Symphony of Valkyries

Discussion in 'ONE ON ONES IN CHARACTER' started by R-9 Pilot, Oct 15, 2016.

  1. Series Opening Theme
    For hundreds of years, humanity has flourished under its combined mastery of magic and science. Magitechnology is commonplace, and space and dimensional travel is readily available on mankind's advanced starships. The Time-Space Administration Bureau, or TSAB, oversees the majority of humanity, in a vast and enlightened federation. Some rumors persist that it only seems benevolent, and properly exists to exert control over the masses, simply with a silk glove over the iron fist. Regardless of the methods, humanity is largely at peace, and the TSAB continues to be a stable and hopeful leader toward the future.

    Two Years Ago: First Contact
    An exploratory expedition at the edge of human space was attacked by an unidentified enemy. The monstrous, biomechanical horde struck without warning, asking no quarter and offering none. Of all the ships and personnel involved, only a handful managed to escape, bringing with them tales of an absolute nightmare battle, and one word to identify their mysterious attackers: "Bydo."

    Since then, the TSAB has been at war with the extradimensional alien threat, now known more properly as the Bydo Empire. At first, mankind steadily lost ground from the pressure of an inexorable foe capable of turning their own people and weapons against them. Only those capable of wielding magic seem particularly resistant to the unique methods of Bydo assault, and magical attacks also prove highly effective, leading to a large number of mages deployed along the front lines. Tables soon turned, and the situation has stabilized, with careful cordons on both sides of any known Bydo territories, and most troubles coming from border skirmishes, surprise attacks, or unpleasant discovers on either unexplored worlds or reclaimed territory.

    Current Affairs
    To many, the war has slowed and cooled down. The Bydo Empire has continued to be intractable and shows no sign of communicating, although its own aggression seems to have waned, and it at least no longer presses the borders of TSAB space with unbridled ferocity. Those within the TSAB's military branches feel it is more a matter of time that another offensive begins: both sides are researching their enemies, finding better ways to fight back, and soon, one or the other will be able to launch the next assault.

    A typical world within TSAB space, Lyonesse is close enough to the front lines to maintain a large military presence, although it primarily sees a role as a resupply base, rather than experiencing heavy fighting. A large research contingent has also grown up around investigating the Bydo and their unusual biology.

    Arondight Base, as always, is bustling with activity, as one of the TSAB's primary hubs on the planet. Today, fresh recruits have just arrived, new mages finishing or just out of their training and eager to prove themselves. It was also the closest one veteran would be getting to the front lines. Mana still couldn't believe that she'd been tapped for some new training program, but it did beat being discharged completely. She had arrived early and already dropped off her things at her room, and was currently on her way to meet her commanding officer, Major Ichijo. She wandered the hallways of the base, keeping an eye out for the right office, and for her new "partner".

    NPC quick reference (open)

    Yukari Ichijo will be the girls' commanding officer. She looks far too young for her rank, or to be the veteran of conflicts before even the Bydo were encountered, at about all of 12. It is generally best not to discuss such things with her directly, last one incur her wrath. She treats her subordinates fairly, but can be extremely strict and willing to inflict strange and embarrassing punishments on those who break the rules or make trouble for her. She drinks and smokes far more than her adjutant would like.
  2. Space travel was a wonder of the modern world. With it, humanity had spread far and wide, reaching into the stars that their ancestors could only dream of exploring. Both knowledge and resources had poured into human reach, and habitable worlds and colonies had soon followed. Its existence was both an example and cause of human kind’s continued growth, and promised to be a corner stone of the entire species’ future. It can’t be understated how important space travel had quickly become.

    And right now, Annabel was starting to regret its entire existence.

    The newly minted magical-girl-in-training pulled a grimace as her stomach did another flip, protesting against the sensation of zero gravity. The urge to double over and clutch at the offending organ was overwhelming, but her seat’s harness was firmly locked in place. With only her legs and head being free to move than just the inch or so the harness allowed, she was forced to sit and hope the sensation passed. How some of the other personnel that were sharing the transport with her were able to sleep and nap, she would never know.

    “Hey, are you alright?”

    Annabel looked to her right, meeting the gaze of a girl around the same age as herself. Judging by the girl’s crisp and primarily white uniform, Annabel guessed that she was a fellow member of the mage division (or ‘magical girl division’ depending on who you ask). Seeing the genuine concern in the girl’s eyes, Annabel worked up a smile.

    “Yea, I’m okay. I mean, I used to get car sick as a kid.” Annabel choked out a laugh. “I guess a spacecraft is just a really big, fast, flying car. With no gravity.”

    “Hehe, I see. Don’t worry; I’m sure you’ll get used to it eventually.”

    Annabel wasn’t entirely certain that she found that eventually comforting.

