[Both of them seem surprised by the encounter.]
"Hah! I told you I was a main character!"
"...What are you even going on about."
Doomstar has been unusually cooperative, so she's been allowed some free wandering-accompanied by a guard with a gas mask and gloves, of course. She and Jen are meeting outside, chatting over some tea and snacks.
"It's not too important, Jenny. The important thing is, I might have a solution to your situation."
"Yeah, you mentioned that..."
"Well, I wasn't joking. Since the problem is genetic, just copying Julia's method of cheating death won't work, but there's nothing that says we have to use an organic architecture when copying your brain's processes."
"...I don't really follow."
"Basically, we'd use the nanobots in your blood to get a model of your brain, and then we'd run that model on a computer. So there'd be you, and an AI copy of you. The copy won't age or decay, and it could make backups of itself in case it got itself blown up like you keep doing."
"So if I let you experiment with my brain, I'd live forever."
Doomstar's smile fades. For once, the crazed razorgirl's facade slips away, showing the worry underneath.
"...No. A copy of you would live forever-from your perspective, you would still die the same way. And...the copy might not be exact. This is really untested stuff, and Julia spent more time on it than I ever did. Like, it might even come out to just be some sort of soulless sociopathic abomination. I could improve the quality of the copy with a destructive scan, but...I can't fix death. I can only let you leave something behind."
While Jen looks deeply into her tea, Doomstar reaches across the table to rest her hand on Jen's-but the courier brushes it off.
[Slowly, Jen stirs.]
2.( In the dead of the night... )
Hm? Oh...That fast, huh. [She sighs.] No, I...I'm kind of glad I missed it. Being around him was just...sad, you know. When's the wake?
...Alright, I'll see you then. I'll bring a friend, I think you should meet her.
[Jen hangs up.]
Okay, so...my father finally passed away last night. So I'll be away for a couple days while we get everything sorted out and wrapped up. We got a bunch of free tickets to this exhibit of his art, if you want to check that out. The service is gonna be private.
And...yeah. So that's about it.
2.[At the museum-general mingle/meet jen's family]
The art of Johnathan Douglas is the product of 10 years of intense, furious work. An electrical engineer with no previous interest in art spent almost every waking moment drawing increasingly detailed paintings and sketches. They're all very abstract, and of a similar form; a simple pattern iterates, again and again, growing in complexity before the whole thing becomes a chaotic mess. The centerpiece of the exhibit is a piece done on blacked-out index cards, with colored lines drawn on top of them. It extends some 3m in height and is twice as long, with a single blue line eventually splitting off into a massive wave crashing against the far end. There are no curves in the entire work, only millions of successive right angles.
Jen, along with the rest of her family, arrive after the service. Outside, it starts to rain.
( Family )
So what are we going to do about that guy's idea of taking charge of the two primary crisis response teams of Earth? Whatever we're going to do, a unified response from all of Unity Group would probably be more persuasive than just running around and sending in whatever we each think is a sensible response.
[Kei just recently received a pretty big, heavy envelope. It's carrying a simplified logo of Harvard University and anybody used to trying to read her expressions can readily see that she's practically bursting with excitement. Even without having opened it, she's making the way to the kitchen closest to her room to grab a slice of cake to celebrate getting it.]
3 (Locked to Izuru)
[In the evening, Kei knocks on the door to her recent boyfriend's room.]
Can we talk for a bit? ...It's about being stuck on the Discovery together like that.
[So it seems you all haven't seen the last of Roy Garnette just yet. In spite of what happened at Erria, the Wagner, untouched since then, still rose to help save Hikari's friend. Now it's at least getting a proper repair job, with the AI inside now free to focus on his existential quagmire.]
Boss man didn't just get me an awesome robot to pilot... that robot... was me. An' I guess the normal-size me was just a... drone or somethin'. Dan Man, you're probably right. My past an' living on the street... nights I went hungry, winters I spent freezing my butt off... even meeting boss man himself were all a buncha lies.
But when we were out there, that dude in the Megatank knock-off needed help. And like, I could hear it. Like I wasn't blown to bits and crap. And I had to ask myself if I could just let a guy get killed and not even try to save 'im.
I mean... even with boss man I tried...
[Hooked up to a screen, Roy's been trying to get at least a digital image of himself re-established. Kinda hard when you're only just getting into the wonderful world of computer programming even though you are one. And worst of all, his efforts seem to be straying further from the mark.]
Not in a million years...
[And afterwards the Wagner can be found, looking at a small data screen in the hangar, tendrils occasionally poking at it to cycle through reports about what happened at Erria and everything afterwards.]
... What a bunch of scumbags...
( Read more... )
Hellooooooo Unity Group! It is I, the world's greatest neurochemist-slash-metal goddess, DOOMSTAR~!
[Oh, and Doomstar's defected too. That happened.]
( Doomstar )
I said I need not protection. I saw sure I saw through the Nemeian Killer's weakness. I knew how to exploit it. And yet...
And yet sometimes that is not enough, is it?
[The broken form of Sielje's Knight's Arm being proof of that. Soon enough it will be whole, but for now its user looks very displeased with herself.]
What is a 'WMD' anyway?
[One quick browse for information later.]
