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Super Robot Wars ∀: Deep Space IC Thread - Part 3: Crisis Point

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"Hm...maybe..." She sniffed a bit after Aly gave her answer, doing her best to hold back tears. "I just hope the crew won't hate me for it, ya know? I couldn't take that..." She shook her head, trying to force away her thoughts. "Ah, I'm sorry. I shouldn't just spill my thoughts out to you. You've been through a lot too." She rubbed her face a bit. "When we get back to the ship let's have some lunch together, alright?" Aliza did her best to hold her upbeat voice over the comms. "Till then, ciao." Regardless of her answer Aliza turned to fly back to the Riese with the assumption her friend would be there as well.

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Ah, that had been a quick response from Talia. Makoto couldn't help blushing when reading it, she seemed pretty happy about, he was at a loss what to say.

'Okay, see you later!'

Makoto had no idea how to continue the conversation past that, so he figured he'd sort that out later. It was a bit much to think of right now. Better to focus on the Phalanx and all needed repairs, as soon as the Odin landed.


"Yeah... let's go check on her." Nina's willingness to support was appreciated at that time, but Esther's mind still had some concerns over how well Vera would take this. Friendly as she was, Vera never opened herself up to Esther, and if she didn't now... well, she had nobody else to turn to. Another comment from Thorvald came from the line, a note that made Esther grimace. "It sounds like her alright... I'll take that offer." Perhaps it'd be better not to tackle her alone, Esther had a feeling she'd be brushed off.

During that moment, Nina received another transmission. Tarquin. Esther was aware of him, but never put much thought into the engineered soldier. It wasn't surprising that he would care for Nina, in hindsight... "We're both doing fine. As far as fighting these aliens, I'm fine." It was killing remaining members of Apotheosis that hurt, even if something she signed up for. Aside from that confirmation, Esther leaned against her seat, content listening while guiding the Metis through its docking maneuvers.


"Y-yes, sorry. The size is for one, uh, human, usually..." Caroline's attempts at conversation without showing how intimidated she was were clearly failing. Getting a step on and handling the controls, Caroline maneuvered the Legionary to turn from the alien machine and make a beeline for the Riese. Its thrusters ignited, pushing it off the ground as it beelined for the open hangar. "It... it'll be a bit shaky until we land..." She spoke softly.


"J-Jessica... it's going to take a while. You're missing a few parts before you can walk." The doctor wasn't very direct in her response, which left Roxanna feeling guilty enough to explain Jessica her situation.

It was quite a weird feeling, coming to care for Jess out of that tragic situation... and now that Tristan took a quick leave after the alien, Roxanna would have to be twice the leader she wasn't. "Mmm... I guess I'll need to plan ahead for the debriefing..." Explaining Jessica's situation would certainly lower morale, she had to be mindful of her words.

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"That would be appreciated, Jess. If that's OK with you." Tarquin replied, sitting back in his seat as the Aria hovered towards the Heion Riese. It gave him a few moments to think, although his mind wasn't exactly sure what to focus on. Was it Nikolai or Nina, the next battle or his future? His concentration was broken by a response from Nina, and then Esther? Both appeared to be managing, but there was an air of fatigue in thrir voices.

"That's good, hopefully you will have a chance to recover aboard the Riese. We can talk once we're both docked." he replied, Nina's message was quickly followed by Esther's. "Thank you, Miss Taylor. Your contributions are appreciated."

It wasn't long until the Aria had docked aboard the Heion Riese and the maintance procedures had began. He would have to find time to catch up with Nina when he could - there was something that wasn't quite right over comms.
 

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"Don't I just need some new legs to walk? I checked the database, those don't take too long to fabricate... Unless the issue is connecting them to my systems...?" New Jess was learning at a rapid rate, if she had free access to her hands, it was likely she'd fix herself before anyone else could. Unfortunately, that would require the first step. Walking. "If you say so, XO... Just lemme know when I can get outta here, it's real cramped."


"Shaky is fine," Kiir'Heln replied, continuing to watch the girl pilot. Her motions were so slow, was it just because she was nervous? From her memories of the fight, she didn't seem like their best pilot. Perhaps a rookie, then? New to this ship? How cute. Kiir'Heln wasn't paying enough attention to herself, ending up purring, too excited by the situation and what was to happen to her.


"Alright... Thank you again, Tarquin." Nina focused on the Metis once messages were finished, making sure the machine followed course. They had a Vera to deal with and Nina could already feel exactly where she was. It was a crushing despair. "This... I-Is not good." She was sure that Esther could feel it too, it was pushing all the other emotions in the hangar out. As the Metis docked, Nina slowly began to get up, placing a hand on Esther's shoulder. "I'm here to help, Esther."


"First my pride, then my rank... I suppose I may end up stripped of my name at this rate. If someone calls me Mittens..." Ayyl'Vern was clearly not taking Firmia's first orders well, which just left Hannah smirking.

"Mittens." The android couldn't help herself, and the alien bristling in response had been worth it.

"I see! Then if I am free to do as I please, I shall see to my machine. Alone." With a hefty huff, he stalked off towards the Praxis, calling its entry wire and closing himself up in it without another word.

"I didn't think they'd be this easy to deal with in person... Alright, Firmia, I'm back, and despite your worries, completely in one piece. Is there anything I can help with around here, or am I just back on standby while the Reign gets a new paint job?" Hannah smiled, but she'd cocked an eyebrow, clearly not all that pleased with having been brought in so quickly.


