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About Phoenix

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  • Birthday 12/31/88

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  1. "Fine for the moment, Bennet," Megumi called over, "though fetch some Advil, just in case." The doctor focused mainly on Christina, next, but looked to the lieutenant occasionally, as well. "If either of you know ..." Kim presumably being a lifelong TK and Troy being tied to a company that specialized in the T-Link itself, "is there anything about the emergence of latent TK abilities that I should know about? We don't have any information on it that I've seen, and I don't want to medicate you right after that without knowing about any potential risks." There wasn't anything unusual going on with the last scan, so either Megumi hadn't checked at the right time, or the process was invisible. Hopefully in either case, the sudden change wouldn't cause any problems when combined with drugs. A third minion? That's what it both looked and sounded like, at least. There wasn't much left to do at this point, though. If the girls wanted the light scars removed, they could get that done whenever. They could also get their hair 'fixed' with similar devices that were in the infirmary. There was something Makoto could do for the doctor though, come to think of it. Megumi reached for the wireless headphones and offered them to Minion #3. "It's not much, but tell me about any important bits I'm missing while I look into this." Firmia was glad to see that Tarquin got to his story more or less immediately after she said she'd wait. While doing so had made both her request for the details and Jessica's rebuttal utterly pointless, it bypassed the useless portion of the meeting. At least, it was useless for Firmia, since she had no intention of bringing up her questions or concerns with the other pilots present. Too many lips flapping at once would quickly bury any topic, no matter how it was brought up. Tarquin's explanation left Firmia with a bitter taste in her mouth. Following orders was something she would have ordinarily praised someone in his position for, but this Professor took advantage of the situation, and effectively broke the team up just prior to the engagement. That had nearly gotten Seung-Min and Christina killed in the end. Firmia was left wondering how to judge the boy's actions. He really ought to only be answering to Jessica, as incredibly dangerous as that sounded in Firmia's head. On the other hand, the ANF had its own structure and rules. They weren't too dissimilar from Russia's, or even the Alkaev company's, but they were definitely getting in the way, here. Firmia decided that it was ... more or less an even split. Tarquin should have known better than to leave the ship without an explanation, and so close to their destination to boot... but on the other hand, he was just a pawn, doing what pawns do. He was a good one, at least. This Talia girl, though. She was a tropical storm. One moment, she was as satisfied as a devil roasting nonbelievers over a geyser, the next, she was crying like an orphaned child. There was something else tugging at her attention, though. Something in Lieutenant Kim's direction. Firmia tried to ignore it, lest she miss something important. As Talia broke down, Hannah moved to comfort the two siblings. The Alkaev supposed Hannah was right; the crew did accept her. They also accepted Nikolai, the weird, crudely spoken capture from Colony One. They'd even accepted Firmia herself, if only out of sheer necessity. Tarquin would be just fine. Nikolai also made his move, and gave both engineered super soldiers a piece of his mind. Tarquin got the sweet half. Talia was left with the bitter part. Firmia couldn't help but wince at the minor lashing. Nikolai was making sense, but his wording really could use work, and not just a little. Firmia wouldn't forgive herself for breaking down and crying when she could be spending her time working on a project, or anything to beat Apotheosis. Crying was for bedtime, or not at all. At least ... that was the lesson she'd learned while training to pilot mobile suits, fighter planes, skygraspers, etc. Being an Alkaev wasn't just about helping the family and company thrive; there was no vehicle produced or used by the company's security division that Firmia didn't know how to operate. That was the rule. Thinking back on Doctor Hart's explanation, Firmia supposed it would be a little embarrassing to have to carry that kind of origin with you everywhere. She'd especially hate having her talents chalked up to superior genetics. Maybe that wasn't what was holding Tarquin hostage, but it made Firmia a little ill just thinking about it. No, actually it was that strange feeling that was getting to her. Trying to ignore it was making her nervous, which usually got her stomach's attention. Frankly, there was no ignoring that feeling she was getting ... unless she were Brant. Firmia glanced at him, trying to see if he noticed the sensation in the lieutenant's direction. His eyes were on Hannah. Deciding to just check directly, she nudged her fellow TK with her elbow to get his attention, and then whispered into his ear. <"Don't you feel that?! It's like there's another one!"