Liane And Kayoko Talk With The Overseers 28th Of June

[12:27] <FrontierWarGM> [The crowd thinned greatly the closer one came to the Sky Tower.-
[12:27] <FrontierWarGM> [The Sky Tower itself was essentially a very tall, thin tower where the walls were made of a lovely, lustrous green crystal. Even one's footsteps rang out sweetly here.-
[12:29] <FrontierWarGM> [It was also the name given to the tower's primary draw- a restaurant of taste and elegance. Liane and Kayoko would note the wealth displayed by the clientele here, in the form of robes, precious metals, gemstones, and meals.-
[12:31] <FrontierWarGM> [The door was guarded by a towering, bulky rock-like creature, with copper hair and matching eyes. As the two approached, they felt a great heat emanating off of its body.-
[12:32] <FrontierWarGM> ["You must be the Twiceborn guests." Asked the rock creature in a surprisingly sweet voice. "Your places have already been paid for, and your hosts are waiting for you."]
[12:42] <Kayoko> Kayoko smiled and bowed, feeling the volcanic heat with just that bit of extra closeness to the figure. "Thank you!" she said, giving the rock creature a little wave as she stepped through the door, motioning Liane to follow.
[12:42] <Kayoko> She'd eschewed her more formal captains uniform in favour of a simple grey pants and jacket, the latter unbuttoned enough to reveal the forest green blouse underneath. She entered the foyer (?) with the confidence of someone who'd been there before.
[12:43] * Liane had of course taken a picture when she could do so discreetly on the way, and now there, she gave the creature a nod as she followed Kayoko. "Thank you, ma'am," she said in passing as she moved along.-
[12:44] <Liane> She had come in uniform, but it was the dress uniform, rather than anything intended for combat.
[12:46] <FrontierWarGM> [Waiting for them was one of the strikingly human-looking aliens they had seen in the Overseers' procession- one of those playing music. She stood, eyes closed, hands folded in front of her.-
[12:46] <FrontierWarGM> ["Welcome, Twiceborn." She said. "This way."-
[12:48] <FrontierWarGM> [She led them to a private dining room. A holographic band played music- not too different from Defector music- whilst Conqueror and Planter sat on couches around a table.-
[12:48] <FrontierWarGM> ["Captain Hyuga." Said Conqueror. "And which one are you?" He added to Liane.]
[12:49] <Liane> "Ensign Meier," Liane replied, eschewing her given name. Business was business after all. If he asked, that was another thing.
[12:53] * Kayoko took a seat on one of the couches opposite Conqueror and Planter without waiting to see whether Liane did or not, still smiling. "We finally meet in person."
[12:57] <FrontierWarGM> ["Yes." Said Conqueror.-
[12:57] * Liane followed Kayoko's lead! She hadn't made a move to sit before that.
[12:58] <FrontierWarGM> ["Hm. You're a handsome people, aren't you?" Said Planter happily. "I can see why the Defectors seem interested in you."-
[12:59] <FrontierWarGM> ["Archetypicals." Said Conqueror dismissively, waving a hand towards their servant.]
[13:02] * Kayoko seemed genuinely amused by the suggestion.-
[13:02] <Kayoko> "Your message said something about a proposal?"
[13:03] <FrontierWarGM> ["Yes." Said Conqueror. "Every Cyclogene Base is a mix of the personal property of the owner and the obligations that owner has to their corporate overlords. Thus, the owner can personalise it… Make it their home."-
[13:04] <FrontierWarGM> ["Engorged Acquirer has, at the very heart of this ugly place, a vault, heavily shielded and jammed and protected. In that vault is something of mine."-
[13:05] <FrontierWarGM> ["I came here intending to take it back, but seeing you people here has given me an idea." Conqueror sat up. "We have a saying: 'Chase one, catch one; chase two, catch none.' You're here because of the warship Engorged Acquirer took from your people, I'm guessing- he's been advertising it on every channel in every direction ever since he secured it."-
[13:07] <FrontierWarGM> ["That means he has two priority targets. We work together, we coordinate, we split his attention amongst his two prizes and we both walk out with what we want."]
[13:07] * Liane says nothing for now, simply waits to observe Kayoko's reaction.
[13:10] <Kayoko> "What's the something of yours?" Kayoko said curiously. "And how'd you lose it?"
[13:12] <FrontierWarGM> ["It is well guarded, and it was stolen. That is really all you need to know."]
[13:13] <Kayoko> "Mmm," she murmured, see-sawing her hand. "Don't know that that's true."
[13:14] <FrontierWarGM> ["It is true because I deem it to be, Twiceborn."]
[13:15] * Kayoko laughed.-
[13:15] <Kayoko> "You're the one asking for my help."
[13:16] <FrontierWarGM> ["Is that what you think this is, Twiceborn?" Said Conqueror. "We don't need your help. I have really no compunctions in slaughtering my way from here to the vault- either in motivation or in ability."-
[13:17] <FrontierWarGM> ["What I'm offering you is the chance to make our goals both mutually easier."]