"... Yeah, shower and relax. If the ETA from earlier is still correct, it won't be long til combat once we get moving again. Just wondering how long the Riese's repairs are going to take. They aren't just gonna slap metal over it and call it a day, are they?" Chris couldn't help but wonder if they even had the time to fix such a gaping wound in the battleship, but they couldn't turn around and head back to Central, not this far out. Giving Apotheosis and these aliens the time to recuperate was the last thing they could afford.

"Alright, come on," Chris didn't wait another moment, grabbing Brant's arm and starting to drag him. "Let's get that shower done quickly so we can see the girls for as long as possible."


"Feeling, okay?" Kazue turned towards the new voice, unsure of who exactly this was... Given his proximity to the Velite unit, he must have been that reinforcement from Miller, that... "Oh my goodness!" Pleasantries could wait! "You're bleeding!" Without a moment's hesitation, Kazue was next to him, arm hoisted over her shoulder, bringing him along towards the elevators. "Infirmary, first. You can, introduce after. Pilot suit wounds are, especially bad." With how tight these usually were, wounds could be worse than they looked, shrapnel was likely to get stuck inside if it wasn't a clean impact. "Where is it worst? We will need to tell the doctor."


It was... Almost frustrating how gentle Kim was being with her. She appreciated it, but in a sense, it just reinforced how weak this whole situation had left her. How broken on trust Avery had made her. It hadn't been long, the time they'd spent together, but they had been friends. Proper friends... To get shot by someone you trusted, was Kim going to turn around and break her heart one day? You can't think like that. That's exactly what she wanted. Kim didn't play any part in this...

With a hefty sigh, after Kim had her moment with the blonde, Christina nodded. "We can go down... I just want to shower and lay down for a while. Can't leave you to pilot alone later, even if I might not be at one hundred percent."


"Ah... My apologies, Captain. You humans don't share in the delight of mind reading, do you? If it is something I must cease doing, please, give the word. The habit will be difficult to kick, but I will give it my all!" Reed'Nahl seemed unperturbed by Abigail's demeanor, taking a moment to point at the wreckage of the Poiesis. "San'Xuur, Leo. He was a strong Knight, but evidently, not strong enough!"

"Doesn't sound familiar... Good." Calina knew what Abby had been fishing for, nodding along with the confirmation of it. If she'd been working for the fucker that had been dogging them all this way, things might've been different.

Edited by SnakeMomMelissa

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"I... can't order you to stop reading minds," Abigail reluctantly acknowledged, thinking back to her talks with Kim. "Not any more than I could order Cally to stop listening to our current conversation with her ears right now," Abby turned and gave a small smile to her partner. "We'll have to work on boundaries for what you should do with any information you might come across, have to get you to learn respect for privacy and how to treat delicate subjects with decency, but that can be an ongoing process."

"Besides," her tone brightened a little. "Your skills might prove a potent weapon in the future. Discarding a weapon like that because it makes me personally uncomfortable would be short-sighted as your captain, no?" This did of course, bring to bear on the other topic of concern. Could this offer really be trusted?

Finding out which of the alien leaders Reed'Nahl had served ended up proving incredibly useful in shining a light on that situation, it turned out. In more ways than one. Not only did there appear to be no connection to Soor'kan, who'd been the bastard responsible for Hilling's death, and also the one responsible for the warp in on the Riese's bridge that had gravely wounded Jess, but Abigail easily recognized the wreckage pointed out as belonging to the craft that she had personally destroyed--with Seung-Min's help, of course. And that had been the first of the alien leaders to fall, with this surprise surrender not coming until all of them had been defeated. The evidence was mounting up that even if you looked at this as a case of 'fair weather friends', it had to be quite the intense storm to shake the loyalty.

"So, let me just make sure I'm properly understanding you here," Abby tried sorting through her thought process, hoping it still made sense as she spoke it out loud. "Because we were stronger, we've proved ourselves capable, and you'll serve that strength so long as we continue to win? And not only that, but even if I personally were to fall, if Calina, or Jessica, or Hi--" she accidentally caught herself still relying on Hilling to be there, even after his death. A dark cloud crossed her face, and she bit her tongue, taking a few moments to finish the sentence. "So long as one of my commanders on the field remains capable, or so long as retreating to regroup at the base of operations remains feasible, you will not desert at the first sign of struggle?"

Edited by Balcerzak

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"... I don't know this Jessica, but from the looks of things, she is not inside your machine. To be crystal clear, Captain. So long as you or Calina draw breath and bring victory in combat, I shall continue to follow until I die. Anyone else... Did not participate in your defeating of the knight. I will respect strength, of course, but I follow the victor. If you are defeated, that shall be it. I shall follow whoever bested you."

"Guess we just need to stay alive, right Abs?" Calina sighed. This was certainly a sort of devil deal. One crazy strong alien and the machine she piloted, at the cost of never losing. "How far does that 'defeat' extend?"

"To mobile suit combat, of course. I realize that humans are generally frail creatures. It would not do to claim you unfit to lead if someone larger than you bested you in hand to hand, especially since you have no mental advantages!" Reed'Nahl found this amusing enough to guffaw, her whole frame shaking with her powerful laughter. "Continue to pilot your intriguing machine as you have today, and you shall have nothing to worry about!"

