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RP Meeting of the Crows

Jack Pine

Staff Member
🎖️ Game Master
Character Forum Mod
RP Date
Late YE42
RP Location
Sirris VI - Obsidian City
“This is the pilot speaking, we are landing on Obsidian City spaceport in 2 minutes, please remember to bring any personal property inside the ship with you. Thank you”. The pilot’s voice echoed on the speakers and soon the passengers started to prepare. Amongst the mass of hands and arms moving around there was a young woman sitting alone on one of the many seats. Her long hair falling like a river of pure white gold over her dark leather jacket. Everything around her was already prepared for the departure, except maybe herself. Her arm was over the seat’s support as the palm of her hand pressed over her cheek, two emerald eyes were looking through the porthole to the vast sky of Sirris VI, a sense of melancholy transpired from her stare, thinking that those eyes could have seen such view years before if she didn’t persisted on Osman.

A long sigh was overwhelmed by the soft and engulfing clank of the ship’s landing gears touching the metallic surface of the spaceport. The young woman raised up and took her large backpack on her shoulders, the airlocks opened and the swarm of people made its way out.

The city was metallic in its majority, buildings once built from the first wave of ships that had brought settlers. They were surprisingly bare of advertising and signage, something that would seem odd in comparison to other places in the Kikyo Sector. But the streets were still full of life and a flair of those who lived there. Races from all over were present, as well as various forms of synthetics and AIs who mingled like any other people. It was almost strange, to see such harmony among them, at least on the surface.

Those leaving the ship would immediately head towards the terminal building, the gateway in from the port, where all passengers filtered through. Regardless of who was coming, or going. The woman would find the interior clean and sleek yet utilitarian in it's design and architecture. Vid screens hung everywhere, along with AI holograms and bipedal drone bots greeting and walking around.

To the right, a few people coming in would separate to enter a section marked as immigration, a manned desk next to a row of kiosks for registration.

She kept walking following the indication for the immigration office, one of her hands held a firm grip on the backpack straps as she glanced around looking at how everything was…fashionable and also crowded. She was used to masses of people back at Osman City but in truth she always tried to avoid it. Though here everything looked different, the people too, it was truly another planet. A thin smile traced her petite face but rapidly faded away before she made her way to one of the spared kiosks.

On the digital screen of the kiosk was the start of a form process for citizenship registration. Seeing the top of the screen, it was only a couple pages long, 3-4. The machine had several slots for cards of different types, likely document cards or pad jack ports. Which would allow automated fills for most information from previous citizenships, or places of residence.

The young woman raised one hand, her slim fingers tapped on the pad, filling the credentials section with the name of Cassandra Demascus, together with birth date and place of origin, before continuing with the other pages. Soon enough every necessary infos were filled, she left a soft sigh as she concluded what she hoped could be a new step in her life.

A message would be displayed to retrieve her credentials from the manned desk. However, there was an alert attached, that a hit with the same last name turned up in the system. It said nothing more then to ask the desk clerk for more information. With that, the process was fairly concluded for her, brief and efficient.

Cassandra raised an eyebrow and blinked twice in total surprise and confusion “eh?”. No way she would not ask that clerk about it. *Could it be him?* her mind reached for that far memory of her brother Drake, but the idea was absurd, no one of her family could have managed to get out from that backward planet.

Still confused and with her eyebrow slightly raised she reached for the desk clerk. She leaned slightly towards the clerk, her hands on hips “Uhm excuse me, i’ve concluded my registration and the pad warned me of someone sharing my last name, is it a bug or what?”. Her confusion and uncertainty transpirade on her last words.

The female Separa'shan who worked the desk, looked to the new arrival. "Hm? If the says there's a hit then there is indeed someone with that last name already registered. If you want, I can search and see who the results were, I already have your credentials here after all. So I don't need to verify as you just kinda did.", The serpentine woman answered as she pulled up a display for the woman to see. It soon displayed what looked like the woman's view, as Cassandra showed up on the feed. However, there were several windows of information, including a list of registered citizens which quickly scrolled by. "Sshall I missss?"

“S...Sure?” The young woman answered mechanically, more driven by her confusion than anything else as thousands of conflicting thoughts swirled in her mind.

The list began to speed up faster as the system searched, and quickly came back with the singular mentioned result. What came up was a file of a very tan man, with dark brown hair, and amberish colored eyes. "Ooh he'sss a cutie. Drake Demasscuss, enlissted in a ssspecial divission of the legion. Biohazard Rapid Responsse Force, and living in the city. Recordss read that he wass born on Ossman, and enlisted a ssdhort time before exodusss. Is this ssomeone you know misssss?"

Complete shock. Cassandra’s eyes widened, her jaw dropped, it was him, it’s him! No way she could not recognize that face. “What?...Whaaat?!” Her hand reached for her forehead, raising slightly her bangs as her emerald eyes kept staring at that profile. “Nooo way it’s him! Nooo way!” She screamed from joy, whilst staring at the holo screens. Her hands pressed her cheeks as she turned around giving her back at the desk “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh” she muffled as her hands now moved to cover her mouth.
A couple of seconds passed by before she took a deep breath and turned back to the separan clerk, her face was red and eyes slightly wet. “Where is he?”.

The serpentine woman seemed rather surprised by the display of rampant emotion. She raised her hands with a concerned look, "I don't have access to that kind of specifics, but I can call him for you so you can get that answer hopefully." With that, a connection call window appeared in the top left of the screen that still showed the file. It rang for a few seconds before it picked up, the sound of boots on dirt, vehicles, and the chatter of others could be heard. "Yeah, this is Lance Corporal Demascus, can I help you?", Came the voice of an adult man, professional in how he answered the number of a stranger.

The separa clicked a button on the display, and motioned for Cassandra to go ahead and speak.

“Uuhmm” Cassandra’s eyes looked to the separa in search of someone to help her get out from the enveloping embarrassment. “Hi! I, uhm… ahem” She cleared her throat and that helped her to gather back some composure even if the emotions were pumping up “This is Cassandra Demascus speaking, hope I am not interrupting anything”. Her tone of voice became more militaristic and decisive, a way to keep her emotions on hold.

".....I'm sorry, but who is this? If it's a joke, it's not funny. My sister has been dead for 13 years. Explain, now." Came Drake's voice, edged in what sounded like frustration as he took this as some sort of inappropriate prank.

“The fuck? So that’s what they came out with?” Drake’s affirmation pissed her off, she knew that her parents were pieces of garbage but to even fake her death, that was a new level. A grumpy expression took shape on her face. She sighed “I am not joking Drake, it’s me Cassandra. I was serving in the Skyguard ‘till a month ago. I… Look I am in public now so I cannot go in deep detail but what I can tell is that when I was sent out to find scraps a couple of raiders captured me. If you don’t believe me I don’t care less because I am going to find you anyway.”

The line was very quiet for a moment, then the sound of someone bumping against an armor plate could be heard as someone asked Drake. "Yo, Drake, you good?"

He could be heard giving a confused "huh?", Before snapping himself out of what had him quiet. "I'm sending someone to pick you up, where are you? I'm outside the city, working the defense line."

*The defense line? So essentially warzone?.... Fuck it I am gonna do it*, that summarizes what she thought in that fraction of seconds before answering “Sure, I am at Obsidian Spaceport, just arrived a couple of minutes ago. Do I have to bring something?”.

