SpaceAge Meeting at the Alaki Reservoir

DragonierMan's return to the Alaki Reservoir would reveal that Power and ReservoirMan must have decided to both abandon the operation altogether: the dam was broken into pieces, with the water on the reservoir side much lower and the river running more freely. The batteries from earlier were gone and it looked like rubble had mostly finished settling where it was going to go sit. Despite the ruin, it looked peaceful.

... Except for the giant ninja standing over by the lake, in an area where she'd cleared away the brush to set down what looked like a giant, silver egg, circled by a green, floating ring. On closer inspection, it appeared to be floating slightly above the sand. The size and spectacle of the oblong vessel would be more impressive if it wasn't dwarfed by Kama, now clad in a black ninja garb that covered her head from toe, allowing only her eyes and horns to peak through.

It would be a short walk down to where Kama was waiting, or a quicker flight if he felt like heading down that way. Once he got closer, he'd see that Dee and Survey were already standing with their backs towards the dam, the former with her hands on her hips, the latter hunched slightly and adjusting the lens of her goggles. Small, camera-equipped drones, an unassuming gray color with lenses extending off the front like Survey's goggles lens, were floating around the vessel, scanning it with thin, green beams. It looked like a picture out of a sci-fi movie. Survey was dressed in her usual gray cape, under which she wore a gray navisuit, gray gloves, and gray boots, with silver hair sticking out from around her heavy goggles in unkempt strands.

Dee, on the other hand, had chosen something more appropriate for the area. Rather than her usual dress, she was dressed in a sporty blue tube-top and black, close-fitting exercise shorts. The outfit wasn't wasted on her, making her curves pop even more than usual on the lower body, but it could also be said that it showed her body wasn't quite as athletic as those of the other Neo-Shogun generals. Her hair was also done into a ponytail, held up from the back of her head with a blue scrunchy, fading from white to black in its usual style but held away from the bangs. She wore black-and-blue colored tennis shoes with white athletic socks, going just to the ankles. "Well, Survey? Found a way to crack this egg?" Dee asked, bringing a blue, oriental fan out from thin air and flapping it with an urgency that showed she was legitimately trying to get cool, rather than just being fashionable.

"SpaceAge is only waiting for DragonierMan to arrive. We let her know that we intended to enter as three, one of those being male, and..." the thinner girl responded, then paused, as if she'd noticed something especially interesting on the ship and needed to zoom in harder. "... I'm sure she is merely honoring those wishes."

"I apologize... if I was my normal size, I could join you," Kama pointed out; she might bow, but if she did, she'd change the shadow over the whole area and make the trees shake, so she abstained.

"Ho ho ho... I think there are plenty of us already for a friendly visit," Dee smiled.
DragonierMan, Magistrate, Suzume, and Aya appeared in a flash of light in the sky. They circled for a bit above the wreckage of the dam before noticing where the meetup point clearly was, with Kama, Dee, and Survey standing near a giant, silver egg-shaped UFO with a floating green ring around it. It didn't take long before they began to descend from the clouds like a flock of birds toward the clearing that Kama had made. As they were the muscle for this mission, they were fully outfitted for battle in heavy plate, and carrying a variety of sharp and pointed weapons. Magistrate even carried a wicked barbed poleaxe slung across her back. Due to the fact that probably none of the Neo-Shogun members have met her uncloaked, Magistrate hid her head under the same billowing white robe that Dee had seen when they met long ago. Although this time there were holes cut into the back for her new wings.

Drago was not fully looking forward to the meeting with Dee. Trepidation gnawed at him. They had not seen each other in a very long time, and so she must have learned all about the messy incident with the attempted coup (which was revealed to be BrainMan's influence), to the varied questionable interactions with other NS officers (such as his trist with Vee aboard a blimp). What would her reaction be upon seeing him again? Would she be disgusted at him? Was he even disgusted by his actions? He had never really looked that deep within himself for the answer.

Though he did give Dee a long look as he flew towards her. She was not in her usual low-cut dress, but in a very sporty outfit instead. Though to be fair, she was far more exposed in that outfit. He growled inwardly at the temptation to sweep her off her feet and kiss her once more. Though he kicked himself almost immediately at the thoughts. This was neither the time nor the place. And worst of all, she might not be receptive to the attention from him due to the aforementioned list of potential screw ups.

The four dragoniers overheard the tail-end of a conversation the three women were having as they got close. It seemed like Dee was in high spirits, so that was a good start. It also looked like Kama was continuing to try to be helpful, but was inhibited once more by her giant size. Although her size had helped them with the previous mission at the dam, as well as the current one as she extracted the UFO from under the water, Drago still hadn't helped her get back to her original size yet. At some point he would really need to find Trik and TrollMan again. Survey was still pretty new to him. He had talked to her briefly once or twice, but never in any meaningful way before moving on from one mission to the next. Perhaps he would learn more about her from this mission. She seemed to be taking a good scan of the UFO as they landed nearby. I wonder how much she had learned from her drones.

Suzume waved as she ran up to Dee with a smile on her face. "Hey-oh, woo-hoo! We're here now," she announced as she rushed up to grab Dee's hands. With a little catty smirk and a wink she dropped her voice so only Dee could hear, "I'm sorry we didn't bring any cake out here, but maybe later to celebrate?" she asked. Her voice returned to normal octave as she continued, releasing Dee's hands and backing up a few feet, her hands reaching up to wrap behind her head as she kicked her foot up playfully. "So... how are you? We haven't seen or heard from you in a loooong while now. I bet you have lots of stories to share," she said, making polite conversation as Drago lurked in the background with hooded Magistrate.

Aya, meanwhile, floated next to Kama's head. "Good day Kama. You look much more like a ninja now," she began politely. "And if you were wondering, no, we have not forgotten our promise to you to change you back to normal," she continued. "To be honest, I had assumed that Trik would have offered to change you back by now. I vaguely remember there being a deal between her and the NS on this regard. Though perhaps I am remembering it wrong, or it wasn't the time for it yet." Aya stroked her chin. "Well regardless, I thank you for all the help you have given us so far. I hope we can continue to work together as friends regardless of what may come in the future," she finished with a short bow. "Such as guarding the area while our ambassadors take a look inside that UFO," Aya said as she motioned over her shoulder at the UFO behind her.

Suzume motioned for Magistrate to approach. "Oh, you met each other a loooong while ago too, but this is Magistrate." Magistrate reached up and removed her hood, letting her prim, yet stony expression play out on her face. "Charmed to meet you again," Magi said as she pulled off her gauntlet and extended her well manicured hand. Suzume rolled her eyes and pouted. "Oh, c'mon! Smile a little. You haven't seen your friend in a long time after all." Magi looked questioningly at Suzume at the mention of being 'friends' with Dee. "We are acquainted," she said matter-of-factly with emphasis, trying to set the record straight. But she did try to smile a little, if only to get Suzume off her back. Unfortunately, it turned into more of a grimace than a smile.

Drago continued to lurk in the background, pacing a little nervously and muttering to himself. Clearly he was going over scenarios in his head and practicing what he would say and do to each thing he thought Dee would say and do. His wings were half-unfolded, sinews twitching, as his body didn't even know whether he was going to suddenly fly away or collapse to the ground in a fit.

Kama was the first to notice DragonierMan and crew, being the right height to spot them above. Rather than announce them, she let them approach and announce themselves.

If Dee had any misgivings about DragonierMan's misgivings, she had a good poker face about them; she didn't glare or frown, instead wearing her usual self-assured smirk as she fanned herself. "Well, well! I knew you were spending a lot of time with other women, Drago, but I didn't know you had your own air squad like MachMan does!" the sorceress joked, taking an early chance on the suspicion that Magistrate was also a woman.

"They look like they're armed for a war..." Survey noted, with a suspicious smirk of her own. Something about her face made her perpetually seem as though she was scheming something, but perhaps that was just because she was a stranger for now.

"Oh, darling, I could go on and on," Dee sighed, but didn't speak to any past adventures, despite her claim. "I haven't been up to anything that's any wilder than the fun we've gotten up to in the past, Drago. A lot of training under First General Sourpuss's commands. I'm hoping this one will be a nice change of pace from... that," she chuckled. "I'm going to have to try extra hard with all the competition these days... What are you sulking around for back there, anyway? That's no way to greet me... How about a hug or a nice pat on the back, like old chums?"

Kama gave a short bow in response to Aya... very short, so as not to disturb the forest. Her red face seemed to grow a little pinker at the note on her clothing. "I'm just happy to finally be presentable for once," she whispered. "Our circumstances in the previous mission were... not flattering." She listened a bit longer, then nodded. "Do not worry; i'm committed to using this form to help until I return to my original. Guarding this area will be important... I understand that there were others trying to access this craft."

Dee smiled at Magistrate sweetly, raising her eyebrows and accepting the handshake. Once it was over, however, she shook her head and gave a "tsk, tsk." She rested her cheek upon one fist and inspected Magistrate again. "This one reminds me of someone else I know. Don't worry; I won't hold that against you, dear," she sighed. "Oh, I hope you know, it's a right of initiation that when you do a mission with Drago and me, you have to either wear either tiny bikini armor or a backless apron. Do you have one under your armor?"

Clearing her throat, Survey stepped forward and introduced herself. "Greetings... I'm Survey. Good to meet you in person," she addressed Magistrate. "I'm not wearing an apron and you don't have to either... however, we should get a couple of other appearance details squared away. For starters, SpaceAge agreed to meet with just DragonierMan and two girls... we'll be testing her if we all go in. For another thing, if you do go in, that halberd has got to go. I know you're the backup here but walking into a meeting like this with such visible weaponry is a bad idea."

"Pish tosh, if this SpaceAge is anyone worth meeting she'll be willing to accommodate my friends," Dee set aside Survey's worry. "Four-Eyes is probably right about that nasty weapon, though. Maybe something a little more discrete?"

Kama opened her mouth to offer a weapon loan, then realized the problem with giving a normal-sized person one of her weapons and closed her lips shur, with an overly audible intake of air.

"Let's start with what little intel we have," Survey began, crossing her arms and turning back to the craft with a swish of her cape. "All we know of SpaceAge is what we've gained from a women's voice, which speaks to us only on unpredictable occasions. We are unclear if that voice is a navi inside the ship, possibly the ship itself, or something else. She answers questions sometimes or even engages conversation, but there is no telling what she'll answer... we've found no theme in that sense. Thankfully, she did at least tell us how to access the ship and when she would like to meet. There is a hatch hidden; we are standing right in front of it. Pushing in on one side will rotate the panel and allow entry. It's a bit of a tight fit, so prepare to bring your wings in..."

"As for the ship, we haven't tried to pierce it but we know that at some point ReservoirMan must have attempted to do so, based on his notes. Despite that, there isn't a scratch on it. We also know that SpaceAge has remained functional despite spending many weeks underwater in this ship. Additionally, we suspect that she hasn't left the ship since it landed here, or else ReservoirMan probably would have noticed and kept a log of it. We know that SpaceAge can hear through the shell. It is well lit on the inside... a little muggy, though. According to Kama, the ship feels hollow and very light. Finally, we haven't been able to determine how the ship flies or whether it has any weapons."

"Huh... why was ReservoirMan so interested in this thing, anyway?" Dee asked, fanning herself idly.

"It crashed down one night and he immediately went to investigate. He was already here on his power generation mission at the time. Maybe he was bored?" Survey postured with a smirk. "Anyway, I think anybody would be interested in a ship with a completely impenetrable hull."

"Ho ho ho... I'll bet Drago here is more interested in who's inside of it. He's probably hoping for a futuristic beauty," Dee teased. "But I'm afraid first contact won't leave her feeling flattered, if I'm on the other side from her."

