Xinnidy

Super Robot Wars ∀: Deep Space IC Thread - Part 2: Of Dire Tides

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.

Spoiler

A motley, as if hastily thrown together group of pilots are assigned to the Heion Riese, the crux of battle spaceship technology for the Allied Nations Federation. Captained by the young and untested Captain Jessica Gefalscht, whom also seemed on exceedingly bad terms with her Executive Officer, the purpose of the Heion Riese seemed all but cloudy. To top things off, during the crew's first field test, an irregular rebel intercepts the crew with surprisingly little effectiveness, running with his tail between his legs. Despite the success, morale wavers as the crew's Captain receives an exceedingly high risk mission from the Earth Navy First Admiral, Alphonse Martinson, to intercept the sudden rebel attack on colony 1. With no time to waste, the crew rendezvous with a Kraken-class ship led by Captain Miller near Colony 1's orbit, and manages a very dire recapture of the Colony. Still, even with the rebels chased away, the air of mystery surrounding that purple mobile suit, supposedly piloted by an 'Apotheosis Lieutenant', begs many questions...

-During the free day of break after the successful mission, Blodeuwedd Talog was summoned back to Captain's Miller crew, escorted to the Kraken-class ship by a ground crew member that fancied piloting an Accensus on his free time. The trip went well. Along with Bruno and Mateus, Talog now helps Miller's crew keep the airspace around Colony 1 safer after the attack.

-Melissa Jordan, finally figuring out that the communist enthusiast's credit card was in fact not hers, handed it to the library's lost and found, and left with a copy of archaic best seller 50 Shades of Blue. Maybe the credit card will find its owner one day... As for Melissa? She was relieved of duty after break day, with the insurance money from her job, she found a new apartment to stay. At least the bill is cheaper!

July 30th, 0800 Hours, Galactic Year 0251

???

Spoiler

Helena sat in front of a near empty, metallic room, weak lights coming from two doors leading outside. That room was her own, supposed bedroom, yet there was nothing other than a small bed, a single lamp a table, and a chair for her own use. It was all she wanted. Despite her quick rise in rank since joining Apotheosis, Helena always felt adverse to commodity here. This austere self-treatment was to remind her body, her mind. She was waging a war on the federation she once served, she once let grow stronger. From that point on, nothing would ever be the same, and if Apotheosis were to change the world, to indulge in distractions would make her a poor leader.

At least, she believed her own hands, if little else at that point.

Atop the table, a transceiver, rather old fashioned, buzzed to life with a masculine voice, a strong accent carrying the English they spoke. "Commander Helena Wayne." The voice was calm, slight intonation suggesting impatience. The man, whoever he was, felt his place to demand of Helena. "Your division's campaign in Colony 1 became worldwide news. While I must congratulate you for acquiring the doctor, I also insist you... redouble your efforts." Helena closed her eyes, centering herself. That man took every fiber of her being to deal with, but with how the other two were occupied... she would have to deal her best.

"Our operation on Colony 1 did not go as planned, I've made sure my subordinates understand the gravity of this." Calm and robotic, Helena didn't need to invest herself over this man's quips. It was pointless... and for better or worse, he was not a foe. "I will remind you to not use my name through a call. It is an unnecessary risk."

"...It is impossible to be a risk. They can't track that which never shows itself --if any signal coming from this headquarters could be found, we'd have much bigger problems on our hands--, but I'll indulge." Helena grabbed her own hand, which had balled to a fist, and lowered her head, opening her eyes to stare at the transceiver. "Either way, I've come to speak to you about the next move that will have to be taken: Since you were the one that agreed, we need you to go through with it now. Our EU Agents have just given the okay, Russia and ANF have been jammed since early in the day. The world is ready to receive your speech, Commander. Once that step is made, we can't promise safety for your base and personnel. It will be a matter of 'when' they locate you."

"We can fend for ourselves, ANF's technology is severely deficient. For them, this base is practically impregnable. Furthermore, we can provide the most for the assault forces if we are the ones to stick out our necks. I will just ask one thing: You have given Jordan and my parents refuge, have you not?" The one question she did ask was in a stern tone, as if she'd been making a deal with the devil herself. Helena was willing to bet it all, but even now, her husband and family were a price too high.

"Yes, they are in Goodwill's hands. As safe as could be, I would say." The man affirmed with rather casual curtness, not interested in dragging on the topic. "Now then, Laine should be waiting for you, right? Be of good cheer, in a few moments, you'll be the world's most famous person." The statement was delivered neutrally, but the meaning did not change --it was a mockery to be had in her stake. That man was always too callous about this. "...We have high hopes in you. To raise humanity to the highest caliber."

"I will succeed." Helena made a salute, out of duty to her own word, if anything. Nothing more was said by the man after that point, the transceiver's buzz cutting off. "...Until next time, Swart." Sighing, Helena rose herself from the chair. So this was it, for her and her crew. For all those she whisked away and nurtured outside the ANF's grasp. Even now, after all those years, there was a chill in her gut. The stakes were higher than life, now.

"To go against the world..." Helena opened the door to outside, the black steel corridor imposing, but definitely more illuminated than her own room. "It's my duty, now, no matter how many around us are blind. I have to be the one."

Quickly, Helena met herself in front of a door, the brightest in the corridor by far, light escaping from its gaps. Unceremoniously, Helena pressed a hand against its scanner lock and, a mechanical whirr later, the door retracted upwards, giving way to a room most akin to a studio production than anything fitting for a rebel base.

"I was given the word. We will do it." Helena decreed, it didn't take much to spot the lone, busy man tinkering with multiple computers atop a table. Diagonally to his left stood a green screen focused on by a couple spotlights, a camera, and a microphone hovering aboard the recently built contraption. Giving heed to Helena's entrance, the man promptly rose from a chair out of view, adjusting his glasses.

