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4 mos ago
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4 mos ago
Holy shit I can't believe that Tom Brevoort and Dan Slott went and watched Mazinger Z Infinity together.
5 mos ago
God bless Dancouga.
5 mos ago
Helios is a good dude who didn't deserve to get his job taken by a pretty boy.
5 mos ago
Congratulations to any Aussie kids who got course offers and won't have to ever think of the word ATAR ever again. Seriously, you'll never see it again.


Location: Melbourne, Australia
Timezone: UTC+10 (Australian Eastern Standard Time)/UTC+11 (Australian Daylight Saving Time)
Occupation: Student/Tutor
Skype: flightofcrimson

Most Recent Posts

Given that this thing started with V1, the divergence is probably considerable enough that you don't need to worry about V4.

Is she sword-dancing through the street? how would she even have room?

Open field near the base.
@ArmorPlated There are other characters watching the sword dance, which means there'll be a shared reason for him to converse with fellow folks interested in giant robot swords.

You guys can go check out the giant robot doing a sword dance.
Name: Christoph Lockheed
Age: 28
Gender: Male
Profession: Captain - Arsenal Walker Original Line Development Test Team 4

Appearance: Despite his neatly-pressed captain's uniform's claims to the contrary, Christoph Lockheed does not - at first glance - strike people as a particularly military-minded individual. While he stands at six feet, with the lean build characteristic of athletes (like many fit men from the sports-loving city of Newcastle), the demeanour the messy-haired brunet projects does not exactly exude the aura of an experienced Walker pilot. Instead, he seems more of a quiet academic, somebody who would otherwise fade into the background had it not been for his striking yet warm green eyes and occupation. Of course, while the Australian man is aware of this perception, he does little to rectify these assumptions, finding them too insubstantial to really try and address.

Indeed, for while he would be considered conventionally handsome - with a strong, clean-shaven jaw and prominent high cheekbones - his simple, minimalistic fashion choices do little to accentuate it (and hide his build). Christoph's closet is rather wardrobe, with mostly basic shirts and trousers - accompanied by the rare sweater or bomber jacket (and three pairs of sunglasses) - packed into the shelves. Only a small gold necklace stands out amongst everything else on his person, and he keeps it dangling from his neck even when in his standard issue, blue-and-silver pilot suit (which unlike his other outfits, does in fact help his athleticism stand out). Like many other Federal soldiers, he has also emblazoned the symbol of his home nation onto the left shoulder of the suit, signifying his past service with the Federation Pacific Fleet.

When not piloting however, the Australian man wears the standard captain's garb over the Federation uniform, a navy and gold coat that represents his authority, and thanks to the logo of Test Team 4 present on the back, his position as the leader of the Horizon branch of Arsenal Walker Original Line Development as well.

Equipment: Standard issue.

Skills: Thanks to his experiences in the Federation military, Christoph possesses considerable skill in a Walker, just as one would expect from a member of the second generation of pilots and the leader of Test Team 4. Although rightfully considered a greenhorn as a leader, his strong sense of duty and responsibility, alongside a versatile approach to squad-based tactics, mark him to be somebody deserving of a command position. Outside of the military, Christoph is also a surprisingly great chef (for a single bachelor living on his own), although his baking is leaps and bounds ahead of his ability to cook other foodstuffs.

Personality: A quiet and rather reserved-seeming man, Christoph is very much a man of few words, preferring thoughtful silence over speaking his mind on whatever issue passes by. As a result, it has become a joke to many of Horizon's personnel that the only time he can actually speak is on duty, where his calm Australian brogue is a familiar sound to those who have attended his briefings with R&D. While this is true, he is much more open with those he would regard friends, such as the members of his squadron and long-term colleagues. They are more familiar with his inner musings, such as the mild, but constant, exasperation he has developed from needing to handle the eccentricities of the Test Team, or stubborn refusal to acknowledge any of the accidents that have befallen him as a victim of R&D's myriad neuroses. His tendency for sarcastic observations, delivered in his usual deadpan, also only emerge amongst friends, particularly in more bizarre situations.

