Super Mahou Wars Alpha (M&M)

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  1. Lyonesse - Camelot Civil Enforcement Base

    It has been years since the last war with the Bydo has ended, and relative peace has returned to Lyonesse and the rest of human space. Still, there is ample need for military might, mostly for peacekeeping purposes, as people continue to rebuild and expand into territories they were forced to give up in the fighting. Civil Enforcement is in as high demand as ever, and is quite busy keeping things running and in order both on the world of Lyonesse and elsewhere. The majority of the Bydo may have disappeared as mysteriously as the came, but remnants of war machines still litter old battlefields, and some worlds are dealing with changed ecosystems full of twisted new biology.

    Camelot Base, situated nicely on Lyonesse near the major city for which it is named, is bustling with a little more activity than usual, as it prepares for the newest wave of mages fresh from training. A whole new squad was always a wonderful thing, although they would take a bit of getting used to the base's facilities, and had yet to actually arrive. The squad's new CO, Major Sayaka Togo waited for the fresh faces to arrive, although she was prepared to go find them herself if she needed to. She had word that some would be traveling quite a ways, so she wouldn't be surprised if it might take a while.
  2. Merringo's original plan was to arrive late, coldly striding through the doors of Camelot Base without a care in the world for her tardiness. The delinquent trainee would establish her rebellious attitude right off the bat, ignore the disapproval from her commanding officer, and proceed make a cool-sounding, one-line introduction when the situation called for it. Unfortunately, that plan was utterly destroyed by the fact that she had arrived early, having taken Lyonesse's express train by accident and arriving a full ten minutes earlier than intended. Now, she was standing outside the entrance to the base, debating whether or not she should loiter about outside for another half hour.

    The auburn-haired girl kicked the ground a few times, her well-polished boots making imprints in the ground as she did so. The uniform for Civil Enforcement was a bit on the office-lady side of things, with the whole skirt and cardigan image, but Merringo didn't mind nearly as much. After all, formal clothes were the easiest to mess with. Her skirt was folded up a whole inch, revealing the sliver of flesh that her stockings failed to cover, while her tan cardigan wasn't buttoned up at all, revealing the collared shirt she wore underneath, the first two buttons similarly unbuttoned. And the tie that was supposed to go along with it?

    Pshaw, she refused to be put on a leash like the other docile sheep that mulled about the base.

    Never the less, it was becoming really awkward and uncomfortable, standing by the entrance while other officers walked by, so Merringo grudgingly strode in, entering the air-conditioned building without a word to anyone else. Being friendly would ruin her image, after all, and it's not like she needed to ask for directions anyways. The conference room was but a short walk away, located on the second floor of the building, in the east wing. It had nice, large windows that overlooked the city, which could also be opened, so that if an incident were to occur, those within the room could exit immediately.

    Why did she know all this? Because she did the research, after all! It's not like she was interested in learning about the base, but, you know, it was good to be prepared.

    When she entered the conference room, a 'geh' escaped from her as she realized that, without a doubt, she was the first to arrive. After all, despite her child-like statue, the twin-tailed devil that went by the name of Sayaka Tojo was a veteran of the old war, and also friends with her parents. This was definitely going to get awkward, huh?

    Merringo had already prepared for this, but it wasn't a good feeling, working under someone who was so chummy with her parents.

    The teenage rebel didn't say a word as she sat down. She didn't even look at Sayaka's face.
  3. Emir’s journey from his old to new posting had not been a quiet affair. Despite having been capable of supersonic flight for quite some time now, he’d yet to wear out the novelty of supercruising at higher altitudes. As such, most of his trip was spent breaking the sound barrier and watching the world pass beneath him as a blur. Occasionally, in the rare areas where signs of civilization were near non-existent, he would drop closer to the ground and rush over the landscape, but with the world’s developed nature such moments were rare and brief.

    Rather than punch through the city’s airspace and probably piss quite a number of people off, Emir gave it a wide berth and finally dropped out of supercruise as he neared the base. Forced to hover in mid-air as security protocols were carried out, a grimace was quite visible as a wave of magic rolled over him. The struggle to keep his balance was real as his magic was disrupted and he plummeted a couple feet before he was able to stabilize everything. A few moments later and he was given the all clear to proceed and thus proceed to land within the compound, his Knight’s Garb dissipating with his first few steps on the ground.

    Rather than the more formal service dress most individuals on base had taken to, Emir simply made do with the base dress. Black trousers, light blue collared shirt, black jacket, and combat boots. Nice, simple, and almost impossible for any staff to fuss over.

    From what he recalled, the new squad was supposed to gather in one of the numerous conference rooms. While he didn’t know its location of the top of his head, signages were still a thing so he didn’t have much trouble in finding his destination. All in a few minutes and without even being stopped once!

