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    “Okay gentlemen, and beautiful, sweet, gorgeous lady,” Vivi inhaled, “Let’s try this again.”

    Back on this ship, Caster and Terry had been chatting animatedly as Fivik had been browsing the intergalactic web on one of her ship’s guidance screens. There was plenty of food, though most of it was room temperature now, and Ryso had dished himself up some of the leftovers as Vivi got everyone back on topic.

    “I bet you’re wondering why you’re all here,” she smiled.

    “No, I’m here because you bla-” the joke died on Ryso’s tongue as he got a far-away look in his eyes, “because you made me miss my ship.”

    “She didn’t,” Terry commented emphatically. He clucked his tongue in Vivi’s direction, shaking his head. The action made Caster laugh, and Fivik also stifled a chuckle.

    “Great void, are y’all gonna let me talk or not?”

    Ryso waved a hand for her to continue, while Terry raised two sets of hands in surrender.

    “Very good,” the kinjomin huffed. “With most of us here having been kicked from competition, I have no doubt the one thing on all of our minds is ‘what now?’ What are we going to do, what can we do, to help our cause?” She motioned to the four manilla folders on the table in front of her.

    “I hope you all don’t mind that I’ve been doing some digging.” She picked up her files and flipped the one on top open. “Caster! Sweet purple boy. That’s what it says here, sweet purple boy. Home planet Rianer. Currently suffering a food drought, no shortness of rain though.”

    Tossing the file down on the table for the rest to see revealed several pages of handwritten notes. A photo of the zinotex smiled up at the table, obviously taken directly from his Xotiathon official file and paper clipped to this new file. The handwriting was hard to read, even translated with the ship’s universifier. Small, slanted, and hastily scrawled with edits mashed between lines and parts of it scratched out.

    “Moisture heavy atmosphere. Not quite swampy, but certainly not dry. There are several planets within a few parsecs with edible plants that flourish in such conditions. Driphogs from Ynasa thrive in boggy woodlands, and coincidentally are fairly easy to farm. Horned land toads are also a good option, and can be found at pretty much any floating market in the galaxy.”

    Vivialta’s pause allowed the room to soak in what she was saying. All eyes turned to Caster as he gaped at the file, gently reaching out with his good hands and moving the papers out more to look at the thorough notes. After a moment he turned to look at Vivi, face clearly suggesting that he thought this must be some sort of trick.

    “I’m just getting started, boys,” A wicked grin spread across the kinjomin’s face.

    “Terry, I know we already handled you, unless you lost it. You didn’t lose it, did you?” she teased, missing the slight pang of guilt that crossed his features before continuing. “Terence! Paridon, funny looking chap with too many legs-”

    “Hey, Fivik has just as many legs as I do!”

    “Funny lookin chap with too many legs!” Vivi repeated louder, undeterred. “Fuckin’ idiot who thought something explosive was a good energy source. Can’t blame you, government gets the best of the best of us sometimes, right?” she chuckled with a good-spirited wink at the paridon. “Biofuel, donated by yours truly. There’s plenty of the stuff on Arnaria. Easy to care for and self replenishing. Gimme a hand with the rest of this and I’ll see if we can’t get the elders to donate a huge chunk for you, get your planet off to a good kick-start.”

    The file slapped on the table as she tossed this one down as well.

    “Fivik! My sweet, my precious!” The comment was punctuated with another folder hitting the table. “Holofakkle! Mined for and ground to fine powder for the finest make-up! Not the easiest thing to come across, and rather expensive when found. Still, I think I have a lead from a guy out on Astroid 22-10 who knows where to find an abandoned mine.”

    “Ryso,” Vivi’s attention dropped to the sad shifter who had all but forgotten his plate. He looked her in the eye as the others were wrapped up in their own files. “Home planet Nidia. On the verge of war over a debt of precious metals. Pretty broad answer to that, huh? I guess probably most precious metals are gonna be pretty preciously guarded.” She hummed lightly, looking down at the file.

    The mimic shifter’s face fell. She didn’t have the answer to his problems. He’d let his hopes get up for a moment only to come crashing down. He’d missed his flight for this?

    The file hit the table under his nose with a slap.

    “Luckily for you, I happen to have a special interest in a long forgotten species originating from a place called Earth.” On this file held not only scribbles and notes, many of which were scratched out with notes of being too dangerous or too illegal, was some surprisingly well drawn planet segments. “Planets been in bits for a few centuries, but the people that lived there were rumoured to have veritable shiploads of precious metals. What's left of it isn’t inhabitable, but we can have a look at what might be left in the ruins.

    “Maybe it’s nothing, but it could be. At the very least it’ll make a good story, and if it doesn’t have what you need, then we’ll find another way.”

    The room fell silent as eyes studied papers. Vivi only let it set for a moment before she stood at the end of the table as she addressed them all again.

    “I’ve come to realize that to get something done, the best way is to use a little force.” Vivialta exhaled forcefully, closing her eyes before looking back up at the table with a fire burning behind their cool blue. “It won’t be all sweets and whip topping. All this is, is a plan. It’s a way for us to continue to try to make countless lives better for those at home. To make a difference. To bring change even when we’ve previously failed,” she paused “With the exception of Terry.

    “What I’m asking for is your trust and help. What do you say, boys?”

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I'm outta control boys

Caster via sojustme
Terence via kiwipeaches
Fivik via KippieGlitzie
Ryso via moonmarbles
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Submitted on
August 30
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