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RP: YSS Kaiyō Mission 28: Akuma

Ametheliana

Head in the Stars
Staff Member
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🌸 FM of Yamatai
🎖️ Game Master
20日 8月 YE 46
Space Near Aingeal System

In a star system far away from the Kikyo Sector, the fleshy orange hulls of four Pillager cruisers buddied up around an ugly green, schlong shaped starship of a Ghullfrashirv Escort. All five NMX starships were slung about on the far side and just out of orbit of the system's middle planet, named Nebel. Unlike the blue marble that was Yamatai, the planet Nebel had varying hues of a purple cloud layer and minty stripes of a pastel pastureland peeking through around the hemisphere's belt.

Nearer the sun and next to it was a planet named Aingeal that looked much the same as its jewel-toned sister planet further from their sun. The dark side of Aingeal was swallowed up by the space around it and several glimmering lights twinkled as if they were distant stars. They were instead several major cities elevated above the clouds, looking spectral as they evanesced into their celestial backdrop.

Nebel was only at a glance different from its sister planet in one way: those NMX ships that lurked on its far side.

The star system and these details were being transmitted within the YSS Kaiyō II as the gunship headed toward the Aingeal system. At the stern of deck five, the unused space had been converted into a briefing room and It was there new and old Kaiyō crewmen alike had congregated. Semi-circles of chairs ringed around a central volumetric projector from which the planetary images rotated. The false sun's light only barely illuminated the scant asteroid field at its system's edge. It also set a soft glow on those in the first looping row of seats as well as the captain's back as she looked on at the seated crew. When she was satisfied all the new recruits and her veteran shipmen were seated, she began by clapping her pink hands together and speaking.

"Welcome all to the briefing. Let's get started as there are still decisions to be made here. The Mishhuvurthyar are using a network of wormholes to get around the galaxy and fortify themselves." Taiyou Hoshi then turned to the system map she had been standing in front of. "One such place along a route is the system of Aingeal, as the inhabitants call it. The people of Aingeal are technologically advanced, especially in teleportation and architectural feats. They have no space-bound military but could mobilize their ground forces if need be, either through cargo starships or teleportating them in. We don't know their intentions towards us but from initial listening reports, they don't even know of us."

"The government has been working with the Mishhuvurthyar to help them build an outpost on their recently terraformed planet next to them, Nebel." Hoshi continued, "That is where you will see the Mishhuvurthyar have posted up with five starships on the volumetric projector. We don't know why the Mishhuvurthyar are working with them. It's not in the squid's nature, but maybe the evolution we've seen elsewhere has led to this cooperation. Whether you've fought the Mishhuvurthyar in the past year or not, you should know they have evolved in unexpected, dangerous ways since Yamatai last encountered them."

The captain moved her hands from in front of her skirt to either side of it, matching the steely expression the words had drawn on her face, but she moved on, "Regardless, Aingeal has been sending resources and supplies to help build a Mishhuvurthyar fortress on Nebel. It's still in construction phase. Our mission is to stop it from going any further."

"Secondarily, Yamatai wants us warning the people of Aingeal against the Mishhuvurthyar and protecting them if they're friendly. They'd make good allies, but really the less harm the Mishhu can do, the better."

"Many of the new faces here are of former students that aided Ketsurui-chusa on Hanako's World so I know you have experience fighting an insurmountable battle with little options, but this time we have two different ways we can go about this. I would like thoughts and opinions from my crewmen today and going forward. That's why I'm asking for both on where and how we begin this mission."

Hoshi gave the choices, "We can either move in hard and fast and attack the Mishhuvurthyar on Nebel without knowing what force the people of Aingeal will counter with or we can try contacting the government of Aingeal and speaking to their heads of state."
 
“Sounds like a bit of a dilemma.” Morgana said, tapping her fingers thoughtfully on the table. “We take a diplomatic approach we might get more insight into what the Mishhuvurthyar are behaving strangely and possibly deny them the long-term use of a strategic asset, however we lose any element of surprise.” Then, leaning back in her chair and crossing her arms, she allowed a brief pause, her tone shifting subtly to a more decisive edge. “We simply attack the base, and we’ll start any diplomatic efforts on a significant back foot, however, maintain the element of surprise for our initial assault.”

