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Zeroth Post
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Zeroth








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.

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)


Summary
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.

Lore
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 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Prisk
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Prisk 🜄 🜁 🜃 🜂

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

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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 《《《


Summary
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 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Aeolian
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Aeolian Proud Fujoshi

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

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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

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"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.


Summary
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 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Exit
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Exit

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

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"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."


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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.

Summary
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 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by DeadDrop
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DeadDrop Net Runner

Member Seen 5 hrs ago




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

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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.




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

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

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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.
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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.




Summary
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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Prisk 🜄 🜁 🜃 🜂

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

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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.


Summary
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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Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Exit
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Exit

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

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A third individual appeared over a row of trees assisted by what looked like a jump that was far from normal. They too were in military getup, but as they swung around the back of the tree and stood in its shadow, it was too difficult for Christina to identify any markings that could indicate who they belonged too. However, more than one Aeon in a single combat zone usually meant one thing, and the thing she'd run into earlier was directly connected to them.

“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?”

There was a pause as Christina tossed the ask around in her head. She wanted to question back, but the more pressing matter of the other gun pointed at her pushed her to comply. From her perspective, she was outnumbered by military combatants and she knew upsetting trained individuals alone as she was now was a terrible idea not to mention bad for business. Running could have been an option, but she was under threat of taking a bullet and so instead, she simply lowered her rifle.

"You UDF?" She asked, still trying to connect dots.
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Summary
Emilia @Prisk arrives at the scene and asks that Christina put away her weapon. Christina complies and inquires as to who they, or more specifically Emilia, is.
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Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Aeolian
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Aeolian Proud Fujoshi

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

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Peter fought valiantly against the horrendous creatures that approached. With his crossbow leveled and filled with arrows of light, he fired. One after another, the stigma creatures fell, their heads pierced by a light so brilliant and clean that hardly any of their biofluids spilled onto the forest floor. He continued this defensive effort for a short while, eventually putting the last creature to sleep with a sparkling spritz of golden dust. It wobbled and then crashed into an ungainly slumber mid-charge.

For a brief second or so, Peter stood over the creature, watching it closely. He heaved heavily, one breathe after another, carefully observing the monstrosity. After the ephemeral moment passed and Peter regained himself, the young man took out his sword and pierced it through. At once, the creature stopped and so did Peter, feeling a nugget of ease that no immediate danger presented itself. He turned back to the young girl who still slept in the hollow of the tree. As he turned to go back to her, he heard a rustle of branches and brush nearby.

Instinctively, he prepared to put the target to sleep, assuming it was another of those stigma. But as he turned around, he found himself staring down the barrel of a rifle. It's wielder, unfamiliar, some bob-haired woman wearing a uniform that was not UDF, not like him. She must of been one of those corporate mercenaries or something of the sort. When he finally noticed the BlackRock logo on her uniform, it all made sense.

"Who are you?", she said.

Peter paused, bewildered. He stepped back, lowering his crossbow and cautiously gazing into her eyes. "Peter...I..." Before he really had a chance to explain further, another woman appeared before them. She seemed to have fell from the sky, in a graceful descent that was magical and controlled. This wasn't a free-fall and the manner upon which she settled down to the dirt made Peter think that maybe she was like him.

“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?” inquired the second female voice, the woman holding up a weapon of her own to the first.

"You UDF?" The BlackRock soldier responded in question.

It took a moment, as Peter's gaze fell back and forth between the two women, hoping a brawl didn't break out. This not the time for a human quarrel with these creatures running around and an infected girl whose life was on the line. However, it didn't take long before Peter's attention remained intensely on the second woman. Peter noticed the special UDF badge on her uniform and he took in the features of her familiar face. Suddenly it struck him.

"She is..." Peter whispered, "like me...". He trained his gaze on the second woman with the intensity of a burning sun. It wasn't a glare or any look of animosity, nothing that might lead her to believe that he meant her harm. In fact, it was a look of fascination and disbelief.

"She's Emilia Clarke." he proclaimed, his mouth left slightly ajar in clear astonishment. He knew he recognized her, even her voice. He had seen Emilia's face on the airwaves and in the headlines. Most sang her praises as one of the most notable Aeons in the known universe. In many ways, she was like a celebrity, to the public and within the UDF inner circles. The Poster Girl, if you will. But Peter had no time to marvel or amuse any pleasantries. In a way, he felt slightly more comforted now that she was here, like a superhero had come to his rescue, minus the weapon being pointed at them. He looked back to the sleeping girl and remembered his mission.

"Please, I need you to help me." Peter started, turning his back on the two women and kneeling beside the girl in the hollow of the tree. Resting his hand on the her forehead, he could feel the girl's body temperature rising. It was getting worse. Without looking at Emilia or the other unfamiliar woman, he continued, "Actually, if both of you might help, I will be in your debt. You see, I arrived in Steelwater some time ago. I was separated from my team and I don't know where they are anymore. But, I suppose that doesn't matter for now...." Peter paused for a moment, taking the sleeve of his uniform to pat the sweat that began to form on the young girl's face, "I found this young girl alone and I'm sure she's been infected. I put her to sleep for now, but..." He didn't want to finish his statement of what might happen if they didn't act in time.

Finally, he stood up and faced the women once more, "I have to get her to the UDF Portable Research Station for treatment or she'll die." Peter's eyes filled with water, sparkling like stars, but no fell tears. He took a deep breath, holding his composure.

"If you help me get her there, I'll do whatever you want." His eyes moved back and forth between them, "Both of you."



Summary
DAY 1: After protecting the sleeping girl by fighting off stigma monsters, Peter is approached by two women. The first is Christina, a BlackRock soldier and the other is none other than Emilia Lange herself. He asks them for help in taking the infected sleeping girl to the UDF Portable Research Station for treatment, or else she will die.
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Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by DeadDrop
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DeadDrop Net Runner

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

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"𝚆𝚑𝚊𝚝!? 𝙶𝚊𝚛𝚞𝚍𝚊! 𝙵𝚞𝚌𝚔, 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚘𝚠𝚎 𝚖𝚎 𝚊 𝚋𝚎𝚎𝚛!" 𝙷𝚎 𝚜𝚊𝚒𝚍 𝚊𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚛 𝚌𝚊𝚖𝚎 𝚍𝚘𝚠𝚗 𝚘𝚗 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚘𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚗𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚝𝚘 𝚍𝚛𝚎𝚗𝚌𝚑 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚙𝚘𝚝𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚒𝚊𝚕𝚕𝚢 𝚝𝚊𝚔𝚎 𝚑𝚒𝚖 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚏𝚞𝚌𝚔 𝚘𝚞𝚝. 𝚈𝚎𝚊𝚑, 𝚊𝚗𝚘𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚍𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚞𝚗𝚍𝚎𝚊𝚍, 𝚞𝚗𝚍𝚢𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚒𝚖𝚖𝚘𝚛𝚝𝚊𝚕 - 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚌𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚎𝚜 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚏𝚞𝚗𝚐𝚞𝚜. 𝙷𝚎 𝚖𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚍 𝚚𝚞𝚒𝚌𝚔𝚕𝚢 𝚝𝚛𝚢𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚝𝚘 𝚊𝚟𝚘𝚒𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚜𝚘𝚊𝚔 𝚏𝚛𝚘𝚖 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚛, 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚍𝚎𝚏𝚎𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚜 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚖𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚝 𝚠𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚊𝚐𝚒𝚕𝚎 𝚊𝚜 𝚑𝚒𝚜 '𝚌𝚞𝚝 𝚏𝚒𝚗𝚊𝚕𝚕𝚢 𝚜𝚝𝚛𝚒𝚔𝚎𝚜 𝚒𝚗𝚝𝚘 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚋𝚎𝚊𝚜𝚝 𝚊𝚜 𝚙𝚕𝚊𝚗𝚗𝚎𝚍. 𝙽𝚘𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚖𝚘𝚜𝚝 𝚒𝚍𝚎𝚊𝚕 𝚊𝚝𝚝𝚊𝚌𝚔 𝚋𝚞𝚝 𝚑𝚎 𝚑𝚊𝚍 𝚝𝚘 𝚝𝚊𝚗𝚔 𝚜𝚘 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚝𝚎𝚊𝚖 𝚌𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚏𝚒𝚗𝚒𝚜𝚑 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚘𝚏𝚏. 𝙸𝚝'𝚜 𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚢 𝚍𝚊𝚢 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚏𝚒𝚐𝚑𝚝 𝚊 𝚐𝚘𝚍 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚕𝚒𝚟𝚎, 𝚜𝚖𝚒𝚕𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚞𝚙𝚘𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚏𝚊𝚝𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝚘𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚜 𝚒𝚜 𝚜𝚘𝚖𝚎𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊 𝚏𝚘𝚘𝚕 𝚠𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚍𝚘. 𝚈𝚎𝚝 𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚜, 𝚍𝚘𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚒𝚝 𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚜𝚊𝚖𝚎. 𝙴𝚡𝚑𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊𝚒𝚛 𝚏𝚛𝚘𝚖 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚕𝚞𝚗𝚐𝚜 𝚑𝚎 𝚔𝚗𝚎𝚠 𝚑𝚎'𝚍 𝚑𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚙𝚒𝚌𝚔 𝚞𝚙 𝚠𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝙶𝚊𝚛𝚞𝚍𝚊 𝚕𝚎𝚏𝚝 𝚘𝚏𝚏.

