * Kess sighed softly, waiting a bit for an answer to Kayoko. But she was ruffling her plumes, seeming to get an idea.
[17:08] <Minaplo> ["Spare me your mindgames, puppet." Said the Captain. "I have no time for you or the apostates you've called to your system."]
[17:11] * Kayoko just smiled, slowly rolling her shoulders.
[17:12] * Kess then paused. …And simply reached up to the side of her head, and… removed her mask. Showing the beak, the expressive and bright eyes… "Do you know the significance of this gesture? I am of their race. But am not of their people."
[17:12] <Minaplo> [Violet sharply averted his gaze.-
[17:16] <Kayoko> Kayoko, meanwhile, watched with clear interest. She hadn't expected that, apparently…
[17:20] <Minaplo> [The Captain stared at Kess- and stood up. She gazed at Kess with bright, unblinking eyes. "Why did you unmask yourself? What are you trying to do?"]
[17:24] * Kess closed her eyes for a moment. "…It is scandalous. Shocking. …Even us Defectors, broken from the Empire for longer than many, many generations, believe that it is inappropriate to show and leave unprotected, one's face and mind. You saw him look away, yes?" But a soft trill, something like a comforted cat's purr, yet obviously avian. "An Overseer's pride would make them never consider it. But I never lived their life. I
[17:24] * Kess lived with the Twiceborn since I was young. We allowed them to adopt us. You have every reason not to trust me." A long pause, and crane down of her head. "…But that I would reveal what is forbidden to you, means I want you to understand anyway."
[17:30] <Minaplo> [The Captain's gaze flitted between Kess, Violet and Kayoko. She didn't say anything, but something quiet- a tension in the muscles, clenched hands, the near-imperciptible vibration in the legs- had relaxed.]
[17:42] <Kayoko> "Listen," Kayo said calmly, "We don't want anything from you. Your crew are safe, and will remain so. We think we understand most of what happened, but… Well, you dropped out of the Way and attacked us without provocation. If you're refusing to share your story, the most sensible thing we could do would just be to hand you to the "apostates" when they get here."
[17:44] <Kess> "And knowing what we have seen from study, some of what that story could be, may inspire reasons to do good by you in spite of the attack." Kess noted, idly wiggling a headfeather. This kind of frippery was probably the kind of thing you'd see a child do at home, in Defector culture. "But one cannot make complete decisions on guesswork."
[17:45] * Kayoko nodded agreeably.
[17:57] <Minaplo> ["…"=
[17:58] <Minaplo> ["Fine." Said the Captain. "I will tell you my story, on one condition."]
[17:58] <Kayoko> "Mm?"
[18:02] <Minaplo> [She pointed a claw at Kayoko. "You step into this cell, you look me in the eye and tell me you are honest about my crew being and remaining safe, and I will judge whether or not you lie."]
[18:03] * Kess lightly chirped. Roughly like a smile, since beaks. She didn't say anything more, just gave an air of assent.
[18:04] * Kayoko didn't blink. "Sure," she said, and gave a gesture to the camera above them.
[18:09] <Minaplo> [After a moment's pause, the door slid into the ground.]
[18:17] <Kayoko> And she stepped through, the door sealing up behind her. She stepped up to the much taller figure without apparent fear, meeting her eyes. "…"-
[18:17] <Kayoko> "Your crew are being under guard, but we've given them basic medical care and as soon as we can confirm it won't hurt them, they'll have food. Anyone alive when we took the ship should remain that way."
[18:18] <Minaplo> ["No torture?"]
[18:19] * Kayoko shook her head. "No. It's against our laws."
[18:19] * Kess tilted her head. "Outlawed by th- yes."
[18:22] <Minaplo> [The Captain waited for Kayoko to stop shaking her head. Then-
[18:24] <Minaplo> [For a moment, the Captain's eyes seemed to glow golden. Kayoko stood transfixed by those eyes, which seemed to draw something of herself into her own eyes… Her ears filled with a ringing, tinny sound.-
[18:25] <Minaplo> [And then it was over, in a split second. The Captain closed her eyes for a moment. "You seem to be telling the truth. I will trust you with my story. For now."]
[18:27] * Kess quietly noted this, and resisted turning to give Violet a Look. She didn't need to flash him just to make an important comment.
[18:28] <Kess> - …and putting the mask back on early would be a large faux pas. Complicated, the process of first contact.
[18:38] * Kayoko swayed on her feet for a moment as the grip let up, quirking an eyebrow at the Captain. She didn't seem to be upset, precisely, so much as she was evaluating a newly discovered puzzle piece. "Ok. Interesting."
[18:38] <Kayoko> She glanced back at the door for a moment, then simply shrugged and leaned against the wall inside the cell instead.