“For what it’s worth, in the majority of research I participated while at SARA showed that strategic considerations outweigh tactical ones.” The Science Officer unfolded her arms as her expression softened. ”Denying the Mishhuvurthyar an ally while getting more intelligence on their adaptations outweighs denying them a fortress. In fact if we can convince the Aingealians of the threat the Mishhuvurthyar pose to their sovereignty the fortress issue will likely solve itself.”
 
Molli Byrne sat in the middle ring of the half-circle chair rows, her crimson eyes narrowed on the projector outputting information on their enemy and collaborators on a nearby planet. Those ships were the same kind that cut through the clouds over Nepleslia and rained death upon its people; Molli had been a child when the NMX invaded, and even as an adult, she could feel a pang of fear welling up in her throat, like a wrong turn that you knew had sealed your fate. Molli was different from those years as a raggedy child in the slums, a woman of discipline, garbed in a prim and proper uniform. This time, she couldn't afford to hide in fear.

Common sense said that someone of low rank shouldn't speak up before their seniors; Molli disregarded logic and followed her gut instinct. "The Ayn-Gel're makin' a home for th'squids," she said, her scratchy voice and thick accent cutting the air with audible roughness contrasting with the sleek and sophisticated environment, "Don't soun' like they're marks t'me." The Neplslian crossed her arms, her frown deepening. "Sounds like they're sharin' beds, an' y'don't gotta be a genius t'figger out what coves're bad sorts're not."

A gloved hand pounded into Molli's cybernetic palm, "What've they got 'em...brain controlled? It'd be a waste t'meet 'em then. I say we knock out th'base an'explain why they chose bad sorts to call a cove after." A tactical genius, Molli was not, but she had enough sense, in her opinion, to know that you couldn't make friends with people who had already chosen their company.
 
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20日 8月 YE 45
Space Near Aingeal System

Near one edge of the holo table, one of the crew was not dressed like the others. He was dressed in a green Nepleslian Marine duty uniform, and was nearly eight feet tall. Stroking his long blond beard, Captain Sanders studied the plot. His Company, the Berserkers, were waiting aboard the NSS Fang, which was stationed with the rest of Legion 777.

He listened to Molli and Morgana's suggestions before he chose to speak. "Both valid points. Getting Intel would be great, however if these talks don't go well, then all we've managed to do is give the Mishhuvurthyar I chance to fortify their foothold on the planet." He turned his gaze to Hoshi and smirked. "Besides, you know I'm always up for a good fight. Maybe this time you'll let my try an orbital insertion from the Kaiyo." He added turning back to the table.

"The ships in orbit would be a problem as well. I'd prefer sweeping in knocking the out of the equation, but as I said before Naval warfare is not my forte. I'm a groundpounder, so I'll leave that in your capable hands Taisa." William added, nodding in Hoshi's direction.
 
Quite the first experience for a fresh graduate from SAAMMS, and a question that best as Isuke could guess, didn't have a real clear right or wrong answer - unlike tests, actual combat situations are rarely so cut and dry. And unlike a test, one could only make decisions based upon the information given, which was never the full picture. Dealing with the unknown is likely what prompted the saying of, 'No plan survives contact with the enemy' after all.

The way she saw it, the Aingealians were the wild card in this particular situation. They didn't have a fleet at least, but they weren't exactly incapable of coming to the aid of the Mishnu. The fortress was the actual target of the mission, so it would make sense to prioritize its destruction above all else... the Lorrfolk woman frowned slightly as she gazed at the projector, her visible eye flicking between individuals as they spoke.

"I'm inclined to agree towards prioritizing the Mishhu over anything else as well. The Aingelians don't have space-faring warships, but do we have any better information on their teleportation technology, or other assistance they could offer the Mishhu? If they're cooperating with them, it could be a safe assumption the Mishhu could use anything the Aingelians have at their disposal as well."

Isuke cupped her chin. "Is it possible we could enact both plans to a degree? Without giving up the element of surprise, we could try to send some sort of contact to the Aingelian government of our intentions, and inform them of the nature of the Mishhu. It's not exactly a proper diplomatic contact, but if they believe the Misshu don't have their best interests at heart, they may be unwilling to aid them - or at least, it could spark some delay if they debate it."
 