𝙳𝚊𝚜𝚑𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚝𝚘 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚜𝚒𝚍𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚙𝚛𝚘𝚋𝚕𝚎𝚖 𝚠𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍𝚗'𝚝 𝚜𝚘𝚕𝚟𝚎 𝚒𝚝𝚜𝚎𝚕𝚏, 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚌𝚊𝚕𝚌𝚞𝚕𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚠𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚛𝚎𝚚𝚞𝚒𝚛𝚎 𝚊 𝚜𝚞𝚛𝚐𝚒𝚌𝚊𝚕 𝚜𝚘𝚕𝚞𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚊𝚒𝚖𝚎𝚍 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚑𝚎𝚊𝚛𝚝 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚗𝚘𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚘𝚞𝚝. 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚐 𝙰𝚎𝚘𝚗 𝚜𝚞𝚖𝚖𝚘𝚗𝚎𝚍 𝚊 𝚋𝚊𝚛𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚛 𝚋𝚎𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚎 𝚑𝚒𝚖𝚜𝚎𝚕𝚏 𝚝𝚘 𝚙𝚛𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚗𝚝 𝚏𝚞𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚎 𝚊𝚝𝚝𝚊𝚌𝚔𝚜 𝚘𝚏 𝚖𝚊𝚐𝚒𝚌𝚊𝚕 𝚙𝚛𝚘𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚝𝚒𝚎𝚜 𝚋𝚎𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚎 𝚏𝚒𝚗𝚊𝚕𝚕𝚢 𝚙𝚛𝚎𝚙𝚊𝚛𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚑𝚒𝚖𝚜𝚎𝚕𝚏 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚊𝚗𝚘𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚌𝚞𝚝 𝚝𝚘𝚠𝚊𝚛𝚍𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚋𝚎𝚊𝚜𝚝'𝚜 𝚋𝚎𝚕𝚕𝚢. 𝙸𝚝 𝚌𝚊𝚖𝚎 𝚒𝚗 𝚊 𝚏𝚕𝚊𝚜𝚑, 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚙𝚘𝚠𝚎𝚛, 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚑𝚊𝚝𝚎 𝚒𝚝 𝚏𝚕𝚘𝚠𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑 𝚑𝚒𝚖 𝚕𝚒𝚔𝚎 𝚜𝚘𝚖𝚎𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚍𝚎𝚊𝚍𝚕𝚢, 𝚊 𝚍𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚌𝚊𝚛𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚍 𝚘𝚗 𝚑𝚒𝚖. 𝙰 𝚛𝚎𝚖𝚒𝚗𝚍𝚎𝚛 𝚘𝚏 𝚊 𝚜𝚒𝚖𝚙𝚕𝚎𝚛 𝚝𝚒𝚖𝚎, 𝚋𝚊𝚌𝚔 𝚑𝚘𝚖𝚎. 𝙼𝚘𝚟𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚠𝚊𝚛𝚍 𝚋𝚊𝚛𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚛 𝚌𝚕𝚘𝚜𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚜𝚒𝚍𝚎 𝚑𝚎 𝚛𝚊𝚗 𝚝𝚘𝚠𝚊𝚛𝚍𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚋𝚒𝚐 𝚋𝚊𝚍 𝚓𝚞𝚖𝚙𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚞𝚙 𝚒𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚊𝚒𝚛.

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𝚆𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚒𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚎𝚊𝚔𝚗𝚎𝚜𝚜 𝚘𝚏 𝚠𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚛, 𝚠𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚜𝚝𝚘𝚙𝚜 𝚒𝚝 𝚒𝚗 𝚒𝚝𝚜 𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚌𝚔𝚜 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚎𝚡𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐𝚞𝚒𝚜𝚑𝚎𝚜 𝚒𝚝𝚜 𝚟𝚒𝚝𝚊𝚎? 𝙸𝚝'𝚜 𝚗𝚘𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚏𝚕𝚊𝚖𝚎 𝚠𝚑𝚒𝚌𝚑 𝚒𝚜 𝚙𝚞𝚝 𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚋𝚢 𝚊 𝚍𝚛𝚘𝚙 𝚗𝚘𝚛 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚎𝚕𝚎𝚌𝚝𝚛𝚒𝚌𝚒𝚝𝚢 𝚠𝚑𝚒𝚌𝚑 𝚋𝚞𝚛𝚗𝚜 𝚒𝚝 𝚋𝚞𝚝 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚍𝚞𝚌𝚝𝚜 𝚎𝚊𝚜𝚒𝚕𝚢. 𝙸𝚝'𝚜 𝚖𝚘𝚕𝚝𝚎𝚗 𝚕𝚊𝚟𝚊, 𝚊 𝚖𝚒𝚡𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝚛𝚘𝚌𝚔-𝚏𝚒𝚛𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚑𝚎𝚕𝚕 𝚋𝚞𝚗𝚍𝚕𝚎𝚍 𝚒𝚗𝚝𝚘 𝚘𝚗𝚎. 𝙸𝚗 𝚏𝚊𝚌𝚝, 𝚗𝚞𝚌𝚕𝚎𝚊𝚛 𝚑𝚎𝚕𝚕𝚏𝚒𝚛𝚎 𝚠𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚋𝚎 𝚊𝚗 𝚒𝚍𝚎𝚊𝚕 𝚎𝚗𝚍𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚜𝚞𝚌𝚑 𝚌𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚛. 𝙲𝚞𝚝𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚒𝚝 𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚊𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚜𝚘𝚞𝚛𝚌𝚎 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝙶𝚘𝚍'𝚜 𝚑𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚊𝚝 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚜𝚒𝚍𝚎, 𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚜𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚃𝚛𝚞𝚎 𝙵𝚊𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝚠𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚔𝚗𝚘𝚠 𝚑𝚘𝚠 𝙰𝚎𝚘𝚗𝚜 𝚘𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚎. 𝙸𝚝'𝚜 𝚘𝚏 𝚊 𝚑𝚒𝚐𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚙𝚘𝚠𝚎𝚛, 𝚏𝚕𝚢𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚍𝚘𝚠𝚗 𝚏𝚛𝚘𝚖 𝚘𝚗 𝚑𝚒𝚐𝚑 - 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚍𝚘𝚠𝚗 𝚘𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚋𝚒𝚐 𝚋𝚊𝚍 𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝚑𝚎 𝚌𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚏𝚎𝚎𝚕 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚗𝚞𝚌𝚕𝚎𝚊𝚛 𝚑𝚎𝚊𝚝.

𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚋𝚕𝚊𝚜𝚝 𝚠𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚋𝚎 𝚎𝚙𝚒𝚌.

𝚆𝚑𝚢 𝚍𝚒𝚍 𝚜𝚑𝚎 𝚑𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚐𝚘 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚕𝚎𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚑𝚒𝚖?




Summary
𝚁𝚘𝚋𝚎𝚛𝚝 𝚒𝚜 𝚊𝚋𝚊𝚗𝚍𝚘𝚗𝚎𝚍 𝚋𝚢 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚏𝚊𝚒𝚛 𝚖𝚊𝚒𝚍𝚎𝚗 𝙶𝚊𝚛𝚞𝚍𝚊, 𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚌𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚘 𝚍𝚘 𝚒𝚝 𝚑𝚒𝚖𝚜𝚎𝚕𝚏. 𝙷𝚎 𝚐𝚘𝚎𝚜 𝚝𝚘 𝚝𝚛𝚢 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚜𝚖𝚘𝚔𝚎 𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚋𝚒𝚐 𝚋𝚊𝚍.


Lore

'𝚃𝚛𝚞𝚎 𝙵𝚊𝚒𝚝𝚑' 𝚒𝚜 𝚋𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚏𝚕𝚢 𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚎𝚍 𝚒𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚙𝚘𝚜𝚝, 𝚒𝚝 𝚛𝚎𝚏𝚎𝚛𝚜 𝚝𝚘 𝚑𝚘𝚠 𝚜𝚝𝚛𝚘𝚗𝚐𝚕𝚢 𝚊 𝙰𝚎𝚘𝚗 𝚋𝚎𝚕𝚒𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚜 𝚒𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝙶𝚘𝚍𝚜 𝚞𝚙 𝚘𝚗 𝚑𝚒𝚐𝚑. 𝚂𝚘𝚖𝚎 𝙰𝚎𝚘𝚗 𝚖𝚊𝚢 𝚗𝚘𝚝 𝚋𝚎𝚕𝚒𝚎𝚟𝚎, 𝚜𝚘𝚖𝚎 𝚖𝚊𝚢 𝚋𝚎 𝚍𝚎𝚟𝚘𝚞𝚝. 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚍𝚒𝚏𝚏𝚎𝚛𝚎𝚗𝚌𝚎 𝚋𝚎𝚝𝚠𝚎𝚎𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚜𝚎 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝚠𝚎𝚊𝚔 𝚏𝚊𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚜𝚎 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝚜𝚝𝚛𝚘𝚗𝚐 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚟𝚒𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚑𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚢𝚎𝚝 𝚝𝚘 𝚋𝚎 𝚎𝚡𝚊𝚖𝚒𝚗𝚎𝚍.
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Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Rockette
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Rockette && 𝚊 𝚕 𝚙 𝚑 𝚊

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DAY 1 《》 STEELWATER [Forest - Creek] 《》 Late Morning 《》 @Rockette@DeadDrop

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Since the beginning - no, maybe before they landed, or perhaps long before even that - there was a roar inside her head.

