MAD: Class S (Peregrine x firejay)

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
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On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
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  1. Primarily Prefer Male
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Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
The conversation seemed to stall like rusty machinery after the brief exchange between the two, leaving Vala somewhat at a loss. They stood there for a couple of moments in perfect silence, before Vala decided to turn back to her classmates. This was the first time she'd ever participated in a practical class, and she didn't really know what today's lesson would entail. All she knew was that the focus rotated a lot, from individual training exercises to mass group battles.

Yet she was interrupted by Jensen, who proclaimed their departure and instantly began to walk forward. Vala hesitated again, glancing at her classmates. They'd clearly been watching the interaction between the two, and Elise waved her off with an amused smile and a shooing motion. Sighing slightly to herself with a mix of pure frustration and resignation, Vala followed after Jensen at a half-jog.

She'd already participated in a sim like this with Aemer once, but it had only been a duo pod. She began to try and trail the cables that connected Jensen's chosen pod back to the mech sim that was paired with it. However, a few feet out from the pod, the cords branched into a large central cable, running off across the floor like a road. Wincing slightly, Vala glanced around, before following the largest cable, which was connected to a mech sim.

Struggling for a few moments to figure out how to unlatch the cockpit, which had been left open the two previous times she'd used a sim, Vala finally managed to get herself inside. No one said anything, so she set about buckling herself in and getting the simulation running.

Welcome to the mobile armor division. This device simulates the function of a battlefield-ready MI-1988B. All further settings match according to the practice situation. A bioenginner has been detected in the attached pod. Please complete mech calibration. Simulation will begin once all participating pods are ready.

As the familiar sounds of the mech's engines began to vibrate around her, Vala felt a portion of her frustration sliding away as well. Regardless of the circumstances, she liked being in a mech. Having such a cooperative, obedient piece of machinery underneath her fingers somehow made everything seem so much more manageable.

Halfway through calibration, Vala heard Jensen's voice. She didn't respond until the mech's own confirmation echoed through the space. "I'm ready. Just waiting for the other sims now, I guess."

Vala hesitated for a second at Jensen's question. "Um..." She wasn't as ignorant as she'd been a week ago, and definitely not as much as when she'd just been picked up off the Wastes. Aemer's notes had given her some basic understanding of how bioengineers worked, which meant her Bioengineer Study class was actually the one she was least behind on. So Vala knew what a parasite was, and how the bioengineers used them. But Jensen's question left her momentarily stumped. "Why would you do that?"
 
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firejay1

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My times are pretty erratic, but I try to avoid being on EST 11pm-9am.
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Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
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Genres
Fantasy, Modern, Historical Romance.
For a second, Jensen wasn't sure his new mech driver had heard him, so he waited awkwardly, until she finally worked out enough of what she was thinking to ask him why. Jensen frowned. Yes or no, but he'd never had anyone ask him why he was asking a question. Weirder and weirder. "Um well." He said shortly, trying not to think she was just being contrary to be contrary, "Some mech drivers prefer to know as soon as I have visibility so they can get a feel for... I guess you might call it the flow of the battle, and start building their strategies before they get too close. I find partners with aggressive play styles like yours tend to be more eager, so it's a standard question I ask when I first start working with a new mech driver.... Especially one without a prior bioengineer for me to interview."

He waited through another long moment of painful silence for a response. Maybe he needed to expand his pool of mech driver types. He wasn't used to the more experienced drivers being so... quiet.
 
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Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
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  1. 1-3 posts per day
  2. Multiple posts per week
  3. One post per week
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On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
  1. Adept
  2. Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Primarily Prefer Male
  2. No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
The flow of the battle?

Vala could only assume that was some lesson in her battle tactics class that she hadn't gotten to yet. Vala could definitely recognize how that would be necessary for a bioenginner. They were in the background, constantly monitoring the behavior of the squid, setting up traps and making sure that their mech driver wouldn't get overwhelmed. However, Vala wasn't even at the stage of recognizing commonly used tactics yet, let alone trying to make up her own.

Realizing that she'd been pondering for several, long moments, Vala shook her head, remembered Jensen couldn't see that, and finally spoke. "I mean, you do whatever is most comfortable for you. I wouldn't want to interfere with your... uhhh... flow."

She winced internally at that sentence, feeling the entire notion was somehwat absurd. At the very least, she was genuine in her statement. Vala couldn't help but figure that Jensen had enough on his plate having to deal with an entire battlefield full of squid without having to worry about her little needs and wants as well.

Fortunately, as though to cut through their awkwardness, the console beeped a second later. All participants confirmed ready. Simulation beginning in 3... 2... 1...