"Just yourself and your luggage. If you really are……..I'm bringing you home.", Came Drake's firm response, a hopeful reluctants felt in those last words. A few guns could be heard firing somewhere, then a cannon, "I'm working so I have to go, but they'll be there in 10 minutes. Wait out front of the terminal for them, they'll be in a jeep."

Cassandra remained quite calm as the sounds of gunfire echoed through the transmitter, but since the situation was getting hectic on the other side of the call she decided to cut it short. “I’ll wait, take care”.

She then turned to the clerk with a decisive tone “You can close, thank you”. Her mind wandered what kind of home he got, maybe a house? Or a big apartment? If he worked for all those years he surely made some gains, her mind was filled with questions which kept her busy for the rest of the time as she went outside to wait, sitting on a bench.

As Cassandra had waited outside, a jeep with military markings and paint job pulled up to the curb. A man with the last name Tazar printed on his chest plate was driving, "You Demascus, get in." Was all he said to her as he pushed the passenger side door open.

The young woman raised her head from looking at her phone, those tones were not the best to hear but she was used to that type of manner. She put it away and got up quite rapidly, taking up the backpack from the ground between her legs. With a fast pace she reached for the jeep, her harmonious body athletically jumped in, putting her backpack away on the backseats with a precise throw, showing a certain familiarity with the military vehicles.

She didn’t look twice at the man, her glare fixed towards the road.

The city was much as it looked getting off the transport, except she could see so many more of the citizens. The streets were full of people with technology, the synthetics, and even cars that ran on power sources long not seen on Osman since S6's past presence.

The city was separated into districts, all organized by purpose, around the large park that was the city center. A few craft flew overhead, moving cargo, people, or just out overviewing the city. The driver took them straight down the middle, around the park, and to the other side. There, they pulled up to a tunnel that passed through the wall, protected by massive starship hangar style blast doors. There was also a security checkpoint built into this that was manned by troops and more humanoid drones.

Normally, they would have been stopped, but Tazar waved at the guard who opened the massive doors. They began to open with a powerful hydraulic hiss, before the driver took them through and over the bridge. The ocean wavering below them as they drove towards shore.

The immense blue that surrounded them catched her eyes, Cassandra leaned towards the door window, her hand on her soft cheek as her eyes glanced to that view. Her hairs waved by the wind. She never saw the sea before, not even a lake or a river, except from some movies shot on foreign planets she watched back at Osman. It was truly breathtaking for her, to see all this water in the same place, it made her smile upon thinking that she made the right choice.

"First time seeing the ocean? Old man said that sense of awe was the same for him too. Drake said you're from Osman too, like him and my old man. Quite a few of us here who came over during the exodus." The driver offered in an odd first attempt to chat, and not in the grumpy manner he had seemed to have prior. "Name's Kaine by the way, sorry for being rude earlier."

“Don’t worry...” Cassandra’s tone reflected her absorbed mind “I am used to it”. A moment of silence passed by as she kept watching the boundless blue, before speaking again “I never thought it would be this beautiful to see with your own eyes”. She gazed a little bit more at that view before realizing the young guy presented himself.

She gave a long sigh and turned to look at the driver keeping the same position as before, hand closed on her cheek, elbow over the door window. Her grumpy expression was the only thing she expressed as she spoke with a monotone voice “My name's Cassandra, but I guess you know it already...”.

"Uh, Actually I didn't, Drae didn't give that part. Yep, only a last name and to hurry my ass over to pick up a Demascus." He offered in a kind smile, feeling the grump was appropriate with how he'd been firm earlier. The shore of white sands, and edge of the jungle seemed to grow ever closer as they talked. "So what's your story, and what about you has him so spooked?"

“Oh. Well, even I don’t know why he is behaving like this.” She raised from her leaning position to get a better composed pose as she realized that the guy wasn’t a dumb grunt, though her expression remained somewhat grumpy. Now that she was thinking about it, it drove her mad, how could her brother not be as happy as she was? “I mean,is he like this skeptic all the time?!...”

She then softly sighed, her glance falling down for just a moment “Me and Drake comes from a wasteland clan, we were essentially scrappers and from a young age we were sent out to gather stuff to make a living out of it… I was captured, and then saved by a knight, travelled all my way alone to the City and applied for the Skyguard, I became someone there but the organization smelled of corruption from every single angle you looked at it”. As she said those words she looked at the horizon, the jungles approaching nearer and nearer.

"I mean, if you knew the shit we dealt with in our job description. You'd more likely be wondering why he wasn't giving you a full screening. You name it, we've seen it. The undead, creatures that can look like other people, and mishuu super weapons that are able to fuck with your head an-...what? Why the look?" He had begun to trail off before realizing she was staring at him weird.

“You are not joking? You said the fucking undead?” Cassandra’s eyes glimmered of stupefaction, her voice full of excitement. She loved grimdark monsters and even more splatter movies, hearing that such things were coming from real events always drove her, she dreamed to be in one of those purge squads with bigass weapons, the horror, the blood. She would usually be contained and stoic but those things truly excited her. And thinking about her brother doing such things only gave her hopes of how badass he became.

Kaine looked at her utterly weirded out, "You're the weirdest girl and that's saying something given who I married. You remind me of her in a way. But yes, those are the terrible things we've dealt with." He gave her a more serious look for a moment, "Word of advice, don't joke about it around the others. Some have had to put down friends, or family who turned."

“I get it. But I am not joking around, I truly think it’s freaking cool. Instead of thinking about the horrors, you should see the good side of it, otherwise everything is pain and trust me I know what it means to lose everything.” She looked straight into his eyes, still glimmering as her voice became more firm.

Kaine let go of the wheel and crossed his arms, eyes still locked as he looked at her. "Try finding the good when you splatter a family who were your neighbors. As they're now trying to chew your ass through an armored plate. I've faced more then just my demons, I do not joke when I say I was born to die. Don't make good of evil, move on and make good.", He said as the car seemed to drive itself for him, the shore now very close, yet…..the trees reached so high.

Stories above, something that would have become clear as they neared. The shore had seemed to take forever for them to reach. But that was now clearly due to scale, as much as the conversation would actually allow to be admired.

Cassandra made a distasteful grimace as her eyes looked down, her legs crossed and her arms too, her face became as grumpy as ever “Everyone dies...” She mumbled “And I still think it’s freaking cool...” Kept mumbling with a lower tone as she accused the hit from Kaine.

Arms still crossed, he gave a sigh as he shook his head. "I was cloned for suicide missions by the Nepleslia military. At least most people get the choice to die peacefully, and of old age hopefully.", Kaine added to clarify as the car continued on without apparent supervision. They were well into the jungle now, a few of the local tribals traveling along the outside of the road. Their skin pale, with goat-like horns, and black veins clear in their flesh.

“Stop saying badass things with that tone...” She mumbled again but the reflection on the glasses of those creatures captured her glance, she raised again and looked outside “Who are they? I have never seen even once such a species". She spoke again with her normal slightly monotone voice.

"You haven't met the old man yet. And those are the Gunja, the locals to this world, and only in an early industrial age. They're so pale because they live underground away from all the large predators of the world." Came the chuckling reply as she pouted so cutely. He found her attitude so juvenile, yet so refreshingly entertaining. It was then he finally placed his hands on the wheel again with a smile.