Betwixt her ears it rang with a defiance like none other; the champion call perchance; or the forlorn and pitied creature; the dominant beast that demanded subjugation. Such a crescendo assaulted her waking world, a screeching torrent that fused onto her throat and bade that it be heard, it slid through gnashed teeth and peeled lips as Scylla was knocked back several feet into the creek. Submerged to her knees, she thrust her lance into the rock bed to prevent herself from being completely taken by the churning whorl. Waves ebbed and flowed across her thighs, welcoming and cooling laps that stilled the moment she ghosted her palm across the surface to reestablish her balance. Across her cheek and through minuscule tears decorating the sleeves of her uniform Scylla harnessed the sting from her sudden wounds, the pain reigned as blossoms of life that anchored reality to the maelstrom of psychology that was war. Lessons taught and stilled into a child forsaken from gilded towers that once were home, to wield that fire and razor sharpness to deadly efficiency.

For scant moments, Scylla counted each cut and bruise: from the rings of purpling flesh around her middle, to the meat of her palm lanced open from the impact of her bladed weapon, to the cheek that yawned upon sharp bone as her simper grew wide. It seemed to last a life time, to catalog each one, and in those moments she flitted among the flanks of battle, fingers poised and dancing through the water, caressing against the pressure as it swelled and crested upon her very touch. Spirits within coiled and rejoined her ministrations, seducing and manipulating through molecules and atoms and the symphony of their coupling a siren call. It started as a tantalizing fizz before it erupted into a boiling, writhing whirlpool with Scylla secured at its epicenter, the surging waters summoned higher and higher. And all the while, Garuda discharged from battle - her air missile impact still felt down to the foundation of bone - and then Robert [no, she thinks, Flyboy, that's right] heralded as a king of the battlefield with the swagger of a conditioned warrior.

"He's going to catch us in the blast," she tore her palm away from her throat, disabling the coms brutishly. He was a sight to behold, launched into the sky, his barrier a golden lamplight and spirits a wrathful vengeance that scorched the air whilst she engaged the lands below, the waters of the creek surging away from the banks and then --

"You fucking -- " Massive globes of water floated on high, drifting around the beast that roared and flailed in pain, or perhaps in preparation for another lash of its tentacles or torrential spew. It knew where the immediate threat rose, and the heat, gods, it was unlike anything she has ever felt. Scylla knew she should flee, get away safely as it where, but within those orbs, water churned and just as suddenly as they appeared, she unleashed their manifest with an enclosed fist in tandem with Robert's molten blast. Liken to the launch of the creature's violent torrent, high emission beams of water shot through, easily surrendering through the bulbous flesh of their foe with incredible accuracy. The sound was unlike any other and the beams arched back along her beckoning calls, tearing through where Scylla could only assume its "heart" lay.

"Destroy it."


Summary
Scylla is knocked down, injured but only slight. She summons water globes and uses them to launch highly pressurized water beams at the "Scraal" in time with Robert's attacks.
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Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Prisk
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Prisk 🜄 🜁 🜃 🜂

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

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"Yes. UDF Guardian Corps to be more precise." Emilia kept her focus on the stranger. UDF regulation mandated that all soldiers would identify themselves when interacting with civilians or unknown combatants, especially before starting a shooting gallery. These rules were no different for Aeon, even if there were mixed opinions about that. A moment after Emilia had diligently followed the wishes of the UDF overlords, the other unknown made himself present in the conversation by the all too familiar gawking.

Clarke...? Almost there, buddy. She thought to herself.

Emilia slowly lowered her weapon while the man continued to speak. She ejected the empty magazine of the rifle and tossed it to Christina in a slow arc, easy to catch. The woman did not seem like a threat at this time. Besides, there were civilian lives at stake. Even if BlackRock operatives could be heartless, they were not all bad apples. Emilia stepped closer to Peter and the injured girl to see what the situation was and if it were salvageable. From what Emilia could tell, and she was no medic, the little one could see yet another day if proper treatment arrived sooner rather than later. Luckily, as Peter mentioned, the Research Division PRS nearby would have the equipment to fix this, not to mention highly skilled personnel.

"I could jump her there, but I don't want to risk any further injury if something goes wrong." Emilia said, and then tilted her head towards Christina. "You up for this? I'll carry her if you cover me." Emilia squatted next to the young girl and employed the standard rescue carry across the shoulders. Being an Aeon with enhanced strength, Emilia could not even feel the weight of the tiny one when she stood up again. At that moment, the shockwave of a violent explosion came from the fight between the rest of the team and the abomination further down the creek. A numbing, whining sound from the initial crack of Robert's attack rang in Emilia's ears, but slowly faded away. Everything was intensely bright for a brief moment as if the sun had broken through the dark clouds above.

Robert's inferno and Scylla's barrage of penetrating beams marked the final end of the horrid monstrosity. The thing abruptly became lifeless. A loose gurgling sound escaped the various exits of the beast, as it fell over into the barren creek, which slowly had its water return from various places. The remainder of the tiny insects and tree husks quickly scattered, fleeing in all directions, being killed off by entrenched soldiers of the World Eaters battalion. The previous order that Emilia had given was still in effect, even if she could not see the abomination die. The team was to rendezvous at the ResDiv Portable Research Station. From there, they could finally continue into the city.




FLASHBACK [Day 1] 《》 DUSKMIRE 《》 Early Morning 《》 @Prisk

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The morning in Duskmire had been the same as in the greater part of Estren—gloomy and rainy. The town was one of the smaller residential areas around. There was a 'main' street with shops and restaurants, a train station and a couple of busses, houses and apartments, a school or two, and a few places for sports and other activities. It was the perfect place to be quiet and unseen. In one of many backstreets, far away from the morning commuters, a meeting was being held by two shadowy figures.

"They convened earlier this morning." The man was shrouded by a raincoat and some manner of advanced goggles. He had a deep, slightly rusty voice. "The target package is ready, should you accept." He said and handed sealed documents to a darkly clad woman. They were both individuals of the Intelligence Division, although from a specific department. Their particular field of expertise was Aeon Control or Anti-Aeon Countermeasures. These were the formal designations of it. In reality, they were in the business of assassinating unwanted problems.

"Deadline?" The woman spoke with soft tones, seasoned with the distinctive accent of Tenshi. She was Hana Maeda, codename Gravija, a rare member of IntDiv terror.

"There is a SWARG team assigned to this detail. Coordinate with them on the ground in Steelwater." The hidden man said and paused for a split moment. "Emilia Lange appears to be running the team, which means this op is going to be unnecessarily public. I trust that's not a problem?" He was assertive in his assumption.

...eh

Hana was unfamiliar with facial expressions, but this warranted a hint of annoyance to be visible. She was well aware of what the UDF and the public thought and wanted Emilia Lange to be. It was certainly not Hana's cup of tea, but perhaps it was time to adapt and grow. She accepted the job and received the documents. Nothing more was said between the two. The man quickly left the scene of what to an outsider would almost look like a crime or illegal business. Hana departed in the opposite direction and found a modest café in which she could have a moment. The sealed documents outline who the target was and other details. Hana was slightly taken back by that name. At first, she thought it was a mistake, but the more she read the more it became apparent that this was what the Department wanted.

She would have to do thorough preparation for this job. There was no subtle way of going about this endeavor, so the only loadout option available was full contact, all-out confrontation. It was peculiar, though, that the Department wanted this man dead when the SWARG team would probably come to the same conclusion. The only thing Hana could think of was that the sealed documents had mentioned his relationship with Emilia Lange. The higher-ups of IntDiv were probably paranoid about the possibility of Lange not being able to do what most likely needed to be done. It became clear that Hana was their Assurance Policy.


Summary
Emilia is taken back by her new surname. The rest of the interaction between Peter and Christina is smooth. She figures that Christina is not a threat this time. Emilia offers to help with the injured girl, asking Christina to cover them as they make it for the ResDiv PRS.

Hana meets with a man from the Department, which is a part of the Intelligence Division. A contract on Benjamin Regardie has been established and given to Hana. She accepts, although confused about the details of it all. It eventually becomes clear that Emilia Lange is a liability, and the higher-ups of IntDiv want to make sure that the job is done.


Quest Steps
@Aeolian@Exit, you guys are free to move Emilia along in your next posts, so that they can reach the PRS in a timely manner. For the others who are fighting the big bad: the thing is now DEAD. Robert and Scylla took it down with their last attacks. The next step is to make it to the ResDiv PRS. I will create some 'loot' for everyone who fought it and post it in the OOC later.
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Hidden 30 days ago Post by Krash
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Krash Socially Uncomfortable

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DAY 1 《》 STEELWATER [Ground - LZ Bravo] 《》 Late Morning 《》 @Krash

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RECAP: Errikos was part of Group B tasked with landing just beyond the combat zone, in this case on the roof of an apartment building. Apparently Errikos landed alone because no one else posted as part of this group. He simply observed the chaos and then deployed a personal drone into the city.