The view around her opened up, and Vala found herself inside the simulated hangar, rows and rows of mechs lined up around her. For one second, her heartbeat soared as she remembered the panic and overwhelm she'd felt as she'd marched out to battle that first day. But this wasn't real. As the mechs began to move forward at the deploy order, Vala instinctively followed along with them.
 
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firejay1

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My times are pretty erratic, but I try to avoid being on EST 11pm-9am.
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Genres
Fantasy, Modern, Historical Romance.
Had Jensen been standing, he rather imagined he would've fallen over. Interfere? With his flow? What the hell was she talking about? The flow of the battle was a mech driver's prerogative. Even if she was fresh and didn't have specific tactics in mind, he had figured she would have an idea of the sorts of things she wanted him to focus on, let her know about, or set up. But she was talking as though he was his own fish swimming next to her instead of acting as her eyes and ears. He was stunned into silence for long enough that the simulation began before he could fully wrap his brain around what was happening. Hell, if the mech driver in her last two battles had been anyone but Aemer, he would've been kicking himself right now for not approaching them. As much as he hated approaching Aemer for anything, he kind of was kicking himself for it anyways. How the hell was he supposed to run a battle when he had no idea what the mech driver wanted or expected from him? If she was a complete newbie, he would've laid out simple plans for her to follow, but his stock newbie plans were incredibly poorly suited to aggressive mech drivers, which was the only thing he was absolutely certain she was.

Brain spinning through a million different scenarios to compensate for his lack of knowledge on how to deal with a situation like this, he closed his eyes and activated his parasite. He had activated it early, but unlike most mech drivers who activated their parasites early to orient themselves in a hurry, he used the confusing mix of sensations to sample the general feel of the Calamar as they drew closer. This was much more useful and variable in real battles, he found, whereas sims had only a certain range of presets for how the squid were planning to interact. It was only after he rolled through this brief scan that he focused back in on his own body.

The minute he focused again, however, he found himself uneasily uncertain. His mech driver hadn't directed him to do anything so far, and didn't seem inclined to do so any time soon. At the same time, he felt quite certain she would balk at him instructing her. He took a deep breath and tried, "The Calamar are on a more feint-heavy, less aggressive preset, so precision is more going to be their game." This was honestly much more annoying and tiring for him as a bioengineer. He didn't know how other bioengineers felt about dealing with different trends in Calamar behavior, but he'd always found the fast-paced, less specific Calamar battles to require less thought to impact, especially if other bioengineers would work in tandem with him. "I will tell you if anything requires immediate attention, but would you prefer I focus on altering the timing of precision attacks and feints, or directing them towards where you can most easily access them? Normally, I'd try to allow you to deal with only one batch of squid at a time, but as a comfortable dual-wielder, I would not mind intentionally encouraging them to do pincer attacks. If you use your multi-mech comms to communicate with other mech drivers, I can coordinate with their bioengineers as well for more complex cooperative maneuvers." There had to be something something in that that she might gravitate towards. They were still some distance from the Calamar, so there was a little time to discuss, but not much. Once they got close, he was going to have to figure out this new mech driving style on the fly. What he would give right now for some extra time to think....
 

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
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On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
  1. Adept
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  1. Primarily Prefer Male
  2. No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
The mech broke past the edge of the hangar, joining the cascading flood of metal that flooded out into the battlefield. At the full sight of what awaited her, Vala couldn’t help her mouth dropping slightly in awe. It was truly like she was back on the battlefield that very first day, watching the tidal wave of metal ready to collide against the incoming squid.

She allowed her mech to fall to the ground this time, unwilling to let herself be surrounded by squid on six sides when Aemer wasn’t there to protect her, drawing out her dual-mode gun and ion sword. The other weapons had once again tempted her, but she’d purposefully distracted herself from their allure. One day. One of these days she’d try them all out, just to see how they felt.

That day was not today.

Rushing forward towards the squid alongside all the other virtual mechs, Vala waited for Jensen to give her some sense of what was going on around them. However, questions immediately began to pop up in Vala’s head as he began to speak.

She was certain the information on the Calamar’s behavior should have been useful, but it seemed to lean in to an understood combat jargon that she was still heavily lacking. Feint heavy meant they’d be trying to dodge her attacks rather than charging forward? Or did it mean they’d be suddenly changing targets after pretending to attack somewhere? And what did it mean for her if they were being precise instead of aggressive?

However, before she could even think about organizing her questions, Jensen resumed speaking.

As the words continued to tumble out of his mouth, Vala couldn’t help but feel like they were transforming into the same kind of noise that was emitted by the engines of her mech.

