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

RP [Ravenaca's Watch] New Faces

Alex Hart

🎖️ Game Master
RP Date
YE 45.3
RP Location
Newhaven System, Port Astionage
YE 45.3, DX-01, Newhaven System, Port Astionage

NDS Ravenaca's Watch, Deck 11 Briefing Room

It was a little more than a week after the Watch had arrived at Port Astionage, and the ship was busy being resupplied, as well as awaiting new personnel. Part of the Watch's mission had been to help transport NDC citizens immigrating to Newhaven, as logistics ships were tied up handling other tasks.

Because of this, the Watch had made its journey to Newhaven loaded down with scientists, engineers, as well as geological and agricultural experts, all bound to the system to help with its settlement. Some of the Watch's normal crew had also been transferred to military posts on Port Astionage, helping to train the local forces, and left the ship in dock waiting for new personnel to be transferred from Sirris.

One of the transports had finally come in, and personnel around the ship were having the new crew members introduced to them, most while still on their shift. For the pilots of 1st Squadron's lances, who were off-duty at the time, this meant being gathered in one of the briefing rooms below the flight decks, where they, along with the CAG, waited for new pilots to filter in.

Riot was doing her best to not get into trouble, danger-prone as she tended to be whenever she was allowed to be idle. She'd set up a simple, hand-scrawled sign at a hefty table that read, "Arm wrestling, all comers welcome". Beside the sign she sat, fingers templed and doing her best to look perfectly presentable and respectable.

Somewhere between her chosen look and her actual personality, she still managed to give off the look of a particularly mischievous cat that was waiting for a mouse to come crawling out of its hole. She smiled at someone who looked her way, then sighed as they averted their eyes before getting drawn in.

It had not taken long for Chloe 10 to get settled into what would be her new home for the foreseeable future. Still fresh from the synth plant on Dawn City, she had little in the way of possessions save for her standard issue equipment and a few small mementos. With that done, the Operator had quickly made her way to the meeting room on Deck 11, passing by various members of the crew for the mandatory introductions. It almost went without saying that she dreaded the idea of forced socialization, but even factors as seemingly insignificant as chemistry, morale, and group spirit could mean the difference between failure and success in the context of a demanding military operation.

Such things were often referred to as 'intangibles' by her instructors. Nevertheless, their importance had been drilled into Chloe especially given her quiet disposition—a stark departure from the aggression and recklessness her mental model had initially exhibited.

Before long, Chloe arrived at the meeting room, clad in her form-fitting military bodysuit. She willed something that wasn't a cold, unapproachable expression across her features as she did. It wasn't a smile by any means, but the Operator hoped that it might at least make her seem more 'open'. As she did, her synthetic gaze quickly scanned across the room, taking in all the faces present within.

Naturally, it was impossible for Chloe to miss the wild-haired mane of one she had gotten all too acquainted with during her virtual development—Riot 266. A graceful smile manifested across the Operator's features upon processing her cohort mate's presence. Chloe moved to approach her, while visibly rolling her eyes at the sign she had set up. For her part, the gynoid believed that her days of getting into fights for their own sake were long past her, relegated to the archives of her digital memory. She knew that Riot might insist otherwise, but even with the somewhat divergent development paths they had taken, the two were still sisters.

"Riot." Chloe offered in introduction. "How are you faring, sister?"

The red-haired Operator's expression grew into a broad beam. "Well fuc-er, foxtrot - me! Chloe!"

Riot nearly knocked the table over as she got up, catching both it and the attached sign in the sort of grace that all Operators had, yet seemed uncanny on the proverbial bull in a china shop that she was. She clambered across the table to take Chloe into a big hug, lifting her off the ground if she wasn't fought off in time.

"I'm excellent!" she declared. "Eager for a new opportunity to bare the fangs of the Conclave's military forces - that's us - against those who would do its people harm! All the moreso if they put up a good fight."

She released her sister unit, or at least stopped trying to pull her in for an embrace, and looked at her with clear affection. "And how are you?! I had no idea you'd be stationed here."

