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RP: YSS Kaiyō Mission 23: Kamiwaza


Head in the Stars
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((OOC: JP between Ame (GM NPCs- Rei, Eden, Hoshi, Aurinda), @SirSkully (Wyatt Fujiwara), @raz (Ketsurui Aiko), @Gunhand4171 (William), @SageShooter (Fujiwara Saya, Fujiwara Tsubame), @SchererSoban (Wulf Soban), @Charaa (Kiyo), @Blizzard (Gravity), @Noodlewerfer (Chlorate, Kikios Leka), @Whisper (Indira Valkar) that was very fun to write. Title roughly translates into Kami/God-like or divine work. Thank you all!))

20日 4月 YE 42
Forward Base 1B


The briefing format of being one in the thousands might never get boring for Eden, though she was looking in on this one from the metaphorical pews of the expanded POM Qonset Hut her crew was in. They were lined up in neat rows, hard to spot amongst the masses of brightly colored hair of the rikugun and the more somber tones of the Eihei legionnaires heads, but they were there alright. Half listening to the briefing from Shôshô Uzume she had read over already, Eden was watching her only SAINT crewmember as he stood next to his captain, Taiyou Hoshi.

Wyatt would be leading the ship's ground team into the operation today and Eden scrutinized him with an openness she wouldn't feel comfortable doing to him face to face. But from afar, she thought on his personal investments in bringing home the lost crewmen this briefing centered on and how he had died during the last mega assault, though the mission had been a success. The Star Army of Yamatai had begun staging a foothold within the system's bounds that had been overtaken.

Eden knew what passion could do to a warrior. The fight to overtake a system's defenses while your wife was MIA was not the same fight as rescuing your wife. Her confidence in him, as well as the samurai under similar circumstances behind him, was enough to warm the worry in her belly. After all, she hadn't been absent from a Kaiyō mission since she was back on Yamatai. She was a little anxious to be out of the action, but she had a feeling Wyatt's leadership would be paramount to a victory on this day.

Shôshô Uzume had shown the footage gained from intelligence analysts on the base of Aiko and William's last fight, which the Kuvexians had broadcasted within their space and their base had intercepted. The pure carnage of the Ketsurui clan member bathed in the purple blood of the enemy and killing more with nothing but a crude weapon and her militarized body filled the qonset hut with the cheers and uproar of a thousand Nekovalkyrja. The Shôshô had waited for quiet only to assure victory in a way that roused the SAoY crowd further. Spirits were high by the time all was said and done and crew members were filtering out of the outpost, towards the docking port.

The place in which the crew was being held was a mid-sized station. Its sole purpose was an entertainment hub with a gladiatorial colosseum in its center while vendors and ship bays surrounded it. As the Kaiyō's team had infiltrated Kuvexian-made stations before, they would be the team to advance into the enemy territory. The specifics weren't told to everyone, but Wyatt had been briefed by Hoshi already on such.

There was a small window of opportunity for pairs or groups of three to get slip in to the each port as it opened for guest's ships. Each bay was open to space once the force field dropped, letting the ship in. Because the team could stealth within their Mindy, but would have to stay near the generators of each ship so that their heat signature was not detected. Next they would stealth further into the base, finding the control room in order to do two things, shut down the security protocols as well as detach a part of the station that would give SAoY legionnaires access to the colosseum grounds, in which a larger assault would take place. Tanks and rikugun forces would be present while offshoot forces would begin accessing prisoner cells below the colosseum in the likely case that the missing SAoY members were not fully present on the battle field.

Even through the thick beard that had sprouted up on Wyatt's face since his recent revival it'd be easy to see the man's jaw clench a few times, the muscles beneath his tanned features contracting and relaxing each time, a thoughtful huff cresting his lips. Given his personal investment in the mission and the fact he'd recently crawled out of a hemosynth tank, Wyatt personally did not see himself in a good position to lead the team this time. But as he'd been doing since birth, the coppery half-elf would continue to roll with the punches being given.

"Come, team, I shall brief you more in-depth while we suit up," the tall man clad in his crisp black-paneled uniform spoke, very blunt and to the point as he began descending the few steps that lead up to the barely elevated podium, offering Eden a simple nod to try and better mask the faint frown creasing his eyebrows.

Nearby Star System
Kuvexian Residence

"Ready to go?" asked the Kuvexian father cheerily, looking toward the young one Saya held before looking up to her. Today was the day of Tsubame's fight. The family Saya was now living and working for were going to travel to the gladiatorial station to see the debut of Saya's daughter in the arena.

Saya could say or do little in terms of response past a simple nod. She had been crying nonstop since she had heard the news her daughter was to fight in the pits and only recently had her tears dried up, though her face was still an absolute mess. She was silent and distant as she waited to follow along.

Death Pit Station

It took a little under an hour to travel for Saya and the family to travel to the station. The motions of checking in through a docking bay, checking baggage, and entering the arena stadium to find their booth was both torturous for Saya and monotonous for the family she was care-taking for. The misplaced kindness was beginning to become apparent as they saw the toll it was taking on Saya to be here, so once seated the husband and wife talked amongst themselves more actively than Saya had ever seen, trying to ignore the attitude of extreme despair coming from the Yamataian nursemaid.

Saya for her part cared little for the lack of interaction. Her ears twitched as she noticed the increased speech in the speech in the two... But she was so far gone in her own little world that as the two Kuvexians spoke to one another, Saya spoke to one another, Saya simply curled in on herself. In her seat, she drew her knees to her chest and dug her heels in a little as she just waited.

Kaiyō II
Power Armor Bay

Seeing as his suit had been all but ionized in the previous mission a freshly fabricated replacement had been hung in its place, dark blue helmet's angular features looking almost disapproving as Wyatt ran diagnostics on it pre-mission, waiting for the entire team to assemble.

"Firstly I must get something out of the way," he started, deep voice reverberating through the occupied, armored room.

"If any of you have reservations about me leading the team for this mission due to my recent death and revival then I ask you to keep those to yourselves, I have been fully cleared and given the go-ahead for this endeavor," the man continued, taking a few steps back from his own suit to stand in a more central location, arms locked behind the half-elf's back.

"With that cleared we may proceed. We will be going in ahead of the others to open the way for them so listen closely, as the bigger mission is largely dependent on us doing our jobs. Each time a guest ship docks with the facility there is a brief window dependent on the ship's size where the shields at that location drop to allow entrance, only two or three of us can exploit this at any one time and you must stick close to generators or other larger heat signatures to better mask what your suit gives off," Mr. Fujiwara continued to explain, giving the team a moment to better absorb that information before continuing.

"Once inside we will take control of the station's security protocols and detach a large section to allow entrance for the Rikugun forces, then we move to free the~" he froze up for a second, it simply looked like Wyatt was reconsidering his words for a moment but anyone in the know could guess what was going through his mind.

"~free the prisoners, covertly if possible, any further questions?" he finished, adam's apple bouncing up and down his neck as the man swallowed thickly.

Wulf listened to Wyatt's briefing. Though he had reservations about Wyatt leading the mission not because of his death but due to the nature of the rescue. Though he could understand he worried about the mission being compromised due to Wyatt's personal attachment to one of them, even made worse by the fact she was also pregnant with their child. He hoped that even with this Wyatt might keep focus but Wulf guessed he would have to wait and see.

The other thing that bugged him was scarcity of information and need to know information. It seemed the brass was keeping a tight lip about information but he worried it was more lack of reconnaissance. He knew with how far they were from the front lines the issue of information but it seemed despite the goals they were going in blind.

He mentally signed at this and was hoping that this wouldn't result in the team being wiped out or worse. Raising a hand "Sir do we have intel on any blueprints or even the whereabouts of the control center?". Also adding "Also do we have any secondary objectives in regards to the leadership who captured a member of the Ketsurui Clan, I'm sure they would love to make a example of them."

Wyatt cleared his throat and offered a few small nods of his head before answering, "Long-range sensors have given us a rather thorough idea of the station's layout based on temperature readings, multispectral analysis and all the usual scans though we can only estimate at the specific function of any given room. That being said we are fairly confident that the control room has been narrowed down to here," Wyatt spoke, pointing to a volumetric screen that flickered to life behind him, the black-clad man tracing a circle around part of the station with his finger.

"Boss should have sent it all to your suit by now, as for captors? we haven't received any intel that might lead us to believe the captors might be on the station, only thing we've managed to nail down is that there's a warden overseeing the captives," he continued, frowning thoughtfully for a short moment before adding one final statement to his answer.

"Other secondary objectives... well, as Eden might say, put the fear of Yui into the OpFor. Does that cover everything?"

Wulf nodded Briefly "Fireteam assignments, then sold on the operation". Before adding briefly "Always up for showing the enemy fear of us Sir".

The Sarah Rei was donning had been pulled stockpile of samurai-centric armors that Legion 777 boasted. Like Wyatt, her armor had been destroyed alongside her past body in the last mission. Quietly, she felt her way around the outside of the Sarah while she listened to the back and forth of question and answer. Her only question lay in their victory. Having helplessly seen Ketsurui Aiko and William fall into the hands of the enemy, Rei had failed in the protection of her ward and lost most of the self-respect she held for herself as a yojimbo. The recent success of the last mission and her role in such was likely the only thing that tipped the balance of hope in her mind enough to believe victory in emancipating her ward and student now.

