Greeting The Maiden 25th Of April

[20:43] <Kayoko> Things had moved quicky once the Valletta had made the jump to slipstream. The Comet Breaker's arrival in the hangar was punctuated by the arrival of Zima and a team of their marines, and within moments of the Superheavy landing they were quick to move in to secure the escape pod it carried.-
[20:44] <Kayoko> By contrast, the marines hadn't given Rora much trouble at all. After a few initial questions (and a request for his patience) from a harried Kayako he'd been allowed to roam free on the ship, but in reality there was no need for them to worry. Idris had already been given his orders.-
[20:44] <Kayoko> That just left Kayoko with the main concern of the day. Heavy, industrial servo-arms mounted on the ceiling plucked the Shrinepath escape pod from its dock with surprising delicacy, setting it on the ground a short distance away before beginning to pry open the hatch. When it finally tore free Kayoko stood alone in the open doorway, the marines warned to stand well-away.
[20:55] <Minaplo> [The first thing that emerged was a thin black rod.-
[20:56] <Minaplo> [Kayoko would notice that the tip of the rod was flexible; it bent until it was horizontal, at which point she'd realise that it was a camera of some sort.-
[20:56] <Minaplo> [The camera tip swept back and forth, taking in the hangar before focusing in on Kayoko. After a few seconds the rod was pulled back into the pod.-
[20:57] <Minaplo> [The owner emerged a moment later.-
[20:58] <Minaplo> [Kayoko knew the silhouette of a Shrinepath well enough to recognise the occupant was one immediately- albeit a short one, barely more than a metre 65.-
[20:59] <Minaplo> [The Maiden- for that is who Kayoko assumed it was- was clad head-to-toe in a skintight armoured spacesuit; even the tail was built into a belt around the waist. The Maiden wore a helmet, one with a tint that made seeing the face impossible.-
[21:01] <Minaplo> [Around her left arm was a spindly, shimmering object that bound at her shoulder like a bracelet, then snaked around her arm until it jutted out just below her wrist. Kayoko would note the distinctive transmatter crystal at the tip, bound in what looked like silver decorated like a snake's mouth.-
[21:01] <Minaplo> [The Maiden spoke.-
[21:02] <Minaplo> ["Why do they look like giant vinets?" She grumbled, before slowly stepping out of the pod.-
[21:03] <Minaplo> ["Dear aliens: I am removing my helmet slowly. Don't shoot. Please understand what I'm saying." Said the Maiden. She slowly reached up, unclasped her helmet and took it off.-
[21:04] <Minaplo> [The Maiden's face was high and rather flat, with large green eyes and a squashy little pink nose. Her fur was a blazing orange, and her mane was a vivid, scarlet red. It fell in a large heap to her waist, although most of it was braided, and bound by rings of various colours- each braid had six rings on it.-
[21:05] <Minaplo> ["I am now disarming myself." Said the Maiden. She slowly unclasped her arm bracelet, slid it off and laid it on the ground.-
[21:07] <Minaplo> [She looked over at Kayoko and waved.]
[21:31] <Kayoko> And Kayoko waved back, eyes bright with amusement and interest as she followed it with a short bow. "Hello, Maiden," she said, with the aid of what was now a fairly refined translation system courtesy of Violet's hard work. "Thank you for being so forthcoming!"-
[21:31] <Kayoko> "We represent the United Earth Federation. Lyka Wuha asked us to ensure your safety."
[21:32] <@Minaplo> ["That sounds like her." Said the Maiden.-
[21:36] <@Minaplo> ["I'm Russkra Ssatra." She said. She placed her right hand at the base of her neck and jerked her chin upwards. It was probably a salute. But then again, she might've just flipped Kayoko off.-
[21:39] <@Minaplo> ["I'm going to assume there's a good explanation for why you're wearing what looks like a Masked One's translation collar." said Russkra. "I'm going to also assume that you saved me from capture and death at the hands of the Apostates even though you'd be better off handing me over slowly-chewed, and so I should reward your uncommon generosity by being even more forthcoming than I already am. Right?"]
[21:44] <Kayoko> "Quite right on all counts," she said brightly. "I have to tell you, after the last few days I find that gesture of good faith very refreshing."-
[21:45] <Kayoko> "I would be very happy to explain the situation and answer your questions, but perhaps not in the hangar. Care to follow me?"