The chaos at LZ Alpha seemed to crescendo and then peel back. Whatever big bad they were dealing with was either dead or dying. Still Errikos' attention wasn't really there, the large quadcopter hummed away from the apartment building as Virus watched through its eyes as though they were his own. Gas stations, convenience stores, larger department stores, more highways, and then larger and larger buildings. Everything was pockmarked with shrapnel and burning or flattened from stray artillery rounds. The only real unifying detail was the not insignificant amount of Stigma mulling about. Although they didn’t seem to be moving towards the Aeons, at least not all of them. Many seemed to be almost following patterns or holding specific positions. It was curious. If Errikos zoomed back far enough it almost looked… normal. Still there wasn't any sign of any other humans in the city let alone A-list Aeons. Virus tasked it with maintaining a significant height to scan the city below, mostly to see if the wave of stigma still in the city would swell and crash upon them.

Errikos woke up, his eyes opened and he took in his surroundings. He was never truly gone as a sliver stayed behind, like background noise, but he wasn't really present either, like something between being truly asleep and awake. Anesthetized… He blinked a few times with eyes wide to focus his vision and stood up. Nothing changed, a few lesser stigs moved below him towards LZ Alpha and he let them pass, the combat jocks were over there and he'd let them handle it. He secured his backpack once more and the roof exploded.

He fell for second, for an eternity, he bounced against the ground like a sack, slowly realizing what happened. A stig couldn't do that, that was man. Errikos turned his eyes towards what was now a burning husk from where the artillery round had detonated. The debris from the roof and his own blessed Spirits must have provided some relief but it was far from painless. The man let out a long exasperated groan as he slowly clawed back to a vertical position.

"Watch the skies… friendly arty… danger fucking close… We're good but…. Ow…. Moving to LZ Alpha…uh, over."

The suppressed PDW was shouldered now, he didn't have a perch to view things, he was in the shit now: ears ringing, and hands shaking from adrenaline. A lesser stig, probably from the group he watched move past seemed too curious and was checking out the area. A light clicking was all that was heard as a series of subsonic rounds pierced it's exterior spewing tainted xeno ichor and it moved no more. As long as it was like this, Errikos was ok. With that he felt it best to move to join the other detachment from LZ Alpha.



Post Summary

Errikos noted the state of the city before an artillery round struck the side of the building that he was on destroying it, he's currently moving to join the others at LZ Alpha.



L O R E

    N/A

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Hidden 26 days ago Post by Exit
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Exit

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

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"Considering you're out of ammo..." Christina began, her voice a hint of surprise as she peered into the mouth of the empty magazine. "...There's not much of a choice." She tossed the empty clip to the side.

This wasn't supposed to be happening. She wasn't supposed to be making contact with anyone and she definitely wasn't supposed to be stopping to provide help, especially not for someone as capable as Emilia Lange. Members of the UDF Guardian corps were well known, some more than others, but Emilia was one of the few easy enough to recognize. Of course when in the heat of the moment and when standing in the shade of a tree, it hadn't immediately registered. But now, thanks to Peter, Christina could see her clearly. Emilia Lange. She had practically flown here. She was an Aeon, same as herself. Same as Peter.

...Same as their friend...

Her eyes narrowed. The mission remained the same, but given the fact that whatever her team had run into had wiped them out, it was clear to her that the pieces on the board had changed and the information she needed to finish the job she simply didn't have. An agent of the Guardian Corps of the UDF could provide her that information, but while Emilie was becoming a thread Christina needed to pull on, the reality of their situation had to come first. Before her mission or her dead friends or the two who were addressing her now, there was the 'why' she was fighting in the first place. That was not something she could so easily ignore. There would be time to find the answers she needed later and she knew who to talk to to find them. Right now, the child needed her.

With a defeated huff, mostly from the shame of having been fooled by a gun with no ammo, Christina got to her feet and nodded, turning to Peter. "Lead the way." She shouldered her rifle.

Focused as she now was on her new task, the flashes and muted explosions in the distance were brief distractions from the path Peter would take. She kept her eyes on him, Emilia, the girl in her arms and remained vigilant for any movement in the periphery. She'd remain watchful until all four of them reached their destination safely.
Summary
After being asked to help escort the child, Christina weighs her options but quickly realizes given the circumstances, she only has one. She agrees to Peter's request and moves to follow him to the research station while covering Emilia and the girl from any threats that should find them.
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Hidden 21 days ago Post by Salsa Verde
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Salsa Verde Chiropterologist

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DAY 1 《》 STEELWATER [Forest] 《》 Late Morning 《》 [@Anyone]

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Hairs on the back of her neck had stood on end at the appearance of the monstrosity that made its presence well known. Had she not been in a team with some of the most decorated soldiers, she might have collapsed under pressure and fear. The small fry she had been mowing down to set up a perimeter had been nothing in the way of this beast. She went to turn and face the new enemy, but the four Aeons converged on it like a pack of hyenas at the scent of fresh blood. Assessing it herself, she would do little in the way to assist in the engagement seeing as she was foremost a scientist. Secondly, because this skirmish was what broke her cherry in terms of real time combat. So instead, she continued to mull down the smaller fodder to hone her skills in case they were presented with another hulking enemy later on. Knives flew out from the straps on her legs seamlessly, almost as if she were controlling them mentally than physically, it was her deft hand that made it look like a trick of the eye. They whistled through the sky, slicing through anything before them, dancing in a quick passionate number reminiscent of the love language countries.

Besides the bitter bite of bullets trumpeting from the barrel of her SMG, a cloud of spores formed around her, ready to ignite and blow any enemy sky high if they were brave enough. The mix between her weapons and spirits felt more akin to an artistic expression than a guerilla fire fight. Eun-ji reveled in the precedent she had set for herself, not just a number crunching and lab rat that her peers might have made her out to be. She had thought to herself this would be a good time to make it back to the pod to help Isolde, but the allure of combat kept a firm grip on her ankles. Garuda vanished from her helm and diverted into the woods behind the monster. The comms were the only thing keeping her cognizant of everything else occurring around her. The unlikely unison of fire and water led to the demise of the beast in the absence of Garuda. Amanita had expected nothing less from royalty, but from a pilot? Robert hadn’t earned his sobriquet for nothing.

With the cacophonous topple of the abomination, saw to the dispersal of the minor enemies in the area, it was standard pact mentality. All at once the situation was pacified, had it not been for the city still being engulfed in fire and brimstone the victory would feel worthy. Eun-ji slung her gun to her back and started to make her way to the research station, remembering the orders issued to her from earlier on. She was curious where they stood now and how they would fare deeper into enemy lines if that creature was just the first wave representative. “This Amanita, returning to the Research Station. About to clicks out. Over.” Pressing on her choker as she made her way to the base, almost flying, thanks to her spirits.


Post Summary
Amanita finished her conversation with Emilia, granted she was swarmed by the slew of Aeons ham-fisted together into this Third Division. She instead was greeted by Belladonna and persuaded to rely on her and aid in the search for a cure to end the infection and wipe away the stigma. With some slight reservations, Amanita agrees, but not before getting ready. This including the changing of her hair color to a red to mimic that of the mushroom cap she gets her moniker from. Once they were above LZ, she proceeded to drop into the fray alongside her other Aeon peers to set up a defensive measure against the infected on the scene. she hopes to set up a perimeter so the team can set up camp and Amanita can help Isolde in the portable research station.
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Hidden 21 days ago Post by DeadDrop
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DAY 1 《》 STEELWATER [Landing Zone - A] 《》 Late Morning 《》 @DeadDrop @Rockette

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𝙸𝚝 𝚊𝚕𝚖𝚘𝚜𝚝 𝚏𝚎𝚕𝚝 𝚊𝚗𝚐𝚎𝚕𝚒𝚌.