    As the doors opened with a hiss, he got his first look at some of the others that would form his new squad. While the officer was recognizable for both her reputation and because he’d bothered to pay attention to his brief, the other girl jogged a vague memory for Emir. Rather than stare though, he bowed his head in thought for a few moments, but ended up with a blank anyways. It’d probably come back to him if it was important. The thought was pushed aside as he walked past her to greet the ma’am and then take a seat.
  4. Sayaka nodded to Merringo and Emir as they arrived. "I know you two aren't everyone," she says. "I suppose there's no harm in waiting longer, though we don't have to just sit there and stare at each other." She did look the both of them over, her gaze panning across their bodies as if taking in every detail. "I'll save any big spiel for after I've got the full squad."

    One would probably be surprised that Sayaka were the ranking officer present, if they didn't know her. She looked to be about twelve, with reddish-brown hair down up on either side of her head in small tails. Despite her stature, she somehow managed to maintain an air of authority. It is clear that she is no stranger to giving orders and expecting obedience. At least she didn't seem the type just waiting to crawl down your throat at the least provocation.
  5. Selene yawned as she walked down the halls of the base, clutching a cup of coffee with an excessive amount of cream and sugar mixed in. She had arrived at Camelot Base early enough to get settled in, having already dropped off what few possessions she had in the room she'd be assigned to before grabbing some coffee from the mess. Unfortunately, she'd realized too late that the mess was on the entire opposite side of the base from the conference room she was supposed to meet her new squad in.

    Meh, fuck it. At least she had coffee. The blonde yawned again, tugging awkwardly at the tie on her uniform. She'd worn the skirt and cardigan of her dress uniform without complaint, but she god damn hated the tie. Shrugging, Selene decided she'd live without the damn thing and quickly undid her tie, shoving it into a pocket in her cardigan. Quickly downing the rest of her coffee, Selene picked up her pace as she headed towards the conference room.

    A few minutes later, Selene walked into said room, quickly looking over the people she assumed were to be her squad. Her CO, Sayaka Togo, who she'd seen her grandfather talking to once years ago, some girl that looked vaguely familiar, and some feminine-looking guy. Well, probably a guy. Or a very androgynous girl. Nevertheless, Selene popped off a lazy salute to Major Togo before she popped down into a seat next to the other two members of the squad that were already present.
  6. Major Togo waited a while longer, for any others to arrive. One other girl did enter. She looked about the same age as everyone else and was dressed primly in the usual uniform. She kept her blonde hair cropped short, somewhere a little above shoulder length, and had large, brown eyes. She carried a tray with a couple mugs on it, one of which was a thick pink coffee mug, the other a more delicate tea cup. She placed the mug of coffee next to Sayaka, then took her seat to one side of the Major, keeping the cup of tea for herself.

    The Major took a sip of her coffee and nodded. "Well, I hope this isn't everyone. Perhaps the rest of the squad has been delayed." She stood up, and began with her welcoming spiel, anyway. "Good morning and welcome to Camelot base. This will be your new home for the forseeable future, so if you haven't moved in or gotten a look around yet, you can get right on it after this little welcome party. Sorry there aren't any snacks. Anyway, I'm Major Sayaka Togo. You'll be working under me from now on, and I'll expect the best from all of you." Her eyes narrowed as she looked at Merringo and Selene. "That includes in properly wearing your uniform," she snaps, much more coldly than before. It's only for a moment before she resumes her more neutral, but still stern tone. "This," she gestures to the other girl in the room, "is Lieutenant Aya Sakurano. She'll be in charge of supporting you in the field."

    This was Aya's cue to stand up, bumping the table as she did so. "Ah!" she quickly moved to secure her cup and keep it from spilling. "I'm happy to work with all of you," she chirps in a cheerful tone, before bowing politely to the assembled magical soldiers. "I'll mostly be handling the communications in the field. I'm a telepath, so you won't need radios or anything to coordinate, but it's not like I'm omniscient either. Still, if there are any major mission updates, I'll be sure to get them to you right away." She may also be acting as something of the major's secretary, if the drink delivery was any indication. She looks to each of the new team members. "And you are?"
    #6 R-9 Pilot, Apr 27, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015
  7. “Oh, good. Do you mind then ma'am?” While the brief had informed him of who Major Togo was, there hadn’t been much to go on her personality. Now while he wasn’t exactly the model mage, Emir didn’t wish to test the lines so soon with such an individual, so he’d played it safe. The words caused him to visibly relax, sinking slightly into his seat as he held up a collapsible holopad for the Major to see. At her nod, the metal frame unfolded quietly before the screen flickered to life between it, but it wasn’t even a moment after that another girl walked in. His movement halted as their outfit was taken in and on the realization that they were another squadmate and not some officer, Emir returned to browsing.

