[Pre "Story's End"]


There's no rest for the wicked or the righteous. As the final military operation against the Lady shifts into high gear, Project Unification staff and civilian volunteers are streaming in and out of Saikhama to donate memory imprints to the crystalline weapon.

Dido Sybil has been hovering around the hanger bay where the Anti-Lady weapon is store. Observant people might see her take a few steps toward the memory copying station, then turn around and walk away, looking at something on her phone.

Finally, she sees and approaches you. "Hey," she says with a weak smile. "If you've got a free evening next week, could you do me a favor?" She chuckles nervously. "It's a doozy."


"I, Alexia Sybil, ask of you all!" Dido's mom proclaims. "In the world of Italian cuisine, what is the mightiest dish? Calamari? Chicken Alfredo? No, it is bell peppers; the spicier the better! Those who can eat these peppers whole are shining champions of taste! Those who cannot stomach them...should just order from the children's menu!"

You've tagged along with Dido to have Italian dinner with her billionaire mother. More specifically, you're dining in a zero-g Italian restaurant, located in the central torus of a space colony, where all the the food is broiled in raw sunlight focused by skyscraper-sized solar mirrors.

For an utterly posh restaurant, it's rather messy.

"Anyways," Alexia Sybil says, turning toward you. "Wont you tell me what my little Dido's been up to?" She grabs a stray pepper floating through the air and wolfs it down. "She never talks about her work at the Unity Group...or is it Project Unification now?"
[Open to all]


You get a message on your comms from Dido, inviting you to one of the lounges in the Saikhama hanger bays.

Upon arrival, you discover that furniture and tables have been shifted to the side, making room for a chalkboard. A huge old-school chalkboard on wheels, pea-green and with a wood-framed ledge for colored chalk-sticks.

Dido nods to you as you walk in, sternly tapping some chalk to the board.

"So," she says. "Loni and the terrible trio have all the Seals. Soon, they'll make their move to summon the Lady upon this world. Brye and Rani are standing by the wings, ready to hijack the Lady's power and somehow use it to wish away suffering. The Lady herself managed to influence the Lady's Good Men, the UG's foundation and Loni's whole upbringing, despite being in a different dimension. Worse, we still don't know what her true power or form is."

Dido starts writing on the chalk board. "If we're gonna win, we have to figure out what's coming. That means assembling clues, testing theories and answering key questions..."

Read more... )

Dido underlines each question on the board, and turns to face you all. "Class is in session, guys," she pronounces.

The evening after Halloween, while a spooky atmosphere still fills the air, Dido Sybil invites her friends, allies and workmates to a campfire cookoff in the little forest by Saikhama base.

Together, the party builds a merrily crackling fire in a stone-ringed pit. Hot Dogs and Marshmallows are toasted on sticks and harmonicas are played.

As the sun recedes behind the trees, and shadows gather around the flickering campfire, Dido pulls out a flashlight and shines its beam under her chin.

"Gather round, gather round," she proclaims in a gravely voice. "Don't stray from the light, for we're going tell spooky stories tonight–!"

In a more cheerful voice, she continues: "So who wants to go first?"


Eventually, it's Dido's turn. "As bizarre as it sounds," she says, "this is a true story."

Dido clears her throat. "When I was a child, I lived in a skyscraper, a mansion of glass and steel run by my mother. Back then, mom was always flying off to business meetings in the Sprawl or working late hours in the office, so I spent a lot of time alone. Whenever I got restless, I'd explore the skyscraper, wandering up and down stairs, poking my head into various rooms, riding up and down the dumbwaiters. The skyscraper was huge, and I rarely ever ran into anyone."

Dido pauses for effect. "One night, I was walking down a hallway...and realized I was being followed by a blue ball..."


[Tell your own spooky campfire tale here! It can be a classic spine-tingler featuring psychopaths who leave hooks dangling on car doors, or something from your character's childhood or unique folklore tradition?]

