Macavity116

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Oh,that reminds me...

What are the Human equivalents of the Partogan months?

Gotcha covered.

Months:

January = Hanuere
February = Hui-tanguru
March = Maehe
April = Paenga-whāwhā
May = Haratua
June = Pipiri
July = Hōngongoi
August = Akuhata
September = Mahuru
October = Oketopa
November = Noema
December = Hakihea

Days of the Week:

Monday = Rāhina
Tuesday = Rātū
Wednesday = Rā Apa
Thursday = Rāpare
Friday = Paraire
Saturday = Rāhoroi
Sunday* = Rātapu*


*note: Rātapu is an artificial day added to the Partogan calendar to make it match up with the Galactic Council's timekeeping system. Before First Contact, a Partogan week was six days long. (The average length of time a Levakian takes to hunt down and kill a wild Kikanalo beast.)
 

HistoryDude

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Gotcha covered.

Months:

January = Hanuere
February = Hui-tanguru
March = Maehe
April = Paenga-whāwhā
May = Haratua
June = Pipiri
July = Hōngongoi
August = Akuhata
September = Mahuru
October = Oketopa
November = Noema
December = Hakihea

Days of the Week:

Monday = Rāhina
Tuesday = Rātū
Wednesday = Rā Apa
Thursday = Rāpare
Friday = Paraire
Saturday = Rāhoroi
Sunday* = Rātapu*


*note: Rātapu is an artificial day added to the Partogan calendar to make it match up with the Galactic Council's timekeeping system. Before First Contact, a Partogan week was six days long. (The average length of time a Levakian takes to hunt down and kill a wild Kikanalo beast.)

Thanks for the information.

Why exactly do the (Human) Partogans use Levakian timekeeping?
 

Macavity116

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Why exactly do the (Human) Partogans use Levakian timekeeping?

It's a vestigial aspect of Pre-Volcano culture. During the short interval between the first appearance of Partogans and the Great Wrath, the Levakians tried to assimilate the Partogans into their own culture. Most Partogans who survived both the Great Wrath and the Wars of the Famine were the ones who adopted the Levakian timekeeping system, causing the original Maori one to die out during the Wars of the Famine. The Partogans kept the Levakian calendar out of convenience. Everyone who was capable of recreating the Maori timekeeping system had either been killed by Riri Nui or starved to death afterward.
 

HistoryDude

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First of all,great story.Also have read After Everything,like,3 times.For each time,it was one sitting (It wasn’t that bad).
Remember when I said this.Let’s define “bad”. Rome AARisen length is bad (354 pages).Took me ten days (and I had 4 of those off...)

After Everything Commentary:Isn’t it ironic that’s Kaia had all these shadow state theories and some of them were right,but she supported said shadow state (Church of the Mountain)?

Renaming your AAR titles:
  • AARfter Everything - A StellAARis Story
  • Faith in Chaos - A StellAARis Story
 
Last edited:

Macavity116

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Remember when I said this.Let’s define “bad”. Rome AARisen length is bad (354 pages).Took me ten days (and I had 4 of those off...)

After Everything Commentary:Isn’t it ironic that’s Kaia had all these shadow state theories and some of them were right,but she supported said shadow state (Church of the Mountain)?

Have to admit, I've never heard of Rome AARisen until today. I had to look it up. (Did you know someone created a Wiki and a TV Tropes page for it? That AAR was HUGE!) It must have taken a herculean amount of strength and determination to keep that thread going for five years. Kudos to the writer, wherever they are. There's no way I could even think about trying to pull off something like that. After Everything took 11 months to write, but the actual AAR thread was only active for 8 weeks. I launched Faith in Chaos with only the first two chapters finished so that I could adapt and tweak the story based on reader reactions. I'm planning for this story to end before the year is over. (July in the best case scenario, October in the worst)

Poor Kaia. Her belief system was just warped enough by Manaaki and his Church that no one could have convinced her that the "shadow state" she theorized about was Manaaki's Church. She wouldn't have been able to put two and two together until it was well past too late. From a writing standpoint, I included Kaia's shadow-state ramblings as a "big red warning flag" to anyone reading for the first time. It was supposed to be a hint towards future plot developments. There are a few "red warning flags" in the early chapters of Faith in Chaos as well, but they're nowhere near as obvious. At least I think they're not obvious. I'm only an amateur writer pulling a 10-year-old story out of my memory, after all.

As for renaming these tales, I don't think I can do that. I've never personally considered either of these stories to be "After Action Reports" and I can't bring myself to label them as such.



P.S. I give kudos to anyone who reads After Everything in one sitting because I can't do it myself. I get hyperfocused on the little details, stress over spelling and grammar mistakes, and I always like to read it out loud using the voices I picked out for the characters years ago.
 

stnylan

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There may be something symbolic about having one's birthday on this great holiday. Depending how things fall out, when these events are looked back at. Or not, as the case may be.
 

HistoryDude

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Have to admit, I've never heard of Rome AARisen until today. I had to look it up. (Did you know someone created a Wiki and a TV Tropes page for it? That AAR was HUGE!) It must have taken a herculean amount of strength and determination to keep that thread going for five years. Kudos to the writer, wherever they are. There's no way I could even think about trying to pull off something like that. After Everything took 11 months to write, but the actual AAR thread was only active for 8 weeks. I launched Faith in Chaos with only the first two chapters finished so that I could adapt and tweak the story based on reader reactions. I'm planning for this story to end before the year is over. (July in the best case scenario, October in the worst)

Poor Kaia. Her belief system was just warped enough by Manaaki and his Church that no one could have convinced her that the "shadow state" she theorized about was Manaaki's Church. She wouldn't have been able to put two and two together until it was well past too late. From a writing standpoint, I included Kaia's shadow-state ramblings as a "big red warning flag" to anyone reading for the first time. It was supposed to be a hint towards future plot developments. There are a few "red warning flags" in the early chapters of Faith in Chaos as well, but they're nowhere near as obvious. At least I think they're not obvious. I'm only an amateur writer pulling a 10-year-old story out of my memory, after all.

As for renaming these tales, I don't think I can do that. I've never personally considered either of these stories to be "After Action Reports" and I can't bring myself to label them as such.



P.S. I give kudos to anyone who reads After Everything in one sitting because I can't do it myself. I get hyperfocused on the little details, stress over spelling and grammar mistakes, and I always like to read it out loud using the voices I picked out for the characters years ago.

Rome AARisen has a wiki?I knew about the TVTropes page (it was mentioned in the later stages).

The renaming was meant as a bad pun,it wasn’t actually a suggestion. Sorry that wasn’t clear.
 

Macavity116

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Rome AARisen has a wiki?I knew about the TVTropes page (it was mentioned in the later stages).

The renaming was meant as a bad pun,it wasn’t actually a suggestion. Sorry that wasn’t clear.

Yup. The wiki seems kinda barebones, but it's definitely there, and it shows up on the first page of Google search results.

It's alright. You're good.
 
Chapter 2.3: Lightning in the Dark

Macavity116

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Chapter 2.3
Lightning in the Dark

July 4, 1928 A.D.
HMS Rauuira, Aiowa Star System, Taiidan War Zone, (System Under Hiigaran Control)

y4mVTFZbiXAGOpzdXLaYsFWI1SG188aCZU8_hoS_H-oo0GSm6qOPlqwsHNAPa39Na5bZN_dJv4Voc1c-tPa4t30F-WuNZN2zNf5beeMgMOlW5zXWEzn1wJMHKHid-eRrqUil_suZYSdiqRezqaQkibTzqm_LqycZANeMtYw9aqxL6KoPiehNHuEK_4aBUvF6RZM_AyyQsX1NJFM9JsdKlk6MQ

Caption said:
Task Force Hydruka enters the Aiowa system unopposed. Destroying the mining operations here will greatly hamper the Hiigaran's ability to make war on Partoga's ally, the Imperialist Taiidan.
The Quantum Wavefront washed over Mami and her comrades as the Rauuira dropped out of Hyperspace. As soon as the soothing computerized voice said “Shipboard Radiation now at acceptable levels” Commander Temara stood up and told his crew:

“Go straight to General Quarters!”

All 12 members of the Rauuira’s crew exited the Radiation Shelter and reported directly to their battle stations. Mami, Arahu, Rapati, Eteka, Titohara, Ango, and Sub-Lieutenant Homai Kewhena all went to the Cannon Control Room, deep inside the Rauuira. It was a cramped little space with seven computer workstations for the crew to sit down at. At each station, a niche had been carved into the desk, shaped exactly like the object filling the cavity: A Gauss Pistol.

But it wasn’t going to be that kind of mission. Mami wouldn’t need a handgun. Just like at the other five terminals around her, Mami’s computer controlled a series of reinforced superconductor heat-sinks. When all six sets were used together, the Ion Cannon could be fired repeatedly with no fear of overheating. The Cannon Control Room also served as a redundant “backup bridge” in the event of a real emergency. Once Mami and her comrades were strapped into their seats, the Commander’s voice was piped into the room via intercom;

“I’m gonna leave the Admiralty’s line open for you down there. Keep up with us and we all go home in one piece! Good luck, soldiers, and may Queen Sophie’s strength go with you! Charging Cannon!”

With a loud humming sound, the Particle Accelerator above everyone’s heads began to spool up. Behind Mami, she heard Sub-Lieutenant Kewhena say,

“I’m linking you all into the ship’s Battle Computer. Call out targets and threats as you see them. Remember the three D’s! Description! Distance! Direction!”

Half of Mami’s screen was filled with a sensor readout of the Aiowa system. She could see the ships of Task Force Hydruka beginning to break into smaller groups and go after their targets. Hundreds of thousands of Kios away along the Task Force’s left flank, a Ghekula-Class Destroyer fired its Mass Driver guns at a Hiigaran Mining Station. The orbital facility erupted into millions of little spinning shards.

