Just finished chapter 3, and things are heating up. Kio has persuaded the others that it’s time to go on the offensive, and stop just reacting to their opponent’s machinations. And it’s time for a permanent embassy. Also, it’s almost Valentine’s Day, so chocolates are being acquired and/or assembled for delivery, especially by Sara, who has a lot of assistoroids to bake for.
Jens is settling into her exile, working as a waitress at Colonel’s coffee shop in Tokyo. The neighbors have long since become accustomed to the local Dogs and their assistoroid, and accept Jens without hesitation.
Ryunnu is horrified to discover that she’s one of the bad guys. She’s a very good analyst, and her research programs managed to assemble scattered facts that revealed some very unpleasant truths about their actions on Earth. The alliance of three outlaw races hasn’t just been illicitly engaged in mining and trade, they’ve been deliberately interfering in international relations to keep Earth divided and controllable. She thinks of her race as honorable, proud, and noble, and wishes she could talk things over with her big sister. She settles for Muttley, swearing him to secrecy.
Mamami, who wasn’t on the ship last book to meet little Raama, gets a shock as she meets Chaika’s oldest daughter Seruka, a quite tall, gray-clad, short-haired (lit: ベリーショート), reserved catgirl about Eris’ age, who seems a bit embarrassed by her mother. Her reaction to mention of her father suggests that he’s a bit of a character as well.
The way to Seruka’s heart is to show her your wood. Apparently she spent her childhood on a forest planet that Chaika used to be stationed on, and has found artificial wood a poor substitute. She practically snuggles the wooden posts in Kio’s house.
Seruka is helping with the embassy move (from the Wikipedia entry, I gather she becomes the security chief there), and has an assistoroid with her who shows that Earth culture is definitely having an impact on the ship. Last book, the only custom models were seen at the repair depot, with the rest being standard models that varied only by color.
Seruka’s wears a beret, a leather jacket, and an eyepatch. When instructed to gather data on the layout, contents, and wiring of Kio’s house, he pulls out a recording device (which looks suspiciously like an old 8mm film camera) and begins moving around in a crouch. When Sada-yan asks him why, he answers “low-angle is the man’s angle” (lit: ろーあんぐるはおとこのかくどだ)
His name? Snake.