KatLockwood Mar 5th, 2019 33 Never
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  1. ==========================================================================================================================================
  2. INTRO
  4. (SSN): You say, *The image flashes from black to white a few times and the words "Star Talks with Kat" appear on the screen. A jingle announces the start of the show as the image clears. Zoomed out, the image shows a large desk, painted in black and red. The front of the desk shows the SSN letters and the spicific logo. A human female sits behind the desk, on the right side as the tunes continue and the image zooms closer, showing three other empty seats behind the large desk. The floor shows an oblique SSN writing and the girl holds up her right hand, adjusting her half moon glasses as she smiles at the camera*
  6. (SSN): You say, *The jingle stops, background music dies down as the human female places both her hands on the desk, her left one holding a pen as she taps it over a set of papers. Her smile broadens as she says in a honey-coated voice* Welcome, viewers, to the first edition of SSN's Star Talks! *the camera switches, the angle showing changes to show the length of the desk from left to right as she turns to face it* For a memorable first edition, we've decided to bring you a debate between the Celestine Ascendancy, the Song Dominion and the Sorrow Company.
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  11. (SSN): You say, *A soft voice announces* Introducing ...*the image zooms onto a huge holoshow behind her and three short videos start playing. The first one shows a figure on the bridge of a command ship, watching several military ships bearing Celestine Ascendancy colors flying within the void. The image zooms towards the figure as the female voice announces* ...Guardian Prime of the Ascendancy, Zhulkarn! *the image then returns to the set, focusing on the seats*
  13. (SSN): Zhulkarn says, "[Behind a nanoplastic desk, colorless visage of a Jin wearing a bulky assault armor appears: The face of the man is thoroughly marred with slashes, burn marks and deformations while two horns protrude from his forehead spiraling backwards. One of them is littered with cracks and frayed, the other is broken in half. The man offers a smile causing the myriad of scars across his face to undulate ominously, giving him either a cruel or comical appearance depending on the lighting] Greetings, SSN. It is a pleasure to be here."."
  15. ==========================================================================================================================================
  18. (SSN): You say, *The image once again switches to the huge holoscreen. This time, an office appears, a Song Dominion flag on the side of a large desk where a figure sits, holding a datapad in one hand and a pen in the other. In front of the desk, a few soldiers in Song Dominion uniform listen to a few words then offer a military salute and leave the room. The image zooms on the figure then as the female voice announces* ...Secretary of Internal Affairs of the Song Dominion, Mereas! *the image then returns to the set, focusing on the seats*
  20. (SSN): Mereas says, "~ A massive tukkav appears, dressed in a sharp pinstripped suit that matches their immaculately groomed fur and gleaming mane. They exude an assured sort of calm, while behind them, a cloud of nanites flash alternately between bright silver and deep purple, the colours of the Song Dominion. ~ "Good evening, Starmourn, and SSN viewers."."
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  25. (SSN): You say, *Once again, a zoom towards the huge holoscreen. A few explosive sounds can be heard in the distance and the image zooms out from a single wide grin. The form is blurred though for now as they sit with their right foot over a crate of explosives, holding a PIECE in their hand. There are numerous crates of such explosives piled up one over the other in multiple rows, the words [SARO] written on them. Other shadows come into view, each of them holding what seems to be a trigger and looking towards the central figure, as if for approval. The image zooms on the figure then, as the female voice announces* ...and last but not least! Director of Sorrow, of the Sorrow Company, Nykara! *the image then returns to the set, focusing on the seats*
  27. (SSN): Nykara says, "[Within such space allotted, there is a flickering, followed by a humanoid figure in static. After a fashion, it disappears, before coming into full black-and-white view: a very tall Jin with light skin and the blackest lips, eyes locked cooolly ahead, legs crossed. After a fashion, those lips split into a frigid smile, slender fingers wiggling in greeting, "Hello, S-S-N. Hope you're buckled in!"."