Then a new voice came over the intercom. Admiral Kingi, the Commanding officer of Task Force Hydruka, was broadcasting her voice to all ships in the fleet:

“This is Fleet Command, we detect minimal enemy presence in-system. Break into your strike groups, then engage and destroy assigned targets!”

“Here we go!” said Eteka, “Cannon charged!”

y4m4N0tRbchTarGGVWNkeVADbQ40W_aTl1S-k94AqgUi-sLTUZSoOItDcGOC29dW1hojzS0ZZWwBcaWB_jB3yd-OLUbwiGwaVhUPr6w0A7gAFK_lvz-PCAwws3OXV1MsX9mR1Gw62Fu-3ocNfMQMsGplIY2yP4vSuz55hqgCJ9SsxilnXyg1sH9Ep9QqIpwof60rzz74AZgKGveR0GmxL801w

Caption said:
The Rauuira joins a strike wing of Partogan warships in an attack on some Hiigaran Resource Collectors.
“Enemy Resource Collector!” Called out Titohara, “One-hundred-ten Kios! Bottom starboard quadrant, ventral side!

Commander Temara gave the word;

“FIRE!”

Above Mami’s head, the Particle Accelerator made a loud rushing noise, as though hurricane-force wind and rain was slamming up against the side of the hull. Mami’s ears throbbed from the intense noise. After a second or two, it was over. On her screen, Mami saw a beam of particles, no wider than a hair but brighter than the sun, darting through space away from the Rauuira’s bow and instantly connecting with the hull of a Hiigaran Resource Collector. The enemy ship never stood a chance. It tumbled away into space, lights off, life signs extinguished.

“Recharging weapon, standby!” Mami reported.

She threw a switch that activated her own heat sink, drawing waste heat away from the Particle Accelerator and venting it into space.

“Mihaka!” Sub-Lieutenant Kewhena yelled over the noise of machinery, “You go after Tamihana, then Ranginui! We’re gonna cycle the heat sinks counter-clockwise!”

“Acknowledged!” said Eteka,

“Understood!” replied Arahu,

“Enemy Mobile Refinery!” Ango called out, “Ninty Kios! Top starboard quadrant, ventral side!”

The Rauuira reoriented itself to face the unarmed mining ship. The readout on Mami’s screen told her that there were about 150 Hiigarans on board.

“FIRE!”

The Ion Beam drilled a hole in the ship. Atmosphere vented out of the wound, cutting the number of life signs by half!

“Recharging!” Eteka called out, then he activated his heat sink.

“Cannon charged!”

“Fire again!” Temara yelled, “Knock that contact OUTTA MY SKY!”

The Mobile Refinery didn’t survive the second hit. Its crew, exposed to the harsh elements of space, perished instantly. The crippled ship tumbled away from the battle. Meanwhile, Partogan fighters were rampaging across the system, chasing down and blasting Resource Collectors apart. Mining Stations, with no propulsion of their own, were sitting ducks for the Ion Cannon Frigates. Just above the Aiowa star itself, the Mothership-sized mining vessel Faal-Corum was re-orienting her Mass Driver cannons to face the oncoming threat. The Faal-Corum was alone, unprotected... an easy target.

Mami was about to study her sensor readout of the Faal-Corum when she heard Titohara’s voice to her right;

“Incoming Hyperspace signature! Multiple Hiigaran Super-Capital ships!” Titohara reported, “One-thousand-five-hundred Kios! Lower Starboard quadrant, dorsal side!”

“Hiigarans!?” repeated Commander Temara. Judging from the sound of his voice, he was craning his neck to look at a sensors manager. Mami flipped a switch on her own computer and found exactly what Titohara had seen:

y4mBHFo-mU1_dIHXLFuHQyuhTnO0o9x6wqyHAaqTlieqInPBo2rD93NkgsPd8DqFFzbn5KMaGgOTa9PF_rVXmmN-boVrIPfUEANCMLoBuhF75fqf9BnjCFgAQGsxkcAv2eyhEjjxTJQyUMknMWsyvaw6BgNp4h7U--wqDbtAICAo1ue4z9rfbh9JpzpgI9HHiSIUY5P_3HYrf1Ja_A6ME1WfA

Caption said:
The Shin-Clah fleet. This Carrier Strike Force is attached to the Kiith Somtaaw mining vessel Kuun-Lan, which is the Faal-Corum's sister ship.
“Oh, by the Mountain!” Gasped Temara, “Rauuira calling Command Carrier Ahkmou! Hiigaran warships on approach to our right flank! I count 2 Carriers, 6 Heavy Cruisers, 10 Destroyers, 40 Frigates, and about 120 strike craft! I repeat! HIIGARANS ON OUR RIGHT FLANK! Requesting reinforcements!”

The reply from the Command Carrier was immediate and bone-chilling:

“All Task Force ships, be advised, we have Blorg Hyperspace signatures on our left flank. Repeat, the LEFT FLANK is under attack by Blorg Friendships! Redeploy at once to defensive positions!”

Mami and Eteka turned and looked at one another.

“It’s a pincer attack!” Eteka gasped,

“It’s a trap!” Mami confirmed.

y4mt7k8zTnuI2CRnzHVfoQdWKHJMyRsE2dhJEp5zq3qcViVMGchZzxfGYqTm43aO1qxLkGs0hcHmKVNh1NaglCyxdtHWeN6GDfk5IqCjoKAm_moxLWbxKUqPMGPNdzA-CbykgO4DieoC00-EF1lu8xxPLp2J0sJC0yl8MDLbO8_JCGc-HUOiXBxdPW11rCztIrNptdyZypbgdTlnBceNe6QWA

Caption said:
The True Friendship Force. This fleet represents about half of the Blorg Commonality's total military firepower. The fleet is lead by the Flagship of the Blorg: the BCS Soulmate.
Chaos and confusion ruled the day. The Partogan fleet was pinned down as Blorg and Hiigaran warships attacked from two directions. All thought of the resource raid was abandoned as the separate strike wings rejoined the main fleet. Ion Beams stabbed the darkness of space, millions of Mass Driver rounds cascaded in all possible directions. Nearly three hundred warships of varying size and scale danced and darted around one another, spitting fire at each other with incomprehensible speed.

y4mDwdnkKAxYGI7UTYAfL9hedFp2VUTycGS42zUJPvhR9TG0DxlPV9JPUylBaGqWcs0NlkppGD1O7thqLaFZ5IyBPkJTQ1k3xFzr6IBRVjA9MSpvCy1Ph9Fxw_Hc80BEY8jXvhdNy2sVxTGu0lkyggccEyLqeHDvJVHssHnKOVA4k-Wi_mF2Zgv1ilGbdFGcN7cRBZabIuwd5qLaJCuBDw87Q

Caption said:
Task Force Hydruka is outmaneuvered and attacked from two directions. The Partogans turned to fight the Blorg head-on, opening an opportunity for the Hiigarans to hit them from behind.
The Aiowa star wasn’t the only thing lighting up the battlespace. After only a minute of fighting, a pair of Blorg Battleships managed to isolate and pummel a Partogan Cruiser into submission. All along the decks of the Partogan starship, fires broke out, engulfing the vessel before it began to explode from the inside. Great fountains of smoke and flame erupted from the burning hulk before quickly dissipating into the void.

Piercing through a cloud of wreckage and debris, the Rauuira and five other Ion Cannon Frigates outflanked and began to pour fire into a formation of Hiigaran warships! While Ango cycled his heat sinks, Mami picked the next target:

“Enemy Destroyer!” She called out. “200 Kios, upper port quadrant, ventral side!”

Mami’s sensor readout told her there were 220 Blorg on board the Destroyer.

“Cannon charged!” Ango reported, wiping sweat from his brow,

“Fire!”

The Rauuira’s Ion Beam joined three others, cutting the enemy ship to ribbons!

y4m7ZHlMYZ84uGLRUBRuyz-E6-GEuEe5kXAFoSfmkvoqh9BWMgU-PsLKiJmUUooQNSpgz_flCT-R8yH7sNlLBasIhMmKIWECMBD8_GSf5BXtDhEtpBuRrfUxD_vg2k8FyyUKBMrPhl0eYtrdwi4umboLYgGOIZ7jD86afDrOa0p91K_7vNecwJ-c4iLKKnL-Bs5I3ACEZj53kTMFvs37O0GjA

Caption said:
A formation of Ion Cannon Frigates concentrate their fire onto a single target. This brutally effective strategy was very popular amongst fleet commanders during the Taiidan War and many subsequent conflicts.
Like clockwork, Eteka moved to cycle his heat sinks. Mami scanned the battlespace quickly and spotted something.

“Blorg frigates moving around the starboard side!” Mami yelled,

“Confirmed!” Titohara’s voice chimed in, “They’re moving to flank us!”

Mami felt the Rauuira lurch violently to one side as the frigate began turning to face the new threat. At the same time, a loud hissing noise told her the Ion Cannon had just been fired again. It was starting to get really hot in here... sweat dripped down Mami’s hands and caused her to fingers to slide all over her touchscreen.

“Commander!” Sub-Lieutenant Kewhena called up to the bridge, “You’re not giving us enough time to cool the cannon! We’re gonna burn up in here!”

While the Sub-Lieutenant was speaking, Mami started to activate her heat sinks. Simultaneously Titohara did the same! Waste heat was vented out of the ship’s dorsal vents and from her engine bell, pushing the Rauuira dangerously off course and deflecting her cannon away from the enemy!

“What the hell is going on down there!” Commander Temara yelled, “Keep the damn cannon cool!”