"Yeah, I caught that, boss." The man was a poster-boy for your everyday geek: thick glasses with shaggy unkempt black hair, an unhealthy tint of fair skin, and the hint of a stubble. "He's kind of an ass, isn't he?" To Helena, it was no surprise this man had listened in to her conversation. She had come to expect it at that point, even.

"Just don't tell that to his face, Thomas." Her casual intonation implied a better mood, walking over to the hastily prepared sat. Helena stood upright, as martial as ever, as she looked up to the microphone. "We're not going to be able to test how it'll look as people watch it, are you sure the signals cover enough?"

"Ain't ever a problem, boss~. It was easy to get some private satellites working for me now, especially after all this jamming. Should give you the clearest voice in all four corners of the world --heck, even Mars!" Boastful, the man started work from machine to machine, redoubling if everything seemed fine. It wouldn't do to boast so much and not guarantee it! The check seemed done quick enough, and Thomas focused his attention on a holographic virtual computer, giving a thumbs up to Helena with eyes still focused on the holographic screen. "Whenever you're ready, I'll count to three."

"I am." Helena replied curtly, holding a half-smile. If she wasn't ready, would she even open the door? It was her moment, she knew the speech by heart, and she had to be the one to do it. A human. She wouldn't delegate that work to a green-haired doll.

"Very well... Three, two... one."

Heion Riese, ANF Leviathan-Class Battleship

The day of relief had passed uneventfully, with a walk and ceremony for the casualties of the colony attack ending the afternoon on a somber note. Most of the crew was either busy with their own recreations, or anxiously waiting for new orders from HQ. Radio silence was all they received that day. In fact, radio silence did not only refer to ANF's orders --no commercial signal was getting through to Colony 1, which forced itself to operate autonomously. If one were to open the TV, they'd find no channels available other than local OrbiTV's free channels, and even those seemed to operate with hindered coverage. Perhaps the rebel's plan involved cutting off the colony's communication with its neighbors and earth?

"Mrrr..." In her bedroom, very clearly not a morning person --not after enough wine is on her system, at least--, Roxanna grumbled and slowly sat herself up on the edge of her bed. The reason she woke up was clear, forgetting to set her tablet's alarm for later. Ugh, of all thing to forget. Oh well, at least the headache wasn't mind-numbing, only a stinging feeling as if some nail was pressing on the side of her head... okay, it was still annoying.

"And I had such a good day yesterday, too..." Lamenting her carelessness in not having enough Dihydrogen monoxide before sleeping, Roxanna stood up. Wrapping her arms around the long white dress she called a pajama to shake off some of the cold from her AC, Roxanna grumpily reached for her TV, lazily turning it on. Let's see the news--oh right, static. Damn, is it still down. Unfortunate, she'd like to know how the ANF was describing their mission for a while now. Oh well, surely another time... Disappointed, Roxanna turned back, disinterested at the loud buzzing... at least it stopped.

Wait, it stopped? She didn't turn off the TV--

Looking back quickly, Roxanna noticed a symbol taking the full screen, a gray hydra with a sword held in the mouth of its middle held, designed much like as if drawn on Greek pottery. What the-- There wasn't much time to process, just a minute, in face, and then a new image entirely graced the screen.

Spoiler

"People of the Earth and beyond. This is the first and only call to heed us. We are Apotheosis."

Her voice firm and commanding, a worthy reminder of her time in service, Helena braved on with a stone cold gaze.

"Over the course of history, empires and kingdoms fell. Nations rose, Unions followed, but no matter how united it becomes, humanity is then torn apart by conflict and interest. We have one constant: War. Make no mistake that this era is different, we have always been one thin line away from war. Had the trigger not been pulled now, worse would come from the factions that currently decide the Earth's fate."

That had been the most exposition Helena bothered to write for this, it was bothersome to go to such lengths. The ANF and EU could just spin them as lunatic terrorists with enough media coverage, but she had to say something to get a few people to question. No matter how technologically advanced, this was not an age to become conformed and rest. There was never going to be one.

"Our terms are simple. We want the Allied Federation, Eurasian Union, and all unaffiliated nations to disarm and adhere to a supreme ruling. We want humanity under a new banner, efficient if not prosperous. This is not a request. We will take action from this point on, until the factions resign their power, or we seize control by force."

With that, the die was cast. Apotheosis had officially declared war on the world.

Oh. My. God. At this point, Roxanna was fully alert, eyes wide open, biting her lower lip. Shit, if they incite full fledged war-- Roxanna scrambled to her tablet, opening a voice channel synced to the Heion Riese's communication system.

"Hello? Hello? This is your XO, Roxanna Martinson." Her voice was definitely unnerved, now resounding throughout the ship. "I am calling an immediate reunion. All who are awake, meet me in the bridge in 30 minutes." She didn't have the power to schedule a sudden meeting and hold people accountable for not showing up, not at a time like this. Still... she had to take measures to prepare for what was sure to become a hell of a day.

The entire party is free to post! Feel free to choose where your character is, but remember it is pretty early in the day!

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"Why the bridge?" Megumi wondered aloud, "why not the meeting room?" She didn't prefer either, nor did she think she was really required for this meeting, but it was still a standout choice. Unsure whether she would even attend, yet, Megumi started to get changed into the 'doctor' getup everyone was used to seeing her in, and out of the 'early twenties homebody' attire she was a bit more comfortable in. After swapping her shorts for pants, her tank top for a dress shirt, and restraining her hair with simple tie, she turned on the television in her room.

"... hm?" She was expecting the television to have gone back to normal or still be blank, but there was a message repeating on it ... from Apotheosis. "Well, the attack on the colony makes sense, now. Somewhat. I think I will attend the meeting on the bridge."