  29. ==========================================================================================================================================
  30. START
  32. (SSN): You say, "*The female figure smiles towards the camera then turns towards the three guests. The camera sitches to the front-left side of the desk, giving an overview of all participants. Adjusting her half-moon glasses, the human female speaks towards the three* Welcome, all of you, to the first edition of Star Talks! We're glad to have you here!"
  34. (SSN): Zhulkarn says, "Thank you Ms. Katherine, it is an honor to be in the first SSN show."
  36. (SSN): Mereas says, "Indeed it is! This is a great young network you've made, and I'm glad to present the Dominion here tonight."
  38. (SSN): Nykara says, "[The too-tall Jin inclines their head toward the camera, eyes flicking from the camera as their lips form into that cool smile once more.] Thank you, Kat! I'd have killed to make it on here, especially so soon! [They look toward the camera again, giving the most exaggerated wink.]."
  40. ==========================================================================================================================================
  41. QUESTION 1
  43. (SSN): You say, *The Host smiles and nods, with a welcoming smile. She adjusts her pose on the seat and asks* Well, let's get started then! My first question, for all of you...What do you think of the current military strength of the factions?
  45. ==========================================================================================================================================
  47. (SSN): Zhulkarn says, "[The Jin leans forward on the desk and then offers a soft cough to clear his throat] There is perceived military strength which can be based on the success upon the cosmpiercer map or individual display of strength and there is the real military strength which lies dormant within every faction. The Dominion and the Sorrow Company played their cards openly most of the time within the last couple of years so there is no doubt to their strength. Yet also being the Impera of the Inka Indomitable Industries I personally value the scaling potential of Ascendancy military might and truly believe it is far greater then any other unit in the field. We take measured steps, build solid foundations and prefer to show our might when it is most required."
  49. (SSN): Mereas says, ""Song is strong." ~ The nanite swarm behind her rearranges itself to display a map of the Song Dominion and its conquered territories. ~ "In particular, our starship fleet is the strongest in the sector bar none. Even our ground armies, despite numerical disadvantages, has held its own against other forces."."
  51. (SSN): Nykara says, "[Supressed laughter threatens a near stutter as this Jin forms their answer, though true mirth looks to be present on their face.] Well, Kat, let's just say - Celestine is trying. Song is trying. Celestine is trying harder. Scatterhome's got us locked down on contract, so I guess it's easy to see why they don't have to try, because we just do. And that's my diplomatic answer! [Mirthless laughter rumbles up from their chest, eyes brilliant in their colorless display.]."
  53. (SSN): Zhulkarn says, "There is a whole graveyard of Sorrow ships littering around CA-2840, Mx. Sa'rogue. You DO indeed. Perfect gravestones."
  55. (SSN): Mereas says, "I'm certain the S.I.C. is singularly glad of Sorrow Company's patronship, yes."
  57. (SSN): You say, "*the human female simple decides to listen in for now, looking from one to the other*."
  59. (SSN): Nykara says, "[Their expression is one of feigned hurt, pressing their fingertips against their chin.] What a wonderful thing to be proud of, Zhulkarn! In greater numbers and greater firepower, three of your people managed to shoot down one of Scatterhome's best."
  61. (SSN): Nykara says, "Truly, we are flattered to be considered the bar."
  63. (SSN): Mereas says, "I -am- glad, however, of the Ascendancy's show the other month. Those resources you refuse to deliver to your own starving citizens in the Dregs are at least being used productively!"
  65. (SSN): Zhulkarn says, "[A soft grin appears at the edge of the lips of old Jin] I suppose you have visited Litharge a long time ago, our Angel Relief efforts possess quite an extensive reach, nowadays. But I digress. Where were we, Ms. Katherine?"
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  68. QUESTION 2
  70. (SSN): You say, "*Nodding as she listens, the human female nips her lower lip ever so slightly and taps the pen she is holding in her left hand to the desk* Let us move forward! We've still got a lot of ground to cover and heat up on! Since we're discussing military prowess... is expansion something either of you is considering at this time? The Ascendancy, Dominion or Sorrow Company on its own?"
