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2 mos ago
Current nyet
1 like
2 mos ago
just came to my attention that guardians of the galaxy have been operating in the ANDROMEDA galaxy all this time. disgraceful. those bastards aren't our superheroes at all, they're fucking foreigners
3 likes
2 mos ago
per my last email, inquisitor, i am proud to report that the Plan is still on schedule. all remaining Tamamo fans (a hunted, endangered, revolting species) are still being Owned harder every month
2 mos ago
hes not being the person prisma illya thinks he could be
1 like
2 mos ago
and they should be found and met with force

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Well that was a mess of a week, but much like my leftovers, I finally managed to finish off this post!
I R I S


She almost couldn't believe her luck.

The smoke she had inhaled earlier still left her huffing at the end of every pant; her lungs chafed from the effort it took to lug her muscular body up and over the same obstacles as her fleeing prey, and her shortness of breath was only another detriment compounded on top. But when she saw the orange-robed man's mode of extraction, a getaway driver on a hoverbike, a winded smile grew across her masked face. This leg of the race would be much more her speed.

Thankfully, it also seemed she had far more experience - or wherewithal - to know where most buildings would incorporate high-flyer perches into their gardens. Every building was different, obviously, but all architecture had a style, constants in its design and function - the realities of Rig's midair society had slowly been incorporated over the decades, as surely as the needs of the gardeners and sunbathers. She hopped off the branch a bit later than her target had at one such perch and hurriedly paid for a glider rental. When she was at the lip of the perch, an excellent vantage point, she started scanning for her target again.

Most high-flyers would instinctively recognize the sight of the healers on their hoverbikes, stretchering the injured or infirm to facilities for care, and steer clear of them to avoid congestion at critical junctures. Iris was no exception, and the OSO acronym - Orange-Stretcher-Orange - she'd been drilled with during childhood rose to the forefront as she scanned for healers. Thankfully, there was at least three times the orange to look for as there had been on the roof, and she found them in short order. When they peeled off, Iris went soaring too, kicking off from her nest as gracefully as a falcon. She felt the fresh air in her lungs, great heaving mouthfuls of it, and smiled, all chest congestion and sear in her lungs forgotten. Her smile grew--

--and, watching the getaway drivers from above, she continued to soar.


Nicole smiled at Penny as she knocked herself out in short order. By now a majority of the team was either asleep or, like Dana, looked like they were liable to doze off again as soon as Victoria went back about her business. Only Nicole and Astrelle seemed completely cognizant, and even Nicole was feeling a little spaced out as her adrenaline continued to ebb away. She found herself staring at the cut on her hand again. Maybe she'd see if Dana could do something about it later, even if that took a day or two. As long as it didn't scar.

Or maybe let it scar? Scars were a pretty universal constant, as long as they didn't show any weirdo inner workings of the body that people preferred not to think about. A cool face scar, or something across the palm? They added a few fractions of a point to everyone's hot meter, guys and girls alike. That was just science. Let Dana heal it but with a scar, maybe that was the best option.

It seemed like she was feeling a little loopier than she really acknowledged. Maybe spending the last hour of the flight in silent reflection would do her some good, and she'd wake up feeling a bit more grounded. Gods knew Astrelle wasn't about to be much for company, especially after lining up only to be rebuked by the Wing of Justice like that. It was a little hard for her not to roll her eyes at how confidently Astrelle had lined herself up for a verbal forehead flick by Victoria like that, but Nicole let it roll off her back. She just wanted to assert her individuality or whatever. Still, the Hastan thought it was a little much. Who was she trying to prove something to when half of the girls were unconscious?

Nicole's curious gaze found Astrelle again, and one eye closed in a lazy wink; her uninjured hand formed the universal 'o-kay' symbol, and she mouthed a sardonic Nailed it to the black sheep of the Lennox family.

Lightening up will do her some good, she thought to herself, a little grain of impish humor buried deep within the thought. And if she doesn't want to make friends, theeeeeeen...it's just gonna suck to be her.

Her head lolled back, and she felt herself land on something too warm to be a cushion, or any furnishing at all. It must have been Vanna's arm.

Yeah, yeah yeah. You're in the same boat, bambina.

