Phoenix

Aeon - The Odyssey

Recommended Posts

10:15 Monday, January 31st, 2405 A.D.

Providence, Eupraxia Grand Station, Jovian Sphere.

Hitomi turned off her communicator and let her arms fall to her sides. After a long moment of silence, she shook her head and straightened up. "This is just a joke, right?! Linus is thinking about joining a different team?! I'm going to be the only one left at this rate! We'll be disbanded! I can't let the Odyssey end like this!"

Team Odyssey really was in serious trouble, here. They were down to just two members, one of whom had all sorts of worrisome ideas about their future. Neither the fact that Hitomi was the daughter of one of the Battle Network's executives, nor the fact that she was a student of the Legendary Silver Bullet, Felix Lis, would save them from this one. There was so much more Hitomi had to tell Linus to reassure him before she got off the line ... mostly incoherent pleading, but she had a lot of it saved up for the man. She'd gotten a message from Felix in the middle of their talk, though. Battlenet's big convention was already underway. It wouldn't be long until Hitomi's father and even Felix were up on stage addressing some insanely large crowds. Linus and Hitomi opted to continue the conversation at the convention after meeting up. Hitomi was already dressed, so she only had to put away her breakfast and then head out. Not all the players wore these uniforms at Battlenet gatherings, especially when they weren't going to be posing for photos or doing interviews, but Hitomi's uniform was comfortable enough. It also served as an ID, which was always handy.

Before heading for the door, Hitomi approached the main window of Felix's apartment. They were near the top floor of the building, in one of the small but well off suites. As a result, the view of Providence and New Victoria was still stunning to this day. Below her was a metropolitan area that rivaled any terrestrial city, and above her was a similar but unique city, inverted and too far away to reach on foot. In truth, Providence was a city on the underside of Evergreen Province. New Victoria, for all intents and purposes, was right side up. Unfortunately, this sort of view had a way of intimidating Hitomi a little. She knew that the pressure difference would leave her floored and unconscious if the window happened to break. She also knew that this wasn't just ordinary glass sitting between her and an extremely thin atmosphere. If it ever broke, the smart glass making up the interior layer would repair itself before there were any fatalities.

Reaching out with her right hand, Hitomi gently placed her palm flat against the window. Pale blue lines of light raced out from her hand and converged in front of her, forming a smart screen display. The image said 'Ready.' "I need a Swift," Hitomi said, letting the device interpret her meaning and place the call.

"Right away," came back a friendly but clearly synthetic male voice. It was still a subtle tell, but not every company went out of its way to make their AIs sound exactly like their human representatives. The sound itself came from the apartment's speaker systems, which had some directionality to them when needed. "Is there anything else we can do for you today, Ms. Moto?"

"Yeah, put at least twenty extra boosters on it so I can get to the convention faster," Hitomi joked.

The voice seemed to realize as much. "Of course. Thank you for choosing Swift, Ms. Moto. Your compak is being assembled and will be waiting for you in the lobby."

The call ended and Hitomi pulled her hand away from the window. "Maybe I can get there first for a change ..." Doubtful, unless she ignored her breakfast ...

In the end, Hitomi consoled herself with the thought that 'Swift' had a efficiency down pat. That and breakfast was important. Her compak was ready and waiting for her when she reached the lobby, and it wasn't difficult to spot among the others The one man shuttle had a paint scheme that perfectly matched Hitomi's Battlenet uniform. It wasn't the first time she'd ordered a compak from Swift just to skip the metro, so she wasn't surprised the preferences she'd fiddled with in Felix's account before had actually came through on this order.

Once she was aboard, the cockpit closed and the system gently reminded Hitomi to put her harness on. Once she did, the system opened up to her ... not fully, though. She only had a learner's permit at the moment. About all she could do without annoying the system was tell it her destination and then sit back and relax. "Let's see ... it was at Battlenet Plaza, right? Hey, Swift, Battlenet's convention's at the plaza, right? Is that big enough?"

"It looks like they're holding the event at the shopping center," a different voice from the last one, this one female, answered, "Yes, it looks like the plaza's in use, too. The whole area. This must be major~ Would you like us to bring you anywhere in particular?"

Hitomi felt she was too short for crowds, so maybe starting near the plaza would be best. As long as it wasn't crowded, too. "Plaza. I can find my way from there."

"Very good, Ms. Moto. Just relax and enjoy the ride."

With that, the compak's engines flared to life and they were airborne a couple of seconds later. As they lifted off, Hitomi placed her palm on the inside of the canopy, and just like with the window in Felix's apartment, a display made from the converging lights appeared and formed a display. This time she was just going to let everyone--Matsuo, Felix, and Linus, that she was on her way.

The Convention

The view of Battlenet Plaza from overhead was both beautiful and grim at the same time. It didn't matter how tall her people were, she was too short to be spotted over anyone else. It Even if she was still a growing girl, for the moment Hitomi only reached a measly five feet and two inches. There were plenty of people pushing six and a half feet due to the lower gravity and their good genes. Speaking of gravity, the closer the compak came to the ground, the more Hitomi could feel it, again. She was under about half a G by the time they touched down.

"I'mmm," Hitomi glanced around once she was out of the compak, "yeah, I'm probably going to head back with someone else, so I'm done. You can recycle this one, now. Thanks."

"Very well, Ms. Moto. The charge to Mr. Lis' account should go through within the next five minutes. You can also review the order on your account."