“You’re firing too fast!” Sub-Lieutenant Kewhena complained, “The heat sinks can’t keep up!”

“There’s nothing I can do about that right-” Temara paused for half a second, then he yelled: “INCOMING FIGHTERS!! BRACE! BRACE! BRACE!”

Mami, Eteka, Rapati, Arahu, Ango, Titohara, and Kewhena all grabbed their workstations and held on for dear life as the Rauuira was rocked with incredible violence! Blorg and Hiigaran bombers had outflanked the squadron of Ion Cannon Frigates, none of which were equipped with any kind of point-defense weapons.

It was a shooting gallery.

At the Rauuira’s helm, Tirowaru Himona executed tight maneuvers and hairpin turns to try and escape the enemy strike craft, but compared to the enemy fighters, the Rauuira was slow and unwieldy. Mami was thrust backwards and forwards in her seat as the ship was hit again and again and again! The sound of groaning and creaking metal was now being joined by loud crashes and bangs! Something, somewhere, had broken!

“Hull breach at the stern!” Toa Kopaki’s voice said over the intercom, “Engines are dead! We can’t move!”

For the briefest moment, Mami was able to get a glimpse of her computer screen while the ship continued to lurch about beneath her: The Rauuira was spinning out of control, falling below the plane of the main battle and into a region of space where Partogan, Hiigaran, and Blorg ships were skirmishing without any semblance of organization or strategy. Two ships had broken off from the main battle and appeared to be chasing after the Rauuira. The rising sense of panic in Mami’s mind vanished when she spotted the green, red, and gold colors of the Partogan flag painted on the side of both ships.

“Rauuira!” Called an intercom voice Mami didn’t recognize, “Kill your maneuvering thrusters! We’ve sent a couple of Salvage Corvettes to get you!”

“Hey!” Mami yelled to her shipmates, “Let’s cool the cannon while we’ve got the chance! Everyone, open up your heat sinks!”

The Rauuira began venting hot air from six different points, the dorsal, ventral, starboard and port vents, the engine bell, and even the gun barrel itself. The venting from all sides helped to stabilize the ship and stop the uncommanded spinning. Mami reached over to Eteka and grabbed him by the shoulder.

“You alright?”

“Yeah.”

“Hey Rapati! Arahu! Is everyone okay?” Mami called over her shoulder, not daring to unstrap herself.

“I think Titohara’s gonna puke!” Arahu called back, “Other than that, we’re fine. My screen is down, Mami. Can you see anything?”

Turning back to her own screen, Mami tried to check on the progress of the two Salvage Corvettes that had been sent to rescue the Rauuira. What Mami saw caused her heart to skip a beat.

y4mZc5EJmlP-8KhY8RyqQC3C0Ae0YxMv1m6S4qxbZ0HGz6fm931_Q9Rkd6Bp-QPrAvm2_s0t3sztwjgOxN0j6fj79ltLPXk57S_ZW6iRk6LbPQkEJDp7Lp-NFX96dEsh2udqK8g_aQ4jZOD_qJHm7a3DJk8BxE0azsOGVVfw6-oEtef3NJhm1YkCe_BhGTKiPWJSEeLrEAoTtdNNsRNQijzcA

Caption said:
A Blorg Marine Frigate descends onto the Rauuira. The Blorg Commonality doesn't have the ability to manufacture these ships on their own, so the Blorg leadership chose to purchase a fleet of Marine Frigates from the Hiigarans instead.
Both of the Salvage Corvettes were turning to flee, heading back towards the rest of the Partogan Fleet. Meanwhile, a Hiigaran Marine Frigate painted with the colors and insignia of the Blorg Commonality was bearing down on the Rauuira!

Mami didn’t hesitate. She slammed her fist into the “Call Bridge” button and said,

“Commander, there’s an enemy Marine Frigate right over our heads!”

“We see it! We’re trying to find a way out of here!” Temara replied,

“The engines are still down!” said Sub-Lieutenant Himona,

“Can we spool up the Hyperspace Module?” Asked Lieutenant Commander Ourangi Pipiri, “Let’s jump out of here!”

“Negative!” said Temara. “It’ll take too long to charge and we might just drag them along in our wake. We need another way out of here!”

“Charge the cannon!”

Eteka’s voice seemed to have come from nowhere. Mami turned her head to look at him.

“Are you crazy?!” she asked,

“No!” Eteka said, “Abort during the Accelerate Phase and-”

But Commander Temara had heard enough. Above Mami’s head, the Particle Accelerator had started charging again. Mami felt the air around her getting hot and she watched the Blorg/Hiigaran Marine Frigate draw closer and closer until,

“Cannon charged!”

“ABORT FIRING SEQUENSE!”

The Rauuira lurched forward abruptly and chaotically. Loud hissing noises told Mami that maneuvering thrusters had been used to augment the sudden acceleration. Mami flipped a switch on her computer, displaying a feed from one of the rear-facing cameras on the outer hull of the Rauuira. She saw that not only was the ship accelerating away from its attacker, but its orientation in space was also changing. The bow nosed down while the stern rose up; the Rauuira was doing something akin to a cartwheel, tumbling end over end...

Except...

The enemy frigate was too close! The Rauuira’s stern and the enemy bow were-!

“Brace for impact!”

The two frigates collided with a mighty CRASH!! Mami could barely comprehend what was happening as the Cannon Control Room rattled and shuddered intensely. By the time the shaking, crashing and smashing was done, half of the lights had gone out, plunging the room into semi darkness. All but one computer was dead as well. The bluish light from the screen made everyone in the room look like ghosts. For a few more moments, there was a terrified silence. Mami was too scared to do anything. She just remained still, staring forward into the dim light and feeling the rapid, desperate flutter of her own heartbeat.

“What- What’s happened?” said the Sub-Lieutenant. “C-Cannon Control Room calling Bridge. What’s going on?”

Pause.

The sound of groaning metal.

Another pause.

Mami held her breath, trying to hear anything. Then, very suddenly, Temara’s voice sounded over the intercom.

“We’ve been boarded!”

Mami and Eteka stared at one another in horror. Then Temara spoke again;

“Everyone, listen up! We have been boarded by Blorg Goundhuggers and Levakian hunters! Remember your boarding drills! Barricade yourselves in place! Resist! DO NOT allow-”

Temara’s voice was cut off as an alien voice forced its way over the speakers:

“We are the Blorg . Depolarize your armor and prepare to receive our friendship. Do not attempt to resist our Groundhuggers . FRIENDSHIP IS MANDATORY.”

Then the voice cut out. Sub-Lieutenant Kewhena took charge right away.

“Everyone up! Grab your weapons! Ranginui and Mihaka! Block the door with this!”

Kewhena ran forward and grabbed Mami’s computer workstation right as she unstrapped herself from it. Pulling with all his might, Kewhena broke the electrical cables and separated the whole console from the wall. While Mami, Rapati, Ango, and Titohara secured their Gauss Pistols, Kewhena, Arahu, and Eteka barricaded the one and only door to the Cannon Control Room. Then they backed away from the door and looked up at the ceiling. Above and around them, Mami could hear the sounds of enemy boarders moving around the other parts of the ship.

“What about the Commander and the other officers?” Titohara asked,

Kewhena opened a locker and produced a Gauss Rifle.

“They’ll barricade themselves on the bridge.” Kewhena answered. “If he thinks the ship is going to be lost, then the Commander will trigger the self-destruct function.”

“Oh, that’s encouraging.” said Rapati. “How do we avoid losing the ship if everyone’s locked themselves in one room or another?”

Mami knew the answer to that. She tapped Rapati on the shoulder and pointed to the ceiling.

“We gotta hold out until friendly ships get here and blow that Marine Frigate off of us!” Mami explained. “Otherwise those boarders can get reinforcements and resupply all day long.”

Kewhena nodded.

“She’s right.” he said. “Everyone, find or make cover. Get behind anything big enough to shield your whole body. Knock something over if you can’t find cover. GO!”

The six Ensigns scattered, setting up a strong defensible fighting position inside the Cannon Control Room in less than sixty seconds. Above them, Mami could hear the sound of two explosions in another part of the ship, near the stern.

“Sounds like they just breached the Engine Room with Thunderflash bombs.” Ango said. “That means our room is next.”

“Shhh....” hissed Kewhena, “Be quiet. Listen!”

From her hiding place next to an overturned desk, Mami could hear shuffling footsteps in the hallway. There were also three voices. Two of the aliens spoke in garbled, gurgling tones, while the third spoke in deep mammalian growls.

Mami looked around at her comrades.

“Two Blorg” she whispered, “One lion.”

Facing the barricaded door again, Mami chambered a round in her Gauss Pistol. She was terrified. Mami’s heart was thundering so loudly in her chest that she felt the enemy must be able to hear it. Everyone heard the sounds of an object being attached to the door.

“Breaching charges.” hissed Ango. “Be ready, they’ll throw a stun grenade as soon as they blow the door!”

On the other side of the door, one of the Blorg Groundhuggers began to make a rhythmic noise that sounded almost like musical chanting.

A countdown.

Here it comes.... Mami put her head down below the desk, hiding behind her makeshift cover.

CRASH!!

The door and its barricade exploded inward and into the Cannon Control Room. Debris and wreckage flew everywhere! Armed with a wicked-looking Plasma Rifle, a Blorg Groundhugger shuffled into the doorway, spotted Titohara looking its way and said in a squeaky, high pitched voice:

“Friend?”

Titohara raised her Gauss Pistol and fired! The Blorg was hit squarely in the center of its body and staggered backward, lurching out of the way and into cover as its comrade threw a small cylindrical object into the room. It bounced off the workstation Arahu was hiding behind and rolled into a far corner of the room.

“THUNDERFLASH!” Eteka yelled.