[21:47] <@Minaplo> ["I can do that. I can do it better if you make sure there'd food wherever we're going."-
[21:47] <@Minaplo> [But Russkra was already walking towards her.]
[21:59] <Kayoko> "Certainly."-
[21:59] <Kayoko> Kayoko turned… but rather than walking towards the door to the hangar, she instead stepped through a dirac portal that opened suddenly behind her. Through the portal the Russkra could see one of the Valletta's conference rooms, with its long wood-and-glass table and a window looking out onto featureless black space.-
[21:59] <Kayoko> Kayako could be seen standing by one of the chairs, discreetly tapping an order into her comm as she waited.
[22:10] <@Minaplo> [Russkra froze.-
[22:10] <@Minaplo> [She stared at the space, then hesitantly walked towards it… Only to start prowling around it, looking at it from different angles.-
[22:11] <@Minaplo> [She returned to the front- where Kayoko could see her- and with aching slowness, extended a paw towards it. She put her hand through the portal-
[22:12] <@Minaplo> [Then ripped it back out, leaping back a metre or so cautiously.-
[22:12] <@Minaplo> [She then took a block of carved wood out of a pocket and threw it through the portal. On observing it land on the other side, she crept through and picked up the wood.-
[22:13] <@Minaplo> ["Impressive technology." She muttered.]
[22:18] <Kayoko> The portal snapped shut behind Russkra as quickly as it'd opened. If she looked back she would only see a blank wall behind her.-
[22:18] <Kayoko> "Mhmm," Kayoko agreed politely, slipping away the comm she'd been using to politely avert her gaze during the display. "Please, have a seat. Your food should be here shortly."
[22:21] <@Minaplo> [Russkra eyed the blank wall suspiciously, before easing herself slowly into a seat.-
[22:22] <@Minaplo> ["You have me at a disadvantage." Said Russkra. "But as they say, the desert mouse has a fast tongue, so I'll tell you what you want to know."-
[22:22] <@Minaplo> ["But you should grant me the courtesy of your name."]
[22:27] <Kayoko> "Ah! Please forgive my manners. Kayoko Hyuga, captain of the FSS Valletta," she said, offering another bow before smoothly taking her own seat across from Russkra's.-
[22:27] <Kayoko> "I've been given the responsibility of handling all of this, at least for the moment."
[22:27] <@Minaplo> ["Oh, I see. That sounds like a lot to handle."]
[22:28] <Kayoko> "Mm. You never really expect to be the one to use your first-contact training, I'm afraid."
[22:29] <@Minaplo> ["Yeah…"]
[22:32] * Kayoko clasped her hands in front of her. "But! I should probably catch you up on where things stand right now, hm?"
[22:32] <@Minaplo> ["Please."]
[22:38] <Kayoko> "First thing's first: Your cruiser's initial attack on our station was based around a misunderstanding," Kayoko said. "We do indeed have what you'd call 'masked ones' among us, but they identify as they Defectors. In short they're a splinter faction who split off from the Overseer Empire out of disgust some time in the past. They were driven into exile, and eventually found asylum with my people as a member of our Federation. Hence the band."]
[22:40] <@Minaplo> ["Ah…"-
[22:41] <@Minaplo> ["My apologies, then." Said Russkra. "Wuha and her crew were in a bad place. They should've done better, mind."]
[22:47] <Kayoko> "Thankfully we were able to step in before many of our own died. One of our pilots - A Defector - took it upon herself to disable your cruiser's core when they attempted to self-destruct. It was reasonably impressive."
[22:52] <@Minaplo> ["So most of the crew survived, then? That's surprising, and good to hear." Said Russkra, giving Kayoko a slow blink. "I'm sorry to hear of your deaths, regardless. I'll make compensation."]
[22:58] * Kayoko nodded without comment. "In any case, Wuha and her crew are prisoners for the moment. Decisions about them will be made later, I imagine…"-
[22:58] <Kayoko> "What else…?" she murmured. "Ah, there's the small matter of the Apostate fleet that dropped into our system behind you."
[22:59] <@Minaplo> ["Yes. They were chasing me, as you've no doubt surmised."]
[23:05] <Kayoko> "Of course," she agreed. "While a diplomatic solution would be our preference, the Apostates have made it clear that they will only stand down if you're handed over. The Federation isn't interested in the terms."
[23:07] <@Minaplo> ["That's a relief." Said Russkra; her tail loosened slightly around her waist. "Thank you."]