They were linked, so that made sense. Hitomi shrugged. "Alright, thanks."

"Enjoy the event, Ms. Moto." With that, the compak lifted off into the sky and disappeared into the perpetual sky traffic.

Hitomi started toward the plaza and the stage they had built near the center, even as the crowds began to increase in size and the through traffic grew more intense. As much as she wanted to track down her father and Felix first, Hitomi had an almost overwhelming urge to head straight north to the shopping center's main building. It would be just as crowded, but with pockets and out of the way shops she could use to take a break from everyone, not to mention cleaner seating. Hitomi realized she could also head underground if this place just became too much for her. The only options down there were the parking areas and the underground mall. Probably better to stay on the surface; the mall would be even more crowded than the plaza, and the parking lot traded headcount for eardrum rupturing amounts of noise.

Before she'd even entered the plaza proper, Hitomi spotted a smartglass pane flanked by two benches. She raced over, being careful not to scare the couples resting on the benches, and placed her hand on it. A fresh display appeared and Hitomi brushed the window aside with her free hand. It was instantly replaced by a series of menus, and she quickly hit one of the options, which connected her to Battlenet. Information about the convention came up, along with a map that had more information associated with it than it normally would. The gaming center was on the opposite side of the plaza from the food court, and the Frame Ops players, both professional and casual would probably be playing there throughout the event. There were plenty of places around here people could play of course, but the cockpits they had installed were really popular, and for good reason. The shopping centers were apparently working closely with Battlenet for the next few days. Quite a few of them were going to be selling items and apparel related to the event, in addition to their normal wares. The underground mall had the same arrangement in place. The food court was also getting in on the action, with Battlenet and team themed meals and the like. Hitomi supposed that wouldn't be a bad place to meet up with Linus to discuss their options ...

"It's coming right for us."

Hitomi glanced at the couple on the bench to her left. The boyfriend was looking through a pair of enhanced specs, so she couldn't tell what he was trying to point out, exactly. Neither could his girlfriend, apparently. He handed the specs off to her and she flinched when she saw ... whatever she saw. Whatever 'it' was.

"Is that why the traffic cleared up over there?" the woman asked.

"Bet so," her boyfriend nodded, sure as anything.

Hitomi huffed. She didn't have enhanced specs, but she still had options. Carefully lining herself up with the display between her and this mystery object, Hitomi tried to use the display to resolve the object and isolate it. With the woman constantly pointing right toward it, it didn't take long to get a the object marked. Only the running lights were on, so it really didn't stand out very well. After she had it marked, Hitomi made the display zoom in on it. Her face went pale when she saw the warship drifting silently toward them. "That's an Independence II!"

"Yeah!" The man didn't notice how weirded out Hitomi was.

"Why's it ...?" Dad. Dad. Dad! "Dad!"

"Yes, Hitomi?" Matsuo answered quickly, thankfully. The display was sound only, and let Hitomi know as much.

"What's Scipio doing?! There's a ship headed right for us!"

"It's all part of the show," Matsuo assured her. He clearly understood just how unlikely that was, and went onto add, "The Battle Network is finally adding warships into our professional games, so we needed something really big to help get everyone excited. It took a lot of convincing--a lot of credits, but Scipio is letting us have this one for the event. As soon as she reaches her target point, we're starting. It should only be another couple of minutes, actually. Try to find a spot near the front, Hitomi."

"Erm ... o-okay ... as long as we're not about to get rammed into counterspace by a battlecruiser."

"Hardly," Matsuo chuckled.

The two couples had been listening in and seemed satisfied with Matsuo's explanation. Hitomi was just a tad confused. Did they really find Scipio's price for flying a battlecruier over Providence? She wasn't a military type, but she could thing of a lot of reasons not to do it. Still, if it was for the event, and it would help get players and Frame Ops fans alike excited for the upcoming season, then get over here, you giant Independence II class behemoth. "Just ... please slow down once you get here ..."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright... Her disguise was nearly perfect. Nearly. Her tail was being frustrating, she was still getting used to moving it, and having the darn thing wrapped around her waist all the time, it was certainly a struggle. Her sweater was helping to keep it in place, but she had to remember not to get too excited, else it would just start moving on its own, as it tended to do. Still... Tail secure, for now, sweater on and zipped (with the necessary Xenowear and Vicware pins, she had to rep her brand), skirt almost appropriate length, leggings pristine and new, and hat equipped. People would just think the thing had ears on it, rather than the accessory hiding anything. And with goggles attached to it, to slip over her face, to hide both her eyes and where her ears should be? This was perfect! Fool proof! No rabid fan would be able to find her here, she could enjoy the convention without worry.

With confidence reviewed and phone in hand, Melanie strolled through the plaza, glancing around at all the people. She was never one to leave her room without a reason... Not that she had issues with people, if she needed to talk to anyone, she could manage it just fine. There was, normally, simply no point. She could get anyone in the manse to bring things to her, order them otherwise. The first floor had a fully equipped gym, the backyard had a pool, and her room was setup for streaming perfectly-- she even had two backup PCs, were something to go wrong! Thus, home life was the most comfortable, and were this any normal convention, she would've watched coverage of it at home... Too bad it wasn't.

This time, Battlenet was advertising warships. Like, battle cruisers, carriers, frigates; actual ship combat! That was something you had to see in person... A change like this was monumental for the game. How much it would cost to own one, what game modes would get introduced with them, even what exactly they did, she had to see it first hand, not get some seconds delayed stream of it, or read up on it later.