> Brant looked surprised, naturally. <"Another what?"> <"Another TK! How can you not feel that?! It's so close!"> Firmia had no idea how Brant could so easily tune things out like that. It sometimes made her worry that his abilities were getting weaker with time. <"... oh!"> Finally, he seemed to notice ... <"That's Christina."> <"It is?"> <"100% positive,"> Brant nodded, <"No mistaking her."> So he could completely tune them out ... but also immediately identify them once he was paying attention, again? Maybe it was just a guess based on the likely culprits--the emotion coming from that direction did seem very Christina-like--and that did make the most sense. Still, Firmia wondered if that was all there was to it. Her abilities were far and away superior to Brant's, but he still occasionally overtook her in some minor areas, like precision control and the ability to simply tune out the noise around him. When portable T-Links eventually became a reality, Firmia saw herself controlling swarms of little drones, and she saw Brant telekinetically 'threading needles' in so ... so many ways ... ... this seemed to be the direction their abilities were blossoming in. They could check on Christina after the debrief and post-debrief discussion with the Captain. For now, Astin seemed interested in the implications of the Professor's actions. It certainly seemed more likely than not that he was trying to draw Tarquin to the facility ahead of the Riese. It was a wonder he'd even managed that; the ship should have sped up and caught him almost immediately. Communication and organization, or rather a lack thereof, was rearing its disgusting, misshapen skull at every opportunity, and frankly Firmia was sick of it. Astin's question basically amounted to asking Tarquin just how good of a pawn he was, and judging by the battle itself, chances were he would have joined Apotheosis on the Professor's request, perhaps begrudgingly so, but Firmia didn't know enough about the boy to reach any other conclusion. Nothing but a contrary answer from Tarquin himself would change the Alkaev's previous assessment at this point.
  2. Christina was up? Good ... hopefully. Megumi came back over to the girl's bed, placing her headphones down around her neck. The doctor tuned out the sound for a moment while she looked over the TK's vital signs. Judging by what the Artemis girls had been half discussing, half panicking about, Christina was showing signs of telepathy. Megumi supposed her longing for this day to just end was bombarding both of them now, not just Lieutenant Kim. "Look this way for a moment," Megumi instructed, shining a small light into both of Christina's eyes one after another. "Okay good. Relax, and don't move around just yet." "Now then," the doctor continued, taking her headphones and placing them aside, "How are you feeling? Aside from the whole ... TK thing ...?"
  3. "It is about the battle," Firmia noted, her tone still even, somewhat to Brant's surprise, "since it's the reason everyone deployed the way they did. I get it, though; it's his story to tell." That or the captain hadn't squeezed the details out of him yet, and couldn't answer the second part of her question regardless. Having a full debrief and then questions would have worked better in Firmia's view, but the ANF was going to ANF. Better put, Jessica was going to be Jessica. Firmia noticed Sasha coming up behind her as she spoke, but didn't sense anything nefarious from him, so she'd ignored him. He was probably just going to ask a question of his own, so better to focus on one thing at a time. "My other questions about the battle don't belong here," she continued, eliciting a confused look from Brant, "So I'll-" "Let me see what's on this," Sasha said, quickly plucking the tablet off of Firmia's lap. <"Sasha, what-"> "I'll give it back, don't worry," he teased, walking well out of reach as he began to peruse the Alkaev's notes. He was making all sorts of surprised and mildly amused expressions before long, though his back was facing most of the meeting room. Firmia slumped in her chair and let her head lean back a little. "... so I'll ... save them ... for after the meeting ..."
