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A Cause For Celebration
Summary: With the opening of the Neo Japan II colony, people peacefully mingle during the gala/ball. And during the celebrations, hands are firmly grabbed, a mysterious waiter is revealed to be Koji's old school buddy, and Meiya makes an interesting announcement!
Who: Nia, Yoko Littner, Arian-16, Lunata Croze, Chibodee Crockett, Briareos, Camille Bidan, Sinya Leland, Xiang Yuan, Huang Qin Shi, Kazuma Ardygun, Koji Kabuto, Edward Fawkes, Shine Hausen, Macua Huitl, Theresa Testarossa, Divada Kirador, Kamina, Tasuku Shinguji, and Meiya Mitsurugi
When: Saturday, March 12, NCA 121
Where: Neo Japan II


<Radio: A - Trailer Chat> Edward Fawkes transmits, "So.... party. What to wear. What to wear....."

<Radio: B - Trailer Secure> Edward Fawkes transmits, "Ho'kay. Big party. Can't just go out in any ol' thing..... *mutter'd curses* None 'o this will do!"

<Radio: A - Trailer Chat> Kazuma Ardygun transmits, "The Neo-Japan gala? Tuxedos wouldn't be too out-of-place."

<Radio: A - Trailer Chat> Edward Fawkes transmits, "*grumble* Yea but it's not every day they put a colony up. Can't just put on anything. Need something... special."

<Radio: A - Trailer Chat> Kazuma Ardygun transmits, "Like I said. Tux."

<Radio: A - Trailer Chat> Kazuma Ardygun transmits, "If I'm expecting one."

<Radio: A - Trailer Chat> Edward Fawkes transmits, "*transmits* a picture of his clothing."

<Radio: A - Trailer Chat> Edward Fawkes transmits, "That... is the sort of thing I wear on a daily basis."

<Radio: A - Trailer Chat> Kazuma Ardygun transmits, "I see. Hmm ..."


The gala inauguration of Neo Japan II is a grand event with people invited from all across known space to come and partake of the celebration. One could even go so far as to say an entire colony was reserved for the event, but only because little else is occurring in the massive structure.

As shuttles transports and other ships approach the colony's docking bay, they are scanned thoroughly by patrolling Mobile Suits and other mecha to ensure no one attempts to sneak in anything dangerous. Landing is simple and directed by Colony Control and strictly enforced by security mecha. Once landed guests go through a security check point and are promptly directed to a linear rail line that whisks them along a maglev into the heart of the colony.

The colony itself is full of greenery, carefully planted to bring a sense of the original Japans landscape to the colony, even using real stone for hills and some coast lines around the artificial lakes and rivers that double as part of the colonys heat management system.

The train pulls into the central city of the colony, named Neo Edo - because someone thought there were enough Tokyos as it is - Though still new and with few inhabitants compared to Tokyo-02, several tall buildings are completed in the center. The tallest is the administration building, housing Neo Japan IIs governmental offices and the municipal services for the area.

The train stops at a platform, and guards direct the guest down a long red carpet that leads up to the next building. The massive Crockett Stadium built for virtually any sporting event conceivable. Today however the playing field has been converted in to a gigantic banquet hall, with the seating for sporting events recessed into the walls and complete with what looks like marble tiles on the floor. The walls of the lobby and reception area and dancing hall have been decorated in tasteful drapes to conceal the bare walls behind them.

The party is very well appointed and there are buffet tables spaced throughout the area with hors d'oeuvres and with three bars serving drinks. One on each end of the stadium, and another round bar positioned directly in the center of the stadium to serve drinks as efficiently as possible. You swear the wait staff have some sort of secret entrance under the middle of the floor there.

At the far side of the reception area is a podium setup with microphones and a sound system tied into the stadiums speakers. Along the back sit several people in very exspensive business suits or dresses, or in one case, a very expensive looking traditional kimono. A purple haired young woman stands up from the seats as the majority of people for the evening file in, and stands at the podium microphone. This is not Meiya Mitsurugi, shes over there on the left. This is Yuuhi Mitsurugi, her twin sister.

A camera relays the image of Yuuhi up to the stadiums jumbotron screen and she smiles, bowing slightly in her black evenign gown with silver collar and armbands. "Welcome, everyone!" she seems almost giddy. "Tonight has been a long time in the making. As you all know, nearly three years ago, the original Neo Japan was destroyed in the final climatic battle with the nanotech monster, Devil Gundam. But we of AFS internation, The Mitsurugi Zaibatsu Corporation, and the De Sand group have poured in money, technology, resources and even new social policies into completing the reborn Neo Japan! As we reclaim ground lost in these Divine Wars, please take a moment to remember what was lost when Neo Japan fell."

Yuuhi pauses for a moment in silence with her head bowed, but continues on a moment later. "But a colony only ever has its grand opening once, so please everyone, enjoy yourself tonight!" She smiles for a host of news cameras as they snap shots of her, and music starts through the gigantic party hall.


Shine Hausen has dealt with her recent incident of attack with a traditional theraputic method, namely, tailoring. Her arrival is heralded to some extent by a few burly looking gentlemen in black suits, but the real keystone presence is wearing something in pink and blue.

'Something' really is the operative word. Clever tricks with memory materials give Shine long diaphanous tendrils sliding out from her shoulders and trailing behind her gown, moving in an interplay of weak magnetic forces. This is largely decoration on an otherwise conventional gown.

She raises one hand to provide the polite princessly wave to the few cameras that pop flashes at her, smiling as best she can. At closer range, her two male escorts might notice she is flinching slightly, but that may just be from the looming scale of the entire thing.

"Koji," she says rather quietly, before a sudden burst of sound interferes with the rest of her sentence. After a little sigh, she starts over again: "Koji, do you still have that note card, for when I speak...?" This is a rather informal tone of address, but the full proper statement of '/KOJI KABUTO/' is beyond Shine's distinctly sub-menacing vocal chords.


A glass was raised in salute to the podium that would probably serve many Big Names before the night was over. Ed then downed the glass of sparkling wine in a single gulp and spoke quietly in a language few here would know "May the sins of your past be left there." With that said he wandered off to mingle. Sure he would stand out anyway, what with being a natural born giant and all, but with the high class tribute to the Zeon of his youth he was fairly sure to be a lightning rod... or hopefully just a topic of conversation.


Divada had heard about this gala event to celebrate the grand opening of Neo Japan 2 and figured she'd better not miss it. Sure, it was Federation territory, but she wasn't there to pillage, plunder or destroy the new colony. No, she was there to celebrate just like everyone else. Her ships were still planetside and the way she got there was unusual: In an unmarked Dropship. She figured if she arrived in a Crusader Ship, it would be shot down on sight. She simply told the guards that she was there to celebrate the opening of Neo Japan. She's unarmed and her holster is not present upon her at all

When she arrived at the Crockett Stadium, she smiled broadly at all of the people there, as well as at Yuuhi when she makes her speech. Bowing her head when Yuuhi calls for the moment of silence, she then smiles when Yuuhi speaks again, making her way over to the refreshment table. Probably passing by Princess Shine Hausen on the way.


Just looking from over there, just to think that three or two years ago, Tasuku was in the same place, plowing into the nanotech nightmare that the Devil Gundam and destroying it along, oh, a good part of the Earth Sphere's military force.

It's quite amazing that it's been rebuilt this face, this beautifully, at that. Shinguji is in the crowd, dressed sharply for once in his barely worn military uniform. The amount of times he wore that thing... ehn, he can count that on his one hand, he thinks.

It was kind of a tighter fit than he remembered it to be.

What is also amazing, as the Mitsurugi's speech echoes through the hall, is just how much Meiya ressemble her sister. Twins are awesome. You can't spell Twins without win.


Among the myriad of ships docked in close proximity around Neo Japan is the most recent additon to the Trailer fleet. The SuiKyosha, complete with it's oddly blue and shimmering hull looks a bit out of place, as if it had come from some other world. For that reason alone, Sinya had suggested to the captain that they arrive on foot, rather than drawing too many eyes initially.

Of course, sometimes one just can't help but draw attention. The La Gian catgirl arrives with her arm linked around that of the battleship's captain, one Xiang Yuan. However, rather than looking like a mechanic or mech-jockey as would be usual, she almost looks like another person entirely. A tight fitting red dress hangs from one shoulder, clinging to her curves and highlighting the color of her hair and the patterning of her stripes. It flows down, revealing most of her belly before being drawn in at the waist. There, a long skirt that is cut up each thigh nearly to the hip shows off her long legs with the back split yet again to allow her tail free movement - and onlookers a view of her rear if they were so inclined.

With her ears perked, the catgirl puts on her best, inviting smile, and then elbows her companion. "Smile. Laugh. Act like a human being for once."


Balls were always very fancy things, a great political party, and typically for the media. Not something Briareos would normally go too, not without Deunan at least, however--

He was sorta told to go, keep an eye on things, and Deunan didn't seem to mind; She had training exercises to do. So here the big guys, in a nice black tux, white dress shirt, and black trousers, along with the matching shoes. It wasn't easy to get an outfit to fit him right, but with the right tailors, good contacts, and woman who knew his size; Well it helped.

The combat cyborg made it inside with very little fuss, or so he hoped. Being A-Laws and all, also being a member of E-SWAT meant that he could easily pass as security, since that was sorta why he was here. Anyone who did walk in however, did get a bit of a watchful eye from Briareos. If you didn't mind seeing four sets of light blue near white optics looking at you, with a large center sensor; And those behind him, yeah.. he could see you too.


Huang Qin Shi knew when he accepted the job of commander of the Earth Federation's special forces that his rank and station would require him to attend a fair number of formal occasions. This would not be bad in and of itself - a fancy party is just a party with less food and camaraderie and more mind games. The alcohol is usually better, too. But the commander of the Earth Federation's special forces was not invited to this party; the Ruler of All Known Space was, and Huang's invitation was anxiliary to that of his liegewoman. This means, among other things, that different attire is required.

Huang walks a pace behind Shine and just to her left, his eyes scanning the crowd for potential dangers. In contrast to Shine's conventional gown, Huang's attire is rather more ridiculous. A formal white coat dangles back behind him to mid-calf, gold braid running along the front of his chest and up to raised shoulderboards with large blue gemstones on them. The ruffles of a white silk shirt spill out from his raised collar, also trimmed in gold thread. His pants are of a similar coloration, cut off at mid-thigh by red leather boots. The glittering royal crest of Riksent stands out over the braid gathered in front of his left breast.

The look of discomfort on Huang's face as he paces Shine is only partly due to the garishness of his formal wear. He shifts his shoulders and grimaces once - should have asked Joshua's tailor to let the damn thing out again.


In some ways, the work on Neo Japan II was a return to tradition for the Valstork Family; after all, the earliest Trailers took part in the construction of the first wave of space colonies, transporting building materials and supplies. And the Valstork has spent a certain amount of time over the course of this project doing exactly that.

So it's natural that when the time came for the grand re-opening of the colony, the Valstork Family would be here as well. Blessfield Ardygun, the family's patriarch, is outfitted as elegantly as a man can be, in a full formal tuxedo; Shihomi and Akane, his eldest and next-eldest daughters, are resplendent in tasteful but eye-catching evening gowns, with Akane grudgingly on the arm of Horis Horyan, also in tuxedo.

Mihiro Ardygun, the youngest child, isn't in quite as spiffy a dress as her big sisters, but she's still dressed up nicely. And Kazuma Ardygun, the only one of Blessfield's children to be a son rather than a daughter, is fighting the urge to fidget with his collar or his bow tie; he's not quite in full formal tuxedo like his father, but it's still a tuxedo, it fits him properly, and he doesn't look out of place.

Having one of the hottest Gundam Fighters in the Western Hemisphere on *his* arm probably helps with that, too.


It would have been rude for the Neo Vatican City to not send a representative for this event. And there was really no better candidate for the job than Lunata Croze, representative and Gundam Fighter for the ecclesiastic colony. It also helped that they had a match beforehand, and there were some unanswered questions that the silver-haired fighter wanted some answers to...

The appointment from Neo Vatican City comes with a small accompanying party -- in this case, just a young woman wearing simple clerical robes acting as Lunata's guide and eyes. Though the fighter was well-trained and is even a Psychodriver, she... still wouldn't be able to tell where something that was as psychic as a chair was.

The tall silver-haired lady is present in a turtlenecked silver dress, with black trims. Sleeveless, and composed of some soft, shimmering material, not ostentantious but rather striving for elegance; no eyewear has been placed over her eyes this time, though the film-coated gray eyes do still mark her disability to those in the know.

"There is a good air in here," Lunata softly comments as she strides through the crowd, aware of some of the sensations at a distance, and yet so many foreign ones as well. "I am glad the launch is a success."

The young woman accompanying Lunata nods softly, the reception gifts from the Neo Vatican Colony -- wrapped within simple boxes adorned for taste -- in her arms.


Chibodee Crockett has been here for a while already. He's wearing a black suit with a garish red, white and blue tie. An eagle occasionally flies through the pattern. Somehow. Perhaps it is an animation in-joke. Regardless, the man fills out a suit well; excellent tailoring and a chiseled physique work hand-in-glove for him.

Chibodee's girls are here, dressed to the nines alongside him in matching Little Black Dresses. Uncharacteristically, he's been avoiding the direct spotlight, allowing the Mitsurugis to be the face of the event. It's given him more time to drink champagne and hob-nob with various Heavy Money people, likely on the topic of his Texas spaceport project.


It's by the sheer grace of the black mirrorshades shielding Koji Kabuto's eyes that keep him from flinching when the cameras go off. A little tip he had picked up from a friend who, for the moment, is on the wrong side of the law. He's as cool as he can be, the perfect gentleman-knight to accompany the Ruler of All Known Space. At least, he is on the outside.

LAST THURSDAY

"So /Koji/.." Sayaka rocks back and forth in place, her hands holding the straps of her backpack in place. "I was thinking, if you aren't doing anything on Saturday, mayyyyybe we could.." She flinches slightly, her cheeks pinking up. "..go out?"

Koji glances up from his math problems. The pencil in his hand is pressed against the side of his head, the eraser scratching just a bit of scalp. "Huh??" he wonders, clueless as ever. "O-oh. Um. I, uh, can't. I've, uh, gotta attend this social function. I'm someone's date... ish .. thing."

"DATE!?" Sayaka sputters, "What! Who!"

A perplexed Koji lifts his broadening shoulders in a shrug. "Uh, Princess Shine? It's some fancy thing. I'm going to represent the army."

"That.. that /bitch/!!" Sayaka hisses.

NOW

"H-hai, soo des-- er," Koji momentarily falters in reply to Shine. The nerves, which he has so perfectly internalized, have briefly caught hold of his brain. He sets his jaw for a moment and takes in a breath, "..Yes, ma'am. It's right here." With his free hand, he slips past the lapels of his EFA dress blues jacket. Inside his hand goes, plucking a length of vintage paper from an inside pocket. "Whenever you'd like it, your Majesty."

To his credit, young Kabuto cleans up spectacularly well. His outfit, a regulation uniform of the EFA's officer corps. A navy blue jacket over dress shirt, with lighter blue pants and black shoes to round it out. His chest a collection of insignias and medals, everything from his non-commission tags to several items denoting service in the face of bravery, valor, and some other nonsense that only an adult would quibble over. Blue cords hang over his right shoulder epaulette and overall, look quite sharp.

Well, except for his hair. It's still a goddamn spiky mess.


Most arrive classy.

And then there is Kamina.

The blue haired La Gian hero is practically forced to dress up by the man he is currently standing next to. The only consolation Kamina has is he picked the jacket ---Something the man next to him, Leeron, regrets offering. The jacket is a tuxedo jacker that seems to be made of plaid material(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Nxe6lCLWKmk/STzPS7LtzUI/AAAAAAAAAfQ/zJeaG5JcWSs/s400/TartanTuxedo.jpg) which sits over some fitted black dress pants and a white shirt. He is also wearing a matching bow tie. The jacket itself seems to fit well around Kamina's metallic hand, making it look like a metal gauntlet. Leeron is in some classy mandarin collar shirt which is in a color so light it would take a gay man to realize it wasn't 'white'.

Kamina looks around, pulling at the collar of his shirt and at his clip on bow tie. He growls under his breath until Leeron gives him a look. He promptly backs down and sticks his hands into his pockets. Well-- Yoko wanted to come with Leeron and he had better learn to like it. The former leader of the Gurren Brigade scans the room for a drink table. Yoko would be awhile since she was still getting ready on the shuttle.

Kamina crosses his arms, scanning the room.

The most dangerous things here hopefully are just Gundam fighters who have come on behalf of their nation or prehaps they had a hand to play in the destruction of the orginal one. Which was true on both counts for Neo Brazil's Gundam fighter. She'd also been actually happy for such an event for several reasons. One a a friend and two people she respected highly were involved in the restoration of the colony.

She's also wrancled Kazuma into a date. She's in an evening dress herself though her headban is gone replaced with a slightly more fancy one it's kinda odd but well she does have some habits after all.

"So I finally cornered you for a date."


The crew of the SuiKyosha remained on board of the ship, though they did look out from the few windows available at the gigantic colony. Most of them didn't even /want/ to come out. Scary technology and all that. Or maybe just the fact that they were unnerved by being out in space. It was not something that happened a lot for them. When Xiang had explained to his XO that he was leaving for the party paired with the La Gian/Earthen 'guide', Yu had almost seemed a bit disappointed. This had been something he could not ignore, and in the end...

