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You Should Come Take a Look at This

Posted on Thu Jun 8th, 2023 @ 8:35pm by Captain Abigail Laurens & Commander Ichiko Gail & Warrant Officer Callisi Veera

Mission: In The Face of Adversity
Location: Ready Room

The cyclopean pilot had just finished watching the latest pull of Ts'usu entertainment off the Buoy, essentially burning out her rations for the month. It wasn't like she had anything pressing to use them on, and this particular event was the show stopper... This wasn't any form of training or instructional video, or any political rally though after that, it might very well lead to one. This was big. This was ..

"Captain, this is Callisi Veera. I truly hope I'm not calling at a poor moment but, you just got mentioned by name at the end of a Kinetic event. Do you want to see it?" the rabbitess inquired over the comm. "There's really no other way to put it."

"Kinetic event?" Abigail responded into the open comms channel, confusion clear in her voice. "I'm sorry, you may need to explain this to me in a bit more detail," she added with a laugh. "My doors are open if you'd like to come on up."

"Of course. I'm on the way. Veera out." and with that things went quiet. Until a few minutes later when there was a chime on the Captain's Ready Room. When bid to enter, Callisi did. She and the Captain didn't get a lot of time to talk, despite not only being on the same ship but having recently fought in the same conflict. The rabbitess was very easy to spot in a crowd. The eye patch alone was a dead giveaway.

"Ma'am." she started, and motioned to the wall, "If I may?". and with permission, she'd call into her personal space, and bring up the latest. "We have a sport called Kinetic. The rules are usually explained at the beginning of each event, and it's something akin to a story mixed with a sport." to demonstrate, Callisi allowed the first part of the 'event' to unfold...

The scene was dark. Faint illumination showed some form of arena. Concrete, padding, something. Pillars, open areas, there was a planning to it. A math, maybe. It was certainly something. Grey, featureless and smooth were three words to describe it, but to those who knew, to those who had been waiting... it wouldn't be that for very long. Walking onto the arena was a Ts'usugi male dressed in a combination of Sporting Referee Attire and light battle armor. In his hand he held a sphere. Well, 'held' was the wrong word, since it hovered over his gloved hand by about an inch.

"We all know the story. Give a little, get a little. You give, and everyone takes. But what if, what if, you give... and there was nothing to take it back? Nothing to stop you?" and with that, the referee threw the ball towards a now-illuminated structure on the side of the arena. The ball glided effortlessly towards the structure, and upon entering the blue glow at the top the ball coasted to a stop, a small glow starting to form on the base of the pillar.

"You give a little, and you can change a little." he continued, and now was joined by another son of Ts'usu. Wearing a full on uniform, sporting blues and whites, and carrying his own ball.

"But what if... you gave it your all?" the referee asked the audience, and the second Ts'usugi threw the ball, hard. Full wind back and hurl. The ball streaked towards the target, slamming into the other ball hovering there. When it entered the blue glow the ball came to a complete stop and the glow around the base of that pillar grew to an almost blinding light before something popped, and a fanfare of fireworks shot out from the pillar.

"Tonight, two teams will give it their all, and in the end only one of them will Keep... Moving... Forward!" the referee built to a higher, enthusiastic pitch as he called out to the camera, "YOKOSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO KINETIC!"

The lights went on, and the arena detonated. Not with pyrotechnics and flashy displays but with the roar of the live audience, stadium seating around the arena. The battleground. In a voice too blessed by synthesized voice to be legal the arena speakers echoed the name of the game. "Kinetic!". A pair of Ts'usugi were at the announce table, "Good evening, I'm Tai Demart, and I'm joined by previous all star Kinetic champ, three years running, Sabin Dirata." and the camera panned to the second rabbit, who had a grin only a dentist could love. "And welcome back to Kinetic, where the First Law, is the Only Law."

Judging from how Callisi's ears perked up slightly, she was quite the fan of this. "So, the, ummm, the reason I called this to your attention wasn't to share, but one of the Captains of the teams in this match, she calls you by name."

"Tonight's matchup is the grudge match of the season, momentum junkies. The Takish Nebulas are back to defend their honor after their humiliating defeat by their rivals, by everyone's rivals, the bad guys of the arena and straight from their home field of the Shatterdome.. the Zanark Flames." a well put together graphic showed the two teams in their uniforms, posing for the camera. The captain of the Nebulas stood proud, noble, confident. His team lined up behind him, standing tall and ready. Their confidence in him was obvious despite the notion that this shot was coached. Captain Wataba of the Nebulas gave the camera, and the crowd, a nod. Vital stats, height weight and education, all displayed for everyone at home running their fantasy league. The image shifted to display the statistics of their rivals, the Zanark Flames. No two teams could be further apart. Even down to their captains. The Flames had a Daughter of Ts'usu as their captain, a rarity in the league. Striking a provocative pose for the camera that left the more dignified members of the arena boo'ing. In defiance of the calm demeanor shared by so many, her image on the stat block actually snapped a bite at the camera. Her team, a ragtag band of misfits, stood behind her in a huddle, rather than the disciplined lineup of the Nebulas.

