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About Phoenix

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    Preener, Percher, Purchaser
  • Birthday 12/31/1988

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    Personal Growth, writing, fighter jets, women, philosophy, explosions, anime, etc.
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    Las Vegas, Nevada

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  • Favorite Fire Emblem Game
    Fates: Revelation

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  1. The amount of energy in a closed spaceship seemed to remain constant, since as Elaine began to calm down somewhat, things ahead of them were seeming more and more frantic. Maybe Chris had figured out what was wrong with Kim and was explaining it to her. Brant wasn't quite close enough to hear them clearly, not while they were in the hangar. He'd just have to get filled in once they reached the lifts. There was also clearly something going on behind them but Brant didn't want to focus on too many things at once. He was already mentally worn out from the fighting. Brant was kind of surprised to be thanked over something like this. He may have been living on and sortieing from the Avalon now, but he hadn't forgotten about her and B1A2. Elaine must have felt fairly isolated by this point. A bit strange with all the new people running around, but maybe she wasn't as good at making friends. Not everyone was as extroverted as Brant was or as magnetic as Firmia. "No problem, and sorry I haven't stopped by in a while or called. Still some bad memories with this place I'm working through. For now let's get up to the infirmary."
  2. Aeon - The Odyssey

    By the time they reached Megasim #2, the shape of the crowd was beginning to change, with some obvious Mewlanie fans arriving from every direction. After Motherloader introduced Hitomi to one of the service bots roaming about and making sure it kept the machine waiting, Hitomi rented a flightsuit on the spot and went to change into it. She didn't want to waste anymore time getting ready. That left the others to grab the closest available machines they could find. Along the way to what passed for a changing room--the ladies room, she got a few new messages, and Hitomi was thankful she'd thought to mark all of the Odyssey hopefuls as important. Otherwise she wouldn't have known to check Aska's message. Apparently he'd managed to get his hands on Megasim #3. That meant they would be playing right next to each other ... despite being a couple of hundred feet apart physically. Still interesting, and they had a more coherent slice of Stratus set aside for themselves this way, nothing like the scattered clusters she'd been expecting. A clerk handed Hitomi a flightsuit and helmet right outside her destination. Just like her Battlenet uniform and the compak she'd ridden to Batcon, the flightsuit had a bronze theme to it with emerald green and white accents. Hitomi got herself completely changed in about 90 seconds. Again, she didn't want to waste anymore time getting ready, and she was well practiced at this. She bolted out of the impromptu changing room and made a beeline for Megasim #2. "I'm back!" Addressing no one in particular, Hitomi let the serving bot direct her to a particular view port. That was when the simulator cockpit unfastened itself from the top of the megasim's inner chamber and silently drifted toward them in midair. The view port waited until the cockpit had reached it before a perfectly measured section of it dislodged itself and slid up into the ceiling above, leaving nothing but apprehension standing between Hitomi and the cockpit's controls. This was it. A lot of people were going to be watching her in particular. She didn't know how Mewlanie's fans would feel about her not using one of the megasims, while a relatively unknown like her got one. Maybe she could make it up to them by putting on a very good show of teamwork. Surely batting aside a few attacks meant for everyone's favorite catgirl would win over some folks. With a PR game plan coming together, Hitomi stepped into the cockpit and sat down. From the look of things, Stratus had already modified the control surfaces to more closely match her own. That data was mixed in with her Battlenet information, and so any affiliates could access it to tailor things for her. The serving bot took a moment to inspect the cockpit from the outside, a safety precaution before closing it and allowing the megasim to take over. Hitomi put her harness on a few seconds after sittng down, figuring the serving bot wouldn't have cleared her for sortie before that. Once the machine was satisfied and certain there wouldn't be any fatalities or lawsuits, it started off for parts unknown and the cockpit locked down. The viewport slid back into place, and once everything was locked in tight, the cockpit began to drift away from the gathering audience on the main floor, and toward the center of the inner chamber. Hitomi got a prompt from the cockpit asking her which of her frames she wanted to load up for the game. There was her classic Bronze Bullet from her first real attempt at professional play, and there was Bronze Bullet S2, her refined, yet incomplete variant. This one was meant for her second season in Battlenet, hence the S2 in the name. Despite not being complete, the frame was quite serviceable. More importantly it was a Shi Tou variant, unlike the original, which was based on the Alliance Integral. Anyone who noticed would likely peg her as either a team mom, a bodyguard, or a [REDACTED] duelist. Well, if she was going to put on a good show, she might as well give everyone her best. Hitomi selected the S2 version and as soon as she did, the megasim lit up around the cockpit as smart cells raced into the inner chamber from countless hidden nozzles. They raced up and around the cockpit propelled by unseen forces and began to take on the shape of a life sized frame. They only needed ten seconds to manifest the Bronze Bullet S2, rendering it at its true to life scale and with all of its current equipment. In addition to the smart cells forming the frame, the appearance of the simulator changed, giving off the impression that the S2 was standing on part of a warship's inner catapult mechanism. It seemed like she was ready to launch at any time. "Okay," Hitomi mused to herself as the others loaded up their own frames, "I guess I'll let Linus decide whether we fight inside the colony or in space." She switched on her comms to speak to the rest of the group. "How is everyone? Are you ready for this? Remember, this is about seeing how well we work together. Don't worry about how many kills you're getting." ... not that Soldaats were difficult to take down, but the numbers they would be facing here could see some casualties on their side, especially if anyone got reckless. "Ready on my end, Beebs! Let's [REDACTED] these monoeyed rejects!" Motherloader, of course. "Don't show off, okay?" She didn't know why, but Hitomi was the most worried about Motherloader. He thought highly of himself and this was an all too tempting opportunity for pride to creep in and get the better of someone. After thinking about it, she supposed her feelings came from the effort he was putting in. Despite being annoying, Motherloader was going out of his way to help. He even spent his 'bribing' funds securing Megasim #2 for her. If he couldn't perform in-game then that was that, but she did want to give him a fair shake going forward at the very least. Him making an amateur mistake just because they were facing Soldaats ... now that would just be sad. [Redactions courtesy of Eupraxia I.]