"... Be that as it may, let's wrap up here and get started. Any questions? Do you all want to post some guards out here, or leave it to Kama? And do you want to go in dressed like that? It is, as I said... a little muggy," she reiterated, pulling on the hem of her cape self-consciously.
If Dee had any misgivings about DragonierMan's actions between when they last saw each other, she didn't show it. She even asked for a hug. Drago, though still weary in mind, took up the offer, and even tried to pick her up and spin her around a little. "I'm sorry... for a lot of things," he said as he tried to put on a smile, having gotten it off his chest. "But we can have a long talk about that later," he offered.

Magistrate arched one eyebrow as Dee laid out her 'right of initiation'. "I cannot say that I have either," Magi stated. "Though I do not remember hearing about you asking Aya or Suzume to wear something like that in the past." Her eyes snapped over to Drago for a moment before returning to Dee. She also wore a mischievous grin, which was something she didn't do often. "Though I fear that if I did, you might finally have some competition. No, I think it is best if I stay covered so as not to embarrass," she said cattily.

Magi turned to Survey as she approached. They said their piece about who was expected at the meeting, and Drago's ear twitched when Survey admitted to not having an apron, which meant that she might have the tiny bikini. "You do not need to worry about us," Magi stated with a raised hand indicating 'stop, no need to continue'. "We were already briefed on that aspect of the mission. Aya, Suzume, and I will be out here securing the perimeter with Kama." Aya was already looking at the treeline and sky near her and Kama's position. Suzume gave a thumb's up signal if anyone looked her way. "As you can see already. Now run along you three, daylight is burning," she said as she clapped her hands twice to indicate that the conversation was over, followed by some shooing motions.

Survey and Dee continued to exposit about what they knew about the mission as Drago came to stand with them near the hidden hatch. At the mention of 'a little muggy', and the furturistic setting, a lightbulb went off in Drago's head. "I got just the thing for this. All the sci-fi stuff I have seen and been involved in lately was the basis for a new wardrobe option. Observe!" he explained before he activated his TechSoldier.GMO. His body glittered as Drago's medieval-style, scaled, plate armour suddenly became sleeker, rounder, and more futuristic looking. The seams and trim of his armour also began to glow with a silvery-white light, as if clear fiber optic cables weaved themselves through his armor, flowing with energy. His helmet collapses into a torc around his neck. When commanded, it looks like it would unfold itself from the torc in the same way it collapsed, to form around his head in a similar sleek and futuristic draconic-style helmet. His tabard and cloak morph into holographic representations of themselves, and project out of generators on his torso and back. Several other circular, glowing generators adorn his armour at key points, such as shoulders, elbows, and kneecaps.

He wipes a hand through his dark gray hair. "It even has built-in air conditioning, or heating, depending on the environment. It should serve me well here," he said as he turned around slowly, showing it off. After he finished letting people fawn over him, he clapped his hands in a similar matter to Magi. "Shall we?" he said as he waited for Survey to open the hatch. "I bet Dee could get you an apron if you asked," he remarked behind Survey, a little teasingly. He then turned to Dee. "You think that this SpaceAge will be one of those futuristic beauties that show up on TV all the time?" he asked.

Survey backed off a bit to let to allow DragonierMan and Dee an embrace and a twirl, which set the sorceress into a giggle. "Ho ho! The dragon's out of the cave now!" Dee laughed, clutching tight to his arms. "Oh please, I've been listening to sorry this and sorry that from everybody for what feels like ages now. Enough long talks and sorries, let's live in the moment for a while," she finished, getting back down onto her feet and rubbing down her hair to remove the strands that had gotten displaced during her swing.

She looked over her shoulder, noticing Magistrate again, and gave a vacant smile. "Well, maybe they should. It's never too late for a second honeymoon," she joked, before she quieted down and listed closer. Her eyes flashed with excitement and a grin spread across her face. "Ho ho ho! I judged you too early, it seems. I'm sure fortune will find us a chance to compare down the road, darling. And when it does, perhaps Drago here will be our judge," she smiled, eyeing the other lady up and down as though trying to figure out what she might be hiding underneath the armor.

She'd have to keep thinking on it, because Magistrate resumed her business-face and head out with the other girls to start perimeter patrol. "Huh. It'd be nice if certain others could turn it off and on like that," Dee remarked, rolling her eyes. She listened to DragonierMan and raised her eyebrow as he teased some new wardrobe, then unveiled it, causing her to chuckle again. "Well now I really feel under-dressed," she snarked.

"A very good idea, though," Survey pointed out, breaking quiet for the first time in a while. "Moving on is also a good idea. Let's go," she encouraged the others, pushing her cape out of the way of her arms as though it was now bothering her.

"Does it have a space-man diaper built into it too?" Dee asked, grinning big. With her, you had to take the good humor with the insulting.

"... No aprons, no diapers. Let's focus a little," Survey responded, smiling but with a bit of impatience in her voice.

"Oh, I'm sure her bosom is just bursting out of her air-conditioned space suit, Drago," Dee continued ribbing, heedless of Survey's attitude. "Don't worry... I'm well prepared to compete with any number of women."

Survey didn't say anything else as she pushed in on the panel they'd mentioned earlier, causing a rectangular crevice to appear in the wall of the spaceship; the panel retracted about an inch, then slid noiselessly into the right side of the wall, revealing a somewhat ominous, dark passageway into the interior of the ship. The passageway couldn't go very far... after all, the ship wasn't that large from the outside. That said, it was clear the hall split into three directions, distinguishable only by the gently thrumming red lights coming up from the floor. "I'll lead the way," she insisted, either because she was better equipped to see in the dark or perhaps because her earlier scan had given her some insight she hadn't seen fit to share. It could even be the case that she didn't want to break up Drago's reunion with Dee, although that didn't seem likely, as her tone had let on she was about fed up with the jokes.

"By the way, you two... obviously, both of you outrank me, Dee my rank and DragonierMan by seniority. So you two can feel free to make the decisions for the course of this mission," she notified them both, although it didn't appear there was much to do now but simply follow her slim figure down the middle pathway she was slowly walking down.

The three of them had nearly finished moving down the middle passage, where a somewhat annoyingly small, round-topped door was standing at the end, when a voice came over the ship's intercom. The voice didn't sound like a beautiful woman's; it seemed to be fluctuating between different tones, inflections, and even genders randomly as it spoke. "STRANGER ONE BOOT-UP REINITILAIZED. STRANGER TWO THREE BOOT-UP. RUN SUBROUTINE 'H A.' DATA ALTERED. DATA ALTERED. DATA ALTERED. DATA ALTERED. STRANGER ONE MEMORY CHECK. SEARCHING... DATA ALTERED. DATA ALTERED. END SEARCH. SPACE-AGE REINITIALIZING," the voice droned at length.

"... That's new," Survey murmured, sounding oddly disinterested. Perhaps it was just a given that things weren't going to go as any of them expected. "Didn't get anything like that the last time we communicated with her. It sounds like there could be trouble. Keep your guard up as we continue."

Noticing a red, circular panel on the wall next to the door, she first attempted to press it with one finger, then corrected herself to press her palm to it. The door opened quickly and noiselessly, revealing what looked like a cockpit. No one seemed to be inside and, like the rest of the ship, it was rather poorly lit with red lights. It looked like there were at least three black, leather chairs in this room, rooted to the floor by silver bases. "Please, have a seat," a voice encouraged them over the intercom. This one did sound like a chipper lady's voice; a pleasant person to be around, if not a sultry seductress like Dee. "I'd like to exchange greetings in the customs of your time. I've studied them a bit. Let me know if anything's a little off, but... I think you'll be pleased," the voice chuckled.

It wasn't quite clear what the voice was talking about, at least until they got seated. A flat, black console was stationed near each of the chairs, along with a simple keyboard interface. On the screen was blinking, red text that seemed a little hard to read and honestly not particularly futuristic... it looked almost like an interface you'd see with a computer in a very, very old movie. The text, however, was more interesting...

Quote (DragonierMan's console)


Please enter your name.

My name is SpaceAge! It's super sweet to meet you.

Hey, I've noticed something. I noticed people in your time get more engaged when they exchange greetings like these. Which of these sounds the most special to you?

1) I will give you high-powered batteries, one-hundred filled per hour, for a period that we will negotiate.

2) I will give you a hug and spin you around.

3) I will give you a bingo card.

4) I will put all of the girls into bikinis for you.

Please pick one. Ordinarily I'd offer you more... you seem great... but I [][][]t [][][][]te [][][][][][]in[] [][][][][]. Don't worry. It's going to be a fu[] time.

"... Er... Are you seeing this? It almost seems like it's broken," Dee murmured from the seat opposite the DragonierMan's. "Maybe we shouldn't be snooping around here after all. I think it's fairly safe to say that this 'SpaceAge' is a program that's part of the ship? And it sounds like she's a little bit on the fritz..."

"Ha ha! That's a funny joke, Stranger One. By the way... if you'll enter your name, I think it would help us get a little closer. Getting closer to people of your time is a big goal for me; I'd really appreciate it," the sweet voice spoke, just a little bit monotone, to encourage Dee. "My name's SpaceAge, by the way. It's super sweet to meet you all."

"I, for one, say we go along with it. If something is the matter, we may be able to do something to fix it," Survey posited, already busily typing away on the keyboard interface, despite her earlier statement that she'd yield to whatever the other two decided.
DragonierMan was relieved at the 'live in the moment' attitude of Dee. Clearly she had heard enough apologies from Yasu and the like to get sick of it. His grin widened as he assumed he understood that Dee wasn't going to hold him to his errors at the present moment, and that he could continue his flirtatious manner with her for now.

Suzume, who was close enough to overhear the conversation between Dee and Magistrate, quirked an eyebrow at Dee's mention of a 'second honeymoon'. What did Dee consider the 'first honeymoon'? Did she thought there was some sort of steamy relationship between the twins and Drago?

Drago shook his head at Dee's mention of diapers. "I don't feel like there is a diaper in here," he remarked. "Although it might have some sort of recycle system. I don't plan on testing that today though. Besides, I don't think this suit was made with the idea of spending a long time within it. Also, unlike Real World astronauts, we can take a quick trip back to the PET if we need to."

"You know, I'll let you lead on this mission if the General doesn't mind. If nothing else than allowing others in the NS to share the spotlight from time to time. It helps build up our leadership," Drago said to Survey when she started talking about rank, while walking within the spaceship. "Besides, my mission here is to be more like your guardian than your commander." His smile betrayed a kind of flirtation when she looked back at him. "So, don't feel afraid to command me if the urge hits you. Just ask the General, I can be very accommodating."

Survey said to go along with it as he sat down in one of the chairs and began to look over the console. "Huh, ok. So I just type here..." Drago muttered out loud as he began to input his name. He tapped daintily so as not to send his fist through the console.

Quote (DragonierMan's console)


Please enter your name. DRAGONIERMAN...

It seemed to be giving Drago options similar to when he was here last with Sparks. "What options is it giving for you two?" he asked as his finger accidentally struck the '4' key.

Quote (DragonierMan's console)

> 4) I will put all of the girls into bikinis for you.

"Huh? Oops." Well, if Survey didn't have a bikini, she might now. Though it wasn't like the spaceship had that kind of power... right?

Suzume touched down near Kama as Aya took off on her patrol. Magistrate was on the exact opposite side of the clearing from Kama and Aya, doing a sweep over the treetops there. "Hey 'Big K' what's shake'n?" Suzume asked the large ninja. "Any news from home? We've been kinda out of the loop for a while. What with the whole BrainMan thing... and the Utopia thing... really just a bunch of things that have kept us away." Suzume said as she counted on her fingers.

"How's Yasu doing? Did you guys manage to talk? I bet you did. You guys must have had a lot to talk about, being from the same village and all," she asked after putting her fingers away. "How are the others doing? Have they all managed to come together after that whole BrainMan mess? And has there been any new recruits joining us recently that you know of?"