    It was a few more minutes before the door hissed open again and this time it was someone that warranted the holopad’s stowage. As the piece collapsed and was dropped into a pocket, Emir straightened up for the Major’s aforementioned spiel. It was pretty much standard, though he did mentally cheer that she didn’t seem to take issue with him wearing base dress. It wouldn’t be hell if he was forced to wear service, but one was obviously preferable to the other. After Aya’s introduction, the officers seemed to be finished so Emir stood. He returned the lieutenant’s bow, before a short introduction, "Cadet Emir Acorsan. Previously stationed at Astolat Base for just short of a year ma'am." It'd be easier to just catch the other's names here, so Emir sat back down and waited for their introductions.
    #7 Zombehs, Apr 29, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
  8. Wait, what the fudgerinos was this? As the rest of the squad poured in, Merringo realized that she wasn’t alone when it came to neglecting the base’s regulations in regards to uniforms. The first that came in after her was an androgynous figure with blue hair longer than her own, and delicate eyelashes that almost made Merringo jealous. The blue person didn’t even adhere to the same uniform, while the other that came in, a typical blondie magical girl, seemed like she was trying way too hard for the disgruntled detective look, with the whole ‘tie stuffed in pocket’ deal and the lazy salute. Man, if it was going to be like this, she shouldn’t have even bothered trying to look unique. These lazy bums.

    The auburn-haired girl tried to grimace, but instead, she felt like she was pouting instead. Bah, have to work on that at a later date. Can’t be a badass without being able to pull off that particular facial contortion.

    Leaning back on her seat as a fourth arrived, thankfully properly dressed, Merringo narrowed her eyes at the pink coffee mug. For a decorated hero of the Bydo War, Sayaka Togo sure had feminine tastes. Or perhaps that was just her subordinate’s choice. Well, like, whatever. The girl crossed her arms, and watched as the White Devil spoke. Merringo did her best to maintain eye contact during the Major’s speech, even as she almost felt like dying when the twintailed girl’s tone took a harsher tone in regards to dress conduct. That nightmare pressure disappeared just as quickly as it appeared though, leaving only Merringo’s heartbeat pounding in her ears. Thankfully, the Lieutenant, Aya Sakurano, was a much more chipper person, and after stating her position as the squad’s communications center, the short-haired blonde began asking for introductions.

    The first to speak up after that was the blue hair, now confirmed to be a trap by the name of Emir Acorsan, hailing from Astolat Base. That was the one stationed a continent or so away, wasn’t it? Housing aces as illustrious as Reito Mezzamorta and Bruno Caras? For a moment, Merringo was curious, an inquisitive light dancing in her eyes. Then she realized that badasses didn’t care about their teammates, and quickly shut up.

    Following that was a long, awkward silence as she waited for the other stranger to speak up. It was her plan to go last, after all, to make a lasting impression. There was no way in hell she would waste this opportunity to establish her image, not after she had to compromise for being the first to arrive to the conference room.

    But seconds stretched out to minutes, and then, the minutes began to reach the double digits…

    Yeah, no, she was done with these shenanigans. Impatiently standing up with a disgruntled expression on her face, Merringo spoke with a sharp, flat tone, devoid of her usual musical lilt, “Cadet Merringo Saljinon. Don’t get in my way.”

    With that, she sat down and crossed her arms.


    If she was last, this would be perfect, but it went out pretty well, in her opinion.

    A self-satisfied smile was surfacing on her face.
  9. Selene winced as the major gave both her and the other girl a disapproving glance at their lack of proper dress. Yup, should've known taking off her tie would've bitten her in the ass like this. Oh, well. She could probably get away with wearing a clip-on, right? At least those weren't practically choking her to death.

    As the bluenette rose to introduce himself, Selene evaluated the boy for a moment. Previous posting? So he wasn't fresh out of training, then. Well, at least they'd have someone who knew what they were doing. After Emir finished, Selene paused for a moment, deciding to be polite and let the other member of the team introduce herself first. A second passed into two and three, until finally ten seconds of awkward silence ensued before the other girl finally decided to speak up...

    “Cadet Merringo Saljinon. Don’t get in my way.”

    ...And promptly decided to be a jackass for some reason. Well, then. An even more awkward silence began to pass before Selene coughed, finally standing up to introduce herself.