Kiyo remained silent as she observed the briefing, as a sense of... Excitement filled her this as it, they were going to save their friends. She’ll soon be able to talk, and hug Saya, and meet her daughter, while also giving birth to her own daughter, and seeing their daughters become friends. A small smile in thought occurred, though, because of the context of the surrounding conversation, her smile may be assumed for the make fear of us bit.

“I understand and have no questions, go in, destroy Kuvexians while making sure we rescue our comrades, and then head back, so we can party,” She said in response before going back into her thoughts.

Perhaps it was because of her pregnancy hormones, because of her anger, that she hadn’t been able to stop her comrades from getting kidnapped. Kiyo was feeling raw with emotion. She knew, of course, that there were others, Wyatt, and Rei, who’d be feeling the same way as her, and equal to her too. “Pickles and chocolate when we return,” she said to herself, but with how close she was to Wulf, he’d heard her say this, and she’d been eating those foods a lot more.

Her thoughts went to her load-out, and her Silverlight, another smile at the memory of having maintained them well, and her weapons were especially ready to destroy Kuvexians.

"Fireteam assignments would have been given, were we planning on splitting up the crew for anything other than our initial entry," Wyatt retorted, bearded jaw clenched slightly as he gave ample opportunity for any others to raise their concerns or confusion.

"If that is all then get suited up, we should be arriving shortly."


Standing in front of the captain's chair, the pink-skinned Nekovalkryja captain had been listening for the rest of the crew's ready checks to come in. Though they would all be on standby several light years from the station, knowing the back up was prepared was important. Blowing the lid off the station with a ten man crew would be the easy part if they had to take the place by force alone.

"Asuka," Hoshi asked, "how do we look?"

The sensor operator double checked her readings and nodded, "Several ships are in the space lane towards the station at STL speeds currently. We'll have to high tail it to be able to buddy up next to them to mask our own signatures."

"Gravity," Hoshi asked, "think you can handle that?"

The pilot looked over her shoulder at her captain and simply gave her a little smirk that didn't reach her eyes. She wouldn't be truly happy until they had William, Saya, her youngling, and... yes, okay, Aiko, back on board.

"We're moving." She announced and turned back to her controls. The ship surged forward into the black. Once up to speed, she engaged the FTL and slipped into the traffic with the same ease as a morning commuter. She found a nice little freighter about double the size of the Kaiyō, and slipped up right beneath them, keeping only twenty meters between the top of the ship and the bottom of theirs.

Satisfied with her job, Gravity took a moment to reach over and gently pat the top of Chlorate's head. It was good luck to pat small robot children... or something.

Chlorate beeped when she was patted.

Hoshi couldn't help but let a small chuckle slip through her lips as she watched on.

"Good work," the captain switched over to PA bay comms, "Armor team, ETA three minutes until you're ready to deploy."

Despite being beneath the sleek, dark armored plates of his tarsa, Wyatt felt naked. A combination of vulnerability coming from his missing family and the lack of the familiar revolver-filled holster slung to his hip.

Pushing all that aside though Wyatt moved to check his PAAR-40 one last time, pulling back the rifle's charging handle just enough to see the rear of the currently chambered round before letting it slide forwards and into battery.

"Last chance to run diagnostics if you need to," his voice rumbled over the team's comms, the armored half-elf moving into position.

Kiyo was just putting on her helmet when she’d heard Wyatt’s voice in her comms. “Kiyo-Hei ready to roll, everything checks out” She reported as her hand went to her Silverlight’s hilt. She could see her Aether Katana was fully charged, and she knew everything in her load-out was as well.

Rei took a place behind Fujiwara-heisho near the armor bay's door, showing she was ready to stealthily depart on his mark by her positioning.

Wulf was ready in his suit. His load never changed, his weaponry always the same unless ordered. Tactical Rifle and his forearm shield readied. At his waist was two xiphos and to back them up was an assortment of SOSM Missiles for misdirection. Wulf enjoyed the simplicity of it and felt right as rain.

Though he did have a feeling at the back of his mind. Kiyo though had been having strange cravings and desires. A weird assortment that he might have had to in the middle of the night rush and gather. Though he found it out of place and unsure what it might mean he had to put it in the back of his mind.

Like the old Wolf mother would say come on soldiers there is killing to be done. Testing his comms to the unit "Wulf-Hei ready for combat drop".

The Kaiyō's diminutive scientist approached the bay doors with the others and fought the same nervousness that always haunted her. Combat would never suit her, she knew. The statistics of gun fight survival came to her too easily, as did the images that her vivid imagination could cook up.

But, as always, she donned the suit and checked her weapons with the rest of them. She knew what she'd been signing up for when she had joined the Star Army. She looked up, mentally issuing the commands that would cause her symbionts to chemically steel her nerves. Something like detached calm began to seep through her mind. Shutting down so many of her fight or flight responses was a dangerous gamble, but it let her stomach what had to be done.

One thing that was different was the purpose of this mission. While there was lots of talk about saving all the prisoners, Indira only really cared about one or two. The ship's medic, Saya, had given her plenty of hell during their time together, but she'd saved the Iroma from more than one rough spot. Somewhere inside Indira's monotone demeanor was a fondness for the other woman.

The scientist gripped her weapon a little tighter. "Indira Vaikar. Ready."

Kikios stood in her armor behind the bay doors and thought about what the team was about to do. Though she wasn't directly responsible for her crewmates getting captured, the Kuvexians had made it personal. The cockatoo was familiar with the concept of those who were close to her going missing, and she wasn't prepared to let it happen again. She wasn't certain what she would encounter once she entered the station, but she stepped forward with her Mindy and said "Kikios Leka, ready."
Death Pit
Prisoner Cells

The cells William, Tsubame, and Aiko had been living in for a month, now, were empty. The Kuvexian that had been training them, Aurinda, had come to their cells, calling on them to fight for a crowd once more. Before leaving the cells, she had explained some things to the three of them.

"The youngling will be introduced to the crowd, likely as an underdog to account for her smaller size. Somewhere along in the fight, you two," Aurinda said, nodding towards William and Aiko, "will be brought out as reinforcements to account for her lack of proficiency. I believe the fight is stacked against you on your own, child. Nobody, save for those betting against you, wants you to die today so your allies will, hopefully, keep you from dying to fight another day. The warden is not about to bet against Yamataians after all he has seen. Understand?"

"So I am there, to drive up the bets?" Tsubame asked as she craned her head back to look at the person that spoke

Aurinda looked pensively at William and Aiko before looking back to the child, "You are."

"More of your theatrics," Aiko affirmed gravely. All she understood was that she, William, and Tsubame continued to lack any choice in the matter. "One day you will run out of your soldiers and gladiators to throw at us."

William quietly followed behind everyone, getting used to the routine as sad as that was. When Aurinda reported that Tsubame would be fighting today, a flare of anger could be seen in his, but it was quickly snuffed out. All he could do was to work on the things he could change, like beating the snot out of whoever his opponent was.

"Will we have weapons or not?" He asked simply. It may have been evident to Aiko, but William was almost resigned to the life the were stuck in. The last flames of his defiance slowly turning from a roaring flame to mere embers.

"You will," Aurinda said, leading them through the hallways. Tsubame had been put into a cylindrical force field that moved with her and the guards behind her. "She will not," Aurinda pointed to the youngling. Soon, Tsubame was separated from the other two. "This is the holding cell for before your fight, little Yamataian. Fight well."

Once Tsubame had been taken away, Aiko regarded William with resigned, tired eyes. She was, of course, eminently prepared to fight whatever came at them. Still, life here in the Kuvexian coliseum wore her enthusiasm for battle thin. The monotony and constant dread of this place made even the Star Army's military hardships seem small in comparison.

"It was only a matter of time," the Ketsurui princess said in reference to Tsubame's new place in the arena. "At least that Aurinda is," she paused, searching for the right word that remained wrong as she said it, "kind enough to have permitted the girl some training."

William nodded, slowly looking over to Aiko. "Yes, let's not forget she came out the womb fighting..." he half heartedly chuckled. He regarded the princess with tried, drained eyes.

Tsubame followed diligently, silently behind her guide, but as the cell was opened to her and she was spoken to, she held her tongue save for one bit that slipped out. "I am nekovalkyrja, not Yamataian..."

Aurinda looked at Tsubame a long while before leaving her alone. Alone she was inside of the stone room with its two stone beds and small wall lights. There was a large door to the opposite end of the door she had come in at.

Tsubame simply observed for the moment as she took in the details of the room. She did her best to seem interested in just how the room was laid out before she walked over to examine the far door. The far door was hard metal, worked in a twisting pattern, that extended some thirty feet up.

YSS Kaiyō II
Space Around the Station

When the ship was near enough to the station to give the armor team only a short distance to fly in but far enough away that Kaiyō wouldn't gain suspicion, Hoshi comm'd back down to the power armor bay.

"You're clear to launch, armor team," she said.

"Remember, stick close to other heat signatures and no more than three at a time, it's a small window we have. I want Indira and Rei on me." Wyatt nodded bending his knees slightly and opening a private line to the Kaiyō's resident MEGAMI.

"Boss, could you please count us in once we get closer to the station?" he requested, waiting a second longer for his own flight path to line up with the undersides of a few ships before launching.