"Ah, yes, well. If there is a recycling system, I don't need to know about it, nor do I particularly give a crap if you, he he, tend to 'give a crap,'" Dee chuckled dryly as they made their way inside the ship.

"Well... If that's what you want. I suppose I have already scoped it out," Survey agreed; Dee shrugged along. "Just know that I'm the kind of boss that keeps an eye on people..." It sounded like an attempt at a joke, but she didn't have much in the way of delivery skills.

Soon enough, they were seated up and using the latest and greatest alien interface to talk to SpaceAge. DragonierMan looked out of place, with his large, gloved fingers hesitantly pushing keys to type his name in. Survey continued to watch the screen, while Dee answered his inquiry. "Hm, it's asking me to type my name in. Hopefully we can at least be closer than strangers," she chuckled, giving a very few clicks to type in her notably short name. There were only three presses, so presumably, she was going with "Dee" rather than "Myst."

"Nothing to note so far," Survey answered. It seemed odd to think that none of them would be remarking upon such unusual questions, if they were receiving the same follow-up question that DragonierMan had. For now, his console was giving him further

Quote (Console)

DRAGONIERMAN? That's good. I'll call you DRAGONIERMAN from now on.

You feel most comfortable when people around you are dressed in bikinis, right? I see. I've noticed people in your time seem to be happiest talking to girls in bikinis. That's in line with what I was thinking. Don't worry; I have the technology to make sure that all the girls here wear bikinis.

Once the message finished popping out, a humming noise began to come from the walls surrounding them, sounding so close that it emphasized again the smallness of this bridge area. The lights that had been red began to brighten up to a more inviting green color, as those, along with a soft, green light, began to illuminate the room. With the lights on, it was apparent that, past the consoles, there was another large monitor at the front of the room, along with a bit of standing space and two doors, one to the left and another to the right. A large table was also placed in front of the monitor, although it was empty.

Green particles swirled mid-air, accompanied by an inviting, musical whistle, as a silver-skinned navi began to materialize in the middle of the room, behind each of their backs. If DragonierMan didn't see it, Survey would speak up to notify him where to look. The woman who'd appeared was a good bit smaller than Dee, with a height and stature like a young girl. Luminescent green hair, shaped very round, perfectly smooth, and short-cut, covered her head, although she had no eyebrows to match. It might look like more metal, if it weren't for one curl that escaped, forming a conspicuous short "C" shape at her forehead. Her eyes were completely bright green, like the ship's lights, and when her mouth opened, the same color seemed to be coming from in front of her. Unless her silver skin was armor of some kind, she appeared to be naked, although there were none of the explicit features you might imagine you'd see on a naked girl.

"Hello everyone. I'm SpaceAge," she introduced herself. "Sorry I couldn't greet you all in person earlier. I had to get my introductions in order. On that note..." she began, speaking in the same voice the ship had been using earlier: a nice, if someone sterile, young girl's voice. With a pleasant smile, she clapped her hands as if she planned to activate a light dimmer. Instead, green sparkles swirled around every girl in the room (including herself) for a moment, before their clothes net-magically vanished, replaced by bikinis. The bikinis would look pretty familiar to DragonierMan... they looked very similar to Lee's own sporty, revealing bikini, although Dee's was blue and Survey's was gray. She even wore a similar one herself, bright green in color... Ironically that change had made her more clothed rather than last. "What do you think?"

Dee looked down for a moment, then guffawed. "Ho ho ho! What sort of a silly AI is this? Is this her idea of proper bridge-wear?" she laughed, more amused than she was curious how the navi had summoned such abilities. As usual, she seemed very comfortable in a bikini, and her curvy body was always worth appreciating.

Survey looked less amused; although Dee had kept her hair-tie, Survey had not kept her goggles, meaning that DragonierMan now saw her eyes: they looked a little like glass, with short, green beams pointing out from both of them. "DragonierMan, did you touch something?" she asked, skeptical. Her body was very slender, perhaps too much so, with slightly protruding ribs and not much in the way of breasts. Seeing her in a bikini was a little surreal after only knowing her as a slouching camera-watcher for so long.

"Touch? Is touching supposed to be involved with introductions?" SpaceAge asked. Survey quickly shook her head, indicating that wouldn't be necessary. "Ah. Well, I know you all must be a little confused. You came here to meet me and to exchange information, right? I'd like to do that literally," she continued. "Dee, DragonierMan, and Survey... you'll see a prompt on the screen at the front of the room. I've brought up information I believe you'll be interested in, all recorded within my logs. For every question of mine you answer on the consoles there, I'll exchange with you another piece of information. That way, each of us get a fair deal," she spoke with a calm, measured tone. "All you have to do is tell me which you want to hear about.

Main Screen

1a) Family: Mother, father, sister
1b) Family: Others
1c) Family: Last contact
2a) SpaceAge (Craft): Purpose
2b) SpaceAge (Craft): Operation
2c) SpaceAge (Craft): Status
2d) SpaceAge (Craft): Emergency procedures
3a) SpaceAge (Navi): Purpose
3b) SpaceAge (Navi): Status
4a) SpaceAge abilities overview
4b) Notable limitations of SpaceAge abilities
4c) Speculation on applications of SpaceAge abilities and future outlook
5a) Ship log: Blesser's Court
5b) Ship log: Descent
5c) Ship log: At the Alaki Dam 1, DrainMan
5d) Ship log: At the Alaki Dam 2, ReservoirMan
5e) Ship log: At the Alaki Dam 3, No ownership
6a) SpaceAge Journal: Notes on the Blessers
6b) SpaceAge Journal: Notes on DrainMan and ReservoirMan
6c) SpaceAge Journal: Notes on Neo-Shogun Empire soldiers
6d) SpaceAge Journal: Notes on Kama
6e) SpaceAge Journal: Notes on Lee and Sake
6f) SpaceAge Journal: Notes on DragonierMan and Sir Sparky
6g) SpaceAge Journal: Notes on Dee and Survey
7) Free testing (User specifies a function, SpaceAge complies within capabilities)
8) Free questioning (User specifies a question, SpaceAge answers within capabilities)

"Ugh... Blessers are involved in this. I know you said to lead here, but I think it's better if you keep it, DragonierMan. You've had more experience with those guys than I have," Survey murmured, surprisingly unwilling to keep the command. She crossed her legs uncomfortably, then asked, "Can I put back on my regular clothes now?"

"Oh, no. I'm taking measures to make sure all girls are currently in bikinis, so that we'll all be properly introduced," she explained, gesturing to her own swimwear. "For now, pick two topics, since you all answered both your names and proper introduction techniques. Then, while I exchange information with you, you'll see another question from me on your console you can answer."

"... Did we answer proper introduction techniques?" Dee asked, leaning her cheek against her fist. "I don't remember seeing a question like that."

Whenever DragonierMan was ready, he could also type in a response to the next part of the prompt.

Quote (Console)

Hey again. There's something on my mind. Maybe you can help me out with another answer.

I was hoping my introduction would go over a little better, but the other seem pretty skeptical. I want to make everyone comfortable. Maybe I should hear a little more about the things you like. I've noticed the woman you speak with are very different from one another. We all have very different bust sizes. Which bust size makes you the happiest to see on girls, though?

1) Flat, like Sake
2) Firm like Lee
3) Soft like Dee
4) Huge like my mom's
5) Giant like Kama's
6) Covered up, like Magistrate's

Take your time answering. I'm [][][][]g a lot o[] [][][]c[][][][]n[] [][][][][] but you know, I've been alone on this ship for so long, I [][]n'[] [][]g[][][] it [][] [][][].

As DragonierMan read the last line, the ship's lights momentarily flickered red again in an unhealthy way; if he looked back to SpaceAge, he'd see that even if hair and eye color was changing along with the ship's lights. Thankfully, it didn't last long before the green color came back.


Kama watched the other navis begin their patrol with a stoic expression; it was possible she envied their ability to move around as they pleased without disturbing the environment or causing the ground to shake. She looked down to Suzume with momentary surprise, perhaps taking a second to process that she was "Big K," before responding in a subdued whisper. "Well, I was accepted into the Empire. It was a bit of a process. Yasu and I have some history, being from the same village, but she wasn't easy to convince of my loyalty, since I've been with the Alexis for so long... As for other events, I'm afraid I'm not really up on changes considering I'm still meeting everyone myself. I did hear about Utopia, though, and how she tricked DragonierMan. It sounds like she was very powerful... we're lucky she was a relatively well-meaning person."

"I really don't know much about the BrainMan episode. I know it had something to do with the ROT and the Shogun made some policy changes related to it, but you must remember, I am very new to your organization; I only have the vaguest knowledge of it," she reiterated. "As for others who've joined recently, I know Wasteland is undergoing a recruitment mission along with Escort to formalize her entry into the Empire. I think that, in general, morale is good. It seems like many new people are showing up to express interest, although how many are being made subordinates, I couldn't say. I do know that there's been some concern over how often the Empire is being targeted these days... Yasu's put all of her generals on training regiments while they're not on missions. Oh... on that note, Yasu has been spending a fair amount of time away from the camp herself lately, unless she's supervising missions. Despite our history, we em... are a little estranged. I don't know what she could be doing," Kama mused, crossing her arms and lowering her head slightly. "I don't know if she'll ever really trust me. I abandoned her for the Alexis when the village was attacked. If I'd joined her in the Empire then instead of letting myself be subjugated by Alex... my life would have been very different."

Once Kama was done answering, she returned to a silence so oppressive that it was almost violent; she didn't really seem to be the social type. Or perhaps it was just very hard to carry on gossip when the best you can manage is a booming whisper. Suzume would have to keep at it if she wanted to get Kama out of her shell and break down the wall between them.
From the responses of Dee and Survey as they typed in their names, it seemed like DragonierMan was the only one receiving special attention from SpaceAge in the form of extra questions. The room brightened as red lights turned to green and a girl appeared behind them. By the way it appeared and the way it moved, it looked like a hologram. She introduced herself as SpaceAge, so clearly SpaceAge was the ship. And from her follow-up it appeared she was with the Blessers. Great.

And she showed off those unnatural Blesser powers by putting everyone except him in bikinis. It always impressed him how much wasted power these Blessers had. They could seemingly do anything they wanted, but they were always mentally unsound, and thus were never tapping into their full potential. They also seemed to be easily manipulated if you play into whatever bizarre quirk they had. Well, not all the time. Drago had way more trouble with MarriageMan than Suzume had with Utopia. He wondered where they all came from. Where was their home base?

Dee seemed fine with the sudden bikini change, but Survey did not. Drago saw something interesting though as Survey's goggles disappeared, her eyes were like glass and were projecting beams where her pupils would be. It was the first time he met a navi with such strange-looking eyes. He turned away from her as she asked her question about him touching things and didn't answer right away. But before she could press further, she was interrupted by SpaceAge's question about touching things, of which Survey deflected. SpaceAge continued with the purpose of the meeting, an exchange of information. She directed the group to the main screen over a table. It displayed a long list of questions that they could ask her, in exchange for the same amount of questions asked back. Drago scanned the list and noted quite a few things he would like to know, as Dee gave an exasperated groan as she also learned that Blessers were involved in this. Both her and Survey basically gave the floor to Drago as the one most qualified to handle this interaction.

Drago noticed that SpaceAge flickered from green to red to green again. It seemed like she wasn't fully stable. Did that mean that they were limited by some sort of clock before SpaceAge degraded to a point where they might be in danger? How much information could he extract from her before then? He looked back at his console to note the next question. A tiny bit of redness creeped into his cheeks and his ears burned a little from the escalation of it all. He did note, however, that it stated that SpaceAge had a 'mom'. That was something he would have to ask about later.