[Pre- "Shine-Tommorow, Shine Forever"]

Solaris and the Unity Group is gearing up for a big military op, and things are busy at Saikhama Base. Ammo and repair parts are being shipped in by the bushel, and the air is filled with smoke as mechanics work round-the-clock to overhaul the Mechas in the hanger.

Suddenly, a mat-black shuttle with a ”日“ logo flies into the open hanger bay and lands like a UFO. As the shuttle lands, Dido looks up from her welding job; her eyes widen, and she drops her tools and books it for the nearest exit.

A ramp lowers from the shuttle, guards with sunglasses and turtlenecks file out, and a imperious, well-dressed woman strolls out and sweeps her gaze along the hustle and bustle of the base.

She sniffs in contempt. "So this is the Unity Group: humanity's strongest heroes. But really, can a group devoted to protecting others be said to have true strength?"

[Cut for long, borderline Objectivist speech.]

Read more... )

"...therefore, should we not–?"

The classy woman notices you inching away. "Oh!" She exclaims. Dropping her speech mid-sentence, she walks over to you, grabs your hand, and shakes it vigorously.

"You're Dido's friend, right? I've heard so much about you!" She chirps in a bubbly tone. "Do you know if she's around?"


While Alexia Sybil is chatting with people, two other well-dressed members of the Sybil family slip out of the shuttle and wander through the hanger bay.

Read more... )


Dido burst through the door of the room you are in, slams the door shut, then leans against it in a panic!

"Oh gods, it's them it's them it's them!" She wheezes. Her eyes focus on you. "You!" She wheezes. "Hide me, now!"

Do you help Dido hide?
[Well, someone's back at the Unity Group bases... though her return's kinda dour on account of all the bullshit that just happened.  And the newly-returned DuskBird's already showing a godawful amount of damage on account of Loni's breakout.]

I wish my return would've been a happier, less bloody occasion.  Needless to say though, SolSavior is ready to fight again though... and I apologize for the... 'deception' that was spread regarding the DawnBird.  Initially creating it had been the plan, but partway through a better alternative had been found in using a regulator, and thus it became a project to develop the 'QuasArmor'.  I didn't know myself until the design was nearly complete, and ultimately it was decided to continue as if the DuskBird were to be replaced.  We were hoping Sara and the Indalph would think us vulnerable and attack, and that suspicion proved true.

But now though...

Anyone who wants to loose Loni and his friends on the world is a danger to everyone.  And considering what happened to Commander Antov... diplomacy won't get us anywhere with them.  Not anymore.
[As if to continue on with how badly things had gone for the Unity Group... well nothing more needs to be said. The damage that Alhambra base took and the burned out chunk that used to be the Huckebein's cockpit block was testament to that. As for Leos he was simply going to sit on some debris. Those who get closer would note that he was bleeding from quite a lot of places. As was Boyle who was not too far away, grumbling very audibly to his sister.]

Hah... I told you Dido... I told you we shouldn't have left them alive.

[He says this regardless of the presence of the mechanic.]

But what can you do... the past is past already. The dead can't hear their eulogies or know if they were avenged. Or that their deaths could have been avoided.

Unity Group... I wonder who will lead you now...

[Maybe he's delirious from the blood he's losing. Maybe he's just thinking out loud. Its hard to say.]


A few weeks after the destruction of the Ladies' Good Men, and a week after the final fight with the Kijin, Dido tightens her grip on the controls, eyes narrowed, teeth bared.

"I can't give up now!" She declares. "I won't despair! If I stand by justice, and keep moving forward, a way will open up! I know it will–Aw Fudge! Fudge! C'mon! Fudge! That combo's broken! This boss is OP! Cheap! Hax!"

On the arcade game's screen, Dido's Qipao-wearing character twitches helplessly in the throes of hit-stun, then flies back across the stage. "K.O.!". The boss character, clad in a sharp business suit and fish-crested gladiator helmet, folds his arms and laughs."Pathetic! You're ten years too early to beat me!".

Dido's bloodshot eyes twitch. "I'll wipe that grin off your face!" She shouts, fishing quarters from her pocket.

For god's sake, someone drag her away!