    "Cadet Selene Delacroix. First posting, ma'am."
  10. Aya nodded happily when the others introduced themselves. Eventually. It took longer than she was expecting and her smile was beginning to falter. "Nice to meet you guys," she says. "If it's your first time on the base, I can show you around, but you can't get too far lost. There's some nice training facilities, like a full gym and practice range. Hm...the mess hall's not terrible for food either, and there's a bar, too. Um, other than're all living here, so i hope you're ready to move in. At least it'll be two to a room, which is a lot better than however they had you crammed in during Basic, right?" It still wouldn't be world-class accommodations, but nice dormitory life is still a step up. Hopefully you at least get semi-private bathrooms.

    Sayaka stood up once again, momentarily cutting Aya off. "Well, I think that's everything. If we get any other new arrivals, we'll have to do this all over again, but for now, welcome aboard. Get your things in order and hope you get a few days to adjust before they give you something to do. Dismissed." She picked up her coffee mug and slipped over next to Merringo before the older girl to leave. "So, Merry, how's the family doing," she asks with a much more friendly and familiar tone than what she had used to address the whole group.
  11. Merry?

    Merringo squirmed at the mention of her pet name, blushing furiously as the CO sat beside her, asking about her family. Of course it was about them. Not like the White Devil had any reason to be interested in Merringo outisde of the fact that she was the still-unproven youngest addition to the Saljinon family. And even that novelty would disappear after her older brother finally shacks up with that news reporter who's been dogging him for so long. THe girl really wanted to just up and leave, but at the same tie, she didn't want to risk another death glare from Sayaka, nor was it even possible for her to exit gracefully the first place. After all, with Emir's feminine frame on one side, and Sayaka's petite body on the other side, the girl was pretty much just boxed in.

    With no escape other than 'up', the auburn-haired girl closed her eyes and leaned back, this time exuding an aura of no shits given. Like an aloft, apathetic badass, she said, not even looking at the CO, "They're fine."

    Yes, this was a good image, that of a lone wolf, an outlaw, baring her bloodied fangs at the faceless face of authority. Family? Friends? Pshaw, she shouldn't care, as long as they're still breathing in this suffocating world of lies and deceit.


    Merringo really hoped that her CO wouldn't start remininscing of the times were she'd play dress up and pretend to be a pop star princess now.
  12. Ah… that’s why the girl was familiar; there weren’t many people in the military who hadn’t heard of the Saljinon family after all. He couldn’t recall anything beyond his teammate being the youngest child, but it didn’t seem maybe calling her that was a bit preemptive on his part. She didn’t really seem keen on that aspect of the job if he judged solely based on her brief introduction. Delacroix’s was on the normal side of things, brief but polite. With all that said and done, the officers had a few more things to say before the crew of three were finally allowed to leave.

    Standing, he gave a slight bow to the lieutenant, thanking her for the offer but ultimately declining it, before he turned to leave the room. He hadn’t checked if his belongings had arrived yet, and wanted to get on that as soon as possible. A glance was spared in Meringo’s direction as their CO promptly planted herself next to the cadet, but the familiar air the Major exuded meant he didn’t so much pause. It made sense that a war hero knew of a powerful mage family, but he was perfectly happy to simply slip under the radar and let their budding “legend” hold all the attention.

    And so to avoid literally all the attention, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath quietly. He could feel the magic shift in his veins, its nature change to suit his new needs and when he opened his eyes it was to the vibrant sky outside the building. Aside from a few glances, it didn't seem to attract too much attention; Camelot was one of the larger bases so such happenings were likely common he guessed. Rolling his shoulders and craning his neck to stretch it out, Emir covered a yawn before he marched off to find the delivery’s office.
  13. ...Wait, Saljinon? Wasn't that the famous mage family her grandfather mentioned once? Well, that meant that this one probably kicked ass, right? Maybe she could actually back up her bitchiness. Hell, now Selene just wanted to get a spar in with her. After beating down all of her fellow cadets handily in training, she was itching for a challenge. She hadn't been training with her grandfather for years just to get beat down easily.

    Unfortunately, that would probably have to wait until their CO was done talking with Merringo. Shrugging, Selene got up from her seat, making to leave. A pang of annoyance ran through her as Major Tojo dismissed both her and Emir in favor of talking to the kid with connections, but Selene shook it off. Turning to Aya, she considered the offer of a tour before finally deciding to accept. Selene might have arrived at Camelot Base early in the morning, but she only had time to unpack her things and ask directions to the mess hall so far. It wouldn't hurt to at least know where the sparring facilities and the weight room were.

    "Sure, I'm up for the guided tour. Already found the mess hall, but seeing the gym would be nice. Gotta get my lifting in, after all." Selene nodded to Lieutenant Aya, waiting for her to lead the way.
  14. Sayaka nodded. "Good, good." She fortunately didn't go on to reminisce about anything too terrible. "Well, I hope you adjust here well enough. I'm looking forward to seeing that new style you're developing in action." She fortunately doesn't make further small talk, so Merringo can go back to her aloof rebel attitude quickly enough.