In the end, the well dressed Chinese man in his mid twenties, walks into the large stadium with the female beastman at his right side, and a beautiful chinese woman on his left. The female had a thick scar running across her face, but somehow that didn't detract from her sheer beauty and well defined body. A red silken garb hugs tightly against her body, riddled with purple and blue flowery patterns. Most of her is covered, though there is a split at her left side that shows off her legs.

Xiang himself, dressed in a silken blue upper Tang Suit, which carries small intricate white wave patterns, and holds a large white oval shape on the back, around which a waterdragon shakes, forming the final stripe for the Chinese symbol within that oval; simply stating 'water'. Shui.

The man nods at security, some of which are rather jealous of this black haired (with a old gray stripe running through it) man, before he continues further into that stadium and finally halts to listen to the initial speech given, before he finally replies to Sinya. His expression had been stern and nearly emotionless before, though his movement was at least a bit more loose than normal. "I will try." He states, looking at the catgirl, before turning that same gaze around the room. He was looking for someone he believed would be suitable to network with.

That's when he suddenly notices someone he recognizes. Or rather, thinks he recognizes by the description given. "I wish to steal with this man for a moment." Xiang states, and with the two women still at his arms, he approaches Kamina, and inevitably gets between the young man and the drinks. "Excuse me." Xiang states in a monotone voice. "Are you, by any chance..."


Yuuhi moves back to the seats with the rest of her family. She, Meiya and the older man in the kimono stand around for some pictures. Chibodee knows this man as Meiya's grandfather, Raiden Mitsurugi. The Old Money behind the company. He's not a talkative man, it's kind of suprising he's even /here/, at least it is to Meiya. The press attack stops after a while however and Meiya steps down from the stage and splits of from her sister like an atom lossing a neutron. She walks over in her mirror image of Yuuhi's dress and stops by Chibodee just long enough to ask, "Do you like your stadium?"

Yuuhi on the other hand goes towards Princess Shine and her entourage, bowing at the waste, "Your highness." The grey haired man somehow just seems to be there in that moment, bowing deeply at the waist in a picture perfect japanese bow. As if he only existed in that space and time to show his granddaughter how it's done. "Highness Princess Shine Hausen. You honor my old family for attending." his voice is deep, and sounds a lot like thunder, even over the din of everyone in the area talking and having fun.


There are no highly-sought terrorist masterminds present. /That would be silly./

But there is a short-ish woman with silver hair off to one side, dressed in a blending in among the crowd with a pair of spectacles perched on her nose. She may trust the Federation about as far as she can throw this colony, but Tessa Testarossa figured she owes Meiya the courtesy of showing up to this, which she's worked hard to see through. There are certain benefits to having taken steps to be widely Unknown.

They've really outdone themselves, she thinks. The Neo colonies have always been about showing off, so that's hardly surprising.


Shine, having formally entered, now has time to kill. She does not have a long speech planned, nor does she have time pressure to get up there. She drifts towards the buffet, reaching out to put her hand on Huang's arm as he seems uncomfortable.

Being Reassuring with a capital Re is apparently heartening to her. "I'm very glad you could come with me, Huang. Doesn't this place look wonderful now?" She smiles again; "I remember that there were parts of the old Neo Japan that never did seem to ever get remodelled properly."

She then dips her head at Koji as he brandishes that sheet of paper. "Thank you. Please do hold onto it for now," she says. "And thank you as well for coming with me. It is a shame Latooni has been unable to make it, I think that you would enjoy meeting her..."

Then someone else is coming up. She returns Yuuhi's bow with a slight curtsey, smiling at Meiya's equally pneumatic twin and the older gentleman. "It is our pleasure. May I introduce you to," a slight lilt, "Supreme Commander Huang Qin Shi, as well as to Koji Kabuto, the pilot of the Super Robot, Mazinger Z?"

She asides, seeing what look distinctly like cat ears in the distance, "You certainly seem to have an exotic array of guests, Mr. Mitsurugi!"


"A party. Seriously."

When she was told about it, Arian-16 had the most worried, doubtful look on her face in the entire world. But then again, the choices in front of her were pretty slim-- spend a night sitting in her room, again, with very little to do aside from flipping through a few books or scrolling through her not-that-private data terminal... or personally rub elbows with some of the people that she'll probably be working with in the near future. Oh boy, does she has Latooni to thank for this one.

Her teal-colored hair is a little nicer than usual. Her bangs are clipped to frame her face rather than flip and flop wherever they please, feathered properly and actually styled a bit. Around her throat is a rather plain black ribbon, just broad enough that it covers the sight (but not the thickness) of the tight metal band fitted around her neck. Her dress is fairly plain, a strapless dress in a shade of teal darker than her own hair-- it cinches at the waist, and the fabric casts some rather nice highlights. She's even got some makeup on.

Arian-16 also looks entirely, one hundred percent out of her element in a place like this.

"Shit. Where the hell did Huang go..."

Well, at least she /looks/ classy.


EARLIER

Camille Bidan woke up to find the following orders taped to his forehead:

TO C. BIDAN:

KATHARON INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS HAVE DISCOVERED AN IMPENDING GALA STOP WHERE MANY INFLUENTIAL MEMBERS OF THE EARTH SPHERE WILL BE IN ATTENDANCE STOP YOU MUST INFILTRATE AND GATHER USEFUL INFORMATION TO OUR CAUSE STOP A FAKE IDENTITY AND ROLE HAS BEEN SECURED FOR YOU STOP PLEASE SEE CAPTAIN BEECHA (WHO IS A WAY BETTER CAPTAIN THAN I AM) FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTION STOP

LOVE,
B NOA

"Nngh..Captain Bright?" The AEUG ace rubbed sleep out of his eyes and tried to process the meaning of the orders in his half-drowsy fugue state, "And when did we start delivering orders on telegraph? Oh well, i'm already on thin ice, better just go..."

NOW

Camille stood before the coming crowd as a faceless member of prim and primely dressed caterer, right down to the glossy black vest and bow ties. A silver platter of Hors d'oeuvre balanced carefully on his outstretched hand as they, one by one, disseminated into the crowd.

He tried his best to keep the totally phony smile on his face when the realization finally struck: When the hell did they make Beecha a Captain?!

ELSEWHERE

Beecha and Judau had a hi-five.


Edward Fawkes noted Xiang and his XO entering and nodded to both, impressed by both newcomers not only to Trailers LLC but also to this world/dimension at large.

Then he saw Sinya and his breath caught. His brain debated between teasing her about what bet she had to have lost to get put in a dress and asking if he could get her anything. Finally he grabbed a platter of really expensive finger food and started towards her, letting people take a few as they passed. Maybe they assumed he was just hired help, maybe not. There were stil plenty by the time he got to the La Gaian mechanic and dipped his head to her and gave Xiang and Yu a second nod. "I'm starting to regret having declined the lift. You look amazing." With a quarter turn he included Sinya's companions with that. "All of you." He then offered the plate and, just then, wondered just what the little edibles were supposed to be.


As the head of the family, it's Blessfield who does most of the meeting and greeting up front, particularly with the top echelon of the social hierarchy - dignitaries, officials, and other people who are here more to be seen than to see others. The rest of the family is mostly being introduced at this point, rather than splitting up to mingle as they choose.

So Kazuma is quietly juuuuust a little impatient, and is content to talk to Macua when they're not in the middle of being introduced. "Yeah," he agrees with a grin. "Hopefully nothing interrupts this time." He and Macua probably have the worst luck in dating outside of an action TV show where the hero always gets interrupted by a supervillain or a monster of the week *every* time he's about to have an hour to spend taking his girlfriend out to lunch or something ... although they do get to spend time together that's not 'dating' per se.


It didn't take long for Divada to get a bit of punch for herself before turning around and looking at the entire Ball. Her height offered her a bit of a unique perspective of the event. The irony being that she pays little attention to Princess Shine's entourage, and smirks as she spots Sinya Leland, decked out no less. She can't help but giggle to herself as she pictures the grease monkey in that particular dress.

Taking a sip of her punch, she casually and quietly weaves through the crowd and gets to Sinya only a few seconds after Edward Fawkes. Tilting her head to Kamina and Xiang, she gently touches Sinya on the shoulder, after Edward makes his comments to her. Smiling politely, she says "Fancy meeting you here, Miss Leland. Here to celebrate the grand re-opening of Neo Japan as well?"


Huang offers Shine a pleasant smile in response to her Reassurance - he's supposed to be looking after her, and here she is worrying about everybody else again. "It's remarkable work," he says earnestly, looking around with the eyes of an engineer for the moment. "I was never able to visit the old colony, so I cannot compare the new to the former..."

He breaks off as Yuuhi approaches, untangling his arm from Shine's so that she can complete her courtesy. He returns Yuuhi's bow with one of his own, looking smooth and practiced as he does so. Then again, it's not like bows differ greatly between the two cultures. <<Meeting you is a great honour, Mitsurugi-sama,>> he says in his utilitarian Japanese as he rises, then switches back to English in order to avoid hearing his accent. "And if I may be a trifle forward, sir, allow me to thank you for the support of Mitsurugi Industries to the protection of the Earth Sphere," he adds. "Your daughter is a very hard worker."


So that's Meiya's grandfather, Tasuku muses, by the other table of drinks, moving on to grab himself some food before making his way around the crowd to meet up with Meiya -- who is already talking with Chibodee.

"Hey, Meiya! Chibodee! Ladies." The sharply dressed mechanic greets in order, each with an enthusiastic nod and a big smile. "Good show, up there. I'm glad to be standing on Neo-Japan again -- you all did amazing work about rebuilding the Colony."


"Hey. Guy."

This is how Arian-16 tries to get Camille Bidan's attention at this party, picking up one a Hors d'oeuvre in either hand-- and literally spikes one into her mouth like her presence were making up for the total lack of Arado Balanga. Even while she chews, she compacts the food to one side of her mouth to speak out the corner of the other. "Hold on a second," she says, reaching up to grab onto the caterer's arm to keep her balance.

And then she swallows. It's hard to say how much she actually chewed.

Picking up one foot, she holds the other Hors d'oeuvre in her mouth while her hand dives beneath the hem of the dress, shuffling around before she drops her foot back to the floor and releases the young man's sleeve, looking somewhat ... grumpy.

"I hate these shoes," she mutters, roughly the same moment that she crams the second snack into her mouth.


Kamina manages to find the drink table, his eyes widen at the sheer variety of refreshments. He is a little excited at the moment. He is about to make a request for a Everything Straight Up Super Sized(?) but is stopped by a memory from early. He recalls Leeron informing him that if he ruined this event, he would do something that Kamina wouldn't like. The former leader of the Gurren Brigade begins to sweat, recalling those fingers. How they moved like tentacles. How the hell did that man do that. He also recalls putting some distance instantly when Leeron entered the 3 foot 'no homo' zone.

He also recalls Yoko informing him that if he ruined this, it would be his head.

This is why Kamina decides on a simple rum and coke. A fact which makes him look somewhat less than thrilled. He pouts and sips his drink, pulling angrily at his collar when someone address him.

"Eh? Who the hell do you think I am?! I am the eternal flame which ignites the souls of those uninspired! I am the demon king of hell itself! Just call me Lord Kamina!" He grins at Xiang, patting the stranger on the shoulder. "So who're you?"


Macua Huitl says "I hope not and I'm sure some of the guests would come to the defence of this place. Don't you think?" Yes hopefully no Dr. Hell interupts time at least she hopes as much.

"The new colony's pretty impressive isn't it?"

There sure are a lot of other folks here, she feels Camillie somewhere in here but she's a bit distracted she'd thought she'd saw someone else but that would be impossible right? They wouldn't be here toinght would they?


Yoko had been pretty surprised by the last-minute invitation to the party, but she was more than willing to attend -- it would be a good chance to be in the company of other people other than the Gurren Brigade, right? However, she's only just arriving, due to the fact that Leeron would just not stop fussing over her outfit! She would have been fine in a simple pantsuit or something, but, he insisted, after all ... at least the dress he'd selected for her wasn't uncomfortable.

She scouts the area, almost blinded by the lights and the twinkling of the sparkly jewelry she'd been asked to wear. Well, there's Kamina going for drinks (as usual,) now who else was here ...?


Yuuhi bows to both Huang and Koji, not showing the minor irritation that her grandfather put into her. "Command Qin Shi, Msiter Kaboto. The Alpha Numbers are always welcome to the Mitsurugi Zaibatsu Corperation, and the Photo-Atomic Power Labs have done a lot to ease the energy burdens of the Japanese people. Thank you both for attending."

"<<It is my honour to host the command of the Alpha Numbers.>>" Raiden repies in Japanese. Hmmmns, thoughtfull. "You share you name with the first Emporer of unified China?" he closes his eyes. Seemingly like some sort of statue for a moment as he reflects internally. "Meiya is much like her mother, my daughter-in-law. Cool on the outside but still burning on the inside like a sword that has not yet been doused after being on the anvil." This guy seems big on formality, and metaphor.


There... over there. Her life signature. It is something that Lunata can tell after she has met a person... the only way she can distinguish people, not being able to use her sight to do so. Though their scent and audial perceptions help... it is this sixth sense that allows her to diminish her doubts.

She steps towards the younger of the Mitsurugi sisters, and slowly bows when she comes close. She waits for an opening in the conversation. Her tone is gentle, but firm, and articulate and polite: "Meiya Mitsurugi. I am Lunata Croze -- we met on the battlefield. I am here to extend Neo Vatican City's good wishes for Neo Japan and the success of their future."

She pauses for a moment further, looking towards her guide. The gifts had already been deposited along with the others, and an affirmative 'mmm' noise allows Lunata to continue. "I am also here to ... ask you of some other statements that you have made."


Leaning forward, Sinya looks around the Trailer captain as she gives a look to his XO. Thus far, she's learned that Yu tended to be far more human than her male counterpart. Still, after a brief raise of her eyebrow in a 'really?' expression, the catgirl just rolls her eyes and offers an understanding kind of smile. Unlike what one would expect, she seems perfectly comfortable in the dress, regardless of how little it actually covered. She even has earrings put in, which jingle as her ears scan the nearby conversation.

Glancing up at Xiang's face, she notes his continued emotionless expression, and gives another nudge, "Try harder." Alas, even with a woman on each arm, Captain Xiang can still somehow look as if he were walking into a funeral. She manages somehow to stay on her feet - which are bare by the way - when she gets pulled along with the captain towards Kamina. "Try: There's someone I'd like to talk to. It's a little less formal."

It's all too clear that while she may be arm and arm with Xiang, she's here more as a teacher of social graces than as a date. Thus, she is all that much more pleased when others seem to be drawn into their group. Slipping her arm out of Xiang's, she offers a smile to Edward, one that seems more light-hearted than normal. There is even a slight flush to her cheeks, giving the pale skin some color besides just her stripes. "You're looking dapper as always, Edward. Thank you." With a swift move, she plucks one of the bits of food, although in a ladylike way, she doesn't scarf it down just yet.

Then, the touch to her fuzzy shoulder catches her attention, head turning. "Captain Kirador!" Surprise lights her voice, followed by another of those smiles. "You're not a face I expected to see." Even so, the catgirl seems quite glad to see the Crusader captain. "I came to network mostly. I've been assigned to help Captain Xiang get accustomed to life this side of La Gias. Captain Xiang, Yu, Edward, this is Captain Kirador." She doesn't give away Divada's faction ties, but at least she's handling introductions. She includes Edward of course, as he happens to be one of those she considers a friend as well.

Her eyes get drawn to the dramatic introduction done by Kamina, which causes her to look at both Xiang and Yu, trying to see just why this person is of such interest to them.


"As you wish, madam," Koji bows his head gently in deference to the short monarch. The paper returns to its safety inside his dress-jacket. "Hai-- er, yes. I'm sure I would. She must be a very exceptional girl to be your close friend, Princess." On the inside, Koji is marveling at his composure. These glasses sitting atop his face are incredible! Such power! "Thank you for inviting me," the young Ensign humbly admits, "..it's a tremendous honor."

On the walk over to the Mitsurugi party, Koji just happens to glance across the room through his mirrored shades. There's Briareos -- holy shit, is that guy a living robot!? His eyebrows bob beyond the rim of his eyewear briefly in surprise as he looks from person to person. The hot girl whose outfit screams 'psycho-killer' (que'est que c'est??) and metal neckwear to match must be Arian-16. God, is that Kamina? They must let anyone aboard. Man, Leeron looks like money tonight. Who's that silver-haired shorty in the glasses? Hel-..

Oh jesus.

"...." Koji briefly pauses, his blood having turned to ice. It's /him/.

LAST NOVEMBER

"Shit, shit, shit!" Koji about cusses his fool head off in the cockpit of his RGM-79N GM Custom. He's losing ground, having to constantly back up to keep himself from being swarmed by the ever-growing horde of Megillots. His GM's rifle is balanced atop its long shield, which is held horizontal. It's got a few heavy scratches and holes and if this takes any longer, it -- and Koji -- won't last.

The gunfire is streaming from the 90mm rifle in loud, staccato burst that promptly cut off. "..what!?" Koji gasps, his heart sinking into his stomach. "I'm.. out!? Oh, god.." The Megillots close in..

..and a flash of intense pink light promptly disintegrates them. Koji turns to look in the direction of the flash..

