CLOSED SIGNUPS Terraform | The Lightbearers

Elle Joyner

Original poster
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Multiple posts per day
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8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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Male, Primarily Prefer Female
Political intrigue, fantasy, futuristic, sci fi lite, superheroes, historical fiction, alternate universes. Smittings of romance, but only as side plot.
the lightbearers

- NEO-EARTH 3258 -

Blackness blanketed the night sky, specks of color like pinprick holes in the fabric glittering through a translucent curtain of clouds. The little boy, pajama bottoms dragging along damp turf, stared languidly upwards. In one hand, he clutched the holobook they finished moments before, in the other, a stuffed white rabbit. A mop of sandy blond hung in his eyes, but if he noticed at all, it did not reflect in the sea glass orbs. Pure wonder was the mask he wore, the heavenly lights incandescent in his gaze.

"What are you looking for, my dove?" His mother asked, her warm, gentle hand coming to rest upon his shoulder. Her eyes followed those of her son, skyward and searching.

"The black space..." The little boy answered, "The missing light."

"Ah. Is this why you were so quiet during supper? And all those questions just now during the book? Did Mrs. Lee talk about that in class today?"

Head bobbing, he canted his neck further back, "He said that one day they were there and the next night, poof. Gone. He said millions of Och'Nari died. And then Benjamina said it didn't matter... Cause they were just ugly scarheaded weirdos... But..."

A sigh escaped his mother, and turning him with her other hand, she crouched before him, gingerly bringing his face to meet her own, "Everyone matters, Kash... Do you hear me? No matter what they look like or do or are. They matter... Do you remember what I used to tell you, when you would ask how many stars there are?"

"...Always one less than there should be. I remember..." He answered, diligently, and for a moment he smiled, before it faded into a frown again as those words sank in.

"And that, Kashel, is why we fight. There is a missing star in that sky, and it should be there. Because those people deserved better. And you are never to forget that... No one should ever forget it."

"I won't, Momma. I promise."

"Good. Now... Off to bed with you..."

"Oh, Momma... Not bed..."


Like a sword slashing through silk, the Dauntless speared across the sky, leaving a contrail of fire and smoke as it burst through the carcass of the ruined Cultist vessel, scattering debris across the vacuous battleground.

“Whoo-ee!” The pilot crowed, giving a twist of the controls and barrel-rolling to the right, “Another one down, boys! What’s that make it… Twenty-to-nine?”

“I’m not a boy. And it’s twenty-to-fourteen, you cocky ass… Now it’s fifteen!” Another voice chirped, impatiently, “Or did you want me to leave that Dick-earred devil humping pricks on your tail?”

“You always have such a way with words, Neff… What did we talk about with the name calling?” The pilot continued with a laugh.

“That you can’t insult something that don’t have a soul? And you got a way of forgettin’ to watch your a--damn it! Ten o’clock, Kash! Three comin’ in hot!”

“I see ‘em… Light ‘em up, Sky Queen.”

“...You mother--…” Whatever rage-filled roast followed was drowned out as the two pilots turned on the incoming raiders. Jets of light filled the sky before three near-simultaneous explosions as the raiders were reduced to shrapnel.

“Yeeeah! Hell yeah! Suck on that, Goat-lovin’ Inkies!” Kash’s voice resonated over the comms again, and Nefertiti’s lip curled in an unbidden grin.

“Language, Mr. Devlin.” She chided dryly, “Now c’mon… that looks to be the last of ‘em. Let’s head in. I’m low on fuel and hell if I don’t need a… what is that???” Her eyes widened as they took in the shape on the radar, heading in their direction.

“...Is that… some kinda ship? Do we engage?”

You are not alone…

“...Nef! You there?”

Help is coming.

“Hey… Nef, come in… Do you read?”

Help is coming.

“Nef! Damn it! Do we engage!?”

Help is here.

“I don’t get it, Nef… Why do you have to go?” Leaning against the door frame, Kash raked a hand through his hair, “You’re the best damn fighter we got up there, right now…”

“Like hell, I am. I’m not even that good a pilot, Kash. And you know why I’ve gotta go…” Looking up from her packing, Nef flinched just slightly at the look on the man’s face, “...Stop. I’ll be back, alright? Ain’t like I plan to go up there just to die… Besides, you’re the one we gotta worry about. Gonna have to watch your own--”

“Don’t go.” Stepping inside, Kash pressed the keypad to close the door, “Please, Nef. You know… you know I’m not good with--”

“...It’s not goodbye, Kash.” With a sigh, Nefertiti closed the trunk and turning to her partner, smiled faintly, “Hell. When did you turn into such a sentimental scrub, anyway?”

“Since that thing showed up, and decided to drag my best friend off to God knows where…”

“Best friend? What is this… middle school?” With a laugh, Nef reached out a hand, catching Kash’s between her fingers ,”This is important. You know it. We all do. These things… they’re gonna change the whole damn universe. They’re gonna end this war. And if I get to be even just a small part of that…”

“So it’s about glory?”

“...Damn it, Kash. Don’t go there.”

“I know… I… I’m sorry, Nef. I just…” Breathing in, his arm rose, fingers glancing across her cheek, sliding through her hair to rest at the nape of her neck, thumb gingerly gliding along the length of the scar he knew too well, “All those plans we made…”

“...Are gonna happen. When I get back. God, you’re dramatic.”

“You like when I’m dramatic…”

Eyes meeting his, Nef grinned, shaking her head, “...I like shutting you up when you’re dramatic.”

Fingers brushing the steel dash, Nefertiti’s eyes rose to the bleak, empty space outside the viewing window. Growing up on a planet like Tarnigarth, she wasn't particularly given to fear. But if there was one thing Nef wasn't particularly fond of, it was the unknown, and there was nothing... nothing more unpredictable than untouched space, while trapped inside a giant sentient metal robot, “...How much longer, Tank?”

“Not long now, Girl.” The deep baritone voice echoed, and somehow it was both comforting and enough to make her right eye twitch, “Not long…”

It was the voice heard round the universe. A cry in the wilderness of space. Those that heard it loudest… those that heard it clearest were the ones the Lightbearers sought.

Help is coming.

And it did come. Scattered throughout the once allied planets, they came. Some with willing obedience, others a skeptic’s mind… They found their Champions, claimed their pilots… and when the signs were right, they set off among the stars to the one place even the Cult of Invariance dare not go.

The Fall.

Beyond the destructive field of asteroids, beyond the wartorn system and into the dead space… where no planet survived. It was here they made their berth… waited.

“...But what the hell are we waiting for…?” Nef’s breath escaped in a vapor as the air inside the cockpit cooled, pricks of gooseflesh climbing up and down her arms, beneath the dark green jacket she wore. She’d asked four times now, all with increasing levels of exacerbation, and each time, the Mech spoke only one word, repeating it again this time, in that same docile drawl.


“Yeah, okay, Big Guy. I get that. You’ve said it. Every time. But who is her, and how the hell long are we gonna sit here, freezing to death?”

“...Your call, Girl. To avoid detection? Heat-signatures… you called them?”

A deep sigh whistled through her lips, “...Fine. Fine. Just… I’m not waiting here forever, alright?”

“...Soon. They’ll come, soon. Her pilot was...reluctant.”

“How do you know?”

“Feel it.”

“Right… Nothing on my radar. Nothing the scanner’s pickin’ up… You sure they’re…”

“Shh. Peace. They come.”

Lights flooded the space on the floating island on rock they rested on - All together there were thirteen, now. Thirteen Mechs. At first, Nef had tried hailing them, but when there came no response, she determined, as her own had, their Mechs had taken the controls. It was alarming at first, when she found she was no longer piloting the massive ship, but after hours of drifting through space, she’d given up the fight, and some time later, they all landed on the broken planet, one right after the other.

Growing brighter, the light became a concentrated beam on the planet’s surface, before with a dust cloud, a fourteenth Mech appeared. Rising to its full height, the fox-like face scanned through the waiting crowd, and a moment’s silence resonated like screaming as Nef waited, breath held.

Suddenly, a voice echoed through the emptiness, resonant and clear.

“Thank you, Dear Champions… for coming. I understand you are wondering why you’ve been brought here… and in due time I will explain all. But first there is something I must do.” The beam of light widened, until all thirteen were captured in its glow, “I speak to you… Lightbearers. You know my voice. You know whose legacy runs within my veins. I call to you, now… Arise Men of Arms. My knights of Valor. For we have work to do... A sworn duty.”

There was a sudden shifting, as Tank suddenly rose upright, and gripping the chair beneath her, Nef blinked. The dash purred to life, and a rumble came from deep within the Mech, Nef’s teeth chattering together as the entire cockpit began to quake.

“What’s goin’ on, B-b-big Guy?” She asked, gritting her jaw.

“Peace, Girl.”

The Mech’s arms shot out, first the right, then the left and with a bright white, nearly blinding light, the form began to shift as the metal material that made up the Mech’s surface twisted, churning. From the shoulders, metal epaulets popped free, and from each of these, massive cannon-like weapons unfolded. All around, the other mechs began to shift as well, forming blades and guns, cannons and spears...

“Oh… sh--”

Peace...” Tank rumbled.

“Sorry…” Nef whispered, grinning, “But that’s freakin---”

“Arise! Guard your charges at all costs…” The woman’s voice interjected once more, “And do for this galaxy what we could not do for our own. This undue suffering ends… For today, we will split the skies with their fierce and brilliant resolve. Today… we are liberty! We are justice... We are Lightbearers. And we will bring darkness to its fall…”

With a great leap, the fox-headed Mech shot off from the planet’s surface, blades protruding from each of its arms as it rose higher and higher, into the star-dappled black. One by one, the others followed…


The dais was set in the centermost courtyard of the Council Senate. With a heavy thud, each of the Lightbearers landed upon it. The cockpit bay hissed behind her, and turning Nef watched as it breathed open, the belt that latched her into the pilot chair finally releasing its relentless grip on her midsection.

“Down there, Girl.” Tank hummed, and rising, Nef looked outside to see a crowd forming at the foot of the dais. With a sigh, she crossed to the bay door, and pressing the button beside it, retracted the dove pin from its slot. Slowly, the lift descended, and at the bottom, the cage opened. As Nef stepped onto the platform, her eyes shifted to the center where the fox-mech had landed. From the lift two figured appeared - the first appeared to be a male build, but his face was quite literally a mask… metal - mirrored, reflecting back the growing throng of on-lookers. Beside him, a woman, tall and thin, waifish almost, with intensely pale skin and white hair running the length of her rigid back. She held herself with a tense regality, but there was something meek about her countenance… almost shaky, and with her proximity to the masked man beside her, Nef half waited for the woman to keel over at any moment.

Approaching the podium generally reserved for the Senate Speaker, the woman looked out over the sea of faces, breathing in deep before she spoke - the voice that which Nef had heard in Tank’s cockpit earlier…

“Good evening citizens of Neo Earth… You do not know me, and I do not know you half as well as I would have hoped. My name is Princess Ollendria of Casin’dol… That which you now refer to as The Fall. And I come to you now in your most desperate time to lend aid. These… are the Lightbearers of Casin’dol… Our guardian force, sworn to protect those to which they are charged. They have watched for many years... and seen many faults in mankind. But so too have they seen much that is good. And now, in your darkest hour… we will stand with you... We will fight for you... and together, we will take back the galaxy."

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Mobley Eats

Consume. Smother your doubts. Be fulfilled.
Invitation Status
, ,
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, One post per day, 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Female, No Preferences
Modern, Romance, Fantasy, Scifi, Drama, Action.


Year: 3280
Location: Ranix

“Allow me to clarify.”

A lone glass slammed into wood, the table wobbling on a crooked leg. At this rate, Pyche would need another shot. Three sacks of organs shoddily sewn together sat across from her, stitches and metal plates and burns decorating their skins. Each wore a scowl, ones of confidence, of painfully palpable hubris, and their matching visages crept closer to lean on the table.

Triplets. Persistent ones, at that.

Pyche stared at her empty glass. “You’ll pay me a fair price for my hut. Upon assuming that your definition of a fair price is similar to mine. And riding further on that assumption, you expect me to vacate this area and live elsewhere.”

“You’re as bright as they come, ashen,” one triplet chuckled. To anyone else, the blisters and pockets of pus riddling his scars would’ve resulted in immediate vomiting, but Pyche studied him. All of them. They were siblings to the bitter end, right down to sharing the same drink. Gruelle, the most common based alcohol brewed on Ranix, a notorious lip loosener, and based on rumor alone, a distant cousin of methanol. They’d cleared four mugs already.

Brother number two raised his drink in mock congratulations. “The brightest. So we’re in business. You take this,” He plopped a medium-sized bag onto the table and slid it towards Pyche, the contents inside clanging noisily, “And be on your way. No hassle. No fuss. No more death.”

Pyche switched her stare from the glass to the offering. Then to a passing waiter. “Light is needed. The blinds to your right, open them.” She took note of the triplet’s questioning look and elaborated dully. “I’m going to count.”

“Aww, you don’t trust us?” Finally, it was the third brother who spoke. His entire throat was supplanted for a grotesque intertwining forest of metallic pipes and chords, and a fibrous sack in the middle bobbed with each gulp. “We’re reliable. Men of our word.”

“No. I don’t.” Just as Pyche said this, the waiter heeded her request and light spilled into the little hovel of a bar with blinding intensity. Rays of the scorching desert beamed over the triplets, who hissed in distaste from the sudden spike in temperature.

“Son of a bitch, that’s bright! You really need that just to count?!”

Pyche reclined into her seat, her location granting her freedom from the light’s harshness. Her skin wouldn’t terribly appreciate it, even under the protection of her clothes. “Yes. I do.” Slowly, deliberately, painstakingly so, she dumped the coin all over the table and started placing one piece in her hand at a time, mouthing the total under her breath. Literal minutes passed and with every moment of the triplets sweltering under the heat, the faster their patience dwindled.

Ten minutes, Pyche was only halfway done.

Fifteen minutes, not much of a dent was made.

Twenty five, agitation boiled.

Forty five--the waiting game ended.

“Alright, alright! Fuck--I take back what I said about you being bright!” The first brother snagged another employee by the scruff of his collar, the postuls on his face pulsating with rage. “Close them!” Fearfully, the poor victim nodded and scampered over to twist the metallic plates shut. Blood-encrusted gloves curled into fists in the sibling’s lap. “Five thousand--total. I’ll save you the trouble with your damn counting.”

“You’re considerate. Perhaps I should be the same,” Pyche drawled, her words and tone failing royally to match. As if she was a broken record, she called out to yet another employee, “They’re sweating. Turn up the air conditioning.” More confused glances from all parties, more nods and scrambling, before a generous cool breeze filled the building. Pyche carefully deposited the pay back into the sack where it belonged and slid it back to the brothers. “I refuse your offer.”

A beat of silence.

“...The hell do you mean--”

“I mean what I say. And say what I mean.” The woman gave pause to smooth back her hair, making sure not a single platinum strand was out of place. “My home is not for sale, nor for raiding. Though you’ve attempted to do so several times before with your… men.” Men was a reluctant word choice, considering she’d severed that birthright from their persons the moment they trespassed onto her property. “My home shall remain.”