However, it is still a rarity for the Australian man to be so unkindly to others. He may not seem like it, but he is quite empathetic, always willing to consider the situation and issues of any acquaintance who seeks his assistance. While he may not be able to offer many supportive words, he is willing to be a shoulder for them to lean on, for if there is assistance that he can offer to somebody, then he considers it his duty to provide it.

Indeed, duty is something he strongly dedicated towards. Christoph will always be ready to do what is asked of him by his superiors, and will strive to ensure the job is done with the best of his abilities. He may be rather mild, but the serenity with which he approaches his duty can be quite intense sometimes. After all, it was thanks to his calm and collected demeanour that he was chosen to lead the dysfunctional Test Team 4, with his ability to stay mostly unfazed under pressure a must in order to develop the weapons required by the soldiers of tomorrow.

Biography: Born the first son of a retired Federation officer and a local baker in the city of Newcastle in south-eastern Australia, Christoph Lockheed's career had all but been decided for him from youth: enlisting in the Federation military. Originally, it seemed likely that he would join the navy like his mother before him, but the introduction of the Arsenal Walker immediately fascinated him, even as a child. From the very first moment he laid his eyes upon the sight of those grand machines walking, he worked for nothing else but to become a pilot, eventually graduating from military academy to serve in a squadron attached to the Federation Pacific Fleet.

His career was a mostly quiet one, but the outbreak of minor insurrections in the region allowed Christoph to quickly distinguish himself as a dependable and efficient soldier. He would participate in a number of police actions against terrorists and other groups, and his efforts rapidly earned him several commendations. The Australian pilot was soon promoted to Captain and assigned leadership of a Walker squadron of his own, but it was a position that he would not remain in for too long.

A combination of personal unfulfillment and catching the eye of certain members in the military's upper echelons lead to his transfer to Panama, where he found himself attached to the R&D department. There, he was able to become head of Arsenal Walker Original Development Line Test Team 4, leading trials and evaluations of experimental weaponry that the military complex sought to integrate into regular operations. It was duty that Christoph found to be far more satisfying, and although he has only been in command for a few years, the successes of his team have outweighed any issues.

Weaknesses: Christoph is a quiet individual, but as a result he has some difficulty communicating his true thoughts to others. His demeanour has also lead to many considering him rather boring and stolid, which has become an obstacle to him connecting to many outside his colleagues.


Base Model: FAW-007[G] Warrior

Designation: FAW-007TC Colony Warrior Test Type "Lockheed Custom"

Appearance: Although utilising the same base frame and sharing similar aesthetics with the standard FAW-007[G] Warrior, Christoph Lockheed's test unit has a number of differences, such as more prominent shoulder pauldrons and a larger backpack to accomodate its unique armaments. Its head unit is far more stylised than that of the original walker's, abandoning the traditional rounded faceplates for a protruding visor and growing a long "horn" from the top of its helm. The entire machine is painted in all navy, excepting only a number of gold decals and the black on its shoulders. Also present is the emblem of Test Team 4, prominently displayed on one shoulder.

-NF GMG-Type.37/100mm Machine Gun: open-bolt, gas-operated, magazine-fed.
-Heat Hawk x2: giant axes with superheated edges to improve cutting power against enemy armour.
-"Rocket Anchors" x2: one mounted on each arm; fires off a clamp with two metal hooks and a central spike in order to grab onto enemies, objects and the terrain; attached to a long, polymer-coated cable with high tensile strength and durability.
-Shield: attached to its right arm is a large riot shield, which can also serve as a weapon rack for its heat hawks. Built-in solar panels also allow it to help reduce strain on the Lockheed Custom's reactor.
-"Shot Lancer": close-to-mid range weapon; backpack-mounted; uses electromagnetic forces to propel a javelin to impale enemies.

