Silver Fallen Angel (Open)

MKR

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Aug 19, 2018
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#1
OE 102
January 24th
Location: Belfast remains, Ireland


She had to admit, there was some slight anxiety that couldn't be avoided. For one not coming to the Air Christmas would've been desertion which well, wasn't exactly on Johanna's to do list but Belfast as a whole simply made her uncomfortable.
While mentally readying herself to step into the iron guts of the Air Christmas her phone vibrated with a notification, quickly flipping it open she read the reminder to bring in the borrowed unit, made somewhat obsolete by the fact that she'd already done so but still handy to have.

She pushed the notification away, and closed her phone and stepped forwards. As she walked into the Directory ship she wondered how many of Upsilon's members had remained behind and how many had taken the opportunity for vacation. Though delving on that could wait until she had dropped off her bags.
Navigating through the steel corridors she found her room unlocking it with her key and putting the travel bag on her bed for the time being opting to clean its contents up later. As she turned to leave the mask on the table drew her attention.
She picked it up and looked it over for a moment, cleaning the dust on it with her palm which while not exactly perfectly cleaning it at least made the Weissritter's colors on it clear. Johanna put it back on the table before heading out of the door.

She locked her room again and pocketed the key, her hands went into her pockets and she began wandering the ship. Curious to see who was all here and who had left, let alone what they were doing during the repairs.
 
Aug 4, 2018
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Somewhere in the UK
#2
"Excuse me."

A somewhat older blond woman would politely interrupt Johanna as she walked the ship, placing herself to block her path for now without seeming too intrusive. While she was wearing a military uniform, it wasn't one Johanna would recognise. All insignia - and a rather out of place name badge - would mark 'Katri Kokkonen' as working for the Dimensional Energy Institute.

"Sorry for interrupting, but I need directions to the bridge. My.. Captain sent me with a personal message to Director Lao and Brigadier-General Roberts."

Katri pronounced the word 'Captain' as if there was something wrong with it... or to be more precise, with the person who insisted on calling himself by it.
 

MKR

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Aug 19, 2018
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#3
The Belgian paused her pace and looked at the other blonde barring her path, or more specifically her name tag. A member of the DEI, the creators of the Riot Cs if she recalled correctly.
At least that explained the ruckus. As she thought about this Johanna's gaze shifted from the name tag to the woman herself, her attention brought to the peculiar uniform and choice of tone when speaking about her superior.

"No problem." She replied to the initial statement with a friendly tone. "And I'll gladly guide you to the bridge."

"Ensign Johanna Van Den Berg, Taskforce Upsilon." She introduced herself with a salute. It was either herself or the C-types, and she had nothing better to do and a healthy dose of curiosity about the sudden arrival.

"Please follow me." She directed the other woman as she headed back the way she came, after a moment she spoke up again.
"Actually if you do not mind me asking, there was a bit of a commotion a few minutes ago, was that your doing?"
 
Aug 4, 2018
190
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16
Somewhere in the UK
#4
"Katri Kokkonen, DEI."

Katri didn't bother saluting back. While the more violent arms of DEI did use a military style, discipline was not as strictly enforced. Then again, they didn't strictly enforce anything.

Perhaps because any attempt at enforcing ethical standards would have dropped their share price into the gutter.

"It was probably us, yes. Doctor - Captain Couch decided he wanted to test the maximum re-entry speed, and refused to allow any braking until it was required to avoid crashing. I hate to think what it looked like from down here."

She quickly corrected herself after the slip - even if in her mind he deserved neither title.
 

MKR

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Aug 19, 2018
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#5
Johanna's face visibly contorted in confusion and worry as she walked down the ship's iron guts. The idea of testing such a thing live seemed horrible to anything living on board and from the sound of Katri's voice it seemed that some of this sentiment might be shared, her opinion of this 'Doctor and or Captain Couch' not off to a good start to say the least.