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Abigail frowned as the cat corrected her, the deal wasn't quite so good as she'd been hoping, but at least the alien was being forthright and honest about it. She could have just as easily not said anything and stabbed them in the back later. "Well, I've never planned on losing before, and I don't intend to start now. Give me your hand, let's shake and make it official then."

Abby transferred her helmet to her left hand, and extended the right, walking close to the edge of Vergloria's palm so that the alien, who'd come out to meet her on the palm of her Gamma, could easily reach without issue.

"...Actually, come to think of it. It might be best if rather than bringing this on board the Deliverance, at least while Sena is like she is, maybe it'll be better for you to stay in the 'more impressive ship', or would that be a problem for you?" It was a random thought that had come to her while waiting, so she simply spoke her mind.

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Megumi thought they'd gotten all the injured crew to the infirmary, but that didn't include the pilots yet. Usually there were no major injuries, but she hadn't been monitoring the situation like usual. "First check around the hangar. The pilots are returning, so if you see anyone who's hurt, bring them up here with you."

Jessica sounded bored; she didn't actually need to be out of that tank just yet, though. "Please just be patient, Captain. That was our hardest fight yet and I don't think we have time to patch everything up before we move on to the next one. We were supposed to be ending this war today ..."


Firmia could only sigh as Ayyl'Vern left for his machine and Hannah brought the Alkaev's attention back to the sortie situation. Did she have something more important to be doing outside, right now? "What's bothering you? Did you really want to stand around on guard duty during the salvage operation? Did you want to help pick up the pieces?" Or did she want to pull a Brant and race over to the Riese to see how things were going with a certain captain ...? Ugh ... "Carlos can handle things for now, and if something does come up, it's not going to take long to launch the Reign again."

"Captain, we have an emergency," Tonya's voice came out of Firmia's tablet, "Rex is here and he's going to take my student away. Please help."

"How ...?" It wasn't outright impossible for Rex to have reached them this quickly, but it would have required him launching from and racing off ahead of the Athena almost as soon as the battle started.

... what a waste of propellant. Firmia sighed again, more irritated than before. She didn't know why Rex was here, exactly. Moving Vasiliy wouldn't make him safer than he was now--quite the opposite, in fact. Maybe he just wanted to meet his son as soon as possible, though a video call should have sufficed given the situation. Tonya did say Rex was going to take Vasiliy away, but that didn't make sense unless he was intending to grab Vasiliy and leave the rest of the fighting to them. Honestly, Firmia had her doubts but she couldn't put the idea past him. He'd been more than happy to let Carlos and Apotheosis do his dirty work all too recently. "Well, that's a good rationalization for calling you back," she addressed Hannah, "I need you to beat the stuffing out of Rex if he tries anything."


Brant sensed something, a presence he'd not felt since ...

Oh, they were showering before visiting the girls? Brant supposed that was the better order, even if his paternal instincts said otherwise. "I really hope nothing crazy happens while we're gone." They had plenty of chaos bullets lined up and ready to fire, too: The sorry state of the Riese, the Sacarians, that growing frustration wafting from Firmia like a smokescreen.

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Tycho was caught off guard by the reaction from the woman, immediately taking him and dragging him off to the infirmary. He would've asked and went himself, but a nice, pretty escort worked just as well. She talked fairly fast, a little too fast as he had to think on what she even said, the arm wound being the least of his 'pains' he was working with right now.

"I-It's not that bad right now, honestly. Just some headaches and some..." He shook his head from the sudden jab he felt at his head. "Sorry, uh... I just need some bandages, and aspirin." Maybe she'd laugh at a joke? "Maybe a juice box, if the infirmary's got those?" Not that it really was a joke, his next step after getting patched up was something to eat/drink, but it was less important, especially so to the woman who grabbed him.

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Monty had just popped the hatch, stood up, and stretched when, 'Oh goodness, you're bleeding!' caught his attention. Unlike over at the Avalon, apparently there was never a dull moment on the Riese. Looks like the pilot had good intentions, helping the other pilot, but...

"Whoa, whoa! Hold up there, pretty lady. If he's actually hurt, manhandling him like that isn't gonna make it any better," calling out, hoping to catch their attention before the pair of them made it too far, the doctor made a swift descent from the borrowed shuttle. He didn't actually hit the ground running, he did have his medical bag to carry after all, but his long legs gave him a decent stride and if they listened to him like they should, he ought to catch up rather quickly. "I'm a doctor, popped over from the Avalon. Might as well triage as we move, but it really would be better letting him walk under his own power."
 



Smiling, enjoying feeling useful, Jess took control while Tarquin handled other business. There were zero problems bringing the Aria in for a landing, and they were soon enough occupying their designated position in the hangar.

"After you," she offered Tarquin first use of the cable down. The debriefing would be soon, most likely, and Jess didn't have anything pressing she needed to do before it began, but perhaps the boy did? In that case, it only seemed natural. She could use the extra time to think, if nothing else.
 



"We are now arriving at the Heion Riese station, I repeat, now arriving. As this is the terminal stop of the Odin line, even if this is not your final destination, we still require you disembark," Thorvald jokingly informed Makoto of his options, as the giant robot settled into the hangar. Perhaps being just a little silly would be enough to brighten both of their spirits, after the battering they'd received today. Maybe, maybe not. He, at least, still had some rough weather ahead of him, but at least he'd gotten Esther to agree to serve as reinforcements.