And so Melanie was here in the flesh, trying not to bump into anyone, and typing a message up on her LunarTicks account. She wasn't expecting to run into anyone, but... Might as well let people know she was here, no?

'Bonjour mes amis~ Mewlanie 'ere, reporting live from ze Battlenet plaza, walking around, enjoying ma self as I wait for ze productions to begin.' This really was a first for her... She wasn't quite sure what exactly to mention, she'd never gone to these live events. 'Zey are showing off ze new ships today... Even I could not miss zis, and for anyone else 'ere today, I 'ope you 'ave ze time of votre lives~ And, 'oo knows?' She paused a moment... Maybe she did want to run into people? Not a mob or a crowd, but, surely some of her fans were good people... I will not go out of ma way to find anyone, mais... Eef anyone notices me, I should try and say 'ello, non? At least try. D'accord. Zat ees what I will do. 'Maybe I will see some of you 'ere today.' And send... Her keyboard had gotten used to typing out her spoken accent, it added a touch she felt helped personalize these messages. The likes and responses came rolling in a moment later, making her smile just a bit-- but some gasps and worried voices from a nearby bench caught her attention.

Someone was pointing up at the sky... Pointing at what? Whatever it was, they were viewing it through enhancers, and her goggles were just to cover her eyes... Out with the phone again. Zooming in with the camera... "Mon Dieu... Vraiment? J'en crois pas mes yeux! Hahah!" So much for keeping her tail a secret... The appendage slipped out from under her sweater and started wagging ever so slightly, as her smile brightened. That was a battle cruiser! An Independence II! It looked like it was makings its way towards the event... Was this their big surprise? Had they seriously convinced the government to allow one all the way here, just for this!?

"I love zis game." She quickly took a photo and replied to her last tick, a Up1Jxkz.gif right above the picture of the oncoming ship. "Aujourd'hui ees going to be fantastique."

Edited by SnakeMomMelissa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Monika wasn't sure when this big reveal they had announced was going to be, but... well, it had some making up to do for the rest of the convention. Warships, huh... well, it was certainly a change. Still, the rest of it was so... how to put this? Well, she was currently sipping a branded milkshake that the clerk had called "The Silver Bullet", which must have been named after a famous player or something. The tag seemed relatively familiar at any rate... regardless, the scarlet-locked woman browsed the various storefronts and booths lining the plaza... most of them emblazoned with Frame Ops merchandise and theming. It was all the sorta stuff you could easily order online if you were really interested in it... miniature models of various frames and weapons, peripherals to add to your home VR setup. There was the gaming setups, which seemed pretty snazzy and sophisticated compared to a home rig, but that might draw attention that she wasn't particularly in the mood to draw, were she to go on too much of a tear. Would people recognize her name, if she logged in here? Monika truly didn't know.

Speaking of drawing attention, there seemed to be some sort of commotion not too far away. Walking in the direction of a group of people beginning to gawk into the sky, and taking the cue to pull out her phone and enhance with it's camera... that was certainly a battleship. So this was what they had planned? Well, it certainly lived up to the advertisements, if they were flying a... she thought she heard the words Independence II tossed about in the crowd, that seemed relatively battleship... ish. So an Independence II battleship, if they were flying one of those so close to the plaza, it would certainly be a big deal. Admittedly, for players more interested in that side of things than herself, moreso. She could already pick out a few members of the crowd who seemed noticeably more emotive than the others. There were faces of awe, some tinged with worry, and some... wait, what? Monika blinked, rubbing her eyes for a moment... was that a tail? Surely not...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heading through the plaza from the food court and steadily munching on some overpriced gravy fries called a "Shelled City", Zeke had an unusually pensive expression on display. It felt bittersweet to be at a Battlenet convention by himself. On one hand, it meant he didn't have to worry about someone doing something stupid and making a PR nightmare, but on the other hand, well, he no longer had a team. Maybe if they'd stuck around a bit longer the team could've... He shook his head; it wasn't worth thinking about what-ifs right now. Speaking of what-ifs, he nearly bumped into someone pointing at the sky; had he not realized sooner he'd have spilled his fries over the both of them and it would've sucked. Now, what were they pointing at...?

A battleship? Now that was amazing, he just had to take a picture. As he wiped his hands to avoid gravy filled pockets, something that wasn't a battleship caught his eye. Was that a tail, or was he just losing it from the stress? No... That was definitely a tail. Someone sure had money. Reminded him of a Frame Ops streamer that his little sister watched. Melanie? Malanie? Something like that; though, based on what he'd heard there was no way she'd bother coming to a public convention like this. A shame, if she were the real deal and he was able to get her to sign something it'd be a great gift. Brushing it aside he pulled out his phone, zoomed in, and snapped a picture. His family wasn't gonna believe this!

Edited by Ursali

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Strolling casually through the plaza with the latest quint-core hyper processor for her gaming rig, Helena hums the theme of one of various drama series with extremely niche cult following of the present era. 

Keeping the precious cargo doubly wrapped in foam by her side as the packaging had more than quadrupled its bulk for safety(credits are hard to come by, ok?), the dusky skinned petite girl with a gentle polite face nearly bumps into a large crowd that seemed to be glancing at something far in the distance. Curious and mostly frustrated at the current standstill traffic, Helena looks out to where all were directing their gaze.