  3. Aeon - The Odyssey

    "In that case ..." Hitomi scanned her surroundings, wondering where she might get her hands on a flight suit. She hadn't been to Stratus last year or ever, really, so she didn't know her way around. Better to go find Motherloader first, anyway. "Right, need to make sure Motherloader doesn't lose the megasim, and then I'll worry about getting changed." Over by a serving desk, there were a few clerks working. Two were AIs, both male, and almost indistinguishable from humans despite a few subtle tells in their appearance. Their perfectly even hair and lack of complex, yet very tiny muscle movements in the face were giveaways for the observant. The third clerk was a human, also male, and also less impressive looking than his colleagues. One of the AIs was moving to address Aska, but the human clerk rushed over, and for one reason or another, forced the AI to go back to waiting around. "A timeslot you said? #3 or #7?" The clerk checked his monitor behind the console, his voice alone causing the thing to pull up some of the relevant information for him. "Huh, that's strange. Uh, yeah, no one's reserved the 18:00 ..." It was strange to him since while there did tend to be random timeslots available, this was a fairly large convention, and anything available within the next eight to ten hours just seemed unlikely, especially with only seven megasims available to start with. Someone probably cancelled, but the clerk doubted a guy who'd just whipped out a wallet was willing to wait another six and a half hours. Megasim #7 was a bit better but not much so, with two free times before Megasim #3's 18:00 timeslot, one at 14:30, and another at 16:00. The 14:30 one disappeared before the clerk could even tell Aska about it ... This was hopeless. "I've got a suggestion for you. Why not check the play times listed on the sim you want and see who's got it. Then you can call them up and make a bid for it. Otherwise, earliest I've got right now is #7 at 16:00 this afternoon. It's a bit after eleven right now, so ... yeah."
  4. Megumi glanced over at Olivia, who'd just gone face first into a book. No, they were going to be a bit too busy for this. "It's not time for a break just yet. I need you to help me get Christina to a bed once the SIEG tank drains. After that, we'll need to get a couple of the scanners ready to see if there are any detectable changes in Kim's brain. If there's anything strange, I might be able to isolate the cause, and if not, then we'll have a few things ruled out, at least. Come on." The doctor glanced at Nina next. "Unless you want to help move her to a bed, that is ... though, Bennet, you can still get those scanners ready for me. And Tambre, get a sedative for Elaine ... just in case." 'Panicking' was the captain's description, which covered a good range, from shaky knees and chattering teeth to flailing and hysterical wailing. Just in case, indeed. Firmia frowned when Akilina asked after her. Angry was a bit of an understatement. She'd killed some people--aliens. There was also the situation with the Mark IIIs driving some of that fury. The mere fact that Jessica and Abigail were sharing a bed made those criminals untouchable until the war was over. Even the enemy couldn't even deal with them when all was said and done, and the diplomatic immunity they shared with Abigail was unassailable, regardless of who they killed to get those machines. Add to this that they needed all the manpower they could get for the assault on Apotheosis, and these people were in for a pardon. It didn't matter if it was Vance or Alphonse, Firmia could easily see both handwaving the incident for one reason or another. At least, this was how the pieces tended to fall in the Alkaev's mind as she explored the angles. Regardless of Colony One and the subsequent smash and grab, this wouldn't really be important until the debriefing, anyway. Right now Firmia was just remorseful for how out of control her emotions had gotten. First the funnels, then Vance, and then that damn miracle ... "I'm sorry, Aki," Firmia sighed at the floor as the girls started off, "We accomplished quite a bit, but ... it was still kind of a bad day. There's still a lot to go, too ... but I'll try to keep calm. I'll be fine." Once they had left the room, Firmia tried one more time to smile, only managing a faint grin that was just as brief as the first one. "I'm not sure how she was able to keep it hidden, but I don't think my grandfather anticipated us rescuing them, so it doesn't matte anymore. No matter how strong she gets, no one's going to be able to take advantage of her ... especially not with Brant around." Right, there was still work to do. "I need to figure out exactly what kind of help we'll be getting. Do you think Galatea can check their data covertly when I call them? We've got enough space to copy their data, so I want to do that if we can avoid getting caught in the act." In addition to understanding the capabilities of 'the help,' Firmia was also interested in getting a readout of the Rebellion in whatever its current state was. If things went south before, during, or after their final mission, they could use that data to more easily bring down Rex and put him in the cell next to Carlos. It felt like a pipe dream; Rex wasn't stupid enough to act while at a disadvantage ... but still, it was a nice thought, those two sitting in her brig, getting properly acquainted at long last~ And here was Galatea, ready for some good old fashioned cyber sleuthing. Or maybe she was going to get the information by just talking? "What's your hurry?" Sasha grinned apologetically. "Actually ..." he decided to pull that question out for a better one while he looked up the contact information on the console, "Are you going in there Alkaev Journal style or just going to ask for details? If it's the former--" There it was, the address Stan had used, "You mind doing me a favor and retrieving anything you can find on their mobile suits and weapons?" The ANF was ahead of the EU technologically, but cultures and design philosophy were unique, and every little bit of insight was potentially useful. Inspiration came in from all corners of the globe.
  5. That was ... good, Megumi thought. It was a bigger reaction than she was expecting, but ... good. "... good," the doctor put in, again. As for Christina and her condition, the doctor estimated she would be out for at least another twenty minutes if she wasn't deliberately woken up. There wasn't much need for it, but the option to resuscitate her was there. "I'm about finished here," Megumi began, "It could be as much as half an hour if I let her come to on her own, which I'd suggest doing. Otherwise I can wake her as soon as she's moved to a bed. As far as her pain levels, I'd like to think I did a good job. She shouldn't need painkillers unless I took too long. She will be a bit tender regardless, but likely nothing as bad as worrying everyone. That will probably bother her a lot more." And on went the last bandage. Reconstruction was complete, the surgery was over ... and more company was on the way, apparently. Word arrived from the captain on the doctor's comm that they had more people inbound. Elaine was panicking which sounded more like a Cheryl problem unless she needed sedating, and Seung-Min had a headache ... which sounded like more than just a headache if it was even worth mentioning. "Whether or not I did a good job, the timing was definitely good," Megumi said, disengaging the SIEG tank's surgical equipment after getting the bandage in place. The machine started taking some fresh readings on its own, so the doctor took a step back and started to think out loud. "I'm not sure what Louise Park is doing here or how she survived in the first place ... possibly another clone ... but Elaine is freaking out about it and is on the way here. So is Lieutenant Kim, for some reason. Be ready for that, I suppose ..." The lieutenant's issues occupied more of the doctors thoughts at the moment. What could be wrong with her exactly? She wished it was as simple as a headache. Then she'd just be handing out pills when the girl made time to stop by. Megumi knew it had to be more than just a simple headache, but until Kim showed up, she couldn't do much more than speculate. In her limited experience, the TKs having headaches usually had something to do with their abilities. Esther and her woes as a 'cyber' TK came to mind. Her headaches and other looming symptoms had been addressed with the Triexanth they threw together. "... it would be convenient if we could shoot two wolves with that silver bullet, but I need to examine her first ..." Firmia was almost afraid to make anymore calls today. Seriously, what next? Did Dima have a fresh challenge for the young heiress she needed to act on in the next ten minutes? Was Rosa dead too and the clock now ticking down to Brant's next big bout with depression? With the leader of the ANF dead and gone, Firmia wouldn't be surprised by anything that happened over the comms. "Herm ..." Firmia cleared her throat and then began trying to piece her schedule back together. She'd been planning to get everything ready for the debriefing ... but that was a ways off. Priorities were being shifted around again as the Alkaev rebuilt the agenda bit by bit. "A salvage operation in the ocean isn't going to work very well with just the six drones and the Riese's people, but we still have to save what we can." How much