“So they use steam powered machines? Cool, is it possible to visit them?” She kept looking at them intensively with a slight smile. As they passed them she turned back to look at the road ahead, thinking about all the weird things happening and how weirdly depressed these cool soldiers looked like.

The man gives a sigh of a chuckle, "Yeeaah, but you have to get passage underground at one of their camps out here at the greenzone. I swear, you'd fit right in at the university." She was so damn enthusiastic, that it almost made the younger man feel older. Was this what his father felt like everyday, so worn and tried.

“Well if i have some time spared i might visit them, besides...” Cassandra glanced at Kaine with her usual expression but her energetic tone was slowly fading away in to a serious one, more in truth with what she was, or at least she should, given the fact that the new world she was in was incredibly full of new and refreshing things, things that truly were out of the ordinary in a good way, from her perspective, together with the excitement of knowing her brother was still alive. So much that made her get out of character, such was the true power of a joyful surprise, to feel alive again after years of monotony, and the incompetence of her comrades she had to face day by day back at Osman.

“... I don’t think I will ever go to the university except if the job I am looking for implies it.” She didn’t care to study, even if she was an intelligent woman and liked to read, she preferred more practical tasks.

"Chances are it does, as it's where all special training and special instruction programs are done. We're almost there by the way." The man said as the sound of an active military outpost could be faintly heard in the distance. Kaine added briefly after, "Now is the time for any questions, then it's on your brother to answer."

“...Yes, there is one last...” The young woman spoke calmly and pensive as the sounds of guns echoed through the jungle. “What’s it like to live in the NDC? I mean, as you are a soldier I do not expect more than what you could say to a newly arrived immigrant...” But she hoped that her impressions of him being an actual friendly guy, even if slightly disillusioned, were true.

"I won't feed you any bullshit that life here is perfect, it's been a number of struggles for everyone. Our founder was killed last year, we've had a few small wars to protect the NDC. We were also at the battle of Glimmergold…..more then half the fleet..did not return. Attack after attack in the last two years, we've lost hundreds." He turned to her again, his gaze dead set on her own gaze as he continued, "We have fought, and died for what we have, this home was not built on just sweat alone. The times are changing and so are we, as we can finally stand with the other nations with respect. Forming diplomatic relations, and our people growing stronger from every set back. That is the price we've paid for this peace, and your brother has been a part of all it since the exodus."

Cassandra slightly smirked “Things are never easy anywhere i guess, but if my brother went through all this i understand why he behaved like that. Though…” She giggled as she thought about how much talkative Kaine was “...Never thought about becoming a politician? You got quite the tongue”. She made a smile, a full one, maybe in a sassy manner but there was some sincerity in it.

"Maybe...." Kaine replied to her with a smirk, "Me and the misses have talked about things other then the military. Both of us are stubborn about leaving the fight to others. Military is in the blood, but we gotta settle at some point right?"

At that last exchange of words, the jeep rolled into the outpost, tanks, mechs, and hardened emplacements present. Troops and vehicles were on the move, completing various tasks as they arrived. "Predator down! Get everything stocked and locked before another shows!", Came the voice of someone somewhere passing orders.

Kaine parked and waved for her to get out, before doing so himself. "He's over this way, follow me Cassandra."

The young woman nodded, hastefully grabbing her backpack before jumping out, the excitement of seeing her brother again together with the anxiety built up on her. She followed the soldier silently but also keeping an eye at the amount of heavy equipment that was displayed in the outpost, if only she had half of the things she saw, she could have killed that Murder.

They would wait for a couple trucks to pass, before crossing into the area that was a set of two parallel trenches. Both had even more soldiers, some turning to watch as the pair stepped in. "Hey Drae!! I'm back, get your ass over here and have your reunion already!!", Kaine called across the trenches they now stood in.

The sound of boots approached from the other trench and crossed into theirs. A man with dark hair and a deep tan appeared, his toned figure donned in a set of combat armor with rifle slung. "I'd say you haven't aged a day, but we both know that isn't true….right sis?"

Until that moment she was always behind Kaine, trying to clumsily hide her blushing face as a torrent of thoughts runned through her mind. But when she saw him, coming out from the mud with that totally made up phrase, she couldn’t resist.

The young woman burst into laughs, both of joy and fun, almost bending over as she put one hand on her mouth in a pitiful attempt to cover her laughter. “Damn i can’t stop!” She continued to laugh “After 14 fucking years this is the shit you come up after seeing me?” She tried to contain herself but she couldn’t the more she looked at him the more she was getting overwhelmed by joy.

"14 years and still teasing, definitely you. But you have some explaining to do. I thought you were dead cass, where the fuck were you!? You said you were saved….but you didn't come home, why?" It was clear he was frustrated with her, but also full of great sadness as his own agitation couldn't hold back tears.

She was still recovering from the laughter when the entire strength of Drake’s emotions impacted with her heart. Cassandra's emerald eyes widened and her expression from smiling turned slowly into a sad grimace “Don’t look at me for the garbage of lies our parents said! They kept me for 4 years, 4 fucking years of beating and tortures.... When he saved me I didn't have anything if not the other slaves who shared my same fate…” The wet in her eyes from the laughter started to fall down slowly, making their way across the splendid face of the young woman, her hands down closed in fists.

Drake grabbed her by the jacket before pulling her into his embrace. "Then write next time or something dummy. I don't care, I wanted my sister back. The years I've spent alone, after our parents died, and no one to lean on anymore." Came his emotional words as he buried his face in her shoulder. The man may have been younger, but his look alone said he had also been through so much.

She answered to the hug with a firm grip on his back, her head pressing on his chest “You don’t know how much i wanted to come back. But i couldn’t…I simply couldn’t” Her sobbing voice was slightly muffled by being buried in his armor. “ I had to go on, look further, because… because i thought i’ve lost everything”.

"The fuck you have, shut up, you're home now. You're home and you aren't going anywhere else. It's my turn to look out for you this time, I'll pull the weight." Drake pulled her aside to a bench that was built into the reinforced wall of the trench. Kaine meanwhile waved off the onlookers, telling then to get back to their duties, and leave the siblings be.

She cleaned her eyes from the tears “So.” She gesticulated with her left hand towards the outside of the trench into the vast canopy, as she sniffed from the commotion, her face was red as her eyes too. “What are you doing up here?” She smiled, a slightly forced one, in an clumsy attempt to drive the conversation to something less heavy of emotions.

The question was rather sobering as he took a moment to lay his rifle to the side. "In short…..pest control. We make sure the predators of this planet are kept out of the territory. All this you see around, should make clear the size of said creatures to an extent.", Drake said simply, having not even wiped his eyes yet. The topic seemed casual, save for what looked like an intense war frontline. The only fact that lessoned it, being most soldiers were simply sitting by, calmly waiting.

“Cool” She replied nodding as she moved to open up her backpack and take a tissue. Her slim hands closed the tissue to her nose and blew. A soft “Sorry” followed right after as she put the tissue away. “And... Ahem...” She cleared her throat before continuing “How do you kill them? If they are a danger surely they need some type of treatment. Do you smash them with firepower or do you have something more specific?” Cassandra smiled at him more sincerely, before looking back at the backpack.