[Private Chat, locked to Mizuki]

"Yo, 'Zuki!" Dido pops up on your tablet screen, shadows under her eyes, a grease stain on her chin. "Could I ask you for a favor?"


[Private chat, sent to Ken, Hetepheres, Sarah and Peola]

Dido pops up on your tablet screens, looking chipper and extremely energized. "I challenge you to hand-to-hand mecha combat!"
[So.  Even though SolSavior's second encounter with SolEraser didn't go as well as everyone would've liked, it still had a perfectly good showing against the Lady's Good Men without falling apart or anything.  So clearly things were in the clear, right?  Wrong.  A new group of mechanics have come in from Solaris, performing more work on the DuskBird.  And Mizuki's getting in a heated discussion with her father.]

- But the last time we formed there wasn't any problem!  And for that matter the time we broke down it took me using the Sol Salvation and drawing out all of my-

That doesn't mean the threat's not there.  After we heard from Ken's parents about how that second battle against SolEraser went, we got worried.  Started looking more closely at the data gathered from when the DuskBird combines with the other machines.  And Mizuki, I'm... sorry.  Nobody was blind to the risks of mixing Sol and Void energy together, but what we say, it's... this is...

...... Dad......

Don't lose your nerve here.  You were supposed to be my adviser.

... As you say.  Very well then.

The findings, needless to say, were not heartening.  Sol and Void energies are contradictory, we've always known that since the earliest days of our conflict.  And having a machine draw on both would be like have an individual with both forces flowing in their veins.  If it could've been done safely that would've been one thing, but... our hopes were ill-placed.  The energies are in conflict, forcing each other below a certain threshold lest they destroy SolSavior... and what you experienced during your second battle against SolEraser was the result of you trying to push past that.

And that's just the machines themselves.  Flesh and blood aren't as easily mended as servos and conduits.  This isn't something that can just be powered through either; when one burns a hand it doesn't become more resistant to flames for the next encounter.   Just now you called me your adviser... so please heed my advice: your last combination didn't lead to tragedy, yes, but if you continue one of them will.  Or your bodies may fail you in between battles without warning.

But Dad... after that incident we've all pressed on and are doing fine.  It's not as if we're doubling over with pain or-

And that's exactly it!  We don't want that happening period!  Salanshiel, myself, Director Harper, Ken's parents, everyone!

[There's a pause as Zangango collects himself again.]

I'm sorry for that outburst, but it's true.  The deaths of the Balmung Team hang over Solaris's heads, even your mother's and mine.  I wouldn't be a good father if I just let this run the risk of happening.  So...

You're... not going to make us stop piloting, are you?

No, but we're not going to let the three of you pilot a ticking time bomb.  Not when it's endangered all three of you once already.  That's what they-

[He gestures at the mechanics.]

-Are there for.  SolSavior cannot be treated as a reliable weapon because... it isn't.  It never was, and we were well-intentioned but naive and unaware of the dangers it could pose.  Forming it now will require two overrides... one from Director Harper and one from the Unity Group's higher-ups... and only in times of absolute need where its strength would make the difference between life and death.

Please understand, Mizuki.  It's bad enough worrying some times when you're fighting out there.  It's another thing entirely knowing that SolSavior could wind up killing you.

... I'm sorry.

[Mizuki has no words for her father.  Just a nod and resting a hand on his shoulder to show that she'll comply.  But when she looks back up at the DuskBird and its Sol-aligned companion mechs...]

... Ten years supporting each other and still this happens...

[And thus she storms off.  Wouldn't this just be delightful news for Sara with all her talk of the limitations of heroes?]
[To say Regalis Filia was pretty damn trashed after the latest engagement with the Zentraedi was an understatement. Indeed it was designed first and foremost to protect its pilot, it didn't mean the beating wasn't straining in itself. Peola was sitting on the deck of the Macross with a number of bandages on her, kicking her feet lazily as she looked out to sea. Ever so often she'd glance at her bandages in annoyance and tug at them a little.]

For an annoying big talking Pacifist, that jerk Kaifun knows how to throw a person.

