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RP: YSS Kaiyō Mission 26 pt. III: Haru Kaze

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Redan City
Mishhuvurthyar Chamber

Hoshi's heart sank, falling in her chest as rapidly as the shards of her sword did. Captain Taiyou Hoshi was not above loving an object. She loved her sword, symbolic of the ship she had captained for the past six years. After all this time it had been a constant in many Kaiyō crew's lives and to see it broken —to see hers broken— felt like something in her was being fragmented as well.

When William called his appeal to end the enemy, his words went beyond the fleshy chamber. It rang out like a decree in the captain's mind as she felt the snap of her teleportation module. She had burst her body forth, onto the beast directly, reciting intently in her mind the words, "Kill this thing!" Even through her mindy, she could already feel warmth where her hand and inner thighs pressed against the foul woman. Despite it, she gripped the shoulder with a heartless squeeze, maliciously wanting to break skin with her grasp alone. Her gun was drawn, muzzle against the fiery plates that protected the Nightmare's torso. Hoshi angled her shoulder so that the muzzle slid down, gliding off of the chitin and onto the soft pale skin of the thing, pointing it upward and into the cavity behind the plating. The heavy cartridge unloaded and Hoshi pushed against the recoil enough to keep the muzzle pressed against the Nightmare's chalk white skin as she clung with her other hand onto her shoulder, releasing another cartridge into the nightmare.

Rei's sensors took in the scene unfolding above. Her swelling pride at watching Aiko throw the human-like Mishhuvurthyar as if it were nothing but a sack of vegetables was replaced by the alarm at what it was doing to William. She was fed up with fighting imitations only to be distracted by them. Slicing her aether projected sword into the masses and their constant onslaught on them, Rei began directing her Sarah's energy into the particle cannon near her armor's head.

"Let them rest at the tip of your blade!" Rei said with her voice directed to Mao.
Redan City
Underground Mishhuvurthyar Chamber

Dazed for but a moment within the mecha's body that she controlled as if it was her own, Aiko stabilized her Kirie's descent after it was thrashed and sent hurtling away from the Nightmare upon William's spikes. For a few seconds the princess' big power armor was little more than a pile of mechanical limbs and metal plates falling through the cavernous arena they fought in. Then, when she regained her composure, the Kirie's graceful might returned to give its form life and allow Aiko to ride back toward the Mishhuvurthyar witch and her two comrades fighting it on a wake of white-hot thruster exhaust.

Before her, Aiko could see William's railgun shots throw up meaty splashes of the Nightmare's meat and chitin into the air above it — only for the holes he created to seal up as it expended its energy to heal itself — while Hoshi's point blank plasma revolver shots pumped into its torso. The princess had missed Hoshi's quick teleport jump and how it'd briefly blown out their monstrous enemy's magenta flame and even rocked William's firm stance below before returning to consume the captain and Nepleslian champion again. And as Aiko closed in, she could feel her own body ache and burn within the protective core of her Kirie, having been affected by whatever powers the Nightmare had unleashed and sent through her armor's body when she'd slammed it down into William's claws.

Like she had only moments before, though, Aiko would not stop until this foe was dead. Of course, she would pursue any enemy with the same vigor and always had. Nonetheless, this Nightmare's supreme threat made the princess truly feel it both in her body and mind in a way that other opponents did not. She knew Hoshi was being scoured by its flame, too, and William doubly so by the addition of the beast's fleshy clotting sand that poured down atop his Cyclops armor.

Fright and doom incarnate, the Nightmare lived up to the terrifying definition of its designation. But Ketsurui Aiko had never been frightened by any dream.

Aiko soon met again with the flaming furball of a fight and immediately put her hands through the Nightmare's fuchsia fire. She grasped around its head with her Kirie's mammoth fists, ignoring as best she could the simultaneously ripping and crushing red-hot sensation it sent into her fingertips that lay immobile in the Pilot Pod. The abomination's bellowing screech, audibly filtered out by her power armor's sound sensors, filled her ears now too — if only for an instant.

