RP: YSS Eucharis [Mission 27, Part 4] The Sleeping Giant (YE 39)

Wes

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#1
YSS Eucharis
3日 4月 YE 39 - 0620 hours (Yamatai Time)

A unfamiliar sun silently rose over the vast, ruined metallic planetoid, casting long shadows on ancient fields of battle covered in the wreckage of long-defeated robot armies. Lingering above this mechanical wasteland was the Star Army gunship Eucharis, a small ship that was months away from home, and its overnight companion, the supply ship YSS Tomoyo.

Bridge

Hanako emerged from her cabin onto the bridge with still-damp hair, wearing an old exercise uniform consisting of a white ringer T-shirt and a black bikini bottom.

"No sign of the Kuvexian military yet, Shosho," Blackberry reported from the captain's chair.

"Good, carry on," Hanako said and went to make sure everyone was up. Before heading to the crew lounge, she stopped in the medical lab to check on Natsumi and Victory, who were both getting out of their hemosynth tubes.

Medical Lab

"If you care cleared for it by medical, I would love to have you both back on duty," Hanako told the freshly-healed Nekovalkyjra after they emerged from the tubes covered in a film of the blood-like substance.
 

Mad_Stylus

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#2
YSS Eucharis, Armory

Junko slid metal over metal, and the gun was whole again.

Then she turned it over, inspecting her work. This ASBR had served her faithfully, and it only made sense she gave it an equal amount of care. This time, she fully planned on fighting until she ran out of enemies. Or until her enemies ran out of her.

She sighed, tried to ignore the stormcloud she knew was rolling in. Thoughts about her (inevitable) demise, what happened when she died. Torn apart, vaporized, reduced to oblivion. Sometimes she wondered if she shouldn't get it over with herself.

YSS Eucharis, Power Armor Bay

She head back to her armor and racked the rifle. Looked at the visage of her Mindy, the familiar angles of its face. Clean now, the repair had applied a new coat of paint to cover up the metal. Gotten far too attached to the cosmetic "damage", trying to hold on to something.

Anything to feel more in control of her life than she was.

She closed her eyes and tried to divert her thoughts to something else.
 

Ametheliana

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#3
Cabin 6

Masumi lay on her bed in cabin six with her eyes wide open as she stared at the ceiling above her. Her palms pressed against her belly and she didn't have a clue if Candon was in the room or elsewhere. She didn't have any idea if she was well-rested or lacking sleep. She had woken up just minutes before feeling confused, disoriented. She didn't know what to do and did the only thing that came naturally—she put on her panties.

A few minutes later and she was stretching her bodysuit to cover her breasts before pulling up the front zipper all the way to her jaw. She clipped on her Type 35 belt and adjusted her NSP in its holster. Sighing and straightening her eyes to afix themselves on the door, she strode forward.
 

Primitive Polygon

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#4
YSS Eucharis, Power Armor Bay

Though the ship was never quite silent due to the constant background humming of environment fans, Tsuguka always regarded the early morning as strange and timeless none the less. They didn't like being so alone, but it was the only time when a recreation room was free enough for her aerobics workout.

After that, it was up to the power armor bay to use the showers there, still blinking the autopilot out of her nerves and getting mentally prepared for the day ahead. A song usually helped.

Lips opened, then closed. Damp towel still draped over her shoulders, it seemed she wasn't so alone after all. Junko was still obsessing over her armor?... Was it self-distraction, avoiding tackling neurosis over Freyja?... Or perhaps something else?...

A shrug. Further research was required.

"~It's a damn tough life full of toil and strife
We Nayko-wulkuree undergo."

Tsuguka voice stirred, not even sure if she wished to provoke a reaction or not.

"But we don't give a damn when the day is done
How hard the winds did blow~"


She was taking guns off of her own Mindy, not putting them on. Covering fire still wasn't working that well in close quarters. It was rather embarrassing being called experienced, yet the red neko still couldn't decide on what equipment she liked other than the stupid shield...
 

Ira

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#5
Sura was all ready in the bay, having remained up from the previous evening. She had made it a point to help in getting all of the equipment back up and in working order. But that Heirophant was her problem, and she had no intention on forcing the job of servicing it to anybody else. The good news for her was the new Zesu enameling blunted much of the damage the machine would have suffered using its old ones. Sura was just finishing the final diagnostic when she heard her father's gruff voice. "Sura. Dats anuff, go on an get some sleep." He said groggily. Sura looked up. "I am about to. I'm just making sure the Heirophant is back to 100%. I put those data pads into brackets for Mr. Wazu."