No, that was unfair to the mech. At least she could tell what the mech was doing through the changes in the engine’s pitch. Vala couldn’t tell whether or not Mr. Jensen thought they were in the middle of a lecture, as much as he was throwing out strategies and possibilities and terms.

What was certain was that everything but the last few words seemed to have gotten left behind in the virtual hangar room. Desperately trying to cling to something, Vala hesitantly nodded in agreement. “I’m fine with complex maneuvers. Just… do what you do best and tell me what I need to pay attention to, okay?”
 
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firejay1

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A twang of resentment shot through Jensen's brain at that ambiguous response. What he did best? What he did best?! He hadn't been called a robot because he did his own thing. Was she shutting him out on purpose. He was now quite certain she'd refused to meet him on purpose earlier. They wouldn't be in this situation if she had just contacted him earlier so they could go over plans beforehand. Or perhaps he should have reached out to her earlier, but he hadn't thought it would take her that long.

Jensen sucked in his lower lip and dug his teeth into it. Okay. He was going on no instructions, without the comfort to use previously set plans, and absolutely no confidence that his mech driver would either give him any directives in the middle nor listen to him if he tried to give her directives. He didn't have the time to wrestle a modus operandi from his partner, and he didn't have enough data to derive one himself. All he knew were three things: 1. She was an aggressive fighter who picked up things quickly and could dual-wield, 2. She'd directed him to tell her what she needed to focus on, and 3. She'd quite successfully worked with Aemer before. He may not know this girl, but he did know Aemer. Knew..... but couldn't emulate. Their styles were too different, never mind that line of thinking.

For a moment, Jensen took a deep breath, focusing on his lungs to keep him calm and sharpen his mind, and filtering out the mental images flooding in from his link with the Calamar. It was alright. There was a reason he'd skipped college to go straight into an acting bioengineer position. Theory was helpful, but only after he'd gotten a feel for how a battle actually ran. He was just starting over..... with less information here than he'd ever started with... but he had more experience now. A sudden burst of clarity hit him. There was one situation where he knew how to play without customizing to a mech driver's style. A no-designated mech driver sim. In that case, he had a lot more people to work with, but this was no longer a dire disaster just waiting to happen. He took another deep breath, and then focused back on the Calamar.

It was strange how syncing with the Calamar made him feel. They were seconds away from the clash, but he was... boundless. Limitless. Floating through the air unafraid of anyone or anything. Despite a horde of other opinions and plans clamoring for his attention, his brain was oddly clear in these moments, as though he was looking down on everything as careless as a malevolent god. From there, the simulated Calamar seemed like children to him. Chaotic, unpredictable, and sometimes dangerous, but ultimately simple. And the mech drivers and their bioengineers, pieces in a video game. Moving on some of their own will, but nothing more than tools to be used and moved at the end of the day.

His previous panic suddenly gone, he was dead silent as Vala started off with somewhat haphazard distance shooting (as most mech drivers did), and when she was almost close enough for melee combat, he spoke calmly and clearly, almost in a monotone. "To your right will pretend to attack your neighbor but go for you instead." With a second wave behind them to finish off Vala's neighbor, but that was none of her concern. That slight change in timing wouldn't be enough to finish off a fresh and experienced mech driver. "In front plans to take advantage while breaking from a boss, so shoot them as soon as the right moves. Feint forward as soon as you clear them, then pull back hard." A forward movement slightly breaking from the ranks of grounded mech drivers could draw a few groups towards them, giving the others enough breathing room to clear any that got through from that motion.

Hrm. This was a conservative plan. If he had a few more people that feint could be used as a trap instead. No matter. As soon as she started shooting the squid that had broken from their boss, he moved on. "Your left needs help. The boss can be snipershot." He remarked, casually, but also immediately followed that with, "Shoot some aerials, and the front right will bolt for what they think is a gap." It almost felt like he was losing sight of his driver specifically, and he had to resist the urge to talk as if the other mech drivers in the vicinity could hear him. How terribly restricting this was....
 
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Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
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  1. 1-3 posts per day
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On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
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  1. Adept
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  1. Primarily Prefer Male
  2. No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
The communication line suddenly fell completely silent after Vala's request. For several seconds she was flustered, but everything seemed to calm down inside her a few moments later.

It was fine. This was much better than him continuing to feed her complex ideas and theories she barely understood, and her getting distracted trying to understand it all. Besides, he was surely focusing on the battle to come. They were only a few moments away from colliding with the squid now, and Vala's fingers quickly twitched, getting the mech to draw out the dual-mode gun even as it continued to sprint forward across the ground. The cabin shook slightly with every heavy step, setting up a rhythm that only felt like a heartbeat.