    Emir would have no problem making his way to the local post office. His things would be there if he shipped them ahead of time, but otherwise, he probably traveled faster than they did and would have to wait a while to actually get them. At least he's got his rooming assignment, and lucky him, he isn't sharing with one of the girls for obvious reasons.

    "Okay~" Aya quickly dragged Selene off on a tour of the base, hitting pretty much every major location and giving a brief talk about what goes on. The conference rooms and similar areas aren't very interesting, although the command centers and similar places are. Although you can't really do more than peek through the windows on the door, looks like there's some operation in progress. It's a nice set-up, at least. Very modern, lot of fancy displays and hard-working mages.

    Aya doesn't do more than point out the residence buildings. "You'll be living somewhere in there. Most of us do, so if you need anything, you can probably find me down the hall. ...Not that I know where you're staying." She shrugged and moved on, giving a pretty good tour of the training facilities. "You've got pretty much any kind of exercise machine you could want. There's indoor and outdoor tracks, and a swimming pool, and a bunch of other stuff, too." Sounds like she doesn't avail herself of it all too much, though. "We've also got indoor and outdoor ranges for practicing shooting magic, of course. Ah...but don't go blowing the whole range up with wide-area spells, that usually pisses somebody off." The canteen, bar, and commissary are all pretty much what you'd expect at any base. "Food's decent, and I don't think anyone cares much if you want to drink around here," Aya commented. "the Major's got a bit of a habit..." She sighed. Seems like she doesn't approve of your boss's vices. "Hm...I think that's just about everywhere you might want to know about." All told, the tour probably took around an hour.
  15. Given commercial delivery services didn’t generally travel as fast as he did, Emir did have the foresight to mail his belongings ahead of time. While it took a few minutes to actually get his things from storage and subsequently his room assignment, it was a bit of a relief. “Trustworthy” the services might have been, but his luggage had been misplaced or redirected a few too many times for him to feel reassured until it was actually in his hands. As the folder with all his information was stuffed away for the moment, he picked up both bags, slung them over the shoulders, and proceeded to find the dormitories.

    It wasn’t a particularly notable building, but residentials were fairly easy to tell apart on the base; the fact that it had an older styled sign above the entrance simply made it all the more clear. Emir spent no more than a few minutes inside, most of which was spent getting to his room where his belongings were dropped off, and he then promptly made his exit via the window. There was a brief moment where gravity took hold of him, but his magic quickly kicked in and promptly flipped the “law” the middle finger.

    Given that he’d noticed a number of mages taking to the skies since his short time on base, Emir didn’t feel the need to descend. Rather he rose a bit higher into the air to get a better view of the base; not that things were exactly distinct from a distance. Though architecture varied occasionally, it was still pretty hard to pick out where the canteen was, so out came the holopad. A few moments later and Emir had a labelled map of the base in front of him; granted it was put away almost as fast as it was brought out. Accelerating quickly, Emir soared over the base for but a brief moment before he plummeted to the ground close to the canteen. A slight shake of his head cleared away the sensations of the sharp deceleration, but a smile on his face revealed Emir hadn’t been bothered in the slightest and actually found it rather enjoyable on the contrary.

    Given the time it wasn’t too surprising to see that the canteen wasn’t all that busy aside from the staff preparing the next meal of the day. There also wasn’t much food readily available given the lack of diners, but Emir gathered what he could find on a tray and took his seat to begin munching away at. The flight from base to base left him rather famished, and he wasn’t about to wait until lunch to get some food in.
  16. As the tour reached the gym, Selene looked over the exercise facilities with a critical eye. She didn't care much about the exercise machines, but she nodded ot herself in satisfaction as she saw a few squat racks and free weight benches. Good enough for her. And then as Aya finished up the tour with a mention of her CO's drinking habit, Selene just grinned to herself. Oh, good. As long as she didn't get too drunk, Major Sayaka would probably let her drink after missions and training, then. Thanking Aya, Selene turned and left, leaving the building as she began to make her way over to the canteen for some more coffee.

    A short, relaxed walk later, Selene was just approaching the canteen when one of her new squadmates, the guy, plummeted down from the sky with a grin before entering the canteen himself. Slightly nonplussed at how quickly he'd fallen from the sky, she nonetheless shrugged and followed him in. Seemed he rather liked his flying. Her own flight skills were rather good, according to her trainers during Basic, at least, but she hadn't been able to reach the speed and velocity Emir had just now.

    In the canteen, Selene got herself another cup of coffee, mixing a decent amount of cream and sugar inside before she plopped her ass down next to Emir. Might as well get to know one of her new squadmates, at least.