After setting the Phalanx down on the ground, and leaving it to go find its hangar home, Thorvald took a cable to the floor, and navigated his way to where Vera's Mark III had come to rest. He didn't wait for back-up, she'd come when she came, and maybe spacing out their arrivals could actually be a good thing. Incremental reminder that she was cared about could be better than one group effort from the start, perhaps? Looking up, it was clear the machine hadn't opened, the pilot was still inside.

Well, let's start with with comms, hopefully she'd come out with just a little prompting, and he wouldn't have to go through any heroics. Taking a bit of a seat on one of the Velite's feet, he opened up a private channel. She hadn't responded to his message back then in the fight, in the heat of the moment, but he was pretty sure she'd heard it. It was probably as good a point as any to build off from.

"Well, we did manage to clean up, and you have pulled through. If you wanna talk, like I offered before, I'm here to listen..."

Edited by Balcerzak

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And now they were being approached by a doctor. From the Avalon it seemed, this was fine. It wasn't necessarily a problem that she had him by the arm, as he'd probably get distracted by another thing, then another, and he'd have put off an infirmary trip for basically no other reason than... well, he got caught up in something else.

"Oh, it's nothing, doc. Believe me, this might help a lot more." A small scoff at himself, maybe an attempt to break the tension of the situation a bit. "This arm is fine, it's just here." He lifted up his poor, shard ridden right arm. He had only now realized how hard it was to move the joint at the elbow. Unfortunate...

"Might wanna check for head things too, I took a few too many blows today," He added, might as well be a bit more cautious since a doctor was there.

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The Sagittae made it's landing in the hanger, and Aliza silently zipped down from her cockpit with a line. Thoughts of the battle still lingered in her mind, doubts still weighed at her. 'If only we talked more...I probably might've done something...right?' She stepped off as soon as she landed on the ground and held her notebook close to her chest. 'No I can't think like that I need to...take my mind off this and-' Well thankfully something did help take her mind off it. Her attention was drawn over toward Kazue with a new pilot and Monty. Could that have been the new man out there? Well now's as good a time as any to see if he's ok. 'Kazue can be a real firecracker after all.' She approached the group in time to hear about the arm. "You sure it's fine?" She asked. "I'm no doctor, but it wouldn't hurt to double check you know."

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"...I guess we can ask for some legs to be built." Roxanna conceded. It wouldn't be the same, a rush job considering the time they had, but the engineers could make something useable. That's not what she had in mind, but...

It was time to finally get to it. With Jessica incapacitated and Tristan away, there was no time to spare for a full debriefing reunion with the pilots, instead, Roxanna started an open channel, concerning all machines within the Riese zone, now that pilots naturally returned to the hangar. "All Riese crew, please pay attention. To all pilots: Rest and recuperation is top priority right now, we have another mission ahead of us soon. With that in mind, there is no time for formal debriefings, so this is the best we can do for now." Roxanna started, a hesitant pause struck almost immediately, but she fought it out, "To reinform the Captain's situation: Captain Gefalscht is conscious and doing her best to recover in time for combat, however..." Roxanna winced, that would sting no matter how she phrased it, "To conserve energy and focus on survivability, her body shut down many things, including her past memories. She's up to speed with the mission, but she might not remember you... please keep it in mind."

Roxanna took a deep breath, it was easier to take it from there. "We will have to stop for a few hours to get the Riese in shape, I'll need the Engineering crew to focus on that now. The suits will have to wait." Pause for breathing, "Again, all pilots: Please remember to rest and mentally prepare for next mission. Any further questions, please contact either Ensign Calvin or myself. Out."

Roxanna didn't quite feel like relaxing, but with that one out of the way, she did lean back against the wall. There was a pressing need to put her thoughts in order. "Ignatius, you stay." She pointed out to the old engineer, "You worked on Hannah, so I need your opinion: What can you make for Jessica in the short term?"

"Uh..." Ignatius felt almost sobered up by being called out by name. "Her state is horrible, but I can attach some strong spare legs quick, think her circuitry is not too far from the HAN models--" Ignatius stopped himself, realizing the issue was trivial. The android --cyborg?-- in need of repairs was conscious and probably had enough of her build data safe. "You can tell me as we go, right, Captain? If her syster rejects it, though, I'm gonna have to work overtime."

Another sigh, and Roxanna tried to relax again. "That's good... better not walk on frail legs, right?"

She was never really good at small talk.


Makoto had to chuckle at Thorvald's 'landing notification', it was a good way to break the tension. "Gotcha, boss!" The Phalanx moved out as soon as the Odin's palm hit the floor, going for its tiny spot in the hangar. The debriefing was heard in time, and as much as Makoto understood the need to rest and recuperate, part of him wanted to hit the infirmary anyways. "Can't believe the Riese took a blow that bad..." It was a good decision to leave his mother at HQ this time, in case something worse could happen.

Thinking about that, it was more than due time to call her...

The boy walked towards the hangar's elevator, fiddling with his comm.


"...Thanks, Nina." Esther gave herself the comfort of holding onto Nina's hand tight. She could feel Vera's despair strongly as well, and as much as she was prepared to deal with it... it wasn't nice to always tough it out. "Let's get out there. I can't stand thinking she's going to harm herself." With the cockpit open, it was only moments until an elevator neared for them to drop. "Gotta do something about it."