Her eyes remained half-lidded, and her head calm and clear, for the remainder of the flight.
I'll try my best to have a post up today or tomorrow!
[afterpost with mass]


Their shrill, anguished yells reverberated through Gypsy Soul, from her armor to her very core, to the beating heart of the pilot within.

Not that her heart was beating very fast. For some reason, Gypsy felt unnaturally calm inside - like anticipation had been building in her chest, and she had now gone through the worst of whatever she had silently feared to face. Sure, she felt a few drops of sweat, licking down the inside of her face's cold, metallic surface. Her hands were certainly clenched. But that was pilot's instinct, her body reacting to imminent vaporization. Inside, she was poised. She wished the same could be said for her poor, screaming Orbital.

//Engage retreat! Y!Y!//

No.

//Preparing communications suite. Engage retreat! Y!Y!//

No.


...

//Communications suite offline. Diverting power to Samadhi. Samadhi functionality rating raised to 4.//


The cascade of beams that Gypsy faced down should have been beautiful, by rights. But they were no true gold; they lacked glitter, the power and allure that had drawn humanity to the metal since it formed its earliest notions of currency. These beams were diseased, ugly - not aurum, but jaundiced. Gypsy Soul raised its Looking Glass and blocked the beams contemptuously. She barely even felt any buck from the impact. That was good; she hadn't been certain that the Chiron Works defensive mechanisms would be as effective against enemies that could only be hypothesized about, but the ablative coating definitely seemed to do its work.

Bedwyr and Odysseus were providing support, launching extensive salvos at the alien from behind. She appreciated the effort, and maybe they would even get lucky and hit some weak point in the monster's spindly lower half. But she doubted they were so lucky - and the alien might even have hated Gypsy enough to survive no matter what they managed to shoot. The Orbital sensed her intent.

//Alert. Alert. Melee range imminent.//


<<Hey, thanks. You boys are real gentlemen. We should get drinks.>>

//Error. Do not do this.//


<<Deploying Samadhi. Gypsy Soul, engaging.>>

To the creature, the sight of the Orbital, scarlet saber in hand as it approached, must have felt like pulling away an old, delicate scab - and digging fingers into the fresh wound underneath.
How's everybody doing?


It sure seemed like Nicole had done a lot of carrying people around in the last half hour. Suddenly she felt that strain deep within her shoulders, an ache she longed to reach back and rub out. It didn't help that she seemed to be one of the more conscious of the group of girls at the moment. She sat on the other side of the unconscious Vanna, with her legs kicked up against the armrest of the couch with maybe a little too much irreverence when making physical contact with a daughter of the Duodecim. But honestly, she doubted anyone had the energy left to care. Dana and Penny both looked likely to pass out as thoroughly as the Diana had. Nicole went to rub her eyes and realized, just before she smeared it all over her face, that someone's blood had greased her palm. She thought for a second it might be Vanna's, or the wounded soldiers, before she realized a long, thin gash had opened up across its surface. She must have sliced it open while fumbling around during the crash.

Despite herself, the last of her adrenaline escaped her in a little giggle. Haha. Gnarly.

“That was...an enemy combatant. I couldn’t tell you any more than that. Regardless, what you saw is not to leave this ship. Understood?”

"Wait, what?!"

Penny turned to the other end of the couch, obviously and justly shocked, to look at Nicole. Looking up from her bloody hand, the most Nicole could do was manage a tired shrug and nod, although she smiled as reassuringly as she could at her exhausted new friend. The girl had been through a lot, and if Nicole was in her shoes then she wouldn't be too psyched for Victoria's backhanded putdown. For what it was worth, Nicole thought that Penny and Vanna had done a hell of a job under circumstances none of them had been prepared for. She tried to communicate all of that in an understated, sympathetic wink at the bespectacled girl - with a crazy foul mouth, come to think of it. She'd seemed so put together when they were talking about cartoons...

"We understand, ma'am," Nicole answered collectively for all five of them, both conscious and unconscious. It was probably pretty helpful that they start looking like a united front, no matter what. "I guess this is the kind of thing we'll have to be prepared for from now on, right? Now we know what we've signed up for."

Like their earlier conversation, the queen of vibes' gentle, casual way of speaking belied a quiet perceptiveness regarding their situation. She was still staring at the Wing of Justice, wounded herself in the frantic duel that they had witnessed for themselves, although she felt as though they definitely shouldn't have. She tilted her head curiously.