  72. (SSN): Zhulkarn says, "If Celestine Ascendancy was to conquer anything, that would be the hearts and minds of the people within the Sector. We cannot export our values forcefully via military occupations, our expansion would start by turning our home into a beacon of hope for the rest of the people out there. People should visit places within our borders, meet our people and stand in awe of what we achieved. If we succeed in that, the expansion will happen without even throwing a missile."
  74. (SSN): Mereas says, "Naturally. The Dominion's primary goal is to lead the sector into a disciplined and prosperous future, and that goes hand in hand with uniting the various civilizations under one supreme government. You may think that I speak of military conquest, but that is but one arm of Song's power. Starmourn will grow to want and love being part of the grand Dominion. We would be honoured to embrace all of you under our banner."
  76. (SSN): Nykara says, "Hahahaha, expansion? Please, Kat - we do what we're paid to do. No more, no less. Unless, of course, someone does something against our interests, then we act against it, but expansion? No thank you. Sorrow Outpost is as much expansion as we need, really."
  78. (SSN): Nykara says, "[The Jin turns their attention, brow furrowing at the Tukkav.] And you. Military conquest? You best not be planning on it. It took how many of you, how long, to get me to reclone?"
  80. (SSN): Mereas says, "~ The tukkav representative flashes a gleaming smile at the jin from Sorrow. ~ Director, that was just the lower rungs of the Song's military. I mean, I am a glorified paper-pusher and I managed to shatter you to bits. Twice."
  82. (SSN): Zhulkarn says, "[The old seer exhales somewhat loudly turning to young Jin] It is said, that pride is indeed a resilient enemy. Something you are not killing any soon, Mx. Sa'rogue."
  84. (SSN): Nykara says, "[Laughter ripples from the younger Jin's chest, actual joy lighting up their face now.] You're very right, Zhulkarn - only thing in this sector I CAN'T kill! [They glance back at the Tukkav] You sure did, with loads of help. Can I trust you'll grow a thicker spine than your Lord Commander soon, and try it on your own?"
  86. (SSN): Mereas says, "~ The nanite swarm behind the tukkav begins to glow an ominous red, but they remain silent, smiling serenely. ~."
  88. ==========================================================================================================================================
  89. QUESTION 3
  91. (SSN): You say, "*The Host nods her head slowly, crossing her hands over her chest and letting the pen rest on the desk as she says* Let's go on! This might lead to a mildly heated subject but I have to ask...There has been quite the tension in the past months with conflicts between Sorrow Company and Song Dominion and Celestine Ascendancy. Is this a Scatterhome movement or simply just a Sorrow Company interest of expanding? What do the factions feel about it?"
  93. (SSN): Nykara says, "[The skin above the Jin's eyes furrows upward, an amused smile crossing their face - an expression almost akin to surprise.] Oh, Kat, it depends on what you mean. It is public knowledge that we are being paid by Scatterhome's communal interests to take Cosmpiercers, if that's what you are asking."
  95. (SSN): Zhulkarn says, "[Glances at the other Jin momentarily and then turns towards the host] Members of Sorrow Company attacked several times and then we hit them back in kind. They are persistent and bold, I can give them that but their lack of morality and pride will be their undoing in the end. From a military standpoint their incursions has been allowing us to develop better countermeasures. By now, I hope they realize Ascendancy cannot be pushed aside easily."
  97. (SSN): Mereas says, "~ The tukkav representative pauses, as if to consider their response. They tap a finger twice on the desk, and after a breath, they speak simply. ~ "The Song Dominion considers the Sorrow Company to be representatives of the Scatterhome Group, and the deeds of the employed are the responsibility of the employers."