Squinting very hard trying to see through the gaps of the various tall folks around her, the girl sighed and pulled out a video recorder she brought everywhere with her. Hooking it onto a selfie stick, Helene stretched it above the gasping crowd and clicked the zoom function. Noticing the ship finally after achieving maximum zoom distance, the girl with a polite countenance thinks to herself, What sort of fucking cunt's mind did it take to dream of wasting so much credits and put the prime publicity stunt so far we all can't fucking use our natural eyes to appreciate it. Of course it's the fucking corporations and their bitching conspiracy to make us need their products as opposed to improved planning and consideration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Enjoying a hot cup of coffee by herself on a table was about the best way Karina could think of enjoying the festivities. Why did people like hanging out in such suffocating crowds, anyways? It seemed like a colossal waste of energy that one would later regret... at least, her personal experience veered towards that. Too much effort, not enough payoff.

Which is why, from an earlier hour, she'd reserved a seat at an upper floor café at the food court, a nice enough view of the plaza with half the noise and people. Of course it was a bit costly, but that didn't matter over comfort, really. Touching the smartglass on the window next to her seat, Karina opened a prompt to link her device and, a few moments later, had taken a zoomed in picture from the plaza from her vantage point.

glad I'm not there lol, but the place is full of FO stuff, wonder what they're planning for the parade.

"Send tick." Karina mumbled, turning the UI off with a swipe of her hand, only for it to pop up again with a message alert. It was Sten, her eldest brother. The timing of the message was certainly dubious --he was meant to be in service.

Aniki:
Hey sis, enjoying the convention?

Absolutely perplexing. While he was supportive, Sten wasn't particularly active in sharing her interest on the game. He played it a few times, nothing more than casual play. Maybe he was just concerned about her? Something came up in the family?

Karina:
Its ok. something up?

Aniki:
uh...
Aniki:
Yeah, it's up. You should take a look.
Aniki:
:)

What the... What was that supposed to-- Karina shifted her gaze upwards, making out a weird spec out on the distance. Something distinct enough from the rest of the view from the 'upper' Disc. "Zoom in." Withing a few moments, the smartglass' feed zoomed into the object, and it was... something, alright. An independence II, a bloody battleship. Was that a PR stunt? It had to be, but... wow.

Karina:
ARE YOU KIDDING ME
Karina:
wait holy shit
Karina:
are you there

Aniki:
:)
Aniki:
Enjoy the con, sis.

"Son of a gun..." Sten would probably get in reprimanded for spelling it out, or maybe he didn't have the time to spend texting his sister too much... she'd wring it out of him later if it still mattered. Being in the military sure sounded cooler at times like this. Still... it was a nice surprise to see Frame Ops was really going ham about this update.

heres to hoping the update actually rules and doesn't break the game hardcore. nice

"Send tick." Accompanied by a decent shot of the battleship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Venitus strolled around the plaza, still amazed at the grandeur of it all. It was enough for him to take off his headphones, turning off the jazz he was listening to. The sheer size of the station was staggering. And there were fans of Frame Ops all around, babbling about anything from battle strategies, bragging about their records, and even to the rumors about all the major teams, most of them negative, as most rumors are. If any of those were true, that would be a shame, but Venitus was too caught up in the moment to even pay that thought a second mind. This convention was like heaven, even if not one of the attendees recognized him. He didn't mind, no one remembers the back-up. Plus, it made it easier to get around, and try all of this weird food. Fizzy drinks that could have any flavor you wanted, some meat he had never seen dipped in a delicious sauce that was cooked using electricity, and the best goddamn mints he has ever tasted in his life. It's all more than a little expensive, but the flavors are more robust and pronounced than anything he has ever tasted before. After gorging himself on as much food as he could eat, he stumbles to one of the rails looking out into the vast expanse of space.

"Man, they don't have views like these back on Earth. Never thought I'd make it all the way up here, but that's just what happens whe- good lord is that a Battleship?"

It certainly was, and an Independence II no less. There was that new update coming, he just didn't think it would be that big. The Big Cheeses at the top certainly thought so. 

"Mmm, cheese. That's what I'll have later, but first, I gotta see what this thing does. This day just keeps getting better and better."

Venitus suddenly felt people pushing against him, suppose they noticed the battleship. Glancing behind him, he realized that a huge conglomerate of people had gathered. He saw a recorder on a selfie stick above.

"Now that person is smart, they aren't going to have to wade through this crowd later. Then again, they don't get this front row seat."

The battleship was approaching the station, and he could see the ship in more detail. Of course, he had seen plenty of pictures of it, the Independence II was a pretty rad looking ship, but to see it in real life, it was breathtaking.

"Gods what I would take to take the wheel in something like that." Venitus said while practically ogling the ship. Of course, the ogling wasn't purely out of amazement, he was also using his optic eye to scan the ship, just so he could have its classifications within his personal database. Of course, he wouldn't gain much outside of information that was available to the public, but he hoped he might be able to gleam something useful.

Edited by DarthR0xas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Krrnkh, krrrrnk... The package foil crinkles. Granules of MakoMako Rice Crackers shake inside the pouch as Makala dumps the contents into his mouth. Sighing, he crumples it into a ball, tossing it listlessly.

'2\/\/00t i m @ batt13n3t c0n 2 w33r u @ lemme h1ch00!!! (۶* ‘ꆚ’)۶'

Leet speak, an extinct dialect of the Internet. Makala - LunarTicks ID @M3WCR3WM00kz33z - fancied himself fluent in such speech. Surely it reflected his sophistication, hearkening back to some forgotten glorious past. It came off as awkward as if he were Thespian acting.

