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RP: Bahram Wing [Bahram Wing Phase Two: Mission Two] Catch the Broken Sky

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Well-Known Member
VSV Wyrm of the Endless Sky
Malakai 1, 935
09:23, Commonwealth Standard Time

When the Wyrm of the Endless Sky had finally finished its slow approach towards the orbital elevator of Maekardan, the Iromakuanhe capital world, the members of Bahram Wing had more or less stuck around the mess hall and had passed the time by whatever was on hand. As the sense of unease between the runners and the star ship crew had dissolved, the trip had become rather passable.

The hookah bar at the center of the hall was now a source of fragrant smoke and idle conversation between excited crew members. Playing cards once strewn across some of the tables were finally being put away, resulting in a variety of expressions among the people at the tables.

Serhan and Ibaz had been chatting idly in the wardroom when the message from the bridge came. Without so much as a second thought, the two of them rushed to see what was going on. It wasn't exactly auspicious to have an urgent message from the bridge crew when one arrives in port.

The bridge was silent when they entered the room.

The communications operator turned to the two officers with an uncertain look. "Lanranr, Marranr. We've lost contact with the concert tower and the surrounding colony! The Vanguard's network is saying they cut the wired connections and are using particles to jam the transmissions of the entire fleet stationed there!"

"Put us on alert." The captain turned to Serhan and nodded. The man's look seemed to say 'I won't give you any orders, because you're thinking the exact same thing' more clearly than any banal exchanged of words. "And have our people in the hangar prep their VANDR for launch."

"Warning! The Wyrm of the Endless Sky is now entering combat readiness mode. All personnel to your stations. I repeat..." The alarmed voice of the Wyrm's missions operator resounded throughout the ship, calling the attentions of the crew to the situation at hand. After three or four repetitions of the same phrase, the young woman calling out something more relevant to the frame runners who were guests aboard the vessel. "Bahram Wing, your commanding officer will meet you at the hangar bay."

'Ismat frowned at the announcement. Time to go back to work. "Seems as though we both have to be going, right Rashek? Thank you for spending time with me," she said with a smile. "I hope we meet again soon~ Take care." She turned to leave behind the man that had been keeping her company since their meal.. Hopefully it wouldn't be a last meal. With that, the VIA operative headed towards the hangar.

Rashek frowned a little at the announcement as Ismat' left him to stand there. With a small. 'Huh', in a conclusive fashion he wandered off down an adjacent corridor.

Alia looked around. "..." Closing her eyes, she sighed and flops onto the table. "Being a mechanist on a ship full of them makes life boring." She grumbled.

After Zalus heard the announcement he quickly left the supper room he had found his way too. He straighten out his shirt as he ran down the corridor towards the hangar. He really hoped that Nara had been given a new body so he wouldn't have to use an unfamiliar VANDR "...what kind of attitude is that supposed to be!?!" Khiyai blinked and stood herself up from her chair, slamming her hands onto the surface.

It seemed that she'd finally regained her old confidence and energy, at the cost of being a little bit edgier and vocal. "I'm not going to accept that we can't do anything because this ship has a lot of mechanists. There's only one Alia Jyotsna and one, Khiyai Sahrzad on this ship, and none of the regulars can replace them!"

Alia watched Khiyai with a raised brow. "Ok then... What should we do?"

As Serhan arrived in the hangar, he was greeted by one of the mechanist staff, who set out to explain the situation. He was a young man not a year over twenty with sandy blond hair and skin that verged on a light brown. "Sir! We were able to install the NI core 'Nara' into a new body, as you requested. Unfortunately, we had to retrofit one of the two civilian-types we had in storage and bring it up to spec to give him the same performance as the rest."

The officer blinked and glanced back at the younger enlisted man. "Was it completely converted back to the 1a model?"

"All the weapons and thrust systems are fine and the unit looks identical to the original model, but we weren't able to reinforce the armor or the improve the shield capacitors." The mechanist explained with a dour, plain face. "He'll have to fly a bit more fragile, or not at all."

"I'll be careful in deploying him, then. Good work." Serhan nodded again before taking his leave to get dressed.

'Ismat poked her head into the hangar. Serhan wasn't there and the announcement did say he'd meet the runners there. It didn't exactly say to get ready to head out, but 'Ismat could guess. She scooted off to go and get into her link suit.

Zalus jogged into the hangar from the locker room pulling the last bit of his Link suit on and looked around the Room to try and spot Serhan. He caught sight of him as he fastened up his suit. He ran over to his commander and saluted him. "Reporting sir! What can I do for you today?"

"Excuse me, Ninlil, I have to go" Zus said, after hearing the message. She nodded to Reovan, and headed back toward the hangar bay. Apparently it was time for them to suit up again. She was ready to get back into the game, to see if she could figure out who it was exactly that wanted Ninlil, and why they were so bent on messing with Iroma society.

It turned out the Marranr had been just the same as 'Ismat, as she found him pulling his own link suit up past his waist when she entered the Wyrm's ready room. "..." The officer turned his head slightly as she approached, before letting out a small 'Ah'. He wasn't wearing his glasses again. "Sitari. I'll leave the room to you, then." He said, gently threading his arms through the sleeves as he stepped past her and back out into the hangar.

Khiyai seemed to think at great length about this, before taking her superior by the shoulder and giving her a bright grin. "Aaah! Doesn't the racer have rocket anchors? If it comes down to a rescue operation, we might be able to help out..." The junior mechanist made a nervous laugh and glanced away, her face a little red.

"...if we aren't stepping into a battlefield."

"Uh, yes, Marranr," 'Ismat replied. She did one scan around the room before stripping down to her skivvies. She then slipped into her linksuit.

Alia watched her junior with detached interest. "All signs point to a sortie, so combat would be a given, your idea has merit, but we would be flying an unarmed ship in a live fire combat situation." Alia said.

Zus appeared in the ready room moments later, noting 'Ismat already getting into her link suit. "Saints darn it, I wasn't the first to make it here!" the blond joked, chuckling to herself as she found a locker that contained her gear. She quickly stripped to her undergarments and switched to her link suit. "You up for another mission, Sitari? or you ready for them to stop?"

"Hm? Ah, Storhan. I suppose I'm ready. That last one was too easy," 'Ismat replied, as she finished putting on her suit. "What about you? Now that you don't have Ninlil to protect and all." She moved to stow away her uniform.

"It'll be better for me without her, I was afraid of banging her around. Now I can go all out. Besides; I want to find out who's behind all this nonsense." Zus seemed much more chipper than someone should have been considering they were about to face a battle in all likelihood.

'Ismat nodded. "You seem happy. Is being kissed by an NI that nice?" Her uniform was now in her own locker, and she readied herself to leave, though she stayed to be polite.

"Uhhh..." Zus blushed a little as the memory came back to her "I dunno... How do you even know about that??" the girl asked looking embarrassed. "I suppose it's similar to getting kissed by a normal person..." she admitted, meekly.

Reovan popped into the ready room, huffing and out of breath, she gave a nod to 'Ismat and Zus before changing into her own link suit. She'd been relaxing at the hookah when the announcement was made and it'd taken some effort on her part to get up and ready to go out.

'Ismat couldn't help but giggle as she waved to Reovan. "I have my ways~" she answered Zus. It was her job to know things as VIA anyway.

"Alia, take the main of the Wing as an escort and head out to the elevator colony for search and rescue. I'll be taking Sitari and Ka'salm out to link up with the Graiv Haidan unit in the area." Serhan's coolly controlled voice came up over communications, as he he hurried across the scaffolding overhead to get into his unit. As quickly as they could have seen his link suit-clad figure pass by, the cockpit hatch was shut and his nameless white VANDR powering up.

"Our wing is going to be useless if we can't get around the communications blackout." The brackets holding the mecha in place disengaged, allowing the organoid powered frame to plummet through the alcove it rested in and into the void of space. "Maintain contact with the Wyrm and each other. This is not an ordinary patrol in the badlands."

Zus made her way quickly to Paralovi, mounting the familiar frame and quickly plugging in, powering up the unit and getting ready to launch whenever ordered. "I'm ready to go. just give me the word and I'm off" The Eyr Ranr notified her commander.

It was not long after the Marranr had launched from the Wyrm of the Endless Sky before a black with silver trim VANDR formed up along side the other frame. Having launched earlier from the other bay. A short wave laser communications pinging Serhan's VANDR. It was a Frame Runner from the Wyrm's wing, a Vayranr requesting to assist and go along to also linkup with the Graiv Haidan unit.

"Just follow my lead and keep them off me, Vayshirin." Alia and the escort comprised of the main of the wing deployed a few moments after Serhan, heading in the opposite direction of the Marranr and the newly-launched black VANDR.

Scurrying out of the ready room, 'Ismat made her way to her VANDR, Rina. She deftly climbed in, connecting herself with the frame and beginning the initialization process. Before long, 'Ismat launched too, floating down to meet up with Serhan to see another Frame was with the Marranr. Who could that be?

Serhan tilted the head of his unit to catch a glimpse of the black and silver frame, nodding to it to acknowledge the officer's request. "Take point. Sitari and I will cover your flanks." Serhan replied, lasering the message to both the junior officer and his newly-launched subordinate. "Do you have a name for me?"

"Rashek, Rashek Baseil." Came the reply from the Black VANDR as it flew past the duo, taking up a point position in front of the pair. "I'll be the only one joining us three from the Wyrm, the rest staying as support."

Wait... Rashek? He was coming? 'Ismat nearly face palmed. "Ah, Rashek. Nice of you to join us?" she replied rather awkwardly. This was something completely unexpected. The surprised VIA operative mulled over this new event as her VANDR moved into position.

"I see. Thank, you for assisting us Vayranr." Serhan replied in a terse tone. The frame officer found it a little strange that he would request to join up with them now, but didn't make much of it for the moment. Any kind of assistance was welcome in these uncertain circumstances, especially coming from a veteran runner.

The approaching debris field seemed to become denser as they moved closer to the rally point where the garrison had been posted. At first, the components seemed to be parts from Soono and shrapnel from detonated munitions, but Commonwealth architecture and Vanguard vessels seemed to become increasingly prevalent, mixed with ash and clouds of softly glowing blue particles emanating from broken reactors and fizzling weapon modules.

Sensors had dropped to less than a percent of their effectiveness with all particle pollution in the area, and in every direction was a mass of derelict vessels emitting distress beacons in dozens of frequencies.

"...What happened?" 'Ismat asked out loud, looking about as she dodged the large floating bits. This was really disconcerting, seeing this much destruction. She made sure to keep her guard up, since this did seem like prime ambush territory. They were near blind, which is never good.

The Black VANDR on point remained silent despite the gratitude, and welcome received. He was focused, the sensors dimmed, his VANDR had attempted to compensate, but it had been a useless gesture. Too much debris, emissions, and chaos drifted around them.

A chunk of what had been part of an unlucky civilian freighter barred Rashek's way, casually he pushed it aside, thankful the optics of the VANDR still worked well enough. The distinctive crackle of radio filled his 'ears' as pleas, and the sound of automated distress messages came through. He filtered them.

"Battle, that's what. Look around you." The Black VANDR pointed towards the distinctive shape of a Soono that had a large gaping hole in the torso that still glowed a dull orange from laser fire. "From the looks of it, some civilian craft were caught in the cross fire." What had once been an Ur-Class Ferry had been shorn in half, pockmarks running along the hull.

It drifted off to the left side of them, a reminder that the area was hostile, lives had been lost, and the possibility of something still lurked out there.

Zalus had launched late, the rush to get to the other members of his wing a hectic one in the chaos that had been the hangar bay. As he advanced he batted debris away and kept an eye out for movement. "Well this could have been better. At least we know they killed some of the bastards."The young runner said kicking aside a burnt-out Soono torso. "Do we have any ships in the Area? These folks won't be able to survive to long out here..." Continuing to talk to Nara as they continued onwards.

