4805/Mission 5: Bargaining Chip

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Mission 5: Bargaining Chip
Date of Scene: 21 November 2016
Location: Tokyo-52605 <NXC>
Synopsis: Ouma's plot to reassemble the Killing Stone and unleash its power has been thwarted, and three of the four fragments are now in Shinra's safekeeping. But Ouma's erstwhile allies in the Confederacy stole away the fourth fragment - and as long as it's out there, any attempts Shinra makes to exorcise the ancient curse and purify the fragments are subject to fail. They need the fourth piece ...

But the Confederates have their own plans to enact before they're ready to give back what they see as a potentially useful weapon.

Cast of Characters: 691, Sanary Rondel, 11, 707, 941, Reiji Arisu, 984, Reina Kinney
Tinyplot: Restoration of the Killing Stone

Yari Takane (691) has posed:
There really wasn't any 'hiding' of the Fragment. It being found was an eventuality, and taking it off-world was simply un-tenable given the circumstances. Privately, Yari Takane had half a mind to see it 'accidentally' destroyed. But given her desire to pull something useful out of this whole debacle, or at least see it through to the end, she had no choice. The Ouma were murderous fools.

And Yari has a reputation to uphold. Choosing the cave outside of a place no doubt very familiar to a certain fox youkai, outside of a park off of the Edogawa River. A small cave peeking from the rise of urban development, stashing the Fragment there was more than worthwhile given the houses and businesses nearby.

The Feds have taken some time in preparing their ambush: multiple nearby buildings have sniper enplacements by line Fed soldiers, and in the trees surrounding the cave's entrance, Yari and other Fed ninja-types await. Alas, explosives aren't an option given the risk of notice and civilian casualties, but a few traps have been set up including net-traps, as well as a large pit on an activator filled with spikes before the cave entrance.

There's plenty of places for Feds to be, both in plain sight and out of it.

Sanary Rondel has posed:
Sanary's gotten herself in too deep with this whole matter involving the Fragment as well, and as much as she'd like to wash her hands of the whole matter, she can't just leave Yari to handle it alone. That's why a certain one-eyed healer is standing outside the cave today, carrying her trusty gunaxe and shield combo on her back as usual along with being clad head to toe in...

     ... That white coat she wears with no armor on whatsoever. Strange. She's also looking around slowly, almost as if she's expecting something. Or someone, perhaps? Both, even, although she seems more bored than antsy or worried. The healer's just pacing around near the entrance of the cave, occasionally tapping on a chunk of stone or glancing outwards for would-be visitors walking the wrong way.

Metal Man (11) has posed:
Metal Man is also here as he comes up along side the other confederate he seems more open to trading for this they could get some concessions out of the union and shinra tht might be pleasing to thier allies. For how though he remains silent he has his helemt off and is looking fairly generic with brown hair and he might be german form how he looks. He simply waits along side his allies for the Union.

Xiaomu (707) has posed:
According to the geomantic principles of feng shui, there are two reasons for something to be located northeast of a significant population center.

One of those is to prevent misfortune and other forms of negative chi from reaching the city in question. Mount Hiei, northeast of Kyoto, became the location of several major Buddhist temples for exactly that reason, back when Kyoto was the capital city of Japan ... and that was why a certain sage fox staked out a cave northeast of what was, centuries ago, a fairly quiet little fishing village which she wanted to quietly watch over.

The other reason is if you want to *seed* that kind of negative chi. Technically you could do it from anywhere, but it's like water flowing downhill and whirlpools turning a certain way: it just tends to work more efficiently in that direction.

Of course, it's not like feng shui is all THAT straightforward anymore. This version of Japan has been more cognizant of chi paths and the like than some of its counterparts in other, less supernaturally-conscious worlds, but when you start digging things up to lay down pipes and cables and foundations and conduits and whatnot, it tends to screw with the leylines, even if it's not by all that much. But even then, some things don't really change that much. As Xiaomu picks her way through the park, she half-unconsciously sidesteps to avoid an old snake's nest, she remembers where a tanuki made her den once upon a time ... and she could still find her way, blindfolded, to any of the three closest Buddhist temples or Shinto shrines. (Okay, maybe not that last; she'd like to see when it's safe to cross the street instead of getting hit by a bus.)

She really never thought she'd be seeking out her old den after all this time; she CERTAINLY never expected that she'd be looking for the last chunk of a cursed relic. But leave the fragment here, and what happened to the hot spring in Nasu will happen to the whole city ... even if it takes a few decades. Mortals wouldn't care about that kind of thing.

She does. And it's a relief not to be alone in searching it out. "Watch yourselves," she murmurs to here allies. "Something isn't right ..."

