Hidden 17 days ago 15 days ago
Zeroth Post

You can use Flashbacks to interact in the past. Simply mark a different timeline in your post with the place and time/date, just as present posts in the main story. This allows you to complete old scenes after moving on and create engaging history between characters.

Refrain from posting music or images beside your character image. I will provide 'set pieces' and 'soundtrack', which you can simply ignore if you want to.

Try to limit yourself to 1000 words in a post. Nothing will happen if there is more, but keep it as a mental maximum. Use this axiom as a guideline when writing: React, Act, Observe, and Reflect.

Timestamps in posts can follow the scheme below.

Early Morning (06:00-09:00 AM)
Late Morning (09:00-12:00 AM)
After Noon (12:00-15:00 PM)
Late Day (15:00-18:00 PM)
Early Evening (18:00-21:00 PM)
Late Evening (21:00-00:00 PM)
Night (00:00-03:00 AM)
Late Night (03:00-06:00 AM)

You can add the following at the end of your posts, if you want to. Click on the RAW button in the top right corner of this post to see the code.

You can summarize your post here, if you need to. It can be helpful for others in the event that their characters are not part of the post. And, it is very helpful when reading back old posts.

Anything you mention about the world and its things can be considered lore. Here, you can write a little more about that thing, so that I can add it to the Codex. If you did not mention anything, then just ignore this.

Hidden 15 days ago 15 days ago Post by Prisk
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Prisk ₓ ₓ ₈ ₆

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DAY 1 《》 STEELWATER [Landing Zone - A] 《》 Late Morning 《》 @Prisk

Some of the members of the team had already been called away. This was the nature of this war. Everything was always moving in different directions. It was all regrettably unpredictable. Luckily, the Special Warfare and Reconnaissance Group functioned in such a way that other Aeons could always link up at any time. This was how High Command of the UDF wanted it. They had learned this lesson the hard way. The first iteration of the group had been a predetermined and unchanged team. This led to incredible cohesion and effectiveness, but it also came with certain risks. When one of the team ended up with Renegade status, all of them followed suit out of loyalty. This was unacceptable, which is why High Command changed the team composition protocols for the group.

Emilia thought about why they were in Steelwater. They had brought fairly talented Aeons from the Research Division on the team. That could not have been a coincidence, and Aaron probably knew why—she meant to ask him about it the second there was a quiet moment. Then there was Ben. Why was he here? Emilia’s mind hopped back in time to that last message she had received from him. There was something that he had to do, but he could not do it while they were together and his mother was still alive. That could only mean something illegal or extremely bad in the eyes of the UDF. Why was he in Steelwater, though? Or rather, why had he been there? Emilia figured that he was long gone, but they had to find out why he had been there at all and where he was going. What could make such a legendary Aeon with an almost perfect UDF career abandon everything to do whatever it is he was doing? The thought was baffling and way too distracting at this time, in the heat of battle, so she did her best to let it go for now.

The berated and punished monstrosity was provoked beyond what it probably expected. The utter barrage of pain that Aaron and Scylla inflicted in less than a minute was enough to level an entire city block's worth of concrete. The thing let out a terrible screech during a brief moment of respite from its spirit possessed attackers. All the tinier creatures that swarmed in its vicinity began to scurry away in a hurry, as their atrocious Alpha uncannily began to spin around in a Whirlwind. Mud and rock were flung from the shallow waters of the creek and the many vile tentacles of the monster sent any stragglers flying. That such a bulky creature could move that fast, in a spinning motion no less, was a baffling sight to behold. Being caught in such retaliation would surely be felt the next morning.

"Watch out!" Emilia shouted just before the thing reached its violent momentum.

Her shotgun shells were quickly running out. Emilia doubted that any gun or blade would stop that monstrosity from spinning around, and there was no telling when it would stop. She dropped the smoking barrel onto the deck when the firepower had dried up. The tiny tree husks and insects were still an issue, but they would certainly cut their losses if their daddy was dead. Emilia crouched for a split second before forcefully jumping high up into the air—the very thing that had made her iconic in this business. At the zenith of her physical feat, slowing down at roughly forty meters above ground, she raised her arm above her head and focused her mind on the spirits within. Swirling air all around her began to gather, smokey gray and white in its heightened appearance, rapidly taking the shape of a conventional missile. Just as Emilia was about to descend due to gravity, she flung the airy armament at the monstrosity.

The rocket of air left an impressive trail in the sky. The explosion from the impact was less than two seconds after Emilia had launched the attack. A potent shock wave escaped in all directions, water in the creek was forcefully moved and nearly drained around the foe, and a grayish mist was aggressively ejected into the air in the shape of a dome. All the tiny minions were knocked off balance and about in the immediate area. The vile creature itself stopped dead in its spinning track, briefly stunned by the airy detonation. Emilia touched ground shortly thereafter. She drew her combat blade from its resting place underneath her backpack, strapped to the chest rig.

“Now! Go, go!” She shouted to the others fighting the thing. There was an opening to do some serious damage.

The plan in Emilia's head was to clear this area out and regroup at the ResDiv Research Station up ahead. From there, they would make their entry into the city. It was anyone’s guess how they would ever pick up any trail belonging to Ben. They would probably have to split up and look for anything that could be related to the UDF—something secret or off limits. It was the only logical conclusion that Emilia could come to. If he had achieved his Archon form and shown hostility with it, then he was doing something that the UDF did not approve of. And what was with these Stigma creatures and overwhelming odds? The orbiting comet was not due near Steelwater for another hour, so there was no reason for this kind of invasion to make itself known. Hopefully, they would find something in the city that could give some modest answers.