Bronzi approached her, and put his hand on her head. "Dats good, but ya stink. I don't guess da ship's crew wants ta find out wat a smelleh gart gurl can do." Sura nodded. She knew he had a point. Her people could get quite musky, and she was no exception. Truth was the two had been taking extra care to avoid just that out of respect for the crew. "Okay. Imma go grab some sleep. Please.. bring the Heirophant back in one piece."

Bronzi smiled. "I derno if were even goin on. Imma leave dat up ta Wazu..."
 

Rizzo

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#6
YSS Eucharis, PA Bay, Midnight

The metal bracketry previous mounted to the shoulders of Candon's Mindy clashed to the floor. The man generally moved methodically during the sacred act of altering his rig but the night was past and he needed this ready for the next day.

Swarms and hoards of Rixxicor with Kuvexian powered infantry and this new kind of robot 'thing' had dominated his thoughts and the solution was in the team, which he had no real presence in.
In his mind he alone needed to be able to hold a hard line against impossible odds for as long as possible and a sniper cannon wasn't going to cut it. His GSR was a dedicated bunker buster was something he wouldn't part with since he wouldn't be dissuaded that they would eventually need something as ridiculous as an antimatter artillery shell.

At last, the new weapon mounts were ready. Both right and left were now far more useful than the standard ones. Now he stood a fighting chance.
With the weapons in place he donned his armor.

The matte black Mindy confidently stepped down from the armor station's rack. It really wasn't so different than before, at a glance the only change was that he'd replaced the ASBR stored on his left shoulder with an aether/scalar SMG.

He reached his left hand behind his hip and mentally requested the SMG. In a blur of motion the mount carrying it slid it downward and back up, depositing the pistol grip of the SMG into his hand. He returned it similarly.

He held his right hand beside his hip and mentally requested the GSR as he did the SMG. The mount carrying it rotated the rifle under his arm and then returned, again leaving the weapon's pistol grip in Candon's hand. The mount then returned to retrieve the rifle.

Now victorious he went to Cabin 6, knowing full well that he would be returning later in the night once the Fabricators finished.


YSS Eucharis, Cabin 6, Present

Masumi would see a rare sight, a Candon in it's natural habitat sleeping in much longer than usual. Most often he would be dressed and ready for duty by now with coffee in hand. Today he was laying shirtless atop the covers of his bed still wearing last night's dirty pants, smudges and smears of black grease over both his skin and clothing.
 
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CadetNewb

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#7
Mess Hall
0600

Bronzi exited his quarters and went straight to the mess hall. He was in his full kit. Helmet on his head, boots and armor on. The little procedure Tan Ann did to him last night had him feeling much better today. He had his pistols in their holsters. Though, his armor and gear was still battered, used. Old. The armor like Bronzi was a veteran of hundreds of clashes and fights. Across his lower back, was an empty holster for a weapon he no longer had with him.

Another mission was at hand, and though the last one was total FUBAR, he was confident that if Wazu opted to go out on this one, he could keep them both safe and secure. Still, Natsumi wasnt in command. That concearned Bronzi greatly - which is why he started making an extra large cup of coffee.

"Hand-Bronzi," a husky bedroom voice called to him. Standing behind him was the same snow-haired Neko from yesterday, her stare hard and firm. "I'm sorry if I was a little unpleasant yesterday," the young woman began, trying to keep in mind what tone of voice and words would get her what she wanted quickly. "Since I'm new here, I was looking to figure out how things worked here, and the last mission's data didn't look very good." Taking a few slow, almost sultry steps closer to him, she looked up at his eyes. "Would you be able to tell me your version of events?"

Noriko wasn't sure she got everything right, but hopefully, it was close enough.

