Template:PostClear and The Hopeful Crew arrive in District Sestian of Dacato in CatH Post 27. They're guided to The Hotel Voyager by Ace Lander, Captain in the Rebel Alliance and leader of Glytch Squadron. After exploring her room Clear sits in the lobby with Dr Alexis Thrain, Green and Kiron Nightstrider. Thrain wishes to know what happened to Clear's people and she reveals to the doctor that they were wiped out by humans, who wanted the planet Mars for themselves. She tells how the Martians left alive after the war were put into camps where they all died of disease. After they are eventually joined by the others they decide to go shopping.
One day later and The Hopeless is looking slightly more hopeful. Repairs had begun, again, on the hull. First they set about repairing the damage done by the turbo lasers of Excelsior when The Hopeful made its escape. Most of the outer hull of The Hopeful was already in poor condition, even with Imperial repairs done in areas. The damage from the Excelsior was extensive, yet didn't do much more to make the ship's condition any more dire. The floating repair droids crawled across the damaged areas and began patching it up. While the Imperials had focused on some of the internal areas, the Rebel Alliance technicians seemed more intent on patching up the exterior - at least it would look in better condition.
The current crew of The Hopeless had gone down to District Sestian. The atmospheric shuttle was shaped like an aeroplane to better deal with the atmosphere of the planet as it only ever spent twenty minutes in space, the rest of its flight would be in the air of the planet. It had landed at the spaceport where lots of other tourists from across the galaxy were embarking or disembarking shuttles of their own. Some turned to watch them and their particular shuttle, attracted to the sight of the government vehicle. They had been met by a man who introduced himself as Ace Lander. The man led them for a small walk through the spaceport and the nearby walkways that are suspended over the city. Clear had never seen so many people in her entire life and her senses were becoming overwhelmed by the sights, sounds and unusual smells of this sprawling metropolis. Their hotel was aptly named "The Voyager" and they were each granted their own rooms to use as frequently or as infrequently as they desired.
Clear opens the door to her room.
Lander: "I hope you'll be comfortable, Captain. If there are any problems just give me a call."
He gave her his contact information. His information sprang up on her wrist device and she has access to simple surface info on the man.
Clear: "You're a captain too?"
Clear: "Why is someone so important ferrying us to our hotel?"
Ace Lander smiles. He is quite handsome, for a human, with a face Clear feels is older than it looks. His eyes seem to have a strange sparkle to them, a brightness that is unidentifiable. His skin is lightly tanned and his hair is dark brown, except for a streak of blue in his forelock that sweeps across his forehead. He is wearing a smart dress suit that Clear guesses may be his Alliance uniform. On the side of his temple is a metal implant that is embedded into his skull. She wonders what it's for but doesn't pry with the stranger.
Clear: "I think Kiron deserves the most praise, but you're welcome anyway."
Lander: "I'll leave your party to it then. I hope you enjoy District Sestian. It's quite beautiful. In an artificial sort of way."
He winks at her and waves goodbye. She waves back and turns to her room. It's not incredibly spacious but that suits Clear just fine. Her own chambers aboard The Hopeless, which contain several rooms, aren't much bigger than this one room. The bed is circular, a strange shape for a bed in Clear's opinion, and the far wall is entirely made of glass. The view ought to have been splendid but another hotel opposite left everything beyond it to the imagination. She could see downwards, however, to the vertical plummet towards the planet's ground. She can't even begin to comprehend just how tall the building is. She isn't even sure all of it belongs to a single hotel. It seems sections of buildings are designated for use of a single complex, rather than the entire structure. The rest of her room consists of usual cupboards, electronics (some of which Clear found hidden by those cupboards or wall panels) and a bathroom. It took Clear a moment to figure out where the toilet had been hidden but once she had found everything she decides it's time to go down to the lobby and await the others. They had all agreed to go out together for the first venture into District Sestian.