Although blanketed by the ambient radiation of the field, a number of distinct signatures dropped into view of the sensors of the four in the debris field. Nothing less than frame-scale nuclear reactors, their signatures numbering in the dozens, maybe hundreds. Most were distorted or bleeding into local space and some dropped out as quickly as they had come online, but a number too large for the four of them were still largely intact. They were surrounded!

A shower of autocannon fire hailed down from above them, followed by a swarm of damaged Soono bull rushed them from all around, their remaining limbs blazing for a strike. Serhan, Rashek and 'Ismat all took a few hits before a derelict cargo ship drifted overhead and blocked the barrage. Zalus had managed to evade the stray shells being fired at his cohorts and placed himself to counterattack, but was now the only one of the four still in view of the enemy.

'Ismat cursed as she instinctively brought her weapons online, forming katars on Rina's hands and swords on the feet, as well as charging the shockbites. This was not going to be a pretty fight. "Any idea how many of them there are?" she asked nervously, floating a bit along with the cover provided by the debris.

Zalus charged his cannons aiming a shot at one of the Soono with operational autocannons and started to form long blades on Nara's arms. "Why don't we ever get to be the ones ambushing Soono? Answer me that please!" Zalus then quickly moved to duck behind the closest cover he could find in the debris field to protect his weaker Vandr.

'Ismat continued to evade much of the enemy's fire in great part due to the heavy cover between herself and the linear weapon-toting enemies parked at the very edge of her sensors, and was prepared for the sudden charge by a trio of Soono coming in at her from the front. All three appeared to be more or less intact, with their dual gyrating fists active and ready to strike.

Letting out an aggravated sigh, 'Ismat flew backwards as she let loose short bursts of CELB, as suppressive fire, as she aimed and fired her shockbites. She made sure not to be idiotic and run into some obstruction along the derelict ship's hull or otherwise, as well as to stop if she got to edge of said cover.

Zalus struck the Soono in the chest with both Shockbites at once, causing a massive and catastrophic surges as charged particles flooded into its power train. After a few seconds, the unit flared up and detonated, sending ADNR shrapnel and irradiated internals in every direction.

The surrounding units were effectively alerted to his presence causing his flight into the deeper debris to be a narrow escape from a shower of autocannon slugs and flak bursts. From all sides, damaged Soono with blazing hands poured out after him, perhaps moving to repay him for destroying their comrade.

"Let's just go with lots as a number." Rashek said, staying as close to the Cargoship as possible as he activated the MRS of his frame. Oh this was a spot he didn't like to be in, being the ambushee all the same. Things could turn around. And that's why he fired three of the beacon flares in the rear hip pods sending them off in different directions, and begun priming the Shock bites after a few seconds.

Ten seconds and I'm going to be lit up like a Eyr Ranr on a Slajatki-on binge. His VANDR continued to creep behind the now derelict ship, the Beacon Flares now sending out a wide range of signals and false IFF tags, the Black VANDR swung out from behind the cargo ship, the forearm mounted LCPA cannons would begin to train on the first bogey and fire.

The middle of the three Soono 'Ismat was fighting had been quickly torn apart by the suppressive fire, the already weakened wreck of a frame not lasting more than three seconds before its internals failed and the chassis neatly folded onto itself and detonated into a cloud of radiation, broken ADNR armor and flayed organoid tissues. The other two subsequently dove into the cargo ship and began following 'Ismat... directly beneath her and the meter-thick hull that separated them.

Zalus poured what fire he could into the charging Soono from his CELB arrays. Taking what carefully aimed shots he could with his shockbites on the most intact Soono charging him. "Well That was a nice little explosion wasn't it dear?" Zalus said to Nara.

"Lets do that again." As the charging Soono were with-in close range Zalus cut his CELB fire and launched a volley of missiles towards the Soono before performing a sublight jump, away to a new area of cover.

'Ismat quickly separated her VANDR from the hull, though she tried to stay under cover as she did so. This time she readied her Star Locust missiles, ready to unleash a barrage as soon as the Soono showed themselves.

Without any enemy attempting to intercept him, Rashek burst past the corner and flawless blasted a pair of Soono apart, causing them to detonate and pelt nearby units with additional shrapnel. All thre beacon flares had apparently ben intercepted, but had lasted long enough to give him a chance at a clear shot.

The enemy still hadn't noticed him, despite the trail of particles emanating from his unit's forearms, but had moved in to where the two Soono had just been downed.

The volley of laser fire and missiles made quick work of the Soono leading the pack, sending those at the front back into those behind them. Zalus had escaped from the enemy for a few seconds and managed to stay out of the sights of the enemy units that had started the ambush, but was now too far to reach any of his cohorts or his commander.

The two Soono took direct hits from Rina's missile barrage, causing their already-fragile power train to overheat and overload. Both units suddenly spiraled out of control mid-flight until they neatly impacted one of the maneuvering thrusters on the derelict, and ceased moving entirely, shifting little as small jets of smoke burst out from their torso and shoulder areas.

Rashek assessed the little diversionary tactic's handy work as more of the automated machines moved in to where their brethren had been shot down. He brought up the Star Locusts next. Charging the MASC drive as the shroud around him dropped flexing the hands of his VANDR as he did so the jump pre-planned. Sensor functionality returning to their normal, at the moment sub par levels, locking on to a number of the Soono units that had dropped into the area.

He essentially was showing himself before a salvo of the missiles lept from the shoulder pods. A hand rose, the ERP within it showering the area ahead with particles before the MASC 'jumped' the VANDR away.

Zalus charged his shockbites as he unleashed suppressive fire into the charging ranks with his CELBs. "Nara get us closer to the others on the next jump!" Zalus cut his CELB fire as he unloaded a second volley of missiles into the Soono swarm and the two charged cannon shots he had been holding onto in hopes of taking out some of the Soono with the powerful shots at this range.

Zalus then quickly jumped away to the location Nara had decided upon and readied himself to rush for cover.

Just as the Soono turned to respond to the sudden and obvious spatial distortion caused by Rashek's sub light jump, they were immediately faced with a shower of PASD missiles. The shambling Soono nearest to Rashek were immediately crippled or destroyed, while the units that had evaded the initial attack were already dashing towards him for a counter-attack, firing well-aimed bursts of their free electron laser cannons.

Nara didn't honestly know how to respond to the request, but went about trying to calculate where to move based on orbital drift and the previous sub light jump it had made... but found itself struggling to complete the equations as Zalus had dropped into view of a rather large group of autocannon-equipped Soono, preparing to bear down on him in full force.

Rashek saw the explosions about fifty thousand kilometers away, that, and the other ugly as sin automatons coming his way! He engaged the shields, immediately moving his VANDR in a quick strafe 'downwards' laser fire blooming before him as he did so. The fire continued as he tried to duck and weave about the debris, using it as limited cover, the LCPA's on his unit's forearms priming again as the CELB systems now answered the FEL fire in kind.

All the while, he was looking about, for something, anything to use to his advantage at the moment. The first two ambushes going perfectly...well, almost. But now it was a question of what to use next.

Re: [Phase Two: Mission Two] Catch the Broken Sky

VSV Medical Corvette
Debris Field, Near Elevator Colony
Malakai 1, 935
09:43, Commonwealth Standard Time

With the wing more or less cut in half, those on the rescue mission were now coming within reach of their objective. It had taken longer then they'd first assumed... Some of the area had been thick with debris, automated distress beacons continued to broadcast as much as they could. But given the fact that the area had been literally saturated in radiation as well as particle fallout from burnt out, or leaking reactors; particle weaponry, and explosions chances were slim until things began to clear.

Sensors aboard the corvette would show this best as their range and operational capacity were below nominal levels. In effect, you could say they were flying somewhat blind. All around them, the remains of Vanguard forces floated lazily in the vacuum of space.

Weither or not some were still alive would've been a miracle, and thankfully, the corvette had not been the only one dispatched. Already others were combing the debris field. Pieces of chatter being picked up as they went along, the communications gear still working, at the very least, at shorter ranges.

Parts of Soono a familiar enemy floated about as well... For all intents and purposes, it seemed like the battle had been hellish, bordering on a slaughter. But all they could do now is rescue those souls still alive, getting them to safety. Reovan, and Zus had formed up along the corvette, acting as escorts should any enemy units still be active and within the area.

At least that had brought some semblance of safety to those on the corvette as they looked on from the view ports and at what lay before them. For it seemed, even the elevator colony had taken damage, a full kilometer of the colony, ripped apart and left adrift now in smaller chunks, many meters in diameter.

The scene was one not for the faint of heart, and hopefully, those intent on rescuing trapped, and adrift civilians and Vanguard personnel alike could rise to the challenge. The closer they came to the colony, it only seemed the larger the debris got, as huge molten chunks now lay before them, silent tombs cast of into the distance as the corvette evaded a piece before them.

Zus could only gawk, with Paralovi's senses, as the small group ghosted their way through what had recently become a floating graveyard. "May the saints save us..." she mumbled over the general com, at the ready for any of the Soono frames that may only be feigning death. this was a gruesome, carnage-filled scene, the likes of which the Eyr Ranr girl had never seen in her life.

She had seen skirmishes, small tiffs and scuffles, but nothing of this magnitude. it was almost beyond words.

"We can only hope..." Amari added to Zus' words on the same comm as the corvette pilot kept in time with the VANDR. The Doctor had been sitting at the co-pilots seat, monitoring the sensors and communications lines.

"Right now we need to focus on the task at hand. That being to save those that we can. But be careful...the closer we get to the colony, the larger the debris is getting. I'm trying to get in contact with the other rescue teams but I'm having a hard time. There is too much interference for long range communications."

Alia was monitoring the debris field, keeping track and offering course corrections as the small team went. "Praying is all good, but it'll take work, not miracles to get the job done." Alia piped up from her seat next to Khiyai.

"Reo and I may as well start grabbing chunks and shaking them to see if anyone is inside, then." Zus suggested, only partially serious. "I just hope whoever did this isn't messed up enough to interfere with rescue operations..." Zus began focusing sensors on any nearby debris, searching for any sort of life she could, to see if they could rescue anyone.

"Well, shaking them could work...but it means I'll have more work on my hands afterward." Amari said with a slight crackle over the comm line. "Check the debris close by our group with your sensors if you can. Hopefully we can get a read on any distress calls close by us."

As they continued to chatter, off in the far distance the lights of battle could still be seen if one chose to look. A Soono drifted close to Zus' VANDR, visible radiation leakage from the fusion reactor spewing out. The head had been cleaved off, and it was missing an arm, but closer to the now dead enemy was a VANDR, more or less ripped apart by laser fire.

Blips in the distance kept pinging the sensors of all four vehicles, warnings of heavily saturated areas, or other hazards. Off into the distance the looming elevator colony still hung, scared, violated. Then suddenly another blip on their screens would show, this one transmitting a automated distress signal, faint, but within range.

"You got that Reo?" Zus asked her friend "Scan all nearby debris for distress signals. Investigate, I would guess gingerly, when you find one."

"You got it Zus." The Eyr Ranr and Sund Wakir's VANDR looked at one another for a moment before turning to inspect the wreckage more closely, hoping to find someone to save.

"100 KD says I save more." Zus challenged.

"You're on." Reovan countered.

"Gee, Senshirin. The Lanbalri said that we had to focus on the operation too..." Khiyai chimed in over the interior communications of the demilitarized Erla VANDR, while Alia caught a glimpse of an unmoving Khiyai in the pilot's seat beneath and in front of her through the translucent Prajna.

Indeed, she'd not be able to respond normally due to the immersion-style control system, requiring that her body remain still and close to unconsciousness as she controlled the unit's body. "...so you're just being mean without any real reason."

The wreckage before the two VANDR was indeed broadcasting a distress beacon. However, upon closer inspection, it appeared as if the pod had been cracked open like an egg. The macabre scene before them showed two Iromakuanhe, civilians as far as clothes could show floating inside, still, they'd died of asphyxiation. There was no telling when they had died, but it had been obvious, something had cracked that pod open trying to get at the occupants just by the claw marks on the hull of the pod alone.