Brant frowned at Roxanna's announcement. He didn't know what was wrong, but it sounded important. Hopefully there weren't enemy forces closing in on the colony, or some major catastrophe already underway in the colony. He stepped away from his new printer, which he'd been experimenting with late into the evening, and tweaking in the early morning, and went about getting ready for the meeting.

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The previous day had been a unique experience for Tarquin. It hadn't been what he'd expected at all, although he couldn't deny he'd at least enjoyed parts of it. He'd had a lot to think about after meeting Mr Mario. Was his future his own? His past certainly hadn't been, but perhaps there was scope for him in years to come. There was also Nikolai, the more he tried to understand the young man, the more questions that there were to ask. He'd learned that people were a lot more complicated than he thought, Despite his lack of knowledge, he couldn't deny that he'd had a good time although it had taken a lot of energy out of him.

Whilst awake early in the morning, Tarquin had never been one for television. He neither had access to it, nor an interest in it during his childhood. The XO's announcement had caught him in the canteen, halfway through breakfast. Was she planning another mutiny? It sounded too urgent for that, and it was unlikely that she'd make another attempt at grabbing power so soon. Whatever it was, it sounded important. It wasn't attack protocol, which made things far more unsettling. Tarquin was, by his own admission, terrible at expecting what people would say, but this time around he was certain it was not good news.

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Posted (edited)

Elaine had been wandering the streets of Colony 1, once again in a far more casual outfit. And, like many others, she didn't expect her peaceful day to be interrupted by a message from self-righteous terrorists. But, as she was walking along the sidewalk of the road, listening and watching the local news on her device, updating herself on any rescue victims found, everything was suddenly cut off. And then, somehow, an image of a three-headed snake was on her screen. And she could hear a voice. This was a message from Apotheosis. And they were calling out everyone. Every power, every nation, every single person, to submit to them and whatever twisted rule they had.

After the message was over, she could hear her communicator beeping. But, Elaine didn't even need to look to know what it was about. Placing the device in her pocket, she began to sprint back towards the Riese. She didn't have the opportunity to rent herself a bike, but thankfully she wasn't far from the ship. Among the few people out on the streets with her, she had to quickly maneuver around them, with little time to stop and apologize. "What a time to go out and get some air. Just my fucking luck."

Edited by Dandragon

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Posted (edited)

5 More MInutes

"Reunion...? Mhhhh... More sleep..." Jess slowly crawled out of bed in her PJs again and grabbed her pillow, clinging tightly to it as she slid her feet across the floor towards the door of her room, yawning and--

"Ow... Whozzah?"

"Good morning Captain. I had stationed myself here to wait for your exit and ask if I can a part of the
everyone the XO has requested for the bridge meeting."

Jess had to blink a few times, staring up at the teal haired android with hefty confusion. "Y-Yeah, sure... Go ahead... Guhhhh, what does she want so early..." Jess continued her tired path towards the bridge in her slippers and PJs, hoping this wasn't anything too serious. What a chore... Can't I get a break after these past few days? A sigh escaped, followed by another yawn. Hannah quietly stared at Jess before following after her.

The Captain's vitals seem weak, likely due to a lack of sleep. Or perhaps my own sensors were off.
I could not locate a pulse when she bumped into me. Perhaps I will have to speak with Avery to see if
any of my systems are malfunctioning.

With nothing else to add, Hannah stepped after the tired captain, keeping pace behind her.

Bridge Problems

Right as Roxanna's address had finished, Avery stormed onto the bridge, making a beeline for Tristan. A frustrated hand grabbed at his coat, pulling him up, her eyes more than a bit red. "A'ight you! What's goin' on!? I ain't got a captian t'yell at, as I can plainly see, so you get t'hear it! Th' hell's the XO doin' wakin' the whole ship up this early!? I ain't got no sleep these past two days with the fuckin' attack and fixin' all yer goddamn robots, so you better gimme a real good answer, Ensign!"

Avery's huff over, she let the startled Ensign go, who was quite bewildered himself. "I-I don't know. She didn't quite sound right, but I... It has to be important. XO Martinson might have some issues, but she wouldn't rouse the whole ship if it wasn't worthwhile." Tristan had been at the bridge all morning, since six a.m., but they'd not tuned any radios or monitors on to local news. What are you doing, XO?

Avery groaned, running a hand manically through her hair. She was very, very tired. "Whatever... I'm here fer the rest o' the mechanics, so I'll just relay whatever th'hell this's all 'bout. Even Buck's still asleep... God, dammit..."

Should I Stay or Should I go

A gentle knock rapped against Brant's door as the morning went about its happenings, Christina's voice, small and tired, piping up after. "Braaaaant? Are you still in there? Should I go to this meeting too? I don't really know if I count as personnel, but... She said everyone that's awake, so... Er..." The girl had quietly slipped into proper clothes and tip toed over to Brant's door, unsure if she was free to go any further in the ship on her own, still. The captain had given her leave of the room, but...

Nope

Olivia opened her eyes for a moment to listen to the report from whoever was speaking, and then closed them again to go back to sleep. Not important... Not worth bothering with. With a hefty yawn and a content smile, she drifted back off to sleep.

Edited by Nanami Touko

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Astin had been laying on their bed staring at the ceiling when the call came out. They hadn't been doing much of anything, mostly just not wanting to get up and do anything, still tired from lack of sleep. They'd been unable to fall asleep for a good portion of the night, uneasy after the events that had happened at the colony. Things just weren't sitting right with them and apparently weren't with the XO either if this meeting being called was any indication. With a quiet groan, they slowly got out of bed. Quickly rinsing off in the shower and pulling on a pair of pants and a light tee-shirt, they hesitated before heading out of the door. Turning back, they grabbed the jacket that was on the chair near their bed and wrapped it around their waist after checking to see if the small maple leaf pin was still attached. Making their way out, they headed to the elevators as they quickly pulled their hair up into a quick bun to try and keep it out of their face for a little bit at least.

