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1 yr ago
Current You did good, McGregor. Made us proud.
4 likes
2 yrs ago
No offense intended. But there's a sweet spot on the sliding scale of realism, and most of the interest checks I usually see skew too far to the realism end for me.
2 likes
2 yrs ago
Can't describe how quickly I go from excited to sad when a mecha premise turns out to be realism wankery.

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A lot happened at once It wasn't that hard to process for her.

"Good to see you too, Bonaparte."Marcy went in for the hug after a moment of hesitation, both things that amused the daughter of Athena. She let her go after a moment, and acknowledged Jonas' followup to her tap with a wry quirk of the mouth. "And you, Highwind."

"Relo."
She greeted, after a fashion. The human whirlwind had arrived, his sister in tow, and at this juncture didn't warrant more than a cursory hello. If she stayed out of his way, she could keep her peace. A little longer. Maybe. Potentially. ... Probably not. This was normal, now, until summer came again. But if she were truthful, something she would never admit out loud... She preferred this. She missed it when she was home. This mismatched, incongruous, baffling, bickering handful of people that she had come to enjoy. Or had come to enjoy her, in rare cases. Even more baffling. But welcome. "Any summer work you failed to do has to be in my mailbox by nine. Otherwise I start getting you Bs again."

That was a good enough greeting.

To her left, however, she could sense discontent. Quelled in large part by her brother, but present nevertheless. Rebekah absently bumped Dana's shoulder with her own and leaned a little, a light constant pressure. Anything else was delayed for a moment by the vibration of her phone. Her brother, by the faint tone that accompanied it. The only person on campus that could genuinely be called family by genetics, rather than choice. In a way? Genetics was a somewhat ambiguous area when it came to godly parents. But he was family regardless, even if it wasn't a clear cut matter. It would be good to visit a little, now that they were both back on campus.

<I think that half of these people will kill each other within a month, if they think they can get away with it. Or if they can't. Whoever designed these pairings picked names out of a hat. The other half will be sleeping with their roommate in the same span. This experiment is destined to implode.>

After a brief pause, thumb actually rising off of the screen, she sent a second message.

<I was fortunate. My best friend is my roommate. I hope you've been well over the summer, brother.>

Then she slipped the phone back into her pocket. Gray eyes flicked to her left, head cocked slightly in inquiry, though she actually directed her comments to the others.

"I could probably use a small loan from the Bank of Bonaparte at some point, Marcella. If it's not inconvenient. I'm sure Relo plans for us all to be busy tonight, though."


This was the part Hazel lived for.

It was frightening, of course. To stand toe to toe with creatures of such proportions, mythological in scale, was foolish in the extreme. It took a sort of madness to do that. She had seen them before, without the comfort of her Shrike. Been powerless before them. But she wasn't powerless now. It was the end of the world, but this? This was the duty for which Hazel was born, and she took to it with vigor. If it required madness to fight the kaiju then she was truly insane, and relished it for the chance to be part of something so astounding. Awe inspiring.

Her feet carried her easily towards the hangar, eager but calm amidst the chaos. She downed the remainder of her coffee and pawned the mug off on a random technician, along with her glasses. She was eager, and it showed in the silent gleam in her eyes. The grin on her face.

The Shrike was a thing of beauty, and she paused long enough to run her fingers over the nose-art emblazoned on its side at her insistence. Her grin widened a little as she took the last few steps up to the cockpit, and sank into the chair within. She felt at home immediately. The seat contoured to her form, the controls adjusted with precision to her reach. But there was no time to marvel, the threat was present now. So she began her preflight checks immediately. Engine, controls, weapons, the abbreviated list that she ran through in times of emergency.

And how could she forget, popping her mix of choice into the tape deck she had also insisted upon.

The opening notes intermingled with the roar of MAX FIRE v3 Etherion Engine, perhaps the second most powerful such power sources in existence, as both reverberated through her chest. She had worked for this. She had beaten out a dozen other contenders to command this very machine, even when sometimes they might have seemed like a better choice. One of the last to wash out, a pilot of the then-state-of-the-art Blackbird, had imparted to her a certain phrase when he left; "Though I walk through the valley of death, I shall fear no evil for I am at eighty thousand feet and climbing."