[She gives you a wry smile and waves.]

Do you think we did good enough out there?

[Not too far from the Macross and the Unity Group in town, there was a woman making something of a commotion. She was a tall, brutal looking specimen, numerous scars on her body and face. There was also a distinct air of smugness and a somewhat vicious grin on her face.]


[Her hand snaps out towards you.]

I'm looking for a brat named Peola. I felt and saw her around here... so where is she?

[As she lowers her hand her fingers curl into a fist as bones pop.]

I'm not one for asking twice so you better cough it up.

[Dated after "The Prioress"]


"Whoah, whoah! Chill out, dudes! I get it: hands off!"

While walking through the hanger, you look up to see Dido getting frog-marched out of a high security bay area that currently holds the Saber units, two security guards on each side gripping her shoulders and forearms. They roughly release her and walk off.

Dido stumbles, sets down the oil-can she was carrying, and dusts herself off. "Dammit. Why can't people take an honest bribe these days?"

Ask her what's going on?


After maintenance hours, when everyone's gone home for the night, you stumble across Dido lying on her back atop a set of boxes, taking puffs from...something burning inside a roll of paper.

She sighs, and then sits up, starring at the ground. "Dammit..." You hear her mutter. "This is what happens when you try and act like Mom..."

She spies you coming and hastily flicks the burning roll paper behind her. "Ah...Hey! Fancy seeing you here! How, uh, are you?""

A few weeks before Christmas, as snow drifted and fell, as families went shopping and store Santas rang bells, the Unity Group was in a pinch and poke, for they'd little money for Christmas: in fact they were broke! A greedy teenage miser had stolen their cash, to get a new super robot after his old one's crash! Twas few funds for wreaths, for trees, or mistletoe: towards mecha repairs it all had to go!

In light of this, the stalwart tech Dido Sybil slipped on her parka, and packed her wrenches and drill.

She drove to a junkyard by an SDF base, filled with rusty machine parts from the army and aerospace. With a clatter and clang, she dug out one pile of rusty limbs and jet engines, seeking something worthwhile.

Perhaps you followed her, or were already there: would you like to say Hi, or continue to stare?


[Locked to Ken.]

A week before Christmas, when duties were light, with no Kaiju to slaughter or alien empires to fight, Brave Ken Torao, teenage Ninja supreme, stepped in ScarleTiger's cockpit, to train for his team.
Read more... )


[Shortly later, open to everyone]

A quick search soon reveals the culprit most cruel...
Read more... )

[When she awakes, Mizuki finds herself no longer in the DuskBird and the battle is long since ended.  The second battle with SolEraser, and her desperate, last attempt at taking the machine down... it's still fresh in her mind.  But she's in the infirmary, bandaged and with whatever deep see-based medicines the Unity Group had on-hand in case they were needed.  She felt... weary.]

What happened out there?

[And it's then that the medical staff gets to break the news to her.  About just what happened to SolSavior and the power it had unleashed.]

-But if I'd done that much to SolSavior itself, then...

Oh God!


[And some time later, Mizuki is just, lying in a sobbing heap nearby Ken and Dido's beds.  It was the SolBalmung incident all over again... there was just a hard limit to how much Void energy a human being can be exposed to and Ken and Dido had skirted dangerously close to it.  She had done this.  She had brought forth all the power of the Abyss Empress to bring down on the Eraser team, but it was her own friends and comrades that'd paid the price for it.  SolSavior itself lay wrecked even more than before, and this too was her doing.  And even if her body was in better shape now, her mind...]

Stop it...

[It's barely above a whisper.]

Stop congratulating me... all of you!  I'm not Marianas!  I'm not here to cause suffering!  I didn't want... I never wanted any of this!
[Post Workshop in Flames]


Those of you who like to walk the halls of Saikhama Base might hear the faint sound of 20th century (old calendar) power ballads in the distance.

Follow this enticing music, and you come across Dido Sybil, putting in her daily training regimen with the Gebians.