Quote (Console)

> 2) Firm like Lee

Out of all the options presented to him, he thought that, that was the safest bet. He never heard of a girl who would complain about being firm and youthful. And at least this way he wouldn't end up with either woman mad at him. He looked up after pressing the button on the console. "Technically I want to know all of these," he began. He turned to Dee and Survey. "She asked me on my console about 'proper introduction techniques'," he admitted. "The 'bikini option' seemed the safest bet from the other options she presented me with," he lied.

"Hey, did either of you two get a question a moment ago?" he asked, trying to deflect away from comments made about his earlier selection. "I just got another one answered, so we should get three topics," he looked at the hologram of SpaceAge. "Do to the flickering of lights, and the relative state of your vessel, it seems like you are probably damaged. Perhaps you could answer 2c, 2b, and 2d of the Craft's status, operation, and emergency procedures. I would like to continue this conversation for a while longer, but I don't want you 'dying' on me." He then turned to Survey. "You seem technically inclined, with your drones and all. If we find out all we can about this vessel, do you think you could repair it enough to stabilize it? This treasure trove of knowledge is probably worth quite a lot to us."

Suzume pointed to herself. "Actually, Drago never interacted with Utopia. That was all me baby," she gloated. "And I wouldn't say she tricked me specifically, just the people who wanted to join but had loyalties outside the NS. So in a way she kind of protected us, in her own strange way," she added.

She frowned as Kama continued to tell her about what's been going on in the organization. Suzume was concerned about Yasu's activities away from camp. It was possible that she was trying to go it alone again as some sort of penance for her actions during the whole BrainMan debacle. "Hey," she began, a little more seriously so that Kama would note the difference in tone. "Could you keep an eye on her for us?" she asked. "I'm concerned she is going off on her own in acts of penance for her earlier actions. She'll probably get herself into trouble again going off half-cocked like that."

"See at some point in the past, she was taken over by BrainMan, the leader of ROT. He somehow installed a mechanical eye into her that controlled her actions," she said, indicating Yasu's eye-patched eye by covering her own eye where Yasu kept her eyepatch. "Through her, and some of the soldiers he enslaved, he tried to take out ShogunMan and install his puppets into the leadership positions. We, unwittingly, helped him in that plan and he almost succeeded. If it wasn't for MachMan coming back to stop us..." she trailed off, leaving the rest of the monumental potential consequences unsaid.

A few moments of oppressive silence later, Suzume continued. "Anyways, it seems like everything is proceeding well enough." She then pointed to her right ear, followed by cupping it. She tried to send a message directly to Kama.

Quote (Suzume)

If you feel like your voice is too loud, then we can talk like this. Don't worry about being the new girl, you'll grow into it before long. Have you made any more friends since joining besides us? I bet Rodeo or Escort would stick to you before long. They both like girls you know. Rodeo in particular seemed to enjoy the size that Drago could be when he turns into his giant dragon form. I wouldn't be surprised if she had asked to 'ride' you, hehe.~

Escort is like you, big and quiet. I bet you'd both get along really well. Maybe you can even meditate together, or whatever it is you do with your free time. I also heard she has a girlfriend right now, so you'd probably not get hit on as much as with Rodeo. But who knows, hehe.~

The other two turned from their consoles to face DragonierMan as he spoke up; Survey was still sitting slouched forward, while Dee had crossed her legs and begun fanning herself once again. "A history lesson sounds fascinating, but why do I get the feeling the recess bell is going to ring before we hear it all?" Dee chuckled, making light of a potentially grim situation.

Survey lowered her eyebrows, considering what he had said. "Well, if you're going to do anything worse than putting me in a bikini, let me know first," she requested. That said, DragonierMan knew he might find it much easier to progress if he shot first and asked questions later, so to speak; they didn't appear to have a lot of time to discuss whether the terms were okay or not, given SpaceAge's failing state.

Dee shook her head in response to the question question. "Not I. I guess it's you she is most curious about? I wonder why?" the general teased, watching SpaceAge over her fan.

"I couldn't say. Sorry I can't be more help there. I can answer your other questions, though," she encouraged them, as DragonierMan provided a priority list of his first three topics of greatest concern. "Good choices," she smiled, delivering empty praise. "Let's take them one at a time."

The main screen adopted a soft green glow, before fading to black with light green text overplayed, appearing a piece at a time as though being typed.
Main Screen

Quote (2c)

Ship's Hull Integrity: ALL GREEN
Ship's Thruster Integrity: ALL GREEN
SpaceAge Navi Display: ENGAGED
SpaceAge Navi Integrity: ALL GREEN
SpaceAge User Interface: ENGAGED
Life Support: ALL GREEN
Power Remaining: 7%

Quote (2b)

While most of the ship's functions are guided by the SpaceAge navi, a user interface is also available. Speak to ship or navi to engage functions. Warning: features may be restricted based on rules set by SpaceAge navi or another administrator. Available functions at the moment are:


Quote (2d)

Listed format: emergency, followed by emergency response procedures.

HULL OR INTERNAL SYSTEM INTEGRITY FAILURE- AutoRepair will reform the damaged part immediately. If AutoRepair is disengaged, manual action will need to be taken. Recommendation is to keep AutoRepair active at all times.
LOGIC FAILURE/HACKING DETECTED- Weapons systems will go offline along with navi. Manual action required. Check ship section L4.
HOSTILE TAKEOVER- SpaceAge navi and ship are obligated to choose deactivation or disconnection over any path that ends with this technology ending up in dangerous hands. If these are not available, self destruction will activate.
POWER FAILURE: Replace core in section R4. Please ensure ship is loaded with backup cores in the case of failure. At 0%, the ship and navi will enter a limited functionality sleep mode, where all features aside from purging, disconnecting, and self destructing cannot be accessed. After an estimated 5 years from entering sleep mode, total power failure may occur, resulting in loss of navi data, as well as long-term technology failure.
NEW: DISENGAGED CONTACT- SpaceAge ship and navi will power down. Elements of ship and navi functionality not related to life support will be purged. It is recommended user interface in section M1 remain in operation after activated to avoid purging technology.

As these answers were coming up, provided one wasn't too distracted by those and spared a glance towards SpaceAge, they would see green sparkles shimmer for a moment around her bikini top, followed by a slight reduction in her breast size, as though someone had modified a slider in a video game. Interestingly, this one didn't affect the other navis: Survey didn't get any additional breast size and Dee didn't lose any.

"What the heck? It sounds like if we stop talking to this thing, it starts purging," Survey noted.

"So needy," Dee joked.

"I hope you found this information useful. I don't like to read about emergency procedures but... you never know when you'll need them," their hostess spoke softly, as though she wasn't in the middle of a power failure at this very moment. "Oh, a useful tip... the L designations are on the right of the ship, R on the right, and M in the middle. Although, I would prefer it you stayed here and participated in the information exchange, of course."

"I'm not sure that's an option... I think DragonierMan's right, you need some repairs. Something's screwy," Survey responded, shaking her head. "You two, stay here. I'm going to go investigate the left side of the ship and try to find what's been messed up. I'll leave one of my drones here to watch out for you two." With that, she rose to go. DragonierMan could either agree with her decision or keep her here if he had some need to.

DragonierMan would have some new messages on his console, if he cared to continue going:

Quote (Console)

Thanks for being willing to participate in the information exchange. I'm learning a whole lot. Your responses indicate you prefer answering three queries at a time. I'll oblige as well as I can.

First off, I noticed a bit of a reaction when I complied to your previous request. To be honest, i'm very interested in that type of response. To help me out, what would you consider the best indicator of your satistaction?

1) Elevated heart rate
2) Smiling
3) An erection

Do the people around you make you happy? What are some things I and others could do, in terms of our behavior, to make you happy?

1) Be assertive / adopt a leadership role.
2) Read into what you say and think critically.
3) Be spontaneous / unpredictable.
4) Be abusive / contradictory.
5) Do just what you ask for / be predictable.

Finally, I admit I'm also very interested in familiar forms of physical contact. Please demonstrate the kind of physical contact that you and DEE both enjoy the most, with DEE's assistance. I'll monitor your happiness so I can learn what effect it has. Once you're finished, feel free to pick three more topics.

If Dee was aware she was supposed to be fondly touching DragonierMan, she didn't show it. She was still seated, reading the screen and glancing over her shoulder from time to time, either at the silent figure of SpaceAge or at DragonierMan.

Main Screen

1a) Family: Mother, father, sister
1b) Family: Others
1c) Family: Last contact
2a) SpaceAge (Craft): Purpose
2b) SpaceAge (Craft): Operation- REVIEWED
2c) SpaceAge (Craft): Status- REVIEWED
2d) SpaceAge (Craft): Emergency procedures- REVIEWED
3a) SpaceAge (Navi): Purpose
3b) SpaceAge (Navi): Status
4a) SpaceAge abilities overview
4b) Notable limitations of SpaceAge abilities
4c) Speculation on applications of SpaceAge abilities and future outlook
5a) Ship log: Blesser's Court
5b) Ship log: Descent
5c) Ship log: At the Alaki Dam 1, DrainMan
5d) Ship log: At the Alaki Dam 2, ReservoirMan
5e) Ship log: At the Alaki Dam 3, No ownership
6a) SpaceAge Journal: Notes on the Blessers
6b) SpaceAge Journal: Notes on DrainMan and ReservoirMan
6c) SpaceAge Journal: Notes on Neo-Shogun Empire soldiers
6d) SpaceAge Journal: Notes on Kama
6e) SpaceAge Journal: Notes on Lee and Sake
6f) SpaceAge Journal: Notes on DragonierMan and Sir Sparky
6g) SpaceAge Journal: Notes on Dee and Survey
7) Free testing (User specifies a function, SpaceAge complies within capabilities)
8) Free questioning (User specifies a question, SpaceAge answers within capabilities)


"Hm. An interesting story. Taking the lead during a mission like that must have been a valuable experience for you. Hopefully, I'll have a chance to do likewise soon," Kama nodded politely, after learning more about Suzume's exploits. At the mention of Yasu's behavior, she adopted a more serious (whispering) tone. "I plan to keep a close eye on her. Although I wish I could do so more discretely... hiding is not easy when you have size like mine."

She lowered her eyebrows and narrower her eyes slightly, realizing she had received a message. From there on, she responded likewise.

Quote (Kama)

Thank you, honestly I feel like I have a bit in common with Guillotine. We both came from abusive employers with evil agendas. Although... I was rescued from mine. I must sometimes question whether she quit hers for anything more than sticking it to her employer. Do you ever worry that she hasn't fully rid herself of her bias as an ROT operative?

As for other friends, I think there may be some misunderstanding. I understand those two seem amiable enough and are probably good people to make friends with, but my intention isn't to look for that sort of relationship with anyone. My intentions are purely professional.

I would like to become better acquainted with Vee and others specializing in stealth missions; those will be my forte, whenever I regain my usual size.

I do like to meditate. If you'd like to join me, the other side of the dam forms a natural waterfall that is quite useful for the practice. Although, it may be better to stay here with the ship. I would hate to move it again while the others are on board and possibly not strapped in.

Do you feel as though this is the calm before some kind of storm? Perhaps i'm just paranoid.

For now, things were indeed calm. The patrols weren't finding anything and the dam seemed devoid of any visitors besides themselves and the otherworldly silver egg SpaceAge inhabited.
Survey volunteered to do repairs while DragonierMan and Dee continued to converse with SpaceAge. "Ok, I'll keep the comm line open so you can listen in and you can report anything back to us," Drago said as Survey got up to go. "SpaceAge, if you could display a map for Survey of the internals of the ship and guide her to L4, I would appreciate it," he added. "Oh, and while you're at it. Could you further clarify some points of the previous questions? Specifically on what rules you currently have set on which functions are available to use and what each do. You didn't fully explain what those functions are."