Getting down to the ground floor, Esther could see Thorvald already in front of the Velite. "Hey," She spoke to him, rushing towards the machine. "She's still stuck up there, huh?" Letting out a long sigh, Esther opened her own comm. "Vera, we're all worried about you, please answer."


"Shaky is fine... g-got it..." Caroline managed to land on the hangar just fine, though a sound did surprise her out of her other thoughts. Did... she just purr? Caroline tried to push it to the back of her mind immediately, but it probably made sense considering what these aliens looked like.

...Why did they look like cats?

That was one thought quickly shelved with an incoming open notice. "The Captain sounds like she's in a rough spot..." She muttered under her breath, some concern rising. Hopefully the team could pull through, but Jessica was important for their success, from Caroline's own impressions. That's so sad, she picked me out of all the other candidates... probably doesn't mean a lot to her now, but that was nice. With a bit of a restrained frown, the Legionary opened its cockpit hatch, motor slowly turning off.

"W-we're going down, the Captain and XO are uh... at the infirmary, I think? I'll take you there." Caroline removed her helmet, taking a deep breath as she took the lead. She was commited in escorting the Sacarian, at least.

Edited by Xinnidy

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"I won't. I promise." Seung-Min replied, shaking her head at the idea. She had no intention of putting Christina through anything like that... and if she had her way about it, no one else would either. Still, both a shower and a rest sounded... very welcome for the moment. As Roxanna's announcement came through the open channel... it was sobering to hear. That would explain the Captain's lack of responsiveness during the battle, at any rate... just to pull through, she had... squeezing against Christina tighter for a moment, the Lieutenant eventually released the blonde, looking at her with a sombre expression.

"I think I'll join you, if you'll have me. C'mon, let's head down. I don't think that... today is going to stop swinging yet, so we should take what we can get," Kim added, opening up the cockpit of the Artemis and stepping towards it, offering her hand to Christina in order to help her out of the seat and down the elevator.

Edited by Ether

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It wasn't long before the Aria was completely docked, ready for its pilots to venture back out onto the hangar floor. "Thank you, Jess. We should see how the other are, hopefully everyone is unharmed." Tarquin replied, pausing for a moment to consider what he had just said. Even he was surprised by his own concern for their crew's wellbeing, perhaps he had been spending too much with the likes of Thorvald or the captain. He smirked, swiftly arriving on the hangar floor. It may have still been within the confines of the Heion Riese, but it was a relief to have his feet on ground more solid than the inside of the Aria. The news about the captain's amnesia was somewhat unsettling, they would have to plan meticulously to compensate for their commander's injuries. The tactical disadvantage felt rather small compared to the emotional effect, there was something almost saddening that the captain would not remember any of the time they'd spent together.

There was a small gathering in front of one of the Velites, although he was unsure who the pilot had been - his eidatic memory deciding to take one of its few breaks. He approached Thorvald, who had been joned by a troubled-looking Nina and Esther. By association, Tarquin could probably guess it involved Vera - if only by the people present. It would seem natural to have little regard for someone who up until recently appeared as a nigh unkillable one woman army, but Tarquin couldn't help but sympathise with Apotheosis' previous prize fighter. He'd only caught the end of it, but Thorvald appeared to be talking to her.

"Nina, is there something wrong?" Tarquin asked, approaching his fellow clone. "Is it something regarding Miss Maxwell?"


 

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Well, on the one hand, the patient in question was saying that the current arrangement wasn't a problem. But on the other hand, it wasn't unheard of for a wounded person not to be the best judge of their own situation. Still, the Asian woman helping hoist him along was supporting him properly, and if it was true that only the other arm was badly off...

Then came the mention of blows to the head. Always a red flag. "Did you ever lose consciousness, black out, even for an instant?"

Around that time, before the man had a chance to respond, another female pilot had arrived, expressing concern. Monty couldn't help a bit of crooked smile when she mentioned she wasn't a doctor, but didn't want to embarrass her too badly... though maybe she would have a cute blush? "Ah, Miss, we're working on getting him up to the infirmary, but I'm taking a look along the way. Things should be about as well as could be expected, though... if you'd be a dear, run ahead a bit, and call the lift so it'll be ready for us when we get there, that'd be much appreciated."

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"Gladly! I have often wondered about this handshake you humans hold so important. A sign of trust, it must be!" Graciously shaking Abigail's hand, Reed'Nahl nodded with pleasure, thinking about her suggestion. "If my presence would trouble your crew, I shall do as you wish, but, given our already strained relationship as races, would it not be prudent to get the people aboard your... Erm, ship, used to me, as soon as possible?" A fair thought, Reed'Nahl nodded again. Though, she was momentarily embarrassed, she'd almost called their ship a plane. It was just, so small...

"Probably better to get her here now so everyone can freak out and get it over with, Ab--"

Calina's thoughts were cut off by an announcement from the Riese... With, really bad news for Abby. She didn't know how much the woman caught, talking with the alien, being out on the hand, but it... It wouldn't be easy for her to deal with, when she got to hear it in full. "Think we should just get her on board and get to business, Abby... Things are, happening."


"If you guys can make me some legs, then sure! I know you're saying to be patient doctor, buuuuuut, if it's not taking away from them working on other necessary things... I wanna walk around the ship! The digital interface and cameras are nice, but it'd be better to see everything with my own optics." Jessica was so perfectly naive of her situation, smiling like an idiot, as if things were fine. "You can check out my schematics, Ignatius, if that'll help. Just ask if you have any questions!"