..and the Zeta Gundam stands amid the ruins of Prague, thin tendrils of smoke dancing from the blue barrel of its Hyper Mega Launcher.

NOW

Cold sweat beads up on Koji's brow. Someone's talking. What is going on? Oh, shit. Official-looking rich people. "..K-konbanwa, Mitsurugi-sama," the young Ensign unfurls his arm from Shine in order to bow to the elder Yuuhi. Huang handles the further pleasantries. Good, it gives Koji more time to slide his eyes toward /that man/.

That... /caterer/??


Briaroes just kicks back against oene of the walls that doesn't look important and just watches as people socialize and move among one another. In away, seeing guys bring some 'sexy' dates, made him rumble softly. He then leans his head back against the wall, before his optics flicker offline for a moment, mimicking that idea of someone just closing their ideas for a moment, before they come back online.

Then he takes notice as someone is sorta, staring at him. Those antenna lift up a bit, as he looks right back at Koji. Thankfully, there was a ton of people and the seven foot cyborg just--

Moves.

Instead he makes his way for the table where some drinks are to get himself something to drink. He silently wondered if they had anything harder here then just fruit punch...


Chibodee lifts his hand in salute to Tasuku, excusing himself from a conversation with some older gents to engage him. "Hi Tasuku! Glad you can make it. Welcome to /Awesometown/." Beat. "Or Neo Japan II. But its soul is named /Awesometown/."


The faint crackle of other people of psionic potential in the area tickles over Shine, but she is not tuned in enough to truly recognize others. She lets Huang speak to the businessman for a moment, looking towards Koji after he bows. And then looks at...

Shine's head pokes out from behind Koji, looking in the direction he's gazing with such military intensity. "Koji?" she asks, tugging at his sleeve.

"Koji Kabuto," she says, with a little faux-sigh. "Do you recognize them? I was going to ask if you could take me over to the drinks." She figures Koji Kabuto knows where the liquor is.


When, on the way to Kamina, Sinya nudges him in the ribs - she'll notice just how strong his muscles are around there. Xiang barely notices her nudge, but catches what she is saying. His face softens up again. "I'll try." He whispers.

Then, when he arrives near Kamina and tries to converse with him, he notices that the girl on his right is getting approached by not just one, but two individuals. Edward gets a recognizing nod from Xiang and Yu at the same time. "Good evening, mister Fawkes."

Yu lets go of Xiang's arm in order to avail herself to some of the refreshments on the plate brought by the rather large colored man. Divada however, isn't recognized by either the captain nor his XO, and the captain gives Sinya a look - expecting her to introduce the young woman.

And she does. "Good to meet you, miss Kirador." With his both arms now no longer occupied by ladies, he bows towards the woman. "Emperor Xiang Yuan." He introduces himself. "Captain of the SuiKyosha." That's right, he's an emperor!

His head then turns back at Kamina, somewhere in the midst of that hotblooded introduction, and he smiles at him. He then suddenly extends his hand towards the man. "So the stories were right after all. I must say, your flame did indeed inspire quite a few of my men, when were were still upon the plains of the Spiral King. I am glad to finally meet you." He waits for his hand to be taken back - so he could go into a manly exchange of firm handshakes... and see who would back down first.

Miss Yu then, bows her head at the people, and nudges her head. "I'm going to head out and mingle." She excuses herself, and ends up wandering to the table where Briareos had found himself and casually stands next to him, pouring herself some of the punch. "Hello, big guy." Oh god, that was the second time in the last two days she'd called someone big. Did she have a thing for the metal?


"Captain." Edward's voice was a soft rumble as he addressed the other man, extending his free hand. "A pleasure." He'd intended to network while he was here, since he wasn't exactly an ambassador or anything. Then again since this was a high class function and the trailers needed all the good publicity they could get he wasn't going to be the one out of the group to be ill-mannered no matter what somebody's faction was.

... well there were exceptions, but it didn't look like there would be any neck-breaking or limb snapping today. Nobody here that was on his 'Kill now, damned what happens later.' list.

"Lots of faces here... lot more than I would've thought outside of the usual talking heads anyway." He sampled one of the tasties and managed to hide his disgust. His tone light when he set the tray on the nearest table. "Ah, shellfish... Not my favorite in the least." Then again it's not like they would. Stop. Eyes locked on a specific platter. "I'll be right back."

He didn't even know they /made/ these any more. Take Turkey, Cheese, sun dried tomato, a sauce he didn't know how to pronounce, wrap paper thin layers of each using the sauce as a binding agent and wrap in some kind of specialty bread, He'd heard the original was banned because the sauce had some possibly toxic elements. Down one went down the hatch. Thoughtful chew.

Ed's eyes lit up like a kid at christmas.


Huang blinks at the old man's observation - this is a fairly significant undertaking with the artificial eye. His body falls into stillness as he devotes his full attention to the patrician of the Mitsurugi family. "I..." he starts to say, then clears his throat. "I do," he answers. "I was not aware you were a student of Chinese history, Mitsurugi-sama. Not many outsiders would have noticed." He gives the man another bow, this one a little deeper.

This old man bears watching.

The engineer straightens from his bow and glances in the direction of Shine as she prepares to head away. It's not that he doesn't trust Koji to look after her, it's just that it's his job to look out for her. "I cannot disagree with your analysis, sir," he adds, glancing back toward the old man. His mouth curls up in a faint grin. "The swordsmith metaphor is rather apt."


Kazuma takes a moment to look around and count the faces he knows. Besides himself and Macua, he's spotted Koji Kabuto, Kamina, the Mitsurugi sisters (at least one of whom is a pilot - he's not sure if both of them are), and a generous smattering of other people whom he either recognizes as pilots, or whom he can only deduce probably are from the way they're dressed - mostly military types in the latter category. "Yeah ... anyone who starts trouble here, especially of the mechanized variety, isn't gonna enjoy what happens to 'em," he nods. "And yeah - oh," he interrupts himself as he realizes he's about to be introduced to somebody else, and he bows politely, offering a handshake as he straightens up. "Good evening, glad to be here," he says politely.

Blessfield gives Kazuma a brief look before introducing Macua to the next official in line; she's not *technically* part of the Valstork Family (yet) but as Macua's dating Blessfield's son, Blessfield has to introduce her (as Neo Brazil's Gundam Fighter).

Fortunately, this marks the last of the NPC dignitaries for the Valstork Family to meet and greet at the moment.


"You mean it's /not/ really called Awesometown?" Tasuku seems quite aware he interrupt Chibodee in a talk with some old money, but, hey. Kinda late for that. "Man, I couldn't miss this for anything. This is /big/. It's just couldn't not show up. Stadium looks pretty sweet, by the way, I took a detour to check up on it."


FIVE MONTHS AGO

Camille left a year of self-imposed exile in Africa burning worn out rags (IE 'relief work') to a stunning return to combat by slamming a giant rocket into mobile suit piloted by Arian-16.

FOUR MONTHS AGO

The Zeta Gundam lowered the Hyper Mega Launcher cautiously, surveying the ruined forms of the Balmarian forces with wary optimism. No sign of reinforcements...yet.

"Welcome to Earth, you alien motherfuckers." Camille swore, turning his gaze to the GM he'd just pulled out of the fry, probably some rookie, "Hey, can you still move that thing?"

TWO MONTHS AGO

With the same Hyper Mega Launcher Camille shot a unit in half, also pilot by Arian-16.

NOW

The Zeta pilot stood in mute, mouth-gaping silence, blisfully unaware of who Arian-16 was as she savaged the appetizers off his plate and promptly used him as a balance beam, "I... uh...." What was with the collar? Oh shit, did he just catch Kohi's glance across the way?!

"Fuck!" He murmured, but not low enough, "I mean uh, something else!" God, he could not afford to be recognized in this get-up. not when he needed to get back to the Argama and beat the shit out of Beecha, "Hey... uh...." He attempts to awkwardly duck behind the A-LAWS girl, "Glad you like the food?!


Divada smiles to Sinya after she announces her surprise. "I didn't expect to see you here either, Sinya. This was a side I didn't expect to see of you." She says as she gives a firmer handshake to Edward Fawkes than he might've expected from a woman. "Captain. A pleasure." She then turns towards Xiang Yuan and tilts her head, keeping her small smile upon her face. When he bows to her, she gives a formal curtsey to him, though she doesn't have a skirt on. "Emperor. A pleasure to meet you as well." She doesn't state the ship she's captain of to anyone. The last thing she wanted was to ruin a celebration.

She smiles to Sinya as Xiang turns back towards Kamina. "Seems there are many ways to network around here, Sinya. When you get a free moment, perhaps we could go introduce you to the Princess? That would make one heck of a contact, don't you think?"


"Hello Tasuku, " Meiya smiles, the asides to Chibodee "They named this stadium after you." she pauses a beat. "And are naming the mall two blocks away Awesometown."

Then Lunata arrives. Meiya somehow felt a familiarity about the girl even before she arrived in her presence. She turns to look t the girl as she gets closer, she tilts her head slightly as she looks at the girls face, centering on her pale eyes. "Lunata ..." she purses her lips slightly. "I see." goddamnit, enemy Gundam Fighter in her party, well her family's party. "I'm not certain we can talk about everything here, but I'll answer what I can."

Raiden alows himself an almost-smile as Huang bows again. "My family's history goes back a long way. Studying that history is like studying the history of much of Asia." he lowers his head slightly. "Swords are something found often in both sides of Meiya's family."

Yuuhi splits off from her father and Huang with a polite word and goes to hobnob with other money holders.


"Mm..?" Koji's attention is beckoned by the Princess at his side. He looks, albeit hesitantly, back to Shine.

YES I KNOW HIM, HE'S A KNOWN TERRORIST.

"Oh. Um. No, just .. someone who reminded me of someone I know." Cough. "Through school. Just a study-buddy, you know? But I don't think it's him. The guy I know is better looking." Koji takes a moment to wiggle his shirt collar for a moment. "Oh, of course, ma'am. As you wish!" He holds out his arm for Shine to take and escorts her to the bar.


Chibodee would rather talk to his friends than financiers anyway. He smiles graciously at Meiya as she heads back over to his part of the conversation. "I'm /really/ proud of how well the stadium came out," he says, pausing to reach out to pull a fresh champagne flute off a passing tray, offering it to his comrade. "I'm totally floored they named it after me." Then back to Tasuku. "But yeah -- they wouldn't name it Awesometown. But we all know that's what it is. In its soul. In the welds, in the bolts, it tells you that it's Awesometown. Look at how awesome it is. That's how you know."


There is a nervousness... just slightly, that Lunata digests mentally, her lips pursed as she shuts her non-seeing eyes. "I see. Worry not; I come in peace, and that is my primary function today. Neo Japan are our neighbors in this sea of stars, after all."

She looks -- well, 'looks', but rather more senses Tasuku's signature for a moment. A fellow Psychodriver...? There was a sensation from him further than the signature of a normal human being. And then there is Chibodee, who she recognizes -- and his fighting spirit is something that her trained senses can pick up.

Regardless, she is here to ask her question... and thus, "You mentioned in our last encounter some concerns about the system that I use." The T-LINK System, though Lunata, given Meiya's prior disposition about not being able to answer everything, left it vague. "What did you mean by that?"


A short silver-haired girl wanders through the party, hovering but never really making any impressions, because that's just the way Tessa Testarossa does things. She manages not to trip over her own feet by some miracle of science, or perhaps just a miracle of having had Jiron after her to get in more shape lately.

This of course can't last, and with a little squeek, tumbles!

Thump.

She looks up.

"Oh!" she squeeks, because that is Camille Bidan. Whom she didn't know would be here, and who consequently did not know /she/ would be here. "Uh, hello! ...sir. Sorry! I'm...clumsy, uhm, uh..."


Macua Huitl has also spoted Kamina, Meiya and her relatives. Her grandfather gets a open jawed stare for half a second the man. The man looked like a human version of Akira's robot. She managed to quickly get her suprise in line. But could there be a connection to the mysteirous machine and Meiya's family who knows for sure and prehaps that idea is best left alone.

She turns her attention to Kazuma again.

She also introduces her self and exchanges plesentries with a few of the people who she's introduced to she actually this time doesn't goof up. Prehaps Roger's lessons are paying off. She's also looking around ther's a few people she wants to say hello to and ah she was right she did see Yoko. She's not seen her in years also there was Lunata as well.


Kamina notices the Cat girl, narrowing his eyes as he takes a sip from his drink. ---Beastmen. Here. He isn't pleased by this fact, staying calm by focusing on his drink. Should he make the first move? He looks over to Leeron for the answer. The gay man shakes his head.

He looks to Yoko for the answer.....

Instead, he sees Xiang's hand extended and he grasps it with his real hand, squeezing. He has a pretty good grip and there was no way he'd give up because thats the sort of man Kamina was.

Even holding Xiang's hand, Kamina yells over toward Yoko. "Hey! Yoko!"


Chibodee realizes that someone else has approached! He looks over toward Lunata, and gives her the usual wandering eye. This is just what he does. His girls are used to it, anyone who has to work with Crockett for more than a day is used to it. He startles at her eyes, though he tries to suppress the reflex.

Chibodee looks to Meiya, then back to Lunata, then Meiya again. "Hey," he says, "You going to introduce me 'n Tasuku, Meiya?"


Shine frowns, possibly sensing the discord between Koji Kabuto's words and his true thoughts. For who can tell anything but the true heart of a pilot of Mazinger Z? They are not good at the ol' subterfuge. Nonetheless, she takes Koji's arm and lets herself be taken towards the bar.

On the way she says, brightly, "Hi, Chibodee!" while waving. His positioning, and also Bunny's chest, keeps her from seeing Lunata, but her dress is ornate enough to easily be registered.

Then, at the bar, Shine immediately orders a margarita.

A light one, to be fair. While this is being handled, she asks Koji, "What is it like to go to school?"


The black ribbon around her throat masks the collar's actual appearance, but the silhouette is still so very obvious. She has to make airs for a public appearance, and all-- it wouldn't be proper for her to walk around with a completely exposed bomb collar in the middle of a crowd like this!

Arian-16 also has no problem reading between the lines. Watching Camille curse, stammer, and then carefully position himself behind her draws an teal eyebrow into an arch as she makes for her third snack off the tray. "Better than the shit I usually get on the Yingzi. Though I'd cut someone's throat if I could get my hands on a good MRE," she says, making short work of it.

Licking the tip of her thumb and forefinger, her tongue clicks against the inside of her mouth once or twice while she looks up at this confused waiter, even when someone else straight-up bumps into him.

"You're just a magnet tonight, pal."

Inwardly, she curses. This is gonna keep her from being able to quietly question him on why he's hiding from someone else in the party's festivities. Calm as she is, there's an unspoken-- and perhaps for Camille, familiar-- aggression. She /is/ the shark-infested waters, appearing so serene on the surface but so willing to draw someone in to their untimely doom.

"Oh damn, is that Shine?" she asks aloud, trying her best to get onto her tip-toes in those shoes. Then, she starts thinking out loud: "Wonder where Mitsurugi is. ... Follow the stuffed shirts, I bet..."


It is a bit strange for Sinya to somehow be the binding point between different people, especially as the mechanic usually spends far more time around machines than she does socializing. Still, she nods to Edward's assessment - there were lots of people - which is a very good thing. "If we can make some contacts, it could be a profitable evening." She might have said more, but that is when the giant of a man excuses himself in search of snacks. "I certainly don't mind shellfish." Sinya finally decides to eat her own portion, taking care to actually not scarf it down as she would normally - polite company and all. Her nose twitches, though, as if she were perusing the various edibles without actually having to look at each one.

She's just turning back to check on Xiang when her Yu excuses herself to mingle. Again! Twice in one day that darned Chinese woman has abandoned her with her stick-in-the-mud captain. Someday she is /so/ going to make that woman pay - maybe by finding a way to rust her love interests. With a bit of reluctance, she offers a smile to Divada, "I'm afraid I'm already kind of on contract tonight." She moves her eyes in the direction of Xiang, and then shakes her head, realizing that might come off wrong, it wasn't /THAT/ type of contract. "I mean, I'm here as an assistant to Captain Xiang tonight, not for myself." Whew, talk about dodging a bullet.

Reaching behind her, she gives a small tug on the sleeve of Xiang's suit, leaning up to whisper in his ear. "Might try laying off the Emperor thing." As she drops back to her heels, she can't help but notice the battle of wills going on between the two men. In the midst of face-palming, she misses the look from Kamina. Trying to focus herself, she clears her throat, "It's a pleasure to meet you, Lord Kamina. I'm Sinya, Captain Xiang's... advisor for the evening." She inclines her head, not about to try to put her hand between two men in a match of machissimo.


If Tasuku is detecting the presence of another Psychodriver in the Gala, he dosen't show it. As such, no, he's quite clueless about Lunata's psychic existance.

"It'll always be Awesometown in /my/ soul." Tasuku says out, his gaze turning around when Lunata comes close. Freakishly, his initial reaction is rather similar to Chibodee's, altough he don't really get all that far. Seems like that the two of them knows each others, too. "Good evenin'." He greets, grinning at Lunata.

Nope, still not detecting anything, altough there's a fair tweak in his mind. Then again, that might be the champagne.


Briareos was pouring him a glass of punch, before he heard a voice of a female beside him--

Calling him, big boy? Oh boy... Take that back, good thing /She/ wasn't here.