"I'm.. Glad I didn't see that happening. " She awkwardly replied, feeling like this Captain should feel glad any automated defenses didn't mistake whatever they used for re-entry as a meteor to shoot down.

"So uhm." She recovered after the rather distressing implications, "What did you use for re-entry and why did the captain decide that was a remotely good idea?" Her tone shifted to a less formal one, seemingly having read the room and adjusting accordingly.
 
Aug 4, 2018
190
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16
Somewhere in the UK
#6
"Dimensional Energy, of course. It is in our name. While some of the uses are.. less than pleasant, seeing a reactor in action is honestly rather beautiful."

Causing reality to start breaking at the seams often resulted in a rather beautiful lightshow. Operation of the MARV and Resolution's weapon systems was one of the few times she actually enjoyed her work - or rather, witnessing their operation.

"I'm afraid I'm not allowed to elaborate further on our technology. While DEI cooperates with the directory fully on all matters they want to talk about, that doesn't mean I can talk freely to just anyone. If you're having issues with one of the Riot units I can provide technical support and tactical advice, but that's about the limit of it."

"Well, assuming you are using one. If you're not..."

She trailed off, only finishing the sentence in her head.

Then you're one of the lucky ones.
 

MKR

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Aug 19, 2018
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#7
The guide was about to explain that she meant her question in a different way, but it became clear that even if Katri went for the intended method of answering her question it would've been met with the letters "NDA". She simply nodded instead, understanding that Katri's hands were tied in that regard. It seemed that in contrast to standard army forces who drill their forces the DEI drilled a corporate disclaimer into their employees.

At the remark about Riots Johanna would think for a moment, seemingly considering something but not bothered by the sentence without conclusion.

"Well, I'm afraid I'm not one of the Riot pilots. While the C-Types do use the Riots I've got my own mech. The Weissritter." She pointed out. "Which, unless repairs went very very differently shouldn't run off of a Proton Reactor."

"If anyone I think the mechanical staff would maybe like to hear what you've got to say about technical support. They're tasked with maintenance of them after all, but their hands are a bit full currently."

She paused for a moment, her thought from before seemingly reaching its conclusion.

"Now I know you said you aren't allowed to talk about everything, but one thing has struck me as odd for a while. No one aside from the C-Types pilots the Riots. That may be because the rest of us all have our own units, but it does kinda stand out that there aren't any humans piloting them." She scratched the back of her head for a second.

"Do you know if that is for any particular reason?" She asked this half not expecting an answer, but it was nevertheless worth asking.
 
Aug 4, 2018
190
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16
Somewhere in the UK
#8
Katri seemed to smile at the mention of the Riot Cs not being human piloted. She let out a breath, as if a weight had been let off her shoulders.

“Because your taskforce was built on doing the right thing.”

She paused for a moment before elaborating, checking to make sure they were alone.

“I helped test one of the initial units - although I don’t have access to it any more. They’re powerful machines which happen to be a danger to anyone and everyone nearby. Ally or enemy. Heavy damage, a lucky hit, or any failure in regulating the output during combat, will cause the reactor to melt down and explode. Boom, no more Riot.”

Katri mimed an explosion with her hands at the last part, seemingly a lot more relaxed than she had been at the start of the conversation. Her opinion of the Riot had gone up substantially now that she knew it wasn’t risking directory lives on every sortie.

“You don’t want a Photon engine unless you want to die. It’s a miracle our star test pilot even survived hers.”
 
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MKR

Moderator
Aug 19, 2018
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#9
The Upsilon pilot listened intently, allowing Katri to elaborate without interruption. She most certainly noticed how relieved the woman was that the C-Types were piloting Riots instead of them. Making a mental note not too stay too close to any Riots under fire by heavy ordnance. Although the remark about doing the right thing brought a smile on her face, one that dissipated as the Riots were explained to her, a contemplative look on her face.