Entering the elevator, Astin grumbled as the first lock of hair fell out of the bun and into their face. "Well that didn't last long..." Leaning against the wall of the elevator, they waited patiently for the elevator to reach the top floor. As it did, they exited out, brushing the rebellious strand of hair back behind their ear as they did. "Right then. Bridge. Not the meeting room. Interesting." With a shrug, they headed that way, wondering who else was awake and making their way to the meeting.

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Posted (edited)

Juria had mostly enjoyed the quiet day yesterday, paying respects as they were due, but otherwise staying with her parents. Although she was hoping to bring Astin over, her lazy attitude lead her to forgetting, and instead she told her family tales of the time she'd spent working on the ship, although maybe with a hint of embellishment.

Still, the morning call was unwelcome to her- mornings weren't her strong suit. But she didn't want to be disappointing anyone after only a few days on the Riese, and so begrudgingly, after showering and grooming- mostly maintaining her hair- she picked up Reo and strolled towards the bridge.

At the top of the elevator she saw Astin, and smiled. "Astin!" She rushed towards them excitedly, putting Reo onto her shoulder to free her hands to clap. "[Hello! Did you have a good day yesterday? I wanted to introduce you to my parents, but I understand if you were busy! Oh, do you know what this meeting was about?]" Unfortunately, er completely intelligible sentences were surely lost upon Astin- after spending time with her family, she had reverted to speaking her native Japanese all too easily instead of the standard English expected on the Riese.

Edited by Juliette
oops

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Brant quickened the pace of his changing when he heard the knock on his door, deciding it'd be better to be more fully dressed before seeing anyone. It was only an extra fifteen seconds, though. "One sec ..." The door opened and Brant greeted Christina. He had his uniform pants on, as well as a sleeveless undershirt. The rest of the uniform was laid out on the bed behind him. "What were you asking about? The meeting?" Brant didn't see any issue with it, himself. Worst case scenario, something sensitive would come up and Christina might be asked to step off the bridge, either temporarily or for the rest of the meeting. "If there's an issue with you being there, I'm sure they'll let us know right away."

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Tarquin quickly departed from the canteen, still trying to make sense of the emergency meeting. All that came to mind was a sudden change in orders or priority, but even then it was beyond him what could have possibly occured. As he approached the lifts, he could see one of them was in use - no doubt the other crew members were also responding to the XO's summoning. It wasn't a problem, it was a simple matter to press the button and await another. Prodding said button gently, Tarquin awaited the appearance of a free lift.

He hadn't really faced much of the crew since their debrief, he'd spent most of the previous day with Nikolai. If it were anything like the last meeting, he'd have a lot to deal with. Thankfully, he hadn't done anything this time, so he could avoid attention fairly easily. Speaking of which, perhaps Nikolai would benefit from being present? Tarquin wasn't exactly sure if he counted as crew, but he was on the ship nonetheless. He'd have sent a message to him if he could, but he wasn't listed as a possible contact.

One of the lifts had arrived, opening up for Tarquin to step inside. He'd be left with a few minutes to think things over, as well as prepare himself for the return to military life. The single day had been his first break since his birth, and it was still very fresh in his mind.

-

Sweeping the hallway between the two laboratories, as well as listening to his portable radio, Bill had been very much disturbed by the broadcast's interruption. At first, he'd assumed it was interference, it was unlike his favourite station to cut out through a song from Femme Fatale. However, the message from Apotheosis was far more troubling. "Well I'll be a chicken who found a lemon in her nest..." he muttered, having heard the command from the XO. Whilst it would have been interesting to hear what the plan was, he wasn't exactly classified to attend such a meeting. Letting out a laugh, Bill figured that it would be best to leave it to the pilots and engineering teams. "No point asking the cabin boy to fix the mast!"

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Posted (edited)

Internal Panic

With the message relayed, Roxanna hurried to dress her proper outfit, darting over to her wardrobe. The light headache meant nothing now against the chill in her gut, and her body forced itself to move fully awake. Crap, what do I do--gotta get Je... call uncle. Quickly done with putting most of her uniform on, Roxanna sat on the edge of her bed and picked up her tablet, ordering a quick call to her relative while fixing up her leggings for the day.

No deal. Things weren't about to become easy if she had no further insight from HQ. Please... I know you're up this early. Nonetheless, she had appointed an emergency, informal meeting in a moment's notice, and she wasn't planning to waste the crew's time. Worst case they would prepare to leave the colony in a few hours and rendezvous with Miller for their next mission. A brief sigh, and rush to get in uniform complete, Roxanna made it out of her room, hardly a moment until she spotted a drowsy Jessica further down the hallways, presumably making her own way to the bridge meeting. Well... it was sign everybody received it, at least.

"...Captain." Hurrying towards Jessica, urge to poison her words much lower than a normal situation, Roxanna held herself cautiously as she noticed the android following Gefalscht. She knew well the situation about that one from reports, the colony android supposedly helped them during the mission. Still, having never interacted with it before, Roxanna held a few reservations. "...I suppose you know the reason I called for this meeting?" In fact, Roxanna suspected Jessica had just caught the message with her awakeness, but giving the pipsqueak some pressure helped take some of her own away.

Rise and Shine

Makoto had spent overnight watching over his mother, deciding not to leave his own mother alone over the comfort of sleeping on his own bed. While the one television available at the medbay was turned off, the XO's message was still relayed through speakers, waking Makoto up. "Huh... wha, what?" Muffling a yawn, the boy rubbed his eyes, slowly bringing himself to consciousness. That sounded important... but it doesn't call for me, does it? He couldn't deny he was curious, nonetheless. Maybe if he asked Elaine, she could tell him what that was all about. I wonder where she is... where do the pilots stay?