A rain of bullets greeted the squid, several of them fluttering down through the air, no longer able to keep themselves aloft as lead ripped them out of the sky. Vala breathed deeply, smiling, and then she was among the squid.

Only a minute later, Jensen's terse voice greeted her, warning her of an attack coming from the right. She prepped herself, sword instantly flicking into her hand, not activated. It took almost a minute from the time of his advice to the squid actually arriving, time Vala couldn't help but begrudge slightly as it distracted her attention from the battle in front of her, but the moment the squid suddenly rolled to the side and flew in her direction, the ion sword was there to rip them apart.

Still, she was easily able to work her way through his instructions, somewhat settling into the lag that followed between his advice and the moment when she actually needed to take action. It wasn't comfortable, but it was workable. However, a few minutes later, and the instructions started to come more rapidly. A lower boss fluttered to the ground a moment after Jensen's words, taken by surprise from a bullet coming in from its side. Only an instant later, bullets were arcing up through the air, creating an opening in several of the aerial squid.

The battle progressed. Vala smoothly switched back and forth from her close, personal battle with the squid to the ranged battle that followed whenever Jensen gave her a piece of advice. However, her feeling that things were going smoothly enough was gradually beginning to get disrupted by a strange, nagging thought in the back of her mind that things weren't quite right.

The squid were coming after her in chaotic waves.

Left, right, up down, strange patterns and waves, some of them squished so close to each other that Vala could hardly tell there were two squid there until one of them was reaching out to wrap its tentacles around her mech. She hopped backwards only to realize that the squid had started flanking her rear as well, circling around the battlefield to target her from behind.

She felt surrounded.

And it was strange. She knew there were far less squid here than there had been during her one-on-one sim with Aemer earlier that week. This time there was an entire battlefield full of mechs to help balance the load. And yet… and yet…

Yet she felt like she was back in the evaluation sim, fighting without a bioengineer.

Abruptly, Vala felt her blood run cold.

As the shiver ran up her spine her hands trembled slightly, causing the parry she’d been attempting with her gun to go slightly wide. One of the squid’s sharp tentacles pierced into the shoulder joint of her mech, creating a sound of protesting metal. Before it could get any deeper than the surface plating, Vala bashed it away with her sword, before twisting her mech sharply on the spot. The force of the movement slammed her back into her own seat, but the mech’s outspread fists bashed against the other squid that were drawing close, sending them flying away and giving her half a second of breathing room.

She was overthinking it. Wasn’t she? Was Jensen… really trying to sabotage her?
 
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Jensen's lips twisted. He didn't like this. The longer the battle went, the more it felt as though he was working with a laggy sim, like one of those stuttery robots in the old tech museum that responded to voice commands. It didn't think for itself, didn't do anything beyond keeping itself alive and responding to basic commands or nudging. Or maybe it was more like that time he'd gotten his mouth numbed for a tooth procedure. His mind was moving, but his body was dull and unresponsive. An odd thing to think, considering his partner was still showing the same speed, dexterity, and ruthless precision he'd seen from her in the earlier sim.

He sighed, seeing what looked like a basic mistake almost costing the mech its arm. She could clearly do better, maybe this was some bid to bully him because he wasn't as good as Aemer. Dull. No matter how difficult drivers wanted to be outside the sim, usually once the threat of dying - however fake - settled in, they fought the best they could. This kind of low-grade harassment to make him look bad was boring, in a way. In fact, this entire battle was boring, as if he could feel his consciousness floating aimlessly through the squid, his more analytical mind on autopilot because he couldn't do anything truly interesting. He couldn't even collect data about her properly like this.

For half a moment, he was tempted to ask her if she was really satisfied with wasting both their time like this, but he knew better than to aggravate his mech driver in the smack middle of a battle. That was something Aemer had never seemed to worry about. His mind wandered a little, and for all of a second, he could imagine her voice in his head, "You fucking son of a bitch! What are your eyes even for?! Being as slow as the turtle and blind as an unsynced squid isn't a virtue, you know!" God, did he sometimes wish he could be as shameless as her.

But he wasn't Aemer. So he kept hammering away at mini-strategies, steadily increasing the speed and complexities of the things he asked her to do, but never trying anything truly ambitious, and by the end of the battle, he felt an inner steam of frustration and irritation. Taking a long breath, Jensen cracked each knuckle one at a time, pulling back each finger after cracking that knuckle. With each finger, he felt that steam cool, and by the time he disengaged his parasite wristband and unstrapped himself, he was back to his usual, calm self.

He scrambled out, trying to make sure he'd get to his mech driver before she could leave. They needed to talk....
 

Peregrine

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Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
As the battle wore on the squid around her grew more and more unruly, and Vala's vague uncertainty about Jensen settled into a firm and frustrated conviction.