A flurry of baseballs get hurled at her from all directions, thrown by the arms and mandibles of beetle people. Competently, if not gracefully, she sidesteps out of their way and slaps the ones she misses out of the air, jaws set and eyes focused.

Talk to her? Or, since she's distracted, prank her?


[Locked to Dido's Scary Super-Soldier Training Instructors]

You get a message on your comm channels from Dido.

"Could I start training in Zero-G maneuvering?" She asks.


[Locked to Ken and Mizuki]

Dido meets you guys in the cafeteria. "Say...could we talk a moment?" She asks.

[Dated to a few weeks after "Keep Away"]

Those of the Unity Group who like to creep about the Saikhama base at night may hear faint sounds of grinding and hissing come from the main hanger deck.

Those who investigate this discover two things.

One, all the mechs that fought in the latest battle have been completely repaired. Not just the standard limb reattachment and armor replacement: they've also had new paint jobs and their scratches ground out!

Second, Dido Sybil is at the controls of a huge lathe and machining device, grinding out some kind of component from alloy stock. Sparks fly, and she gazes at her work with eyes shadowed from a grim mood and lack of sleep.



The next morning, Dido is still in the hanger, hanging from a work harness like a narcoleptic rock climber, and rocking side to side like a baby in a crib.

She snores as you approach, and has a bit of dribble on her chin.

Wake her up?


The next next morning, Dido's out at a nearby abandoned airstrip, running some wires from a strange metallic cylinder in the middle of the field to a concrete bunker.

She looks up at you. "What are you doing here? Nevermind, get in the bunker with me!" She grins. "This should be cool!"

Get in the bunker with her? Ask what the heck's going on?

[Locked to Ken]

One sunny, lazy afternoon, you receive a communique from your mechanic.

"Hello, is this thing transmitting...? Hey Ken! Dido here! I set up a bunch of equipment in Hanger 3 for measuring Sol Energy and medical readouts!

Wanna experiment with Ki sensing and manipulation, like we talked about? I've got some cool experiments planned out! And protein bars, if you're hungry!"


[Open to everyone, particularly aliens, monsters, Ki-wielding martial artists, and dour pilots with demon arms!]

Those of you who find yourselves walking along one of the Saikhama base hallways stumble across an interesting sight!

Ken, the Ninja boy wonder, is sitting on a mat on the north side of the hall, wearing a blindfold and headphones. Dido stands by him, clutching a small walkie talky. She speaks into it as you pass by:

"Okay, Ken: does this person have any Ki? Describe what it feels like aloud! Any colors, tastes or, uh, tingles to it?"

[Feel free to describe what Ken senses with his fledgling Ki-sense...or even if he senses anything]
[An old face joined the team today: Sarah, the blonde kung-fu superhero woman who's been trying to murder Volya. And she immediately makes her way to a bar, where she proceeds to fix herself some cocktails.]

...This is gonna make the next custody swap real awkward...
1.[Up on Star Rose-it's school fieldtrip time! A bunch of kids and a few chaperones are wandering around the shopping and observation decks, getting their first views of SPACE! Actual, real life space! This isn't a particularly strange occurance, but one of the chaperones is familiar to the UG people-it's Sarah, that woman who's always trying to kill Volya. And right now, she's watching a bunch of kids stare out a window at the earth below.]

Still beautiful, huh...
[There was a fairly generic member of the team that went on that jungle mission-or, that's what it looked like. The girl in question summoned some kind of crazy super robot, called Leos a liar, and had Ms. Norman all over her. She's still even got the third eye that old lady painted on her forehead.

She can be found wandering around the base, her right arm in a sling. Sometimes, she will visit the hangar and stare up at the new black robot that showed up to save her.]
After the battle in Paradigm City, the Sol Machine known as ShelLancer trudges it's way back into the hanger bay, docks in a gantry, and powers down

A weary figure in mechanic's overalls clambers out of the cockpit, and after a bit of flailing, descends on one of the cherry picker platforms.