I suppose we were very fortunate to have reacted so quickly then. Yes, fortunate indeed.
[She puts a hand on her stomach, suddenly feeling not too good.]
"We're in a pretty dark days, aren't we?" She says. "First, Eria is destroyed, with its people dead, getting crazy, or worse. There might be cosmic monster rising from there too, and the worst part is, it's men and women of earth who woke it up purposefully. Then, we found out that Unity Group is built on illusion, if not of lies, and Loni Gavin now hold power of unknown destructive capability. Will people ever going to trust us anymore? Even I'm not sure what to trust now.
And now this..." She lifts her head from the news story. It's the daily news site of the Batavian Fleet.
"Rash of mysterious robberies. That focus on orphanages and homes of poor families... I can't believe human can be this evil. Is there no good anymore in the world? We're in the end times aren't we?
I just contacted that orphanage in the fleet. And they confirmed it. Most if not all the christmas presents donated to them are gone now. Those kids don't have many toys. The polystation I gave them, those might be the only new toy those kids will have this year. And now they're gone.
How can people be this wicked? Do nobody have heart anymore in the world?"
( Resolution )
[Sielje speaks solemnly, mulling in front of her Knight's Arm. The unit is slouched forward and damaged after a fierce fight, but it stands peacefully - using its shield to rest its hands. The shield that bears the hastily painted insignia.]
The Ebon King - I understand, you and the plight of your daughter. I understand and sympathize... but I cannot promise to move blame for all her crimes and heinous deeds on you. This is not my call to make, I will swear a vow only if I can keep it.
[Sielje's gaze slowly turns to the pile of scrap metal under the Arm's feet.]
I may need another pike.
"Alright. Calm breaths...still heart...some other buddhist thing. Let's do this.'
Jen raises the polearm above her head, and hits a start button. The 95-mph fastball that shoots towards her is met with a blinding overhead strike, and splits in two. They've still got enough momentum to carry forward on either side of Jen, and she hasn't even completed her first strike.
When her foot touches the ground, it's with a slight twist. She needs to turn around to hit the pieces of the baseball again, and Jen has started her movement to do so too early. At the speeds she is moving, an imperfect landing means her ankle is strained far past its breaking point-and Jen's finish is far from perfect. She twists her ankle and crashes to the ground. All of it is over in a fraction of a second.
For anyone not accustomed to watching kung fu action movies, or people who just blinked at the wrong time, they miss the in-between action. Jen is holding a polearm over her head at one point, and rolling on the ground swearing loudly in three languages the next.
"Captain Vadim agreed for Grungust Alpha and Huckebein Omega to return with us. She's being reasonable about what boils down to theft of a seal entrusted to SSR."
The acting commanders of Unity Group are having a meeting. Technically it's for higher ups only - but it's not behind locked doors, and anyone can just come and listen or even join in. This is no time for protocols.
"If by entrusted you mean they used it as a source of energy. That sounds perfectly responsible... and now the seal's somewhere inside the two units. It's the most mysterious blackbox the boys at engineering have ever seen." Dirchs quickly moves through several sheets of data on his pad.
"A black box that allowed the two to combine, which is funny because the mechanism for combination was already there. Just incomplete, locked down. And no one knew about it."
"Why is everyone looking at me? I didn't know of the combination mechanism either. I'm honest this time, sorry to disappoint you! Perhaps you should focus your attention on the one who delivered the Alpha and Omega to Unity Group, hmm?"
Unfortunately questioning the person responsible (can you remember who it was?) will have to wait, because...
"There is little time to act."
Unity Group has prisoners - Lagardia and Graeme, the two last Ancients, now in human form and the latter wounded and given medical attention. They are prisoners, but they came out of their own free will, and asked Unity Group for assistance.
"The One Who Waits is not yet invincible - yet. I know where the Gate of Sorrows is, and with keys on hand we can unlock it. Unlock it, and kill that monster once and for all. Except... there is only two of us remaining. We can't do it alone, so we decided to entrust the fate of the world in your hands."
"I'm afraid I can't assist you, Lagardia. My injuries... ugh. They are too severe."
"Then I will go by myself, but not alone - with Unity Group. Maybe I grew too stubborn in trying to do this on my own... one more thing."
"I realize of things I have done. My actions resulted in deaths of many innocents, for that I have no excuse. If you wish to punish or put me on trial, do it - but do it after the monster is dead. Slaying the One Who Waits is our priority now!"
Sorry for the disappearing act... I needed to get a lot of things sorted out.
[He seems a little anxious as he looks over his shoulder.]
I miss anything?
[After dealing a lethal blow to a practice dummy, Sielje puts down her weapon. The knight is sweaty but for once, seems content. And the weapon in question is not her usual sword, but a long rod. A practice spear.]
Yes, I did not forget. I still have the arm for this.
Ahem. Do not misunderstand, it is not my intent to request my work done for me.
But there must be a better way to do this.
[Sielje is covered in paint, a large brush in her hand. In the background, her handiwork - a beginning of some kind of shape forming on a large mobile suit shield. A shape painted by hand, as half-empty cans littering underneath betray.]
I know there is a device of sorts for this kind of... purpose. But I know not how to operate it, and...
[She glances at the mess, embarassed.]