"Hai," Boss replied agreeably in Wyatt's helmet. There was a pause then, "Three, two... one!"

Hoping the others would stay hot on his tail the ship's resident Operative leapt forth into the void, the contrast of bright thrusters belonging to the larger ships against the colorless nothing of space helping their armored silhouettes blend in as the first trio breached through their small gap in the station's shielding.

As ordered, Rei was near the SAINT crewman turned leader, finding herself slowing near the ship docking before she too breached through to the bay beyond.

Wulf had jumped after the rest. Hearing Wyatt's order he gestured to Kiyo to follow as a group. Following the mission plan he used small engine bursts from his mindy armor to keep the signature as low as possible. Even keeping his teleporter off he hoped there wouldn't be an immediate need for it. Doing a quick check as he drifted before the next burst he double checked if Kiyo was behind him.

Indira stepped up, the others shrinking in her view. She checked her suit's diagnostics, confirming another time that everything was working as excepted. Her nerves were steeled now, yes, but the logical side of her still had more than one problem with what she was doing.

She quieted her thoughts and leapt, forming up alongside Wyatt.

“We’re coming everyone, Big Brother, Saya, Lady Aiko, we are coming, to set you free” She muttered her voice coming in through the comms as she jumped out of the ship, moving into place beside Wulf. Her eyes on the target, and her mind going into battle mode. As she made her, approach her mind began changing, her anger at the mistreatment of her comrades fueling her form to ready her attack. There was one thing for sure, the Kuvexians better run because she had no plans to stop until all Kuvexian and Rixlor die.

Soon enough the entire crew had made it into the docking bay, awaiting Wyatt's orders.

While waiting on Wyatt, Wulf was already trying to get a visual of the rest of the docking bay. From his position with the squad he was hoping to the best of his ability to look for any military craft or threats. Also trying to keep a note of any bulk freighters or any markings that might be good for intelligence later. Though the mission was the priority Wulf couldn't help but think any chance to see the enemy vulnerable and exposed was a good day in his book.

"Keep comms clear please, Kiyo, it's not like they can hear you yet," Wyatt huffed before taking a knee to better observe the team's immediate surroundings, happy at least that they'd seemingly managed to slip in quietly. Of course that was going to change once the roof got ripped off this place, but it was nice for the time being.

"Team, fan out and close in on the suspected control room, we need to take control of this station's security protocols before we proceed further," Wyatt spoke, his sleek, armored head offering a little nod before he rose back up, beginning to make his way deeper into the station with the others.

"Hai," came Rei's response alongside Wyatt's own nod. The control room's location had been marked in her Nekovalkyrja mind's eye. The way there seemed straightforward enough, but that was partly due to the fact that they were amongst revelers and partiers ready for entertainment, not the team's usual hostile environment. Passing through some of the halls to their destination was made difficult by the heavy crowds in some places. Congestion of Kuvexians and alien species in one areas meant she had to take an alternate route while the heavy foot traffic in another meant she had to play a metaphorical game of Frogger, moving only when there was a break in the traffic.

"This is taking too long~" Wyatt mumbled, letting the suppressed barrel of his rifle dip a few inches before continuing, "Boss, are there any maintenance conduits nearby that lead in the direction we are heading? something that might help circumvent these crowds, thank you."

Indira stepped in near Wyatt and flicked a hand in his direction. Data flicked up into his HUD, displaying an updated layout of the structure. "Allow me," she muttered.

Boss replied quickly to the SAINT lead, "There is a vast network of conduits, but those in the recreational areas you are too small in dimension to properly allow for the Mindy to fit. There are cargo belts running from many locations within the recreation areas that could be utilized. I will mark their routes on your map and where to depart from them to reach the control room." When Wyatt had received the new information, Boss asked, "Would you like your team to be given such routes as well?" Not only had she marked the nearest cargo belt to Wyatt and where he would need to get off, she had done so for the rest of the team on the map he had gotten.

Wyatt wanted to explain that the reason he'd asked their resident AI was so she could quickly calculate through the, no doubt, miles and miles of crawlspaces the station had. Instead he told Boss, "Yes, that sounds like a good idea," before thanking the team's Iroma with a simple thumbs up.

"We're going to look into taking a different route, team."

Wulf as following up as rear guard of the team due to Wyatt taking point. Hearing the order he had a worry though due to the paranoia of their enemy. Using the laser transmission he sent to Wyatt alone "Sir you don't believe any scanner might be there for security reasons especially with them being cargo belts?"

"I believe we can investigate and determine whether or not it's a viable alternative," was the response the Ranger would receive.

"I should be able to neutralize most security measures we encounter, given enough time," Indira said, thoughtful as she checked the data that Boss sent over. "Choose the best route and I'll try to open it for you."

Kiyo could feel her annoyance grow at the thought of sneaking around, but the azure warrior knew this was probably wise. Wulf had a good thought and concern, though, and Indira seemed confident in her ability.

“If we happen to trip something, fine, I don’t mind if we can cause a distraction. We can divert their numbers to different areas.“ Kiyo commented, her hormones, making her a little crazy to be sure.

Wulf gave a quick nod and continued to scan the area. Kiyo's comment though worried him a bit more. Though they had been dating a time this unusual relentlessness threw him off. Also it seemed like her judgement was impaired too.

Trying to keep her focus Wulf sent a private laser transmission, "Kiyo-Hei that would be too much risk, we have to do this slow and right otherwise we blow our chance". He hoped referring to her rank would be a oddity that might let it sink and show his concern. Wulf couldn't help but have a bad feeling with how the team was acting.

Wyatt had sent the route through to Indira and all that was stopping her from scanning for security measures was her own positioning as she was about ten meters from the nearest baggage check, though she could see it was not being accessed by anyone currently.

Indira carefully moved through the crowd until she was near enough to the baggage check to get a hand to casually brush against it. Her lips thinned as she concentrated on the connection.

She'd encountered Kuvexian systems a few times now, first in a relatively unsecure form and later with some actual encryption. The captured power armor had taught her a lot about how they protected their networks. It didn't take too long to figure out what she needed.

On the secure line she said, "Okay. I've found all the sensors that are connecting to this network. I don't think I can disable them entirely without tripping an alarm, but I was able to create short gaps that shouldn't tip them off. I'm sending over the locations and timing now."

She took her hand away and felt the Kuvexian network disappear from her mind. "I'll need to find another access point when we get closer. The security system seems to have some degree of segmentation betweeen areas."

Boss chimed in to reveal that there was such an access point at the terminal a nearby Kuvexian steward was standing at. Nobody was getting their bags checked currently, but it looked like she was waiting for those that wanted to, hands neatly folded on the desk in front of her screen.

Kiyo heard Wulf’s message, which did well to distract her. She was shocked and surprised to hear him refer to her rank, and not by the affection name he usually called her. She glanced to her boyfriend, and soon to be Father, but she said no more. He was right, of course, there were risks, perhaps even too great of risks. She sent Wulf a private message. “Kiyo-Hei, really, darling? Alright, I concede there is risk.” She’d sent before she remembered he didn’t know yet. “Oh, and sweetie, after we get everything back, there’s something I need to tell you.” She said eyeing the Kuvexian steward.

Indira considered the steward and the terminal near them. She glanced towards Wyatt for a moment, then back to the terminal. She didn't need to bother him for something like this. Mentally, she pulled together an assortment of the local female Kuvexian faces, used them to randomize an appearance for herself, and used her volumetrics to disguise the Mindy she was wearing as just another civilian looking to move around. Satisfied, she stepped out into the throng and moved towards the steward.

"Excuse me," she said, trying her best to sound innocent and demure - not dispassionate and logical, "is this the right place to get checked if I wanted to go in? Everyone else is using the other entrance."

She rested her hands atop the terminal, peering at the woman. Keeping her eyes open and not going into a near comatose state was a serious challenge when using her interface. Hiding that something was going on behind her nearly lifeless stare wasn't something she had a lot of practice with. The volumetrics helped.

The Kuvexian steward blinked back at Indira's disguise, obviously a little bit startled before she spoke in a quick reply in the harsh Kuvexian language, which Indira's Mindy translated, "Oh, no. This is the baggage check. If you have parcels you do not want to carry or over our size standard, we will shuttle them to a repository nearby your seats or a porter will bring them to your seats directly. Both have a fee of 5 and 18 ingots, respectively. This is not the entrance, that you will find at marked locations. The nearest is right over there," she finished, gesturing.

Indira nodded appreciatively, but needed to linger a bit longer to finish tapping into the security system. "Thank you! I really appreciate the help. Have you been here a long time? You seem to really have this figured out."

She smiled sweetly, but internally she felt like she was going to die from forcing herself to act so out of character. At least the others weren't watching. She hoped.

As the last bits of data came back, confirming that her subterfuge within the security system was successful, she gave the steward a pleasant wave and turned to return to the others. The moment she did, her cheery expression fell back to its usual neutral.

"We're good to move," she muttered, dosing herself with a little extra caffeine to keep her spirits up. "They shouldn't be able to detect my alterations, but we'll still want to avoid being noticed."

Kikios, who thankfully lacked access to any such caffeine at the moment, spared no time, swiftly sneaking to the opening as if she were already caffeinated. She quietly reached the small entrance to the cargo belt system, practically having to flatten herself to fit her Mindy-armored wings inside.