Immediately, the triplets shot to their feet and hands flew to their waistbands. Then came the glint of janky guns at the ready. “But your head won’t be remaining on your body!”


The world shook.

Spinning, teetering side to side, blotches of black exploding everywhere. Within that same moment, energy was sapped from their legs and they fell to their knees, grasping fruitlessly at chairs.

Pyche calmly stood. “You moved too quickly for your constitution to handle.” She obtained the coin once more and stowed it away inside her satchel, then knelt down, watching her “business partners” squirm about like headless snakes. “Gruelle, in small doses, is… a pleasurable beverage. Intoxicating after one cup. Potent after that.” The siblings’ mouths parted, only for their words to gurgle and slur. Darkness continued to crawl across their retinas. “With the extended and intense introduction of an external stimuli… per say… Ranix daylight, an otherwise dormant property in Gruelle increases the acidity of your blood.”

Other patrons of the bar did nothing more than watch in a mixture of numbed nerves, swimming heads, and morbid fascination. Death in this place, let alone on the planet, was nothing to bat an eyelash about.

“And with raised Hp, the chemical grows and spreads. Rapidly so with the increase of your heart rate. Raw methanol enters your nervous system, especially your cerebral cortex and optic nerves. And with that final, immediate shock to the system of cold air--”

“I can’t see! Brother! Brother I can’t see!”

“The Gruelle begins its feast.”

Disregarding the pile of wriggling morons, Pyche only gave the patrons a nod of departure and covered her face with a thickly layered shawl. She’d only taken a mere few steps outside when the voice returned.

“Help is coming…”

Pyche nearly rolled her eyes--nearly. These were the most stubborn hallucinations she’s ever endured. First, they began as… whispers. An odd translation of a noise that thrashed Ranix airs. Only she could discern words from it so, clearly, this was all a result of her frequent insomnia. Then came the dreams… Inconvenient occurrences. She’d gladly chop off a finger than give into childish imagination, into trickery of the psychosis. She had a single objective in mind and entertaining this message was far from it--

“Help is coming.”

“I am in no need of it,” Pyche muttered, marching through the sands stubbornly. The towers of Ranix stretched overhead like endless skyscrapers, threatening to touch the stars themselves… It didn’t matter. She had no time for site-seeing. The woman marched onward.

“Help… is… coming.”

“I don’t need it.”

Marching on. Sand caving under her feet. Dry wind slicing her robes.

“Help is coming.”

Booming. Whatever whispers had plagued Pyche were now roaring like a planet-sized beast. From above. She fell to a standstill and craned her neck, squinting against the offensive sun. So loud. Unbelievably loud and impossible to ignore. The message rang insistently through her skull like the simplest and most deceitful form of torture. The noise seemed to travel from every and no direction all at once, bombarding her senses. Dammit…


An undeniable pull.

Control, something that Pyche valued almost as much as the life she made for herself, slipped through her fingers. She turned, facing the border miles upon miles ahead, leading her into frigid snow-worn lands…

“Help is here.”



Year: 3280
Location: To - Neo Earth



“I am still uncertain of these supposed teammates,” Pyche said blatantly, watching the cosmos race past her like an endless obsidian curtain. A voice merely chuckled in response, a common reaction that Pyche was starting to pick up on. Did her attitude amuse the sentient?

“I certainly can’t blame your uncertainty.”

“Then why are you taking me there?”

“You’re aware of why.”

“And yet I have more questions than answers.”

“Sometimes an answer can burden you with far more confusion than any question could.”

A groan became lodged in the base of Pyche’s throat. “Please. No.”

“Take the cosmos around you, for instance--”

“I shall not.”

“--The stars. They fill this void, providing a light that only peels away at a darkness that is, above all else, endless.”

Pyche scanned the controls in search of an ejection button.

“Your supposed ancestors, they sought and fought for answers to the unknown, thirsting for a well of knowledge that could never be filled. Don’t you think that sometimes it’s better to savor what you have now, rather than vie for everything?”

“Are we almost there.” Once again, the sentient being giggled and Pyche couldn’t help the way her jaw clenched ever so slightly. “Bellwether--”

“No, we’re not almost there.” Suddenly, their trajectory shifted and took a swift but smooth nosedive. A familiar planet came into view--Neo Earth. “We’re already here.”

Thank the stars. Now the damned thing would finally shut--

“Have you gathered the lesson for today?”

Pyche slammed the ejection button… It didn’t work.


“...I disabled the ejection feature just in case--”

“Yes, I’m aware of that. Thank you.”


Year: 3280
Location: Neo Earth - Council Senate Dias

After finding a proper place to land near the Council Senate’s courtyard, Pyche allowed herself a final few moments of sweet solitude, anything to postpone interacting further with her… fellow rescuers. If a version of herself from fifteen years ago could see her now, the pale teen would slit her own throat, save her the trouble now. Save her of all the headache and back and forth and mistakes and confusion--

Her mind steadied.

With an echoing hum from Bellwether, the interior of the cockpit was suddenly bathed in a soft pink light, making Pyche’s gaze snap up questionably. “What are you doing.”

“I sensed your distress from a mile away. It’s rather… suffocating and I don’t even require oxygen. I thought it only fit to present your favorite color.”

“So you assume.”

“Your thoughts are not as hidden as you believe them to be.”

“I was referring to my favorite color.”

“And who’s to say I wasn’t as well?” Clearly, she wasn’t, but the challenge into her echoing tone smacked further protests into a brick wall.

“...Right. Your insight is received,” Pyche muttered sarcastically. Alright--she needed to vacate the smart-mouthed robot and get this over with. Unbuckling her straps, she crossed over to the docking bay and retracted her bracelet from the slot, a breath tad heavier than normal escaping her. Relief. It took the might of a million champions for Bellwether to convince her to insert the Token. The lift brought her down to ground level and as soon as the doors parted, Pyche battled the urge to turn around and demand Bellwether to take her back to Ranix.

Her gut was rarely wrong and at the moment, it was twisting itself into nauseous knots.

Regardless, she schooled her features (an action unneeded, but habit all the same) and joined the other victims of robot-kidnapping, though she maintained a very generous gap between them. The speech seemingly caught little of Pyche’s attention as she opted instead for taking in each face, memorizing everything about them. Hair and eye color, outstanding features, race, supposed sex, build, demeanor, clothing, potential threat… It was a diverse bunch, that much she could tell.

“We will fight for you... and together, we will take back the galaxy."

Pyche tuned back in. “Highly improbable,” she said, uncaring of whoever overheard her.
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Mobley Eats

Consume. Smother your doubts. Be fulfilled.
Invitation Status
, ,
Posting Speed
1-3 posts per day, One post per day, 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Female, No Preferences
Modern, Romance, Fantasy, Scifi, Drama, Action.


Year: 3280
Location: Neo Earth - Racetrack

Man… Tinka freaking loved the smell of burning oil in the morning.

Except it wasn’t morning. It was, like, evening--very late evening. Like post midnight hours evening, when all the super shady shit started crawling out of the woodwork like creatures of the night. If it was illegal and got the heart rate pumping, then it was definitely glorified in the glamorous underbelly of Neo Earth. And honestly? Tinka wasn’t surprised. The planet was, after all, a big ole melting pot of opinions and beliefs and cultures and races; questionable activities were bound to take root here.

Forshame--shame on all of those petty crooks that partook in such empty pleasures. Gambling? Bah! Why run a risk like that on such a valuable thing like money? Drugs? What for? He already had one busted eye, no need to go and breakdown anymore of his internal organs. Racing? Awful. Truly. Just terrible. The nerve of some peop--

“Alias and model?”

Tinka blinked. “Hm? Whazzit?”

A woman of clear Kalazar descent folded her arms and glared at him from her station behind the counter. Some impressively intricate tattoos started just where her horns met her temples, coiled down the sides of her throat and came to meet at the dip of her clavicle, before disappearing down the middle of her collar like a damn tease--

“Glass eye up here, Buddy.”

Immediately, his gaze snapped up and the tiniest hint of heat flooded his cheeks. He scratched the back of his head. “Heh… H-heh. Whew, lemme tell you, crazy how your eyes stray like that, huh? Yep. Wild.” The woman’s glower doubled, alongside Tinka’s sweat output. He gulped. “Aaaaaanywayyyy--19K Vixen Steel, under Googly Eyes. My baby’s right over there.” Beaming with pride, he pointed at the vehicle in question that was parked among several others, but its appearance definitely stood out among the others.

Wide and long chrome-finished body with massive twin fins jutting from the tail lights, curling outwards like a pair of ram horns, pitch black tinted windows that pulsated with a sheet of electric blue holographic technology, three powerful exhaust panels lined the front of a double patented hood, and a pair of (his personal favorite asset) aero-powered nitrous boosters, protected by some of the best material one could find (aka, Connor had oh so helpfully brought to the shop a few months ago). The back license plate read: GOOGLY-I’S

Tinka swooned, leaning onto the counter while gazing fondly at his ride. “Ain’t she a beaut? Worked a long time on that pretty lass, with plenty of TLC.” However, while he fawned and swooned, the Kalazar woman had to snap her mouth shut before it caught any flies.

“Uh… yeah. Sure. Whatever. Just sign in, pay up, and keep it moving. We’ve got a line here.”

“Any chance you can slip in your number too or?”

“I will have your entrails ripped out, sewn into a pretty pink blanket, and personally shipped to your mother--”

“Hoookay! Yes, you’ve made yourself clear! L-lemme just, uh!” Quickly, he scribbled down his signature on the sign up sheet, slapped out the entry fee, and scattered with the woman’s glare burning twin holes through his back. Damn, he loved them feisty, but even that was crossing the line for him.



The racetrack was just about ready to go. In reality, it was nothing more than a giant ring, startlingly similar to the classical design of a NASCAR racetrack, with reflective metal plates lining every square inch of the building’s interior. Well, except for the stands. Those were nice and cushiony, giving betters a grand view of the show that was about to unfold. All in all, the sight was a degree or two away from plain.

Until the host’s voice boomed in everyone’s ears.


Roars of several engines exploded on both sides of Tinka, everyone’s vehicles cranking themselves into high gear. The bass was so intense that he could feel the car floor rumble under his feet. Then, a succession of highly-pressurized hisses followed as tires shifted and tucked away into the cars’ metal bellies, their bodies rising a few feet from the ground. Tinka did the same for his baby girl and couldn’t help the Cheshire smile that graced his lips as he listened to her purr. He fondly patted the dashboard. “This is it, baby girl. Let’s show ‘em what you’re made of! Oi! Oiiii!” He rolled down his window and yelled at a racer to his left, who shot the mechanic an annoyed glance.

“The hell you want!” he yelled back.

Just then, their stadium’s plates flipped around and a sharp gleam of light transformed their surroundings into a giant desert-land terrain full of towering boulders and sand dunes. Once again, the host’s scream cracked against everyone’s eardrums like joyous thunder. “GOOOOOO!!”

Tinka raised his middle finger. “EAT DUST!” Then slammed his pedal to the metal. With a violent jolt, his Vixen Steel bolted down the sandy track like a mechanical bat straight out of hell, its bumper just barely surpassing his equally as fast opponents. Suddenly, with a shimmer of pixels, a wall of rock ejected from the ground up on his right and curved inward, forcing Tinka to jerk the wheel. His car’s body scraped loudly and sent sparks flying, before he grit his teeth and heaved another yank, pulling away from the barrier.

Unfortunately, that sent him back three spots and fifth place holder was hot on his tail. “Nope! Nope, nope, nopE, NOPE! NOT TODAY!” With that spike of determination also came a drop in care about general safety. Smiling devilishly, Tinka pressed down harder on the gas while reaching over to a set of switches and buttons embedded into the dashboard. “Wakey bakey, lovely!” With a clumsy flutter of the fingers, he flipped the control board to ON, hearing a soft whir of energy pulse through it, then flipped the switch for Copy--



Now they were playing dirty? Tinka glared at fifth placed, who was now inches away from passing him and smiling smugly, apparently satisfied with the hardy bash he’d dealt to Tinka’s baby girl. Pesky little son of a…



“You wanna play rough? Huh!” Tinka had adopted a terrible impersonation of… something. He wasn’t sure what it was exactly, but it was super old and still floated about the populace like an undying legend. Good enough for him. “Okay!” Another sharp turn and then a tall boulder bisected the track in two. Seconds before meeting it, he pressed the Project button and watched as a translucent flash emitted from the front window, instantly memorizing the obstacle in its database, then clumsily swerved around it at last second. “Whewww! Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin! Haha!”

In a matter of seconds, the asshole was in reach again. Tinka pulled a few inches ahead of him, but never went beyond that, just teasing the racer at this point. No--daring him to speed ahead.

Especially with a super sharp left turn coming up.

Time this wrong and someone was gonna turn into a pancake… then burst into flames. But not exactly in that order.

And yet, Tinka continued to egg him on. Pulling forward. Falling back. Taunting. Teasing. Mocking…

Got ‘em.

With a jolting roar, his opponent blazed past him and rocketed down the track faster than Tinka could blink. Damn, that horsepower though! Any other time and the mechanic would’ve drooled, but now wasn’t one of those times. It was go time, bitches.

Like clockwork, the barrier shuttered and started curving to guide the racers left. Flipping the switch for Paste, another beam projected from the windshield.

And conjured up a boulder right in front of fifth place asshole.

The man’s car staggered and wobbled in shock, struggling to maneuver out of the way with barely any air left to work with. The vehicle caught a sharp gust and turned onto its side, careening uncontrollably through the hologram and straight into the wall--


Tinka winced. “Oof… He’s gonna feel that on like, a spiritual level.”

The mechanic zoomed past the heap of shattered and smoking parts, catching a brief glance of the driver crawling his way out. Okay, good--he was still alive. And beyond healthy, if the man’s enraged screams were anything to go by. A triumphant smile split Tinka’s cheeks while patting his wheel lovingly. “Thaaat’s my girl! Not let’s smoke these losers, yeah?”

The nitrous switch was flipped.

Tinka would come to regret it in the morning.

Nitrous, he came to learn that night, was damn powerful. Powerful enough to override his steering, send his Vixen Steel smashing head first into the bottom of the stands, and forcing himself to slap the Ejection button milliseconds before impact. The condition of his car turned out to be far--far worse than the other and only a few spare parts were left behind in the wreckage.

That and a gaping hole in the stadium wall.


It was time to run.


“Aughh! Jeez! I am! I seriously out of shape! Whew!” Tinka ran as far as he could until the cramping in his side and calves started screaming in protest. No longer able to endure, he slowed to a step a few miles away from the Stadium. Heh. Welp, if causing collateral damage didn’t get him banned from that place, nothing would…

Yeah no, he was definitely banned. Forever. Great.

But hey, Tinka had a goal in mind here. He didn’t just come out to race for nothing, so he had a back up plan in mind. It was gonna hurt him on an emotional level, but desperate times called for desperate measures--

“Help is coming.”

Tinka nearly jumped out of his own skin.

“Gah! Whoa! N-no! Listen, I’ll pay for the damages, just don’t kill me! If you do, Maz and Connor will be pissed--”

“Help is coming…”

“Uh… Um… O… kayyy? Who now?” Tinka spun about in space, trying to spot the body belonging to the gravely, powerful voice. Was he about to get pounced at 3 AM by a giant? Was this how the legacy of Tinka ended? God, he hoped not. He was still a virgin.