[23:10] <Kayoko> "We aren't really rushing to take sides in your civil war, but we view consigning a foreign dignitary to death as a larger breach of our responsibilities than it would be to just defend our territory," Kayoko said simply.
[23:17] <@Minaplo> ["Even though you must know that to the Apostates, that's basically taking sides anyway."]
[23:17] <Kayoko> "Unfortunately."
[23:22] <@Minaplo> [At that moment, there was a trill at the door; Kayoko let the food delivery robot in. It carefully lowered a platter of roast meats- beef, some lamb, a slice of sizzling Republican Wheat Lizard- a type of delicious reptile from the planet of Republica, whose flesh was considered especially delectable and juicy.-
[23:23] <@Minaplo> [Russkra dug in without asking, using her claws to both cut the meat and impale it. She then licked the meat off her claw and sucked the juices as they drizzled over her paw pads.-
[23:24] <@Minaplo> [This went on for a few minutes, before Russkra sheepishly looked up. "Pardon me. It's been a hungry few days."]
[23:38] <Kayoko> Kayoko had apparently thought far enough ahead to order a much smaller plate of her own, which filled the time while Russkra gorged herself. "No supplies in the escape pod?"
[23:38] <@Minaplo> ["A little. I ate it, though."]
[23:39] <Kayoko> "Lucky Mr. Mist found you when he did, then."
[23:39] <@Minaplo> ["Is that the one who stuffed me into a storage dock?" She said, a light growl in her voice.]
[23:41] <Kayoko> "Cut him some slack, apparently he was trying to outrun some sort of exploding planet."
[23:47] <@Minaplo> ["Exploding planet…?"]
[23:53] <Kayoko> "Exploding might be the wrong word," Kayoko said thoughtfully. "'Exotic energy burst' was how Technical put it. Probably scrubbed the planet clean down to the bacteria scale, as far as they can tell."-
[23:54] <Kayoko> "Still not clear on the exact story there. He'll be the next one to speak to."
[23:54] <@Minaplo> ["Ah…"-
[23:55] <@Minaplo> ["This whole system is just full of drama." Said Russkra, her head flopping against her chest. "And here I am, dragging you into a civil war."]
[00:01] * Kayoko waved a hand. "The Federation likes to keep things interesting. Maybe I'll tell you about our history sometime."-
[00:01] <Kayoko> "… You're only the second spacefaring civilisation we've come in contact with, you know," she said. "It's a shame it became so messy so quickly."
[00:02] <@Minaplo> ["Agreed. I hope we can fix things once everything is done, but the warren can't be fixed once you drop it." Said Russkra. "You're our fifth."]
[00:09] <Kayoko> She grinned suddenly and sincerely. "Fifth…"-
[00:09] <Kayoko> "Exciting. Very, very exciting."
[00:09] <@Minaplo> ["Is it?"]
[00:16] <Kayoko> "Oh yes," she said cheerfully. "It means there's a lot to be learned, and I'll be one of the ones who gets to do it."
[00:17] <@Minaplo> ["I'm glad for you." Said Russkra. "Curiosity is a virtue."]
[00:28] * Kayoko smiled at some private joke.-
[00:28] <Kayoko> "Well then I hope you'll indulge mine. What's a vinet?"
[00:28] <@Minaplo> ["A vinet?"-
[00:29] <@Minaplo> ["Oh, yes, you heard me earlier." She cleared her throat.-
[00:30] <@Minaplo> ["A vinet is a small, mostly hairless biped critter that we keep as pets. They're good at hunting bugs and finding salt. They… Resemble you, but tiny-like."]
[00:37] <Kayoko> Kayoko let out a peal of laughter. "How small?"
[00:38] <@Minaplo> [She held her hand about thirty centimetres off the table.-
[00:38] <@Minaplo> ["I used to catch strays for meat sometimes. Kinda gamey, though."]
[00:46] <Kayoko> "So are we," Kayoko said with a sigh.
[00:51] <@Minaplo> ["Mmm."-
[00:51] <@Minaplo> [Russkra went back to eating in quiet. Every so often, she sliced a cut of meat off and added to a side pile, which she kept on a napkin.]
[14:36] <Kayoko> Kayoko did the same, but it wasn't long before she finished her smaller meal. "The food's suitable, I hope…?" she asked Russkra, nodding towards the offcuts on the napkin.
[15:50] <Minaplo> ["Yeah. Old habits."]
[16:03] <Kayoko> "Oh?"