"Being pragmatic doesn't mean I'm being mean." Alia muttered. "Being agnostic in this crew will be annoying."

If Zus could have vomited in the state she was in, she might have. as of now, the gag reflex was stopped by her link to Paralovi, and she could only look on in horror at what she found. Reovan was reciting a prayer for the fallen as the two looked over the wreckage. "They're.. they're all dead." Zus responded, a tone of resignation in her voice as she searched for another distress signal, hopefully one that was not so depressing.

Alialet out a soft sigh. "I'm beginning to think that there won't be much rescuing, if this is what we'll find."

Amari nodded a little sullenly. "I'll make a note of the pod's location for future pickup if no one else does beforehand." The doctor made a note of it in the corvette's log, listening to Alia, as she brushed a bit of grey hair out of her face. "The chances of this occurring were rather high unfortunately. Pods out here are a danger to themselves since maneuvering systems are all but moot. So much debris out here...it's a small wonder if any pod survived fully intact." She finished quietly before looking to the screen before her again.

It wasn't long before Paralovi and Jarita let their respective runners know that there was another signal, about eight thousand kilometers ahead, drifting closer to a larger chunk of twisted metal plate with a lot of smaller debris around it.

"Another signal. it's kinda far. Reo, Cover me, I'm going to check it out." Zus said, calling the signal as her own.

Reo acknowledged the request, feeling a little bit let down that she couldn't call this one. But then again, it might be just like the last one.

As Zus began to track down the source of the signal, it became increasingly apparent that the part of the field she was in now had seen heavy action.

Obvious by means of portions of Soono and VANDR smoldering near and far, a Vayu, once a proud ship having detonated as the COFU reactors went critical, making the ship bloom into a disfigured, twisted version of itself, much of the superstructure being twisted or ripped apart all together. What had once been the pod of a VANDR, crushed, leaking prajna that splashed upon Paralovi's exterior.

It was not too long however as the cautious Eyr Ranr soon neared her destination, the carnage becoming thicker and thicker as she went...until Paralovi began to warn her of incoming fire from 'above', narrowly missing the frame.

A Soono, a survivor of the carnage possibly, had spotted the VANDR from where it had been and now made to attack, autocannons retraining upon her position, Paralovi now issuing rather loud 'EVADE EVADE' warnings.

"Shootshootshoot! Reo! Above me!" Zus called out, turning Paralovi to face the enemy frame better, while bringing all her shields and barriers up to full power, and firing off a couple salvos of missiles before jetting around behind a chunk of wreckage so she could get a lock with her particle arrays and fire on the opponent.

Some of the Soono's fire struck at the now raised shields before Zus had a chance to get behind cover, already Paralovi indicating the missiles had detonated. Wither or not they'd hit their mark however remained to be seen as the interference from all the radioactivity and particle weapon detonations skewed her sensors, but it seemed that the fire now pounding at the chunk of wreckage ment that the Soono had either evaded, or shot some of those missiles down.

But then...she didn't have long to think as the Soono peaked around the corner, its tail whipping around, the laser firing at her, the shields absorbing a majority of the damage before some bled through, marring the shoulder plate of the VANDR.

Zus quickly fired off all of her particla cannons, as well as another volley of Missile fire, while morphing her CIVW's into a lance shape, and charged at the Soono frame full speed, using the distortion from her missiles and particle cannons as cover. Reovan, Much farther away, took aim, readying to fire as soon as Zus gave her a clear shot.

The Soono evaded the particle cannon fire smoothly the Pseudo MASC drive giving it a rapid boost to just above where it had been. However, the missiles proved to be more of a challenge as several impacted upon the already weakened shields, collapsing them as an explosion crumpled portions of the ADNR armor behind the now dead shields.

The RPF Manipulators spun up along the hands of the unit, going to smash the VANDR's head in, the shields however made it a glancing blow before the lance in which Zus had formed impaled the FEL cannon attached to the tail, detonating it in a small blossom of fire.

Ignoring the explosion and the glancing blow, Zus swung Paralovi's legs up, firing her lasers at the Soono frame, before swinging her CIVW-lance around and hitting the enemy frame as hard as she could from behind, hopefully pushing it forward and into a better line of sight for Reovan, who had readied herself to fire and let go as soon as she was satisfied with the lock.

Khiyai reacted quickly as the confrontation between Zus and the Soono became more intense, barely taking a moment to explain herself to her superior. "Aaah! I'm taking point on the corvette to protect it from shrapnel, with all the debris in this field. Any objections, Alia?" Following her in VANDR shot forwards towards the corvette... and rather away from Zus and the rogue Soono that had been sprung on her by the debris field. Not like I'd let you object.

The Soono took the laser hits directly to the already damaged armored chest, Paralovi already giving a warning to her of a possible reactor overload as she smashed the lance into the back. Power fluctuated within the Soono, the NI attempting to compensate and re-orient itself as a dual blast from Reovan's LCPA's smashed into its side.

Both VANDR gave a final warning before the Soono tore itself apart, the fusion reactor having gone critical, blossoming in a fairly decent light show.

"No objection." Alia said as she made sure to monitor Zus' VANDR.

Zus jumped away from the explosion using several immensely tiny MASC jumps calculated around the debris by Paralovi, and mentally sighed in relief as the enemy exploded from all that had happened to it. "Good job Reo!" she called over the coms, reorienting herself towards the distress signal.

"The saints guided my hands." was Reovan's simple answer, as she remained by the corvette to guard it. "Well, I guess I get to go check the signal out now." Zus muttered, looking forward to a good surprise, hopefully.

After the somewhat lively battle, the corvette and three VANDR neared the signal. And in truth, perhaps they wished they hadn't for all of the scene that now lay before them. A squadron of VANDR, now little more then wrecks, had formed a ring around a pod, and judging from the scene before the small group had gone down fighting odds far out of their favor.

Many more Soono had been ripped to shreds, slagged, melted and outright obliterated, but in the end, the brave frame runners had sacrificed their lives to protect a single pod. A pod, it seemed that was still intact and broadcasting that distress signal.

It was a rather sad sight, to see all these comrades whom had given their life for a small pod. Once again, Reovan paid her respects to the fallen and, silently, Zus did as well. Gingerly, the Eyr Ranr made her way to the pod and, getting fairly close, inspected it in-depth with her sensors, hoping they VANDR pilots had not died in Vain.

Upon closer inspecting, Paralovi began sending the data back to Zus. Light damage to the outer hull, but other wise, it seemed the atmosphere was intact. And to add to the surprise, infrared sensors told her there were two lifeforms inside, alive.

"Uhh... Khiyai, Amari, I think we've got a live one!"Zus announced, ecstatic. She was afraid to touch the thing, not wanting to disturb or possibly injure the occupants. "Could someone go get it so I don't accidentally kill the people inside?" the blonde asked.

Khiyai motionless the EV 1b to glide towards the pod, taking care to approach its flank slowly to avoid collisions with additional debris "Alia, can you target them with the rocket anchor? I'll bring us on an intercept course so you have an easy shot." She said to her superior, struggling a little to keep moving.

She'd honestly not enjoyed this sort of thing, but needed some means to keep her thoughts distant from the events at the terminus.

"Got'ya." Alia said as she accessed the rocket anchor's targeting system and started to carefully aim for the pod. "Readying to fire."

Alia lined the shot up a moment longer, pausing a second to steady herself. Then she fired the harpoon.

The rocket propelled anchor lept from its launcher, the boosters attached to the base of the flat head of the 'harpoon'. With a dull 'Twump' on the inside of the pod, the anchor attached, forming a bond to the pod.

"Alright, looks like we've got it!" Khiyai mumbled to herself in the airless cockpit, motioning the VANDR to fly back to the corvette now that Alia had secured the cargo. Now, with the object in tow, she pushed her unit on and started back towards the corvette, taking care to repulse obstacles with her 'Waver Flail'. Although she'd no actual control over her body at that moment, she couldn't help but grin a little for the moment. We've actually saved someone. "Lanbalri Al-Sumed, we've got survivors inbound."

Amari looked up from her console then before responding. "Good, Good, I'll be awaiting their arrival via the airlock." The doctor replied before disconnecting herself from the seat, and stretching a little. At least their work thus far had not been a total loss...

Re: [Phase Two: Mission Two] Catch the Broken Sky

VSV Wyrm of the Endless Sky
Debris Field
Malakai 1, 935
09:47, Commonwealth Standard Time

The frame runner breathed in deeply as his VANDR rushed "downwards" towards the group of Soono threatening Zalus at breakneck speeds, calming himself down before he entered combat. Diving down closer and closer to the Soono, the runner opened fire on his quarry from long distance, the searing rays, eight quarter-second long beams of compression enhanced lancing out towards a single Soono near the center of the enemy formation.

The VANDR immediately performed a sub light jump so that it was within a few meters of the targeted Soono, the VANDR letting off a pulse with its ERP projectors to blind the formation at the same time as the VANDR raised its arms, the CIVWS formed into a giant cleaving blade.

The Runner brought the giant sword down on the stunned black frame in a vertical slash, following it up with a quick horizontal cut,

Zalus came out of his jump and made a mad dash for cover until he could safely jump again. The runner engaged his Resonance Shroud and tried to hide, and stay out of the way of incoming fire. Nara had low armor and she wouldn't be able to take the hits she normally would. As he dodged through the debris he also kept his eyes out for anything he could grab as a shield. When he'd seen Malik dive into the group all he could do is shake his head.

The Soono's shield crumpled under the rapid barrage of laser fire, making it a perfect target for the dual slash being brought down on it. In a few seconds, a relatively intact Soono had been disabled and bisected, sending pieces of ADNR shrapnel and ripped organoid tissues in every direction. Although Malik had succeeded in destroying his single target with the utmost precision, he'd also managed to net himself the attentions of much of the attacking force, diverting no less than half of the frames that had been pursuing Zalus onto himself.

His borrowed VANDR called out dozens of enemy lock on signals and weapon power ups surrounding him...

Malik silently cursed to himself as he realised that he had jumped right into the belly of the beast. Dropping a full salvo of Regenerative Beacon Flares and Star Locusts as well as widening his MRS to the full one kilometer, the runner took evasive action, dodging and jinking to try to keep himself alive before doing another MASC Jump.

This Jump would take him behind the nearest Soono that was attacking Zalus, bringing down his improvised greatsword on its collar, as well as using the Storm Rays to fire a storm of twisting laser fire towards the second nearest Soono.

"Zalus, What are you doing back there? There are only thirty Soono here, that's fifteen each. Easy!"

Although the beacon flares sufficed to distract the enemy's fire long enough for him to escape, Malik's own usage of the MRS made his missile weaponry effective as the swarming missiles immediately streaked past the Soono and detonated somewhere in the deeper parts of the debris fields. He immediately crushed the head of a frame that had been in Zalus' environs with his sword and destroyed another two with laser fire, but exposed the hitherto stealthy Zalus by drawing attention to the area where the two of them had been.

Zalus fired both of his Shockbites at the closest of the Soono he could target when his cover was blown. "You Sonova bitch! You lead them right too me!" Zalus rushed away from Malik towards new cover and shot out two beacon flares to distract the Soono so he could hit again and get a better vantage on the attacking force.

The Soono that had been hounding the black VANDR before had all but been annihilated, twisted metal chassis and debris to float within the gravitational field of Maekardan a testament to the tenacity of the pilot of the VANDR.

Rashek had been listening for any radio chatter in the area, picking up little snippets here and there, until finally he'd caught a more clear line from a set of VANDR.

One in particular shouting out a set of profanities to another. Out of the damned frying pan, and into the fire. The runner thought as the black VANDR went from chunk of debris, to chunk of debris, under the MRS.