Chloe let out a sudden squeak as her sister unit moved to hug her. Of course, during the brief window of time which manifested between Riot standing up and taking her into her arms, she considered stepping out of the way to avoid being picked up. However, knowing her sister, the Operator sensed that she would take it as a cue to fight, a prospect which she wished to avoid. Accordingly, the gynoid allowed herself to be swept off of her feet, her features going flush with embarassment in the process.

"Better." Chloe answered, her voice nearly strained as she was tightly squeezed. Once she was set down, the Operator brushed at her bodysuit to smooth out the fabric, giving a simulcra of a relieved sigh as she did.

"I think I was one of the last of our cohort to receive a formal assignment." She continued. "I would have messaged you, but I didn't receive word of my posting to the Ravenaca's Watch until a few days ago and I got busy finishing my certification on the Sparrowhawk." Chloe said. "How long have you been stationed here?" She asked.

"Ah, don't worry about it - I'm pretty fresh, as well. I've had time to meet a few other Operators, and butt heads with some that aren't, but I haven't seen any action yet. I'll introduce you to the others if we get the chance."

Riot cast a meaningful glance towards some of the non-synthetic crew and grinned at them when they met her eyes.

Chloe shifted her gaze to the non-synthetic crew as well. However, in contrast to Riot's seemingly predatory, yet mischevious grin, Chloe's expression assumed a mien of mild disdain as she took in the Naturals in the meeting room.

"Yeah." Chloe blinked. "That's going to be interesting, for sure." The Operator continued, before turning her gaze towards the rear of the room, where she had seen a few Synthetics. "Hopefully there aren't too many surprises, there." She added, leaving the rest unsaid.

"How about we start from the back?" Chloe asked, a more open expression returning to her face as she did.

Riot considered that and decided that her fishing attempt in the front seats had played itself out. She looked to the back of the room to see if there was anyone promising back there.

V115 was sitting in the back of the room, her hawkish gaze watching as various pilots milled about and spoke with friends. Many of them looked like fresh faces, most of those who had been present for the shakedown flight had been shipped off to other postings. Of that original skeleton crew, she wondered how many remained. Of course such thoughts were pointless unless she desired to break protocol and try hacking the personnel files, which was a gross misconduct...

Attention shifting to the boisterous Riot and friend, her gaze settled on the two of them but she didn't move. Much like a bird of prey perched on a vantage point, V was content to simply watch for the moment.

When Riot saw V, she grinned again. The Operator gave her sister a friendly elbow.

"That's one of the ones I told you I'd met. I think - " she began, then paused as she considered the personalities of the two. They'd either get along famously or clash spectacularly. In the split second it took her to run the calculations that arrived at those outcomes, she also decided that either option would yield a positive result in her eyes. "- that meeting her will be an enjoyable experience."

So it was that she led Chloe up to V115.

"V115," she declared, "this is Chloe 10. She's from my cohort. My sister, if you will! Chloe, this is V."

Something resembling the beginnings of a smile crossed V's face. "Ensign V115," she offered.

Chloe followed her sister to the back of the room, at which point her synthetic gaze quickly scanned the Synthetics seated there. However, it was the titanium blue-haired Operator who her sister introduced her to, compelling Chloe to extend her hand towards V115 in greeting.

"It is lovely to meet you, V115." Chloe answered in what was almost a sickly-sweet tone. "We should run some training simulations together, soon." She offered, looking between both her sister and V115 as she did. "Are you two in the same Lance?"

Chloe's hand would be met with V's own, though any kind of handshake would be brief it was there. "A joint training simulation sounds interesting... " there was a slight pause before she added, "though we will have to fit that in our downtime." Her pink eyes shifted to looking at Riot for a moment and then back to Chloe. "We are, Riot here along with myself and a friend are all in Alpha lance."

"I heard there was an empty slot in Alpha Lance." Chloe 10 said as she let go of the handshake. "Unfortunately, I have yet to receive my lance assignment, but I wouldn't mind flying with either of you." She added. "If I get assigned to your lance, scheduling a training simulation should be easy." The gynoid finished.

"It should be, yes." V's eyes looked between the two of them again. "Have either of you been on a deployment before?" Her tone was curious.