Hildr Shigefumi sat in the back row of chairs and fidgeted uncomfortably in her dress uniform. The young neko, fresh from reserve duty on Nataria and newly promoted, was feeling distinctly out of place, almost unqualified next to the others in the room. She was also still grappling with mixed emotions from being back aboard the Kaiyō after nearly two years, emotions she had mostly managed to get under control, only to have new ones surface as their target was revealed.

Hildr had tried to swallow her apprehension as she sat forward in her seat to focus on the holoprojectors as Hoshi started speaking, only for her to speak that word. Mishhuvurthyar. The name hung like a thunderclap in her mind and her blood ran hot, her eyes narrowing to slits and the fur on her ears and tail puffing up in a threat posture. Though she had no personal experience dealing with them before, she, like all Yamatai children, had of course heard of the NMX and their terror from before her birth. Even so, the physical feeling Hildr had was far beyond any normal reaction that might be expected from such a young neko like her. Though she had inherited no training or memories from before her birth, perhaps these feelings were etched even deeper...

The crimson-haired neko shook her head to put aside her thoughts and refocused, trying to decide whether to speak up or not. After a moment's hesitation, Hildr cleared her throat. "I'm with Byrne-hei and Captain Sanders, the chance that the Mishhu have...turned the Aingealians is too great." The neko sat back in her chair and crossed her arms, head bowed and eyes closed in contemplation. "But...I do agree that we need more intel. And if there's a chance for the Aingealians..." Hildr lets out a breath, then nods to herself before looking up at the others. "Isuke-shoi's plan seems like the soundest move to me in this case. We ready to strike while probing the relationship between the squids and the Aingealians."
 
Hoshi smiled as each of the new recruits gave their takes. The first two were incredibly contrasting, but she appreciated them equally and was hoping for a tiebreaker. When one of the ship's original members did so, her gratitude was evident as she nodded to what he said. Then when when of the other former students spoke, her joy was palpable in the crescent shapes her dark blue eyes became above her wide smile.

"That's a fresh idea." Hoshi said. "It's nice to have a round table again, thank you for sharing your expertise and opinions. As to your suggestion, Shoi Ichidou Isuke, we can alert them to what we know as we're prepping to infiltrate. I like that idea very much and so does Hildr-hei; good enough for me."

"I don't know if we'll truly be able to retain an element of surprise highlighted as important by Faelan-shoi. There are a few advantages to her plan we lose out on, honestly." The pink captain had put a finger over her mouth thoughtfully as she spoke. It felt a shame to not go with the strategically impressive plan from the scientist, but Hoshi had full faith in her crew undertaking either option (no matter how new the majority of them were to the ship).

"We'll contact them before insertion, but it seems most of the crew wants to cut off the head of the beast. I'm all for it."

With that decided, she spun back around to face the volumetric projector so fast that her blue and white hair bloomed around her back. The images closed in on the planet of Nebel where the two classes of ship ebbed in orbit. Two towering structures below came into focus along with the ships. Even Yui's 500th floor office at Star Army Headquarters wasn't so visible from space as the larger spire. But most eyes were instead drawn to the starships of the enemy. The Pillagers were spread in a diamond pattern with the Escort a little further from the planet than them, but still in the middle of the boxy shape. There were no battle pods or smaller ships out and they looked on low alert.

"If we're going to need to take the combat option after contacting them, we'll have an armor team ready to insert onto the Escort. I'll be on the ship making the call out to the Aingealians while the team is getting in place and will give you the go ahead or not via comms. If it's a go, the Kaiyo will get to work on the Pillagers while the armor team, headed by Ketsurui-chusa, will breach the escort's hull. Either via bridge or engineering —wherever you're able to get in— take out main power. There may or may not be time to regroup, but from there we will probably do as Captain William has dreamed of and have you insert orbitally. I'll try to join for that stage. I'm guessing that large spire is their base of operations, so it's our destination for that phase until we have any more information."

"Any questions or further concerns before we suit up? We'll be in the Aingeal system in the next ten minutes."

In the brief pause, she leaned towards the green outfitted Nepleslian to speak softly, "Oh don't sell yourself short, William. You've been on the Kaiyō for more naval battles than I can count! You've got naval warfare in the bag."
 