Maybe she heard something, maybe she smelled something. Maybe it's just her instincts. Certainly, SOMEBODY must have moved the fragment here on purpose ... and if they had any idea whose old cave they stashed it in, Xiaomu plans to make them regret it.

Mel Brock (941) has posed:
    "I don't like this."

    Mel Brock doesn't like this.

    The Marshal walks along in her usual longcoat uniform, for once not concerned that it might be seen as odd. If anyone asks her, she'll just tell them it's a space sheriff costume. Besides, it's not like it's all /that/ different at first glance; aside from the armored shoulder pauldrons, anyway. So if she can get away with it, she wants to be wearing her most protective gear. Because...

    "Too open. It wouldn't be so easy for us to find, it wouldn't be in such an easily-accessible place. They want us to know it's here. They want to lure out the people with the other three pieces. No clue what they have in mind, but I don't like it."

Reiji Arisu has posed:
Well, this is a blast from the past.

    Reiji has only been to this old den a handful of times, and even then, it's been years. Something about being a really good place to perform some ritual or another. That was in his father's day. Anymore, Shinra has other, more convenient methods to seal off the Kimon. Remotely, even. But now...

    Now someone's using the old foxhole for nefarious purposes. That's not just bad for the city. That's an insult to the family. Reiji is going to have none of it.

    "Mmn," he says cryptically. "There's going to be hell to pay for this. Stay sharp. If anything looks off, give a shout immediately. The last thing we need is to start setting off traps."

Karal Rei Lin (984) has posed:
Lin stands out pretty weirdly in this locale, given her attire being almost a dead ringer for the region's distant past - the Lookshy style she's wearing certainly has some eerie cultural similarities...

    Although to avoid questions, she's stuffed her weapon off into Elsewhere for the time being.

    "No kidding. Something feels... like it's about to happen." Lin uneasily scratches the back of her neck, restless as usual. She's so full of energy, but the local tension has her quieted....

Reina Kinney has posed:
All Reina can do is roll her eyes at the comment Mel Brock makes. Yeah, Mel doesn't like it, and honestly Reina doesn't like it either. At least to Xiaomu the response is a bit more respectful as Reina steps closer to her and nods a little. "I don't like it either, but if there's one thing GUARDIANS training taught me, it's that if you let your gut instincts become your fears, you're only going downward."

Looking forwards, Reina narrows her eyes a little and cracks her knuckles. "Who or whatever might be lying in wait for us had best watch out. My senses are on extra-high alert, and if anyone tries anything, there's gonna be hell to pay!"

Yari Takane (691) has posed:
Yari keeps an eye from her position high amongst the trees, not horrifically far from the Cave itself. Binoculars to her face, thanks to the various soldiers emplaced, it doesn't take long to spy the approaching group of Unionites.

The eerie silence and tension they feel seems to continue as they draw closer to the source, the Fragment. They pass unopposed until they're within range of the Elites that the Feds have gathered, when suddenly Yari beeps a signal across Fed comms.

All at once, the plan springs into motion. "Make them know we're here."

Snipers fire bullets towards Mel, aiming for just shy of her feet from a dozen angles, clear warning shots!

A few ninja toss smoke bombs towards Reiji's path, aiming to fill the area ahead with POMF's of white, annoying smokescreen.

Karal gets Yari's personal attention, as she tries to huck a similar bomb in front of the young Exalt, trying to block the way with a haze of smoke and lingering pepper spray mixture. All the while, her hand is on the trigger for a large pit-trap, should anyone start to get too close to the cave, in addition to whatever her fellow Feds decide to throw at the group of Unionites.

Whatever the case, there's a group of ninjas near the Feds now fading out of the shadows alongside Yari in plain view. The ninjas has something tall, and long in one hand, held upwards.

A white flag. She's silent, for a moment, as she lets her fellow Feds get out their own presence and warning.

"Glory and honor, Union. It's been a while."

The Feds say hi.

Sanary Rondel has posed:
<<"Understood. I'm heading out. Er. Out more.">>

     With that message transmitted to her allies, Sanary emerges from her not-really-a-hiding spot as she draws that gunaxe, channeling a significant amount of magic into it to trigger the Fire shell inside. Spotting the approaching Unionites, she takes a few broad, overly dramatic slashes in the air with flames trailing from the weapon's blade, some of the slashes even firing off waves that are much too high to actually hit them. The massive weapon whirls around her almost looking like it weighs nothing to her, but still carrying a heavy weight behind each slash.

     Even though the closest ones might come just within jumping distance above Xiaomu, Reina, and Reiji, it's clear that Sanary too is aiming to make it more of a spectacle of technique and control than one of actual harm. She's even got a confident and controlled grin on her face as she slows her movements, returning the gunaxe to her back with one last flourish.