Then came this odd… pull. It washed over him, unexpected, without rhyme or reason or warning, and he found himself carrying him further and further forward, until a ledge caved down to massive ditch.

Holding something way bigger.

“Whoa…” Tinka breathed, eyes wide.

“Help is here.”


Year: 3280
Location: Neo Earth - Council Senate Dias

“Oh, dude! I did bring them, right? They’re in the back?” Tinka was just about to launch from his seat, only to choke himself against the straps. He flopped back down, gasping dramatically for breath. “Gah! Can’t you make this at least a little looser?”

“And risk you tinkering away in something you have no business being in?” Bastille drawled.

“Uh… duh.”


Tinka pouted. “Fiiiiine! But seriously, I didn’t forget them?”

A sigh vibrated throughout the cockpit, but Bastille’s tone still carried a hint of amusement. “You did not. They are stowed away safely for your friends to receive.”

“Awesome. Be damn tragic if I forgot that. Think I’d legit cry, man!” Tinka allowed himself to study the sights racing by, images of the hectic race flashing to the forefront of his mind. Heh… Man, that was a lot of fun. And totally worth it. Although his baby Vixen was a complete wreck and he didn’t win the cash prize, he capitalized on his failure by pawning any leftover parts for money. Luckily, a fellow mechanic knew top quality stuff when she saw it and paid Tinka handsomely. It was more than enough to buy what he needed.

Hopefully, Maz and Connor would like it.

Strangely enough (and a bit of a blessing on Bastille’s part), Tinka was silent for the remainder of their travels and only perked up once Neo Earth came into view. His sentient buddy landed with a caution that betrayed its hulking form next to the others, and finally freed Tinka of his seated prison.

“Finally! Can stretch my legs!” Before Bastille could even get a word in, he sprinted over to a sealed compartment and popped the latch open, pulling open a drawer. He retracted three items and draped them over his arm, then set his sights on the bay deck. The slot opened (albeit too slowly for his tastes--dammit, Bastille!) and he hastily snatched his precious goggles free, placing them on his head fondly. The lift lowered him and twin doors revealed his home planet once more.

“Heyyyyy, pretty people!” he greeted jubilantly while approaching his fellow Robo Riders (that had a nice ring to it), though his sights locked specifically onto the familiar faces of Maz and Connor. Approaching the pair, he held up two leather pilot jackets, the backs facing them. One one, it read: Jetpack Gremlin. The other: Tiny Titan. “You guys likey~? Got it personally made and everything! And it’s made from the toughest, most comfortable material Neo Earth’s got to offer, so this shiz was insanely pricey,” he said, smiling wide.

...Oh. Oh wait. Someone was talking.


Clumsily, he spun on his heel and got in line with the other mechanics, trying on focus on the woman’s words.

By the way--holy shit. She was stunning!

Tags: Maz WingWong WingWong & Connor The Wanderer The Wanderer
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The Wanderer

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Connor Quinn

Salvage Yard

A few days ago

Another rusted wreck to take apart, look over spoils and take whatever was valuable for later bartering and selling the junk to the recyclers. The procedure of steering his jetpack with his flesh and blood hand, and using the cutter or marker for the bigger machine to cut up the sections of the ship that Connor's cutter couldn't cut through with his robotic hand, was so routine that Connor went on auto-pilot at times, thinking about other things such as perhaps contacting one of his friends regarding the sweet engine he managed to save from being sold off to a dealer, and what he was going to do for lunch as he forgotten to pack one.

And all they were serving at the yard on Leela was some refried bean soup shit that kinda smelled funky. Not the good kind of funky, like the type that'd leave you writhing in agony as your stomach and bowels are shredded by bad food. Maybe he could go and visit that one sushi place he had heard about, that was apparently "to die for."

But while it was difficult to get Connor out of auto-pilot, the only thing able to do so was his colleagues speaking to him over the radio in his helmet. There were times that something could do just as good of a job. Said thing was his radio coming to life with a message.

"Help is coming."

The message cutting straight through due to the volume of it, his colleagues confused and utterly dumbfounded as apparently all they were hearing was static white noise. And called him crazy when he relayed what he heard, or joking "Your robotic arm is messing with your head." But despite pushing it to the back of his mind, it kept coming back to the point the damn message haunted him in his dreams, where he was in a barren landscape filled with rusted wrecks and rocks, with some giant outline of something approaching him. Beckoning him closer before he woke up in a feverish sweat. He could barely sleep after that, the dreams getting more and more vivid, the outline getting more detailed til he recognized that it was orange and very, very big.

Hell, Connor had begun to sleep-walk. Towards his personal ship that he used to go planet from planet to keep up with his job as a Salvage jockey. Each time getting closer and closer until he woke up somewhere else, no longer Leela as the ocean wasn't all encompassing. And he was surrounded by rusted ruins of old ships that simply couldn't make a profit due the level of rust that had accumulated, hell he could taste the metallic twing in the air through his helmet's filters. As he shook the grogginess of sleep from his head, he realized many things.


He was missing a ship. His ship.


Connor was also missing his jetpack. In fact, the only thing on him was his suit and helmet that he wore as standard procedure and his own personal taste.


He had woken in front what appeared to be a cliff top, with clear outcroppings and edges that one could traverse, but that wasn't what he noticed, he saw the wing of his ship at the tippy top. Which possibly meant that he either: Passed out, fell and somehow didn't die from the fall, or someone took advantage of him while he was out cold and was now challenging him to go get back to his ship.

"Fook me." He said to himself, voice laden with a heavy Irish accent as he began the arduous task of climbing up the cliff face. Now he wasn't too out of shape, he had some muscle on his light frame from various fights and lifting heavy shit. But he could barely last a few minutes of continued exertion. As several times he had to stop to take a breather, his breathing coming out haggard through the helmet's speaker. "I am....Gonna fooking beat the shit....Outta the twat who thinks this is funny."

After what was easily a few hours, he had made great progress. The bit of land he had awoken on, now a blurry thing in the distance as he was nearing the top. Just one more jump and he'd be reunited with his ship and he could get out of here. Only problem was that the jump was a little bit out of his reach. This would deter others from attempting it, but he was fueled by the greatest thing in the universe.


Whoever did this clearly knew that someone would give in or try to find another way, but this would get him closer to his ship. Sure the risk was a tumble to a very painful death. But the fear barely registered in his head as he took a running start, leaping at the edge of the crevice, extending his robotic hand out in front of him. And soon closing it on the edge of the ledge. The metal hand beneath the suit gripping with enough strength to crack the rock as Connor pulled himself up, heaving himself onto his back. Breathing heavily that it sounded like someone had cut a hole in a whoopee cushion.

"I am....Gonna be sore in the mornin'." He said as he looked over at ship, nearly choking on his words as he saw the state it was in. The frame was alright, same greyish design with the signature of Tinka, Maz and himself as their group name, "The Corkscrews."

But the problem was the engine was gone. Not like next to the ship or carefully taken out, the entire section where it went was missing as if someone had pulled it out with their fingers.

So one could not blame Connor for losing his cool casual self.

"FOOKING KNOB-SUCKING TWATS!" He yelled to the heavens as he threw a rock in childish anger. He was stuck here. And without a clear means of getting food, he was gonna die here. The thought making him chuckle in pure disbelief.

He was going to die here.

The thought struck him cold and left him literally frozen to the spot that he barely registered the now present shadow looming over him. Only doing so when he heard a voice dulled by the ringing in his head, that his outrage caused himself. He could barely make out the words.

Turning his head around, he was met with a gigantic orange robot thing. Its head pointed right at him with a hatch right near the bottom opening up. He could see what looked to be fins on the robot's back extending past its head and into the sky, as if it wanted him to go inside. "What the hell?" He muttered to himself, a light now making itself present inside the hatch, that which mesmerized him. So much so that when the light got brighter, it startled him.

He has gone insane, officially. And deciding to entertain his hallucination, he walked closer until he was able to climb up and into the space inside the robot's head. It was dark inside, so much so that he could barely see a thing, except for a small opening that was strangely in the shape of his dog tags. Slowly reaching into his secured pouch on the suit's belt, he pulled out his old dog tags, the metal pieces disfigured and warped as they had embedded shrapnel in them. These pieces of metal saved his life when the incident in the factory occurred, that robbed him of an arm and an eye. He inserted them, the inside now coming to life as light flooded the space. The dash lighting up, assisting in illuminating what would confuse him.

He saw his jetpack secured to a panel closest to him, which confused the hell out of him as his brain slowly put two and two together. He was knocked off balance as the hatch closed and the robot moved itself. Tumbling into a chair, which immediately tied a seat belt of sorts tightly over his robotic arm to his chest, pinning him. The material so taught that Connor couldn't even move it with his struggles when he tried to free himself.

"Congratulations, human! You have completed my challenge, and now your prize is a good one! The prize being my pilot! Say what the other mechs will, this is my favorite thing to see if my choice was the right one. If not, I would deeply apologize to your corpse."

"What the fook!?" He yelled out as the wind was knocked out of him as the robot began to move more and more. The words coming out in a wheeze.

"Language, please. I understand the situation, but we've wasted enough time. We have to meet Her now. We can talk on the way though."

Through the front that was his only window in the outside world from his now prison. He could see the mech now began to take off through the atmosphere, the view being filled with stars as they slowly went past as the mech went about to a unknown destination. Connor would try and try to free himself, his robotic hand struggling to move so much he could hear the servos whirr loudly in protest. Yet he could not even move the seat belt an inch.

"Let me go!" He yelled out.

"Sorry, but nope. You've been chosen for a great cause, and besides. You get a killer view and story for later. 'Hiya pals, I met a giant mech and we're best buds now!' So stop being a sourpuss and enjoy the ride." Was the response he gotten.

"More like 'Help I've been kidnapped by a giant orange...' Uh....Trash-can!" He retorted, to which he got an overly exaggerated exasperated gasp.

"You wound me, my pilot! I am simply more than a trash can, I'll have you know! I am a shiny orange trash can!" Just as Connor was about to retort back, the robot continued. The joking tone gone from its voice. "All jokes aside, I do not do as certain others of my brothers and sisters and select a pilot without challenging their merit. I challenge my pilot, to see if they are worthy to pilot me and if they're ready for the task ahead. Granted, I had confidence in you, I did not have enough to let you have the chance to run off. And while I could easily catch up to you with the jetpack, catching you could hold less then decent outcomes. As you fleshlings tend to be more fragile, and I do not want to be devoted to a pile of mushy twisted pile of flesh. So considering we're about to have a lot of time to get to know each other, could you please calm down and simply chat?"

The tone froze Connor in place, as he contemplated it. Before sagging his head in defeat, and with a sigh. He said. "Go for it."

"So who's Tinka and Maz?"

Present Day - Neo Earth

Finally, after a long journey meeting up at the Fall where other mechs had gathered, Preacher gaining two pointy knives and Connor getting a feeling in his skull that felt like someone else was in it.

Over the past few days, Connor and the mech had gotten to know one another, sharing stories, and Connor slowly going from an angry Irish-man to a slightly irritated Irish-man. But mellowing out as he talked to Preacher, and Preacher back to him. Which leads them to now, being released for the first time in what seemed like years, he stood up. His legs waking back up, the all too familiar pins-and-needles feeling shooting up his legs and into his brain with pain. He would retrieve the dog tags as the hatch opened up, before then putting on his jetpack and using it to slowly descend down in front of his mech, feeling something nagging in the back of his head. The cause of which would be seeing a lift lower from Preacher's chest, what seemed like a elevator leading back to the head.

'Getting a feeling that's gonna be brought up later...' He thought to himself, already hearing Preacher fuss over that.

He would get a shock, in the form of a all too familiar face walking over to him.

Tinka in all his glory, carrying what seemed like a pilot's jacket, and just as he took in the face of his friend, he saw Maz as well. Small universe it seemed, as he reached up to take off the helmet, his hair falling to block his eye before he slicked them to the right side of his head in his signature style.

"Fookin' 'ell, long time no see. Did you make these?" As he looked over the jacket, taking off the jetpack to see if the jacket could fit over the suit. As said suit was slightly skin-tight save in the pants region, it did have some minor bulk to act as defence against collision and such. The jacket just fitting near perfectly over his suit. "Stylish as ever Tinka. I owe you this and the engine from my....Ship......Apologies by the way. Friend here kinda took it." He gestured back at his mech, before continuing. "So how have the two of you been the past few days with all this talk of 'champions' and such?"

Mobley Eats Mobley Eats WingWong WingWong Elle Joyner Elle Joyner Chile Chile happydeath happydeath Red Thunder Red Thunder KatSea KatSea Childish Grumpino Childish Grumpino Doctor Jax Doctor Jax DarinValore DarinValore

Red Thunder

A Warrior in a Garden
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Fantasy, SciFi, Modern, Magical


Not Really The Fighting Type...

×Neo Earth / V.O.I.D HQ / Corporate Offices×

The pendulum slowed to a stop at the crest of its arc, floating the briefest moment before falling once again. It picked up speed rapidly, accelerating with utter silence as it raced toward the floor. A click like the snapping of an old style door latch cracked through the stillness, but without echo, it faded as quickly as it had come. The pendulum began to rise once more, a neat reflection of its initial action. Its speed fell, diving as the pendulum rose, until it froze. Time froze with it, the instant locked forever as unique. Then gravity reasserted itself, and the pendulum dropped into the next beat of its endless waltz.
The customer had already agreed to pay rate. Still, he kept pontificating, about nothing, as if he were locked into a perpetual state of weary listening in every other instance in his tiny life and was now taking full and unwelcome opportunity to vomit forth every last constipated phrase that had been lodged within his 3 megabytes worth of a mind. Rii'Chii blinked wearily, wearing an empty smile as he stared at the holoscreen. Cor'Dae and Hril'Nya had been hired, and they were the last for the day. Ideally, the job would last some weeks, at least; the Dwellings Entirely Naturalized, or D.E.N.s, that Pik'Chos their designer had developed some cycles back would withstand all but a serious planet glassing. That, at any rate, was how they had been marketed, and they were in high demand. It was honestly getting difficult to stay ahead on the orders; a good problem to have, particularly when your people lack any real home.
Or hope.
Just as Rii'Chii's eyes began to seek escape from the drudgery of this human's unending diatribe, the grandfather clock behind him chimed deeply. An Earth That Was style, tall and ornate, a mixture of bronze and new redwood that grew on Neo Earth, Rii'Chii had found it in a small hobbyist shop while scoping out new jobs for the Och'Nari, and he'd scooped it up at once. It'd meant to serve merely as decoration, but now it served as a rescue.
"Your pardon, Mr. Johnson! I'm afraid I have another engagement. Please, feel free to contact my secretary to complete the forms and the like; your artisans will be ready for engagement as soon as the data is provided; thank you for your time; enjoy your day!"
Breathless, the Och'Nari advocate punched the disconnect. He closed his eyes, making himself inhale more slowly to calm himself. He'd been too desperate by half to escape that encounter, and he could only raise his situation to the ancestors, that his own shortness of patience would not reflect negatively on his workers.
'His workers.' As if they worked for him. How ridiculous. His was to be the path for them, the means by which the Och'Nari would find a place in the Galaxy again. And if he had to sacrifice some few minutes, sacrifice some small pride, to do so, than what greater honor could there be?
Subconsciously, he reached for the mug of coffee that sat near him on the desk. Cold. Shame. With a sigh, he moved it to the Preparation Unit to at least make it lukewarm.

