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  • 📅 May and June 2024 are YE 46.4 in the RP.

RP Curio Squad: The Star Called Nowhere

Half of fourteen and thirteen followed close on the tail of Zan and Miko's Super Kawarime. Eleven and twelve, on the other hand, were spread in wide swathed across the field of space-based storm. Chusa Kamikaze had taken a more insane route than Zan and Miko and some of the pockets had closed behind her or been too slim for those following.

"You're taking notes on who's just as deranged as you are, aren't you?" Tsubei Kyoka said, a lilting tone to her question.

"More like who to promote," Kamikaze replied as she exited the field with a thrust towards their destination planet.

"Zanven's squadrons got by without a problem," Tsubei noted. "Maybe them?"

"Are you saying he's a better leader than me?" Kamikaze asked, though teasing tone was obvious. She knew how much leadership meant to Kyoka and how Kamikaze's style of such wasn't always the prim Taii's preference.

The Chusa growled into comms to Miko and Zan, "Approaching the planet. Seems my map blew away with my clothes. Help me out and lead us in, boys."
Once they were about to make their pass through there was that tension, but once they set course he was on his comms back to Miko with a chuckle. "Don't you fucking dare strip down here, you will have plenty of time to do that back at the ship...plus there will be more people than just me in your vicinity." He said jokingly as he said he was making the meal. "I did not expect any different on that." He said as he idled there as checked on the rest of the squadron as they made their way through the windows.

Kamikaze and the others were nimble as well as they seemed to move through with minimal damage, there were a few that sustained heavier damage just because of how the routes worked, but they all made it...so far. Miko made the wisecrack about losing the clothes and then spoke about how that was the least of their problems. "The pockets are an anomaly that we can give to the R&D teams for SAINT...for now, all we can just recalculate and move as we can. You did well, don't worry." He said as he moved towards the rendezvous point as the others caught up. Miko then spoke up, hailing Kamikaze as Zanven waited for an answer which came in with a little more gruff toneage than before. She explained that her map was gone with her clothes and instructed Zanven and Miko to take them all in.

Zanven chuckled as he chimed in moving forward to the lead position, "Alright you all heard her, follow my lead and let us take the ships in for our survey once we are in. Remember mission parameters, and continue to use the electronics suite provided so we can stay invisible, we are here to get the place mapped out as much as possible...without further delay, here we go!" He said before setting his ship as a leader on the Heads Up Display for all of the squadrons to see before he engaged the throttle and made his move towards the planet's atmosphere.
Miko gave a reply back to Kamikaze. "Copy that, though this implies you wasn't naked to start with since I know how neko do enjoy a nice volumetric projection." He said with a chuckle. "Either way, if your clothes can't be found, I always keep a spare apron in my pack just in case." He sent over an emoji wink to her.

"Lets go, take us in and show these Saint why we got selected for this mission. Sometimes its better to be lucky than good and I feel we got a six leaf clover on our side today." He started to type out on his navigation a possible route for them to take. So far sensors did not seem to be picking up anything out of place. Though he figured there must be something around here.
Kamikaze laughed heartily, "I like them!"

Tsubei countered, "You like playing with your food too much."

What the pair really wanted was to hang back and collect the readings from the four squadrons, focusing their minds on the data and less on leading the troops. Sure there were some veteran SAINT operatives and fighter pilots to pick from, but these young bucks wouls surely keep the old salts on their toes while the curio squad got to work.

What Miko led them to was a beautiful planet, though getting out of the well and into atmosphere was hotter than expected. Nothing a bit of throttling back couldn't account for. Balcora was resplendent with magnificently deep eddies etched into its terrain that from above looked like the calculated splattering of paint by an abstract expressionist across the landscape. The deep cavernous etchings were contrasted with the varying pale hues of the terrain alongside it. Pinks of some flowering plant far from them and the dusty beige of the sandy dirt they rooted in were met with sporadic ichor greens of thin forests that sprouted along the waning rivers. The oceans bisected the continents, of which the pilots could only see three alongside the ice caps on either pole. Balcora's sun, some 40 million miles from the planet, was a cool red dwarf whose luminosity wouldn't have supported much life if not for the nearness of it. As such, it hung like pinprick in the slate blue celestial tapestry above Balcora. As they descended, the sun tucked closer to the horizon as it prepared to shed its minimal warmth on the other side of the planet.