"Depends on the size really. Smaller pack hunters are dropped by rifles and mounted guns. Bear sized things and up, get the tanks, while anything incredibly big is left to the mechs." As he answered, he accepted a tissue as well, using it to wipe the moisture from his eyes. "My shift will be up for the day in about an hour. If you don't mind waiting, I'll show you the apartment where I live after."

She shrugged, for her, waiting an hour more after all what happened wasn’t a big of a deal. “I can do that. But am I supposed to stay here? If not i would like to take a closer look at the mechs” Her voice became more and more clear from the powerful emotions of minutes ago.

“I think I saw them parked there but I couldn’t truly tell, I was more focussed on the way Kaine was guiding me into.” She raised her hand and pointed towards an approximate direction of where she saw them.

He shook his head a bit, "No hangars out here, so those are all manned. Likely just sitting back on standby. I can get you a look at a few later from up close. Even got a friend who owns several he of his own in a private hangar."

Cassandra’s expression slightly toned down. She gave a long sigh, as she realized her position and where she was. “Fine, I’ll wait for that, but you better keep that promise. Guess I’ll just stay here.” Her face returned to grumpiness, as she crossed her long and athletic legs covered by a pair of black skin-tight jeans.

Drake gave her another shake of the head with an eye roll before giving a brief chuckle. "Patients my sis, and maybe try to smile more. People might think you spoiled with that pout.", He said teasingly as he patted her head. "By the way, have you gotten the implant yet?"

“Huuh?” She turned to look at him, her mouth half opened in a weird grimace as she raised an eyebrow, she was the first time to be called spoiled, and by his brother too, and that fatherly behaviour truly made her mad. But her expression turned to a sassy grin “First of all, fuck you! If I am spoiled you are a gullible fool!” Mocking him for believing in whoever said she was dead as she giggled. But her behaviour still showed a sort of self-contained manner, she wasn’t anymore at the mercy of her emotions.

“By the way, what were you saying? Implant? No I don’t have it. ” No one told her about it, probably the separa forgot it. Though she was happy that he was still standing next to her asking her questions, in truth she thought that he would have left her standing there alone to leave for the trenches right after a quite emotional reunion. That’s why she got grumpy, but who could tell since her relaxed face was always like that.

The man took his sister's hand and lifted to rest at the back of his neck. "Press and feel until you find it. Should feel like a hard lump under the skin. Almost everyone has one here, save for those who can't for biology reasons, though they can get as a worn collar of sorts.", Drake offered in vague explanation as he let her fingers search out the object in question. His head was lowered for the least amount of obstruction as he said all this. "It's called a Geist, a neural implant that has a lot of benefits and abilities."

Cassandra let her brother take her hand, even if she wasn’t comfortable to be touched or dragged randomly, at the end it was still her brother and also there was a motivation for him doing that. She raised an eyebrow as her soft and slim fingers explored his neck with some reluctance. “A neural implant... Like connected to the brain?” She asked slightly absorbedly on searching for the lump and soon enough she found it. “Oh! Here it is, does it hurt if I touch it?” The young woman kept softly touching the area around the core of the hard lump.

"No it doesn't, and yes, it's basically hardwired into the nervous system. More or less, it's a part of me now like a synthetic organ. I can control machines and drones remotely, access data, use comms, show things from my view, low light vision….well the list goes on." He answered as he leaned back up again, sitting back. "Noticed there were no signs on buildings in the city, right?"

“Now that I think about it, yeah. It was pretty strange, but this Geist is super cool!” The young woman moved her hand away from Drake’s neck. She was getting more and more aware of how much the implant was incredibly essential for the entire functioning of the NDC society and not only that. Her hand laid on her chin in a pensive way as she started to figure out certain subtle details. “Oh! That’s why Kaine was faking to drive the car! Because he was actually doing that!” A bright smile made its way on her splendid face, fully comprehending the vastity of the Geist based on what her brother said.

“So I guess when you take up on your hand a rifle it counts how many ammos it still has? Like in video games? And can you perhaps remotely control more than one mech at a time? Does it give you information in real time about targets and their weak points? Oh wait, wait, can you play music in your mind without headsets?” Aaaand that’s where she started to nerd out, like it happened with Kaine, her eyes started to glimmer again as she overloaded his brother with dozens of questions “Aaagh! I want one!” She concluded, craving for it.

"And so much much more…..when you pilot a machine, it becomes your body. Those who've been using them since the beginning, can even control whole battleships." Drake looked at her carefully, wanting to make sure she understood. The gravity of such a meld of man and machine. "The newer ones used by civilians are limited, but those like I have, give so much power."

He hoped the lines being blurred as they were, became clear to his sister. Such things were far beyond their imaginations, and originally thought such concepts to be outlandish. "You can get it at the hospital on the way home."

“Can I? But I don't think I have enough cash for that.” Cassandra looked downward with a somewhat discontent grimace “Not now at least.” Another thing boggled her mind though. How is that her brother wasn’t enthusiastic while describing the Geist, maybe because he was used to it so much that it became something natural, but there was something more into his word, she felt it.

"You get one free, same for an apartment. Every citizen does, so you should have the ticket for both in your credentials they gave you." Drake said simply, the idea of money not being paid for it, a rather shocking one to Cassandra probably. He spoke of the Geist in such a way there was no excitement indeed, as it was something familiar, and something with a long history to him. "I got my first one back when they weren't separately loaded, or as easy to implant as they are now. Was kinda painful back then."

“For free? I don’t buy it.” She slowly shook her head, her long and resplendent hairs waved. “I guess there is some sort of small detraction from your paycheck to make up for those. Nothing is for free in this galaxy.” She spoke with her usual, slightly monotone voice. In the hostile environment which was Osman nothing was given without a request or a payment, the hard life of her home planet reflected in those words.

“Besides, I really don’t want to ask you this but I feel like I have to. Don’t you have duties to attend to? Even if it’s the last hour you have to always give your 100% when you are on the field.” Cassandra’s tone gave a slightly authoritarian vibe, but she did it more out of kindness and concern than anything else.

"No, it's free, even available rations. But that's where the buck stops. Everything else you work for, and the more you work, the better off you'll be. Those who don't get the bare minimum, so yeah it's free, but with expectations." Came the man's reply with a chuckle at her understandable disbelief. He patted Cassandra on the shoulder with a kind smile, "It's glorified guard duty. We're given leeway for it, especially since most of us here are BRRF. It's a lot more comfy then what we get actually deployed for, which I'm sure Kaine explained some of."

“Yeah, he did. He said you purge undeads, i think it’s cool as hell, but Kaine was so fucking pissed off about it. Though he is a nice guy, but man if he gives a depressed vibe when he talks about work.” A grumpy expression made its way back on her face, she glanced at her brother as her head was somewhat leaning downward, her arms folded in a relaxed manner. “Don’t tell me you see it in the same way as him, or I am gonna turn your apartment into an eternal goddamn horror movie’s store.” She made a sassy grin at the last affirmation, she didn’t truly meant to do that, but who knows.

Drake shrugged, "There's a reason we go through psych evals after every deployment. Not many can stomach what we have to deal with. If you don't believe me, I can play back every cursed memory for you. But after you get your implant, it's better to see it from my eyes, through your own." He then patted her head teasingly, with a half earnest grin, finding the topic to be a bit less then palatable.