×Ryloth / Ryloth Outreach Center / Ambassador's Hall×

"Yet, the contract with V.O.I.D. keeps them in proper condition, structurally and aesthetically. Should you end it, though I have no doubt your own people capable, your options will be limited to retain that status quo. Nevermind the loss of reputation."
"Of whom: that of the Ryloth, or the Och'Nari?"
The room, if such an expanse could be qualified with that simple term, seemed to carry a natural glow all its own. The gentle blue of tranquility, the Ambassador's Hall was some six meters wide, and four times that long, and the desk of the Ambassador herself sat at the far end. Oddly, or perhaps appropriately, the expanse gave less an impression of arrogant austerity as it did one of amiable coexistence. Examples of Ryloth technology graced its walls, the blend of artistry and utilitarianism exemplifying perfectly the coordinated vision of Ryloth and Ocha.
The Ambassador, regaled in the white and gold robes of her office, smiled at Rii'Chii; it seemed sad.
"I must be honest; our funds dwindle, and we can no longer afford such glamor."
"The glamor is only the skin of it, Your Grace; I feel this an insult to your intellect to even mention." Rii'Chii's temples tightened, and he forced his leg to stop bouncing. "Perhaps the rate could be reduced? Focus solely on building for strength."
But the Ambassador lifted a hand, indicating her final word on the matter.
"Finances must be channeled into the war effort; I needn't tell you it grows grim. My deepest and most sincere apologies, but after the current projects have reached completion, we can no longer offer employ to V.O.I.D."
Rii'Chii's heart tightened in his chest, and his head lowered a degree. He'd failed, for the first time in long years, and Och'Nari that depended on him might now become destitute.
Help is coming.
"But from where?" he inquired, thinking that the Ambassador was offering an alternative. But she returned his inquisitive gaze with one of her own, and his temples tensed in worry. Had the stress broken his mind?
Help is coming.
"Your pardon, Your Grace, but if business must be concluded, I must needs advocate for the Och'Nari elsewhere."
Touching his forehead and bowing at the neck, he turned and began the long trek back, trying and failing to prevent his gaze from lingering on the beautiful with of his people.
Help is here.
He walked faster. Outside, the sound of otherworldly engines entered even the study structure of the Hall, and the ground rumbled as something enormous made landfall.

×Neo Earth / Council Senate / the Courtyard Dias×

Would you get down already?
"This is very unpleasant."
It's good for you. And more than a bit funny to me to watch you squirm.
Rii'Chii glared up. And up and up. The immense size of the giant, sentient robot that stood some meters behind him was still unbelievable. 'Lightbringer', it had called itself. Eventually. Once it had stopped complaining that this white-collar desk jockey was its pilot, that is.
Not that Rii'Chii was himself without complaint. This 'Brawler', self-styled, was more than a little unwelcome in his life at the moment. With the collapse of the Ryloth contract, the loss of work for the immediately affected Och'Nari was the least of his worries. If even Ryloth were unwilling to employ them, who's to say other planets and organizations on them wouldn't follow their lead? Which meant potentially a far greater problem than he'd ever had to deal with. The Cult of Invariance might be the Galaxy's most impending threat, but if his own people starved to death from a lack of means, what was the point in fighting them?
Get over it, Brawler replied in answer to his unspoken fears. We have bigger issues at hand. And you need to pay attention.
In the robot's defense, it was right. The White Lady was speaking, addressing the Council, and while she might be pontificating as elaborately as Mr. Johnson had some days prior, there was in Rii'Chii's mind a lot of nothing in her words beyond rote propaganda. Her audience looked to be buying it, however. As did some of his fellow pilots. Whomever they were.
The looming question: now what?

TAGS || @E-VRY-ONE \\ code stolen wholesale from Elle Joyner
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Broken But Never Forgotten
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Neo-Earth | Le Blanche's | 3276
The sweetened smell of freshly brewed dark roast coffee, hazelnut and an assortment of all different kinds of flavors followed by freshly baked bread filled the room of a small restaurant down an alleyway that many people tend to be unaware of it's existence unless it were a regular customer.

It was early morning and the only one in the kitchen of the Le Blanche's restaurant at the time was Vrax; hard at work on kneading the dough to prepare another batch of bread as several coffeemakers dripped a variety of flavored coffees into carafes behind him.
Just as he had slid in a tray into the large metal oven and taken out yet another tray of baked bread to place onto the counter, the back door to the kitchen swung open only to have the other employees enter one after another.

"Vrax! You're already here? You know, coming earlier doesn't change how much you get paid right?"

Even with knowing that bit of information, the male kept silent and continued his work diligently.


Hours went by and it was right about closing time for the restaurant, most of the other chefs were packing their belongings while the waiters and waitresses were counting the tips they earned over the course of the day. At the front of the restaurant the cashier counted through the money that the restaurant acquired and did some math to see if the amount was more or less from the previous days. All the while, Vrax sat at the bar counter on one of the stools simply staring at the assortment of alcoholic drinks before him.

Without warning, one of the waiters came up behind him and gave him a pat onto the back before taking a seat beside him.

"Hey Vrax, did ya hear on the news? Some random group of scavengers found some weird metal thing in the forest today. They think it could be something from that 'You-Know-What' group. So, they're thinking of sending some of the resistance over there to check it out. What'd you say we go and take a look at it while they plan their date to go and get ready?"

The male seemed overly excited about the discovery that was all over the news though Vrax showed literally no interest.

"Relax. Whatever it is, it's none of our business...If it is from that group...For all we know, we could end up getting ourselves killed if we get too close to something we don't know about."

Knowing well enough of the dangers of the Cult's machines and weaponry from his time in the Resistance, the last thing Vrax wanted to do was see anything that would remind him of all those that died because he made rash decisions.


Days later.

It was like any other ordinary day at the restaurant, although today it seemed like something was off among the staff. Everyone was whispering something to one another. The few things that Vrax was able to overhear were things about how 'His family must be grieving' and 'He was so young'. It didn't take long for Vrax to figure out exactly what happened however, it wasn't like he didn't warn the guy not to go.

Closing time came again and yet another day was done. However, as Vrax took his leave from the establishment this time, two men stood right outside the restaurant; both were dressed in a black suit and tie. They handed him a suitcase only to tell him that it was for his eyes only and that they need him to investigate that place.


That was the only answer that was given to the two men as he shoved the suitcase back at them and walked off to return to his home.

Sitting there on his bed after reaching his small apartment, flashbacks haunted him of his battles while in the resistance as he held his head trying to forget them as best as he could.

'Help is coming..'

The voice had him gasp and jolt as he turned his head to see where the voice came from. "Who's there?!"

'Help is coming..'

Again, it rang through his head and again there was no one around. "Who's there?!"

'Help is coming..'

It was becoming a nuisance and it sounded like it wasn't going to be ending anytime soon. "What're you talking --"

'Help is here..'

"Stop it!"

Neo-Earth | Council Senate -- Courtyard Dias | 3280

"How much longer..?"

"Not far."


Those were the only words that were exchanged from the two, even after meeting this giant robotic thing and attempting to get to know it as best as he could, Vrax could easily tell that the thing still did not trust him completely him yet. It had been weeks since he met the robot and it had sent Vrax through one trial after another as well as questioning him on what was like quizzes here and there, and yet the most he had gotten out of the thing at the time was it's name. Deadeye.

"Okay...I guess I'll be the first to say it. It doesn't take a genius to figure it out, but you clearly do not trust me.'re telling me, that I'm about to meet thirteen other people and each of them are also inside something like you? How am I supposed to know we can even trust those other giant robots?"

"Because. To me, they are like family. You, however...are of flesh and blood. You are fragile both in mind and body. I have seen you and I know what you have done as well as how you dealt with it. You were once great...but you gave in to suffering."

With that, Vrax went silent as he took his gaze away from the console of the machine just to slam his fist against the arm rest of the seat. This thing knew more than it let on.
Just then, the cockpit's lighting began to dim as the bright light from the vision of the outside darkened slowly as well.

"Relax. It does not mean I will leave you. I had chosen you to become my pilot because you still have the will to fight inside you. I have put you through those trials to see if you would given in and run, but you did not. The old you is still there...I just intend to bring it back."

Still without any response from Vrax, it was only a matter of time that the duo would reach their destination as Deadeye slowed himself to descend beside the other large mechanized suits and finally releasing the restraining straps around Vrax's shoulders and abdomen.

"We are here."

"Right. we go."

As he stood from the seat, he took his leave through the hatch from the back of the large mech; making sure to take the token that he inserted into the slot beside the interior of the hatch. With Deadeye kneeled over, it made it quite easy to simply hop out of the back and land onto his own feet before progressing his way over towards the large crowd of people. It wasn't exactly difficult to spot out the other pilots of the mechanized suits though before Vrax could so much as say a word, a speaker suddenly made themselves known taking Vrax's full attention for the time being.
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129% of people exaggerate.
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A solitary, thin line of smoke rose from the tip of the laser toward the ceiling. A bright light illuminated the room making it easier for Kai to see as the red beam from his laser pen meticulously traced the pattern of the sensory lining to ensure that it wouldn’t disconnect from the inside of the suit he worked on. The success of this phase of his project hinged on whether the sensory lining, when placed in contact with the skin of the wearer, would react positively to the commands dictated and passed along the rest of the wearer’s nervous system. His life’s goal was only moments away as he finished up and deactivated the pen.

Sitting back in the chair, he let out the breath he was holding in order to concentrate before he spoke, “Lin-zee, it’s finished.”

A young woman with her hair up in a bun and wearing a white lab coat rounded the table and looked down at the chestpiece splayed out on the table. She glanced up at the holographic screen studying the readings, “The power source seems to be charged enough. If it sustains the suit while unplugged, we can test it out and see if the cycle will complete once the suit comes into contact with skin.”

Nodding, Kai stood to his feet, “Initiate the shutdown sequence, then,” he watched as Lin-zee’s fingers pressed the shutdown button on the screen. There was a hum that slowly died before Kai reached out and unplugged the power supply.

“You know, Doctor Anderz, if this works like you’ve designed-”

“When,” he corrected her. She smiled.

“When this works like you’ve designed it to, you’ll make billions on this tech. Everyone will want a set of the Anderz X model. Imagine the lives you’d save or enhance,” she spoke excitedly, her smile growing with every word,” Imagine the pos-”

Kai shook his head and spoke flatly, “I don’t care about any of that, Lin-zee. Not the money; not the applications. I want it to work. Nothing more. Nothing less.”

“Doctor Anderz,” she rolled her eyes as Kai continued to assemble the chest piece, “The impact this bio-tech could have on the entire universe is just,” her breath caught for a moment.

“Just another thing,” Kai finished, “While significant and radically impactful, one must always remember that there are improvements to be made. I will make better equipment, and when I’ve died, someone else will make better enhancements. There will always be better. So long as that is the case, there is no cause for celebration. We are far from the pinnacle of discovery here.”

Lin-zee’s smile fell to a frown only a moment before she continued, “You don’t win a war in a day, Doctor. You do it a little at a time, and you celebrate every victory because it could be your last.”

Forcing a smile to appease her after watching the last lock slide into place, Kai returned, “Then go ahead and celebrate for the both of us. I, for one, refuse to do so until the war is won,” a sigh slipped through his lips as he lifted the chestpiece and placed it on the rack where the helmet, gauntlets, pants, and boots were waiting, “Now, call in the volunteer. Let’s see this suit work.”

Lin-zee nodded before she disappeared from the room. Kai could faintly hear her calling for the volunteer through the door. A few minutes later, she lead the man in. He was a well-built man undoubtedly once a marine. Lin-zee guided him before the suit and turned him to face Kai.

“Doctor Kai, this is Edgar. His daughter lost an arm, and her prosthetic is your tech. He figured that he could thank you by-”

“Did he sign the waiver?” Kai interrupted. I don’t care what the tool’s name is; only that it does it’s job.

“Y-Yes,” Lin-zee replied caught off guard by the latest interruption.

“Good. Now, step aside, Lin-zee,” Kai watched as she moved, “Take off your clothes,” he told the man. At first, he looked at Lin-zee and then back to Kai, “We’re both scientists. You’ve got nothing we haven’t seen.”

“Besides,’ Lin-zee interjected, “You can keep your undergarments on.”

“Yes, yes,” Kai added, “And you don’t move from where you are once you’ve removed your clothing. Upon activation, the suit will open and encase you. Don’t worry if it feels too large or small after it seals. The nanites in the weave will adjust the materials at an alarming rate until it fits perfectly. After that, I will give you a series of commands to input with thought.”

“A thought?” Edgar asked as he began to strip down to his skivvies.

“Yes, a thought. The suit boasts a technology that senses the electrical impulses delivered by the nerves under your skin by your brain. A simple thought of an action will cause the suit to react in the desired manner producing tools, firearms, or even a screen. That will depend on what is installed.”

“Neat,” Edgar stated as he took his place, wiggling his fingers and toes in anticipation.

Satisfied that Edgar was in the appropriate position, Kai addressed Lin-zee, “Activate the suit.”

After a series of codes were input, the rack slid forward on its tracks and the suit began to encase Edgar. One piece at a time sealed until Edgar was no longer visible. It fit like a glove and Edgar spoke to its comfort. One by one Kai began to give the commands, and one by one they worked beautifully. Finally, it was time for the final command.

“Alright, Edgar,” Lin-zee began, “Think of exiting the suit,” after a moment without a reaction, she continued, “Edgar?”

“I’m trying,” Edgar replied, “It’s..It’s not responding.”

“Hmm,” Kai brought up the HUD and looked at the blinking message on the screen, “I didn’t see that coming.”

“Didn’t see what coming?” Edgar began to act nervously.

“Nothing to worry about, Edgar,” Kai replied, “I’ll just input the code from this terminal and the suit with spit you out.”

When Edgar was clear and paid for his services, Kai and Lin-zee poured over the test results over the next several hours. Each avenue led to a dead end. Exhausted, Kai leaned on his hand, his brow furrowed in thought. He was mentally drained and in desperate need of a rest, but the problem had not been solved yet so sleep would be the last thing on his mind.

“Do you want me to stay, Doctor Anderz?” Lin-zee asked with her coat draped over her arm. She was exhausted. Kai could see it.

“Yes, but I cannot afford the over-time in credits. Go home, Lin-zee. I’ll see you in the morning,” He returned.

When Lin-zee left, Kai returned his focus to the suit, “What am I missing?” he asked himself.

Help is coming.

“No thank you, Lin-zee. I told you I had it. You were to go home,” he spoke without looking up from his project.

Help is coming.

“I said I didn’t need your help. Go home,” he replied.

Help is coming.

“Lin-zee,” he replied as he finally looked up to realize he was all alone, “Hmm. Interesting.”