     Be cool, Sanary. Don't let anyone know you practiced that for three hours today. "Evening, Unionites. We wondering when you'd show up." She doesn't say anything past that, instead opting to just stare straight at the assembled group and watching for their reactions.

Metal Man (11) has posed:
Metal Man is there along side yari for the moment he's not looking to fight just yet even though there is a chance of a throwdown. he folds his arms but he's not movng to attack yet he's clealry with Yari on this. He doesn't move to any direct attack he tilts his head a bit and flips a coin idly in one hand.

"Evening Union, we need to have a bit of a talk, don't we?"

Mel Brock (941) has posed:
    Mel doesn't catch the eyeroll, but she doesn't miss the tone of voice in the second thing Reina says; she turns to look over her shoulder at Reina with a brief, somewhat sharp stare, before turning to look back at the road ahead. "Going into something like this assuming you can kick the ass of whatever's waiting, that's a good way to get yourself kil-"

    Bullets slam into the area around Mel's feet. Her immediate reaction is perhaps somewhat peculiar to see - the ground underneath her seemingly /explodes/ upward in a sudden push, flinging the marshal up and backwards. She manages to turn it into a backwards somersault on the landing, and by the time she comes up in a crouch, her pistol is in her hands.

    And there's a white flag.

    "...You know, if you're gonna wave a white flag around, it's generally bad form to shoot at someone right before you do. Adrenaline makes people jittery. Distrustful, even."

Reiji Arisu has posed:
The other shoe drops.

    Gunfire lances down from locations unseen. Smoke fills the air. An ambush. But despite the firepower and the rising clouds of smoke-- irritating smoke, at that. They mixed something into it. Reiji holds his breath. Despite all that, there're no sounds of weapons being drawn. Not yet. Reiji changes that.

    Flame dances through the smoke. Lightning arcs through the clouds. Karin and Chirai join in a furious flurry of blows. Indeed, toxins are frequently of wood or metal, after all. Fire consumes both, and Earth absorbs the lingering ash. Crashes of thunder and waves of roiling flame blast through the smoke-screen, and Sanary might have to be careful if she doesn't want to end up accidentally coming into contact with that crackling sword. The result of his flurry leaves Reiji standing amidst it all, blades already at the ready.

But... They want to parley first, it seems.

    "I figured that someone was trying to draw us out." Reiji rumbles, embers rising from the flat of his burning blade. "What do you want? You're waving that flag like you want to talk. So speak."

Karal Rei Lin (984) has posed:
Lin's reaction is uncannily quick - the very instant danger occurs she yelps, ducks down and somehow manages to SKID BACKWARDS a few yards through that manuever. This manuever keeps her clear of the peppery yuck, but... smoke is smoke, and she ain't seeing through it quickly. Lin's quick to go on full alarm. Her senses sharpen and stance deepens, hands going to her weapon but not yet drawing it...a weapon that APPEARS SEEMINGLY OUT OF NOWHERE, the merest flash of golden light materializing the sheathed weapon into her grasp from seemingly thin air.

    How the hell does THAT work, anyways?

    As soon as she makes sense of who's approached them, Lin SCOWLS. "You could've lost your heads announcing yourselves this way! Startle a warrior at your peril. Gods...." Well.

    WELL, thankfully, the redhead doesn't seem to have gone full hostile. Just annoyed. And very considerably tense. Her eyes flick back and forth at all of the potential enemies present, alert for any funny business.

    Though, they linger a bit extra long on Sanary's display...

Xiaomu (707) has posed:
Xiaomu has been around long enough to know a warning shot when she sees one ... or hears or smells it, for that matter. The display of force is exactly that, an elaborate way of saying 'if we wanted you dead, you wouldn't be alive to appreciate it'. Not that knowing it's all a fancy way of saying 'hi there, ****heads' makes her any more relaxed - Reiji reacts to Sanary's not-exactly-assault with his usual pizzazz and panache, and the other attacks launched by various Confederates are pointedly leading their targets by *just* enough to be clear they were meant to be seen and not hurt.

"If you wanted our attention, just showing up with the flag would have done plenty," the sage fox says, her voice laced with a distinct undertone of 'you gotta be ****ing kidding me' ... and a just-as-distinct lack of her normal playful demeanor. "Not to mention that you left something in a place which you had no business being in the first place. So. You want to talk?"

She leans on her monk staff. "You can start by explaining why you're still hanging onto a piece of an extremely dangerous relic. If you were planning to use it against Reiji's and my home Tokyo, we'll be happy to give you the rest of the asskicking that we've been earmarking for Ouma, but I've got better things to do tonight than get into a fight out here."