Weaknesses: The Lockheed Custom has traded speed for greater armour, and as a result is outclassed by the average Warrior in the agility department. Its reactor is also slightly more power-hungry than those of its compatriots thanks to the drain imposed on it by its weaponry, thus reducing its operation time.
@Lucius Cypher@SevenStormStyle@MULTI_MEDIA_MAN@FlitterFaux@Forsythe@Kaithas@Abillioncats@Silvan Haven
Dust Applications - Lecture Hall I707

I'm not sure if I got my point too clearly to these two. Some people think otherwise, but teaching's a bloody hard job, you know? It hinges all on your ability to communicate, and if people hear what you're yapping on about and assume one thing when it's actually supposed to be another, then it's your fault. If you screw up the explanations, then all ye be doing is teaching your brats to cut about the actual key information you want them to get into their noggins.

If you're a terrible teacher, then you'd just blunder on without caring about that. Humans hate thinking that they're wrong. Supposedly it feels like being punched in the face to acknowledge that you've done a dobber. But if you've gone and grabbed yourself an education degree in the first place, then you should know that making sure your students get things right is more important than your face, you know? Society might judge you as lesser if you've been turned into a proper munter, but that's nothing new. Your brats thinking that the pish you've accidentally taught them is correct is far worse.

That's why I step in to help elaborate on the point I'm trying to make with this demonstration. Actually, this is one of those places where the brats getting things wrong is good. It's important to sometimes know what falling over's like before you can run, you know?

"If you've only funnelled Aura into Dust for the express purpose of activating it before, it is," I say, taking a look at their two vials. There's definitely a lot of energy being pumped in there - a bit of a wasteful amount actually - but that's what you'd expect when you haven't really tried doing things like that, you know? "Both of you were definitely racking your noggins for what the Dust was supposed to do."

Which is just a step too far.

"But it looks like you've gotten a bit of a hang of the exercise." I smile at them. A teacher's supposed to give their students positive reinforcement if you want them to succeed. And I do. "Your aura is both power and intent. It's what you can do and what you want to do. That's what the Dust reacts to. You put the energy in ... but it won't go off until you will it to."

It's something everyone does unconsciously. After all, why are they going to do something with their aura if they don't want to do it? That's the thought process, but knowing to differentiate there's pretty important and key to using Dust in more advanced ways.

"Think about your aura fields. If you've always got a layer ready to protect you, why doesn't Dust activate when you're holding it?"

I pick up another vial - this time one full of 'Crystal' - and pour a little bit into my left hand. Nothing happens. That's what everybody expects. Even if they think Dust is volatile, it shouldn't explode just because you're touching it.

I wiggle my fingers a bit.

There's no explosion, but the Dust converts immediately into glowing orange crystals.

Maybe it's my ego talking, but I still think it's bloody cool.

"Because I didn't will it to. I didn't want the 'Crystal' to explode or form."

Hopefully that's a good enough explanation for every one of the brats, because I'm going to take this a little further.

"Mister Schwarz, Miss Frost, please activate just the 'Water' now."

I take my own (prepared earlier, like in those cooking shows) vial and lift it up to the light. There's a lot less energy flowing through it than the ones the brats' have got, but most people should be able to unconsciously recognise that yeah, my Aura's parked inside.

"You should be getting something like this."

Water spins to life, filling up the vial as expected. And in the centre of the miniature maelstrom, uncatalysed particles of all sorts of Dust, as if a rainbow had been caught inside. A rainbow that hadn't been activated.

I did say it was only mostly 'Water', after all.
Holly Yuan

Colony Day. It was a time of relaxation, a celebration of human ingenuity's triumph. It was testament to the united will of all who had once looked to the skies, seeking to escape beyond Earth's gravity well. A testament to their success, to a great achievement that was unlikely to be toppled for generations. It was of no surprise, then, that their descendants were proud. Why would they not be? Humanity had claimed the stars. They had stepped out in the void to call it home. And this annual observance, this one day of commemoration, was the symbol of everyone's pride.