[18:42] <Minaplo> [The Captain stood up tall.-
[18:43] <Minaplo> ["I am Lyka Wuha-" the translator parsed this as Water-of-Life, Wind's-Howl- ", a citizen of the Dominion of the Shrinepath Devoted."-
[18:48] <Minaplo> ["I serve as Captain of the Bold Endeavour in my capacity as a Third Ring of the Shrine of War." Said Lyka. "For the last eight years, I have fought in an escalating civil war with the Apostates. That is, a faction who believed we should change the Shrinepaths, felt they limited us. At first their protests are quiet, yet they sharply swelled in number and violence. Whole planets and fleets started to declare for the Apostates, and war was declared. We did not know it at the time, but the masked ones were fuelling the Apostates, giving them technology and resources."-
[18:51] <Minaplo> ["Three years ago, the Great Shrine Priestess was assassinated by the masked ones and their Apostate puppets. The Maidens of the Shrinepath were gathered, and tested to see who would become the new Priestess."-
[18:51] <Minaplo> [Lyka paused, and stared down at her hands.-
[18:52] <Minaplo> ["The Apostates attacked the Maidens, and killed all but one of them. We fled here, with the last Maiden."]
[18:53] * Kess paused, eyes flickering with clear concern. "…I cannot know what either side represents, but. …She must be found, in this system, and we must buy time to defend this system from the Apostate fleet coming for you. Both for your sake and ours. If they take this system…"
[19:00] <Kayoko> "They won't," Kayoko said bluntly, cutting the line of discussion. "You put the Maiden in an escape pod. Do you have coordinates for her destination? There's no real point in hedging, there are only two or three sites in the system where it could be. Telling us just improves our chances of recovering her before your apostates do."
[19:02] <Minaplo> [Hesitation.-
[19:03] <Minaplo> ["The fourth planet of this system. Dry, desert-like, with some water at the caps. Enough of an atmosphere to keep her alive, for awhile…"]
[19:12] * Kess nodded with understanding. "…Thank you. I will do my best to ensure her safety, as much as our Captain will."
[19:17] <Kayoko> "Mm. We'll collect her as soon as we're able," Kayoko said. Despite earlier events she wasn't making an effort to avoid eye contact.
[19:18] <Minaplo> [Lyka blinked her eyes once, slowly. "I thank you, carefully. I am… Not yet sure of your intentions, and you might still be puppets. But if we, the Shrinepath Devoted, can have civil wars, then it seems logical that the Overseers too have civil wars."-
[19:20] <Minaplo> ["… If you are truly uninvolved with the Overseers, then I apologise for dragging you into this conflict. It had been my intention to smuggle the last Maiden onto your station and flee, drawing the attention of the Apostates. When we saw- masked ones- on your station's bridge, we believed we had been driven into a trap."]
[19:22] <Kess> "…I had guessed that." Kess admitted. "As time passes, should you want to know more of the realm you've fled to, I'd be glad to help get materials ready." But then, a pause. "What's done is done, and you were only doing what you felt right for your people."
[19:24] * Kayoko looked slightly less sanguine about it than Kess, but she nodded anyway. "Are you all that's left of your side?"
[19:28] <Minaplo> [Lyka shook her head. "No. Much of our forces still hold fast, and the Homeworld remains firm. But we have lost several worlds to the Overseers, and our fleets take great losses… I do not think we will win without the leadership of a new Great Shrine Priestess."]
[19:31] <Kess> "It will be complicated. …But…" A nod, briefly, to Kayoko. "I'll stand by her will."
[19:36] <Kayoko> "Very kind of you, Kess," Kayoko said idly. "Well, things don't change much for now. We stop them bombing Sisu flat and then work out the rest."
[19:38] <Kess> "Didn't think so." Kess said… before reaching for the mask she had put in her lower hands, passing it up. "…If only for our dear guide to no longer be subject to such indecent sights." She noted, with more than a little lilt.
[19:39] <Minaplo> [Violet graciously un-averted his gaze, a dignified aura in the face of youthful bon mots.-
[19:40] <Minaplo> ["Very well." Said Lyka.]
[19:43] * Kayoko gave Lyka a flat look. "Anything else we need to know? Keep in mind that we will be opening communications with your apostates at some point."
[19:46] <Minaplo> ["The enemy fleet is led by a dreadnought, a powerful ship." Said Lyka. "Its crew are of the First Ring, and will prove a far more dangerous opponent to you than I was."]
[19:49] <Kess> As the mask settled back onto Kess's face, she… noted that. …A system of training. Shrine of War… the three rings of red. Red of blood often a symbol of war. Hierarchial ordinal ranking. Religious paths… Lyka assumedly had some training in other paths. Still. …The transmatter weapons would make even the lower quality in other areas, formidable. But she snapped out fo the reverie eventually. "Understandable. We can apply
[19:49] <Kess> some of our tactical advantages to make a more coherent defense with such limited resources…"
[19:54] <Kayoko> "We'll manage," Kayoko said more simply, "But the information's appreciated, thank you."-
[19:54] <Kayoko> She took a step towards the door, which slid open obligingly and let her back out into the hall.
[19:55] * Kess soon stood as well, giving Lyka a properly traditional Defector bow, before striding out.

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