[13:34] <Kayoko> "You're offering me a chance to shoot myself in the foot," Kayoko said. "That you're suggesting it tells me one of two things: Either you believe you can't do it alone, and apparently we're ruling that out, or you're very confident the exchange benefits you more than it does us. Because working with us is an indignity, isn't that right?"
[13:37] <FrontierWarGM> [Conqueror sighed, and went to speak.-
[13:37] <FrontierWarGM> [But Planter held up a hand. "Let me."-
[13:37] <FrontierWarGM> [Planter leaned forward. "You have to forgive my brother. You see, working with you was my idea, and I don't view it as an indignity."]
[13:39] <Kayoko> The gear shift slowed her down, and she eyed Planter curiously for a moment. "Why?"
[13:41] <FrontierWarGM> ["Why not? We worked together well enough on the dyson sphere. Or rather, I was poisoned and nearly died, but by working together, we solved the problem in time to save my life." Said Planter. "In a way, I owe a debt to you and our little niece."-
[13:42] <FrontierWarGM> ["Working together in this way allows me to make your goals easier, but also makes our task smoother. It's really just a case of efficiency."-
[13:44] * Liane leaned back slightly in her seat. "If I may, Captain?"
[13:44] <FrontierWarGM> ["I understand not trusting our motivations, especially since we have to maintain secrecy. It's a matter of internal security." Said Planter. "But, let me offer something in exchange- Acquirer keeps many valuable things in his vault, and there's one 'thing' in particular I'm willing to collect for you: a female Scumslinker, or what they call a 'Nubile'."]
[13:46] * Kayoko gave a small nod in Liane's direction.
[13:48] <Liane> "They might be able to help us ascertain what has happened to Chao, if our intelligence about the Integrity's last engagement is correct."
[13:54] <Kayoko> "I doubt they're in a position to know that," Kayoko said simply as she turned to face Liane, although the subtle she shot her seemed to suggest this was a bad line of conversation.
[13:54] <Kayoko> «subtle look*»
[13:54] <FrontierWarGM> [Planter waited expectantly, a cheery yellow aura rippling around him.]
[14:01] <Kayoko> "Why does a female Scumslinker help us?" Kayoko pressed on easily. "Is she just being held against her will, or is there something else?"
[14:02] <FrontierWarGM> ["Ohhh, right. You're new to the galactic scene." Said Planter. "I suppose I should explain the significance?"-
[14:03] <FrontierWarGM> [Their servant rustled slightly as she watched (eyes still closed).]
[14:03] <Kayoko> "If you would."
[14:05] <FrontierWarGM> ["The Scumslinker males exterminated their females two centuries ago." Said Conqueror. "Possession of a female is outlawed- to the point that possession makes them retroactively exiled. Meaning we can do whatever we want to him, and so long as you prove that he owned a female, you can justify your actions to the Cyclogene Foundation- preventing them from carrying out punitive action."-
[14:06] <FrontierWarGM> ["… More to the point," cut in Planter, "the Defectors have been trying to gather the few remaining females ever since. Your guide, Violet, has literally killed for the opportunity. Many times."]
[14:13] * Liane folded her arms, responding with a simple, calm question of the Overseer. "And why is that? That seems like an important factor too."
[14:14] <Liane> "The extermination, I mean."
[14:16] <FrontierWarGM> ["Have you met Engorged Acquirer?" Said Planter. "The males despised their females. The Cyclogene Foundation earned its wealth by developing artificial reproduction technology. After that…"-
[14:17] <FrontierWarGM> ["No one really likes the Scumslinkers." Said Conqueror. "They exterminated half their own population and nuked their homeworld. They're despicable creatures. They won't be missed."]
[14:18] <Kayoko> "Hm."-
[14:18] <Kayoko> Her fingers were twined together in her lap, index fingers lightly tapping together in pace with some internal rhythm. It was the only tell of tension in an otherwise relaxed and confident posture. "… Alright, you have a deal. There's one question I'd like to ask, though, if I may?"
[14:19] <FrontierWarGM> ["Of course." Said Planter.]
[14:20] <Kayoko> "What do you want from the Harvesters?"
[14:20] <FrontierWarGM> [Conqueror laughed.-
[14:24] <FrontierWarGM> ["The power to destroy planets, to conquer the galaxy, to suck the raw emotions out of a billion billion slaves and use their power to become a living god. What else is there?"-
[14:25] <FrontierWarGM> ["That's what you expect me to say, yes?" Said Conqueror. "I imagine that's the problem the Ancestors had in mind when they destroyed them."-
[14:28] <FrontierWarGM> ["But no. I am uninterested in their power, tempting as it may be." Said Conqueror. "Let others seek ultimate power, and they'll still be no match for me and my family. No; I am seeking knowledge. I have questions, and I believe the Tomb Worlds can answer them."]
[14:32] * Liane pressed her lips together, an 'mm' sound coming forth. "Captain, perhaps we should consult with Violet on the matter of the Scumslinker." Then she let out a sigh, and she addressed Conqueror directly; she would deal with the likely repercussions later. A simple question. "As allies of the Freepath Devoted, surely you know what became of the Integrity's crew, Conqueror."