With the explanation done Johanna brought her face back to a neutral expression as she led Katri down the halls of the Air Christmas.

"That's... A bit concerning. So yeah luckily they're not putting humans in there but it seems dangerous. I hope they're less volatile while turned off at least?" She asked in a hopeful tone.

Another moment in contemplation passed before Johanna took the opportunity to ask another question. The only sound between them being the sound of boot to floor before Johanna opted to add another question.

"Does the DEI usually make their products so volatile or are the Riots unique in that regard?" Despite the disclaimer about Riots earlier it seemed Katri was a honest source of answers, and with the riots fielded alongside Upsilon it didn't exactly set the most trustworthy example for DEI production safety and instead made it seem as something to be cautious of.

Luckily for the pair the guts of the Air Christmas was calm, even as they slowly approached the bridge. With the repairs still in full swing, the leave many had left on and a large portion of the staff being the C-Types it made for a rather calm environment. One that more easily allowed for such discussion too.
 
Aug 4, 2018
190
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16
Somewhere in the UK
#10
Katri shrugged in response to the first question. She'd never seen one spontaneously explode... but that didn't mean there wasn't a way for one to do so.

"How much do you know about Dimensional Energy? Almost all other products - including the ones I was originally hired to operate on - are powered by it. It's base properties make it somewhat problematic to work with, but also make errors less dangerous. The worst that will happen is things going back to the way they were before."

She seemed unsure about how much detail to go into. The physics weren't something she fully understood, and while the base principles were common knowledge at DEI that didn't mean the average directory soldier knew - or was allowed to know about the rules governing their existence.
 

MKR

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Aug 19, 2018
278
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#11
Katri's shrug wasn't exactly reaffirming but neither was it damning. Simply something to keep in mind. When it came to the fuel source however.

"I've heard the term once or twice but never really understood it myself. Name is kind of self explanatory at least." She shrugged to herself. "So I take it it all kind of resets like how DAMON disappear after being defeated? All like it never happened except for all the environmental damage."

"Oh yeah before I forget to ask, you were talking about a star test pilot earlier? Would you mind saying who it is? Doubt I'll recognize them but I can't help but be curious at who could manage something like that with how you're talking about the reactors."

The only info she'd gotten so far was 'hers' so while that did exclude half the population it didn't exactly narrow it down. For all she knew this star pilot was a C-Type prototype or maybe some famous veteran. The way Katri seemed relieved at the lack of human Riot pilots made that first theory quite unlikely though,
 
Aug 4, 2018
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Somewhere in the UK
#12
"Essentially - Like a rubber band."

Katri nodded. That was close enough, and correcting her any further would get close to revealing some of DEI's secrets.

"Ashley Chase - you might have heard of her. She was hired on after the Munich Massacre, and has... distinguished herself since. I'm afraid I can't go into details."

This time it wasn't just the NDA, it seemed. Katri sounded uncomfortable elaborating on her colleague... her friend's employment. She should have been checking up on her, not delivering a message for some lunatic with dreams of grandeur.
 

MKR

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Aug 19, 2018
278
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#13
Raking her brain Johanna tried to place the name but seemingly to no avail.

"Hmmm, no luck placing the name. Sorry, though most that gets out about that... Event. Is mass death." Though she didn't press that part any further on the matter the discomfort was easy to notice.

"So, the two of you get along then?" She said after an awkward moment. Though they were getting close to the bridge making the last leg of the journey in semi-solemn silence seemed inadequate and with the topic on Ashley it was a good chance to try and lift spirits in that way rather than changing the subject.
 
Aug 4, 2018
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Somewhere in the UK
#14
"She disobeyed orders to move in and protect civilians - saved numerous lives. We're... somewhat close. I'm technically her superior, and I try to keep an eye on her. When I can."

Katri sighed. What had started as an attempt to vent had just made her feel worse about what she was doing. Hopefully Dylan's planned 'exercise' would extend into a long-term collaboration between the Resolution and the Air Christmas. Then maybe her work would stop weighing so heavily on her conscience for a little while.

