Treetop Date 11th Of August

[13:05] <FrontierWarGM> ["Now, I don't want to leap to conclusions." Said Fionn, leaning against the wall, his arms folded. "Buuuuuut, keep in mind that Seers can't match our sex drives, so if you're expecting anything too racy, well, moderate your enthusiasm."-
[13:06] <FrontierWarGM> ["Now if it does get there, remember that their biology is frail, so you should probably ensure he has an immunity booster or something…"]
[13:19] <Tao> Kayoko's cabin was comfortable enough, but it clearly didn't see a lot of use. The bed was unmade, her uniform jacket thrown across the foot of it, and one of the few personal items in view was the painting from Rei hung over the desk. Fionn had spent a while looking at that before he turned his attention to Kayoko herself.-
[13:19] <Tao> "You're a real waste of space, you know that?" she asked, leaning back to peer at him from the doorway to the cabin's tiny bathroom. A toothbrush dangled lazily from the corner of her mouth.
[13:19] <FrontierWarGM> ["If you're going to call me a playboy, you need to expect that I'm going to tease you about the sex things whenever they come up."]
[13:21] <Kayoko> "A) That's mostly Emi, and B) There are no sex things."
[13:21] <FrontierWarGM> ["Not with that attitude."]
[13:41] * Kayoko huffed and disappeared back into the bathroom, only to return a moment later sans toothbrush.-
[13:42] <Kayoko> "I'm not going to try and argue with you. I'll sound like Raphael, and nobody wants that," she said as she approached her desk. As she walked, there was a disorienting series of flickers around her as she used dirac caches to change her outfit - her uniform pants and white tank top seamlessly replaced with dark jeans, a pale grey t-shirt.-
[13:42] <Kayoko> She considered this for a moment, and then cached on a olive green jacket as well. She picked up a necklace from the desk - a finger-length chip of crystal on a silver chain - and began fastening it around her neck.
[13:44] <FrontierWarGM> ["Word of genuine advice from a veteran?"]
[13:45] <Kayoko> "Mm?"
[13:45] <FrontierWarGM> ["Dressing brighter might go down a treat. They're big on bright colours."]
[13:47] <Kayoko> "I know."
[13:47] <FrontierWarGM> ["God, Auntie Hachi really did a number on you, huh?"]
[13:47] * Kayoko considered. "… Probably didn't help, no."
[13:50] <FrontierWarGM> ["Ah well. It could be worse." Said Fionn cheerfully. "You weren't there for when Keitaro was getting ready for his first date. Imagine having Auntie Ni and Uncle Keita as parents… And then trying to date. Those two didn't even date, they just eliminated everyone else in existence."]
[14:09] <Kayoko> "They played to win in Instrumentality. I kind of admire it, if I'm being honest," she said, checking herself in the mirror.
[14:12] <FrontierWarGM> [Dignified. Cute!-
[14:12] <Kayoko> Of course.
[14:13] <FrontierWarGM> ["Do you know why he asked you?" Said Fionn. "Not denying that you're a top-class catch, cuz, but it's not every day that a representative of the great galactic evil superpower asks someone out on a date."]
[14:18] <Kayoko> "If I knew why I probably wouldn't be going," she said, flopping onto the edge of her bed. "Maybe he's trying to turn me against the Federation? I'd make a pretty good double-agent, especially if the benefits were good. I don't like you all that much."
[14:20] <FrontierWarGM> [Fionn was speaking before she'd even finished. "Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuullshit. God, you're such a tuff."-
[14:21] <FrontierWarGM> ["Anyway, I don't need to tell you to be on your guard." Said Fionn. The clock was saying it was time for her to leave.-
[14:21] <FrontierWarGM> ["Buuuuuuuuuut I do need to tell you to use protection, which sounds the same but really isn't-"]
[14:21] <Kayoko> A pillow hit him square in the face.
[14:24] <FrontierWarGM> ["Dirty." Said Fionn, pulling the pillow into his hand telekinetically. "I can't hit you back without mussing you up. Hmph."-
[14:24] <FrontierWarGM> ["Do have a good time. Don't be caught in some grand complex scheme that leads to people dying en masse."]
[14:25] * Kayoko grinned. "No promises~"
[14:25] <FrontierWarGM> ["Dumby dumbhead."]