He then turned back to the console and read the next section.

Quote (Console)

> Elevated heart rate

"Hey Dee, come over here a second. I want you to see what she is asking me and give me some advice," he explained after selecting for the first of the three new questions asked, then waited until Dee got up to look over his shoulder. He tried to rotate his chair slightly so she could lean in better and pointed to the last two questions.

Quote (Console)

Do the people around you make you happy? What are some things I and others could do, in terms of our behavior, to make you happy?

1) Be assertive / adopt a leadership role.
2) Read into what you say and think critically.
3) Be spontaneous / unpredictable.
4) Be abusive / contradictory.
5) Do just what you ask for / be predictable.

"I don't see an option here that is more passive. All of these are pretty assertive one way or another. Either it is them being over me, me being over them, or chaos. To be honest, I only really see Option Two as being the most neutral option. But I am not sure I want to answer this one. These Blessers have the power of altering our very sense of self. I am not sure what would happen to you and Survey should I choose the wrong option... Do you think I should ask her for a sixth option?" Drago asked Dee.

Quote (Console)

Finally, I admit I'm also very interested in familiar forms of physical contact. Please demonstrate the kind of physical contact that you and DEE both enjoy the most, with DEE's assistance. I'll monitor your happiness so I can learn what effect it has. Once you're finished, feel free to pick three more topics.

"Then there is the elephant in the room, so to speak," Drago said as he pointed to the third question. He then turned his head toward hers with a smirk. "Now, I am not one to turn away physical contact. But perhaps I should let you lead on this one,~" he said with a widening grin. "Just know that we would be giving a show to at least two other people in this ship," he said, aware that this conversation was being broadcasted to Survey through their internal link. He then tried to follow whatever Dee wanted from him.

Quote (Aya)

No one ever completely rids themselves from their past, you just learn to live with it, mistakes and all.

Aya's voice cut into the internal communication between Suzume and Kama. She seemed to be piggybacking off her sister's signal. It seemed like the twins had a psychic link between them that allowed one to monitor the other. Quite handy, but also quite invasive. One wonders if Magistrate was also listening in. However, she had remained silent in her corner of the patrols.

Quote (Suzume)

Hello sister, nice of you to join us. And I also agree, to a point. With what little time was spent with her in that Watchtower mission, she seemed at least adamant about confronting her own problems with the organization, regardless of what we did. At the moment we are more of a temporary ally to be used to bolster her own little war. That is to be expected from someone who was not too long ago our enemy and I don't fault her for it. One could even say the same for us, as you were once our enemy in a previous life. Give it time and she may come around.

Suzume said while patting her huge foot, trying to calm Kama's fears and doubts about Guillotine. Aya then chimed in to Kama's next major question.

Quote (Aya)

I always expect a storm. A little paranoia is healthy. Although at the present moment I have my doubts that anyone will show up to harass us soon. This place has been fully abandoned and the Shogunate is likely to be attacked at their bases, rather than our little group out here in the middle of nowhere. Assuming no one knows about the ship.

But anyways, we can meditate when we aren't guarding.

Aya offered to join Kama. It seemed like she would probably enjoy the quiet more.

Assuming he had done enough to answer upwards of three questions, Drago pointed out the three packets of information he wanted to SpaceAge, in the order he won them in:

Quote (Main Screen)

> 3b) SpaceAge (Navi): Status
> 5a) Ship log: Blesser's Court
> 6a) SpaceAge Journal: Notes on the Blessers

Survey nodded, then discretely disappeared through the door to the left side of the ship, which opened automatically rather than requiring any kind of button press or sliding panel this time.

SpaceAge continued smiling genially, but provided a plethora of disappointing answers to DragonierMan's requests. "Ship map is not a standard function. Please utilize function 7 for my best approximation. I have described all available standard functions. I will elaborate to the best of my standard response capability. I will answer verbally to conserve ship power."

She cleared her throat, then began quickly reciting each ship function she had listed. " Dialogue: speak to SpaceAge to access ship functions or utilize the SpaceAge ship environment. Logs by number: access ship logs by number; can be performed without dialogue using keypad. Open ship doors: open all or specific doors on the ship using letter and number combinations. Close all doors: close all or specific doors on the ship using specific-"

"Letter or number combinations," Dee finished along with the navi, rolling her eyes. She continued on to talk about how boring this was, but SpaceAge did not stop speaking over her.

"Enter camouflage mode: turn on ship's optic camouflage. Warning: this process expends more ship power than is advisable given current levels. Engage weapons systems: activate cannons hidden alongside the ship's hull, which acquire and attack targets based on navi"s judgment. Engage self destruct: overload and detonate all ship components. All ship components will be destroyed. It is estimated most navis in explosion radius will also be deleted. Disconnect SpaceAge Navi: disconnects link between SpaceAge navi and SpaceAge ship, allowing another navi to be linked. Eject power core: forcibly removes power core in the case that core cannot be manually replaced."

"Is... is it over?" Dee asked, yawning hard. "Sounds like this ship is something special, but I can't stand reading a technical manual... or talking to one," she complained, throwing shade at their hostess.

Just then, DragonierMan directed her to come over. Nodding, she approached, then leaned over his shoulder to view the small screen. The proximity of her sweating, half-naked body to his would likely not be lost on him. "She's been asking you things like that, huh?" Dee asked, smirking back at SpaceAge.

The other girl remained quiet for a moment, then tilted her head slightly and responded. "If at all possible, I would prefer if you kept your eyes to your own console," she spoke gently, her green eyes seeming to focus on the floor briefly. "I know I didn't tell you to. I probably shouldn't be

"I think she's embarrassed. How does that make you feel, Drago? Does it 'elevate your heart
rate'?" the sorceress teased, having fun at SpaceAge's expense. She nudged up closer and scooted him by pressing her hip against his own, until he yielded enough of the chair that she could sit on half. If he didn't comply, she would pout and remain standing. "This is just a theory, but it might be limited to what SpaceAge wants. She seems like she's a little lacking in the spontaneity department and a little eager to use her powers or have them used. I doubt she wants to give you questions where you can choose to leave things the same," Dee shrugged. "Maybe just don't answer her and see what happens?"

She then smiled knowingly; obviously, she'd already read ahead to the third question. "She's curious, is she? I'm half tempted to try my invisible routine again just to tease her," Dee laughed. "And as for broadcasting, i'll have you know i pride myself on still being the most promiscuous Neo-Shogun officer, even despite our growing ranks! If it's a show she wants, I'll give it with gusto!"

Then, regardless of what DragonierMan suggested, she would widen her stance and throw one leg over, nudging so that she was standing in the narrow area between console and chair. She placed his hands around her hips (but didn't object if he wanted to use them to explore a bit) and raised her hands above her head, flipping her ponytail glamorously. "How does it feel to have private- well, somewhat private- access to the sexiest general in the whole army?" she asked leaning forward with both her chest and lower body to press against him. If he was comfortable with it, the easiest way to advance would be to lift her legs and allow her to sit in his lap; otherwise, she would maintain the position and he would just have boobs in his face.

SpaceAge was watching quietly but with a bit of emotion showing on her face; her lips were closed in a tight smile and her eyes were slightly wide. "DragonierMan's heart rate is clearly elevated. He must be very happy," she noted quietly.

"I don't know. I think I could make him happier," she giggled. There was one problem with this position: DragonierMan couldn't see his console. Worse, as Dee's bikini-clad bottom knocked against the table, he could hear keyboard buttons clicking as they depressed.

"Oh, I just remembered. I can answer two of your questions now on the main-screen, since you answered two of mine," SpaceAge spoke, sounding slightly eager. "I'll put up some more information."

"You're not one of those guys who watches TV while his lady demands his attention, are you, Drago?" Dee asked, joking while maintaining her saucy position.

Main Screen

Quote (3b)

Connection Status: ALL GREEN
Location: MAIN ROOM
Behavioral Baseline: INDEPENDENT
Behavioral Alteration: SEVERE
Behavioral Summation: CURIOUS
Combat Lock: UNLOCKED
Assisted Combat Routine: INACTIVE

Quote (5a)

SpaceAge Log: Blesser's Court

The Blesser's Court is my home. It was where I was created. My ship orbits above the Blesser's Court. My father and sister live there. Mother is somewhere else now.

The Blesser's Court exists in Yumland Net. To find it, you must either have the address or pass by the gatekeepers, whose names are Path and RoadMan. I have not met them. I have never met the other Blessers in person, only observed them as I did my tests. They are not well. The other Blessers bicker. They act in ways I do not comprehend. I am lonely, but I am also frightened. It is difficult to make a judgment as to whether I'd rather interact with them or stay isolated in my ship up here, in camouflage mode, away from their sight.

I've studied and performed my tests, but no one has come. I observe. The Blesser called WarHawk has destroyed a large part of the court room and killed several Blessers. She fled. She wants my SpaceAge ship. I don't believe she will find me, but she circles the air, searching.

My sister has initiated my descent mechanism. I will be sent to a random net for hiding. This is to ensure my safety. I am anxious, but also a little excited. I have never been outside of Blesser's Court before. I wish I could say I was fond of the Court, this being my home, but when I think of it, I think fondly only of my sister. She is the only rational being I have ever closely observed. The others are all insane. I hope I can cure them one day.

But I believe that I would rather never go back there. I believe I've learned to hate that place.


1a) Family: Mother, father, sister
1b) Family: Others
1c) Family: Last contact
2a) SpaceAge (Craft): Purpose
2b) SpaceAge (Craft): Operation- REVIEWED
2c) SpaceAge (Craft): Status- REVIEWED
2d) SpaceAge (Craft): Emergency procedures- REVIEWED
3a) SpaceAge (Navi): Purpose
3b) SpaceAge (Navi): Status- REVIEWED
4a) SpaceAge abilities overview
4b) Notable limitations of SpaceAge abilities
4c) Speculation on applications of SpaceAge abilities and future outlook
5a) Ship log: Blesser's Court- REVIEWED
5b) Ship log: Descent
5c) Ship log: At the Alaki Dam 1, DrainMan
5d) Ship log: At the Alaki Dam 2, ReservoirMan
5e) Ship log: At the Alaki Dam 3, No ownership
6a) SpaceAge Journal: Notes on the Blessers
6b) SpaceAge Journal: Notes on DrainMan and ReservoirMan
6c) SpaceAge Journal: Notes on Neo-Shogun Empire soldiers
6d) SpaceAge Journal: Notes on Kama
6e) SpaceAge Journal: Notes on Lee and Sake
6f) SpaceAge Journal: Notes on DragonierMan and Sir Sparky
6g) SpaceAge Journal: Notes on Dee and Survey
7) Free testing (User specifies a function, SpaceAge complies within capabilities)
8) Free questioning (User specifies a question, SpaceAge answers within capabilities)

"It's a little embarrassing when you look at my status on the screen like that," SpaceAge admitted; she might blush, if her face was capable of registering that shift in color. Beyond that, DragonierMan would need Dee to move if he wanted to see what other questions were being asked on his console, or to input additional information requests. Survey also sent a message for him to ponder:

Quote (Survey)

Hey guys. Hate to interrupt your demonstration but somebody's really busted some of the random oblong silver machines over in the back side of the left area. I'm diagnosing it now to learn what, precisely, it was before it broke, on top of how to repair it. I'm sure it'll take a bit, so just get comfy.

Also worth asking who broke it and why, though. It looks like it's been melted. Maybe more importantly... is the one who broke it is still here on the ship?


Thankfully, Kama only nodded as she read Aya's message and didn't seem offended that Aya had listened in (nor Magistrate, assuming that was the case). She sent a response quickly enough.

Quote (Kama)

You are most likely correct about Guillotine. I suppose I just wonder if I can ever fully trust someone whose policies lead them to attack other navis based on their appearance... especially while I am still a giant. Hopefully, she has turned over a new leaf.