Edited by Xinnidy

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Seung-Min hadn't caught the Apotheosis broadcast itself, so the contents of their incoming emergency meeting were unbeknownst to the pilot, Regardless of any such things, she had already been well awake at the time, taking a few moments to don her proper ground uniform before heading off to the Bridge... not the usual place for a meeting, but the XO had seemed thoroughly distressed when she had called it, and such a thing had likely not been on her mind at the time. Taking one of the lifts up, it seemed a few of the others had already come this way.

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Message?

"Whaaa?" was Jess' tired response as Roxanna approached her and the android. "I got no idea... 'n I'm really tired. Whazzis all about?"

Hannah looked between the too, deciding it best to inform the captain.

"Captain, the XO is likely calling this meeting because of the worldwide broadcast from
Apotheosis, signalling their wish for all nations to disarm and--"

"Buh-- w-wait, what!?" Jess was awake now. "What's going on!? What's-- Apotheosis, worldwide-- huh!?"

Hannah looked quite perplexed, leaning back a moment.

"I had assumed that you knew, and were awake because of it. Was my assumption
incorrect?"

"Very much so! What's... Roxanna, what's going on?" There was no time for any squabbles between XO and Captain, now. They had a much bigger issue to attend to.

Attendance

"Alright! If that's, er... Not a problem, then. Thanks!" Not really wishing to keep Brant from getting dressed, Christina fidgeted in place for a moment before nervously chuckling and heading off towards the elevators. "G-Guess I'll see you in the meeting then! Haha..." You've really got to get better at dealing with attractive people, Chrissy...

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Posted (edited)

Astin blinked. Rubbed their eyes. Blinked again. Nope, she was still making no sense. "Err... I'm not exactly sure what you're saying. Could you try again in English?" They knew something important was in there given how excited she was but that didn't mean they had any clue what she was saying. "What did you do yesterday? Did you have a good day?"

Val slowly stretched and sat up, glancing around at the unfamiliar room once again. This was her place now. The tattered stuffed animal laying on the bed, the few small suitcases and single backpack dropped on the ground were the only things that were familiar to her. She glared at the clock, seeing how early it was and groaned, stuffing her head back under the pillow. Grabbing the stuffed animal, she pulled it under her arm, grumbling as she tried her best to fall back asleep.

 

Astin was making their way back towards the hangar a bit after the Phalanx had been brought into the ship. They'd been waiting a while for Avery to have a chance to eat and get some coffee and figured that now was the best time to go find her. As they made their way to the elevator, they instead spotted Avery making her way out of the cafeteria. Waving at her, Astin made their way quickly towards her. "Avery! You get enough to eat and drink? Don't want you falling asleep on me in the middle of the tour."

Avery yawned and rubbed an eye, staring over at Astin as they were called on. "Geez, you got me on radar er somethin'? Y'always seem to know where I am... Ate somethin'; ain't gonna get any more awake, but I'm not gonna keel over or nothin'. Come on, ain't no reason to wait around here. Let's head on over to the hangar and slip into the engines. Ain't no other access. Makes security better, havin' so many eyes between the entrance and the engines, right? Gotta get past all the staff."

She yawned and had Astin follow her along, looking rather sleepy in the elevator up, but perking her eyes open as they got back into the hangar. It really was her home, being surrounded by so many machines. "Alright, jus' this way. Small access door at the end o' the hangar. Then we gotta go through th'secur'ty measures, an' we're golden. Ain't gonna front tho', not really anythin' interestin' 'bout all the workin's o' th'engine. Just a buncha monitors and engines..."

Astin blushed as she questioned their ability to run into her so quickly and shook her head. "It... it's just coincidence. I was just on my way to the hangar, that's all... Uhm... yeah. And yes. That's... that's good to know. No other way to the engines except through the hangar... Plenty of people along the way to see if something is out of place..."

They followed along after Avery, smiling slightly at how quickly she managed to perk out when they got to the hangar. "What sort of security measures? And I know... I just... am curious I guess. Seeing how things work, knowing the core pars of things... It's useful."

"Huh? Y'know, like ID doors, hand scanners. Ain't gonna let anyone in without a good reason, y'know? C'mon, I'll show ya." With a quick scroll through the hangar, Avery was met with the first door, an ID scanner. It was simple enough, she reached down her jumpsuit and pulled out a card attached to a chain, letting the camera get a good shot of it. With a fwish, the door unlocked and slid open, Avery waving for Astin to follow her.

"Next one ain't so easy. Need the actual person there t'help ye." Avery placed her hand down on the pad, lines of light running over it. A quiet, robotic, 'Identity confirmed' echoed into the little hallway, as the doors opened. The last trek to the final door was... A lot longer. "I ain't got a clue why they put this here hallway in like this, but whatever. Interestin' so far? I can't imagine y'all're gettin' any enjoyment outta this. Would be mighty borin' to a pilot, I figure."

"Huh. Good to see it's well protected. Who all has permission to get in here? Just you engineers? Suppose that's all that need it..." Astin trailed off, looking around the long hallway curiously before realizing that she'd asked them another question. "Oh, ah... I mean, it's interesting. I like seeing technology and how things work I guess. It's not like piloting is my life or anything. ... Well I guess it kinda is. I mean, I just... Piloting is a thing I do. It's... I'm just calm out there. In a zone I guess. But when I'm out of the mech, it's not like I'm waiting for the next chance to get back in it. So I have to find something else to be interested in, right?" They gave a small shrug, not really knowing what else to say there.