could they get before everything that didn't float fell to crush depth? Firmia supposed they were going to find out ... "Captain, it's Sasha. Hope I'm not interrupting anything." Sasha ought to be too busy to call at a time like this unless it was an emergency. Either he was the vector for the next round of bad news, or he was getting awfully good at delegating to the mechanics. "What is it?" Firmia asked, sighing in anticipation. She even frowned at her siblings and Hannah. "Stan just called a few minutes ago. And before you ask, I answered because it's about the war. Apparently he and Rex have been trying to reach us for days now." Rex had been trying to get through for about five days now, yes. Firmia made sure Galatea 'kept the ringer silent' on his calls. Using Stan instead was a smart play. The Alkaev's frown turned into a bitter scowl. "What do they want?" "To help us take down Apotheosis. EU's getting their asses handed to them so they want better odds of surviving. I'm pretty sure it's just one ship, but you can get back to them about the details." Firmia had to wonder if it was even worth it. If this group couldn't survive fighting Apotheosis by themselves, wouldn't they just die immediately when they went up against the best those monsters had left to offer? The idea made sense on paper, but it seemed to her they had far better odds of getting out of this alive if they just laid low. As things stood, they would be one more ally to have to look after in the final battle. Before she'd gotten a feel for warfare and some experience, Firmia would have seen an extra ship from a borderline enemy faction as mere cannon fodder, but now ...? This was a joint effort to take out Apotheosis with or without them, but seeing an allied ship go down would be devastating to morale. They couldn't let that happen. So the real problem with this idea was whether or not Stan's new friends and Rex could pull their own weight. Firmia didn't want to speculate on it when she could get actual information to work with, though. She had something in mind for that, too. "Oh and by the way, from what I gathered, some of them are defecting to the ANF, so at some point you're going to have to pass this along to the Riese." "Of course," Firmia sighed again. "I'll call my father back in a few minutes. You focus on getting everything in the hangar sorted because we're still running a salvage operation." "Right. Anything else?" "We're keeping the Luna, and it's staying in tact in case we find a way to deploy it in the next battle, so find a place for it." "I can already see our techs drooling. We'll take care of it." With that call ended, Firmia carefully stood up. "... help from my father ... Rex ... and the EU ... ... I'm not sure how I feel about this, honestly." Louise had been untouchable before, due to that barrier of hers, but now her entire body seemed at least Hannah grade, which meant they definitely had to put up with her this time. Of course that was only really a problem for Brant personally due to that cocky, too easily amused, personality of hers. Things were less grating when they were shooting at each other to be perfectly honest, but at least for now Jessica had a handle on things, and Brant, Chris, Elaine, and Kim could head up to the infirmary. And speaking of Elaine, she wasn't going to be easy to deal with right now. She looked scared, felt scared, and said as much. "Just breathe," Brant instructed, trying to simultaneously help her up and keep at least one reassuring hand on her shoulder, though he started with one on each. Even though the mole situation was just about resolved, the dust hadn't yet settled, and Brant realized that Elaine could still get caught up in that if the all too talkative Louise decided to comment on it. If there was a way to calm Elaine down more quickly, and just get through this without drawing more attention to her, Brant didn't know how. "It's not as bad as you think," he said, trying his best not to be specific. He wasn't sure if that was good enough with Louise right there. Even the distraction of Alriana trying to straight up take her out wouldn't be in effect for long. Elaine's best bet for now was to get up and get moving, so Brant focused most of his attention on guiding her to her feet and toward the lifts. Hopefully they would have the first lift up and Louise would take a separate one to the brig. After that ... well, it was up to Louise when and if she wanted to incriminate Elaine, but Brant was starting to wonder how Louise's revival contextualized the situation. He didn't get far in his musing however, as a somewhat more important thought struck him at roughly the same time. It was essentially what they were doing here. It wasn't much, but rather than wallowing in misery, Brant was taking on a task that needed doing, and Chris was doing the same. This situation sucked, especially with the Mark IIIs and that powerful Sacarian still out there somewhere, but their personal problems were out of the way, now. The havoc they could wreak over them was minimal. Things were far from resolved, but being an effective team on and off the battlefield and dealing with the rest in private would be worth writing a book about.
  6. A promise? That was oddly comforting. It took a moment for Megumi to realize why. Siblings, whether clones or natural, looking after each in this way, that was certainly a good thing. Being a clone herself, the sentiment resonated with her. Even if Christina was the unluckiest person on the ship, she was far from alone or unimportant. "Don't forget that promise," Megumi grinned microscopically as she worked. "It doesn't seem likely they would try that again anyway," the doctor offered her assistant. Not much more to go now ... "Almost finished .... Don't bother crossing your fingers. We're beyond anything I'd consider life threatening or dangerous." Sure enough, the wound on Christina's leg was effectively closed. Only the dermal and epidermal layers needed resurfacing, now. Aftermath Just Sasha's luck ... "Finally, we've gotten through," Stan with a smile as his face appeared on Sasha's console, "Firmia must still be sore with Rex." "I'm still sore with you," Sasha scowled, "Now tell me what you two had in mind and I'll see if Firmia's interested." Stan took a moment to stroke his chin, leaving Sasha annoyed in silence. "Hmm ... well, there isn't much in the way of details. The crew I'm with is getting a bit tired of losing ground, and following things up with a suicide mission ... well that's been unanimously frowned on. The captain's interested in joining the ANF's assault on Apotheosis. There are some solid defectors in it for you. Myself included~" "Yeah, I'm still wondering how you people found out about that ..." Stan shrugged with an exaggerated expression. "You'd have to ask the captain. I think we're running out of time to set up a proper rendezvous. Rex has been trying to make contact for days now. If it's not too much trouble, I'd appreciate it if you could establish a line of communication between the Athena and the Riese, as well. Coordination looks like it's going to be key to making this all work." "Need to tell the boss first, but I'll see what I can do," Sasha agreed, "You people need to be ready for calls from us at any time, though." "Now that we've gone AWOL, there isn't much keeping us busy," Stan mused, "We'll be waiting." Sasha ended the call and leaned away from the console. "... EU defectors, huh? ... survivalists more like it." Firmia tried to smile, but couldn't find the energy for it this time. "Good ..." she said, narrowly above a whisper, "That's what I ... need from all of you." The thought still hounded her. Why were things like this? If there were any justice in the world, Vance would be alive, and people like her mother, grandfather, and those rebels from the attack on Colony One would all be ashes in the wind. Not to mention the Sacarians and their entire war machine. I need more ... more technology. More training. More power. Enough to finally be in control. Nothing else will help us ... The tears had stopped, but now Firmia felt more frustrated than anything. She wiped her face with her free had and tried to return her siblings' embraces as best she could. "... I'm wasting time ... I can't sit here crying ..." Well, at least they knew what was going on, but ... damn. "Louise ..." Brant exhaled irritably as thoughts of his awful day at the artificial beach and the battle that followed flashed in front of him. Brant didn't have a clue how Louise wound up like this, or if this was even truly Louise. Either way, the situation didn't look dangerous just yet, but between Elaine and Seung-Min, they had some serious lingering problems. In Elaine's case, the fear she was giving off likely had as much to do with her secret talks with Louise being exposed as the enemy pilot's unexpected revival. Louise certainly liked to talk, after all. In Seung-Min's case ... that T-Link she pressed on with during the battle, and whatever lingering effects had her practically on the ground ... "We need to get Kim to Doctor Amparo," Brant looked at Chris. He wasn't quite sure what to do for Elaine other than get some real distance between her and Louise ... after getting her up off the ground too, of course. "Elaine ..." Brant knelt down close to her, "Try to stay calm, alright? Relax and breathe." He really couldn't blame her for panicking; she'd just seen a ghost--been hugged by a ghost, even.