Clear takes her passcard and leaves the room. They had been granted plenty of spending money by Lander, contained within the same cards that would grant them access to their hotel rooms. She walks down the elegant corridor to the lift. She asks, verbally, for the lobby and the lift silently whizzes upwards, closer to the landing pads of the spaceport tier of the city. The lift doesn't feel like it's moving at all but the numbers go by regardless. Clear knows of some lifts aboard The Hopeless, not that she ever uses them, which sounds like they're grinding their way slowly up chutes filled with rocks. The lobby is a grand room that is two storeys tall alone. The glassed wall gives way to an broad walkway with a small park and a fountain, tempting weary travellers to sit outside and consider entering The Voyager. Above her is a hanging work of art made of metal. A swirling pattern that is entirely sporadic in flow. She looks up at it.
Thrain: "I have no idea what it's supposed to be either."
Thrain is sat on one of the yellow sofas with a datapad in front of her. She doesn't look up from it as she talks to Clear.
Clear: "I'm not sure it's supposed to be anything."
Thrain: "Making it even more useless."
Clear: "Can't argue with you there."
Clear had never experienced much in the way of art. She could look at a realistic painting and see the point of capturing something, though she thinks a photograph would be much more convenient. Otherwise she doesn't understand much of it. The fountain, the park, she can appreciate. Nature, quietude. But a metal structure of indiscernible function is beyond her ken. She sits beside Thrain. Thrain is wearing a grey sleeveless shirt with angular cuts and long, white skirt, slit to the left to show some of her leg. However most of the lower leg was hidden by the tall, knee-height boots of white leather. Clear is a little surprised by Thrain's out-of-work fashion though she thinks the angular cuts suit the woman to a tee.
Just after Clear arrives so does Kiron. He is wearing an entirely black suit. It is high-collared and he wears it fastened all the way down the front. Clear thinks he looks very imperial despite being on a rebel world.
Clear: "Where did you get that suit?"
Kiron sits down opposite her and Thrain.
Nightstrider: "It was in the wardrobe."
Clear: "Lucky! I was worried we'd have to order clothes to your room."
Nightstrider: "Perhaps the princess thought ahead on our behalf."
Clear: "Seems probable."
They make small talk, discussing the scenery of District Sestian so far. Neither Thrain nor Kiron had ever been to Dacato before and are pretty amazed by the sights, just like Clear. They are finally met by Green. She grins when she sees Clear and runs the rest of the distance. She jumps onto the sofa, beside Clear.
Green: "Isn't this exciting!?"
Clear: "Sure is. A little weird though. I think it's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't like to live here."
Green: "Yeah, I think you're right. All these people. The plants must feel so stifled!"
Clear: "I'd be more worried about me feeling stifled. By the way, how're you feeling?"
Green: "I feel fine! Thank you for helping me, Clear."
She leans forward.
Green: "And thank you Doctor Thrain! You saved my life!"
Thrain's cheeks flush, surprising Clear and making her laugh a little.
Thrain: "Just did my job."
Clear: "You know, you really did more than just your job, doctor. Seriously, thank you. If there's any way I can repay you, just let me know."
Suddenly Thrain snaps the two leaves of her datapad together and looks up at Clear.
Regret instantly flood Clear's stomach as she hopes for no probes.
Thrain: "What happened to your people?"
Thrain: "You barely ever talk about yourself. I know you're a Salmitton but the rest of your people are dead. Yet you haven't told me why they're dead. Perhaps you told this girl, or maybe Terrin-Pullista, but you haven't told me. You keep things close to your chest, I've noticed. I want to know."
Clear: "Really? Now?"
Thrain: "Just tell me the basics. You can fill in the gaps later."
Clear looks outside at the park. Way to ruin a perfectly good day.
Clear: "Genocide happened."
She feels Kiron and Alexis' interest pique while Green grows sad and quiet.
Thrain: "Who would do such a thing!?"
Though Alexis' voice is filled with indignation, Clear thinks it's probably from concern for biological waste rather than morality.
Alexis doesn't say anything and Kiron temples his hands below his chin. She doesn't know if they fell quiet because of guilt or because of the venom in her voice as she spoke the word.