Wulf wanted to add a bit more to him and Kiyo's conversation but he was content it seemed the intent hit home. Though he wanted to wonder what type of thing she wanted to talk about when they got back, the ranger decided to tuck that thought away to the back of his mind. Hearing from Indira it was safe to move he nodded a confirmation back. Keeping up the rear guard he was ready to sneak with the group.

Once they were within the baggage check, the belts fed into a much larger, open area that wound through the internals of several levels of the station. Different belts from different parts of the station weaved beside one another. Some belts had larger bags and crates than others, but most of them seemed to be pretty standard in rectangular shape and form with a few duffel-like bags throughout. It wasn’t necessarily a busy place, but it did get things from one side of the station to the other. The infiltration team was brought them in a similar fashion from one side to the other, closer to their targeted location than before. There exit was a small chute in the outer wall of the open baggage belt area that spit them out into an empty hallway.

Boss spoke to the team as they exited the baggage chute, “If you follow this hallway due north, the control room should be at the end of the next corridor on your left forty meters.”

Kiyo felt bothered having to sneak, she truly wanted to outright attack, like some Berserker but she remained silent and followed along. Who knows, maybe she’ll get her chance soon. She followed Kiki while tucking her tail in, so it didn’t get caught on anything. Her hands-on her Aether Katana, Silverlight, and her ABSR more to ready herself than to keep it close.

Rei took point to travel down the hallway and take the right that Boss had relayed to them. The control room door was at the end of the hallway. There was another unmarked door on the wall adjacent to it. There were several signs that made it obvious the room was likely locked. While standing against the wall to the control room door, Rei looked to Indira, expecting more of the same technical savvy from her.

The entire experience of getting shuttled about as luggage was something that Indira actually enjoyed - there was an orderliness to the way things moved around that she could appreciate. Much easier than people. It didn't stop her from being unceremoniously jumped out the chute in what was starting to become a trend.

She collected herself and nodded to Rei, peering down the hallway to make sure that she wasn't going to expose herself before approaching the door and resting one hand against the security panel.

"This one is going to be a touch harder than the ones before. Not a lot of eyes on the baggage scanners," she said, poking around at what she found on the network without doing anything that would give her away.

She closed her eyes and immersed herself in the files and data. There were plenty of the usual 'gotchas' to avoid in the door's security system. She was searching for something like an approval log or access buffer, something that she could use to spoof a valid entry code.

Following up the rear as they approached the control room. As Indira worked the door Wulf was moving a item from his butt back. Showing he had a flash bang ready quickly communicating with the squad "I should take point with the shield but I have a flashbang ready for the entry." Adding since he saw again the squad ready to unleash hell on the unknown. "Also I suggest none lethal take down's since these are most likely civilian control operators in the room."

Which was something Wyatt offered a stern nod to and a brief grunt of "Agreed."

A sound from near where they had come from was picked up on Mindy audio sensors. Someone was walking down the nearby hallway and if in a few moments, if they looked to their right, they would likely see the team at the end of this one.

Rei was the first to move. She slipped towards the door adjacent to the control room's, motioning with two erect fingers at Kiyo. She slowly gripped the handle of the door, opened it, peered in, then opened it wide for those in the hall to enter.

The samurai said quickly over laser comms, "All in." The place they were entering was cramped with brooms and buckets and, soon, them, but it was empty of enemies.

Kiki tried to push the items out of the way. "Seriously... more cramped corridors?" she muttered, getting annoyed at all the things that were hitting her wings.

As Wulf followed in he couldn't help but again mentally curse. As Kiki was pushing Items out of the way the ranger was attempting to prevent them from hitting the ground and adding more noise. He was sure if they survived to suggest to the captain a refresher course on stealth and noise discipline.

Kiyo silently followed behind but gritted her teeth at poor Kiki’s issues with her wings. She remained focused, taking note of the finger gestures, and she moved quickly forward while keeping her eyes on the Kuvexian in the hallway. Come closer if you want to die, Baka Her thoughts remained closed to only her mind nothing was transmitted.
Death Pit

The waiting for Tsubame eventually ended when the cheers and stomping began to rumble around her and eventually, the huge door shook and opened, showing the bright dirt landscape of the arena. Chains came from far above her and small platforms hovered mid air some five feet apart.

The announcer was not kind, deprecating her smaller size and really making her out to be the underdog that she wasn't. Before long, her adversary became apparent. A winged chimera with two heads and a snake-like body whose two clawed feet grappled with the chains as it climbed down from above. It quickly took flight, though, descending on the small Nekovalkyrja's position.

Tsubame was quick and nimble, she shot to the side as fast as her ability would allow her and did whatever she could to maintain distance. Even to her youngling mind she knew she had no chance in a straight fight, maybe once she was bigger... Maybe with a weapon... But unarmed and weaker in comparison...

She shot to her left as soon as the doors opened and the monster descended and forced her way up to the platforms to hide under one, at least until the creature came closer when she would dart to another as she tried to work her way up to the chains.

The creature lashed out at Tsubame, quick to react with one head while the other watched for the next place she would be moving to. Though it hadn't hit the quick Neko, it flapped its large wings and blocked her path above as it hovered over her.

Tsubame's eyes darted left and right as she tried to figure out a course of action, but eventually her best line of reasoning she figured, lay above her. She spun in place and anchored herself in her spot as best she could and curled her legs into her chest with her feet placed on the bottom of the platform. With every ounce of tiny Neko strength she had, she slammed her feet down relative to her, and kicked the pad at the face of the beast as she herself shot away to try and gain some distance and hopefully circle around behind the creature if she could.

The creature hadn't been expecting the platform to be used against it and when it was, one of its heads took the blunt of the blow. Its other, though, pushed forward, snapping at Tsubame with a toothy jaw. She was too distant, though, and its one head pulled its other forward to take after her, growing closer than before and trying to find her inside its mouth.

The tiny Neko was nimble, that much was for sure. She knew her strengths, she knew her abilities and where her skillset lay and as such, she played to it. She kept at it as she tried to circle, river blue eyes that screamed her mother so much search and scanned every inch of the arena for something she could use, anything she could grasp or hide behind or kick at the beast again.

She spared a glance over her shoulder to see how the other head had recovered, how stunned it still was, and to gather the positioning as she began a slow circling climb of the wall. She needed to get to those chains if she had a chance of surviving any longer she figured... She wouldn't die here, just as a spit in the face of her captors. For the first time she showed a hint of emotion as concentration and focus overtook her face and she forced her mind to work as hard as she could to figure out how to get above the creature.
Arena Holding Cell

Death Pit
Costume Chamber

Aurinda looked to Aiko to say, "The warden didn't like how you're able to fly to the top of the pit past and read about the monsters, so they set up a secondary force field system near the top of the arena. I don't think it's always in use but if you notice you can't go up to read the creature's plaques, that's why."

Aiko huffed a resigned chuckle through her nose and rolled her gaze away from the Kuvexian Colluctance master before she was even out of the room. It didn't bother her much that the information was blocked, but the effort to block her maneuvering capability nonetheless managed to incense her blunted Imperial sensibilities. These Kuvexians wanted to see a Nekovalkyrja fight and yet did everything they could to diminish that spectacle.

She left William and Aiko to their own devices to get dressed in the same fashion as last time inside of the changing room. There were the same ornamentations to choose from within the grey stone rectangle. One wall was dedicated to a door that would open when it was their turn to enter the ring while most of the other walls had costumes or weapons to choose from.

William quietly moved over to his barbarian looking armor and slowly began to dress himself. His mind was blank as he focused on each task one by one. After he finished, he looked back over to Aiko. "Who do you think they are putting us against today?" He asked softly.

"I would imagine some multitude of combatants again," Aiko replied, delicately placing her gladiatrix crown atop her head and then fastening it into her hair so that it stayed in place during the coming fight. By now, she'd grown proficient enough at putting the costume on that the process was quick and routine. "Perhaps several large beasts, though. Aurinda did say few dared bet against us so I imagine we will simply play executioner for some poor souls thrown upon us."

Aiko's spindly faux-pearl crown had been the last part she'd put on, and she stepped over to William once it was fixed to her head.

"Here," she said, picking up the big animal pelt her Nepleslian friend wore and hefting it up onto his strong, broad shoulders. "I am sure they won't let Tsubame fall before we are introduced, but after that there's no telling what they'll throw at us. We are still prepared for anything," Aiko said, trying her best to sound reassuring as she stepped around William to secure his fur cloak's leather straps in front.

William stooped down so that Aiko could secure the cloak around his shoulders. He nodded, giving Aiko a slight smile. "Yes you're right. And once we are in there we will be able to protect her." He replied.

He stood as the pelt was affixed to his shoulders and looked Aiko over once more, noticing her crown was slightly off center. "Your crown is crooked, hold on." He said, his massive hand touching the side of Aiko's face as he gingerly straightened the jewelry adorning her head.

"Thanks, Wil-kun," she smiled, looking up to him for a moment before backing away and turning to retrieve the big studded club she'd chosen to wield in the arena. The Ketsurui princess didn't particularly need her costume perfect, but she adored that William thought it should be and stepped away just as much to hide her reddening cheeks as she did to pick up her weapon.