  99. (SSN): Nykara says, "Oh, m- hahahahahahahahaha. So, Mereas, you think every last little thing we do is in the name of Scatterhome? Like - oh, my, you are stupid."
  101. (SSN): You say, "Interesting points of view! However, I more meant to talk about the whole Danica Station incident and the attacks on Celestine Ascendancy territory."
  103. (SSN): Nykara says, "[The Jin stares blankly at Katherine for a moment, before realization sweeps their visage.] Oh! OH! You mean Sorrow Station! Yeah, well. Territory has to be defended. Song quit defending it... we needed a base of operations. Logical next steps..."
  105. (SSN): Mereas says, "~ An amused expression crosses the tukkav's face. ~ "Danica is Song. We are secure enough with our position that we do not concern ourselves with visits of Sorrow representatives."
  107. (SSN): Mereas says, "I am glad that they recognize the superiority of Danica Transit with Reynolds Spaceport, in any case."
  109. (SSN): Zhulkarn says, "I suppose, a rapasu worm does not concern itself with a loam leech."
  111. (SSN): Nykara says, "Didn't you say you're a low-level paperpusher? I don't think you're in any position to be declaring the intent of your betters, Mereas. But thank you, for letting me know which button to push."
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  114. QUESTION 4
  116. (SSN): You say, "*The human female leans in, placing her left hand on the desk while her right brushes away a stray lock of hair from the right side of her face as she says* Well, intensity was expected. However, we have to move on! Tell me...What do you feel are your best assets and what do you trust your faction or, in this case, Company to do better than all the others?"
  118. (SSN): Mereas says, "The industrious nature of Song's soldier-citizens are known to all. Of the top ten ranked Starmourners, seven are ours, including the top spot itself. And of the top ten captains, five are proud to hail from Song. In fact, the first four are from Song."
  120. (SSN): Nykara says, "My, that is easy! Our best assets are our people, no doubt. I can trust them to do... well... Everything better, really. We fight better, smarter, and harder; we fly true; we hack quicker than any other force out there. We have to, after all. Contracts depend on it."
  122. (SSN): Zhulkarn says, "[Letting out a soft chuckle the old Jin speaks with a crackling voice] Good try...but unfortunately your care for people ends with a clause on a contract, young Jin. [Then he turns back to the host] People. Their willingness to step forward when everything seems to be falling apart. Our people know how to rise from ashes. We endure. We change. We become greater then what we were. There are not enough marks or material assets that can match the value of our people."
  124. (SSN): Mereas says, "Are you -quite- sure with that marks and material assets statement, Guardian Prime? Even if it's a -really- big amount?"
  126. (SSN): Zhulkarn says, "We have a history of handling the resources of corrupt and the unjust tyrants after removing them from their high pedestals."
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  129. QUESTION 5
  131. (SSN): You say, "*Drawing her chair closer to the desk, the human host regards the guests over the top of half-moon glasses saying* Hm, what is your take on cosmpiercers and how useful do you see them being from a strategic point of view?"
  133. (SSN): Zhulkarn says, "They are part of our military training after all. Despite The Y'saari Covenant has been stingy about their payments we know that the real payment is the experience we acquire throughout the operations. Also some bonds you form under heavy fire can be stronger then the hold of a Pax maneuver."
  135. (SSN): Mereas says, "They have strategic uses, but not enough to justify a spending resources on a continuous campaign. And unlike my dear colleagues and the organizations they represent, we in the Dominion are pragmatic with our approach."
  137. (SSN): Nykara says, "A wonderful array of amateur answers from my fellow guests. Anyone with a brain for accounting can see that not only are they important to take, they are far, far more important to keep. Pragmatism? Please. Amateur accounting, perhaps, but the pragmatist knows a good investment when they see one."
  139. (SSN): Zhulkarn says, "I knew Sorrow Company was the worst investment the first moment I saw you Mx. Sa'rogue."