After the battle at Sakihama, a new unit is dragged into the base-the black-and orange Nemain, a spiky 10 meter thing and the unit Jen was piloting. It now has a giant metal stake through its chest and cockpit, the back of which is covered in blood. It doesn't respond to being dragged around, but automatically starts to devour the area around it-so it's been left outside of the hangar. It is repairing itself-after a few minutes, the stake is devoured by its nanobots, and it starts to resume its original shape. Getting into the cockpit to help treat Jen isn't happening-the nanobot cloud knocks backwards anyone who gets too close.
It's when more drastic measures involving the use of superpowers and weaponry start to be discussed that its cockpit opens. Jen comes out on a liftwire to the ground-covered in blood, her clothes torn to shreds, and holding a briefcase. She touches down on the ground barefoot, stumbles, and falls flat on her ass.
"Jesus christ...it worked."
 - Reconcilliation
[Later, Jen can be found in a calmer common area. By now, word may have gotten around that her betrayal was all an elaborate ploy-or it might not have. Either way, she's drinking some tea in her usual clothes, as though nothing had happened at all.]
[Many many things have been happening over the past few days and Peola's a little overwhelmed by it despite not having been personally there for any of the occurrences. Kagura was no longer dead... sort of, a god was killed and a moon had been prevented from falling to the Earth. She really did admire just how much everyone had done...]
-YOU LOSE! PLAYER 2 IS THE WINNER.-
[But with her being off the mission roster for a while she's been spending time with her sister when not on guard duty or training or otherwise being indisposed. Ourania was still under observation but Peola did find a few things to bring in that her fellow security guards figured might help things along. The siblings had literally let their hair down and were bonding by beating the everloving crap out of each other on a screen.]
"... You're really bad at this Peola."
Well I never really ever tried any of these 'video games' before... but it means we can learn together right?"
[Ourania simply rolled her eyes, something of a tiny smirk creeping onto her face.]
"I tried a few of them while I was on Star Rose. I was quite good actually. If anything I should be teaching you."
"If you're trying to make me feel better though... its working. So I guess you won. A little."
[Peola was so caught off guard by this that she didn't even notice you entering the room. Her sister did though and simply regarded you curiously before giving Peola a shove that had her fall over to regard your feet - upside down - from the vantage point that's the floor. The older princess simply waves at you from where she is.]
Wha- Oh..Hey! When did you get here?
"Are you here to ask me to do something too since the others are? I know this isn't an inn or a prison."
"Thank you for your hard work. I really hope you enjoy your meal!"
[Monika offers the person she just doled out a meal to at the mess hall a shy but clear smile and inclining her head politely. She didn't have to of course but if anything she felt that people really did need to be appreciated for the things they do. Having people actually thank her sincerely and being happy for her presence... truly happy did things for the young woman's confidence, even if it was a seemingly minor role.]
[Salwah on the other hand was awkwardly messing with her own meal. She's had a few incidents here and there. Even if she did prove herself in some combat drills and simulations she was still getting used to Earth technology and more than often tripped herself up with things. Suffice to say Peola wasn't the only one who made a mistake with the bathrooms. She returns a wave to Monika when she is seen by her friend but otherwise she makes a preference to currently find a nice quiet corner in the mess hall such as it is to stew in her embarrassment.]
[Talk with one of them?]
[A lot of things happened in the second foray into the dome under the Atlantic. But perhaps most interesting is that General Hetepheres brought something with her. Soon as the report was done, the whole place was a hubbub of activity, and maximum security measures were placed.
Because what was brought back appears to be an incapacitated PRAYER. One that looks something like this, and which the people in the mission swear is Kagura.
The thing makes no movement as it's placed under guard, behind steel walls and reinforced observation glass guard posts. It seems deactivated, and is only about half the size of a Genoace - positively tiny for a PRAYER. But nobody is taking any chances here.
However, it's severely resisting attempts at opening it for now. Whatever this thing is made of, it's going to take some serious explosives to get through it. And if the strike team are correct, Kagura is in there, somewhere, which kinda limits the more drastic options...]
[(This first prompt is for people to mingle and react to the mission, debrief, and fact that oh God we have a damn PRAYER in storage the guys at ESUN are going to flip their lid and who knows what GRAVEYARD is even going to say. And maybe suggest ideas to get through the Apostle.)]
[2 - A day later]
[The Apostle has been inert for a day already. Poking and prodding has led to nothing. And now it's late, and the guards are basically looking at it because it beats staring at the wall.
And so, there's some serious scrambling in surprise when the frame suddenly lights up. There's a sound like something being pulled, and the thing stands upright. All the guards and fire support get ready, aiming at the mysterious unidentified object as lines appear where there were none, and the center coffin starts opening.
And from it falls... what looks like a Spirit Kernel. A female, featureless, blue energy humanoid, that falls forward and lands on one knee, looking exhausted. Heatless flame seems to crackle around her, much like the core of Scarlet Queen so long ago. She turns shining eyes on the closes guard aiming at her, holding her own head as if having a terrible headache.]
Stop that before you hurt yourself, Williams. You're more of a danger to yourself than me with a shotgun. [The voice is strange, with a low reverb - but behind that, it sounds about what someone might sound like after running a marathon with a broken leg] Someone get me some warmth. I'm exhausted.