[14:33] <FrontierWarGM> ["I don't." Said Conqueror. "The Freepath don't either, I asked. Their boarding parties died the instant they punched through the hull, and then the ship vanished."]
[14:36] * Liane looked to Kayoko. "…. Then… I guess we would have to presume they were killed in action." She seemed disappointed with that conclusion. There was another possibility, she thought, but she saw no point in revealing that hand to Conqueror.
[14:38] <Kayoko> The index finger taps had doubled in speed when Liane asked again, but the answer from Conqueror calmed her. "… Most likely, Ensign. We'll know shortly."
[14:39] <FrontierWarGM> ["Very well. If that is everything, then I will take my leave." Said Conqueror. "Planter, and our Pleasant Maid, Pillow, will assist you with the planning."]
[14:42] <Kayoko> … something about that last statement earned a frown, and her glance towards Pillow suggested just what it might be.-
[14:42] <Kayoko> "… Right," she nodded a second later than normal. "Thank you for your time, Sector Master."-
[14:43] <Kayoko> There was a slight lilt to the way she offered the title, but it was extremely hard to tell whether it was there intentionally.
[14:49] <FrontierWarGM> [and with that, Conqueror vanished.-
[14:50] <FrontierWarGM> [Once he was gone, Pillow sat on the couch, her face pointed towards Kayoko- then turning towards Liane.-
[14:53] <FrontierWarGM> [Then Pillow took out hand-drawn schematics. "These maps correspond to the area around your ship. It lists security hotspots and common patrol routes." Said Pillow.-
[14:55] <FrontierWarGM> ["Security's tight." Said Planter. "Furthermore, the private areas of the vessel are dirac jammed on a micro and macro scale, so you'll need to disable those. After that, the main problem for you is getting your ship out in one piece- apart from boarding it, the hangar it's in is guarded by heavy anti-ship turrets. There's a likelihood you'll be torn apart before you can leave."]
[15:02] <Kayoko> "We can bypass the hangar," Kayoko said simply, "It's not an issue. Tell me about the vault."
[15:08] <FrontierWarGM> ["Conqueror's hitting the vault personally." Said Planter. "The idea here is to be mutual distractions, so we need to hit the ship at the same time. That's where you're going to have to work things out for yourselves- you'll probably want to use stealth, but at the same time, to be a distraction, you have to be, in some way, noticed. Once they notice you, you'll draw heat, and then Conqueror hits the vault, and the confusion buys both of us time."]
[15:26] <Kayoko> "Mm. How long will we need to maintain the distraction before Conqueror's done?"
[15:27] <FrontierWarGM> ["Five minutes. At max, ten, but Conqueror rarely needs that long."]
[15:29] <Kayoko> "Quick to finish, got it."
[15:30] * Liane laughed a bit under her breath.
[15:31] <FrontierWarGM> [As did Pillow.-
[15:36] <FrontierWarGM> ["Now, I don't know how your ships operate." Said Planter. "But I suspect they need at least some crew. You no doubt have a small pot of moks now- you might consider hiring some help. But be careful, though."]
[15:39] <Kayoko> "Yes. Not exactly a place full of reputable job seekers, as far as I can tell."
[15:42] <Liane> "What will happen to the Scumslinker when we reveal her existence to the Cyclogene Foundation?" Liane cut in, an abrupt change of subject.
[15:44] <Kayoko> "We don't have to. She's just blackmail," Kayoko noted. "The threat should be enough to keep Acquirer silent."
[15:45] <FrontierWarGM> ["Precisely." Said Planter. "Besides, if you let Violet look after her, well…"-
[15:45] <FrontierWarGM> ["The Cyclogene Foundation aren't eager to mess with him."]
[15:46] * Liane raised an eyebrow, but kept quiet…
[15:47] * Kayoko gave a thoughtful little 'hm'.-
[15:47] <Kayoko> "What's our timeline here? Does your Conqueror already have a window planned for his portion of the operation?"
[15:48] <FrontierWarGM> ["The auction is in the equivalent of four and three quarters of your days. Conqueror intended to go in four, because he hoped to strike when the population of the Base was reaching critical mass."]
[15:55] <Kayoko> "For maximum chaos, I assume."
[15:57] <FrontierWarGM> ["Precisely." Said Planter. "Acquirer is a showman. His 'auction' lasts for over 30 hours, and the ship is the very last item. Before that, he has a lot of other things he's auctioning off. Something valuable to start, then a few normal things, a spike of value there… This place is going to be manic."]
[16:02] * Liane gathered up the schematics that Planter had produced into a small, neat pile, and picked them up. "Well, Captain, if there's nothing else to be discussed… we should probably get ready to plan our end of the operation?"
[16:04] * Kayoko nodded. "I think we have what we need for now," she agreed, glancing at Planter. "We can contact you here if there's anything further?"
[16:06] <FrontierWarGM> ["I'll share with you my personal number." He said. "That way, you can call me whenever you need."]
[16:08] <Kayoko> "Ah. Thank you."

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