"Evening, ma'am." He said regarding politely before turning to face her, then nodding his head respectfully to her. "Enjoying yourself I hope?" The combat cyborg then gives Yu a look over quickly, before something seems to draw his attention away for a moment.

The sound of someone tumbling causes an antenna to twitch, before he slightly looks over his shoulder, using one of his back optics to see what happened, before he chuckled gently, "... we haven't even gotten to the real drinks and people are already falling over themselves." he said softly to himself.


"Ah, hey!" Yoko calls out, waving before sort of race-walking over to Kamina while trying not to trip in her shoes or run into someone (because really, in a room filled with important people, embarrassing herself was the absolute last thing she needed.)

She abruptly stops right in front of him, skirt swishing. "It's so ... lively!" she says, clearly overwhelmed by the spectacle; they didn't have gatherings like this back at the village. Yoko then turns toward Sinya and Xiang, raising a curious eyebrow.


Meiya hmmns, procesing Lunata's request as best she can, and winds up, about to deliver her carefully considered answer...

When Chibodee butts in.

"Erk!" so focused was she that for a moment Meiya forgot he was standing right next to her. "Ah, S-sorry, forgive me." she flushes. Chibodee, Tasuku this is, Lunata Croze." she hopes she pronounced that right. "The Gundam Fighter for the Neo-Vatican." or is that Neo-Rome? she isn't quiet sure. "Lunata, ths is Chibodee Crockett, I'm sure you know him as Neo-America's Gundam Fighter, and this is my friend, Tasuku Shinguji." She's going to have to find a way to tell Lunata what she wants to say without blowing off everyone else.

And did she just see silver hair stumble into someone? For some reason that makes her smile.


Shine orders a margarita.

Koji smiles faintly. Then he orders a chocolate milk. The question catches him by surprise. "School??" he asks, slightly dumbfounded. Then he realizes: princesses probably do not need to go to school. "Like anything, really. Every school is a little different, but also very much the same, and I think I've been to every single one in the Earth Sphere. It's awkward, everyone is sort of coming to terms with who they are and who they think they might want to be."

Koji takes a sip of his dairy beverage. "You go to classes. You learn stuff that.. you really might not ever use again. Teachers like to make you think that if you screw up, you're done for. There's activities. Afterschool stuff, like the student government, the martial arts clubs, the glee clubs. You fall in love once or twice, you make friends, you make enemies. Once in a while, you've got to fight a bully who's usually pretty fat. I guess.." Koji considers, "..high school is pretty much what you make of it." He shrugs.

LAST NOVEMBER

"I didn't need your help, asshole," the pilot of the RGM-79N Custom derisively replies back to the Zeta Gundam. You could practically hear him sneer through the transmission. The white mech stomps forward, past the pristine Zeta -- even going so far as to 'bump' into it with its shoulder. "By the way, you've gotta work on your catchphrases, you witless jerk!"

LAST JANUARY

"Camille!" Koji shouts, "Behind you!"

Camille ducks, enabling Koji to swing his fist around and bust the jaw of a dagger-wielding Inner Sphere pirate.

NOW

Koji reaches up, rubbing the back of his ear for a moment. "Say, um.." he kind of considers this for a moment. He looks nervous. Well, as nervous as a boy in a dress uniform wearing mirrorshades can be. "..I don't mean to offend and I apologize for being forward, Shine-sama, but ... but you look very pretty tonight." He smiles genuinely, albeit slightly worried.

In the back of his mind, he's still thinking about /that man/.

/That caterer/.


Huang laughs pleasantly at Raiden's statement, trying not to let the cringe he's feeling creep onto his public face. After all, a considerable part of the history he is talking about involves Chinese and Japanese killing eacn other in great numbers. Probably not a party-friendly discussion topic. "I can see that. I do not wish to monopolize your time on this special occasion, Mitsurugi-sama," he says, offering the older man another bow. "So please accept my congratulations once again. If you will excuse me," he says, nodding respectfully as he steps backward and then turns away, heading toward the nearest wait staff.

Gods, he could use a drink.

After liberating a glass of something from a passing man with a tray, Huang spots a familiar-looking bomb collar in the crowd and makes his way toward Arian, clearing his throat as he approaches her from behind. Sneaking up on her is a bad idea. "I see you got the invitation," he says pleasantly to her, scanning the immediate area. His face passes over Camille's without stopping, having dismissed him as The Help on his way to...

...well hello there.

"Ah, and you've already made a friend," he says, smiling faintly in the direction of a short silver-haired girl who is sputtering her way rather charmingly through some sort of apology. A little slim and a bit young for his tastes, but pleasant to look at all the same. The hair adds a certain exotic flair, too. "Are you going to introduce me?" he asks Arian, glancing pointedly in her direction.


"Indeed." He doesn't say 'the pleasure is all mine' or something. Just... 'indeed'. And it's joined by a nod at Ed, before Xiang follows the tall man with his gaze - as he wanders off to fetch more 'proper' foods. At least, to Edward's standards. This same reply is given to Divada then, "Indeed." And he bows his head. Finally realizing that this may be a be too formal, and was going to end up with another stab in the ribs, he adds; "A pleasure."

He then realizes that his hand was grabbed in return, and he squeezes firmly, grinning at Kamina. "You have a firm hand." He states, whilst reading his expression. "And while the introductions are going. This is miss Leland, she's from Gaea. She isn't from the Spiral King's plains." He'd lived there for a large part of his life, and the Gurren Brigade being from there, he believed it was nescissairy to comment. And he keeps squeezing, now firmer - his hand almost like it was made of metal. That's what you get for punching rocks for a good ten years as a Martial Artist.

Then suddenly, Yoko joins the bunch. They've got quite the little... and rather odd... group going on here. "Greetings..." Pause. "Hello." That's better. He makes sure not to introduce himself as the Emperor this time. In fact, he simply waits for the lady to introduce herself first, whilst he continues his firm hand-shake exchange with Kamina.

In the meanwhile, Yu has turned around and is leaning against the table, and catches the fall whilst Briareos is staring at it with his rear sensors. "I'm enjoying myself so far." She states, looking at the silverhaired one who'd fallen over, but doesn't comment on that. "I don't even know where they're hiding the good stuff yet." And after having said that, she turns around and extends her hand to shake Briareos. "Yu Zhi Wu."


"Anyway, as I was saying, --" Kazuma picks up where he left off earlier, "-- yeah - seeing a completed colony, when you know what it looked like months or a year before ..." He smiles - not a grin, a *smile*, a serious and mildly awed one. "There's nothin' like it. Even though they were repairing rather than building from scratch, but that almost makes it *more* impressive." He starts walking casually with Macua, heading towards one of the refreshment tables for now, but not in a hurry. The caterers will make sure there's enough food out for everyone.

As luck would have it, the table they're heading towards is being staffed by a certain covertly-placed Katharon operative, one whom Kazuma has no reason at all to recognize as anything more than an honest part-timer for the catering company.


Edward Fawkes returned with a small platter. After all he didn't want to hog the whole thing. No matter how much money got poured into this shindig he didn't think more than a few trays of the stuff were made. All kinds of rumors about the addictivnesss... or whatever. What, don't look at the man like that. We all have our quirks.

Oh well he did want to remain social so snagged a glass of something frothy and green (absinth? Nah; the glass was all wrong) on his way back to Sinya and the lady captain.

"Captain." He offered her the tray while looking to Sinya and Xiang. He wasn't sure how either felt about his momentary stepping out. After all Yuin seemed to be caught up in some sort of high class alpha mail display, or at least it seemed that way to Edward. Sinya... Oh hey Captain lady with the Firm Hand. He. However wasn't sure what to make of the woman. However he did have the good grace to not look bored. Still, not knowing the general company was a conversational handicapp.

What to talk about? His last job was the stone giant the DC scoope up after the deens had knocked it's face in. Too close to politics there. His recently finished and debugged PT cockpit? Pfft hardly fitting conversation. Ooo o waitaminute. There was the colony itself. "I have to say while I can hardly wrap my head around the technology that keeps this place as artful as it is functional I have to admire it." Pause. "I mean I'm a child of the Sides. Old Reliable technology... this... This just..." He lets out a low whistle. "It's incredible."


Yoko looks a little perplexed by Xiang's hesitation, but decides to shrug it off as him being polite. "Oh, um. I'm Yoko," she replies, extending her hand. "I'm part of the Gurren Brigade, I just... kind of got thrown into this at the last minute. It's pretty interesting so far!"

To Kamina, she murmurs, "I hope you're playing nice with everyone~"


Unlike most of the women Chibodee checks out, Lunata might not be able to look at him check her out... but she can probably sense it. Though she doesn't take offense at it, necessarily. There's certainly much to check out, decidedly curvaceous in the right places... but, well, there's the whole 'Neo-Vatican City' element to it all. "Ah, yes, I sensed his fighting spirit, certainly. I am honored to make your acquaintance, Chibodee Crockett. I hope to be a worthy representative of your caliber." Lunata responds calmly and gracefully to Meiya's introduction, performing another bow.

Was there another presence in the mix there? It was more tender... she might not know it just now, but Lunata just inadvertently caught a psionic glimpse of Shine Hausen from the side. Hmm...

Meiya also introduces Tasuku, and gives him a nod -- eerily, since she's sensing him through other means, she can face him enough to do so. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Shinguji." Even though those eyes are seriously not looking like they're looking at anything in particular...


"I am sure it sounds silly," Shine says to Koji as she is given her frozen concoction and takes a very small sip from it. "But I had never had the opportunity..."

She colors rather brightly. She is not wearing much makeup and is already on the pale side. "Oh! That is very kind of you to say, Koji," she answers as one hand goes up to one of her coiled braids and its pleating at the side of her head. "You're very handsome as well..."

She feels another little tickle, which keeps her from simpering much more. She looks over again, blinking and asking Koji, "That is the woman from the Vatican, isn't it?" She sounds very faintly disapproving, before her attention goes momentarily towards Arian and her silver-haired friend. She beams at them, though she does not butt into the conversation /just/ yet.

Doing this also means one of the decorative frills of Shine's dress decides that the nearest source of electromagnetic potential it should move towards is Koji Kabuto's left sideburn. Magnets, man.


Chibodee takes a moment to wave to the passing Princess -- hey, he should check up on her, too -- before moving his attention back to Lunata. The name does not immediately trigger a memory for him, but there were a lot of Gundam Fighters and a lot of fights. Nobody fought /everyone/. "Miss Croze," he says, extending his hand. "It's a pleasure to meet you. Welcome to Neo Japan II." 'Awesometown', he mouths afterward.

"So, uh... elephant in the room," Chibodee says, never one to dance around a question. "Are you, um. Sighted?"


Kamina nods to Xiang's statement, waving his metal hand toward Sinya. "Yo! Nice to meet you." He seems focus on the firm handshake he's currently locked in, grinning widely. "So you're from the same area. You know Jeeha? It's my old town. Yoko is from Littner or something." He looks over to the red head for confirmation.

As Xiang's grip grows harder, Kamina doesn't back down. While Xiang is all skill, Kamina is just holding out through sheer will power. He increases the pressure on his grip. It was a contest now. He wasn't about to back down.

"Yeah, Yoko is one of the first people in the group. Her and my brother Simon! Simon is the guy who made it all possible. We wouldn't be here without him."

"Tch. Geez. I'm doing fine." Kamina pouts somewhat, mumbling something about not wanting Leeron to do anything. He is terrified of that gay man and his bendy fingers.

"Holy shit! Chibodee! Whats up man!?" Kamina yells, still clutching Xiang's hand...harder now.


'Her friend' is quite a step up considering the events after the Balmarian war, Tasuku muses.

Huh, Tasuku thinks as he bows his head as he's being presented. A Gundam Fighter! Another girl, at that. There's getting to be a lot more of them these days. The Mechanic nods politely at the passing Princess when she comes by, but something bothers him as he looks back at Croze.

Her eyes, she's not looking at anything, but he knows she's 'looking' at him. For the first time in the Gala, Shinguji is quite aware of another psychic presence beyond the Princess -- it's standing straight in front of him.

As such, he's lost in his thoughts until Chibodee speaks with his question. "Huh? Wh? Oh, yeah! Nice to meet you, Ms!" He says, similarly streching out his hand for a shake.

So. She's one too, he muses. Interesssting.


Divada knew better than to think Sinya was here on anything other than a reputable contract, she really didn't need to explain herself. "It's fine, really. I know you wouldn't do such thing as that." She says before looking over her shoulder at Xiang and Kamina, then rubs her face. She had no makeup on since she didn't really have any. "God, my IQ is dropping from the level of testosterone being thrown out." She says before chuckling to Edward. "Yeah. It's a very nice place. It's better than staring at Terraformed Mars, or at the inside of a ship all of the time. Nice change of pace."

She waits for a good second before nicking a piece of food off of Edward's platter. Bold isn't she? She munches it rather quickly, then licks her lips. "That was good. but now I need a drink." She says before turning down any offer of a drink from Edward. "I'll get a light one. I'll be right back."

The irony is, she heads right for Princess Shine Hausen and Koji Kabuto, as well as their entourage.


At this point, Sinya is starting to wonder if trying to loosen up the Chinese captain is even possible. Maybe alcohol? She'd have to try that later, perhaps. Still, at least he has the good graces to explain that she isn't /that/ kind of beastman, something she hadn't even thought of for once. Her ears twitch back, causing a jingle of her earrings. "I'm afraid tales of the Gurren Brigade didn't reach as far as Gaea." Her expression is just a bit more timid, that usual control that has to come whenever she gets mistaken for one of Lord Genomes creations. Luckily it doesn't last too long - there are far too many distractions.

"Find something good?" Her smile returns along with Edward's arrival, focusing on refreshments as a diversion. Taking one, she chews it down quickly, if for no other reason than it gives her an excuse not to talk for a moment or two. Her eyes move between Xiang, Kamina, and then to Yoko. "Are guys always this stubborn, or did we just get stuck with two of the worst?" It's meant as a joke, really. "Can we not break each other's fingers?" Great, now she sounds like someone's mom. Ugh. "I need a drink." Mutter.

She doesn't /quite/ trust leaving the ship captain by himself, just incase the testosterone decides to reach epic levels while she's gone. "After getting a tour of the SuiKyosha, I don't know that I could be much more impressed by anything tonight." Ahh, at least she could make decent conversation with Edward - thankfully. Leaning closer, she twitches a finger, trying to get him to come down to her level so she can whisper, "They have fish in the walls."


Briareos also extends his metallic hand. However that metal was odd; It felt like skin, not metal. It was warm like flesh, and the texture was almost like rubber. It really was a strange material. Even he did understand how the tech-heads back at Olympus made the stuff.

"The name is Briareos, it is a pleasure to meet you, Miss Wu." He says with a pleasant tone in his voice, before taking a sip from the glass /somehow/. Yes he had that slit where his mouth should be, but was their really lips behind that metal face?

Was there even a /face/?

Dang you Masamune!


Macua Huitl has no problme keeping with Kazuma for the moment she's not about really going to run off on him as she heads with him to the refreshment tabels with him. There's a lot of food here and for the most part looks all good to her. Sure there's some really /fancy/ party food which she'll likely avoid and leave to those who like it.


Raiden hmmns, "Of course." he bows again as Huang takes his leave, then stands up straight again, turning to disappear into the crowd, because Raiden is either an old samurai badass, or a goddamn ninja.

Meiya hns as Chibodee goes straight for the elephant in the room. Well, /A/ elephant in the room. She hums softly, letting Lunata field the question directed at her. Then they can get back to business, hopefully.

As Camille is bumped into and his tray is sent flying, a tall woman in what looks like a red and black cross between a chinese dress and a maid's unform and green hair held in a tight bun, just sort of sweeps in from the crowd, fresh trays held in both hands as she bows, "More entrees? Drinks?"


Both Chibodee and Tasuku extend their hands, and this sort of creates an awkward situation where Lunata can sense that their hands have come forward in a gesture that she's confirmed is a handshake, but not quite enough to accurately sense where they are.

She extends her hand forward. Empty air.

Again. Aha! Someone's hand. Whose hand is it? She doesn't know. Shakes it anyway. Her other hand extends forward and she pats around the other man's hand and shakes their hand, too.

It's a little embarrassing and clumsy to see.

Lunata takes it in stride, though. She does give a smile to the two of them. "Unfortunately, I was never blessed with sight, no, Mr. Crockett." She doesn't even speak like it's a disability, just a little unfortunate thing that occured. When you live with it all your life... well, you get used to it.


Ahhhhghhgh he said her name, she thinks. Not that there's any reason for people to know it, here, but it's still a kernel of information, and Tessa has gotten increasingly paranoid about information pertaining to her identity, because CERTAIN PERSONS BLEW UP HER HOUSE AND SHE'S STILL PRETTY UPSET ABOUT THAT

The point is: Tessa stammers a little more, then fixates her eyes on Camille, quickly pulling herself away and dusting off her dress with a few pats of her hands. "Uh-uhm," she says, slowly, and then mutters, "Normally you'd do it by hiding your face, but it'd look weird to put on glasses or a mask now..." She has an idea, though it's pretty outrageous, so if Arian decides not to make a point she'll let it slide, yeah, that's it.


"Then I think you're one ahead of the rest of us, Princess," Koji grins faintly before taking another sip of chocolate milk. Clearly, he doesn't care much for school.

Shine's wondering leaves the young Ensign to turn his head to look. "I.. I guess?" he answers with a little frown. The Vatican? He's already starting to feel like he's way in over his head. Mingling amongst the high society is no place for a pilot.