Your one & only 3D bae Mewlanie is so much as breathing among these gluehuffers! The spaghetti pockets are at the food court, shitdrip.

Surely he would lose something with one misfortunate word choice, doomed to his #1 steamer idol's blocklist for his handle most engaged. Those 5,000 Credits annual to earn him undisputed #1 Donor for every stream didn't come cheap. His fixation upon the minutia of each word & the order in their syntax, took him out of the crowded food court. The hot pink slush of his 'Le Triomphant' shake curdled at the bottom, flecked in condensation. The chromium serving tray held a tumult of chip bags, dyed popsicle sticks, burger tins, pastry pouches, & spent napkins. Contrary to his poor diet, his metabolism didn't slack one pound. Scrawny as he was, the stub of a snack pouch surfaced only slightly.

Makala's greasy index hammered the Backspace holokey of his phone. 'u mak1n a sh0 c0m1n 2 t3h @f7ur parteh l8r SourPls'

Pipo~! The notification button blank to life on Makala's feed. Another Mewlanie post? Clicking onto the post, his brows crested his white fringe.

"An Independence II? Hah! You've done enough, these manchildren just wanna PLAY pretend army man!" Y-Your heart, shan't fret much longer, Mew. Our connection transcends fiber-optics!

Edited by Sarki Soliloquy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Friedrich sipped his coffee before letting out an exhausted sigh.  He was oddly more well-dressed than usual for a Monday; sporting his favorite dark blue suit, light-red undershirt, and a striped tie.  However, he had a good reason for doing so.  His morning had been a busy one: he had finished attending a video conference call with the main office back home at 6:45 A.M. in his hotel room.  Once it had finished at 7:30 A.M., he decided to change venues to work on reviewing various match history reports; wanting some fresh air.  The stack of papers sitting directly in front of him had decreased by at least half by his count; yet it looked as though the stack had barely moved since he passed the one-third mark.  Thankfully, the second floor café had been relatively quiet so he could focus on his work, not to mention the coffee had helped ward off some of the fatigue.  The café also had a nice view of the plaza, which was a bonus.

A dark-haired, well-dressed gentleman of around forty was sitting in front of him, reviewing similar reports.  “Why don’t we take a break, sir?  We’ve been going hard at this since we got here,” he spoke as he glanced up; peeking over a similar looking stack in front of him.  “Even with the two of us, we aren’t going to finish until evening at the rate we’re going and judging by your demeanor, the last few players haven’t shown any promise.”

“I suppose you’re correct, Nicholas.”  Friedrich let out another sigh as he set the current match history report into the growing pile on his left; his annoyed expression becoming more apparent.   “So far, we haven’t been able to gather enough players to form a team I’d feel comfortable recommending to sponsor.  Either their win/loss ratio takes a huge dive after a few weeks, they’re too new for us to gain insight to their abilities, they already got picked up by another team, or there’s some other issue.  I doubt Father would go for the few players we deemed passable.”  Friedrich nodded towards the rather pathetic-looking pile on his right.

“Have patience, sir.”  Nicholas reassured Friedrich. “I know we’re almost done reviewing the Silver League, but I’m certain Gold and Platinum will yield better results.”  He motioned towards the giant stack in the middle.  “Besides, we both the reason why you’re REALLY he-”

Nicholas’ statement was cut off as his attention was drawn towards the growing crowd gathering by the edge of the balcony as well as the plaza below them.  Friedrich’s gaze followed his as the cause was quickly discovered. 

“Nicholas, do you still have your camera with you?” Friedrich quickly turned to Nicholas.

“Yes sir, right here.”  Nicholas shoved his camera into Friedrich’s hands.  He quickly zoomed in to get a better picture before activating the record function.

“Is that an Independence II?  I think I know why Otto seemed a little TOO happy about us coming.”

“And if I had to guess, a certain bird is going to be sharing Sir Otto’s excitement, won’t he?” Nicholas groaned.

“Maybe.” Friedrich remarked as a small grin formed on his usual stone-faced demeanor; still recording the battleship’s advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a wonderful sight... It would probably take the ship only a few more minutes to arrive at the convention, how far overhead would it be floating? Would she be able to take a more quality photo? Maybe... The one she'd taken had been admittedly mildly blurry, but, if she could get a better one... "So many people would get to see eet first on ma account~ Fantastique, I cannot wait for--" Melanie froze, as she felt something tugging on her skirt... Had one of her fans already found her? Were they a creeper!? She spun around to, nothing. What? But the gentle nudging was still there... No...

"Ayoi! Toi lâ, stupide queue!" She tried to grab at the thing, missing the first time, an awkward little spin to get a hold of it ensuing... She finally managed to get a hand on it, making herself flinch; it was still her own body. "You cannot be causing me problèmes 'ere, zis ees not ma stream. Eef someone sees..." Too late for that. And they'd probably gotten an eyeful of her little show. She finished tucking the damn thing back under her sweater, before rushing over to the girl with a finger against her lips. "Shhhh!"