With the overwhelming support for her proposal to take the fight to the NMX fortress pouring in, Molli had to resist the urge to puff her chest out proudly and grin. Nonetheless, the Nepleslian's crimson eyes flitted to the supporters, particularly the goliath ID-SOL, and the corners of her lips curled upward in appreciation. Those eyes snapped back to Captain Hoshi once their assignment details were laid out: an armored assault on the NMX starships, a job for the space infantry, it looked like.

Whatever excitement Molli might have felt at the prospect of potentially taking on a Mishu Escort was dampened as she studied its design, specifically the section cordoned off for their slave-holding cells. The captain's invitation to speak allowed Molli to voice the concerns that bubbled within like a volatile chemistry mix. The Nepleslian raised a hand, "Jus' one, Hoshi-Taisa," she said, sounding out the captain's name and rank slowly to get the correct pronunciation, "Is rescuin' their slaves part've th'plan?" The logical side of her brain already felt the answer was obvious: what were the lives of a few slaves compared to the broader scope of halting the NMX's plans for an entire society?

That was why Molli's feelings tried to nudge her mind toward other possibilities. "If we get 'em t'safety, we could use that 'gainst th'squids. In...nego-she-ayshuns," she added, with a mechanical hand stroking her chin to imitate the captain's contemplative demeanor, "Show their allies what kinda friends they picked."
 
Zelphon was hard at work as she took notes of all the details Hoshi had to share. She was beyond nervous having had the pleasure of being posted on the same ship as her brother Alastair. She had memorized everything Alastair had to share on his most beloved Captain. She was amazed the high regard he had for Hoshi. Though he ended by saying, "while I have shared much, know what matters is to be true to yourself. Hoshi is one who is able to bring forward the best in everyone. Allow this to take hold and none will be able to stop you."

Her mind had wondered and before she knew it the question had been asked as to what their next step should be. She quickly came up with the best line of logic she could think up in the moment. "Personally, I'd be curious to learn more about the Aingeal. It is not often that the Mishhuvurthyar give enough time for them to recieve aid instead of blasting or breeding their way to success. Captain Hoshi makes a good point they are different in new unexpected ways." As she finished speaking she let out a small sigh of relief. Then she was concerned. She had not planned to agree with Hoshi right away, would this be taken as sucking up already. Though had she gone against her, would she have gained her wraith. She paused and let her mind calm. This was an open forum and she spoke true in the moment.
 
"There will be ample opportunity for us to investigate the Aingealians and make first contact after we have cleansed the Mishhuvurthyar infesting their orbital space," Ketsurui Aiko said in reply to Zelphon. "Whether by coercion or infiltration, the Mishhuvurthyar have these people under their yoke. We know how they operate. The Aingealians will welcome our efforts one way or another."

Until then, Aiko had remained silent while Hoshi gave the crew their briefing. In her clean command white uniform adorned simply with a medal held hanging around her throat by a red ribbon, the Kaiyō II's First Officer stood tall beside her captain. A white cap was absent as her crown, but the iconic bellflowers she was known for wearing sat above the XO's right ear. As part of the ship's command staff she'd received this briefing in advance and discussed all of these options with Hoshi prior, and thus had little to say now in front of the crew. Aiko's advice then had generally matched the course they were presently on, and that the Ketsurui princess alluded to in her words to Zelphon:

There should be no hesitation striking against the Mishhuvurthyar. Any diplomatic liaison with the Aingealians could only be aided by an urgent end to their presence in the system.

Aiko's brilliant scarlet eyes shot next toward the Nepleslian newcomer, Molli, meeting the other girl's red gaze with the intense scrutiny of Ketsurui crimson. She'd immediately had an answer to the question about Mishhu captives but peered in examination of the fresh soldier for a few quick moments prior to answering.

"The Captain has commanded us to neutralize our target by taking down its main power, Byrne-hei, not by destroying it," Aiko explained. Still statuesque beside Hoshi as she held her left fist balled at the small of her back, Aiko's stately posture hadn't changed much for the entire briefing. "It is not our enemy's largest vessel, but it possesses a powerful scalar array that could prove troublesome. Stopping that function one way — commandeering their bridge — or another by robbing the target ship of its energy generation in engineering is our mission and priority. Any captives or thralls the Mishhuvurthyar keep aboard are concerns to be handled later, and standard rules of engagement for hostiles apply."

In the princess' mind, that last part should have been enough. But she soon remembered past missions and former crewmembers' haste to shoot at non-threats.