Reina Kinney has posed:
"I think you misunderstand me," Reina replies to Mel, her voice sounding slightly sarcastic but it's more of annoyance at the fact that some people don't understand how she thinks. "I'm not just about going in and kicking ass. I'm about achieving whatever the task is, no matter how risky it might be. You can see it how you want, but I--"

Fire, gunshots, other stuff like that, the former of which comes very close to making Reina's red hair even redder. Thinking quickly, Reina snaps her fingers on both hands, and her energy pistols materialize in each hand. Once they've materialized, she points them at Sanary, narrowing her eyes and raising an eyebrow.

"That was a pretty flashy introduction, I'll give ya that," She says, her sarcasm heavily noticeable. "But I for one ain't in the mood for a light show or anything, so I suggest you refrain from trying anything funny, or else..." She waves her left pistol as an indicator that Reina's not taking any funny business tonight.

Yari Takane (691) has posed:
NOr do the Fed soldiers seem to move as the smoke, pepper spray, lightning, ground eruptions, and various other Elite-level chicanery dies off. Yari's gaze first goes to Mel. Then a narrowed look to the Exalt with her seemingly summoned blade. Lots of interesting ones to keep an eye on.

"Just a warning. You're not idiots, we're all jumpy from this...affair." She doesn't bother hiding the disgust in her voice.

But Reiji has the right of it. A nod, and even a salute to the man. Before Yari can lay things out, however, Xiaomu pipes up in her incensed way. Her eyes close a moment, and then she too nods.

"We aren't targeting your homeland. Specifically, anyway. There are bigger concerns. Frankly, we're here to negotiate the surrender of the last Fragment piece. This can be done peacefully. Our terms are that Shinra scedes a portion of land to the Confederacy for the purpose of allowing a youkai state to be made, free of human oppression with no need to hide themselves for the ignorant fear you humans place on them. In return, the Fragment is yours, and everyone walks away with their limbs." The ninja doesn't hold back her venom on that last bit.

Her arms cross. "Well?"

A glance to the others, Metal, and Sanary. She's glad they're here as her heart hammers.

Sanary Rondel has posed:
Those reactions were about what Sanary expected, all things considered. Her last meeting with Reiji was less than friendly to begin with, and Karal and Reina actually seem to get her to puff up just a bit more once they address the Confederates. "We had to make things clear. 'specially with how you usually..."

    Sanary draws in a slow breath to calm herself, letting Yari handle the speaking more directly while she simply moves over to stand beside the ninja with a hand still resting between the gunaxe and shield. She can't be sure whether the Union is even going to listen to reason, but if not?

     At least they're ready to fight. "I'd recommend taking that offer. Better than shitting on the youkai and having a repeat of all this happen again, right?"

Mel Brock (941) has posed:
    "No, you wanted to demonstrate negotiation from a position of power and deliver a veiled threat," Mel calls back to Yari and Sanary. "If you'd just been out here waving a white flag wanting to talk, I'd have personally smacked anyone who decided they were gonna be 'proactive' and come gunning for you. This is thug tactics. You wanna negotiate, call off the snipers."

Yari Takane (691) has posed:
Yari shrugs. "I'll remember that you know how to do things properly, next time, Miss. But we'd be fools not to bring backup."

A snap of the fingers, and the snipers withdraw. There's still ninjas faded back into the shadows though, and the gathered Elites.

Xiaomu (707) has posed:
If it's any consolation to Sanary, she's not the only one who needs to take a slow breath - or a few of them - to calm herself. Xiaomu is visibly incensed and almost as visibly disbelieving; the latter reaction gradually supplants the former, although the anger isn't going away any time soon. Yari signalling for the snipers to pull out is about the point when Xiaomu really *takes* that deep breath, letting it out slowly.

She still has that 'you gotta be kidding me' look on her face, though. "Okay. First off, you need to keep in mind that none of us are authorized to cede any chunk of land to the Confederacy, even if we were inclined to do so. Secondly, you're basing this whole 'offer' on a couple of false premises .. like the idea that youkai are oppressed. You just listened to Ouma's side of things and didn't even think they might be telling you less than the truth, didn't you?"

The sage fox takes another deep breath, letting it out more casually this time. "I mean, c'mon, seriously. Do *I* look oppressed to you?"

Metal Man (11) has posed:
Metal Man likes Yari and does consider her a friend of sorts, he's happy to back her up and Sanary has been honestly one of the sanest medics the feds have had in a long time. While not made of flesh he can get the idea of not being afraid of havin extra bits when you wake up as an issue when Sanary tends to you and he did march through a union fire team to pull her out after all. He loks to Mel and simply nods he doesn't a thing but he is seeing the point she's making and thus Metal man is just not going to open his snark trap.