》》》 Enemy & Tactical Map 《《《

Emilia reflects upon why they are in Steelwater and why Ben is doing somethig that seems illegal. The Big Bad does a whirlwind-kind of attack and spins its tentacles around. Emilia attacks the Big Bad from a distance with an air element Projectile in the shape of a missile. The explosion from it creates a brief opening to attack the creature.

Quest Steps
For NEW PLAYERS: You can describe your character as arriving in Steelwater with the same Navigation Division Air Mobile squad as the rest of the characters. Alternatively, you can describe your character as already being in Steelwater, at the scene. If you have problems with inserting your character in a good way, then speak with me right away and we will take care of it. If all else fails, we can insert your character through a collaboration post.

When we fight a 'Big Bad', make sure to check the stuff about Combat in the Codex. I did not use any of that stuff in this post myself, so as not to muddy things up and make things too complicated for any potential new players. Take your time with the Combat stuff, and ask me if something seems unclear!

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Hidden 13 days ago 12 days ago Post by Aeolian
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Aeolian Proud Fujoshi

Member Seen 0-12 hrs ago

FLASHBACK 《》 BELLFORT [UDF Sauraine Lake Compound] 《》 Night 《》 @Aeolian

It was a starry night, a darkened sky filled with the wonders of a beautiful cosmos that Peter often watched and daydreamed under. But the atmosphere that shrouded his heart was solemn and contemplative. He sat on the rooftop of the Sauraine Lake Compound, arms wrapped around his tucked-in knees. He rested his chin on the crest of his knee caps and looked out at the massive glistening lake before him. So many bodies lay to rest at it's depths, many more further out at sea. As a Funérailles, he felt a shift, an imbalance in the world. Ever since the comet, he had witnessed unimaginable suffering and death. Death and life were an inevitable, essential part of a balanced world, but...now...more people were dying far before it was their natural time.

Just within the last few months, Peter had performed Mer de rêves (The Sea of Dreams) more than he had within the previous year combined. It was getting worse--the chaos, the destruction, the decay. Children, so many children. He wiped at the tears that weld and fell from his earthy brown eyes. Only a soft sniffle had escaped him, when suddenly, he shot up from his position and outstretched his hand toward the other side of the roof. A glittering golden light emanated from his palm and he just stood there in a wary, defensive posture. No one ever came up to the rooftop, especially not this late at night. So he couldn't help but feel cautious.

"Whose there?" he called out calmly, "Reveal yourself."

There was only silence and the rippling sounds of a peaceful lake. Then, tepid creaking on steel could be heard. It was moving upward, as though ascending a rustic ladder. Peter stared at the location of the noise as it seemed to approach closer. Eventually, a head popped over the roof edge. It was a young man, notably handsome as he fully lifted himself up and hopped on the rooftop in one smooth motion. He was tall, at least a head over Peter, and he wore the kind of dingy uniform you might find on a mechanic or engineer. Once he came into full view, illuminated by the moonlight, Peter recognized him and let his hand fall to his side. A while back, Peter had buried this man's sister at Sauraine Lake. Peter gave the fellow a puzzled look.

"Milo is it?"

The handsome young man showed him a charming grin and Peter nodded. "Right. Well, you can't be up here. And my services are no longer available until sunrise."

Milo took a step forward, and instinctively, Peter took a step back. "Actually, I wanted to thank you again, for what you did for my sister. The burial rites, they were beautiful."

Peter gave the man a feeble smile, a knowing look in his eyes, "Think nothing of it. However...." A misty silence lingered between them for a brief moment, "you really can not be up here. I'm not allowed to have visitors."

"Says who?" Milo asked, raising an eyebrow. "Your UDF captors?"

Peter regarded Milo's words and then looked away, a feeling of shame washing over him. It was true in a way. He was an Aeon, but, most didn't know that his life under the UDF had always been highly micromanaged. Where he could go, who he met from day to day, it was always hyper-regulated. Peter had tried to escape before, to fly away from the UDF and their omnipotent hand. He had tried on more than one occasion in fact. But they always recaptured him. Eventually, Peter lost hope that he would ever be free from their web.

"The Angel of Bellfort..." Milo continued, a sleek tone that was equally annoying as it was slightly enchanting. He placed his hands inside his trouser pockets, and moved a bit closer to Peter, "...a bird trapped in a gilded cage."

The reality stung and it made Peter feel more frustrated as Milo spoke so cavalierly about it. He clenched his fists and squeezed tight until his vessels mapped his flesh, "Please, leave. Before you're caught and jailed for trespassing." Peter said sternly. Milo shook his head, rebelliously non-compliant.

"Not yet. I--ugh..." Milo paused, showing a shyness he hadn't yet presented until now. Peter noticed too, the sudden flush of Milo's cheeks and the way he pulled down his hoody and rubbed the back of his neck, "I've been watching for a while now."

If that was supposed to be romantic, it had the opposite effect. Peter became leery again of Milo's intentions and his body language showed it. He furrowed his eyebrows, "Why?" he asked, a tone of distrust seeping through, "Are you here to hurt me?"