  7. Closing up Christina's leg was proving much simpler than her chest, it being a somewhat less complicated part of the body. It likely wouldn't even feel tender for as long. The girl would certainly be able to walk out of the infirmary unassisted. If only ferreting out moles and smacking down invading aliens were so simple. "Be sure to keep a close eye on her," Megumi said. While it could have been taken as medical advice--and in part it was--the doctor meant in general. Clearly one person wasn't enough. The doctor thought about her assistant's comment for a moment, trying to come up with some fresh methods of attack. Nothing had been quite so effective as smashing the Almydis into the hull and having Alriana make a beeline for the bridge after boring into the ship. The automated defenses, along with Tiffany, just hadn't been enough. Not by a long shot. "Mmm ... I'd say three more stygusians ramming the ship and boarding would be the end of us." Honestly though, she was expecting an oversized cannon to down the Riese, not more costly boarding attempts. It was definitely Stan Alkaev trying to get in touch with him, Sasha realized. Stan's message wasn't even about Sasha beyond the pleasantries. He was more interested in the operation the ANF was conducting. The fact that he seemed to know something about it was suspicious, but he wouldn't get much in the way of answers without replying. Rather than calling the man, Sasha opted to send back a text of his own. Sasha kept it short and to the point, hoping Stan wouldn't waste too much of his time being chatty. A brief back and forth was definitely his preference with the man. "What are you up to ...?" Sasha squinted at the console as he sent his reply off onto the network. It felt strange for Firmia, hearing her siblings asking her what they could do to help. In the case of Vance, literally nothing. The pain of loss wasn't going away anytime soon, and the most important ally she had in the ANF was gone, completely redefining the organization and her alliance with it. Firmia was by no means going to change course now, but the fewer trustworthy people in the organization, the harder it would be to help steer the whole ship. This was far beyond her siblings. It was far beyond Firmia as well, for the time being. The Alkaev stared uselessly at the floor as she tried to find something she could say to everyone. As much as she tried to beat back the sudden flashes of an Avalon overwhelmed by war, they came, and they were relentless. "P-please just ... be careful. I can't ... protect everyone ... not even here ... not after the war ... There's just ... too much coming ..." She had to say something: Be careful. Know that in the future, the Avalon would be operating independently. They only had more enemies in front of them, not less, and so on. "I need everyone to survive ... please. If everyone close to me winds up dying, then ... why even ... what's the point of any of this ...?" Brant had a feeling, a hope, that at least partially mending Firmia's relationship with Rosa would take some of the heat off of Jessica, though not all of it. Until the threat of hot death was no longer looming over them, the Alkaev was going to be under a minimum amount of stress, and that didn't leave much room for error for the Riese's captain. Brant could feel Chris shifting unnaturally away from her anger and that was his cue that she needed something to focus on. That was why he wasn't going to bring up Rosa or anything else that would just make it tougher on her. There was still the matter of how to help Chris out with that problem, though. "I guess if they perfect the clones they'd be pretty dangerous, but I'm not as worried about a fight breaking out on the Riese now that the moles are gone." A small part of Brant wanted him to ask if Chris was sure there were only the three yet again, but that was pointless and probably insulting. There probably only were the three, and if there were any more than that, she had no way of knowing. "Plus, they've got basically four androids and Alriana if something did happen." ... and not much was coming to mind. As they landed and started down toward the hangar, Brant started mentally preparing himself for anything and everything he could possibly encounter here. They were mainly here to see Christina and maybe get some information, but between the Prioxis pilot and the aftermath of that brutal backstab--not to mention Abigail's crew being alive and active ... they were in for quite the circus. Once again, Brant was faced with the decision of where to sit the Regalia. He decided to get as far out of the way as possible, and knelt the machine down near a used dock. They were a bit far from anything noteworthy though, unfortunately. The rest of the way was going to be on foot. There was one thing that was a little noteworthy. The Avalon's six drones had just left the Luna where they'd brought it and were all awkwardly making their way toward the elevator. Their feet were extremely minimalist in design, and so their foot falls were loud and clanky, and each's individual gait was just downright childlike. They could hover with almost no effort, but were probably saving their energy. If that was the case, then either the Luna was staying on the Riese, or Firmia planned to get it later ... "Alright, let's go," Brant said, powering down the unneeded systems and opening the hatch and cockpit one after the other. The drones' footsteps got even louder as they passed and bunched up in the elevator. If that wasn't silly enough, Brant also had a good chuckle when the main monitor both visually and audibly began cleaning up behind him, locking out almost every system he'd neglected to shutdown. The Regalia hadn't transformed into a brick per se, but it wasn't moving again without at least one of its crew, or a good crane. No doubt Firmia had come up with and implemented these security blanket features in her sleep or something. They were better than the old manual lockouts but ... mostly just amusing. The pair of pilots rode down the lift together, reaching the ground floor in one smooth motion, and from there it was a straight shot to whatever craziness was unfolding on the Riese.