Pulling away with all the urgency she could, Aiko kept her Kirie's grip around the Nightmare's head and tore it away as William anchored its body with Hoshi. It gave little resistance, though some of the Nightmare's sandy regenerative tendrils tried to keep both parts together, and Aiko quickly released it from her hands. Immediately, the fire engulfing them all ceased. As the Nightmare's head tumbled and rolled to a stop against the chamber's walls, it disintegrated and had its biomass reclaimed by the organic Mishhuvurthyar installation itself like its egg had at the start of their fight. Across the chamber the samurai Mao and Rei, battling overwhelming odds against piles of their own dopplegangers that nearly consumed them even despite their overwhelming combat prowess, felt the arms and legs that choked and hugged around them go limp and begin to rapidly decompose and fall away from them in nasty chunks.

Now it was silent again. This time, the Nightmare's body failed to re-ignite or begin to scream and flail around. It just melted away under Hoshi, its bits falling out of the gaps in William's armor where it'd infiltrated, and returned to the earth. The aetherfire wrought pain was already retreating from their bodies, too, much faster than it had for Aiko after her first encounter with the savage Mishhu atrocity. There were no creeping shadows — at least not unnaturally creeping shadows — and only the demon's absence now haunted Aiko, Hoshi, and William. The justified anticipation of its return stuck in their minds for long, quiet heartbeats as they stood encased in each of their power armors, until Aiko spoke.

"Orders, Taisa?"
Redan City
Underground Mishhuvurthyar Chamber

With the Nightmare finally dead, William's armor dropped out of the sky and landed with a loud crash. He popped the seals on his helmet and threw it to the side. As it rolled to a stop, the extent of the damage was unmistakeable. The armor was melted and warped in places. The ID-SOL had multiple severe burns down his arms and across his shoulders.

His suit had already sealed off the damaged section of armor and was in the process of administering pain killers to William as he laid there.

"Ow..." He simply muttered as he looked over to the others. "Can we not do that again? That sucked..." He added wincing as he moved his head the wrong way.
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Despite their exhaustion after their battle with the nightmare, the Kaiyō's combatants went further underground. Spelunking the organ-like depths of the Misshuvurthyar lair, they were able to find the controls for the anti-aircraft guns. Once protected well by the Nightmare, now they were laid to bare like a carnival prize; switching the controls was a meager thing compared to the effort it took to get there.

Rising from the lair afterward, they saw the task force had been through a damaging fight, too. But like them, those above ground had been determined to win out against the Mishhuvurthyar forces. Wrecked flayer tankettes sizzled around the fountain, whose central portion had been crushed down by the body of an Enhanced Mishhuvurthyar and the joint bodies of a Cyclops and Mindy that had died atop it, their weapons embedded into it in unison forevermore. Still, the last of the Enhanced Miishhuvurthyar was not dead yet as if fought on its last legs. The Kaiyo veterans could make out through the smoke and dust of a settling battle that amongst those cornering it with flamethrowers and strikes of claws and swords were Asami and Yuri.

From their position in orbit, the twin Fuji-classes saw on sensors that the large anti-aircraft railguns that dotted Kessica starport had powered down. The YSS Kaiyō II and the YSS Fuji strafed down to Kessica prime like a pair of comets being pulled towards the planet's surface. Their torpedoes were the first to hit the enemy installation and before they did, Hoshi batted the backs of Aiko and William to turn towards the starport. She remembered her promise to William during the aboveground battle before they had fought the ghastly beast below. Fireworks shot up from the command tower of the starport, then a chain reaction from the fuel stores blew the hulking tarmac top off of the underground starport in countless glittering parcels of red and yellow fire.

In front of the Fuji-classes spread two cones of pink aether. With the underground hangars now exposed, the twin Fujis decimated the unlaunched Mishhuvurthyar ships that lay within. The Fuji's glowing conical weaponry was softer pink than the nightmare's powerful and traumatic attack, whose fuchsia burns had been so freshly wrought that seeing the pale rosey blush of their ship's weapon was a necessary reminder of any goodness the color could hold for the trio.

Hoshi gripped the fragments of her ship sword in her armored hands as she let go of the few tears she had been carrying. The captain recalled Uesu's words some days before when he had warned her the fight would be hard, as she had many times since. But he had also said something she only remembered now, as they won their battle:

"We know we can win. It's just a matter of bringing our best to the fight."
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