Melanie could only assume this girl didn't know who she was, else she probably would've asked, right? So clearly, it was time for clarifications, and proper introductions. "You did not see anysing, oui? Oui. Très bien, d'accord... Maintenent, bonjour, je m'appelle Melanie, comment tu t'appelles? Er, uh... I am, Melanie. A-And you are?" Not everyone here, or really anyone, was going to be speaking en Français. She'd have to get used to English, if she was going to be talking to anyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before she could go back to watching the battleship descend... oh my. Well, a few things then... first off, apparently it was a tail. Second, the owner of said tail had finally noticed it had taken itself for a wag, and had begun to chase the errant limb in what was honestly an adorable display, eliciting a gentle giggle from Monika. By the time she had opened her eyes again, the girl had raced over to her, almost assuredly realizing she had been noticed, and immediately pressing her finger to the redhead's lips, shushing her. 

The heavy accent and French... it was French, right? Monika thought she recognized a bit of it, but a repeat in English affirmed things far more clearly. Apparently this girl, Melanie, didn't want people seeing the tail, and had tucked the thing away under her clothing. 

"Err, umm... sure, nothing. I'm uhh... Monika. Nice to meet you, Melanie." She replied somewhat sheepishly, lifting a hand up to gently adjust her scarf. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shy girl... Still didn't know who she was, and she was being rather compliant towards such a sudden advance. A good tag along for this event, then. Melanie sighed quietly, adjusting her goggles up onto her hat. Seriously, this girl had to be a new level of meek to not get scared off by some random person, hat, goggles, running up at you and slapping a finger against your mouth. Either way, the goggles were gone, and Melanie smiled, now fully composed. I will 'ang out wis 'er, and zat will keep ze ozzer weirdos away from me, oui? And zis way, I 'ave backup, eef someone tries to talk to moi about my streams. Très bien! You can be my bodyguard~

"Monika, oui? Enchanté, nice to meet you. I like your look, nice scarf... I assume you are 'ere for ze Frame Ops convention? A strange place to be walking about wissout an interest een eet, non?" As long as I sink een Anglais, I should be fine... "Donc, I was 'oping you wouldn't mind coming around wis me to look at sings? Zis ees my first time ever coming to a convention like zis... I do not get out of ze 'ouse very often, donc, well... And... I know I said, you did not see anysing, mais..." Melanie glanced at her backside for a moment, shrugging weakly. "Eet does not like to listen. So... 'Aving someone else 'oo seems trustworzy around, would make me feel a lot more, confortable. Eez zat alright?" 'Ook line and sinker, j'espère.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Deciding now was a good time as any with much of the patrons distracted, Helene pushes her way past the crowd to order one of those triple scoop Cosmo Cones yogurt ice cream. Usually a long row would stand in queue, but not as this very moment, and the petite girl was always one to seize opportunities.

"Three scoops please, and an extra helping of those star candy sprinkle, the frosty one," the girl ordered. Noting the cashier was still squinting at the approaching spaceship, Helena clapped both her hands in frustration saying aloud, "HEY, SOME PROFESSIONALISM PLEASE!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Oh, umm... thank you." Monika replied, watching this Melanie's mannerisms as she spoke. As long as she didn't question the scarf, everything would be fine, though speaking of questioning things... as the girl moved her goggles, something seemed... off, to Monika. Weren't there supposed to be ears, where those had been? Then again, that hat did have those... what she had assumed had been vanity cat ears, one of those cosplay pieces, but if she had the tail... 

Not worth asking about it. Based on Melanie's reaction to having her tail spotted, it didn't seem like the French woman was in the mood to tell, either. Whatever her circumstance or reasons, it didn't really bother her that her suddenly acquired convention buddy had assorted cat bits. That was Melanie's business, after all.

"Yes, I'm here for the convention. With an announcement like battleships, and something like that thing showing up..." Monika paused, looking back up at the slowly approaching ship above the plaza, before looking back at Melanie.

"It seemed like a neat time. And I don't mind walking around with you, it's not like I have any reason not to."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Venitus was leaning against the rail, eyes still locked on the Battleship, he heard a quiet beep. For a second he panicked, before realizing it was just his optic eye telling him the scan was complete. Quickly, he blinked twice, which told the eye to go to the database. There was a little wrench above the subsection on the Independence II, meaning it had been edited, or more accurately updated. Excited, barely even paying attention to the real deal, Venitus opened up his page on the battleship. He skimmed through it, looking for the new thing he had learned. He was swiftly underwhelmed, as the only thing that was added was under the color section. Apparently he hadn't added in that the Independence II two could also be painted navy blue.

"Honestly, learning nothing would've been more entertaining than that" he mumbled under his breath. At this point Venitus had gotten kinda bored just staring at the ship. He would leave, but he knew that a show of some sort would have to be starting at some point, why else would a ship be purposefully lowering itself into this area of space? Either way, he stuck around, maybe it'll get interesting soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Closer. Closer. And closer. Even if no one had been pointing it out, within another minute or two, the thing would be impossible to miss. Measuring over six hundred meters long, and just over two hundred wide, it was the largest thing in the sky inside the city limits. Given what Hitomi's father had just finished explaining to her, it was no wonder the people that were closely involved with the presentation were either trying their best to ignore the incoming vessel and focus on their work, or were grinning knowingly at the people around them. Hitomi decided to do like her father suggested and get as close to the front as she could. With how busy the man was, that was probably the most time they would be spending together in person in the foreseeable future.

"To the front! ..." Easier said than done. Some people realized that the presentation was about to start, and were already starting to gather in front of the stage. All Hitomi could do was try to slip through as much as possible and hope her height wouldn't ultimately ruin things.


