Xenospace - Second Miltian System
Established not long after the the Miltian Conflict, Second Miltia is one amongst the many worlds that are an autonomous government under the Galaxy Federation. The planet itself is in what's otherwise known as the Miltian Star System, but Second Miltia itself came about from a hasty evacuation from Old Miltia, and the terraforming of the new planet dozens of light years from Old Miltia itself. The planet is a beautiful one, still filled with forests due to its fairly recent terraforming. The atmosphere generating nanomachines within the oceans are still active, causing the planet to appear light green from space.
The Unus Mundus Network (U.M.N.) Control Center is based here on Second Miltia as well, which was also the former location for Vector Industries Headquarters. The Second Division R&D of Vector, however, remains based here as well. Beyond the system that Second Miltia is located, however, travel to the system where Old Miltia is otherwise impossible.. It is blocked, by a double black hole.
The spaceport isn't quite so busy today on the Second Miltian capital. Business seems to be in a bit of a lull, and travellers to and from Second Miltia have lessened in the past year due to the Proto Merkabah crisis.
The relatively new warp zone portal, though, has seen its share of activity.
Though Ziggy is a member of the Palace of Power he still retains his primary duties to the S.O.C.E. and still carries out small duties for them while waiting to complete his main objective. Today he is in the space port awaiting the arrival of a sensitive document to deliver to the UMN Control Center.
Well, *something* arrives. It's sensitive, but it sure isn't a document by any stretch of the imagination. The surface of the purple warp burbles, indicating that something is coming through. But it's only for a split second, the only warning anyone will get before someone *LEAPS* clean through, knees raised, arms covering the face as though to shield it from harm.
Yuffie still hasn't distinguished the difference between jumping through warps and jumping through glass windows, particularly when she's in a bit of a hurry.
The wiry ninja glides magnificently through the air, the metal tails of her bandanna fluttering behind her, before she lands smackdab on Ziggy and effectively glomps him. Hesitantly she cracks open her tired eyes to peer into the cyborg's face, bearing a rather deep scratch on her temple with fresh blood streaking down her cheek. She gasps for breath for a few moments, gathering her bearings and her senses. Similar cuts and bruises line her bare legs and arms. "Heal please..." she begs, her voice cracking as she looks up at him with wide, pleading dark eyes. Hopefully he'll prove to be a friend instead of a foe.
Ziggy's legs are nothing if not strong. So when Yuffie collides with him he doesn't even go slightly off balance. His first impulse is to wonder if she's an enemy, but aside from colliding with him she never made any other aggressive moves. When he sees the wound on her head, and ultimately recognizes her from the Palace database his arm braces her, to keep her from falling.
Not making any verbal response yet, he quickly looks around the immediate area, and brings the injured ninja over to a pair of chairs. If her wounds were life threatening he'd call a medic from the Palace, but her life doesn't appear to be in danger, from what he can tell.
His actions are quick and effecient as he takes out a Medkit and treats her wound with a healing ether. This is the most amount of healing you'll get out of Ziggy, he's a tank, not a healer. "Yuffie Kisaragi, yes?" He asks, his voice characteristically cool and logical "What happened?"
"Zenenes," she groans, dropping her head into her palm and scrubbing her fingers over her face. As if this explains everything. Yuffie wobbles from side to side in her chair, though as the healing ether sinks in, this begins to lessen. "And...yeah...s'right," she blinks hard, as her brain becomes more coherent. She squints at Ziggurat 8, trying to put a name to the face, but not quite succeeding. "Say, have we met?" she blinks, tilting her head to the side to study him from another angle, then another. "You *look* familiar, but...I dunno, maybe it's the place?" She ceases her examination of the cyborg's face, instead taking in the highly-advanced technology, abnormal amounts of chrome and steel, and blinking lights. "Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure I've never been here before..."
"Zenenes?" The cyborg blinks. Not familiar. He'll have to ask her to elaborate on it later. Finishing up his treatment (so at least the wound on her head is mended) he shakes his head. "No, I don't believe we've met. I only recognized you from the Palace Database." As if to show by example, he pulls the record up in his head (hohoho, cybernetics aren't all external) He speaks, his face appears as if he was reading off a piece of paper, though he clearly isn't. "Yuffie Kisaragi, Wutai native, skilled in ninjitsu, Materia enthusiast, troublemaker..." He stops there. Station probably wrote that entry.