For a moment, a surprised look appeared on Milo's countenance, almost as if he were hurt by such a ridiculous notion. "Never." he said with no hesitation. "I'm just...I don't know...fascinated by you."

Peter titled his head a bit, inquisitively. "Fascinated?"

Milo nodded, "Yeah." He took a few steps closer until they were only a few feet away from each other. "For some reason, I have this overwhelming desire to protect you. To...set you free."

Rightfully so, Peter was confused by this sudden confession of interest. But the idea of being set free--the words replayed in his head.

Set you free...

DAY 1 《》 STEELWATER [Ground - Forest] 《》 Late Morning 《》 @Aeolian

"Please, you have to stay quiet, or those monsters will find us."

Peter had his hands pressed firmly to the festering wound of a young girl, no older than 12 or 13. She whimpered in pain as his palms filtered a warm glittering light over the infected gash on her leg. It was healing, thankfully. Further down the path were two bodies, a man and a woman, their innards eviscerated and strewn about like the contents of a busted pinata. Most likely the young girl's parents. Peter hadn't arrived in time to save them from the monsters. It was a miracle that this girl somehow escaped and was able to hide inside the large hollow of a tree.

Before this moment, Peter arrived at Steelwater during the early hours with a small squad of Aeons, four in total, himself included. As was the nature of these SWARG missions, teams and squads and platoons came and went with the demanding whims of UDF military officials. Not the most efficient method, but a strategic tactic to maintain control over Aeons and discourage group loyalty, because, in their eyes, loyalty was reserved strictly for the UDF higher-ups. At some point during the battle, Peter got separated from his team in the forest and stumbled upon the young girl fleeing from minor stigmas.

Loading up his crossbow, he had managed to dispatch the beasts with his piercing arrows of light. But surely, more would come. He had to somehow get this girl to the UDF ResDiv Portable Research Station. He could heal her wound, but the stigma infection that bloomed within her, his magic was no good for that. He had been fighting for hours at this point and didn't have enough spiritual energy to carry her mid-flight. Snapping out his revelry, Peter looked back to the girl as her wound finished sealing. She continued to cry out for her parents, knowing full well she would never see them again.

"Where is my pa? My mama? I want to see them..." she whined, a bit dazed. Peter could only watch her, overwhelmed with enough pity to choke him. He placed a hand to her forehand, feeling the unnatural warmth that filled her. Fever was setting in.

"They have left this world. I'm sorry."

"No! No!" she screamed, mucus and tears spilling from her face. "No!"

Peter looked frantic, unable to get her to quiet or calm. He could hear more of the beasts coming, carried by the girl's cries. He knew he had to make a quick decision. With a flick of his wrist, a spritz of glittering dust released from his hand and filled the air around the girl's face. Her eyes went drowsy, her head titled back and forth, and then she was out in a dreamless slumber. He caught her head as it went limp and then gently laid her to sleep on the floor. But his efforts to remain hidden proved fruitless. Peter exited the hollow of the tree to witness the approach of those disgusting insect-like creatures.

He readied his crossbow as his light poured into the weapon to form a glittering golden arrow. The creatures that rushed forth never ceased to amaze him. How they could be so single-focused in their destructive and brutal nature, soulless and empty. Peter went into his battle stance, leveling his crossbow at the monstrosities. Only he stood between the girl and the stigma. Her life depended on him. Peter furrowed his eyebrows, his resolve fortitude by his duty to protect her. If nothing else, he would get her to the portable research station.

Closer and closer they crawled towards him.

A bead of sweat dripped off his chin. He steadied his breathing, focusing on nothing but the incoming threat. In that fleeting moment, time stopped and he thought of Milo.

And then...

he fired.

Flashback: Peter is on the rooftop of the UDF Sauraine Lake Compound, peering out in the distance, introspective and tearful about the cruelty of the world. A young man named Milo sneaks on the roof to see him. They met once before, months ago when Peter buried his sister. Peter has reservations about Milo's intentions, with the ladder confessing interest in him.

DAY 1: Peter is in the hollow of a large old tree in the Steelwater forest, healing a young lost girl's wound and trying to hide from the stigma creatures. The lost girl's parents were violently eviscerated before Peter arrived. Distraught, she is weeping frantically and appears to have a fever caused by a stigma infection. Trying to remain hidden, Peter uses his magic to put the girl to sleep. It doesn't help because the insect-like stigma already found them. Peter resolves to protect the girl and get her to the ResDiv Portable Research Station in order to get her fever reduced before it's too late. He arrived at Steelwater with a team of 3 other Aeons, but got separated from them. He's been in combat for several hours now and doesn't have enough spiritual energy to carry the girl mid-flight. As the stigma approach, he readies his crossbow, thinks about Milo, and then fires arrows of light at the monstrosities.
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Hidden 9 days ago 9 days ago Post by Exit
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DAY 1 《》 STEELWATER [Landing Zone - A] 《》 Late Morning 《》 @Exit

"What is it like?"

"What is it like? Well... it's a lot like running. Like... like being free. Like grasping at the wind and letting it curl around your fingers and your hand. That's what it's like. What it feels like. Like a promise to take you somewhere... anywhere you want. Sometimes, if I run fast enough, it will."