  8. It seemed like all of Christina's clones were TKs. Well that was a surefire way of mass producing TK pilots then, Megumi noted as she continued her work on her patient's leg. "She most certainly didn't. I don't know why this girl attracts so much bad luck ..." Maybe it balanced out with all the care and attention, but ... damn. The updated from Olivia was almost a relief, but she went on to mention more potential patients. That was always a possibility, but no word from Valerie about any additional injuries, so everything was probably fine. If the doctor had been keeping an eye on the console herself and seen the offline signal from the Heracles Custom, she would have had a much more difficult time wrapping up the surgery, so at least for the moment, a bit of ignorance was efficient. Her assistant's question about the bigger picture felt almost impossible to answer, now. Back when they were just dealing with Apotheosis, things were still iffy, and they hadn't learned where the group's headquarters was until after the big reveal, the Sacarians, and so it almost felt like things could drag on indefinitely. Unless they forced the Sacarians to surrender along with Apotheosis, what chance did they have of ending things anytime soon? The war with Apotheosis? Yes, that was just about wrapped up if the Sacarians were stepping up now, but it was bordering on irrelevant for that very reason. Megumi sighed ... "Hard to say. I just hope we can at least beat Apotheosis in one more go like we planned. After that, who knows." Needless to say, Sasha had to do a double take when Hannah hopped out of the Reign. That one was serious about courting the captain ... and looking the part of an Abrams, apparently. "... heh." Sasha would always be comfortable piloting, but as second in command, grunt work was best left to the grunts, so he motioned for one of the nearby mechanics to hop in and get the Reign back into position. Meanwhile, he put away the ship map and started checking on the other AMS units and the drones. That was around the time he noticed a notification, a text message addressed to him. That was ... an old turned new. It couldn't be Clara again. She was clingy but she knew when to give up and vanish. Cheryl was a bit more direct. That just left ... well, no one that came to mind, really. "Hmm ... wait, Stan? всерьез ...?" This ought to be good. And annoying. Hannah had already made it back? Firmia was still getting used to the voice, but what she hadn't been expecting--on top of being scooped up from the floor--was the all too familiar brown locks. For a split second, she thought she was hallucinating, and a hint of guilt struck her. It felt as if her mind was playing tricks on her, trying to swap Brant for Hannah in a vain and childish attempt to restore an idea--a plan--that hadn't survived so much as a pool invitation from the enemy. When her mind caught up with her, she realized that the situation was a lot less grim than that. Hannah was simply being Hannah. Firmia could have at least chuckled at the mounting changes if not for how awful the greater situation was. All she could manage was a microscopic grin that lasted all of a second ... Firmia could almost hear Vance's commentary and laughter. ... why did he have to die? Couldn't they protect someone as important as him? "I'm ... sorry ..." Firmia choked out as she rested her head against Hannah's shoulder. She was sorry indeed, sorry she couldn't win this war faster and save Vance in the process, sorry she couldn't handle all the stresses of said war, sorry she couldn't even articulate herself properly anymore, and sorry that at least part of her wasn't ready to let go of an old and, admittedly comforting future. As much as she wanted to embrace the change around her, Firmia knew she still needed a little more time, and obviously a few less enemies gunning for them all. "She's my friend too, you know," ... at least Brant thought so, "... even if she is your sister. Besides, I doubt Lily and Aki are going to let us head back out, today. That and I've got a feeling Firmia's going to start another fight with Jess as soon as Hannah's got her back up to speed. I'd say it's now or way, way later ..." As for why the Prioxis was landing on the Riese? Obviously Jessica had okay'd the move. It wouldn't be the first time an enemy got a free pass, not even the first time today, in fact. "You don't think another one of your sisters just landed, do you?" Brant tried to lighten the mood. Seeing another Prioxis did bring up some recent memories, and despite having fought them several times, he still associated that particular model with Christina. Without his helmet, Brant didn't have the range to sense who the pilot of the Prioxis was, or if they were even human. Now that it was docking with the Riese, and other minds would be clustering around them, there was no telling until they landed. Brant plopped back into his seat, gripped the controls, and put the Regalia on a fast approach to the Riese. They'd been out here pondering things long enough.
  9. "She'll be fine," Megumi assured Nina. At last the doctor was at a point where she felt completely comfortable saying that. Even with the occasional bleeding from her patient's leg, there was no longer a risk of severe hemorrhaging or similar complications. The only thing that could screw this up now were the instruments, or more accurately, Megumi herself. In an environment like this, though ... not likely. That was some voice, somewhat androgynous. Was Hannah in the middle of another makeover? Either way, if the Reign was here for repairs, it was best to get his people on that right away. As for the captain's whereabouts ... "Let's see ..." Sasha hopped over from what he was doing to a map of the ship and found Firmia's signature in the port side hallway near the bridge. She wasn't moving, which was weird. That girl was always headed somewhere ... "She's in the hallway ... near the 'Garden of Avalon.'" He still found the nickname for the processor suites funny. This situation, less so. Things had been quite tense, and for some reason it didn't seem to be letting up just yet. Firmia definitely wasn't okay, and Chris' question was a good one. As much as he wanted to make sure Christina was okay, as well as make sure Chris was there in person, there was clearly something going on in their camp, too. Hannah all but answered the question by racing back to the Avalon ahead of them. Kind of a no brainer at that point. Brant could just see Chris and himself standing there while Hannah did all of the consoling. They probably weren't going to be much more 'useful' on the Riese, but at least Chris could see her sister in person and know for certain that everything was alright. "Hannah, Galatea, keep us updated ... with whatever's going on over there. We're going to go check on Christina and then we'll be back." It probably wouldn't hurt to make sure Kim made it out of the fight without any lasting damage, too. There was also that random Prioxis ... There was a lot to look into after their visit to the infirmary. Firmia could hardly move her body at all after her hand came down. She glanced up and over at Akilina, briefly wondering how much her younger sibling had heard. By the time Aki had taken a spot beside her, the elder sibling had resigned herself to at least trying to explain, though what to say and how were still beyond her for the moment. Liliana came as well, and she had similar questions. Naturally. "I ..." ... still nothing. On instinct, Firmia glanced at her tablet ... it was still just barely in arm's reach, but only just barely. She leaned over and pulled it back into her lap. Then she took a moment to add a new entry to her personal K.I.A. list. It was no easy feat with tears continuously getting in her way. Rote memorization of the keys was enough, though. Although Lily and Aki had plenty of time to figure out what was going on, Firmia still handed her tablet off to the latter once she was finished. As far Firmia knew, the list was up to date, again ... and she hated it. "I-I'm ... tired of this pain ..."