"Her." Callisi pointed to the underdog team. "I'll give you a copy of this if you want to watch the event, but at the end her team wins. Soundly." a pause, "And then she grabs the mic during the post-game interview and starts talking about how the Federation showed up to stop the Koldaran, how they got there before the Three Dawn Accord. She said she'd dedicating every win this season to someone who's pulling their weight without getting notice. Her words." the cyclopean daughter of Ts'usu mentioned.

"So this win, she dedicated to you." another pause, "You've got a fan."

"A fan?" The tone of Abigail's voice clearly betrayed any confusion she was attempting to hide. "How does anyone here even know who we are?" she followed. "I mean, I've always heard that gossip travels at warp speed, but this seems to take the cake..."

"Turns out her top Defender was serving his Three. Mandatory service in the forces." Callisi mentioned, "You'll never guess where he was assigned." she said with a sideways glance.

"She got a letter from the front lines, letting her know he was okay, he was serving his Three, he was fighting the Koldaran, and when he got there all the conflict was handled." Callisi let the recording play out.

Abigail held up one finger momentarily and reached up to tap her commbadge. "Commander Gail, please report to my ready room immediately," the order was issued quietly, calmly, yet with an air of urgency.

It was only after the communication was closed, without waiting for a response, that Abigail turned back to Callisi. "I'll be honest, I'm not sure how I feel about this."

"On my way." was Gail's reply. Callisi gave a nod, "Either good or ill, this all but demanded your attention."

It wasn't a few minutes longer until Ichiko made her way to the ready room. A quick nod of acknowledgement to the other Daughter of Ts'usu before she turned her attention to Abigail, "You called?"

With a nod and a wave of her hand, Abigail motioned between the data device Callisi held and the ship's First Officer. "If you would be so kind?" she asked, indicating that Callisi should show the footage to Ichiko.

Callisi gave a nod, and restarted the feed. From the opening introduction to the cheerful roar. From the team introductions to the actual match. The game was no less vibrant and powerful the second time around, a testimony to their dedication to the sport. Again. The highlight reel was now essentially the entire run now that Callisi and Abigail had seen it. Then came the end. The final goal, the explosion of emotion. The respect. The disrespect. The graceful loss, and the cheerful victory.

And then the declaration. 'Laurens Abigail, you're a badass.'

"Oh." Ichiko was at a loss for words for a moment, before turning to the captain. Her shipmaster, and her friend. "She has a source on the front line. Intriguing. Dangerous. Seems par for the course for the captain of a team like that." she offered. "If you're asking me if we should support this, substantiate this, I'd warn to be a bit cautious. She's popular with the new generation because she's a rebel. A radical. Traditional figures won't tolerate her and her team because of her disregard to tradition."

"But if you're looking to score points with the younger crowd on Ts'usu, this is the proverbial foot in the door."

Abigail shifted so she could lean against her desk. "I'd rather not do anything that may set us on the wrong footing with either Ts'usugi or Dalacari officials." There was another pause. "Dalacari jail is not exactly harsh by Federation standards but I have no desire to return there any time soon."

The two Daughters of Ts'usu gave a nod each. "Agreed." said Ichiko first. "So, options."

"First option, do nothing. She's drawing attention to you, by virtue of a letter she got from the front lines. You helped us greatly by opposing the Koldaran which, rebel or not, no one will fault you for. That act alone puts you in a good light." Ichiko outlined. Callisi gave a nod in agreement, "You're not a part of our Accord, and you recognize the enemy. That's.... that's pretty good."

"You had a few coaches, of course." Ichiko offered with a smirk.

"Option two, you reach out to them and accept the recognition. This puts you in her box, which helps with the younger crowd but, as said, might distance you from the current." a pause, "Option three is you denounce her. Which has the reverse." Ichiko hesitated for a moment, "Denounce is the wrong word.

"Possibly." Callisi piped in. "Ma'am, there's another option. We meet them." a pause, "Explain that it was tradition and cooperation that led you to help in what wasn't your fight. You saw the enemy, and you knew that oppression was wrong. You did what anyone would have done. Save face on both sides." the cyclopean officer offered. "You got there first simply because you're in the faster ship."

Ichiko struck a thoughtful look at the final option. "We meet them, both."

Another moment of silence passed before Abigail nodded. "We meet them both," she responded thoughtfully before turning her attention to ichiko. "Make the arrangements... call it... call it a cultural exchange. We want to know more about their sport, and in return, we can show them some Federation sports, should they wish to partake of course."

Ichiko gave a nod, "Inviting both means no one is offended. No one is left out. If they decline, it's on them." she started. "They'll have to be on their best behavior, as they're guests." she offered, as though running through the checklist herself. "A cultural exchange. I think we accidentally stumbled upon a perfect opportunity. Courtesy of Captain Neela." Ichiko tapped the screen where the rebellious captain was freeze-framed, "She may have helped out two hundred years of tradition more than she imagined."


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