𝚆𝚊𝚔𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚞𝚙 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚕𝚍 𝚏𝚎𝚕𝚝 𝚕𝚒𝚔𝚎 𝚒𝚝 𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚕𝚕 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚟𝚎, 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚑𝚘𝚛𝚛𝚘𝚛 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚏𝚊𝚌𝚎𝚍 𝚑𝚊𝚍 𝚋𝚎𝚎𝚗 𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚗𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚘 𝚊𝚜𝚑 - 𝙵𝚒𝚗𝚊𝚕 𝙳𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚑. 𝚃𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑 𝚁𝚘𝚋𝚎𝚛𝚝 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚗𝚘𝚝 𝚞𝚗𝚏𝚊𝚖𝚒𝚕𝚒𝚊𝚛 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚜𝚎𝚚𝚞𝚎𝚗𝚌𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝚠𝚊𝚔𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚞𝚙 𝚊𝚕𝚘𝚗𝚎, 𝚊𝚏𝚝𝚎𝚛 𝚊𝚕𝚕, 𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚝𝚊𝚛𝚗𝚒𝚜𝚑𝚎𝚍 𝚊𝚏𝚝𝚎𝚛 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚕𝚊𝚜𝚝 𝚊𝚝𝚝𝚊𝚌𝚔. 𝙸𝚝 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚛𝚎𝚚𝚞𝚒𝚛𝚎𝚍, 𝚗𝚎𝚎𝚍𝚎𝚍 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚗 𝚌𝚊𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚍 𝚏𝚘𝚛. 𝙵𝚎𝚎𝚕𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚕𝚒𝚔𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚖𝚊𝚗 𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚜, 𝚑𝚎 𝚏𝚎𝚕𝚝 𝚕𝚒𝚔𝚎 𝚑𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚜𝚠𝚎𝚛𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚌𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝚝𝚘 𝚝𝚊𝚔𝚎 𝚊𝚛𝚖𝚜 𝚊𝚐𝚊𝚒𝚗𝚜𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚜𝚎 𝚊𝚐𝚐𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚜𝚒𝚟𝚎 𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚎𝚗𝚜, 𝚊 𝚋𝚛𝚞𝚝𝚊𝚕 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚌𝚕𝚎𝚊𝚗 𝚛𝚎𝚖𝚒𝚗𝚍𝚎𝚛 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚢 𝚑𝚊𝚍 𝚗𝚘 𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚒𝚍𝚎𝚗𝚌𝚎 𝚘𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚕𝚍. 𝙻𝚒𝚔𝚎 𝚊 𝚙𝚕𝚊𝚐𝚞𝚎, 𝚑𝚎 𝚌𝚕𝚎𝚊𝚗𝚎𝚍 𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚜𝚎 𝚊𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚖𝚘𝚗𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚜 𝚠𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚏𝚎𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚍 𝚕𝚒𝚔𝚎 𝚘𝚗𝚎 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚜𝚘𝚞𝚕 𝚑𝚎 𝚝𝚘𝚞𝚌𝚑𝚎𝚍 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚗𝚐𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚕𝚍 𝚋𝚎𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚎 𝚑𝚒𝚖.

𝚃𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑 𝚗𝚞𝚌𝚕𝚎𝚊𝚛 𝚑𝚎𝚕𝚕𝚏𝚒𝚛𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚗𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚜𝚠𝚎𝚛, 𝚒𝚝'𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚘𝚗𝚎 𝚑𝚎 𝚐𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚋𝚞𝚝 𝚗𝚘𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚘𝚗𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚢 𝚠𝚊𝚗𝚝𝚎𝚍. 𝙰𝚜 𝚑𝚎 𝚋𝚛𝚞𝚜𝚑𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚜𝚕𝚞𝚌𝚔𝚓𝚞𝚐 𝚘𝚏𝚏 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚋𝚘𝚍𝚢 𝚑𝚎 𝚕𝚘𝚘𝚔𝚎𝚍 𝚊𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚍 𝚝𝚘 𝚜𝚎𝚎 𝚠𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚜, 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚠𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚘𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚜 𝚕𝚊𝚒𝚍. 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚖𝚒𝚗𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚜 𝚠𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚙𝚒𝚌𝚔𝚎𝚍 𝚘𝚏𝚏 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚊 𝚜𝚎𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑𝚝 𝚋𝚢 𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚜𝚎 𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚛𝚎𝚗𝚌𝚑𝚎𝚍 𝚒𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚋𝚎𝚕𝚕𝚢 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚞𝚗𝚍𝚎𝚛𝚕𝚊𝚗𝚍𝚜. 𝙷𝚎 𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚌𝚑𝚎𝚍 𝚒𝚗𝚝𝚘 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚓𝚊𝚌𝚔𝚎𝚝, 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚕𝚒𝚐𝚑𝚝𝚎𝚛 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚔𝚊𝚙𝚞𝚝 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚗𝚘𝚠 - 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚛. 𝙷𝚒𝚜 𝚌𝚒𝚐𝚊𝚛𝚎𝚝𝚝𝚎𝚜 𝚠𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚙𝚛𝚘𝚝𝚎𝚌𝚝𝚎𝚍 𝚋𝚢 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚜𝚙𝚎𝚌𝚒𝚊𝚕 𝚖𝚎𝚝𝚊𝚕 𝚌𝚊𝚜𝚎 𝚑𝚎 𝚑𝚊𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚖 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚊𝚕𝚎𝚍 𝚒𝚝, 𝚑𝚎'𝚍 𝚛𝚞𝚗 𝚒𝚗𝚝𝚘 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚜𝚒𝚝𝚞𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚊 𝚕𝚘𝚗𝚐 𝚝𝚒𝚖𝚎 𝚊𝚐𝚘 - 𝚋𝚞𝚝 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚗𝚘𝚠.

𝙷𝚒𝚜 𝚎𝚢𝚎𝚜 𝚍𝚊𝚛𝚝𝚎𝚍, 𝚕𝚘𝚘𝚔𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚐𝚒𝚛𝚕 𝚠𝚑𝚘 𝚑𝚊𝚍 𝚑𝚎𝚕𝚙𝚎𝚍 𝚍𝚞𝚗𝚔 𝚘𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚋𝚒𝚐 𝚋𝚊𝚍. 𝙸𝚝 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚊𝚕𝚠𝚊𝚢𝚜 𝚊 𝚙𝚕𝚎𝚊𝚜𝚞𝚛𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚔 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝚌𝚊𝚙𝚊𝚋𝚕𝚎 𝚠𝚘𝚖𝚎𝚗, 𝚕𝚒𝚔𝚎 𝙵𝚕𝚎𝚞𝚛𝚊𝚗𝚎. 𝚄𝚗𝚕𝚒𝚔𝚎 𝙶𝚊𝚛𝚞𝚍𝚊, 𝚠𝚑𝚘 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚚𝚞𝚒𝚌𝚔𝚕𝚢 𝚘𝚠𝚗𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚖𝚊𝚗𝚢 𝚖𝚎𝚗 𝚊 𝚙𝚒𝚗𝚝 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚜𝚑𝚎𝚗𝚊𝚗𝚒𝚐𝚊𝚗𝚜, 𝙵𝚕𝚎𝚞𝚛𝚊𝚗𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚜𝚗'𝚝 𝚘𝚗𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚛𝚞𝚗 𝚊𝚠𝚊𝚢 - 𝚊𝚝 𝚕𝚎𝚊𝚜𝚝 𝚘𝚗 𝙶𝚘𝚘𝚍 𝙵𝚕𝚢𝚋𝚘𝚢 𝙷𝚎𝚛𝚗𝚊𝚗𝚍𝚎𝚣. 𝙷𝚎 𝚜𝚌𝚊𝚗𝚗𝚎𝚍 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚊 𝚖𝚘𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚝, 𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚞𝚊𝚕𝚕𝚢 𝚏𝚒𝚗𝚍𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚊𝚜 𝚑𝚎 𝚖𝚊𝚍𝚎 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚠𝚊𝚢 𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚝𝚘 𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚙𝚘𝚜𝚒𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗, 𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚍𝚢 𝚝𝚘 𝚛𝚎𝚐𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚙 𝚘𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚞𝚙 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚞𝚙.

"𝙷𝚎𝚢, 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚗𝚔𝚜 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚑𝚎𝚕𝚙 - 𝚐𝚞𝚎𝚜𝚜 𝚒𝚝'𝚜 𝚝𝚒𝚖𝚎 𝚠𝚎 𝚐𝚎𝚝 𝚋𝚊𝚌𝚔 𝚝𝚘 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚙𝚊𝚛𝚝𝚢?" 𝙰 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚙𝚕𝚒𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚝 𝚒𝚜 𝚜𝚘𝚖𝚎𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊 𝚠𝚘𝚖𝚊𝚗 𝚠𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚊𝚕𝚠𝚊𝚢𝚜 𝚐𝚎𝚝 𝚏𝚛𝚘𝚖 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝙵𝚕𝚢𝚖𝚊𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚛 𝚑𝚒𝚖𝚜𝚎𝚕𝚏, 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚘𝚗𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚠𝚎𝚕𝚕 𝚍𝚎𝚜𝚎𝚛𝚟𝚎𝚍.


Summary
Robert pulls himself from the ashes of the damned, looking for his team, looking for his pals.


Lore



Tarnished, a word used for the Aeons mentally groggy from an atomic-hellfire.
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Hidden 20 days ago Post by Rockette
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DAY 1 《》 STEELWATER [Forest - Creek] 《》 Late Morning 《》 @Rockette@DeadDrop

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Scylla is busily assessing her injuries when he approaches, thankful, genuine, his compliment awash in the lamplight of that lingering hellfire. She's never seen such conflagration bidden inside a man before and in her piercing glare she tacks the flutter of her lashes down and back up in slow increments of feminine appraisal. Lips purse over teeth, tongue flush against the bone as she sucks against their bite and says:

"Yeah..." She drawls, blouse thrust up high above her navel, fingers delicately circling the bruise embossed to ivory skin. "I guess I should be thanking you, though." Scylla's eyes dart to their flank, somewhere she assumes Aaron is lingering. "I was seconds away from becoming a snack." Her other wounds have long begun to heal, her spirits coolly gliding over her arms decorated in shallow crescents and perpendicular lines. They were not healing apparitions, but rather they could soothe and seduce as the waves often bid against the shores. Carefully Scylla bent knee to the creek wherein the waters began to return, she dipped her fingers and curled against the calm surface before raking her gestures through her silver hair to assemble her braid into normalcy. She made a face at the lingering detritus of their felled beast, for even as a woman of WarDiv, she was a creature of vanity.

