The Ancient One
The War of The Builders had become a memory. Skyscrapers replaced temporary housing on Yara or as most preferred to call it New Noria. The five-year reign of her majesty Aerum Eitan I, the Vespa daughter of Tetsuya Eitan had brought about reforms, reconciliations, and the re-construction of some of what they lost when the old worlds had been destroyed. Soldiers who had fought in the battles had been long since laid to rest, and as Tetsuya had put it in his last meeting with his daughter, the veterans who survived had been put out to pasture in favor for a younger more modernized Imperial Navy that definitely had a certain expected Vespan dominance. It was a strange arrangement, a changing of the guard that had perhaps become a division of interests and strategies, even if themes of unifications were at every junction of Norian society. They had praised Tetsuya as a hero, his sacrifices when he had was held prisoner and his defeat of Morggho had bought their entire nation, their culture, from the brink of extinction. As with the three wars before it, he refused to hear anything of the sort and had turned down every offer Aerum had presented, the idea of ruling the nation in any way defeated the purpose of putting her on the throne, not that it was out of consideration for her, it was more out of the fact that he had never wanted it to begin with. The Imperial Navy had tried as well, pink-haired Vespan Admirals lined up the offers from his own fleet to some massive structure they were trying to build in what remained of the Lorenz System. It didn't suit his interests and failed to inspire anything except a certain bitterness that had landed him providing consulting for the shipyards. Everyone assumed it was so he could say he was busy and bury his head in the sand to outlive people's memories of his deeds and possibly even have ignorance settle in as long-term stasis remnants that were recovered from Ayenee and other bunker locations.
The death of General Arai Orinas, one of the few surviving members of his grandmother's true Order had given a name to his latest obsession. The Arai's Star, a tribute to the General and her centuries of loyalty and service to Noria would have become the new flagship of the Second Imperial War Fleet, a new hybridized Leviathan to compete with the Teal's Star and Sorin's mighty Seventh Fleet. The ship was a dwarf compared to the Teal's Star, yet could probably give the behemoth a run for its money, but really the technology shouldn't be compared with decades between design and completions. Tetsuya plans for the ship though departed the expected delivery of the navy and even his beloved daughter who sat on the throne; he intended to steal it. This is exactly what he accomplished. On the third space trial, the Arai's Star failed to return to its dock, forever. It left things uncomfortably, the Navy of course at the order of the Aester had to cease their search for the stolen ship, but it left things in a state of uncertainty between the man they had hailed a hero of war and the reformed nation to which his daughter sat on the throne. There was also a certain educated reluctance to search for Tetsuya. There were few Admirals that had a wish to see a coffin before they graced their new flagships or Citadels. Sightings of the stolen ship or Tetsuya became like myths told by ancient sea fearers who sought to entertain and enthuse bar wenches.
The end of the War had changed a man who had lived and breathed his people for centuries, it had washed away his faith. The worship of the builders was a joke to him, no longer did he or Noria fight their wars and it abandoned his heart as even the newest of the temples that everyone, save for a few straggling devotees, avoided.
Kehartha StationFormer Noria System
The Refuge Tavern
It was the type of place you expected to find some Aelantean Smuggler claiming to be a Dysterian Merchant with wares from the early eras. The stains of the walls were corrosion, blood, or maybe even something a little less appetizing. It was an armpit, and not something very becoming of what had once been the capital system of the Norian Nation. Sure, in some corrupted way the system belonged to Noria; they sent a gunship through once a month and collected duty and checked in with the station's owner, who kept the truth out of those dialogs. The Refuge Tavern was a remnant of the war, established by refugees that had clung to the decaying, possibly still decaying busted up Kehartha Citadel. With all of that considered, it had evolved in marvels from the conditions that it had seen during those times.
"You know, I could arrest you right now," Sorin whispered as he sat down on the stool next to Tetsuya at the bar.
Tetsuya chuckled as his uncle spoke. He pushed a shot glass of T'hatha in his direction, "We could arrest each other, wouldn't that cause a ruckus? The two men who won the fucking war arrest each other and turn each other in. It would be a very confusing parade. The media wouldn't know their lips from their puckered assholes, not that they ever have." He leaned back on his stool and ran his fingers back through the short blue spikes of his hair.
Sorin downed the shot and closed his eyes for a second as he savored the potent liquor. He said, "Ah, they have no use for us. Just our ships, and mine, well... might be an antique. Your ship though, something tells me some rainbow-gilled dance man would give his testicles to take a ride in your chair. Where are the young ones? Got him scrubbing the deck plates or did he find himself a warmer berth, I hear the women on this bucket would suck the niranium off a navy jacket for a ticket off it." Sorin looked around the bar for Tetsuya's infamous twins.
"They will be along. You know as well as I do, they fancy each other more than anyone else," Tetsuya replied as he downed the shot in front of him and knocked the glass on the bar top in signal for the bartender to refill. "Plus, if that story was true, I wouldn't have a damn bit of gleam on my buttons and you know it. Speaking of buttons, find a new wardrobe. Something tells me wearing that uniform won't exactly find you healthy after my daughter receives your communication announcing you're fleet is autonomous." He smirked and then downed the second shot.
Sorin chuckled, "I designed the uniform, I will wear it. Plus, it looks good on me, someone has to look good in it since you obviously decided it was not your style. I will take the advice though, just to make you happy." Sorin eyed the second shot that was poured for him as well. He pushed it away from himself. "So where are we headed now? I suppose you have some kind of plan now that we've pissed off the very people we put in power." Sorin was unsure about what his nephew had planned, the change in allegiance though was something that was coming anyway. He and his fleet had never exactly been on the spoon, even before the last war.
"Wherever... somewhere," Tetsuya said sarcastically, and merely for dramatic effect. Tetsuya Eitan always had a plan.