    "So..." Selene said casually as she took a sip of her coffee. "Flyboy, huh?"
  17. Good, good? Well, yeah, that was definitely good then. Looked like Sayaka wasn’t in the mood for long and dreary reminiscences as well. Merringo mentally sighed with relief as the Commanding Officer got up and left soon after, no doubt to pursue a drink or a smoke. Tossing her auburn bangs behind her ear, she briefly entertained the idea of tying her hair into a spiky, sideways ponytail, but decided against it. The conference room really was quiet now that no one else was there, and, after a few more minutes of deliberation, she decided that, yeah, she needed to get out and walk about in order to look cool and badass. The rooftop sounded like as fine of a place as any other to go for that vibe.

    Walking out of the room, she briefly closed her eyes to recall the schematics of the building, before heading outside. It would be nice if she had a lollipop or something as well…but just her naturally roguishly improper uniform would have to do.
  18. He hadn’t expected to have company for his pre-lunch snack, but a glance up at the right time caught Selene as she approached his table; cup in one hand and the other stirring it. Emir shuffled his seat over, but with how easily she fell into the seat it seemed that hadn’t been necessary on his part. Though he didn’t set the utensils down, he did pause in his eating when Selene spoke.

    ‘Flyboy?' He’d never been called that before, but it also took someone brainded to misunderstand it. “It’s one of the things I’m good at,” he said with a shrug before a couple pieces of fruit were stabbed with his fork. Finishing with those, he set the utensils down and leaned back into the seat. His eyes glanced sideways to focus on Selene and he briefly considered trying his “introduction” to Astolat base. Recollections of how that had gone over caused him to grin a bit, and if she noticed, he’d wave it off with the excuse of, “Just remembering something.”

    As what he ate began to settle, spreading warmth through his body, Emir asked, “Selene is fine with you?” Bit blunt, but straight to the point as per usual for him. Before she could respond he also decided to add, “Either is fine for me, don’t particularly mind.”
  19. “Yeah, that’s fine.” Selene shrugged, taking another sip of coffee. At least Emir seemed to be straightforward enough to not bullshit around, which was always a plus. “So what’s your story?” She asked casually, leaning back in her seat.

    It didn’t seem like he’d have much of a chance to eat while they talked, so, like her, Emir picked up and cradled his drink. “Been under LCS watch since I was about six or so thanks to a dimensional mishap. Apparently that’s how my magic triggered, though I don’t really remember.” He took the pause of remembrance to sip from his milk before continuing. “They didn’t mind recruiting young though… think it was about a year later before I got the offer to learn magic directly from the organization. So that happened for a couple of years before they told me to take some time off and “explore” what life had to offer. Apparently it was too close to skirting the line of training a child for “war”.” He shrugged a bit as he said that. The few years had opened his eyes a bit more and let him understand the consideration, but ultimately he’d fallen back in with the crowd that’d raised him for a good portion of his life.

    Selene coughed awkwardly at that for a moment, swigging down some more coffee. “Yeah...sounds like the exact same thing my grandpa said when I asked him to train me in magic as a kid. Guess I annoyed him enough for it to work eventually, though.”

    A soft laugh escaped his lips as he considered what she’d said; it seemed there was something both could relate to in their pasts. “Never had to bother anyone to get training, so lucky me. Continuing on though, they still accepted me after that period of down-time. Cue basic training, and I got my first posting after that at Astalot.” He finished the rest of his drink and set the cup down, drumming his fingers in thought.

    “Oh shit, Astalot?” Selene asked, eyes widening. “The one with all the badasses? You ever get to meet any? Spar against them?”

    A bit taken aback by his teammate’s surge of interest, Emir closed his eyes for a few moments, humming in thought. “I think we had one of the Saljinons was posted there on a full time basis… Other strong individuals passed through, but they rarely stayed for more than a month. Never really spoke with any of them except for that one time.”

    His head tilted slightly as he dredged up old memories and details before he spoke again. “It was Tachibana. She’d come for a tour of the base and ended up taking over the sparring arena on her break, accepting any challenge. Ended up just fighting everybody at once since only half a dozen or so people bothered to try. Didn’t really make a difference for us, we still ended up getting destroyed in under half a minute by her…”

    “You are so damn lucky.” Selene tittered, grinning madly. “I’d kill to get a chance to go a round against Tachibana. Maybe I’d actually learn something from her.”

    It was a memory that brought up mixed memories, but he pushed them down for the sake of a small grin. “It was an interesting experience, however brief, for sure.” Not many people would go for a round against someone of her caliber, as Tachibana’s visit to Astalot had proved, so Emir was curious about Selene. Was it the thrill that compelled her to join? Of course, being Emir he simply asked, “So, you enjoy a good fight?”