Other than acting as her eyes in the sky—at the very least, he was at least doing that—and keeping the squid's mental pressure from overwhelming her, Jensen didn't seem to be taking a single action. Vala only had the most superficial knowledge of what a bioengineer was supposed to do, but even she could guess to some extent. Organize the squid. Create openings. Guide and manipulate them so that their assigned mech's weapons would become more effective, more deadly.

He did none of that. Or, if this is what his strategies and manipulation looked like, he was more incompetent than she could ever have guessed.

Forcing herself to calm down and focus, Vala made sure her hands stayed steady, that the mech remained moving and responsive, cutting down the squid that surrounded her even as she did her best to remain responsive to Jensen's increasingly erratic bursts of information. In the moments of silence... she tried to focus on the purpose of this fight.

The College ran weekly sims for the express purpose of studying how effectively the previous week's lessons had been absorbed. Most of the battles had at least tangential relation to what they'd been learning so far. Theory and then practice; it was an effective strategy.

Assuming, of course, that Vala could remember any of it during the chaos of the battle.

Somewhere along the way, it became a little bit easier. She remembered the pressure that had rested on her during that first battle, when Aemer had told her they'd become the anchor for the entire front line. This was... nothing like that. Most of the squid hardly seemed to care about her. Even a lesser boss never bothered to come in her direction. She was nobody in this fight, just another one of the endless streams that swung swords and fired bullets.

Yet, even without that pressure, this fight was somehow so much harder than anything she'd done yet. Something burned inside her, urging her to do... something. And yet, there was nothing for her to do. Nothing but continue picking off the endless individual Calamar that surrounded her, and wait for the battle to end.

So when the squid finally began to retreat, flowing away like rushing water, Vala momentarily went limp, slumping forward in her harness. The mech automatically began to return to the hangar, and everything went dark.

She didn't want to move.

Surely there would be people watching her. Although she hadn't done poorly, Vala knew that she hadn't been able to perform to the standard she'd shown in the past. Yet would they really believe her if she told them her new bioengineer had all but abandoned her to this battlefield?

Right, because that's what he'd done. He'd abandoned her. Without word or warning, without cause at all, he'd done nothing but the absolute minimum. Would her teachers see it? How would this reflect back on her and her lessons for the coming week? Did he truly want to see her fail that bad?

Nervousness and distaste rose in her stomach, the familiar anxiety of whenever she'd confronted a situation that was outside her control in the Wastes. Yet, somehow, it also cooled her head, causing adrenaline to race through her in preparation for the imagined threat.

Before, she hadn't had anything personal against Jensen. She just hadn't appreciated what he represented. But now? Now it was personal?

Firmly unbuckling her harness, Vala opened the hatch before jumping out of her sim. Her eyes immediately found Jensen, the other man quickly hurrying towards her. Her lips pinched into a thin line, hands reflexively closing and unclosing before she tucked them away behind her back.

This wasn't the place to have an argument.

Uncertain she'd be able to keep herself cool depending on what he said, she pointedly turned away from him.

Hopefully he'd get the hint. She'd seen what he'd done. If he felt any shame at all, he'd just leave her alone.
 
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Fantasy, Modern, Historical Romance.
"Hey. Stop." Jensen said, jumping forward. The look on her face, the way she turned away from him, it was now almost certain in his head that Vala Davans hated him. He wasn't sure why, or what he'd done to earn himself the world's worst mech driver, but he wasn't stupid enough not to realize when someone had a vendetta against him. She didn't look interested in stopping, and Jensen felt his heart rate rise. In battle, everything seemed to melt away into a series of simple calculations. In real life, on the other hand, sometimes it felt like he had to live his life on autopilot not to let people get to him. He wasn't sure why he was letting this angry inconsiderate girl succeed. Usually incompetence was an amusing personal failure, or a problem with a solution.

So he stopped, opened his mouth and shouted across the room, "Is it some hobby of yours to harass bioengineers or something?! What, you think geniuses should only work with other geniuses?!" He didn't get the impression that was exactly it, but her response would tell him if she was a conceited, arrogant bitch, or if she just had something against him personally.
 

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
Original poster
SECURITY DEPARTMENT
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Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
  2. Multiple posts per week
  3. One post per week
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Online Availability
On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
  1. Adept
  2. Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Primarily Prefer Male
  2. No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
Vala heard Jensen calling out to her to stop, and felt her stomach clench in anger and frustration. He hadn't left her alone. "I don't want to talk to you right now," she said, voice slightly strained from the tension that radiated through her, every word clearly enunciated.