Suddenly, a jarring noise came from all around them, that of being underwater while noises on the surface called to them. William’s mindware and Aiko’s telepathic center of her brain began to strain hard. Then, the two of them were bathed in sparkling golden incandescence. For William, it would feel much like he felt in the Temple of the Stars years before. The room they were in had been dim but now, it was bright and lit with a blinding light.

“Kitsurugi,” came a voice in the light, piercingly focused within the watery, hazy sounds from before. “Your allies can not save you and your work is yet undone.” As if guided by the voice to the form that delivered it, their vision met the pale eyes of the white haired speaker. Aiko’s instilled knowledge of the Grand Star Army and what William had learned at Temple of the Stars helped them see the Avatar before them for what she was.

"AvaNet? Here?" Aiko exclaimed, astonished. No, it was more likely that something had been imprinted on William all that time ago at the temple on Yamatai and that she now shared it via his mindware connection. The avatar's timing seemed inopportune to her but Aiko dared not question the apparition's intent.

William's eyes went wide, his blue cybernetic eyes glowing gold as his vision was filled with the blinding light. "It's you..." he replied as the avatar appeared. "I saw you at the temple... it was so long ago."

The avatar looked kindly to William, “You saw a whisper from me carried on the wind, somewhat like how come to you now.”

She turned to look at the both, growing serious, “Your army do not know of the force field above. You must lose your fight. Survive within the belly of the beast. Then all of the force fields will go down. You have seen this to be true,” she said and the memories of seeing the prize champion fail only to have the force fields downed and rotten foods thrown came into the pair’s minds. “It is the only way for the Fifth Army of the Precious Sword to proceed.”

"Our army?" Aiko questioned, oblivious to the Kaiyō II and Rikugun rescuers inbound to free them. Even so, the Avatar's presence tore at Aiko's mind and made the situation almost impossible to comprehend atop her already arena-weary psyche. For a fleeting moment, she assumed this was all a Kuvexian trick to break them down before the fight. But that notion passed. It would be an impossible feat for the Kuvexians to replicate an Avatar with such precision.

"You must—" Aiko said, pausing as she struggled to accept the AvaNet information forcing its way into her mind. "You must make your information clear to us."

William had focused on a different part of the message. "We need to get swallowed?!" He asked incredulously. His mind reeled at the idea. He needed to voluntarily get himself eaten. "Well... it might smell better than our cells." The ID-SOL deadpanned in reply.

Again The Avatar looked looked happily to William then when she looked to Aiko, her face grew serious.

"My instructions were clear," she said, though her own form was no longer speaking. "Visit the Pagoda no Uesureya when you are free to continue the work. Your freedom will save countless others from imprisonment." She herself seemed to be swallowed up into the glow of the room which, in turn, faded into the brightness from the arena as the door to it opened.

William nodded as the avatar began to fade. "I'll do what needs to be done." He replied simply as the doors began opening. He looked back to Aiko, and smiled. He reached out taking her hand for the briefest of moments, giving it a squeeze. As quickly as it happened, he released it and gripped the hilt of his claymore. "Let's do this."

The Avatar's forceful presence seemed to linger on for eternal moments as it was engulfed in the light that broke in from the arena beyond it. But once William grasped Aiko's hand, the AvaNet encounter ended as instantaneously as it had began. Aiko, too, shouldered her weapon and made it ready to strike as she hurried behind William to face today's foes and the waiting crowd.
Station Interior
Broom Closet

The footsteps towards them did not receed. Instead, they came closer and closer. More than a few weapons systems in the broom closet were likely coming online as the Kaiyō infiltration team believed themselves to be found out. Sure enough, the door opened- except it wasn’t to the broom closet. The sound of a beeping and the unlatching of the control room door was promptly followed by a toughened voice greeting two more Kuvexians within.

With the go ahead from Wyatt, the group knew it was their opportunity to get into the control room while the door was open and the Kuvexian in the doorway and inside were unsuspecting.

With the go word given Wulf was ready for the assault. Hitting the control for broom door he was ready to sprint to the control. Opening up the broom closest he saw the Kuvvie still walking through the control room door. Bursting through the short space, he readied the Ellipsoid for a shield charge to smash the Kuvvie through the door. Though he tried to control it as much as possible so not to kill him and more push them out of the way.

Indira took hold of her pistol, following behind the others. 'Going in guns blazing' was not something she'd ever get used to.

"Make sure you don't hit the controls," she said over the comms in her icy tone as she moved. "It might set off alarms that I won't be able to prevent."

Behind Wulf, she sprinted through the opening that he'd made to tackle one of the other Kuvexians.

Kiyo walked into the control room after her comrades before moving to the control stations. Her eyes scanned everything, to see what she could do.

Squeezing out of the broom closet with the rest of the team Wyatt decided to cover the team's flank with his PAAR40 and act as the rearguard as they moved in, the blue bullpup rifle sweeping for any potential threats seeking to stab them in the back.

The two Kuvexians that had been tackled and shield bashed were laying splayed on the ground. Wulf's shield had left the Kuvexian in the doorframe splayed in the middle of the cramped control room, unconscious. The man Indira had tackled was thrashing beneath her, confused and scared as he pushed to get up off the ground, unable to. There was one more Kuvexian, huddling in a corner and looking nervously between his coworkers and those that had entered alongside one of them. He wasn't reaching for anything as far as weaponry or buttons, just cowering with his hands at his chest and the many assortment of colored lights bouncing off of his inky black eyes.

Rei was next to Kiyo, forearm weapon trained on the huddled Kuvexian while she looked down quickly at the control room's many feeds.

"Controls remain operational," the samurai stated, noting how the Kuvexians had not had time to lock them out or perhaps even self destruct.

Kiyo turned slightly to allow her eyes to look at Indira, she knew that Indira would be able to handle the machinery, unlike the blue-skinned Neko. She glanced to the cowering Kuvexian, and almost pitied him, before her thoughts that he probably watched as her brother William, and Aiko fought, without helping them. She thought rather negatively that he didn’t deserve her pity. Rei can handle him if she wanted to, her eyes went to the screen.

After giving the man a calculated thwack to the head, Indira got up from the Kuvexian she'd jumped onto. The Iroma was glad that the tackle had worked out. She had the Mindy to thank for that, more than any real prowess on her side.

Kikios was late to enter the room, jumping towards the huddled Kuvexian and aiming her saber-rifle at him. And then... she just looked at him, awkwardly threatening him. He wasn't doing anything now, she couldn't just shoot him. She was going to stun him, but it didn't make any sense to do that if he wasn't doing anything... After a long silence, she asked "Uh... should I... stun him...?"

Wyatt offered the Elysian a little nod of confirmation and a brief "Do it," before returning to his role of acting as the team's rearguard.

Kiki grimaced at the Kuvexian, not that he could see it, and scratched the back of her helmet. She couldn't really sugar coat this, so she just briefly apologized to him with a "Sorry about this..." before quickly shooting him with her saber-rifle's secondary weapon on stun setting, not even giving him a chance to respond.
Death Pit

It was then that the chamber in which Aiko and William were being held opened up its doors and unleashed them upon the arena. The Ketsurui princess followed just on the heels of her Nepleslian comrade and hopped up off her feet once she'd spent a few split seconds assessing the scene.

Once they had entered, the already enthralled and cheering crowd grew louder and more fervent than before due to the unexpected addition of the newest crowd favorite warriors.

Airborne now, Aiko flashed across the arena floor and up beside one of the serpentine beast's two heads while spinning around so that her big club could push as much force as possible into its target.

William started walking slowly towards the enemy monster. His large claymore rested against his shoulder as he walked.

The creature's head that Aiko had targeted was also the one that been hit by the platform Tsubame had shoved up towards it earlier. The creature was aimless in that head after being pummeled by the club as Aiko spun it forcefully. The whole chimera repositioned itself, flapping lower to the ground. As it flew, the head that Aiko had pummeled dragged along in the air, only righting itself mildly.

After assessing the situation William picked up momentum and began running at the creature at full speed. His sword held aloft and ready to strike as he roared out a defiant call.

Tsubame went wide eyes as she watched the other two join her, her tiny heart beating like a pair of hummingbird wings as she backed away towards the force field walls just as Aiko slammed her club into the beast. She had survived long enough for reinforcements and she had done her part, now she had to get back under control and figure out how to help. Now, with the help, she thought it best to try the floating pads again and quickly got under one to send it rocketing yet again at the creature, trying to knock it around a little and confuse it.

With the Avatar's suggestion still fresh in her mind, Aiko saw her opportunity and took it without hesitation. As Tsubame's makeshift attack twisted in toward the chimera, Aiko rolled off of her previous strike. It seemed that the princess was attempting to go in and beat the beast's second head, but she'd put herself in the careening pad's trajectory and it clipped her arm before the chimera was struck again.

A careless mistake. Aiko's weapon fell down to the arena's dirty floor with the Nekovalkyrja warrior alongside it.

"Keep your strength, Tsubame-chan," Aiko told the youngling telepathically as her body bounced hard against the deck amid a little plume of dust kicked up around her. It didn't hurt as much as she made it look, of course, and had been a carefully controlled performance. "Go to William, now, and trust his actions."