[14:25] <FrontierWarGM> […-
[14:27] <FrontierWarGM> [The place Planter had chosen was, if nothing else, interesting.-
[14:31] <FrontierWarGM> [There was a verticality to Devoted buildings, and many were quite tall and narrow. This place, a restaurant named- approximately- "The Secret Temple of Good Food", was anything but secret. It was about four storeys tall by human estimates, but it was also open air. Instead of tables and chairs, dozens of pillars stabbed up into the night sky. Each pillar with a creamy white, with little handholds and footholds allowing someone to climb to the top, where the pillars twisted into tables and little round squat backless chairs.-
[14:31] <FrontierWarGM> [These pillars often rose higher than the building's 'roof', allowing for expansive, incredible views.-
[14:32] <FrontierWarGM> [Kayoko arrived, just in time to see a great broad-chested Devoted storm out of the front door, brandishing a broom.-
[14:33] <FrontierWarGM> ["You little beastie!" Snarled the Devoted, not at Kayoko, but at a little creature in front of her.-
[14:35] <FrontierWarGM> [It was humanoid in shape, about forty centimetres tall. Its head was squashy and small, with disproportionately big eyes. A long tail sprouted out from its lower back. It was pale in colour, but its chest, abdomen and chin were covered in thick black curly hair.-
[14:36] <FrontierWarGM> [As the Devoted appeared, the vinet- for it was, indeed, a vinet- bent over so that its head was peeking up at the Devoted through its knees. It poked out a long forked purple tongue, smacked its rump three times, then ran off into the distance.-
[14:36] <FrontierWarGM> [The Devoted huffed- then looked up at Kayoko. "Arbiter Hooga?"]
[15:11] <Kayoko> "That's me! Hello~" she said, bouncing on her heels a bit as she turned away from tracking the vinet's escape. Her instinct was to smile, but this time she seemed to think better of it.
[15:13] <Minaplo> [The Devoted offered Kayoko a salute, lifting their head and exposing their throat momentarily. "Your pillar is ready and your… Guest… Is already here. Enter at your leisure."]
[15:17] <Minaplo> [15:11] <Kayoko> "That's me! Hello~" she said, bouncing on her heels a bit as she turned away from tracking the vinet's escape. Her instinct was to smile, but this time she seemed to think better of it.
[15:17] <Minaplo> [15:13] <Minaplo> [The Devoted offered Kayoko a salute, lifting their head and exposing their throat momentarily. "Your pillar is ready and your… Guest… Is already here. Enter at your leisure."]
[15:23] <Kayoko> "Ah, thank you," she said, although she looked faintly uncomfortable with the salute, and was quick to return it with one of her own.-
[15:23] <Kayoko> She stepped through the front door, head craned back to peer up at the tables and chairs far above.
[15:37] <Minaplo> [Planter was already seated, but as Kayoko entered, he leapt out of his seat and glided gently down to the ground below.-
[15:38] <Minaplo> [The staff and few other guests gave Planter looks that ranged from mistrustful to outright hostile. He acknowledged none of this.-
[15:39] <Minaplo> [He wore, contrary to what Fionn had suggested, rather muted colours: lavender with dark purple trim. The quality of his robes were nevertheless exquisite, and Kayoko could tell just from looking at them that they would've felt like a dream to wear- gentle, soft, light, yet well-insulated for all temperatures.-
[15:40] <Minaplo> ["Hello, Kayoko." He said. "Thank you for coming. It would've been embarrassing to be stuck up there for all to see without a companion."]
[15:53] <Kayoko> "Wouldn't want that," she said with a small smile. "People might start thinking poorly of you."
[15:55] <Minaplo> [Planter glanced to his left, toward a Devoted who was openly baring her teeth at him. "Quite."-
[15:56] <Minaplo> ["I take it you won't need a hand getting up?" Said Planter, but he was already floating upwards.]
[15:57] <Kayoko> Kayoko promptly vanished.-
[15:57] <Kayoko> "I'll manage," she called from above, already getting settled on her chair.
[15:59] <Minaplo> [Planter rose in his own unhurried way. He retook his seat.-
[16:00] <Minaplo> ["Shall we set some common ground rules?" He asked. "What do Twiceborn expect from these occasions?"]
[16:19] <Kayoko> "Oooh, ground rules," she said brightly. "Starting things off fun."-
[16:19] <Kayoko> "We're not particularly formal about it all, though. Some light conversation, a decent meal…"
[16:20] <Minaplo> ["The food here is going to mostly be meat. Apparently there's a platter of critters, freshly caught." Said Planter. "Presumably cooked, but they didn't actually say…"-
[16:21] <Minaplo> ["Light conversation I can provide, however." As if to punctuate the statement, his plumage shimmered brightly, words rising like a wall of water on a low beach.-
[16:22] <Minaplo> ["Occasions like this are rare for us." Said Planter. "Usually, it's two pods, not two actual individuals. It should be interesting."]