Later, she'd have to do something. She couldn't just let herself be partnered

"Harass bioenginners?" Vala repeated, utterly bewildered. And then she couldn't help but flare. "Harass?!" For refusing to talk to him after what he did? How. Dare. He?

"I have spent my entire life on the Wastes," Vala began. To her own ears, her voice sounded unusually calm and distant. It didn't seem to match with the fire that was raging in her chest causing her to tremble on the spot. "And I have met some truly despicable people. But if everyone in the Cities was as bad as you, I'd be better off out there. At least then, my life won't be in the hands of a selfish asshole who isn't even willing to show the most basic courtesy of pulling his own weight."
 
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firejay1

The Phoenix
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Posting Speed
  1. Multiple posts per day
  2. 1-3 posts per day
  3. One post per day
  4. 1-3 posts per week
  5. One post per week
  6. Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
My times are pretty erratic, but I try to avoid being on EST 11pm-9am.
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Genres
Fantasy, Modern, Historical Romance.
"Pulling my own weight?" Jensen scoffed, hairs on the back of his neck raising. But he was losing his nerve a little, and had become keenly aware that everyone in the room was staring at them. His voice started shaking, and he could feel an awkward blush of embarrassment and anger crawling up his neck. "You're the one who didn't bother to tell me anything, make any plans, you just say 'oh do whatever you do,' do the bare minimum not to get killed, and I'm the one not pulling my weight? I'm the asshole for not magically reading your mind? I know bioengineers just seem like tools to you guys because our job is so easy compared to actually fighting," he lifted his fingers to make air quotes for actually fighting, but his whole body had started shaking, breath coming out in spurts, and he could feel tears building up in his eyes, "but what is it exactly you expect someone to do when- when- a shit-"

"Hey!" Angela Keerim had gotten out of her sim a few sets away, and grabbed one of Jensen's arms, since he was closer. She looked at both of them in confusion. "What's going on? Both of you calm down. Look at where you are."

Jensen looked at her as if she was an attacker. They didn't know each other, why was she touching him? The shaking got much worse, and his throat closed up so not another word would come out, but it did succeed in shutting him up.

Thankfully, she let go of him, making her way towards Vala, and speaking in a calming voice. "Hey. Are you okay? Take a deep breath. You did fine. If there's something wrong with your practice, you can work it out with your bioengineer. Or ask for a new one. This was just a practice, Vala, breathe." She tried to pat Vala on the back, almost hugging her.

A snicker came from another corner of the room, and a snide, but unidentifiable voice could be heard saying, "Oh look, the genius and robot boy are giving each other meltdowns."
 

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
Original poster
SECURITY DEPARTMENT
FOLKLORE MEMBER
Invitation Status
  1. Looking for partners
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
  2. Multiple posts per week
  3. One post per week
  4. Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
  1. Adept
  2. Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Primarily Prefer Male
  2. No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
"I asked you to do your job, and you did literally nothing!"

Well, there went the calm. Vala didn't even fully register that Ange had approached her until she felt an arm crossing firmly across her back. It caused her to flinch, and she took a deep, gasping breath. However, it didn't cause the hatred that was practically spewing out of her eyes to lessen.

Frankly, Vala didn't care about the people watching them. For all she cared, the entire city could watch their argument. Vala knew how to yield to circumstance. Nothing was ever easy. But if you ever let people just walk all over you, then you'd end up as nothing more than a slave. She'd never let Jensen place the blame for his lack of actions on her. She wasn't responsible for him. Yet he was the one standing there, having done nothing the whole fight, and then turning around to blame her for it.

Vala was a mech driver, not a bioengineer. And somehow he expected her to be doing his share of the work as well as her own? Why the fuck did they have partnerships then?

Still glaring at him, Vala let out a derisive, almost explosive laugh, but there was no true mirth in her, just frustration and derision. "You're the one who told me to stop. So, what? Want to keep going at it? Or do I have your permission to go now?"
 
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firejay1

The Phoenix
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  1. Multiple posts per day
  2. 1-3 posts per day
  3. One post per day
  4. 1-3 posts per week
  5. One post per week
  6. Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
My times are pretty erratic, but I try to avoid being on EST 11pm-9am.
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Genres
Fantasy, Modern, Historical Romance.
Jensen's heart was hammering in his chest, his whole body shaking, face red. He felt like he was about to choke on his own hatred, but he didn't know what to say, what he could say in the face of someone like that. Slowly, he lifted his glasses and wiped the tears from his eyes. "All I wanted to do was talk. See if we could figure out a better strategy. But fine. Go. You're not worth trying to reason with." But instead of waiting to see if she'd go, he turned around and headed for the opposite door.