The Shrike did not reach eighty thousand feet, and her pilot certainly was not safe.

But that was the thrill.

This powerful machine was not built to observe, it was built to attack. It was built to charge the enemy and rip it apart with its very body if that was required, and it was not built for the timid. The Shrike was built to blaze a path into hell itelf, and it demanded a pilot certifiable enough to do the job.

All things considered, Hazel probably counted.

"I've got the skies. Launching." A tinny voice stated in the ears of her comrades, an electronic acquiescence to the occasional necessity of auditory communication. To the young, tank-bound girl she sent some additional text to appear on her HUD; Take care, midget. Stay focused.

Then the roar intensified, lifting the Shrike from its position as the landing gear retracted. Maintenance technicians had been clearing her takeoff route from the moment her checks began, and it was unobstructed. The engine howled, propelling her through the upward facing tunnel dedicated to her machine. In seconds, she was in the wide open sky.

Actually reaching the combat zone did not take very long at all. And with an appropriately gleeful snarl on her face, she took the Doc's advice.

And fired an exploratory shot from her right cannon straight at the beast's neck.


"Alright."

Ben didn't like that at all, but that was the job. Rule three of Ben's rules to being the Cap; never let 'em know you're out of your depth. So he caught the look on Lauren's face and shot her a little wink, rolling his shoulders to limber up just that extra little bit. Gave him a second to run down the Commodore-spec's readouts, too. Make sure the others were showing up where he could see them. Nothing he could do to keep an eye on Jan, but he could keep track of just one by line of sight only. Everyone showed green. Everyone was prepped.

Time to roll.

"Alright. Lauren, you've got my back. Amy, anything tries to jump through that door, lead poisoning. You'll know before the rest of us. Sangue and Jan, be ready. We get in, we deal with anything nasty in there, we break whatever's blocking signals, and we go home."

Taking just a second to size the door up, Ben drew Joyous Guard back; despite its mass, it was very easy to move and that was the point. It hit with significantly more force than it took to swing it. So he targeted the hinges on one side, swung his shield, and was rewarded with metal splitting and shearing under the forces. No more hinges.

Then he drew back his boot and pushed the door in to drop flat against the ground inside, ready to draw back his shield if anything lunged out.


"Deal. Roomie."

The words slipped out from pursed lips, absent-minded if not for the singular intent behind every syllable. Nothing she said was ever absent. It was intentional, like the way she wrapped a sweater-clad arm around her companion's shoulders and squeezed for the briefest of instants. That, at least, was clearly intentional from the smile tugging at her lips and the way she made sure the garment lingered on her friend's shoulders just a liiittle longer than necessary.

Dana hated her secondhand sweaters. But it wasn't like Rebekah was made of money, now was she?

Well, Marcy was, though. Perhaps she could request a Venmo (pls) for her ride from the airport. Speaking of their other compatriots...

She stuffed the paper in her bag and peered around, to her side, over Dana's shoulder, and finally, with the crowds slightly parted, ahead and to the left. Rhea and Marcy were approaching Dallas and Jonas, the latter two caught in between the four girls. Bekah squeezed Dana's shoulder again and gestured with her chin, indicating where they needed to go. It was reassuring to know their motley crew would be in the same building. Even more so that her dearest friend would be her roommate. The idea of having to put up with someone else was almost enough to make her scowl right there.

But that had not come to pass, so she leisurely made her way over to the others. Jonas' pointed comment to Rhea made the smile tug at her lips once more, and while she decided not to challenge it overtly, she let a single knuckle bump between the Son of Ares' shoulderblades.

Dead.

"Slipping, Highwind."
She greeted laconically, only now relinquishing her light grip on her roommate. A single sidestep took her out from Jonas' shadow and into view of the others, quickly enough to catch the least and most of them slipping away to greet his sister. She hoped he hadn't been assigned any summer work. It'd be a pain doing it in a night.

She'd greet Dallas later.

Marcella and Rhea, on the other hand, were already there. It was good to see them again. Even if she hadn't entirely figured them both out. Technically she'd seen Marcella only half an hour ago, briefly, but she'd been relegated to the backseat. Not much time for chit chat.