The pearly crown that William had so diligently righted atop Aiko's head was bent and crooked now. And Aiko beneath it pushed herself up onto an elbow at first, and then rose to her feet to take an aggressive stance in the face of the chimera. She bellowed out a fanged roar from her bloodied lips and waited for the monster to come at her.

Aiko's openness to attack excited even the drooping head of the chimera as both its necks moved ecstatically. The still healthy head bowed back, readying to strike forward while the second one's jaw excited chomped the air, licking at its blue-scaled lips as it did.

William ran in and slammed the flat of his sword at the creature's maw. In the same instance, he dropped the weapon and snatched Tsubame in one of his massive hands and yelled "Now Aiko!"

Tsubame's eyes went wide as she watched her platform hit Aiko, but she knew better than to hesitate. Instead she did as told and shot off toward William, trusting in the two to keep her safe and that they had some sort of plan in mind for the situation. She moved as quickly as she could back to the Nepleslian man in an effort to stick close to him, only to be snatched up.

At the moment the healthy head swooped in towards Aiko, barreling its large head forward, mouth and teeth and all, the other head came to, hungering for an excitement of its own. The great red eyes of it opened while the snapping persisted and it lunged with the rest of its snake-like body towards William and Tsubame within his arms. There wasn't much time between the leaping lunge towards the three and the execution of the two head's snatching at them. The crowd's incessant cheering and jeering alike grew to a crescendo before becoming distant murmurs to them, swallowed whole.

Aiko pounced up to counter the chimera's incoming bite, one fist outstretched ahead while the other trailed her poised body and ready to claw at the monster's face. But her aim was more precise than it seemed, and she dove straight at the oncoming head and buried herself in the back of its smooth gullet. She tucked her feet and knees in — just in time to avoid the beast's wicked teeth from piercing through her legs. With any luck, the AvaNet apparition had given sound instructions. And, with any more luck, the Kuvexian audience had bought into their so-called defeat.

When the crowd favorites and small newcomer fighter was swallowed by the beast, the cheers turned to angry jeers. They had expected this fight to go differently, perhaps more epicly than a quick demise. The screams were coupled with the staticy fall of the force fields around and above the station, allowing for the crowd to begin throwing the rotting produce and putrid food they had brought along for just such failures.

Station Interior
Arena Stadium Entrance

Once the control room’s inhabitants were neutralized, its contents looked a lot more difficult to navigate than the simple hallways and baggage belts they had seen before. It was similar in layout to others they had seen. It was pretty large and there were two additional doors to the one they had come in through. There were fifteen different screens, some of which had multi-view camera feeds of different parts of the stadium and station. For the first time, the crew saw the gladiatorial pit in which the Kaiyō PoW had been training and performing in. It was a dirt floored arena with what looked like

Indira approached the console and began to type. "Looks like I've got full access. Any requests?"

Rei looked up from the console to the science officer, "Have you located the top of the arena? It houses creatures."

The scientist gave Rei a nod and began to search. "I think I've found it - putting it on screen now."

"That's the section we are supposed to detach to allow the Rikugun into the station, think you can manage that, Indira-Hei?" Wyatt inquired, patting Kiyomori's shoulder and gesturing for her to momentarily take his previous position, the Minkan moving to stand beside the console Indira had gained access to.

Kio glanced at Wyatt in response to the patting, before she moved to allow him to be in her position. She knew if they can get Rikugun in, she and the others can go and get their crew members. They will have everyone back, and she knew that she might need Saya’s help before long too. “Once the roof comes up, we go in for attack?” she asked for confirmation.

"We go in for the rescue, Kiyomori, but yes, essentially," Wyatt confirmed.

Indira frowned a bit, thoughtful. "I.. believe so."

She searched about, trying to find something that matched what Wyatt had indicated. There was plenty of security cameras, door controls, and so on - but not much in the way of detaching sections of the station.

Indira went to tap her chin and was caught off guard by the Mindy's helmet.

"Oh!" she said as an idea came to her, voice full of more emotion than she usually showed. She toggled over to the atmosphere controls. "I think I can spoof a catastrophic hit to the life support system in that area which..."

Indira typed a few more times, navigating the menus and overriding access as necessary. "... will cause the section to break away from the rest of the station before it could do any harm. Will that do?"

"That sounds good to me, well done Indira, ready when you are," Wyatt spoke, hugging the blue rifle close to his chest as he gave the Iroma a green light to go ahead.

Kiyo nodded her head as she gripped her Aether weapons. She saw her other weapon attachments were ready to go as well. She calmed herself as she went to battlemode, she'll need to be calm for this, anger will make her jittery.

Indira nodded and tapped in the appropriate commands. Alerts began immediately, lighting up the screens with warnings about a rupture in the appropriate section. A timer soon overlaid onto the alerts, letting the occupants of the control room know how long they had to fix the problem before the section would be released.

"I've locked out any controls, save these, from being able to reverse this. We might be able to hide our presence a little longer, but.. I doubt it. They won't know that the commands came from this room, at least."

While Indira was noting the success of the release of the top of the arena, one of the visual feeds caught Wyatt's attention. It showed a feed of the crowds near the arena and the unmistakable face of Saya within a booth, holding a dark blue child and next to two Kuvexians. Soon the feed shifted to another look at the crowds, a gaggle of Rixxikor and Kuvexians. Another nearby screen was trained on the arena wherein the current fight was going between the captured members of the Kaiyō crew and a great winged chimera. (insert later Ame)

Rei spoke to Wyatt, "“We need to signal our forces to move in!"

It was obvious where Wyatt's helmet was looking, the man's armored chest rising and falling a little faster than before as he got just a brief confirmation his wife was alive... though the lack of their bright-haired daughter brought his mind to a dark place he did his best to suppress those thoughts and refocus on the mission at hand.

"That... that is okay Indira, it was bound to happen sooner or later, this was never going to end as a stealth mission," Wyatt murmured, taking a moment to gather his thoughts before continuing.

"Command, this is Santo-Juni Fujiwara, we've opened the way for the Rikugun element and will now proceed to extract the prisoners. How copy, over?"

YSS Kaiyō II
Nearby Space

“Gravity, take us in!” Hoshi was one of the first to hear that the infiltration mission had succeeded, “Chloey, get ready!” The captain said to the weapons officer, who was not on the bridge but in the tank three decks below.

Meanwhile, the many other third fleet ships that had stealthily been surrounding the station moved in with a rapidity and forcefulness that the station had yet to experience in its long history of entertainment. The station wasn’t one prepared for combat and the Yamataians knew this as they poured towards it. The top of the arena had been dislocated from the station and below that lay the fighting arena.

Station Interior

As the transmission ended the SAINT Operative's attention shifted back to the map of the area that Indira had acquired earlier, studying it a few moments before sending a marked route to the rest of the team's suits, "We should get moving to join them, team, fall in," Wyatt commanded before proceeding back out of the control room.

Kiyo nodded her head and proceeded after Wyatt, Silverlight, and the ABSR were removed from their holsters. The Silverlight’s Aether edged blade started to glow, but not yet. She was ready for battle and ready to slay some Kuvexians and their allies.

Looking to Wyatt, Indira gave a curt nod. It wouldn't do to dwell on all the potential damage they were about to cause or the harm it might do to various innocents. They mattered, certainly, but.. she would put her faith in her commanders. She moved into a ready position. "On you, Juni."

"Hai," Rei spoke, forming up with as few movements as possible. Her excitement was otherworldly to her. She had seen her ward and student on the screen moments ago -for the first time in a month- and the feeling of elation and anticipation was something she hadn't yet felt before.

Wulf had been watching the room while the rest of the team worked. "Ready Sir" the ranger said in confirmation. Rifle and shield ready to begin the rescue part of the mission.

With stealth back on, the team wound their way through hallways and took a more direct approach compared to the baggage belts. It wasn't long before they had passed through the entrance, which was also the exit to the stadium. It looked like the force fields letting people pass into it and not out of it were still active and the crew could hear the exacerbated claims of the technicians there that they had been locked out of controls. The crowds were panicky and shoving to get out, making getting through them on foot impossible.

"We're not getting through them, team, so I say we use interior flight to go over and avoid the crowds. Any objections?" the Tarsa-clad man asked almost rhetorically, knowing there'd be very little reason to object.

"Iie," Rei responded promptly as she herself took flight over the crowd. "No objection."

"None from me" Wulf was glad to fly over the crowd and was ready to activate flight mode. Hoping they could get in and secure quickly before the station's security element knew the team was outright there.

"Then, we fly over," was all Wyatt said before his own suit took off to join the others, navigating over the crowd, keeping his eyes peeled for a particularly pink head of hair.

Kiyo had already activated her own systems that allowed her to fly. She proceeded forward above the crowds, and once through she proceeded to the arena, where she hoped to rescue crew members, kill and butcher Kuvexians in that order.

Activating his flight system the ranger Wulf was already following the rest of the team. While he did so, he was already scanning the crowd to mark any threats or any notes of the security team spotting them. Hoping though they would be more in the arena directly so as to avoid any collateral damage.