Riot nodded. "I worked on a small ship doing border patrol stuff. Nothing fancy and not much combat." Although she knew that boring meant that things were good, there was an obvious dejected tone in her voice.

"So, I asked for a more active assignment. I'm hoping that's the Watch."

"I haven't." Chloe added. However, the gynoid glanced towards her sister with no small amount of curiosity in her cyan gaze. Even if the assignment might have seemed boring, she sensed that Riot had gotten some field experience out of it, which was more substantial than anything Chloe had.

"I think I have a lot to learn, from both of you." Chloe admitted. She knew that V115 had been assigned to the Ravenaca's Watch longer than both of them. "Also, I have a question..." Chloe began, her tone taking on an inquisitive ring.

"Sparrowhawk or Banshee?"

"Banshee in my case," she replied simply.

Riot seemed thoughtful. "Depends on what we're doing. I like the Banshee's flexibility and raw power, but it's hard to beat the Sparrowhawk in a dogfight. Still, I'm not exactly subtle, soo- whichever one has the most ordnance is usually my go-to. Or the red one. I hear there's one of those floating around.."

Chloe offered a shy, yet playful smile. This was her element—weighing the pros and cons of various military hardware. Not to mention, the gynoid didn't seem alone in that regard, if the interest of her companions was any indication.

"The Starbreaker?" Chloe questioned her sister. "I've never seen one in person, but I heard that they're huge." She said. "That said, I actually haven't decided between the two. I love the Banshee's speed and the Sparrowhawk's missiles."

"The general versatility of the Banshee is why I default to it. Well that and the speed it offers in vacuum. Though I do have simulated hours in other crafts, I always found myself circling back to it." V shrugged a little, "Plus it has gotten me through everything in one piece so far."

"Haven't had a chance to try a Starbreaker outside of the sims. The size isn't quite my thing, but if it gets the job done. I meant a red Sparrowhawk, by the way. I think it would suit me~ other than that, I'm impartial! All I got to fly on my last assignment was some old fighters, mostly, so I'm happy for anything I can get."

"Did you fly those old BW-MSF Sparrows?" Chloe asked Riot. "I admit, I would be more inclined towards the Banshee, but it's such a technically-demanding craft. I'm certified on it, but I always feel like I need more simulation hours on it to feel comfortable flying it in live combat. I'll have to get some pointers from you on flying it, V." She finished.

Riot nodded her agreement, looking to V as well. "It's definitely a lot more to handle than what I'm used to piloting. I'll take all the advice ... and hands-on practice ... I can get."

"The best advice I can give is to make decisions without hesitation. The Banshee has less armor than other frames, so if you hesitate you are more likely to get hit. You have to use its speed and maneuverability to its fullest extent." She paused for a moment to let that sink in before continuing, "As operators, the craft is uniquely suited to us because we are more capable of utilizing it due to factors of our construction."

Her hawkish eyes watched the other two for their reactions as she spoke. "Finally, know your loadout and its limitations."

Chloe's synthetic gaze widened with focus, her subconscious quietly filing away V115's advice for later reference and commitment to memory. Even after getting certified, there was still so much for her to learn. The breadth of the Banshee's capabilities was dizzying to behold, but the prospect of becoming a Banshee Ace and hopefully one day teaching others how to fly the craft was a powerful motivation for the gynoid.

"That's going to be helpful. Thank you, V." Chloe said. "I admit, it's still difficult to wrap my mind around the concept of maneuvering via centrifugal forces, even if my subconscious can grasp it." She added. "I'm hoping with more practice I can understand it both ways." She finished.

The boisterous Operator grinned. "Yeah, thanks! Sounds like intuition is the way to go. I like it!"

Arye watched as the rude Asteroid that figuratively insulted her was blown away in a miss match of her Starbreaker’s arsenal. “And that, my dear Asteroid is why you don’t insult Operators!” Arye childishly stuck her tongue out at the memory in her mind. She'd arrived with the other operators but had been lost in her mind.

