The trip to the first sensor had been uneventful, at least in comparison to Team Novae’s earlier Invader encounter. R.R. led the way back without much complaint, though it was also possible she just wasn’t paying attention to her surroundings. Certainly not when she ignored the MIA report for Cellica over her comm link as well as the unhappy grumblings of Team Chaotix’s Linker. That, or the white noise was passing right through her skull. Her attention was shifted to the first sensor anyway and she eagerly stood on guard as Lucia began switching out the first battery.
Metallic claws deployed, the redhead lurched down on all fours, eyes flicking every which way as if waiting for an Invader to appear. Her stalwart watch was only disrupted by Akari’s questioning, earning a quick look of distraction as R.R. focused on her now. “Eh? Responsibility? Ohhhh, right. I’m like, a higher rank than you cause of my team, yeah? I’ll tell you, it fucking sucks.” R.R. would have gone into how being the prim and proper model of teamwork meant more boring endeavors but was never given the chance.
Lucia had returned and with her, so too did new directions come from Kuni. The question of whether they would climb the hill or not came into mind and R.R. sized up the great mound of grass and dirt. “I could probably just fucking scale it. Don’t need to launch me like dead weight for your team you know-” Once again she was interrupted by the global comm links. Were it not for the sound of Tian-Gui mentioning her name, she would have ignored the transmission like the last.
“Hey, uh, don’t tell them I’m here. I really don’t wanna fucking upset Riyame cause I’m sure she’s gonna yell at me for running off again,” R.R. said. She looked at each member of Team Novae pleadingly, letting her gaze fall upon Akari with big eyes. “Come on, I don’t wanna get in fucking trouble more than I’m already in. Lemme just stay a bit longer.”
A good few miles away, and the rest of R.R.’s team was frowning with a hint of annoyance in her features. Riyame led the fractured Team Afterglow into an opened field of derelict buildings and greenery. At the very least, it would give the two Gunners on the team ample shooting space. Riyame held a finger to her comm link, single eye mapping out the area around them as she led. “I know she’s ignoring me. Honestly, if she could just pick up already-”
“R.R. is a big girl who can handle herself. Focus on the task at hand,” came the voice of Team Chaotix’s Linker, speaking privately to Riyame. “She’s ignoring me too. When she gets like this, she’s best left alone. Stop worrying about her and focus on Team Afterglow.” It was a shame the voice on the other end couldn’t see the eyeroll from their Chaotix Gunner.
“Right, right. I’m on it,” she muttered, closing the line and seeing the next sensor just beyond the clearing trees. Their luck would become infectious as soon even Team Yui Gang found their first sensor among the swampland muck just on the other side. Taking the detour had slowed them down but, in the end, it was better to have good fighting environments than to fight the environment. All the same, as each team completed the first of their two battery transitions, the air of tension about them would grow restless.
Each team’s Linker-and perhaps in Team Yui Gang’s case their Gunner-would be able to spot a subtle shift in the Invader behavior. Like the blip of a much bigger target for example, one that seemed to be moving indecently of the others. Despite keeping to itself, its size was something to take into consideration in a threat analysis.