  4. Five Seconds Later ... Eventually ... The debriefing got off to as professional a start as it could have, but with how the captain usually handled the question portion, and how heated things often got by the end of those, Brant was admittedly a little worried. Fortunately there wasn't much to get upset over. Tarquin's deception and deployment aside, they were making some headway against Apotheosis. It was nice to have the enemy try and pull the rug out from under them and wind up pulling back a stump, instead. Of course, they did make off with yet another scientist. Brant wondered when they were going to run out of those ... Then there was Firmia. She wasn't being as rude as her first debriefing; she wasn't even saying anything. The stressed out Alkaev was preoccupied with her tablet, which now had a bulky looking frame around it. The device wasn't much bigger than before, but looked like it could take a severe beating with the screen cover folded up. Brant had no idea what she was doing with it, since the screen shield she was using made everything unreadable from most angles. It would have left a really thick vignette which would have explained Firmia's occasional head tilts and adjustments, but Brant couldn't get close without her noticing. When it was finally time for questions, he quietly asked his fellow TK what for. <"Hey,"> Brant whispered in his mother tongue, <"What have you been doing this whole time?"> <"Taking notes,"> Firmia replied, her voice not quite a whisper but still very soft. Her eyes didn't leave the tablet or so much as flicker. <"I want to talk to her somewhere other than a pool ... ... I'm glad that stutter's gone."> Well, Firmia had her chance to talk to the captain right now, so Brant took it to mean she wanted to talk with Jessica after the debrief, but before the woman had a chance to do much else. Fair enough ... "Well," Brant spoke up this time, "it looks like we've got some new people with us. I was going to ask who's staying on and who's just along for the ride until HQ ... aaamong other things ..." Firmia's attention was coming fully back to the meeting--Brant could feel it--and that meant she thought there was something more important to deal with, first. "I have a question: did you find out exactly why your pilot broke protocol?" Firmia's eyes were squarely on Jessica, despite the boy of the hour being in attendance, as well. "I'm sure you'll do whatever's necessary to improve internal security going forward--"--she wasn't even sure if what Tarquin had done was unusual, if she was being perfectly honest--"--but it would still be nice to know what happened and why."
  5. Return of the Emblem Chapter Fifteen: Alliance

    Gate Chasers Once Daichi left, a good deal of the tension left, as well. There was still plenty to worry about, though. "Greta's probably going to handle the supplies," Amon mused aloud, "but with everything she's trying to sell off, we could be here a while. Let's try to figure out some places where the gate might be on a map. A local map. We need something to give the Kigenese to work with." "Good idea," Shadrak nodded, "I'll go see if I can find one ..."
  6. "Oh ..." Megumi was a little surprised--pleasantly so--to see Valerie get the SKIN suit off, sans knife. "Good job, Tambre." Though that was preferable overall, the fact that they would need to have their skin partially replaced to have it look and function the way it had before the incident made either method somewhat arbitrary. It was a less severe treatment than what the lieutenant had gone through on Colony One. If the girls were fine with scars then this was by far the best method, but otherwise either would have panned out in the doctor's view. Valerie had probably saved a few hundred credits on local anesthetics, though, and that was definitely good. Minions with minds of their own were nice, as long as they weren't too ambitious ... and Megumi was admittedly no better with other people's money than the government was, nor did she really care as long as none of her patients died or left the infirmary in anything less than stellar condition. One could simply ask Mai. She knew. Time to use the less costly method and get Lieutenant Kim out of her SKIN suit. The gowns could definitely wait from the looks of things. "How's it coming over there?" the doctor asked, glancing at the other bed occasionally while she copied Valerie's method. All the while she was trying to figure out how bruised ribs would affect Kim's performance. She was an exceptional pilot, so she would likely be able to handle it for the most part, but some painkillers would definitely be in order. Hannah didn't seem to like their chances of gunning down a battleship, and it was a fair assessment; the damn things could vanish into the ether at will. Firmia wished they would just stay there and rust. Despite their unwillingness to shoo off to oblivion permanently, the Alkaev had been paying close attention during the two Apotheosis fights she had been present for, and even though that confused her about their intelligence as a whole, one thing was certain: These people reacted far too slowly when the battle began to turn against them. The fact that Hannah was able to bring back a sample of their battleship showed just how vulnerable they could be under the right circumstances. A swift and concerted attack on a Chaldene might not be worth the effort with more pressing concerns on the battlefield, but taking them down was an inescapable part of combating Apotheosis in the long run. For now, Firmia agreed that they had other concerns. Hopefully they could find a way to punch through that armor or bypass it altogether. At least that way, once these ships became priority targets, they could dispatch them before they decided to see themselves out. Thinking about why Apotheosis' machines only teleported to and from the battlefield, and never for any other reason, or to save individual units, was almost too baffling, right