Hannah scoffed, shaking her head just a bit. "Not exactly bothered about coming in early, just bothered by the reason. Neither me nor the Reign need to be coddled, Firmia." The Reign hadn't taken any damage, and Hannah knew Firmia was paranoid, but... Calling her back into the Avalon for that reason just left a bad feeling in her. At least a good reason had come up, Rex causing problems. Perhaps, at least. From the way it sounded, he just wanted his son. It made sense to her... How he went about picking him up would determine if it was a problem.

Speaking of problems... Hannah's communicator was picking up what Roxanna was saying loud and clear, and it made the android bite her lip. "Isn't that wonderful... Gaertner better still be alive, in one of those Apotheosis ships." If she'd already been killed, rendered useless, or shot down in one of the few Chaldenes they'd come into combat against... Jess' chances of being 'Jess' again, were slim to nil.


"Something crazy's happening with Firmia... Let's hope it's just central to her, and not all of us." Chris was admittedly too tired to inquire, taking hold of Brant's arm and dragging him along towards their room. Shower was way too good to pass up, right now.


"You need more than bandages, please do not joke about the fruity boxes, right now." At least he was feeling good enough to crack jokes. It was a good sign, but not enough to get Kazue to let him go.

"Pre-- Pretty...?" That did, though it was a combination of the sudden, out of place compliment, and the man calling himself a doctor telling her to slow down. "Uh... Yes. Okay. Sorry... We have not, uhm, seem much damage on pilots... I was surprised to see such a wound."

Now Aliza had shown up, making Kazue feel a bit out of place. She wasn't much for groups, not in person, so... "Uhm... W-Well, you have, uh, A-Aliza and a doctor... I, er, h-hope that you can, get that handled. I will go for the elevator, instead! Do not worry, Doctor." Kazue gave a small salute and headed past them all towards the elevators, calling for both. She was hoping to take one alone, and head for the cafeteria...

The news with Jess hit as she was walking past, making Kazue frown. That was serious, but so long as she could continue to pilot the ship, they could at least get through this, right? Was there a time limit to things? Did she need extensive repairs...? Too many questions... Some she didn't want the answer to.


No response to Thorvald's message... He did receive text, though. It read as such:

'Not while Esther is there. I don't want her to see me like this. I can't deal with her right now.'

Nina had taken a step aside from the group, not wanting to impose on an already small crowd, over Vera's current state. To her surprise, Tarquin had made a beeline to see her, eliciting a small smile. "Ah... I think so. Uhm... I know that you are not a telekinetic, so... Miss Maxwell is... Under a maelstrom of emotions, currently. Thorvald and Esther are trying to see to her, but I do not... I don't know if they will be able to get through to her, right now. Or at all... This is... Very heavy."

The message of their current situation, and the captain's situation, came over the hangar, causing Nina to furrow her brow. "Oh dear..."


"Your captain was hurt by Soor'Kan's assault?" Kiir'Heln was surprised anyone had survived, but the ship had continued combat past his attempt to crush the bridge, so... This Jessica was either incredibly formidable, or lucky. The Sacarian only nodded as Caroline instructed her on what was to come next, proceeding to remove her helmet... "Wow..." What a pretty human. It was mumbled, and Kiir'Heln caught herself, shaking her head somewhat. "Ah. Yes... By all means. Take me to meet with your commanding officers... I also wish to meet with the one named Thorvald. I believe he is nearby..."


The news of Jess made Christina's stomach sink, like it was full of rocks. Things weren't going to stop today... Not now, and not in the next few hours. Who would be next, if even the Riese could suffer damage enough to kill some of its bridge, and almost demolish the captain? What was left of the captain... How was Abigail going to feel?

"Ugh... I feel sick." Christina wobbled to her feet and took Kim's hand, leaning against her. "I'll... Try to keep it in until I can find a toilet." The awful news, combined with the storm of feelings coming from Vera, was leaving Christina more than queasy.

Edited by SnakeMomMelissa

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Aliza had arrived to the scene, it seemed. Once again, another person concerned about his condition. "Well, of course it's not actually fine. It hurts a bit, just a few other things thrown together, makes it not fun. But I've dealt with worse." Tycho shrugged, the woman letting him go and running off to go get the elevator as the doctor ordered. A small sigh, Damn, I didn't even get her name.

Focusing himself back to Monty's question, "Um... I think for a few moments, yeah. I did after I got hit by..." What was it, again? "I think it was a barrage of missiles. I woke up pretty quick, but I did know I missed something for a minute or so."

A message about the Captain's conditions came on. Something about... her being functional but lost her memories? It was confusing, without a doubt. He recalled something similar was brought up but... it just left more questions he didn't feel like getting answers to at the moment. He still had to answer ill-advised questions to the doctor in front of him.

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Megumi didn't know what else to say, really. This Jessica was a completely different person, with seemingly no personal connections to speak of. Even the tragedy surrounding her didn't seem to be registering. Ignorance may hold a measure of bliss, but it was certainly disturbing for those in the know to see in action.


"You're not being coddled," Firmia countered, "This situation is even more chaotic than usual."