  10. Aeon - The Odyssey

    "It sure wasn't," Hitomi forced a big smile at Melanie, "So are we just going to head over to megasim two and wait for the fans to come charging in?" Come to think of it, if she was going into a megasim, she really ought to get changed into something more suitable. It wasn't her first time, and the cockpits they used for these machines were realistic. Even the control schemes were customizable just prior to a game, and not just the 'button layout.' Hitomi's rig at home could be approximated with a simple data sync. Kind of necessary for the Valkyrie pilots, but a big luxury all the same. Thankfully this wasn't just a feature of the megasims. Control mimics were becoming more affordable in general. Meanwhile ... "Bad timing," one of the male arcade goers said, shaking his head at Helena. He missed the part about 'tryouts' but wasted no time in pointing his thumb at Megasim #1 and all the action happening over there. Since they were on the main floor, what passed for the 'top floor' on this side, as anyone drew closer to the view ports, they would be able to see the simulated frame from roughly a sixty degree angle, depending on its height. Megasim #1 was currently in use, and quite crowded. The machine inside was a sleek, winged, sky blue terror, shooting it out with other frames in a space environment. There were also displays around showing more interesting angles, as well as a view into the cockpit. Anyone who wanted even more control over their viewing experience could always use their own devices or a nearby smartglass display to find just the angle they were looking for, either on the machine, or the girl piloting it. "Kirara's doing her thing but I think there's a servbot around here somewhere you can get a reservation with," the man said, scanning the room a little hoping he could find one to send her over to. No luck, but the traffic near the entrance was heavy, so that was no surprise. "It's Batcon though, so don't get your hopes up for playing at Stratus today," he added with a pitying smile.
  11. Megumi had already tuned out everything else going on, and was well into the most difficult part of the surgery, mending and replacing everything Avery's bullet had ruined on its way through Christina's chest. The bleeding was intermittent, with the doctor reconnecting everything from severed muscle to bone, starting from the center and working her way out from both ends in fixed stages. It was laborious, but Megumi wasn't keeping track of time anymore, either. Once Christina's chest wound had been closed up, the doctor applied two patches, one to each of the areas. That would keep things nice and contained while they healed fully, and discourage any pointless poking by the patient. Onto the leg wound. And what a pointless injury that was. Megumi didn't know what order these wounds occurred in, but she hoped this one had happened first. Otherwise Avery was just ... well, she was a filthy traitor at the very least. Not much point dwelling on it beyond that. "We're about two thirds of the way there," Megumi said, mostly for the sake of her assistants and Nina. She hadn't spoken a word to any of them since she got started restoring her patient's chest. "Let me know when the fight's over," she threw in a second later. She couldn't help but wonder about that since the infirmary was almost completely isolated from the battlefield, now. The doctor wouldn't complain about that, though. It was nice working on something this intricate without being under fire, with very little equipment, and fighting the elements all the while. Firmia's target when down in flames, and more and more she was beginning to think the distraction of a phone call would be a bit much. She needed this information in full before the debriefing, however, so once the Sacarian was dealt with, the Alkaev turned her attention to her tablet and tried to connect directly to Commander Vance. Just as she was about to pat herself on the back for thinking ahead and getting a direct line to the man, she was ... transferred? "ANF headquarters, state your name and how you have this line." An impatient sounding woman had replied to Firmia, the sounds of shouting and clamoring sounding off in the background. The woman in question seemed to be moving herself, and hurriedly, with how all the voices around her were changing in volume, and her breathing was slightly taxed. "Hurry up!" What was going on here? Was this one of Vance's secretaries? "Er-This is Captain Firmia Alkaev. I'm with the Heion Riese group. There's a situation Commander Vance needs to know about." It wasn't her first idea, but if she had the time, Firmia definitely thought it would be a good idea to let Vance know what had just happened out here. Abigail's group was trouble, but the Sacarians were a much bigger problem. The voices suddenly cut off, a door shut and sounded off. A hefty sigh and grumbling followed, a lengthy pause... "Commander Vance is dead. Admiral Alphonse has currently assumed leadership of Central while we try and get things sorted from the attack. Firmia Alkaev, right? I'm second lieutenant Haley Jefferson. Whatever's happened, please relay it to me, so that I may let Alphonse know." ... dead? For a brief moment, Firmia couldn't speak. She couldn't even breathe. Vance was gone? How? Who could have ... Try as she did, Firmia could barely rein herself in to reply to the lieutenant. It had been bad enough, what Firmia was planning for and what she had to be prepared to deal with ... but not this. "I-..." It was only when she managed to speak again that Firmia realized there were tears running down her face. The lieutenant probably wouldn't understand. Even Tonya looked confused, and her attitude probably wouldn't change once she knew what was going on. Alphonse definitely ought to know what was going on, though. He was in Vance's position now, apparently, so Firmia had a duty to respond accordingly. Pushing down her feelings as best she could, for as long as she could, the fledgling captain said, "We've been ambushed on our way to the next mission target. We're holding out, but the Riese has been damaged. The moles we were looking for made their move and escaped in the fighting. Also ... there's another group that showed up. They were piloting Velite Mark IIIs. One was just destroyed by the enemy but the rest are falling back. I was hoping to get more information on where those suits came from ..." So much more to add, but Firmia's thoughts were racing, her eyes were almost burning, and the danger outside was entering her mind more and more. "... I see. Thank you for letting us know. I'll make sure to relay all of this to Admiral Alphonse, and get him to contact Captain Gefalscht about those suits. He would be the only one to have access to something specific like that... As for being ambushed, I'll relay that directly to the squadron of ships you were all meant to rendezvous with, and they'll adjust their travel speed accordingly." The lieutenant paused again to sigh, sniffling some herself. "This is hitting all of us, Firmia," she began, choking back a sob. "Commander Vance was a wonderful person, an effective leader, and someone you could rightly trust in this organization. It's devastating that he's gone... But we have to keep going, until this war is over. You understand, right?" Another pause followed, Haley composed herself. "My apologies for speaking out of line. You already know what to do. Thank you for contacting us, Captain Alkaev. Over and out." The call ended, leaving Firmia to her thoughts. "What happened?" Tonya finally asked, unable to contain her curiosity any longer. Firmia stayed put and stayed quiet for a long moment. Fresh tears came down, in no small part due to the lieutenant's affirmation of everything Firmia already knew. It was unbearable, especially now, here in the final stretch of the war. The Alkaev barely cared about getting more details on the Mark IIIs, and with communications momentarily cut, there wasn't much chance of that until after the battle. Just briefly, Firmia looked over to her helmsman and said, "Commander Vance is gone. I didn't get the details but ... he's ... dead." "Oh dear ..." Tonya still looked a little confused. Why would Firmia be crying over the loss of the ANF's commander? She hadn't known him that long. "Are you going to be alright?" "I have to be," Firmia retorted, swiftly wiping her face and looking out the view port. There was still a battle to win. Things were turning in their favor, or seemed to be. That was right up until Abigail's machine was destroyed by the lead Sacarian. The feeling that washed over her wasn't something the Alkaev could describe, but it was so strong it had her leaning forward in her seat as her eyes searched the radar display for answers. What just happened? Had Abigail ejected or just died? There was no clue over the radio, and soon Firmia's feelings began to resolve into emotions she could actually recognize. One of those emotions was the sort she couldn't share with most people. It was hope. "Whoa, did we actually lose someone?" That was what Firmia wanted to know. Reaching out with the T-Link, she was quickly able to tell that there were now two people in one of the customized Mark IIIs. That hope she was feeling vanished, leaving behind a mix of frustration and grief. This was the kind of situation she hated the most. Commander Vance was dead, probably dying with his bodyguards to a foe above and beyond