[16:28] <Kayoko> "I'll endeavour to keep it such!" she said, leaning back on her chair a little to peer over the edge at the sheer drop below them as she kicked her feet idly. "On the topic… I'm wondering how this little meeting is going to play with your wives though, Planter."
[16:29] <Minaplo> ["A fair observation. I can elaborate, although I can't promise it'll remain light conversation if I do."]
[16:29] <Kayoko> "I'm not all that invested in light."
[16:30] <Minaplo> ["Mm."-
[16:30] <Minaplo> ["You're likely familiar with the shape of our customs from experience with the Defectors. Would that be a correct assumption?"]
[16:33] <Kayoko> "That's right," she said, leaning forward now that her attention was turned wholly his way.
[16:36] <Minaplo> ["Mm. Our customs differ in certain ways. The Empire grants prestigious titles, awards and responsibilities on its most distinguished families." Said Planter. "These might grant them control over the revenues of land, planets, even systems, regiments of slaves, the pick of duties when it comes to wartime, freedom to work with limited oversight, and of course the ability to empower lesser families through the same titles."-
[16:38] <Minaplo> ["But… There's a catch." Said Planter. "These titles are not inherited by our children. The central government reclaims all of those privileges on the death or retirement of a family. It is expected, however, that once a family has a title, its descendants will aspire to re-earn that title- and greater titles past that. Well."-
[16:41] <Minaplo> ["I say 'expectation', but it's really a kind of pressure. An intense pressure. There's shame in letting a title lapse." Said Planter. "So we invest a great deal of energy into finding suitable partners. Partners from powerful families, with good pedigrees and impressive talents that complement our own."-
[16:44] <Minaplo> ["We… Did well." Said Planter. "We achieved the second-highest rank of nobility in a period of time that shocked many. Has Calligrapher-of-the-Ultraviolet-Inks told you some of his war stories? We, our family, us, made our names crushing the last Defector invasion."-
[16:46] <Minaplo> ["The problem with all of that is that if you're not interested in noble prestige as the rest of your family, it can be… Alienating." The sensation of loneliness in a throng, flashed his plumage. "You're caught between the legacy of your ancestors, the motivation of your brothers, and the motivations of the wives chosen because of that legacy. And you can't hide anything from your pod."-
[16:47] <Minaplo> ["I love my family. But… There's a distance between myself and my wives. An acknowledgement that our intimacy is the fulfilment of a mutually beneficial contract."-
[16:48] <Minaplo> ["This is a lot of words to say that they don't really care, and if they did, I wouldn't care that they did." Said Planter. "If anything, our culture tacitly endorses… 'affairs' of this kind. It fills a need without damaging the family unit."]
[17:43] <Kayoko> "Violet doesn't share war stories," Kayoko said after a second or two to consider. "And I can't really say my culture feels the same way about this sort of thing. I'm not sure I consider this a date and I still feel weird about it."
[17:59] <Minaplo> ["It'd be surprising if our cultures matched in that way." Said Planter. "In truth, though, I don't know nearly as much about how your culture does feel."]
[18:09] <Kayoko> "It really depends. Twiceborn are varied enough that a single definition is hard to come up with, even within a specific cultural group," Kayoko said, one hand idly tracing circles on the stone tabletop. "I mean, two-person monogamous relationships are the most common, but legally and culturally we're pretty open to alternate arrangements."
[18:14] <Minaplo> ["Hm."-
[18:15] <Minaplo> ["That's not too surprising. When it comes to bonding, cultures seem to exist on a continuum. You have the extremely regulated ones, like the Empire or- in their own sick way- the Virile Ones. Then on the other far end you have groups like the Symphonians, who are quite unconventional."-
[18:15] <Minaplo> [He waved a hand at the fellow diners. "Did you know Devoted don't marry? Legally, none of them have fathers- it's not recorded, and not considered important."]
[18:35] <Minaplo> ["Mmm. Family bonds are less important to them. Very different to the Empire. I don't mind it."-
[18:36] <Minaplo> ["So. Twiceborn are diverse in how they operate. Is there a paradigm in their motivations for seeking partners?"]
[19:35] <Kayoko> "Love and pleasure, mostly!" she said. "Not universal, by any means, but that's the common ideal these days."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License