now. Clearly their grunts were just shy of worthless expendables in their eyes, but surely if they planned to take over the world, they needed every operational machine and pilot they could manage for the long campaign this could turn into. There were too many possibilities for their apparent negligence to parse, and no easy way to narrow things down with so little information. It might be due to energy constraints, or minimum activation intervals. Minimum and maximum teleport ranges might even be a factor. Maybe these morons didn't even fully comprehend the tech themselves and were playing it safe ... safer. That too was a distinct possibility. Calling them morons with all the damage they had done probably seemed arrogant to some people, come to think of it. Firmia liked to mock and ridicule them for any perceived mistakes on their part, but such mockery served an important purpose. It helped to balance out the fear that came with facing an enemy force of unknown power and scale. Add the ridiculously advanced equipment and it was downright necessary to take them down a peg at every opportunity, for morale's sake. What would help her own morale even more than lowering Apotheosis in her eyes would be uplifting the Riese and her crew, though that was incredibly difficult while working so closely with them. Firmia would have seen them as demi-gods, pushing back the forces of evil if she could watch them fight from afar ... but two days in and it was nothing but impromptu badassery, with interludes made up entirely out of poor communication and organization, security as lax as an orange kiosk on a freeway, and just plain strange behavior in general. ... maybe these Apotheosis pilots were clones on the whole? That would explain their relative edge over most AIs Firmia had seen, but not much else. Depending on the cost and effectiveness vs AI, that would be a reasonable legion of expendables for the enemy. Then again, Hannah was ... Hannah was giving Firmia a headache, that's what she was doing ... <"Grrrrrr! Enough of this bullshit!"> She was done. Firmia had enough and needed to focus on the other side of the chess board, right now. There were a ton of things she needed to do, and there was still some time before the debriefing from the look of things. Getting on the Artemis team's case about the anti-TK field wasn't much of an option with both of them in the infirmary. She might need to find whoever the actual mechanic for the machine was, anyway, and with all that damage, they would be several different kinds of busy. The captain was also busy, so bringing up her current list of grievances would probably have to wait until post-debrief. The Regalia and Mantle repairs were a post-debrief affair, as well ... like pretty much everything else. That just left Brant's reckless piloting, and Hannah's even more reckless piloting to try and remedy in the short term. Firmia had touched on the issue, but hadn't really reached a concrete solution, only stumbled onto the most likely culprit, this Galatea program. Brant might be easier to deal with, but perhaps not. Firmia understood him quite well despite the recent revelations about his past, but that was why she knew this might not be any easier. He could be more stubborn than an android under the right circumstances. What else could be taken care of, right now? Firmia hadn't recruited enough mechanics to help with the Reign's upgrades, but now really wasn't the time. That meant Tonya would be camping out like a perverted homebody in Brant's room for another day or two. Firmia really needed to find something for that one to do in the meantime. Her specialty was fighting, though ... and little else. Just great, Firmia thought. At this rate, the situation wouldn't have changed overly much by the next battle, which at said rate would be somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty-four hours. Firmia supposed she didn't need sleep, anyway ... Looking toward the Mantle, Firmia saw its current pilot disembark and head over to the Regalia and Legionary nearby. What was she rushing off to see Brant for? Actually that was kind of a dumb question, now that she thought back to Hannah's earlier confession. On the one hand, Hannah's near obsession with Brant was annoying as all get out. A human and android in a serious relationship seemed like a slap in the face, somehow, and Firmia couldn't quite place why she felt that way about it. Not with the other two billion thoughts swirling around in her head. On the other hand, Hannah's attraction was downright tangible, and made the Alkaev question the android's loyalty to ... well, anyone. Could Firmia use Hannah's affection for Brant to lure her away from the ANF's camp and into her own? She couldn't do it without Brant, of course, but could she do it at all? Forget whether it was fair play or even morally decent, Firmia knew damn well that it wasn't. That didn't mean it wasn't worth at least considering ... and if Brant wound up falling for an android of all things, wouldn't it be better to at least maximize the benefit of such an outcome? Wouldn't it? That had to be better than telling him how to live his life, or going in the other direction and letting everything happen without steering it toward something remotely useful. If everyone got what they wanted--save for the ANF, Firmia granted--wasn't that okay ...? Brant was just going to lug Hicks over his shoulder and head to the infirmary, leaving Aliza to do whatever she wanted, but he supposed they wouldn't lose much time carrying him together. Hannah's arrival presented a third option. There were a few combinations of the previous two, but the third by itself would work just nicely~ "So Hannah reporting for duty, then?" Brant teased, "Alright then, can you carry Hicks for us? He's not heavy or anything, just figured we'd let you since you volunteered to chip in. I'll come with you to the infirmary anyway since I want to check on Kim and Christina, too."