Mami crouched low, closed her eyes tightly and covered her ears with both hands!

The sound of the Thunderflash detonation still made her ears ring, but Mami acted quickly. Alongside Eteka, Rapati, and Ango, she rose from behind cover, took aim at the doorway, and started shooting as soon as she saw movement. The first Blorg Groundhugger collapsed in the doorway, taken down by a hailstorm of Gauss Rounds. Mami’s Gauss Pistol almost slipped out of her hands as she frantically reached to her belt to grab and load a fresh magazine. Weapon reloaded, Mami peeked from cover again.

The second Groundhugger chose not to enter. Instead, Mami saw, for the quickest of moments, a flourish of movement as the other Blorg began pulling the pin on a grenade.

“TAMIHANA! DOWN!”

Mami dropped to the floor and put her hands over her head. She heard the powerful blast of Kewhena’s Gauss Rifle, followed up almost immediately afterward by an explosion that caused the desk Mami had used for cover to slide across the floor and hit her. Mami peeked around the corner to see what had happened.

The second Blorg had tried to throw a stun grenade into the room, but Sub-Lieutenant Kewhena had shot the enemy through the wall, causing it to drop the stun grenade onto the floor. It had detonated there, killing the Groundhugger outright.

In the silence that followed, everyone poked their heads out from behind cover and looked around. Then Eteka said,

“Wait, where’d the Levakian go?”

With a loud clank! A third stun grenade flew into the Cannon Control Room from the hallway. This one ricochet off of the wall and rolled into the middle of the floor where Rapati yelled,

“I’m gonna throw it back!”

“NO!” Shouted Kewhena, but a movement had caught both his and Mami’s eyes.

Huge, muscular, and with claws unsheathed, a Levakian male had rounded the corner and was charging into the room at full speed, running on all fours and aiming directly at Mami!

It all happened in about three seconds. No one had any time to think. They just acted.

In the first second, Mami turned to face the lion, holding her pistol in both hands. Behind her, Rapati scooped up the Thunderflash in his right hand and cocked his arm back, preparing to throw the live explosive towards the oncoming lion and simultaneously bringing the Thunderflash up to the lion’s eye level. Eteka, Arahu, and Ango all dove for cover. Kewhena began to raise his Gauss Rifle and pointed the barrel at the middle of Mami’s back because she was standing between him and the Levakian attacker. Titohara spun on her feet, turning almost 180 degrees so that she was facing Kewhena, and she started to run at him!

In the next second, Mami squeezed the trigger of her Gauss Pistol, sending the first round barreling into the Levakian’s neck at speeds greater than 1,800 Bios per Second. Behind Mami, the Thunderflash exploded inside of Rapati’s clenched fist, blasting his right hand apart, illuminating the room, and blinding the Levakian. Unable to see, the lion propelled itself forward with both of his hind legs, reaching out to Mami with its claws as it soared through the air at her. Behind everyone else, Kewhena was blinded by the Thunderflash, in desperation, he started to squeeze the trigger, forgetting that the weapon was still pointed at Mami’s back! Titohara jumped towards Kewhena, one hand reaching for his weapon and the other going for his head!

In the third second, Mami’s vision was completely filled with the image of a lion lunging at her! She squeezed the trigger and fired her Gauss Pistol once more. This time, the Gauss round entered the lion’s chest cavity, inflicting horrific damage. Behind her, Rapati fell to the ground, blind, deaf, and in immense pain. Behind everyone, Kewhena simultaneously pulled the trigger of his rifle and was tackled by Titohara. Gripping the rifle firmly in one hand, Titohara pushed the weapon away from Mami! The Gauss round rocketed across the room and embedded itself harmlessly into the wall! Titohara pushed Kewhena all the way down and hit his head on the floor, knocking the Sub-Lieutenant unconscious!

The lion crashed down onto Mami, crushing her right to the floor! Mami felt the padding of his paw for millisecond before razor-sharp claws raked her face, descending from forehead to chin! Pinned underneath the still-moving lion’s body, it was the immense pain of this new injury that kept Mami conscious! With all her might, Mami pushed up on the Levakian’s flank with one hand, freeing up her Pistol-hand to move!

Mami knew that she was about to die. There was absolutely nothing a 60-Kilogram girl could do to harm a 200-kilogram lion, but by the Mountain’s will, Mami was going to hurt this thing as badly as possible before it could kill her!

Screaming loudly, Mami fired her Gauss Pistol into the lion’s body as quickly as she could pull the trigger. When the charging handle jumped back, indicating the gun was out of ammunition, Mami shrieked and began wildly kicking, punching, and biting every inch of the lion she could find! Mami could feel the lion release one long, low growl from deep within its chest. Desperate, panicking, and out of options, Mami intensified her feeble assault. Above her own screaming, Mami could just barely hear the voices of her friends! She could feel the lion moving above her, and then!

“Mami, stop! STOP! IT’S DEAD!”

Eteka’s voice was the first thing Mami noticed as the lion’s body was pulled off of her. Mami saw two of her friends standing above her. Eteka and Arahu both looked at Mami and recoiled in fright.

“Are.... are you okay!?” Eteka asked,

Mami didn’t answer. She wriggled out from under the lion carcass and stared at what she’d done.

The Levakian was most certainly dead. Shot no less than eight times, its legs twitched and Mami startled. Eteka grabbed her by the shoulder.

“You got him!” he said, “Calm down and let me take a look at that.”

Now that the immediate danger seemed to have passed, Mami’s heart rate was slowing down, and the adrenaline left her bloodstream. The pain on the left side of her face was back and it was incredible. Mami sat down on the floor, leaned against a cabinet and dropped her pistol so that she could apply pressure to the wounds with both hands.

“Gah, got my face.” she muttered to Eteka, who replied,

“Yeah, those cuts are deep. Lion claws. Wait here and keep putting pressure on that. I’ll get you a Medikit.”

CRASH!

The entire ship suddenly lurched and rocked more violently than ever before! All of the lights went out and Mami was thrown against the wall alongside a lot of debris and two bodies. After a few seconds of chaos, the lights came back on, and Mami saw that Eteka and Rapati had been thrown against the wall with her too. A bloody trail led across the floor and terminated with the stump that had once been Rapati’s right arm.

Before anyone could say anything, an unfamiliar voice spoke over the intercom.

“Attention HMS Rauuira. This is the LVK Shieldbreaker. We are here to offer assistance. Do not engage our forces! We are here to help you!”

“Crew!” chimed in the voice of Commander Temara, “Levakian members of the Partogan Royal Navy are coming aboard. DO NOT fire on any lions wearing the Orange and Yellow! Those are friendlies! Use signs and countersigns to ID them!”

Mami looked over at the body of the Levakian she’d just killed. His uniform was colored blue and white. Hostile.... was hostile.

The sounds of gunfire and explosions sounded from the bow of the ship, near the bridge.

“That’ll be our rescuers.” Kewhena said in a groggy voice.

Slowly getting back to his feet, Kewhena stepped over the debris and bodies and took up a fighting position near the blasted door, ready to ambush anyone coming down the hallway. Mami and Rapati were both done fighting. They rested against the wall while Titohara and Eteka sprayed their injuries down with Medikits. Meanwhile, Arahu and Ango covered the door as well. Mami didn’t hear the footfalls first, but she became aware of them after Kewhena shouted,

“Halt! Who goes there?”

A mammalian voice called to him from the hallway.

“Levakians from the Shieldbreaker!

“Hakihea!” Kewhena yelled, keeping his rifle raised until the Levakians gave the proper countersign:

“Aoraki.” replied one of the Levakians

“Kia roa te Kuini. Come in, comrades.”

Four Levakian females rounded the corner and entered what remained of the Cannon Control Room. The first one was armed with a Slugthrower Rifle, a single-shot shoulder mounted firearm that was a favorite of the Levakian species. Two of them had golden brown fur and were carrying medical equipment. The fourth lioness was clearly the one in charge. Her orange and yellow PRN-Levakian Contingent uniform concealed the fact that every last hair on her body was white.

The white lioness directed her subordinates to see to Mami and Rapati. One of the lionesses snarled at the body of the dead male lion.

“Your Highness,” the lioness said, “I think that’s the lion we’re looking for. He matches Hūria’s description.”

The white lioness asked Kewhena a question that Mami couldn’t hear. Kewhena pointed to Mami and replied quietly. Then the white lioness and her two medics approached Mami. The medical lioness sat down beside her and started dabbing at Mami’s wounds with a cloth.

“That was really impressive, Partogan.” said the white lioness. “you don’t know how long I was hunting for that guy, and you just knocked him down on your first shot. I owe you a drink.”

Mami finally found her words.

“Hiigarans, the Blorg-”

The white lioness cut her off.

“Full retreat. They saw my puny little flotilla and thought we were the vanguard of a bigger force. The bad guys are probably halfway to Hiigara by now.”

One of the medical lionesses examined Mami’s face more closely. Mami could feel their hot breath on her face. It made her wounds sting. The lioness held up one of her paws to Mami.

“Um, I don’t think we can save that eye, kid. Can you tell me how many pads you see?”

“Uh, two?” Mami guessed.

The medical lioness nodded. She straightened up and turned to Kewhena.

“This one needs surgery, right now.” the medical lioness pointed to Mami as she spoke. “Put her on a stretcher and take her to our ship. We’ve got facilities and a Partogan doctor who can handle this sort of thing.”

Kewhena nodded.

“Go.” he said. “I’ll clear it with the Commander later. My responsibility.”

Mami (and after a moment, Rapati) were both loaded onto makeshift stretchers by the Levakians and carried away. Mami watched the ceiling of the Rauuira’s various corridors race by above her as she was carried to the vessel that had rescued her and her shipmates. One of the Levakians injected Mami with something, she asked what it was.