_ __ ___ __ _

Christina was out of breath. Her chest hurt, her muscles burned, her fingers were numb and her vision was blurred. She couldn't concentrate, not with the ever present noise in her head. A fog of colors and sounds evaporated from a pool of doubt. Of her refusal to understand or comprehend the thing she'd bore witness too that was now burned forever in her mind. A nightmare no one had expected but she was now desperately trying to survive.

It had been like this from the start. Her and her team had dropped into the middle of the chaos. Six souls plunged into the fires of a city drowning in creatures born from the stigma and those who rose to defend it. It was messy and dangerous and a miracle that they had managed to survive to their objective. A combined effort of luck and careful maneuvering saw them safely through Steelwater amidst constant shelling and ambushes. They had remained resourceful. But while they could handle the little threats and rely on eyes in the sky to keep out of the way of the larger one, no amount of training or practice had prepared them for what they were to discover at journey's end. What they had originally assumed was a mission to retrieve some rich, scared asshole looking for an escort out of the city was anything but. A different man found them. One who was not lesser but known by many around the world as a hero. A soldier. An Aeon. But here he was different and while at first they didn't know how, all of them were very quickly educated.

Christina had no intention of dying in Steelwater; Leaving the broken world before her path was realized and she'd found the answers she was looking for. She'd already decided in that moment that she was more useful to the fight alive than with her team, and so she ran. She wanted out and she was going to drop anything and anyone who got in her way. So when she came upon aggroed fiends blocking her path, she did not hesitate. A shouldered rifle barked once for each creature she could see, placing a single piece of metal inside each skull. They collapsed, clearing the way, but as she was about to resume her retreat, she was distracted by a brief flash of light. A bolt singing through the air and sinking into the chest of a remaining aggressor, killing it.

Christina immediately dropped to a knee and swung around to meet the stranger with the sight of her rifle. It was hard to tell, what with the way the individual was half concealed in a tree, but there was enough to identify the armed figure as human in what looked to be some form of military attire. There behind him was an outline of another body she couldn't quite make out and outside the tree, there were an additional two adult persons who were very clearly deceased. A strange scene for her to stumble upon that didn't seem to make a lot of sense at first, but Christina did know two things: The earlier light was no ordinary attack and whoever the stranger was, he did just kill a stigma invested creature. They could have been an Aeon, although it was difficult to be sure with just the information she'd been given. If it was, she couldn't know if they would play nice. And if it wasn't, she'd seen weirder guns than fancy crossbows.

Not waiting to see if they would decide to use it on her, she spoke up. "Who are you?" She asked in the brief silence. The silence was interrupted by the muted sound of a distant explosion. Her eyes snapped in that direction where she could briefly make out a figure falling out of the sky.

Christina retreats from something or someone who has wiped out her entire team. Exhausted but determined to escape, she stumbles upon and quickly dispatches a number of stigma creatures. However, she's also alerted to the presence of Peter @Aeolian, who has taken shelter in a nearby hollowed tree, and asks that he identify himself. In the distance, an explosion briefly distracts Christina who glances in the direction and catches a figure @Prisk falling out of the sky.
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Hidden 8 days ago 8 days ago Post by DeadDrop
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DeadDrop Net Runner

Member Seen 7 hrs ago

DAY 1 《》 STEELWATER [Landing Zone - A] 《》 Late Morning 《》 @DeadDrop

𝙺𝚒𝚌𝚔 𝚘𝚏𝚏 𝚝𝚘 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚎𝚗𝚍 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚕𝚍, 𝚁𝚘𝚋𝚎𝚛𝚝 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚝𝚎𝚎'𝚍 𝚞𝚙 𝚘𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚊𝚒𝚛𝚌𝚛𝚊𝚏𝚝 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚍𝚘𝚠𝚗.