Not willing to be any more specific than that, she turned her attention to Catapult B's elevator as it lowered a mobile suit down into the hangar space. Firmia recognized it from the schematics she downloaded from the Athena's database, but it was a new machine to virtually everyone else. The unit was clearly designed for aerial combat, and carried a RM model beam rifle, a shield, six funnels, several beam sabers, and two large containers on its hips. Firmia had nearly forgotten that the containers each housed wired melee weapons.

"Well, here he is ..." Firmia grumbled, staying right where she was as the Anarchy began walking toward the center of the hangar. As uncomfortable as she was standing in clear view of the man that tried to kill her recently, she didn't show any fear. Instead, the bitterness she felt from that event boiled to the surface. There was no telling what would happen once they were face to face ...

Stopping a fair distance away, the Anarchy knelt down on one knee. No systems powered down, but the hatch leading to the cockpit opened, allowing Rex to haul himself out of the suit. For a brief moment, Firmia was confused. Rex was wearing a flight suit ... not a SKIN suit. His machine clearly made use of multiple TK weapons, though. The Alkaev could only cock her head at Rex as he descended to the hangar floor.

"Had no idea the inside of this ship would be such a damn circus ... Alkaev and Apotheosis suits just parked side by side ..." If only he'd gotten here while there was a Velite sitting on the hull.

"Okay ... I've got questions," Rex continued, casually pointing a finger at Hannah.


They had almost reached their room when Tonya intercepted them in the hall. "Hang on, guys."

"What's wrong?" Brant asked. He hoped it wasn't serious, but Tonya looked like she was barely composed. The anxiety was thick enough to start rubbing off soon, as well.

"It's Rex. He raced here during the battle and he's definitely going to try and grab Vasiliy on his way out. I need you to help me stop him."

So that's what he sensed. Taking Vasiliy with him right now didn't make sense though. All Rex had was a mobile suit, and the war wasn't over yet anyway. Where would he keep his son, on his lap? It was far better to just keep him on the Avalon until he had some better accommodations. Firmia probably wouldn't like it, but Brant was sure he could convince her to give them a small shuttle or something to travel in, especially after they finished raiding Apotheosis' equipment.

Brant would have preferred it if Rex just stayed with them post-war, but he and Firmia had some unresolved issues ... and they weren't getting resolved while tensions were this high. Tonya was also being a little overprotective of Vasiliy, which wouldn't make the situation any easier for those two.

"Can we have like ten minutes? There's no way he's getting out of here any sooner than that."

"Mrmph."

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Tarquin had never taken Vera as someone who would have been burdened by pressure. There was no doubt that she would have been under it, but their former enemy had seemed incredibly resilient - almost alarmingly so. There was no real way for him to understand what would happen next. He would be hard pressed to say he particularly knew Vera and had no telekinetic insight into her state of mind. He stood beside Nina, looking up at Vera's unit. It was strange, the same weapon she'd used to fight alongside them was now the one thing keeping her apart from them all.

"I see, I'm sorry to hear that." Tarquin replied, at a loss of how he could help. Thinking logically, there wasn't much that he could actually do, offering support to those who knew Vera better would have to suffice. Things were going to be hectic until after their final battle, quite possibly even after that. Aboard the Heion Riese, there was no downtime or normality. "I hope she'll be able to gather her thoughts and make sense of her situation. I don't know much about her, but I can imagine it must be serious for her to isolate herself like this. If there is any way I can help, please let me know."

It was a stark contrast from the battle hungry duelist they'd fought on the colony, Tarquin couldn't picture their foe from then to hide away. A few weeks prior, he would have been more than happy to watch Vera get fired out of an airlock, a sentiment he couldn't quite hold in the current moment.

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"I'll bring you to the change area, you can use the attached toilet." Kim replied, gently rubbing Christina's back as she leaned down to grab the emergency bag for such occasions tucked under the seat. Offering it to Christina just in case, Kim took a deep breath to try to calm her thoughts, before guiding Christina down the lift.

"Focus on me to anchor yourself, okay? We'll go down nice and slow." Seung-Min noted, as the lift brought the duo down to the hangar floor... hopefully the influx of external stimuli wouldn't worsen Christina's woes.

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The cat seemed to pick up on how to shake hands quickly, whether from reading her mind or not, Abby didn't really want to try to think about. But it was a firm clean shake, neither trying to overpower the other. Good. That was a sense of stability much welcomed in these trying times.

Both Reed'Nahl and Calina seemed to think it just best to tear off the bandage, so to speak, as far as Sena's sensibilities might be concerned, or anyone else's for that matter. With a bit of a shrug, Abigail came around to that way of thinking too. It's not like she'd been married to her previous proposition, after all. Sena was going to have to get over things sooner or later, and if the cat wasn't disappointed by the change in expectations either...

Muffled noises resembling Roxanna's voice started coming from the helmet she was holding in her hand--probably coordinating debriefing or something. Just another bit of a nudge to get this alien business wrapped up, huh. That was fine, Abby could ask Calina for the specifics, if they mattered, later.

"Right then," she stepped backward toward the center of Vergloria's palm again, nodding to indicate the other party was free to do the same. "We'll cover anything else in the hangar. Follow us, I'll have Terry make sure someone clears a space for your machine." Snapping her helmet back into place, she then clambered back inside the cockpit, taking her seat again.

Calina's latest comment was slightly spooky, but... business first. "All right Terry, new plan. We need room for one more in the hangar, and I'm cancelling my rush to the Riese. Got some things that need explaining and handling, and I can't go gallivanting off without doing them. See you soon."