As they approached further, their stealth systems embraced their ships as their sensors began groping outwards searchingly. From the rear, Kamikaze wondered which sensors the lead ship, Zan and Miko's, would begin detecting with first.
Miko certainly never allowed for a dull moment and as the teams all got into their formations they formed up as they descended into Balcora's atmosphere. The warmth of the red dwarf was soon toned down as the canopy adjusted the tint so that they could continue without incident. "you certainly have a thing for the...well, I am going to stop there because I might speak out too much and this is not a bar last time I checked." He said with a chuckle in the comms as they were given a view of a world that not many have got to lay their eyes upon. He wanted to gasp, but instead, he engaged the remaining pieces of the stealth suite and throttled down so that he could be flying below any sort of surveillance radar or the like. Miko's words on having the six-leaf clover and showing the SAINTS what they could do honestly made Zanven nearly turn his head and look at his co-pilot. "You had a six-leaf clover this entire time and did not say anything? Good thing my ability to pilot is not a joke or we might have been dead." He joked as he looked at his sensors and began to take scans of the land.

"So far nothing super great besides the beauty of the land. Makes me remember my mother's garden...too bad pops was bad at taking care of plants..." He said as he continued to move along the shoreline of a small river, opening up into a vast pool that seemed unbelievably deep. "See anything back there chef? Perhaps something edible to catch and cook up back on the ship?" He asked with a hint of sarcasm in his voice. He was not annoyed in the slightest, and for once he did not have to worry about being blindsided by an enemy...even though this...was covert...
Miko called out to Zan. "Isn't a bar but if it was the sight seeing would be just amazing. All I am missing is a beer, some good eats and a swimming pool." Though Miko knew all that would need to wait till after the mission. Place was nice looking but who was to say there wasn't something hiding out there ready to eat some Minkan. Miko was checking over the sensors to see if anything looked odd. Then he started to check if anything around looked like it could be cooked. Strange new world and he'd be curious what all he could get his hands onto. He then looked to Zan. "Yeah and wait till you see what else I keep stashed in my apron. Might have a full grill in there for all I know." He said with a chuckle.

"We can think of working the farm once we are past the mission. Then again we might end up being like your pops and doing some damage to the wild life." He shared with Zan. "Just something I'd call a fish down in that river. Though its pretty big and moving as fast as our ship so that is concerning. Feel like doing some noodling in your Mindy armor?" He asked of Zan while he continued his scans. "Hey, Kamikaze...you seeing anything on the sensors? I turned the knob to penetration mode to probe deep but all seems pretty normal. You sure this is the right place?" Miko asked of his commanding officer.
With Miko on ground penetrating radar, he was able to see that a good number of the ravines on the continent nearest the equator had voids and inorganic changes in materials. They could be mining installations built into the desert's deep recesses between the pink flowers beds and sandy plains.

"Sure you turned the knob on the Kawarime's penetration mode and not the knob on the oven back home, chef?" Kamikaze asked, pointing out the difference between what he had said and what the ships picked up.

"Changing course to investigate and relaying as much to the rest of the squadrons," Tsubei said tightly. "Long range telescope of the surface shows a few shuttles and what I would guess are material processing facilities. No heavy hitters, but I'll rotate scans."

Kamikaze stayed quiet. She was half-expecting the vocal new recruits to share their thoughts and was waiting for as much.
Mikodimus slowly lifted his head. Had he forgotten to turn off the oven back home? This thought was now going to haunt him till he went and checked. He paused for a moment then let the thought slip out of his mind. He'd worry about this after the mission and scold Kamikaze for putting this thought into his head to start with.

He peered into his radar screen like he was looking into a crystal ball, what is it that you see he thought to himself. His digital mind started to put back together details that were missing from the scans. The changes in areas showed something was going on. A possible dig site or underground base. This peaceful nature of this place was doing a great job of hiding in plain sight. Miko took the updated details from Kamikaze and sent them to Zan. "Copy Kamikaze, it is all becoming clear and making adjustments to course. Do we plan to land and investigate in more detail?" He asked of the commanding officer.
"Not if we can help it," Kamikaze said. "Utilize the tool you have, your ship. We can gain more of value up here than trodding all over an unallied and virtually unknown neighbor."
Zanven was still flying in formation, giving out information as he received certain signals and readings of the sonar and deep scans that were passed up from Miko. There was some banter back and forth between Miko and Kamikaze when his radar pinged that there was another aircraft flying higher than they were. "We need to go lower, radar pinged with something up ahead, no visuals but if radar can pick them up we are likely too close. I see a ravine that goes deep into a canyon, the sizing looks adequate... let's proceed with caution and pull down the throttle on our engines a bit." He said as he decided not to further remark for now, the chatter was just banter while they worked but now was the moment that could break the mission if they did not do it correctly. He had already engaged the cloaking software so he could be further steeped in stealth as he moved his throttle back and pushed up on the yoke as he took a breath signaling the dive.