"I get what ye mean, Astin. No need t'try an' over explain things t'me. Yer just curious, an' like seein' tech. Easy enough. An' now... Last door." Avery leaned forward at the final scanner, a small camera prodding itself out and scanning her eye. Another 'Identity Confirmed' sounded out, and the door opened.

"Only me 'an Buck got permission t'open the way back here. Ain't no reason t'go in otherwise, s'all automated and runs itself. Ain't been an issue since we took off either, no reason t'go pokin' 'round stuff." That said, she headed through the door, opening itself up to a long hallway, this one stretching to their left and right. Across from the walls behind them, were the main engines of the Heion Riese.

Giant cylinders quietly humming as engines rotated inside of them, panels on each one, lifts to reach the higher ones. "It's all electrical. Whole thing powers itself. Real nice, no need fer fuel s'long as we don't push 'er too hard. Runs off solar if we do. Tonnes of that available in space. Real nice piece o' work."

Astin just sort of shrugged at Avery's insistence that they didn't need to explain things. It seemed like the thing to do so they would probably continue to do so. "You and Buck, huh? Interesting... Suppose that's all you need like you said."

Looking around they nodded. "It's impressive for sure. Especially with the solar powered and everything. Gotta think how easily things could have required so much fuel but we can just get away with thanks to being able to use the sun... Wonder how much harder moving this ship quickly from place to place would be if we needed to refuel everywhere. And like you said, not like the sun is going to disappear any time soon."

They wandered around closer to the engines and cylinders, looking around. "Impressive. Don't know if that even really describes it fully. And you could fix all this? If something were to go wrong? That's even more impressive, if I'm being honest. I'd be lost on where even to start on something like this... Too complex for me." They chuckled slightly and went back to inspecting the systems.

  • "Well, it ain't hard t'keep this thing runnin'. Wouldn't need anyone else in here. And don't even make me think 'bout refuelin', ugh. Old models o' Kraken ships are still hybrid, that shit ain't fun. Parkin' in a space port fer two ta three hours just t'get the ship movin' again. Nope. I ain't 'bout that life." But... I am 'bout somethin' else.

    Avery let Astin get themselves closer to the engines, gently sliding up behind them as they did, giving them a gentle hug. "You ain't gonna tell me you came all the way back here just t'stare at some engines? Buck ain't gonna come chargin' in, an' that means we're alone... Y'sure you don't wanna do nothin', sweet stuff?" Casually running her hands around Astin's stomach, she started drawing circles with her fingers.

    "I been real lonely up on this ship, an' it ain't been my first occupation, y'know? Now, I ain't sayin' this'll be more than havin' fun, but... Yer real cute. An' I think you like me, at least a bit. Call me crazy iffin ye don't... But earlier's better'n later fer figurin' this stuff out." Avery giggled, and smiled, resting her head against their back.

    Astin had been nodding along as they inspected the engines right up until the point where all of a sudden arms were wrapped up around them. And then they were frozen to the spot. I... This isn't... Good? No. Breathe. This is ok. She's... She's cute. And she's been at least somewhat obvious... No this is good. 

    As Avery began to gently rub, Astin took a breath and then another before finally managing to stammer out a response. "I... I mean... You're cute. I'm not going to deny... Ah. Deny that." Their cheeks were rapidly heating up as they slowly did their best to turn around. The end result being their face being much closer to Avery's than expected.

    "Ahh... Hi. Uhm... I didn't..." They trailed off again losing track of their thoughts because of how close Avery was. But they had to get at least this last bit out. It was only fair. "I just... I'm not... Err... You just don't know anything about me. And I... I have secrets that... Matter. Here. Matter here. Well... Not exactly secrets. Just... I... You... You do know that I'm not... Not a guy, right?"

    "Good~ Thought all this work an' I'd be losin' my touch." Astin was no less flustered than she was expecting, a proper response. "Do I have ta know much about ye to wanna have a good time? We can start there iffin yer worried..."

    Secrets, was it? Would they be a bit deal? Or would they be... "If ye think you'd be my first, you'd be wrong, then. Don't really mind what equipment ye got." Avery closed in on Astin again, hugging them up against the wall. "Now, I ain't disrespectful. Much as I wan' it, you say no and I'll walk away like this never happened, a'ight? But... Well, if yer at all interested, lemme know, 'kay?" She smiled, waiting for their answer.

    "Ah..." Well it seemed like that was enough for Avery as she moved in closer again. Still bright red, the poor pilot managed to finally stammer out, "I... I am. I just needed to make sure... Sure you knew. That's all."

    Astin still was clearly slightly in shock over the situation, but they smiled back at Avery, waiting on her for the next move.

    "That a yes? Then I guess you should get yerself ready fer some fun~" Avery giggled, pressed up against Astin, and let a content smile slip across her face.

Edited by scorri

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Elaine had quickly arrived back at the Riese, and rushed straight into her designated room, locking it while she hastily undressed herself. In a matter of minutes, Elaine was back in Uniform, her civilian clothes thrown onto the bed and not the hamper for Bill to wash them, but she was entirely focused on meeting everyone at the most likely spot to be discussing the broadcast: the bridge. The automatic door opening, Elaine, once again, was sprinting down the halls of the ship, heading towards the Elevator. "Outta the way!" She yelled, having the many (to her) nameless crew members doing just that, not wanting to get run over by the rushing redhead. Her boots skid across the floor, a squeak from the material rubber quickly turning, as she arrived at the elevator, and quickly hit the button before impatiently tapping her foot. "Come on...Come on...Why is this damn thing so fucking slow?!"