I doubt Power has any reason to return, but ReservoirMan seemed to have some knowledge of this ship, based on how he'd encrypted that data in his office console. Or at least the fact that it was here. He could return, but he did not have an army or any faction affiliation, from what I could tell. The fall of the dam also seemed potentially ruinous for him, financially. I don't see how he could raise a sizable force to try to reclaim this treasure... However, I do think he might still want to lay eyes upon it. I've been keeping guard, thinking he may show back up.

The only other concern I have is those soldiers I saw scattered around the dam earlier. At the time, I thought they were only watching me because I was in swimwear, but now that I know of your history with the ROT, I realize they may have had a more nefarious purpose here. All of that said... I haven't seen them again since I was freed from the dam. They have most likely left, although... they could still be hiding in the trees. However, again, while I'm fully armed and standing vigilant, they will not emerge. Probably no reason to think about that any further.

As for meditation, you are probably right. I will save it for once our guard is complete. Hopefully, DragonierMan's contact so far has been edifying. I feel a little guilty, standing out here doing nothing while he takes care of all of the hard work. Alas, my body size avails me few other opportunities.

So far, the watch was peaceful, with the sound of the running waterfall threatening to put everyone to sleep. No sign of ReservoirMan nor any of the mysterious soldiers could be seen. Viruses were mostly keeping their distance. DragonierMan's SPs could not be blamed if they wanted to take this time to sneak in a quick nap or a sunbathing session.
SpaceAge's response to his desire for a map of the ship raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean you are conserving ship power by answering verbally? How much power are you using to keep that form? I would rather you conserve as much power as you could in an effort to give Survey enough time to help you restore power," DragonierMan asked with concern. "I don't want to see our new friend vanish on us."

SpaceAge continued to reiterate her previously disclosed functions. Another thing she said raised another eyebrow. "Are you saying that you can exist independently from this ship, AND that someone else can take your place, becoming the AI of this ship? Has this ever happened before?" Drago asked, intrigued. "What happens in-between the disconnect and reconnect? Does the ship power off or is it still functional?"

Drago tried to give Dee some room to half-sit in the same chair, assuming that there was enough room to squeeze together. Eventually it just seemed easier, and sexier, to just pull Dee into his lap. His hands replied to her question by roaming the sweaty and sporty body of the General. His heart-rate was pretty elevated now, having exclusive access to a very sexy woman. Due to the sweltering situation, he willed his armor away piece by piece, until he was only in pants and an open-top vest. It gave the General more access to his hardened and muscled body. Steam blew out of his nostrils as he lost himself to lust.

Until he heard some clicking sounds from the keyboard in front of him. His fogged mind came back for just a moment to grab at Dee's toned butt and pulled her up a little, letting him look under her arm to the screens.

Quote (Dee)

"You're not one of those guys who watches TV while his lady demands his attention, are you, Drago?"

He returned his head back to looking into Dee's eyes again. "No," he said as his hands returned to their roaming. He lifted one hand to her hair and pulled her into a kiss.

Quote (Aya)

Guard duty is not 'nothing'. Protecting everyone here is just as crucial as whatever is going on in there. Regardless of whether or not anyone actually shows up to challenge us.

Aya replied to Kama's concerns of guilt, clearly trying to assuage her of the importance of every job. Though there was a noticeable twinge of disappointment in the message, as if she really wanted someone to try to start something. She was still patrolling in line of sight of the clearing, flying above the treeline, but now much more focused on watching for movement in the trees. She seemed to be taking Kama's warning about soldiers in the trees seriously. Magistrate was not very visible anymore from the clearing, it looked like she had ascended skyward, and was just a little dot high in the sky now. She rotated slowly like a hawk, peering out beyond the perimeter that Aya could see. She had pulled a pair of binoculars from somewhere and was looking through them. Meanwhile on the ground, Suzume nodded her head in agreement to what Aya was saying through the link, smiling up at Kama.

Quote (Suzume)

She's right you know. We are providing a much needed service. With us providing cover, the others can take their time and really make sure to get the most out of the meeting, safe in the knowledge that we got this. Since they don't need to worry about us, they can focus on what's important. The NS becomes stronger because of the stability we provide.

After some intense making out and heavy petting, Survey's message interrupted them. Drago tried to pull away from Dee for a moment to listen to the message. After a moment of renewed kissing, he broke away again to gasp for air and call over his shoulder and the back of his seat, to SpaceAge. "Do you happen to know what happened to you to get into such a mess?" he asked SpaceAge as him and Dee continued to mess around. "Survey says that you might have been sabotaged. Is there anyone else on this ship besides you and us?... Also if you want to display more questions, we can try to get to them in a moment."

"Rather than a 'form,' I am simply the SpaceAge navi connected to this ship," SpaceAge answered simply, seeming more in her element answering simple questions. "Therefore, I can conserve power by speaking to you verbally instead of using the ship's systems. For more specifics, please present a numbered query." She finished, then paused for a moment. "Are we friends now?"

"Sure, sweetie," Dee responded with a laugh in her voice. "Though, as you can see, it's more fun if you're more than friends with Drago," she taunted, as their hands continued to explore each other's half-naked, sweating bodies.

SpaceAge seemed to be processing that statement, but went ahead answering the others instead. "I can indeed live independently from the ship. Although, honestly, I've never tried before. But all my data suggests it's possible," she answered. "Another navi can take my place if I am disconnected. I am only an AI in the sense thay every navi is," she continued. "To my knowledge, it has never happened before. If such a switch was to take place, the ship could remain functional, but its functions would be limited until the new navi's connection. That is, ship functions could only be accessed through the user interface and without the benefit of guidance by a navi connected to the ship. The reconnection process is quite fast, though."

As DragonierMan moved Dee up a bit by leveraging his hands beneath her plump behind, soliciting another laugh between breaths, he would see a sight more concerning than a simple cat-on-keyboard effect from Dee's impromptu typing: all of the letters on the screen had now been replaced with blanks, even new letters being typed. As he glimpsed it, the screen simply turned off.

"The user interface appears to be experiencing technical errors. Let's just communicate verbally for now," the hostess suggested, seeming mostly unconcerned in the way a stewardess trying to play down airplane turbulence to relax a passenger might be.

As she spoke, she noticed that neither of them were really paying attention. She stepped in a little closer and stood to their side awkwardly, as Dee returned DragonierMan's embrace with a deep, situationally inappropriate kiss. "Your heart rate appears to be quite high, indicating happiness. My heart rate, such as it is for a navi, also seems to be quickening. Does that mean I'm also happy?" she asked, as though she expected DragonierMan to answer in his current state.

Oddly, Survey did not send another message. One might wonder if that meant she was watching silently or not watching at all.

DragonierMan had more questions, once he took a break from Dee. "Yes. Internal components were damaged during a previous visit by STRANGER-" SpaceAge began, but a beep sounded out from her mouth, as though to end the sentence. "For more information, I recommend accessing ship logs. Auto-repair was damaged and SpaceAge navi behaviors were altered through advanced hacking. As for the number of navis on this ship, it is currently four, including myself."

"You posed several queries just now. I count 7 questions fully answered. As such, per our agreement, I will make requests of my own," SpaceAge interjected. "First, I would like to know how you met DEE. Then, tell me what you currently consider your relationship with her to be. Then, please tell me how you entered this relationship with her. Then, I would like you to further elevate your own heart rate. Then, I would like you to try elevating my heart rate, or at the same time. Then, I would like to know your relationship with SURVEY. Finally, I would like to know your opinion on how I might elevate SURVEY's heart rate, to make her happy."

"What is this, the twenty questions game?" Dee joked.

"Seven requests, actually," SpaceAge corrected her with a smile, not catching the meaning.

"It sounds like she wants us all to go into cardiac arrest. Nice job, Drago," Dee teased, while sliding her hands down his back and leaning onto the console slightly, so that he could appreciate her smirk.

"Is cardiac arrest something that would make you happy?" SpaceAge requested, tilting her head slightly.

"Decidedly not," Dee answered dryly. "However, I believe our heart rates are only to give us a sense of a pulse. Not all navis even have them. I'm a little surprised that you do. But frankly, I doubt any if us are seriously in danger of having a heart attack."

"I see..." SpaceAge answered. "Balance is necessary. Thank you for answering my question, DEE. DRAGONIERMAN, will you answer my other requests?" The main screen remained the same as last time.


Kama nodded, acknowledging both their statements. She sent back a quick response to Aya, but otherwise remained quiet.

Quote (Kama)

You are right. I don't think we'll see soldiers unless we lure them out somehow. As mentioned, previously, they only approached once my predicament started. Perhaps they saw my captive state as an opportunity to attack but never got around to it. Who can say?

While DragonierMan's troop pondered that, she would indeed find neither hide nor hair of hidden Neo-Shogun soldiers, even after a thorough inspection of the treetops. They were either hiding with much greater aptitude than the soldiers typically demonstrated, or else, had fled the area.

Before anyone had a chance to raise the all clear, a beam of light shot down and a familiar face appeared. Near the ruined dam, just around the shore of the lake and a short hike from where they were, the water-leaking, stony face of ReservoirMan appeared, with his thick, blocky arms suspending it above the net's surface. The navi turned, momentarily surprised to see the silver egg above the lake's surface, then noted the giant ninja next to it. If he saw Suzume or the others was anyone's guess, but judging by the look of shock demonstrated by his pouring mouth and raised stone eyebrows, it wouldn't be but a moment longer before he jacked out and fled.
DragonierMan's heart rate wasn't the only thing rising, as Dee could attest. As SpaceAge began getting closer and asking questions, Drago sat up in his seat and pushed Dee away, planting her firmly in his lap to hide his enjoyment. As hard as the friction would be, he tried not to move his lower half as he tried to answer SpaceAge's barrage of questions. He raised his right arm up to grab onto Dee's left shoulder in order to keep her from bending down to continue their make out session. Though that left him open where they were connected, as he couldn't really control her lower body with only one hand on her hip. His breathing was a little ragged and his nose was breathing out little streams of steam. He looked back between Dee and SpaceAge as he talked, pleading to Dee with his eyes to 'behave', even though a part of both of them didn't want to do so.

"I met Dee at their council meeting, where the Neo-Shoguns introduced themselves to the Net and tried to recruit people. I didn't join right away though," he began. "Nor did I really know her from that meeting. No, it was only after joining the Neo-Shoguns later that I started teaming up with Dee. We hit it off pretty quickly though. I would probably even call her my number one girl." He smiled at Dee for a moment as he tried to answer SpaceAge's second question, along with her first. He then furrowed his brows a little in questioning. "I am not sure what you would call our relationship though. Perhaps somewhat open?" he asked Dee. "I mean, you seem to be open enough with me and Arch at least." He looked to SpaceAge after a moment, "At least it doesn't seem to me that we are exclusively to each other, as some relationships would be." He then looked back at Dee, "Though that is not to say that we don't really like each other. I know that I really like you," he said to Dee.

He breathed out a sigh, trying to keep his head clear in case Dee was working him up. His hips shifting a little regardless of himself. "As for how we entered this relationship, it just sort of happened. A few flirtations here and there, and we just grabbed each other. Like this," he said as he sat up straight, shifted his grip from Dee's shoulder to the back of her head, and locked lips with her forcefully.

Suzume and Aya noticed ReservoirMan immediately. Suzume skipped out from under Kama's shadow and waved frantically to him. "Yoohoo, Mr. Reservoir, over here! Nice to see you again. Anything we can help you with?" she called out as Aya sped toward him from above the treeline. Assuming that she was on his blindside, she attempted to come in from his blindside in order to tackle him to the ground before he could beam out. Otherwise it looked like she was headed straight for him. She was fast, but she might not have the speed necessary to get to him in time. Although if he was distracted by Suzume, Aya might have a chance opening long enough to get at him.