“Argh! Stop it!” Cassandra raised her tone in annoyance, moving her hands to reach his one and try to pull it off but not in a violent manner. “This is the second time! At the third I swear, I am going to grab that rifle and run into the jungle!” Her face looked incredibly grumpy, but also cute as her cheeks blushed from the embarrassment not only from Drake’s weird fatherly behaviours but also from the possibility of being seen by others.

He retracted his hand, "Hey, I haven't seen you in years, let me love on ya. Gotta make up for all the years I could hug you, or show how much I cared." Drake offered a sad smile in regret of not having been able to be there for her. Despite the age difference, he felt very protective of her now, compared to those years ago when looked up to her. He'd fought his own battles, and faced his struggles solo for so long, that he only could share them with two people now.

With a jolt though, he realized he'd hadn't mentioned that second person. "I am actually seeing someone by the way, she lives with me too. Looking forward to getting to introduce you two."

“Really?! You got a girlfriend? You’ve truly grown up, even if it looks like you remained the sweetheart I left back on the wastelands” Cassandra’s temper tone down, she wasn’t mad at him in the first place, just a misunderstanding of intentions. Her voice sounded more kinder despite her overall relaxed, somewhat grumpy, expression. But then something triggered in her mind, her glare changed and not in a good way for him.

She made a sassy smile “All seems a really nice idea. Me you and your girlfriend living all together. But tell me, Drake. How big is this apartment?”. She made her math and she hoped it was big enough to avoid… issues. The young woman moved nearer to him with that sassy grin on her face “And how many beds you have? Hmmm? You will not leave your big sis without one right? Otherwise we will all have to share.”

"Well uhhhh, it's….a one bedroom, BUT THERE'S A PULL OUT BUILT INTO THE COUCH. There is a door on the bedroom, should be quiet at night.", He said, throwing his hands up defensively. To be fair, there was no possible way he could have been prepared, or thought if that ahead of time. "It's not like there are a ton of options here."

Cassandra burst into a short and loud laughter as she hugged him. As her chin laid on his shoulder she spoke in an amused tone “You saved yourself. For now.” Patting his other shoulder while saying that.

She then released from the hug, distancing herself again, smiling “So who’s she? Is she a soldier too?”

"Nah, she already took that card. Arria Smith is her name, she's a bridge officer from Yamatai, here on exchange. Think you'd like her, certainly has a similar level of sass." He answered with a nervous chuckle, finding the topic change being more appreciated. To be honest, his home life wasn't any spectacular, or his apartment exactly lavished. Still strange to think how nice it looked with a woman's touch though after Arria moved in. "She's also an Elysian, the people with wings you've no doubt seen since arrival, or even maybe back on Osman."

“Hmmm, yeah i know them. There was one in the skyguard. And yeah I also saw a couple back at the spaceport” The young woman was incredibly vague, like as she was talking about something so rare to see but yet uninteresting. Totally unlike her next words, “A bridge officer you said though. So she is the smart type of girl I guess.” She slightly smiled again.

"Weapon operator specifically, so smart, and dangerous. At least when on the bridge of a starship, not so much dangerous off one though." Drake said this with a grin at the compliment, before recounting briefly how they met. "I saved her during a disaster of sorts. One of the rulers was killed on stage by an assassin months ago, the founder himself. Biological compounds were released in the crowd and drove the people to paranoid terror. She was badly hurt trying to get away, and we had to clear the frenzied bystanders before getting her to an ambulance."

"After it all, I was tasked to check on her, as she was a visiting allied representative. I agreed to show her around after recovery, and we hit it off from there." He finished with a grin as he looked to Cassandra. He was smiling deeply as he spoke of such memories and the girl who had fallen from grace, and into his life.

Her arms were crossed and her eyes closed as she listened to his brother’s tale, smiling as the young woman saw in his story a sort of similarity with her liberation from slavery. As Drake ended she humphed in contempt. The young woman lifted her head towards his brother, showing a bright smile “She seems tough. Can’t wait to meet her”

An alarm chime somewhere sounded, Drake looking up to find the hour was up. "Alright sis, that's that, ready to go home? It's a drive back as you saw, but the sun setting is quite beautiful over the ocean."

With that he lifted her bag for her, offering to carry it back to the car. They would make their way back across the outpost and a short distance down the road. There was a turn off that led over to a parking lot for the troops stationed at the line.

“Sure thing.” She got up and raised her arms over her shoulders and gave a short groan as she stretched “That alarm was a blessing”. Cassandra smiled again towards Drake before following. “By the way there is one more question I wanted to ask. Is it just me that I feel this muggy? Because man if it’s so annoying” A childish question if not that she never felt before the humidity of the jungle, maybe even humidity at all.

Drake stopped before a Raven Sport, opening the front trunk, he deposited her pack into it, then began to remove his armor. "Welcome to the jungle, that my sis, is called humidity. It's an abundance of moisture in the air, and it rains here quite frequently too.", He offered in explanation before putting the last piece away. Standing there in his Mithril suit, Drake then closed the trunk and waved to get in, as the doors jutted then rotated up from the front.

Inside the car was a well furnished interior, of volumetric and led displays, wood paneling, and real leather seats. It was quite a luxurious car from what Cassandra was used to. It even had AC and a radio.

Cassandra looked at the car with incredible surprise, she couldn’t believe her brother had such a luxurious car and yet “What?! You know all the grown ass thoughts I had about you? Gone!” She started to chuckle from the weirdness of the situation. In truth every time she was going to calm down and return to her normal self something unexpected happened. “You have this car and you still live in an apartment? The fuck!”. The chuckle became a laughter as she teased his brother.

With a sigh, Drake gave her an annoyed side long look. "Do I look like someone who has time to come build a house out here. There are no houses in the city my poor unaware sister. Really should study before making assumptions, it's not like you to be so unwise." He said with a humph before getting in. Starting the car and turning on the radio, he played some classic rock as the doors closed with a hiss. "Can we just go home, can't go to the store dressed like this."

“Okay Okay” Cassandra gave a soft smile as she sighed “I’ll stop my sassy siege at once”. She ended those words as she athletically jumped into the car. She truly found her brother funny to tease, he was a good man through and through.

The young woman relaxed herself on the passenger seat, the interiors were truly comfortable for a sports car like that one.

As the car was started, Drake began to drive them back towards the city. Unlike with the ride with Kaine, the gas was pressed further, the sporty car far faster. The thick jungle was passing quickly, the shore now growing closer. ", is there anything you want to do on your first day in your new home? Anything you want to visit other then what we've discussed?"

“There are quite a lot of things already to keep me busy for the entire day, finding a job, getting enlisted in the army, taking the Geist, see the mechas…” As she said the last words with her slightly monotone voice she thought about one thing, one thing she always loved. “Is there a place where they sell books? They were pretty rare back at Osman” She chuckled to herself remembering about it “In fact when i worked as a scavenger for the city, i got in quite a lot of troubles from time to time as they tried to steal them.”

"Those are very rare indeed, bit pricey to custom order for the sheet novelty. At least for anywhere not Yamatai I guess, they can make pretty much anything. Hmmm?" He said in thought as he drove, starting to run through a directory of stores and their stock in his head. His irises glowed a brilliant amber as he did, the hum of thought continuing. "There's a few scattered among the more peddler style shops, antiquities mainly. Very few actually, most we're likely bought up by our fellow Osmans. Let's see, you could talk to Kessler Ryzka, Mark Tazar, Angela Hartbrook, or even Rorik Neserwin."

