<Big Bill> and <Seraph>
(William and Yukino)
The hot-blooded cowboy holstered his revolver when he laid eyes on the city before him; the sheer scale (and cleanliness) of the place assuring him that this was a safe place. "So, Captain Ayame. That's a Jap suit, right?" The cowboy inquired as they approached the guild hall. The short woman seemed relatively sane compared to the others in the group; and had sided with him on the situation of the obnoxious girl calling herself emperor. "My uncle flew against y'all back in dubya dubya two. Respected the hell out of your pilots.”
“Big Bill right? Yes, it is my flight suit. I was supposed to take an experimental jet out, but ended up here instead.” She paused for a moment, taking in the scenery and glaring slightly at Aloe out of the corner of her eyes. “I’d prefer not to speak of World War two, nothing good to say there. What do you think about that Elf, Aloe?”
“Yup.” he nodded slowly, staring up at the guild hall, “I was fixin’ to wrangle a bull that got a bit worked up.” the large man explained, scratching the back of his neck, “I understand, Captain. I ain’t quite sure what to think. There’s somethin’ off about him for sure but I don’t reckon he’s dangerous.” the cowboy concluded, “Truth be told y’all are the only one here I can get any kinda fix on; figured I’d chat with ya while the others is occupied.” he shook his head disapprovingly at the squirrel girl’s overblown display.
“He seems in quite a hurry to get us out of his hair, rudely ignored my questions earlier. If I was back on base I’d have him disciplined, but I don’t have any real power here yet.” She put a hand to her head in exasperation as she watched the rest of the group. “I’m going to be honest with you Bill, I have no idea how this rag tag group is going to save the world. Sending civilians when they need soldiers.”
“Not an enemy at the least, just a bit of an ass. Albeit, I’d prolly do the same out on the farm.” Bill shrugged followed immediately by facepalming when one of the others attempted to slide under the counter, “Yeah, I figured the same. If they were at least a couple years older… maybe we’d have a chance. Lot of our boys in uniform way back when were drafted, that’s none too different from the current sitchiation; and they did fine but.” he shook his head once more, “Just ain’t right.”
“They’ll have to toughen up, otherwise they might end up dead on a roadside. Just like many of those soldiers in the draft.” Yukino said coldly before turning the conversation to lighter tones, She pointed at Bill’s revolver before asking. “Is that a Single Action Army?”
“Best we can do is push them in the right direction.” he gave a sad nod, this was not an easy situation to work with. “That’s right. My grandaddy’s service revolver, been in the family three generations. Lucky I had it with me when I got kilt.”
“Guess that makes your ‘class’ an easy tell. How many years has it been in your family if you don’t mind me asking? It’s a beautiful work of art.” Yukino said with a smile.
“If they don’t make me a Gunsman I’ll eat my hat.” he chuckled, “Grandaddy carried it into the first world war, but it’s been in the family since the damned thing was invented. 1873.” he lovingly patted his holster, “Learned myself some gunsmithing to take proper care of the old girl.”
“Good man, proper care of one’s equipment is the first step to winning a battle.” Yukino said as she reached up and patted Bill’s shoulder. “Anyone stand out to you as potential trouble? Back in basic, those are the people we straighten up first.”
The dark haired man squinted at the other would-be heroes, stroking his beard in contemplation, “Well, Little Miss Majesty obviously, that one just reeks of trouble. The one with the squirrel bits makes me nervous, not sure why.” his eyes locked onto the one who had attempted to bypass the table, “That one especially though. Looks strong though, like he actually gets some exercise.”
Yukino’s expression turned sour as Bill mentioned ‘Little Miss Majesty’. “Delusions of grandeur are very dangerous indeed, both to themselves and those around them. I remember the many times my friends got themselves hurt thinking they had some sort of superpowers back when we were kids. The squirrel definitely seems to be trouble, have to keep an eye on her. That guy just seems excitable to me, should be tempered off after first combat.” Her tone then shifted to one of pondering, crossing her arms and placing her weight on her left foot. “I do wonder what class I’ll end up with, none of those really seem to fit a pilot.”