"I have no forces here under my command, what you see is what you get with me. I darn well know your a bigger fish than I am Xiaomu."

Reiji Arisu has posed:


    Really, that's about all that's on Reiji's face right then and there. Just a big, flat 'what.' He breathes a nice, long sigh and quietly picks up his discarded weapons rack to slide his swords back into place. "Look," Reiji says up at Yari. "Even if it were in our ability to negotiate that kind of thing-- it's not, Xiaomu and I are just field agents-- that's not something the head honchos would agree to, regardless of what kind of bargaining chips you have. Ultimately, that sort of thing runs counter to what the Shinra Organization was created to do. Now, if you want to negotiate instead of just spitting out a demand you know we won't accept, maybe step down from that, sure, I might be able to organize something."

    "But you've got something wrong there," he says, pointedly. "We don't shit on youkai. A good deal of Shinra's members are, themselves, spirits. You've been talking to a bunch of guys whose idea of 'not being shat on' is 'total domination of the mortal realm.' If you want to talk about whatever 'oppression' we've been doing, then maybe you should try to develop a less biased opinion."

Karal Rei Lin (984) has posed:
This turn of events has Lin blinking a few times. There's an 'oh crap, important business' look in her eyes - deer in headlights really - as she tries to very quickly make sense of the situation being discussed.... while only having a few handfuls of information to go with. She squints over at Sanary.

    "So let me get this straight. You're saying 'shitting on the Youkai,' when not too long ago we ran into one who's been repeatedly muddling with people's minds with his spirit powers? You say humans oppress the youkai, but, uh... if you went and made a nation 'just for them,' what you'll get is a nation full of all the ones who hate or who'd take advantage of humans. What are you even arguing for, girl?"

Reina Kinney has posed:
Xiaomu and Reiji are the ones doing the talking, but Reina's not too keen on this stuff. Nevertheless, she keeps her weapons pointed at Sanary. You never know what can happen in a time and place like this. Not to mention, Reina still hasn't fully grasped the full concept of youkai and things like that.

Nevertheless, Reina does seem to be listening briefly to bits about what they're saying, and she starts to become a little uncertain at one point. Eventually, she puts together what she's heard, and she nods her head. "I think you need to learn to think things over more logically," She adds after Reiji finishes speaking, "Instead of jumping to these conclusions."

Mel Brock (941) has posed:
    The snipers are called off; for now, Mel is satisfied. She makes a very big show of reaching up with her left hand to pull her coat open slightly; her right hand releases the futuristic pistol, which floats up and flies into that small space, presumably into a shoulder holster. Then, she simply stuffs her hands in her pockets, the way she always does. "Better. I'll let the two locals do the negotiating, and-"

    She turns to Reina. "Hey. Weapon down. We're doing this peaceably. Negotiations go bad real easily when there's guns being pointed."

Reina Kinney has posed:
At first, Reina is reluctant to listen to what Mel is telling her to do, but then she realizes there is a good point, and she does lower the pistols after a few moments of contemplation, but she doesn't disarm herself entirely. "Fine, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt." She glances down at her pistols, ready to raise them again if the need should arise.

However, as if attempting to prove that she's serious about easing up, Reina steps back a little to give more space to Sanary. Still, the look of uneasiness on her face doesn't go away.

Metal Man (11) has posed:
Metal Man seems to heer Reiji's words and listens. "ALl right then Reiji I'll take you up on the offer then."

He seems to be paying attention to Lin fora moment looking at her for a moment. He thinks on what she's said but doesn't speak for once Metal Man is thinking on his words as well. He does shoot a look at Reina for a moment but turns away a moment later as he himself fully stands down.

Sanary Rondel has posed:
"Maybe if we hadn't..." Is that a word? "... Weren't attacked first by the Union instead of getting any offers to talk way too many times to count, we'd actually try all these things you're saying. I'm remembering a lot of explosions and cars being thrown around when the youkai were having their little party, too, but... Well." Sanary gives Mel a light shrug before turning to Xiaomu and Reiji, the slightest of grins tugging at her mouth. Aside from that, her expression remains fairly neutral throughout, although she does give them a shrug as well at the questions.

     "No, Xiaomu. You don't. Do I? Things are still bad at my old home and the nobles there still suck, but I'm doing fine just fine out here." She doesn't look all that convinced yet, although she is relaxing a little bit more now than she was a few moments ago.

     Only a little. "So. You're saying you don't have authority. You don't have radios?" Sanary narrows her eye briefly at Reina as if daring her to fire, visibly relaxing a bit more when she lowers those pistols. Her attention turns to Karal next, giving her a confused look at the mention of spirit powers. "The hell are you talking about? Er... Aaanyway. We want them to have a place they can feel safe /and/ free in, not just living in alleys and underground."