"Marcella," She greeted again, holding open an arm in rare invitation of an amicable hug. Dana had been telling her she should be more friendly to her friends. "It's good to see you. And you, Psomas."
I'm curious. Count me in.


"They can't see us any better than we can see them."

Umeko surmised, much more comfortable now that she had verified that Brennan was mostly unharmed. She propped herself up a little on his chest, peering into the darkness. Her eyes were adjusting now that it had been a few moments, but it still wasn't easy to make out the bad guys. Still, in the crowd? They had no reason to pay more attention to her, either.

"I can take them. Quietly. One at a time. I'm much more worried about that bomb." She peered back down at him, almost as though hearing what he was thinking. "If you were going to put a bomb in this place, where would you put it?"

There'll be a little revising to come, some portions I still want to tweak a little, but I got a first draft done.


Definitely in. Returning daughter of Athena.
@Plank Sinatra @Crimmy @Enkryption

Lia screamed.

There really was no way around it. The arms closed around her midriff, grip as tight as iron, and she screamed. From shock initially and then from terror at the idea that she was about to become one of those statues. That she was going to be another casualty, like Morimoto. The feeling was sickening. Paralyzing. That she was already doomed, faster than she could even blink, and that her defiance had been for nothing. That she was going to die anyway. That she couldn't even bring them down with her, because what was she going to do? Throw a shoe? Call them some more names? She was going to die, here, far from her family where no one would remember her once she was gone. She would disappear. The terror made the fear reality, so real that she could feel the fingers tearing into her skin to rend her asunder. Turn whatever was left into another one of them.

She was going to die without leaving a single mark on the world. Nothing that the winds of time wouldn't blow away, nothing that would not be forgotten within even her parents' lifetime. She was going to die without having lived. Because she wasn't strong enough. Because she has no magecraft, no power, possessing only talents singularly useless for preserving her own life. Because she was too inept not to die as soon as one of her protectors looked elsewhere. Because she was dead weight. So her name would join the people lost in whatever the fuck was going on, and she could do nothing while those arms dragged her to Hell.

For a moment, her resolve faltered.

That's enough of that. The voice chided, softly, and brought with it clarity. It's easier to resist at the beginning than at the end, isn't it? It's difficult to know that your end has come, and resist it still. But that's when it's most important. And this is not your end, yet, Ms. Icecolle.

The words, though she knew not where they came from, shielded her heart as much as the spiritrons her body. She was not dead. She was not dying. Hell had its grip on her, yes, but it was not over.

As the man said. Dig your heels in, bambina.

She did. She did, to slow her own descent into Hell, and absent the fear came fury. This was wrong. It was fucked up that all of this could be inflicted upon innocent people. It wasn't right.

No, it isn't. Shall we do something about it?

Yes. She wanted to do something about it. She saw Jin, throwing herself into the fray. Dorian standing stalwart, delaying the darkness with a shield even darker than that. She wanted to act.

I'll walk you through it. Become...

"... Universal. Install."

How Fearful! I Am Fearful Of Myself!
Know Of My Art!


Lia did not know where the strength within her came from, nor the armor upon her arm, nor the staff in her hand. Except she did. The effect upon her physicality was nothing compared to that upon her mind, the immediate expansion of her horizons. Her understanding of magecraft blossomed, from a meager knowledge to a towering awareness. And with it, came certain realizations.

Now you've got it. This is not a matter of strengths. This is a battle between magi. Let that girl and the nice Italian man- oooh, he is nice- deal with the statues. Find the source.

First, the hands of Hell upon her. She could understand, now, that their state was not irreversible. But she could not prioritize their safety over her own. To do so would not help them. But she could minimize their risk. The fingers of her mailed hand clenched, and in an instant, froze the statues behind her. To slip from their grasp, then, was simply a matter of sucking in her chest and slipping out of their grasp.

"Sensei!" She called out, spinning her staff experimentally and advancing back to safety inside the teacher's effective range. She peered through the new glasses upon her face, feeling the concentrations of mana, and more importantly, od, in the air. "Keep me clear, please, we need to remove the enemy magus. I can find him."

Yes, you can. Listen to the drumming. The drumming is key.
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