"10:29," Matsuo noted from just out of view of the main stage. Since he was the main presenter--by his own insistence--Matsuo had to make sure the timing on everything was good. "Three hundred and four years since the League was founded and we still can't get everything perfect." They had already had a couple of delays, but now they were just about ready. The folks at Scipio seemed almost relieved when they first caught wind of the delay, but in the end they still had to send the ship over. Matsuo turned to check on Felix. The Frame Ops legend would be serving as a guest speaker. His former teammate had every intention of making things as easy for him as possible.

"I'm about to start things off. Just wait for the signal and then come on out and get them primed for the introduction video." After that, the stage would be Matsuo's again, and Felix could go relax. Matsuo couldn't help but imagine the man trying to sneak off to grab a snack or something in the food court and being ambushed by old and new fans alike. "If Hitomi manages to find a good spot, I'm going to yank her out of the crowd for a moment," he warned Felix, "I know she doesn't do well with crowds, but since I can't officially endorse Odyssey, I can at least give some ... unofficial support." He sighed as his overlay reached 10:30. "It's the least I can do, being gone all the time. Alright, Strays, begin operation~"


Hitomi managed to get herself so worked into the crowd converging on the stage, she couldn't even tell where she was, anymore. The rattled teen felt like she wouldn't know how close she was to the front until she actually reached the edge of the crowd. Reaching the edge, and fresh air, steadily became her objective. She figured the chance to see her father in person wasn't worth passing up just because he might point her out in the crowd. The man's hint was such a giant tell, who could have possibly missed it? If some mild embarrassment was coming, so be it, as long as she could at least talk to him after he was done hamming things up.

Hitomi's thoughts began to race as she saw lights that weren't coming from overhead or from people's gadgets and clothing. She tried to force her way through and wound up nearly crashing into the rails that were holding the audience at a comfortable distance from the stage. "Sorry," Hitomi yelped as she caught herself. She looked up and saw some portable screens positioned above the stage. There were three of them, one in the center, and two more to either side. Scanning the area, there were other screens being floated into position around the plaza.

The main thought sticking out in Hitomi's head now was her father's little hint during their brief chat. Cameras everywhere, the event being streamed all over the place ... if he really went through with doing an old fashioned shout out to her, Hitomi wasn't sure if she would be able to handle it. At least when she was in a match, the audience had something interesting to watch. Not just her standing around, trying not to lose it.

The lights all around the plaza began to dim, and the AV system gave the convention's stage the kind of lighting job that would make it the second most interesting thing to look at, right after that battlecruiser quietly creeping toward them. At this point, the ship was so close, its hull beginning to be fully illuminated by the city lights. Despite its sheer size, the ambient noise of Providence and the convention goers was enough to disguise what little noise was reaching them from the ship. Hitomi's eyes were brought back to the stage when all of the portable screens, even those placed far from the stage, threw up some version of the battlenet logo. After a few seconds, it faded into a message that said, 'Welcome to Batcon 2405.'

"R-r-r-gh I'm not ready, yet," Hitomi decided, starting to tremble slightly. It was going to be embarrassing enough with her father being the main presenter, but having to make another recruitment attempt afterward? Actually ... "Recruiting ... why didn't I think of this, before?!" Hitomi waved an apology to the startled man standing beside her, then she turned her attention toward the stage. "If Dad introduces me, Linus and I could ... yeah~ That just might work." Calling Linus, that's what Hitomi decided to do. Best to tell him about Plan H--which was essentially Plan B involving no obnoxious publicity stunts--so he had time to prepare for it. If people weren't too curious about Team Odyssey's shaky situation, then they would might just have their pick of dozens upon dozens of players.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Parfait! Zen--" The crowd had started to move, a glance back at things told her why, and she'd missed getting a view from the front. "Zut... Hmm..." Well, maybe. Maybe... Would she really say yes to that? She'd been a real pushover so far, so maybe. "Er, Monika?" Melanie tried to put on an innocent face, hopefully things would sell. "D'accord! I 'ave a very popular Ticks account, and, eet would be very nice to get some correct pictures of ze show... Ben... I am not zat tall. So, er, I was 'oping, maybe you would not mind, eef I used your shoulders as a mount?" A small tilt of the head, a bit more of a pleading stare. "I am sure eef we stand near ze back of ze crowd, you will still be able to see ze screen... I would really appreciate eet... I can, treat you to a snack after?" Hopefully she would say yes, things were already going into motion as the screen popped up the welcome message.

"E-Eef you are fine wis sings, s'il vous plait bend over, so I can get on. I am not zat 'eavy, I promise!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Despite the Battleship still very much being in motion, the lights began to dim around the plaza.In response to this, Venitus thought to himself Odd, well maybe we'll finally get to see something interesting instead of it just mov- and the lights are focusing on that stage over there. Gods, everyone is crowding around it like robotic ants to a piece of trash. There are screens set up, but there's nothing better than the real thing. Scanning the area around him, he noticed that the Cosmo Cones shop had a nice flat roof that was easy to reach, and it was a perfect view of the stage up there. Now all he had to do was get up there.

