5821/Aftermaths of Other Aftermaths

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Aftermaths of Other Aftermaths
Date of Scene: 22 April 2018
Location: Maw of Tyrants
Synopsis: Pending
Cast of Characters: Starbound Flotilla, 1150

Starbound Flotilla has posed:
    Now, of course, we're right back at the Starbound-Concord Biomedical Microgravity Platform. The orbital site is a bit junked up and awkwardly repairing, after the fiasco that was several explosive firefights and melees aboard. Pavo's assorted cultists and a swarm of drones are hard at work on getting it back together, overseen and assisted by the incredibly speedy repairs being done by Albert.

    He has invented several new engineering tools in the process of reconstructing the damaged sections with some fancy laser-light system that seems dangerous enough that he's operating it from behind a blast shield. Right now, he's hard at work repairing some heavy damage to a section of spacedock. It's exposed to space, but covered in a big fancy oxygen bubble, allowing ships to move in and out of a section of the station that's essentially the space equivalent of a pier.

Azure Armature (1150) has posed:
The devastation that had been wrought on the Starbound Flotilla's assets in the name of one guy's replacement arms had been painful to hear about, in the sense that it was painful to hear secondhand. One person had decided to stay put during the smash and grab operation the Watch had put together, but curiousity - and some desire to seize upon the moment - had brought that one person to the aftermath.

Azure Armature, known mostly as 'Blue', arrived in the pier's air bubble with a muted 'pop' and flash of light, both hands gloved and scarf up around her nose. Immediately after transmaterializing, though, perhaps to dissuade any armed intervention, she raised both hands slowly, her stance loose.

"Is Albert here? And... accepting visitors?" She wondered to the assembled cultists, and Pavo, before squinting at his laser torch.

Starbound Flotilla has posed:
    It was painful to hear about the first hand and the second hand, but there were honestly a whole lot of hands in those crates, and not an insubstantial number of wrists too.

    Albert is still a soldier, and so someone unidentified and possibly hostile suddenly appearing at the site of a battle means of course he'll draw his gun -- a big whooshy 50s-looking raygun -- and point it at her near immediately. His urge to point a gun at things is faster than his ability to process surrender, but thankfully that managed to run to the finish line a lot faster than his instinct to pull triggers. Albert's already announced himself at the laser welding thing long before the Pavo-cultists manage to scramble into getting their guns up.

    "Here." He says, regarding Azure Armature critically. He recognizes her from their operations in Creation, so his gun's position is pulled back to a bit more of a friendly muzzle-display. "Blue. Mmmh." He makes that classic ape huffy sort of noise. "If you're here to talk and not /raid/, we can talk while I work." He gestures his gun over at some safety gear. "Put on safety goggles, or looking at the unspace-arclight might roll your eyes into another dimension." Presumably that's an entirely theoretical risk; Azure Armature has certainly had enough cause for eyerolling in the Creation operations that she'd have suffered that fate long ago if it were possible.

    In any case, Albert gets back to his weird strange-light welding some chunk of metal in place for the stardock. The cultists uneasily get back to work, though one or two stay in place near Azure just in case. Not any show of hostility, just a subtle bit of guardedness.

Azure Armature (1150) has posed:
Blue watches the gun come up, and makes her own internal will save to not:

*Whip out her own various forms of weaponry.
*Take a combat stance.
*Make a witty one liner.
Make a smug emote about how the weapon doesn't really threaten her.

Instead she just keeps her hands up. "Your safety gear obscured your features." Blue instead admits after a moment when she is recognized, slooooowly dropping her hands to her side, her thumbs hooking into the loops on her belt harness as they sit idle. At Albert's insistence, she pulls on a set of extremely retro steampunk goggles with smoked lenses, which seem largely superflous but, if there's one thing Armature understands...

It's people complying with safety instructions. Arguing, standing out, or even just leaning on how special you are was looked at critically.

Stepping forward, Blue shakes her head. "I heard it, as it was going on. Disgusting. A precision strike would be forgiveable. Bartering, commendable. A pillage-and-burn, all the while commending themselves and each other for this reason or the other..."

Her hands tighten, the classic sound crik-ik-ikkkk'ing with the tension of her gloves. "Mmn. But I don't need to tell you that. Part of my objective for coming was to see the state of things. And to speak to you about plans."

Starbound Flotilla has posed:
    Albert does that ape-grunt again. He turns away long enough to fuss with something at his wrist. Fancy holography goes well on display. "Cargo area damaged by multiple explosions and explosion-like 'heroism'. Power conduits comprehensively sabotaged. Docks heavily damaged. Hmph." He goes back to funneling light out of some mystery dimension. "It is what it is. Small-minded moralizing. Never stops, just picks a new direction. Which theater are you making contact for?"

    He has that unique tone of someone who's not even remotely meant for negotiation. Trying to discuss plans with someone who would ostensibly have been categorized as an enemy a few days ago means that his words sort of fall out of his mouth in misshapen ways, with too many limbs, not enough organs, and eyes where eyes ought not be.