  7. Hannah's explanation cleared things up for the most part. Firmia personally wouldn't have ordered androids that would distract people in that way if she wasn't planning on making use of the feature ... but that was just her. Of course all of this meant that as a combat unit, Hannah had a lot of extraneous functions, and Firmia had no doubt that some of them were holding her back. It couldn't be helped, either ... <"So you weren't a special order or anything like that. Understood."> Firmia wasn't sure if that phrasing would annoy Hannah or not, but hopefully the android could tell she didn't mean it in a demeaning way. It would annoy Brant at this stage, but he was too busy to care, right now. Maybe she should just leave him be, really. Brant's interest was purely in Hannah's sentience, or whatever was going on with her. Firmia's was more utilitarian in nature, and she knew it could put them at odds, eventually, even though she had no intention of altering Hannah in any way. She doubted the android would consent, as well as whether it would really improve her performance enough to be worth the scorn. At some point, however, she would need to put together a prototype drone, and that prototype's sole purpose would be combat. It wouldn't have a humanoid form, or much of a personality. It would simply be a drone inhabiting a relatively small shell. No talking unless that was an absolutely necessary feature. No smiling or blushing. No questions about itself or the nature of existence. Firmia's drone project didn't have room for any of that, and that was why Brant would likely get fed up with aspects of the project as it progressed. Imagining that play out over and over again in her head made the Alkaev consider keeping her fellow TK's involvement extremely minimal. It was a shame they couldn't get the entire piece back, but that wasn't stopping Hannah. Having the beam sabers installed made it a simple issue to address. Firmia would take whatever she could get without having to ask, first, especially armor samples. Reproducing the material might not be possible, so this piece would have to count; they could cut it down further for direct use, or use it for testing. Either way, it was now a question of its characteristics. How superior was this armor, and what was the difference in weight? It would only be useful to her if its weight was comparable to or less than what they were already using, while also being more durable or resistant, or it yielded data that would lead to the creation of plating that was. Hannah's imminent return to the ship reminded Firmia that she didn't really have an 'area' in the hangar that she could use for personal storage. The hangar was filling up, too. <"I guess we'll just have to set it down between the Mantle and Regalia's docks, for now. Anyway, good work, Hannah. I don't know if we'll get a new alloy out of this, but at the very least we should be able to find a kink in that battleship's armor. Next time we can shoot one down~"> ... or encourage them to self destruct ... however their captain preferred to go down.
  8. Return of the Emblem Chapter Fifteen: Alliance

    Meeting "Lessons? Hmm" Shadrak hoped he wasn't being included in this plan of theirs. He might be a little rusty, but surely he could get by far better than most in the group. If anything, he should be helping with said lessons, though he would rather be focusing on locating the gate. They would be getting lessons, now? Lessons in demon hunting, hopefully. That was Amon's first guess. Even if that wasn't it, it was probably better if he just focused on Steinn's suggested gate locations ... and try to come up with his own rationale for said locations while he was at it ... "I think that's all for now then." Amon actually did have some questions about the demons, but they were already pushing their luck, and any minor slip ups could draw the Hikibain's attention to Canaan or unravel the Weyland mystery. They already had to worry about Anna and what she may or may not reveal, so Amon decided to shelf the issue. If they got some tips on demons, that would be the perfect time to ask some more important questions about them.