"That means do not needlessly kill or attack any being that cannot hurt you," Aiko added. "The Mindy 4 is a capable armor system. Worry about enemy armors and Mishhvurthyar lifeforms. Do not waste your attention on their servants."

Glancing over to her friend William, Aiko shot him a nod and then looked at Hoshi one final time to make sure she had nothing more to add.

"We have our orders," Aiko confirmed, relaying the captain's wordless intent. "It is a simple mission to help our future allies from Aingeal. Nothing in this system is any more insurmountable than what many of you have faced before. And for those of you who will taste war for the first time today, look to your fellows who have already conquered Yamatai's foes. The Mishhu are ferocious beasts, but not so mighty as the Star Army's YSS Kaiyō II.

"Now report to the power armor bay and prepare to sortie," Aiko continued, wrapping up the briefing. "We will launch on Hoshi-taisa's order."
 
The ID-SOL smirked at Hoshi's comment. "That I have. Seems like it was so long ago now." He replied, happy that they had agreed to take down the Mishu. He had been in too many battles against them. The thought of giving them more time to get fortified didn't sit right with him. Once Aiko gave a nod and gave her orders, William straightened. "Aye, aye, XO." He replied, winking at the use of her ship rank before moving off to the Power Armor bay.

Off to one corner was a massive 15-foot frame. The Cyclops was specially built for ID-SOLs, and the Berserker Company exclusively used them. As William walked, he linked his mindware, causing his cybernetic eye to glow. As he did, the armor began to come to life. He quickly skimmed the diagnostics and began selecting the load out. He thumped his fist over the unit patch as he reached the armor, the Berserker's crest, which was two crossed axes superimposed by a skull.

His armor sported two shoulder-mounted plasma rifles and a pulse laser and chaingun on each forearm. Despite the built-in nerimium claws, William had opted for a HEAT-06a Lance and his modified Kaiyo sword, which had been lengthened to the size of an odachi, stored in a custom-built sheath.

Once happy with his walking armory, he slid into the frame and encased himself inside. William grinned as the start-up sequence finished. "This is Berserker-Actual, all systems are go." He reported, using his callsign.
 
Morgana's eyes went wide, and she sighed heavily as the briefing wrapped up. Attempting to go for both the tactical and strategic advantage seemed to her an attempt to bite off more than she could chew. The strengths of neither, the weaknesses of both, she thought silently. However, the decision was made, and the order was given. Restating her concerns now would only serve to undermine. The science officer managed a smile as she got up. She had, after all, seen this crew liberate a planet single handedly. If any group had a maw large enough to chew such a meal, it was this one.

She joined the rest of the crew in the power armour bay and quickly found the Mindy suit sized for her. She always envied the Type 33’s that could put a Mindy on like a second skin, whereas, unless she was very careful, it would pinch it closed around her. She had to breath out, compressing her chest before the torso sealed. When she expanded it again there was a slight discomfort before the gel layer properly adapted to her frame. She did like it when it was closed and settled though. She flexed her hands and pumped her arms a few times. The extra couple of inches and the augmented strength was an enjoyable sensation.

With a click and enough pressure to make Morgana take a step forward, a wing pack was attached to her back. A second, softer click attached an NSB hive to her ankles. She then ran her preflight checks, starting with the Combined Field System in the wing pack causing a spherical optical distortion around her. The four assault drones detached from her wings and hovered around her, the aether projectors at their tips following her gaze. The six NSBs ejected from their housings and hovered in a ring in front of them, and the assault drones made some twitching motions as their targeting algorithms synced with the smaller NSBs. Once the preflight were complete, they all flew back to their designated hard points. The assault drones then flexed around their attachment points, checking their movement before folding down to be as compact as possible.

As she moved to the embarkment area she collected an NSP and a Wakizashi Aether Blade which she hung from the holsters on her thights and took an Aether SMG. The weapon hummed as it linked in with her Mindy’s power system. The rising whine matched the butterflies forming in the Shoi’s stomach.

The feeling was suppressed as she watched the Nepalesian Cyclops stroll forward. "I'd be up for a good fight too if I got to stomp around in one of those." The science officer said when she'd picked her jaw off the floor.

"Pixie, preflight checks are green, ready for deployment."
 