“It’s a mild painkiller.” said the white lioness. “This is a really bad time for you to go into shock, so we just made you a little numb. We won’t put you out until our doctor is ready to do surgery. Speaking of which, you!”

The white lioness pointed to a group of Levakian hunters who were interrogating a captive Blorg.

“Send your fastest runner to Okiara and tell him we’ve got two Partogan casualties! One who needs facial surgery and one with an amputated arm! Fast!”

A young-looking lioness snarled one last time at the terrified Blorg and then sprinted down the hallway on all fours.

Mami went back to looking at the ceiling. The way the lines between panels flitted past her one good eye was hypnotizing. She felt herself starting to nod off.

“Stay awake now.” said the white lioness. “Keep talking to me. That should help you stay alert.”

“Okay,” Mami muttered, slurring her words, “What do you wanna talk about?”

“Well,” said the white lioness, “It must take a real tough badass to kill a lion up-close. Especially a traitorous villain like Hūria, he’s the dead lion in your cannon room. Who are you? Where are you from?”

Focusing on talking made Mami forget about some of the pain.

“Mami Tamihana. I’m from Aoraki.”

The white lioness gave Mami a quizzical look.

“Really?” she replied, “That tomb-world below the galactic plane?! You are a badass.”

“What about you?” Mami asked, “You from anywhere cool?”

The white lioness shook her head.

“Nah. I’m from The Mangaia. Oh, by the way, my name’s Tantomile.”


 
Last edited:

HistoryDude

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Tantomile to the rescue!!

From a trap...

What’s Tantomile’s full opinion of Mami?And Mami’s of Tantomile?

What ship was the future Queen on during this?She was getting wounded...
 

stnylan

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And so the stories merge ...

This was a really exciting scene. In fact, I think I will go one better than that and say I think this is probably the best post you have written to date. It just holds together very well, it does not drag, and neither does it seem to go wildly over the top. To me it reads as it should for a space battle. I found it easy to follow the action, to have an idea of both the larger situation in regards to the ship and the more localised situation in regards to Mami's immediate situation. The charge of the lion and Tantomie's rescue were a perfect pair of end devices, allowing the scene to climax, crescendo, and then became calmer towards the very end (if not totally calm, the overall situation is still quite tense).
 

HistoryDude

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Once that was done, I had to do the final step of setting up the Kingdom of Partoga. I went through and manually re-named every planet, every upgraded Starbase, every sector, and every leader with a Maori personal name, a Maori place name, or just an appropriate word from the Maori language. (Please... Any modder reading this... I desperately need a Maori/Polynesian/Pacific Islander namelist... PLEASE!!!)

On this,I did a quick workshop search for "Namelist". I found this:
https://steamcommunity.com/sharefiles/filedetails/?id=1325607135

It's an Oceanian namelist.
 

Macavity116

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Tantomile to the rescue!! From a trap...
The Hiigarans and the Blorg had that trap set up for a while. If Tantomile's flotilla of Mercenary ships had not appeared, the Partogan fleet would have been wiped out.

What’s Tantomile’s full opinion of Mami?And Mami’s of Tantomile?
Tantomile said:
She's a taihara now, so I guess that means I hate her by default. But I've gotta admit, that Tamihana girl is kind of a badass. She friggin' killed Hūria, for crying out loud! That lion was a walking death machine. If my crew tried to do him in, he'd have killed half of them before he went down. Not to mention the fact that Mami said she was from Aoraki. Anyone who lives there is a badass automatically. So I guess I hate her for being a taihara, but I respect her all the same.

-Tantomile
I can't tell you what Mami thinks of Tantomile. She wasn't able to think straight during her rescue (pain and blood loss) and won't have another meaningful conversation with Tantomile until Chapter 2.4. (That's when you get to find out what the word "Taihara" means.)

What ship was the future Queen on during this?She was getting wounded...
The answer to your question is in Chapter 2.4. Tantomile's flotilla rescued several ships, not just the Rauuira.

And so the stories merge ...

This was a really exciting scene. In fact, I think I will go one better than that and say I think this is probably the best post you have written to date. It just holds together very well, it does not drag, and neither does it seem to go wildly over the top. To me it reads as it should for a space battle. I found it easy to follow the action, to have an idea of both the larger situation in regards to the ship and the more localised situation in regards to Mami's immediate situation. The charge of the lion and Tantomie's rescue were a perfect pair of end devices, allowing the scene to climax, crescendo, and then became calmer towards the very end (if not totally calm, the overall situation is still quite tense).
Wow! Thank you! This chapter was a lot of fun to put together. I played this battle out in-game 7 times to figure out what the "bigger scope" part of the scene was going to look like. In-game, the Battle of Aiowa rested on a knife-edge: The Partogans won it 3 times, the Hiigarans/Blorg won the other 4. It all came down to how many shots the Partogan and Blorg Titans could get off before being swarmed by Corvettes.

On this,I did a quick workshop search for "Namelist". I found this: https://steamcommunity.com/sharefiles/filedetails/?id=1325607135 It's an Oceanian namelist.
PRAISE THE MOUNTAIN!!
 
Last edited:

HistoryDude

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And so we wait for more answers…
On Friday...
If my calculations are correct.
 

Vilhelm

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That was a very thrilling chapter! I don't think I've read anything like this since the last few parts of After Everything.

“We are the Blorg . Depolarize your armor and prepare to receive our friendship. Do not attempt to resist our Groundhuggers . FRIENDSHIP IS MANDATORY.”
As a Trekkie and a fan of the Blorg, this part made me chuckle slightly. Of course, the canonical Blorg mantra (from one of the early dev streams three(!) years ago) is the following:

Wiz said:
We are Blorg. You will be befriended. Resistance is impolite.
 

Macavity116

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As a Trekkie and a fan of the Blorg, this part made me chuckle slightly. Of course, the canonical Blorg mantra (from one of the early dev streams three(!) years ago) is the following: "We are Blorg. You will be befriended. Resistance is impolite."

I must have looked through seven or eight hours of dev streams looking for that line! When I couldn't find it, I improvised a new line. Glad to hear it got a chuckle.
 
Chapter 2.4: Taihara

Macavity116

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If you've read the Abridged History of Partoga or the Afterward section of After Everything, then you'll know that both of my Stellaris Stories are part of a much, much bigger story that I've been making up for the past decade.

Well, starting right now, that "bigger story" is going to start forcing its way into Faith in Chaos.

Buckle up. ;)

======

Chapter 2.4
Taihara

August 2, 1928 A.D.
LVK Shieldbreaker, Orthama Star System, Taiidan War Zone, (System Under Imperialist Taiidani Control)



“One more time, read from left to right the smallest row of letters you can see.”

With her one remaining eye, Mami focused hard on the chart hanging from the far wall.


y4mS7IuPBOpThTb0ChobqSE5O8EouligOtTl5qDE7LWMgd3scf6NG_c7nw0xQFk1nd3SnHDdd-5qIUTJZXIBA-0MmEhoB2lrZSoQBUttCleNyi22EO33NxqqSRYq3XNco10miR1R2u6iR9bsPh5hAtM6rWHDGnUxIRbzdrpj9WEvxOMtiSPaGcOdtAvRpPGd7NWi0XbSLoJJPZIRhBvyBGDfA


“Row Seven,” she said slowly, “I read... f, e, n... o... p... z, d.”

Doctor Okiara nodded.

“Very good, Ensign. I’ll transmit the test results to your Commander. You may go now.”

Mami stood up from the examination bed and made her way across the infirmary, heading for the exit. On her way out, she waved to Rapati, who’s mangled right arm was wrapped up in neat white bandages. Rapati’s arm couldn’t be saved, and had been amputated at the elbow. Doctor Okiara had already beamed the medical data about Rapati’s injury to Fort Daxia. Last Mami had heard, her friend was going to be fitted for a prosthesis as soon as they returned home.

Mami and Rapati weren’t the only Partogans in the Shieldbreaker’s infirmary. Some 20 injured survivors of last month’s battle were recuperating alongside Mami and her comrade. Partway down the line of beds, Mami spotted another familiar face.

Something was clearly wrong with Amaya Maori. According to several of the newly minted veterans of the Battle of Aiowa, Amaya was the lone survivor of a Missile Destroyer that had been overwhelmed near the beginning of the fight. All three of her Daxia teammates were dead. Oku, Eraka, and young Paikura had been killed when a Hiigaran Ion Cannon Frigate ruptured and depressurized the Missile Destroyer’s hull. Amaya had barely survived the same disaster, having been exposed to the environment of space for a few seconds. Mami had tried to help Amaya mourn for them, but whenever she or anyone else tried to interact with Amaya, the young Ensign would turn catatonic, refusing to engage or interact with anyone around her. Amaya was catatonic right now. She was sitting upright on her bed, knees drawn up to her chin and hands around her ankles, while her eyes were glazed and watery from being held open for so long.

Mami tried to catch Amaya’s eye and give her a supportive look, but there was no response as usual. She gave up and left the infirmary. Of course, she’d have to come back eventually. She didn’t have anywhere else to sleep. But for now, Mami headed down to the mess hall to get some food.

By this point, Mami had spent a little less than a month aboard the Shieldbreaker. She felt some satisfaction to hear that the ship itself had been stolen from the Blorg Commonality, and simultaneously uncomfortable when she found out that the vast majority of the crew were Levakians. At first, Mami was terrified that the lions would exact revenge on her for killing one of their own, but that fear had been put to rest by the white lioness Tantomile. She explained that the lion Mami had killed was an enemy of Partogans and Levakians alike, and that the Levakian crew of the Shieldbreaker would have fought him if Mami hadn’t.