The cockatoo flew over the crowd, much more comfortable with this approach. Now she was back in her own element, and not in those cluttered closets... or vents... or corridors... she looked for anyone that was about to engage them, or for anyone they needed to rescue. The parrot was curious to see how she could use her Kalamari manipulator arm system in this situation, she was already tempted to see how many Kuvexians she could throw at once.
Death Pit

Shortly after the chimera's "victory" over the fighters, the top of the arena which it had come from -chains and all- had been ejected from the arena. The station didn't have access to emergency or alert systems, so the Kuvexians, Rixxikor, and other species enjoying the entertainment therein had to use their best judgement when realizing that fleeing was as good of an option as any.

Because the force field over the top was downed due to the victory, the whole arena had lost air pressure and the oxygen had slowly filtered out through the huge 300 meter opening at the top. The chimera itself had collapsed shortly thereafter with only the odd movement of skin around its belly, like the push of dirt at the surface of a lawn shortly before a groundhog breaks the ground of a new tunnel.

Within the beast's stomach, Aiko tore at the layers of squishy flesh that enveloped her with claws that'd been honed through all those weeks spent fighting here in the Kuvexian arena. The chimera's innards were thick and calloused from ingesting all manner of gladiators and arena victims over its lifetime, and were a tough, constant struggle to break through. She couldn't see William or Tsubame amid the dark crimson only barely lit through the monster's skin and organs. But she could feel the Nepleslian's bulk slip around somewhere inside there with her, unsure if they were in the same digestive chamber or not.

With great effort and continued determination to escape this new biological prison, Aiko suddenly felt the cool arena air against a fingertip and pushed again, forcing her sharp nails between the scales that covered its reptilian hide. As the chimera's insides began to spurt out through the little rip in its belly, widening with each moment, the Ketsurui princess pushed against whatever slippery footing she could find in an attempt to spill out with the beast's guts.

The ground forces were beginning to filter in through the hole in the top of the station the Kaiyō infiltration team had made by ejecting the monster dropping top to it. Clad in Mindy, Daisy, and even in air-dropped tanks, the Yamataian personnel coming in to rescue the prisoners of war were over-dressed for this type of event, surely, but victory was guaranteed in their preparedness. Or so they thought. Unfortunately, their PoW were not in sight.

"Fujiwara-juni," comm'd in a Rikugun team commander. "Status on rescuees?"

Saya's short stature could probably get lost in the taller bustling crowd fairly easily. Not to mention the way she kept herself curled in on herself, but her pink hair definitely set her apart from the white hair and blue-hued skin of the Kuvexians around her. One of their crew members, the medic of the ship, Saya was among the crowds as they filtered from the arena. Eyes to the floor to watch the heels of her new owners, she was silent and sullen knowing what she was here for today as each footfall only drowned out the crowd noise more to let the thundering of her heart in her ears overtake her hearing.

Wyatt's pupils contracted into tiny pin-pricks as they noticed that all too familiar shade of pink, even with her delicate facial features hidden he knew who that was. The big guy swallowed thickly to choke down the sudden need to melt into a big puddle of emotional mess, he'd been keeping that shit at bay for years so a few more hours until the crew and his family were safe should be nothing~

"I see Saya~" he piped up before the Operative's flight-path dipped real low, skimming the top of the panicking crowd and very delicately reaching out his own armored arms to hook them under Saya's before gaining altitude again, moving to quickly deposit the clearly distraught medic in one of the empty upper booths.

Holding the little ragdoll cat to keep her still his suit's external speakers came to life, the familiar bassy tones of Wyatt's voice speaking to Saya as his sleke faceplate looked deep into her eyes, "We're here to rescue everyone, what can you tell me about the others?"

Rei was searching the arena, scanning for her ward and student that she had seen on the screen just a few minutes ago. Minutes that seemed far and distant now as she couldn't see them. What she did see were the beginnings of a security detachment coming their way. Though they were not in full power armor like the Kaiyō infiltration team and the Rikugun legions swooping in, the blocky personal armor and high grade weaponry they were beginning to shoot could be. They were coming in to the arena and stadium stands itself, probably twenty of them for the time being.

"Yabai! Incoming, security!" Rei said into the comms, linking up with legionnaires as well. "We may have to go into the cells to find them!!" She added, referring to the prisoners of war not in sight.

Wulf was keeping an eye out for any threats when Rei called out. Locking his shield in the ground to get as much cover as possible he readied his tactical rifle.

He called out to Kiyo, "Well time for the bloodbath you wanted." As Wulf scanned the security group he took aim at what he assumed to be a leader in the group before squeezing off a round.

Saya had been shocked to say the least as she had been lifted into the air and taken for a ride. For the first time in a while an emotion outside of the general depression she had been in since her capture. Her head snapped back and forth as she fought to see what was going on until the form of the Mindy appeared and she heard Wyatt. Eyes wide and tears quickly turning her river blues watery, she wrapped a crushing hug around her love and held onto him, sobbing loudly as she heard the voice and everything came crashing back.

"They are in the arena! Tsubame is in the arena! They made her fight!" Was all Saya could get out before she went weak against the man and fell to her knees.

The beast that had swallowed the combatants began to look more and more distraught. It writhed in pain and its stomach began to bulge in one place then another.

It howled in agony as a hand came shooting out of its side. A large meaty hand covered in gore and bile. It retreated back into the wound before a second hand grabbed the other side. The rip began to widen slowly then all at once the rip split the beast in half.

William crawled out of the monster's innards, a small Tsubame clutched gingerly in massive arms as he pulled himself out.

The team whose leader Wulf was able to down with his sniper rifle began to fan out, becoming ungrouped targets for those on the attack. With a vexed grunt, Rei tore into the stands of the stadium and the security personnel on them with her particle cannons, feeling the jarring movement of them near her helmet. Slowing, her peripherals caught sight of movement and with an audible gasp, she saw her student push out of the chimera she had been looking past all this time.

"Legionnaires!" Rei called. "The beast!" The samurai's own body turned for her to take better visual stock, now seeing the second hole from which guts and movement were spilling.

All of Aiko's frantic effort to find an escape from the chimera's belly finally paid off, just as she felt the release of pressure caused by William's own exit. She surfed out on a fountain of purplish viscera and blood that reflected an iridescent spectrum across the lumpy soup of organ matter that once made up the beast's vital parts and now covered the Nekovalkyrja warrior from head-to-toe. The arena's thin, depressurizing atmosphere outside offered little comfort from the breathless minutes Aiko had just spent inside the chimera, and she heaved deep, labored breaths after rolling up to a devilish fighting stance on the coliseum floor once again. She looked around at the battle between the Star Army and her Kuvexian captors with some astonished disbelief in her eyes, yet felt a rejuvenated sense of purpose to make those responsible for her enslavement pay for what they'd done.

The legionnaires had heard Rei’s call and those not assailing the added stadium security honed in on her position. Mindy-clad but not without handheld weapons, a Nekovalkyrja swooped down low, inertial thrusters closing in on the chimera’s position close enough to thrust the katana from their back’s hard point to the slick-haired and purple-gore covered Ketsurui below.

With a loud thud that even gave her metal feet a clanky run for their money, Chlorate's tankette landed in the arena. In an instant, she scanned around the arena and immediately identified a security Kuvexian, relentlessly firing her 35mm autocannon into it. The lethality of the little tankette was surprising, considering it was about the same height as a Neko. Chlorate had selected the poor security guard as her test run, processing hundreds of calculations at once as she determined the exact number of shots and exploitable weak points required to eliminate similar targets before a biological brain could comprehend how dead it was.

The tankette's target thudded into the wall behind it, then thudded again and again, as if suspended to the wall by the sheer force of 35 mm rounds piercing it. Within four seconds of being pummeled by the short but powerful tankette's cannon, the Kuvexian security guard slumped to the ground in a resoundingly dead motion. The bright purple smear it left on the wall behind it glittered with the life that once was, ended by the robot's precision and so-far unmatched capability.

Kiyo flew in after Wyatt had, and she took note of the arena. She couldn’t see William or Aiko but she saw the monster that died. She smiled a little as she looked at it before she spotted William and the others climbing out of it. Her eyes widened at the sight as she shot down to land hoping to help them out. Rei’s words of security were ignored, as a sense of rage-filled her as she saw Tsubame, and she heard how the youngling was forced to fight.

Her body shook as curses erupted from her comms.

Wyatt took a short moment to return his significant other's hug, careful to not hurt her with the additional strength his suit suit provided and while he too wanted to break down into joyful tears he knew they still had to get everyone off the blasted station first.

"We'll get everyone out, it's alright Saya," he spoke, still rubbing the woman's back as what she just said kicked in... the daughter he had yet to meet was forced into gladiatorial combat, it made his chest tighten and his bearded jaw clench.

"Command, this is Fujiwara-juni, I've managed to locate Saya and she says the others were in the area.. h~, hold one moment," Wyatt spoke though his suit's comms, the constant outburst of noise from Kiyo disrupting his already strained train of thought.

"Kiyomori, what's the cause for commotion, have you found signs of the others?" He asked, looking past the dead monster's bulky back to the blue cat.

A few seconds after Wyatt spoke to command, he received a comm, "Fujiwara-juni, does Fujiwara-heisho require medical aid?"

William held Tsubame close to his chest as he gasped for air. The depressurization was affecting William much more than it was affecting the Nekos. His lungs burned as his oxygen starved body screamed out for air. He attempted to move to Aiko's side and steadied himself against her.

