Orange Starfish Fort Building / Landmark in Arndsts | World Anvil

Orange Starfish Fort

"Mei Visitors, welcome to Orange Starfish Fort. Imperial Kagomine Border Guards and Customs Controllers, Meihomei's Emerald Sloths welcome you to their headquarters."   "Visitors here for training with our specialists are advised that most training actually does not occur on the island. Please feel free to ask for assistance in rebooking any missed connections."  
— AI-based welcoming spiel at Orange Starfish Fort.
  Amarat saluted smartly, returning the one the booth occupants, and practically, every officer in green for thirty paces in every direction, had been giving him for the last twenty paces.   "Kon-Meritant-Zim."   "I'm here for training." His smile was strained. "I've been told to report to Innu Yesugai Meeting Room?"   "Oh, my. Are you sure, Kon-Meritant-Zim?"   "Here are my orders." He handed the document, written in emerald ink, as per regulations for any document carrying orders for a Meritant of Honour.   "Honour my greatparents sideways."   "What?"   "He's being sent for The Innu Class..."   "Is there a problem?"   "Err, no, thank you, no, Kon-Meritant-Zim. I'll notify the Netamei."   "He's in attendance?"   "Thank you, yes, Kon-Meritant-Zim. Please escort the Kon upstairs, Casemate Kannarel."   "Upstairs?"   "To the Innu Room, in the Netamei's Tower, Kannarel."  
  "How come you're here? Obviously, the Merit counts for something..."   "Oddly, this time the Merit has nothing to do with it."   "I don't understand."   "Look at me! Really look at me."   Kannarel looked at Amarat across the elevator. The red hair, the slight-but-noticeable paunch almost disappeared in the formal, white mess uniform. The deeply green eyes... Green eyes! "Damn my eyes! You're a royal!"   "I'm Meihomei's first cousin once removed, by birth, her nephew, by adoption."   "Frak me. So you're coming here..."   "As legally required by any and all Bameimeito."   "Highness."  
  Altamont Sinneret, Netamei of Kagomei, was pacing. Whoever sprung this surprise on him was not his favourite person. An ancient stone fort located in the middle of Orange Blossom Bay, between the ancient pearl beds of the City of Starkastar and where the River Kimuy emptied into the Fenici ocean, near Kimagure City, the central tower he was in had long been the lookout tower, set out to watch over both, and their vast resources of pearls, citrus, figs, grapes, peaches, apples and silver.   His guest was not known to him, but he trusted, to a point, those under him, they knew he'd not be kind to whoever bothered him unecessarily, so he was convinced whoever had gotten here would come with the most unassailable of reasons.   Altamont was the primary law enforcement agent in Kagomei, when it came to international trade, foreign-born criminals and had a hand in military police as well. His touch could make one exceedingly uncomfortable, if he chose to squeeze.   "That'll be all, Casemate Kannarel." He'd read the officer's shoulder boards, from his own service, but couldn't read this interloper's. FlyForce? And a non-com, then his recognition of the inter-service code failed, mistaking the actual gold on his visitor's shoulderboards for the brass applied to officers five levels lower, he thought this officer was a FFOR-04 six pointed star. "You'll have to excuse me if I'm not thrilled to have my command diverted for your purpose, Mister..."   Amarat stiffened. He took a perverse pleasure in being called Mister, he'd never been a 'regular' Kagomine, and sometimes wished for it. The perversion came from the fact that Altamont had committed a punishable offense. Lack of recognition of his own rank, he could ignore. But title 118 of Kagomine Law, said that none may disrespect a Merit of Honour, upon pain... The law was quite explicit, and involved fines and loss of rank markers enough to make most people think twice. Since they were alone, with no witnesses, Amarat chose to see what else Altamont would say... "Zim-Zim." He added, like any addle-brained non-commission officer would say to an officer half this one's rank, let alone the most senior security and law enforcement official in the land. Let him talk, Amarat had his orders.   "Surely, you could have radioed ahead, and told me you were coming? I can't imagine how you got orders to even see this room. It's a privilege reserved for a very rare few. The classification system..."   "The classification system console, where actual classified documents may have their clearance altered, or the actual clearance of an actual person, in the employ of the empire of Great Kagome, can only be lawfully modified from the chair you're occupying." Amarat interrupted him, he'd been in this room before, he'd done this ritual twice, and done an alternate ritual, where he handed over power to his, now late, cousin Shen. Altamont was clearly in love with the sound of his own voice... He didn't even recognize me!   "I'm sorry, I've been incredibly rude... What is your name?"   "I am..." He took his time, almost biting off the words. "Amarat." He paused. "Veneer." He breathed, almost a sigh, then added. "Junior."   "That... is not your name..." Altamont's brain was racing. Veneer, I know that name. Oh Frak me forever more! "That is not your name, not any longer, as Bameimeito, your name is Amarat Kagomei, the third. Zim-Meritant-Zim. Was this a test?"   "Not from me."   "Why wasn't I told you were coming?"   "I was ordered here, under radio silence." Amarat proffered his orders. "I do not, nor does any officer, commissioned or not, in the Kagomine Armed Forces..." He emphasized the word, slightly. "routinely disrespect his orders." Altamont, being from the wider group known as the Kagomine Armed Services, could only grunt. The armed services included law enforcement, his own border guards, the Emerald Sloths, and his rivals, the Turquoise Jays, who also were medics, as well as police officers, while he had customs, border guards, and riot control(the idea had been that riot control could be needed if a low-level invasion occured with less-armed forces, this theory had never been put to the test).   "I'm sorry it took so long to recognize you, Zim-Meritant-zim."   "I am wearing my non-commissioned officer's uniform, Zim."   "I'm sorry?"   "You should therefore refer to me as Kon-Meritant-Zim."   "Err, no, by becoming Bameimeito, and being of age, unlike the last time you were sworn in, you are... Filled up, to a new rank. You are out of uniform, as it were."   "What?"   "Being that you are in a FlyForce uniform, I do believe the proper uniform for you to wear is that of an Eagle."   "Oh great, now I get to order Flora around too..."   "I'm sorry?"   "Err, irrelevant, please excuse me, Zim."   "I'm hoping I can be of assistance, Zim, please do enlighten me as to who this Flora is?"   "Flora-Zim-Meritant-Zim to you, is a Goshawk in FlyForce, my commanding officer, at the moment where I, but also she, earned individual awards of the Merit of Honour, as well as multiple unit decorations for valour, bravery and service."   "Multiple?" Altamont shouldn't have said that word, he wished he could have it back, but it was too late now.   "Yes, multiple, six units and six personal awards."   "Not only did it blow out of the water the prior record, but... it wasn't just a record. It was... by Edict, a requirement that such awards be singular... I would know, having trained as a lawyer, as well as an enforcement agent."   Amarat thought on that, and it dawned on him just what the room he was in had been. With recording equipment out of sight, but certainly available, but not visible, this room made a perfect interrogation room. And his family history provided just who had been interrogated here, most recently. "Meihomei made it an edict that the prior edict be ignored, this one time, so that the victory over the invaders be celebrated properly."   "She made it an explicit item of law? She must have thought the world of those awardees then, not just yourself, but these others? The flag bridge of the fleet, I presume?"   "No, myself and Flora were the only flag officers with a personal award, Sixth Fleet's Unit Award shows in everyone at flag bridge's boxes of honour, though."   "Can I get you something? Perhaps some tcha?"   "Oh, that'd be lovely, in the Starkastar style if you can."   "That's how I take it myself, I thought you were from Megamisama?"   "I was born in Veneer, but I am Wullmei of Starkastar and own a villa there."   Stupid, stupid, Altamont thought. Of course he would, and his mother being Domei of Garay means even if he didn't, he'd be more of a local than I'll ever be.   "Nightsky house is yours?"   "For the last few arnds."   "That's a lovely place, you can see it from here..."   "I know, I saw this place from there before I came."   "Oh?"   "I just slept there, no sense in coming here before I showered, orders or not. Phew, it's sweltering up here."   "It's not the coldest duty in Kagomei, not that Kagomei has much cold weather, at any time."   "Indeed, Kagomei is rather warm, year round. But this is something else, no one put refrigeration in here?"   "We did, but we had to disable it, it was short circuiting the clearance jade banks."   "Have we done our duty here?"   "Ah, yes, a good thought, we don't have to have tcha in the warmest room in the place. Let me seal us up."   After ten minutes of inputting codes, Amarat and Altamont were on a fast-riding lift going back down.   "Have you any knowledge of what happened when your grandmother died?"   "My adopted, or natural, grandmother?" The elevator dinged, they exited, and moved towards the officer's mess.   "Ah, a salient question, your adopted."   "I know enough armed services officers lost their ratings to start a workplace representation group..." The semi-clear reference to a union, and worker's rights, was a test. Altamont didn't bite.   "A few people thought they needed to face a firing squad, so against them was the court of public opinion."   "But that is the court of public opinion, as bad as it sounds, it holds no right of tribunal."   "But you do."   "I've held right of tribunal since I was Bameimeito the first time. I also hold equivalent rights in two other countries. My cousins have me beat."   "Your cousins?"   "My father's sister's son and daughter, not in the Kagomine line of succession..."   "Actually, they are, they're eightish or so, but they are there."   "Eight-ish?"   "I'm no genealogist, but being the son and daughter of Sally Veneer is not a blemish on such a claim. I'm no expert, so I'm not quoting exact succession orders, they're still... high enough, I mean, that'd make Firrson nine-ish."   "You know they adopted Firrson? That's not common knowledge."   "How would I have protected them, your cousins and their adopted brother, without knowing their importance? And indeed, who do you think runs background checks on your people? It's not just Turquoise Jays, Emerald Sloths have work to do too..."   "I thought you mostly got information through the embassy net..."   "Now, you're the one with rare knowledge... It's hardly well known we lace every Turquoise Jay squad with Emerald Sloths for extra oomph in most embassies worth protecting."   "I am, legally, a Voice of Meihomei myself..."   "No, not anymore, you legally cannot. You are your own voice, distinct, as heir."   "Urr, I forgot that."   "There's a lot of things for you to adjust to, becoming heir, especially since most people do not do it twice, and doing it as a minor and doing it as an adult is quite different."   "Really?"   "You couldn't enlist, as a child, you are forcibly enlisted, as a commissioned officer, as an adult. That's not the only difference, but that one is pretty big."   "No kidding. So I'm now forcibly, an eagle?"   "That is the reading I have of the rules."
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