A few days after her talk with Tantomile, Mami had been confronted by a pair of lionesses. They told her in no uncertain terms that they respected Mami for killing a “rouge lion” in close combat, but that they were still angry with her for making them travel partway across the Galaxy for nothing.

“We were just gonna capture the terrorist Hūria and turn him in for the bounty.” One of the lionesses said. “You know the Green Guard won’t pay us for a corpse, right?”

Whispers followed Mami whenever she moved around the ship. Every member of the Shieldbreaker’s crew seemed to know that Mami had been the one who had killed Hūria, and she didn’t need to feel any worse. That fight aboard the Rauuira would replay in her mind every night as she drifted off to sleep. The memory of the Blorg cautiously asking “Friend?” before Titohara killed it caused a chill to go up Mami’s spine whenever she remembered that moment.

Then there was the memory of Hūria himself.

“Hūria” was the name of the Levakian Mami had killed aboard the Rauuira. She had learned the full story from Tantomile: For the past two months Tantomile and her crew had been hunting for this lion. Hūria was a wanted criminal back home in Partogan space. Claiming to be acting on behalf of a Levakian “Separatist Movement,” Hūria had ambushed the Prince of Partoga City outside his home, killing the poor man. Hūria then left a manifesto at the scene, calling for all Levakians to revolt and create an independent Levakian state. The Green Guard had put out a capture bounty soon afterward, offering tens of millions of Dirams for anyone who could lead them to Hūria.

Hūria’s death was a problem for Tantomile. The Green Guard couldn’t extract intel from a corpse, so they had refused to give anyone the big payout. The crew of the Shieldbreaker had almost mutinied at the news, but Tantomile calmed the situation by telling them about the reward money being offered for Task Force Hydruka survivors.

Having narrowly survived the Blorg/Hiigaran counterattack, the Partogan Fleet was eviscerated, losing nearly three-quarters of its ships. The remaining vessels of Task Force Hydruka had set out for home, leaving nearly half of their personnel stranded in the Aiowa system aboard the disabled warships. Word got back to Partoga quickly, and Queen Marie had publicly offered a monetary reward for any ship captain who rescued Hydruka survivors and returned them to Partogan space.

Tantomile’s flotilla of mercenary ships had rescued the lion’s share of survivors. Heavily laden with Partogans, the ragtag collection of mercenary, privateer, and pirate ships were now flying towards a Taiidani Hyperspace Gate that led directly to Partogan space.

“We’ll take you as far as Nithascal.” Tantomile had explained. “Then we’ll turn you over to the PRN. I can’t go any further into Partogan space... I’d cause... a lot of problems.”

The journey home would take about five weeks. Mami had spent the first four going in and out of the infirmary, receiving and then recovering from facial reconstruction surgery. She hadn’t seen any of her Rauuira shipmates in this time. (Besides Rapati) All of this meant that Mami was overjoyed when Tantomile sat down with her in the Shieldbreaker’s mess hall and said:

“Good news, Tamihana. Your shipmates are coming aboard in a couple hours to join you.”

Mami looked up from her plate of raw Ruki fish (which tasted disgusting) and gazed at Tantomile.

“That’s great!” said Mami. “Rapati and I really miss those guys. Uh, no offense of course. You and your shipmates have been... gracious... hosts to us. So... uh... when are you sending us back to our ship?”

Tantomile shook her head.

“The Rauuira was declared a total loss by your Admiralty.” she said. “It’s been scuttled. Your crew is going to make the trip back to Partoga with us. I’ve got it all arranged, the twelve of you will be on Deck Two. I’m sorry, but you’re all going to have to share one room. We’re carrying about ninety extra Partogans here, and it’s already getting too cramped.”

Mami shrugged.

“That’ll be okay with us. We just wanna go home, doesn’t really matter how.”
y4mBdMEe_nWCoLINSVxLpq-Fx_Aji6g1PV86QtMbKlnuVXPaOK0JFHSkTkDygO4ncWMU5jR1dCjgTDtWcv4XygGmttbjWrUF4_HeWzoLv9siV1yEk6YqDtc6M-IBugruJfYCnnmWLlgh8rSwirm0tivklt17iIY25aK3avdmVUyrD1eI0eF4QrApd4PiYgveiMVAMzDWqXo-5LUa6nSUZOzSg

Caption said:
Tantomile's Armada uses an artificial Slipgate to jump directly to the Nithascal System in Partoga.
Later that afternoon, a Vaygr Destroyer that had been repainted with the orange and yellow colors of Levakia pulled up alongside the Shieldbreaker and docked. Personnel and supplies were moved back and forth for several minutes. Once the swap in people and goods was made final, the two vessels split apart and continued on their path towards the Orthama Hyperspace Gate.

In the corridor outside of the Shieldbreaker’s airlock, Eteka ran forward and embraced Mami in a tight hug before she could even say hello.

“Heya, Mihaka.” Mami said, patting him lightly on the back, “I missed you too.”

One by one, all of the Rauuira’s former crewmates leaned in close and tilted their heads to get a good look at Mami’s face. Ihanga Waaka got really close and lightly touched the surface of Mami’s new eyepatch with the tip of her finger.

“Can’t tell what looks better on you, the scars or the eyepatch.” Ihanga said softly. “Fact is you still got your good looks, Mami. Nicely done.”

Arahu also hugged Mami and said,

“It’s kinda lucky you lost the left eye.” he commented, “Didn’t you always use your right eye during Rifle Training?”

Titohara did not hug Mami.

“I’m sorry about your eye.” she said. “Honestly, you should have died back there. Nice to see you didn’t.”

“Alright everyone,” barked a scratchy, butch voice. “Back off and give the new Taihara some room to breathe!”

Toa Wahine Kopaki Raharuhi forced her way to the front of the group. Mami again caught herself staring at the woman’s facial tattoos and forced her eyes upward. Toa Kopaki’s cornrows were disheveled and unkempt. Stray hairs sticking up from her scalp gave her the look of a lightning-strike victim. She was actually a little scary to look at now, to be honest.

Toa Kopaki swept Mami off her feet and lifted her into the air in a mammoth hug! Mami gasped for air,

“Hey! Wait!”

“I can’t believe it! You did it!” cried Toa Kopaki! “YOU KILLED A LION and I missed it! You're one of us now!”

Toa Kopaki set Mami back on her feet. A little disoriented, Mami reached up to adjust her eyepatch, which had slid most of the way down her cheek, while Toa Kopaki continued to gush over her.

“Oh, I wish I was there! You shouldn’t have tried to take him alone! I don’t think- What you did is-… it- it's unheard of!”

Toa Kopaki paused to take a breath, and Commander Temara put a hand on her shoulder to silence her.

“What she’s saying is that you might be the youngest Taihara in a century or two. We can’t remember the record-holder's name off the top of our heads, mind you, but we’re pretty sure that if you didn’t break the record, then you got close. Congratulations are in order, young woman.”

Mami, who had been raised on a distant backwater planet far away from urban Partogan culture, finally broke the spell. She tapped Toa Kopaki’s arm and asked,

“I’m sorry, but what does the word Taihara actually mean?”

The atmosphere in the corridor changed, as though Mami had suddenly brought everyone out of their bubbles of euphoria and back into reality. The twelve crewmates were suddenly hyperconscious of the many Levakians in their immediate vicinity, walking up and down the corridors, working in nearby rooms, or leaning against the corridor wall, watching Mami and her friends.

Temara faced his crew.

“Let’s get to our room. We’ll suss out the details in there.”



Just as Tantomile had warned, the room where the Rauuira crew would spend their final week of interstellar space travel was tiny and cramped. There were only four bunks.

“Right.” said Temara. “We’ll work and sleep in three shifts. That way all four bunks are warm and in use, and all four of our female soldiers can stick together. Everyone understand? Good. Now let’s deal with the Kahgarak in the room.”

Moving as one, everybody in the little space turned to look at Mami. She suddenly felt very small and tried to retreat into a corner. Toa Kopaki reached out and gently held Mami’s hand.

“It’s okay, Tamihana.” she said, “You said you didn’t know. Ask away and I’ll do my best to answer, okay?”

Mami nodded.

“First,” she asked, “what’s that word mean?”

Mami wasn’t an idiot. She had passed all of her language classes with high marks. In the Partogan language, the word “taihara” was an adjective used to describe an action that was deceitful, treacherous, or outright illegal. Yet Toa Kopaki was using it as a noun, calling Mami “Taihara” as though it was her name. What the hell was going on?

Toa Kopaki seemed to be considering her words carefully while the rest of her crewmates watched.

Taihara... is a name the Levakians gave to people like us.” she explained. “When you translate the word ‘murderer’ into Levakian and then back into Partogan, it sounds a little like ‘taihara’ and it just kinda stuck. That’s what the word means: ‘Murderer.’ Lions stick that name onto anyone who spills their people’s blood.”

Toa Kopaki sighed.

“Listen, if you get called a Taihara by a Levakian, it's an insult. They’re disrespecting their Partogan masters and they deserve whatever hell you throw at them in turn. But if you get called a Taihara by a Partogan, then you hold your head up high and be proud; because it’s a sign of respect. You’ve struck down a lion twice your size and weight. By being a Taihara, you honor the memory of Queen Sophie and the thousands of Partogans who worked to subjugate the Levakians four hundred years ago, so that our generation could live among the stars in peace.

“But to the lions, you and I are murderers. It doesn’t matter what we do with the rest of our lives, that distinction will stay with us forever. No title or honorific will ever supersede that word, because it has such important meanings in both cultures. You could become a charity worker and feed thousands of starving cubs in Paku Nui. You will still be a Taihara. You might join the Church of the Mountain and become a devout nun, but you’ll still be a Taihara. Hell, you could be elected Queen but it wouldn’t erase the fact that you are and will always be a Taihara... a murderer.”

