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In The Cradle 13 hrs ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
Vreta felt like he had missed the context for whatever joke Freyr was laughing at, but in any case, he answered with a slight shrug of his shoulders. “Well…yes. Every year, the Rahn’Saki honors citizens who accomplish something of significant benefit to our society as a whole, which is accompanied by monetary rewards. If I were judged to have played an important role in saving your world, I would be awarded for it. Perhaps not as much as if I had directly saved a Rothian world, I will admit, but to help your people also helps mine.”

Chuckling to himself for a moment, Vreta briefly interrupted himself to make some more progress on his steak before continuing. “Of course, I am in no dire need of any reward. I did that one Human put it...’absolutely loaded.’ Is that the right expression?” He asked, laughing again. “I have not retired in quite a long time. I just keep finding work that I find fulfilling. I am not one of the scientists like you, so I doubt I will be one of the heroes of this expedition, but I still hope I can make a difference in the end.”
In The Cradle 23 hrs ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
Freyr might have been able to spot some awkwardness in Vreta’s expression as she gave him her answer. It was sometimes easy to overlook the effects a limited lifespan would have on how other species’ lived their lives, and to Vreta, he found the notion of impending mortality to be an uncomfortable topic to discuss. While he might have been adjusted to it more than most Rothians, he still did not deal easily with the topic of death. He took his time sampling chunks of different steaks and sipping wine while she explained, and he was fully composed by the time it was his turn to respond. “Yes, of course. My apologies, I sometimes forget that retirement is a different matter for most other species. It is a…temporary thing for us.”

Vreta took another sip of wine, then tried to continue along the vein of the more optimistic parts of the conversation. “But I was more referring to the time after all of this is over. After we solve this problem with the Cradle, after your planet is safe. If your team is responsible for saving your world, would you all not be deserving of a reward substantial enough that you would not have to work again, if you did not choose to? Does your government have any system of rewards for its heroes?”
The two teams arranged themselves quickly once they had been given orders, then proceeded down the split paths with haste. The corridors were fairly narrow, though fortunately there was no resistance in the halls themselves, at least for now. Both paths led downwards towards large chambers that were similar, though not identical.

Down the left path, the final door opened into a wide, tall chamber. Its original purpose to the Forerunners was not apparent, but as it was open and mostly featureless, it was now filled with stacks of crates almost from one wall to the other, though they did have an orderly arrangement that allowed one to navigate between them. There were also two rows of three long, flat columns each going from the floor to two walkways above. One was on the far side of the room, while the other row was on the near side just in front of the door the team entered through. Although they could not see through the ceiling above them, there was presumably a second walkway just above them, overlooking the center of the room.

Among the collection of crates in the center of the chamber was where the enemy had been putting up barricades and starting to fortify. They mostly consisted of metal, deployable barriers, though Humans were not the only defenders among them. There was also a small pack of Brutes, four individuals, though their leader wore the armor of a Chieftain. Including the Human rebels, there were about a dozen defenders ahead of them from what they could see. The Jiralhanae used exclusively their own weapons, such as spikers, or a gravity hammer in the case of the Chieftain. The Humans, meanwhile, wielded a mix of Human and Covenant weaponry. Out of those that were visible as the team entered the chamber, two carried storm rifles, one a needler, and one a carbine.

Most notably, the Humans and Brutes did not appear to be entirely unified. Some of the Humans seemed to be on alert and in defensive positions, but the Chieftain seemed to be having an altercation with a Human commander. Just as Aviza’s team was making it into the room, the Chieftain struck the Human “lightly”, which, for a Brute, was still enough to knock him clean off of his feet. “Cowards! There will be no retreat; we will crush them, feast on their flesh, and suck the marrow from their bones! Flee from them, and I will make you my dessert.”

Vael 'Virisusai and Tasuma

Vael led his team from the front down the right path. He moved alongside Tasuma through the halls, as a Mgalekgolo could force its way through nearly any obstacle they might come across in the halls. Fortunately, they did seem to have moved quickly enough that their enemy did not have time to fortify the halls. Although, the moment they reached the large chamber at the end of the hall, they faced immediate resistance.

The chamber itself was large and quite open, except for the crates in the center of the room. They were stacked and organized neatly, though it was not obvious from the outside whether or not they contained weapons. What was apparent was that the rebels had put up barriers in the center for cover, including two mounted heavy machine guns, both of which had opened fire as soon as the door had opened.

Fortunately, Vael’s team was not left completely without options. There were two of what seemed to be support struts running diagonally up to the ceiling, one to the left and right of the door Vael’s team was entering through. The struts were wide, so they did offer ample cover. Vael lunged and rolled to the left to get behind one of the struts as quickly as he could, though even with his armor’s shield strength, the heavy weapons had very nearly depleted them in just the few moments he had been exposed to incoming fire.

