Six Claws, Five Points.

Session Six

Existential Confusion

At the end of Day 5 after welcoming Tarna back with a song and then seeing Tarna's reaction, Renaria decided enough was enough and that The Sleuth was not the place for her.  She packed up her few possessions and left, leaving only the portrait of Tarna, which Makalu snuck into Tarna's quarters.

When Tarna returned she found the portrait and put it in storage, but did not realize until the following morning that Renaria had packed up and left.

On the morning of Day 6 the whole team discovered Renaria's departure.  When Tarna inquired about Renaria's whereabouts she triggered an automated response from Nova Captain Acorna Hall requesting Tarna (and any companions) attend her in her office.  The Nova Captain had clearly not slept, and informed that Renaria had come to her to request exiting The Sleuth (at about 11pm) and later (at about 2am) Nola and Renaria returned and Nola requested Renaria be reassigned to The Quest.  Acorna had decided to grant both requests as (in her opinion) this removed Renaria as a bad influence over Tarna and the other cadets of The Sleuth. 

The Sleuth had time before a scheduled address by Nova Commander Bryce to get the morning meal, where they saw Renaria already ensconsed with The Quest and were shocked by the magnitude of Dmitri's appetite.  They were not shocked by his decision to visit the medical section later.

Bryce's speech at 9am was to inform the cadets that the hectic opening was a shake-down ritual (or hazing) with two battles in three days then a period for teams to retool and in some cases reorganize.  He cited that this had made some teams (specifically The Others), shaken some (carefully not naming names) and that this was a period of healing and recovery.  He also cited the clan values of strength, honor, and family as guiding principles for this time.

As the rest of The Sleuth returned to their hanger and watched as the remains of Renaria's Mist Lynx were loaded to a Battlemech Recovery Vehicle and removed, Dmitri went to see Scientist Oliver.  Oliver's news was that there was hope and that all signs pointed to the process Dmitri was undergoing having a good survival chance.  But Oliver's best advice was to cooperate as best as possible to maximize those chances. 

At about noon Nova Captain Acorna Hall called The Sleuth back to her office and informed them of news about the prisoners taken to the Clan Ghost Bear Enclave in the capitol.  This included her disapproval at being bypassed in the decision of the two prisoners being taken to the enclave directly.  But the siamese cat prisoner had been gene-tested and identified as Scientist Tanaka Akari, however the records showed that Scientist Tanaka Akari had reported for duty since the prisoner was captured.  Suspecting this was lax record keeping on the part of the scientist caste, Acorna had decided to deploy The Sleuth to check.  Partly this was to flex her own authority, and partly it was to get The Sleuth off-base while they came to terms with Renaria's exit.

Later Scientist Shandra summoned Dmitri to her lab.  Dmitri asked Makalu to follow cloaked.  Shandra loaded Dmitri down with two weeks of medical supplies for his condition and the dosage instructions for his time off base.  Dmitri took these to Oliver who confirmed they were the medications Dmitri would need to conduct the mysterious process uninterrupted.

At the start of Day 7 The Sleuth went to the vehicle bay and found Ivan the Ibis had been assigned as their transportation, and had bought a Packrat long range patrol vehicle for them.  They set out at 6am for Northaven Agricultural Township (often called NAT by the locals).  The highlight of the four hour trip was a run-in with some slack lumberjacks which was nearly mistaken for an ambush, and the main outcome of this was Tarna saw Makalu and Daniel use stealth gear.

After scaring a passing merchant and her labourers, and confusing the receptionist at the Northaven Veterinary Clinic the cadets found their way to Northaven Hospital.  The staff were helpful and directed the cadets to level three and the trauma recovery ward where a receptionist ( a pudgy and balding human man) summoned Scientist Tanaka Akari.  She appeared identical to the siamese cat infiltraitor that Dmitri had incapacitated four days earlier.  This siamese cat however showed no sign of recognizing the cadets or the Tanaka Family Blade, and seemed frustrated at yet another visit by warriors chasing gene test results.  Akari (aged 27) let the team know that this had first happened when she was 12, and had happened six more times since then.  She had had a sister, Hinata, who had died in a tractor accident when they were both 6.   While they were there the cadets checked in with the CGB Enclave and they were still in possession of their prisoner.

Akari's parents were still alive and running the family farm, her father Riku (45) and mother Ichika (48) near the village of SOL.  This was about two hours travel away, so The Sleuth set out for it.  They were met at the dairy farm by Ichika, who quickly descended into tears once Hinata was mentioned, and was led away to be comforted by Makalu.  Riku came shortly after and had had to finish up some chores in the barn.  

Riku was questioned at length by the cadets, revealing that a farmhand had run over Hinata with a tractor when she ran out from behind the house while playing.  He claimed to have seen the body, and that Hinata had died before any medical professional could get to the farm from NAT.  He said that Akari was away being trained for the Scientist Caste at age 12 when she was first approached about a gene test implicating her.  He mentioned that this was Clan Nova Cat.  The cadets saw Hinata's grave (but did not exhume it).

Deciding the best thing to do next was to take Riku to meet the prisoner, the group set off for the CGB Enclave.  Nova Captain Marcus, a kodiak trueborn (in the second line forces) was quick to assure the cadets that he was not involved in the bypassing of Nova Captain Acorna Hall.  Then the cadets were ushered to see the captive.  During the lengthy interrogation of the beaten prisoner Riku said he could not be sure there was a similarity as she had been beaten too severely.  The prisoner claimed to be Akari and knew details of Akari's life but insisted she was estranged from her parents since age 12 when Riku had attempted to dissuade her from the Scientist caste and to take over the farm, which Riku denied.  This Akari recognized the blade as "the blade I had before and will have again", and when Riko saw it he said it was the ornamental but non-functional blade he had given Akari when she graduated as a scientist at 15.  The Akari in Northaven had claimed not to recognize the blade, however.  The prisoner claimed to have been trained by her now deceased grandfather not by her father, and claimed her vendetta was against Clan Nova Cat and combating "the great lie" but refused to mention what it was claiming the Clan Watch would eliminate her and the witnesses if she did.  She then claimed, somewhat unconvincingly, to not know what the great lie was.  

The prisoner also said the Dark Caste (who hired her) were already too late with any rescue and so she gave up the location of their base, the whole (dirty) town of Hartford East, a town of some 4000 people who she claimed were predominantly Dark Caste.

The cadets decided they needed to call in the other Akari and get them both in the same room, so Dmitri put out a call to the people at NAT to organize it.  Tarna contacted Nova Captain Acorna Hall, while Makalu and Daniel contacted the Clan Watch.  The Clan Watch deliberated then said the source (the prisoner) need not be eliminated by Makalu or Daniel.

Needing to unwind a bit the leopard and snow leopard checked the local nigth life then asked Ivan the Ibis, who took them to "The Bird Bath" with advice not to check the other bath house behind the bath house.  While Daniel got a still drink Makalu didn't take Ivan's advice and wound up discovering much more than she wanted to know about bird coupling, but then succumbed to temptation and spent the night with "Princess" the swan.

The following morning Tarna, Daniel and Dmitri were woken by alarms, as the prisoner had escaped and the facility was being searched.  Riko was there and Tarna decided the best way for them to help was to guard the civilian.  And also for Dmitri to return to his room and select some pants.

 

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