[Soon after, some heating is arranged. The humanoid figure lays down, immobile and resting. If anyone wants to try talking to it, before anyone else, now's a perfect chance.]
[Digging through what had been left to him ferociously, Calvin had come up with a rather risky plan. A simultaneous retrieval of all the remaining artifacts. With the court as low on manpower as it was it would mean the risk of interference was low... and with the translations made by Kagura it would mean retrieval would be all but painless.]
[Still, Calvin found himself pacing restlessly. Partly because there was no telling what would happen during the extraction and partly if... as thorough as Kagura's work was... there was something that was missed that might get someone killed. The unsettling silence from both his contact and the OSI was frustrating as well.]
Its fine... everything's going to be alright. Just a quick retrieval... in the middle of arabia... who am I kidding..something's gonna turn up...
Just have to stay calm. You can do this. Nerves of steel. You're a man on the trail of a mystery. Hard boiled, gritty one hundred percent film noir cool as ice.
[Calvin's taking a deep breath and ceases his anxious muttering before seeming to get a little out of it. Then again for those of you familiar with his behavior he may have been doing some internal monologue to try steady himself... surprise him?]
( Stuff under the cut. )
[The Second Division located Fine's homebase - a luxurious cliffside mansion. But something's wrong... the whole place is strewn with unidentified assassin-looking men in black, dead. Whatever dark deeds transpired here went really wrong.
Also someone else is there.]
It... wasn't me! I just came here!
"I believe that. I know what you're capable of and who you are, Yukine Chris-kun."
[Further conversation is interrupted - Fine left a small surprise for interlopers in the form of an explosive! But as the dust settles, no one is harmed: Genjurou holding up a piece of rubble from falling, shielding both himself, and Chris.]
( Kinda cutscene-y part )
[2 - a little later]
[Chris is standing nervously in Sakihama - a place not too long ago she considered belonging to an enemy.]
"Alright! Everyone say hello to Yukine Chris. A lot of things happened and Chris-kun made a choice to become a probationary member of the Second Division as a Relic User, with all what entails - including helping Unity Group. She promised to behave and work hard so count on her, alright? Why not introduce yourself?"
... You guys better be as well-intentioned as you say you are! If you turn out to be shady I'm bringing you down myself, got it?
"Ha ha ha! Talk about a first impression."
And... thanks for saving the world from being destroyed by a madman, I guess...
[If you ask Chris about Fine...]
Fine's a really special person. She's the one who gave me Nehushtan and the Solomon's Cane. She said she needed me to create a new world. A world without war or conflict, a world where everyone is safe and even cursed people like me have a place to belong to. She wanted to awaken something called "Kadingir". With Kadingir's help, she could do it.
'Course, now I know at least half of what she said was bullshit to manipulate me, but...
[A crazed terrorist stealing a nuke. Ankaia declaring war on earth. Optimus's death, and the withdrawal of the Autobots from earth. Some giant space monster rushing towards the planet. It's been a great time, and so its end finds Jen perched on the edge of Alahambra Base's roof, staring off into the night at a distant city.]
...The hell do you think you're doing, Jennifer...gonna get yourself killed at this rate.
Life ain't a superhero comic...
[Autobot city and Metroplex had taken a beating. There were injuries among the defenders... but foresight by Red Alert and the intervention of the Unity Group many lives were saved. But every battle, every victory comes at a cost. And today... the cost is high indeed. The sky, already stained from the smoke and destruction rumbles as rain begins to fall.]
[Optimus-... Orion Pax lays upon a medical berth within one of the few undamaged areas within the core of Autobot city. His body shattered, both Autobots and human technicians are struggling to keep him alive. Energon feeds and sensors were scattered across his broken form as his air intakes struggled to operate and his vocalizer crackled. Perceptor who had been close by transformed from his enlarged Microscope form, conferring with Ratchet and the other members of the medical team. His expression is grave and his voice tired as he regards those who were present.]
"... I'm sorry. All the damage Optimus took... even if he still had the Matrix... its fatal. He has hours... maybe less at the very most..."
[The medic lowers his head, glancing at his fallen leader. His fallen friend.]
"If... you have anything you want to say to him... this might be the time..."
[From where he lies, Orion Pax struggles to look at you as he raises his hand weakly... trying to beckon you closer.]
[Will you speak to the Autobot Leader in his final moments?]
 [A while after Prompt 1]
( Exile under the cut. )
By popular decision of the Lords, Ankaia will wage war on Earth. Ishin will be first in line, no doubt using his extraordinary might for great effect.
[Sielje is a mess. She sits with her head lowered, not bothering to change from her fancy dress - now torn and dusty from the fight.]
And it is all my fault.
If only... I was strong enough to face and defeat him...
If... only... I was stronger...!
[Her eyes are full of tears and you can hear pretty undignified sniffing.]
[The situation was resolved. What was left of the Organization known as Scylla and Charybdis was being apprehended. Their underground base was in ruins and their ties to the Ebon Court were all but destroyed given the events in the tunnels. Not only that but they also managed to get the third key.]