    “When are we gonna land, anyway? I mean, I know Lyonesse is a few light-years away from Earth, but still.” The red haired mage fidgeted in her seat, at least as much as her seat would allow. She really hoped that it wouldn’t be too much longer now, considering every part of her body felt like it was in a desperate need of a stretch. She was starting to feel pretty envious of her neighbour’s ability to sit still.

    “A few hours yet.” The girl to Annabel’s right said as she looked off to one side, missing the red head’s dejected sigh. “I’m pretty nervous, to be honest. I mean, this will be our first real assignment, even if it is just training…”

    Annabel sobered up at that. It had been a thought that had run circles around her head all the way through take off, and through the first stage of this flight: the fact that she was actually, really, taking her first steps. After all of her practicing, studying and day dreaming, it was kind of hard to believe that she was actually flying to where her career would truly begin. Her head was melting pot of both celebratory relief and nervousness about the inevitable danger she was going to have to face. Still, she wouldn’t trade her place for anyone in the world. Well, unless trading her place also got her more comfortable seat…

    “Hey, what’s your name?”

    Annabel’s head shot up, back to looking at the girl next to her, looking with surprise into the girl’s curious amber eyes.

    “Oh! Err, Annabel Bright, but just call me Ann.”

    “Yu Chiaki,” The girl, evidently Yu, said with a nod and a smile. “I look forward to working with you, Miss Ann.”

    Annabel laughed, unused to hearing her name said so formally. If everyone talked this formally in the military, it was going to take some getting used to

    The rest of the flight was uneventful: it wasn’t long before Yu tried to catch a few more hours of sleep before landing, and Annabel went back to nursing her stomach. When their ship finally reached their destination, the sudden appearance of gravity was enough of a lurch to make Annabel regret all of her silent pleas for its return. Just as she started to feel her body settle, the transportation ship landed with a bone-rattling thud. After a small scramble to get her things out of her locker (not easy to do when her legs felt like they were made out of jelly), Annabel took her first few steps onto Lyonesse’s Arondight Base.

    She would openly admit that her jaw dropped. The base was a huge, sprawling complex of buildings of varying shapes and sizes, all built with all with sleek modern designs. Even just standing in the colossal airfield a person could see that this base went on for miles, and every inch it buzzed with activity. The very air seemed charged, like the ground and walls themselves vibrated with energy. Against the clear morning skies, one could even spy the occasional human figure zipping along, the air around them distorted by a magical energy.

    It took Yu bumping into Annabel’s back to even get her moving again.

    It didn’t take long to find out where Annabel’s next destination would be: she was to report to one ‘Yukari Ichijo,’ in one of the central command buildings. Unfortunately, this put her heading in the opposite direction of Yu, though the girl assured her that they would bump into each other before long. With one last instruction from the officer directing the new arrivals, namely that they weren’t to start flying around and disrupting air traffic until they were registered into the main database, Annabel set off.

    Hefting the case carrying her precious Aegis Shield, as well as a small pack of personal effects, Annabel allowed herself some gawking as she went along. This whole place was mind boggling in its scale, and there were so many other mages around! In the entirety of her life, Annabel could count the number of mages she even met on two hands, and she had just walked past almost triple that number in the first ten minutes of her being here! All in all, Annabel was feeling pretty awestruck when she finally marched into the command building that housed her commanding officer.

    It took asking for some directions (twice), but Annabel was finally zeroing in on Yukari Ichijo’s office. While wondering how the building’s corridors managed to be so quiet when everywhere else in the base she had passed had been so noisy, Annabel had managed to turn a sharp corner - walking straight into somebody else.

    While only just barely keeping her footing, Annabel managed to snap out a rapid salute and ‘excuse me!’ It was only when she had oriented herself did she manage to actually take in who she had rammed into: a girl more than several inches taller than herself, and with sharp red eyes.

    Annabel felt a knot of nerves form in her chest. The girl was evidently a mage, but…who the heck had she just run into? Clearing her throat, Annabel spoke more clearly:

    “Uh, excuse me. I wasn’t watching where I was going.”
  3. Mana had just got to one of the many corners in the labyrinthine base, when someone turned it just in time to walk right into her. It was enough to get her to stop, although it didn't elicit much else of a reaction. Her eyes carefully scanned the redhead, taking in a few details, such as the gear she still carried, and the mage insignia on her uniform. The rapid, flustered salute and apology were enough to confirm to her that this girl was one of the new arrivals on the base.

    "It's fine," she replied, coolly dismissing the entire thing with a slight smile. "Just try to be more careful, it can be dangerous to zone out like that." The base was far less dangerous than the battlefield, but either way, run into the wrong person or pay too little attention, and it could lead to trouble.

    "You aren't lost, are you," Mana asked. She pointed toward the large bags the other girl was carrying. "This isn't even the right building, if you're just moving in." Clearly, she thought one would want to find their room and drop off the luggage, first. "At least they don't shove everyone into a barracks, so that's probably a step up." She remembered her basic training well enough, and it wasn't always a particularly nice experience.