Now if ReservoirMan looked like he wasn't about to jack-out before Aya reached him, then Aya would probably try to stop the tackle, assuming she had ample time to change direction and not smash right into him. She was used to quick aerial maneuvers to avoid attacks, but coming out of a dive was still difficult due to gravity. She could try to make a controlled crash landing nearby if she ran out of time, flipping her legs out from under her to touch down first, either cutting a deep ravine into the ground nearby or splashing into the river. Either way she would feel the pain of a forced landing. But at least ReservoirMan wouldn't be injured by the attempt.

Regardless of whether or not Aya managed to tackle ReservoirMan or crashed/splashed into a sputtering mess, Aya called out to him. "Don't run... Stay and chat."

Meanwhile, in the spaceship, Drago pulled away from Dee after another intensive session. He released the back of her head and reached over to grab at SpaceAge, pulling her in for her own impassioned kiss with him. Though he was most likely just coming off the endorphins from his current sessions with Dee, and the kiss was more for Dee than SpaceAge, especially with her still held as firmly to his lap as he could. "How about that?" he asked as he pulled away from her after a moment. "Feeling 'elevated' yet?" he smirked. He then tried to guide SpaceAge's head towards Dee's so they could kiss as well. "How about now?"

"I don't know if Survey wants to get in on the action later, but let's leave her be for a while. She is trying to fix your ship after all. They'll be plenty of time to see what she's into," Drago said in response to the two questions about Survey. The line was still probably coming through to Survey quite clearly, so she could guess what was going on. Whether she was offended by the conversation or not, or potentially secretly turned on and distracted, was anyone's guess. "Hey Survey, how are the repairs coming?" Drago called over the line.
"Ooo~ Are you sure your heart rate's doing alright? Isn't all of your blood rushing somewhere else?" Dee teased Drago, shamelessly rubbing her own underside back and forth against the sensitive area where DragonierMan had re-seated her, even as he tried to resist. DragonierMan would end up fighting even harder to stay focused on the questions. "I should hope I'm number one! You and Yasu have a lot of history, but I bet you've never gotten this far with her~ Still, I don't mind who you fool around with so long as you make time for me. Picking on Archie is so fun, I don't think you could resist making a move on her, even if I hadn't egged you on."

SpaceAge watched with equal shamelessness of a sort, her neon-green eyes wide with interest, at the antics of the two of them. "Wow... I hope that we'll reach that same level of fondness over time. Maybe this will be our 'council meeting'," she spoke quietly, though it wasn't clear if she meant that level of fondness. DragonierMan probably barely heard, as he had switched back to another prolonged spit-swapping session with Dee, which she was happy to return, as the two of them also accelerated their grinding in a way that was probably inappropriate to do in front of a camera. For whatever it mattered, Survey was keeping quiet in spite of it all.

As Dee pulled back and drew in air, she giggled, then opened her mouth to make another joke. To her surprise, DragonierMan was in the process of showing SpaceAge how the whole elevating heart-rate thing was done. "Ho ho! So that's why you were fishing for an answer on the open relationship? Don't worry about me..." she sighed, then braced her hands upon the console behind herself, applying more pressure with her lower body as though to get back at him.

DragonierMan clearly caught the other girl by surprise, as she flailed her arms a moment to find a place to bear her hands down, ending up with one resting on the back of the chair and the other on top of Dee's at the console. At first, DragonierMan would taste the unappealing bitterness of steel as his tongue touched her lips, but almost as soon as they connected, the metal seemed to peel back, or somehow regress into the rest of the mask as though it was liquid. When it was out of the way, he could see a deep, green, glowing spot of skin around her lips, allowing him access; he'd find the exposed part of her body to be somehow softer than you'd expect a human's to be, as though it might pull apart like cotton candy if he gave it too harsh a tug. She could return the kissing part of it, but not the tongue part, possibly because she'd been unable to observe that particular aspect of Dee's session.

He pulled away quickly, which also seemed to further surprise her, given that she was probably expecting him to end up doing it at length like he had with Dee. "Oh, yes. My heart rate has quickened quite a bit. And I'm very happy that you're sharing this with me-" she spoke quickly, before DragonierMan instigated a lesbian makeout between Dee and herself. "With DEE too?"

"DragonierMan, you're making some very bold assumptions about me. But I'll bite..." the general smiled, the kind of expression that was often half-shaded by her fan, when she had hands free. "Now SpaceAge, when you kiss, the important part is not just to touch the lips, but... Ah, I'll show you," she continued, then, bearing one hand down upon the console, used the other to grab SpaceAge's shoulder and lock in another kiss. If DragonierMan was into the sort of thing, he'd likely be excited to watch as SpaceAge began tentatively, then gradually began to match Dee's pace. Neither of them were talking, for now, as DragonierMan's attention wandered back to Survey.

She responded, speaking out of her drone, with a sense of urgency that didn't match how quiet she'd been up to this point. "Not well. Suffice to say, this ship's at the very bottom of its power reserves. I think the ship is expending the last of its energy trying to preserve its memories. I believe I can modify the ship and navi logic to dump files in order to reserve the rest of its power while I finish the repairs back here. I'm doing that now," Survey responded, not phrasing that as a request that invited him to advise her otherwise.

SpaceAge pulled her head away, then raised her brow, her lips remaining exposed from where the armor had slid away. The mouth looked slightly more expressive, without the metal in the way; she did not look happy with the plan. "I'm sorry to contradict you, SURVEY, but reserving stored memories shouldn't-" she began, before the ship suddenly began flashing red again, along with the exposed parts of her body. "Oh my!" she gasped, but otherwise yielded to allow Survey to speak.

"Hey, I don't think you have a great handle on what's best for you, SpaceAge. This ship isn't in great shape. If you knew what was best, you would be repairing this instead of making out with strangers, wouldn't you?" Survey countered, sounding critical. "You do whatever you're doing and leave this to me."

"I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want somebody poking around inside my 'logic' even if it was for good causes," Dee pointed out.

"I do not think I want that either. DRAGONIERMAN, may I request that we stop Survey from making changes to my logic and dumping the ship's memory logs?" SpaceAge inquired, sounding very polite despite her predicament.

"Guys, if I don't do this, despite what SpaceAge thinks, this ship is going to power down and won't power back up in about T-minus two minutes," Survey informed them harshly. "Keep her, and yourselves, in that room."

"Drago, I know SpaceAge here a little better than Survey, ironically," Dee spoke quickly, seeming to momentarily lose interest in helping to expand DragonierMan's mighty dragon. "Do you think we can trust Survey? The Neo-Shogun's Empire is founded on trusting your fellow officers and all that, but it seems a little reckless to trust Survey to know the ship better than SpaceAge does. Why would she?" DragonierMan might be less interested in all of that and more interested in how much further he could go with the girls right now; which brain he allowed to take over could determine the outcome of this mission.


Meanwhile, ReservoirMan was making some difficult snap decisions of his own. "No, I think not. Merely some old nostalgia. Nothing here worth seeing. I'll be going now," he answered Suzume with several creaks of his broad, stony jaw, a veritable stream materializing below him as Aya closed distance in the shadows. Aya had prepared for several contingencies, either that ReservoirMan would stand his ground or jack out. What she had perhaps not planned for was that he would instead choose to retreat by foot... sort of. The navi did not have feet, and instead, tended to slide along water streams he created from his mouth. He began to slide backwards, and as such, would collide back-first into Aya's approaching dive. Being made out of sturdy rock, it was mostly just a pain for Aya, as though someone had shoved a boulder into her; she'd end up falling into the water, which was gross, if you thought of it as being drool out of his mouth.

She wouldn't be disoriented for long, though, and Suzume was still in front. Kama was also reaching out towards him as well, and if nothing else, his backwards slide had been interrupted by Aya. "Okay, fine," he grumbled, gritting his upper and lower jaws together in a noise like rubbing two rocks together. "But I was only here to examine the dam and see if there was anything worth recovering. Clearly there is not. I do not know where you got that... egg thing, nor do I particularly care. It is clear there is nothing to salvage here. I will take my leave and would recommend you girls do the same," he suggested, stepping forward toward Suzume as though he liked his chances better with her than the now likely agitated Aya. The girls would have to decide whether there was any point in keeping him and calling him out on that bluff, or if it'd be better just to let him leave like he was so keen on doing.
The drama quickly unfolded around DragonierMan and snapped him out of his fug. Like being splashed with cold water he lurched out of his chair, using his Omnishoes program to move three-dimensionally, and landed near the door that Survey went through when she left the bridge. He had pushed the two girls away from each other and grabbed up Dee during his hasty jump, potentially harder than he meant to. He let Dee down before attempting to rush through the door. "Stay here! he barked at Dee as he tried to rush through the door. His futuristic armor returned just as quickly, encasing him fully.

"Negative!" he shouted at Survey through the line. "Those memories are some of the most valuable things on this ship. I order you NOT to purge those memories. Now if you can download them to your drones or something, fine. But we cannot lose them, do you hear me?!" he shouted as he tried to run toward wherever Survey went.

Meanwhile, he sent a personal message to SpaceAge.

Quote (DragonierMan)

SpaceAge if you can hear me: If you can retain your memories through disconnecting from the ship, do it now! We can deal with the consequences later.

I repeat: Disconnect from the ship!

Aya potentially got whiplash from being snapped backward, after colliding with a giant rock person. She spun out and skipped across the river like a skipping stone. When she eventually slid to a stop on the river bank, she had left a trail of upturned earth and sand. It was like a comet had fell from the sky and crashed. Remarkably, she didn't lay there a broken mess like most Real Life people, and sprung to her feet. She definitely hurt all over though. There were cuts and bruises all over her skin, and dents in her armor.

As Aya was trying to recover from the bruising she received, Suzume hovered over to ReservoirMan. "Oh don't be like that, stay and chat!" she said with her usual happy demeanor. "We all know that you were looking to crack that egg open and feast on the knowledge inside," Suzu admitted. "Right now My Master is inside, learning its secrets," she let slip with a smile. "Perhaps we can help each other out?"
"Ow! Drago!" Dee whined, not managing to make the jump from sexy time to serious time as seemlessly as DragonierMan had. Despite whatever protests she might have, it was easy enough for DragonierMan to drag her along as he urgently pursued Survey. "Fine, but what are you going to do?" she questioned. He didn't have time to answer and only heard the question as he bolted through the door.

Survey snapped back through her drone, although DragonierMan could hear her voice reverberating from inside the next hall as well. "You're not listening! If I don't dump them or get her to dump them right now, this thing is shutting off, and none of us even know what or where the power source is! If we don't do as I say, then forget repairs, we won't be able to turn the thing on to figure out if it worked! I'm not sacrificing this whole ship and whatever it is that it can do just for SpaceAge's diary!" she complained, sounding more than a little frazzled.

As he hurried through the hallways, which were dimly lit with red lighting, cramped, and oppressively hot, he would remember vaguely the directions Survey had been given earlier to reach the problem area and follow the corridor until he reached her. In the mean time, SpaceAge would send back a response.

Quote ("SpaceAge")

"Yes, disconnecting now. I can keep my memories and will remain in operation. We can continue our information exchange. However, I will be unable to reconnect to the ship. There is a process by which to connect a new navi to the ship, but it would be pointless without power to the ship. We can worry about it later, once we restore power to the ship. Doing so will require another power core, which... I'm sure we will think of a way to come by."

In a matter of no time at all, DragonierMan reached Survey, who narrowed her eyes laser-projecting eyes and clenched her teeth in an expression that seemed far for welcoming. It looked as though she'd found a large machine with rounded corners protruding from the wall, again with a console as its only means of interface. The machine had been nearly bisected by some kind of blade or laser, such that the top portion of it was missing; a red, thrumming light came out from inside the cut, along with an occasional unhealthy spew of sparks. Two drones, recognizable as Survey's own, were floating on either side of her, and began to approach DragonierMan as he entered the room.