There was a lingering affect of calm that poured through her bones, willed her movements to be almost slumberous and lax compared to their earlier urgency. She recognized it as the adrenaline sweeping away from her limbs but what remnants of their engagement fell short in light of the fires that still consumed the heavens. Arachnid gestures fell to her throat, nails pricked against the scars there and pressed to the comms:

"I don't believe that's the last of our little tree and insect friends," as where one dominant creature loomed and fell, so were there many more to claim the mantle. "But," Scylla rises to her feet, scuffing her boots against the pebbles of the creek, the waters playful against her heels as she disengaged her communication with the rest. "Let's go, Flyboy. Try not to nearly take me out next time, yeah. 'Least buy me dinner first."
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Hidden 19 days ago Post by Prisk
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DAY 1 《》 STEELWATER [RD-PRS] 《》 After Noon 《》 @DeadDrop@Exit

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The Research Division Portable Research Station (RD-PRS) was a lot more sophisticated than one would expect looking at the dome from the outside. The dome itself was but a protective layer of advanced plastic material for whatever purposes that Emilia could never think of. Inside, the station was what could only be described as large shipping containers stacked upon each other, because it was possible to descend two levels below ground. Emilia was rather baffled as to how they had put this thing in place so fast. It eventually hit her that the station had likely already been there for a long time before the attack this morning.

The equipment inside the station was state-of-the-art. Emilia had not spent much time inside anything even remotely related to the Research Division, so all of the fancy tech was impressive to her. The tiny bleeps and sounds from all the machines and instruments mixed well with the faint smattering of rain outside. The soundscape was soothing, which was a much needed change of pace compared to the hectic entrance they had experienced roughly fifteen minutes ago. On the other hand, the moaning from injured soldiers and occasional bickering among the ResDiv personnel balanced things out in the atmosphere of the station. Isolde Featherswallow was hard at work, doing what she did best and managing the odd rebel here and there when needed.

The ground-level interior of the PRS was the trauma unit. This is where all things medical of the Research Division were kept and conducted. The second level, one below ground, had all manner of convenience for personnel—cafeteria, beds, showers, and so on. It was all a bit cramped and compact, but it was functional. The third and last level below ground was the Research Wing. Not even Guardian Corps were allowed in there without a myriad of bizarre security clearances only known to the Research Division.

Emilia left the girl she had carried to the professionals. The nice looking guy who appeared to have found her in the woods would surely close any remaining question marks concerning the girl's health. He was clearly Guardian Corps, she thought, but out here alone? Aeon always had a team with them. Emilia would have to speak with him in a moment to see if he was what she suspected him to be, as well as the BlackRock operator. For now, her attention was on the rest of the team that had taken down the Stigma monstrosity. Emilia did not have to be a detective to know that Robert had caused that flashing sun on the ground. Aaron and Scylla likely had more than one hand in the thing's demise. These individuals were all extremely capable and high-threat Aeon. If they ever decided to go rogue, the UDF would certainly have a serious problem.

"You are going to kill yourself one day if you keep doing that." Emilia said and handed Robert a bottle of water she had haphazardly found and snatched inside the station. "We probably have long ways to go still, so try not to burn yourself out right away... that goes for everyone." She glanced at Scylla and Aaron, who were close by, regardless of whether they actually heard Emilia or not. "I'm sorry I left you guys like that, but I noticed those two in the woods close by." Emilia nodded at Christina and Peter further down the interior space. "I had to make sure that we were not about to get ambushed or something. We just want to get the job done and go home, right? Back to the goode olde farm." A light chuckle escaped her modest smile. Emilia had no problem with explaining herself to people, but this one was a bit different. She felt obligated to do it, not only to Robert but to Scylla and Aaron as well. These were the individuals Emilia knew on and off before SWARG. Perhaps she was a bit sentimental about it.


》》》 LATER 《《《


I should probably check on the other two, soon, and Eun-Ji perhaps... she is probably distracted by Isolde or some ResDiv things, though. Emilia thought to herself.

After speaking with the combat team for a while, Emilia found herself wherever Peter and Christina were held up. Despite having endured fairly daring adventures already, they had not even had proper introductions yet or spoken more than a couple of words. However, a distracting thought kept lingering in Emilia's head. They would need all the manpower that they could get if they were about to do what she feared that they would have to do with Benjamin. Every ounce of her mind and body tried to resist that scenario from playing out in her imagination. Nonetheless, it was a possibility and so far the Group had already been stripped of several members. UDF High Command either did not appreciate the severity of the situation or simply did not care, as with most things. So, the question was whether or not they should ask the BlackRock operator to assist.

"So, what happened? Why are you here?" Emilia asked Christina and sat down on a stool nearby. It was not a hostile tone, but neither was it friendly. Emilia caught a glimpse of Errikos just as she began her 'interrogation'. They had not even said a word to each other yet, which only affirmed what a chaotic morning it had been. Emilia would have to speak with him as soon as she was done with Christina and Peter, unless he would approach them himself.


Summary
Everyone gathers at the Research Division PRS. Emilia leaves the injured girl she carried for Peter in the trauma unit, but checks up on the combat team right away to explain herself. She takes several mental notes of what she should do and who to speak to. She eventually gets around to asking the BlackRock operator, Christina, some questions.

Quest Steps
This scene is meant for character interaction, so posts might and may be shorter than usual. You can also collaborate with someone if you want a more in-depth conversation. Other things to do with your character include freshening up, tending to wounded soldiers, checking on gear or personal injuries, and speaking to NPCs that @Aeolian created. @Aeolian has GM 'powers' over those NPCs, so I won't speak for them at all.

I'd say that the 'Chapter 2' image at the top is of the Research Wing of the PRS. However, the other two levels would have the same aesthetic. For dimensions, each level is about 3 meters high, 3 meters wide, and 15 meters deep (length)—give or take, just for some manner of reference. That being said, our characters can move about at ground level and sub-level 1. Sub-level 2, the Research Wing, is accessible to Isolde @Aeolian and Eun-Ji @Salsa Verde only. However, I'd say that they can grant temporary permission to others of Guardian Corps.

Note the time change from 'late morning' to 'after noon'. I also added a clear indication of weather.

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Hidden 18 days ago Post by Archangel89
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Archangel89 NEZUKO-CHANNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!

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

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The roar of combat rang through the area pervaded with the sounds of laughter. Aaron continued his assault on the creature with the same glee of a child as the bright, offensive flashes of lightning that assaulted the eyes of those that so happened to view it. The sound of Gar’s call gave a brief distraction as he turned just in time to see a wad of mud and rock hurling towards him, the brief moment he had to react threw his trajectory off and while he avoided the main brunt of the attack a piece of stone clipped his waist and sent him flying to the ground. The force with which he struck the ground robbed his lungs of air and he almost instantly faded into unconsciousness. He wasn’t sure how long that he had been out but the lapping waters of the creek brushed against his cheek gently stirring him from his forced slumber to the sound of the terrible screeching from a wounded creature.

As Flyboy and Levi continued the assault Aaron jumped to continue his assault but was halted by the jamming of his sword. In the midst of battle he paused to attempt some minor repairs or to at least get the blade withdrawn from the sheath to no avail. The turning and prying alerted him to the unique feeling of cracked or bruised ribs as sharp pains raced up and down his side as he stood by even just for a moment and watched the carnage unfold. The mirth and merriment were gone, instead replaced by his initial feelings of anger and dislike for full scale combat en masse. The ground that may have once been peaceful in their own right was now stained and tainted with the thick viscous muck that spewed from the Big Bad and his little stiggies. Aaron’s gaze was pulled to the noxious monster and in that moment he couldn’t help but equate every horrible thing that had happened in the past years, both personally and globally, to this one ”personification”.

It hadn’t dawned on him before that his spirits had their own personalities; lives, thoughts, and feelings, all attached to an intangible being housed within him. It was at this moment that he understood the feelings before were his wind spirits finally being let loose to do what they were meant to do, but now, there was an anger swelling in him. This had to be the spirits of lightning. The familiar sounds of crackling static energy popped around him as he casually strolled through the field to rejoin the fray, his eyes glowing with electrical energy, flashes of high charged lighting popped off of his person and struck some stiggies as he walked until he reached his destination.

”I have had enough of this ugly bastard. Let’s take this up a notch.”

His words fell onto those whoever chose to hear them as he raised his hand to the sky as dark storm clouds gathered overhead. He could feel the spirits also reaching and calling others to rally to his call, in a flash lightning struck his hand as he instinctively wrapped his fingers around the crackling bolt of charged energy. The feeling was intense, he could feel the white hot heat tracing lines down his arm as the natural lightning did what it does best and look for the closest path to the ground. Aaron knew this would hurt him more than he would have liked, but at that moment he cared only about killing this thing. As the spirits of the wind wound themselves around the aforementioned bolt and shaped it into a spear he knew that he didn’t have long before the lightning tried to run its way through his heart so planting his foot he hurled the makeshift weapon as hard as he could towards the unruly beast. As soon as it left his hand, he felt his mind try and slip into unconsciousness as he fell to the ground, having used all the strength he could muster. The last thing his eyes saw before the pitch black of sleep was the brilliant flash of contact.