“Spread out and get to cover!” Vael ordered, though Tasuma took that order at a slower pace. It kept a low posture with its shield in front to protect itself, then used the smoke launchers mounted on its armor to fire two smoke grenades towards the center of the room. It would take a short time for the smoke to fill out, but it would at least provide partial cover for the rest of the team to move. Overall, the Hunter’s armor could handle the incoming fire for a time, which, together with the smoke, would hopefully allow the rest of the team to reach cover.

It was difficult for Vael to see in detail, but there seemed to be ten or fifteen Humans ahead of them. The chamber was longer than it was wide, and he could see an upper walkway that ran along the right side of the room to the far side, with a ramp to just next to the other support strut to access it. However, from his angle, he could not see if there were more rebels up on the walkway defending that path.
In The Cradle 1 day ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
Vreta could have predicted Freyr’s response when their meal arrived, but he still smiled in response. He had a feeling that the conversation had been close to taking on an uncomfortable tone once again, so he did welcome the change of topic when it came. He took a moment to politely thank their waiter, then started to tear into one of his steaks. Differences between Rothian and Human biology did made for some notable differences between their respective acceptable table manners. Rothians did not possess teeth suitable for chewing, so rather than cut it up into small pieces and take his time with it, it was far more natural to simply pick up a steak and rip off a fair chunk, which he swallowed all at once.

“That is correct.” Vreta answered. “Our population is grown and restricted in a planned and organized manner. It only took a little genetic modification for me to be deemed genetically suitable for reproduction, but I’ve been on the waiting list for reproduction ever since. Though, it is not something I have been in a particular rush for. If I was, I wouldn’t have residence on Rothia. If I was really eager, I would move to one of the newer colonies; I could probably be at the front of the list within a few decades, there. Maybe I will do that during my next retirement? I suppose I’ll see how this career goes. I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect I would ever be back to Outremer, or especially the Cradle, when I left those months ago. But then my government requested me, specifically, for this position, and that’s just not an offer I could refuse.”

Vreta took a few sips of wine, then took on a more curious expression. “Once this is all over, and you hopefully have your family back, do you think you will retire?”
Despite how long they had been fighting, their charge into the Daedric lines was the most aggressive yet. Meesei’s pack formed a spearhead that started to threaten to split the enemy lines in two, while their Senche cavalry moved around the outside to harass them from the flanks. These Daedra were all that stood between them and the tower where they would end this battle once and for all.

While some might have been uncomfortable with it, the aggression suited Lorag. Empowered by Yerig’s shout, it felt like his claws were guided by the wind itself as they cut quick and deep into anything in front of him. Although the magic of the Thu’um was something new to him, the speed it offered was something he could intuitively take advantage of. His roars and savage attacks were almost a mask for the skill and experience that lay underneath. Even with the blood lust of his beast, he still approached each opponent with an intentional plan. Smaller opponents, like the Skaafin, received the most straightforward and aggressive swipes of his claws, but even then, he was strategic about the timing and angle of his strikes to make sure his armor could effectively protect him. For larger opponents, he tried to either isolate them as much as possible, or to position himself so that smaller Daedra blocked the path between them so that Lorag could not get easily overwhelmed.

Meesei, too, was holding nothing back. She swiped her claws across Skaafin in front of her in a flurry, mixed in with bolts of lightning and streams of fire. Her physical power mixed with magic made for an especially deadly combination, and one that many of her opponents were still not expecting. Skaafin mages scrambled to try and stop her, but against their wards, she did not even need to spend the magicka to break them. Charging in and skewering them with her claws worked just fine. She fought close together with Lorag on her left, and Janius on her right, matching her aggression to theirs and remaining alert to prevent any of them from getting surrounded. Meesei’s pack were pushing into the Daedra’s ranks faster than the rest of their frontline, so there was the danger of them getting encircled before they could break through completely.

