Troublesome Tails (Tyr)

Aug 4, 2018
Somewhere in the UK
L4: Starseeker Flagship Tantra. Briefing Room [REDACTED].
0600 hours
~12 hours after 'Brazen Challenge'

Operation 'Brazen Challenge', as Aurora had ended up nicknaming it, had gone off without a hitch. Directory forces had been provoked and destroyed with minor damage, an enemy ace had been killed, and the retrieval of her machine would allow them to gain greater insight into Earth's technology. The only hitch came with the pilot. She'd expressed certain... opinions during her trip back, and the goal of this debriefing was as much to calm her down before she spoke to anyone public as it was to discuss the operation itself. She'd had the room cleared in preparation, sitting in the only chair across from a disabled holographic table in preparation for the subject's arrival.

Which was predictably loud, brutal and somewhat childish.

Kath stormed into the post-mission briefing, slamming the door aside when it didn't open fast enough for her. It whined pitifully as it tried to close behind her, the mechanism damaged beyond repair by the sheer force of the impact. She didn't even bother waiting for the alien woman sitting at the table in front of her to say anything, starting to rant as soon as she was fully inside.

"Your stupid bioroids are busted! I had her right where I wanted her, and those jerks opened fire on their own!"

L4 Colony
1600 hours

While a full-on celebration was rightfully considered a waste of both time and money, the returning Valsione and what remained of its opponent had been temporarily put on display in a public space on one of the L4 Colonies. A valiant and pristine Valsion standing next to a ruined R-Gun - although some tweaking of the truth had been done, with the outer armour being replaced to sell the impression of an unstoppable colonial military.

Katherine was one of many who would have bought that fantasy hook, line and sinker before; but being on the other side of it had a way of changing her perspective. Removing the battle damage cheapened the victory in her mind, took something important away that couldn't quite be put back. Not that anyone else seemed to notice. Why should she be mad after a victory like that? None of them understood. And yet, she couldn't tear herself away from the minor celebration technically being thrown in her name.

So she lurked near the mechs, occasionally biting into a meat snack whose contents were best not thought about. Kath hadn't bothered with her usual suit of armour this time, but it would be easy to draw the dots as to who she was from anything more than a cursory glance. This continued for a couple of minutes, then something unusual drew her eye. The flash of a... tail? Ears? Colonial engineering allowed for convincing fakes, but those seemed real. She followed, outright pushing her way through the crowd to catch a closer look.
Aug 25, 2018
It was curiosity - both personal and professional - that had led Laura to attend the display of the latest victory one of the Colonies' newly minted heroes had achieved. To compensate for her height she was watching the celebration from atop a small food stand. The man behind the stand had looked at her oddly when she had climbed atop it but hadn't protested it. By her measure it had only given him more customers.

The machine put on display was unfamiliar to her - though that was hardly telling, as most of them were - though the pristine condition of the Valsion next to it had her shaking her head. It would've been better to leave some superficial surface scratches unattended instead of repairing and cleaning everything - or if none had existed to make some. That would've given a better image of an easily achieved victory.

If this was an outright parade it would've been different, but as it was some would suspect they were hiding the damage. Though considering the state of the crowd around her, maybe that was a baseless assumption.

She took a slurp from the strawed drink she was holding. It would've been easy, she decided, her eyes following the Valsion's pilot as she lurked near the mechas, to make an attempt on Katherine's life if she was so inclined. The crowd would panic if such an attempt was made and panic was so easily turned to fear and hate.

But no, that was behind her now. Reflection was gone, only Laura remained. The last daughter of Maake.

Her curiosity sated, Laura was about to leave the crowd behind her when she saw Katherine beginning to unsubtly move towards her. But wh- ah, of course. Her tail and ears.