Azure Armature (1150) has posed:
In terms of grunts, growls, or raspy voiced lines, especially around proper nouns or repeated phrases, Azure Armature feels a sort of ideological kinship with Albert. He brings up the holographic display, and the operator brings up her own right arm, tapping at the soft-light interface sheath that appears to 'follow along'. The wince is not just visible, but palpable. "I heard one crowing about their desire to burn what they didn't take. I see they succeeded at some of their goal. Do you have power issues in the wake of the attack?" She wonders, tapping at the indicated areas.

Her stance shifts, as she follows Albert as he works, moving from a disarming surrender to a casual stroll, to a more businesslike tension as he asks about the theatre of operation.

"Creation. I have some small personal stake in how the larger conflict ends, but failing that, you - and your team - represent one of our... my... better, if not best, alternative. For the sake of a future relationship, I though to extend my personal services if you require 'fixing' in either sense of the word. I am familiar with power systems, for example."

"Your refreshing lack of conscience issues in the Creation operations and your dedication to finishing the mission when others had moral compunctions and tripped over themselves justifying breaking off from a plan they agreed to sets you apart. I can... Appreciate it. Where I'm from, it's a virtue."

There is a soft click of the tongue, like an asterisk. "Usually."

Starbound Flotilla has posed:
    Albert seems utterly focused on what he's doing, not even looking at Azure as he moves the shielded apparatus around. Yet he responds perfectly, like that asshole who sleeps all class and yet knows all the answers. "Power issues, mmh. If you can help, then help. Without a full network of power distribution nodes, our systems get inefficient." He says that word like it's a swear.

    He gives a look to Blue, but with his own goggles on, it's not clear what the look is meant to be. "I don't lack conscience. I see a bigger picture. Creation nearly contracted a fatal disease. Hundreds of thousands would have died in a bioweapon plague. Millions could have been given a life not worth living by a malicious sociological paradigm." He goes back to staring into his own work. "A conscience is why I can't let that happen."

    He's thinking, internally, about what to do with the favor he's being offered. Not being one like Moonfin, it's difficult to find the right opportunity. Pavo's project? Would A2 ever abide that, or would Azure care if she didn't? What about the upcoming conflict over the Prospekt machine? Could she realistically go against August? He's running the prospects all through his mind.

Azure Armature (1150) has posed:
"Inefficient..." Blue repeats, mirroring the tone in her own way and nodding. "Then it's a high priority to affect meaningful repairs in a short timeframe." I'll need some time with the systems, obviously. But I've nowhere to be before my next operation, so I can lend my expertise in bringing back functionality."

She shifts her weight off of one foot to the other, bringing her arms up to cross as the wrist display winks out of existance, rolling her shoulders once as she does so. "I don't mind being supervised, either." She adds, her tone Tactically Understanding.

The discussion moves to conscience, and Albert's specific take on it. Blue nods along, quiet, as Albert explains.

"I misspoke. You are correct. A sustainable world-view, one not couched in cheap moralisms and short-term thinking."

The turning gears of the ape-man's mind are not open to Azure Armature, but she has more to add to the thoughts. "I am from a... similar situation, though civic duty is much more impressed upon the people where I hail from. The disease of Creation's societies and strutures demand a righting, and if that is a righting with fine-toothed gears and precision screws or a messy demolition and clearing of the way, one or the other is required."

"Perhaps I will be or aid the one or ones who do so. It is an ongoing project. One thing that must be addressed is the inhabitants of their 'Yu-Shan'. Excess. Opulence. Dereliction."

Starbound Flotilla has posed:
    "Hmph. Good." Is all Albert has to say to Azure's current offer. Presumably she'll spend some time getting watched over on her repairs by surly Glitch, Hylotl, or mostly Avian members of Pavo's weird self-cult.

    More relevantly, he says, "Good. You understand." He'd hoped in general, but he wasn't depending on much of anything about that. "Divine oversight. I know at least one of the Captains is going to have harsh business with Yu-Shan. I've done what needed doing, but they'll have more interests and other focus." He regards the control panel of his welding apparatus like it's a very difficult crossword puzzle. "Guessing that Yu-Shan will be something Haruto or Seft focus on. Going to draw Yu-Shan's attention with what happened to Mask. Favor to one of us is a favor to all of us. Except George. If you collaborate there, call the issue solved."

    One of those three ought to wind up being tolerable for Azure Armature, right? And it probably leaves Azure free to deal with Pavo's mad roboquest a little less problematically.

Azure Armature (1150) has posed:

It's probably really boring because beyond some mild tinkering and interested slash thoughtful sounds, she mostly points a digital repair beam at the problem and kicks back while her personal energy reserves becomes fixed parts. It's super boring, but both helpful and entirely bereft of sabotage efforts. They're just power converters! And the workmanship is good. Her welds, in specific, are exactingly clean. Not that she actually DOES the welding by hand, but it's Bullshit Magic Clean.

But that's super boring.