“This is no different than the first 3 days you invaded my mind with your nonsense. Just as I told you then, it is now. I don’t need help,” Kai said matter-of-factly, “I’ll tackle this ‘universal’ issue just as I tackle all others: with science and time. I don’t need you, especially since you don’t even do what I want and need you to do, and I don’t need others. Others do nothing more than disappoint.”

“Disappoint?” Herald responded, “I thought you didn’t feel.”

“Just because I don’t now doesn’t mean that I don’t remember what disappointment felt like,” Kai fidgeted in the pilot’s chair, his fingers deftly examining the lock, “I’ll figure this out, and when I do, I’ll be done with you.”

“It’s not that simple. You’re my pilot. We’re together until this whole thing is done,” Herald returned.

“I never asked to be a part of some universal robot combat force. I was perfectly content in my lab working on my suit. That’s still securely in storage, correct?” Kai shifted focus to what mattered.

“Yes. I told you it would be, and I keep my word,” Herald answered.

“At least you do something useful,” Kai rolled his eyes and jerked on the buckle.

“That won’t come undone until I unlatch it.”

“This is ridiculous. What good is a machine that won’t obey commands? I can think of no logical benefit you would provide. I’m going to make my first goal figuring out how you work so I can dismantle you and put your flawed parts to better use enhancing tech for the betterment of aliens and humans alike,” he paused, “How much longer until we get there?”

“We’re here.”

Looking out the window, Neo-Earth quickly filled his view. Kai braced himself for the descent as they broke into the atmosphere. With barely a jolt, Herald landed on a pad joining several other mechs. When the belt unlatched finally, Kai stood up and brushed himself off.

“Would you be so kind as to point me toward your reactor? I’d like to shut you down and begin recycling you,” Kai asked.

“Can’t let you do that. Go see what the others have to say, and then we’ll talk again,” Herald answered.

Kai mulled over Herald’s words before he finally agreed, “A second opinion on your condition may be exactly what’s needed. Maybe one of the other mechs will have a code embedded in their processes that will fix you.”

Taking the lift down to the ground, Kai stepped out and onto the platform, “Does anyone else have a mech that’s broken?” he asked more focused on his problem than on what was being said.

Doctor Jax

Lord of the Mice
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Juliet Hotel F*cking Charlie*. What a joke.

Kiki sat in a chair that seemed molded to fit every bone and torn muscle in her body, looking over the 'delegates' on Neo-Earth, other kidnappees mingling about down below, as far as she could see through the screen that posed as the 'window' out of her new metal companion. Her mind was still on the address given by the bird at the podium, woman explaining their purpose, giving them the lowdown on this whole clusterf*ck. With disgust, she noted that it seemed she was one of the few actually listening, bouncing her leg.

At the least her seat was comfortable. The inside was a dull blue glow, organic rather than necessarily mechanical, ergonomic and sleekly fitted to her size. Man, it would've been nice if her crash coffin had been as fitted when she'd used to plummet dirtside from orbit, hitting terminal velocity in a gel cocoon. It had at least made the ride over comfortable.

They're not all soldiers like you, you know.

It was an external and internal voice. That had been one of the hardest thing to get used to, another voice in her head. Well - another another voice. Sometimes she still heard Jonesy. Not when she wanted to. Never when she wanted to. Sick joke. A sick, sick joke.

She fiddled with a coin in her off-hand, nervously, a game of Bochie at stalemate on a glass iNdex phone. Texts back and forth with Abb were left abandoned. She still didn't know why she was here. She didn't answer the quip with one of her own, the way she would've back on Leela. No, she had snapped back into red-and-black fashion, pure Hellraiser to the last. You paid attention when brass spoke, you didn't just mingle like this was some party.

But she couldn't help her next thought anyways.

No, I'm not really a soldier anymore, either, dickweed. Get it right.

They were lucky she was here at all. It had taken her almost a week to chew over.

"Abb, babe, toss me another line!" she screamed over the waves

The waters of Leela that day had been tumultuous and unfriendly to those on the surface. Aboard a skiff, Kiki stood soaked to the skin, pale face a beacon in the darkness of driving rain and heavy clouds. She rode the boat as it went over wave after wave, respirator wings hanging around her neck by its strap. A muscled Leelan with grizzled features and bluish-green skin tossed a hooked line to her, and she reached out her right --

Damn! Again!

It hit the bottom of the skiff, and she raced for it before the line would slip into the ocean.

Help is coming. She ignored the incessant voice.

They had to secure the algae pods, ensuring that they didn't float away. The squall had been sudden, unapologetic, as any seaward storm could be. Out on Be'k'kle'mmbe Reef - otherwise called Beck's for the less 'clicky' throated foreigners - other algae podmen were doing the same, albeit entirely under the water. Only the thin, above-water scoots, like double shark fins with a motor attached, hinted at their presence beneath the waves, fighting the underwater gusts. It was dangerous work, the possibility of being dashed against the reef all too real unless anchored to a scoot. The tourist boats had already motored back to the abovewater compound built upon the colorful parts of the reef jutting from the water in carefully manicured curls and spikes, leaving only the farmers.

And Kiki.

She hauled up the pod, tying it off to the back of the skiff. At that she began to motor closer to 'shore', listening for Abb's direction that this was a good spot to anchor. A bad spot would mean the pod would rip from its moorings in the weakened reef's stucco-like structure. Heaven knew where it would end up then.

"Kiyoko! Here!" Abb called, waving a hand, and she motored towards him. With a slide, she stopped the boat and auto-rigged a spike anchor, a plume of water exploding as the rod was blasted into the reef bed. With that, she handed him the hook to the algae pod.

Help is coming.

"Go on! I'll wait! Last one?!" she shouted over the wind. Abb nodded, giving a thumb's up with one hand. He dove back down, and Kiki paced along the skiff's surface. Her physio therapist finds out about this, and she was gonna end up doing PT until she puked. But when Abb had said he needed to tend to the pods, his brothers unable to help, she hadn't been able to say no.

She needed that rush. She needed to feel needed.

A worrying crank shook the skiff, and she stumbled as she tried to keep her balance. She raced to the auto-anchor, the winch working overtime, and all at once, it came unmoored, a wave beginning to carry her skiff away. Curses spilled in a flood as she tried to get it to come up completely, to re-fire it into the soft reef, but it refused. It had to be caught on something just heavy enough. She'd have to cut and reattach a new anchoring spike. If she didn't do something soon, she was going to end up washed away. She looked out over the water.

Her respirator went over her mouth and nose, skin tingling despite the cold. Sh*t. Sorry, Abb. Take just a second. She jumped into the water.

And that was the last thing she remembered, other weakly struggling against the current and than the ringing, ringing words, Help is coming.


"Find me in the alps."

Kiki sat up on the sandbar. First - systems check. Arms, legs. Accounted for. Head, on straight. What hurts? Everything. Just about damn near everything. Her head especially, a massive goose egg near the top telling a rather short story about a long f*ckup. Shakily, she stood, and it did not surprise her that she saw... nothing. Just water for miles. Well. Great. She patted herself down, managing to find the stickied tracker all dryfolk were highly recommended to keep on their person for this exact reason. A swipe of the finger and a thumbprint pressed into the gel surface activated it with a high whine and a green blinking light.

Hopefully someone found her before she died of thirst. How ironic. Surrounded by water, and not a drop to drink.

Help is here.

The voice was louder than it had ever been, the ex-BODYSNATCHER scrambling to her feet clumsily. Her eyes cast about in confusion, looking for the source, before finding a bright white speck streaming through the sky. Her eyebrows canted upwards, pulling the diacritic marks on her face, as she stared in confusion. It reminded her of a bogey coming at her, like... a targeted missile. Her eyes widened, and she dashed as far as she could to the other side of the high sandbar, dropping down onto the other side and watching with terror before something crashed into the water only a quarter of a mile away. The resulting wave nearly had her back out to sea, and she coughed water out of her lungs as she worked her way to her feet.

And, much to her absolute astonishment, a massive mech suit was walking through the water as if it were only chest deep, easily eighty feet tall from the waterline and up. Her breath caught.

Pilot, I am Vindicator. You had best hop in. I came an awful long way for this, and we've got even longer to go. Better move it.

"....Yeah, how about 'hell, no.'"

She'd been stuck on that Leelan sandbar a while, even with company finding her, as she had mulled the decision. Her head and heart said no. She had a life on that water planet, after two years of biting and clawing for one, to get back functionality in the limbs she'd completely lost. She had a husband, a house, a beautiful place to live and wait out the war. She knew as soon as she'd woken up in the Almost Morgue that her days as a soldier - a fighter - a warrior were best left at the door with a tip to the bellhop to pack that sh*t away.

But her gut screamed at her, Good God, yes.

She was starting to regret listening to her gut. If this was the group they had as their 'champions' to save the known universe, she didn't know if she was much interested.

I thought you were a team player.

Brass is speaking, BUFF. You mind?

"...and together we will take back the galaxy." Applause. The Princess had an aura about her. Kiki wanted to trust the woman. Wanted to.

Couldn't. Brass said what you wanted to hear in public. 'We're winning. We're going to win.' Yeah, right. Things were FUBAR.

I'm a teamplayer when there's an actual team to play with. This is a rainbow-flight who's gonna crack as soon as Kal brings Hell to their doorstep.

And if they don't? My three hundred foot tall friends don't make mistakes.

She was quiet a little longer.

Get out and talk with them, Miss Pissy.

The hatch opened, crash webbing releasing its captive, and Kiki leveraged out of the chair. Down into an elevator she walked, and onto the dais she stepped, looking all the world like a surly Rottweiler who'd had a tooth pulled.
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Skittish Beaver
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“Darling, so, when you say you want a mean it? Huh?” Eleazars voice was soft, uncertain, a trickle of horror tainting the sweetness of his tone. His arm had remained firmly around Ailoca’s pregnant belly, unbeknownst to him that their children were to be born eight months from this endeavor. He remained ignorant to his transformation, being a father, having brought life into galaxy around them, merely peering into the eyes of his beloved. The back of his hand came to trace the gentle curve of her horn, skimming against the smoothness of her hair and firmly cupping the back of her head. Her fingers came to loop around her beloveds wrist, eyes fluttering close in peace and comfort of the human before her.

“I do not know...if you feel the safe, or the comfortable. But my dream, to raise the family, is with you, yes? When it calms the down, I want to share future with you.” Ailoca’s breath became even with Eleazar’s, their bodies sharing a similar rhythm, an imperfect movement that rang true in both of their hearts. Eleazar brought his calloused thumb to his beloveds cheek, stroking gingerly with each contemplated thought that crossed his mind.

“I...That is my dream as well, Loc. It truly is. I do...But it is not a good time. With...with the Cult...with...with the state Kalazar is in...I do not know if it is safe yet. Nor do I know, nor do I know if it is my time to leave the fight. However….” Eyes softening, he pressed his forehead to hers, nestling his nose against hers. “The moment...the moment you tell me to get my ass out, I will. I will settle down the moment you ask of me. Whenever you are ready, I will take a damn ship and harbor us away to the middle of the universe if that’s what it takes. The moment you ask...I will step away. Done. But I have to ask this of you, Loc. You know me. You’ve know me better than myself, and when I tell you that this fight my duty to complete, I ask of you to wait. I will not demand of you to wait, that is up to you. Just know that...this is what I was raised for and this is the job I agreed to finish. I know that you want a family and Christ Ailoca that’s all I want, too. I want to be the father of your children...our children...Please.”

“I will not the force you, Elie.” Ailoca agreed, without a moment of hesitation. “You are the hero yes? It is why I the love you in first place. I am the proud of you. the safe with me? And when it is the over...settle with me?”

“I promise, baby girl. You’ve got me for as long as I live…”


Ailoca did not sleep. Ailoca had not slept consecutively for the last week and a half. Kili and Eili had cried every night, on and off, for hours and hours, breaking their mothers wounded heart further down the middle. Ailoca had been absolutely blessed for the family that lived beside her in the S.S Tel Aviv had offered their support. The woman, a beautiful darkly toned human and her husband, a light blue Vela, had offered their support. The woman, a gently spoken, curly haired nurse who had worked with Ailoca more than once, had shuffled her way into Ailocas cabin in the early hours of morning. The sudden cry of Kili has caught the young woman off guard, and with a firm push of the door, she slithered through and found purchase against the tan tile floor.

“Silian?” Ailoca’s voice called, soft and weary in the darkness of her hovel, no absence of affection present in her inquiry. “Is that the you, lovely?” Huddling further into the protection of her covers, Ailoca cradled her arms firmly against her chest. Her eyes briefly flickered to meet Silian, a ghost of a smile crawling against the parched skin of her lips. “Darling, it is early! I can the handle the boys, no?”

“Ailoca?” Silian replied, brisk and smooth, hovering ever closer to the two cradles that lay side by side. Eili, the quieter of the twins, remained peacefully at ease, chubby little arms outstretched above his head. Beside him, Kili’s lightly orange tinted cheeks had become engulfed in flames and snot, a chorus of sobs escaping his tiny body. Silian noticed the moment the cries increased in volume that Ailoca had hopped to her feet, covers still firmly looped around her shoulders. Ailoca floated swiftly over to Kilis cradle, reaching in with slender arms to lift the child from the comfort of his crib. Inspecting the wailing child in her arms, spit bubbling at his lips and flooding down his chin, Ailoca swiftly raised her blanket from her chest. She held her child close, encasing him in the comfort and warmth of the fuzzy green blanket that secured them. After a quick shuffle against Ailoca’s chest, the baby soon settled into peace, slumping against her and, content, fell silent.

“I am the most sorry. Sometimes they tire themselves the out. But I see he was the hungry. I did not mean waking you.”

“Hey...don’t apologize. Thought something may have been wrong, hun.” Silian’s hazel gaze held onto Ailoca’s, a flicker of worry shimmering against the dark hue. She raised a hand towards the mother of two, fingers unwinding from her palm in a gesture of comfort. Without tearing her eyes from the child swaddled to her chest, Ailoca gracefully accepted the gesture. Curling her fingers into Silian’s, Ailoca delivered a generous squeeze. “You...have you slept? You look exhausted honey...Have the kids been keeping you awake all night? You know Zun and I could easily babysit for the night to make sure you get your sleep…”

“I remained the awake for other reason.” Ailoca explained, her voice hushed and hesitant. Her free thumb gingerly skimmed the newly developing horns of her child, easing him comfortably before raising him over her shoulder. Once he was secure, she delivered three firm pats to his back, ensuring a none too eloquent fleet of gaseous toxin to billow from his gaping mouth. He fell still against his mother, who nestled her head into his. “I dream of Elie, again.”

“Ah...honey I’m sorry.” Silian swiftly rebutted, tone dismissive and tainted with sheepishness she did not know how to conceal. The conversation with Ailoca regarding her husband had never been a comfortable one. Despite Silian and Zun recommending burial and memorial services tmo her fallen partner, Ailoca merely waved off the proposal and suggested it was an utter sin to grieve the living. After all, in her little Vela noggin, her beloved remained alive, hopelessly lost in the cosmos or captured by villains he had already planned to escape from. In her mind, he would return to her somehow, whether it be through Kash or through pure and utter luck.