"We've been a little distant lately due to differing assignments and Couch's ridiculously inane requests. If I didn't know how little he cared I'd think he was trying to keep us apart."
 

MKR

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Aug 19, 2018
278
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#15
"You know. I would much rather hear lives saved alongside lives lost than just one of them. Gives more meaning to both numbers." Johanna remarked. "And well, try and see if you can find moments to chat with her perhaps?"

She didn't know the entirety of the situation but the sound of that last bit was curious. But before Johanna had any more time to consider it, they had arrived at the bridge.
"Well. Here we are." She remarked as the door to the bridge opened Johanna scanned the room to locate Rodgers, spotting him in the captains chair and guiding Katri over.

"Excuse me Sir, but a messenger from the DEI has a message for you." She said, keeping it to the basics to allow Katri to explain what she needed to say. Her task in this was done so she stood to the side, if privacy was important for this personal message she'd notice otherwise Johanna would remain around.
 

GEAR

Administrator
Staff member
Jun 15, 2018
671
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16
#16
The bridge, as the two entered, was uncharacteristically deserted - most of the crew, it appeared, were still busy with cleanup and rescue operations in Belfast - but the voice of the Brigadier-General himself rang out all the same, indicating that he was indeed at his usual post.

"The Irish Guard, you say?"

Rodgers was indeed seated in his command chair, reviewing some fashion of tablet held in his hands, cross-referencing it with several holographic displays. His appearance was smooth and refined as always, not a single errant hair out of place, in stark contrast to the young man standing before him.

Hands stuffed into his pockets, and a leather jacket about his shoulders, the one currently before Rogers seemed to be newcomer, whom none could recall having walked through their halls before - indeed, not a single person claimed to be aware of him, or his origins - yet all who met him spoke highly of his warmth and trustworthy countenance, though they seemed unable to explain exactly why.

"I wasn't aware they still had any functioning regiments, Mister O'Brennan."

Gail shrugged his shoulders, rolling his right shoulder and giving a slight wince, as though it were in pain.

"It's a special commission from the regional Director."
"And... what were the details of this appointment?"
"Can't talk about it, Director's Privilige. You know how it is."
"Is that so."

Rogers grudgingly handed the tablet back to Gail, who regarded him innocently. The older man chewed his bottom lip, as if he was trying to remember something about the one before him. Eventually, Gail himself spoke up, saying:

"Hey, call him if you want to confirm the details. Besides, you needed the help, right?"

"And... what about that Mobile Weapon?"
"Top secret prototype. Don't touch it."
"I seem to recall having seen it somewhere before."
"Then you're mistaken."

The tension in the room had managed to ratchet up, as both locked eyes and refused to back down - but it was Rodgers who surprisingly blinked first, noticing the arrival of the other two:

"...Ah." He said, exhaling as a welcome respite from the current conundrum had arrived, turning his chair around to greet them as he did:

"Miss Kokkonen, Miss Van Den Berg. What can I do for you?"
 
Aug 4, 2018
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16
Somewhere in the UK
#17
"If you want numbers, you'd have to search her up. I'm sure articles exist."

Katri shook her head in response to Johanna's suggestion, but didn't bother elaborating as they walked onto the bridge. She adjusted her uniform to ensure she was presentable before stepping forward, ignoring Gail for now.

"My apologies for interrupting. Captain Dylan Couch wishes to stage a joint training exercise with Taskforce Upsilon, in order to..."

Reinforce morale and improve the training of taskforce members after their embarassing show in Ireland.

Katri trailed off, shaking her head. She was apparently uncomfortable with Dylan's message, and took a moment before continuing. Dylan's original wording - which he'd ordered her to pass on - was the opposite of diplomatic, so for once she disregarded orders.