  9. Megumi glanced to Olivia when she asked about the SKIN suits, the scanner still running on Christina. "Yes, we'll be taking them off once I know what we're dealing with, here." This particular scanner was a handheld, but just as bulky and almost as stupid looking as a 1950s depiction of a ray gun, and its passes would highlight any anomalies in the subject's bone structure for the medical staff's convenience. "Alright, onto Lieutenant Kim ..." She moved over to the next bed. "Remove Christina's suit but do it very carefully. Cut away anything that's stuck and clean and treat the wounds. Keep in mind there might be burns on her back as well, and remember to keep her head stable while you're working." The gowns could go on once they were finished with any burns. "That's fine," Firmia said, a phrase she would probably only be using once this conversation. Forwarding the data to Brant to get his thoughts was indeed fine. What came next, however ... <"... what ... the f--what the crap?! You're equipped for THAT?!"> What were her designers thinking? Weren't the HAn4 models for colony defense or something to that effect? What did they need the bedroom equipment for? Incomprehensible design choices aside, at least this Galatea program was starting to make a certain kind of sense. Better said, it seemed to fit with these extra functions Hannah possessed. As for why the program and these functions existed in the first place, Firmia didn't have a clue. <"I don't understand ...> I ... don't even know how to respond to that ..." Hannah was starting to remind her of an assassin gynoid, perfectly suited to killing, but just as good with feminine infiltration tactics like seduction. Perhaps the HAn4s were meant to be as versatile as possible, to fulfill a large variety of potential roles. Kind of like the mass production Throne model. It was easier to chalk it up to that for now, than come up with some other reason for a colony defense machine to have a synthetic reproductive apparatus installed neatly between her thighs. Yep. Much easier. "Like I said," Firmia winced, "even if it's unpleasant, I'd rather know than not know." Battleship armor? Firmia suddenly beamed with excitement. She hadn't been holding out any hope for a sample from the Chaldene. Sure, it had engaged the Riese directly for a couple of minutes, but she expected the fragments to be too damaged to properly analyze, or too big for the Mantle to carry. It felt a bit like cheating; the Regalia and Mantle hadn't engaged the battleship, so they didn't have even the flimsiest of claims to the debris other than first come first served. Still, there was probably some other pieces left for the salvage team, anyway. There wasn't anything left of the Hunters Brant had gunned down, so they didn't have a lot of options from their own kills. Not that Hunter salvage would necessarily aid the AMS units, anyway ... "Yeah, bring it back here," Firmia said, not bothering to keep the elation out of her tone. Messing with battleship components would be well worth it if they learned anything useful. The other Legionary pilot got up there fast. "Brant Abrams," the TK introduced himself. The situation seemed to handle itself from there, at least to a point. Brant wouldn't need to try either of Buck's codes, but he might still have to carry Hicks, so he only got as 'out of the way' as he needed to in order to let Aliza be the first to check on her squad mate. He could carry Hannah--with some serious effort--so Hicks shouldn't be a problem. Brant hadn't sensed much of anything from the man in a while, so seeing him passed out in the pilot's seat wasn't surprising. "Well that's not good ..." Fortunately, they did have an infirmary exactly one deck up. "Yeah, we have one. I'll go ahead and get him up there."
  10. Dining Hall "I think I'm going to ask the Grand Marshall," Tatiana answered her sister, glancing at the floor, "She's the highest ranking officer in the army and she was the one that called this meeting. I'll take a little heat for being so forward, but it might work. She likely won't go with us herself, though. More likely she'll send someone she trusts to give a fair assessment. Maybe we'll get lucky and she'll pick Aleksey. Even if not, someone's better than no one. Whoever we take, we'll have to get the general discussion postponed, first." Reign sighed just thinking about how the instructors at Horizon would botch Sirius' training. It wasn't enough for them to treat every student the same way, at their own detriment, but they would just have to try and give her that killer instinct, the army's mages were known for. Given how important Sirius' state of mind was, that was the last thing they needed. "Well, I do welcome the help," he shrugged. Capital Sky Vali looked a little perplexed at first. "Siblings are ... rare," he began, choosing his words carefully, "Parents raise child, then go separate ways. Sometimes they come back together. Sometimes not." Dragons were purportedly rare, though Gabbie thought that had less to do with birthrates and more to do with the ridiculously high number of them present in the Neviskotian military. If siblings were rare, then most dragon pairings were only raising one child at a time. If not for their long lifespans, they likely wouldn't be able to keep their numbers stable over time. The constant wars couldn't be doing them any favors. ... were dragons an endangered species? Sure there numbers weren't on a rapid decline--there would be an uproar and they would have heard about it on the way in--but there were still comparatively few of them. It was an interesting thought ... a sobering thought.