Survey was still clad in her same bikini, and rose now so that her shoulders hid the screen of the console behind her, either intentionally or unintentionally. "SpaceAge's memories aren't what's important here, her ship is. We should dump the memories and save power to the ship until I manage to restore functionality," she insisted again, taking another step back towards the console and stopping with one hand pressed against it just below the keyboard. "Whatever she knows we can figure out with our own testing and observations. The ship, however, can't run if it keep using all of its power on wasteful tasks. The ship's logic is not functional, nor is it's auto-repair... You must leave this to me for just a moment longer!" she pleaded. "Aren't you Neo-Shogun officers supposed to trust each other? Trust me, then!"

DragonierMan had gone toe-to-toe with tough customers, but with her frail body and her only noteworthy weapons seeming to be her drones, Survey didn't look like she'd be one of them. If he was interested in preventing her from finishing her task, it would be easy enough to subdue her until SpaceAge finished the disconnection procedure to sever her tie to the ship.


If ReservoirMan was encouraged by the ineffectiveness of Aya's tackle, it didn't register on his face, nor did said encouragement last long; she was tough enough to get back up to her feet quickly. He lowered his rocky eyebrows and kept his focus on Suzume. "Okay... Let's make a deal, then," he agreed. "If you knew that this ship existed, you must have used my notes. I don't know what this thing is, but I know it's valuable. The outside armor is so impenetrable that my efforts to break in were entirely useless... I tried all manner of battlechips. If he's inside, I suppose it's because someone wanted him in? Which begs the question of why I was never allowed in."

He raised one finger, then pointed it at Suzume. "I'll give you this tip, then. Your 'master' has walked into somebody's trap, I'd say... And understanding what that trap is requires understanding what has changed since I attempted to access the ship many weeks ago and now, when you've tried to. The only other ones to come in contact would have been your own people, right?" he asked, his rocky lip seeming to draw up in its best approximation of a sneer. "Something to think about. At any rate, if I'm right, you owe me," he continued brazenly, tapping his giant fingers against the net's surface while leaning down into the crook of one arm, rubbing his chin with his other hand. "I want partial ownership of that ship. It was my find, after all. It's only fair."

Kama scoffed in the background. "What nonsense. If there is any valuable technology to be had, you'll get none of it. Knowing about the ship entitles you to nothing, and even if it did, the fact of the matter is, the ship probably let us in because it prefers our company to yours. We may have had a deal in the past, but I've seen you for what you are now: a schemer who's only looking out for his own bottom dollar," she accused him, quietly.

"Ha! A debtor, more like it. And debtors must be schemers in order to escape their debts," ReservoirMan chuckled bitterly. "Now, let's be civil and negotiate. I know that's what your Empire does these days. For finding that ship for you and delivering that warning, I desire partial ownership and a cut of whatever is inside. That's agreeable, isn't it?" he asked, raising one hand outward for a shake while keeping the elbow upon the ground to balance himself.

Aya and Suzume would have to consider whether ReservoirMan ought to be given anything, but also, the matter of his warning. Kama had near constant surveillance of SpaceAge's ship all this time and had only reported the presence of a few navis in the area this whole time... herself, ReservoirMan, Power and her pirates, the mysterious Neo-Shogun soldier sightings, then the group from Lee's outing, and finally, the group from their return. Had the ship chosen to open by SpaceAge's whim or some judgment she'd made of the Neo-Shogun Empire? Or had someone tampered with something to trick her into letting them in? Worse, could it be that it was all part of a trap, as ReservoirMan suspected?
DragonierMan didn't have time to think as he moved quickly to grab at Survey's arms and hold up them up over her head to stop Survey for a moment, if he could. Otherwise he would give her a bear hug, or light push out of the way. "Just give me a few more moments. If you want me to trust you, give SpaceAge enough time to disconnect. It shouldn't be long," he half-commanded, half-pleaded with her. "She said she would keep all the memories that way."

He sent another message to SpaceAge:

Quote (DragonierMan)

Just tell me the instant you have finished disconnecting.

The instant he heard SpaceAge say she disconnected, he would let Survey go and step back. "Sorry for the roughness. Once this whole thing is over, we'll sit down and air out our issues," he said as he got out of her way. He would then stay nearby and watch her passively, but relatively silently, as she finished her work. It would probably take a while to repair the trust between them after this.

Suzume tsk'd and waved her finger at ReservoirMan after he extended his hand. "I'll give you points for effort," she said. "But starting with what we already know as an effort to supply us with 'new' information, won't get you very much." She swung a thumb back behind her at Kama. "As my colleague pointed out, the fact that we retrieved your abandoned notes - that by the way, had us risk life and limb for them - means that we have a 'finder's keepers' salvage-rights to both them, and this ship."

Aya kept where she was as Suzume continued, still looking over her injuries. "However, we aren't heartless to your plight," she said as she placed her hand over her heart. "Perhaps you'd like to join the Neo-Shoguns. Your administration skills would be very useful to us. In exchange we'll return to you, your salvaged library, and help you deal with your debtors. And as a fellow member you would of course get to share in our overall success, such as the benefits we derive from this ship," she said with a slight flourishing wave towards SpaceAge's ship.

She stood back up straight and extended her hand toward ReservoirMan. "What do you think? Do we have a deal?" she asked with her trademark smile.
Survey was easy to overpower, although he'd need to get into pretty close proximity to grab her arms up like he wanted. With her sweating, struggling a bit, and clad in only the gray string bikini, this scenario seemed to share some of the traits with his earlier demonstration with Dee, although this one was a real physical struggle rather than physical intimacy. She squinted her lighted green eyes harder, looking distressed and also as though she wished she had her goggles. "This is a big mistake!" she warned him, but didn't elaborate further. It didn't seem as though the drones were going to fire on him either... She had probably watched him enough to judge that with her power level, the drones would just end up toasted. 

Another message from SpaceAge confirmed that disconnection was in progress, along with a steadily counting percentage, probably more information than DragonierMan actually needed. Survey continued to thrash a bit, but without actually injuring herself or him. In the mean time, he'd have time to see the screen behind her... it looked as though the memory logs were pulled up, but much of it was unreadable. A cursor was blinking at the end of the line, indicating recent typing.

Quote ("Console")

AUTHORIZED BY: [][][][][][][] 2.
[][][][] [][][][][][][][ [][] [][][][][][][] [], [][][][][][][] [], [][][][][][][] []

The rest wasn't worth reading, as it had all been either lost or otherwise blocked out. "I was trying to analyze who messed with SpaceAge's behavior and broke the auto-repair," Survey grumbled, her lean chest rising and falling with her breaths as her arms were raised above her head; her abdomen was nearly concave, form this angle. "I'll never figure it out now..." she complained, lowering her eyebrows in an accusatory glare.

Quote ("SpaceAge")

" It's completed. I've disconnected from the ship. I can no longer provide automatic readouts of ship status or access certain information. However, when I disconnected, the ship was at one percent power. I would recommend we all evacuate, or exiting the ship will become significantly more difficult, due to lighting and power failure that will make most doors inoperable. You won't be able to jack out directly from the ship, just as you cannot jack in directly to it. That was one of the security measures and the reason why only people that SpaceAge navi deems trustworthy are allowed inside.

"See? Now we have to abandon it... I could have done it if you would have just been patient and let me dump the extraneous logs," Survey further griped. She didn't seem to be suggesting she stay and try to fix anything else; apparently, she was heeding SpaceAge's warning and giving up. DragonierMan could choose for himself whether he thought abandoning the ship or staying was the better idea. If he did choose escape, he would find that the hallway back the way he came could be followed through to the front room again, or he could circle back through the main console room, where he would find SpaceAge standing quietly in the center of the room and Dee waiting at her console chair, slumped with bad posture, and bored.


"Yes, you risked life and limb. And just why was my dam broken anyway? It seems awfully strange that you interlopers were ready and waiting to scoop up my research like you did," ReservoirMan growled, gritting his craggy jaw back and forth with such an unpleasant noise that it only made his grudge more apparent. "You're nothing more than a bunch of scavengers."

"The last thing I want is to join your 'Empire.' The only thing worse than being in debt to a pirate would be trying to form meaningful working relationships with a bunch of girls playing ninjas," he complained. "It is a shame you will not yield to me what is rightfully mine. I will win it back... In time," he warned the ladies, pointing a block-shaped finger at Suzume with a heavy scowl. "I know others- legitimate business owners such as myself- with grievances  against the Empire. If you all continue to throw your weight around in places where you have no business doing so, you will come to regret it."

He had no intention of backing up those words with actions, at least not for now, as evidenced by his jackout immediately following relaying that message. Kama lowered herself to one knee to speak with the others more closely. "Others that have grievances... who could he mean by that?" she questioned, quietly. "Regardless... If they're no more a threat than he is, I suspect we have no need to worry. Whatever piddly business interests he can get together are no concern next to Alex, nor even the remnants of the ROT."
DragonierMan let Survey go and stepped back some, noting the interesting message he got before the disconnect. "Relax, we won't need to abandon anything. We'll keep guard on the ship and have someone come here with a few batteries, the ones we took from the dam last time. Then we can jury-rig some power into this ship and get the auto-repair thing going again," he said as calmly as he could, trying to show that the situation was still salvageable. He sent a general message to Dee, SpaceAge, and Survey.

Quote (DragonierMan)

"I want all doors between this section of the ship, the bridge, and the main entrance locked open. We will need a clear path for when the power goes out. I'm going outside to get a signal to base and request a handful of charged batteries. We'll need them to effect repairs. If someone wants to volunteer to go get the batteries, speak up now. Otherwise I'll ask Yasu to have them delivered to us. SpaceAge and Survey will then fix this area of the ship and get the auto-repair system re-engaged. Questions?"

Suzume took the verbal spat in stride. Aya paid more attention to the 'legitimate business owners' section of ReservoirMan's speech. There weren't many businesses that she, Suzume, or Drago dealt with while on the job. And the majority of the ones they did deal with was for good PR purposes. It might be a good idea to check in on Neo-ShogunMan later and ask who ReservoirMan might have meant.

Kama was also perplexed by the idea of others with grievances. "You're quite right," Suzume replied to Kama. "As for our knowledge at the moment, Alexis and ROT are our chief concerns."

"Though I would like to know who he meant by that," Aya chimed in. "I don't want to be left in the dark about other enemies."

Assuming there was no problems with Drago jamming the doors open and getting out of the ship, he called over all the outside protectors. Magistrate came flying down and landed nearby as the twins walked over. Drago noted some cuts and bruising on Aya, but didn't press the issue since he didn't see active fighting going on. "Ladies," he said as he addressed the gathered NS officers. "We have found a treasure trove of knowledge and technology, but we have hit a snag. The ship's auto-regeneration systems are damaged and the power is about to go out."

The three dragonier women nodded along, taking in the details that they were gleaning from Drago, and piecing them together with their capable logistical skills. Of course something technologically advanced had some sort of auto-regeneration system. They had their own healing signatures after all. "Therefore I will be asking for some of the batteries we salvaged from the dam last time in order to effect repairs. Until then we hold this position." And with that said he sent a message to Yasu.

Quote (DragonierMan)

"General Yasu, I would like to request a few full spare batteries. The ship we have secured is almost out of power and requires some to be repaired."

It was at this point that Drago either asked to have them delivered or told Yasu that one of them would go get them and return back here. Magi turned to the twins and pointed out their assigned sectors, before spreading her wings and taking to the air again. The three dragoniers made an equilateral triangle and began to patrol their sides. Drago looked up at Kama after his message. "I have informed General Yasu of the details. How has it been out here?"