"Anyway, this is Second Miltia. The planet isn't closed off to Palace visitors, so it's not impossible that you've been here before." Without missing a beat he changes topics in the middle of the explanation effortlessly. "You mentioned 'Zenenes' a moment ago, what were you referring to?"
If Yuffie is offended by the entry, it sure doesn't show. In fact, she looks downright pleased about it. "Wow, they described me to a tee!" she beams. Her hand rises to lightly brush at the now-healed cut on the side of her head, wincing gingerly until she's sure it doesn't hurt. Seems as good as new! No scars for her, ha ha! "That's a lot better, thanks, uh...I don't think I know your name, heh!" she rubs the back of her neck apologetically. "Zenenes are these ugly skinny dog-like things with human faces...really UGLY human faces," she frowns, and brushes her fingers through her hair and along her jaw as she explains, "with oily red hair, about this long. They bite and claw, Rufus has a buttload of the freaks in his tower." Which might beg the question, what the heck was she doing in the ShinRa Tower? "Say, you've got a real keen memory! Are you a robot like Zero?" she beams, leaning forward curiously and *totally* invading Ziggy's bubble.
Huh, ShinRa Tower? Well Rufus is a Fortress ally so if she was causing trouble in there then it was probably SOMEWHAT practical. "Ziggurat 8." He replies. "I'm a cyborg, not a robot." Some would say there's not much of a difference. "And it's not difficult for me to store the dossiers of the Palace, it helps when trying to identify people." Well it may have helped his memory, but it doesn't do much for his enthusiasm or personality. The tone of his voice hasn't really changed since the converation started!
"So how did you wind up here?" He asks. "If you were in ShinRa's Tower then it mustn't have ended well."
Yuffie Kisaragi puffs out her cheeks, furrowing her brow and looking thoroughly grumpy if only for a few moments. "Boy, you can say that again...guess I should have anticipated an up in security after I got the coffee machine last time, I just wasn't expecting it to be THAT much." She scrubs at her hair and heaves a disgruntled sigh. "Next time, though, I *will* get his boxers and fly them from the top of Final Destination, just you wait!" she clenches a fist, a determined gleam flashing in her eye. That'll show him to put such a puny, worthless bounty on her head.
Then she relaxes, sticking out her hand. "Nice to meet you, Zigs. Lucky I landed on you instead of someone else, that's for sure!" You wouldn't believe how many people freak out and start yelling when a poor innocent ninja just happens to land on them. At least they walk away with a lighter load in their wallets, and it serves them right!
Fly his boxers from Final Destination? Ziggy can't help but thing she somewhat reminds him of Jr., only not quite as impulsive. "Perhaps you should refrain from infiltrating an enemy base until you have just reason to do so. You'll only familiarize your enemy with your tactics and increase your chances of detection each time." Uh oh, here comes what sounds like a lecture. Ziggy may not be a ninja, but he IS a mercenary, and being stealthy is often part of the job.
"I suppose." He says to her second comment. "You should still get your other wounds treated professionally, I don't have the skill to heal much." She's lucky he even HAD a Medkit on him today, really. "And you should keep yourself from acting on a foolhardy impulse to infiltrate an enemy's stronghold."
"But...but it's funny!" she protests, grinning from ear to ear. "He gets so MAD!" Yuffie starts sniggering, picturing the look on Rufus's face if she'd succeeded. "Besides, if I don't do it, who will? Maybe he'll start getting twitchy and paranoid...wouldn't it be GREAT if I finally got him to go off the deep end?" she all but squees, curling her fingers into her palms and waving them around in small circles next to her cheeks. And she was bored. What further reason did she need to go whack some proverbial wasps' nests?
Pausing for a moment, she reflects on what Ziggy's said. "You know, you sound like you've got some experience with ninja-work yourself. What is it that you do?" she beams, resting her hands on her knees.
Ziggy just.... signs. Yuffie seems like the sort who simply won't listen to any sage advice he has to give. Yes, very much like Jr. "I don't believe it would be worth it to undergo such a risk for such a frivilous goal." He stops himself there, and decides to give up trying to convince her otherwise. He could never keep Jr. from picking on U-TIC, after all.