    “Yep.” The blonde smiled, drinking the last of her coffee. “It’s why I joined up. Gramps called me a combat junkie,drill sergeant called me a, and to quote, ‘god damn psychopath in the making’, but hey, pot calling the kettle black, as I take it.”

    He cracked his knuckles with a nod as he returned to his meal. Just before he began to finish off what was left he said, “Nearly got written up a few times for being too eager as an Enforcer myself. You’re interested in seeing if the arenas are free after this?”

    “Hell yeah. We got the rest of the day off, right? Let’s go get fucked up. And then go get fucked up in the bar after.” Selene’s smile widened. Looks like she just made a new friend.

    He nodded in agreement, eating quickly, though a small flash of disinterest passed at the mention of alcohol. While it had been practically impossible to escape the clutches of his superiors at Astalot, the free drinks had done little but sour his view. Still… he supposed he could accompany her if only to make sure Selene didn’t pass out in a bar or the like. The tray and such were put away quickly before he nodded towards the exit. “Let’s get to it then.”
  20. An impressed whistle escaped Emir as he stepped into the Arena building’s simulator at last. While the equipment looked pretty much the same, the building itself was several times larger than what Astalot base had and probably housed numerous more simulators. One of the walls even looked like it could slide apart so larger simulations with dozens of mages could be run and briefly Emir wondered about just how large some of the exercises held could get; it was fairly enticing to say the least, the thought of a massive operation simulated in the safety of their own base. That was dismissed with a shake of his head as he walked over to a nearby wall and tapped its surface, causing a display to appear. With a glance back towards Selene, he asked, “Any particulars you want? Otherwise I’m setting it as the default which looks to be… open grasslands.”

    “Fine by me,” Selene shrugged, rather impressed with the simulator herself. It was much like the ones she used in training, except a damn sight larger. They’d mostly used the simulator for one-on-one combat practice, leaving group maneuvers to be practiced outdoors. Without a second word, she manifested her Barrier Jacket, crimson armor forming around her body as a massive lance slid into her hand. “Whenever you’re ready, pal.”

    “Alrighty then.” With a few taps on the display, the white walls began to fade away as a virtual environment digitized into place around the pair. The world stretched far past the confines of the building and the pair were pulled along with the expansion, only coming to a halt nearly 200m apart. As the blue sky meet green grasslands, a robotic voice filled the air with its countdown. With his Barrier Jacket already materialized, Emir simply grasped the shimmering image of his weapon, solidifying it, before he rested it over his shoulder. Not really wanting to yell, he simply raised his free arm and waved for Selene to bring it.

    Grinning, Selene charged forward with a burst of speed, flying straight towards Emir with a swipe of her lance.

    Evidently the distance formed by the simulator wasn’t enough to dissuade his opponent in the slightest and Emir matched her grin as he gripped his weapon with both hands. As the grass rippled underneath her, he stepped forward to meet the swipe. The grin quickly faded to a grimace as his arms shook under her blow, and he was just barely able to avoid being skewered. As he hopped out of the roll he’d been sent into by the blow, the frown intensified at the ringing in his head. Yet without so much as a comment, he stepped forward and slashed down towards Selene.

    Selene’s armor protected her from the worst of the blow, but Emir’s blade still slashed through it, forcing her back as she gasped for breath. Even so, her grin never faded as she brandished her lance.

    Well, it would have been rude of him to stay all frowny for the rest of the fight, so Emir let go of the unhappy expression. As Selene was forced back by the blow, he readied himself with a small smile; her grin made it quite clear that she was far from done with this fight.

    “That’s what I’m talking about!” She roared in approval as she rushed forward again, delivering a flurry of jabs towards Emir.

    Forced to backpedal, Emir was nonetheless successful in fending off his opponent’s rapid jabs. As sparks flew from the brief contact their weapons made, he dug his feet in and forced the two of them to come to a halt. A slight turn of his body glanced a jab from his Jacket and he seized that brief opportunity to strike back. “Hopefully you don’t fall too quickly,” he replied with a smirk.

    This time, Selene saw the attack coming and simply batted it away with a flick of her lance. Her maniac grin only widened as she crouched down, swiping at Emir’s legs.

    ‘Shit.’ Despite the excitement he felt, Emir also felt the pang of regret as he realized he’d overextended. His brief attempt to jump over the leg sweep was ruined by the dizziness he felt from the first blow, and before he knew it he’d been slammed into the soft dirt. A low groan escaped him even as he threw himself back onto his feet and brought Ils’fang upwards to cut across Selene’s chest.