them ... but Abigail could charge one of the strongest opponents they had ever faced and survive even as her Heracles was destroyed. Frustration became fury as Firmia slammed her fist down on an armrest. "You stupid worthless house cats!" Jessica got off with everything. No decision was ever going to come back to bite her, but every connection Firmia made felt like another tragedy in the making ... Yelling at the cats probably wasn't helping anyone on the bridge figure out what was going on with their young captain, but Firmia couldn't care less, and she hadn't even shouted at the lead Sacarian over the radio. The thought of everything happening right now was just too much for her to handle. "Just die already! All of you die!" The Avalon's funnels were out of position for an attack on the target Seung-Min requested, so the Alkaev let her fury be expressed through a missile strike. Not long afterward, the ship's funnels began firing relentlessly on another Sacarian alongside the Regalia. The Sacarian managed to fire back, and there was no evading it in this situation, but the Sacarian died regardless. As for the damage, they would live. If only ... Firmia shook her head violently to try and stay focused as the fighting continued. The Sacarians were getting blasted to pieces now, and her own people were spending ammo and energy to chip in as much as they could. It was quickly becoming a slaughter, no longer a struggle to protect the Riese. It looked a lot more like their usual battles, a race to wipe out the enemy so they wouldn't have to face them again. They came awfully close too, but the last of the 'stupid worthless house cats' made his escape, and in a way that was almost confusing to Firmia. Since he was the last enemy, she'd taken a moment to try and read him. It didn't work, but the Alkaev doubted him fleeing had anything to do with being damaged. The other Sacarians hadn't lost their nerve even when while they were being whittle down to nothing ... so it must have been something else ... Someone with more tactical sense might have ordered their sole survivor home. That made more sense than their survival instincts kicking in this late in the fight. The battle was over, then. No ANF casualties ... well, not on this battlefield. By the time Firmia was standing, her vision was overwhelmed by fresh tears. All she could do was disengage the T-Link and remove her headpiece. Doing so shrunk her view of the world back to her immediate surroundings and some parts of the Avalon. She almost needed that, but even unplugging from the battle wouldn't get rid of this heartache. It was so ... unfair. "I'm ... going to the hangar." "Firmia, about Vance ..." "What about him?" Firmia said curtly. She was ready to head out. "I didn't know he meant that much to you, so I'm sorry about what happened." "... heh." Firmia didn't wipe her face this time. Her tears started falling freely as she tried to keep some sort of composure. "It's so unfair. Someone like Vance, putting his life and his sanity on the line to keep an organization like the ANF running in the middle of an alien invasion ... and now he's gone." Tonya was silent, but Firmia could read her expression and her emotions well enough. "The next time ... it seems like I'm being overprotective ... t-try to keep this in mind. Great Lake, too. Okay? I'm ... so tired of this." Firmia left the bridge after that. "... wilco." Firmia was only a few feet off the bridge, fiddling with her tablet in preparation to send out orders to her MS teams, when she got a call from Jessica. Firmia didn't know if the android had reached her limit before the battle had ended, and was just now coming back up, or if she'd managed to hold out the entire time. She didn't care all that much, but the curiosity was still there. What Jessica was calling about was one of the last things Firmia wanted to talk about right now. The Luna. Salvage. Sharing resources. Acting like she needed a reminder of everyone's hard work. The Alkaev gritted her teeth as she passed the processor suites and continued down the hall. The only good news seemed to be Jessica's promise to send the Luna back soon. In that case, Firmia didn't need her drones puppy guarding the wreck. She took a moment to send a command to them over the network. The sooner they were back to work, the better. "We have a lot to talk about after the debriefing," Firmia said, her voice just a tad shaky as she tried to stay composed, "If you need to work out something salvage related, talk to Sasha. I can't deal with any of this right now." She paused, trying to decide how to elaborate, and soon enough she settled for simply being blunt and straightforward. "Look, I don't know when or how it happened, but Commander Vance is dead- ... and Alphonse is in charge now." Just saying it aloud again had her choking up. "I need to get my people on their next assignments, so I'll talk to you again in a little while ..." Easier said than done. Brant was on the verge of a headache, though he couldn't be sure whether it was due to that strange presence the enemy was giving off, or due to the twists and turns emotions seemed to be taking all around him, and how insanely difficult it was to keep up with it all. Chris felt bad about how out of control things had gotten on her end, but he wasn't going to blame her for being human. She did her job and did it well, despite her sister being a possible casualty and then just barely being upgraded to 'still alive.' That was remarkable self control for someone behind the barrels of six guns. Brant ditched his helmet too, putting more trust than usual in their early warning systems. He couldn't quite get all the way back to her without abandoning control of the suit completely, but Brant made sure they could see each other face to face, with nothing but Chris' tears obscuring the view. "You did great, don't worry. Look who we were fighting and how we made out at the end?" There was still that oncoming headache and fatigue from such complicated flying, but again, not Chris' fault by any means. Brant tried to reach over and wipe away a tear or two, flashing the most reassuring smile he could manage. "I'm sure Firmia will be annoyed, but want to see if she'll let us go check on-" "AMS teams," Firmia's voice came in over the channel dedicated to the ship's communications, and all the AMS units opened that channel automatically if it wasn't already in use. "It's the Captain. Mantle Team, you're on perimeter duty. Protect the drones and salvage teams from the Riese. Reign Team, you can help with the salvage operation or return for repairs. Regalia Team. You can dock with the Riese, back up the Mantle, or help with the salvage operation. It's your choice. We'll talk later ..." Brant immediately regretted taking off his helmet, being too far away to sense what was going on with Firmia. She seemed upset before, but her voice over the radio was depressed beyond belief. It took so much away from the fact that she'd anticipated their desire to go check on Christina aboard the Riese. Had something happened? The Avalon did take a noticeable hit, but nothing that would endanger anyone on board; Brant would be the first to react to something that put his daughters in danger--he couldn't even help that. So what was wrong? Honestly, if not for the promise to talk later, Brant would have been extremely worried ... Firmia made it halfway to the hangar before finally collapsing against the wall. She slid to the cold and lifeless floor as hot tears fell from her face, hitting her coat and the suit beneath it. Visions of the commander, her and Hannah touring this very hallway haunted the captain as reality began to crush down on her. "... I came to that man asking for flying garbage and a few perks ..." Firmia easily recalled the mental image she held of what her first ship ought to look like. She pictured it being too small to carry mobile suits, so naturally she would need MS containers to hold them and their supplies. She expected a ship with few military grade weapons, and so she would need to upgrade it as the war progressed, and well beyond. She imagined a ship that was scrawny, and almost small enough for her to crew with just the people she had. The Avalon wasn't to be compared to what Firmia was willing to settle for in her weak bargaining position. Commander Vance then offered her a fully functional warship. "Not just a warship," Firmia shook her head at the thought. It's my base of operations. My stronghold. My ... home. Everything that matters to me is safe inside these walls ..." If only that were true, she thought. Firmia glanced down at her tablet, trying to decide whether to visit her personal K.I.A. list ... or wait and update it later. The man had shown so much faith in her, even more than she felt she deserved at the time ... and now she'd never get to show him that his faith was well placed. As soon as she saw the list of all the names already etched into the memorial wall, her composure was gone for good. "... just another name on a wall," hissed, shoving her tablet away and slamming her other hand against the wall, "I'll never forgive them ... never ..." Turning to face the opposite wall, Firmia rested with her back against it, her legs hardly moving at all as she turned. "... it's not fair ..." Slowly, and painfully, Firmia lifted up her right hand. "I'm sorry, Commander." And just barely, she managed a salute. "... rest in peace ... I'll ... we'll take care of the rest."