𝚃𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑 𝚗𝚘𝚝 𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝚋𝚊𝚝𝚝𝚕𝚎𝚜 𝚘𝚏 𝚋𝚛𝚊𝚠𝚗 𝚎𝚗𝚍 𝚒𝚗 𝚋𝚕𝚘𝚘𝚍𝚢 𝚖𝚎𝚜𝚜𝚎𝚜, 𝚒𝚝 𝚜𝚞𝚛𝚎 𝚜𝚎𝚎𝚖𝚎𝚍 𝚕𝚒𝚔𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚘𝚞𝚝𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚙𝚛𝚎𝚍𝚎𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚖𝚒𝚗𝚎𝚍 𝚒𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚏𝚊𝚒𝚛 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚒𝚌𝚒𝚝 𝚋𝚊𝚌𝚔𝚐𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚐𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚙 𝚑𝚊𝚍 𝚋𝚎𝚎𝚗 𝚊𝚒𝚛𝚍𝚛𝚘𝚙𝚙𝚎𝚍 𝚒𝚗. 𝙸𝚝 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚋𝚛𝚞𝚝𝚊𝚕 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚍𝚒𝚍𝚗'𝚝 𝚕𝚎𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚢 𝚛𝚘𝚘𝚖 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚚𝚞𝚎𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚜 𝚋𝚞𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝'𝚜 𝚑𝚘𝚠 𝚑𝚎 𝚕𝚒𝚔𝚎𝚍 𝚒𝚝. 𝙸𝚗 𝚏𝚊𝚌𝚝, 𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚘𝚜 𝚋𝚛𝚎𝚍 𝚌𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚟𝚒𝚝𝚢 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝚊 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚕𝚍 𝚐𝚘𝚗𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚜𝚑𝚒𝚝 𝚒𝚝 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝚊𝚋𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚠𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚠𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚋𝚘𝚛𝚗 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚋𝚛𝚎𝚍, 𝚕𝚎𝚜𝚝 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚠𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚜𝚘𝚖𝚎 𝚗𝚘𝚗-𝚎𝚘𝚗 𝚌𝚑𝚞𝚖𝚙 𝚌𝚊𝚞𝚐𝚑𝚝 𝚞𝚙 𝚒𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚊𝚏𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚖𝚊𝚝𝚑. 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚋𝚊𝚝 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚟𝚒𝚜𝚌𝚎𝚛𝚊𝚕 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚞𝚗𝚛𝚎𝚖𝚘𝚛𝚜𝚎𝚏𝚞𝚕 𝚋𝚞𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚒𝚜 𝚠𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚂𝚆𝙰𝚁𝙶𝚕𝚎𝚝𝚜 𝚜𝚒𝚐𝚗𝚎𝚍 𝚞𝚙 𝚏𝚘𝚛, 𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑 𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚝𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚍𝚒𝚜𝚌𝚞𝚜𝚜𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚎𝚗𝚍 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚕𝚍 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚊𝚕𝚠𝚊𝚢𝚜 𝚊𝚗 𝚊𝚗𝚜𝚠𝚎𝚛 𝚠𝚎𝚕𝚕 𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚙𝚎𝚌𝚝𝚎𝚍 - 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚠𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚛𝚎𝚚𝚞𝚒𝚛𝚎 𝚊 𝚖𝚘𝚛𝚎 𝚍𝚒𝚛𝚎𝚌𝚝 𝚊𝚙𝚙𝚛𝚘𝚊𝚌𝚑 𝚝𝚘 𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚘𝚕𝚟𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚜𝚒𝚝𝚞𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗. 𝙱𝚘𝚘𝚝𝚜 𝚘𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚐𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚍 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚕𝚎𝚊𝚍 𝚊𝚕𝚠𝚊𝚢𝚜 𝚔𝚎𝚙𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚋𝚛𝚊𝚜𝚜 𝚑𝚊𝚙𝚙𝚢, 𝚋𝚞𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚠𝚊𝚜𝚗'𝚝 𝚊𝚋𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚎𝚖𝚘𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚜 𝚘𝚏 𝚘𝚕𝚍 𝚖𝚎𝚗 𝚒𝚗 𝚊 𝚌𝚊𝚙𝚒𝚝𝚊𝚕 𝚙𝚕𝚊𝚢𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚌𝚑𝚎𝚜𝚜 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝚕𝚒𝚟𝚎𝚜. 𝚃𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚊𝚋𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚜𝚘𝚖𝚎𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚖𝚘𝚛𝚎 𝚍𝚎𝚎𝚙𝚎𝚛.

𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚑𝚘𝚕𝚎 𝚠𝚑𝚢 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚗𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚎𝚡𝚙𝚕𝚘𝚛𝚎𝚍, 𝚠𝚑𝚢 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚙𝚕𝚊𝚗𝚎𝚝 𝚠𝚑𝚢 𝚗𝚘𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚗𝚎𝚡𝚝? 𝚆𝚑𝚢 𝚑𝚘𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚕𝚎 𝚕𝚒𝚏𝚎 𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚖𝚜, 𝚠𝚑𝚢 𝚗𝚘 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚖𝚞𝚗𝚒𝚌𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗? 𝚈𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚊𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚊𝚐𝚎 𝚌𝚒𝚝𝚒𝚣𝚎𝚗 𝚠𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚜𝚌𝚘𝚏𝚏 𝚊𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑𝚝, 𝚠𝚑𝚢 𝚋𝚛𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚞𝚙 𝚊 𝚗𝚎𝚐𝚘𝚝𝚒𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚎𝚗𝚜? 𝚈𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚖𝚘𝚛𝚎 𝚜𝚔𝚎𝚙𝚝𝚒𝚌𝚊𝚕 𝚜𝚌𝚑𝚘𝚕𝚊𝚛 𝚖𝚊𝚢 𝚜𝚞𝚐𝚐𝚎𝚜𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚒𝚛 𝚙𝚕𝚊𝚗, 𝚊𝚗 𝚞𝚗𝚒𝚗𝚝𝚎𝚕𝚕𝚒𝚐𝚎𝚗𝚝 𝚜𝚙𝚎𝚌𝚒𝚎𝚜 𝚙𝚘𝚒𝚜𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚘𝚠𝚊𝚛𝚍𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚍𝚎𝚜𝚝𝚛𝚞𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚘𝚏 𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝚕𝚒𝚏𝚎 𝚒𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚕𝚍 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚠𝚑𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚐𝚊𝚒𝚗𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚐𝚛𝚘𝚠𝚝𝚑𝚜 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚙𝚕𝚊𝚐𝚞𝚎 𝚐𝚊𝚟𝚎. 𝚆𝚑𝚒𝚕𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚜𝚎 𝚕𝚒𝚟𝚎𝚜 𝚠𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚗𝚘𝚝 𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝚒𝚗𝚗𝚘𝚌𝚎𝚗𝚝, 𝚐𝚎𝚗𝚘𝚌𝚒𝚍𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚗𝚘𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚢. 𝚃𝚑𝚎𝚜𝚎 𝚜𝚠𝚊𝚛𝚖𝚢 𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑𝚝𝚜 𝚙𝚘𝚘𝚕𝚎𝚍 𝚊𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚋𝚛𝚊𝚒𝚗𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚖 𝚘𝚏 𝚙𝚘𝚘𝚛 𝙷𝚎𝚛𝚗𝚊𝚗𝚍𝚎𝚣 𝚊𝚜 𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚘𝚔𝚎 𝚞𝚙 𝚏𝚛𝚘𝚖 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚒𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚜𝚜𝚊𝚗𝚝 𝚜𝚝𝚞𝚙𝚘𝚛. 𝚁𝚒𝚏𝚕𝚎 𝚒𝚗 𝚑𝚊𝚗𝚍, 𝚑𝚎 𝚑𝚊𝚍 𝚐𝚞𝚗𝚗𝚎𝚍 𝚍𝚘𝚠𝚗 𝚜𝚘𝚖𝚎 𝚐𝚘𝚘𝚗𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚑𝚊𝚍 𝚌𝚛𝚊𝚠𝚕𝚎𝚍 𝚒𝚗 𝚏𝚛𝚘𝚖 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚊𝚏𝚝𝚎𝚛-𝚕𝚒𝚏𝚎 𝚘𝚛 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚘𝚗𝚎 𝚋𝚎𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝. 𝚁𝚎𝚕𝚘𝚊𝚍𝚒𝚗𝚐, 𝚑𝚎 𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚗𝚎𝚍 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚑𝚎𝚊𝚍 𝚝𝚘𝚠𝚊𝚛𝚍𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚋𝚒𝚐 𝚋𝚊𝚍 𝚒𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚝.