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Posted (edited)

Tarquin had expected a smooth ascent upwards, but the elevator had decided to pause. Not only that, it appeared to be going down? Had he pressed the wrong button? After a gentle descent, he at least had the solace that it couldn't go down any further. The elevator stopped,opening up to let someone else in. It was perhaps a tad bothersome, but it would be for a half a minute at best. However, his acceptance of it soon faded as the door opened to reveal Elaine to him. Other than perhaps Melissa or the strange chicken mascot, there was nobody else he'd actively want to not share a journey with. If he were lucky, she'd just stand there menacingly for a minute or so. If he were unlucky, well, his only regret that he could not use the Andromeda Protocol in such delicate quarters. Looking at Elaine cautiously, he took his time choosing his words.

"It's going up, to the meeting." he said quietly, hoping she would simply accept his answer - or decide to take the stairs if there were any.

Edited by Shin

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"Yeah, I know that! Now move over!" She said this, despite there being plenty of room for several people to step inside and still not have it be crowded. Elaine stepped inside, turning to face the doors as they closed, leaving the two pilots on their own inside the elevator. Whatever fear or discomfort Tarquin had with her being the only other person inside the small metal box, he either hid it well, or Elaine just didn't notice.

She had the usual look of anger whenever she was around the boy, but, for once, it wasn't directed at him. The red-head was entirely focused, thinking long and hard about the broadcast from earlier, and how it pissed her off in nearly every way. "Terrorists..." She mumbled, though the words were clear and loud enough to hear. "Bunch a bastards. Think they can just tell everybody how to live. Under their supreme rule." She said, practically spitting the last few words out of pure and utter disgust. And, if Tarquin dared to look at her face, he could see that in all that anger were hints of determination. She wasn't about to let some self-righteous lunatics take away everybody's freedom.

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Tarquin's hopes of not sharing the lift with Elaine had been quickly destroyed. Quickly stepping out of Elaine's way, he caught hints of what she'd gotten so worked up about. Had there been some sort of information broadcast that he'd been unaware of? His connection to the outside world was poor at best, he never thought to seek out information about it, merely process anything that he was told and felt was worth remembering. The only large terrorist group he was aware of was Apotheosis, and even then he didn't know much aboutt them. He avoided making eye contact with her, not saying anything at all as the lift closed and began its ascent.

Elaine's face was perculiar, he couldn't quite place how she was feeling. It was somewhere between angry, which appeared to be her natural state, and constipation? It was rather difficult for him to fully comprehend it. He'd never really cared about other peoples' feelings, they hadn't been relevant to him until fairly recently. Only thirty or so seconds had passed since she'd intruded the lift, but the atmosphere was such that it had felt like hours. He needed to break the silence, if only to give her something to do other than punch him. The problem was wording something in a way she wouldn't take an insult - and he couldn't think of any way to compliment her at all.

"It's unusual for the XO to call an emergency meeting." Tarquin said at last, unable to think of anything better to say. "Hopefully she will be able to elaborate on such an atypical summoning."

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Thorvald had gotten an early start on the day, as was his usual wont, and had already finished hitting a few tennis balls against the wall in the sports area, cleaned up, and had been about to do something productive he hadn't been able to accomplish yesterday, due to other business, when the call to meet at the bridge came through.  Turning back from the door to the brig that he'd just been about to open, his close proximity to the bridge allowed him to be one of the first to arrive, upon which he witnessed an angry Avery manhandling poor Ensign Calvin. Neither the captain nor the XO were present yet, so I guess as the ranking officer he'd been the only available target. Poor fellow. At least her rage faded rapidly into resignation, and she let him go, bemoaning the situation.

Clearing his throat, to make his presence known, Thorvald spoke up. "Well, looks like that makes a grand total of none of us present that know what this is about, so I guess we just have to wait." It couldn't possibly be about anything he'd discussed with Roxanna yesterday, the timing and execution were all wrong for that, so this was new. It had to be.

Avery's complaints about lack of sleep would have been apparent even if he hadn't overheard them, and were certainly worth commenting on though, "Damn, you look like hell warmed over this morning, Bubbles. Really appreciate all the time you're putting in on the machines for us, but do make sure to take needed breaks and get a little 'me time' in there somewhere. You'll be no good completely burnt out."

-------

Meanwhile, in the bridge, spared one disturbance by the other, Abby scowled up at the the surveillance cameras when the XO's broadcast had come through. Would it concern her? Maybe. Was she likely to find out? Fuck if she knew. With a sigh, she turned back to what had been occupying her attention previously, as she'd woken quite early. With nothing to do but sleep basically, the mercenary leader had already gotten quite her fill of that in, so when the early morning came and she couldn't fool herself any longer, she'd pulled out the pad the good doctor had given her and been paging through How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Interplanetary Age. It was kind of an ironic read, really. Full of good advice that she just couldn't take. It was like it was written for people who owned spoons, but all she had was a knife. Still, she owed it to herself, and to Megumi, to keep reading in the hopes of maybe finding something.

 

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Immediate Notice

Honestly, seeing Jess this tired and unprepared was amusing, and Roxanna would be lying if she didn't get a kick from Jess' surprise at receiving the news. A great way to start the day~.

"What the android said is correct." Any presence of a smirk and satisfaction in Roxanna's face faded away at her turn to speak, the serious subject matter something even she couldn't be glad about. "Apotheosis sent an ultimatum broadcast, as of right now. They're asking for surrender or fight, no third option. Considering how little we know about them, I'd rather be cautious and tell the crew to be on alert. We're probably moving out soon." Following the other two's pace now, Roxanna called for the elevator as soon as they reached the lift, no time to be wasted (all of them would likely be really busy too). "I tried to reach Admiral Alphonse, but I got no response. He's probably getting overwhelmed with other calls right now." She sighed and idly bit the tip of her nail in the wait, it was a first that she seemed to show anxiety and concern in front of Jessica. "Maybe we should contact the Space Navy..."

