Template:Post In CatH Post 26 Clear is woken up by Ffion Heul knocking on the door. She then realises she's in Pully's room and not her own - leading Heul to suspect Clear's relationship to Pully is closer than friendship. She tells Clear that The Hopeful has reached the planet Dacato. Clear goes to the Command Centre where they have a conference with Governor Oit. Princess Aurora Briarose reveals unto him that Warlord Strang has been killed by Kiron Nightstrider and the governor is pleased by the news, seemingly more than the return of the princess. The Hopeful is permitted to dock at Twithran spacedock to repair itself while Aurora suggests they go down to the planet and Clear agrees that they could use new supplies and clothes.
There's a thud. Clear bolts upright but because her leg was dangling over the edge of the bed, she ends up following after it and promptly ends up in a heap on the cold floor. She rubs her face. Memories drift and flop through her mind without solidifying.
Another thud and Clear winces.
She clambers, unsteadily, to her feet and totters over to the door. She pokes the panel and it slips open with a soft woosh.
Heul: "Oh! Clear! I... uh... I guess you just got out of bed?"
Clear fins that her hair isn't tied back. Unusual. She brushes it from her face and scowls at Ffion Heul.
Clear: "Been drinking..."
Heul: "You'll probably want to put some trousers on..."
Clear glances down and finds she's wearing nothing but her underwear. She smiles. Stroke of luck! She didn't answer the door naked.
Clear: "Let me just... shower... or something..."
She then hears a yawn from behind her. She tries to turn to see who was yawning but by the time she manages to manoeuvre herself, the yawner had disappeared into the bathroom. Then she sees the room in its entirety.
Clear: "Wait... where am I?"
Heul: "Pully's room."
Then Clear's mind becomes clear.
Clear: "Now I remember. Lots of drinking games..."
Heul: "I didn't know you and Pully were..."
Clear: "We needed to let off some steam."
Heul: "Right. That's all it was? Letting of steam?"
Clear: "Huh? Of course. What else would it be!?"
Heul: "Oh, I don't know. Who am I to judge?"
Pully exits the bathroom and looks almost as bedraggled as Clear does - except her appearance does retain some of that extra vitality that must come from her DNA makeover. She, like Clear, is stripped down to her underwear.
Clear: "Wait... where we in bed together?"
Pully yawns before answering.
Pully: "I'm hardly gonna sleep on the floor, am I?"
Clear then turns wide-eyed to Ffion.
Clear: "We were just drinking! And then sleeping! Nothing else!"
Ffion raises an eyebrow.
Heul: "None of my business really."
Pully: "Why're you knocking on my door anyway?"
Pully interrupts Clear and comes to the door. She leans on the frame and glares at Ffion.
Heul: "I tried Clear's room. I was hoping you'd know where she was. And you did."
Clear: "You know, you shouldn't stand so close when you-- you know?"
Pully then turns her stare to Clear. Clear moves away from the door and starts searching the room.
Clear: "I'll find my clothes and go get a shower."
She then turns to look back at Ffion.
Clear: "Shower in my own room, I mean."
Ffion leaves and the door slides shut. Pully stretches with non-nonchalance. Clear facepalms.
Clear: "That was pretty awkward..."
Pully: "What was?"
Clear: "She thinks that-- nevermind. Who cares? Last night was pretty awesome though. Not that I can remember all of it. I remember a few of those stormtrooper games..."
Pully: "Captain Londris taught me a few of those herself. That woman could drink."
Sometime, and one shower later, Clear is in the Command Centre. She's back in her own Salmitton clothes. White, loose fitting grabs that drape over her red skin. She wears a gold belt to keep her the outfit clutched at the waist. Likewise gold ringlets hold the outfit to her wrists and her ankles. Some might say the design looks especially 1960s Earth, but she would say they stole Salmitton fashion.
Dacato looms on the viewscreen and is unlike anything Clear has ever witnessed before. It is a dark, black planet yet twinkles like the night sky. One gigantic metropolis spanning the entire planet. Clear isn't sure if it's incredibly beautiful or the most hideous thing she's ever seen. She can barely begin to comprehend how many people must live down there. Princess Aurora tells them that the planet is brimming with multiple sentient species of all sorts, shapes and sizes.