[Yet despite this Calvin remains silent as he looks up at his battered Genoace. Shield cleaved, guns dented and its knife bloodied. There was clearly something bothering him as his gaze now turned to the recovered artifact. A rusted and very horrifically painful looking knife. Rather than speaking though, the air around the knife just seemed to have the faint scent of blood along with somehow making the air around it sound sharp as impossible as it was.]
Do you ever get the feeling that there's more to a story than you think you know?
 [Some time later]
[Calvin's out in town, with coffees in a cardboard carrying tray in hand as he walked down a row of shoplots. Somehow he didn't notice you at all as he kept moving through the area, moving to the older section of the lots and standing in front of one place in particular. From the looks of the place it was a magic shop. Not one of those places that sold stage magician tricks, but one that actually catered to people with a certain set of beliefs. Or in Calvin's case a certain level of wariness for things that people believed in.]
[He lingers at the entrance, trying to compose himself a little as he stared at the door. For a while he looked a little unsure about entering.]
[He still hasn't noticed you either. Try to get his attention?]
*Grace is limping around as people are busy cleaning up the mess from the battle. Then a bunch of dirty kids with ragged clothings surround her.*
Auntie Grace! That was great!
You saved us!
Sorry for pickpocketing you before...
I'll read all those books you sold us so I could be as smart as you!
*Grace can be seen busy trying to fend a gaggle of snot-nosed kids now, as a plainly dressed young woman giggles in the background.*
Cut it out! Stop trying to pick my pocket again, I know what you're doing Tim! And don't call me Auntie!
2.*You can see Grace watching the wrecked half of her Daughtress in UG hangar.*
Well that was pretty stupid thing you did, don't you think?
*Westwood the bounty hunter watches both Grace and her wrecked mech with amused look.*
( Read more... )
3. (This can happen right at prompt 2, or as a completely separate prompt.)
*Grace pokes the wrecked Daughtress.*
Well, Westwood said that this will actually be safer here. What can we do about this pile of junk though? Can it actually still be saved?
"I am an envoy! By my honor, we come in peace!"
[A small group of Ankaian knights in their Knight's Arms step out, waving flags and banners, their weapons sheathed.]
"The Ankaian moot, most important of our gatherings, will begin in less than a week. By the given rights, Lord Anya the Champion of Ankaia, and his wife Lady Kimhone, request presence of people of Earth, those who belong to the order of 'Unity Group'. Yours will be the role of important guests. Bring arms as you wish, however rest assured as no harm will befall you. I swear, it is no trap nor deception."
[All prompts frontdated several days - way after Calvin's mission.]
[It was no trap nor deception. Passing through the portal brings you to a strange land. A world of rolling plains and huge rocky pillars, save for the howling winds its impression is... empty and quiet. Plants are present but infrequently, mostly familiar looking but scarce trees and grasses, and the buildings its people erected in the past are grandiose, huge halls and tall spires - but now, many of them lie abandoned, fallen into ruin and the artifacts stored within long since fallen into disrepair. These are just shadows of former glory, as current people of Ankaia prefer humbler housing in small villages. And yet...]
I... am home.
[At this sight, Sielje seems happy like she rarely is.]
[The Ankaian capital, where the moot will be held - possibly the only real city yet remaining on the planet, parts of its spires still occupied and surrounded by a serene lake. In this place you have a chance to visit a certain location...]
( A knight's dwelling )
[The moot itself will take several days - a gathering of Ankaia's finest knights and lords, in the capital's largest hall. Those gathered wear attire of differing levels of historical anachronism and practicality, and yet though they all seem to emanate strength and confidence, no one except for the common guards is armed. Also, Sielje doesn't seem to be around.
Some of the lords give you curious looks but say nothing, while others try to distance themselves or frown with outright disgust and hostility. You have a feeling you are not exactly welcome here. There is however a single exception.]
( A knight's friends )
[Whether you try to search for Sielje during the moot or just explore the area, straying from the main meeting hall has you encounter...]
"Are you lost? You would best not wonder. What gave you impression this is a friendly land? It is not."
[A young man who can't be even twenty years old yet. His long cloak obscures most of his body, and he stares in your direction with a disinterested look.]
"Not for the likes of you, anyway."
I was pretty surprised when you called. I hadn't expected to see you here of all places. Some kind of military duty?
[She tenses for a second at some of his words.]
Yeah, we're here to look after a con artist whose trying to learn about the power of some ancient artifact she got stuck with. Pretty similar to what happened to me. Seems common around Unity Group.
[Interrupt the chance reunion between father and daughter?]
( Conversation under the cut )
[Despite the damage it took, Regalis Filia seems a lot better than it has been in a long while. Despite currently being deactivated for repairs, the faint echoes of ki still flow across its frame, leaving the 'tron lines' across its body and its scarf to shimmer with an ethereal glow. Peola was close by, looking at it with a small smile before glancing over to you and waving.]
I was wondering when you'd show up... its been a busy day hasn't it?
[Elsewhere on the base Monika and Salwah are trying to get their bearings and finding out how they could help the Unity Group. Admittedly while the latter was a little anxious, she seemed to adapt quite well to things not involving combat and unlike Peola, did not completely devastate a kitchen trying to make a meal. Salwah took a little more time, with Earth tech tending to startle and surprise... the less said about the toaster incident the better to say the least.]