“Rorik!?” That name, she didn’t hear it for quite a while, her mind suddenly jumped to the thought of that brave young knight. But He wasn’t the only one who had that name on Osman “No, he can’t be.” She shook her head as her mind was slightly lost in her own thoughts.

"Hmm?" His search was interrupted by the sudden outburst to herself, his glowing eyes turning to Cassandra. The search was set aside as he asked, "Did you know someone by that name? Sir Rorik has been with us for a few years now. Is he the same one do you think, as the one you knew for some reason."

“Sir? Sir you said?! Like some sort of noble?” Cassandra started to blush upon thinking that the man who saved her could be the man his brother was talking about, her mind tried to throw away such fantasies as she again shook her head “Nah, this is surely some high ranking aristocrat of sorts.” She didn’t look back at her brother, her emerald eyes aiming outside the door window.

"No actually, he's a knight actually, guardian to royals and leads the internal security division. He's actually a pretty important man for his age, to do so much, and be looked up to that much at so young." Drake continued after listening to her odd comments, finding it to give him an odd tingle. There was a story there and he was definitely intrigued by it now.

“Seriously,what the fuck is wrong with this place” She spoke to herself with a smirk, looking at the window, her hand rubbing her forehead, she couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “Is this some sort of joke?” Her hand let itself go down on her lap, in a very resigned manner.

Cassandra’s glance met Drake’s one, a couple of seconds passed by before sighing as she recognized his seriousness. “Essentially... A young knight named Rorik saved me when I was a slave, he single handedly killed twenty men and freed all of us. He…” She chuckled as her look was again lost in her thoughts. “...Well, he became my saviour. I wanted to become like him, become a knight and save those in need. Yeah, I know, it’s childish but if I have to be true to myself… Maybe he is the only reason why I didn’t give up to the engulfing corruption and hypocrisy of this galaxy...” Her eyes looked down as she said those last words, again absorbed in her thoughts. She didn’t believe it was him, but at the same time she felt a pressure in her chest, it was anxiety for something. In her mind an affirmation started to make its way *What if... What if it’s truly him.*

"Well I can probably introduce you two later, and you can see if it's the same guy? It sounds like him, and oddly enough he has the largest book collection." Drake answered earnestly as they passed onto the bridge now. With the trip being the reverse, it was now the tall city walls that could be seen, growing in the distance as a stalwart bastion of technology and peace.

She remained silent for a long time before answering, she then raised her look again, straight in Drake’s eyes, a decisive and serious expression like Drake never seen before, shown in Cassandra’s splendid face. “Yes, it will be helpful.” For a moment she didn’t care about the second affirmation of her brother, she only focussed on clearing her doubts, to be sure that this Rorik wasn’t just a random guy, but truly Him.

"Okay then, I'll arrange it then. Anything else in regards to my original question?", Drake asked, having only given a neutral nod to her answer. They were already pulling up to the city's reinforced gate again now. Drake gave the clearance ahead of time, the gate opening for them. It wasn't a long trip to the military district from there.

Cassandra nodded “Thank you. Nah nothing ,else, I think, as i said, we have already quite a lot of things at hand.” With those last words she returned to look at the door window right as the car passed through the gate. “Oh, I lost the sunset, well it will be for another time.” She smiled, probably those words summed up her inner positiveness.

"This is home now, you'll get to see it every day. Give me like ten minutes once we get in, just changing, but do watch the main strip." He answered as they entered the city once more then drove over to the military district. As they entered through another checkpoint, a group of three Spartan mechs were marching by on the main strip. A Centaur mbt tank also followed after the mechanized infantry frames, the group off to the hangars.

With that show having progressed by, Drake pulled into the personnel lot before heading off. He wasn't gone long, returning in jeans, boots, a section 6 t-shirt, and a jacket. "Where do you want to go next?"

“Woah…” Cassandra’s eyes glimmered as they were captured by the sight of those mechs, she continued to watch them as they passed, her head popped up from the door window. She was so much into them that she didn’t realize his brother was getting out and coming back in the car.

She snapped from her daydreaming as Drake closed the door. The attractive young woman turned to see him again. “Huh! Ahh sorry i was thinking about something... Oh yes! We could go to take a look at the mechs, after all you made a promise”. She made a sassy grin at the end of that affirmation.

Drake hadn't argued with his eager sister, taking them both down to the hangars by the port. "The military hangars are off limits to civilians, but I got a buddy here who has his own collection.", Was what he said in explanation on arrival. A spiky blonde haired man waiting outside to greet them. "Aye, name's Zeke.", The blonde said as they approached.

The young attractive woman walked right next to Drake, her snow white hairs slightly swaying as she moved with a straight posture, a hint to her military career. Her expression was somewhat grumpy as her relaxed self implied, but her emerald eyes glimmered of expectation. She was different from when she saw Drake and he would notice that.

“Glad to meet you Zeke, I am Cassandra, Cassandra Demascus. Hope we are not disturbing you.” She spoke with a firm voice, maybe slightly monotone, but her last words were expressed with a bit higher pitched tone, betraying her firmness. Her heart frilled from the anticipation to see what kind of incredible high tech mechas the NDC and the rest of the sector have managed to make.

"Nah, not like I've been any kind of busy lately. More, or less, have been taking it easy. But, anyways, I understand from Drae that you wanted to see my collection." Zeke answered with a dismissive wave of that concern, before stepping over to the door and activating it. It slid open to let them enter the dim interior where loading equipment, and all the amenities of an auto shop for mechanized units.

Zeke would usher them in before flipping the breaker for the lights inside the hangar. Row upon rows of powerful lights igniting their brightness, until it was well lit. There were 5 mechs in all, varied and different between them all. The smallest was an Origin made Oban custom, then a Kirin and Gekido M3, both also Origin in manufacturer. Finally was the newest Khan made by Galactic Horizon, and the BW-XM1 Possessor made by BWE.

The Possessor was the largest of them all at 14 meters, the machine in a knelt position, unlike the others. Zeke grinned proudly at his collection, turning to Cassandra and Drake, "Well, whaddya think?"

As Cassandra entered Zeke’s hangar she couldn’t but release a “Woah” as she looked at the 5 frames, one cooler than the other. As the man asked the siblings, she moved to reach the two Ashigaru variants. Her hand on her chin as she wandered what characteristics differed the two. She then pointed to the Kirin “What’s the name of this? It seems an improved version of this guy, more agile and tougher, but too heavy for aerial combat.” The young woman rapidly moved her slim hand to point to the Oban before turning back to the Kirin. Her voice transpired all her interest to the two.

"That one is the Kirin, the advanced upgrade to the Oban model of the line. Kirin is built for combat, and outfitted with numerous weapons, including feather drones.", Zeke answered before giving a remote demonstration. His eyes would glow as several feathers would undock, then float over the unit still dormant. "They're dangerous and handy support units, my Gekido next to them has similar such units."

Cassandra’s eyes widened as she saw the feathers activation “Cool….” Her mind let escape that word as she thought to herself. She rapidly turned to see Zeke “And what are they capable of?” Before looking at them again. Her enthusiasm made her act quite hectic.