On those last two words, Toa Kopaki traced the lines of her facial Tattoo with one finger. Then she reached out, and using that same finger, she traced the lines of an imaginary Tattoo along Mami’s chin and cheek. The teenage soldier trembled.

“And... uh... do I have to get the Tuakiri?” Mami’s voice quaked.

Toa Kopaki pulled away from Mami.

“It’s not required.” she said, “It’s just a very old tradition. Dates back to the reign of Queen Sophie the Merciful. Think of it this way: A few years from now, when you’re out of the Navy and back home on Aoraki, your friends and neighbors are gonna ask how you lost your eye and got that scar on your face. What are you going to tell them without a Tuakiri? No one will ever believe you without the ink on your face to prove it. Besides, getting the Tuakiri is like the ‘final step’ in truly becoming a Taihara. It’s a sign that not only do you accept the name, but that you’ll proudly make it a permanent part of your identity. Wherever you go, whatever you do, people are going to look and see the ink on your face. They’ll know immediately who you are and what you’ve done. Levakians will fear you and teach their cubs to do the same. Partogans will love you and honor you as a hero.”

Toa Kopaki leaned close to Mami again.

“You are a Partogan, right?”

Mami nodded,

“Do you want to honor the tradition of the Tuakiri?”

Mami looked around the room. Eight battle-hardened warriors stared back at her, alongside the three faces of her friends. Everyone was looking at her. Mami felt like she was going to drown in their expectations. They all wanted her to do this.

“Don’t worry,” whispered Titohara, “Every Taihara gets the ink at some point. I know some who were set for the rest of their lives because everyone kept giving them gifts. Everybody loves Taihara.

“There’s a Taihara living in Candon,” said Rapati, “She can’t go into most public places without random strangers proposing marriage to her every half-hour. I don’t think she’s ever alone. Always got a friend or two around her. Dozens of potential husbands waiting in the wings.”

“Famous Taihara sometimes get titles from the Queen.” Ourangi chimed in, “Toa Kopaki did. The Prince of Visonia is a Taihara too.”

Mami’s doubts and concerns about getting the Tuakiri were being chipped away. Fantasies began to creep into the back of her imagination:

Images of an older Mami being given free food in restaurants when people saw her Tattoo...

Levakians flattening their ears to their heads, putting their tails between their legs...

Men falling over one another for a chance to hold her hand...

Queen Marie gently tapping Mami on the shoulder with the Royal Sabre and saying “Toa Wahine Mami... Princess of Aoraki...”

Mami raised one hand to her eyepatch, tracing with one finger an imaginary pattern of black ink as it danced and looped across her face, forming a permanent memorial to Mami’s battle with Hūria... Just like Toa Kopaki...

“Yeah...” Mami said slowly, “I’ll do it. I’ll get the Tuakiri.”

Toa Kopaki clapped her hands!

“Great!” she said. “Let’s do it right now!”

“Wait-What!?” Mami burst out.

“There’s a Tohunga-tā-Moko on board!” Toa Kopaki said. “The Levakians pulled him off one of the super-capital ships. I saw him earlier. I’ll ask if he’s got his tools, and if he does, we can get your Tattoo done today!”

There was no arguing against it. Toa Kopaki left the room quickly and Temara followed her out the door, saying he was going to alert the ship’s medical team. Ihanga Waaka dug around in her pockets and produced a felt-tip marker, she started drawing the Tuakiri pattern onto Mami’s face.

“This is so the Tohunga-tā-Moko knows where to go and what to draw.” Ihanga explained, “You killed a lion with a firearm while he was pouncing on you. It was a very straightforward killing, so your design is going to be simple and easy to draw... there we go!”

One by one, the Rauuira crew began to filter out of the room. Everyone said the same thing:

“We’ll see you in the infirmary.”

Soon, Mami, Eteka, Arahu, and Rapati had the little room to themselves. The ink from the felt-tip marker made Mami’s face very, very itchy.

“Better get used to not scratching.” Rapati joked, “I can’t wait to see you get the real ink.”

Arahu patted his pockets.

“Aw, man. Does anyone have a camera? We need a ‘before’ picture to remember the old Mami by.”

Eteka shrugged.

“Old Mami, new Mami. Doesn’t matter to me. You’ll still be my friend, no matter how much you get inked, or how many eyes get ripped out by lions.”

He winked at Mami. Unable to wink in return, she just stuck out her tongue.



The Shieldbreaker’s infirmary was jam-packed with Partogans when Mami and her friends arrived a few hours later. As soon as the door opened, a loud cheer went around the room, followed by a rolling thunder of applause! It seemed as though nearly half of the rescued Hydruka survivors had gotten wind of Mami’s exploits and her imminent date with the Tohunga-tā-Moko. A group of Daxia Cadets chanted Mami’s name as she walked past them to the surgical table where an elderly Partogan man was talking to Commander Temara and Toa Kopaki. Every member of the Rauuira crew was present aside from Titohara, who was predictably absent.

Temara raised his hand and called on the crowd to be silent.

“Soldiers!” the Commander said loudly, “This war has taken many brothers and sisters from us. While most of our Levakian subjects have remained loyal to the Queen and fought by our side, a select few have allied with our Hiigaran enemies and taken up arms against us!”

There were boos and hisses from the little crowd. Commander Temara continued,

“But thanks to this young woman...” he placed a hand on Mami’s shoulder and drew her close in a side-hug, “There is one less rouge lion in the galaxy tonight!”

Partogan cheers caused the shelves and cupboards to quake. The noise of five dozen people yelling echoed throughout the entire deck!

“FURTHERMORE!” Commander Temara had to yell to make himself heard above the noise. “My new friend, Tohunga-tā-Moko Urepo, has told me that according to his records Ensign Mami Tamihana is now...”

Temara paused for dramatic effect,

“The YOUNGEST lionslayer in history! No one below the age of 16 has ever-”

But Mami didn’t hear the rest. The yelling and cheering of the onlookers were threatening to burst the walls of the infirmary. Mami’s eardrums thudded painfully in her head. Finally, the noise died down.

Tohunga-tā-Moko Urepo gestured to the surgical bed, and Mami laid down, facing up towards the ceiling. Urepo, Doctor Okiara, and a few assistants began to set up their equipment. Looking to one side, Mami saw the traditional implements that had been used to create Tuakiri Tattoos for over four hundred years: The chisel... hammer... needles... and-

“Wait, what’s all of the cloth for?” Mami asked,

The Tohunga-tā-Moko briefly looked up from his tools.

“Oh,” he said casually, “that’s for the blood.”



On the Shieldbreaker’s bridge, Tantomile leapt out of the Captain’s Chair when the sound of high-pitched screaming reached her ears. Then everyone on the bridge stopped what they were doing as they picked up the sound of yelling echoing up the hallways and into the bridge. Tantomile’s lieutenant snarled,

“Barbaric Partogans. They’re tattooing that girl!”

Mami’s scream became a wail of agony before it was drowned out completely by the voices of the other Partogans. Admetus, the ex-Separatist Tantomile had rescued from Taiidan captivity, let out a deep growl.

“Let them have their moment of barbarism.” he said, “That girl deserves far worse than what they’re actually doing to her. Little Taihara beast.”

Admetus unsheathed his claws and scraped them on the floor, imagining it to be Mami’s body. Then he looked up at Tantomile.

“Why not airlock the girl?” he asked, “We’d be making a much bigger bounty if she hadn’t killed the traitor Hūria.”

Tantomile rolled her eyes.

“Airlocking the Taihara girl won’t bring Hūria back to life.” She said, “What’s done is done. And the bounty for Hydruka survivors is better than none at all. Unless you have another plan to pay the crews of all those mercenary ships out there?”

Tantomile gestured to the viewscreen, where the vanguard ships of her flotilla were visible as they blazed a trail towards the Orthama Hyperspace Gate.

Admetus growled again.

“No.” he admitted reluctantly. “I don’t.”

“Then shut your mouth before I do it for you.” Tantomile snarled.

“Your Highness!” one of the bridge crew members had to raise his voice to get Tantomile’s attention. “We’re about to pass through the Hyperspace Gate!”

Tantomile returned to the Captain’s Chair and sat down awkwardly. The seat had been designed for Blorg bodies, and had none of the amenities a lioness would want from it.

“Alright, take us in!”

The flotilla of warships passed into the artificial event horizon of the Slipgate. Half a second later, the fleet emerged from a different gate on the other side of the galaxy, deep within the territory of the Kingdom of Partoga. The blue light of Nithascal was hotter and more intense than the gentle orange glow of Orthama, it glimmered off the hull of the Shieldbreaker.

y4mu7JhOjp5AfwG0ODdsJp15P8OpqlAd_OG4sHkXMYFE0G6S0QgjAX0MIHJ610gCykjDclGT1qtv8dogfihBogVfRv8UDP97ScdjdBurY8MP6F_jkqVPonJ0c8IFKwYQbCnkbTUYTlBHGPmKhd72Sx50B2qv_PiHl1yt3wD_Dn3nyXrPLfTTzuiL9bcQ3YwAPfHli_HX4yBDVjhsWBYU2zpeg
Caption said:
The Nithascal Star System. This is the southernmost point of the Kingdom of Partoga and its only border with the Micore Empire. (a Rouge Servitor machine empire)
“Slipgate jump complete!” reported Admetus, “All systems nominal. We’ve dropped into the Nithascal system and we’re being contacted by Fort Odina.”

Admetus flipped a switch on the comms panel, and the message from Fort Odina was played on speakers for the whole bridge to hear.

“This is Fort Odina Command to incoming fleet. Transmit today’s recognition codes and state your business.”