[Cennetig simply tends to hang around on building rooftops, looking out at the surrounding area like a majestic falcon with the eyes of a cunning raven or request honorable spars in person or battles in the training simulator while he remains around for the next few days he remains with us. Eventually he leaves with little ceremony.]
[Which among the three do you interact with?]
[As for Ourania... when she was escorted out from the Regalis Atrox she seemed to be extremely out of it. She didn't take Phannuhel casting her aside very well and seemed to have withdrawn into herself. Admittedly she would have been confined to the brig at first, but Peola suggested vehemently against putting her sister within the same distance as their mother. Given some of the comments Serak had made, it would put Ourania in an even worse place. The blonde princess simply sits quietly in a room provided to her under 'house arrest' with a rotated watch kept on her by security - her sister taking double duty whenever she could in an attempt to try connect.]
[She says nothing when you drop in, simply giving you an unnerving look.]
...I made a mistake. Can't move my leg. On the table over there, a syringe. Can you give it to me? Sorry about that.
( Click here for Not-Gaston )
( Click here for Maybe-Clanner )
( Click here for Blueblooded Jackass )
 [Phannuhel & his Haremettes] [Its possible to speak to either or. Assume Peola has to suffer with the one not tagged.]
( Click here for Harem Protagonist and Co. )
( Click here for Drunk Princess )
Yes! We are victorious! Truly, the day is ours. I expected not for Earth to carry so many talking beasts, yet here we are.
[Well, someone's happy. Sielje's spirits are high after the Cassowary Emperor has been stopped - for good.]
I suggest we celebrate by trying ourselves. A friendly bout, a training fight. I gladly accept any challenges.
[A few days later, the Ankaian knight can be found around the simulator area. Apparently she figured out the controls enough to be able to use at least the most basic mobile suit functions - a pretty good time, all things considered. And yet...]
[Even the simplest combat scenarios Sielje tried out always went the same: ignore ranged weaponry or ambushes and rush the enemy into melee. Be suppressed by the foe's superior range. Try to dodge and use terrain for cover, get overwhelmed, explode. Repeat over and over again.]
Why is it this way?
[She sits in the simulator cockpit, obviously frustrated and tired. The monitors display scenario history, at least a dozen attempts failed.]
[Trying to forget about her fiasco, the knight has chosen several books to distract herself with.]
How large is Australia, anyway?
[The books in question are: a technical manual of some handheld rifle, the original version of an old story she saw the movie adaptation of, a monthly fashion magazine, and a picture storybook about animals.
Regardless of contents, she studies each one carefully, with a concentrated look on her face.]
[After the battle alongside the SSR, the UG has an additional member (temporary) to its roster. Elys, as she is known, looks up briefly at her damaged machine, and then down at the wound in her abdomen - both have already begun to self-recover. She then turns to face you.]
...I decided to come with you because I heard that Willis has been causing some trouble here.
Either way, if you have questions, I'll try my best to answer them.
Agh, Hibiki... what's going on?
Genjuou-san... teach me how to fight, please!
You want me to teach you?
Yes! I figured you'd surely know some amazing martial arts or something!
"... Very well. But my training regime is very strict."
[He said yes! He actually said-!]
"Yes! Thank you!!"
"By the way, Hibiki, are you into action movies by any chance?"
[Hibiki's training regimen is easy enough to see evidence of. She's in the gym, dressed up in a yellow jumpsuit and standing in front of an old tv playing a kung fu movie.]
[She punches out, in time with the man on the screen! In fact, she's doing her best to try to emulate his every action. Every punch, kick, and-]
NOT MY MATCH!
-Piece of cake!
[At the mess hall of Sakihama, she's got more than twice her usual amount of rice AND pudding AND now cake too. Training's given her quite the appetite, and she's already scarfing things down as soon as she finds a seat.]
[But it's not all just cosplay and battle mimicry. One can see Hibiki out training in the city too, working a heavy boxing bag with Genjurou looking on. Still, her strikes have barely been able to make it budge.]
You're doing it wrong. Your fists ought to fly like hammers smashing the thunder of the bolt that struck you.
I don't understand a word of that... but I'll give it a shot!
[Hibiki's attention shifts back to the punching bag... and with one furious right straight, she sends it flying, the branch it had been hanging from snapping off from the tree as if it were nothing!]
... It worked!
"Tsubasa-chan - so in the end you really did sing it. Knowing well what happened to Kanade, and what could happen to you."
Tsubasa was hauled off, in dire need of emergency medical care - alive, if barely. Such is the price you have to pay for singing the Swan Song, and in the end she was still lucky.
Now Ryoko is using a window to look over the Relic user - who is lying down in another room unconscious, connected to all kinds of life support systems.
Commander Kazanari looks serious. But there is nothing more he can do for Tsubasa at the moment, and there are other matters at hand too.
"So this is the identity of the girl who wore Nehushtan, huh."
He looks at the screen - and his brow furrows further.
"Chris Yukine. One of the potential Relic users. When her parents died in South America, she was abducted by a gang and forced into child labor. The Division managed to rescue her - but she disappeared mysteriously two years ago."
"And now she appears again. Her actions, and what happened to her... as an adult, all of it is my fault."