One would float down and rest before Cassandra, the other two redocking. "Each one comes with an energy weapon inside, and has a blade shaped hull. It can attack until out of charge for it's weapon, to which it can then be expended. Either to block attacks, or in a last ditch effort to spear your opponent.", Zeke answered as he walked down the center of the hangar. "This helps keep targets at bay for the full arsenal of the main unit to be kept at maximum effectiveness."

“So both a distraction and a last resource.” She deducted from Zeke’s words as she walked around the drone to see it from all its different angles. Her hands folded on the back, resting near her well sculpted rear. She was incredibly intrigued by such a choice of combat system.

She then looked towards the Gekido with a less enthusiastic expression, meaning her grumpy relaxed way “Hmm what’s the difference between the Gekido and the Kirin? From what I can see the second seems to have more features.” She definitely liked the Kirin more for its aggressive look than anything else.

"The Kirin is robust and savage in its own fire power. However, the Gekido is a more modular and refined series of powered frames. More loadout options are available, allowing for a more tailored build to the pilot's combat style." The drone was signaled to return to the wing binder of its host frame. Zeke now stood before the Gekido, before giving the machine a wave, "Wake up Onyx, you've got a visitor."

The M3 powered on, it's single large optical eye lighting up. The AI aboard turned the mech's head to look down at its pilot, before turning to Cassandra. "Hyper rifle, 75mm gauss shotgun, 25mm gauss machine pistol, 16 lance support drones, 30 antimatter warhead missiles, and the Kirin's Targa shield with added retractable blade. A arsenal for all ranges, and a one unit army at that. I've gotten in some good fights with this fella, ain't that right Onyx?"

The unit nodded after having displayed each weapon one by one, as Zeke listed them off, ending with the extension of the sword-like blade in the shield.

Cassandra remained with her mouth slightly opened in surprise to hear how much she was in the wrong assumption. She looked at the mech nodding to Zeke and that boggled her mind *Did it do that on its own?*. “Did… did you make it nod with… the Geist?” Her eyes were wide open and her mouth still half opened, the cheeks slightly blushing in confusion and surprise.

"[Negative. I am Operational Network Y-10, or O.N.Y-X. Support AI for this unit. Greetings.]", A deep electronic male voice intoned from the unit. Zeke gestured to the machine, a grin on his face at her surprise. "Nah, as he said. I was saving a trick like that for when we got to the Possessor."

“Internal support AI? That’s cool! I have never seen one before! Does it improve systems management? Cuz it was a hassle back when i had to check every single goddamn indicator on the U1” The young woman said the last words with an annoyed tone. She loved driving mechs, but sometimes it happened that she had to get into the deep details, when the slightest system’s anomaly appeared in the sensors. That thing truly made her grumpy as hell.

"Never got to fly the U1 series, but Jack told me stories. Seen his a few times, and he once said that a dumbed down support system, was in the works before everything went to shit." Came the blonde mech jockey's explanation first, "System management, and additional weapon targeting logistics."

“Tsk... yeah” Cassandra made a bitter grimace. She saw all the downfall and the after. “Better you don’t know how much they kept digging in that shit.” There was a lot of intensity in those words as they came from the bottom of her heart.

The young woman then realized the rudeness of her words, sometimes she couldn’t stop herself even in front of strangers “Oh sorry, i didn’t mean to sound that bad. I deeply apologize, let’s go back to the mechas, and specifically those two incredibly hot guys right there. I think I saw that one back at the outpost.” Cassandra tried to goofly change the subject as she pointed towards the Possessor.

"Oh I've heard enough to know. yeah, these two…"fellas"..are the newest of the bunch." He walked that way, waving Onyx to power down and slumber once more. "That one is the XM1 Possessor, not quite as new, but still top of the line. I hear they're even getting an upgrade soon."

Cassandra moved towards the two mechas to see them better. “Are these the ones that interact with the Geist? What can you do with it?” She turned to see Zeke with a more enthusiastic expression. She kept the ones she liked more for the end.

"Everything, as with the Geist, is essentially a puppet to the skilled. You become the machine when you pilot it. The Khan still has optional physical controls though, and it's designed for long trips." Zeke flexed his arm and clenched a fist, the Possessor started to hum to life. It's optical slit lighting up red, it then fluidly mimicked the man's movements. He waved, snapped his finger, then gave a peace sign, and it did so as well. "Both are very space capable."

“Woah...” She remained entranced by the power of the Geist. The young attractive woman remained stuck looking at the Possessor for more than just a couple of seconds before snapping from her own thoughts “Uh! So you said that there are no manual controls? Now I wonder what the internal cockpit looks like!”. Her slim hands closing in fist next to her face in enthusiasm. She looked back at Zeke, her emerald eyes glimmering “Can i take a look at it?”

With a gesture of the hand, the kneeling mech leaned down more. It's chest blossomed open to reveal the inside, a coffin-like pod being extended out. It opened in segments to reveal the body shaped space in it. "Not much there, as your body is basically asleep while you're linked in."

In that brief moment before the Possessor’s chest opened, Cassandra rapidly turned to see Drake “Thank you.” She wholeheartedly said to him in a low voice and with a bright smile, before turning back just to see the opening of the cockpit.

“Sleep you said? That’s unusual, so when you interface with the possessor is like making a dream, only that is real?” It was truly a weird thing for her, and in truth she didn’t like the sound of that, she preferred to stay vigilant, always.

"Think of it more as becoming the heart of a titan. A body of armor and power, and the weapons to take on enemies much greater then yourself." Zeke said dramatic like with a smirk. A metal orb with stabilizer find and an optical eye, descended from inside of the open chassis. "[Each unit is installed with an AI co-pilot. I merely transfer between frames for Zeke. I am O.N.Y-X., greetings again.]", Came the AI's familiar electronic voice.

“The heart of the titan, if you put it in this way it gets more interesting than a normal sleep…” The white haired woman spoke to Zeke before the arrival of the AI “Greetings again O.N.Y.X.” She waved at the orb before turning again to Zeke “So, if you become the heart of the mech the AI is the brain am I right? Or at least part of it?” Cassandra asked, more interested now on the matter than before.

The pilot thought for a moment on that question, unsure at first of how to answer. "So you are the heart, but also the brain. But a brain can only handle so much information, which our nerves simplify for us to handle. Think of the AI as that, your nervous system, funneling and filtering all the data from the systems. In addition to being the angel, or devil, on your shoulder. They also are there making the data simple so our brains can handle it all."

Such an answer almost made the man wonder if he should think about teaching, he did know these machines inside, and out by this point. So much so, that he could draw a detailed diagram of the thing, on top of already operating them with skill. "I hope that explains it better?", He asked Cassandra.

“Yes indeed. I am really glad you had the patience to explain all of this.” Her soft lips traced a sweet smile. “I want to become a frame pilot in the NDC, I was already in the Skyguard, but since i don’t know anything about this mechs and the technological gap is quite evident…” Her emerald eyes glanced back at the mechs “Would you like to teach me? Don’t worry I’ll find a job in the meantime and pay for your teachings.” Her voice became serious as she looked back straight at Zeke’s eyes.

He looked past her go Drake, "You got a problem with that Drae?" Her brother was leaning against the wall at the end of the hangar still. He gave an ok sign with his hand, "Yeah I'll make sure she gets on her feet. And that you're covered on instructing expenses for the first round of lessons."