     Sanary pauses, then glances around at the gathered Unionites again. "... Xiaomu. You were there when we met O-Hiko, weren't you? You should know exactly what I'm talking about." There's actually some fire in her voice at that last part, but it's clear that she's still trying to keep her cool here.

Mel Brock (941) has posed:
    "You mean when the youkai were marching down the street ready to murder anything that got in their way," Mel replies to Sanary. "And refused to disperse after I gave them clear, unmistakable warning - in fact, they decided to come attack me. You have a funny way of remembering things." The marshal crosses her arms.

Yari Takane (691) has posed:
Xiaomu's words strike Yari straight in the heart. She knows all too well what it is to be held down, and it makes her jump at ghosts. The Ouma are idiots to her, bloodthirsty, but she can't help but cling to that small scrap of an idea even if she's realizing just how false it was.

Still, Yari's determined to salvage something from all of this. "I used my eyes after listening. The Ouma are bloodthirsty idiots that will get themselves killed, true. But their hatred is well founded. You Shinra are the ones forcing them to hide their true selves." The ninja spits out venomously.

But Sanary in particular gets a nod.

"The longer youkai are made to hide because of humans, the longer that hate will fester. You might be happy this way, but Ouma's existance proves that all you're doing is making your fellow youkai suffer. Are you alright with that?"

They predictably turn down the offer. The ninja doesn't budge, instead, turning to the radio.

But, the local Shinra Agents and Karal push back down. "However, we're willing to consider alternatives. I understand that any decision made here would be subject to your superiors' approvals. We'll be relying on your good faith." She eyes Reiji and Xiaomu, offering a nod as she sucks in a breath to calm herself down.

"Fine. Moving the state aside, we're willing to offer these terms: first, amnesty for the Ouma, or any youkai willing to cease hostilities for the time being. A ceasefire, if you will. Second, the Confederacy will establish an embacy, in order to negotiate with Shinra and the Union in political matters alongside Ouma or any other youkai-aligned beings that wish to be counted as our allies."

She lets that get across to the Unionites. She opens her opens, hostility fading for a moment. "A Fragment for a chance to slow the hatred of the Ouma. Xiaomu, speaking for myself, I don't want to see any more battles in streets, if we can prevent this. The Union and Confederacy, if not working together, at least offering diplomatic ties in this region might just slow some bloodshed." Her words are less guarded and more open than perhaps she should.

Sanary Rondel has posed:
Sanary raises an eyebrow slowly at Mel and strokes her chin slowly, then raises a finger as if she's had... A REVELATION. "Oh! I remember. Yeah, they really attacked you good when they... Waved their asses at you." Her voice deflates audibly as she reaches the last part, looking even less amused than before. "Yeah, real reasonable. Someone moons you, you throw cars at them."

     She lets out a disgusted scoff, and she doesn't look quite as ready to continue speaking just yet. Instead, she just takes another several deep breaths to keep herself calm while Yari offers further terms with a clearer head.

Karal Rei Lin (984) has posed:
Lin looks bewilderedly between Mel and Sanary! It's pretty obvious who she's more likely to believe, so this leaves her giving Sanary the most gobsmacked look of... probably everyone here.

Xiaomu (707) has posed:
"That was in Ravnica," Xiaomu points out to Sanary at the mention of O-Hiko. "If you think *Shinra* has any authority in that city, much less that world, then either you're giving us a lot more credit than we deserve, or you're a lot dumber than I thought you were. I won't argue, though - youkai pretty much *are* oppressed in a lot of worlds across the Multiverse. Mostly because mortals tend to be afraid of us, and fear overwhelms what *ought* to be good sense. You don't toss out centuries of superstitious fear that easily."

Yari then makes an alternative proposal ... and Xiaomu just has to reach up to rub her forehead. "Do you have any idea how many youkai split off from Ouma after that dust-up in the streets of Tokyo? Between the asskickings all around, the number of neutral youkai who came to mortals' aid, and the fact that whoever planned that operation went *way* off somebody's original script, I think we cut Ouma's membership by two-thirds or something. And it's not like we're handing out prison sentences or anything ... youkai act according to their natures, a lot like regular mortals do, and if somebody has an honest change of heart for the better, we can use the extra help too much to toss somebody in a hole, drop a boulder on the hole, and wrap it with holy ropes and talismans."

That, and the fact that trying to lock up a youkai is more trouble (and *FAR* more paperwork) than it's worth. It's easier to hook one up with a legit place to live, a job which provides a legal source of income, and a promise not to lapse into old bad habits. Sticking a youkai in prison just means the grudges have time to fester.