Angela opened her mouth to yell after him, but decided instead to keep patting Vala on the back. Technically, they still had time on their sessions, but she asked, anyways, "You want to get out of here? I can call Aemer...."
 

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
Original poster
SECURITY DEPARTMENT
FOLKLORE MEMBER
Invitation Status
  1. Looking for partners
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
  2. Multiple posts per week
  3. One post per week
  4. Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
  1. Adept
  2. Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Primarily Prefer Male
  2. No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
He wanted to reason? He wanted a strategy? Why the fuck hadn't he done that when they'd actually been fighting, instead of sitting there doing nothing? No, all he wanted was to look like their poor fight hadn't been his fault, and make her out to be the unreasonable one. Who knew how many times his fake-cry act had worked in the past?

Unwilling to just let him walk away with the last word, Vala laughed again, this time louder and more purposefully. "A better strategy?" she shouted after his back. "You have to do something first for a strategy to even exist, asshole."

And then he was gone, figure swallowed up by the people who had gathered up to watch the fun. Vala shot them a nasty look too. They swarmed all over her when she succeeded, and then gathered to watch and whisper when things didn't go well.

The sound of Ange's voice caused Vala to flinch. "I'm capable of getting home without Aemer," she replied reflexively, voice slightly snappish. However, an instant later, she deflated. "No, you're right. I'm sorry. Everyone's been calling me a genius but clearly it's all just her. Put me with an incompetent bioengineer and I'm utterly useless."
 
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firejay1

The Phoenix
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  1. Multiple posts per day
  2. 1-3 posts per day
  3. One post per day
  4. 1-3 posts per week
  5. One post per week
  6. Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
My times are pretty erratic, but I try to avoid being on EST 11pm-9am.
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Genres
Fantasy, Modern, Historical Romance.
Angela jerked back a little at the sharp reply, but patted her again when Vala seemed a little defeated. "I wasn't trying to suggest you couldn't get home by yourself, I just thought you could use a friend. Some people just don't work very well together. That's okay. Everyone's different. A mech driver-bioengineer relationship has to be one of mutual trust and understanding. That's why people get to choose their bioengineers, and bioengineers get to refuse a mech driver they don't like being designated by them. If you can work it out, I think it's good to try. Jensen Miles has a good reputation for being really considerate of his partners. But if you still decide you can't work with him, just ask to be set up with someone different. A lot of people have worked with Aemer before without getting your reputation. The profs will accommodate you if they can."

She laughed then, "But enough of that. You look like you could use a drink. Off the books, of course." She winked. "I should get back to my own scheduled sims, but why don't I call you later and we can go somewhere?"
 

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
Original poster
SECURITY DEPARTMENT
FOLKLORE MEMBER
Invitation Status
  1. Looking for partners
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
  2. Multiple posts per week
  3. One post per week
  4. Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
  1. Adept
  2. Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Primarily Prefer Male
  2. No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
"I wanted to be set up with Aemer," Vala replied, still feeling somewhat let down despite Ange's reassurances. "But most people look like they just stepped in shit when they hear her name."

How could the treatment of two people be so different? She and Aemer had been through the exact same fights, yet somehow people praised Vala yet continued to revile Aemer. It was unfair.

About as unfair as having a bioengineer refuse to do anything and then blame her for it.

Despite the audience that had gathered for the shouting, most of them had now dispersed, returning to the various sims or settling down to watch and analyze other battles. Clearly, Ange was somewhat anxious to get going, lest she end up holding other people.

Vala waved her away gently. "Sounds good. You go. I'll... is it okay for me to leave?"

"It'd be kind of hard for you to participate when your bioengineer just stormed away," Ange replied with a laugh, already a few steps away. "Just rest. I'll see you Monday?"

"See you," Vala agreed, before closing her eyes, taking a slight, steadying breath. When she opened her eyes again, a few of the observers had begun approaching her, somewhat strange looks of concern on their face. The first one to approach, someone Vala couldn't recognize no matter how much she tried, hesitantly asked her if everything was alright.

Vala couldn't help but grimace, but it didn't take her long to get rid of them simply by stating that she really didn't want to talk about it right now. Her firmness seemed to convince them that she wouldn't change her mind, although a tall girl with frizzy hair at the back of the group still seemed somewhat hesitant about it all. In the end, Vala was the one who simply walked away, not bothering to look back until she was well out of the range of the gym.

Only then did Vala finally sigh, slumping against a wall until she slid down it completely, sitting with her head buried between her knees.

That... honestly couldn't have gone much worse.

The coldness of the floor sent shivers up her spine, and Vala pushed back to her feet only a few moments later. There was nothing to do about it now. Best to just go home.

Fortunately, after going to and from school for a week now, she was well familiar with the route home. Wouldn't it be just perfect if she somehow managed to get lost anyways?
 