LAST NOVEMBER

The GM Custom's feet hit the ground with a thud. "Who the fuck do you think you are!?" Koji shouts over his shoulder at the Zeta Gundam.

"/Amuro Ray/!?"

Propellant flames ignite within the thruster-bells of the GM Custom's backpack, launching it into the Czech night.

LAST JANUARY

"Wowww.." Koji blinks as he looks around. There's a dozen Trailer bodies on the ground. He reaches back, rubbing the side of his scalp with his fingertips. "Who'd ever thought we'd end up foiling an assassination attempt on famed hero of the Balmar invasion, Ibis Douglas!?"

TWO WEEKS AGO??

The door to Fa's quarters slides open with a hiss and Camille Bidan walks in, "Hey Fa, do you know where my lucky striped sweater is?"

"ohOH GOD, CAMILLE DON'T---!" Fa shrieks as she launches out of bed. The silky, sparkly space-blanket hurriedly gathered up to cover her nubile yet naked physique.

"Oh shit!" Koji yelps as he falls out of bed, bare as bare can be. "..C-Camille!?!"

"KOJI!?!" Camille stares.

"Y-you.." Fa glances to either men, her cheeks rapidly flushing. "..know each other!?"

NOW

Koji thinks for a moment. "Soo.." he begins to wonder. "Have you thought about going to colleg--" He's interrupted, as the decorative frill of Shine's dress begins pointing toward his sharply-angled left sideburn. "H-hey, wha-what's going ... on?"


One hand sticks out to catch the tray before it goes spilling over mid-toss; the Boosted Child shifts her hand on the underside to keep it from spilling. Of course, then she takes one more off the tray and starts to slaughter it in a few swift bites.

It's probably good for Huang that he /does/ announce his presence; Lord knows if she actually has a shank tucked away in that dress somewhere, no matter /how/ good the security here is supposed to be. With the throat cleared, Arian twists around to face Huang, looking the girliest that she's probably looked in all the time that he's known her. The dress, the makeup, the hair--

"S'up, Huang."

-- and then she turns to look over her shoulder at /that caterer/ and the silver-haired girl that's stumbled into him just moments ago. Opening her mouth to talk, it takes another second for her to jerk a thumb at both Camille and Tessa before replying, "I have no idea who they are. I stopped for a second for one of these hordes-things and then she came tumblin' out of nowhere, so--"

Pause. "Uh," she says, turning to Tessa, "I'm Arian-16, ace pilot of the Yingzi, and this is my servant, Huang." In another moment, the tray is thrust back out at Camille. "This is yours, too."

And then she takes another, og nom nom.

She turns halfway to look at Huang once again, letting one hand rest on her hip. "So this is what you meant by a social occasion?"


"Ah. Miss Yoko. I see." He nods his head politely. "An honor to meet you as well. My name is Xiang Yuan --" He couldn't really go out and tell them he was a former village chief. But at least he could go as far as saying; "-- Captain of the SuiKyosha, which carries a crew of one of the larger former underground cities." That wording should do fine. And he believed that Yoko ought to recognize why he thought it to be an honor to meet her. "Stories are told about you and your adventures, --" There's a pause. "-- Big gun --" Pause... "-- and fantastic accuracy, or course."

When Ed then returns, he takes that moment to feign softening his grip for a moment, then squeezes down even more firmly on Kamina's hand as he does the same. They seem to be equally matched so far! Martial Art Handgrip versus Hot Blooded Sheer Willpower Squeeze. Xiang however, remains like a rock, not showing that this is even in the /least/ a workout for him.

He just smiles at Kamina. "Yes, I know of those towns. Or at least heard of them. I'm afraid that, other than some simple trading, I have not visited them much myself. That aside. Where is young mister Simon?" He inquires, whilst turning his head to look into the direction of whom Kamina had shouted out to. Who was this 'Chibodee' person?

Xiang then converses with Ed. "I admit. It is a bit overwhelming, even for one such as I. To think there could be a whole country floating above the Mystic Moon is rather incredible. Not even master Xian Zhe Shui could have prepared me for this, with his teachings."

His eyebrow raises for a moment when Divada makes her comment about testosterone. "You can tell a lot about a man, by their handshake. Breaking eachother's fingers would be unmanly. You must know your own strength, and read the other's from their grip as well. To match it perfectly - is almost like combining." How could he make sure rediculous things sound like they were said by a wise old man!? However he did it: he DID it. "Also, bring me something to drink as well, if you would be so kind?" Pause... "Sinya." There. First name basis! How was that for loosening up?

In the meanwhile, Yu shakes Briareos' hand firmly, and smiles even though she mentally is a bit caught off-guard by the feeling of the metalic-looking skin. To hide this, she quickly takes that glass of punch she'd filled and takes a drink out of it.

"Nice to meet you, mister Briareos." She watches him pour the drink down his mouth... hole... slit... thing. She blinks, and suddenly a slight blush appears on the warrior-lady's face. "So what are you doing for the night?" The direct approach.


Yoko nods. "Yep, from Littner. Right next door to where Kamina and Simon used to live," she confirms, smoothing the wrinkles out of her dress (which was starting to annoy her, really, with its itchy fabric and stiff underskirt and ugh Leeron WHY.) "Buuut, leaving there to go above ground was probably one of the best experiences I've ever had. I don't regret it at all!"

At Sinya's little comment, she smirks. "Well, Kamina's not SO bad ... most of the time. Of course, it's a matter of determining WHEN that 'most of the time' is, haha." She gives the man an unassuming grin before moving to his side, after Sinya's left to get a drink.


Terraformed Martian landscape... boring? Ed snorted at that "The Red Moon is many things, but boring is not one of them." Oh, crud. Gaean, Same off-blend Sinya's been set on edge after hearing many other times. "Crud," Mutter, "Hate this... stupid rattle in my head." He, however, kept an eye on Xiang in case things got out of hand while Sinya was off finding drinks. He wasn't suree if the Emperor/Captain could be loosened up either, but the man did represent a puzzle, and a lead into his increasingly less straightforward past.

It's been ages since he's been to any sort of social function where he wasn't the best dressed person in the room. He's /never/ been to a political digg... so Awkward Giant feels Awkward. Wait what? He perks at Sinya's voice. "What? You mean Xiang's ship?" He figured decorative fish. Silvere/gold, maybe some glittery stones for decoration.


Kamina is hard to miss. Chibodee looks away from Lunata, lifting his hand to wave to Kamina in recognition. There's some other guy with him that Chibodee doesn't recognize. He'll get back to him in a second. Back to Lunata. "You get around amazingly well," he says, demurely bringing his hand back. "You must have an amazingly trained mind to be able to get around in a party like this without any problems."

Chibodee takes a drink. "So how long have you been a Gundam Fighter?"


Huang frowns at Camille as the young man goes down. He is not the instinctive student of body language that someone like Meiya or Chibodee might be, but he's been studying tai chi for most of his life. He's been training with Sai Saici for months now. And that did /not/ look like a natural fall. The artificial eye gleams red as he peers at the young man's face, running it through his memories. Has he seen him before? Perhaps if he envisioned a helmet around...

Arian's crack ruins the moment, and Huang looks away. "Your servant, am I?" he asks, returning her smirk with interest and then breaking into a courtly bow. "Only as any true gentleman is the servant of any beautiful young woman. Gladly would I offer myself into the service of your charms," he says as he rises, "But, alas, a horse cannot bear two saddles. Most of the time," he adds. "You look good, by the way."

Huang leaves the Schoolgirl to mull that over for a bit and then steps toward Totally Not Tessa, tilting his head inquiringly, his golden braids shifting as he leans toward her. "Your pardons, lady, but that was quite a stumble," he says, giving Camille a glare. Probably just some young kid hired off the street. No need to worry. "Are you all right, Miss..."


Kazuma's tastes are pretty simple as well, but he helps himself to a few things from the catering table - although his eyes narrow a little bit when the caterer just *tosses* a platter - or rather, *at* - a partygoer. The Trailer looks back and forth for a moment between the caterer and the pilot - whose voice, in fact, Kazuma recognizes from a few encounters on the battlefield.

This could get messy.

"Good evening, ma'am," Kazuma says with a polite nod to Arian-16, taking a plate and handing it to Macua, then taking a second plate for himself. "And sir," he adds, officially taking note of Huang's proximit. "Enjoying the party?"


Without making Edward bend down a second time, Sinya simply mouths the words 'real fish', lifting her eyebrows as a way of accenting just how strange she thought such a thing to be. She does manage to pick up a few words that he speaks in that strange language of his, but as always, most of it escapes her. "Don't worry about it." She reaches out and touches his arm, ever so briefly, and then draws her hand back once more.

She gives a single, knowing look to Yoko, even if she had only just met Xiang, she was starting to wonder if it isn't a 'most of the time' but a 'once in a blue moon' sort of thing. She opens her mouth, and ends up floored by the captain's continued failed attempts at casual conversation. She looks skyward, as if begging for patience. And then, ontop of all that, he asks her to go fetch drinks. At the very least it was a request and not a command, although she doesn't seem to think his use of her name is any great improvement.

"Fine." Tail lashing, the catgirl wanders off into the crowd, following her nose to try to find the strongest thing she can manage. Stuck with Xiang for the night - Oh she's so getting drunk - it might be the only way she can tolerate him.


Edward Fawkes puzzzles at this as he plays temp-babysitter for Xiang while Sinya goes fishing for drinks. Real Fish? Strange, but then again before today he would've considered seeing the mechanic in a dress a sign that the End is Neigh.


Shine giggles slightly at Arian's joke about Huang, glancing back then at Koji as her dress gets up in his area. "oh!" she says, before tugging on the stray frill. It floats loose and back towards other portions of the decorative sector of her dress, as she says with some guilt in her look, "I'm sorry, this is new. Um - I have not actually thought about college -"

She gives the approaching figure of Divada, whom she doesn't recognize, a warm smile and a small raising of a hand to wave to her - but, as she is Very Important, she does not do the greeting round these parts!!

Her eyes then cut towards Huang, and past him, the person he's dealing with. She murmurs to Koji, "That fellow you recognized, he seems to be having trouble... should we help him, or would it just get him in trouble with his employers...?"


It was a little awkward, Tasuku felt a little bad at first, but she seemed to go around well. about it.

He don't have any particular questions to ask, beyond a very obvious one that apparently only he can think of. He asides at Meiya, smiling. "It's a nice dress, by the way, you look great in it." He offers a little awkwardly as an aside, refocusing on Lunata.

His mind's wandered in her direction, attempting some contact. It's kinda clumsy, and it's mostly comes off as a brief telekinetic wave, barely visible to the non-psychic eye. washing over her. Tasuku never has been a great telepath.


YESTERDAY??

Camille reclined back in bed, a lit cigarette dangling loosely from his mouth.

Sayaka Yumi lay next to him, a content and warming smile on her face, "Camille, you're so much more in touch with your feminine side than Koji.."

Camille's left eyeball twitched, "That reminds me: Why are you still here?"

NOW

Camille grimaced and nodded to Tessa; if only he'd remembered to steal a pair of Captain Quattro's shades for this mission. At least Arian had managed to catch the platter with remarkable aplomb...not that things were gettinf any easier as more people gathered around him.

"Uh.." He exchanged a quick glance with Tessa, eyes reflecting an apology for the cock-up with her name before distancing himself and dipping in apologizing bow, "Sorry for my carelessness, your skill is impressive." He takes the platter back thankfully, "Nice to meet you both, anyways. Though i'm just.." He groaned inwardly, "Beaucoups Dollars, a independent contractor." He was going to shove Beecha out an airlock.

Also, the gaze Huang was giving him didn't sit easy on Camille. He had the distinct feeling he should know something about this guy when Kazuma and Macua show up. He'll try to shake his head at Mac without seeming suspect: Do /not/ recognize him!


Meiya looks at a small silver watch on her wrist as Chibodee begins chatting up the fresh meat-I uhh I mean Lunata. "Excuse me, Chibodee, Tasuku, Lunata. I need to step aside for a moemnt. I'll be back in a few minutes." she bows her head and turns from the group, going back up to, of all places, the Podium. Now anyone that knows Meiya knows she doesn't like public speaking, but she's beelining for the microphone and turns it on. The stadium's jumbotronfills it's screen with Meiya's face.

"Everyone, please forgive the interuption, but I promise you'll be back to the party in just a minute." Meiya closes her eyes and inhales, she's practiced this at home more then a dozen times and puts down the mild nervousness in her stomach.

When Meiya opens her eyes again to look directly into the camera, they are full of confidence, even pride. "It is most apropriate that today when we are opening the replacement of a colony lost at the end of the last Gundam Fight that I make this announcement. The last Gundam Fight was frought with danger and intrigues, above and beyond what is normally dealt with, and I expect no less from the next fight."

My sword trainser was a man named Saburo Gurren, the Neo-Japan represenative in the 8th Gundam Fight, and I helped train Latooni Subota, the current Gundam of Gundams in sword fighting. So to do these two people the honor they deserve..."

"I announce my intentions to enter the Gundam Fight as represenative of Neo Japan II."

"Should anyone find fault or contend my entry, they may attempt to disqualify as per the Gundam Fight rules during the perliminaries."


It would probably be bad to tell Kamina he was one of the Village chiefs, yeah. In Kamina's experience, the village chiefs were usually douche bags keeping the people down. Sometimes they would outright kill them for the "greater good." It was a fact that Kamina found infuriating.

Still, this guy is strong. Kamina keeps on the pressure, grinning wider as he squeezes harder. Sure it hurt somewhat but he was too into this competition to lose now. This guy thought he was so cool!

Kamina gives a look to Sinya. "What?! We're no bothering anyone! And like he said, it's about about combining! The manliest thing two men can do is combine their powers in fiery unison!"

"Simon isn't around right now. He's probably back at the Restaurant or something. Kid works very hard!" Kamina increases his grip, looking over to Yoko. "You just left to be around me and Simon! Admit it. We're pretty damn cool" He grins at her, looking her dress over.

He blinks when Chibodee seems occupied. "Huh... Guess he's busy."


Edward Fawkes stiffened slightly. Something was very wrong. He couldn't put it in words but anyone sensetive to these things would feel unease, confusion, nausia. Could just be the Uber Snacks Revenge, or the oddbal drink. Ed hoped so but in the interests of not making a scene he slowly started the process of excusing himself. He didn't want to be here if it was worse than just a bad batch of munchies... or even if that was all. Scenes were to be avoided in polite company.


Koji Kabuto takes a moment to wiggle his sideburn to free it of its prior electromagnetic draw. "Your dress is still very chic, Shine-sama," he covers deftly.

"Huh?" Shine makes mention of /that man/, /that caterer/. Koji turns to look, his eyes widening under the cover of those mirrorshades. Jeezus! Don't get exposed, dumbass! "I bet you he's just nervous," he tries to cover for Camille, too. "The Ruler of All Known Space is here, after all, and then there's a few other semi-important guests." There's that Kabuto charm. Here to save the day. "But maybe we should go over and make sure everything is okay?"

Koji polishes off the rest of his chocolate milk and gets to his feet. A stray thought nags at the back of his mind. Didn't Sayaka say she wasn't feeling well today?

It must've been something she ate.

Or someone??


Divada smiles and waves to Shine as she gets to the bar, and orders a Whiskey Sour. Oh yeah. Testosterone really needs to be drowned out by heavy liquor. Ugh. She quietly waits for the drink and...*DING*. She looks with wide eyes towards the Princess and gives her a curtsey. "Princess! I didn't recognize you at first. I apologize." She rises up just in time for Meiya to give her announcement, Giving her plenty of time to regain her composure.

She claps in response to Meiya's announcement and smiles quite a bit. "I supposed the Gundam Fights will be happening soon, your highness?" She says somewhat casually to Shine...


"I have been trained since youth for my time as Neo Vatican's representative. Martial disciplines from every corner of the globe. Tiger. Mantis. Wu Shu. Kyokushin. CQC. So on. Even a smattering of the various boxing techniques rotating around in your circle... though it is not my specialty," Lunata gives a clear answer to that. "But my actual combat experience is limited, as I have only begun a month ago."

Yes, she's had one combat sortie... against Meiya there. Bit awkward. Sort of. Lunata herself doesn't think so, but she is aware not everyone feels as liberated in terms of factional lines as that...

Tasuku's mental waves sort of register to her, and she gives him a brief, concerted wave of approval in return... but her attention is now on Meiya again, and how she has just declared her intent to become the representative of Neo Japan.

Interesting.

It really draws her a lot of parallels to when she made her own announcement. It was... a momentuous occasion. She wouldn't wish to interrupt this in any way.


Briareos is almost caught off guard as the sudden question comes out. He actually sorta coughs; That is how caught off guard he was, "Wait-- what?" He then stares at the smaller woman. Those four optical sensors just stare at her with those antenna straight up, which probably said '!!!'. They quickly went down flat just as fast as he gently waved a hand and got that sheepish sound in his voice.

"Hope I am not taking this wrong, but uhh, if your trying to move in on me, hate to say it-- but uhh-- I'm taken." He then ahems before he rubs the back of his neck.

If Deunan was here..

Flashback moment for Bri..

Deunan chasing after some poor girl with a bat, "DON'T EVER STARE AT HIM LIKE THAt AGAIN!!!" right across the street of a busy intersection in Olympus.