It took a certain degree of willpower for Molli not to shrink in her seat beneath Ketsurui's gaze, which was as harsh and piercing as a molten blade. Though the Nepleslian bristled at the implication that she'd focus fire on anything that wasn't Mishu, she kept her lips pursed and nodded sharply. "Un'erstood, Ketsurui-Chusa," Molli rose from her seat and filed out of the room with the rest of the dismissed crew. Though she'd diverted her eyes from the princess, Molli still felt weighed down by her absolute authority, more significant than any self-important gangster or race organizer.

After changing into a snug and form-hugging bodysuit within her quarters, Molli joined the rest of the squad at the power armor bay and approached the Mindy she'd been eager to pilot since arriving on the Kaiyō. As she stepped into its open frame and felt it encase her, Molli was pleased by how immediately comfortable it felt. It was the one time that her physique, which was subpar by Nepleslian standards, worked in the soldier's favor. Once the helmet was fastened and the Mindy's systems diagnostics danced down the visor, a palpable feeling of unstoppable strength coursed through Molli's body, filling her with confidence that she'd only ever felt on the seat of a grav-bike.

After running the usual flight checks, Molli fitted her armor with the standard accessories: shoulder capacitors to keep the teleportation unit functioning, an NSB launcher latched onto the legs and synced to her cybernetic eyes, and a Kalamari arm system because you could never have too many arms in a battle against the squids. Considering that Molli had never fought them, she could only hope her kit was appropriate for the occasion.

When it came to weapons, Molli considered the tight quarters of a ship's hallways and was immediately attracted to the crowd-control capability of the plasma shotgun, which was secured to the Mindy's lower back, above the butt pack, and a heavy pistol, which was fitted on the waist. Finally, Molli closed an armored hand over the aether katana she'd always chosen to practice with. Considering that it was on a rack of similar mass-produced blades, it was unlikely that Molli was its only user, but the Nepleslian liked to think otherwise. Yamataians placed a lot of value on their swords, so Molli always treated hers with respect, in turn.

As she collapsed the blade and latched it onto her waist opposite the pistol, Molli thought of the beautiful sword that Ketsurui kept and wondered if she'd ever be able to afford one. Then again, what better way to take ownership of a typical aether blade than by smearing it in the guts of your enemies? With that cheerful thought in mind, Molli joined those who'd finished their flight prep and gearing procedures.

Although Molli still felt invincible in a Mindy, she had to admit that the massive Cyclops looked capable of ripping her apart, armor and all, with their bare hands. In the slums of Funky City, countless posters depicted the army's power-armored ID-SOLS as saviors of all Nepleslians; Molli had a hard time believing in that then, but not now.

"Sure you'll fit in th'breach?" Molli joked, with a small whistle following to indicate her impression of William's suit. "Least yer good cover."

"Arro. M'good t'go."
 
With the meeting adjourned, Hoshi had hung back in the meeting room to be sure to answer any lingering questions that didn't fit in the briefing. Those that didn't have any filtered into the power armor bay.

"I suppose going by 'medic' as my callsign is for the best," said Peio Muyomi uneasily. She sported a crop teal hair that matched her medcial uniform color and big, doe-like eyes, but all that became obfuscated when she donned her Mindy. It wasn't as kitted out for pure mayhem like many of the others, but it did have NSBs where they would fit and medical supplies in her dorsal and butt pack. 20mm gauss cannons swiveled as they turned online atop her shoulder so she could support her team's combat efforts.

Another Shoi, Koizumi Aratani looked over to her and then around the group, "Do we have a field mechanic?" It looked like they didn't and she stuffed her butt pack with some quick repair tools, including molecure tape. Aratani's own armor had shield cloaks on the legs and a fabrication module on the torso while each shoulder had a different weapon. On one was a scalar machine gun and on the other was an 8ga cannon for dealing with whatever swarms they'd encounter in close combat.

The silver-haired Shoi kept her dark purple eyes on the new armors everyone was donning. Zesuaium couldn't be repaired so the polished shine of so many armors at once likely wouldn't be something she would be seeing again after they launched. At least, not for awhile.

"It truly is a blessing to be on the Kaiyō where there's so much eye candy," Aratani said as her eyes flitted to the hulking Sarah M7's the samurai wore and the even taller Kirie they would be protecting. The statement was sort of ambiguous whether it was about light mechs and power armors, though, and she followed up, "Call me 'mech-head' out there. Wait, no, that's stupid. Ironclad ready for deployment!"
 