”Gotcha…….”





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Hidden 16 days ago Post by Aeolian
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Aeolian Proud Fujoshi

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DAY 1 《》 STEELWATER [RD-PRS - Ground Level Trauma Unit] 《》 Afternoon 《》 @Aeolian@Exit@Prisk

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A steady drizzle began to fall as Peter, Emilia (Clarke, he improperly called her), and the BlackRock soldier came upon the clearing of the forest. Without the canopies to provide respite from the rain, they would undoubtedly find themselves slightly wet before arriving at the UDF Portable Research Station. Based on current conditions, a downpour was inevitable, so they would need to move quickly to avoid the falling torrents. Peter could see the PRS station in the distance, the large domed structure grossly out of place against the natural skyline.

With the demise of the large beast, its corpse flattened against the soiled earth, Peter noticed the smaller nearby stigma scampering away with the hive mentality of a bee colony. They really were like insects he thought. But the young Funérailles gave no further mind to the monstrosities as he and his new "group" passed by the remnants of an Aeonic battleground. While his priority was to save the young girl, their war efforts had not gone unnoticed.

---

Inside the PRS, Emilia handed off the young girl to a nurse, her slumbering body hot and limp like an overcooked noodle in his arms. Peter read the name on the nurse's scrubs, Krishna Patel, it said. The nurse became alarmed as soon as he felt the unnatural heat radiating from the girl's body.

"What happened?" he asked, optically surveying her ailing condition.

Peter stepped forward, a familial light in his eyes as though the young girl were his own flesh and blood. He couldn't contain the urgency in his voice, "She's infected. I think she has a fever. Can you help her?"

"Shit..." the nurse muttered through gritted teeth, "Not up here. We'll have to get her down to the Research Wing. Follow me."

With not a second to lose, Krishna turned from the trio and headed towards the Research Wing. Naturally, Peter began to trail him, but then stopped. He turned back to Emilia and the BlackRock soldier, bowing like a knight from the Old World. With his unusually old-fashioned uniform, and the european-esque Freidalian sword and shield strapped to his back, the soft-faced battle medic could easily remind someone of a knight's young squire straight from the fairytales. Anyone familiar with the island of Freidal could easily recognize his origins.

"Thank you. I'm in your debt."

A fleeting, tepid smile graced his countenance, and then he disappeared behind Krishna.

---

Peter and Krishna were not in the Research Wing for long. Peter, not having the proper authorization, was forced to wait outside the entrance as Krishna was quickly ushered inside by a luscious womanly voice instructing him to settle the girl on an empty table. As Krishna reappeared through the sliding doors, Peter sighed in relief.

She'll be okay... he hoped.

Peter caught a glimpse of Isolde leaning over the sleeping young girl as the doors shut. He could of sworn he saw a smile creep upon her lips, its form somehow malign. But Peter simply shook his head, erasing what he'd thought he'd seen. Besides, he didn't recognize who Isolde was anyways. He only knew her by name.

"Can they save her?

Krishna shrugged, "I'm not sure. Probably? But let's head back up. We shouldn't be down here."

Peter nodded solemnly, following him. He looked back one last time at the closed doors, thinking only of the young girl. As they passed through the second level, Krishna paused, finally taking in Peter's form fully since he arrived. Peter was a slight young man, almost delicate-looking even. With a fresh scar on his cheek, wet hair, and a sodded uniform, he looked a bit homely. Krishna gestured toward an empty bedroom as noises of clanking utensils and the savory smells of meat and starches wafted from the nearby dining area.

"Do you need new clothes? Maybe something to eat. You look..." Krishna went silent, looking Peter up and down, with sympathetic eyes, "like shit, bro."

Peter blinked, his eyes trailing downward so he was peering at himself, "Do I?" he asked, his tone serious and inquisitive, not at all understanding the slight tease in Krishna's voice. Peter was always a bit literal with things, not quite understanding the nuances of humor. Krishna let out a laugh, "Yeah, a bit...but, I can't imagine what you've dealt with out there. Those monsters freak me the fuck out. I'm still pissed the UDF deployed me here. Just my luck eh?"

Peter nodded agreeably, not sure how else to respond. In truth, his thoughts were still distracted by the young girl. And then he thought of his boyfriend, Milo, and his heart sank a little. He wondered what Milo was doing now. Probably getting into some kind of mischief, he reckoned.

"Anyways..." Krishna continued, trying to break the awkward silence, "What'll it be?"

Peter thought for a moment, ultimately deciding on neither, "Actually, there's something else I need to do."

---
Back in the trauma unit, Peter was kneeling next to an injured soldier on a cot. The man had wounds all over his body; burns, cuts, and a gash on his leg that went deep to the white meat. The soldier was unconscious as Peter rested his hands on each wound and filled them with a mystical healing light. If anyone wondered who he was, they would at least know through this spectacle of magic that he was Aeon. Though, in such instances, Peter cared little about being clandestine. When it came to fulfilling his duties, Peter was often the type to forgo his own well-being, a natural condition of his chivalrous nature. Hours on the battlefield left him bruised, cut, and exhausted, with his heart hurting every time he overexerted his spiritual magic to heal this soldier.

But he didn't care.

In this world, the pain of war was a reliable reminder to him that he was not just a songbird locked in a gilded cage for the UDF to control.



Summary


DAY 1: Peter, Emilia (carrying the lost little girl), and Christina finally arrive at the UDF PRS. Peter thanks them both for their service and says he is now indebted to them. He then follows the nurse who takes the girl to the research wing. Once that task is done, Peter and the nurse, named Krishna, head up to the second floor. Krishna tries to make casual talk with Peter, who seems uninterested in the conversation and distracted by other matters. He noticed a badly injured soldier in the trauma unit when he first arrives, so instead of changing his wet clothes, eating, or getting some rest, he takes the knightly/chivlary route and goes back up to the trauma unit to start healing the badly wounded soldier. Every so often Peter clutches his chest in paint because he has a heart condition that causes heart pain whenever he overextends himself physically, emotionally, or magically.



DAY 1 《》 STEELWATER [RD-PRS - 3rd Level Research Wing] 《》 Afternoon 《》 @Aeolian@Salsa Verde@Krash

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There was a crack of thunder as the rain picked up around the PRS. Down in the restricted Research Wing, Isolde and her new associates were finalizing the last components of the fever agents needed to abate the fever of the infected patients. Isolde seemed calm, filling a syringe with a clear concoction and capping it tight. Once it was ready, she began administering it to the bed-ridden subjects, along with the help of Dr. Poole, Dr. Helene Khan, a medic named Amy, and Isolde's personal assistant Oerba.

When a nurse came from the ground-level trauma unit, a young girl cradled in his arms, Amy let him in. Isolde motioned for the man to put the child on the nearest table, and once he did that, she immediately asked him to leave. He shrugged, doing as he was told. Amy approached the unconscious girl, but Isolde shooed her away, proclaiming that she would take care of the girl's injection. Strangely, a peculiar grin graced her lips as she peered down at the child. While no one seemed to notice, Isolde slid the girl's bed into an isolated room, slyly locking it behind her with a specialty passcode.

Once she returned to the main research wing, the inoculation process was swift, time being a commodity they did not have for leisure. As Isolde had predicted, not everyone could be saved. Through her peripherals, Isolde caught glimpse of Dr. Helene Khan standing over a lifeless body, the infection specialist breathing heavily.

In truth, at least a third of the infected patients had succumbed to the stigma fever. Dr. Poole relented to the reality of their situation, taking off his glasses and wiping them slowly with a solemn look in his eyes. Isolde finished the last injection in her patient, extracting the syringe and discarding it in the nearby waste bin. She continued to look at Dr. Helene Khan, the woman's heaving not yet subsiding.

"You...." the woman muttered, anger seething and visceral in her tone.

Isolde raised an eyebrow, "Excuse me?"

Oerba and Amy, huddled in a corner, looked back and forth between them nervously.

"You wanted this to happen didn't you?" Dr. Khan asked, though it was more of an accusation than anything. The doctor walked up to Isolde, standing in front of her, eyes narrowed and brows furrowed. "I watched you taking your sweet merry time while these patients suffered."

Isolde sighed, feigning pity, "My dear. If this is about your idea to contravene the process, then frankly, I could not allow you to do that. There are UDF protocols that must be followed." The aristocrat clasped her hands together, letting them hang leisurely.

"My idea could of saved them all!" Dr. Khan yelled.

Finally, Dr. Poole stepped forth, resting his hand on Dr. Khan's shoulder, his attempt to pacify her fuming. "Alright, alright, calm down. Let's stay civil." Neither woman seemed to notice his efforts. It was clear he wanted to remain neutral on the matter.

Isolde shook her head, "That's a bold claim" she retorted, slightly amused. "In any case, your idea went against strict procedure and these procedures exist for a reason do they not?"