"I'm a mercenary, not a ninja." He responds to her. Seriously, do those feet look at all like they can be sneaky and ninja-like? "Though I typically employ stealth in most of my missions, I have an onboard cloaking unit to hide my sight and sounds." So, he cheats, in other words. But cut him some slack! He couldn't sneak if he WANTED to without it. "I have enough experience to know what is and isn't a fool's journey, at least."
Yuffie Kisaragi grins more widely. She's not the sort to get easily insulted, despite all of her huffing against Cloud and Vincent. (She just likes getting the attention in that case.) "Oh yeah? And when's the last time /you/ did something just because it sounded like fun?" she returns, crossing her arms and leeeeeeeeaning forward until they're practically nose to nose. "You're cyborg, right? So you've gotta have some human bits and pieces in there! C'mon, since we're being all out in the open about stuff. When's the last time you smiled?"
Boy, Yuffie sure does know how to jump right to the sensitive issues. The 'human bits' remark hurts enough in its own way, but Ziggy really doesn't like bringing up his past. Whenever someone makes an idle comment on it memories tend to surface anyway, whether he wants them to or not. When WAS the last time he /really/ smiled?
Oh yes, when he promised to build a dog house for his son. Which was, in fact, the last time he really saw him alive.
No, he'd rather not remember that. He hides a pained expression by forcing his face to look simply irritated instead. "I don't believe that's any of your business." He says. "I'm not incapalbe of enjoying myself, I just prefer to spend my time constructively." He has enjoyed himself during time with MOMO in the past, afterall. Even if never really let himself smile over it.
Yuffie Kisaragi blinks, looking surprised. She half expected something along the lines of 'Two years, three months, seventeen days, four hours, forty-eight minutes and seven seconds ago'. But that was certainly a human expression on his face. She's not sure if she prefers it to the bland and emotionless state it possessed just a few moments before. "Well there's nothing wrong with that, but...come on, not even a little recreation time?" He's not a complete robot. And heck, even Zero knows when to relax and unwind! "Spending some time playing around with others, or chatting, or learning new hobbies is good for you, and for them!" She scratches the top of her head. Yuffie hadn't really meant to piss him off, he'd healed her after all. "Uh...you're not angry with me, are you? Didn't mean to upset you!"
Ziggy sighs again and shakes his head. "No, I'm not mad." And really, he's not. It takes more than THAT to get him mad. There's only one person capable of getting him REALLY mad, and there's no Sith-wannabe around here right now. "And I don't need recreation time." He answers. "Considering my previous lifestyle I get more free time now with the Palace than I ever did. I didn't need a hobby for one hundred years, so I certainly don't need one now." This is somewhat B.S., Ziggy wouldn't mind spending time doing one or two frivilous things, but considering how little is left on his life span he doesn't want to waste the time on it.
He then catches himself, wondering why he's even telling her all of this. "Anyway, you mustn't have much to do yourself if you have all this time to spend worrying about what someone else is doing."
Yuffie Kisaragi smiles, relieved that he wasn't offended. "I'm good at multi-tasking," she waves it off, grinning at her little joke. Ha ha. FUNNY. "And I'm more worried about what you're NOT doing, and that's being happy. People were meant to be happy, you know, otherwise we wouldn't be able to laugh. Besides, you healed my wound, I should do something to pay you back. And I'm not talking money." She hoards that to herself anyway. More money = More materia! Yuffie brings up her legs onto the chair, perching in a lotus position with her elbow on her knee, chin in her palm. "And it's not like that's all I do, but for a few weeks, I kinda gotta keep on the move. That Zio guy I beat up wasn't too happy about getting foiled," she beams. Even if it was pretty much accidental. There's a method to the madness! Sort of.
"You don't need to do anything for me." He says. "As a member of the Palace Guard it's my duty to look out for other memebers of the Palace in danger." That, and he's starting to think it would certainly be best for him if Yuffie didn't try to repay him. At all.
The way Yuffie insists that Ziggy try and enjoy himself reminds the cyborg of MOMO's concern. But it feels different. MOMO knows Ziggy well and understands (to a point) how he sees things, Yuffie seems more interested in getting Ziggy to behave as SHE wants him too. "You can just go about your business, and watch your back. I'll be fine."
Yuffie Kisaragi blinks, looking up at Ziggy with wide eyes. "Aw, geez, I *did* offend you, didn't I? Man..." she rubs at her head, exhaling. He's more difficult and prickly than Cloud and Vincent combined! Duty, duty. Does that mean he'd have left her to bleed if he wasn't part of the Palace? "Look, that wasn't my intention! I just...well..." How to say it? She continues rubbing at her hair, furrowing her brow as she looks off to the side. "Smiling is...it's...well it's important! It just IS."