When he'd finally closed the distance noting the overwhelming odds arrayed against the duo, the VANDR clung to a drifting piece of freighter, close enough for a target lock on several of the Soono. The missile pods opening, a salvo of the missiles swarmed from their launchers as two of the beacon flares streaked off in opposite directions of the derelict piece of freighter.

One going left, the other to the right. A katar had formed along one of the hands, leaving the other with naught but fingers. Ok, time to party.

The runner thought as the VANDR began to move, spotting the nearest Soono and moving towards it at an even pace, once he'd reached the half kilometer mark, he punched the MASC drive, closing the distance, going for a kill from behind as the Shockbites on the forearms began to recycle their charge.

Distracted for a split second when the beacon flares passed it by, the Soono was quickly torn asunder by the force of Zalus' assault, and tumbled backwards into the debris field as another collection of waste materials. More zoomed in to attack Malik and him and began to attack from all sides, firing long bursts of laser and autocannon fire.

As Malik did a quick sublight jump away from the incoming fire to hide behind some wreckage, such as selecting targets for his next series of attacks. Malik waited there, decreasing his MRS size down to minimum in an attempt not to be seen, waiting for his shockbites to fully charge, and his PASDS and Flares to recharge.

Because the large blade would prevent multiple targeting, it molded and shifted, becoming two long, slightly curved arm blades, more for slashing than for stabbing.

Rashek immediately caught one of the group from behind, his katar cutting across ammo canisters for its autocannon and sliding down into its back until it penetrated the reactor. The black VANDR immediately and instinctively retracted its arm as heat spiked inside the ANDR husk and the unit began to experience a severe core breach.

The black VANDR immediately grabbed the head of the now 'dying' Soono, and spun in a quick circle, timing the throw as he tossed it at a cluster of Soono, using the Repulsor Burst Array as a catalyst. Free of the automated machine, he then brought a forearm up at another of the Soono, the Shockbites done cycling, the NI informing him they were primed and ready for firing.

He targeted one, forearm cannon glowing brightly for a second as the beam pulsed, silent, bright death launched in a matter of seconds as he began to strife once more, not wishing to be the sitting duck, but the harder to hit, moving target.

Zalus had let his shockbites charge to seventy-five percent before firing upon the closest cluster of Soono. He grabbed at anything usable as a strong shield before readying himself for close combat with the remaining assailants. "I can see this ending poorly... Lets try not to let that happen Nara."

More Soono took after Malik as he moved on from cover, following behind him and wearing away at his back with laser fire as he moved on. Most of the shots had missed, but the numbers now behind him were roughly those they had been minutes ago when he'd entered the confrontation. The borrowed Erla VANDR cautioned him to bring his shields online to protect the cockpit block from attack, although did not seemingly object to the break from cover to attack.

One of the 'squads' of Soono attempting to get the drop on Malik were all overtaken when their tossed compatriot experienced a critical failure and detonated abruptly in their midst, causing most of them to be critically damaged or placed in the same state as the unrecognizable wreck that had been ripped apart from the inside out. Another fell to Rashek's particle cannon, which dispersed the mass that composed the unit's frail waist and caused both ends to fall inactive and join the debris field.

Zalus managed to destroy a pair of weakened Soono, but took two autocannon hits to his left arm and received a dozen targeting lock warnings from Nara. Feedback displayed that his already weakened armor could not sustain more than a few hits to any given limb without completely losing function, and warned that the left arm was near critical.

Re: [Phase Two: Mission Two] Catch the Broken Sky

VSV Medical Corvette
Debris Field, Near Elevator Colony
Malakai 1, 935
09:52, Commonwealth Standard Time

With the pod in tow, the Civilian VANDR brought it in close enough to the shuttle to form a seal along the airlock. The shuttle rumbled slightly from the slightly jarring impact, a hiss issued forth from the other side of the airlock door on Amari's end as pressure was equalized, oxygen pumped in. So far, things were going rather well. But she did feel slightly nervous with the two infantry in their Ejatr Armor, carbines at the ready aiming directly at the airlock.

Amari worked the airlock controls, the door to the pod's side of the airlock cycling through, and opening for them to step in between the two locks. The small pod door closing behind the pair before sealing once more, the shuttle side now began to rotate its mechanisms and unlocked.

The doctor looked to the two infantrymen before she went to the other side of the door, and pulled opening for the pair of Iromakuanhe who'd been aboard the shuttle.

Zus watched the recovery of the pod intently for a moment, before Reovan announced that it was a good idea to go and search for more emergency signals. The Two frames once again made their way a little bit further from the Shuttle, but not so far as to abandon it, and strained their sensors for anything they could hopefully rescue more people.

Zus was, however, more on the alert for possible enemies than Reovan was, the Sund Wakir more focused on saving people, and getting back her 100 KD from her roommate.

Mridula had been half-asleep in the pod, her head in Mareyn's lap, when she heard the thump of the harpoon hitting the pod wall. It had jarred her into full wakefulness, and she sat upright, surprised that someone had actually found the pair of them. She hadn't expected to be rescued. She shuffled through the series of airlocks as they equalized.

When the last opened and the soldiers pointed their guns at her, she held both hands up in the air, her eyes wide. Even in that state, a brief thought ran through her mind - I look terrible. My hair is a mess. Out loud, though, she said "...I come in peace!"

"Lanbalri Al-Sumed, I'm taking our VANDR in to dock. Can you call off the guards at the airlock?" Khiyai radioed in to Amari, moving her VANDR slowly so that the cockpit block would rest inside of the medical corvette's docking port. "I picked up some radiation leakage on the pod and want to make sure it hasn't been compromised."

"I don't think that will be a problem, Khiyai. The guards are going to be standing down right about now anyways." The Doctor responded as she looked to them, nodding. The two armored infantrymen stood at ease, and apart to allow Mridula entrance as the pair formed up behind Amari who now stood in front of the newcomer. "I apologize, but, we cannot be too careful in these circumstances. I am Lanbalri Amari Al-Sumed, Field Physician, currently attached to the Bahram Wing."

She stepped aside as well, arm sweeping out slightly, indicating that Mridula may board.

"I - uh - I'm Mridula Ituri Osei, Vanguard liaison to Solan Starworks." The lab coated woman paused, her teeth chewing slightly at her bottom lip. "Mare - ah, my boss is... still in there. I think she's having some kind of... panic attack, or something." She didn't step any closer to the interior of the shuttle.

Amari inclined her head at Mridula's introduction as she listened to the woman's brief story of the other occupant of the escape pod. The doctor looked to one of the infantrymen, motioning for him to enter to check to which he obliged. She then went over to the medical case along the command compartment, grabbing it before returning to the airlock where Mridula it seemed still stood.

When the infantryman returned, he nodded to the doctor. "It checks out, there is a woman in the pod in a seemingly catatonic state. You'd better get in there ma'am."

The doctor then patted the man on the shoulder before moving past Mridula, intent on entering the pod to check on her possible new patient.

"Wh..." Mareyn did not appear to be catatonic or in a frenzy, but had backed herself into the corner of the pod, clutching her knees and intermittently glancing around nervously. On the bulkhead behind her lay a small line of blood, and her hair had become matted and tangled from blood and sweat that had gotten mixed into it. At a glance, she might have also seemed dazed or listless, although paranoia had clearly set in some manner or another.

Mridula turned right around after a brief, barely courteous bow to the two guards and Amari. She speed walked back into the pod, hovering nervously around the door and wringing her hands together. "...Mareyn? Are you alright? Please be alright..."

"Ah... it's you." Mareyn gave Mridula a pensive glance and attempted to reach out to the woman a last time, but did not, before her body went limp and she lost consciousness. She crumpled backwards and slid down onto the ground, her head dragging another line of red like some leaden paintbrush.

Mridula leapt forward, almost impacting the medic.

Amari was already kneeling on the ground after Mridula nearly ran into her. The medical case opened before her as she soon took out a pen light, moving to Mareyn's side. She opened one of the woman's eyes, clicking the pen light on to see if there was any response from the pupil to the brightness of the tiny light.

Meanwhile, the scientist had taken up kneeling in the spot at Mareyn's side opposite Amari. She was wringing her hands, making a small, anxious noise in the back of her throat.

Zus, in her eagerness to not get shot, decided to look over every single frame around, wether it be a Soono, or a VANDR, to see if there was something alive in it, or if it was still active.

Reovan, on the other hand, was looking at all the lager chunks of debris, to see if maybe compartments with people inside had remained intact and kept atmosphere, thereby saving those inside, if only temporarily. The two searched around, hoping against hope to find someone alive.

In truth, all around Zus, and Reovan was a cornucopia of debris from all sorts of ships, and parts of the colony. From the looks of things, there were some that seemed intact, but nothing could be heard from within.

As Zus searched, getting more and more disheartened, she suddenly came across something; it wasn't a distress signal, but rather a power signature, something running. It was fairly weak and didn't seem to be moving, so it was probably just a false lead, but the Eyr Ranr investigated anyway. What she found proved most interesting.

It was a Soono, covered in all sorts of damage, and missing its tail and one arm. it seemed like it was barely keeping the pilot alive, and so, despite Zus' despise of these terrorists, she felt kinda bad for it. Moving quickly, the girl MASC jumped next to it and, as she expected, the arm made a feeble grab for her.

She quickly cut it off with her CIVW, then transformed the weapon into a hand, which she used to grab the frame. "I got a live one, Enemy!" Zus called over the comms "Should we keep it? Something tells me I should pull out the reactor." and with her idea, she quickly did such, swiftly gouging the frame's power source out and pushing it into a trajectory away from her own position and the corvette's, hoping she hadn't breached the cockpit.

Even after she gouged out the reactor, the Soono thrashed about momentarily before shutting down, completely. A quick scan by Paralovi confirming that the organoid systems were beginning to deteriorate.

Mareyn's pupil did respond, albeit more slowly then normal to the light. After several moments, the doctor noticed a small smear on one of the walls, and then a tiny puddle beginning to form behind the woman's head. The doctor then discarded the penlight, now placing both hands underneath Mareyn as she stared at the seemingly distraught Mridula.

"You there, I need your help getting her into a seated position. When we do, you need to hold her there while I examine her more thoroughly, do you understand?"

"Yes, yes, I understand." Mridula scooted around between Mareyn and the wall, then slid her hands underneath the woman's shoulders, beginning to very carefully lift her up. "...is this okay? Am I doing it right?"

"Awww Wyrmticks! It didn't have anyone inside it. Just my luck." Zus lamented, shaking the Soono body around like some grotesque ragdoll, before getting fed up and throwing it at another dead Soono. The two collided, sending off a small cloud of particulate debris, and floating away towards nothingness.

"Calm down, Zus, it's not that big a deal if it's just an NI" Reovan chided her friend, as she continued to scan chunks of the Elevator for signs of life. It was, however, obvious, that the lack of living things out here was getting to Zus, and possibly even Reovan.

Zus followed suit, calming herself down and looking around for anything else resembling a distress signal or power signature. She wanted that 100KD. Maybe she could buy something to get her mind off of this mess they were now sloughing through.

Amari nodded however, and then motioned Mridula to the side. "You'll need to move right over there so I can check the base of her skull for any injuries. I noticed she was bleeding, and it may have caused her to go unconscious."

Mridula scooted over to the side a bit, but her arms twined gently around Mareyn's waist to keep her upright. She lowered her voice and whispered soothing words into her superior's ear.

It was further in the debris field when the pair both seemed to spot something on their sensors. Still too far out to be properly made out, the two NI simply said something was there.

"My turn to go first." Reovan chimed, before Zus could say anything.

Consigning herself, Zus Nodded Paralovi's head, and covered Reovan.

The Sund Wakir made her way towards the contact, while the Eyr Ranr followed behind at a slower pace, so as to cover her friend without getting separated from the shuttle too quickly.

"I think we have something." Zus reported back, tentatively, hoping it was not a hostile, but rather something to rescue. Zus would obviously have to find something else to rescue to offset Reo from this time.