“Yup. Sounds about right. Least this time ‘round they actual do have them, I suppose. Or at least will.” The rancher offered, clearly not entirely convinced himself, “Now that mountain right there I think we can work with.” he pointed subtly at Toppo, “Not sure how sharp he is, but he’s got the horsepower.” Bill took a minute to consider what class Yukino might become, shaking his head, “Well I don’t know much about these sorts of things, so guess that’s for the cards to tell. I’m more curious what sorta who-do that goddess lady hitched us up with.”
“He’s a big one all right, we’ll see how he fares. What do you mean by ‘who-do’?” Yukino asked, raising an eyebrow at bill.
“Whatever Wizard of Oz no place like home BS that lady did with the crystals?” he offered quizzically.
“Are you talking about when that Goddess had us touch that crystal?” Yukino asked, growing even more confused by the Texan.
“Ain’t that what I said?” he asked, scratching his head in apparent confusion, “Guess whatever’s lettin’ us chat is missin’ somethin’.”
“Your dialect is coming through very strongly, and I do know how to speak english by the way. We needed to learn it to communicate with your pilots effectively. I’ll puzzle out your southern dialect eventually, every one of you seems unique with what words you use.” Yukino said with a small chuckle.
“Prolly be easier on ya if my baby girl had gotten pulled in instead of me. She uh… spoke the local language, if ya catch mah meanin’” he returned proudly, “Really into all o’ this fantasy n’ such. ‘Specially the stories like all this.” he gestured at the guild and adventurers around them.
“No offense to your daughter, but I’m glad it was you and not her. Otherwise I’d have to try and take care of all of them by myself.” She said, nodding towards the group. “Anyways, I am curious as well what that crystal was for, other than the obvious.” She said, rubbing one of her cat ears idly.
“Oh no, she’s strong too; like her momma. Maybe not as worldy as I but plenty smart too.” he said with a fatherly grin, “But naw, I wouldn’t want nothin’ to happen to her anyhow. She just left college, got her whole life ahead.” he nodded in agreement, “From the sound of it she was givin’ us some sorta boon or gift but I didn’t quite get it.”
“I assume we’ll understand in due time, I just hope it’s before we have to fight anything. I’d like to know what assets we have available to us before we have to face whatever might be lurking in this world.” Yukino said, uncrossing her arms and extending her right hand to Bill. “I look forward to working with you, always feel better knowing someone’s got their head screwed on straight.”
“Yup.” he agreed, returning his full attention to the short pilot; he extended his own hand, gripping Yukino’s firmly, “Pleasure ta meet ya, nice to know I ain’t the only competent one on hand.” he glanced over at the counter, “Well we should probably get that outta the way, huh?”
“Probably should, after you.” Yukino said, motioning for Bill to go first.
“One small step for man.” Bill stepped away from the captain, strutting confidently towards the registration counter. He drew a deep breath as he reached for a card, holding it between his thumb and pointer finger as he placed his other hand atop the crystal. The card began to vibrate in the rancher’s hand and he twitched slightly, feeling the energies of the crystal flow through him. It suddenly flashed green and he stepped aside to read his newly printed card.
“Yup, Gunsman. Can’t git much more predictable than that.” he mused, “Skills huh? Snapshot, Fan-fire, Deadeye, Pistol Whip, and Quick Draw.” he nodded approvingly, “Plain and simple. Just my style.”
“Easiest to call out of all of us.” Yukino said as she strolled over to the counter. She grabbed a card nonchalantly, looking it over as she placed her flight helmet briefly on the counter to free her hands up. She then touched the crystal, her eyes still focused on the card to determine the exact moment the text appeared. She watched as the writing appeared slowly on the card, and once it was full she took her hand off the crystal. Grabbing her flight helmet, she stepped over to where Bill was standing.
“Warrior huh? Let’s see what we have here. Threatening Blow, Berserk, Defiance, Maim, Fell Cleave… Is it just me or do around half of those sound evil to you Bill?” Yukino asked with concern in her voice.
“Little bit, but I wouldn’t worry about it.”