Ahnasha’s titan passed above once again, raining down cold flame in a horizontal line deep into the Daedra’s ranks in front of them. Arrows and spellfire tried to meet the titan this time, but it was a difficult target merely to hit at its speed, and a few stray shots would not be enough to bring it down. However, among the Daedra was one spirit near the rear of their formation, glaring up in anger. It was the Breton spirit, holding the broken halves of her staff in both hands. Even with her fury, she still remained resolute and reasonably focused. She discarded the bottom half of the staff, then forcefully pulled the red crystal from the top half. Gritting her teeth, she charged her magicka through the crystal, which seemed to retaliate immediately with a surge of power through her own body. Its magic had the appearance of lightning with a crimson glow as it surrounded and pierced her body. Even she could not help but to scream out in agony as the crystal seemed to melt her flesh and fuse to her hand.
In The Cradle 2 days ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
Vreta did find it surprising that Freyr would want to order a dish as meat-heavy as his. He had been under the impression that Humans tended to enjoy more balanced meals, while he had a collection of finely-cut steaks sampled from exotic creatures on three different worlds. The wine, though, was a local vintage, and one he thought she would enjoy. Although, something meant for a Rothian could be strong for her, if she was not careful.

In any case, Vreta smiled at Freyr’s description of her husband. While it likely simplified his personality, it did paint a clear picture of the person they were trying to save. Even just imagining such a man being a victim of the Cradle was heartbreaking to Vreta; he could only imagine what it must have felt like to her. These medical trials Vreta was suggesting would further build Rothian knowledge of the Cradle, and that would certainly be why his government would approve them, but Vreta did genuinely hope that Freyr’s family could be healed. After all she had been through, she deserved that.

Despite his somber thoughts, Vreta tried to keep a more upbeat, conversational tone. “I…don’t quite understand your expression, but I think I understand your meaning, regardless. When we heal him, I will look forward to hearing what he has to say about you. As for my relationships…there are quite a few to talk about. My people do not mate for life as you do, and we are not entirely monogamous, but we do occasionally have long-term mates. We also do not marry as you do, but “husband” or “wife” would probably be the closest words to describe such mates. If I am just talking about those, my first wife that I mentioned earlier was actually one of my longest relationships. It was eighty or ninety years that I was with her, and we experienced a lot of firsts together. She was an adventurous sort. We met when I was trying to become an artist, and even after I moved on from that, we still liked to vacation among the stars, taking in new sights and experiences. We eventually grew apart some time after I took on a more stable career.”

Vreta leaned back somewhat in his chair, looking across at the void star lowering on the horizon as his mind was now caught up in reminiscing. “My absolute longest relationship I think was my second husband. Just over a century by the time we parted ways. The way you describe your husband does actually remind me of him. He too was very kind, and quite a generous person. He was also what you might call a ‘hopeless romantic’. He just loved all the little romantic gestures I liked to do for him. I remember it was not too long after we established trade relations with Humanity, and there were these little sweet Human candies that he just could not get enough of. So, I bought up a hoard of the things and started carefully hiding them in places where I thought he might find them throughout the day, so he would get a little treat and a reminder of me at random times during the day. A few times, I even managed to sneak them into hiding places at his workplace.”
In The Cradle 2 days ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
“That is what I was going to suggest, yes.” Vreta replied, nodding in agreement. “I too don’t have complete authority to authorize the trials myself, but I have spoken with my superiors about the possibility and they are open to it. I am hoping that, between the two of us, we will have enough pull to get talks going.”

There was a brief distraction from the nearby table of Humans. Vreta still had no doubt that their celebration was just theater to justify their presence at the restaurant, but it was no matter. No matter how much the agent listened in from afar, she was not going to find anything incriminating or useful. Vreta had actually been entirely honest and straightforward about his motivations, for a change.

Vreta looked down at the holographic display and gave a brief look over the menu. He already had a fair idea of what he wanted to order when he arrived, so he went ahead and signaled for the waiter to return. “Yes, and feel free to order anything you like. You can find the very best of…anything here.” He remarked. Though, after a few seconds of silence, he turned his head towards Freyr once more. “Just out of my own curiosity, what is he like? Your husband, I mean?”
In The Cradle 3 days ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
Vreta was unsurprised to see the agent and ambassador had followed them to the restaurant. If anything, he had expected to see them sooner, but they had evidently taken the time to dress themselves in the kind of formal clothing Humans seemed to believe was required for locations such as this. Given Freyr’s state on their arrival, the agent in particular had words for him, but he did not reply, nor do much else but acknowledge them with a glance. He was here to talk to Freyr, not to let the two of them distract them and derail their conversation. Fortunately, Freyr did not seem keen on their company either, so she ended up sending them away before Vreta needed to.

Vreta waited until they were alone once more to continue. “I know. That is why I wanted to get straight to it, rather than beating around the bush. I know this is not a comfortable topic for you, but I do hope to bring solutions, not problems. You are right that my people would need to see some benefit in order for my government to approve the research. But, those benefits do exist, in this case. At least from what I have been told, Cradle death can cause kinds of neurological issues that my people have not had much of a chance to study. Despite all the differences between our bodies, your brains and ours are not too dissimilar, at their core. To carry out this study allows us to learn more about the mind and improve our own medicine. Knowledge itself is a more than sufficient reward to justify the cost of the study. And even beyond that, if we are going to be working closer together to study the Cradle, there is more of a chance than ever that something could happen to a Rothian in the Cradle. I personally have nearly died twice in that damned place.”