As Mridula moved herself into position, the doctor had by that time donned a pair of medical gloves from her case. She then began to fan out the slightly matted, light brown hair. Now a darker brown due to the blood coagulating within the strands.

Amari frowned as she looked over to Mridula a moment, and then back to Mareyn before clearing her voice. "Did she hit, or was hit by anything else besides being struck on the back of her head? Anything at all that you can recall?" The doctor asked as placed a hand in to the case, looking at the contents. She found a small, nondescript vial and pulled it out. "Or anything else for that matter?"

"I... I don't remember. I'm sorry. There was just... so much exploding, and fire, and... there's blood, though, so something must have hit her."

In truth what the duo found seemed to be a small, civilian shuttle. The entire aft section having been blown off, but still operational, running on backup power within the forward section. It was there that they found a body floating, but...it appeared to be within a EVA suit thankfully. Thermal Sensors indicated there was warmth emanating from it, but, the person was unmoving.

Amari could only nod as she took her hand away from the injured woman's head, and un-stoppered the vial. "As it stands, it seems she has a mild concussion, maybe a few fractures of her skull, and a nasty gash on the back of her head." The doctor then moved the vial under Mareyn's nose, waving it around slowly. "Smelling salts, when she comes to, hold her firmly, alright?"

"Thank the saints!" reovan called, happy to have found something living. "Zus, come here, and help me with the rest of the shuttle. I'll take the Survivor back to our shuttle" Reovan morphed her CIVW's into something to gently scoop up the EVA-clad figure and protect him as she made her way to the Medical shuttle.

Zus passed her midway, and made a little motion that could be explained as a gesture meaning 'good job', her CIVW forming itself into an odd three-finger salute using the pinkie, forefinger, and thumb. as Reovan made her way back, Zus thoroughly inspected the front end of the shuttle.

"Right," Mridula muttered, her cheeks palings lightly. She was absolutely not used to this kind of emergency medical procedure.

It was quiet out. It usually was where ever Akjit went anyways. He could hear the faint noise of his own breathing, the warmth of his blankets. 'Blankets?' he thought. No. It was his suit. He still kept his eyes closed, and came to the logical conclusion. 'I probably fell asleep in the shuttle or something. 'Wait. Wasn't something else happening? Uh oh.' Akjit Chirimar could taste the metallic tang of blood in his mouth from his bitten tongue, a throbbing head, and the sensation of movement through an empty void. His eyes popped open, only to reveal himself within some sort of...sandrat ball.

He carefully looked out of one of the holes, and felt a little silly. 'A VANDR! Oh wow!' he thought. His heart started to pump in nervousness, and quickly tried to contact thepilot, "He...hello. Akjit Chirimar here. Can you, um, spare me a situation report?" he asked.

As Zus looked over the shuttle half to see if its pilots were still alive, Reovan would be startled by an unfamiliar crackling over her Comms. It was the man in Jarita's CIVW's. "Uhh. This is Reovan Mehta. It looks like there was an extremely large battle here. We're currently doing rescue operations. The Saints smiled upon us and allowed us to find you."

Mareyn shifted a little, her eyelids shied from opening by the lights of the corvette's interior. "Mri... dula. H- how di-" She cut herself off with a pained groan, and stopped for a moment to catch her breath.

Back at the shuttle, Paralovi grabbed the remains of the craft and peered into the cockpit, so that Zus could get a look and see if anyone was alive inside. She hoped very much that there were survivors within it, and, on top of that, that there was more than one, both because she wanted to save people, and because she really wanted to win that bet.

To Zus, the cockpit seemed to have been breached, the transparent glass-like material cracked, pilots seemingly held in place by their harnesses. One waved to her, the other trying to motion for assistance as well.

Zus wanted very much to smile, and did so mentally, her body unable to comply with her mind's demands. She pondered whether or not to remove the busted cockpit screen, but decided they were probably saver with it there. Carefully, Paralovi grabbed onto the front end of the shuttle, and began to push it along in front of her, towards the Medical shuttle. "Reo! There's two more survivors here! I'm bringing them in!" she called over the comms, jovially.

"Thank the Saints indeed!" Akjit replied. He briefly looked about in what was undoubtedly a CIVW. It was small, and yet felt so spacious to him. He gulped. "Did anyone else make it out alive, frame runner?" He asked tentatively. Akjit had several friends, some just like him, fresh out of academy. The small space seemed to get smaller, and smaller to Akjit. 'It's not getting smaller, it's not getting smaller.' he thought to himself.

Akjit desperately tried to get a better view out of the ball, and briefly caught a glance of another VANDR in the distance. He heard a woman's voice ring through his helmet. "Saints alive..." he breathed with relief.

"Easy...Easy now..."The doctor said in a soft tone as she brought Mareyn's chin up with a hand, cupping it lightly between her fingers. "I'm Doctor Al-Sumed, you're still on board the escape pod, but are docked with our medical corvette. You're safe, but I have to take care of that nasty bump and gash on the back of your head." Amari leaned in closer, looking into Mareyn's eyes, examining their responses before nodding to herself.

She then went about retrieving a injector. "I'm going to give you a dose of prajna to help, and then take care of the wound. But, I need you to stay awake for me, ok? You have a mild concussion."

"...sh, sh, don't talk much. You're safe now, the Vanguard's found us." Mridula raised a hand to gently stroke through her boss's hair.

"Well, I'll get you back to our ship safe. and I'm sure my Partner will get the other survivors back, as well." Reovan responded to Akjit, speeding up a little now that she knew he was alive and awake. Within moments, the Sund Wakir Frame Runner was at the shuttle, and Zus with the shuttle half, was not that far behind. The rescue operation was turning out to be fruitful after all.

Re: [Phase Two: Mission Two] Catch the Broken Sky

VSV Wyrm of the Endless Sky
Debris Field
Malakai 1, 935
09:58, Commonwealth Standard Time

"Right then!" Malik smiled as he followed the VANDR's suggestion, bringing his shields online as he performed another Sublight Jump to get in the midst of the horde of AI controlled frames. Firing both his Shockbites at full charge, and brief half-second blasts from his Searing Ray weapons at a single Soono, he rushed forward on MASC Drive alone, the dual scimitar blades of his Divine Fists lashing out at the torsos of the multiple Soono in front of him.

"I don't like running that much, but up close is where I feel best!" The runner smiled as he rushed into the melee, using his ERP to try to blind the Soono and keep himself from getting blasted.

Zalus pulled his improvised shield in front of himself with a Vector Barrier projected over it and charged his shockbites to fifty percent and fired at the autocannon wielding Soono. The damaged VANDR moved the shield out from in front of its missile pods and fired a volley into the charging group and braced for the ensuing melee.

The Soono attempted to evade Malik's attack, lasers grazing its shields as it made a futile attempt at fleeing when it became clear that it wouldn't survive the immediate confrontation. Both blades struck ADNR plating and cut large swathes into the frame's torso, causing the arms to dangle disjointedly like caricatures of themselves. The unit spasmed, still attempting to return fire or retreat, but finally gave out as the blades penetrated its reactor block, causing it to melt down and burn itself out from the inside, releasing tremendous amounts of radiation in the process.

Meanwhile, Zalus made good time and caught up to the autocannon-equipped Soono, effectively blocking every round fired at Nara with his shield and handily evading the large laser blasts emanating from its snake-like lower body. The initial volley of missiles crashed into its remaining shields, disabling them and allowing him a clean shot with his blade. With a single stroke, he removed the autocannons that had plagued him so recently as well as the mono eyed head, causing the unit to continue to drift motionless in space in the direction opposite to him.

The two would notice that the number of Soono had decreased greatly, with most dispersed back into the debris field or had fled to other sectors of the battlefield. Most signatures had become dimmed now, save for one that did not match a conventional fission or fusion reactor, and had numerous distortion fields around it that didn't match the pattern of any Astral Vanguard unit. The unknown object, whatever it might have been, was moving towards them at a steady pace.

Malik slowed down a bit, not wanting to rush head-on against an unknown unit. Recharging his shockbites, the Cohronl started to float towards the incoming unit, ready for any new tricks. Hoping that his com still worked, the runner sent out a message to the enemy unit.

"Attention unknown frame! You are infringing on Astral Commonwealth airspace, and you have not identified yourself. Power down your shields and weaponry, and stand by to be taken into custody." After sending the message, Malik keyed the com to wing-only, and hit up whoever in the wing was in range, trying mostly to get Zalus.

"Zalus, I'm pretty sure whoever this is won't come peacefully. Get ready to circle around back and take it out. We're going to do this fast and hard, then try to make contact with the rest of the wing, you got that?"

Zalus moved into cover and charged his shockbites as the unknown advanced on them. "I wouldn't expect them do surrender peacefully Malik..." Zalus engaged his stealth and sent out 3 signal flares to hide behind cover in the same manner as him. He kept his shield down and his aim on the unknown signal. "How about you keep him occupied and I provide fire support? I like that idea many better seeing as Nara can't handle a straight up fight at the moment..."

"Incoming, incoming!" The respective NI of both VANDR alarmed. "Detected high heat thermobaric beam weapon, evade!"

Malik and Zalus both attempted to evade the sudden burst of orange light as it darted towards them, splitting apart as they had planned to earlier. Zalus managed to get past the beam due to his stealth field and beacon flares diverting the aim of the enemy slightly, but Malik had not been so lucky. A second beam followed shortly thereafter, and struck the unshielded right arm of his unit flawlessly, vaporizing armor and the underlying organoid tissues in a few moments.

The unit followed up with a screen of missiles, and another beam attack, although it narrowly clipped across Zalus' front without doing any significant damage. Malik's VANDR, although injured, had gotten a fairly good picture of the enemy, and was now able to piece together the outline. It had the appearance of a slimmer, blockier frame with very light and angular curves, contrasted with the tubular appearance of the Soono and a large beam rifle held in its right and left hands, with smaller sub-arms clutching what appeared to be smaller beam sub machine guns.

"Well, that just isn't fair!" Malik exclaimed, his voice filled partly with dread and partly with amusement. Shifting his Divine Fist into a broad, pointed blade, he pointed it at the incoming enemy unit, and smiled as best he could.

"Zalus, I'm about to charge this thing. Are you going to help out, or are you going to get reinforcements?"

"Damnit!" Zalus readied his aim and fired his two shockbites at the new Frame's main weapon arms. He then pulled up his shield and braced for impact if his new friend decided to fire at him again and started to charge his shockbites again as he moved for new cover. "Go for it Mal I have you covered."

Malik's VANDR took off, rushing towards the enemy unit as fast as the MASC Drive could take him, Storm Rays and Star Locusts firing a barrage of twisting laser beams and missiles at it to cover his attack. The VANDR quickly did a sublight jump, reappearing to face upwards from below his target. "Dodge this then!" The EV's single remaining shockbite opened up, firing a fully charged charged particle beam lancing out at the four armed unknown, joined by four remaining searing rays. Finishing his burst, Malik performed another Sublight jump to the side of the enemy, waiting for his beams to connect before rushing in with his blade to cut that beam rifle in half.

"Shields down! Shields down!" As the only remaining target in their vicinity, the missiles pelted Zalus' shields, detonating in a flurry of brilliant orange blasts. Although he had taken no actual damage, his shields had been drained to nil and Nara was being bathed in radioactive slag.

The unknown frame immediately reacted by strafing through the debris and firing back at Malik while he was on approach, seemingly confident that it could maintain the upper hand. The unit did not panic or attempt a desperation attack when its beam cannon was disabled by Zalus' beam attack, nor when Malik attempted to get the drop on it when he used his MASC drive to sublight jump.

Instead, it simply tossed the beam cannon in the way of the brash runner's surprise attack and boosted downwards, fully expecting the sword rush following the beam attack. Another volley of missiles targeted directly at Malik followed soon after, the fusion warheads numbering in the high dozens.