A message beeps and Wai patches it through onto the screen. The face that appears is a vibrant flurry of colours. Like a rainbow with several extra colourful patches. Clear tilts her head. She isn't even sure it's a face she's looking at. She tries to identify eyes, a nose or a mouth but can't. Just a wash of colours. Yet two bulbous areas of the face, coloured in purple, quiver as a voice emanates from the comms speakers.
Governor: "I believe Princess Aurora Briarose is aboard this vessel?"
Princess Aurora: "I'm here, Governor. Safe and sound. This is The Hopeful and its owner is Captain Clear. Everyone onboard has risked their lives to save mine and they all deserve great rewards for their service."
Governor: "I see. From your message I see you have further news of Strang?"
Governor: "This is most welcome news indeed! A council must be held immediately!"
Clear thinks the alien sounds decidedly more pleased with the death of Strang than the return of Aurora.
Governor: "Princess Aurora, you are, of course, requested to join our council as soon as you are fit to do so."
Princess Aurora: "I'll be there within the hour."
Governor: "I am Governor Oit, by the way. Thank you for returning the princess to us, Captain. We do, indeed, owe you and your crew a great debt."
Clear: "I'm happy to see her here safely, governor. We can discuss who owes what when you're ready. For now my ship is in dire need of repairs. I hope we can dock at your dockyard?"
Governor Oit: "Absolutely! Clearance is granted. The spacedock is called Twithran. It only has a single bay but it is unoccupied right now. Lucky us. Please dock and repair droids will begin work instantly. I hope to meet you in person one day, captain. For now I have much work to do. Until next time."
The screen goes dead.
Clear: "That went well!"
Princess Aurora: "Once we've docked, I'll head down to the planet and join the council. I expect there'll be much heated debates about how to proceed."
Nightstrider: "Your Highness, I respectfully request that I be permitted to join you as your bodyguard."
He falls to one knee and bows his head.
Princess Aurora: "... no."
Clear feels a pang of shock. So cold!
Kiron looks up with equal surprise.
Nightstrider: "Your Highness? Have I displeased you?"
Princess Aurora: "I shall have more than enough protection on a planet like Dacato. I think you would be put to better use aboard The Hopeful with Clear..."
Princess Aurora: "Unless you object, Captain?"
Clear: "Not at all. Welcome to my crew, Kiron."
Kiron nods and rises.
Nightstrider: "You are, of course, right, your Highness. Your wisdom abounds. I will stay with Captain Clear and help her complete her mission to Tangris once repairs are made."
Princess Aurora: "Then I should go and prepare myself for arrival on Dacato. I'll be dropping off at District Vyf. If you wish to spend time on the planet, I recommend District Sestien. It's most suitable for tourists. Gives you the world's pleasant side."
Pully: "Yeah, because you wouldn't want to visit the real Dacato and get mugged every few minutes."
Clear turns around to see Pully is in the doorway. She's also washed but suited up in her stormtrooper armour, except the helmet.
Princess Aurora: "It's really not that bad. It is a little unruly though. Lower oppression can lead to more... trouble. Imperial citizens fear the government so there's less crime there. Here people are genuinely free and some people would take advantage of that fact..."
Pully: "That's one way to put it."
Clear: "Alright, Pully. No need for politics now. We should go down to the planet and stock up on some supplies like food you like, clothes would be a good idea-"
Her pointed finger swings from Kiron to Pully.
Clear: "-And I think Green will appreciate the opportunity to get outside."
Pully: "Or as 'outside' as Dacato gets. I really hate this planet."
Aurora rolls her eyes and leaves the room, hovering silently along. Clear then watches as the two Æon students also leave, gossiping amongst themselves.
Clear: "Can I trust you two to play nice?"
Pully turns back around, as she had been about to leave herself. She looks at Kiron.
Pully: "I won't try to kill him, if that's what you mean."
Clear: "Good enough for now. Kiron?"
Nightstrider: "I have no qualm with the imperial, Captain. It's she who dislikes me."
Clear: "I know. But you'll play nice too, won't you? I want her to hear it."
Nightstrider: "You have my word."
Clear: "Good! Makes me happy. Let's get into dock and see what needs repairing first."