The tone in which Vreta had been speaking had been somewhat emotionless while he had been simply giving a list of facts of why his people would benefit from the study. However, his tone became more sympathetic as he continued on beyond the pragmatic reasons. “For me, personally, I do want my people to gain those benefits I just mentioned, of course, but...I do want to help you. That is why the idea came to my mind in the first place. What you have been through is heartbreaking, and I see the possibility that your family might be made whole again. And even more families beyond yours, if the study is successful.”
In The Cradle 4 days ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
Vreta too looked out over the horizon to admire the view before them. It was true that he had seen many, many such views in his life, but he could still found that he could clear his mind and enjoy the beauty within them. Although, in this case, he did not lose his focus for long. “Oh, no, even I only come to this place on special occasions. I think it is a fair way to celebrate a return to home after these weeks away.” Vreta answered, pausing briefly to thank the insectoid waiter serving their drinks. There was a small, holographic display near each seat that could be activated to show a menu, which provided a quick answer as to why even Vreta visited only on occasion. As long as Freyr had a quick way of making the conversion for exchange rates, the prices could be best described as “extravagantly expensive.”

On Rothia, there was, of course, the ever-present knowledge that every word and action was recorded, even if it was not done obviously. Most cameras and other sensors were hidden well out of sight. However, aside from when the waiter was nearby, there were currently no other people within normal earshot of them. Once the waiter had moved on for the moment to give them time to order, Vreta spoke up again, this time in a bit softer of a voice. “I would normally wait a bit longer to get straight to business, but…I don’t think it would be fair of me to keep you waiting on this particular topic. Like I mentioned before, it is rather personal to you. It’s about your family; your husband and daughter. I know it is a sensitive topic, but I want to help. I will just give my intentions plain: I want to try to work towards a deal to start medical trials for using Rothian technology to treat people who have ‘died’ in the Cradle, or had their minds otherwise incapacitated.”
In The Cradle 4 days ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
“Yes, I think I am ready to leave as soon as you are. I shall go out to the landing pad and arrange transport.” Vreta replied. He gave Freyr the chance to get herself ready while he went outside to wait. Before he had even left the building, their transport was already on the way to the landing pad outside. In Rothian cities, transportation tended to be government-provided in the form of automated flying vehicles that could simply be called via the city’s public network at no charge, for locals and tourists alike. The vehicles themselves were comfortable, and built to most Rothians’ standards of luxury, so they were commonly used by all economic classes.

As soon as Freyr rejoined Vreta, the pair of them departed for the restaurant. Technically, the establishment he had in mind was across the city, but since it was on the upper level as well, it would only take a few minutes to reach. In general, traversing the city did not take too long, but the highest travel times were often associated with traveling through the more congested passways between layers of the city. Of course, even with the short trip, Vreta did notice that the two of them were not alone in leaving early. The agent and the Human ambassador left just after them, heading in the same direction. The Human pair might have wanted to pass off the fact that they were following them as a simple coincidence, but the restaurant to which Vreta was taking Freyr was not exactly a place one would visit casually. As would be obvious once they landed, the restaurant was a particularly high-class establishment, even by Rothian standards.

The name of the restaurant was Etisxa’Maan, meaning “Galaxy’s Jewel”. Assuming one had not already heard of it beforehand, any quick search would reveal that it was a luxury restaurant that specialized in expensive, rare, and exotic foods not only from Rothia, but all corners of the galaxy. They claimed to have in their employ at least one chef of interstellar renown from every spacefaring species in the galaxy, and most reviewers agreed that the quality of their cuisine did match their claims. The restaurant itself took up several floors at the very top of the skyscraper, so it had a viewpoint even higher than the mountains surrounding the city, and the walls were mostly windows to obstruct that view as little as possible. Similarly to their galactic cuisine, the restaurant was decorated with art, such as paintings, sculptures, and holographic designs, purchased from each of the species represented. Freyr might even have recognized some more famous Human art pieces. Despite coming from wildly different cultures, every decoration was still selected carefully to cultivate the refined atmosphere they were seeking.

Generally, Etisxa’Maan was an establishment that would require reservations to even think about getting a seat, but Vreta paid a premium fee for preferred seating on a balcony overlooking the city…something that either the ambassador or Agent 595 would have to do as well if they wanted to even have a chance of being seated.
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