Zalus jumped out of the cloud of radioactivity and aimed his Shockbite shots into the frame's missile pods. He then moved towards Malik and fired off a volley of missiles into the swarm of fusion missiles heading their way before ducking for cover.

"It won't be!" Malik did another sublight jump to avoid the missiles, reappearing in front of the enemy as he thrust his blade at it. "THAT EASY TO KILL ME!" As Malik neared the frame, his VANDR did a flip so that now the sharpened blades of his feet CIVWS were slashing upwards. "I have a woman to go back to!"

The enemy unit seemed to eject a plain white canister from its back as it detected Zalus' charging particle cannon, barely pausing as it rolled to parry Malik's attack. But it didn't, or rather, allowed him to impale its left arm with his unit's right leg. Suddenly, the enemy frame detonated the canister it had deployed, causing the entire area to be bathed in a dense curtain of charged particles that seemed to absorb Zalus' Shockbite blast. Suddenly, large claws sprang from inside the unit's forearms, attaching themselves to the fingers of the frame's hands and clamping down onto Malik's leg.

"That is hardly relevant." The voice that replied Malik was dim and soured, but clearly that of a woman. But before Malik would have a chance to think on this, he would suddenly be spun around and tossed, in the direction of his rapidly approaching teammate! "Unoriginal tactics, you Vanguards."

Re: [Phase Two: Mission Two] Catch the Broken Sky

VSV Medical Corvette
Debris Field, Near Elevator Colony
Malakai 1, 935
10:13, Commonwealth Standard Time

While Reovan and Zus were in-route with their precious cargo, things aboard the medical corvette remained calm and complacent. However, treatment continued upon the poor woman aboard the escape pod. Thankfully, the small woman was a good patient as the doctor continued examining the injury to the back of her head. They were usually quite hard to judge, head injuries mostly because they bled profusely. But, from the calm the doctor exude, the meticulous way she went about her craft, things looked up for the injured Minister.

"Alright, I'm going to apply a few Buoslik worms to the wound... the Prajna, and pain medication I gave you, and our little friend here should take care of this for the most part until I get you aboard the corvette." Amari, voice calm, supportive as she opened the spherical container, inside thousands of thin, silky white worms wiggled about as she picked a few of the seemingly delicate symbiotes up.

Gingerly, the Cohronl doctor applied them to the open wound, the worms immediately going to work as Amari watched on, ready to apply more if necessary. She pressed a lapel of her coat, a commlink opening, a quiet word to the pilot of the corvette, and she was connected to the Civilian VANDR awaiting to dock. "Khiyai, the other hatch is free to use, the guards are standing down since I've let them know you're boarding."

The Doctor then looked over to Mridula, taking one of her gloves off, Amari laid a comforting hand on the woman's shoulder. "She should be alright, but could you please help me get her on board the corvette?" Asking as she began to repackage the medical equipment she'd used, but also taking a moment to check how the buoslik worms were doing.

"Oh!" She said a moment later, as if remembering some (And not far from the truth.) "Also, please tell one of the GI's if you have any equipment, or belongings board you wish to bring over too. But right now, let us get her out of here, and on to a medical bed."

Mridula nodded, slowly, still a tad shocked from the events. She hooked her arms underneath Mareyn's arms and stood, holding the other woman underneath the arms and supporting her with her body. "...yes. Mareyn? Can you walk?"

Amari soon had the medical kit strap over her shoulder, having used the brief touch upon Mridula's shoulder to 'borrow' a small fraction of the other woman's anxiety. In truth, she felt the same. Battle always made her a little uneasy, she though while placing a hand about Mareyn's waist, to help support her along with Mridula.

The biologist did feel a little less anxious, but the sheer volume of her anxiety was such that it had only the smallest of effects. Even so, she gave Amari a grateful look, nodding in her general direction since her hands were occupied with her superior. "Thank you, miss. I... appreciate the effort, but I think it'll be a while before I feel better."

Mareyn lurched forward, breaking out of Mridula's grasp and ran herself into the nearest wall. Her hands, which had been extended, prevented any sort of serious head injury and allowed her to lean onto the wall and hand head head a little lower than the top of her torso. "..." She turned pale, and gagged, a small line of spittle dropping from her lower lip. Small heaves followed, followed by a heavier and more brusque movement of her body, accompanied by heavy, sickly coughing. "How..."

Amari watched as the woman broke from both of their grasps, all the same, the doctor rushed over to her, placing a hand on her back, another on one of her arms. "Easy now...you've lost blood, and have a concussion. Please, take it easy...let us get you on board the medical corvette. We can answer your questions while we get there if you'd like." Her tone was comforting, as was the light touch of a hold she'd placed on one of her arms.

Khiyai finally docked with the small corvette, and began draining her compartment of the cockpit of its Prajna liquid breathing medium as she began idling her VANDR. It had been a much rougher ride than she could have imagined, although she'd secretly enjoyed being able to get some real flight time in. Rising out of the freshly opened cockpit and dripping in the lightly orange fluid, she shook her head and turned to Alia.

"Some ride, wasn't it? It a shame I never trained to be a field mechanist, or I'd do this more regularly." She grinned, giving her Prajna-soaked hair a quick toss.

"Mareyn... what's wrong?" Mridula didn't approach, unsure as to whether her influence would harm her close friend. "Is there anything I can do for you?"

"I guess." Alia said as she leaned forward, disconnecting her ports from the seat. After taking a second to rub her face she looked up and gave Khiyai a perked brow, "Did you remember to pack a towel Khi?" She asked as she remembered how slick Prajna was.

"I don't mind. They say Prajna's good for the hair anyway... I think." Khiyai said with a slight shake of her head to remove any additional moisture, placing her hands on her haunches. "Then again, I don't really know the mechanics of regenerative therapy." She said with a slight shrug, pressing a button on the keypad by the door. "Lanbalri. Can you open up the airlock door?"

At the request, the airlock cycled, the Lanbalri however was not standing there, but one of the GI's, the Carbine he carried held loosely at his side. "The Lanbalri is currently busy attending a patient from that pod you brought." The voice masculine, smooth, and confident as he looked over his shoulder and into the interior. "She's over there towards the other airlock if you two need her."

Mayreyn slammed her hand into the wall and leaned her head into the cool composite paneling. Biting into her lower lip, she stopped her dry heaves. "How did... those bastards from eight years ago design such complex machines in so little time?! And those numbers... how did they..." Small tears ran down her cheeks, as she fought back the urge to scream or vomit.

Amari now wore a pensive look at the poor woman before her, listening to her words, thinking on them. But none of that mattered at the moment as she looked over to Mridula. "We have to get her on board the corvette, and on to a bed. Right now, you're getting to play as my aide in this, so please assist me in getting her there." It was a simple request, but she knew if they didn't get her to the bed now, they may not sooner then later.

The doctor took a firmer hold on the Minister, being a little more forceful, but just enough to direct Mareyn's movements towards the airlock, motioning to Mridula with her head, indicating where to guide her towards.

The Solanii biologist stepped forward and embraced Mareyn, mouthing "hold on" to Amari as she held her superior with surprising tenderness and care, stroking her hair with one hand. "...we'll get them, Mareyn. Don't worry. They'll pay for what they did." She didn't know who 'those bastards' were, but she figured that now wasn't exactly the best time to ask.

Mareyn gave an exhausted nod and leaned into her subordinate's protective arms. She exhaled deeply, attempting to quiet her thoughts, and began lurching forward to attempt to walk. "O- okay..." Whatever energy had suddenly filled her before had drained out as her exhaustion and injuries caught up with her.

Mridula used the touch to take some of Mareyn's pain upon herself!

The empathic touch of Mridula offered Mareyn some comfort from the pain of her injuries, coupled with the painkiller having been administered to her, the Minister was afford somewhat of a respite from the sharp pain. However...as a result, the somewhat dopey feeling it had been having on Mareyn also transferred to Mridula as a result. The doctor had put two and two together, having chosen to only touch a part of Mareyn that was clothed, unable to form a tactile bond with her.

"Alright...let's get you off this pod, soon you'll be on a medical bed to where I can attend you better." Amari assured the Ivouri women, Mridula, for the sake of her being worried, and Mareyn since she was the one injured after all. As the doctor guided the two women aboard the corvette, she stopped short, noticing Khiyai, and Alia there, Khiyai still dripping slightly from the Prajna, and Alia along with her.

She gave them a small welcoming smile before leading the Solanii liaison and Minister to the medical section, helping to ease Mareyn on to one of the beds.

"Ruh. Rrr. Right." The biologist blinked heavily a few times, gurgling softly as she felt the medicine take hold. She was now leaning on Mareyn as heavily as the other woman was leaning on her, and started to shuffle after Amari as she led them away.

Re: [Phase Two: Mission Two] Catch the Broken Sky

VSV Wyrm of the Endless Sky
Debris Field
Malakai 1, 935
10:35, Commonwealth Standard Time

Zalus masc jumped threw Malik and exited close to the Unknown frame. "Now I know what that feels like from the other side..." Firing a full salvo of missiles and shock bites at the frame before jumping away again.

"Try aiming next time!" The enemy frame sprang into motion once its attack failed, barreling out of the way of the poorly-aimed beam attack and shooting down the missiles with a rake of its arm-mounted fusion cannon. It then boosted away from Malik, returning fire with another screen of missiles at Zalus and a loosely-aimed spray of fusion cannon fire aimed to slow down a pursuing Malik.

"Saints damn you!" Malik yelled out over the coms as he was thrown, quickly managing to right himself. Charging his shockbites, Malik had to come up with a new plan of attack. "She expects us to simply jump in there, so that won't work. Why don't we try something new. Coaxing as much power as he could from the VANDR's damaged MASC drive, doing a quick sublight jump to place himself in a suitable position, and rushing full speed at the enemy frame, zigzagging wildly as he tried to close the distance between her and him.

Having finished off her enemies, 'Ismat had spent a bit of time observing. She was seeing if there was anything particularly suspicious of any of the runners around, if there were any Soono pulling punches on any frame runner, something evident of a spy. With having watched enough, the VIA operative moved into position, while still in cover, to try and lay down some crossfire with CELB lasers.

Zalus started charging his shock bites and hid behind his shield against the fusillade. He backed away from the unknown frame and shot at it with his CELBs. "So nice of you to join us hun! This bitch is dancing dirty."

As Malik made his bull rush, the enemy would turn to face him while still moving backwards, still matching his speed so that he neither gained nor lost distance and unleashed a burst from all four fusion cannons mounted across her frame's chassis. Malik took several hits to his chest and arm units, with one blast from the deadly cannons barely grazing his cockpit block.

But his allies were noticeably effective in assisting him. A curtain of CELB beams from both Zalus and 'Ismat raked across the unknown frame's back and side as it and Malik passed between the two of them at a great distance, causing it to drop speeds as, flailing to regain control. The borrowed VANDR was able to close the distance significantly, to the point where he could actually 'see' the enemy frame with his visual sensors.

Panicking, the enemy launched another salvo of missiles, this time messily aiming directly at Malik's center rather than attempting to strike his sides or back with an elegant arc.

Zalus was struck with the full force of the missile volley, but was not nearly as fortunate as last time. Although his shields were able to hold first few volleys off, the distortion field was eventually unable to re-tune itself with the power bandwidth available to them and gave out in a sudden burst of solar-temperature plasma. Nara's left arm was overtaken in the blast and left a smoldering stump, and the VANDR was knocked backwards into the debris.

Zalus rushed to the closest cover after he regained control. "Damnit that was no good. Lost an arm folks I'm backing off. Keep her occupied and I'll pick my shots." The runner told this to his two teammates. He then fired his charged shock bites into the unknown frame and engaged his cloak.

Seeing as 'Ismat was largely unnoticed, somehow, she kept up the CELB fire. But, to mix things up, she added in a few salvos of missiles in a spread pattern that would then re converge towards the enemy frame. All of her shots were trying to pin down the enemy whilst damaging them.