The Ketsurui princess looked up to William as the chimera's oily, reflective goop spilled down over her eyes and bangs, and turned to steady him as he struggled. Though her efficient Neko blood could survive for much longer than his, she reserved none within her lungs to share after being eaten by their once dreadful foe. Right then, the katana sent by a 777th legionnaire thudded to the floor with the tip of its scabbard embedded into the hard dirt surface beside her.

"Star Army, to me!" Aiko demanded in a telepathic broadcast, unaware of what forces were there in the fight. With her order, she sent a visual flash of an AMES suit and oxygen equipment so that they all knew what was needed without question.

Though they were already centralizing on her location, the Ketsurui's request seemed timed alongside the twenty-some Mindy lowering towards her in aa quick fashion. A medical kit opened with a slam on the dirt ground of the arena next to William and with nimble power armor-clad hands, the Nekovalkryja next to him put the oxygen mask up to William's face. Another nearby was pulling an AMES out of their buttpack and unraveling it before they even landed, looking concerned at the hulking size of William comparatively to the suit's.

"Fujiwara-juni!" shouted another legionnaire into comms, putting their hands towards Tsubame, ready to catch the youngling Nekovalkryja in case William collapsed while holding her. "You better get down here!"

A Mindy approached Aiko directly and spoke over speakers to her, "Ketsu-" before being able to finish her family name, they had stopped speaking, focusing on grabbing an AMES out of their own buttpack. They half unraveling it with hands that shook even within their Mindy.

The rest of the Nekovalkyrja formed a semi-circle around Aiko, then another behind William and Tsubame, sheltering them in case the security personnel made it past the rest of the airborne war maidens above. Rei herself in her hulking Sarah was a part of the frontal force of protectors, silent to the outside while within her armor she was failing to choke back tears she hadn't experienced ever before.

Kiyo’s voice came through shaking with anger. “Those bastards forced a youngling to fight! William, Tsubame, and Lady Aiko are here, they appear to be alive! They need medical treatment and help back to the ship!” She said as she gives another glance to her now found crew.

“Lady Aiko, inside a corpse, isn’t a place for a princess,” Kiyo said to the Ketsurui, her emotional stress and her stress rose when she saw William had a hard time breathing. “William needs air!” She called as she moved to William her Mindy couldn’t give him the air he needed. They’d need to get him back as fast as he could.

As for the blue-skinned Neko, she was ready to kill the Kuvexians for the disrespect they’d committed against her people, and her family.

William took several deep breaths of air as the mask was pressed to his face. Then gave Tsubame several breaths from the canister before she received her own.

The legionnaire commander took stock of the situation, then asked the medic "Is he ready to be air-born?" The same commander looked towards Ketsurui Aiko to access how close to deploying she was.

The ID-SOL waved away the suit and looked to the soldier who spoke. "I'm fine now. Get the baby and the Princess out of this hell hole." He replied.

"No!" Aiko bellowed telepathically, responding at once to all of the statements and questions posed to her.

She tore an air canister away from one of the legionnaires who'd landed to assist and affixed its breather to her face, foregoing the hassle of putting on the AMES she'd requested, and then stepped away from William now that he and Tsubame had been given aid. The crown that had adorned Aiko's head for all of those battles in the arena was gone, and the crimson-and-fur cloak she wore had long since been torn off within the chimera. But the bronze gorget and scaled loincloth that protected her for so many fights still hung flatteringly from her toned Nekovalkyrja physique, allowing Aiko to nevertheless strike an inspiring figure as the rescue raid churned around her.

"I will find Aurinda and she will show me to that bastard who rules over this place!" the princess snarled using the new oxygen in her lungs as she drew the sword from where it stuck up out of the ground nearby and then marched off without a true destination.

While they spoke, far from them in a booth protected by a one way force field, the warden steadied an aether rifle against a banister. Taking a quick succession of shots, he began firing on the trio to fighters he was not ready to lose.

The robotank's strategy was clearly evolving, rapidly learning how to kill Kuvexians faster and faster. The smol tankette was a force to be reckoned with, for the longer it drove on the battlefield, the stronger it became. Every calculation ran at lightning speeds, every experience added to her knowledge of how to defeat the enemy in more efficient ways. Certainly, no ordinary tank crew would be able to fight like this, and her tank didn't even have a second crew member. Despite Chlorate's usually innocent nature, it was a good thing she wasn't on the other side.

Meanwhile, Kikios's Kalamari manipulator arms ripped away the weapons from guards who tried to attack her, then proceeded to grab the guards themselves and smash them together, smash them into the ground, or fling them far away. She had six arms on her back, so she had options.

Wyatt had began making his way over to the group assembling at the belly of the beast with Saya bridal-style in his arms, speeding up when he heard talk of a youngling and the others.

He finally crested the beast's corpse to see the group of captured crewmates being tended to, and in the middle was the sweetest little blend of his and Saya's traits, her mere existence making the hardened man tense up and freeze.

Right until he heard the report of a rifle and saw a gout of aether pierce the beast, some base instinct telling the Operative where to move before his suit had even predicted where the next shot would land. In one smooth motion he side-stepped to put himself between the shooter and his diminutive daughter, huddling Saya closer to his Tarsa's chest as the next shots broke through his hardlight shield and ruined his thruster wings.

Having been given time to run the ballistic calculations his shoulder-mounted gauss cannon swung itself around to face the distant shooter before emptying half its magazine into his location. Wyatt grunting against the dull pain between his shoulder blades, the thickest part of his armor having saved the man's life despite his attempt at being a meat shield.

Wyatt had appropriately shielded his daughter and those around her, but the Kuvexian's one way force field protected booth meant that the shells had impacted only the static-y orange field before falling, though some had pierced the concrete wall and roofing of the booth, chipping it or creating craters where they had done so.

Aiko watched as Wyatt intercepted the warden's volley with his own body and snapped her attention up to his perch. Another bolt of purple Kuvexian energy passed over her left shoulder where her nose had just been and clipped her long, blood-matted hair short on that side. She immediately recognized the warden's face, having kept it fresh in her memory since their meeting in the cells. At least this scum made himself easy to find.

"Kiyo-hei! Disarm that sniper!" Aiko ordered, knowing a Mindy's systems could shatter the forcefield, while she knelt down momentarily and then launched her body up toward the skybox.

William gritted his teeth and turned, shielding Tsubame from the sniper round. He linked his mindware to Rei. 'Hey momma. Sorry for scaring you. Also do you have a spare weapon?' Over their private link.

Rei peered over her shoulder within her Sarah armor and simply chuckled, then put her armor-clad fists up in a fighting stance, punching the air once.

"You already have them, Musuko," Rei replied.

He chuckled too then hurried to take cover. As much as he wanted to strangle the life out of the Warden and take out every single injustice they had felt against him, William knew he couldn't do much good in his current state. He resigned himself to guarding the baby who he held close to his chest. "Told you they'd come..." he murmured to Tsubame.

Kiyo growled when she saw the Warden taking shots, and she turned as Aiko spoke” with pleasure!” she replied as she shot up so fast as her Mindy would take her. She soon landed in front of him” Konichiwa, Baka.” She said before down came Silverlight, arching at a target, at his elbow. Aiko said to disarm, and in her anger and hormonal stage, she went literally. The energy and heat would have cauterized the wound, stopping the bleeding soon after. She knew he’d likely be in pain, so there was no point in talking.

With the forcefield shattered by a pass-through activation of Kiyo's CFS, the way was made for Aiko to barrel in and confront her now-former captor. He was still stunned by the blue valkyrie's attack when the princess arrived, and clutched his arm in agony when Aiko's flying shin kicked into his ribcage.

"You will kneel before the Yamatai Star Empire," she seethed before backhanding him across the place where his neck met his right shoulder, sending the Kuvexian arena master to the ground. And as he clambered back onto one foot, ready to rise up defiantly in the face of his prize gladiator, Aiko slid her katana through his other calf and pinned him to the booth's floor.

"Are you prepared?" Aiko questioned, the hatred on her face making it obvious that she cared little for his response. She was prepared to flay him alive just then and her claw-tipped fingers contorted wickedly in preparation to make little pieces out of him. Behind him in an instant, Aiko leaned her head down beside his left set of ears and repeated, "Are you?" as she gripped both hands around his neck.

Though Kiyo had removed the warden's arm, making his weapon fall far from his grasp behind the blue Nekovalkyrja, he had still been eyeing it bitterly between grimacing at Aiko's opening words. But when she had laid her hands on him, the dawning realization that he was up against a combatant he had no chance against along with her allies of equal skill, the man's charisma drained out of him, falling alongside him.

A wet gurgle came from his unprepared throat as he struggled to reply, "I will never yield."

The princess' grip tightened in her rage. His breath shrunk thin as her fingertips dug into his violet alien skin, and she could almost feel his soul begin to escape from his body forever. She held herself and him there for too long and then released him all at once, then shuffled away and turned her back to the defeated Kuvexian lord. Life in Yamataian captivity would be a luxury he didn't deserve, but death now would have been a reward after his lifetime of sin.

"Send for a kenpeitai detail," Aiko said, her voice shaking with her body between between heavy breaths. Her oxygen canister was working fine, but she still inhaled deeply as if her arena fight hadn't ended. "I would like to return to my quarters aboard the Kaiyō."