Hildr turned her attention to Aiko as she spoke, the Chusa's words lighting a fire in the younger neko. She found herself nodding along to the statuesque first officer's straightforward and no-nonsense speech. To the crimson-haired neko it all seemed pretty clear when it was all laid out like that. As the princess finished, Hildr stood and saluted. "Hai, Ketsurui-chusa!" Her voice was determined, and she turned smartly on her heel and walked out of the room with the others.

Hildr's feet seemed to remember their way to the Power Armor bay, retreading the steps she had made years ago on her very first mission. How long ago that seemed to her now, she had felt so young and inexperienced. These thoughts in her mind, Hildr made her way to one of the power armor berths, and she began to outfit her own armor at a terminal. The redheaded neko was pleasantly surprised to see her old loadout was still stored in the ship's databanks, and she selected it, watching the berth equip her "shocktrooper" loadout.

The Mindy soon sported a missile pod on the left shoulder, a wing pack on the drosal mount, and offensive pods on the thighs. With the modifications done, Hildr gazed into the faceplate of the armor, seeing her own distorted reflection grinning back at her, like it had been the first time. "Hello again, old friend," she murmured, patting the helmet once before proceeding to strip down from her uniform until she stood nude before the suit. Placing the clothes away in a locker near the berths, she returned to the armor and keyed it to open, then squeezed herself inside, closing her eyes and feeling the protective embrace enclose her as the suit engaged and buttoned her up and engaged her SPINE interface. With armored hands the neko picked up the twin guntō blades that had been selected and attached them to her armor's waist on the right side, then grabbed the aether submachine gun, finally stepping from the berth to form up alongside the others.

Hearing the other callsigns rattle off, Hildr pursed her lips inside the helmet, then keyed her comms. "Valkyr here, let's do this."
 
William smirked as the new Kaiyo crew took in his Cyclops. "Yes, Faelan-Shoi, it makes getting into fights much easier." He answered, addressing the first comment. To the second, he chuckled. "You can fit just about anywhere you please when you can make your own entry point. Also use me for cover at your own peril, Byrne-Hei, because my armor is best utilized in close combat." He said, tapping the butt of his lance on the deck. "Needless to say, I will be at the front."

He opened a private command-level channel to Aiko. "Quite the group you and Hoshi managed to pull together." He mused as he milled about, awaiting the order to deploy. "Also, same bet as last time? I still believe I had more kills than you on the last sortie, so you better be careful, or my bar tab will get quite expensive." He teased, as only he could with the XO and princess of Yamatai. "By the way, remind me to send you the invoice for the last place when we return."
 
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Zelphon was pumped to be getting back into some power armor. Her last mission had gone well so was ready to once more show she was made for this line of work. Plus she wanted nothing more than to impress her captain. "My call sign is going to be anchor, cause I am more than happy to take point." She said with the proudest of smile. She could feel the energy all around her. This group was without a doubt going to kick some serious butt.

Zel walked up to her Mindy and gave it a tap on the chest. For this mission, Zel would be going heavy gunner. The shoulder mounted weapons and handheld chain gun would be sure to bring swift justice to the Mishhu. She then overheard the one they call William say they were going to be point. "Ohhh, looks like we have two in the race of who leads the pack." She called out towards William. With a hop and light flutter of her wings she mounted up on top of her Mindy. Her black wings flared out before folding against her once more. She slide into her armor making it look easy. Once more her wings now wrapped in Star Army justice extended out. She cast a long black shadow out in front of her. She picked up her weapon and was ready to rock and roll.
 
While the armor team suited up, Aiko watched the Kaiyō's freshest batch of soldiers choose their loadouts. She visually studied what they picked and read their equipment choices on her Type 32 communicator as each selection registered in real time through every suit's AIES to the ship's MEGAMI. The ways in which their growing collection of hardpoint attachments could work together when combat struck kept calculating and re-calculating in her mind alongside thoughts as to how these new soldiers would themselves synergize as warriors in their first battle together. Aiko had never much paid much attention to her own loadout — the princess always found an armor's rifle and aether blade sufficient to accomplish whatever task confronted her — so as far as she was concerned everyone still remained equipped to defeat Mishhuvurthyar in the coming fight.