Almost completely ignoring the near misses of the enemy's energy cannons, the Iroma pilot dodged the messily aimed blast by strafing to his lift, then continued forward again. Coming down with a severe case of tunnel vision, Malik urged the borrowed VANDR to go faster, knowing that he would only have one shot at this. Forming the CIVWS into a heavy cleaver-like blade,

Malik rushed directly at the damaged enemy frame, hoping that he would at least be able to take it with him. "VANDR CLEAVER!"

Detecting the build up of charged particles from across space, the enemy frame put out its damaged left arm and deployed a shield in the instant before the beam approached it, that absorbing the Shockbite blast fired out by Zalus. Taking advantage of this lapse in defenses, 'Ismat succeeded in clipping the unit with her cone of laser fire, managing to keep her beams on it for a full second before it retaliated and destroyed her PASDs with another fusion cannon blast. Suddenly, the enemy performed the unthinkable.

It blinked out.

The object appeared less than a second later, catapulted forwards by the compression of space to close the gap between itself and the still uninjured VANDR known as Rina. The VIA was now staring down the barrel of a free electron blaster charged and ready to fire on her. But in moment before it could, it was impaled, run through by Malik's heavy blade and spurting plasma and a stream of frozen Organoid transmission fluid.

It turned around, the blade ripping open its side open like a canned meal and allowing even more fluid to escape into the void of space.

Malik was struck at point blank by a free electron laser beam and all four fusion cannons that adorned the enemy unit, each blast causing new and catastrophic damages to his frame. In a matter of seconds, the head and remaining four limbs were stripped away layer by layer until nothing remained. "You... IDIOT. Calling your attacks on an unencrypted channel... KILLED YOU." The cockpit block was scored by additional fire, but the enemy run out of power before it could score that fatal counter-attack and detonated into a white conflagration unlike which any of the three Organoid NI could recognize, reducing the unit to slag and glowing particles.

The ejected cockpit block of Malik's VANDR was shot into space, only narrowly evading death. "EJECT, EJECT." Were the words that rang in the immersive environment generated by the organoid NI, the unit in a stark panic as it lost most of its body.

Zalus cringed at at Malik's war cry. "Damnit man not so loud! ass!" He yelled, charging his shockbites as the VANDR then moved out of cover as the unknown mech detonated. Quickly he jumped back into cover as the shock wave passed. He then scanned for other Soono threats.

'Ismat was repulsed by the blast, but her shields managed to absorb the brunt of the energy burst and was launched back for a few seconds until her unit was able to stabilize itself. "Confirm: Shield capacitor drained to 77%."

A bit stunned and shocked by the explosion, as well as the idiocy and yet, she must admit, a bit of heroism, 'Ismat just stared for a moment. Rina's voice, however, snapped the pilot back to reality. She did a quick scan around, seeing if there were any enemies still about, before heading up after the idiot's VANDR that was falling apart, to pick up whatever remained that needed to be picked up.

Malik could only manage to smile as he slowly began to lose consciousness, the pain of his earlier injuries catching up to him, mixing with the shock of ejecting and having his VANDR explode around him. "Hah, I win for once."

Re: [Phase Two: Mission Two] Catch the Broken Sky

VSV Medical Corvette
Debris Field, Near Elevator Colony
Malakai 1, 935
10:45, Commonwealth Standard Time

Once they'd gotten the wounded Minister into the medical bay, Amari went to the cabinets, leaving Mridula to stand with Mareyn as she took out a few necessaries here and there, bringing them back to the bed. The doctor however smiled a little as she began to conduct a more thorough examination of the wounded woman now with a hand-held medical scanner. "I was right...mild concussion, some blood loss but nothing too terribly serious... Please hold still a moment while I perform a medical scan, but, feel free to talk."

While the doctor aboard the ship went about attending to her sole patient at the moment, the two frame runners, Zus, and Reovan had stumbled across a few more possible patients. Thankfully alive, and hopefully well in turn. Thus far things had been relatively quiet, save for a few wayward Soono that had abruptly tried to attack the small group, although they had been promptly dispatched.

Now though, after seeing so much destruction and death, the two runners had cause for a little cheer, saving a few lives, any lives was worth it in the end, as they neared the medical corvette, it hailed them, telling them where they could dock if they wished to disembark, and where to deliver their precious cargo.

Mridula looked too pale, sick, and frightened to manage any real conversation. She simply stood at her boss' bedside, caressing the woman's hair with one hand now and then. Her lips were pressed into a thin line, and she was shaking all over - it seemed the shock of the attack had finally hit her.

Reovan arrived first, and went to the port side door into the main bay, dropping off Akjit, as Zus made her way to the the Starboard door, and spun the shuttle's cockpit around so the doors aligned and the pilots could get out. "You gonna keep on patrolling, Reovan?" Zus asked, waiting for her 'cargo' to disembark.

"No, I think I will dock and help with the patients." The Sund Wakir responded, moving to dock her VANDR with the medical corvette.

"Alright, but you owe me 100 KD~" Zus called back, in a playful tone.

Mareyn looked over at Mridula, only lightly clinging to consciousness. "Hey... Mridula." Her body seemed weakened by the ordeal of the past few hours, and her lips quivered as she struggled to speak. "Did..."

Akjit, had sadly passed out again due to everything that had happened, exhausted from his efforts of surviving the brutal assault upon the vessel he'd been unlucky to be aboard. The GI's took him gingerly into the medical bay, laying him on one of the beds while Amari looked up from her examinations of Mareyn, laying a hand on Mridula's, giving it a soft squeeze. "You'll be fine...there is no need to worry now... You, and your superior are quite safe right now." The doctor tried to assure the poor woman, and the injured one on the bed as two pilots came ambling in now as well.

She noted the other woman was speaking, looking down to Mareyn a moment before patting Mridula on the hand, leaving the two, giving them a small bit of alone time.

Oh dear... It was a simple thought, one brought on by the fact she was alone at the moment, but belted up once they found their way to the last medical bed, sharing it as they sat, removing helmets as the doctor approached.

"Did...?" Mridula ducked her head slightly, putting her ear next to Mareyn's lips.

"Did you see anyone else reach the escape pods?" Mareyn said with a quiet rasp, her eyes affixed firmly to her own hands, covered in blood and dirt. "There were officials, other Ministers..."

Zus was soon notified that the pilots had made it safely aboard, and were no receiving medical treatment. And, it seemed both had wished for the corvette's pilot to express their thanks to the runner for her timely arrival as the airlocks closed, and Reovan coming aboard as the shuttle piece began to drift off to the side of the other runner.

The biologist slid her hands down to Mareyn's, trying to wipe some of the filth away. She had seen a few, in truth, but doubted any of them had made it - the rest of the pods they had seen seemed more than destroyed. She wanted to spare her friend, though. "...yes. Yes. Plenty of them, Mareyn, plenty..."

One of the people waiting idly by the airlock of the corvette was the mechanist who had retrieved the minister and her companion from the wreckage. "Hey Reovan. Everything okay out there?" Khiyai asked quietly, her hands hanging behind her back. She was still clearly bothered by what had happened to Malik at the spaceport, and the events of the space battle had only worsened her feelings since then. The thin veneer of calm she had now seemed to be wearing thin.

Reovan looked at the mechanist, running a hand through her Prajna soaked hair. "Everything seems fine out there, so I figure Zus can handle it. As for me, I'm tired of always being on patrol." The Sund Wakir looked around for a moment, not finding what she was looking for. "Do you know where any towels are?" she asked, idly.

Zus watched the bit of shuttle began to slowly drift away behind the corvette, her VANDR floating in space, but keeping up with the medical ship. "How does your fuel look, Paralovi?" she asked her NI core. A feeling of 'Okayness' informed her that it was at an acceptable level, but not as high as would be wanted. "DO you guys see anything that looks promising?" the Eyr Ranr inquired to the bridge crew.

There was a crackle over Zus' communications systems before a female voice spoke from aboard the corvette. "Right now ECM and particle decay is still hanging pretty thick outside, scrambling our sensors to the point of making them short range. But...I think we have a heat source on our scopes about fifteen hundred kilometers off our bow. Can't give you a better readout then that. If you want it, your NI now has the coordinates."

"Alright, thank you." Zus responded, pointing her VANDR towards the coordinates. she began to use her sensors to try and get a clearer picture of whatever was there, but knew she would need to go closer, and so she began moving, somewhat slowly, towards the Point on her nav.

Mareyn blinked and painfully shifted onto her side, to keep easy eye contact with Amari and Mridula. It was obvious enough that beneath the pained groans and the facade of experience, the woman was in extreme distress from whatever conclusion she had come to before and only barely holding onto her calm. "I... I don't think you understand the threat we're facing."

Mridula slowly asked, "...what threat? It was just... a terrorist attack, wasn't it?"

"Do you remember what happened eight years ago?" Feeling her consciousness starting to slip, Mareyn placed her hands over her eyes and rubbing her forehead with her fingertips. It didn't seem to help.

"With the Veyriini?" Mridula grabbed her superior's hand and squeezed it, trying to keep her awake.

Mareyn bit onto her lip, and squinted, attempting to put on a sheepish smile as Mridula grabbed her. "Eight years ago, the Commonwealth destroyed the Veyrin Republic, and dismantled it by force. Although most of the civilians returned to the Commonwealth... some..."

"Some stayed? Are you saying the Veyrin Republic did this?!" The biologist's eyes were wide. "That - why would they - thousands of people are dead, Mareyn!"

The young Ivuori felt like he was floating in the breeze, or perhaps adrift in space. 'Huh. I feel...so light. Maybe she dropped me by accident.' He lazily thought. 'I guess something bad happened to her and the other pilot. So many of us. Just gone.' Akjit then frowned, and rolled over a little. 'I wish I could have said thanks for trying to...what was she doing?

Oh. Right. Trying to save me. And the others.'
Akjit drifted off to sleep again for a few more minutes; his own snore brought him back to a half sleep where his train of thought picked off right where it left off. 'I wonder what she looked like. She sounded really pretty. Huh...what did she look like? I wonder....' His mind drifted off again, and rolled back onto his back.

This time, he had a slightly perverted look was on his face. But any thoughts running through his mind were cut short as he could hear distressed speech in the background. And then there was the violent sneeze.

"AHHHCHOOO!" Akjit sneezed himself awake. "Huh? What's this? Oh wow! I'm still alive!

"I don't know. S- Solanii Liaisons coming back from the front lines had battle data and salvage of strange units like the ones that attacked us... but nothing like what we saw." Mareyn gritted her teeth and winced, as a small shudder of pain washed across her body for a few moments. She was evidently remaining conscious longer than she should, and the pain was starting pierce through the anesthetics. "But I only saw enough parts to put together one... maybe two units. You saw them... didn't you? Deploying by the thousands... and blotting out the sun..."

Mridula shuddered at the memory. Her legs nearly gave way - she wasn't doing too well, either. "...yes... Mareyn... Mareyn, what are we going to -do?-"

Hovering over Akjit was a woman with grayish hair, and a dusky complexion. She smiled gently, a hand behind his back, the other a hold of his forearm as she helped him to sit up. "Awake finally I see." Her voice calm, serene as she patted him gently on the back. "No need to be worried, you're on board a Vanguard Medical Corvette, I'm Amari, Amari Al-Sumed, a Lanbalri and Field Physician. May I ask, how're you feeling right now any aches or pains?" As she did this, the woman had a medical scanner in hand which was quite active as it conducted its own examinations of the young man.

"Oh! Uh, hello. Umm. My head hurts and my stomach aches." Akjit replied. He took a good look about the room and at the others before going on, "What's happened since I was out? Wait! How long was I out? Wait, wait!" he started to panic, his voice climbing higher and higher.

"Wha....what happened to the others on my shuttle? Did....did anyone else make it?!" he half screeched in concern and absolute fear. His hand gripped the bed hard, and his eyes were wide with the whirling feelings he felt. And he felt things were not going as well as he'd hoped a moment ago.