𝚈𝚎𝚜, 𝚎𝚕𝚎𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚜 𝚠𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚜𝚙𝚕𝚒𝚝 𝚊𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚝𝚒𝚖𝚎, 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚙𝚎𝚘𝚙𝚕𝚎 𝚗𝚎𝚎𝚍𝚎𝚍 𝚑𝚎𝚕𝚙. 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚝 𝚏𝚊𝚌𝚝𝚘𝚛 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚘𝚏𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚛𝚝𝚜 𝚘𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚋𝚒𝚐 𝚘𝚗𝚎, 𝚒𝚝'𝚜 𝚜𝚘𝚖𝚎𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚛𝚎𝚚𝚞𝚒𝚛𝚎𝚍 𝚜𝚞𝚛𝚐𝚒𝚌𝚊𝚕 𝚒𝚗𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚍𝚒𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚝𝚘 𝚎𝚏𝚏𝚎𝚌𝚝 𝚊 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚙𝚕𝚎𝚝𝚎 𝚔𝚒𝚕𝚕 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚛𝚎𝚖𝚘𝚟𝚊𝚕 𝚏𝚛𝚘𝚖 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚋𝚊𝚝𝚝𝚕𝚎𝚐𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚍. 𝙲𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚛, 𝚒𝚐𝚗𝚘𝚛𝚎𝚍 𝚠𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚞𝚕𝚝 𝚒𝚗 𝚊 𝚜𝚕𝚘𝚠 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚕𝚎𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚛𝚐𝚒𝚌 𝚍𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚑. 𝙲𝚞𝚝 𝚒𝚝 𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚠𝚑𝚒𝚕𝚎 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚕𝚕 𝚑𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎, 𝚘𝚛 𝚜𝚘𝚛𝚛𝚘𝚠𝚏𝚞𝚕𝚕𝚢 𝚋𝚞𝚛𝚢 𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚜𝚎 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚕𝚘𝚜𝚝 𝚋𝚎𝚌𝚊𝚞𝚜𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚒𝚗𝚊𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗. 𝚃𝚑𝚘𝚜𝚎 𝚠𝚑𝚘 𝚔𝚗𝚘𝚠 𝚁𝚘𝚋 𝚘𝚛 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚛𝚎𝚙𝚞𝚝𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚔𝚗𝚎𝚠 𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚖𝚊𝚗 𝚘𝚏 𝚊𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗, 𝚘𝚏 𝚌𝚘𝚞𝚛𝚜𝚎, 𝚒𝚍𝚕𝚎 𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚏𝚕𝚒𝚛𝚝𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚊 𝚙𝚊𝚛𝚝 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚙𝚞𝚋𝚕𝚒𝚌 𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚘𝚗𝚊 𝚑𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚌𝚛𝚊𝚏𝚝𝚎𝚍 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚙𝚛𝚘𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚌𝚝𝚘𝚛, 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚔𝚒𝚍𝚜 𝚐𝚕𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚜 𝚑𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚎 𝚘𝚏𝚏. 𝙲𝚑𝚊𝚛𝚐𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚑𝚎𝚊𝚍 𝚏𝚒𝚛𝚜𝚝 𝚝𝚘𝚠𝚊𝚛𝚍𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚣𝚎𝚊𝚕𝚘𝚞𝚜 𝚋𝚎𝚊𝚜𝚝, 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚒𝚗𝚗𝚎𝚛 𝙰𝚎𝚘𝚗 𝚜𝚙𝚊𝚛𝚔𝚎𝚍 𝚊𝚜 𝚜𝚙𝚒𝚛𝚒𝚝𝚜 𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚖𝚎𝚍 𝚌𝚞𝚝, 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚌𝚕𝚎𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚒𝚗𝚝𝚘 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚕𝚎𝚐 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚖𝚘𝚗𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚛.

𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚘𝚏𝚏 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚌𝚕𝚎𝚊𝚛, 𝚕𝚒𝚔𝚎 𝚝𝚠𝚘 𝚌𝚘𝚠𝚋𝚘𝚢𝚜 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚘𝚕𝚍-𝚍𝚎𝚜𝚎𝚛𝚝𝚎𝚍 𝚍𝚎𝚜𝚎𝚛𝚝𝚜 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚎𝚜𝚝. 𝙱𝚘𝚝𝚑 𝚠𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚍𝚛𝚊𝚠, 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚘𝚗𝚎 𝚠𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚋𝚎 𝚕𝚎𝚏𝚝 𝚝𝚘 𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚊𝚏𝚝𝚎𝚛 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚜𝚖𝚘𝚔𝚎.

𝚃𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚁𝚘𝚋𝚎𝚛𝚝'𝚜 𝚜𝚑𝚘𝚠𝚍𝚘𝚠𝚗.

Robert urgently joins the fight, taking a shot right at the big bad - head first..

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Hidden 5 days ago Post by Aeolian
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Aeolian Proud Fujoshi

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DAY 1 《》 STEELWATER [Ground - UDF Portable Research Station] 《》 Late Morning 《》 @Aeolian

RECAP: Last we saw Dr. Isolde Featherswallow (Lady of Shadows), she was in the UDF Portable Research Station, east of a now besieged Steelwater. Inside the domed enclosure were medical staff tending to injured soldiers and civilians who hadn't perished in the city or in the throngs of war. There was also ResDiv personnel conducting sensitive research. Within this station was a special room that housed people who had been infected by the stigma, their health deteriorating rapidly by a deathly fever.

Only Dr. Poole, Isolde, and the last remaining infection specialist could access this special room (the other infection specialists had died during the last relocation of the UDF PRS). With only a few fever agents on hand (thanks to Dr. Featherswallow) and no duplicator to quickly reproduce them, Isolde and her small team went to work on the time-consuming task of manually making more--time they did not have to spare. Accuracy and urgency were key to achieving the outcome that Isolde sought after.

UDF soldiers stood guard on all sides of the dome in case stigma made it through. Marcus, Isolde's son and bodyguard, joined them in duty.

Now, let's continue.

Isolde walked with purpose. Despite the chaos of the situation, she seemed poised, calm even. Not a glisten of sweat licked her skin. Had it not been for the moans of pained soldiers or the beeping of equipment, you'd of thought she was walking down a red carpet. It was a shocking scene, truly, the difference in her step compared to the fervent movements of Dr. Poole or the timid scurrying of Oerba (Isolde's assistant).

After entering the special Infection Room, a woman tending to one of the infected patients approached them. Dr. Poole, still riled up from everything, gestured to her. "This is Dr. Helen Khan, our last infection specialist. I don't know how I would have managed without her." Dr. Khan put out her hand for a shake and when she did not receive one in turn, she gave Isolde a brief glare and then dropped her hands and settled for clasping them together instead.

Isolde gazed at the woman with no particular interest, surveying her up and down. "Their condition?" Isolde began, ignoring formalities. Dr. Helen let out a deep breath, "Bleak, but manageable, for now." They moved toward one of the patients and Isolde followed. The patient was unconscious but breathing heavily, their form soaked in a fever sweat so unnatural and severe that it couldn't possibly have been caused by something from the natural world. One after another, they moved to each patient and Dr. Khan informed Isolde about their current condition. Some were far more along in the fever than others and though she did not say it aloud, Isolde knew some of them would not make it to inoculation. Time just was not on their side. This was a pill that Isolde found easy to swallow, but Dr. Khan was presently fatigued, her essence weighed down by the inevitable reality that she knew to be true as well. But Isolde, never smothered by the death of others, simply turned to Oerba and a medic Dr. Poole had pulled into the room.

"Administer the remaining fever agents to the patients who are in the poorest condition". As if on cue, Dr. Khan stepped forward and handed Oerba a list of the patients to tend to first, each one designated by a number. Oerba's hands were shaking as she looked over the list, clearly unnerved to be in such close proximity to the infected. The medic sympathetically placed a hand on Oerba's arm to calm her quivering and nodded, "We'll handle it. But what about the remaining patients?"

Before Isolde could respond, Dr. Khan cut in, earning her a sideways look from Isolde. "Just focus on your task at hand." The medic nodded to them and then looked to Oerba, pulling her along, "Come. Don't be nervous. I'll show you how to do it". Oerba looked back to Isolde, nervousness twisting her countenance. Isolde gave Oerba a commanding nod and then looked to Dr. Khan and Dr. Poole.

"I think it needs to be said--some of these patients won't make it." Isolde stated matter of factly.

Dr. Khan scrunched up her face, annoyed at Isolde's bluntness. "But we'll try to save them all if possible."

"It's not."

The two women glared at each other, invisible electricity sparking between them. Dr. Poole, jumping up and down in his lab coat, interrupted their staring contest by grunting loudly. "Ehh ermm. I've..ummm...I've prepared the necessary materials to begin fever agent production." He shifted his glasses and then gestured toward the aforementioned resources and materials lumped on the other side of the Infection Room. "Now all we need are six hands, three brilliant minds, and some teamwork to get them ready." Both women looked at Dr. Poole, then back to each other, and then nodded, relenting.