Now that she was back in the real world, she couldn't help but notice new crew. “New Crew, means new friends, and new friends makes Arye a happy Operator,” she said to herself before she greeted the arrivals to her and V's side. “Hello, fellow best soldiers of the Conclave!” She said to the two Operators before she caught sight of Chloe. “Hey... you're new aren't you?”

"Umm...yes, I am!" Chloe shifted her gaze towards the new voice, her eyes widening as they took in the Operator at her side. "I am Ensign Chloe 10." The gynoid introduced herself with a graceful smile, before extending her hand in greeting. All the while, she processed her observation that both V115 and the newcomer seemed to look alike, with their metallic blue hair, pale skin, and delicate features. However, it was by no means an exact resemblance. If anything, Chloe sensed that she herself could be perceived as looking similar to V115 and the newcomer, if her singular horn was subtracted from the equation.

However, before anyone else could respond, movement registered at the front of the room in Chloe's periphery, compelling the Operator to shift her attention there.

As the Operators of Alpha Lance chattered amongst themselves, they could hear the CAG speak up from the front of the briefing room and clear his throat. The sound wasn't that loud, but the various conversations seemed to all dampen or cease as the Osmani human made his way to a console at the front of the room.

"All right, settle down." The man said in a tone that was at once stern and reasonable. "We're all happy to have new faces to get to know, and to have 1st Squadron back at full strength." The man tapped on a button on the console, and a large screen at the front of the room flashed to life, showing the roster of the squadron with names and portraits of each pilot.

Each of the lances in the squadron, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma, had at least one member missing. Off to the side were the newcomers, whose names and portraits quickly moved into the empty slots with Riot and Chloe sliding into Alpha Lance.

"To those who have not yet met with me to handle their craft selection paperwork, I am the commander of the Watch's aerospace group. I am the go-between you all and the bridge, and I'll be handling mission tasking when it comes time to deploy pilots."

Another tap on the console and the screen switched to showing the various craft that the Ravenaca's Watch had onboard, both aerospace platforms and frames for ground operations.

"When it comes time for me to handle your paperwork for craft selection, I ask that you select both an aerospace option and one of the ground frames as a backup. While we have enough pilots on-hand to have every frame and fighter in the void, they're easier to procure if we're down a variable frame and need a replacement for you."

Arye smiled at Chloe before her attention was caught by the commander. The Starbreaker fan would likely choose the Starbreaker. it was good and fast, and capable of being in space, and in atmosphere. Though the thought of using a ground frame as backup intrigued her.

There was a soft smile from V115 as Arye approached, though she didn't have time to say anything herself before the CAG started a bit of a briefing. She watched with a sense of curiosity as the fresh faces were sorted into the lances. At the end she was quite satisfied to see that Alpha was getting two more operators, and ones who seemed rather competent, if a little inexperienced, at that.

As for craft selection, well... that choice was bit harder. For zero-g operations her go to choice was the banshee. That choice was essentially locked in for her though she was debating a different configuration from her normal loadout. As for a secondary... well one of the Super Spartans would have to do.

With the conclusion of the briefing, Chloe turned to her new Lance mates and offered them an affirmative nod. It was confirmation that they would be working together for the foreseeable future, a prospect which the gynoid could not help but to feel excitement for. As for her craft selection, Chloe quickly decided that she would choose the Sparrowhawk and the Super Spartan. However, she had heard that particularly elite aces and Conclave Knights were often given their pick of frames and mecha, prioritized over other pilots by virtue of their talents and irreplaceability.

To achieve such a status was rewarding in and of itself, but for Chloe, she hoped it might serve as confirmation of her ultimate goal—to push her skills to the bleeding edge and beyond.

In short, the realization of her own perfection—an achievement Chloe believed to be possible only for Synthetics and perhaps a few others.

As for Riot, having to pick just one of each was a true struggle. She wanted to pilot everything - but could understand the CAG's need to keep assignments simple. Besides, she would have two frames, so it wasn't a total loss.

She keyed in a Sparrowhawk and the Super Spartan. The alternatives were definitely appealing, but she really wanted to scrap it up with the enemy - the Sparrowhawk was more likely to get that job.

The red-haired operator looked over at the others, eager to see what they selected.