[Jen's had a rough few days, and can be found easily enough-usually slumped over books on various weapons systems, or booklets of accounting figures. ]
Well, looks like the balances work out now...those were nice apartments, though...Still need to figure out how I'm going to pack more power into that tiny robot. And I could really deal with more money, too...
[She pours herself a clear, strong-smelling drink from a bottle; notably, it has a "95.6% ABV" label. Jen's glass is more like the kind you would use for drinking beer, but she takes a drink from her glass anyways. And then immediately makes a face.]
...This tastes terrible.
2.[Gym practice time! Which for Jen means boxing, her fists moving in a blur as they strike at the sandbag. Meanwhile, some weird mix of pop-idol singing and metal instrumental work blares from a stereo.]
Hm. For a crazed terrorist, she's not that bad at singing...
What is this?
What was that?
[You know what draws more attention than a strange woman clad in straps of metal, leather and cloth? The same woman who stares wide eyed at everything, vehicles and crowds in particular. Perhaps it's a good thing her sword and helm are left back at the base.]
[A little later, Sielje managed to come in terms with the weird surroundings. Somewhat.]
Are all settlements on Earth so loud? I have never seen so many people in one place before... but they all appear unarmed and unprepared for a fight or any kind of danger.
And what is this?
[She gestures at a shop. The city has a lot of them.]
You build solid buildings just to serve as places of trade? Is it so commonplace for you?
There, she changes and sets to work punching a sandbag again, and again, and again. Occasionally she takes a moment to talk to herself]
Jeez...What's with all those kids? Idealistic, naive little...I get not wanting to shoot your friend, but stopping someone else...
Just what the hell were they thinking, anyways...
[She keeps going for a while, but her punches get weaker and slower with every blow. Finally she throws one last punch, then stumbles over to a wall and sits down.]
[Getting Izuru out of Grungust Alpha's cockpit is no easy task. But after a few hours, it just opens, and the Rabbit stumbles out.]
[He looks absolutely miserable. Considering the circumstances - who wouldn't?]
What would a hero do?
[Some time later, Izuru somehow made it to his usual hanging spot (Asagi's room). He acts partially zombified, not quite aware of his surroundings. The dried out trail of tears is still visible on his face.]
Find a way to save everyone?
Sacrifice a friend to save a lot of people? And the friend is okay with it?
I'm sorry Seta. I can't be the hero you wanted me to be...
[Well. They did it. The Kijin Emperor is dead. Permanently. He will never again threaten mankind. And all it took was for Seta to die. A fair price. One life to save many others from a threat that could possibly keep coming back. An acceptable sacrifice in the eyes of those more militarily minded and are used to the brutal calculus of warfare.]
[Not so much for the thirteen year old who just lost another person who he looked up to. Someone who saved his life. As he slipped free from a tremendously battered and wingless Interitus he screams. Hurt, lost, angry. Interitus tries to reach out to him but simply has her head which had drawn close to the young russian repeatedly shoved and kicked.]
YOUR FAULT! THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!! YOU AND THAT STUPID WALL RUG AND THOSE
[Interitus backs away. While this didn't harm her physically she pulled back as if burned and huddled against a wall.]
UNCLE'S GONE! REN'S GONE! SETA'S GONE!! WHAT NEXT?! ARE YOU GOING TO LET MIZUKI DIE?! OR KEN?! OR DIDO OR ASAGI OR ASHE?! WHAT IF MY FRIENDS AT SCHOOL GET
[ Being told by them that they were going to die... he tried to accept it... but both times... both times they came so close to the hope of being saved... only to be torn away...]
I HATE YOU! YOU STUPID MONSTER!!! I HATE YOU!!!!
[And just like that he runs away from the hangar leaving a miserable creature to bleed in the hangar.]
[Anyone who would even bother looking for him would find him at a tiny area in Sakihama not too dissimilar to Ken's handbuilt gym. If anything it answered a question as to where he may have been keeping his gardening skills sharp. There were several flowers growing. Some blooming, some not. Either way Volya simply sits among them, legs pulled up to his chest. No tears being shed, simply just being too tired to even cry.]
[It was his own little haven. One he was embarrassed to have had his school friends find when they went looking for him. The same friends who had told you exactly where it was when they tried to call Volya, only to have him scream at them to leave him alone and sent the phone sailing into a wall.]
[He doesn't acknowledge your presence. Rather. He refuses to. He simply holds on tighter to himself and presses his head to his knees.]
Leave me alone... Just... just leave me alone...
[Out in the field, the sound of rapidfired shots is heard. A certain battle suit is utterly demolishing the training programs, swirling around with controlled movements and putting exactly one bullet into each training dummy. When the beep that signals the end of session sounds, it lands in the center, and the gun on its arm lets go of heat with a satisfying ca-click sound.
After months of being reduced to a cripple, Kagura is back. And while it's true she needs to give this replacement armor some exhaustive testing... from the showyness of that last round it's pretty clear she's most definitely enjoying this fact.
If you want to talk to her or congratulate her for being back in action, this is probably the best moment!]
2 - Deep night/small hours of the morning, outside Alhambra
[If you happen to be outside very late at night, however, you might notice the same battle suit outside, immobile under the moon, looking to have been there for a while. A rock is inside its hand.]