Well, no, Ziggy wouldn't have just LEFT her there. Duty is just a convenient excuse to bring up to make him SEEM all cool and nonchalent instead of a big ol' softy. Hah!
He shakes his head at her 'smiling' talk. "I've gotten by without it, thanks." He idly glances back towards the parcel delivery counter, to make sure what he's here to pick up hasn't arrived yet. And it hasn't, so he's left talking to Yuffie for awhile yet until it is. "It's not as if I'm trying to make myself into someone who doesn't feel, but I just haven't had the need, nor felt the impulse, to smile. And if 'it just is' is the best excuse you can think of, then you're not winning anyone over."
Yuffie Kisaragi lifts her head, looking exasperated. "Well yeah, I know, it's just that everything else I can think of would probably make you mad! And I don't wanna do that, since you seem like a pretty nice guy." Just a lot more touchy than she expected. Leave it to Yuffie to find the ONE sore spot and gouge it with a thousand knives! "Besides, life isn't just about 'need' unless you're an animal or a slave, and you're not either one. You're supposed to do stuff because you want to, not because you have to." She slumps unhappily, draping her arms over her knees.
Not a slave huh? She should familiarize herself with the laws of the Federation government. But considering how sorry she seems to be for upsetting him before, Ziggy decides not to bring THAT little detail up. "Be that as it may, it is still how I live my life. I've been able to derive enough 'enjoyment' out of what I do, and I've never needed to resort to recreational activities in the past. It's just how things are." And no amount of pleading with him will really change that, not so soon, anyway. "And life can often be just about 'need'. Not everyone has the privilege of having the time or the ability to do what they want, whenever they wish."
"But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy what you do," Yuffie tilts her head, blinking. "And smiling doesn't hurt or cost any extra effort, you know. Multi-tasking," she grins, resting her cheek on her knuckles. "But I shouldn't be arguing with you, I hardly even know you!" Kinda rude, even for Yuffie. At least she recognizes it, unlike so many other times in the past. "So you can keep on being serious, and I can keep on being 'foolish' as you said. You don't lecture me, I don't lecture you. How's that for fair?"
"That'll do fine." Ziggy concedes. He'd much rather deal with her being foolish, than have her on his back about not smiling all the time. "Don't expect me to start smiling, though. No matter how little effort you think it costs." Ziggy's past is complicated, after all, and the problems stemming from it are not something that can be solved in a quick pep talk by someone he's never met before now. Even MOMO hasn't gotten Ziggy to really smile yet, so that's a long ways away.
Yuffie Kisaragi shrugs a little. "Didn't realize it was such a big deal to you," she remarks. Most people would just give a false twitch of the lips and let it be. Or shove a Materia in her direction. Bribes always work! "Is there a reason it's so taboo? Or would you rather I just shut up?" she grins.
"It's a bit too much to talk about in just a brief meeting." Ziggy says. "I don't really make a point of talking about my past anyway." Looking over to the delviery counter, he sees that the document he was sent to pick up has arrived, so now seems like as good a time as any to put a stop to their conversation. "Anyway, I have a job to attend to. And you have your other wounds to attend to. I'd recommend going to the medical bay in the Palace. At least you wouldn't need to be 'on the run' in there."
Yuffie Kisaragi just smiles, her eyes twinkling mischievously. "I should!" She won't, though. Something about this guy fires up her need to rebel and break all the rules. He's too stiff, too... Well, she doubts she should pick on him, he doesn't seem to like her enough to let her get away with things. Maybe later. In the meantime, there are enemies to be messin' with, things to steal, trouble to stir. And it makes her feel alive! "Thanks for the heal, then, Zigs," she waves, hopping to her feet and trotting towards the warp. "Have a good...job...thing. Yeah, bye!" And through the warp she goes, heading off to get in a few more kicks before bedtime.
Ziggy just shakes his head again, and returns to his job. He gets the feeling that if he were capable of getting ulcers, she'd give him one for sure. He also doubts that this is the last he'll hear from her, but he'll have to deal with THAT little eventuality when he comes to it.
But if she's seriously intent on getting him to smile, then she has her work cut out for her.
Online Life is graciously hosted by RPGClassics.