Scans are also picking up some energy signatures as they grew closer so Zanven turned his comms back on. "Keep scanning as we dive my friend, I have a good feeling that there is a treasure trove of data we can grab while we are here." He said as he waited for anyone to say something, if it all went well...hopefully, they could be done with this mission sooner rather than later.
"Throttling down," Kamikaze said. "Brax is right, but the ravine's going to get too tight for a crowd."

"Two low, two hold the above airspace," Tsubei Kyoka called out to the four squadrons, signaling Zanven's and Kamikaze's to go underground while the top side squadrons would get a look from the skies.

The ravine started off as shallow etchings in the desert leading to two dusty grey mountains. Electric blue and fiery orange deposits encrusted them in places where the pink flowers wouldn't grow. The small indentations that a fighter could pop into soon opened up into wide chasms in the ground. With the mountains looming in the distance, the two squadrons of Super Kawarimes dropped down smoothly. On either side of them were the steep sides of the canyon where the layers of old sand flows had thin veins of dark blues and orange. Little orange ticket markers were placed here and there in the veins of vibrant colors. They still had a distance to go before their destination further in the gorge.

"I have an anomalous reading," Tsubei said smoothly. "Something we haven't come into contact with before."

"Is that the Iroma zesu?" Kamikaze said.

"Not Zesu, no. But it shares some of the same markers. So does durandium, though." Tsubei affirmed.
Hearing her reply made Zanven kind of give a quizzical look, he was sure that they needed to be as far away from the enemy as possible so the ravine flying single file would be optimal, but then again...he was not the flight master so all he could do was acknowledge the order. "Copy that, We are taking a dip in this ravine cave system ahead, we will try to remain in contact but the mission continues. Let's get it done." He said as he dipped the yoke down and approached the shallow ravine, the dusty mountains ahead were like spires that rose up into the sky. He gave a low whistle as they made their approach, keeping his eyes peeled for anything that stuck out as the sun soon disappeared as it gave way to the magnificent mountains. The veins of dark blue and orange stuck out as Zanven slowed to a little over a hovering speed as he got a little lower.

"This is a beautiful planet and honestly there are resources that I have absolutely no clue about...Miko you see all of this too right? See any readings that might give familiar scans?" He asked as he continued to fly low and slow as he pushed a comm to Tsubei and Kamikaze. "I know we are not stopping to grab anything but this looks to be some rather valuable resource intel. What is the play here, I think we have more than any of the sub orbital or orbital scans can give."
Miko would indeed be getting some familiar readings on the resources in front of them, but the way it appeared to be so similar to zesuaium did seem anomalous. Seeing as their mission was to check out how the Iromakuanhe offshoots were mining zesuaium—if they were mining zesuaium—this would be something to keep checking on. Visuals told Zanven that those pockets were being mined as large crates and lifts were positioned around each one. But there was something else similar opening up around them, too.

"Are you getting that?" Kyoka asked Zanven's craft. "Active sensors are picking up some aether pulses. Scan for vehicles, we may have incoming."

"Check out passives, too. That's not just a pulse, aether wave detection picked something up. Triangulating. Zanven take point towards the East to investigate that," Tsubei followed up. He would be flying with his back to the sunset towards the Eastern thin forests further from these dried ravines.

"We'll have yours and our squadrons at your back," Kyoka said as much to them as the other craft.
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As they continued their movement he put word into Miko and sent in some of his report already and there was some silence as the ship continued to move at a lower,but at a rate where they could get their scans at a lot faster and fuller rate. He was catching a mining situation and as such he started to make sure to move where would be seen as a ship in the blanket of the solar givings, or even below so darkness could overshadow them. That was when his scans started to pick up other pulses of aether, and contact was given as it was broadly caught so it could lead to even worse.

"Shit...yeah I still am getting it, looks like we all are. I will keep canning, for all things around, but that is going to put us here and we will not be able to stop from being seen..." He said as he was able to pick up quite a bit and he called out "Tsubei I am grabbing them as well and...what you want me to take point...Aye, Aye..." That was when everything was explained to him and he just nodded and adjusted his tech and the way he was sitting as he moved to Miko as if to knuckle bump him. "Looks like it is time to show them we have the proper way to lead and kick some ass if it shows up," Zanven said as he made a quick movement to scan the entire area too now.