  • Sympathy & Compassion
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firejay1

The Phoenix
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  1. Look for groups
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Posting Speed
  1. Multiple posts per day
  2. 1-3 posts per day
  3. One post per day
  4. 1-3 posts per week
  5. One post per week
  6. Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
My times are pretty erratic, but I try to avoid being on EST 11pm-9am.
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Genres
Fantasy, Modern, Historical Romance.
Jack was home when Vala came in. It was a Friday. Ever since he'd gotten an ulcer from overwork, Aemer had declared that he wasn't allowed to so much as touch a computer Fridays to Sundays, and had strictly enforced a 10pm curfew. So, Fridays he was home, drawing designs lazily on the island countertop where they usually ate meals together, and adding to his list of fantastical features he wanted to develop someday. Or at least start people developing before he died.

He looked up when he heard the elevator doors open. It had only been a week, so he didn't have much of a grasp for Vala's schedule, but this seemed kind of early. That was Vala, right? He peered over his glasses at the entranceway, until she cleared the kitchen to his line of sight. "Welcome back." He said, smiling in that sort of awkward, but not disingenuous way he'd developed with Vala. "Did you have a good day? Aemer's in the back practice room. I'm just working on some new weapon designs...." Not that she would have any reason to care what he was doing. Raising Aemer had convinced Jack never to have his own children... he was not good at interacting with younger people outside of a professional capacity. Turning just a slight bit red, he looked back down at the drawing he was working on and added a bit of shading to one shoulder.
 

Peregrine

Waiting for Wit
Original poster
SECURITY DEPARTMENT
FOLKLORE MEMBER
Invitation Status
  1. Looking for partners
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
  2. Multiple posts per week
  3. One post per week
  4. Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
  1. Adept
  2. Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Primarily Prefer Male
  2. No Preferences
Genres
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
Wrapped up in her own thoughts, Vala didn't know Jack was there until he spoke. She twitched slightly in surprise, before offering the man her own, slightly strained smile. In all honesty, she wanted nothing more than to collapse onto the couch and bury her head in the blankets for a little while, but she couldn't quite bring herself to actually do that.

After all, Jack was her host. He'd welcomed her into his home, and continued to provide and care for her. It wouldn't sit right with her to just ignore him, no matter how much she just wanted to hide from the world for a little while.

"It... wasn't really a great day," Vala said, somewhat hesitantly. She wasn't one to complain to others, especially not when it wouldn't help fix anything, but she couldn't bring herself to lie, either.

Nor, if she was fully honest, did she really feel like seeing Aemer. The contrast between the fight she'd just finished and her last battle with Aemer still stood out in painfully stark relief. So instead, she moved over to the counter, peering absentmindedly at Jack's documents. Perhaps he'd be able to serve as a welcome distraction.

"What are you working on?"
 
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firejay1

The Phoenix
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  1. Look for groups
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Posting Speed
  1. Multiple posts per day
  2. 1-3 posts per day
  3. One post per day
  4. 1-3 posts per week
  5. One post per week
  6. Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
My times are pretty erratic, but I try to avoid being on EST 11pm-9am.
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Genres
Fantasy, Modern, Historical Romance.
"Oh! Uhm...." He was tempted to ask her what had happened, but he'd learned from suffering through Aemer's teenage years that if she changed the subject, don't ask until later. So he gave up trying to be a social human being, and instead actually focused on her question. "Well, this is an impractical design." He pushed the specific paper he was working on towards her, tapping on the mech in the center, though that same mech was shown from multiple angles. He could always talk shop with Aemer, but she rarely cared about the specifics. Vala seemed more amenable to listening to his mech ramblings. Maybe. Or at least, he had too little else to talk to her about to change topics, so it didn't matter either way. "It spins on a central axis to give the mech driver more of a full 360 degree rotation of movement, but," he tapped the mech's torso with the tip of his pencil, "that makes the right-left rotation harder to control and the center more vulnerable to attacks. It's equipped with lasers set in the eye sights, and a 360 degree squid sensor to allow mech drivers to see where squid are on a map with little red dots instead of relying solely on their forward sight screens and their bioengineers. I developed wide angle squid sensors when Aemer was 15, it was... kind of a birthday present to her, really, but the government hasn't approved my developing a 360 degree sensor, because the sensors are really expensive and don't seem worth it to them." He sighed, running his fingers through the ends of his hair. "And laser sights are just for fun, they're not really practical. Would require unnecessary machinery to be in the head, where the majority of the machinery already needs to be."

He stopped talking, realizing he must be boring the girl. "Sorry, I get a little carried away." He said, sheepishly.