Briareos shortly chasing after, before nearly getting hit by a truck, "Damnit Deunan! She was just doing her job as a waitress!! Its called eye contact!"

Back to now..

Briareos just stares at the glass for a moment, "Urrh, but if it just cause you want to get out of this stuffy ball, I could escort you out and hang outside."

Then the announcement is made, which may save him a bit. He looks over in that direction before he takes another drink from the glass.

Gundam fights were never his thing, but if the crowd claps, so will he; After all, he knew what they were, everyone in Olympus knew what they were, but it was just away to entertain the masses there.


"If Simon's working, how can I leave to be around him, huh?" Yoko snickers, poking Kamina in the forehead. "I just didn't want to pass an opportunity like this up, you know? That, and I figured you'd probably need someone to bring you home when you inevitably get hung over. I'm feeling charitable."

When Meiya makes her announcement, she listens intently and applauds with everyone, even if she isn't very familiar with or big on Gundam fighting. After a lull, she wonders aloud, "Though I DO wonder what they have at the bar ..."


Tasuku would say something, or reply something psyhicaly.

But he's too busy choking on his drink at Meiya's declaration.


Chibodee listens to Lunata in interest, interested in her training regimen. She sounds like a serious contender. Chibodee is excited at the possibility of fighting her. What would she be like? More like Sai, or more like him? Perhaps even like Allenby? Possibilities churn in his mind... she could turn into anything with practice.

"I'll look forward to a friendly sortie against you at some point in the future then," he says. But then an announcement! Chibodee gives Kamina the agreed-upon sign for 'just a minute' as Meiya gets up in front of the room. He listens to what she has to say.

Chibodee manages to keep a straight face for about ten seconds before starting to crack up. "Domon is going to /shit himself/," he cackles. "Oh man! It's like Christmas came again!"


Tessa finally slides to her feet, adjusting her highly prescription and not at all false glasses. "Thank you for the...catch," she says, with a prim cough. "Mister..." smirk. "Dollars." Damn, that's a good one. She looks over, and AHHH HUANG QIN SHI

Fortunately, she was 90% off the grid when Huang spent his time in Katharon, so this is not the apocalypse. "Oh," she says with a blush and a laugh. "Yes, I'm quite fine! I'm used to it...I've never been good on my feet, ha ha..."

Carefully not having to say her name... "Oh, yes, it's...lovely to meet you both." She smiles, brightly, getting back on her game and dipping her head politely, and then just when she realizes she really need to produce a name /now/, Meiya says something ridiculous, and her head snaps in her direction, eyes defocusing a little. Is she for real!?


Macua Huitl accepts the plate and goes to add a few things to it. She pauses at Huang, okay keep calm lets not ahem bring too much trouble right? She does looks Arian over for a moment. "Hello." She present this is a party and not fight right? She really plans to not try to ruin it for anyone. She's easily able to catch on to Camille, she has no idea who that young man with blue hair is. There is No Camillie here, only Beaucoups Dollars.


"Hah," she says, at least at first. But then the Schoolgirl gets a compliment on her looks, and her eyes shift away almost defiantly-- but the bit of flush in her cheeks signals there's a positive reaction buried somewhere deep down in there. "Shu'up, Huang," she says, arms folded. "I-It's not like I came to this 'cause I wanted ... to..."

There's doubt in her voice. Then again, she's always been a little tsundere.

"B--" Beaucoups Dollars? /Seriously/?

And then, Meiya's big announcement. If she had a drink, she would've probably choked on it mid-sip. Then again-- she hasn't heard anything of the last Gundam Fighter out of the colonies, so maybe it isn't all that strange, but...

"Oh hey, there she is. Hey Huang, I told you Lat's gonna get me piloting time in the machines Mitsurugi makes, right? They want me to test equipment and crap, probably because I'm that awesome." She doesn't make any mention of the financial compensation being provided to her-- that's a little bit of a point of pride.


Xiang catches some of what Sinya and Edward are talking about and smiles lightly. He remembered that little moment with Sinya. 'Don't eat the purple fish', he had said. Oh, how that had surprised her. A small smile appears at the corner of his lips. This leaves the man almost alone with Kamina and Yoko.

And with that, in a mighty hand-struggle with the first mentione continues! As Kamina squeezes more, to a point of pain, he returns the same. There is a moment of shared eyecontact between the two. One of understanding. He squeezes back for a short moment with more might, enough to possibly surprise and overwhelm Kamina for a short moment, before letting go. Xiang nods at him.

The man then turns about as Meiya starts her announcement. Gundam Fight. He'd heard about this, and had been told on some occassions that he was expected to do a similar thing. But then what? Join the Gundam Fight in the name of La Gias? Hardly appropiate. Not to mention, he had never pilotted a Gundam with the Mobile Trace cockpit, or any real interest in presenting anyone.

He then turns back to Yoko and Kamina, and nods at them in order to excuse himself. "I'm going to see how miss Leland is doing with the gathering of a drink." He states. "It was an honor to meet you, mister Kamina." And with that, he turns around and almost mystic-like, disappears into the crowd.

Yu is looking up as the announcement is made as well, and applauds in order to hide her momentary embarassment about having approached the already-taken cyborg. She drinks more of the fruitpunch and then when people are clapping, she finally nods at him. "I didn't mean to say it like that. I was merely trying to make some small talk. I guess here in the colonies... they say... ehhh..." She tries to remember. "Wassup?" Oh god no.


"I suppose you may be right... I wish I did not have that effect on people," Shine says with a slight sigh after Koji flatters her further. One hand goes up to rest on her chin lightly. "But yes, perhaps we ought to -"

Shine is distracted momentarily by the announcement.

And her response is -- to applaud lightly, calling "Brava!" over the head of Koji Kabuto to join into the rhetorical flurry bursting now onto Ms. Mitsurugi.

A few seconds after this, she turns again to face Divada for a moment. "Well," she answers her with a small smile, "I believe they would begin in the latter half of next year. We have begun preparations, but it has been difficult. I have heard talk of moving to a five year schedule, not a four year schedule... However, that is only talk for now."

She then has adjusted her position enough that when she glances to the side, she suddenly comes

FACE TO FACE

With the cutest li'l terrorist commander in the world. Shine blinks once, before smiling again: "Oh, hello, miss! What would you think about that sort of an arrangement?"


Indeed, Huang recognizes neither Tessa's name (which he did not hear) nor voice, and certainly does not recognize her as the captain of the elusive Toy Box. After all, that person would be a grizzled, grey-bearded veteran like Daitetsu, not a petite young girl. That would be insane. "I'm glad," he says to the silver-haired girl, stepping a bit closer and reaching out his hand, palm facing upward. "But I should introduce myself. I am Huang Qin Shi, the...ah," he grumbles as Meiya gets up to make her announcement. Huang straightens up from the half-bow and then looks up at Meiya with the same pleasant expression he's been wearing all evening, concealing his irritation at having his flirting interfered with.

The moment she mentions 'Gundam Fight,' however, his face hardens into the stern public mask he thinks of as his father's face, giving away nothing. Huang's position is an odd one - as head of the Alpha Numbers, he reports directly to the Ruler of All Known Space... whomever that is. He can't react to the declaration - not in public, not in any way. But he's been expecting this to begin again, now that the Balmarian threat was ended. The old guard would assume everything was normal despite the evidence to the contrary, see opportunity in the devastated European governments, start picking their fighters. Jockey for position. He had expected prospective fighters to start announcing their candidacies, and already has the fighter for Neo Ireland on his ship.

He did not expect Meiya Mitsurugi to make her declaration while the current Ruler of All Known Space is in the bloody room, however. That is safe to say.

Huang glares up at the young Japanese woman with a face of stone, muscles working along his jawline. "I had not heard that," he replies to Arian in a flat tone. "That is..." Huang shakes his head and lets out an angry breath, letting the tension bleed out of his body. Not now. Not in public. Later. "I'm sorry, Arian, that's wonderful news. Congratulations," he says in something approaching his normal voice, stepping to one side to allow Shine to enter the conversational circle.


Kamina looks over at Yoko, narrowing his eyes as he continues his grip contest with Xiang. "Eh?! I'm a man! I can carry myself back on my own two feet! I thought you just came to show off your ass in that dress." He says this as bluntly as possible. He really knows how to tug at Yoko's heart strings.

Xiang and him struggle for a moment more. Kamina almost feels his hand break but he is too stubborn to quit. Finally they break, nodding to each other. He shakes his hand to get some blood flow back into it.

And then the announcement, he whistles for a moment. "Heh. I should reenter that competition under my old flag."

He waits for Chibodee to finish whatever he is doing, turning to Yoko again. "So..." He is oblivious if she is mad from his previous comment.


Adam Steiner is no stranger to fancy space parties, being a part of fancy space royalty. While normally a very utilitarian man, when he's forced Adam can lay on the regalia befitting one of the Steiner name. So Adam is here, clad in a fancy dress uniform. It is the uniform of an EFA captain though, which makes it the first time Adam has actually worn the uniform of an EFA officer. Not that he has anything against it... Adam just isn't much for uniforms at all.

Adam has been here for a while, but he's mostly been dealing with things further away from the more 'important' crowd members. Space colonies are a new thing to Adam. They have enough worlds in the Lucifer Sphere that they don't really need to build orbital colonies. Adam has been more interested in meeting the people who build and maintain the colony, then in mingling with any of the bigger names within the party itself.

However, the general flow of the crowd brings him to the area right about the time Meiya makes her announcement. Adam applauds, because everybody else seems to, although the Gundam Fight frankly confuses the hell out of him. It's a lot like how the Clans do business, except at the same time nothing about it really makes sense to him. Instead of ritualized combat, it sounded more like roving bands of aimless warriors beating each other senseless until at some arbitrary point, someone declares it's time and everybody who is left fights to the death.

"Hmm, maybe this 'Gundam Fight' thing will make some kind of sense if I actually see it happen," Adam muses to nobody in particular.


Koji Kabuto accompanies Shine to the next group of people, which just happens to be the social equivilent of stepping on a landmine. Oh Zeus. "Arian, right?" he happens to notice his pilot-colleague within the group. "I don't think we've met outside of a sortie.."

In the midst of ingratiating himself, Koji gives Camille a firm look. A look that implies, 'dude don't fucking blow your cover you idiot!' with a great big lift of his brows. The Princess is also talking to a really cute girl with silver hair, whom the Ensign cannot help but notice. Damn. These high-society shindigs sure pack in the ladies.


Divada tilts her head as she finally receives her drink. She takes a sip and smiles a bit. "Good drink." She comments to the bartender. She then turns back to the Princess. "Five years would give the planet more time to rebuild between gundam fights, I believe, if you look at it in a 'glass-half-empty' scenario. I do hope Neo-riksent comes out victorious once again, despite Miss Mitsurugi's announcement. Shine, if she can read emotions, would sense the duplicity in her mind, perhaps to not upset the princess.

However, when Huang speaks his name nearby, she turns her head towards him and bows her head a little towards him, if he has acknowledged her presence. She doesn't introduce herself to him quite yet, since even the princess doesn't know her name yet...


The thing Chibodee has to finish doing is 'laughing'. This takes him a second. He straightens up as Kamina and co. approach, grinning like an idiot at them. "Hey K-man, Yoko. How do you like it up here in ... /Awesometown/?"


Briareos nods gently, "Yeah-- that be Whats up? How it hangin'?" He goes through a bit of a list with a gently hand gesture. "But you can send the wrong signals with being pretty front up. I know-- someone who is pretty up front herself. I guess that is why it was easy for me to misread you know." He explains, those antennas only adding to that sheepish factor.

"Just to bad she couldn't make it, then again," Pause of thinking, "She probably be bored out of her mind, either force me to dance on the dance floor, or take me out back to the shed." He motions toward the back door with his thumb.

"Bad enough I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb. Seem to be the only cyborg here amongst the normal population of people. Then again, kind of this way in Olymus too." Beat pause, "Say, where do you come from, Miss Wu?"


There's a delayed reaction she's been just making some small talk she's focusing on not screwing up with her manners. Then Meiya drops the bomb shell she's actually quite suprised about this. Meiya was a skilled fighter yes but she never seemed drawn to it like Macua was. First thought what is Domon going to say about this, second if they fought it out it be a hell of a fight to behold and she'd have to see it herself.

She now looking over directly at Meiya for a moment. She may actually break off from Kazuma to go pay her respects to Meiya. Then find likely Kamina and the rest of the brigade.


"Yeah, my parents were Jews." Camille deadpans this straight to Arian, "It's a thing." He allows a small chuckle at Tessa's self-deprecating ways, allowing himself a small smile until Meiya makes an announcement.

"...huh." Clapping along with everyone else, Camille nonetheless exchanges a wary glance with his fellow terr'ist. Maybe he /did/ learn something useful out of this after all. If they had their way, there wouldn't /be/ another Gundam Fight.

Well, maybe one more.

Oh shit, Shine and Koji snuck up when he wasn't looking. Camille looks back at Koji in a way that say 'I know! I know!' before recalling his freaking role and grabbing a new tray of appetizers from a passing catered and adopting the best flamboyantly gay attitude he could muster.

"/Well/" He held his free hand limply, "I don't know much about Gundams, but I /do/ know an empty stomach is no way to greet that news! Any of you darlings want some?" The tray is offered to all while striving to avoid meeting the gaze (or sharing the brainspace) with Shine or any allies who may giving him a horrified look right now.

Coincidentally, this was also his best Leo Stenbuck impersonation.


Meiya makes no more show or spectacle of her announcement, and doesn't even pause as photographs from reporters are taken, she merely turns and steps down off the stage...

And delivers a fist into hte side of Chibodee's ribs. It won't even hurt the Gundam fighter, but it's the thought that counts. "So glad you found it hilarious." Even though she closes her eyes, she is smiling slightly. She knows she did mroe then ruffle feathers, even her own family wasn't told... In fact, the Neo Japan government might be collectively shitting a gold brick right now, but there was something that made it all worth it. One fact that made the timing, and the placement so savourable to Meiya.

The look on Huang Qin Shi's face.


Chibodee makes an exaggerated puffy face at Meiya's hit, as if he'd been struck by Domon at full speed. He lolls back dramatically for a moment before straightening up, giving her a collegial grin. "Aw c'mon, you KNOW how hard Domon's going to flip out. This is going to be /priceless/. I want to be there when somebody tells him, with a camera, maybe a recorder."


"You aren't the first cyborg I've met." Yu Zhi Wu replies, nodding at Briareos. "And..." She puts a finger to his chest, giving him a stubborn look. "That's still Miss Yu to you." She didn't like it when people used her first name. Not people she didn't know that well. The woman then wraps her arms around her chest and gives him a thoughtful stare.

"I come from La Gias. I serve as an XO on the SuiKyosha - under Emperor Xiang Yuan." She explains, and turns her head towards the crowd to try and find him. The woman spots the man moving, but as soon as she realizes how /fast/ he is moving, she no longer knows /where/ he is. Damn you Heisenberg! The woman shakes her head. "But I could use some fresh air." She adds. "Lead the way."


Tessa is busy going D8 for a few seconds, and then she hears a surprisingly spritely voice, and looks down at AHHH SHINE HAUSEN WHY AM I EVEN HERE

But Tessa is surprisingly good at unflappable when she's not walking (and therefore not falling), and coughs into her fist, daintily. "AHaha, sorry, that...surprised me." Powerful circles to walk in, wow!! Huang offers his hand, and Tessa slowly accepts it, smiling. "Ah, my name is..." ...you know, why the hell not, it's not an uncommon name, and she has a /brilliant disguise/ in mind. "Teletha Testarossa," she confirms with a smile. "Charming to meet you, Mister Qin Shi."

A pause, then her eyes are finally drawn down to Shine, and she manages, "Ah, that's...Miss...Ruler?" she wonders, not totally sure where the etiquette is, or at least faking uncertainty. "A five-year schedule...That's one option, though I fear certain parties would see it as an attempt to grab for power." She hums, slowly. "I've heard some interesting arguments for abolishing the Fight entirely, but... of course, such a thing would require enormous effort and a level of cooperation you're unlikely to get out of the Assembly at the present time."

A little bit of a political pessimist, then, this Testarossa lady.


Lunata nods in response to Chibodee. "I would be honored to accept your challenge," she states in most formal fashion, as she moves towards Meiya Mitsurugi again as she returns from her announcement. She 'looks' sidelong again, perhaps something piquing her mind in another direction, before looking back towards her.

"I honor the decision that you have made today, and may we be able to meet as peers on the battlefield," she explains to Meiya, with an accomodating tone. She shuts her eyes for a moment and then says, "Perhaps it would be best if I earned that answer from you the next time we fought, for I must take my leave now. It has been my pleasure and honor, Mr. Crockett, Ms. Mitsurugi. Mr. Shinguji."

She bows again, and slowly turns around to head towards the stadium exit.


Arian-16 has spent a long time with Huang-- months, maybe, but those months have given her a chance to get to know someone more than a week or a day or an hour or until she's put a bullet between their eyes or slit their throat with a ceramic shiv... so she's picked up on a few of his tells. The way his eye tics in irritation whenever Arado eats too much or when she does something wildly inappropriate, and...

... she says nothing. Her jaw shifts; Arian's shoulders slope as she shrugs. "Just means I get to use more toys."

Listening to Camille for a moment, she gives a glance back at the supposed waiter before watching the reaction to Meiya's announcement. "That reminds me," she adds, in aside to Huang, "Stenbuck said he's gonna try to petition A-LAWS on getting my collar off. Dunno who the hell he knows, but whatever."