And for it was an honour shared by all, even she, a mere peon of Internal Affairs, could take the day off.

Well ... that was if she'd wanted to!

Holly reclined against the cockpit seat, her eyes rapidly darting around behind her glasses as she took in the readings being projected onto her monitors. The dim blue glow of the screens reflected off her lens, but she didn't pay it much heed. She had gotten used to the refraction of light due to her eyewear. It was a reminder of her imperfection, as well as the imperfection in the universe that none could truly escape. Not that she really wanted to, however. After all, was the second of the three marks not sabbe saṅkhārā dukkhā? All unconditioned things were unsatisfactory. To acknowledge that was already putting her on the path of the Bodhisattva!

The woman giggled to herself as she leaned forward, fingers reaching out to flick a series of switches. She was probably interpreting the entire thing wrong anyway. But it was important to keep in mind, right? Especially on a day like Colony Day. It was a celebration of the greatest human achievement in history since the scattered essences of yang brought fire into being, a chance for everybody to bask in the glory of humanity's triumph over the void.

But that was the thing.

Dyson had not emerged from nature. It was not some creation of the gods.

It was built by human hands.

And thus, it was imperfect.

Yet no less beautiful.

Her machine hummed to life around her, the warmth of the awaking engine sending shivers up her spine. The vibrating controls, gripped tightly in her hands, were like the caress of an old friend. It too was a child of humanity. It too was like those colonies that hung in the celestial sphere above. It too was imperfect.

And on this day, it would help remind everyone that no matter how great their achievement was, there was still more they could do.

sabbe saṅkhārā aniccā

All unconditioned things are impermanent.

What Shenxiuwu would do today could be forgotten in days. What Colony Day represented could be forgotten in years. Their imperfect beauty would not last. They would be superseded by something greater, something that sought out a brighter, more perfect goal.

But it was okay.

Even if it was for one day, one moment, she would show off her child's beauty.

"You're up, Lieutenant."


Holly eased her controls forward. Shenxiuwu rose from its kneeling position, blue and white armour gleaming in the hot sunlight as it stood tall in the centre of the field. She breathed in, allowing herself to feel the soft rumbling of the machine. To feel the weight of the two dao that hung loosely from her child's hands, the weight that sought to pull her own, en-fleshed hands forth as well.

She would become one with her Walker.

She allowed her body to relax. She allowed her breathing to calm. She allowed her mind to become aware.

She allowed for her essence to entwine with her machine.

Allow it to settle in the dantian.

Allow the transmutation of the treasures to begin.

Her purpose was clear.

Shenxiuwu was built for parades like this, after all.


Her dance began.

"The great man grows the many myriad things . . .

Breaking away from the military arts,

He promotes fully the cultural mandates."
Name: Holly Yuan
Age: 25
Sex: Female
Profession/Rank: Lieutenant - Pilot and Internal Affairs


Personality: An upbeat young woman, every action the cheerful Miss Yuan takes is infused with enthusiasm, whether it be partaking in her many hobbies (such as gardening, board games, or association football) or doing her job as a lowly peon of Internal Affairs (and general pinch-hitter for anything that needs to be done around Panama as long as it doesn't interfere with performance reviews). She's somebody who dislikes being too somber, and is easily deflated and demotivated if there's too much, in her own words, "negative juju" floating around. While this may make her out to be a seemingly flighty person, she's in fact a rather serious individual. Holly may appear to be unsubstantial, but her enthusiasm is a sign that she takes everything she does very seriously, and will not shy away from doing whatever is demanded of her task no matter what it is.

Skills: Jack of all trades in regards to manual labour thanks to her serial hobbyist tendencies, but also multilingual. Thanks to a software background, she can use Excel.