She doesn't comment on the embassy question - mortal politics make her head hurt, and even trying to simulate them in highly-simplified form in Civilization or something takes a lot of patience. Let Reiji answer that part.

Mel Brock (941) has posed:
    "They mooned me and continued advancing," Mel replies to Sanary, nodding, "After being given a clear order to disperse. And one of them ripped a light pole out of the ground and started swinging, while a couple others ran in to just start punching me. Are you done trying to paint me as a trigger-happy thug, or do I need to call up the body cam footage? 'cause I can do that. I saved it."

Reiji Arisu has posed:

    Reiji crosses his arms. There's a look on his face that somehow causes the local temperature to drop by several degrees. "You don't seem to understand. Ouma claims to want to establish a dominion for youkai. Freedom for all the oppressed, they might say. But the truth of it is that they- the ones who're REALLY calling the shots- only want to spread chaos and disharmony. They endanger the lives of not only humans, but all the spirits, gods and apparitions who are trying to live peacefully among them. They have, and continue to be willing, to put the very fabric of our world at risk."

    "Sure, its membership includes a number of youkai who /aren't/ interested in that part of the plan. Who're just frustrated with how things are done. That's fine, we have no problem with them," Reiji shrugs. "If they want amnesty, fine. As long as we can prove that they were just frustrated, we can make that work. No problem."

    "But Ouma, the organization, its leaders and their agents. They do not get amnesty. They've done too much to our world. Hurt too many people, human and spirit both. If their footsoldiers want out, fine by me. But nobody above that." He slides one hand into a pocket and shifts into a mild lean. "If the Confederacy wants an embassy, we can make that work too, as long as it's strictly a political office. There'll be some terms that need to be hashed out, I'm sure, but I can at least convey the message."

Metal Man (11) has posed:
Metal Man says "The hate from unable to opening be one's self?"

He's not going to butt in too hard but it sems something may end up being worked out. He knew the Ouma was a train wrekc but the Feds were there to ride shotgun on it, and hopefully score allies in the process that didn't go so well or them at all. He thinks over Reiji's offer it's not the best but it's better than nothing he muses to himself. "I will do my best to help keep the Embassy strickly a political office even if I need to have one of my brothers be on staff ther eto make sure nothing against any agreement happens."

Yari Takane (691) has posed:
Yari tries to look unflappable, arms crossed and leaning on her flag of negotiation like some sort of spear. Her mouth is a neutral line and she stands mostly tall. But her tail sways slower, teeth grit a little less, and her scaled brow narrows just slightly at Xiaomu's words. Her gaze bores into the fox's own.

And she finds part of herself believing the woman.

Then Reiji speaks, and Yari remains silent for some time. There's a shiver through her body, and finally, she looks the man in the eyes. "Mister Arisu. Do you, and more importantly, Shinra, have tangible proof of this? Or leads that will give proof?" She starts. Waiting, a moment, she confers over the radio with her fellow Confederates.

One hand on the flag held high, she offers the other out as she slowly walks over to the mid-way point between the Confederates gathered and the Unionites. A hand, ready for a shake, is offered to the Unionites. Xiaomu and Reiji in particular.

"Fine. An Embassy with the usual caveats and negotiations, amnesty for the rank and file Ouma. And if you have it, proof of the Ouma leaders' treachery against their own." Yari's eyes darken, the thought forcing a hateful hiss through her mouth.

A glance back, to Metal Man and Sanary. A nod. "...You might even find that there are those amongst us who may well want to hunt down traitors to youkai-kind. If you're willing to put aside past hostilities."

Sanary Rondel has posed:
"You know what I mean. Do the youkai here have anywhere to go that's even half as good as that town?" Sanary narrows her eye at Xiaomu for a moment, then shakes her head while crossing her arms over her chest. She's more than ready to keep quiet after that, clearly struggling to keep herself calm for whatever reason. When Mel speaks, she just gives the psychic a blank, disbelieving look before gesturing with both hands towards her in a 'go ahead' motion. Confidently, even!

     Annoyed, too, but also confident. Reiji's response actually doesn't get much of a bad reaction out of the healer, and she doesn't even seem too surprised at Metal Man's and Yari's apparent acceptance. She still steps forward to keep close to Yari as she moves in with the offered handshake, however, her own hand still ready to grab for that axe juuust in case things still manage to go south somehow.

Mel Brock (941) has posed:
    "...You really want me to..." Mel stares disbelievingly. Then sighs. "Alright. Fine. Gimme a minute to pull it off my ship's data server."