"Still, that all went to crap pretty fast..." she mumbled to herself, slumping back in her own display of exhaustion. Her head almost hit Vanna's shoulder before she realized that was probably a little too familiar for a girl who wasn't even at the 'returning finger guns' stage yet. "Was there any idea that we would run into enemy, uh...combatants?"

Sounds like the sort of thing you call trained soldiers, not a Void...



For all her bluster and optimism in the face of getting past the Void, as well as the fact that she clearly rated the girls' chances higher than Astrelle or the survivors of the control room, Nicole's good cheer did have his limits. Like Dana and Astrelle, she did an anxious double take at the figures of Victoria Glass and another woman fighting. The startled reactions were right; that could only be another Ars Magi, wielding a blade that seemed as close to a forged lightning bolt as anything Nicole had ever seen. Astrelle gave voice to her incredulity.

“What is Victoria doing? She’s—It looks like she’s fighting another Ars Magi. That’s absurd. Who’s going to help Penny and Vanna?”

Aww, shit, so you do care...

Still, it was hard not to silently agree with her. Nicole had really banked on the Wing to help bail the girls out of trouble, but seeing, for herself, two Ars Magi dueling to the death...it was impossible for her to wrap her mind around. Maybe they had all died in the crash after all, this was some kind of shared hell where they were all trapped in Penny and Dana's cartoons, and one of them had accidentally conjured up some cruel, sexy rival character who had fallen from grace. Or maybe they were alive, those conspiracy sites were right, and there were such things as Ars Magi who acted as mercenaries - or even worse, cabals who were capable of even worse schemes, things that precocious girls like them - well, like Dana, Penny, and Nicole - were capable of imagining. Nicole really didn't give a fuck about the explanation behind the current situation. What mattered was that the girls were back there, they were stuck here, and Victoria was out of reach. If staying behind to fight one Void was basically suicide, then going out to help Victoria in their states would be about as helpful as a staring contest with a solar flare.

"I'm going back for them," she volunteered, aiming her smile at Astrelle Lennox - a look with good cheer to rival Penny and Dana, with some cheekiness for flavor and an implicit hint of understanding. "We've done all we can for this guy, and he's in better hands than ours. None of us are gonna turn the tide up there. Dana's put herself through a lot already, and you're probably happy in the control room, right, babe? One trip was probably stressful enough."

What had been an implicit hint grew more pronounced, and she stuck up a peace sign over one eye.

"If I die, you two were totally my favorite classmates. Back in a sec."

With a wink, and the same grace she had avoided injury with during the ship's descent, Nicole took a small leap behind her, sprung her second foot backwards, and skipped back down the hall like a stone towards her other new friends.




Nicole cringed at the sight and sound of Penny being slammed against the wall. Instinctively she lurched forward to help, especially after the noise of pain Penny made when that awful thing grabbed her arm and torqued it as easily as one of them would twist the cap on a bottle. It didn't matter that she knew about as much about bare knuckle boxing or martial arts as your average toddler - most of the girls had hit it off on the spot, and the pain of one felt like an assault on all of them. Well, maybe not Astrelle, but some people were just works in progress, right? How many times did she hear one of her girlfriends use the I can fix her? line about a guy?

Usually it sounded pathetic when one of them said it, but y'know, shelve that right now, Nicole, things to do, Voids to exorcise.

Instead, Nicole responded to Dana's distress, scooping up the wounded soldier as best she could to take some weight off Dana. Here, I got him. Good job with the first aid, babe. You're doing great." She smiled at the Norban girl reassuringly and scooted closer to the wounded man. Hefting him upright seemed easier with two of them than one; she could see Dana's unsteady trembling starting to ease, but it also had the added effect of taking another girl, untrained as Nicole was, out of the fight. Vanna would need to step in fast if one of them was going to help Penny.

"We have to get him around this thing," she urged Dana. "Vanna's helping Penny and making an opening for us - you're doing great, babe!" The arm she had braced the soldier with stiffened slightly, and she made a little finger gun that fired appreciatively at the Duodecim girl, along with her best supportive, beaming smile. "When she does, I'm gonna take most of his weight and make a jump for it. I think I can get across. You can either run across, or I can make another jump over for you--or maybe Astrelle can help, since someone's gonna have to keep this guy standing."
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