[And with that the robotic hand moves forward and squeezes, crushing the rock into gravel. That gesture definitely seemed a challenge, but there's nobody (and, honestly, nothing, because Alhambra is the in the middle of nowhere) around TO challenge. She doesn't seem to have noticed you yet, though...]
...Okay! I've never been good at this explaining thing, so I'm going to start with an introduction. Ahem...
I'm Neptune, and I'm a goddess. Oh, but not related to that one old guy around these parts, except by name. It's nice to meet you!
I'm not from this world, and I've been working my butt off trying to get back home since I got randomly dropped here a few months ago.
Anyways, you guys are always on the news doing big things, and I ran into a few of you before. Seems like a cool place to hang. So until I can find a way back, I'm gonna be sticking around! Let's all get along!
[A pause as her stomach rumbles.]
I could really use some pudding right now, though. That was a tough fight.
They just get more and more worse every single time.
[She tiredly makes her way down the gantry before just settling down nearby, palming her face in frustration.]
Uuugh. What am I even complaining about. Just because that jerk and Ourania and their friends showed up doesn't mean its all bad... we beat the Gebians that wanted to wreck everything and I got a good fight out of it...
[Despite this though she feels more than a little...]
SO WHY THE HECK AM I SO ANGRY!?!
[...frustrated. She proceeds to punch a metal pillar next to her hard enough it left an indentation of her fist. She winces and holds her hand. It wasn't in too much pain but the impact stung a little. It was jarring enough to get her attention at least.]
Ow ow ow ow ow!
[In whichever base Peola currently is not patrolling around you would find a gathering of various Unity Group personnel.]
"Taking bets! Taking bets! Put 'em down here and we'll see who's the big winner!'
[It seems that there's a betting pool under way... and the subject matter in question?]
-PEOLA RELATIONSHIP BETTING POOL-
[A collapsible board with the words, photos of the potentials and their odds along with the money bet on them were there. It wasn't surprising to see the suitors that everyone knew of to be pretty low on the pool, but there were also people from the Unity Group there too! Not just that but other familiar names like Max Jenius as well!]
[Say something about the pool/React to your presence on the board as well as your odds?]
[Meanwhile, the Princess in question just paused, looking confused and irritated at the same time.]
Do you ever get the weird and overwhelming urge to punch your friends for some reason because you think they might be doing something stupid?
Okay, so...What can I do with this...There's that railgun, a missile...Let's try...
[The smoke cloud gathers up into a small ball, heating to a dull red as it does so. A little while later it starts to cool down, and spreads out again-dropping a mecha-sized knife to the ground.]
...I wonder, if...
[It does the same thing again, but this time out pops a small (human scale) gold ingot.]
...Okay, I think I can work with this.
[Not very long after, the area is littered with human-scale weaponry-knives, pistols, naginatas, a whip-along with all sorts of other random crap. Walking through the street Jen's picked out for practice is gonna be a pretty weird endeavor for some time to come.]
[Sielje's cell is littered with books. Books that she was reading - because she made a promise to. And in the middle of it all, the knight standing stoically while pondering her available moves, another book in hand.]
Trapped in enemy territory, sworn not to cause trouble to my own captors as is required of a honorable prisoner... what may I do?
Earth is even more dangerous and tumultuous as a place than Ankaia. The planet has been ravaged by wars and invaders, even invaders out of this world.
I... I wish to see. It is too much to ask of a prisoner, but I wish to see how the ordinary people of Earth manage to exist. I find it impossible to believe that they can eke out a living with a constant threat of demise over their heads.
[She closes the book. It's written in ancient Greek. As a matter of fact, the books around the cell are written in all kinds of languages, presently used or classical.]
[The vending machine outside Sielje's cell roused her curiosity for a while now. As soon as she had a chance, she went out to pick up a few items it had available -
And now it's time to further inspect her rewards.]
( Read more... )
Thank you very much for helping me back there! That's the second time even!
Genjurou-san and Ryouko-san helped explain things to me, about the Noise and that the Relics can help stop them, so I want to do my part! I know I can't fight really well right now, but I'll still do my best and learn as fast as I can, so I can be Kanade's replacement!
What do you mean it counts as a default?! I got there with time to spare!
...Look, it's not my fault a ninja showed up to kill everyone!
[They say some more, and Jen just sighs.]
...Is the operation to get my drive replaced at least covered? I only just finished the payments on this thing...
[The person on the other end of the phone replies, and Jen slams the handset back down on the receiver-hard enough to shatter them both.]
...great. Today's great.
2. [Later, at the bar, Jen's sitting alone-and she's built up an impressive collection of empty bottles and shot glasses around her.]
Okay, normally I should definitely be blacked out by now...
...Are you really sure you're not an alcoholic?
[If you open the captive Ankaian unit cockpit, you find its pilot to look like a completely normal human woman. People who hoped for more weird aliens will be disappointed.
She however is armed with a sword - and points it at you! But the sword is sheathed, and given hilt first.]
I yield. By my name I swear to act like a captive should, make no attempts to backstab nor escape unless let go willfully.
I am now at your mercy.
Yes? What comes now?
Torture, is it?
[Sitting in a cell, Sielje is ready to be interrogated. She actually behaves without causing trouble as promised so if you have questions, ask them and see if she answers.]