  12. Aeon - The Odyssey

    Despite being one of the best players around, Monika was quick to refer Hitomi to Melanie. Admittedly, Melanie had come to mind first, but Hitomi didn't know exactly how well known the girl was, or more importantly, how much of an impact on the arcade she could have right this moment. Her fans couldn't all be in the area, right? Not that it would take that many for what they needed. A hundred was more than enough and even small time streamers tended to have a few thousand fans behind them. Before Hitomi could articulate her thoughts on the matter, Melanie closed the gaps and got on LunaTicks. Oh boy, Hitomi was not ready for this ... "Er- ... hurry, everyone! You're going to want to see this up close!" She could only hope her forced smile wasn't on camera or anything, otherwise her quip could be considered half decent.
  13. Aeon - The Odyssey

    The Stratus Arcade was positively packed when Team Odyssey and their tryouts arrived, and that was just the main floor. Everywhere Hitomi looked there were people, simpods, and more traditional arcade machines, and given how many floors of the underground complex the arcade took up, Battlenet's own gaming center might have actually been the better call. Hitomi could only hope that Motherloader had managed to secure at least a few machines or simpods for them, but it wasn't looking like that was the case. Stratus was a fairly large arcade due to its megasims, the 22nd Century gamer's wet-dream, so maybe things were just crowded around this particular entrance. Maybe. Either way, there couldn't be one head short of a thousand people in this place. "I'm going to see if Motherloader's even here," Hitomi said, knowing she'd never find him by just standing on her toes and looking around. "Hey, where are you?" she tried to use his Battlenet profile to contact him directly ... and it worked. "Beebs? I'm at the arcade. You guys made it here yet? I've got a big surprise for you." Hitomi frowned. She hadn't come to know this guy for his good surprises, only the obnoxious ones. Like those annoying little nicknames he kept using, or the fact that he could just pop up out of the Aether whenever, wherever. "You know how Stratus has seven megasims?" Of course she did. That was part of the reason Stratus took up around ten floors. The megasims were capable of rendering full sized frames around special simpods and putting on quite the spectacle. It was more for the audience than the pilot, but there was something about actually piloting a frame that made it exhilarating, even if it was fake. Come to think of it, Motherloader getting one of those reserved was a pleasant surprise. Hitomi couldn't imagine him having reserved one of those without foul play involved. "Um, how?" "Told'em the girl from the stage is going to put on an even bigger show here at Stratus. Still had to pay the premium, but these drones look pretty excited, so don't take too long getting over here. You're on Sim #2." #2 seemed appropriate somehow. Hitomi wasn't looking forward to being bathed in the spotlight yet again, but she had already resigned herself to it. Between being Felix's student, attracting at least two very high profile players into the tryouts, and trying to help put Linus on the map, fame was inevitable. Best to just embrace it. There was still the matter of everyone else they'd brought with them. It was technically possible for them to play from their phones, other gadgets, or even from a smartglass display, but that was just dumb. This was an arcade. They should be able to get their hands on some hefty controls and be able to give their best showing, too. "Okay, I'm extremely grateful you pulled that off, but did you find anything for the rest of our group? I wasn't expecting everyone to be able to get on all at once, but ..." "Sorry, Beebs. Out of bribe funds, but why not make it part of the big show? 'Team Odyssey recruiting the best of the best to beat up Battlenet's Soldaat hordes!' Their new campaign's comin' out tomorrow so it's open season on those mono-eyed knuckleheads. That's the route I'd go." A new campaign? Hitomi hadn't even finished the last one ... granted, these days a campaign on a game as large as Frame Ops was something only someone with no life could experience to the fullest. Too many routes, too many things to discover and collect ... it was all just too much. Maybe if she had six straight months and could get by without any sleep. All this content was free for official Battlenet players, so the new scenarios would be waiting for her on her system around midnight tonight, assuming Motherloader had the release date right. Not much to think about really. Motherloader did have a point; the momentum gained from Matsuo's shenanigans had worked out pretty well for them. Maybe they should push ahead just a bit further for the sake of getting everyone on those machines and making the most out of this. It could actually work, but the idea could use just a bit more of ... something. "Give me a second ..." Hitomi turned to Linus and the tryouts. "Okay, Motherloader got megasim two reserved and wants me to use that. I guess the idea is to convince the people here to give the rest of us some spots so we can all go in at once. On that note, Keizerin! You're famous, right? We could definitely use your help here. I'm sure people want to see an Aeon rank clean house, even if we do just wind up fighting a bunch of Soldaats. In fact, if anyone thinks they can get people more interested in watching us as a group, that would be a huge help."
  14. (Fluff eventually) Hannah shifts into plane mode! Brant moves to 11,19 and attacks Sacarian Mook #10 with Shield MIssiles! Hannah supports with AA Missiles!
  15. (Redacted due to Alkaev related things)