Bronzi paused as he heard her voice. Creamer, sugar, cinnimon. The black liquid soon turned almost white. The Gartagen preferring his coffee to be sweet rather than bitter, while still retaineing its strength. He shook his head and sipped his steaming beverage. "Hand. I ain't sure how ta...Good Mornin Santo Hei- San. May I fix ya a mug-a-coffeh?" He said with a bit of a morning growl to his voice as he got his day started. The Neko simply shook her head - no. Bronzi then had to admit he did not really wish to rehash what happened. But this Neko was young. Fresh out of the tubes. "Beh. I've been gettin insults and name callin since I got hea. Yer was bein pretteh sweet compared to----neva mind." Best not to name names.

"Well. I can't tell ya how it works hea. Looks like SOFT team is da infantry, and SAINT is runnin dat." He said calmly.

"Now dat mission started routinly. Shuttle was called. Order's were fer an exploratory mission. Dats why I assumed da shuttle was called ya? We docked, dat Candon fella opened da door, I told him to let the shuttle move---we were in armors. Well he opens da foc'n door and a tango shot the shuttle ta shiet." Bronzi then took a swig from his mug and rested calmly against the counter top, his tail curling around into various shapes almost hypnotically.

"Well we pull out, and dat XO - Saiga calls fer an immediate counter attack...which da team gleefully does. CO Natsumi orders em to pull back--- she didna know what was up, and wanted ta get a betta idea of what was in there. Well one of da team, disobeyed that command...an explained why."

"I...see," Noriko slowly replied, her white feline ears drooping back in thought. She had been silent at first, listening to him recall what happened with her tail held tall in an inquisitive question mark. The Neko was physically above coffee, and his accent was atrocious, but the information lined up with what she read and managed to see based off what little access she had. "And what about contact with those aliens?" From what she could tell, things had gone badly soon after.

"I wasnt around fer dat. Onleh heard it on da comms." He then smashed his coffee, finishing it off. "Team encountered a bunch of Buggers---Rixxikor---sorreh, came out talkin. CO gave an order of non aggression. They started beggin fer food. Natsumi ordered Wazu and I to get down there. We did, but by then it was too late."

"I dialed up the CO fer a SITREP -- She said she was shot, friendly fire."Best I figger? Tha bugs got handsy, Freyja got jump and opened up. So did tha othas. Natsum tried to stop em and got mowed down."

"Dat Rixxicor threw what I thought was a bomb. Retreat was called, and da new CO ordred meh to be da last one out."

"Abnormal that they would shoot her," Noriko observed, her deep voice held even lower as she sunk into thought, eyes drifting down. The soldiers sounded undisciplined, ill trained based off of all this. She had to watch out for 'Friendly Fire' then. But, the officer. The snow haired Neko could only think of one reason why she'd end up in their line of fire. She continued,

"I have yet to speak to Yamashiro-Taii myself, but I cannot understand why she would be gunned down by her own soldiers," the new Neko spoke, copying the inquisitive tone she had heard so many times before. The officer-enlisted relationship couldn't possibly be that bad. No. "Could Yamashiro-Taii have been attempting an officer's method for aquiring soldier's attention by entering their line of sight?" she asked nobody in particular. It was the only thing that came to mind.

Noriko suddenly blinked twice and looked back up at Bronzi's face. Abnormal. She had never thought out loud before. Bronzi looked down at the girl.

"I reckon she was fixin on gettin em to order. But a buncha hungry bugs beggin fer food was too much fer em. Makin her self be seen." Bronzi stood over the much smaller Neko. "Ya, I could under stand." Bronzi grumbled. "Worse part is....Freyja owned her mistake. Da others all let her get punished an kept quiet. A mistake is a mistake. No shame in dat. But...letting her team mate face it alone? Beh." He grunted,

"Tha answer is ya. thats what Natsumi-Sama was attempting to do. Maintain control of her operation. I suspect they didna mean to shoot her." Bronzi paused. "What are ya tryna learn kid?" Bronzi said advancing on the much smaller Neko, invading her space. "I know ya can use da Megami. Why are ya comin ta me?" He said calmly -- trying to figure out what her game was on this.

Again, she blinked, the momentary look of innocent surprise making the Neko look absolutely adorable.

"From what I understand, multiple perspectives are necessary to form a complete picture Hand-Bronzi," Noriko replied, hoping he liked that. He did like that, didn't he? She wasn't sure. Bronzi's hand made a talking gesture, clapping open and closed.