[16:07] <Minaplo> [Russkra stared at Kayoko keenly for a few seconds.-
[16:10] <Minaplo> ["I'm keeping the food aside so I can store it somewhere safe in case I need it later."]
[16:12] <Kayoko> "Hm. So the Maiden role isn't something you're born into, I take it."
[16:14] <Minaplo> ["No." Said Russkra. "There are special requirements, but it's not something you take from your parents. A Priestess's daughter can be a Maiden, but it's only a can and not a 'is'."-
[16:14] <Minaplo> [Russkra licked a little longer at her claws. "I was a pickpocket three years ago."]
[16:39] <Kayoko> "Seems like an unfortunate time to find your way into the clergy," Kayoko noted.
[16:40] <Minaplo> ["Unfortunate how?"]
[16:41] <Kayoko> "It sounds as though your Apostates appeared not long after."
[16:43] <Minaplo> ["No. Not exactly." Said Russkra. "Perhaps I should tell you about what all this is in context."]
[16:44] <Kayoko> "It'd be appreciated. Apologies, we haven't had a lot of willing sources of information since this started."
[16:45] <Minaplo> ["I don't think you've really had a lot of sleep since this started either." Said Russkra. She sat up a little straighter.-
[16:48] <Minaplo> ["Here's how the story begins. Our homeworld is a really, really harsh place. It's hot relative to other habitable worlds we've found, and most of it is rainforest or desert, with strips of temperate space in the middle. We apparently evolved from pack-hunting predators that, according to my favourite theory, evolved these-" She held up a furry thumb- "Because climbing vines and branches was the best way to avoid the giant venomous reptiles that ruled the rainforests."-
[16:59] <Minaplo> ["Eventually, we learned how to set stuff on fire and invent tools, like spears you can throw at giant reptiles from the safety of a tree. So we started clearing space for ourselves, but we were too successful and a bunch of us left the rainforest areas. Then someone clever learned that if you can grow the food our food eats, you can domesticate the food. So we did that, and that meant a bunch of us could do stuff besides hunt."-
[18:20] <Minaplo> ["Us Devoted, though… Well, we evolved to avoid danger and hunt things- meat is our only food, so we had to be good at it. Our main competition for food turned out to be ourselves. Our history is full of wars. Violent, huge, sprawling wars."-
[18:23] <Minaplo> ["Not just wars, but violence was a norm in a lot of places." Said Russkra. "We… Are aggressive and suspicious. The instinct for violence runs strong in us. It is our defining sin."-
[18:32] <Minaplo> ["About six hundred years ago, we learned how to work transmatter properly. We'd always had the stuff around, but we used it for jewelry… You'd hear the odd stories of the sorceress who would level villages in a rage and other stuff like that, but it only became scientific knowledge around then, which is also when we started to build machines on a big scale."-
[18:34] <Minaplo> ["Transmatter gave us big science leaps, but it also meant new weapons. There was a war." Said Russkra. "Four out of five people died worldwide. The environment was struggling to handle everything… We were basically doomed."-
[18:45] <Minaplo> ["Then… A prophetess emerged. The First Priestess, Ahman." Said Russkra. "Ahman gathered the survivors together. Not just with her teachings- she was also a politician. But she also had the…"-
[18:46] <Minaplo> [The word sounded strange. Kayoko's collar clicked thoughtfully for a moment, then translated it: "Charisma."-
[18:47] <Minaplo> ["Ahman taught us that we had to rethink our relationship with ourselves." Said Russkra. "We had to think of ourselves as logical minds inside animal bodies, together, but still two forces pulling in opposite directions. And she decided that the animal had won for too long."-
[18:48] <Minaplo> [Russkra tapped her chest. "That is what we call the Great Struggle: the struggle to overcome ourselves, to master ourselves. To train ourselves and discipline ourselves so that our real natures can surpass the animal."-
[18:50] <Minaplo> ["Ahman established a handful of shrines. Each shrine was to be home to a type of knowledge… Like the shrine of War, or the shrine of Sciences, or Art, or Loving." Said Russkra. "These shrines then teach their stuff to newcomers… But they're not just places of learning. They're a way of life. Once you begin 'walking a Shrinepath', you commit to it. The journey of learning itself is strict and rigorous, because it's teaching you a practical sort of knowledge, but it's also teaching you how to use that knowledge in disciplined, constructive way."-
[18:52] <Minaplo> ["It teaches us how to channel our urges into something constructive." Said Russkra. "When you start a Shrinepath, you take your problems with you. And it's believed that as you walk the path, you become better at dealing with those problems. That's why they choose us to become Maidens before we've walked the Paths."-
[18:53] <Minaplo> ["Of course it's also a way to sort of show our qualities. Each Path has a set of rings, and the fewer rings you have, the more qualified you are in that Path. So a First Ring in the shrine of War only has one ring-" Russkra touched her hair, "whilst someone who's never walked the path has six or more. So it's kind of a way of telling how good someone is at a thing."-
[18:54] <Minaplo> ["And once you finish a ring, you can go start a different one, or keep going, but you're really supposed to go do a bunch of different ones at first."-
[18:54] <Minaplo> ["Anyway, all of that worked, and we got into space, and were able to give our homeworld a bit of a break."]