Then, cutting her mic, she sighed and turned to Calina. "I missed it earlier, when was Roxanna setting up for the AAR or whatever she was broadcasting about? We've got enough time to get everyone on Deliverance up to speed with the new guest and all that, right? We can cut it a little short if we have to, but I can't just skip it completely..."

 


 

Okay, hearing about the head trauma and related blackout, it became clear the man really wasn't a reliable judge of the rest of his injuries. However, he was conscious, mobile, and no signs of spinal... As Monty gave Tycho a quick scan, making sure there didn't seem to be anything broken or other missed injury, the wrong woman headed off to carry out his elevator request. Well, it didn't really matter who, in the end, but... Guess she was just shy?

"Dr. Amparo?" The doctor hailed the fellow healer over his tool, giving her an update. "One pilot on the way. Probable concussion,  multiple lacerations on the arm. A few foreign objects lodged in there. No serious bleeds and nothing visibly broken, but he's understandably in pain, and there is some swelling. I'm sending him up to you with another pilot for an escort. Gonna do a quick sweep of the rest of the hangar, check out the others before joining you up there."

Then, with another look at Aliza, as well as the one that ran away, he asked for clarity. "You don't mind accompanying him, or making sure she does? I did just volunteer you, but..."

 


 

Tarquin had cabled down, quickly heading off to check up on a knotted group of some of the others. Jess leaned back in her chair, looking up at the ceiling of the cockpit and sighing. Her heartrate had come back to normal, and--as far as the Aria was concerned--everything had ended up more or less all right. Maybe she could have kept a better eye on their fuel? They had needed to stop in to fill up the tank and get a few emergency repairs... but thinking back on it, there hadn't been much wasted movement, and--especially considering some pilots she'd trained--next to no wasted shots flying wide of their mark. She closed her eye and frowned.

Then after a few more moments, she let out a soft, slightly self-derisive laugh. Was she really fighting this hard not to accept success? They'd never been out of position, hadn't overexposed. Her moments of crippling fear hadn't overwhelmed, she hadn't failed to copilot properly.

Deep breath in, then out.

They did their job out there, and came home. Still, somehow she felt like crying. Funny, wasn't it? She almost snorted at Roxanna's broadcast, the final sentence especially sticking with her. "Rest, and mentally prepare yourself... She makes it sound so easy."

Pushing herself up, she finally exited the cockpit, taking the cable down to the hangar floor. Where to next? Off to the right, was Tarquin and some others, off to the left, a small group making for the elevators. And in front...

The enemy. A cat alien, dangerously close to Caroline. Jess froze, her breath caught in her chest. But gritting her teeth, she forced herself to take a step forward. And then another. Striding over, providing backup. Craning her neck a little, she attempted to glare up at the figure towering over her crewmate, disguising her fear. "Good work out there, Caroline. ...Need help?"

Edited by Balcerzak

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"Fuckin' cats." Elaine muttered under breath, climbing out of the Oberon. Recent events, including her time in the brig, the battle and being blatantly blanked by Kim, had put her in a foul mood. She'd definitely need to cool her head before the final mission, that was certainly one order she was going to follow. Elaine wiped her brow, stepping down to the hangar floor. If she could just keep it together until then...

The sight of the Sacarian they'd captured didn't do Elaine's blood pressure any favours, the towering feline foe making her sweat. Elaine held her tongue, she couldn't let a fearful or angry outburst put anything at risk for the crew... or herself. Her eyes scrambled for someone she knew, any reason to avoid the giant cat. Spotting Makoto heading towards the elevators, Elaine made a hurried approach, avoiding eye contact with Kiir'Heln as best she could.

"Yo, Makoto... you hanging in OK?" Elaine asked, keen to escape the hangar. "You were lookin' pretty good out there, did they rough you up at all? Still can't believe we've got one on the ship with us now."

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"Ah, Kazue?" She spoke out in confusion as the girl ran off. She could sense she was very skittish when she had arrived, was it something she said? Well it seemed like the answer wouldn't come directly from her, but from Aliza's point of view maybe she wasn't in the mood for extra company. 'An excuse for a date then...well he's not bad looking I have to admit.' She turned toward Tycho with that in mind. Yeah, he wasn't a bad looking guy. Granted Aliza has seen better, but he seemed like he would be a good partner if he cleaned up well. The post battle sweat didn't do him any favors, but she was nice enough to jot down a 7 in her mind.

But while Aliza was stuck in her own head about potential harem members suitors, she was brought back to reality by the good doctor. "H.huh?" She responded with a quick snap toward the doc. "Oh uh yeah totally! I can take care of that just fine." She then turned to Tycho with a smile on her face. "Alright then, let's get going before you pass out from blood loss ok?" With that said she took Tycho's arm (the one that isn't bleeding) and pulled him toward the elevator.

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Amparo? Interesting name, but now that he was expected, there was a bit less of a chance Tycho would've wandered off, since he wouldn't want to scare the ever-loving piss out of someone because he didn't show up to something. He just nodded as he spoke to the doctor, then to Aliza.

Then, a look from Aliza and she pulled his arm, making their way to the elevator, "A-ah, okay okay." He spoke in surprise, "Thank you, really, but you don't have to drag me everywhere. I can walk." He calmly expressed as best as could, considering the fact he was being dragged. It didn't help that the sudden pull made the lightheadedness more apparent, but he wasn't gonna just admit that.

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