    A personal datapad floats out from somewhere in her coat, and she starts tapping away at it. It does take her a minute or two, but she finally taps at the screen a couple more times, before letting it go - whereupon it slowly floats across the distance between her and Sanary. The video is already loaded up and ready to play; it appears to have been shot, specifically, from the Marshal's left shoulder, probably within that pauldron. And it depicts... well, exactly what happened. Mel giving a rather rough, but very unmistakable warning, only to to be advanced on by mooning youkai. A large oni rips up a light pole and starts limbering up, while several kappa just plain break ranks and start advancing on her with pretty obvious hostile intent.

    The entire time, Mel herself wears a look as if she can't believe she's doing this.

Karal Rei Lin (984) has posed:
Lin is mentally taking notes here! She can tell good negotiation when she encounters it, and... as much as she doesn't understand all of the cultural implications? Some part of her is just resonating with this.

    Respect. This effort deserves respect. She just hopes it works out...

    Lin finally stands up straight and lets go of her weapon. Which, for once, she hasn't had a reason to actually draw.

    For now though, she watches Mel's video!

Reina Kinney has posed:
Meanwhile, Reina has disarmed for now, but she can and will re-arm at a moment's notice. She's just standing there acting like a look-out in case something does go wrong. Although for the time being, things seem to be rather peaceful... Perhaps Reina can learn some things about negotiations here and now.

Xiaomu (707) has posed:
"If you want hard physical evidence, that's gonna be tricky to come by," Xiaomu replies, "but if you'll settle for testimony from some of the ex-Ouma turncoats who're helping us now? Yeah, we can get that."

She's not really happy with the idea of the Confederacy having an embassy in her native Tokyo, but ... well, it'll be easier to get hold of Metal Man that way, and some of the other Confederates seem okay on a personal level. Sanary, however, gets a faint glower at that question. "Setting aside that gourd-headed geezer Nurarihyon, who just steals a residence whenever he likes? It's not hard to get an apartment, we probably have a higher rate for mortal homelessness than youkai, when you get right down to it."

She does shake Yari's hand, though.

Reiji Arisu has posed:
    "Of course we have proof," Reiji answers as if it were the most obvious thing in the world, "You're looking at it." He pauses for a breath, then. "We can provide evidence of what they've done if necessary. If you're interested in getting an idea of what exactly they're capable of, have a visit to Shibuya. You can see for yourself what they did there."

    But other than that, and the paperwork nightmare that's sure to come with the herculean task of figuring out which of Ouma's former membership /isn't/ a threat to national security, it seems like they've managed to reach a deal. "Again, I can't make any promises," he warns, moving to shake Yari's hand. "But I can at least make sure the offer is made."

Yari Takane (691) has posed:
The fox gets a firm handshake, and a final nod from Yari towards Reiji and Xiaomu, as well as Mel and the other Unionites. "It's a start. Testimony can lead to evidence, with the proper motivation."

Letting go, she steps back, and offers a bow to the group as a whole. "You have done your countries, and the Union, Glory and Honor for peaceable negotiations today. I'll have our troops set up a perimeter in this area. The Fragment is in the cave."

There's a defensive line of ninja soon enough. Already, she moves to lead the way, back dangerously turned to the Unionites.

"I'll be interested to hear that tale soon, Mister Arisu." She adds as she heads on in.

Xiaomu (707) has posed:
Xiaomu perks an ear, glancing briefly at Reiji. "... yeah, wasn't sure which evidence you wanted. If you want a tour of Shibuya sometime, Reiji or I can do that with you too. Just be careful, some of the buildings are a little unstable."

She *might* be kidding just a little bit about that last one.

She doesn't look terribly happy about sudden ninja perimeter, but she waits for the traps to be disarmed before striding into what used to be, once upon a time, her home.

Not that anyone would know by going in and looking at it. What possessions she had, she took with her when she went to live someplace else ... but that's another story.

Sanary Rondel has posed:
When that datapad comes floating over, Sanary continues looking thoroughly nonplussed as it goes over the same events from a different angle. She actually looks disappointed when it confirms visually what she could only vaguely recall earlier: The mooning, the swinging, the posing, and the cars being thrown at the youkai before any attacks were made directly on Mel. Sanary still doesn't say anything, though, instead opting for another long look and raised eyebrowat the officer, then a look towards Karal and a gesture of her head at Mel.

     Whatever that gesture was supposed to be, it probably makes more sense in Sanary's head than it does to anyone else. She does finally speak up again when Xiaomu mentions the homelessness rates, though, and although Sanary doesn't quite understand how those work, she does actually seem to be lightening up again. "Really? Huh... Well, something we can work on once all this gets sorted out." She even manages a chuckle before following Yari back, acting as the rear guard for the group of Confederates. "Just stick close, and don't wander. Can't guarantee your safety if you don't."