[15:00] <Kayoko> "Hm! Very practically-minded, I like that in a philosophy," Kayoko said with a nod. She'd listened to all of that with rapt attention, her plate and cutlery forgotten. "It all sounds very reasonable, yet the Overseers found a way to drive in a wedge. There was some aspect that was being neglected… what was it?"
[15:05] <Minaplo> ["A few things. By the time we got to space, our sciences were a little haphazard; we had big gaps in certain bodies. We started to fill that in when we began trading with other powers." Said Russkra. "We didn't really know how valuable transmatter was until then. The thing is… We have an unlimited supply. We mine our transmatter, and the mines fill back up within a week. We started selling huge amounts of it… And that brought us a huge amount of wealth."-
[15:06] <Minaplo> ["We bought technology with it, but we also put it right into funding the Shrine of Sciences so we could catch up." Said Russkra.-
[15:07] <Minaplo> ["One of the things we didn't really get was genetics. We started catching up on that fast, though, because some species out there know all about it. We even started hiring foreign experts."-
[15:09] <Minaplo> ["One of the species we traded with were… Egh, it's hard to describe them, but sometimes they look like vinets too. But sometimes they don't. We called them the Joiners, because that's what they do: they join."-
[15:09] <Minaplo> [Russkra began mashing her hands together. "Together-like."]
[15:14] <Kayoko> "… huh," she said quietly. "Is it a permanent fusion?"
[15:16] <Minaplo> ["No. They mix and match." Said Russkra. "We hired a Joiner to manage the Great Shrine Library, and it turns out it was actually two Joiners on a love holiday."]
[15:16] * Kayoko beamed. "Fantastic."
[15:17] <Minaplo> [Russkra eyed Kayoko.-
[15:20] <Minaplo> ["… Anyway, I guess the important thing is that their bodies are really changeable. And that's sort of what helped start the movement." Said Russkra. "It wasn't really a revolutionary movement at first, it was just a kind of… Idea. That instead of training ourselves to overcome the Great Struggle through the shrinepaths, we use technology to change our bodies. 'Putting a genetic leash on the animal', they put it."-
[15:22] <Minaplo> ["I… Don't really disagree or agree with the idea." Said Russkra, shrugging. "The idea had good points! It'd probably work, and it could fix some very old problems, like making boys as strong as us, or changing our diets so we could properly live off vegetables, which everyone tells us is easier than just eating meat."-
[15:24] <Minaplo> ["And from there it kind of became a political thing. Using genetics to fix sexual bias and diets and all these other social problems that the shrinepaths were supposed to handle." Said Russkra. "And it was alright, at first… It was argued and all that and it didn't really become hostile. The Priestess was against it, but Priestesses can change, you know?"-
[15:26] <Minaplo> ["I think the government's actual take was that whilst the shrinepaths were the harder path, the actual effort we put in to improve ourselves had rewards of their own. How did they put it? 'Is it better to be born good, or to conquer our natures through sheer effort?'"-
[15:27] <Minaplo> ["But nothing really changed, not really. It was argued about, and we all had our thoughts, but it didn't really become real until the Masked Ones got involved."]
[15:37] * Kayoko nodded slowly. She wasn't smiling any more. "What did they do to change it?"