"'Spook talk." He snorted softly. She tilted her head again and blinked in confusion again. Yes, he was right, but he was also asking a very stupid question. Of course she needed more than one source. Looking away from him again in thought for a moment, her cool blue eyes soon darted back to the burly Gartagen.

"From what you have told me, it would seem that...certain personnel require additional training," the Neko carefully replied. That sounded like the least of their problems. This SOFT team was likey 'soft', as one of her drill sergeants would have said. The more Noriko thought about this, the less likely it sounded that they were going to all survive. "Thank you for your help Hand-Bronzi," she tried mustering a smile. Not too smily, but not too un-smily, the Neko hoped.

"No shit." He said in response to the observation that additional training was required. "look all that talk bout multiple perspectives. Dats ova thinkin it. Yer eitha a grunt or ya aint. Think fer ya self. Bronzi's question wasnt stupid, it was a pretty direct question. He knew the answer to it, but it wasnt the one he had gotten. "Just follow yer orders, an stay low. Anything else ya wanna know?"

"Nothing more for now," she curtly replied. "Again, thank you for your time. I'll be in the armor bay, Hand- Bronzi." Hopefully, the Neko wouldn't have to shove someone hanging on to the edge of a shuttle door or outrun a squadmate and the following monster in order to survive.

Power Armor Bay
Present


As the father-daughter duo talked, Noriko finished up with her assigned Mindy 4. Fitted with a shoulder mounted aether cannon and a trio of capacitor modules, it was a master of mobility. In other words, she would not have to rely on her teammates should things go poorly. Hopefully. Wiping her hands, Noriko was also certain she didn't want to bring along an additional firearm either - the suit mounted weapons would suffice. Again, hopefully.
 

Ametheliana

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#8
Cabin 6

If Candon had been awake he would be able to see her thick double braids and the way one of her hips was higher than the other as Masumi paused at the door, fingers on the doorframe. She tapped her index finger against it twice before retracting her hand and she turned towards the bed in the room she had been avoiding.

She stood waiting for her mind to catch up to her body for a minute before she overtook the few steps between herself and Candon's bed. Once there, she knelt down and brought her hand up towards his temple, about to move aside a clump of hair. When she was an inch from his head, her hand jumped back to sit in the air next to her shoulder. She breathed in sharply and made to stand up, ready to move away and back towards the door.

No doubt that by this point Candon had awoken. If he hadn't then Masumi hadn't done what she'd set out to do in the first place.
 

Blizzard

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#9
Armor Bay

Ugh... mornings.

Early mornings.

The kind that required... coffee.

He was a millionaire! He had a yacht! He had a successful company! He even had a freaking space station! When he got out of here, there would be no more early mornings! No, sir-ee! He would sleep as long as he wanted! Everything would run on his schedule, and not on someone else's! Never again would he be forced to choke down a cup of coffee!

'Just keep on trucking, Jax. One foot in front of the other. One day at a time...'
Grumbled the nekojin internally as he pushed a dolly of crates up to the bay. The crates, of course, were filled with ancient-style melee weapons. He lugged the dolly over to Tsuguka, and put on his game-winning smile.

"Got those weapons you wanted." he said simply to the infantrywoman, taking a moment to stretch and yawn.
 

Primitive Polygon

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#10
PA Bay

Tsuguka did something completely unexpected when Jax turned up; She lit up with a small smile, standing upright on the tips of her toes, and girlishly holding her hands out at each side like she could hug him at any moment.

A big 'ol container filled with hand axes, billy clubs and hammers! It was like a mountain of surprise birthday presents!

"Jax-hei. You are most proficient indeed!" A kiss was laid upon his cheek, and the soldier made no secrecy of spreading out the intimacy by fixing up his collar. It was probably supposed to be flirty, but her uptight nature translated it to saucy lawyer at best. "Thank you for your concerted effort! The team will be much safer with your contribution!"

Somehow keeping that feminine streak going as they ran towards the next item on the new equipment list, she rolled out a second palette that was waiting in the cargo lift. Thankfully it wasn't more medieval paraphernalia, but boxes of concussion, smoke and EMP grenades instead.

Tape dispenser was quick to go to work, bonding single examples of all of these things into discrete locations around her Mindy's chest plate.