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"Hm?" It took Juria a few moments to realize what Astin was confused about. "Oh! Big sorry! Juria visited house yesterday to see parents, so was using Japanese then, but Astin not be knowing that, so is mistake. Was mostly good day, if little sad. What about you, Astin friend? For both! Was yesterday good for you? And what about Astin house, where is that! You never told Juria." She paused to consider whether or not that was true. "Or maybe just forget. Equally likely of being true."

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Warm Hell

"Yeah... Well... S'not like I didn't get t'have any fun yesterday," she said with a small smile and the twisting of some hair, "so it ain't that bad. Jus' ain't happy 'bout the early wake up. Thas all. I'll simmer down 's soon as we get to know what's goin' on." She slumped against the main console and yawned, trying not to look peeved anymore. Thinking about the previous day brought some nice memories back.

Terror Absolute

"Th-That's... Why now, I... This is still, a dream, right?" Jess was taken aback hearing all of this, following Roxanna with a very distant look on her face. "W-We should, hurry back to earth then. We can't be out here doing nothing, we... Ahh, wow... It's too early for this." While Jess continued to freak out, and got on the elevator, Hannah spoke up to the XO.

"Shall I try to contact the other colonies to see how far spread this message had
gotten? I will be able to send a message through your ship's transceivers easily."

Jess coughed, shaking her head some, and slumping in posture. "Why didn't we get any messages from HQ? What's going on down there? This isn't... This isn't right..."

There was no time left for her to question it as the elevator hit the top floor, the small group making their way to the bridge where a dreadful meeting waited.

Uninformed and Unenlightened

Jess stood clutching her blanket as everyone else slowly poured into the bridge, sitting herself a bit huddled up on her captain's chair. She looked far less like a captain and much more akin to a scared girl, and being honest about it, she was. There was no training for global terrorist takeover, there was no formula, no regulation to follow. They hadn't received word from HQ and all scanners were showing that nothing was happening on the ground. Something didn't add up.

"XO, c-can you play the video, for everyone to see, now?" she asked, hoping Roxanna would take the lead for a bit. She didn't have it in her, right now.

Meanwhile, Chrissy, coming in late, slid over to Kim, poking her arm. "Hey. Do you know what this is all about? It seems like a really big deal... But we stopped the people attacking the colony. What could it be?"

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Nikolai's ears perked as he heard the strange, almost mechanical voice rouse him from his makeshift nest, a pile of blankets and pillows in the middle of the floor. Most of the amenities in his room had been appropriately neglected by the boy, from the bare mattress to the dusty screen of the television set. He yawned, stretching his lithe form much like a small, strange animal trapped in a human's skin. He picked casually at one of the stale loaves of bread he'd stashed away within the folds of the pile of fabric, chewing on a particularly hard piece of crust.

He didn't really need the fuel after the expansive amount of... whatever the hell it was called at the shopping centre, but he figured breakfast couldn't hurt. He finally clambered to his feet, making mental stock of his clothes situation. Same black, oversized sweater and matching leggings he'd worn for the past few days. Still, he'd taken them out of the closet here so that meant they must be human clothes, and he WAS wearing pants so no one could bitch at him about that detail. He looked at his pathetic face once more in the mirror before heading out.

same tired looking, strangely skinny, stunted little fucker he'd always been.

He slunk into the halls casually, noting that he'd been summoned to the bridge. Not that it mattered, since he didn't give a single shit about any of these humans (save Tarquin) and was sure that the apathy was reciprocated. He wandered aimlessly, finally stumbling into an area that seemed crowded enough to be the bridge, seeing as people usually did not swarm to the same area like this under normal circumstances. He saw what looked like a flash of red hair in the distance that could conceivably be the crybaby captain, but he didn't particularly care for good mornings. or friendship. or the captain.

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They had all gathered in the bridge as requested, the Captain still in her pajamas and wrapped up in a blanket... clearly the XO had called this meeting without her knowledge or consultation... but based on the air in the room, as well as the mood emanating from the both of them, as well as a few others, it was one called in urgency, not bothered by typical protocol. As the Captain asked for a video feed, Kim turned towards her left, where Christina had poked her arm and sat down, asking what the meeting was about... a question to which Seung-Min did not yet have an answer.

"Not sure. Apparent have video play, meeting about start, Find out soon enough."

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The rest of the ascent was rather uneventful, perhaps for the better. The pilots, as well as much of command, had gathered at the bridge, meaning he would finally be able to gather what was happening. All that he was aware of was some sort of terrorist announcement, but the content and scale of things were very much a mystery. If it had come to this, then the Captain and XO had to be concerned.

Even Tarquin, with his own self-admitted lack of social sense, could feel the air of tension in the room as he entered it. He'd just caught Jess' request to show a video, which only added to the likelihood of a broadcast. He'd never quite understood the concept of terrorism, all he knew was that it was an act of rebellion with violent connotations - the politics behind it were something completely separate from his existence until now. Even then, it was likely that it would just be another set of targets for him to face, making it barely difficult from his intended purpose.

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"Oh that's good that you got to see your parents. Yesterday was, ah... good. It was good." Astin rubbed their face a bit, trying to hide the blush that was starting to creep up. The next question was confusing to them. "Err, my house? My house is back on Earth. In Canada. At least that's where my parents live. I don't have a house of my own. Maybe after I leave the military. Even then I would want to move back to Canada though. I like it there. More peaceful than America, at least where I lived." They gestured towards their destination. "Come on though, we should hurry up. Don't want to be the last ones there."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A short time later, Astin was equally confused as those around them. "Video? Captain, what's going on? Did something happen back on Earth?" Is it... It couldn't be. Not already. Not after what just happened. Unless... But that doesn't add up, wouldn't... No, no use making wild guesses. Wait to see what the video shows. And stay calm. Overreacting won't help anything if it's what you think it is.

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