"Oh, he really is awake?" Next to her was another woman with a slightly darker skin tone, and hair that appeared to be more of an ashen gray than the lighter silver of the doctor. With her hands tucked behind her back and her body fidgeting anxiously, she gave the distinct impression of being distracted and a little worried about something else.


She slumped her shoulders forward and rubbed her forearm. The woman's expression darkened, as she hesitated to give a reply. "We..." She placed her hand onto his arm. "... we only found you, alive. The others..."

Amari coughed slightly into her hand, looking to Khiyai. "Actually, there were two other survivors, Khi. They're on the bridge right now assisting the pilot."

Mareyn lips drew up into a bitter grin. "Solan will do exactly what a panicking Commonwealth will ask us to do. As for you... and me...?" The older woman smiled, and rolled back onto her back. "We'll keep on living."

Akjit shut up, and simply started at the two women next to him, the features on his face slowly falling. It felt, as overused as it was, as though a small personal eternity passed. He started off slowly, "I. I guess...That's good news right?" Akjit asked, ignoring the worst of the news. "Ss. Ssoo who made it out?" he asked. Though is voice was somewhat normal, he started to shake a little, and his eyes started to tear up. "I hope it's someone I know?" he asked quietly.

Mridula dropped to her knees and laid her cheek on Mareyn's stomach, despondent. Perhaps it was just her exhaustion, and the trauma of what just happened to them, but she was beginning to feel immensely despondent - things could never go back to the way they were.

Amari tipped her head to the side in brief thought before replying. "The shuttle pilots I believe, at least their uniforms signified them as pilots." Offering before putting the scanner down. The doctor then gave him a visual inspection, nothing in depth, just more or less standing there observing his responses.

Akjit nodded in reply. There wasn't much he could say at this point. Here he was in space with his best friends. And now, here he was, without them. Alone. All alone. He rubbed his temple in thought for a moment, and carefully articulated his words, "Can you. Please tell me. Who did this?" he asked. At the least, he could try and avenge them. Couldn't he? Just try?

"There was an attack by a terrorist group using large numbers of automated machines. There's debris everywhere." The other woman explained in a stand-offish manner, clearly bothered by what she was saying but attempting her best to keep her calm. "Our commanding officer is trying to link up with the fleet, and we're doing our best to gather survivors. But the local networks are down and there's interference everywhere."

Akjit thought over what she said, and after a little bit, replied, "I guess it's not going to do any good if I get worked up, huh?" He asked. As much as Akjit wanted to be out there with the others and paying back the debt he was in, there was no chance that a spare VANDR was just sitting around. What was the chances of that anyways? That thought sat in Akjit's head for a little bit, and slowly built up.

Eventually, he couldn't bear not asking; it was itchy! Really ichy! "Um. This might sound silly. But, is there a spare VANDR sitting around?" Akjit gulped as he swam in his own thoughts, 'Geeze! That's such a stupid question! Why did I ask that anyways? I'm not even a good pilot either! This isn't some action cartoon or role play! Uh...is it?' His train of thought went on and on.

Amari shook her head slowly. "At present there are no military-grade VANDR docked. Our only VANDR are out in the field right now, and guarding our ship."

"Heh-heh." he dryly laughed. "I guess it was too much to ask." Akjit rubbed the back of his head as he spoke. It seemed the young frame runner was embarrassed he had even bothered to ask such a question, though was hiding it fairly well and making it look mild. "So, who else is in here with us anyways?" Akjit asked meekly.

"Uhm... I..." The other woman perked up when Akjit mentioned possibly needing a VANDR, and placed her hands on her hips. "I have a civilian EV with a laser cannon and a wire anchor. My co-pilot is resting, and I'm not that great of a pilot." She smiled briefly, before turning away to face the airlock. "I wouldn't mind if you were at the controls. I mean... you are a runner, right?"

Re: [Phase Two: Mission Two] Catch the Broken Sky

VSV Wyrm of the Endless Sky
Debris Field
Malakai 1, 935
10:48, Commonwealth Standard Time

As the glow from the unknown enemy faded out, Zalus found himself alone. The debris field had dispersed a little more over the course of the last few minutes, but radiation leakages and enemy ECM still made the airspace around the colony a mess of radar pings and flickering signatures.

In the distance, the junior frame runner could make out flashes of heat, radiation and light going off around the elevator colony and the supposed location of the battle group that had been stationed to protect the facility, but everything in his immediate area had either shut off or been destroyed. 'Ismat was nowhere in sight, and Malik was likely free floating in high orbit, awaiting pickup by friendly forces.

There was only silence.

Zalus looked around and sighed. "Well Nara... looks like our job here is done... Do you want to try to find Malik's stupid ass or find more Soono to crush?" He had just been though some close calls and he couldn't wait for his sheilds to replenish.

Nara didn't offer much of a response to Zalus, lacking the ability to make a decision on its own or the information to advise on other potential courses of action. The organoid NI mulled for several seconds, without so much as a peep within the enhanced reality generated by the mecha's OS. A small nav beacon came up on the HUD display, deeper in the debris field. "Detected unknown unit type! Suggest: Observe."

"Well that's something to do now isn't it... Lets go in the quite way." Zalus engaged his vector shroud and launched a beacon drone away from himself at the same time and set to to drift slowly in a zig-zag pattern. He'd begun charging the Shockbites, as a just in case should things turn ugly.

With the fair distance he had to the object and the interference being generated in the embattled airspace, there was no immediate reply to the attack. Nara's marker indicated that the object, whatever it was, was at least twenty kilometers away and possessed a significant mass. It was unlikely he was facing another of the mecha that had so easily trounced him and his two wing mates.

"Well if you aren't going to come to me..." Zalus moved slowly from cover to cover until he had a clear line of sight on the Unknown.

"Safeties engaged." Nara informed him that it would be shutting down the LCPA array to prevent overheating.

Approaching the object at a slow pace, Zalus reached the very edge of the debris field in a few minutes, but found himself with a slight problem. The target was clearly in view, but the marker stated the distance was at least one of fifteen kilometers, leaving only a long stretch of bare space with only small dust and junk no larger than a person's fist floating around. Nara chimed in for a

"Recommend, silent running. Supercapacitor arrays can replace generator output for total: 270 minutes."

"Engage the Capacitor and lets keep going on Nara." Zalus advanced on the signal slowly forming blades on his feet and one on his remaining arm. He kept in slow until he could get a good look at the object and discern it's function and possible weaknesses.

The object proved to be as large as Nara had initially estimated, perhaps the size of a light carrier, but unusual in its shape. As if mocking the shape of a flower, a symmetrical array long pseudo-metallic petals bristling in weapons were wrapped around a stamen-like core. The vessel appeared to a launch pad for Soono units, with one or two new frames launching from the 'stamen' ever minute Zalus seemed to still have the element of surprise, as the Soono were not paying him any heed, but the issue of the unknown vessel remained.

Zalus started to record the visual scans of the ship in order to stay hidden. He kept studying the strange ship and stayed aware of the location of the two Soono that had been launched. The design fascinated him, but he was no engineer. If Alia was here she may have been able to make some sense of the beastly ship before him.

As he approached, Zalus received a full readout of the immense dimensions of the object from Nara. Each 'petal was easily three hundred meters in length, and covered in smooth rust-colored ADNR armor and metallic spines that radiated plasma out from the ship. The needle-like stamen was a few meters longer than the petals, and minimally armed, although scans pinpointed at least a hundred charged free electron laser batteries on the underside of the ship, protecting the launch facilities that appeared to be somewhere underneath.

From his lofty view on the outside, it was unlikely that the runner was going to get a clear view of how the units were being deployed, or if there were any areas that were more vulnerable than the heavily armored shell wrapped around the top side of the petal array.

Zalus slowly drifted in an orbit around the ship at a wider arc and attempted to get a look at the underside of the ship before reporting his findings to the ship and the Vanguard in person. While he drifted into a better vantage point he tried to plot a course back to the ship so he could make it back quickly and intact. He kept alert to the possibility of being discovered

The flower-like petals of the ship seemed to taper off behind the arch they made, forming a cap of sorts. Dim lights illuminated this section of the ship giving a somewhat better view albeit still somewhat obscured. As Zalus began his recordings, he would soon notice that this side to bristled with laser cannons, but something more frightening was within his field of view.

All over the bottom of the 'cap' were Soono docked upon latches, clinging to each of the petals were hundreds of Soono clinging to it, each with a centralized port that seemed to be used for maintenance, refueling and rearmament.

Soono dropped off from their latch points, flying off past Zalus without so much as a second glance as more seemed to fly back, linking up with their own docks. Robotic arms spawned from within the ports opening them, inserting fuel rods and ammunition. However, they did not seem to be repairing any of them as it appeared that more then a few of the Soono that had docked were damaged in some way shape or form, but launched soon after replenishing their stores.

Zus followed the odd power signature, coming closer and closer until her visual sensors displayed an alarming sight. An extremely large, flower-like ship sat, in the midst of the battlefield , as if it owned the place. Obviously, here was something that had helped to cause all the destruction, and there she was, effectively alone, unable to contact the corvette, because she was afraid to alert the large thing sitting before her.

"So... Paralovi, What do you suggest we do?" the NI core responded that two good options were watching, or running away.

"Ohhh Crap... That is a lot of Soono up there..." Zalus whispered to himself as if the enemy might hear him if he were too loud. Studying the docking ports for a second, he nodded his head. "Nara... any chance of us hurting this thing or should we leave while we still can..." The runner moved deftly around to make sure he had a clear view of all docking bays. He was curious to see if there were any of the large, unidentified frames that he and his wing mates had fought, clinging to the petals

As if to confirm whatever theories Zalus had, there did indeed seem to be some of the unidentified frames docked. But, not in large numbers, only two were docked where he could see, the lines that had glowed before not shining menacingly or at all. It seemed as though they were powered down for the moment.

Nara chimed in after a second or two of analysis of the situation. "Fuel rods may be in bulk storage. Suggest: search."

"Personally I was thinking about the ammo, But detonating a mass of fuel rods may work a little better..." Zalus flew in slightly closer to see if he could find any clue to where the fuel rods were being stored. "Hey Nara. Might we be able to detonated one of the fuel rods mid while it is getting replaced... maybe on one of those powered down big fellows?" The VANDR's eyes didn't stray from the view before it.

Zus' lifeless body twitched a bit in the prajna-soaked cockpit as her mind directly took in all the information from Paralovi's sensors, and finally, the Eyr Ranr came to a decision. She would watch, and see what this thing did. Ordering Paralovi to record everything she could, the VANDR slowly moved closer towards the massive construct.

A heavily damaged Soono soon had its reactor core removed from within its torso, the robotic arms retracting, pulling the core in along with it. The Soono in question however, now inert, was detached from its cradle, slowly drifting towards Nara at a meter per second towards his position.

Zalus shifted out of the way of the scuttled Soono and allowed it to drift by. Zalus moved closer to the vacant slot the Soono had been jettisoned from.

"Nara do you think our missiles are around the same size as those fuel rods? If they are maybe we could Get one of these things to accept a rocket as a fuel rod and we could put the rocket on a delayed fuse for, say, two minutes and let it go boom?" He kept a look out for anymore floating wrecks while he await a response from Nara.

Nara made a short, clipped response. "Particle emissions from the missile would give away present location, as well as not fit within the port due to it now being closed. Suggest: Different course of action."

Zus and Paralovi continued their course towards the flower-shaped ship, changing it slightly every once in a while to make a large circle around it. Paralovi's visual sensors zoomed in as close as they could, showing what appeared to be a large number of Soono on the 'petals' of the ship.

Obviously, it would be dangerous for her to go too close, but then again, it obviously hadn't noticed her yet. Paralovi's course changed to spiral a bit closer towards the ship, so she could get better scans of her new enemy.
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