After that, it was a quick telepathic prompt to Freyja-Hei and Masumi-Hei about meeting in the bay to reiterate some squad reorganization. Technically they had an hour and forty minutes until the original meeting time, and thus not exactly adhering to protocol, but hey, it wasn't like they were orbiting a giant tomb filled with killer robots and space-capable uncouth bugmen or anything... This was, how do they said, living a little, wasn't it?...

"Junko-Hei... Noriko-Hei, these are for you two also." An out of place fanged smile. "As grenadiers, your roles within SOFT 408 will involve scouting and independently securing objectives ahead of the main team. Melee tools can be equipped at your discretion, but at least two grenades are recommended. Since our stealth systems are ineffective, it seems we will just have to blind their sensors manually... If they get the drop on us this time, just pop both, then you can counter their attack, right? Or return back to me and Masumi if you start to catch a too much heat."

"...More on that last bit later. But suffice to say, your support team will be equipped for defense and sapper duty. The point is, I'm not tying you down to any one role, but please listen out for positioning orders. It could be really easy to get lost down there, and being able to count on each other's assistance is going to be more important than ever."
 
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Rizzo

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#11
YSS Eucharis, Cabin 6

One might have expected Candon to have caught Masumi's hand or jumped up. Something different than not moving.
He didn't move nor was he aware of her hand. It was far more like him to have some degree of spacial awareness but this morning he apparently had none.


YSS Eucharis, PA Bay

Candon's armor carried the appearance of a walking ammo store. A spare GSR mag now resided in osmiridium carriers molecure taped to each side of his chest and double mag carriers on each waist holster. If 60 rounds wouldn't be enough an additional 60 on his back would do the trick. Kokū Ken's saya now had 3 double magazine carriers molecure taped to one of the opening halves, so the sword could still deploy and return as needed.

The pair of extra L-mark-two shells also had a new osmiridium carrier on his right bicep and now had a Yama-dura cover with KEAA tiling should the worst happen. His left bicep also sported a plate of Yama-dura, thicker than the right side, covered with KEAA. Legs too sported the supplemental armor plating.
But knowing that he may need speed at some point Candon fastened this plating over other KEAA tiles, rigged to blow the extra weight free on his command.

On his datapad a report to SARA was saved as a draft, ready to send if he returned alive.
 

Ametheliana

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#12
Power Armor Bay

Oshiro Masumi had swept into the bay and immediately went to her armor. Its loadout had not changed since going to the metal moon and she was satisfied that her choice to trust in the designers of the Mindy 4 was sufficient enough to keep her protecting the Empire for as long as she could. She had taken to touching her armor's chest plate where she had once been hit. Thinking on the near-death experience, Masumi looked around the bay for the other science officer aboard, then raised her head and looked back to her armor before floating and donning it.

"Nitô Heisho Tsuguka," Masumi said once armored up and stood in front of the other Neko.
 

Fay

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#13
Wardroom

Takumi stifled a sneeze while downing his third cup of coffee this morning. Someone must've been talking or thinking about him just now. Following his coincidental encounter with Masumi, he had studied late into the evening on the previous mission log and crew roster details. Although the science officer could not come to a direct decision, his message to Saiga was a product of his thought process.

The message itself would examine the crew roster and give three names of possible assistants for the upcoming mission. Oshiro Masumi was the obvious top choice as she was his immediate junior in the science specialty, but since Saiga has already presented reservations on that matter, the second choice was Freyja Yuuki. This was less of getting her out of the immediate action due to the previous mission and more so a possible bodyguard for Takumi while he researched. He was confident that the Neko would bounce back to be a great soldier given the chance.

The final choice was probably the most surprising, though: Jackson Howard. His engineering expertise would likely be helpful as they studied the ruins, but his deployment would be rather unconventional, to say the least. It would depend on a variety of things, including Saiga's input.

That's mainly why Takumi was in the Wardroom rather than gearing up his own power armor. He also wanted to meet up with Saiga in person to discuss matters before the Shosho was briefed of the plan. This mission would be crucial to not only give off a good first impression but also to create a foothold on this world for potentially future missions.
 

Zack

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#14
YSS Tomoyo

Wazu had taken advantage of the docked supply ship early in the morning, dressed in running shorts and a lightweight green T shirt he was getting read for a run, lifting his leg up behind his back and then pulling it a bit with his arm.