    As Emir attempted to counterattack the instant he rose to his feet, Selene simply sidestepped the upwards slice out of sheer reflex and responded with a one-two combo of a side swipe followed by a thrust of her lance.

    ‘Wow.’ He was not putting on a good showing, and despite managing to avoid the first swipe with a parry, the two follow ups managed to connect solidly and Emir ended up doubling over as the air was knocked from his lungs. “Guess that’s what I get for the jab,” he muttered as he took a deep breath before he assumed a more defensive posture. A slight shimmer seemed to run over Emir’s frame and afterwards he’d seem, maybe, weaker?

    “What, we’re using magic now?” Selene shrugged, hopping back a short distance before she raised her lance, pointing the tip at him. “Have it your way, then!” She roared, channeling magic through her lance as it began shooting a storm of magical blasts at him.

    A grin and shrug was his response to her, though Emir quickly withered under her storm of projectiles. ‘Holy sh-’ Unable to block more than a fraction of the blasts Selene sent his way, he could feel his body groan under the punishment. Yet he could also feel his mind and vision clear. Good enough for him and with a blink, his frame seemed to bulge with strength once more. Moving through the stream of projectiles, Emir closed the distance and struck out with Ils’fang once more.

    Selene barely managed to get her lance in between Emir’s sword and herself, and her arms shook as she struggled to hold back the blow. Grunting, she whirled the massive spear back around as she took another step back, firing more energy blasts at Emir like her lance was a machine gun.

    Despite being peppered with a torrent of projectiles and his body’s protest, Emir simply bared his teeth in a wide grin as he threw himself forward. The blasts slammed into him, but refusing to fall he simply brought his weapon up for another slash.

    “Motherfucker!” Selene bellowed as Emir’s blade slipped past her defenses and rent her armor once more. Still grinning despite herself, she roared wordlessly as she took her lance in both hands, thrusting forward with a power blow intended to put him down for good.

    ‘Too fast!’ Well aware that he wouldn’t be able to move out of the way, Emir raised his left hand to slide the blow aside. Snarling at the pain even as his Jacket shattered from the force, he tightened his grip and brought the blade up with all his force.

    Unfortunately for Emir, his wounds seemed to be impeding him, and his forceful blow missed entirely. Whirling back, Selene brought her lance up. “Fucking!” She fired another stream of magical blasts at Emir. “Go!” She thrust her lance again, shooting off another series of blasts. “Down!”

    Maybe he should go bury himself somewhere.... Idle thought aside, Emir winced as Selene’s blasts connected with him directly; the protection of his Jacket having vanished. He refused to be laid low though and simply stood firm, recollecting himself, before he charged forward once more. “Speak for yourself!” His left hand shook, but he grasped his weapon with both hands nonetheless and lashed out.

    Selene laughed gleefully, sidestepping the attack before gripping her lance in both hands and bringing it down on Emir’s head.

    His momentum naturally carried Emir past the blow and without missing a beat, he spun on his feet and threw another slash at Selene.

    Emir’s blow tore through Selene’s armor, leaving a gash running across her chest. Selene fell to one knee, bracing herself against her lance for support, grinning all the while. “Haaah…” She rasped out, gasping for breath. “Damn. First loss I’ve had since I started Basic. Missed getting my ass kicked.” Selene said ruefully. Forcing herself back on her feet, she planted her lance into the ground as a crutch, extending her hand out to Emir. “Good shit. Guess a rookie fresh out of Basic shouldn’t have expected to beat someone with actual combat experience.”

    Even as Selene dropped to her knees, Emir barely had the strength in his arms to hold onto his weapon. Letting its tip rest on the ground, he slowly stood to his full height and sucked in air despite the pain of doing so. Taking the offered hand, he nodded his head in agreement. “Best fight I’ve had in a while, and don’t sell yourself short. Basically had me the ropes once you broke out the ammunition.” Even the slightest twitch sent pain running through his bruised body, and if he turned his magic inward… With a reluctant sigh, he shifted the magic within him and nearly dropped to his knees in the process. Only by planting Ils’fang into the simulated ground did Emir remain standing, but at the very least his head had begun to clear up.

    “Well, I’m gonna go get this cut patched up.” Selene said, dismissing her Barrier Jacket as she clutched her chest. “And it looks like it’s about to be lunchtime. Meet you back in the mess after I’m gone getting this sealed up?”

    It hadn’t been a minute yet, but already Emir could feel the bruising begin to fade as his magic ran its course. Ils’fang faded to blue motes of light as he stood from it, and he glanced at the red line that stretched over Selene’s chest. “I’ll see you then if you don’t want me to come along then I guess.” The simulated world around the pair fell away at a clap of his hands, the vast stretch of grassland breaking down before the two were dropped back into the white dome.
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