“Do not be the sorry. I feel his love, yes?” Ailoca’s features illuminated in a weary beam, the sentiment genuine and more importantly, believed. Silian had known the Vela to be...rather optimistic in times of dread. Even if it was true that Eleazar was dead, Ailoca would refuse to take the truth into account until she saw his body. Until she could feel his skin under her finger trips and confirm the blood had no longer pulsed through his veins. This horrified Silian, knowing that she could not put the past at ease for her friend, knowing that Ailoca had conjured a truth of her own with no substance to hold it afloat. “It just make me miss him. That is the all.” Ailoca continued, her voice dipping into a hum beside her son’s ear, a gentle sway of her body lulling the infant back into his once disrupted slumber. Ailoca untangled her fingers from Silian, gliding to the crib to deposit her child once more. She adjusted the covers about him, brushed a very small puff of hair from his forehead and planted a kiss to his head. “Stay the asleep, yes? You will make mama the happiest.”

“You really were made for this...Ail. Are you sure there’s nothing else Zun and I can do for you? I can imagine how hard it is...especially with two boys.”

“You do much. I can never the repay you, dear.” Ailoca waved the suggestion away with a brisk whip of her hand. “I do not wish to ask for the more. I am okay. I do okay with my boys.” Ailoca’s teeth nibbled at her blood orange lip, sinking unpleasantly into her skin. Iron briefly coated her tongue, but with a quick and discreet swallow, the problem was concealed. “I think you should go the sleep, yes? You have work in morning.”

“You do look like you haven’t gotten an ounce of rest. Please could...could you just let us help you? Even for a little while? I can move Eili and Kili into our room and you can have a couple of hours to yourself. Or hell, we can move you over and I’ll sleep over night.”

“Silian do not be the silly.” Despite the humor in her tone, Ailoca’s eyes bore into Silian’s, sending a very clear and firm message. Leave. Sleep. Do not meddle at this time of day. It was Ailoca’s job, a position she had forced herself into, and according to Ailoca, it was her duty to ensure the safety and well-being of her children. “You deserve the sleep as much as I. I will be the okay.” Ailoca returned her hands to Silian’s, squeezing them tenderly and bringing them to her lips. Ailoca proceeded to stroke her thumb along Silian’s knuckles, eyes refusing to meet her friend’s. “I the love you, yes? But you must the know, I okay. I will the sleep now, okay?”

“ if you insist. Knock on the door if you need anything okay? You are loved you know.” A gentle hand cupped the back of Ailoca’s head, catching in her long tangles of hair before lowering her down for a ginger kiss on the forehead. Ailocas eyes drooped close, peace entering her for the first time in several days.

“I the know this. Thank you, Silian. You are the best of friend, yes?” Savoring the act of affection, Ailoca was hesitant to return to full height, her body stiff and drained as Silian released her.

“Believe me, I know.” Silian claimed cheekily, a proud and broad grin consuming her features. “Good dreams tonight, lovely. Remember it is okay to take care of yourself, especially in times like this.”

“I know.” Ailoca confirmed, eyes briefly scorching with exhaustion and the undertones of overwhelming grief. Keeping the floodgates closed for so long caused waves upon waves of nausea and consuming bitterness to eat away at her stomach and throat. Ailoca could never admit this shameful burden upon her head, rather keeping the storage space empty for more important figures in her life, such as the twins and Silian. Eleazar was still very much a part of her life, but the memory of him weighed upon her, as if she was carrying the weight of the world upon her shoulders and was unable to handle the crushing pressure alone. Her own shoulders ached and her hands often throbbed, the imaginary, crushing forced manifesting itself into the breakdown of her own nervous systems, corrupting it with stress and draining any hope from her body. But still, she smiled. Take care of herself. That was all they ever asked her. But it was never something she could do, for she did not control her own body, but it controlled her. “Have the good night, yes?” With a quick wave of her hands, Ailoca ushered Silian from the safety of her room, securing the door behind the scurrying woman. Ailoca rested her temple against the frame, counting her inhales and exhales as she forced her mind to simmer back into a state of peace.

This didn’t last long as a scorching sensation radiated against the back of her eyes, forcing pools of tears to bubble against her cheeks. She slammed her hands to her face, clawing down emotion as the turmoil boiled in her throat. She couldn’t wake her children. She couldn’t attract Silian. She couldn’t burden those around her in fear of disrupting the peace she had manifested. Peace around her surely meant peace entering her…

A strangled cry became muffled as she pressed her hand to her mouth, shoulders trembling as her muscles coiled unpleasantly. I did...I did not the realize stress could hurt...why does the grief hurt so much? It is enough yes? It is damn enough to know he is the gone. But now i feel my own body crumble. It is not fair...I want Elie...I want Elie… I WANT ELIE-

Help is coming.

“Angel?” She whispered, less than a whisper as she forcefully ensnared an inhale down her throat. “Angels of mine? Do not torment me so…”

Help is coming.

“Do not lie me. Do not…”

Help is coming…

“I should the sleep...damn you...damn…”

Help is here.


Little one? You have been quiet.” Ailoca’s eyes found themselves tracing the stars ahead, irises flickering wildly back and forth. Her tongue grew dry, and tiredly, she allowed her mouth to gape open, shakily sucking in a breath that had been evading her.

“You chose the wrong.” She finally murmured, reaching her hand for the gentle, steel blue finger that hung close by. It curled, ginger, tentative, ever calculating around her grasp. Love flooded her system, ease and peace once again soothing the coils and bundles of sorrow. “You could have chose the better.”

Believe me, little one, it may not seem it, but we know what we are doing. I couldn’t have asked for a different pilot. Nor would I want to.

“I am not the best of the pilots…” Ailoca admitted, a sheepish grin crawling on her lips. “I hope I do not the crash, yes?” know how to reassure a machine, don’t you?” Fulcrum rumbled, pressumably in a laugh, its grip upon Ailoca’s hand remaining gentle but attentive. “Your...your children are well cared for, yes? I know I have asked a lot of you, especially from what you have experienced. know what we have to do.

“They are the safe. I miss them.” She claimed, head hanging as her lips twisted into a minor grimace. “But this is for them, yes? I have the faith I will return.”

I will ensure this. No harm will come to you as long as I live. long as I function, Little One. I fully intend on returning you safe and sound. No hair upon your head touched.”

“I trust you, Angel.”


Oh, God, Ailoca forgot how easily she got motion sickness. She hadn’t been on an insane spaceship ride in years, and even in Fulcrum’s cautious journey to Neo Earth, Ailoca found herself somewhat wobbly on her feet. She would get used to this in time, surely, as she would become accustomed to her mech once more. It wouldn’t take long, she knew, as she had once only known space travel. At least...she had for a couple of years. Hobbling out of the main deck into the open view, Ailoca found her hand clamped over her throat as she counted the beats on her pulse.

Sweet. She was alive, and she hadn’t died and gone to a bizarre version of hell. “Oh, the goodness. I am the glad…” She knew that Fulcrum hadn’t meant her any discomfort as he had forcefully latched her into the cockpit, but goodness, she had been jostled…

“I am the glad we have the arrived…” She whispered to Fulcrum, hand upon his leg. Under her breath, as the remaining chosens fluttered into the arena, she began to pray that she would not join Eleazar anytime soon. Her sons needed her, and she damn well intended on returning to them soon. It wouldn’t be long...God, she hoped it wouldn’t be long...
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Childish Grumpino

"...before turning the gun on himself."
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With the walls of her cabin mirroring the outside hull cameras with near-perfect synchronisation, Junta Glenn looks as though she is floating amidst the void of space itself.

Nothing but a single chair, set into the middle of the floor, and a bottle for company.

The world on which it was originally designed might be long gone, the very sands it's predecessors were forged from lost to the march of time, but if there's one thing that never changes it's the shape and size of a whisky bottle. Junta can't help but smirk a little as she looks down at it, a squat little glass container positioned next to her feet for ease of lifting. So much lost, but that's the thing humans choose to keep. With a sigh, she twists the half-empty glass in one hand as her other moves on muscle memory to the array of dog-tags hanging from her neck.

With no lights on and the walls tuned to the outside cameras, her cabin is about as close to pitch black as it is possible to be. But she needs no light to manoeuvre her fingers across the tags, nor does she need to look down at them to tell which she holds. Their grooves and shapes are as familiar to her as the controls of a Valkyrie Strike Craft. Junta can purely through touch that the one she holds just now once belonged to Squire, that squat little Neo-Earth kid whose earnest grins and upbeat attitude perpetually screamed 'greener than fucking grass'. Always had a smile on his face, a joke to share.

Cultist barrage clipped the engines of his Valkyrie, during the opening exchanges of the Meridiem campaign. Whole craft went up like a firefly. Squire probably didn't even know what had happened before it was over.

Her fingers trail onwards, selecting the next tag at random. Dented and scraped, this could only be Birdwatcher's. Woman never could give a damn when it came to taking care of her gear, or herself for that matter. She was a hothead, a fighter ace in the making, more confirmed kills than many of the others combined. She liked to jostle, to challenge, but she listened when Junta spoke. It had taken a long time to win her trust, but once Junta had it, there was no questioning it.

Birdwatcher was one of the last to go. Stayed behind on the carrier Aquitaine as part of the rearguard action the Cultist marines that had boarded, even after Junta gave the order to evacuate. The first and only order she'd ever disobeyed. Junta can still hear the sounds of her dying over the commlink at night, if her mind steers her that way. And it does steer her that way. Too often.

Hence the whisky bottle.

Another sigh, and she releases the dog-tag array. Hoists up her now even emptier glass to eye level, peering in at the amber liquid. Drunk sleep was hardly restful sleep, but it sure as hell beat the alternative. Insomnia and night terrors, waking up in a cold sweat with the sheets trying to strangle her, screaming the names of people long dead. Dead and buried, like the cause they'd all fought for. Junta frowns and necks the rest of the glass, reaching down for the bottle.

Then it occurs again. The same slight pressure headache, that always precedes it. Junta groans, her hand slipping from the bottle awkwardly as she clutches at her skull.

"Help is coming..."

"Oh fuck off..." she groans in response, the headache already dissipating and rapidly being replaced with cold anger.

"Help is coming..."

Each time, it is incessant. Never saying much else, never letting her get the last word in. On numerous occasions Junta suspects it's a sign that she's losing whatever she had left of her mind. But ignoring it didn't work, and shouting back at least gives her some satisfaction.
"'Help is coming'? Really? Bit fuckin late now, isn't it? We needed help years ago! We needed help when the Shallow was burning in atmo, when they told us that the Eisenhower fleet had been intercepted, that no-one else was coming! We needed help when those bastards were picking us out the sky, one by one! That was when it was needed, when it would have made a difference! Where the fuck were you then?!"

Without meaning to, without so much as thinking about it, Junta finds herself hurling the glass in the approximate direction of the voice. It seems to float through vacuum for a moment then slams against the cabin wall, shattering into vicious little splinters and cracking the display. Syncronised imagery of space bleeds away into pale blue as the cabin starts trying to repair the damage. Junta is panting, hair tumbled down across her face, staring daggers at the invisible voice promising salvation. "You're too late. Whoever the hell you are, you're too late. Now fuck off, and leave me in peace."

- - -​


"This is a farce."

The concept of conversing entirely inside her own mind is one that Junta is still getting to grips with, and is made all the stranger by the... being she converses with, but as a means of communication she has to admit it's convenient at points. And the prospect of having something to do as they all stand to attention on the dias has a certain appeal as well, even if it's something she can picture her old drill sergeant chewing her out for. This is hardly the most conventional military assembly, after all. Hell, Junta is one of the few actually standing to attention.

"I do not follow."
"Sure you do, tin can."
"I am not made of tin. As I explained before, my frame is a highly advanced composit--" Junta has to stop herself rolling her eyes.
"It's a nickname, Artificer. Cool your jets."
"I would inform you that my jets are perfectly cool, but you would probably just shout at me again."
"You catch on quick."
"Not quick enough. I fail to see how this is a 'farce', as you put it."

Junta twists her head slightly towards the woman standing in the centre of the dias, just enough for the vast robotic frame behind her to catch.
"My first flight wing leader, back in the day? He had a saying. 'Don't trust the brass, and especially don't trust the ones singing pretty songs about victory'."
"A rather cynical observation, by my estimation."
"Perhaps, but he had a point then and he still does now. Noble leader over there seems to think she can pitch up with some big robots and everyone's gonna fall in line behind her." She can't help it, a brief smirk flickers across her face. "You just watch, tin can. We've been losing longer than most people can remember. You think she's the first person to stand there and proclaim that the turning point's come?"

The smirk drops, Junta's face icy again. "Girl's gonna have to do better than that, if she wants to win them over."
"Actions, not words."
"Fuckin precisely, big guy. Fuckin precisely."

Elle Joyner

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- NEO-EARTH 3280 -

Following her speech, the princess stepped back from the podium to the tepid applause of the admittedly cynical crowd. Her eyes shifted up to the masked man beside her, and she muttered something, before her attention turned entirely to the mech pilots on the dais stage.

“I know you have questions, and I owe you quite a few explanations… Please. If you would follow me, I will explain everything.” Folds of white silk billowed as she shifted in the wake of a pair of guides towards the massive structure a few yards beyond the dais. The council senate was a stunning building, spherical in shape, and built nearly entirely of glass. At her apex, the ceiling sloped inwards, creating a bowl within which the senate arena was comprised - thousands of balconies, each possessing enough chairs for the delegates to sit. In the center, a single platform resided for the Speaker and his team. Below the senate theater, the building opened up into ornate offices, and a large interior sanctum where private delegation meetings were held. The entire sanctum was comprises of alabaster and jade, columns aligning with the cavernous ceiling overhead. It was here that Ollendria and the pilots were led.

When the guides had removes themselves, Ollendria turned to the others and with a breath, she folded her hands together at her waist, “I realize it would be presumptuous to thank you for coming. I admit I fully understand you haven’t been given much of a choice, and for that, I apologize, deeply. I’m afraid that there wasn’t enough time… there simply never is. Even now, there is only so much… But I find it best to start at the beginning.

Casin'dol was a galaxy that existed before the rise of the Thral-dax Armada. Most of you, I’m sure are familiar with the history of Thral-dax, but for those who are not, he was a self-avowed visionary from a planet within the Casin’dol system. Several hundred years ago, he staged a coup against my father - Casin’dol’s king. We were unprepared, and the Armada was able to overthrow many territories… before help came. When Thral-dax was at its tyrannical height, my father called upon the guardians of Casin'dol, the creatures you now pilot. Called the Lightbearers, they are sworn to protect the ruler of their realm. Using these magnificent creations, my father and his armies drove back Thral-dax and his warriors, but at great cost. Casin'dol and many of its people would not survive the devastation caused by the war.

Fearing for my safety and the future of the Lightbearers, my father had me placed in a cryogenic pod and had his trusted advisers carry the pod to safety outside of the Casin'dol system. When Casin'dol fell, my existence too fell into oblivion.

