Voyage of the Jeanne d'Arc

Episode X: Carving Out Corruption

Personal Log, Tikal Karah

Starting Speech-to-Text Logging

Eh, really need to get some proper Shanrazi characters into this stupid thing.

After getting away from Sylvaar we booked it to the Sol System, heading for Port Io as Yima recommended. Had to find his sister, Haruko, to tell us how to work this damned knife. Meanwhile, Macha and I traded off handling the Spirit Feather…was no telling if one of the others might snap and try to take it.

After we landed, nobody seemed to want to stay on the ship. Can't blame 'em, I wouldn't want to be cooped up on the ship either if I couldn't talk to it. I relented, but made sure they moved together…especially had to have sharp eyes on Shara. The fool girl still seemed to have no idea of the real danger her incessant yammering was putting everyone within earshot in. Probably shouldn't have let 'em go. Whatever. Was a little drunk. Port Io, for its part, was great. A vagrant's home through and through. Haven't been that comfortable around people since I left Mars. Didn't even get a bunch of funny looks, and was able to lower some of my usual coverings. Nice to let the face and ears breathe every once in a while.

It didn't take much effort to track down Haruko. Uncommon name, and she's got a good reputation around Port Io. Works as a Geisha at a place called “The Sake Room.” Guess adherence to tradition runs in the family.

This place was, to put it lightly, swanky. Real traditional, old timey appearance. Had a gold cat outside, heard it's supposed to be lucky or something. Dunno, might have been seeing things, was a little drunk. There was an obvious bouncer parked on a stool outside…I'd seen that sort of thing before. He was taking the cover charge for the place…as a matter of exclusivity. You had to give him the right charge to get in. Also, we'd have to look the part going into a place like that…Macha went and got us some fancy old-fashioned Japan clothes on Calliope's dime. That shit was DIVINE. I'm keepin' that kimono, comfiest thing I've worn my whole damn life. Flattering too. Not that anybody was ogling the Shanrazi freak.

We kept an eye on the place, didn't take long for a good mark to come out…a rather amiable shipping mogul of sorts by the name of Garth Norwood. He was stumbling drunk, too…eeeeeasy mark. Macha and I didn't even have to try to get the cover charge out of him. Twenty bucks a head…cheaper than I'd expected, but I guess that's the point eh?

We got into the place…the main room was a large sake bar. We spotted four Geishas working the joint…two of them were Mystics, and one of those Mystics was very powerful. Fourth Order Seeker. No question that'd be our girl. Just had to get her to ourselves, and that involved putting in a special request. We found out her specialty was something called a Kagami biraki. Uncasking of sake. We'd have to wait for an hour to get her, but we weren't in a rush. Me, I was excited as hell, and getting disturbingly sober during that hour, but it'd be worth the wait. This was the REAL shit. Actual fucking alcohol done right, and we were getting a whole cask! I'm gonna be stocked for WEEKS.

We kept with etiquette…didn't talk business until after the first round, after which we explained to Haruko why we were there. Granted, she's a damn Seeker, so she already knew. She offered to make us a deal…another Geisha, Yuko, decided to undermine her reputation to drum up her own business. Not exactly fair play, but you've gotta appreciate that kind of drive. Anywho, Haruko wanted us to convince her to stop, and gave us her home address, before resuming pleasantries. Very pleasantries. Gotta say, by the end of the night her charms were definitely doing their trick, even with me. Then again, I was very, very drunk.

Shek did some digging later. Found out Yuko was actually a Synth, named Saron-09. Could've used that to play dirty, get some blackmail, but eh. I wanted to do this one clean. Girl probably just needed the money…and after a visit from me an' Macha, turns out that was exactly the case. Saddled herself up with some nasty debt. Needed to make more. Well, we proposed that, instead of attacking Haruko's livelihood, we could help her bolster her own. Spread some good word, drum up her business. She agreed to stop the nasty rumors if we did that, so we left to make a plan.

On our way back to the ship, we spotted our beloved fool of a captain putting away her comm after sending all of us a simultaneous message…no question in our heads as to what it was. That fucking Demon…she didn't remember a thing of it. We had the message deleted without looking.

I didn't like the implications of that. Means that shit can spread its corruption through the written word, not just spoken…after we're done here, gonna send a note to Shek to run an automated scrub of the logs. Clear out any names we don't specifically exclude.

Back to it. I came up with a surprisingly great plan, if I do say so myself, despite still being pretty drunk. Macha was going to work through Garth, get Yuko some high end business. Meanwhile, I'd hit up the docks and find some incoming vagrants with money to spend and a taste for booze. Turns out my job was reeeeal easy. Kept the kimono on for it, but made it clear I wasn't a shill. Seems the moment you tell a space-weary crew that they can get real alcohol they're sold.

…despite the kimono, everyone still seems to think I'm a dude. Meh. I keep wondering whether I should actually start caring at some point.

I set things up with Garth to manage having him as a business contact after we were done…after all, smuggling's a specialty of ours. I'm sure he'd have use of our services.

Went back to The Sake Room, got ourselves a poetry reading. Couldn't really afford another cask. It's fine. I was still drunk. Haruko told us how to use the Spirit Feather. The user had to attune to it and be free of corruption. Then? Jam it right into a person's heart. It'd leave them unconscious for a while, but would carve out their corruption. Also makes for a powerful weapon against Demons, assuming you're in a strong mana field. Much as I wanted to take it, I let Macha do the attuning. I've never really been too capable with a knife. Also, I was pretty drunk. We got ourselves a private room, she gleefully stabbed Calliope, Shek, Noxis, Shara, and then we sat down, drank more, and played cards until they came too.

Not really sure how long that was. I might've blacked out a while. Dunno. Was really drunk.

After they came to, we started working out our new plan: Shek would keep tabs on Asshole McBoxman, so that hopefully we could track him down and give him what for. In the meantime, we'd get ourselves some work to rebuild our funds, and, more importantly, go get some Mystic Training.

…what a fuckin' busy day. Enough to drive a girl to drink.

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