"Perhaps not the Mask. No attention was paid to the fall of Eye and Seven Darkness, though his death must have been felt. The plague was destroyed, yet no accolades from the spirits occurred. There was a tree-spirit, though, swindling the faithful and killing them with the panacea it offered. I moved to act, and was stopped by a strange woman. She took us into Yu-Shan, and showed us the great palaces and rivers of silver and gold."

"Their Jade Pleasure Dome, where the spirits played idle games rather than working for the betterment of the people or the realm. Led by no man, arranged by no council, whiling away their time and powers uselessly."

"A greater waste of resources or power I have never seen." She finishes.

"There was something else, though, George. The... Aftermath of the raid. Something curious. Did they truly think there would be no reprisal for their actions? The damage they caused, the angles they attacked? Is that how things work in this world?"

Starbound Flotilla has posed:
    "Anyone who builds a 'pleasure dome' isn't going to give accolades to anyone. Seen that kind. Disconnected power-mongers. Living without consequences." Albert says, his voice roiling with a subtle bitterness and contempt. "Spend enough time away from the ground and you lose your balance. Same with ships. Same with society." He finishesm and then turns to Blue, pulling the goggles up to his forehead. "You should have burned the tree. Hope you went back to do it." His expression shows that this is just his assumption about the default proper response, not even one of his moods of anger.

    "They didn't care about the aftermath." Albert says, putting the goggles back on and getting back to work. "Or they hoped I wouldn't care enough to make it worth caring about." His face flickers in the light that passes through his blast shield's window, and it's an ominous kind of illumination. "I don't take revenge. I make deterrents and I recoup losses." The harshness in his voice sounds like it might be halfway to a rationalization.

    "Our job is to make a world where people can afford to be like that. Nobody fights a war for the sake of anything but the civilians. Doesn't make it any less dangerous when someone with radio-play heroism decides to make a mess of important things. There's a time and a place for gut-feeling moralizing, and it's not a den of bioweaponry." There's that hmph-noise grunt again. "Sure they already expect a strike back soon."

Azure Armature (1150) has posed:
It's Azure's turn to make an amused, throaty rumble. "You are right. Few who would make a palace of hedonism would deign to recognize others. And for Creation, there are many consequences to go around. Those with responsibility do not claim it, and those without power rush to seize the scraps while the gears scrape and spark, the mechanism broken."

Armature shifts, watching Albert's Dramatic Lighting On Goggles Or Other Eyewear moment, and makes an appreciative murmur. "Undersood. Then..." She pings the local infonet with an open update, specifically beaming a frequency at Albert for him to pluck out of the air - and produce a pen and paper if he indicates its necessary. She doens't mind the rest of the Flotilla knowing it, at least.

"That's my personal frequency. If you have an act of deterrance or loss recouping or prevention, lay out the mission parameters there and I will attempt to assist. A... personal contract line, if you'd like."

Blue turns, shrugging, her scarf picking up, unfurling on the dock to carry her momentum out. "Good civics and strong policies allow for many small deviations in the day-to-day. The bottom line that's created with a comfortable wiggle room for everyone. As for balancing the ledger... That's why you have a ledger."

Her edgy Protoman Backturn requires her to smirk over her shoulder. "Eventually, you'll get around to settling most scores, or writing them off. Picking a battle when you're expected tends to not work out well. But I'll back you up even in the short-term. As I said - your band has extreme promise for being able to help me. I'm willing to make payment up front."

Starbound Flotilla has posed:
    Albert's own computing solutions easily take in the frequency. "Understood. Appreciated." Terse statements of gratitude are the most anyone can get out of Albert, even for situations like someone saying they'd go against their own faction (however briefly) to maintain the positive relations. It'd probably be meaningful, if you were into gruff soldier meaning-by-absence sort of communications. "You'll be informed before any major push." He says, nodding firmly.

    The lasers dance one more time, before Albert seems to finish up with this section of the spacedock; what he's done in this mere hour or so of chatting, it would undoubtedly have taken a team weeks to finish. "Hmph. Remind me of Haruto. Always said that the Flotilla would be protected by making it valuable to people." He snorts, as if he doesn't believe that. "Personally thought more guns would do it better. Not sad to be proven a little wrong." Was that a joke? Does Albert do jokes? No. It was wit. Albert does /not/ joke.

    Not much else seems to need saying right now. "We'll balance things, then. Power conduit is down the hallway there," While he packs his heavy welding kit, he tilts his head towards one of the large airlocks leading inside, which has only recently been repaired. "Take a right at all the ash."

Azure Armature (1150) has posed:
"Valuable - or invaluable - is a worthy goal. Useful and good, as any worker should aspire to. But you are not workers. Apart from Champions, but not Lever-Pullers either. Heroes, then. And heroes should aspire to create triumph and fear in some ratio." Blue reasons.

As things take a turn for the end, there is a flick of the wrist from Azure Armature, a soft-light representation of a file - bent ear and all - as she summons the data up from somewhere. "And here. Think of it as a little extra legwork. The Syndicate job postings for the day. You may see a pertinent lack of any calls to arms... Or for arms."

She shrugs. "Past the pile of ash, then, and a right. I'll remember." She finishes, before wandering off, down the hallways to proffer her services as a multitool pointer.