He had been up most of the night, working. His face showed it. The symbolism of the morning run on the Tomoyo's track was impossible for him to miss... a lot of movement and ending up right where you started.

He had also taped a datapad to one of the Floating flashlights Jax had provided. This provided a floating work screen, showing some code he had been thinking about overnight.
 

HAMnJAM

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#15
Crew Lounge

Sipping morning cup of coffee, the Eucharis' resident Kohosei was just getting awake. He was sitting alone at one of the couches, half full cup of coffee in hand. His hair looked barely dried and freshly combed into its regular appearance. He gave a slight yawn before taking another sip of his coffee and rubbing at his eyes with his free hand.

He blinked a few times before taking a long sip of his coffee until the cup was clean. He gave a light sigh before standing up to throw away the cup and then sat back and idly thought out loud,

"I need to get out of the sleeper."
 

Gunsight1

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#16
Medical Bay


Natsumi was fresh out of the hemosynth tank. She was covered in the goo and trying to clean herself off as best she could with the towel she'd been given upon extraction from the tank. She was tired and did not feel well at all. Getting any sort of rest or sleep while being put back together had just not happened for her.

"Yes, I can return to duty. What do you need of me?" she asked Hanako after briefly snapping to attention when the Shosho had entered the medical bay. She could push on. She had too. Rest could come later. All she needed right now was a shower and a clean uniform.
 

Mad_Stylus

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#17
YSS Eucharis, Armor Bay

"Cause we're homeward bound from the battleground..." Junko added without really thinking about it. She remembered her old DI singing it, back when she was still fresh off the slab. More swearing when they'd done it, of course. But she'd done a good job of hammering in her lessons to the group of trainees.

"Get a room." Junko called out to the two as Tsuguka got kissy. Good to see her happy with someone, even if it was in such a Tsuguka way. Maybe if she heckled them enough she could see them go on a proper date. It'd be cute, up until Tsuguka tried something like bringing an assault weapon to a restaurant.

"Ma'am, do we even know if the Rixxikor are employing sensors to pick up our Mindys?" Junko calmly pointed out. Really what she wanted to say was that none of this would have helped in the previous mission. Like before with the missiles when they'd breached the planet, she had a habit of overthinking and jumping the gun on what to do. Either way, she took a take dispenser of her own and secured the grenades to her armors thighs.

At which point, she noticed the new kids rig down the line. She'd been quiet, and thus far she knew nobody had really talked to her. Time to fix that, especially since they were going to be trusting each other to stay alive soon enough. Decent squad-work was going to be more useful than any kit or any amount of personal skill.

"Noriko-Hei, this your first real mission?" She asked to break the ice. Took an appraising look at her Mindy. "No amount of capacitors is going to make you invincible. Tsuguka-Heisho! Suggestions for the ninety-niners rig?"

Took a second glance at the rig, back to Noriko. "Whats your handheld?"
 

CadetNewb

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#18
Power Armor Bay

As she double-checked her work, the snow-haired Neko heard someone speak. Tail perking up, she turned,

"Oh, yes. This will my first mission if I get to come along," Noriko's deep voice replied, doing her best to imitate some semblance of surprise at being talked to so suddenly. Inwardly, as her blue eyes moved across Junko's body, and then her armor, she couldn't help but be suspicious. Tactical assessment ability appeared poor. "No handheld," she spoke, her words a slightly higher in tone than before, a little 'shy' as she deliberately drew back a little. Obviously, capacitors didn't make a person invincible, but they were a useful utility, especially when coupled with the latest generation of Mindy. This...Junko was it? Was she somehow unfamiliar with this configuration? She should have recognized what it was, and what it was used for.

"Why do you ask?" she made sure to sound curious. So far, Noriko didn't like the looks of this.
 
A

ArsenicJohn

#19
Freyja stood in her Mindy inside of a metal corridor a few yards away from Junko, Natsumi, Saiga, Masumi, Tsuguka, and Candon. The others were being swarmed by hungry Rixxikor and they did nothing but stand there. She tried to move her feet. They felt like tons of lead had been chained to them. She called out to them, but they didn't hear her. They just stood there as the Rixxikor removed their armor. Freyja had to act or they would all be devoured.