Weakness: Mild aquaphobia that manifests most commonly as thalassophobia.

History: A native of the People's Republic of China, Holly was born in the port city of Shanghai to a pair of provincial workers. Her memories of them, however, are unfortunately vague, as she would grow up an orphan after losing them to conflict when she was merely ten years of age. The younger Miss Yuan learnt to be independent rather quickly, taking on a number of odd jobs even while she studied for her high school and university entrance exams. Her experiences were enough to help her land a scholarship into Fudan University, where she studied Software Engineering. Following graduation, Holly found herself desiring adventure, and soon joined up with the Federation attache at Dachang Airbase to become a Walker pilot.

Her journey to an officer position was not particularly straightforward, however. Holly was shunted around branches frequently throughout her career, only managing to be promoted to lieutenant upon entering internal affairs. Said promotion also took her to Horizon, far from her beloved motherland.

Equipment: Standard issue.


Base Model: FAW-007
Designation: San Su Wu

- Chest Vulcans
- Shuangdao: the San Su Wu, a limited production Warrior variant from the Federation PRC Far East Division's factories, was built initially to test out the effectiveness of melee combat between Walkers before later being repurposed for military parades every October 1 to celebrate the National Day of the People's Republic of China. It was during this time that it acquired two mech-size dao, which have heat and electrical properties to improve effectiveness.
- Armoured hands for punching
Weakness: Which very effective in close range, it has zero ranged capabilities.
Pilot(s): Holly Yuan
@Lucius Cypher@SevenStormStyle@MULTI_MEDIA_MAN@FlitterFaux@Forsythe@Kaithas@Abillioncats@Silvan Haven
Dust Applications - Lecture Hall I707

Note to self: fancy Dustplay is way more exciting to all these brats than me bumping my gums about for an hour. But that's not really some grand epiphany, you know? If you're not a cool enough teacher, nobody will want to listen to all your blethering about, even if that's where all the nitty-gritty's stuck. It's a real shame, but that's just the reality of how things are. When you're some snot-nosed brat and all you want to do is faff about, listening to lectures is the very last thing on your mind. Doesn't help that a lot of the trainee Huntsmen and Huntresses who come into halls are already partially journeymen in their fields, so some of this is stuff they might already know.

But some of them don't know. They might be cannie lads and lasses, but their noggins might not be filled with anything. Or they just might not be able to discard what they already know to understand the greater depths of what Dust can do for them.

So that's why I'm here.

"Afraid I can't get all of you down here," I say apologetically as I look around at all those raised hands. Everybody wants to be up playing with the Dust, you know? It's where the fun is, but just like in real life, there's unfortunately not enough to go around. Sometimes it's just first come first serve, or if you're an Atlesian, first one with the bags of dosh. "I'll pick the two who raised their hands first - Diamond Frost (@Forsythe) ... Lucas Schwarz (@HereComesTheSnow)? Can you two step up?"

I don't know either of them too well, but no shame in getting some eager beavers to help.

"We'll be digging deeper into Dust Theory a little bit further into the semester," I continue, clapping my hands together. "It's going to be very intensive, so I recommend doing some reading by yourselves too so you can get your nuts around everything."

No need for them to buy the textbooks though, because those were bloody costly. The library had everything they needed, eBook versions included.

I wish Shade had that amount of money back when I was a wee quine.

"Anyway, we'll be visiting the basic concept of Dust reacting to your will today." That was what these demonstrations were going to show, after all. "Your aura and semblances - expressions of your inner energies - can catalyse a Dust reaction, but that's because it's your will that the Dust activates. Think of it as like flicking a switch. The electrons are all in the circuit, but it's only when it's complete can current start flowing."

I pull out two more vials of Dust, larger ones this time, from my sleeves. It's just 'Water' specimens now ... mostly; no need to make too big of a mess.

"Diamond, Luke, take these vials and try focusing your aura without wanting to catalyse them, could you?"
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