Zeke nodded, "I'm not usually one to make anyone pay for lessons, but I am trying to save for a few things. Trying to get a house for me and my fiances, or at the least, gifts for them that are special. Don't worry, I won't charge you much more then a small hourly fee."

Cassandra’s lovely eyes opened wide from the excitement “Yes!!!” She screamed in enthusiasm with a higher pitch voice, as she hugged Zeke in an affectionate manner “Thank you thank you thank you!”. Her hug though was a very strong one, maybe from the emotions she couldn’t handle herself. Someone was going to teach her how to become a true mech pilot and maybe one day that will help her to become a knight.

"Starting to remind me of one of Jack's bubbly sisters. Sure you ain't related with those white locks of hair? Hahaha!" Zeke chuckled heartily as she hugged him. She also reminds him of someone else as well. "Haven't seen some girl this excited about giant robots, since the other Osman girl named Ceilia. I'll leave the technical and mechanical parts of your lessons to Rhianna heh."

She released herself from the hug, her cheeks a bit reddened as her hand moved to scratch her neck. “Ah… I’m sorry, sometimes I get too excited. By the way, It’s a deal then! When are we going to start? Next week?”

"Probably best yeah, should give you plenty of time to get settled. Hopefully by then, you'll have your new life here sorted out and comfortable. And if you're looking for locals to hang out with, I know the girls are always down to make friends." Zeke said this, as he started to walk over to the workshop area. Which took up the whole other side of the hangar, workbenches, parts, and tools. Though one section had walls erected and no roof, and appeared to be a sort of lounge as the door was opened.

Complete with comforts, the spiky blonde moved to the fridge, before returning with a glowing six-pack of drink. "Here, a house warming gift, best drink in the NDC.", He said grinning as he handed it to her. "Invented by yours truly even."

“You made them? Well I can’t refuse such an offer! Thank... youuu…?” Her enthusiasm rapidly turned to confusion as her eyes glanced to the glowing drink, questionable in appearance. Cassandra’s slim fingers reached for the pack, she then took one of the cans, bringing it near her face to better check on its content. She shook it and saw what happened. Nothing, it kept glowing. “Uhm, I don’t want to sound rude but, what’s inside?” Her voice was slightly monotone and confused, accentuated by a raised eyebrow and a grumpy expression.

He seemed a tad hurt by the skepticism, but wasn't really surprised, given she technically was an offworlder. "This planet is abundant in fluorescent flora and fauna. Everything in it is all natural, and not radioactive, I assure you miss. Certain ingredients just react to keep the glow of such natural components active in the mix. It's something to do with the alcohol content in it."

The young woman looked back at the drink with the same expression and blinked twice. “Hmm… Fuck it let’s do it” Cassandra spoke to herself in a lower tone and then, with an incredibly fast movement of the fingers, she opened the can that went straight to her mouth.

After a long sip she released her lips from the drink and looked back at it, a couple of seconds passed by as she kept tasting the alcohol in her mouth “Hmmm.” The attractive white haired woman then looked back at her soon to be teacher “Yep, it’s good”. Cassandra nodded as she looked back again at the can “Yeah I think I will dig into this.” As she moved again to take another long sip. In truth she loved it and it didn’t look like one pack would have satisfied her.

"Thanks, it's surprisingly popular here. You can buy it at most stores around here, along with more normal drinks." He said with a chuckle as she chugged some of the drink. Cassandra seemed quite the thirsty lass, and that made the brewer in him proud. "Some days, I wonder if becoming a mercenary pilot over running a bar was the best decision. Especially when I meet people like you who enjoy my hobby. Though, I guess you enjoy both of my forms of work, hahahahaha!"

“I can’t say for the training yet…” She took the last sip of the drink. A satisfied sigh followed right after “But if this is the prelude then, I want to see what will come next.” She gave a challenging grin to Zeke. “Thanks for the drinks, I would love to stay a bit more but I bet it is time to go.” She then moved to get nearer to the man and whispered “In truth, I don’t like seeing my brother staying all alone and get bored. I saw him for not even half a day and I already can tell that he truly needs to lighten up.” She made a sweet smile as she made a couple of steps back.

Zeke looked to the man in question, then back to Cassandra with a good natured smirk. "You haven't heard about his love life then yet. Him and that exchange gal have been the topic of the town in some places. So don't let the soldier act fool ya." He said with another chuckle before adding finally, "Trust me on the training, I was in the army for 5 years prior to my 3 years of merc work. I'm a veteran pilot."

She turned to see her brother “I know that but…” The words that Kaine and Drake told her echoed in her mind. The young looking woman made a thin smile as she looked back at Zeke “Yeah, I trust you. What I mean is that at the end, words fly away, only the acts remain.” Her words carried the experience in the skyguard and the rude life on her home planet.

Cassandra paused for a second, then she made a brighter smile “See you next week Zeke. Oh! and also you too Onyx!” She waved towards the AI’s orb, as she spoke the last words with a louder voice because of the distance.

Zeke waved her on before she headed off to her brother. Drake remained patiently waiting as she did, standing as she approached, "I think as late as it is getting, that we should get you settled at home. The tomorrow, we can take you to the store and kitted for civilized life. I'm sure you're probably feeling beat anyways, I know I am."

The younger brother walked them outside to the car, much to the same ritual as before. As the car started with them in it, he chuckled slightly this time, as they departed the hangars. "Crazy place right?"

Cassandra was sitting on the passenger seat right next to him, hands holding the pack of drinks on her lap. She was smiling as she looked at her brother “Damn if it is. And not only that, Zeke too rocks!” With a loud clack she then moved to detach a couple of cans from the pack, one of these handed towards Drake “Here take one, I know you can drive even without your hands on it.” She smirked.

“By the way, it seems like it has been a matter of gossiping your, quote on quote, love life” She gestured the quotes even if one hand holded the can, she then popped it before speaking again “What’s the big deal? Do I’ve to worry when you both get into bed? Hmmm?” She took a long sip, not before giving a sassy tone to those words.

Drake grimaced at that, taking the can reluctantly, "He's gonna be cool on the floor maybe, nosy bastard. Remind me to deck him next time. Also I hope you aren't advocating that I drink and drive." He said this with an annoyed growl, the last part being a sarcastic joke. The man couldn't believe they were getting talked about that much.

"We'll...try to be quiet. I'll order sound proofing too, so don't worry. I really don't want to be grilled on my relationship. You date one foreign girl, who's on troop exchange, and you're the talk of the town." He added as he waved a hand to shoo the concerns away hopefully. It was a valid question, but also partially unfair in how the situation of Cassandra moving in, was just so sudden.

The young woman laughed loudly, before speaking again with a smirk “Damn, looks like I’ll have to find another teacher!” She paused for a moment, realizing how stern she had been on the matter. “I am sorry Drake, sometimes I too hate my own sincerity. But don’t get it wrong, I am truly happy that you found a woman in your life and I can only wish you for the best.” Cassandra’s voice sounded warmer and less joking.

"Thank you sis, she's the only one I've ever had,....and the only woman I've ever tried with. I guess I just never thought about it before, just my duties, and protecting people. It's nice to have someone to come home to, and not think about the stressful things." He said with a nod as they drove on, approaching home. Drake left his grimace behind for a smile, finding today to be one of joy. Sirris VI was home, and every home deserves a family.