Well, she had planned to make a contact with the heroes of the Colony. This was an unexpected boon, but one she would take. Giving a wink to the victorious pilot, Laura rose to her feet and with a flick of her tail, leapt down from atop the food stand. Once in the middle of the crowd she began to walk away from the mechas while hiding a grin. It had been a while since someone had followed her like this. With a small twitch of her ear, she turned towards the exit with least people in it.

It would be best if their conversation was away from the masses. Quickly drinking the last drops of her drink she threw her empty cup to the air when she had reached the exit, heading for a cafe nearby.

How fortunate to find one so vacant when the colony was as overcrowded as it was. Though its proximity to the showcase was an explanation for it she supposed.
Aug 4, 2018
Somewhere in the UK
"...And I'm not working with them again unless I get some sort of override!"

Aurora took a deep breath, her previous misgivings returning in earnest as Katherine ranted on and on. She'd been legitimately impressed by the mission results, and was willing to ignore or brush off most of the girl's... "Quirks" if she kept up that level of performance. But this was a step too far.

"I was going to congratulate you on a job well done. But it's become clear that certain issues need to be addressed. Both with the threat assessments of the Bioroids assigned to your command, and your.. response to their failure. Why don't we take the mission logs and review them, to see what the units were thinking at the time?"

If by some twist of fate Katherine had been right, then whatever flaw had been brought to the surface could be addressed. But in the infinitely more likely situation that she was wrong, it would be a dose of humility - and possibly a way to lessen her anger by promising some kind of 'Fix'.

"Fine. Bring it up. Let's see what made them crap out."


Kath made eye contact with the mysterious fox, hesitating for a second after the girl winked at her and vanished into the crowd. While it was clearly an invitation, she'd expected... disinterest. Maybe a nod or a frown. But that little voice of caution in her head wasn’t about to slow her down now - it never had before.

She made her way towards the entrance the Fox had gone through, ignoring the curious glances and complaints from people she’d pushed past before having her path blocked by a bioroid.

“Kathryn Marsh. If you wish to leave the proceedings, an escort will be provided. This unit is available.”

Kath scowled, stepping up and trying to push it aside. It refused to budge however, forcing her to shift track.

"Piss off, robot. Go back to watching the crowd and I dunno... try not to kill anyone?"

“Ensuring your safety is part of our directives. An escort is necessary.”

“It isn’t. Get out of my way and stay out of my way. That’s an order.”

The bioroid visibly hesitated before replying, it’s internal directives conflicting as it tried to process a resolution. After a moment it stepped aside, head bowed as it finally allowed her to leave.

“...Those terms are acceptable. A unit will follow you from a distance. Have a nice day.”

Kath replied with a rude gesture, following the Fox out of the crowd and into the cafe she'd picked out without so much as a glance behind her. There was a single Bioroid following as promised, the impassive mask only hiding it's gaze in the theoretical sense. Anyone with a brain would know exactly what it was focused on, although for now it limited itself to lurking at a distance.

She took a deep breath before actually entering it - that girl wasn't who she was angry at. "Starseeker Combine"'s upper ranks and their robots were. So she rolled her eyes internally and hooked the leg on one of the chairs with her foot, yanking it back a bit before settling herself down opposite the Fox.

"So what does some foxy lady want with me? I was curious for a closer look, but then you started leading me on."

Kath leaned back in the chair, putting it on two legs and using the table for balance purposes.

"Go ahead. Spit it out~"
Aug 25, 2018
Laura gave Kath a puzzled look. "What do you mean? You were the one violently pushing through the masses to get to me - which by the way is very unbecoming of a heroic icon - and as I don't want to be a circus attraction I left for a more silent environment. Really, I'm the one that should be asking that considering the scene that you were making."

She grinned at her. "I'm just an innocent tourist using her long overdue vacation in this overcrowded and busy place, and I don't appreciate being bullrushed, much less being called something like 'foxy lady' and then treated like I'm in an interrogation. So tell me. What does Kathryn Marsh, one of the newly minted heroes of the Colonies wants to do with little old me?"