“Yessir! Transmitting now!” Tantomile replied while pointing at Admetus.

Admetus began to transmit the day’s recognition codes. Tantomile spoke again,

“This is the LVK Shieldbreaker, registered to the Kingdom of Paku Nui. We’re bringing Privateer ships to Ninigai to be entered into the service of the Partogan Royal Navy Levakian Contingent, and we are also looking for a place to drop off approximately four hundred-eighty survivors of Task Force Hydruka, who were picked up in the Aiowa System.”

There was a pause. The commanding officers of Fort Odina were probably discussing this news amongst themselves. Then the response came.

“Acknowledged, Shieldbreaker. Um, I’m being told to ask if you recovered any survivors of the... uh... Ion Cannon Frigate... HMS... umm... Rauuira. Yeah, the Rauuira. The Green Guard is telling me they’re conducting an investigation into one of the crew members.”

The name was familiar to Tantomile. The rescue of Mami Tamihana and her shipmates was still fresh in her memory.

“Oh, yes we did.” Tantomile said casually. “I’ve actually got all twelve members of the crew aboard the Shieldbreaker right now. I can fly up and drop them off in your airlock right now if you want me to, sir.”

This did not produce the result or response Tantomile was expecting. Indeed, the commander of Fort Odina took another minute to respond;

“Uh.... um... Shieldbreaker, can you standby for me?”

Then there was five minutes of silence, broken occasionally by either the sound of Mami screaming or her supporters cheering from the infirmary. Everyone on the bridge just looked around at each other awkwardly. Tantomile raised an eyebrow at Admetus and asked,

“Was it something I said?”

Admetus was about to say something when a new, unfamiliar voice crackled over the speakers:

Shieldbreaker, this is Major General Ranginui of the Partogan Green Guard. You are carrying an individual wanted by the Green Guard. The individual is a member of the Rauuira crew and answers to the name Titohara Nopera. Female. Fifteen years old. Long white hair. She is armed and dangerous. YOU ARE COMMANDED to apprehend this individual and then bring her to Fort Odina immediately. My soldiers will take possession of the individual at Drydock Five. Do you have any questions?”

Tantomile’s hackles rose. Something was very wrong here.

“This individual... this... ‘Titohara,’ how dangerous are they?” she asked, “What exactly am I dealing with?”

Pause. Then the Major General responded:

“We're not entirely sure. I advise you proceed with caution and use overwhelming force.”


 
Last edited:

stnylan

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Well, that is ... interesting. And worrying.

all of it.

This business of the title and the tattoo - I can't but help think of it as a little death - a death of self as one becomes part of a symbol. To be occupied by it in a rather literal way.
 

HistoryDude

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Wait,so Eteka and Ango were right?

Tantomile’s flotilla of mercenary ships had rescued the lion’s share of survivors.

This pun is so bad...

“I’m sorry about your eye.” she said. “Honestly, you should have died back there. Nice to see you didn’t.
And how would Titohara know that?
“The YOUNGEST lionslayer in history! No one below the age of 16 has ever-”

Congratulations,Mami! Wait,doesn’t this represent how the age of recruitment to the military is getting lower?
On the Shieldbreaker’s bridge, Tantomile leapt out of the Captain’s Chair when the sound of high-pitched screaming reached her ears. Then everyone on the bridge stopped what they were doing as they picked up the sound of yelling echoing up the hallways and into the bridge. Tantomile’s lieutenant snarled,

“Barbaric Partogans. They’re tattooing that girl!”

Mami’s scream became a wail of agony before it was drowned out completely by the voices of the other Partogans. Admetus, the ex-Separatist Tantomile had rescued from Taiidan captivity, let out a deep growl.

“Let them have their moment of barbarism.” he said, “That girl deserves far worse than what they’re actually doing to her. Little Taihara beast.”

Admetus unsheathed his claws and scraped them on the floor, imagining it to be Mami’s body. Then he looked up at Tantomile.

“Why not airlock the girl?” he asked, “We’d be making a much bigger bounty if she hadn’t killed the traitor Hūria.”

Tantomile rolled her eyes.

“Airlocking the Taihara girl won’t bring Hūria back to life.” She said, “What’s done is done. And the bounty for Hydruka survivors is better than none at all. Unless you have another plan to pay the crews of all those mercenary ships out there?”

Tantomile gestured to the viewscreen, where the vanguard ships of her flotilla were visible as they blazed a trail towards the Orthama Hyperspace Gate.

Admetus growled again.

“No.” he admitted reluctantly. “I don’t.”

“Then shut your mouth before I do it for you.” Tantomile snarled.

“Your Highness!” one of the bridge crew members had to raise his voice to get Tantomile’s attention. “We’re about to pass through the Hyperspace Gate!”

Tantomile returned to the Captain’s Chair and sat down awkwardly. The seat had been designed for Blorg bodies, and had none of the amenities a lioness would want from it.

“Alright, take us in!”

The flotilla of warships passed into the artificial event horizon of the Slipgate. Half a second later, the fleet emerged from a different gate on the other side of the galaxy, deep within the territory of the Kingdom of Partoga. The blue light of Nithascal was hotter and more intense than the gentle orange glow of Orthama, it glimmered off the hull of the Shieldbreaker.

“Slipgate jump complete!” reported Admetus, “All systems nominal. We’ve dropped into the Nithascal system and we’re being contacted by Fort Odina.”

Admetus flipped a switch on the comms panel, and the message from Fort Odina was played on speakers for the whole bridge to hear.

“This is Fort Odina Command to incoming fleet. Transmit today’s recognition codes and state your business.”

“Yessir! Transmitting now!” Tantomile replied while pointing at Admetus.

Admetus began to transmit the day’s recognition codes. Tantomile spoke again,

“This is the LVK Shieldbreaker, registered to the Kingdom of Paku Nui. We’re bringing Privateer ships to Ninigai to be entered into the service of the Partogan Royal Navy Levakian Contingent, and we are also looking for a place to drop off approximately four hundred-eighty survivors of Task Force Hydruka, who were picked up in the Aiowa System.”

There was a pause. The commanding officers of Fort Odina were probably discussing this news amongst themselves. Then the response came.

“Acknowledged, Shieldbreaker. Um, I’m being told to ask if you recovered any survivors of the... uh... Ion Cannon Frigate... HMS... umm... Rauuira. Yeah, the Rauuira. The Green Guard is telling me they’re conducting an investigation into one of the crew members.”

The name was familiar to Tantomile. The rescue of Mami Tamihana and her shipmates was still fresh in her memory.

“Oh, yes we did.” Tantomile said casually. “I’ve actually got all twelve members of the crew aboard the Shieldbreaker right now. I can fly up and drop them off in your airlock right now if you want me to, sir.”

This did not produce the result or response Tantomile was expecting. Indeed, the commander of Fort Odina took another minute to respond;

“Uh.... um... Shieldbreaker, can you standby for me?”

Then there was five minutes of silence, broken occasionally by either the sound of Mami screaming or her supporters cheering from the infirmary. Everyone on the bridge just looked around at each other awkwardly. Tantomile raised an eyebrow at Admetus and asked,

“Was it something I said?”

Admetus was about to say something when a new, unfamiliar voice crackled over the speakers:

Shieldbreaker, this is Major General Ranginui of the Partogan Green Guard. You are carrying an individual wanted by the Green Guard. The individual is a member of the Rauuira crew and answers to the name Titohara Nopera. Female. Fifteen years old. Long white hair. She is armed and dangerous. YOU ARE COMMANDED to apprehend this individual and then bring her to Fort Odina immediately. My soldiers will take possession of the individual at Drydock Five. Do you have any questions?”

Tantomile’s hackles rose. Something was very wrong here.

“This individual... this... ‘Titohara,’ how dangerous are they?” she asked, “What exactly am I dealing with?”

Pause. Then the Major General responded:

“We're not entirely sure. I advise you proceed with caution and use overwhelming force.”

What’s going through Tantomile’s mind during these scenes?
 

Macavity116

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This business of the title and the tattoo - I can't but help think of it as a little death - a death of self as one becomes part of a symbol. To be occupied by it in a rather literal way.
I've never thought of it that way. I've got to admit, your idea is pretty fascinating.
Wait,so Eteka and Ango were right?
Their suspicions are completely justified, and we'll see why in Chapter 2.5.
This pun is so bad...
I couldn't help myself.
And how would Titohara know that?
She shouldn't.
Congratulations,Mami! Wait,doesn’t this represent how the age of recruitment to the military is getting lower?
Mami Tamihana said:
Thank you!
And no, Partoga's minimum military enlistment age is still 15. The Royal Government has stopped enforcing that particular law because the military started running out of warm bodies. No one expected the Taiidan War to drag on for this long. (5 years and counting!)
What’s going through Tantomile’s mind during these scenes?
Tantomile was initially pissed off about losing the capture bounty for Hūria, but there's about 90 Partogans aboard the Shieldbreaker right now, plus another 2,000 scattered around her Mercenary fleet. Queen Marie has offered to pay 10,000 Dirams for each one safely returned, so Tantomile's mood has cooled off on that front.

At this point, Tantomile just wants to get rid of the entire Rauuira crew. They're more trouble than they're worth. Two of them (Mami and Toa Kopaki) are Taihara, which will pose serious problems for the morale of a mostly-Levakian crew. Another has just been outed as a wanted suspect by the Green Guard, which opens a whole new can of worms for Tantomile. She doesn't know about Ango and Eteka's suspicions surrounding Titohara. If Tantomile had reason to think there might be an enemy spy aboard the Shieldbreaker, she would have acted differently during Chapter 2.5.

But she doesn't... and Chapter 2.5 will play out differently.
 
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