"What the heck was I thinking?" Dido groans, slumping down onto a bench. "I panicked, made stupid calls. And that Decepticon leader thinks I'm a turtle ninja transformer now...!"

She smiles. "...but Hot Damn, I saved some lives out there! Not bad, Dido. Not bad at–"

She looks up at ShelLancer...and finally notices the major damage it's taken: melted armor, broken off spikes, and an endless amount of scratches and dents. All of which needs to be fixed.


So many people have died recently. So many people have gotten horribly hurt. And they've all left behind the wreckage of their mechs like grave markers. Fort Alhambra is swarming with technicians and engineers of every stripe and color, some working overtime, others hastily summoned back from vacation or from other UG branches.

Dido's in the thick of things, a welding rig slung over her back as she orders tech about.

"I need ScarleTiger's arm hoisted on the gantry and ready to be reattached, stat! You, you, and you: start putting Pale Rider back together. Yeah, I know you've done it before, that's why I'm trusting you with it! The rest of you, put Virgola Unit 3 and Gipsy Danger into storage–we'll deal with them after crunch-time's over!"

She turns to face you, and her bossy expression fades to fatigue. "Hey. Did you need anything?"


[Locked to Mizuki, as well as Ken potentially]

After a long day's work, Dido's kicking back with you, holding a cool bottle of beer to her over-heated head. The refurbished Sol Machines loom overheard in their gantries. DuskBird, ScarleTiger, ShelLancer. She stares up at them for a time, then turns to you and asks.

"Could you tell me about SolBalmung?"


A comn transmission is posted on the Network, addressed to every Unity Group Pilot who's built a reputation as a stone-cold badass.

"Hi." Dido says simply, scratching her head. "I need to become a better mecha pilot. Could you train me?"

In the wake of the attack by the dimension conquering Indalph, Dido Sybil, previously an unassuming Solaris technician chief, piloted the ShelLancer machine so that Mizuki and Ken could form the combining mecha known as Sol-Savior.

A few days after the attack, Dido is walking through the hanger bay in orange mechanics overalls, carrying a roll of artificial muscle fiber looped around her shoulder.

She stops for a moment, and stares up for a time at the machine she rode in, scorched and dented here and there by the fury of combat.

Goosebumps stand out on her exposed arms. Her throat works, and she clamps a hand desperately over her mouth with a moan.

"Nope." She says. "No Way. No No No No..."

She turns around, on the verge of panic, and starts speed-walking away, breathing rapidly.

Help her calm down?
[The battle against the NUNE wound up spiraling into other things... which entailed the first formation of Solaris's newest, strongest combiner: SolSavior.  The same machine now returning to the Sakihama Base, triumphant after kicking serious ass.  Reason to celebrate?  Not this time.]

Sara... you...

... Don't be dead out there.  Please don't be dead!  You... we're... the Savior team... and if you're gone then nothing will...

[Yeah, she's been like this ever since the first battle with a new threat -the Indalph- ended.  The Director's granddaughter -her best friend no less- missing and possibly held prisoner, though most likely dead.]

Dido... I'm sorry.  Putting you in danger like that, ordering you to launch with Sara's machine... that's not what you signed up for.

This isn't anything like I thought would...


[Backdated to just before "War of Myths"]

Sometime in the wee hours of the evening, a large, unmarked flatbed trailer rolls it's way into grounds of Saikhama base, parking itself in the hanger bay by an unused mech gantry. The moment the trailer stops, orange suited technicians rush out of the side doors and pull the tarp off of Solaris's latest creation:


As they begin to hoist the mech up to a standing position with cranes, one of the technicians takes a step away, looks around, and sees some familiar faces.

She waves with her clipboard. "YO! Mizuki my girl! Miss Harper! Look what I brought for you guys!


[After "The War of Myths Mission"]

In the wake of the battle with ancient gods, the senior Solaris technician looks up at the fearsome ScarleTiger, newly baptized in battle.

Specifically, she's staring slack-jawed at the various bit's of damage it's suffered.

Finally, she groans and turns away.

"Nope. NoNoNope. Screw it; I'll fix it tomorrow."