Clear: "From Earth. They came to my world, tried to claim it for themselves. We resisted them. They wiped us out. They had superior technology and such deadly intent. I'll never be able to comprehend what they did. When we were beaten, they took the survivors and put them in camps. They all then died of diseases brought to Mars by the humans. I only survived because I was on board The Hopeless..."
Thrain: "But why were you there? And where are your parents?"
Clear looks at Thrain. A part of Clear actually feels like she could talk about it now. But then she clamps down.
Clear: "I don't want to talk about that. Not today. I don't want to be in a bad mood."
Nightstrider: "I'm sorry, Clear..."
Pully: "Sorry for what? Showing up in the most miserable outfit you could find?"
Clear looks up as Pully comes over. She sits next to Green, deliberately avoiding the seat beside Kiron. She is wearing a green blouse with a striped pattern sweeping diagonally from the shoulder. It has a over-sized collar that Clear thinks looks strange but nobody else seemed to comment on. Like Alexis' shirt, this one is also sleeveless. In the sleeves' place are a couple of green, plastic arm bracers. She is wearing loose, white trousers that flare out slightly at the bottom of each leg. Clear had been worried that Pully would be too stubborn to wear anything but her imperial suit. Fortunately something fashionable stole the woman's eye.
Clear: "Nice outfit, Pully."
Pully: "It was in the wardrobe. Did you look in yours? You might have found something to wear yourself!"
Clear: "I hoping I'll find something today. I won't hold my breath though. I haven't seen much so far I think I'd wear..."
Pully: "Pessimist. Actually, Green, you're just as bad! Today, little girl, you have to get at least three different outfits to wear. I'm sick of seeing that daft white dress you're always in."
Green's mouth downturns like a child's might.
Green: "But I like my dress."
Pully rolls her eyes but then brightens.
Pully: "Hey! Did you see that bloke who brought us here?"
Nightstrider: "Hard to miss him since we followed him..."
Pully: "I was talking to the women, dipstick."
Thrain: "He was good-looking."
Pully: "Even Alexis has the hots for him!"
Thrain: "I'm not completely oblivious, Cassra."
Pully: "Not everything about the Rebel Alliance is so bad after all."
She grins and leans back, hands behind her head. Kiron tuts.
Nightstrider: "So shallow..."
Pully: "Says the guy in love with a princess."
Nightstrider: "I-I'm not in love with her! She's the princess of my people! I have a duty to her!"
Pully: "Yeah, yeah. Whatever you say, Princess-Lover."
Thrain: "How often do you ovulate, Clear?"
The group suddenly descends into silence.
Pully: "Alexis... what the crap!?"
Thrain: "Clear said she owes me for saving her friend. So. Information! How often do you ovulate? Once a month like humans?"
Clear: "I have no idea what that means."
Pully: "Blood, mood swings, once a month."
Clear: "I have no idea what you're talking about."
Nightstrider: "Lucky you. Spared the embarassment."
Pully: "So... you don't have periods? Wow! Wish I was a Salmitton now!"
Heul: "You guys have the weirdest conversations."
Ffion Heul sits beside Kiron. She leans back and rests her foot on her knee. Clear wonders how she can be so relaxed in such an uncomfortable place.
Pully: "Does your pal always take this long to get ready?"
Heul: "Pretty much."
Thrain: "She is muovinian."
Heul: "What? You think she's secreting or something?"
Clear looks aghast and confused by that comment.
Thrain: "I mean, as a people, they're prone to slowness."
Heul: "I don't think they're exactly slow. Just unconcerned. I tell you, Kokoro can bloody move when she wants to."
Thrain: "You mean her powers as an Æon knight help her move fast."
Heul: "Different kind of moving fast. If I meant aided speed then she can move super fast!"
Nightstrider: "Aren't you the combat expert? I can tell by your colours."
Heul: "I am. What of it?"
Nightstrider: "So you must be even faster?"
Ffion Heul grins with pride but before she could brag, Kokoro appears beside her and answers for her.
Lymn: "It depends at what. She might be physically faster but mentally..."
Heul: "You little bi--!"
Pully: "C'mon, let's get a move on. We haven't got all day and we've an entire district to see!"