  11. Megumi stopped herself from sighing at the sight of Lieutenant Kim being moved into the opposing elevator and focused on Christina for the moment. She was breathing, and breathing normally. Her pulse was good. That left the finer details, only some of which Megumi could check within the confines of the lift. Carefully, she checked the Christina for any signs of broken bones or hard spots from internal injuries. Nothing so far but like usual, the doctor wouldn't let anything pass without a thorough scan, especially not after a spectacular clash like that. Those SKIN suits were coming off once they were inside the infirmary, one way or another, so the Megumi made a mental note to grab a pair of gowns at some point. When the elevator doors opened, Megumi lead the way into the infirmary and pointed out the nearest two beds. There was no reason to be picky, right now. Next, she got herself some nice gloves for the delicate work ahead. Unless the girls wanted fresh scars and uneven hairs in certain places, they would need a little cosmetic treatment once the danger had passed. "Set them both down carefully. Don't move their heads anymore than necessary." Scanner get! "Alright, prepare to start cleaning up the wounds while I check for anything serious." Hopefully there weren't any fractures; Megumi wasn't getting her hopes up. Firmia put the names in a search engine as they came. "It's fine to talk about it," she assured Hannah. Really, the last thing Firmia wanted was to avoid potentially useful information. It didn't really matter if it was pleasant or not; life as a whole was rather unpleasant for the moment. "Okay let's see ..." ... it just figured that Tabitha was an expert in AI development. Firmia probably could have gotten most of what she was seeing here directly from Brant. Even without a T-Link, Firmia could sense much of the surrounding people now that the Artemis was asleep. She hit a few keys and the Reign's imaging system switched back to its native view, revealing that the hangar was starting to get rather crowded. "How many suits can this ship carry?" Firmia murmured. Someone was going to get stepped on or punted at this rate. It looked like the Regalia had just finished half dragging, half shoving the Legionary into one of the vacant spots. A small part of her wanted to see if Brant could head back out and help Hannah pick up some samples, but Firmia quickly dismissed the idea. Better to let him finish helping with the silent Legionary. "Well," Firmia focused back on Hannah, again, forwarding the initial searches to her, "that's what turned up so far. This seems like a Brant issue, so I'll have him or Sasha look more into those two, later." Normally she'd do it herself, but she was getting busier all the time. Not only was there the Reign's upgrade to personally oversee, but she also had to figure out how to make the Mantle more Hannahproof. Making the Regalia more Brantproof didn't seem like a bad idea, either. If they got enough samples from the Cressidas, the shields on both suits could probably be upgraded, soon. "Whew," Brant breathed. "Wait, why am I tired? My suit did all the work." It was some delicate piloting, admittedly. "Hey, Hicks. ... still alive?" No response, yet, but at this point, Brant was only calling to Hicks in the hopes his voice would eventually pull the man back to consciousness. The Legionary was propped up to its neutral standing position, but the suit hadn't been powered down, so hopefully Hicks didn't eventually slump over onto the controls. If he was harnessed properly, it shouldn't be an issue, but it was better to be cautious. Being cautious, Brant kept the Regalia between the Legionary and the rest of the hangar. Keeping one arm firmly pressed against the Legionary, and setting up the other's hand to act as a bridge between cockpits, Brant exited the Regalia and stepped out onto the open palm. "Abrams here," Brant radio'd Buck, "I've got no idea what the override codes for this Legionary are. If you'd rather someone else take care of this, I can get out of your way, but this thing is still online, and Hicks is still out cold."
  12. Dining Hall "I hadn't heard anything about it until you all showed up," Tatiana explained. "All most people know about Fox is that he's abnormally dangerous for a fleet commander. The navy has been trying to capture or kill him for years and they rarely get him in their sights." Jethro shrugged. "He's not much to look at, but Cygnus respects him. The guy was practically running the meeting when we were there." Reign didn't even have a frame of reference for Fox just yet, so he focused on Lysandra's offer. "We'd both appreciate it, though ... I'm not sure how helpful it would be. Sirius isn't an ordinary magic user." Neither was he, but the devil was in the details. The fire mage had to acquire this strange Gestalt Order to become a mage that could teach the growing vasilus properly. If he hadn't gotten that rune, it was anyone's guess as to how effective he would have been. Even now, Reign wasn't sure he would be all that effective a teacher. It wouldn't be for a lack of trying, in either case. Capital Sky "Yes, we have lots of good things here," Vali answered broadly. He took a moment to put together a more detailed answer as they flew along. "Let's see ... some of us live away from cities. Others live in outskirts where property is spacious. Village dragons have best living conditions, I think. I remember a citizen being allowed to have two assistants paid for by government. Assistants do business for you and go to places too small for adults. Military servicedrakes can have ten assistants paid for by government. Costin has home assistant, but Tudor company helps us. 'Worker benefits.'" Interpreting the answer, Gabbie concluded that these assistants were personal aids assigned to dragons to handle their day to day business for them. Why a military dragon needed as many as ten of them was beyond her, but perhaps being away on deployment might require a larger staff to handle things back at home. Some of these assistants might even go on deployment with them, come to think of it. What stuck out most to Gabbie was that these aids were paid for by the government. Neviskotia's dragons seemed to get some extremely favorable treatment. It was no wonder, given their raw power and all around usefulness.