"Boost morale after the destruction of Belfast, and pave the way for future collaboration with DEI. He also wishes to look over the combat data from the Riot units, in order to improve future iterations of the machine."
 

MKR

Moderator
Aug 19, 2018
278
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#18
With her part done Johanna stood to the side, eyeing the newcomer with a raised eyebrow at first. She seemed to be trying to place him but to no avail, she filed away the name "O'Brennan" in her memory for now. It was something for later, instead of focusing on the odd one out in the room she looked to Katri who begun to relay her message.

A joint training exercise, Johanna liked the sound of that. Not only would it provide a nice chance to test the Weiss in its new form, on the grander scale of things it would allow both sides to see what the other was capable of. For her part the Upsilon member wondered about DEI's star ace, given how Katri talked it sounded like she was around and now that the woman was hyped up to her Johanna wanted to see this Ashley in action.

But regardless of the thoughts and ideas building in her head, she remained quiet, standing just outside the conversation. But clearly listening, if she had to guess Rodgers would accept on the basis of morale alone, it would be a good way to show what Upsilon could do when faced against a more reasonable opponent. Or maybe for the DEI to show off something new and showboat using them as opponents with how Katri had talked about her captain.

Johanna looked to Rodgers, curious as to what the Brigadier-General would say on the matter.
 

GEAR

Administrator
Staff member
Jun 15, 2018
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#19
"Hmph." Rodgers grunted in response to the request, leaning back in his chair as he did so.

"The Institute seems to hold a high opinion of itself these days, to make such a request." He said dryly, allowing the question to hang in the air for a moment before turning back to Gail, asking him in turn:

"What do you think, Mister O'Brennan?"

The young man gave a shrug. He seemed to avoid pointedly looking at the other two, only glancing over in their direction - not, it seemed, out of any dislike, rather as if he was embarrassed at his earlier frustrations being overheard. The specter of the Shiseiten's departure, and its demonic, all-encompassing silence still hung over the crew as a dread memory - anything that could be done to alleviate that would be wise.

"...Morale is understandably low." He remarked, levelly. "If It'll raise people's spirits, I don't see why not."

Nodding approvingly, Rodgers looked back to the other two women, saying as he did so:

"Permission granted. Tell Captain Couch... if that is his real name... that he can have his scrap, as long as it's unobstructive to recovery efforts."
 
Aug 4, 2018
190
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16
Somewhere in the UK
#20
For Dylan would have to remember someone else's name before he could even try using a fake one.

A smirk of sorts crossed Katri's face at that insinuation.

"Thank you, sir. Hopefully the event will go well."

She quickly turned on her heel to leave, no longer needing a guide and somewhat unwilling to continue her conversation with Johanna.




January 26th
Blackmountain Quarries, Ireland

While Belfast itself was clearly not a fitting site for a mock battle, one of the long-abandoned quarries on the outskirts of the city had been commandeered by DEI in order to stage their 'Training exercise'. What was originally kept as a historical site had been turned into an arena, with prefab safety barriers and recording equipment dotting the outer cliffs while the Resolution hovered overhead.

DEI's contribution to the exercise - Codenamed the Riot "S" for reasons unknown - was hidden under a tarp within the quarry, and its pilot sat nearby. While she was alone, a small projector sat on a nearby rock and was talking at her.

"Now, I've replaced one of the stimulant packs with a new brew I've been working on. It's probably safe for human consumption, but don't use it just yet. My machine should be so much better than whatever the Directory pulls out that it'll be irrelevant, but keep it on hand in case you screw up. Alright, Anne?"

"Nrgh... understood, Couch."

"That's Captain Couch to you, Alice! I could write you up for that, but I won't out of the goodness of my-"

Dylan's complaint was interrupted when Ashley powered the device down, rolling her eyes and picking it off the ground to fold it back up. Every word out of his mouth just pissed. Her. Off.

Maybe hitting something else would help her de-stress?