As they began working, Dr. Poole, equal parts anxious as he was giddy, shifted his glasses nervously. He looked at Isolde, then back to this work, then back to Isolde and then back to this work again. He did this a few more times until Isolde noticed him out of her peripherals. She rolled her eyes and then gave him her attention as though he were a pesky child. "Yes?" she inquired, peeved at his interruption. Dr. Poole was trying to stifle his inner fanboy, unsuccessfully of course.

"I'm an admirer. Truly. I've been following your work for years. The last journal published about your progress in finding a cure...nothing short of pure genius."

Isolde couldn't help but smile. She loved compliments.

But Dr. Khan snorted, unimpressed.

Isolde looked at the infection specialist, raising an eyebrow. "Deary, do you have something to add?"

In truth, Dr. Khan did. But she knew of Isolde's ranking and reputation, and she was highly outclassed. She was very much aware of their gap in the hierarchy. One word to the UDF higher ups and Isolde could have her position terminated. She was petty like that. But most of all, she knew Dr. Featherswallow was an Aeon, and that simple nugget of knowledge scared her more than the idea of getting fired or even the rumors in the Emberletter tabloids. Dr. Khan, with all the strength she could muster, bit her tongue and simply shook her head.

A cheeky grin settled onto Isolde's plush lips, satisfaction filling her. She enjoyed it when people knew their place without her having to expressly state the obvious. It meant the structure of the hierarchy was well-intact, and she thrived on it.

But for now, a heavy silence settled between them once again and they continued working.

In the distance, a sonorous rumbling could be felt under their soles. Something large and scary loomed. Whatever it was, Isolde got the feeling that its destruction was pivotal to their continued survival.

Inside the UDF Portable Research Station, Isolde, along with the help of Dr. Poole and infection specialist Dr. Helen Khan, have begun manual production of additional fever agents to try and reduce the fever in patient's infected with the stigma. Not all will survive. Oerba, Isolde's assistant, along with a medic, are dispensing what current supplies they have. Dr. Poole admires Isolde, while Dr. Khan and she very obviously do not get along.
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Hidden 2 days ago 2 days ago Post by Prisk
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Prisk ₓ ₓ ₈ ₆

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DAY 1 《》 STEELWATER [Forest] 《》 Late Morning 《》 @Aeolian@Exit@DeadDrop

The thing had to be close to death by now. Despite its obvious injuries and affected movement, the monster was determined to continue the struggle to the bitter end. Did it even have a conception of preserving its own life? Perhaps these things truly were completely mindless. At least it had a sense for detecting threats against itself. Robert’s presence and lavish entrance provoked the thing to a vile screech and following hostility. Its mouth gaped and showed its bizarre assortment of fangs and other incomprehensible things. A violent stream of grotesquely colored water spewed forth towards Robert’s frame. The amount of it was too much to have ever fit inside the thing, so it had to be some kind of magic—but was it based on spirits? Did spirits possess these things as well? Emilia could not even begin to imagine an answer. She was just a WarDiv grunt, so she know little to nothing about these kinds of things.

However, how the Stiggies used magic was not what truly had Emilia’s attention. On her way down from the jump, she noticed movement and lights a bit further into the forest area. There were people there that were not part of the S.W.A.R.G. team and it was doubtful that it was anyone from the World Eaters battalion. They were either civilians trying to escape the city, another team that the UDF had not informed about, or a hostile force about to flank the position. If the latter was true, then this was the perfect opportunity to do it. Emilia had to make an executive decision. McMahon had not designated a proper leader for the team, but had rather suggested it to be Emilia by way of implied punishment for insubordination—the ‘punishment’ being the position of trying to lead a team of leaders.

"Keep at it. I saw some movement to our west. I’ll be right back." Emilia said over the communication channel.

Hopefully, someone took note of her call out even if they were in the middle of a fight and distracted by all sorts of things. Emilia drove her blade through a couple of the tree husks and insects on her way towards the general area where she had seen the lights and what she presumed were people—it could just as well have been more of the creatures or some other monster they had not seen yet. An effortless jump to cover the last bit of distance made her arrival after the airy explosion appear uncanny. Emilia sheathed her sword and shouldered her rifle again before making contact with what she thought to be humans. From her experience, people were generally more afraid of a firearm than a melee weapon. So, even if her weapon was dryer than a desert and craving for bullets, it would certainly do its job to instill fear nonetheless. Emilia’s approach was from behind the tree that the strangers seemed to occupy.

The first impression was the tip of the spear as Emilia rounded the tree. The scene was no stranger than any other scene in a war such as this, yet unique in its own way. Emilia instantly noticed the BlackRock logo on the chest rig of a female soldier. This was not the first time that she had dealt with mercenaries, special operation groups, and other such things based on the big corporations. They were not always hostile, but they were not necessarily helpful either. The other person there seemed to either tend to or mourn the dead on the ground. Emilia did catch a glimpse of the crossbow, so the assumption was that this other individual was a combatant as well, probably UDF of some capacity. Emilia kept her eyes on the BlackRock operator, though.

“You guys got here fast. Do you mind putting that weapon away or is this going to be one of those ugly encounters you hear the grunts complain about all the time?” Emilia said while keeping her gun pointed at Christina—still dry of bullets.

The chain of events here are a bit off from @Exit's post. But, this is the easiest way that I could have Emilia notice Peter and Christina. Besides that, the big bad attacks Robert with the "torrent" water attack.
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