Until a few days ago, when I woke on the Winter planet, Binx. It was designed that my pod should open when, and only when, the signature of the Lightbearer’s call resonated throughout the galaxy. For while they can exist on their own, due to their bond with Casin’dol’s ruling family, the Lightbearers require a royal decree. A declaration from the royal lineage, in order to engage enemy forces. It was designed so the mechs could not attack Casion’dol’s people on their own, though we imagine this notion was unnecessary, as it seems out of their nature to harm the innocent.

But I digress…

My waking meant that they, too, had risen… and if that is the case then there is still much hope for this galaxy. I realize that just north of a dozen mechanical warriors hardly seems like turning the tide against this Cult… but you would be surprised. I cannot ask that you stay… I understand some of you are here against your natural intentions or even against your will. But if you were chosen, that means your Lightbearer has seen something within you… some indication of greatness that matches their own. They are not tools… and they not animals to be tamed. They live and breath and function of their own will, bound to my family only by choice. Know then, that to be selected as a Champion is no small thing. I can only pray that you see just how vital a role it is you play in this battle.

My galaxy is little more than stardust, now… My home is gone. Yours doesn’t have to be.

I implore you… stand with me. With us. If not for the good of your galaxy… then for your own sake. The Cult is not invulnerable, but we stand a stronger chance of defeating them if we remain--”

A crack resounded throughout the room, and falling silent, Ollendria’s eyes danced to the door, where a figure appeared, “Your majesty! Please, forgive my intrusion! The atmospheric radars… They’ve picked something up. Something… big. Looks to be--”

"...They know..." A seconds sound resonated overhead, and with the sound of glass shattering, the building rattled on its foundation. Eyes widening, Ollendria spun on the pilots, “To your mechs! Quickly! We are under attack!”

TAGS | Mobley Eats Mobley Eats , Red Thunder Red Thunder , Doctor Jax Doctor Jax , KatSea KatSea , The Wanderer The Wanderer , Chile Chile , Childish Grumpino Childish Grumpino , happydeath happydeath , DarinValore DarinValore , WingWong WingWong

Mobley Eats

Consume. Smother your doubts. Be fulfilled.
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Pyche | Location: Council Senate ==> Bellwether | Interactions: Nope

Pyche watched each Lighbearer appear one by one, each neither failing nor succeeding to meet her expectations. As of now, she could only come up with a single conclusion: She didn't care.

Well, that was a lie. Two conclusions, the second being that one of them she definitely remembered. Why in the bloody cosmic gods was she here? Her? A pilot for these oversized philosophical weapons? Pyche prided herself for having an impeccable memory and as far as her recollections were concerned, this woman came with a... motherly touch, so to speak. She assumed that's what a motherly touch was. Point was, Pyche didn't know how to feel about her presence...

Good thing her feelings didn't matter. Just a waste.

The third conclusion: Some man asked if their Mech was broken. Slowly, Pyche raised her hand. "Yes." However, whatever confirmation she was looking for, it was usurped by a couple of loud idiots babbling over... jackets? Apparently so. That, and this Ollendria woman was guiding them inside the Council Senate building...

Fine. She was address Bellwether's maintenance at a more suitable time.

Blandly, she followed, keeping minimal distance from everyone but keeping a specific member within her line of vision. For reasons. She just couldn't put them into words nor felt the need to. Pyche studied her surroundings per usual, trying to memorize the path the taken inside until reaching the interior sanctum, and placed herself more towards the back of the group, though she soaked in Ollendria's every word. Casin'dol... She'd heard of it, for sure. Her old mentors boasted around the destruction of aforementioned galaxy, as if they had a hand in its demise, when they were nothing more than pawns of Kalazar. Just like she was... Gods, did she ever emit such a self important aura?

...No. Of course. That equated to emotions and she lived by a single golden rule: Emotions equate to Weakness.

And as it so turned out, Bellwether was one of these supposed "Galactic Guardians"... Please no. If this conversation was leading in the direction Pyche dreaded, then she accurately predicted an endless line of migraines in her near future. But, looking at the big picture, she could afford to suffer an eternity in Hell if it meant getting back what was hers. Thus, Pyche had tuned out the rest of Ollendria's flowery spiel, having a hunch that it was nothing more than desperately fabricated fluff. The true badge of an inexperienced visionary of a monarch--

A monstrous crack, one so violent that Pyche's eyes widened by a fraction of a centimeter and her breath stuttered by a much smaller amount. Some server called warning to a hostile approaching, a large one, and Pyche found herself sprinting out of the building long before Ollendria's order resounded.

Like hell she would rely on the others.

Bursting out of the building, Pyche whipped out her Token. "Bellwether."

The Mech's voice instantly rang out. "My, my; I've never heard you address me with such haste before--"

"No time for your babbling. Open. There's something..."

"I know. I'm not blind. Get in." In quick succession, bay doors peeled open and the lift transported her straight to head control. Buckling herself in, Pyche curled reached out for the thrusters--


Metallic plates parted and the controls sunk inside before she could grab them, slamming shut immediately after. Pyche's jaw clenched. "Explain yourself."

"We cannot act without addressing your teammates about a plan--"

"Perhaps you are broken."

"Then I suppose we have one more thing in common, hm?" Cold ire coated Pyche's eyes, but she refused to respond. Again, a pink light filled the cabin. "One cannot jump into the throes of combat with a muddled mind, Pyche. Besides, your objective lies elsewhere."

Another rumble from the attack.

"And that is?"

"Protecting your teammates. Including your companion."

Dear Lord... Pyche was about to be sick. With a growl, she harshly slapped the barrier between her and controls, before forcing her momentary outburst aside with a sigh. She smoothed back her hair. "The longer we wait, the more likely we are to die."

"Then I suppose now is a wonderful time for you to learn the concept of faith."

Doctor Jax

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Like the obedient little dog she was, the ex-soldier followed as soon as it was clear that the lady of the house had finished. With only a bit of trepidation she began to walk, eyes scanning the rainbow flight - newbies. Civvies. Shiny. That was what they used to call the fresh recruits, because they always showed up in the clothes they'd enlisted in, making up a whole array of colors, rather than the typical black and red. She shook the jitters out of one hand, the other needing no such coping mechanisms. It was still taking getting used to, even after a whole year.

Speaking of which, she recognized at least one person in the whole band - Kai. Her prosthetics' doctor. Weird guy, yeah, real quiet, to the point. She didn't mind. He at least didn't tell her to shut up when she started talking poker or about deep sea fishing. Small galaxy. She could have laughed at that. Now the question was, what was he doing here? In fact - what was she doing here? Neither of them were warriors. Not even close.

Not anymore, at least, in her case.

It takes all kinds to win a war. You remember, don't you?

She scratched the diacritical marks on her face, a surgical key to facial recognition Friend-Or-Foe entry points. Felt like ages ago she had these done. Whole team of surgeons was needed. Their masks had grafted to them, providing other data to the Homebase as well as forming a seal. Without those surgeons, that wouldn't have been possible. Without Kai she'd still be just another double amputee on Beck's Reef.

Yeah, kind of. Sometimes. Maybe.

Her inDex buzzed, and she glanced at its surface.

everything going ok there?

She grinned at the message. He was always worrying.

doin' fine, babe. gettin' orders now.

Into the Senate building. Good God, this place was... something. She had never been here before, despite her service. She'd be lying if she said she wasn't a bit starstruck. And then, they were getting their marching orders. Ollendria... A princess fugitive, coming in with these mechs. Green. No military experience herself. Kiki tried to hide her disappointment. That was.... That wasn't good. They needed another fighter to lead them. How could they expect to fight the Cult? Especially when Casin'Dol obviously wasn't here anymore. The last time these guys were yanked into shape, their whole galaxy got the shaft.

Don't think we don't know that. Consider it a lesson well-learned.

And then, just like that, the war was back on their doorstep with a massive crack in the air. A sudden, hard sound in the air that set her hair on end. A curse left Kiki's lips as she stared up at the sky, rooted to the spot. White, molten metal filled her veins. Her heart raced in her ears. She could hear nothing else.

War. It's here.

Once upon a time, she would have run to that mech and whooped a cry of delight. She would have sprinted at the chance of danger.

Instead, she found herself ducking into an alcove, hyperventilating. She had no idea how she'd got there, but she had pressed herself into the space as tightly as she could, sucking down air and putting her hands over her ears. She was doubled over, eyes wide as she tried to form coherent thoughts. She just wasn't prepared. She wasn't prepared. She didn't sign up for this.

"No.... no, no, no, no, no," she muttered under her breath. The fear had grabbed hold of her by the belly, twisting her guts into knots. Her skin perspired, every nerve on fire telling her, GET AWAY, GET OUT, LEAVE, FIND SHELTER, GET OUT. GET OUT. GET OUT.

Kiki! Kiki, they are headed here! Hurry up and come to me--


Mobley Eats

Consume. Smother your doubts. Be fulfilled.
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Tinka | Interactions: Connor The Wanderer The Wanderer , Kiki Doctor Jax Doctor Jax & Ollendria Elle Joyner Elle Joyner

Tinka beamed wide and triumphant as he watched Connor don the jacket. Ha! A perfect fit! Just like he anticipated; he might've been visually impaired in one eye, but his other one was damn good. And glowy. Yeah... that always charmed the ladies. Made him look all edgy and everyone knew that handsome edgelords in every cinematic story got the girl. Those little grunts and "Hmf"s that stood in the place of actual words whenever they replied to someone, then slowly looked off into the distance, trapped in "deep thought". Then he lady just swoons because there was something so mysterious and magnetic about him, that undeniable urge to know more.

Yeah--that was Tinka to a tee. Obviously.

Oh, whoops. That internal monologue made him lose hold of reality for a bit. He was talking to his Corkscrew buddies, right. Smile still as strong as ever, he gave Connor a hardy slap to the back and said, "Nah, just bought them for a heavy price, but hey," a shrug, "I figured it was more than worth it. Now we can be official!" He slipped on his own jacket. It was a tad bulky draped over his thin hood, but there was a certain style to the look. A flare. He just leveled up on the Edgelord scale--fuck yeah! However, at Connor's mentioning of losing an engine, his expression twisted between indifference and shock. "Err... Your Mech stole the engine? Dude! That's like kidnapping a baby for them! Kinda jacked up." Despite his words, they were definitely a joke and he snickered at the thought. "Either way, don't worry about the engine man."

Once he gave the third jacket to Tiny Titan (hot damn, the whole crew were Pilots--the odds were insane!), he followed the others into the Senate Council. He let loose a long whistle while appreciating the view. The tasteful architecture. This building just screamed class, even as he left behind a faded trail of dirty boot prints along the tiles.

Whoops... He would just, uh, pretend that wasn't there. What dirty bum? Not him. He was too handsome for that.

They eventually reached some sort of fancy shmancy conference room and although Tinka had every intention of listening to the beautiful woman (Ollendria, right? Yep. Aka, Powdered Sugar. Why that name, you ask? Well, it was simple really. She was a goddamn snack, ladies and gents.), but his attention span barely existed to begin with. If he wasn't focused on mechanics or locked onto a target with the onset of an adrenaline rush, life fluttered past him at lightning speed and suddenly he would wake up in the middle of a desert with his pants missing, half his head shaven off, and in possession of someone's rocket-powered prosthetic butt.

...Just an image off the top of his head, really. Not based on real life at all.

He managed to tune in at the mention of Casin'dol. Oh, wow--really? That was... damn sad. Now Powdered Sugar just turned into a tragic snack, which pulled the tiniest hint of a frown at his lips. "Jeez, that's rough, Powder. Sorry..." he muttered, not terribly intending to speak loud enough for Ollendria to hear. He folded his arms in contemplation. Galactic Guardians. That was a damn cool title, but he couldn't overlook the doubt that came with it. Sounded damn fun.

And dangerous.

But fun!

...A-and potentially harmful.

...but fun?

Shit. His brain felt like a merry go around hyped up on drugs. Gah! All these nerves didn't look attractive on him! He was supposed to be the big buff badass that everyone saw and knew him as, not some overthinking wimp! Literally shaking off the anxiety, he puffed himself up and jabbed a thumb into his chest, "No problem, Powder! You need Space Heroes? We're the ones for the job! Also," he winked with his good eye, "You ever need a Space Daddy, just ask. I don't bite." Ah yes, he had a feeling that he getting off to a great start with everyone--

A thunderous crack.

Oh. Fuck. That!

His body reacted before his mind could, and he immediately jumped into action.

And screamed. "FUUUUUUCK OH MY GOD OH MY GOD WE'RE GONNA DIE GUYS I'M TOO YOUNG HOLY SHIT!!" He squeezed himself into the very back of the group while peeping over their shoulders... which was overkill considering his generous height, so there was some crouching involved. Listen, if he was gonna be a pansy, he intended to fulfill the role properly. He shuffled about in one spot, struggling to gather his wits and figure out what in the hell he was supposed to do. "Uh! Uh! Uh! Um! UHHHH--POWDER WHAT DO WE DO I'M LOSING MY SHIT HERE!" Tinka easily would've screeched for years (or until the threat vaporized him, whichever came first), but then he saw another fellow Pilot crumble into a terrified heap. Hers was... far more genuine and pained than his childish outburst.

Her fear was so palpable that he could choke on it. And he did... or was the ball lodging into his throat for a different reason? No, a combination of both, for sure. He cautiously approached the woman's hiding spot on wobbly legs, but made sure to keep distance. Not for his safety, but hers. Crowding around her was the last thing his fellow Pilot needed. "Uh... Hey? Hey, Tinka here. L-listen, just focus on your breathing, yeah?" He was uncertain how to handle this; they'd just met, for Christ's sake. "What... Tell me what you need. Tell me whatever you want. Nothing matters out there, we're just right here. So... um, yeah." He briefly glanced back at the others, a sign of plea for help in his eyes, before focusing on the woman again.

Don't you panic Tinka don't you panic Tinka don't you panic Tinka!
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Elle Joyner

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During the whole of the white haired woman's speech, one thought stood out above all others. It had been centuries since the Armada fell, since Casin'dol succumbed as well. This woman had been frozen for generations... And it was all the more likely that she was, by now, the last full fledged member of her galaxy. That loneliness. That isolation. It had to be unbearable. And yet she seemed to carry herself with a confidence and grace that Nef had rarely witnessed anywhere else.

But she was no warrior. Most of these poor sods were green as the planet turf... Thrust into a war they had no business being in. There were a few among the crowd, and one in particular that Nef recognized all too well... But the majority? They were cannon fodder... And she half wondered if the Mechs weren't playing a giant cosmic joke on all of them.

"Incoming, Little Girl..." A voice echoed in her mind and swearing, unaccustomed still to the rattling drawl of her own Lightbearer, she canted her head up in time to see the explosion overhead, the building rocking with the force. She'd already started moving, even before they were ordered back to their mechs, when she noticed the shrieking man pausing beside another figure, hunched helplessly in whatever crack she could find.

...How the mighty fall...

Shifting her stride, she approached the pair, a palm clapping down on the man's shoulder, "Better get a move on, Space Daddy. I got this..." There was an energy to the words... Someone who had been there...