Fortunately, it would be easier than most things he climbed. With the lights dimmed no one would see him go up, and with the ruckus from the crowd, no one would hear him either. Even the people in the shop were practically oblivious to anything going on around them, even missing a customer that was standing right there until she started yelling about professionalism or some junk. She seems a little uptight. Anyways, making this process even easier was the other store close by, some weird fashion shop with some ugly merchandise that was so expensive that people just bought it to flaunt it. With the stores so close to each other, Venitus could practically slide up the building with next to no effort. Which he then then proceeded to do with ease. After getting up on the roof, Venitus looked out at the stage, it seemed that whatever show was about to start.

Edited by DarthR0xas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I... what?" Monika blinked for a few moments after Melanie made her request. What sort of absolutely brazen woman was she? They had known each other for what maybe amounted to a whole minute at this point, and the French cat-woman wanted to sit on her shoulders? Glancing down a bit as her mind naturally pondered, a slight blush rising to her cheeks as her eyes scanned Melanie's thighs. Getting rid of that in a hurry, it was the pleading face that finally did her in. Why did cute girls have to be so damn... cute?

"You'll treat me, huh? Well, I suppose that doesn't sound so bad... I'll give it a try, but we're around the same size... if I can't manage it, you'll have to come back down." Monika acquiesced after a few moments, squatting down to allow Melanie access. What a wacky turn of events...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Melanie caught that blush, and the eye wandering. Well, her thighs were nice, so whatever got this Monika moving. They were both girls, it was more than likely fine. "Fantastique! I promise I am not zat 'eavy!" And a moment's finagling later... She'd lost control of that tail again, the darn thing flopping out behind her, but as Monika stood up, there was no time to be trying to mess with it. Melanie had to keep one hand on the girl's head to stay steady, the other on her phone. Ah, whatever. Ze crowd will be too focused on ze stage. "Merci beaucoup! You can 'ave whatever you would like to eat après, je promets! Donc, aweille, mon fidèle destrier!" Perfect. A comfy seat, a view over the crowd, and someone to pull around the convention. Today was pretty great so far, fussy tail aside.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Oof..." Monika groaned as Melanie got into position. She hadn't been lying, exactly... the cat-girl wasn't particularly heavy, but Monika wasn't much bigger than she was, either. Wobbling a bit after she had lifted the girl, Monika used a nearby support beam as a helpful brace to keep herself steady. With that taken care of, all that was left was to watch the presentation from afar... and try to ignore a certain very soft pair of somethings...

"Just, uhh... try not to move around too much. I can handle this, but if we sway too far in one direction we're both gonna end up on the floor."

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“I think we can stop for today.”  Friedrich stated, turning back towards Nicholas.  “We’ll resume tonight once I get back to the room.”

“Guess we have no choice, then,”  Nicholas replied, starting to pick up the stacks of paper they had been working on diligently all morning.  “We still have a few days to make a decision and you could use some time off.”

“I appreciate it, but before you go...” Friedrich lowered his voice after he finished binding each pile.  “It’s about you-know-what…”

“Oh, that,” Nicholas whispered as he checked his watch and quickly did some mental math.  “It’s back at the hotel room, but I can definitely make it there and back in about forty minutes.”

“Excellent.  Give me a call when you’re about five minutes away and I’ll be right out.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ship was slowly coming closer, fuller into view. Karina continurd to observe it through the smartglass, a hint of a satisfied huff as she leaned on her table, elbow on the surface, and knuckle to her cheek. It was nice to hear the muffled noise of the streets, accentuating the relative quiet of her vantage point. The ship loomed ever closer, and let her thoughts swerve towards her dream a bit. While it was nice to be good at this game, maybe, one day, piloting could be more than that...

Social media was certainly exploding over the stunt, notifications constant at the corner of her screen. Sliding down with her hand, Karina opened a new window to amuse her, seeing the reactions and few replies to her post. Other players and streamers were reacting to it, too. Things were going to get cluttered.

Oh look, even that Mewlanie girl did. Karina still had the memory of her win fresh, grinning as she stumbled upon the message. Mewlanie seemed to be out in the open, if her picture was an indicator. "Quite bold to go out there with your cat parts." Karina wondered if she could spot the girl from her vantage point...

Hmm, seemed unlikely, no cat ears stood out. Some hoodies, but no cigar. A surprisingly good hiding place... Ah well, at least she could leave a message.

yeah its looking good. Watching it down there?

Hmm, not that 'Mew' would answer. The catgirl's thread was already cluttered with fan replies.

Edited by Xinnidy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Oui, oui, I shall not jostle you about. Merci beaucoup again, Monika~" And just as she'd gotten comfy with her camera, a certain notification popped up. She had all of her normal notifications muted, too many people replying or reticking her messages... But a few people she kept alerts for, and one of them just so happened to be miss FireMiko. So she was here too? Either that, or watching it online. To the PM box, if she responded to her message publicly, there'd be so many replies on it, she'd never get to have a conversation. 'Oui, I am 'ere, down een ze crowd... I'm at ze back, one of ze con goers ees 'elping me get a better view of ze stage. Look for ze totem pole, miss sore winner.'

Melanie stuck her tongue out at her phone as she hit send, the girl definitely had a few too many sticks up her butt, but aside from their unfortunate previous meeting, she seemed alright.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Sure, it's not a problem, really... certainly not how I expected today to go, though." Monika replied, looking up at Melanie's antics as she began to type on her phone, sticking her tongue out at it before presumably sending whatever message she had been typing. She had said she manned a relatively popular LunarTicks account, so that was likely what that was all about.

"Particularly... pesky follower, or do you blow a raspberry every time you send a Tick?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.