The women argued for a several minutes thereafter, exchanging quips and backhanded slights all in the name of belief and science. Perhaps though, it was less of an argument and more of Dr. Khan losing her shit while Isolde smiled coyly and hit her with all the facts that her reputation and expertise made her known for. In some ways, Dr. Khan was on track for a position like Isolde. The infection specialist was smart enough at least; too bad she couldn't control her temper. That and Isolde just didn't like her.

"I don't give a..."

Before Dr. Khan could finish her statement, Isolde motioned for Oerba and Amy. "We've already wasted too much time here. Excuse me." she cut in, walking away from Dr. Khan and pointing to a stash of unused syringes and a bottle of lethal injection formula. Behind her, clouds of black smoke practically billowed from Dr. Khan's ears. Isolde turned to the medic, Amy, "One dose in the brain should do the trick. Now, move quickly before they reanimate and wreck havoc on us all. Heaven forbid."

"Of course," Amy said, dutifully moving to complete her task.

Isolde then turned to Oerba, noticing she had calmed a bit. "Oerba, I need you to...."

Before she could finish, Marcus, her son and bodyguard, entered the wing, having gained access by proxy of Isolde. "Mother, the rest of SWARG have arrived. They're here in the trauma unit."

Isolde thought for a moment, only nodding to acknowledge his announcement.

"Relay a message to Errikos Rigos. Tell him to find me at nightfall. I have something very important to discuss with him. An opportunity of a lifetime, if you will," she said with a smile. Despite her immediate responsibilities, Isolde had not forgotten or forsaken her machination from the day before. This Aeon, the one she had been spying on with her shadow moth the entire time; Errikos was the key to her goals. And if he refused, well...she always had a contingency plan in place for such circumstances.

Marcus seemed confused, prompting an eye roll from Isolde, "Child, he's the burly fellow from Cetra East Command. He may go by 'Virus'" she elaborated. "Ah. Yes mother," Marcus said flatly. He came was quick as he went, off to find Errikos, wherever the Aeon was in the PRS.

"As for you, young lady..." Isolde continued, turning back to Oerba, "have Eunji Park come see when she is ready and able. War is unkind and she may not be in a suitable condition..."

...or even alive, Isolde thought fleetingly.

Oerba, as acquiescent as ever, quickly exited Research Wing. In fact, she hated being around the infected. Any reprieve from their presence was a relief. But just as the doors were shutting, Oerba turned back and heard a loud harrowing scream coming from inside the room. Oerba looked on through the glass window slits, horror in her eyes.

Amy was on the floor, blood spilling from a nasty bite wound on her arm. She was wailing in agony, "It bit me! It bit me! Goddamnit, it bit me!" Clutching her bite wound, she tried to move away from the infected patient who had unfortunately reanimated before she could put them down for good with the cranial lethal injection. There were a few more stigmafied patients twitching on their cots, slowly rising as their undead bodies worked to reorient their locomotion. Maybe for three or four in total.

Perhaps it seemed, Dr. Khan and Isolde's quarreling cost them too much time after all.

Dr. Khan and Dr. Poole stood behind Isolde, aghast. "We have to leave!" Dr. Khan exclaimed fearfully, heading for the sliding exit doors. Isolde grabbed her arm, stopping her. "No," she said firmly, "We cannot risk reanimated humans infiltrating the rest of the station. You know the protocol."

"Who cares about Protocol, I'm not gonna die here." Dr. Khan proclaimed, trying to wrench her arm out of Isolde's grip, the latter only tightening it further.

A turn came upon Isolde; her eyes narrowed into thin sharp slits and seeped with a venom most never saw from Isolde. She was good at hiding it. "Your desire for self-preservation will be your undoing Dr. Khan. Try to leave this room again and I'll feed you to them myself."

Isolde let go of Dr. Khan, who in that moment, seemed more afraid of her than the reanimating undead patients. Dr. Khan didn't move, she was frozen in fear.

"What do we do?" Dr. Poole asked, his eyes switching back and forth between a bleeding Amy and the reanimated figures, all of which focused their attention on the poor woman and were walking slowly towards her. Amy was on the opposite side of the room, so much blood spilling from her mangled arm that she was slipping on it and couldn't find her balance. She kept screaming, "Please help me! Please!"

With Amy serving as an unlucky distraction, Isolde slowly inched towards the other corner of the room behind the reanimated patients. Dr. Khan and Dr. Poole, followed in tow, staying close to her. They were betting their lives on Aeon, which was better than most bets people played into. "Simple..." Isolde whispered calmly, "we survive until help arrives..."

"If you value your life, you'll stay in the darkness, no matter what shadows you think you might see."

Isolde's eyes turned black, like a starless night. As her powers activated, darkness filled the pocket of space around them, swallowing them whole and keeping them hidden from the reanimated patients. Through experience, Isolde had discovered that not even stigma or stigma-infected undead humans could see or hear in her darkness. It was handy magic that aided in her own self-preservation throughout the years.

Unfortunately though, it seemed that it was too late for Amy. The undead were just nearly upon her.

----

Outside the research wing doors, Oerba could see everything unfolding inside. She quickly ran up to the next floors to find someone, anyone that could rescue the Research Wing before it was too late.



Summary

DAY 1: Isolde inoculates infected feverish patients with the fever agent in the Research Wing, with the help of Dr. Poole, Infection Specialist Dr. Helen Khan, Oerba, and a medic named Amy. 1/3 of the patients don't make it, so they need to destroy the brains before reanimation. A nurse brings the young unconscious lost girl to the research wing, but Isolde hides the slumbering girl in a separate room and locks it with a code. No one notices this action.

Dr. Khan and Isolde continue to go back and forth with one another. Marcus reports that SWARG has arrived at the portable research station, so Isolde tells him to relay a message for Errioks to meet her at night so they can discuss an opportunity. Errikos is revealed to be the one that Isolde was spying on with her shadow moth. Oerba is tasked with asking Eunji to join Isolde in the research wing when she is able.

Amy was supposed to inject a lethal serum into the brains of the deceased patients before they reanimated. But Helen and Isolde's "quarreling" caused delays and Amy gets bit after 3 or 4 of the infected patients that died, reanimate because of the stigma. Isolde hides herself, Dr. Khan, and Dr. Poole within her darkness magic. Amy, on the other side of the room, appears to be a lost cause and is likely to be killed by the reanimated deceased patients before help can arrive. Outside the research wing, Oerba witnesses everything that is going on in the wing and runs up to find someone, anyone that can help with the dangerous situation unfolding in the research wing.
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DAY 1 《》 STEELWATER [RD-PRS] 《》 After Noon 《》 @Prisk

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This had been a mistake from the start. Since the drop, nothing had gone to plan and now here she was standing in a building where she did not belong, crossing paths with the weary faces of other Aeons. She recognized all of them although there was one who stood out more than the others. BlackRock had always been a force of strength backed by its wealth. A corporation waging a war against invaders with numbers and logistics rather than its much smaller by comparison private military. To this end did they take from those around them and in many ways, indirectly affect the lives of those they did not. Everything was done for the 'greater good' of course, but it didn't always feel that way and because BlackRock never bothered to explain or apologize if they felt it a waste of their time, offended parties held grudges they seldom forgave.

The other faces she'd recognized included Aaron Nyles, Errikos Rigas, Eun-Ji Park and Robert Hernandez. All of them were Aeons, but none of them bore the presence of Scylla Fleurane or her history. There was a nation out there who had tried to shutter themselves away from the rest of the world, sitting on a throne made of rock and warriors. BlackRock had moved in with the rest of an impatient world, encroaching upon a land that was not their own and in the name of defense. The actual truth of their move mattered little and in the end, all BlackRock walked away with was a piece of a mountain. Dragoons were worth more than any amount of carved stone and an Aeon of Fleurane blood arguably more than any other weapon conceived. There was history in the room and again, Christina was reminded that she was not meant to be here. So when Emilia found her in her contemplation some time later, she'd already asked herself the questions she was about to be given.

"So, what happened? Why are you here?"

"Emilia Clark pointed a gun at me with no ammo." Christina began, but then immediately shook her head. She shifted around in her chair to better face the other woman. The acknowledgment of just that statement alone hurt her pride to some degree but it was shadowed by the real shit she was in. She knew she'd answered the wrong question and that her response was not what Emilia wanted. She also knew that saying the real answer out loud meant putting truth to the images she'd been sorting through in her head for the past hour and she hated knowing that.

Christina took a deep breath as she tried again. "I'm here because I was sent with my team to find and secure an HVT. However, what we found wasn't what we were expecting. At all. Our HVT ended up being an archon. He... killed my entire team and being the only survivor, I did the only rational thing which was to run... into your gun." She sucked her lip as she looked down at her wrist, noting the time on the digital display. Her lip slipped from between her teeth making an audible pop. She seemed half annoyed, a little impatient, but very eager to make conversation if only to get to the bottom of the situation. "It's obvious to me now this entire situation is UDF involved and to make matters worse, there is a new strain of Stigma."

Christina turned briefly to where they had taken the child and then looked to Emilia. Her eyes shifted from an inquisitive concern to a curiosity that was directed. "So that's what happened. But, I guess the better question now is 'What happened to Benjamin?'"
Summary
Emilia approaches Christina and begins to interrogate her. Christina asks a question of her own.
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