  141. (SSN): Mereas says, "~ Laughing heartily, the tukkav representative theatrically wipes away a tear of joy before responding. ~ "Clearly, Scatterhome is lacking in the education sector. Good investment? Even the muggiest shen in the Dregs can tell you that's not true."
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  144. QUESTION 6
  146. (SSN): You say, "*The camera angle turns to face them directly, from the front part of the desk then a panorama is made, from left to right, ending into a switch into a wide angle again* Moving on! To expectations...Do you think it necessary for all pilots (including miners and gatherers) to outfit themselves with the skills and ships for combat?"
  148. (SSN): Zhulkarn says, "Personally I would prefer all citizens to be able to pilot certain types of ships but for what they lack...let it be security, transport or something else, the III fleet will fill the gaps with their professional divisions."
  150. (SSN): Mereas says, "There are many dangers to space, and the prudent pilot must know how to defend against them. Even if all the civilizations of Starmourn join together in a grand united nation, the Ishvana will continue its incursions into our space. Best be prepared."
  152. (SSN): Nykara says, "Absolutely not! What miners and gatherers lack in firepower, they can make up for in marks - marks paid to us. That's what we are here for, after all. You don't have to be a cold-hard killer, you just need to hire some."
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  155. QUESTION 7
  157. (SSN): You say, "*The human female smiles and nods, her right hand moving to ever so gently trace the shape of her butterfly-shaped earrings as she says* Good points! the show is nearing its end, for the last question...I must insist on an interesting subject. From a strategic point of view, if you were to choose an ally, as factions and military entities, which would it be? We are talking about Sorrow Company or the factions here, of course."
  159. (SSN): Zhulkarn says, "Guess, considering how we proceeded in the discussions so far, I would like to ally with king tangutans of Atria. But on a more serious ground, I can say that we shall work towards bettering our relations with the amiable factional entities but the mismatch between our styles would not allow a total alliance in the close future. But that is my personal view and observation."
  161. (SSN): Nykara says, "Well, Kat, that's a very easy answer for me - the Celestine Ascendancy. While I don't typically like to outsource - I am the outsourcing, after all - if I had to, I'd pull from Celestine's pool. Compared to Song, they are easily more impressive, more willing to do what must be done, and above all else... more ruthless. The Ascendancy has shown me a spine."
  163. (SSN): Mereas says, "~ The tukkav looks toward each representative, seemingly taking them into close consideration. Their gaze even falls upon the human host, and then to the unseen crew behind the holocameras. Then, the tukkav faces the camera again, and smiles. ~."
  165. (SSN): Mereas says, "The Y'saari Covenant."
  167. ==========================================================================================================================================
  168. ENDING
  170. (SSN): You say, "*The image now zooms onto each face until it rests on the delicate features of the human female. Her right hand is once again used to adjust her half-moon glasses as she tilts her head and smiles widely saying* There you have it, ladies and gentlemen! All you wanted to know, right from the sources! It's been a most interesting show and we look forward to spending time with you all again as we unravel more and more about our dear sector. Until then...a big thank you to our guests and viewers and remember...SSN is here for you!"
  172. (SSN): You say, "*The camera begins to zoom out, slowly, giving a chance for each of the guests to say something or salute the audience*."
  174. (SSN): Mereas says, "Thank you, Katherine. Until next time, SSN!"
  176. (SSN): Zhulkarn says, "Thank you, Ms. Katherine. Have a pleasant week, SSN!"
  178. (SSN): Nykara says, "[Slender fingers wiggle their goodbyes, though their opposite hand rests notably atop the handle of their PIECE.] You know who to call, Starmourn. Toodles!"
  180. (SSN): You say, "*Once the widest angle is reached, the image flickers, a tune starts to play and the human female is shown stepping up from her seat and offering her last goodbyes, also neatly arranging the sheets of paper on her desk. The image dims out, fades to black and the SSN logo appears on screen. Under it, the words "Star Talks with Kat" show for a few moments before the image dims completely and the transmission ends*."
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