Without waiting to see if he left or not, she crouched down next to the woman, "Worst part is, you never know when it'll come. Deep breaths... In through the nose, out the mouth. Your name's Kiki, right? You probably don't remember me... Pulled my ass out of a prison camp back on Tarnigarth, few years back." Eyes drifting to the woman's hands, a brow rose, "Hard times don't discriminate, do they. Trouble is, nice as it'd be to huddle here... Wait till it passes, looks like we're the first line right now. Got a whole mess of folks out there, gonna need some heroes. Way I remember it, you were a pretty damn big one. Think you can shake this? Join me up there and kick some space trash to the curb?"

Mobley Eats Mobley Eats , Doctor Jax Doctor Jax

The Wanderer

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The reunion of the Corkscrews was sadly ruined by the incoming enemy force as mentioned by the head honcho lady that urged them to get into their mechs. A notion Connor didn't need to be told twice.

Activating his jetpack, Connor zipped off towards Preacher, slowing down so he didn't slam into the interior of the mech's head as he inserted the dog tags and sitting down as the seat belts secured him. "Ever been in a fight before?" Preacher asked Connor.

"Aye, several times but they were bar brawls or someone coming to fook with the Corkscrews at the shop."

"So not a fight fight? Where someone is trying to kill you and you fought back with weapons?"

"I've fought with weapons, either during training before I lost me arm, or during a nasty brawl." Connor would say before asking. "So what weapons you got?"

"These." Preacher would reply as the mech moved to pull out the two blades it had on it's back.

"I'd prefer guns, but I'm gonna trust your selection of weaponry." This worried Connor a bit as the enemy probably had guns, and he had to make due with what was essentially giant shivs.

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Red Thunder

A Warrior in a Garden
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Not Really The Fighting Type...

×Neo Earth / Council Senate / the Delegation Hall×


Speeches. Promises. Pontifications. Empty words.

In lieu of subjecting his patience to attempting to filter whatever truth there was to Ollendria's words, Rii'Chii examined his apparent teammates. Some were obviously war veterans, if posture bearing meant anything. Others were mechanics or similar, with the hard demeanor of a life chiseled from the stone block they were granted. Only two seemed in any fashion to be of a business background to his eye.

And, of course, they were from Kalazar.

For all the reserved demeanor his upbringing and years of training in the professional environment of trade had provided him, he couldn't pull his gaze away; it was all he could do to not glare or sneer as his eyes shifted from the Drackspar to the Vela and back again. This creatures from Kalazar, home of the Cult of Invariance, which had thrown his own people violently into diaspora, necessitating the nigh impossible task of rebuilding ties and connections back to the other peoples of the galaxy, were now standing in their midst, presumably having been brought there by a Lightbringer. Save the galaxy? Those two would be more like to ensure its destruction.

He held them in a suspicious gaze even as they moved to the Delegation Hall, and he all but ignored Ollendria as she provided some rather illuminating perspective on the affair in which they had all found themselves. Only the new but rapidly frustrating pressure on his mind from Brawler began to break the spell of hatred he was locked in, and only the threat to the building's integrity succeeded in it.

Come back! It's time.

Glass shattered, chips of increasing size fell from the ceiling and the walls, and Rii'Chii dove for cover beneath a nearby table. He felt his heart drop to his stomach, which in turn began to spin as though it would disgorge anything unfortunate enough to be there, and onto anything unfortunate enough to be in the way. Ollendria was clearly giving the command to mount up, to seek their Lightbringers, but the Och'Nari had thus far avoided the actual war, merely dealing with its results at home. Now that it had come to him, his legs and his brain refused to obey. Nor, it seemed, was he the only one. Some distance away, he could just make out the form of a woman cowering, with another individual seeming to try to give encouragement. She needed it, it looked. She needed to be uplifted. She needed to be reminded of her strength. She needed an advocate.

What are you on about? came Brawler's impatient inquiry.

"Business," was Rii'Chii's timid reply, but he stood nevertheless. His voice rose, and he shouted to no one in particular. "Defend your families! Defend your friends."

Legs finally moving, he made his way back up and out, practically crawling through fallen debris and a terrified crowd, before securing himself in Brawler's cockpit once more. To orbs, one at the end of each arm of his seat, flashed suddenly from the soft green to an angry, vengeful red. Grimacing, Rii'Chii hesitantly placed a hand on each control.

"Now, we need our full strength, I'd guess, so we'll have to wait." He scanned the exterior through the display, looking for signs that the others were making for their own mechs. "Ollendria will probably be our point of focus, so we should find-"

Paralysis by analysis, Brawler retorted. Lifting each of its massive hands into view, it thrust its hands back to be perpendicular to its wrists. To enormous cannons shaped like pistols from Earth That Was ejected from just below the wrists, and Brawler grabbed each in turn. He who hesitates is lost. We fight; I am not called 'Brawler' for nothing.

Rii'Chii's desperate protestations were lost amid the roar of the Lightbringer's engines. And suddenly, they were in the sky.

TAGS || @E-VRY-ONE \\ code stolen wholesale from Elle Joyner

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Broken But Never Forgotten
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Neo-Earth | Council Senate -- Courtyard Dias |

Listening to the speech throughout the entire time, Vrax could barely so much as pay attention to any of the words that were spoken with the large crowd of people all around not to mention the idea of working with another team risked the idea of failing them.
His mind wandered aimlessly while his gaze shifted between the many oversized mechanized suits that were around them, each of them differed in detail so did that also mean they differed in personalities.

It wasn't until the pilots were called forth about them having many questions that Vrax had snapped out of his trance-like state and brought his attention upon the woman who was giving the speech the whole while. Requesting that the group follow her with the assistance of the guides, Vrax was hesistant at the idea of following someone he just met into a building that appeared to be made of almost all glass. Rather than walk away from the situation, he simply followed while keeping himself in the middle of the group.

Neo-Earth | Council Senate -- Interior |

Following the guides without so much as a word the entire time, his eyes never left the back of the strangers that the group was following. Even if these people were supposed to be trusted, Vrax had spent enough time in the Resistance to know that anyone could double cross you at any point and the fact that the giant suit practically strapped him to the seat and forced Vrax here was enough reason for him to have his suspicions about these people.
Eventually, as the pilots reached the room that they were led to; once the guides had left the area his attention landed upon the woman before him known as Ollendria as she explained into further detail about everything that was going on and why the pilots' were chosen along with what they were supposed to do.

"Are you telling me...all of us are supposed to take on an entire Cult that is practically like an army? If you haven't noticed, there isn't exactly alot of us here and we're stupidly outnumbered.."

Speaking up after the idea that the mechanized suits were considered 'guardians' as well as how the woman stated that her father had called upon them in the past.

"If what you're saying is true...these 'Lightbearers' of yours sound like they are ancient. How can you be so confident that they will live up to their same capabilities as they once did in the past? For God's sake...I feel as though they could possibly breakdown at any point if they are as old as you're making them seem."

Just as Vrax spoke his mind, the rumbling of the ground and soon the building itself had him begin turning his head from one side to the other in confusion.
Seconds passed as a random person entered the room about something large was coming before the sounds of glass shattering above their heads had him rush over to find any sort of cover from the sharp glass falling from above their heads. As the woman called forth the pilots to return to their mechs, Vrax turned to the others to see how some were almost too shaken to stand let alone move and the sounds of innocents screaming outside could be already heard.
The sounds of war were already far too familiar to Vrax though it was not something he wanted to hear after so long. He left the Resistance partially because of these sounds; quickly reaching up to hold the side of his head as the screams never ceased, all he could do was remember the sounds of explosions and more screams.

'Vrax!...It is time. Choose.'

The deep booming voice that of Deadeye quickly snapped the male out of his thoughts as he attempted to steady his breathing as best as he could. As quickly as he could, he rushed outside the building only to find his mech kneeling before the entrance with a palm held out to him. Only nodding at the sight of this, Vrax helped himself into the cockpit of the suit before inserting the token into it's respective location and finally taking his seat.
Gripping the controls as firmly as he could; Deadeye extended a large blade from it's right wrist before finally looking up towards the sky to begin rushing in the direction of where the enemies were arriving from.

"You are shaking. Relax. We will be okay."

"It's not me I'm worried about...this place. There are so many people, it's going to be a bloodbath.."

"This is war--...Do not worry. We will protect them."

Originally attempting to give Vrax yet another lecture about the fact that war had causalities, even Deadeye knew from the sound of his pilot's voice that he knew this already and simply attempted to comfort him so that he was not shaking as bad and could focus on the situation at hand.


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Doctor Jax

Lord of the Mice
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It took her several seconds into her panic attack to realize that someone - a tall someone - had approached her and was trying to get her attention about something. Her eyes darted up to see someone with a glowing yellow eye - someone's been in contact with that grisgris or whatever it is - doing his best to calm her down. That seemed to snap her mind back into something like focus, having someone tell her what to do. After all - she was a soldier. Someone gave her an order, she followed it, best she could.

She sucked in air like she'd been taught, Xemba's voice coming back to her - in through the nose, out through the mouth, in through the nose, out through the mouth. Go slow, counts of four, keeping doing it so her heart would quit. It was a feedback loop, her heart was pounding, and her brain thought that meant danger - and because that meant danger, it was keeping her heart pounding, her lungs aching for more air to feed the machine.

"I'm s-sorry, just --"

She swallowed, looking up at the kid. God, and he was a kid. Wasn't this the guy who'd told a literal princess to call him Space Daddy? This day was only getting weirder by the second. To think she'd be the one needing her hand held.

"---it's been a long time," she finally gasped out. "Like a minute. Minute and a half."

Two years, really. An eternity, in some respects. Phantom limbs panged, itched, unwilling to be placated with no physical form to comfort. She swallowed.

"Go on and get out of here, kid, I'll be fine. Just need a breather, see? Combat induced asthma. Real kick in the teeth," she said, putting on a brave smile, despite the fact she was leaning over and huffing like she'd run a full marathon. Someone else came behind, a woman with a semi-familiar face. Wearily, she looked up at her as the other fighter knelt beside her. As she spoke, her eyes flickered over the woman's face, trying to place her. Tarnigarth...

"Heh... yeah, I... I remember. FUBAR from the start. Ended up crawling through the sewage pipe. Beautiful."

Embarrassing. So she could see just how far down she'd crashed. Pathetic.

Use it as drive. Use it as fuel.

There was a call to arms, Kiki looking past Nef as an Och'Nari in a business suit ran past. She swallowed again, her heart finally slowing. If he could do it...

"Think you can shake this? Join me up there and kick some space trash to the curb?" the other soldier asked.

You can still be that person.

The air seemed to hang. Watershed moment. Decision time.

She stood up straight, cracking her neck as she shook out the jitters. Use it as fuel. Use it as fuel. Take that hate - frustration - anger - and turn it into action.

"Yeah... I think I can go ahead and raze some Hell," Kiyoko stated resolutely, squaring her shoulders. She looked Nef in the eyes, clapping a hand on her shoulder. "No time to waste, either."

None at all. Get moving.

Way ahead of you, BUFF.

Finally, without waiting on a response, she walked around Nef and started at a walk. And then to jog. And that jog fell into a sprint. Out into the air to Vindicator, into a waiting hand with a seat already in it. She slammed into it, as the seat traveled up a channel in the giant's arm, sliding into place in the cockpit.

"Alright, buddy, how do I drive this thing?" she asked in a matter-of-fact tone. The seat stood her up, before falling back into an alcove, leaving her standing on a moving dais.

HUD interface through a neural net already built into your diacriticals. Jacking you in now. They'll register your movements and feedback info on your surroundings. Hang on to your butts, this is gonna get weird.

A whole array opened up inside her vision, electro-organic tendrils connecting to the ports in her face, before drifting over the back of her head in a ponytail to trail to the floor. Immediately, her perspective changed, from being inside the cockpit to being a three-hundred-and-fifty foot tall behemoth. She took a startled breath, the distinct feeling of disorientation nearly sending her into another panic attack. Kallum's balls, this must be what Alice in Wonderland feels like. Everything looked horrifyingly tiny and fragile.

But there was no time to dwell on that now. Even though her heart was still beating at a cool 110 a minute on the HUD, blood pressure high, adrenaline oversaturated, it didn't matter. Now.... what was it that she was gonna have to kill out there?

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Skittish Beaver
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Ailoca could not pay attention. Her mind and eyes wandered from stranger to stranger, refusing to find solace within the words spoken to her. The woman with the white hair. Wise. Graceful and contained. Ailoca doubted the woman felt the never ending urge to claw her fingernails into her thighs, leaving darkened patches in their wake. She doubted with her confidence that the thoughts that buzzed behind her eyes were filled with nonsense and noise. No. They were constructed and rehearsed. Ailoca knew this, knew this grace long before Elie and her children. She knew the precautions and the stature one must uphold to appear proper and serene. Held together and strong. But now these features were forgotten to the woman, and tiredness replaced any sense of humor. She did not have to uphold her smile, SIlian was not present, but she found itself crawling to her features on the occasion. She refused to appear nervous, despite the light tremble that ran through her body. She did not have to be strong in this moment, but she did need to appear...well...Present. She subconsciously raked her hands against her horns, knowing in particular that she wouldn't be the...most friendly face to look at. She recognized another from her home planet, the species, at the very least, and could feel sympathy for what she may have been thinking.

Hold high. Devils may have the horns yes? But Elie said I had the wings too, yes? The devils do not have those. He said it was just an invert halo. I the believe him. The white of woman seems to have the wings. And the halo. She is the pure, yes? I can sense the hurt. It is okay, the beautiful. we will the fix your problem. I do not know the how, but we will.

Her shoulders slumped. Fulcrum remained firm behind her, his searching eyes evident to her as she shyly offered a hand to him. She was nothing compared to him in size, a mere dust bite to a warrior, but she still found that the tip of his metallic finger skimmed along her palm. She exhaled slowly. He had been the right. He was going to get her home to her children in no time. But for now, she promised to fulfill her role. She did not feel fully faithful to the idea, but she knew of responsibility. Besides. Elie would want her to do what was right, and she refused to let him down in this regard. Even if it meant having to bite back her defenses due to her curled horns, or if it meant risking the collapse of her heart (from fear, of course. Grief had already done the first part of it's job.)

"Little one." Fulcrum's urgency broke through the fog of Ailoca's mind. The glossiness that once coated her eyes hardened. A cry from beside her nearly took her from her duties, wanting to help the poor woman from her sudden fall. No, no. She is surrounded. She would not be the happy to see me. I need to help the Fulcrum.

"Get me the up! I am the ready, yes?!"

"Little one have you ever flown an aircraft?" Fulcrum boomed as he offered his hand to her, allowing her to climb aboard before delivering her to the cockpit, where she climbed inside and squinted. Theoretically, she did fly before. But in this hypothetical, it had been Elie's hands clasped over her's. She peered at all the controls, switches, and variety of gears and levers that she had no clue what they did. She buckled in, gingerly running her fingertips along Fulcrum's control system.

"I can the try! New of times for the everything, yes?"

"Pray before we get there, little one." With that, Fulcrum shot into the air, leaving Ailoca bouncing in her seat and breathless from the launch. I do not think I will the get used to this, in and out...Woo, the remember, birthing is much more difficult. Than being in a living ship of space. Going to the fight of an unknown thing. This is the okay. I will be the okay. I wonder if fulcrum has the wood of knocking here...
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