  13. Promise she wouldn't be upset? Firmia spent a moment in silence wondering if Hannah was about to make a confession about some technical issue with the Mantle. Perhaps something so obvious that it would be impossible for her to overlook when she next inspected the machine. That didn't seem to be the case, though, not with the information she already had direct access to. Admittedly there could be something that wasn't in the feed, something she would only discover by being there in the cockpit, but Hannah didn't seem nearly so clumsy as to cause any sort of mechanical problem. As the android continued to elaborate, it began to sound less and less related to the Mantle, and Firmia's worries began to subside, a little. Even so, it had to be something serious enough that Hannah would want to have Firmia prepared to rein in her gut reaction to it. That warranted a minimum of concern. "No promises, but I'll hear you out ..." Firmia eventually said. With that, Firmia listened to the rest of Hannah's explanation ... and goodness was that an unexpected function. Emotions, sure. Maybe they would be useful somewhere, sometime. Sexual attraction, though? Who thought it would be a good idea to make an android with the capacity for that ...? "... Hannah, who exactly designed you?" Firmia managed to suppress the rest of her feelings on the issue, which could have only been articulated as mild critique of the crew in general. She thought it helpful not to use the word 'made' in her question, since the distinction between builder and designer was as important here as the distinction between a construction worker and an architect. She wanted to ask what they were thinking while she was at it, but Hannah obviously didn't know, at least not where this Galatea program was concerned. ((OoC: Did what I could manage. Brant and Megumi will be covered later. Not in this post lol))
  14. Return of the Emblem Chapter Fifteen: Alliance

    Meeting The trouble with asking Anna was that she would either prove not to be a credible source, by sticking to Weyland's story, or get found out and endanger the mission via Kigen's demon policies. At least that's what Amon thought. He hoped word alone would be enough, but ... well, he could barely trust himself to keep things straight, so he wasn't sure what to expect from the red haired agent, given how much information she had to keep track of. "Alright then. I guess we'll focus on getting some good locations to check while you talk to Anna." She was out searching for Norbert right now, wasn't she? She probably wouldn't be back for a little while. "I don't think she's here right now, though." "She's out searching for Bert," Shadrak chimed in with a sigh.
  15. Return of the Emblem Chapter Fifteen: Alliance

    Bad Ideas What Daichi needed was a tall order at least so long as they had to keep some of what they knew to themselves. Talk about working with both of your hands tied. Something sprang unbidden to Amon's mind as he tried to think of something they could use while keeping a safe distance from Steinn and Siv. He didn't even want to think about them right now, lest he accidentally let something damning slip. What came to mind was actually worse than that, of course ... Canaan. Still, it wasn't the worst idea he could have come up with on the spot. Canaan was a demon, and if they could find some way to reveal him without getting him killed--or getting themselves killed--that would definitely convince anyone that saw it. Could they possibly set up a scenario like that without looking suspicious? Canaan showing up right when they needed some kind of proof that there was a gate building operation going was far too convenient; they were in Arugai, not the wilderness, and not any other places it made sense for a demon to suddenly show up. Granted, Amon wasn't really sure where demons ought to show up ... ... This was tough to think about. "Well, I don't have any good ideas, just yet," Amon noted, leaving a hint for anyone that might want to take chime with their own ideas or inquire what his bad ideas were. In the latter case, he could just explain how finding a demon far from fallen territory would be useful in validating their claims. Anyone but Daichi should quickly realize that he was hinting at Canaan, see what they thought about that, and how plausible a staged attack seemed. "I'll go with you to meet the Emperor if that's what you need, though."