She doesn't listen to Tessa and Huang's debate of politics and briefly glances at Shine, opening her mouth to call out to the Ruler of All Known Space (and dear god what a political nightmare that will be) but then she gets sideswiped!!! by Koji. "Huh? Oh. Yeah, Arian-16. My reputation preceeds me, no doubt."


"See you, Miss Croze," Chibodee says as the odd blind woman takes her leave. She made him feel funny, but he's not trained precisely enough to really understand why. No matter.


Shine remarks to Divada, "I don't know. It would be a relief to not be in this seat." She's standing as she says this, of course. She looks back then, blinking once at Camille's sudden shift in behavior. Or would anything less be expected -- from Beaucoups Dollars??

She takes a bite of food from the tray, apparently content to /ignore Kabuto/ (or let him catch up with his school friend) as she discusses The Fight.

"Well," she says, "I have myself thought we should tighten up the boundaries, so to speak. It would seem that it might actually help /reduce/ the risk of people making plays... or at the very least, it would make them less frequent, as there would be fewer opportunities!"


Kamina blinks at her expression, tilting his head slightly. "Whats with you?" He is completely oblivious to the previous exchange as if it didn't happen. "Anyway. You look good. You should dress up more often."

He finishes his drink and looks over at the crowd. "Seems a little fancy to what I'm used to."


Koji Kabuto makes a face at Camille. It conveys every ounce of,

'What the fuck are you doing!!'

"Y-yeah.." Koji shifts his eyes left to right at Arian's reply. "I just, uh, recognized your voice. You, um, you look very nice tonight." If you weren't totally craz-- oh wait, that's the attraction. "Could I get you something to drink?"


Kazuma raises his eyebrows as Meiya makes her declaration. "You aim to be in the Gundam Fight ... wow. Good luck - it's a *tough* deal, but if you've got what it takes? More power to you." He grins, giving her a quick thumbs-up. "If you make the cut, I hope to see you in the Fight itself."

This is being *quite* the interesting party now, and Kazuma finds himself mulling over just *how* interesting, and nibbling on his food, as the party continues around him. You can learn a lot just by listening at parties like this. Lots of interesting people, talking about an assortment of interesting things. And he's not even following everything that's under discussion ...


Briareos chuckles a bit before he gives a nod, "Sure come on." He motions with his hand, "And sorry, Miss Yu." He would smirk if he could, but he can't. However he does lead the way outside. "And sorry about that-- see-- You said Yu Wu, thus I figured you know, Wu had to be your last name, not your first name. Since where I come from, the first name comes before the last name. Like Deunan, her name is Deunan Knute. You would say Miss Knute, not Miss Deunan."


Huang shrugs his shoulders. "Stenbuck, somehow, has connections I can't begin to grasp," he replies to Arian. "If he thinks he might be able to do something...he might actually be able to pull it off," he admits. "Let me know how it pans out, and if it doesn't..." Huang glares in Meiya's direction again, his eyes narrowing. "...I suppose the time has come to take a less passive role in affairs."

~significant pause~

The bishounen-attired engineer gives Divada a pleasant nod and a smile as she approaches, then returns his gaze to the charming silver-haired maiden who, it seems, has a brain in her head. Where do they hide these people? "I think that at the very least, the roster of eligible fighters should be constricted to those countries who are actually willing to abide by the results of the Fight itself," Huang suggests. "As an officer of the Earth Federation Army... I may have my personal opinions about whom I wish to serve, but I understand that once the issue is settled, it is my job to serve them. As it stands now, Zeon participates but then rebels once they lose." He shrugs his shoulders. "In for a penny, in for a pound, I should think."

Triple-traitorpants says this entirely without shame, for the record.


With a white and baby-blue dress, Nia belatedly slips out onto the floor. "Next time I will not wait outside for so long." It is what she tells herself!

Wide clover eyes glance across the beautiful floor, and people, that decorate the area. Almost as if the people were part of the decoration! Perhaps that is why father had kept so many dressed around him, like vases! Taking a spot near Kamina, she declares mostly to herself, a little note.

"I have been quite late... but I do not feel quite fashionable." Pause, "Ah, but you seem very fashionable Yoko!" She beams over to the red-head.


Divada nods to Princess Shine. "Well, we shall see. Sometimes being the princess of all known space has it's privledges, and and it's consequences. I do hope the pressure is relieved from your shoulders if Neo-Riksent doesn't win. If they do, however, I'm sure you'll continue to rule well." She says with a soft smile. "By the way, Ma'am. I'm Captain Divada Kirador. I apologize for not introducing myself earlier." Huang would hear this as well.


"What's with the change in attitude ..." Yoko mutters under her breath, but decides to take the compliment to heart. "Ah ... thanks." She smiles slightly, feeling not as ridiculous as she did before. And considering that she initally felt like the most ridiculous thing to step out of Ridiculousville, that's saying something.

Nia's arrival, though, immediately gets her attention. "Oh, Nia! I was wondering when you'd arrive. You look cute, don't be silly!" she says admiringly.


"Oh, hi Nia!" Chibodee says, as Nia approaches them. "Looking sharp! And it goes without saying that you always light up a room, Yoko." he continues, trying not to wandering eye her too much in front of Kamina. Well. Maybe just a little to razz him.


Miss Yu just chuckles in reply. "Don't worry about it." She wanders along with Briareos. "I'm just being hard on you. The misunderstanding is made quite often." The woman continues to chuckle as she is led outside by the large cyborg. And soon enough, they're outside on one of the balconies of the Stadium, away from the crowds and the celebration for Meiya's joining the Gundam Fight.


It took a moment for Tasuku to regain his composure, but he does evantualy. "/Man/, Meiya, I didn't expected that at /all/! How long have you beenmusing about that?"


Meiya bows her head to Lunata, "Perhaps that is best. And thank you." she lets Lunata go and looks at Chibodee, "If you do..." she loks thoughtful, "Do send me a copy, won't you?".

For a moment, Meiya catches the unapproving look of Huang Qin Shi from across the room. She looks back at her commander for a long moment, then turns to the rest of her group. "Excuse me again."

Meiya then turns and strides across the room towards Huang, Shine and Arian. She stops and does a perfectly formal curtsey for Shine, then stands up straight and salutes to Huang. "Madam princess. Commander, sir." Meiya hates sneaking around unnecisarily.


Oh Zeon, what kind of crazy bullshit won't you pull?

Camille overhears it all, trying not to gawk as Tessa does something at least half as crazy as he just pulled. Well, she's more used to this kind of situation than he is, no doubt she can navigate the political landscape easily. In fact, he might be better to stay out of her way..

He catches Koji's look, grimacing a quick response: I HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE

But it's right then that Camille is saved, for in the heat of the moment he spies his ticket out of her in the distant crowd. 12 o'clock, pretty dress, decked out front and back. And, judging from here...

Redhead.

The AEUG ace's eyes narrowed. Target acquired.

"You dears all have lovely evening, now!" He supressed a smirk as polished black shoes carried him in a quick gait towards the party of Kamina who did not matter at all.

"Pardon me, miss." The totally gay/Leo Stenbuck persona was discarded for the Rico Suave one as an astounding florish put the tray forward at Yoko's person, "But a lady as lovely as yourself must be dying to dine on..." His eyes looked at the tray, "...er.."

Shit, he had no idea what this stuff was.

"It...it's very good!"


"Hah. I had my own opinions about him, but I guess if he can get the job done..."

But yes, Koji.

Arian-16 shrugs. "I guess. I never really have been to a party before, so this is kind of. ... weird. But I got cleared to do some stuff, so it's one of those things where I gotta put in an appearance and--"

Sigh. "Uh-- I guess one won't get me killed."

She catches sight of Meiya again, unsure of how to react. "Huang," she says, out the side of her mouth. "You supposed to bow or salute or what?"


"I know how you feel," Koji sympathizes. "This is kind of like.. a whole 'nother kind of battlefield, you know?" Another caterer swings by with a tray of champagne, enabling the Ensign to pluck a pair of flutes. One drink probably won't hurt. Even if he's supposed to watch out for Shine.

A glass of bubbly is offered to Arian. "Just relax," Koji offers a shrug of his epauletted shoulders. "I think things're starting to wind down as it is."


Kamina grins at Yoko, shrugging. "Just enjoy yourself." He nudges her, crossing his arms. He grins when Nia shows up, whistling. "Oh you look good, Nia! Don't worry! I'll beat down any creepy guys who look at you."


Huang is busy glaring daggers at Meiya, which, well, fair enough.

So Tessa hums, slowly settling in to the notion of talking with SHINE FREAKIN' HAUSEN. "That's one option," she says with a nod. "Finding where the breaches are is always the first step, hm?" she murmurs. "It seems an idea worth considering, at least. The Gundam Fight is a long-standing tradition, and one close to many peoples' hearts. I imagine that's why it's such a magnet for controversy."

And then, Meiya rolls up, and Tessa tries not to look too much like they are Super BFFs Via Brain Slug, instead offering her a little smile and a shy wave. Ohhh dear this is getting messy. She normally doesn't get caught up like this! But, then again...isn't this sort of moment why she goes to these events, anyway?


Macua Huitl might give Kazuma a bit of a pull to come along with her, but it seems Meiya ius comming her way however she's rather well busy. She sighs once and will speak to her later. She now makes her way for the brigade members namely Yoko, Kamina, Nia and apprenly Chibodee.

"HEy it's been a while, I'm suprised to see some of you here at the party but now at least it won't be a dead affair." That was mostly directed at Kamina after all. Kamina will be himself.


Suddenly, MALE ATTENTION EVERYWHERE. Yoko is suddenly surprised! And maybe possibly overwhelmed? She laughs a bit, trying to hide her slight awkwardness at the situation while glancing between both Chibodee and Camille as she takes ... whatever it is off the tray to sample. At least she has something to distract her for a bit. "Ahaha, um. Thanks?" she replies, trying to play it off all cool.

She looks to Kamina -- goodness knows how he's going to react to all this, but hey, he's the one that said to enjoy herself -- then to Nia, who is still standing there being cute and moe and such. "I think she can handle herself pretty well around the boys. She's tougher than she looks, really~" she tells Kamina as she takes an experimental bite of whatever just came off the tray.

"... Oh hey, this is actually pretty good! Do you know what it is?" Impossible question time, GO!


The comment from yoko only cements the wide smile! Chibodee's greeting is much appreciated as well! "Ah, it is much appreciated that you think so, Chibodee! I was unsure if I was to be cute, beautiful or fashionable. I will be careful not to harm anyone If I am currently sharp!" Sharp is good!

But Yoko is being moved on! "If she is not hungry, I am, good sir." She reaches for some of the food that he has with him! Still holding it, she nods to Kamina. "That is so very kind of you Kamina! But I have not seen a creepy guy yet!"

With her free hand, she waves to Macua as she heads over! And then munches on what Camille had, since Yoko has had such a rave review of it! Mmm, it is good!


"It is a pleasure to meet you," Shine tells Divada with a small curtsey as best as she can do while standing in a cluster with other people. She answers Tessa thoughtfully, then, "I've heard a great deal of the criticisms about it, of course... indeed most of what I can tell is that, the only thing that people hate more than the Gundam Fight, is to change the Gundam Fight."

She then remarks to Huang, perhaps sensing that Koji Kabuto was feeling tense (or else wanting to spread out the effort on her minions), "Is that - ah - Captain, Steiner, I think? Could I ask you to introduce me to him, Huang?"


"You don't salute at parties," Huang mutters to Arian, his tone that of the teaching assistant again. "And ladies don't bow while wearing a dress, you'd be spilling the goods," he adds in a slightly lower tone. Huang reaches down with both hands to pluck at the sides of his pants. "You courtesy," he explains. "Lift the hems of your skirts upward slightly while inclining your head and body...like so," he says, his knees flexing. He straightens quickly. "Just...try not to fall, and practice it in private later," he suggests. "Especially if you're wearing heels."

How Huang knows so much about courtesies one may never know.

"Of course, your Highness," Huang says, smiling happily and extending his elbow in the direction of his liegelady. "I would be pleased to introduce you." He nods at the faces around him quickly. "Ladies...gentleman...Miss Testarossa," he adds with a slightly deeper nod and smile.

He'll have to look her up some other time, he thinks as he prepares to whisk Shine away. That'll show Novas that he doesn't need her hooking him up with crazy Katharon broads.


Meiya goes ignored by Huang, this is about as she expected. She may have felt satisfaciton in his intial response, but she doesn't know what exactly has him so tweaked off. She howeever nods poliety to the msyterious industrialist Tessatrossa... wait.

Tessa told Huang her name? Meiya blinks at the silver haired girl a few times. She is aparently not the only one to do something ridiculous tonight.

"Well..Arian..." she ahems softly. "I was hoping to speak to the commander about your new ah... duties." she holds out a hand to the SchoolKid to shake. "I hope with your help the company will make machines that help our pilots."


"Hi, Nia!" Tasuku chips in, waving at her. Huh, he met her a few times by passing, but she's... nice. Maybe if a little odd at some rough edges. "'Sup, Kamina." He adds, clearing his voice again. Damn, champagne hurts when you choke on it.

"By the way, hey, Chibodee," The mechanic adds, placing his flute back on the table. That killed the taste, he'd say. "I think she was a psychic. Croze, I mean. I could feel something from her."


Adam Steiner had actually been looking to meet Huang today. While he'd been working under the man's command for a few weeks now, he'd never had time for a face-to-face meeting before. However he lost sight of Huang shortly after Meiya's speech. Good thing too. If Adam /had/ been around when Divada introduced herself, things would have turned ugly. Adam not only knows her name, but her face and voice as well, from back when they were commanding their respective ships against Zeon.

After Adam lost sight of Huang though, he got involved in a conversation about the Gundam Fight. He'd studied it, of course. Earth politics was among the first things he'd read up on. However none of it made a bit of sense to him, and it helped to hear a 'locals' perspective on the subject.

That ends about the time he spies Huang and Shine moving in his direction, though. He politely excuses himself from that conversation and moves to meet them, extending one white-gloved hand towards the pair. "Princess Shine. Colonel Qin Shi. It's a pleasure to finally meet you face-to-face. I must apologize for not making time to see you both earlier. Seems like I've been called to duty from the moment the fold bubble stabilized."


Listening to the advice given to her by her elder, her yellow-hue eyes shift to follow Huang's movements, and even stifles a laugh behind her fingers when he uses the phrase 'spilling the goods.' Thinking about it in her mind, however, she looks down at her feet that are currently unable to be seen under the fluff and frounce of her dress.

"... this high society shit is a lot more complicated than it needs to be," she mutters back.

Taking the offered glass flute, Arian-16 brings the drink up for a sharp sip, lips puckering just a little as she tries to get the taste over her tongue. Champaigne isn't exactly something she's had a lot of in her lifetime-- in fact, this might just be the first. "Psh, I hope so. These heels are killing me."

Aaaand there's Meiya god she's faster than she thought. A handshake, then? That's-- a little easier to cope with, even if she isn't that good with making contact with others. Still, she evolves-- and shakes hands with Meiya, grinning just a bit. "You'll probably have to pry him offa Shine, at this rate. Fair bein' fair, I probably oughta warn you that I'm not exactly forgivin' and kind to some equipment."

Blink. "Oh, and this guy's, uh. K... Keiji? Koji! Koji."


Divada, despite being able to hobnob with the people here, slowly starts to fade into the background. She did what she came here to do for the most part. Enjoying herself and celebrate the opening of a colony that was nearly destroyed is a good thing, no matter what the politics behind it, or during it, were. She gives a wave to Kazuma Ardygun on her way out and makes her way towards the train before hopping back onto a Dropship that brings her back towards the Ark Hammer. Adam Steiner never sees her. perhaps it's better that way.


Kazuma doesn't need much of a tug to accompany Macua, and raises a hand to wave to the members of the (Dai-)Gurren Brigade as they approach. "Yo, Kamina, good to see you again! Been a while - you stayin' out of trouble?" His tone is more relaxed and friendly than it was during the formal introductions earlier, but Kamina's never struck Kazuma as an especially formal guy. Even at a high society function like this one.

"And good evening to you, ladies," Kazuma adds, bowing briefly to Nia and Yoko before shifting his plate to his left hand, making sure his right hand is clean and presentable, and offering handshakes to each in turn. "Kazuma Ardygun, a Trailer of the Valstork Family; it's a pleasure to make your acquaintance."


"Tell me 'bout it," Koji lets out a sigh as he rubs the back of his head. About the high society shit being complicated. Not about her heels. "I'm not sure I get the point of all this," he confides in Arian.

Big government spending, Ensign Kabuto thinks to himself. While people continue to starve below.

Koji tosses back the champagne flute. He winces slightly, the taste of alcohol still fairly new to him. He's barely eighteen, after all. Oh shit, is Arian introducing him to someone? "Ensign Koji Kabuto," he amends Arian's statement to Meiya. "Earth Federal Forces test pilot, special division."


Meiya hmns. "Too be honest, I don't much care for these kinds of gatherings either." her own handshake is firm, strong she trains a lot. "If you were gnetle with equipment, I wouldn't have made you the offer. We need someone that can find every last fault in a new machine. I can test pilot a machine but frankly, I have no real understanding of them, and my ranged combat skills are too limited to judged a new rifle or a missile." she shrugs her shoulders "Without a sword or knife, I'm hopeless."

