Brass-Knuckle Diplomacy (Kujo)

Aug 4, 2018
Somewhere in the UK
September 3rd, OE 102
Edge of Martian Orbit
11:05 Local Time

A Peregrine painted in Starseeker colours stood out from the void of space. The Brigadier II had been freed from its combat role and stripped of many of its weapons, but it still carried a deadly cargo. One perhaps more dangerous than any mobile weapon when used properly.


It's pace was quick but carefully measured, breaching Mars's atmosphere above the supposed capital of the planet before beginning a slow descent. Just slow enough to gauge the forces on offer without being impoilte about it. They'd called ahead, but that didn't guarantee a peaceful welcome - and the subtext of force deployment often told tales people would rather hide.
Message sent days prior said:

The Starseeker Combine wishes to extend its hand in friendship to other new arrivals in the Earth Sphere, and discuss the possibility of a trade agreement or assistance should you require it.

One of our transports is on an approach to your landing site with a diplomatic mission and some additional aid supplies. Please reply promptly with additional landing instructions or requests, and we will do our best to accomodate.

-Captain Aurora Caeks

Most of the bridge was manned by Bioroids, but two figures stood out among the identical mass of metal faces. One human woman, the so-titled "Primary Officer" of this force. Kathryn Marsh was still clad in a suit of powered armour despite the relatively safe environment, but otherwise smiling cheerfully. And the ship's current Captain, her brow furrowed as she looked on the city below them. Captain Aurora Caeks was one of the rising stars in the newly-formed combine military, having commanded several human-alien combined operations while also being one of the lucky few to survive the destruction of the Tantra. Unfortunately for her this also came with an irritating companion. The human whose actions had catapulted her up the ranks was being used as a figurehead, and that necessitated her holding a higher rank. A ceremonial rank, but it was enough to allow her to hang around on the bridge of their ship and ask irritating questions. Questions that she had to answer, because upsetting the girl would waste even more of her limited time and mental energy.

"So what are we even dealing with? I tried asking the engineer you had on the Valsione what a 'Shura' was and he just shrugged at me."

"I'm.. not too sure."

It was a hard admission to make, but Aurora's tone was enough to shut Kath up for now. The girl seemed to assume she knew everything - an illusion she was happy to keep up - and the admission that this was an unknown had given her pause. Perhaps that fear of the unknown would force her to think. Kathryn was startlingly effective when she wanted to be, but coaxing the girl into applying herself was one of the hardest challenges she'd ever faced. What could have been a source of consistent excellence had turned out to be flashes of brilliance from a deliberately dimmed bulb.

"Circle forces have attempted to probe that ship before, but all we were able to establish was that the species inside was hostile to outside contact. We've established they're talking to the Martian population, and a decision was made to begin diplomatic contact. You are here as the human representative, whch means you have to be careful what you say to them. No quips, no insults."

She'd long gotten used to Kath's questions at this point, trying to pre-empt as many of her remarks as possible. It was an imperfect solution, but minimizing the amount of time Kathryn spent talking was better for everyone involved. Heaven forbid she start causing trouble when it came to actually meet these 'Shura'.

"Right, right. But then why did you kit my machine up for punching and stick those big gauntlets in my cabin? I'm pretty sure power fists aren't normally a part of negotiations. Unless..."

Kath's mind went wandering on its own, and Aurora was content to leave her to it. She personally didn't consider this likely to succeed, and for once it seemed like her 'Superior' was thinking in similar directions. Should negotiations go south that girl would be one of the few things able to keep her alive - a terrifying thought. But what other options were there under the circumstanes?
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