She opened fire on the Rixxikor, turning most of them into pulp. To her horror, the bullets tore through the crew as well. As the smoke cleared the bodies of the insectoids were nowhere to be seen, only the dead bodies of the crew. She gasped and ran over to the corpses, tears streamed from her eyes.

Junko looked up at her, half of her jaw missing. Her voice echoed in Freyja's head. "Why? Why did you kill me?"

Natsumi's voice came from behind her. She spun around to see a Rixxikor with Natsumi's head crawling towards her. "You didn't follow orders, Yuuki-hei. Now everyone you care about is dead again." The monstrosity hissed.

Another Rixxikor wearing Hanako's face walked up beside her. "You're a disgrace, Yuuki. We'll turn you into hemosynth, maybe then you'll be of use to Yamatai."

The rest of the crew appeared and started dragging her away. "No! I can be useful, please! Don't do this!" Freyja screamed. "Fumiko needs me, please!"

Freyja's Cabin -> PA Bay

Freyja screamed and sat up, eyes wide with terror. Fumiko flew up into the air, looking around the room. She looked down, then up, then back at her mother. "It's okay, mama. I will keep you safe." The tiny neko declared.

Slowly Freyja realized she had been dreaming. She sighed and climbed out of her bed. "No, it's... I'm supposed to protect you and be an example for you, Fumiko-chan. It's my fault what happened in the last mission. Nats... the XO was injured because of me. Remember to always follow orders, even if you're scared, okay?"

Fumiko nodded sagely. "Okay, mama." She said with a salute.

Some part of her digital brain remembered Tsuguka's request to meet her in the bay. She quickly got dressed, trying to think of something for the little one to do. "Fumiko, I want you to do battle simulations today in the rec room. I have to go meet Tsuguka. Be good and don't bother anyone, okay?" She asked, reaching up to give Fumiko a kiss.

The little girl giggled and nodded. "I will. I hope you have a better day, mama."

Freyja's heart felt like it was going to burst. She's just so damn cute, she thought. "Okay, love you. See you at breakfast in just a little while." She said, walking out of the cabin and towards the armor bay.
 

Primitive Polygon

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PA Bay

"We don't." Tsuguka replied to Junko's question frankly, looking up at the ceiling for a moment, and then back down to the black-haired neko. There was really no way of knowing why and how those bugs learned to track a cloaked PA. "If it's their organic eyes, the smoke should do it. Sensors, then the ECM should. Pheromones... Well, I considered tear gas, but agitating them without killing them would just be kicking the hornet's nest... At any rate, our over-reliance on technology has been too pronounced in the first place!"

"The melee kit... Well, it's mine and Suites-Heisho's fault. We trained you for smash and grab." A shrug. They attached their infantry rifle onto the left shoulder hangar, and pondered over an SMG or Aether Saber-Rifle for the main armament. "So don't get me wrong... Attacking those spiders, or that siege on the Kuvexian station, you've performed admirably, Nitô Hei Hasegawa."

"But when our team has to hold ground, or infiltrate, or not blow holes in the entire damn station, well... The Mindy is effectively a humanoid star fighter. Perhaps finesse just doesn't come naturally. But we really need to stop hitting thumbtacks in with jackhammers. Or, at the very least, we need to learn to make our shots count. Can you see the train of thought?"

Man, those days in the Mindy 2 with Candon, flying rings around the bugs... They'd had nothing but trouble since they switched to the 4. There had to be a reason...

"As for you, Noriko-Hei... Well, I haven't seen you fight yet, but sticking with a the basic SMG or Saber-Rifle would be a good start for now." A small, curt look back towards the newcomer. Tsuguka had dug up background info last night, but it didn't really sound like the tutors could get inside the frosty soldier's head, either. "Unless you really feel like going flame thrower, I guess... I mean, that would fulfill the criteria of making it hard to track you."

That being an incredibly overworked pun was not out of the question, but a thumb on their chin said the red catgirl might actually be considering it herself.

"Masumi-hei! You're looking much more robust today!" A compliment, patting the already-armored scientist on the shoulder. They could only tell who it was through the height and their FOF tag, that said. "I was meaning to talk to you about a new team position, too. How do you feel about sticking with me, so you can provide direct science and engineering support to the three forward soldiers? We are going to free them up from holding ground, by consolidating it ourselves. The machine gun to the rifle section, if you will."