Meiya turns and nods to Koji Kabuto, "Kabuto-san."


After some presumable interchange with Mr. Qin Shi, Shine has her opportunity to speak more directly.

"It's quite alright," she tells him with a small smile, clasping her hands around her questionably legal (or wait, she's in charge, she makes the law) drink. After taking a small sip from it, she accepts the handshake. "And... fold bubble? Do you know, I have never heard it described like that, but I am only familiar with the Zentraedi mechanism."


Tessa gives Meiya a little smile, and nods to Shine. "That's the problem, as always. We can see what we must do, but nobody wishes to change, hm?" She smiles, a little sad, and then says, "Ah, but I should...go," before I give myself away like a total moron. "Good evening! Uhm. Lovely to meet you both." She bows her head again, friendly, and then skitters away, to somewhere her player doesn't have to pay any attention to.


"Good day to you, Tasuku!" Nia beams! He is quite a cheerful fellow!

It is Nia's turn to bow to Kazuma as he arrives close, taking his hand and curtsying just as a spiral lord had taught her too so long ago! Some things you simply do not forget! "Yes, it is quite the good evening!" She agrees as she stands back up.

Many seem to be leaving. Perhaps she was too fashionably late?


Macua Huitl waves to Nia and is happy to see another friend, she smiles back and also waves. She looks Kamina over sure he's in a horrific suit but somehow someone /got/ him in one. She can only guess that there may have been an epic battle and the possiblity of someone daring Kamina he couldn't actualally do it but he seems to be too distracted she'll bother him another time. She's just happy to see he's back to his normal self.

"IT's been quite a while, you doing all right your self Nia?

"I don't think you had a chance to meet my boy friend before Nia."


Adam gives a soft laugh as he shrugs his shoulders helplessly. "Call it an Inner Sphere quirk. Techs where I'm from are used to working with technology they don't really understand, so they'll just call it whatever sounds right to them. Almost gives them their own language. Sometimes I feel like I should have a translator whenever I go to the lower decks." Adam shrugs again, with a light smile. "I apologize, though. I'm still not entirely familiar with things out here on Earth. A lot of it is just like back home, but the devil's in the details, they say."


"Yeah, him," she says, after Koji makes the introduction a little more clear. Test pilot, special division? Briefly, she wonders if Mitsurugi is rolling a bunch of them in for some equipment work...

Arian's hand feels a little rough from callouses-- more than likely in a pattern similar to Meiya's, with how long either of them have been holding the grip of a bladed weapon in their lifetimes. When her arms drop back to her sides, she toys with the sides of the dress while staring down at it, shifting her legs back and forth. "I always have to ask Seolla about this kinna thing."

With one hand poised on her hip, she takes another sip from the glass. "Knives or rifles, I'm your bet. I just wanna hear the boom when the time comes," she says, grinning like a shark.


Koji Kabuto glances side-long at Arian. Great Zeus, what kind of company am I keeping!? She's insane. But it's also what makes her hot. It might be best to keep a knife or pistol on hand when hitting on her next.


"Oh, it's quite understandable," Shine says. "I mean we do not quite speak the same language, even if we speak the same language - but that is just because we lead different lives!" She smiles again as she drifts towards the thankfully Camille free catering zone. "It's quite alright, I assure you. Has Earth in general been pleasant for you to visit? I hope we'll see more trade between our homes, now that it's not nearly as arduous a journey."


"A lot of the new TSF designs focus around a rifle and a knife compliment." Meiya can feel the grips strength in Arian's hand. She is not gathering an entire group of test pilots, but she is getting a lot of people to test machines one at a time. "We'll probably start you with a Raptor, the other new machines aren't at testing phase just yet, but hopefully soon." Meiya doesn't seem to mind Arian' enthusiasm, she's slowly come to realize that /everyone/ is crazy in their own ways. It's just a question of if she can deal with it or not.

She hasn't made up her mind about Arian just yet.


"I hope so too," Adam says with a nod. "I know there are a few who are hopeful that working with Earth will finally lead to an end for the brutal Successionist fighting that's cost so many of our lives in the Inner Sphere."

"Earth is lovely," Adam Steiner adds pleasantly, though he quickly glances upward and adds, "Though I'm not sure I'll ever get used to seeing the sky so empty. If you've never been to the Inner Sphere, Lucifer, is just..it takes up almost the whole sky. On planet, in space...I never really thought I'd see a day where it wasn't staring down at me. To be honest, it feels...a lot more 'natural' out here."


"I have been quite alright." Nia responds to Macua, "But I thought you had many boyfriends!" She adds, hands clasped infront of her, still smiling! She does not understand such implications!

"I have so many boyfriends myself!" It's not a hushed declaration! "There is Simon, and kamina! But he is more of a bro-friend, I think!" No one but Leo has bothered to speak to her about relationships, even if it was what is the best about them!


"There's a slight difference between a 'boy friend' and a 'boyfriend,'" Kazuma clarifies with a slightly wry look. "Macua's got other friends who happen to be boys, and I know a handful of them - I guess those might be 'bro-friends' - but with me and Macua it's a romantic thing ..." He blushes a little, shaking his head. "Sometimes I still wonder what I did to deserve her," he admits. "Anyway - good to meet you, Nia."


Clearly, Koji had no idea what he was getting into. Or maybe he did and ignored his better judgment anyway! Whatever the case, it's hard to say if Arian has picked up on his attitude at all, especially when faced with the prospect of piloting something fresh, new, and ready to roll.

"Nice," she says, after a moment. "The Fed's Huckebeins hinge a lot on the use of the M90 model for the assault rifles, but they don't get a lot of penetration or stopping power unless you're dropping all of your ammo into one single point. The Magna guns are a little better for that, but the one I use is a little heavy-- but all in all, the modular design makes changin' the gear up before battle a whole lot easier."

"Lloyd's Sutherlands were great for urban deployment, but I wouldn't advise going up against one of those Katharon Gundams with it, ha ha ha. I dunno who piloted that transforming one, but I almost bit it."


"Mao Industries seems to be lagging behind," Koji absently contributes to the conversation as he starts looking for Shine. "Even their experimental ones are just.. still based on some old fogey design principles. If they don't hit on something really innovative, they'll end up being the next Zimmad."

Koji Kabuto has likely just pissed off half a room.

And he did it without even paying attention.


"I have seen pictures from Saturn," Shine muses to Adam. "I have never had the chance to visit that far out, unfortunately, but I hope I will be able to see my grandfather in person some day. I am told the rings are quite a majestic sight!"

Shine is standing near Adam "another rich white man" Steiner, probably interfering with Koji Kabuto's sensors.

"Lucifer is a, um, a brown dwarf, yes? That's why it can be so warm there. Does it give off a lot of light, or do you always have the stars out even if it's warm?"


Despite having paid an extensive visit with Katharon, Meiya doesn't know who pilots which machine specifically. She has a bad feeling though. "I didn't like the Sutherland much, I was fairly impressed with the Huckebein though." She raises an eyebrow at Kabuto and hmns. "Mao produces Huckebeins because the Federation wants the Gundam archetype. But ultimatly a military frontline unit needs to be a lot of things though, and frontline robots are still a new enough field that a lot of experimentation is happening."


It is quite confusing to Nia! "So there is a difference between a friend that is a boy, and a boy that is a friend?" She ponders it harder!

"But then if you are romantic and more than a friend, how can you tell if it is more than a friend?" It counfounds her... but she has something greater to remark on!

"If you are not certain what you have done, I am sure she will be willing to tell you!" It is oh so important communication is kept between those you care for! "It is a pleasure to meet you as well!"


Macua Huitl says, "Wait what?! WHAT?!" She looks horrifed she was just implied to be Leo like, or did Nia mean she have friends who are male or Boyfriend the somewhat now worked up Brazilian Gundam fighter is looking a little lost and confused then she understans. "Oh umm sorry about that!"


"I can't put the Sutherland up against the Huckebein in a long-term engagement. I mean, maybe wherever Lloyd's from, the Sutherland is pretty normal. I know he made the machine Kururugi uses. But if I were gonna be stuck in a close-quarters engagement, I'd prefer somethin' like that. Just ... with a little more firepower. The lightning claw thing was sweet, though."

Her hand lifts a little, shifting the glass flute toward Koji. "And if you're not careful on what you put together, you're not gonna have a Huckebein. You're gonna have a /Barzam/. And we should all remember what kinna mess that was-- I mean, aside from the engine being too powerful for the chassis."


Adam Steiner may be rich and white, but he's /space/ rich, and that's almost its own minority class, right? Although Adam does look like he could be right out of some play about British sea captains. He shrugs a little at the question again, though the answer is a bit more complicated than it seems. "Well, you have to remember that over there, we have hundreds of worlds orbiting Lucifer. Some were habitable when we got there. Others were close enough that we could terraform them, and a lot are just dead. So it's different for different types of worlds. In general though, day-to-day life on the colonized worlds is a lot like it is on Mars." Adam's spent a lot more time on Mars than Earth so far, but it compares pretty well.

"You should consider a trip out that way sometime before your term is up, though. I'm sure you'd find a trip to Tharkad very interesting. I know Peter Steiner-Davion has been keeping a close eye on relations between the Lyrans and the EFA. I'm certain he'd enjoy a chance to talk to you about it."


"Yeah, I read that in Popular Mecha, too," Koji admits. He had to do a research report on modern development of military hardware.

Jindai has some pretty high standards.

The Ensign is still trying to find Shine. Where the hell does a Princess get off to!?

"But the case has yet to be made for the efficacy of the Huckebein design, especially since the its vaunted 'Black Hole Generator,'" he even goes so far as to wiggle his fingers in the air for the quotations. "..has been deemed disasterous. "It's still being bested by designs that keep appearing among the Divine Crusade, not to mention these mysterious next-generation ARM Slaves and most of A-LAWS's motorpool. I can recognize not everyone is an 'ace,' but whomever is out there designing the next iteration of combat technology, they're definitely not on the Federal payroll."

Koji Kabuto bites his lower lip. Maybe she's just being obscured by someone tall, he thinks to himself. He lifts up to his tippy-toes, for a hope at maybe finding Shine through the crowd. When Arian points at him, the young pilot frowns. "With my luck, they'll rig a testbed model with a Getter ray generator and tell me to test it out." He lets out a puff of air, "That's what I do. I test-pilot experimental energy systems for mobile suits. Real suicide stuff."


Kazuma tries really hard not to snicker at Macua's brief loss of composure. "Yeah, language can be funny like that ... it's usually rare for a woman to have more than one 'boyfriend' in the romantic sense."

... although he kind of runs out of anything to say in *that* conversational thread at that point. Hmm. "So Macua, how'd you and Nia meet ... ?"


"The Barzam was..." Meiya picks up a flute of champaign for herself, her first drink all night. "...unfortunate." she piloted one, it was kind of awfull. "One of the new designs, the Rafale is on the same size scale as an ARM Slave like an M9." She raises an eyebrow at Koji, "The Huckebein Mk II-M has been out performing the old GM series in every aspect. And I'd take one over the DC's Gaurlion."


Nia tilts her head, blinking at Macua! She then giggles, waving a hand.

"I do not remember... but that is not about what you did to make Macua like you very much!" She beams, taking in the information Kazuma gives her. Romantic sense? There is a sense of romantic? She had no idea! But it must be different than the sense of smell, taste, and adventure.

"Mmm. I am a bit hungry. Please excuse me... I am very sorry!" She curtsies again and chases down men with plates. She is just a tad hungry!


Shine listens thoughtfully. "Hundreds? I had thought it was a simple system like Jupiter's, but I suppose it is more complex?" she says, frowning for a moment, though in a thoughtful rather than angry way. Still, she reasons, that could be a figure that includes large asteroids. She should read up on it.

"Perhaps we can figure something out," she muses, putting a hand to her chin. "Is Tharkad a city or a world?"

She also sees a sideburn pass.

"Oh," she says, before putting a finger to her mouth and suddenly whistling in a distinct sonic frequency that only Kabutos can hear. "Have you met Koji Kabuto? He is the pilot of Mazinger Z, I am not sure if you have heard of it out there?"


"There's something like a hundred worlds that are colonized, by the last count I heard," Adam explains. Though that does include anything with people on it, including Periphery worlds that may have populations only in the few hundred. "Tharkad is a world itself. It's the seat of power for the Lyran Alliance," Adam states as he purses his lips. "Though to be honest, the Inner Sphere treats worlds a lot like you treat cities on Earth. Despite having so many habitable planets, the Inner Sphere's entire population is a good bit less than Earth's, so even our most populated worlds have population numbers about that of a large city on Earth."

He gives a polite, official nod to Koji when Shine introduces them. He hasn't met Koji...Or heard of the 'Mazinger Z', but he doesn't say so. Instead he extends a hand formally to Koji and says, "It's a pleasure to meet you, pilot Kabuto. I'm Captain Adam Steiner."


Macua Huitl says, "We met a while ago actually several years at a slumber party Kaname held." The most infamous Slumber party in Japanese history. Alien spys, explosions, Bonta Kun, A Ghost haunting, and half the apartment /exploding/. She looks a bit embrassed as she nods to her friend. "See you later Nia. Kazuma? I'm going to go find Meiya I need to talk to her." With that She's going to go find Meiya it takes a moment but she finds her talking to Koji. She will wait for an opening then speak up

"Evening, I'm plesently suprised with your announcement."


"There has never been one instance where my Huckebein has been bested by a /Guarlion/, man. Those other Arm Slaves-- M9s?-- I haven't had a chance to throw down with any of them before, but it doesn't matter what the machine is, it just matters if you can not /suck/ in it. Unless you're up against aliens with like, cheater laser attacks."

You know. Like ... cheating. With lasers. That attack.

Arian-16 practically unhinges her jaw and pours the rest of the glass flute down her throat, especially when Shine decides to point him out to others. "If the pilotin' controls are the same as a larger machine, I guess I can take a look at the Rafale too..."


Koji Kabuto lets out a sigh. "But that's like comparing a mediocre thing to an outdated thing. You still end up with an underdesigned death-trap." His assessment is cutting and quick. The worst part is, he never even realizes it. He's so occupied with trying to find Shine that the long-since-dormant intelligent-portion of his brain now struggles to flourish.

Or at least it did, until...

"...!" Koji's eyes widen. His lips purse together in a sort of 'a-ha!' relish. "..Sumimasen, ladies," the young pilot offers a quick bow. A little bit of Nihon politeness as he certainly has no clue about the company he keeps and then he is quickly by Shine's side.

"My apologies, your Majesty," the Ensign bows his head. "I was talking to a colleague and lost track of you. It won't happen again. Ah--" He's caught by Shine introducing him to another person.

Captain Adam has his hand out. Koji's eyes move down from Adam's face to his hand.. then back to his face.

Zeus, another white man.

Koji sets his jaw as he resists the urge to fall back to his native tongue. "..Uh hello, Captain Steiner," he reaches out to grasp the foreigner's hand.

Wait, were they just talking about the Inner Sphere?!

Shit! Foreigners of the second worst kind.


Koji Kabuto rubs the cradle of his ear with his fingertip. "..Was there some kind of whistling?" he just happens to ask, slightly mystified.


"The Rafale's controls will be the same as the Raptor's." Meiya affirms, "Including the pilot suit." Pilot suit? She fails to continue on as she takes a drink from her glass. "I should introduce you to my sister, she's the real business power behind the company these days."


Meiya then blinks as MAcua walks up, having been unaware that her friend was here untill now. "Oh, Macua." she smiles, "Thank you. It was a personal choice though. Restoring Neo Japan is only part of the recovery from the Devil Gundam. The next step is to help regain the pride lost due to Ilube Ishikawa's madness."


Tasuku hanged around other place sof the party, drinking, eating some, but evantualy -- it came to him. He knows nobody here. Nobody in THIS side of the party anyway. Thus, he changes hemispheres. Meiya is a good grounding point for that.

"Hey, Meiya." Shinguji appears, as if by magic(He was just silent) from behind. "That... woah, you were thinking about this for a while, weren't you?"


Macua Huitl says "Yes you seem to have got what many Gundam Fighters saldy don't get and I don't see anyone relly being probolem for you to succesful secure the postion."

Unless Domon comes back but the odds of that are small.

"I hope to see you in the Gundam fight and it will be intesting as I have some suprises under preperation."

Most likely whatever Neo Brazil's next Gundam fight machine's going to be.


LATER

Beecha woke up in his bed. The air was humid and uncomfortable. An unnatural heat beat down on his brow, and a small insect seemed to buzz by his ear.

That couldn't be right. Spaceships didn't have insects, unless you counted Katz.

His hands gripped the sheets with an unnatural fear, and though he didn't want to, the boy opened his eyes. Dense forestry assailed him from all angles, alien in both it's scope and design. This wasn't the Argama, it wasn't even on colony. This was /Earth/.

The dark mysteries of the jungle beyond beckoned. Something large and dark lumbered beyond sight, crushing brushes in small trees in it's path. Beecha pulled the covers back over his head, praying with all his might that he was having a bad dream.

MEANWHILE, ON THE ARGAMA

"Say, Camille." Fa inclined a curious look towards her childhood friend in the midst of serving tea, "You haven't seen Beecha lately, have you?"

Camille peered over the rim of his white coffee mug (which bore 'The OP' in simple black lattering) mid-drink, "Who the hell is Beecha?"