[15:40] <Minaplo> ["A teacher once told me that if there's an idea being talked about in public, then there's people who'd use violence to make it happen in private." Said Russkra. "And the Masked Ones seemed to know that. They used spies and agents- everything from tourists to shapeshifters- to find the angriest, most violent supporters."-
[15:40] <Minaplo> ["And it doesn't always take much to make a Devoted violent." She muttered.-
[15:42] <Minaplo> ["Then they began subtly showing off their genetics tech- which is very, very good- to people who supported the idea, which helped make the idea a possibility. Then it became a movement. And once it became a movement, the Masked Ones showered the violent ones with support and funding." Said Russkra. "So they started to float to the top."-
[15:44] <Minaplo> ["At the same time, they started leaking info about these violent ones to very specific shrine elders and ministers, the sort who hated the genetics movement. That started to push them to take matters into their own hands by attacking the violent ones… And that started to push the entire genetics movement into a really, really bad spot."-
[15:45] <Minaplo> ["People who were angry or just in a bad place- shrine washouts, your frustrated superpredators, that kind of rubbish- into the movement simply because they wanted to tear stuff apart. Which only created more ways for the movement to appear uncontrollable, which made the anti-movement faction stronger…"-
[15:48] <Minaplo> ["And so when the genetics movement asked the Masked Ones for more aid, the Masked Ones started giving them weapons and tools to fool the Eye of Insight. The movement started to call itself the Freepath Devoted, and with all their tech and funding, were able to get inside the government and the army. Eventually the day came, and they staged a coup. They failed to overthrow the government, but we lost a handful of planets and nearly half the fleet. That's when it became a real war."]
[16:03] * Kayoko frowned. "That's quite an efficient campaign," she muttered. "Mind you, by what the Defectors have told us, the Overseers have had a long time to practice…"-
[16:03] <Kayoko> "I imagine you know the Overseer's traditional end-goal when they come into contact with a new species?"
[16:06] <Minaplo> ["The Joiners told us as much, once we realised that the Masked Ones were involved." Said Russkra. "The transmatter just made us priorities."]
[16:07] * Kayoko nodded. "There's a reasonable chance that this will put us on their radar as well. I guess that's a problem for another day…"
[16:10] <Minaplo> ["I think you should've worried about that when you allied with their splinter faction exile thing."]
[16:22] <Kayoko> "Probably true! I feel like we were just excited to meet aliens that didn't want us dead."
[16:25] <Minaplo> ["Bad experience with off-worlders?"]
[16:37] <Kayoko> "Mm, something like that," she said.-
[16:37] <Kayoko> "Assuming we repel this fleet and keep you alive, would your intent be to return to Shrinepath space with your ship?"
[16:41] <Minaplo> ["Yes." Said Russkra. "Although I might take a small bit of time to talk with your leaders first. I'm not Priestess yet, but once I return to the homeworld, I will be."]
[16:59] <Kayoko> "I'm sure they'd be amenable to that," Kayoko said. "We'll arrange it, I'm sure."
[17:03] <Minaplo> ["Thank you."]
[17:04] <Kayoko> "Anything we can do for you in the meantime?"
[17:10] <Minaplo> ["I'm not rude to ask for living space for a time?"]
[17:13] <Kayoko> "Already arranged. If it lacks anything you need, we'll do our best to provide it."
[17:16] <Minaplo> ["Thanks. I would also like common access to your vessel."]
[17:22] * Kayoko nodded slowly. "That can be arranged. A few areas will be off-limits, of course, but on the whole you should have freedom of movement."-
[17:22] <Kayoko> "It's my duty to inform you that you will be monitored, of course. Please understand that our security measures are rather thorough."
[17:27] <Minaplo> ["Naturally."]
[17:36] <Kayoko> "Alright then. I'll need an hour or so to prep your security clearances, but your room should be ready by now."-
[17:36] <Kayoko> She made a small gesture towards the end of the table. Sure enough another Dirac portal opened where she motioned, the other side showing a modest but comfortable single room.
[17:39] <Minaplo> [Russkra rose, one hand firmly around her napkin of meat. "Thank you very much."-
[17:39] <Minaplo> [With another bout of caution, she slowly walked through the portal.]
[17:44] <Kayoko> A second after she crossed the threshold, the portal shut behind her. Kayoko was left alone.-
[17:44] <Kayoko> She smiled. "Thank you for the assistance, Idris."
[17:45] <Minaplo> ["You're very welcome, Captain."]
[17:50] <Kayoko> "So much left to do! Do you have eyes on our Guardian friend?"
[17:51] <Minaplo> ["Of course."]
[17:53] <Kayoko> "Excellent. Point me in the right direction, if you would…"
[17:53] <Kayoko> fin

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