William's communication poked into Aiko's networked brain, but she gave little indication of disturbance beyond a quick flutter of her long black eyelashes. Her gaze was kept fixed on the data in front of her, even as her old friend came at her again with his (by now) standard pre-combat ribbing.

"I should not have to remind you that I never accept these bets of yours, Wil-kun," Aiko said in a telepathic reply back to the Nepleslian marine. "By my count, not to mention the accounting of official Star Army battle records, I owe you nothing."

The princess finally looked up from her communicator to the big Kirie Thought Armor beside her. More a miniature mecha than a power armor, owing to the fact that it was a piloted machine rather than a suit she wore, it still towered over the tall Ketsurui girl. It knelt within the confines of a two inch thick band of red-and-white hazard stripe painted in a rectangular octagon on the armor bay's deck that mundanely mirrored the Kirie's elaborate silvery-white and crimson livery. Aiko then took a step toward her Kirie and placed a hand on its hip in a precise location that motivated it to split apart at its waist and reveal the Type 33 Pilot Pod nestled within.

"Still, perhaps I should satisfy your thirst for my attention," Aiko playfully continued, speaking to him via their private communication as her Type 35 uniform — until then produced by volumetrics — faded to reveal a Shibui Powered Suit. The Order of the Blazing Sun medal still hung around her neck, though, always the real thing, prompting Aiko to reach to the back of her neck and unclasp it to stow away while she began speaking again, this time out loud.

"Captain Sanders wishes to test the mettle of my ship's new armor team," the princess announced, her gracefully defined, husky voice carrying easily throughout the room. "He believes he can fell more Mishhuvurthyar beasts than the rest of us himself. Prove him wrong and I'll have him cover a non-alert shift for each of you in the coming months. And if you win, Wil-kun, I'll pay off that bar tab. Sounds easy enough, right?" Aiko grinned, saying the last part to William privately on their command-level channel.

With that, she hopped up and slipped into the innards of her Kirie's soft pilot pod, mentally ordering the Thought Armor closed around her with its Immersion System controls. A moment later, the Kirie's blue eye lenses blinked alive and the armor rose up to stand on two feet. Now in full control with all systems acclimated, the princess walked over to the threshold, protected by an invisible containment forcefield, and peered out into the space outside.

"Everyone has registered all green," Aiko said to the squad. Then she leapt out, motivating her Kirie forward toward the awaiting mission. "Armor team: launch!"
 
Ghullfrashirv Hull

It was easy to take for granted the warmth and homeliness of a starship when in one. But after the last of the away team had launched from the ship, the Kaiyo moved away from them, leaving them alone and without her comforts. The inhospitable hold of a space walk hugged around each armor, replacing the careful attention their star ship's MEGAMI put towards environmental controls. Even for those used to being out in space, the Mishhuvurthyar starships they were hurtling towards likely made the experience less than cozy.

The distant pink starship that was the Ghullfrashirv Escort soon took form, a warped and vile place much unlike the comfort of the Kaiyō. The color of the starship made more sense when they were up close. It was a rosy pink color not unlike flesh and the warty exterior where the armors congregated was more like elephant's skin than any Yamataian starship hull. The skin tags and wrinkles that splotched the hull ceased around a central indentation where creases and folds swirled outward. That central sphincter was the Mishhuvurthyar's version of an airlock.

In their helmet's came the captain's voice, "Establishing contact with the Aingealians shortly. Get yourselves inside before we do."
 
William nearly chocked when Aiko broadcasted her challenge to the Kaiyo's crew. "That's dirty." He pouted as he moved closer to bay entrance. "Coulda just said no..." He murmured to himself, as the go order finally came. With a pulse from his thrusters he shot out into the black and towards the target.

Mishhuvurthyar ships were disgusting. William's armored feet thudded into the fleshy hull of the escort. Trying not to think about fleshy pink tissue under his feet, he moved to the hatch and ignited his lance's heat modification, causing the blade to glow orange. Once he was in position over the hatch, he called out "Berserker-Actual, breaching the hatch." As he called out he jammed the blade of the lance into the sphincter's rim and began to drag the blade around the opening.

"Mishu couldn't have normal ships... they had to have flesh covered monstrosities." He complained to himself as he continued to burn away the airlock. "I'm not looking forward to cleaning all this." He added as the others arrived around him.
 
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